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Screenshot of Fox News report lying about Obamacare risk corridor provision.
Media Matters is being far too kind with Fox News with this headline: "Fox News Still Doesn't Understand The ACA's Risk Corridors." Fox News doesn't care about understanding anything about Obamacare and providing factual information to its viewers. What Fox News is doing is lying about the ACA's risk corridors:
On the March 5 edition of Fox's America's News HQ, co-host Greg Jarrett and Fox Business host David Asman promoted the GOP claim that the ACA's risk corridor provision is a "taxpayer funded bailout" for insurance companies, suggesting that an estimated $5.5 billion in payments over the next year contradicted President Obama's promise that there would be no more bailouts and that the ACA would not add to the deficit. Asman further claimed the administration is "calling it a temporary pool of money. Now maybe if you believe that Obamacare wasn't going to cost a dime, you'll buy that explanation. But most of the time when the government sends money in to that degree, into these companies, it doesn't get the money back."
Well, yes, it is a temporary pool of money—paid into by insurance companies. Not the government. Not the taxpayer. You know what else is really good about the risk pools? It helps keep everyone's premiums lower! Because it means that all insurers can afford to take on all comers. If they end up taking on a bunch of patients who are sicker—higher risk—they've got this safety net of funds to keep them from losing a lot of money. Losses that they'd have to recoup with higher premiums from everyone else.

Isn't that a handy idea? Even your average Fox News viewer would probably be able to understand it. If Fox News had any interest in explaining it truthfully, that is.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:48 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:48:09 PM PST

  •  As an Obamacare enrollee... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clutch1, hbk

    ...I wonder how anyone can believe anything that's said by Fox "news" or any of the Republicans who fought against the ACA. May I take it a step further...why doesn't the mainstream media use what is becoming very obvious about the ACA (at least in my experience).. it's NOT a government takeover like the GOP and its Fox "news" allies claimed. Why can't they describe the GOP/Fox/right-wing talk claims as what they are-- lies-- and use that description in their coverage?

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

    by alaprst on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 01:02:31 PM PST

    •  American mainstream "journalism" died (5+ / 0-)

      on September 12, 2001.

      There was no graveside ceremony, no obituary and the site remains unmarked.

      (You could ask the same question about the MSM's obliviousness to the virtually ubiquitous 'Tea Party' references in its own reporting on various Republican primaries and self-defined 'Tea Party' candidates and officeholders... those same 'Tea Party' groups that all but wept before Issa's star-chamber 'hearings' on the IRS non-scandal while blatantly violating even the modified IRS 'regulation' that requires "primarily social welfare" activities in order to qualify for 501(c)(4) tax exemption).

      The mudderfuggers ought to be perp-walked for attempted (and consummated) TAX FRAUD, but the press nods off while Republicans continue to bleat about IRS "targeting" 'Tea Party' groups which, after all, are only doing God's work with the poor, elderly and disadvantaged!

      "Move along... nothing to see here."

  •  We can fix the 'insurance company bailout' nature (5+ / 0-)

    of the ACA.  Go to single payer, and get the insurance companies entirely out of the equation.

    •  And people say single payer would be "too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BeninSC, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

      complicated" and overburdened with bureaucracy? I help my husband's Granny to navigate the Kafkaesque maze of our supposedly easier system, and it's ridiculous. She's covered by no fewer than four different insurers. Every doctor you see has to employ an army of clerical workers to cope with all of it. Speaking of crazy.

      •  One of the 'tweaks' that needs to happen soon is (0+ / 0-)

        paperwork reduction and greater simplicity, if for no other reason than the cost impact. If care is to be more affordable, it has to happen.

        Thank you maire30!

        Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

        "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

        by BeninSC on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:18:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  better job (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dehrha02, mightymouse, madronagal

    The crazies are doing a better job of misinforming the public than are Dems informing the public the truth.  That's the takeaway here--why does our team stink at educating the public?  Why do we look like losers to the people whose lives we are saving?

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:11:45 PM PST

  •  Hmmm...sounds like a rumor some on the left would (0+ / 0-)

    be just as happy to spread.

  •  FOX News Turned Me into a Teenage Werewolf... (0+ / 0-)

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:18:56 PM PST

  •  The Dems walked into this (0+ / 0-)

    when they failed to nationalize the insurance companies and their assets, as well all the private hospitals and clinics. If we'd gone the full socialization of medicine, this would not even have been in the conversation.

    •  There was no magic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cardinal Fang

      There was no magic wand anyone could've waved that was going to make nationalizing ANYTHING politically possible. It is to the credit of the Dem congressional majorities that existed in 2009 that we got what we currently have. I really thought nationalizing the banks was going to happen after the fiasco that was...didn't happen, and I felt silly later thinking it would. If the "meltdown that was" didn't provide the will to do it, what ever would be enough? The answer is obvious.....

      "Because we are all connected...."

      by Shawn87 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:10:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  insurance companies are using insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    simple frame

  •  I thought the "bailout" or basically any money (0+ / 0-)

    being given to the insurance companies at all for anything was a complete lie.  Anytime anyone has even suggested it to me, I have always said it's a total right wing lie.

  •  Practicing "political incorrectness," (0+ / 0-)

    calling people "liars?"

    What Fox News is doing is lying...
    This is simply so refreshing.
    Fox News Still Doesn't Understand
    Now, that's a lie.

    Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

    by deben on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:57:55 PM PST

  •  Faux News emanates from Roger Ailes' sick mind (4+ / 0-)

    All of what is said in Faux at all levels by all are his talking points from the "morning meeting".  If you have and doubt read The Loudest Voice in the Room by Gabriel Sherman who I had the pleasure to meet recently.

    Aisles has 100% authority and he relies on it daily.

    But he is no god.  So he will eventually contradict himself.  Lying means nothing to this sociopath.  The one thing we have going for the truth is that he is impossible to replace and he is at the end of the road.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:58:58 PM PST

  •  My father nearly went to jail (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lefthandedmomma

    for asshollery when it came to finance and insurace, these people ought to go to jail.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:01:11 PM PST

  •  Meme of "insurance co bailout" helpful in longterm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lefthandedmomma

    even when Fox is using it to slur the ACA.

    When the next round of healthcare reform puts insurance companies squarely on opposite side of battlefield from reformers,

    it will be useful that even people hypnotized by Fox know the identity of the biggest healthcare villains.

  •  So there is no way tax dollars are going to the (0+ / 0-)

    insurance companies, right?  What happens if there isn't enough money in the pool?  

    •  Tax dollars are going to insurance companies in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shawn87, Bailey2001

      the form of subsidies for those who qualify for them.  That's the design.
      As for Fox, whenever someone around me repeats their misinformation and propaganda, I just chuckle and say, "I thought you'd have stopped watching Fox by now.  Everyone knows they are not a news channel, just the propaganda arm of the Republican Party.  Really, you should look into it."

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:37:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know about subsidies, of course. But the bailout (0+ / 0-)

        part is a lie, right?  I'm talking about giving the insurance companies more money if they don't make enough or whatever.  That part is a lie.

        •  No. It's true. (0+ / 0-)

          The diarist is being sloppy and disingenuous.

          For the first three years of Obamacare (but it looks like it might be extended a year or two or three) the "risk corridors" program of the ACA compensates insurance companies who set their rates way too low.

          If the insurer makes too much money, if its "allowable costs" are less than 97 percent of the target, which is to say, if it is not paying as much in claims as it forecast, then it pays the government a percentage of the difference.

          If the insurer makes too little money, if its "allowable costs" are more than 103 percent of the target, which is to say, if it is paying too much in claims because it set premiums too low, then the government pays it a percentage of the difference.

          Notice that this is, as conservatives say it is, an unlimited liability. If every single insurance company has set premiums too low, then the government will be paying off every single insurance company.

          However, also notice that insurers who set their premiums too low will still lose money. They won't lose as much as they would if there were no risk corridors, but they will still lose money.

          The CBO forecasts that the risk corridors will make a profit for the US, because more insurers will have priced too high than too low. We don't know, as of now, whether this is true.

          •  But why would they price too high? If they did (0+ / 0-)

            that then no one would sign up because they couldn't afford to.  It seems to me that most would low ball it at first in hopes of getting all those new customers.

            •  Pricing is difficult (0+ / 0-)

              The insurance company has to guess who will sign up. Will they be older than the general population? Then, need higher premiums. Will they be younger (that's not likely)-- then need lower premiums. The insurance companies can be pretty sure that the people who will sign up will be sicker than the people who don't sign up, but how much sicker?

              It's difficult. Insurance companies can easily get the prices wrong despite their best efforts. Moreover, the bad rollout likely discouraged some healthy people on the fence from signing up, but probably didn't discourage many sick people from signing up. That makes the risk pool more expensive, and it means that the insurance company's good guesses could turn out to be too low.

              Intentionally low balling is a questionable strategy. Remember, if companies lowball, they will lose money. They get paid back by the risk corridors, but they don't get paid back their entire losses.

  •  Shorter Fox Nuz... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40

    Heh heh heh...Obama sucks...heh heh heh...Obama socialist...heh heh heh

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:14:15 PM PST

  •  I have a beef with Media Matters (0+ / 0-)

    On their radio show today, they  referred to "the IRS Scandal."
    The "scandal" is that there is none. Can we just start referring to it as "the Republican created fake scandal?"

  •  So the "Communist" President who hates free (4+ / 0-)

    enterprise is trying to enrich insurance companies?

    The one good thing about current Republicans is that they are rapidly advancing psychologist's understanding of the mechanisms of cognitive dissonance.

  •  How long until single-payer? (0+ / 0-)

    Arguing about ACA is a loser. Even though they are wrong one gets the sense the Repugs will eventually poison the well enough to doom ACA. The only solution is single-payer and it's a fight worth having.

  •  what I can't believe is the backlash against this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lefthandedmomma

    This so-called "universal healthcare" is a joke: they put the foxes in charge of the hen house, and we will be the ones who get screwed.

    What insurance company has had ANY desire to do good for their customers?? When the entire "insurance" concept is a sucker's bet: you're betting them that they'll pay you for your fuckup. And you KNOW they will do everything they can, legal or otherwise, to avoid paying you.

    This was a huge mistake. It was a massive payoff to the insurance industry, and it will be WE, THE PEOPLE that pay the ultimate price when this bullshit fails.

  •  And the CBO said.. (0+ / 0-)

    this 3 year temprary program, unlike the permanent insurance company safety net set up by Medicare Part D, would cut the deficit.

  •  We all know Fox is lying but... (0+ / 0-)

    the amazing part is how many blatantly lie. That is some serious moral collusion at work. Smells bad.

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