President Obama called out the media today for misleading the American people with inaccurate stories about people having their health insurance canceled due to the ACA.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Because of the tax credits that we’re offering and the competition between insurers, most people are going to be able to get better, comprehensive health care plans for the same price or even cheaper than projected. You’re going to get a better deal.
Now, there’s a fraction of Americans with higher incomes who will pay more on the front end for better insurance with better benefits and protections like the patient’s bill of rights, and that will actually save them from financial ruin if they get sick. But nobody is losing their right to health care coverage. And no insurance company will ever be able to deny you coverage or drop you as a customer altogether. Those days are over, and that’s the truth. That is the truth. (Cheers, applause.)
So for people without health insurance, they’re finally going to be able to get it. For the vast majority of people who have health insurance that works, you can keep it. For the fewer than 5 percent of Americans who buy insurance on your own, you will be getting a better deal. So anyone peddling the notion that insurers are canceling peoples’ plan without mentioning that almost all the insurers are encouraging people to join better plans with the same carrier and stronger benefits and stronger protections while others will be able to get better plans with new carriers through the marketplace, and that many will get new help to pay for these better plans and make them actually cheaper — if you leave that stuff out, you’re being grossly misleading, to say the least. (Applause.)
It is one thing for Republicans to be grossly misleading people about the law. They oppose the ACA and have been trying to destroy it for nearly four years, but what the media is guilty of is ignorance and laziness. The mainstream media has decided that they are going to be against the ACA. They think that is where a majority of the American people are, so that is how they are going to cover the story.
The truth is that the media likes things simple and dumb. They can understand website broken. They can understand people losing their coverage, but they never bother to look deeper and ask why some people are seeing their policies get canceled. The answer is that these policies were crap coverage, but the media can’t be bothered to mention that part in their stories.
The big secret about the mainstream media is that many of them have no idea what they are talking about. They haven’t read the ACA. The media doesn’t understand the issues. This is why they are so drawn to whatever the Republican Party puts out there. Republicans have perfected the art of giving the media the ready made easy story, but the most galling thing about the media coverage is that much of it is missing out on the really big story.
While the media focuses on website glitches and Republicans who are complaining because their junk health insurance got canceled, what they aren’t talking about is that the ACA is going to be good for a whole lot of people. There will be no bigger life changer than access to affordable health care for tens of millions of Americans.
It isn’t just the Republican Party who is set to be on the wrong side of the history of the ACA. Because of their indifference to facts, the media’s performance during this time will be poorly remembered too. President Obama and the White House are going to have to keep up the fight, because the misleading media stories are going to keep coming.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association