As the number of people who are enrolling in the ACA’s private insurance plans surges towards 7 million, Republican Sen. John Barrasso and Fox News Sunday teamed up to claim that President Obama is cooking the books.
CHRIS WALLACE: Well, the White House announced this week that more than 6 million people, now total have signed up for private health insurance on the exchanges, including 1.8 million so far, just in March, but they still have no numbers for how many people paid for coverage. How many, so called young invincibles signed up, nor how many people have signed up who were previously uninsured. Sen. Barrasso, given that how much does this 6 number actually mean?
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO: I don’t think it means anything, Chris. I think they’re cooking the books on this. People want to know the answers to that. They also want to know is, once all of this is said and done, what kind of insurance will those people actually have? Are they going to be able to keep the doctor that they want? How much more is it going to cost them, and we know that some of the best cancer hospitals in the country want very little to do with people who buy this insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.
(After Barrasso later claimed that hospitals are turning down Obamacare, Sen. Angus King shot down these lies abut the ACA.)
SEN: ANGUS KING: No, now, that’s a big. There’s no such thing as Obamacare. You can’t sign up for Obamacare. You sign up for an Anthem policy, an Aetna policy, or a Wellpoint policy. It’s private insurance, and private insurance companies have been doing closed networks for years. I do think there is a problem. If John Barrasso would like to join me in co-sponsoring a bill to have more transparency so people can know exactly who’s covered and who’s not covered by the various policy options, I’m all for it, but I think this thing of you can’t keep your doctor, but there is a problem in New Hampshire, because there is only one carrier on the exchange. I think that is the only state in the country like that.
I looked up. I played a game, and looked up John’s situation. If you are Laramie, Wyoming, you make $50,000 and have two kids, mom, dad, two kids, there are 16 different policy options you have ranging in premium from $67 a month to $800 a month. There are a lot of choices out there.
Barrasso closed the segment by telling Fox News viewers not to be fooled (by things like facts and reality.) The truth is that ACA signups have now passed the 6.55 million mark. It is looking like the White House is going hit their original goal of 7 million enrollees by the 31st.
Republicans and Fox News are denying this fact.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) claimed that President Obama is cooking the ACA books, and Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace played along by asking questions about what we don’t know. Wallace relied on a McKinsey and Company study from February, which is before the surge in young people signing up started, to paint the ACA as a total failure. (The study that Wallace cited came from an organization that has refused to release their questionnaires and methodology.) McKinsey and Company has also consistently refused to disclose who is paying for their studies on the ACA.
It is safe to say that Fox News is trying to pass off some Republican book cooking of their own as fact, in order to portray the ACA as a total failure.
The truth that Fox and their GOP allies don’t want to admit is that there is a huge demand in this country for affordable health insurance. Yes, the law does need tweaked as unintended consequences arise, but Republicans aren’t even pretending to be realistic about the ACA anymore.
They are living in their own fantasy land, where they know that Obamacare is a failure, and they will reject anything that suggests otherwise.
Fox News is spawning a whole new group of Republicans. They are the Obamacare deniers. No matter how successful the law becomes, they will still stick to their claims that it isn’t happening.
Their behavior is sad, pathetic, and a little disturbing because this is the same crowd that the American people put in charge of the House of Representatives.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a 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