When it Comes to Obamacare, the Media Coverage Has Been Nothing but a Sideshow

obama-gesturesI think I’ve had about all I can take as it relates to the media’s coverage of “Obamacare.”  It’s been by far some of the worst, most sensationalized, ratings driven garbage I think I’ve ever witnessed.

First, I’m not sure what it is these people thought “Obamacare” was.  Anyone who believed every single insurance plan would remain intact simply because President Obama said so was simply being naive.

And I’m still waiting for the reporting to begin where they call out the insurance companies for canceling these policies.  These companies had two choices:

  1. Add the “Obamacare” requirements to existing plans.
  2. Cancel plans and force people to purchase new ones.

Judging by the backlash we’ve seen the last few weeks, it’s pretty obvious what most of these insurance companies have chosen to do.  So, that’s President Obama’s fault?  For over 3 years Americans knew what requirements the Affordable Care Act had, yet they stayed on plans that didn’t provide those benefits.  Again, that’s President Obama’s fault?

And even if people want to say that the law was too confusing for most Americans to understand, it shouldn’t have been for health insurance companies, right?  For over 3 years these insurance companies knew what requirements the Affordable Care Act mandated, yet chose to keep offering substandard plans—which are now being cancelled.  But, of course, that’s President Obama’s fault too.

What I’m getting at is the hot and easy target to focus on in all of this has been President Obama and the cancelled plans.  It drives ratings.  And that’s what most of the media seems determined to dwell on.

But I rarely seen an instance where these “reporters” are calling out insurance companies for artificially driving up the rate of many policies simply because they can.

Sure, I’ve seen plenty of stories picked up by the media where people claim they had policies that met all of “Obamacare’s” requirements—yet their policies were still cancelled.  How exactly is that the fault of President Obama?  Someone’e health insurance provider cancels their plan that met the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, but that’s somehow the fault of the president?

Where’s all the reporting on the greed of these health insurance providers?  Outside of left-leaning websites or blogs, I’m not seeing much — if any.

And where are the people who’ve had their premiums drop?  I can’t post a story about “Obamacare” where I don’t get plenty of people telling me about how their insurance coverage has improved and their premiums have gone down.

But I can’t say I’ve seen these people on Fox News, ABC News, CBS News or CNN.  And if they have been on there, they sure haven’t been the feature story.

Where are the millions of people who are no longer discriminated against because they have a pre-existing condition?  Where are the millions of 23-26 year olds who are still on their parents insurance thanks to “Obamacare?”   Can’t say I’ve seen many of them on these “major media” outlets.

And where’s the headline, “95% of Americans with health insurance unaffected by Obamacare requirements,” because that should be the real headline here.  Ninety-five percent of Americans with health insurance already met the health care law’s requirements.  All this “outrage” concerns about 5% of the population with health insurance.

So let me break this down:

  • Millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions no longer face discrimination when trying to purchase health insurance.
  • Millions of Americans age 23-26 are allowed to stay on their parents health insurance longer.
  • Some Americans will pay less for health insurance.

But the law is horrific because:

  • Health insurance companies continued to offer substandard policies that they’re now canceling.
  • Five percent of Americans who have insurance are being forced to buy actual health insurance, not just the illusion of insurance.
  • Health insurance companies are artificially inflating premiums simply because they can.
  • Some Americans are having their premiums go up.

Oh, and let’s not forget the claim that, “The hike in premiums is the result of Americans having to ‘subsidize’ health insurance for other Americans.”

First, that’s what health insurance is.  It’s millions of Americans paying into a “pool of money” to lessen the out of pocket cost for health services.  Whenever you pay for insurance, you’re always subsidizing the cost of more “at risk” individuals.  My driving habits haven’t changed, nor have I had any claims or tickets, yet my auto insurance has gone up the last couple of years.  Why?  I guess I should blame the government which forces me to have car insurance, not greedy insurance companies or other bad drivers.

Second, insurance companies have already had to cover people with pre-existing conditions for the last couple of years.  If they’re jacking up premiums now, it has nothing to do with that.  They’re simply using that as an excuse to gouge customers.

Also, where’s the reporting that this just might have been the plan of the health insurance industry all along?  Many of them opposed “Obamacare.”  What better way to try to get people on their side than by dropping customers, then jacking up their premiums when they sign up for new coverage, all while feeding into the GOP narrative that it’s President Obama’s fault?

And for exactly whom were health insurance premiums going down prior to the ACA?  Can’t say I recall the media flocking to the stories of the millions of Americans getting dropped from their health insurance every year because they dared to actually need it—which led to their providers dropping them.  Can’t say I recall the near 24 hour coverage on the millions of Americans who experienced huge rate hikes every year before health insurance companies were “forced to subsidize millions of Americans.”

Now, I’m not saying that “Obamacare” doesn’t have (and hasn’t had) its fair share of problems.  What I’m saying is that this over the top media coverage of the issues its had is often as artificially inflated as many of these hikes in premiums some Americans are facing.

The media seems to only be reporting one side of the story because that’s what’s driving ratings.  Fear and anger — two of the strongest emotions that lure people in and the two emotions most of these media outlets have seized on during these last few weeks.

The reporting of “Obamacare” the last few weeks has been nothing but a media sideshow.  These “reporters” have simply seized on whatever story brings them the best headlines instead of reporting both the good and bad of the Affordable Care Act.  And that’s a damn shame that deserves to be called out.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments