Schlafly Lies About Health Care Reform

Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle F is repeating a tired lie that has been circulating among the wingnuts for the last few weeks and debunked repeatedly, claiming that under the health care reform bill the cheapest policy for a family will be at least $20,000.

The Obama Administration is now estimating that by 2016 the minimum annual cost of health insurance for an average American family under ObamaCare will be $20,000. And there is no guarantee that the health insurance will actually cover all the medical treatments that the family wants and needs. $20,000 is merely the minimum annual cost; many families could face even higher premiums. Millions of Americans will be faced with the choice of buying this expensive health insurance, or paying hefty penalties to the IRS. Those who choose not to buy health insurance will be slapped by the IRS with thousands of dollars in additional taxes. Is this what Americans really want? Certainly not. $20,000 is many times more expensive than what most Americans pay for health insurance today.

But FactCheck has already shown this to be false:

This question — and several more from readers — was prompted by an article published by the Cybercast News Service (an “alternative” news site run by the conservative Media Research Center) with the headline: “IRS: Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be $20,000 Per Family.” But the IRS made no such declaration about the future cost of health insurance plans.

In January, the Treasury Department and IRS issued proposed regulations for the individual shared responsibility provision of the health care law. That provision, otherwise known as the “individual mandate,” requires nonexempt persons to obtain minimum essential health insurance for themselves and their nonexempt family members, or pay a penalty when filing their income taxes. The proposed regulations include several examples of how the “shared responsibility payment,” as it was called, would be calculated for single persons and families of various sizes and incomes…

For one thing, the example in the proposed regulations uses the word “average,” which means that the “cheapest” plan could, in fact, be lower than $20,000. But more important, the regulations weren’t a “cost analysis” at all. A spokesperson for the Treasury Department confirmed to in an email that the IRS wasn’t making any declarations or projections about what prices will be.

“[Twenty thousand dollars] is a round number used by IRS for a hypothetical example,” the official wrote. “It is not an estimate of premiums for a bronze plan for a family of five in 2016.”

That reality will, of course, stop no wingnut from repeating this claim ad nauseum until the end of time.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Let’s cancel some of the white elephants the pentagon is building, and give everyone medical care!

  • I agree with Marcus. The ACA serves mainly to enrich insurance providers, and does very little to actually guarantee care, or control the quality, availability and out-of-pocket costs of care.

    Eliminate the ACA, and do what every other civilized country on the planet has done: treat medical care as a right provided by some combination of nationalized care (as in the UK), a single-payer insurance program (as in Canada) or government subsidized non-profit coverage (as in Germany.)

  • Based on that recent Time article on the cost of health care, it seems to make the most sense to have everyone covered under Medicare. Take private insurance out of the equation. Why are we paying to prop up bloated insurance companies in order to enrich their shareholders and officers? Medicare does a fine job of paying for health care, and at a profit for the providers. We need to think of health care like we used to think about the Post Office, the air traffic controllers and the Interstate Highway System.

  • Gregory in Seattle “I agree with Marcus. The ACA serves mainly to enrich insurance providers, and does very little to actually guarantee care, or control the quality, availability and out-of-pocket costs of care.”

    I agree, but not for those reasons. I’m outraged that Hussein Obama Obama tore down the existing private system, which has served America and Freedom for since Old Testament times, replacing it with socialism*. Private insurance plus a private healthcare system is Liberty. Private insurance plus a private healthcare system plus Obama is socialism.*


    * SOCIALISM!!!

  • daved

    I just tried posting a rebuttal over at the web site. We’ll see if it gets through.

  • jamessweet

    Eliminate the ACA, and do what every other civilized country on the planet has done

    If I Were King(TM), sure. But I discourage this kind of rhetoric, primarily because I worry that increases the chances of the first part happening without the second part.

    It’s not clear that the ACA really does make things all that much better. However, it DOES mean that virtually every person in the US will be insured, and once we’ve lived with that reality for a few years, it will be politically untenable to talk about going back to a system where that is not the case. I think at that point, single-payer will be a much easier sell.