An Associated Press-GfK poll finds that health care remains politically charged going into next year’s congressional elections. Keeping the refurbished HealthCare.gov website running smoothly is just one of Obama’s challenges, maybe not the biggest.
The poll found a striking level of unease about the law among people who have health insurance and aren’t looking for any more government help. Those are the 85 percent of Americans who the White House says don’t have to be worried about the president’s historic push to expand coverage for the uninsured.
In the survey, nearly half of those with job-based or other private coverage say their policies will be changing next year — mostly for the worse. Nearly 4 in 5 (77 percent) blame the changes on the Affordable Care Act, even though the trend toward leaner coverage predates the law’s passage.
Sixty-nine percent say their premiums will be going up, while 59 percent say annual deductibles or copayments are increasing.
Only 21 percent of those with private coverage said their plan is expanding to cover more types of medical care, though coverage of preventive care at no charge to the patient has been required by the law for the past couple of years.
Do they have any economists writing at AP? Or, anyone who can carry a thought coherently through a story?
The writers on this story are Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Jennifer Agiesta. I’m not an economist, but when government mandates that someone offer a product “at no charge to the patient,” as the two writers note, how is that task carried out? Might the insurers cope with the mandate by raising premiums across the board? I’m not an economist, but I think they just might do that. They’re not an arm of the government like a utility (yet), and they don’t exist to eat costs imposed on them, and for which the insurers lobbied. They will pass that cost and others similarly mandated along to consumers.
The two writers also steal a base when they state that the “trend toward leaner coverage predates the law’s passage.” It does. But that fact ought to be followed up by stating that “The president’s signature law was supposed to fix that.” Or something to that effect. Because it was. And it hasn’t.
Based on how this story and thousands of other MSM stories were written over the past few years, I’d say that PR really isn’t Obamacare’s problem. It has had all the free positive spin it could possibly get. It’s still unpopular because it’s a disaster.
For more amusement, consider this gentle paragraph.
At the same time, a cresting wave of cancellation notices hit millions who buy their policy directly from an insurer. That undercut one of Obama’s central promises — that you can keep the coverage you have if you like it. The White House never clearly communicated the many caveats to that promise.
Caveats? Obama offered none at all. He made the promise numerous times, knowing all the while that it was false. He often ended it definitively — “period.”
Most people call that a lie and the man who uttered it, a liar.
Disapproval of Obama’s handling of health care topped 60 percent in the poll.