Republican members of the California Assembly are distributing seemingly innocuous guides about the coverage options available under the Affordable Care Act that downplay the law’s benefits and misinform voters.
The flyers, which are being sent out at taxpayer expense, are also directing residents to “CoveringHealthCareCA.com,” a domain that closely resembles the official marketplace website for Covered California (CoveredCA.com) But rather than helping Californians enroll in coverage, this site appears to be the creation of the Republican party: it warns senior citizens about health care rationing and “provisions that have driven up insurance costs”. The site is designed to look like a non-partisan guide, but actually mirrors Republican talking points and criticisms of the law:
— IRS WILL SINGLE OUT CONSERVATIVES. “In light of the recent revelation of questionable processes at the IRS for approving the tax-exempt status of certain groups, several members of the State Legislature, led by Assemblyman Dan Logue, introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 23 to urge Congress and the President to remove any financial oversight responsibilities of the IRS with regard to the administration of the Affordable Care Act.”
— YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SCREWED. “Young invincibles or healthy adults visit the doctor very seldom and are money makers for insurers and medical groups that contract to provide them services. As low-cost additions to insurance pools, young adults would help dilute the expense of covering older, sicker people. Depending on how Congress requires insurers to price their policies, this group could even wind up paying disproportionately hefty premiums — effectively subsidizing coverage for the less healthy.”
— EMPLOYERS WILL STOP HIRING. “There are subsidies in the program for health insurance. However, there is an argument that the Affordable Care Act provides strong incentives for firms to avoid hiring workers from low-income households. … Many economists believe that the employer mandate contained in the federal law has resulted in many employers who currently have fewer than 50 employees from deciding not to hire new workers so that they are not subject to the new mandate or penalty provisions. News stories are beginning to confirm these concerns.”
— SENIORS WILL EXPERIENCE RATIONING. “For seniors that use Medicare’s prescription drug program, the Affordable Care Act gradually closes the “donut hole” until its complete elimination in 2020. To pay for other components of the Affordable Care Act such as expanding Medicaid and creating state health exchanges, Medicare providers will see rate cuts near $200 billion over the next decade. These cuts could potentially result in the exodus of doctors from the Medicare system and force Medicare recipients to find new providers, possibly facing longer wait times for care as that pool of doctors shrinks.”
Despite the GOP’s effort to dissuade Californians from purchasing coverage, however, nearly 80,000 people signed up for health insurance in the state’s new exchange as of late November, with approximately 2,7000 people enrolling daily.
A disclaimer on the site — which is situated next to a link to the Assembly Republican Caucus — notes that “The California State Assembly does not warrant or make any representations as to the quality, content, accuracy, or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links and other items contained on this server or any other server.” Indeed.
(HT: Crooks and Liars)