It's not like other political ads haven't featured actors pretending to be local constituents, it does happen all the time, but not usually because the complaint that is made in the add , in this instance that "ObamaCare Cancelled My Insurance", has been shown time and time again to be a gross distortion of the facts.
For example when Rep. McMorris-Rodgers claimed in her State of the Union response that she had received a notice from "Bette from Spokane" who complained that the insurance she liked had been "Cancelled by ObamaCare" - the DCCC responded by Calling that Claim A Lie.
McMorris Rodgers described Bette as someone “who hoped the president’s health care law would save her money — but found out instead that her premiums were going up nearly $700 a month.”Apparently Americans For Prosperity couldn't find their own "Bette's" in Louisiana to attack Sen. Mary Landrieu with - (because if they could why not just use them?) - so they simply had to make some shit up and have some actors say the lines. Way to sway "hearts and minds". Landieu's campaigns response...
Actually, Bette Grenier, 58, was never forced to pay a higher premium, according to an interview with the Spokane Spokesman-Review. In fact, she knew there were other, less-expensive health care options being offered through the exchanges on HealthCare.gov, but she wasn’t interested pursuing them.
“Hiring professional actors to impersonate Louisiana families is low even for the billionaire Koch brothers” the senator’s campaign manager, Adam Sullivan, told ABC News.Yeah, but I'm pretty sure they haven't yet hit the lowest rung on this particularly limbo bar.
"Bette's" story is a familiar one, not because it's all true, but because the claim has been made over and over again. Particularly when those stories come from Tea Party Members who are by default biased against ObamaCare even to their own detriment.
In late November Yamil Berard at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote a piece on Obamacare's losers, people whose plans had been cancelled and who were having a hard time finding new plans. Whitney Johnson, a 26-year-old with multiple sclerosis, claimed she was being quoted $1,000 a month for her new premium. Robert Kecseg, 61, said his deductible was "double" the $10,000 he paid previously. Shari Lusk, 57, refused a subsidy.Some people who had initially complained when their low-premium high-deductible (and effectively unusable) health plans were discontinued by their provider at the end of last year, have actually changed their tune and begun to consider the benefits of the new law.
Mahar found that Johnson, Kecseg and Lusk are all active Tea Party members. Meanwhile, it's extremely unlikely for a 26-year-old to pay $1,000 monthly premium, and anyone following the health care law would know that it limits deductibles for families at $12,700 and $6,350 for individuals.
These stories start the usual way as it did with this Florida woman.
If you’ve followed the stories of insurance cancellations related to Obamacare, you may have heard about Dianne Barrette. She’s the 57-year-old Florida realtor who was paying $54 a month for a Blue Cross insurance plan. The plan won’t be available after December. And while FloridaBlue offered her a new plan, the company told her the premium would be $591 a month. Barrette, who makes $30,000 a year and could not pay for such a plan, was flabbergasted.But when you actually ask a few questions - and in this case inform this particular person of the facts about Obamacare - the story begins to shift.
The policy Barrette has today is called the Go Blue Plan 91. It is not what most people would consider real insurance. Its coverage of doctor visits and tests, such as MRI scans, consists of paying $50 and then letting Barrette pay the remaining balance. Drug coverage works more or less in the same way, only the plan pays $15 per prescription—which is enough to cover generics, but not many name-brands. And hospitalization? The plan pays nothing at all. As Wemple put it, "it’s a pray-that-you-don’t-really-get-sick 'plan.'" Barrette doesn't really disagree—but this plan, she says, was all she could afford. "Most everyone I talked to said they were paying thousands more to get hospital coverage," she told me, "so I took my chances with what I have now."In other words she would go from paying $50/month for a plan that has high-out of pocket costs and no hospital coverage if she actually happens to need it, to one that charges about $100 a month (or $150 depending on the plan) with free-preventive care, hospitalization and many other features with a limit on out-of-pocket costs.Yes, these options are all more than her original $54 a month payment, but they're also far less than the $591 a month plan she was offered by her insurance company. That's when the reporter covering the story told her this...
OK, but what can she get from Obamacare? Using plan data provided to me by the Kaiser Family Foundation, residents of Polk County, Florida have dozens of insurance options from which to choose. The cheapest option for somebody of Barrette's age has premiums of $440 a month, the most expensive goes for $914 a month. But Barrette wouldn’t pay those prices. Obamacare offers tax credits to people with incomes of up to four times the poverty line, or about $45,000 for an individual. Given Barrette’s income, she’ll be getting a tax credit worth nearly $331 a month, according to the Kaiser Foundation’s subsidy calculator. And that tax credit works like a discount, upfront. To figure out what she’d pay, you subtract the value of the tax credit from the price of the plan.
When I gave her a broad description of the plans available, she seemed interested. I noted that she’d be paying $100 or $150 extra a month for policies that still had high cost-sharing, so that she would still be a lot of money out of her own pocket. (I also made very clear that I’m not an insurance agent or broker—that, when she finally goes shopping for insurance, she should talk to a real expert for advice.) Here was her response: "I would jump at it," she said. "With my age, things can happen. I don’t want to have bills that could make me bankrupt. I don’t want to lose my house."All of this is ignoring that fact that junk plans like Diane's and Bette's, if they first existed in 2010 when the law was signed, should have been Grandfathered into the new system under the law.
"Maybe," she told me, "it’s a blessing in disguise."
SEC. 1251 ø42 U.S.C. 18011¿. PRESERVATION OF RIGHT TO MAINTAINBut rather than taking the option of honoring this provision, which wasn't forced onto the providers, they instead choose to use the ACA as a scapegoat to cancel these plans and replace them with much more expensive options that actually weren't required, but could net a handy profit.
(a) NO CHANGES TO EXISTING COVERAGE.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed to require that an individual terminate coverage under a group health plan or health insurance coverage in which such individual was enrolled on the date of enactment of this Act.
Allowing insurance providers this flexibility has shown to have been a dangerous mistake, as people like the Koch's and now Mitt Romney are practically besides themselves with glee to attack the President and Democrats over it.
“I think that the breach of that promise is something which has very seriously eroded the president’s capacity to lead at a very critical time,” he said.Whoa that's mighty tough talk coming from the Presidential Loser who took nearly 3 years to work all the kinks in his own Health Care Law in Massachusetts. Certainly not everything in the Affordable Care Act has gone according to plan, but the issue of cancelled plans has already been addressed by the President further extending the Grandfather Period (PDF) another year.
Romney said the problems with the law implementation, such as the glitch-filled website, have led to an “unmitigated mess.” He said the Obama administration’s multiple adjustments to the law are telling.
“I think it has been very disappointing, and very revealing to see the president go through and make these changes, which is a very tacit and in fact explicit recognition that the law isn’t working and that this administration has not done the job that they promised they would do,” he said.
November, 2013.And just who would you think happens to oppose doing this? Who thinks NOT Cancelling Bad Health Plans and replacing them with better ones is a Dandy Idea?
In light of this circumstance, under the following transitional policy, health insurance issuers may choose to continue coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled, and affected individuals and small businesses may choose to re-enroll in such coverage. Under this transitional policy, health insurance coverage in the individual or small group market that is renewed for a policy year starting between January 1, 2014, and October 1, 2014, and associated group health plans of small businesses, will not be considered to be out of compliance with the market reforms specified below under the conditions specified below.2 We will consider the impact of this transitional policy in assessing whether to extend it beyond the specified timeframe.
“We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through Congressional action,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The illegal actions by this administration must stop.”This is a claim being made in conjunction with Ken Cuccinelli? Who not only lost in his run for Virginia Governor, he also sued claiming that the entire Affordable Care Act was "Unconstitutional" and Lost on that also.
They say the healthcare fix was “flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law.”
HHS did not respond to a request for comment.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wrote the letter, which was signed by his counterparts in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia.
Signatories include Gregg Abbott of Texas — who’s running for governor this year — and Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia.
Besides, as i quote above, the law as passed by congress doesn't require these plans to be canceled, so how is simply saying the same thing in an internal HHS rule somehow "unconstitutional and Illegal"?
Further, their suggestion is that in order to fix insurance company exploitation of a loophole in arcane HHS rules, you can't just let the states close the loophole if they choose you have to go back to Congress, the same Congress that voted 39 Times to repeal the law and whose only admitted alternatives would kick 3.3 Million Americans (and counting) off the insurance plans they've gained since last October?
If these Republican AGs really believed what they were saying about the Cancellation Fix being "Unconstitutional" they could sue to have it stopped and let those plans STAY Cancelled, but I think even they know that if they did - they'd lose. Again. Also they'd be the ones cancelling the plans while Obama un-cancels them.
No wonder Republicans have to promulgate lies during their state of the union response, and then get paid actors to Lie for Them on Camera, the truth about the ACA just doesn't seem to be flowing their way.
The genuine problems with the Website, which have largely been fixed at least on the front-end, and the False Plan Cancellations have indeed cost Obama and the Democrats dearly in the polls and virtually erased the advantage they held after the Republican Government Shutdown blunder, but if Republicans and the Kochs keep responding in such a ham-handed and clearly desperate way, they just might erase much of the gains they made at the end of the year to bring the generic congressional Polls to near parity.
Time's a wasting, and if Democrats don't find a way to get their mojo back the last two years of this Presidency will be a litany of missed opportunities.