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Mike Rogers invented number of health insurance policy cancellations

by: Eric B.

Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 17:00:00 PM EST


I was "discussing" Obamacare the other day with a conservative friend of mine on the Facebooks when he dropped an astonishing revelation: That 10s of millions of people were going to have their employer-based insurance policies canceled. I had no idea where the figure came from, and assumed it was one of those numbers that pops up in rightwing media, where it twirls, twirls, twirls around until it manages to build up enough inertia to go over the top of the echo chamber and spatter all over the rest of us. So, rather than sorting out where the number came from, which usually reveals it to be utterly bogus, but an exercise I didn't have time for, I instead focused on the very real need to shift away from employer-based health insurance to something better (let GM build cars and not force the company to maintain expertise in the private health insurance market). Anyway, as things tend to, today, I figured out the source of the 10s of millions figure. It was Mike Rogers on a Sunday morning shoutfest. Needless to say, the number is false. Good going, Mike Rogers.

"The next go-round on the business side is 80 to 100 million people will get cancellation notices," (Mike Rogers) said. Challenged by Democrat Chris Van Hollen, Rogers doubled down. "Eighty million people are going to get pink slips," he continued. "Their own estimate. Eighty million."

Sacre bleu!

That's more cancellation notices than the estimates I've seen by a factor of at least 10. I asked Rogers's press secretary where the number came from. Turns out it's not exactly the administration's own estimates. It's a Daily Caller interview with Christopher Conover, a research scholar at Duke University and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

...snip...

What Conover's talking about here isn't cancellation notices or pink slips, as Rogers says. It's any change to a plan at all. One of the examples he gives is the requirement to cover children up to age 26. Though plans offered by large employers are exempt from most of Obamacare's regulations, they have to abide by that one. And that regulation, popular as it is, costs money. So millions of employer plans expanded to cover older children and, in most cases, raised premiums slightly. According to Conover, all the people in those plans lost their plans because they "no longer have the health plans they used to have."

And, how accurate is this assessment, the basis for a more specific warning from Mike Rogers?

Some of Conover's data comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation's annual, and invaluable, Health Benefits Survey. So I ran his post by Kaiser's Larry Levitt, who used to manage the survey. "Under this definition, " Levitt replied, "the idea of keeping your plan ceases to be meaningful." He went on to say that "virtually every health plan changed in some way every year -- tweaking benefits, cost-sharing, drug formularies, provider networks, etc."

I asked Levitt whether anything he'd seen in the last few months had led him to believe that Obamacare was making more serious changes to employer-based plans than had previously been thought. "The Affordable Care Act did largely leave the employer market alone," he replied. "The essential benefit regulations don’t apply to large employer plans. There are very, very few requirements that apply to large employer plans."

In other words, it's a garbage assessment taken out of context by Mike Rogers to spread Obamacare terror.

Eric B. :: Mike Rogers invented number of health insurance policy cancellations
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The Blues blamed ACA for canceling our current coverage (4.00 / 1)
In September, we were notified that our current plan would expire at year's end.

It was certainly not "junk" insurance, despite the White House talking point--unfortunately, repeated by Senator Stabenow--that all canceled plans were junk.

The plan was, strictly speaking, not ACA-compliant because it didn't pay for doctor visits or prescription drugs. However, deductibles were capped at $3K, and insurance covered a major portion of the cost of skin cancer surgery I had last year.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.


Do we have the right Mike Rogers this time? (0.00 / 0)
Always good to ask....


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