The National Republican Congressional Committee happily linked to the NYT, which under other circumstances is the Devil incarnate, but today, oh fail joy, oh misery-loving GOP, today the NYT is Romentum. Today, the NYT assists the GOP in their gleeful fail gloating over the ObamaCare website. It’s still not perfect, you see. And now Republicans have the word of “some insurers” complaining about problems.
To wit, the NRCC quotes:
Even After The White House’s Deadline, The Site Still Isn’t “Fixed.” “”Insurers said they had received calls from consumers requesting insurance cards because they thought they had enrolled in a health plan through the federal website, but the insurers said they had not been notified. ‘Somehow people are getting lost in the process,’ the insurance executive said. ‘If they go to a doctor or a hospital and we have no record of them, that will be very upsetting to consumers.'”
I went to source this “problem” per the the NYT article and found many “some insurers say” and then this:
“Until the enrollment process is working from end to end, many consumers will not be able to enroll in coverage,” said Karen M. Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group.
Karen is the President of the health insurance industry super lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). They’re a national political advocacy and trade association. According to Open Secrets, they spent $9,340,000 in 2012 and $6,790,000 thus far in 2013 lobbying .
In 2010, Bloomberg reported that US Chamber of Commerce got $86.2 million from AHIP to oppose the healthcare reform law, “as the industry urged Congress to drop a plan to create a competing government-run insurance plan.”
In 2012, AHIP was busted for secretly spending $102.4 million spent over just 15 months to defeat ObamaCare by funneling money to the Chamber of Commerce, as reported by Rick Ungar at Forbes (the Forbes article was partly based on a National Journal report that goes to a white page now).
According to the National Journal’s Influence Alley, at the very same time the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)—the health insurance industry super lobby—was cutting a deal with the White House leading to its stated support of the proposed Obamacare legislation, they were secretly funneling huge amounts money to the Chamber of Commerce to be spent on advertising designed to convince the public that the legislation should be defeated.
They’ve favorably donated to Republicans over the years, even when Democrats controlled the House.
Want to know what else they’re known for? According to Bill Moyers, they fought Michael Moore’s “Sicko” and here’s the talking points they used to fight it – see number 2, “Reframe the debate: Mount a Campaign against Government-run Health Care system.”
• Debate the System, not the Anecdotes. Set the record straight then get off Moore’s turf and on to ours.”
• “Reframe the Debate: Mount Campaign against a Government-run Health Care system.”
• “Define the Health Insurance as Part of the Solution.”
• “Caution Democrats Against Aligning with Moore’s Extremist Agenda.”
• “Game Plan for Various Potential Scenarios.”
AHIP was afraid people would believe Michael Moore, so they set about to fear-monger about “government run” (the term that polled the worst, by the way, and that’s why it’s used by Republicans) health insurance.
Their profits are being hurt by ObamaCare’s oversight, but they are to believed sans evidence in spite of the screaming agenda and the history of acting on that agenda.
So let’s look at their concerns. Their concerns were presented thusly: Some insurers SAY. Others SAY there are problems with the back end. This is followed up by Republicans claiming that we should just give up on or delay ObamaCare, so these problems must be pretty big indeed.
Yet there is no evidence to suggest that the scope of the alleged problem is so large that it warrants killing or delaying ObamaCare.
Aaron Lehman, a financial adviser who works with health insurance, told Politicus in an exclusive interview that the clients he’s signed up for health insurance on the ObamaCare website have already gotten their premium bills, so he’s shocked to hear that there’s a problem with the “back end” of the website. Lehman told me, “There is a communication between the front and back end, or my clients wouldn’t have gotten billed yet. They’re taking 2% of the population and making it sound like it’s happening to everyone.”
Lehman has not experienced any trouble with the back end of the website.
There are no doubt some enrollments that got “lost”. This also happened before ObamaCare, and yet the media never cared when consumers were screwed over by corporate insurance companies. Suddenly now that a trade group that spent millions to defeat ObamaCare claims it’s not working, and the media is once again taking their claims on faith.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.