Media villager concern trolling over cancellation of individual health insurance plans

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

It never ceases to amaze me how the corporate media villagers so readily internalize GOPropaganda talking points and participate in the right-wing noise machine's faux outrage of the day media narratives. Liberal media bias my ass!

WahhmbulanceThe latest faux outrage of the day media narrative is that people are receiving cancellation notices for their individual health insurance plans, which means they now must shop on the health insurance exchanges for a new policy.

But, but … President Obama said “if you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan.” Call the Wahhmbulance.

Joshua Holland at Moyers & Company has an excellent summary of the Rash of Lazy, Sensational Reporting That is Freaking People Out About Obamacare:

A rash of sensational, context-free reporting is needlessly alarming the
public about what’s happening in America’s health insurance markets as a
result of Obamacare. Making matters worse, it’s set against a backdrop
of relentless, intentional misinformation from the law’s opponents. It should come as no surprise that many Americans are anxious about a law most know little about other than what they catch on short TV news segments.

* * *

Front-and-center today is an NBC “investigation”
that’s been getting an enormous amount of attention, especially in
conservative circles. It supposedly reveals that the Obama
administration knew in advance that millions of insurance plans would be
cancelled even as the president repeatedly promised Americans, “if you
like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare
plan.”

But this purported ‘smoking gun’ only tells us the obvious:
that the administration, like every health care expert in the world,
knew that within the individual market there were insurance plans that
don’t meet minimal standards of coverage – plans that would likely leave
their purchasers bankrupt should an accident or serious illness befall
them. (Perhaps Obama should have said, “if you have a plan that isn’t a
ripoff and doesn’t leave you entirely exposed to risk, you can keep
it.”)

And it should come as no surprise that some people will have
to pay more for better coverage, but that, too, is a story that
requires considerable context that’s been lacking in a lot of recent
reporting.

* * *

And here’s some of what’s missing from this [NBC] report and many others like it…

Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic
points out that there will, indeed, be some people who lose coverage,
and some will have to pay higher rates, but many others are going to
experience “rate joy” – a story that’s been getting far less attention…

Obamacare
is transforming one part of the existing health insurance market, in
ways that will force some people to pay more than they do now. But
that’s only part of the story. Many other people, quite possibly the
majority of people in that market, will pay less than they do now. And
even those paying more will be getting more comprehensive, more secure
insurance.

Read the whole piece – it’s a good primer on everything that’s happening to our insurance markets as a result of Obamacare.

Joshua Holland cites a number of other solid sources rebutting the sensationalist media villager reporting on the tee-vee.

Steve Benen writes today, Forcing people to give up current coverage:

Republicans and quite a few reporters have latched onto one specific angle to the health care debate, which seems to offer more heat
than light. Because President Obama said a few years ago that consumers
who like their current insurance can keep it under the Affordable Care
Act, and yet some consumers are now getting cancelation letters, a
political freak-out seems to be underway.

Given the basic facts, this is the sort of tantrum that gives the political discourse a bad name.

First, we’re not talking about Americans who are suddenly being dropped from the insurance rolls. Rather, this is a period in
which insurers are scrapping old, awful coverage plans and replacing
them with better insurance – which for millions of Americans, will be subsidized through the law.
Even if we look past the nuances involving grandfathered plans,
consumers will be in a more secure position, so the notion that this is some sort of scandal is ridiculous.

Second, we knew all of this years ago. Some journalists seem to have stumbled upon this a few days ago as if it were new – you mean
the White House knew folks with lousy plans would
be transitioned to better ones? – but for those who paid even cursory
attention to the process in 2010 and 2011, this is quite literally old
news.

And finally, there’s just something extraordinary about listening to far-right lawmakers complain bitterly about consumers
losing health care coverage. I’m genuinely amazed so many political
reporters are so invested in the story.

The mild-mannered, always polite Jonathan Cohn blasted the whole narrative as “breathtakingly cynical.”

The Washington Post editorialized today about Those lost health plans:

[D]espite what the president may have said, this news should not have
come as a shock, and it is not evidence that the law is a failure.

The
reform underway is rooted in the notion that there is a certain catalog
of health-care benefits to which all Americans should have access, and
that they should not have to pay outrageous amounts of money to get that
coverage. It means to accomplish that goal by mandating that everyone
not on government-run programs such as Medicaid pay into the private
insurance system, and by setting certain standards on what health-care
insurance must cover. Plans must include prescription drug, mental
health, maternity, preventative care and other basic benefits, and they
must take care of at least 60 percent of patients’ health expenses. The
vast majority of Americans, most of whom get health insurance from their
employers, won’t see much change. But a significant number — a study looking at 2010 figures said half — of customers currently buying insurance on their own don’t have plans of that quality.

Some
of their plans won’t be touched, regardless, because the law
grandfathers some old plans into the system. Some of the people who must
transition onto different benefit packages might actually pay little
extra, or even less, than they do now because the law will place new
limits on how much insurance companies can mark up plans for the old and
the sick and because the government will help a majority of people in
the individual market pay for coverage. But there are some people — no
one seems to know how many, exactly — who will end up paying more for
insurance next year because they make too much to qualify for government
subsidies, because they are young, because their previous coverage was
shoddy, or, probably, a combination of the above.

Though some
people might pay more than they did before, they and many others will
also get more. Among other things, they will be less financially
vulnerable when they get sick — in some cases dramatically less. Their
new plans will also put taxpayers at less risk of having to cover big
medical bills when under-insured patients unexpectedly fall very ill.
That goes, too, for people who currently decline to buy insurance but
who will have to next year.

* * *

None of this is an outrage. It’s the predictable result of a defensible policy choice embedded in the reform.

There is some actually very good reporting on this topic, none of which will be reported on the tee-vee by the concern troll media villagers, nor reported in your local newspapers which rely on the AP (All Propaganda) concern trolls for sensationalistic reporting. Horseshit reporting is what is killing any serious policy discussion in this country. Here is a sample of solid reporting:

Sarah Kliff at Wonkblog explains This
is why Obamacare is canceling some people’s insurance plans
.

Ezra Klein explains at Wonkblog The
Health-Care Trilemma: How Obamacare is changing insurance premiums
.

Igor Volsky explains at Think Progress Here Is What’s Wrong With That Story About Obama Knowing That Your Health Care Policy Would Get Cancelled.

Igor Volsky explains at Think Progress The Shocking Facts About Obamacare Sticker Shock.

Igor Volsky explains at Think Progress Obamacare Is Radically Changing The Individual Insurance Market — And That’s A Very Good Thing.

Brian Beutler at Salon on “Rate shock”: The GOP's shameful new Obamacare lie.

Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic on Obamacare Rate Shock and Premium Joy: Now It's Real.

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