Bogus GOP Report On Insurance Premiums Paid Shows How Conservative Misinformation Is Spread

Yesterday the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a bogus report which claimed that only 67 percent of those who purchased health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act have paid their first month’s premium. This is despite numerous reports from insurance companies showing that over 90 percent have paid, providing a good example of how Republican misinformation gets spread.

Several sources have already debunked the Republican misinformation, such as here,  here ,and here. The Republicans appear to have come up with their falsely low number by taking the number of people who paid their premiums before the premiums were due for those who signed up in March and April. At most the reports shows that people are unlikely to pay their health insurance premiums before they are billed for them.

Needless to say, serial liars such as Rush Limbaugh and many conservative blogs have simply repeated this false information. Limbaugh even claimed that “the premiums were to have been paid by January 1st, which was the beginning of the coverage year.” This is true of policies purchased early enough in December to take effect in January, not policies purchased later in the open enrollment period. This is a perfect example of how Limbaugh and other conservative talking heads twists the facts to make their points.

Others conservative blogs such as Hot Air have questioned the misinformation spread by the House Republicans. The mainstream media has actually done worse than portions of the conservative blogosphere, repeating their usual practice of showing a false objectivity by quoting what each side says, as if the truth is always somewhere in the middle. Even The New York Times helped promote this Republican talking point in the manner in which they reported the story. Of course, unlike Fox and much of the conservative media in which the news reports echo the editorial bias, the supposedly liberal media more typically presents objective news reporting separate from the views of the editorial pages. Unfortunately in a case such as this, using false measures of objectivity in quoting both sides gives undeserved attention to totally bogus numbers presented by Republicans.

More reliable sources than House Republicans expect that over 90 percent will wind up paying their premiums, with the Obama administration wisely being conservative with predictions until the data is actually in, citing numbers between 80 and 90 percent. This will most likely allow them to ultimately show that, as in other areas where we have data, the Affordable Care Act is surpassing expectations. It is also notable that many of those who have not paid their premium have not paid because they wound up qualifying for other coverage and not needing coverage through the exchanges.


  1. 1
    David Duff says:

    On the day after it becomes clear from a ‘smoking’ e-mail that the White House lied about Benghazi, you complain about the GOP attacking your socialism?

    Still, to quote the Queen of the Dems: “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    GOP attacking my socialism??? I oppose socialism.

    Plus the Republicans are lying about both about the Affordable Care Act (a market solution based upon ideas promoted by Republicans for several years) and about Benghazi.

    Four dead Americans is unfortunate, but if preventable both parties would share in any blame, including Republicans cutting funding for security. On the other hand, far more have died due to terrorist attacks due to Republican screw ups.

    Benghazi has been thoroughly investigated and the Republican claims have been discredited. The Republicans only continue to make noise about it because they know their ignorant supporters who don’t care about facts will continue to be excited to turn out to vote based upon such nonsense.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Actually the same week that the Republicans are being exposed for lying about the Affordable Care Act (per this post), their lying on Benghazi has blown up in their faces even more.

    It is essentially the same problem–Congressional Republicans abusing their power with witch hunts to put out lies for partisan gain both on health care and on Benghazi.

  4. 4
    David Duff says:

    ‘The Maddow Blog’, yeeeeeees, quite!

    But, off topic but indulging you liking for political commentary from comedians:

    “Chris Stigall spoke with comedian Rob Schneider on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about the struggle comedians face in today’s current political environment.
    Schneider struck on ominous tone when discussing the path he sees the country on.
    “Democracies don’t end well. We are sliding very fast towards fascism. It’s an ugly kind of thing. There’s this kind of mob mentality that we have to be careful of,” he said.
    He believes comedians are pressured toward one side of the political spectrum.
    “There’s a polarization that’s happening…I do think you look can look at government and go, ‘Wow, it is out of control now,’ and if you do criticize or tend to be not directly along a liberal stand, you can get murdered,” Schneider commented.”

    What can I say, except, yes, quite!

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    The links and facts cited are still valid when factual coming from The Maddow Blog.

    If we are sliding towards fascism, it is the Republicans who would be pushing in that direction.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is probably just another conservative playing the victim. Face it, when conservatives are going to be ostracized to some degree when you constantly promote views which are ethically repugnant and counter to fact. Conservatives are bound to fail, and be ignored, when promoting views which come down to restricting individual liberty,subverting democracy, plus destroying capitalism and the middle class to concentrate wealth in a small plutocracy.

  7. 8
    David Duff says:

    Er, none, Joe, that is ‘none’ in the sense of nada, zilch, zero!

  8. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    As there do appear to be people who are not buying insurance due to misinformation spread by Fox, it is inevitable that sooner or later some will die as a result.

  9. 10
    David Duff says:

    If you can find a single person who did not sign up because of something they heard on Fox News, as opposed to those who nearly dropped dead when they saw how much the ‘new deal’ cost, then the next drink is on me.

    And as the wise man said, ‘in the long run we’re all dead’!

  10. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    You owe me a drink. There is zero question that many people have not signed up due to the false information spread by Fox, and I do know some.

    You yourself are proof of the effects of the right wing misinformation in your comment on the cost. The majority of those purchasing insurance on the exchange received better coverage at a significantly lower cost. A smaller number receive better coverage but do have to pay more for it–but not enough more to keep them from purchasing. Insurance sold through the exchanges is a far better deal than was available on the individual market in the past.

    I have patients who would qualify for the subsidies who did not purchase due to what they saw on Fox. The only question remaining is whether any have actually died. As it is so soon I doubt it, but there is no way to know for sure.

    There very well could be deaths in the future thanks to Fox. For example, I have one uninsured patient with a history of colon polyps who is overdue for a repeat coloscopy. He has refused to have it due to he cost. He could get an inexpensive Bronze plan on the exchanges which would still cover colposcopies with no out of pocket costs. He very well might give in at some point in the future and purchase the insurance. It is also possible that he has developed repeat polyps which could eventually become malignant and kill him. With all the people who have been scared into not buying insurance, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are others who are in more imminent danger from this.

  11. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    There is also no question that providing access to health insurance results in lower mortality, as demonstrated by an article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week.They found that providing health insurance for 830 deaths led to one less death per year.

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