Hasselbeck Finds Avenue for Ignorance at Fox News

Hasselbeck Finds Avenue for Ignorance at Fox News November 21, 2013

Elizabeth Hasselbeck has gone from The View to Fox News (a giant step sideways if ever there was one) and she has clearly found a home for her ignorant bleatings. Informed by Stuart Varney that an insurance company had dumped a bunch of doctors from its Medicare insurance program, she promptly worried about how it would affect pregnant women.

In a segment titled “Who’s Ruining the Economy Now?” Fox Business host Stuart Varney announced that the president was not going to be able to keep the promise that people could keep their doctors because “United Healthcare has just dropped — we don’t know exactly how many — but thousands of doctors have been dropped from United Heathcare’s Medicare Advantage program.”

Conservative media outlets like The Washington Times have blamed United Healthcare’s decision on the Affordable Care Act.

“That leaves hundreds of thousands of patients without the doctor that they’ve had for many many years,” Varney added. “We don’t know how many thousands have been dropped, but thousands have been dropped. What about their patients? What about the people who used to have this doctor who now no longer have this doctor? Broken promise.”

“And many of those people are women who are expecting babies and who may just have a real relationship with their physician and want to see the same doctor deliver possibly their second child,” Hasselbeck opined. “And they are now left in the dark in a time that they feeling quite vulnerable.”

Dear Mrs. Hasselbeck:

Medicare is for people over 65. People over 65 rarely get pregnant. The subject being discussed had absolutely nothing to do with pregnant women.



P.S. Reading is fundamental.

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  • Also, Medicare Advantage is not Obamacare.

    Also, private health insurance can change who in-network doctors are at any time.

  • barry21

    Maybe she’s a lawyer, and she’s worried about the fertile octogenarian. It’s exactly the kind of careful policy analysis you get from TV news.

  • dysomniak, darwinian socialist

    I have medicare. I’m 29.

  • scienceavenger

    Stuart Varney is one of the most blatant hacks on Fox, and that’s quite a high bar to clear. His marching orders are patently obvious: If the economic news is bad, blame Obama. If the economic news is good, claim it’d be better if it weren’t for Obama, and/or claim those responsible for the report cooked the books because they are in the tank for Obama. He’s self-parodying. He’s the idjit that referred to Nate Silver’s poll analysis as “gobbledygoop”.

    I enjoyed watching him every morning leading up to the last POTUS election, as the employment numbers kept improving slowly but surely, and every day he’d come up with more bullshit reasons why it really wasn’t good news. The graph behind you says otherwise you lying fuck.

  • Trebuchet

    As #3 indicates, not everyone in Medicare is over 65. It’s also available to the disabled and people with end-stage renal disease. According to Wikipedia:

    In 2013, Medicare provided health insurance to over 50 million Americans, and between 15%-20% of them were not 65.

  • Trebuchet

    Dang, I forgot to add before posting, that this does NOT mean Hasselbeck isn’t an idiot. She famously thought the Earth was flat on The View.

  • eric

    Also, private health insurance can change who in-network doctors are at any time.

    Yup. Every year, our corporation health care benefits folk come in and remind us to check with our doctors to see if we are still covered. Becaues while our plan hasn’t changed, doctors get added and dropped to insurance networks all the time.

    What they are really complaining about is an issue with the current system that ACA didn’t fix or improve.

  • This also has absolutely nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act, which does not change the requirements for Medicare Advantage plans. The truth is here: ACA and Medicare.

    In other words, these people have absolutely no idea what they are talking about or, more likely, they’re remorseless liars.

  • Abby Normal

    Modusoperandi @1

    Also, Medicare Advantage is not Obamacare.

    Medicare Advantage was modified as part of the ACA. Prior to ACA the government paid out $1.14 to insurance companies for every dollar they would have paid under the core Medicare system. ACA reduced the payout to insurance companies by $0.14 to bring the two in line. Insurance companies have has responded by reducing payouts. UnitedHealth is now eliminating doctors who refused to accept the lower reimbursement rate.

    This is exactly the sort of thing the ACA was supposed to do, trim the fat. This is not an unintended consequence. The only people surprised are those who took at face value the president’s promise that everyone would be able to keep their doctor.

  • karmacat

    Are they sure it wasn’t the other way around? That doctors dropping the insurance? Usually insurance companies like to keep as many dr.’s on their lists. That way when they sell their policies, they can say, look how many doctors we have

  • karmacat

    Sometimes, when a doctor refuses to accept lower rates or drops out as a participant of the insurance co., they still get listed on the insurance panels. The insurance companies don’t want to show how their policies are affecting doctors’ participation with insurance

  • magistramarla


    You are exactly right, and I’ve been burned by it. A lab that was in-network and fine for me to use for two years suddenly became out-of-network. I didn’t think to check on this, and walked from my doctor’s office to the lab next door, as I usually did. I was shocked when I received the bill for over $400.

    It went from being a $16 co-pay to me paying most of the cost.

    Although I never needed to use it, our nearby hospital in California was dropped from our insurance network. That meant that if we needed the services of a hospital, we would have to travel nearly 20 miles to a participating one rather than less than 5 miles to the local (and much better!) hospital.

    This was before the ACA was in play at all. It’s simply the business machinations of insurance companies and health care providers. In those situations, we can be sure that it the patient who suffers.

  • scienceavenger

    @6 the famous flat earther was Sherri Shepard, not Hasselbeck.

  • John Hinkle


    Are they sure it wasn’t the other way around? That doctors dropping the insurance?

    There may be some of that, but some weeks back United Healthcare announced the 10-15% cut of providers in their Medicare Advantage network. They also said their other networks would be unaffected.

    And what Abby Normal said.

  • On a somewhat tangential note, I’m seeing an awful lot of people on Facebook complaining that their insurance premiums are skyrocketing as a result of the Affordable Care Act. It does seem to portend that the web site malfunction isn’t going to be the biggest worry when it comes to the fallout over the Act.

  • Trebuchet

    @6 the famous flat earther was Sherri Shepard, not Hasselbeck.

    I knew I should have checked that before posting!

  • tommykey “On a somewhat tangential note, I’m seeing an awful lot of people on Facebook complaining that their insurance premiums are skyrocketing as a result of the Affordable Care Act.”


    “You’re right. Obamacare is more expensive than the catastrophic-care coverage you had before that would’ve broken you if you ever had to use it after a catastrophe, or the better coverage you had that had holes or caps you didn’t know were there, or where the company would cancel your policy (called “rescission”) if they thought they’d have to pay out for treatment.”

    Follow up:

    “Have you visited the website for the public exchange for your state? You can browse and compare plans from different companies there, where open and transparent competition is reducing costs. And, depending on your income, you could qualify for subsidies to reduce it considerably. If your family income is low enough, you, depending on state, qualify for the Medicaid expansion, instead.”

  • Modus, thanks for the reply, though the specific example of one of my friends on FB is that she works as a nurse at a hospital, and their employee provided plan is being switched to one that is less generous than what she has and if she wants to go into another plan that offers roughly the same coverage she had before, she has to pay hundreds of dollars extra a month.

  • tommykey, her employer is changing its group plan? Try asking her “What the fuck does that have to do with Obamacare?”

  • I’m not sure Modus, but she seems to think it is.

  • scienceavenger

    Trebuchet: “I knew I should have checked that before posting!”

    It’s an understandable mistake, Hasselbeck is certainly stupid enough to have done so herself. Give it time!

  • tommykey, okay. How about “How was that different before Obamacare?” You’d think that someone in the medical industry would already know about the chicanery around healthcare insurance (“We’re switching to an HMO. It’s not as good as what you’ve got now and you’ll pay more and it won’t end up saving us any money.”)

  • felidae

    I’m grateful that Rupert operates a sheltered workshop at Fox News that gives a job to ignorant cunts like Hasselbeck, Andrea Thantaros, Shannon (fishlips) Bream, Meagan Kelley and the Obama hater-in-chief: Monica Crowley that keep them off the streets

  • eoleen

    In re #9: UHC has just dropped: there was no, repeat NO “not accepting lower reimbursement”, at least for my PCP and cardiologist. Both of them just got letters stating that they “unfortunately didn’t quite meet the high standards necessary for membership in UHC’s provider network.”

    This is absolute nonsense. Both of my docs have admitting privileges at Montefiore hospital in the Bronx, as well as several other highly rated hospitals. Their group practice has the highest possible ratings.

    They have, perhaps… just a few too many patients on Medicare…

    I am one of them.

    UHC sent me a letter telling me that I had a new PCP – a guy I had never heard of, much less seen, a doctor without privileges at Monte, etc. I called UHC and was told that “They were purging their provider network in order TO PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE TO THEIR MEMBERS!!!!!

    Yeah, sure. Send me to someone I don’t know, much less trust, someone without the long list of qualifications my doctors have earned, etc. etc. etc.

    I have jumped ship and now have another Medicare Advantage plan.