The Republican National Committee altered a video clip of a local news story about health insurance premiums in North Carolina to imply that rates would increase under the Affordable Care Act, cutting off the segment just before the reporter explained that “not everyone could be in for the sticker shock.”
The report, aired on the local ABC affiliate last week and posted and tweeted by the RNC, argues that since enrollment of young people did not meet expectations, health insurance would “eventually cost you more.” A small business owner interviewed for the package adds that her family’s premiums have increased since passage of the law and reporter Angelica Alvarez notes that Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest insurance provider, “is warning customers now about what premium prices can look like in 2015.”
But just as Alvarez begins to explain that most customers are unlikely to experience significant premium hikes, the RNC clip abruptly ends. In the seconds that follow, a Blue Cross/Blue Shield spokesperson argues that 91 percent of customers receive subsidies and “may not feel the possible rate increases.” He adds that any hikes would apply to a relatively small number of beneficiaries who buy coverage though the individual market.
Watch the clip as edited by the RNC:
Watch the full segment:
Indeed, though some analysts have predicted large premium increases for 2015, the Congressional Budget Office has found “no clear evidence” that premiums will surge in 2015, noting that “enrollees in the future will be healthier, on average, than the smaller number of people who are obtaining such coverage in 2014.” The agency estimated that the national average premium for individual silver policy plans would increase by $100 that year.
And even though most insurers have yet to publicize premiums for next year, newly released data in Virginia shows that increases “fall short of some bigger rate predictions.”