Fresh Ideas: GOP distorts truth in claims about health care law |

Fresh Ideas: GOP distorts truth in claims about health care law

Anne Macquarie
For the Nevada Appeal

I am annoyed at House Republicans trumpeting over and over that Americans don’t support the Affordable Care Act. Do they think that the louder they shout, the truer this untruth with become?

In an exchange of emails with Rep. Mark Amodei, I let him know how frustrated I am.

In his reply, Amodei wrote, “The President’s 2,700-page healthcare law offends seniors, veterans, middle class families and employers.”

I answered him: I’m middle class, am a small-business owner and am reaching “senior” status, and I am NOT “offended.” I am relying on the ACA to make affordable insurance available to me in the gap between when (if) I lose my current job/business and am not yet eligible for Medicare. I currently am relying on the ACA to make our family insurance available to my 24-year-old daughter, who is facing major (thankfully, insured) surgery.

The average price for basic health coverage purchased on health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act will be $249 a month, according to a government report published last Wednesday. I will be able to afford it. Sounds quite reasonable to me. By refusing to fund the ACA, Amodei is attempting to take this option away from me. Now, I AM offended.

Amodei wrote, “CBO analysis also estimates that ObamaCare could cause 20 million people to lose their employee-sponsored insurance by 2019.”

I will be kind and not refer to this statistic as an outright untruth; let’s just say Amodei and his staff would do well to check their facts. Here’s what says:

“The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that those with work-based coverage will decline by 7 million, on net, because of the law by 2023.

That figure is a combination of workers losing coverage, others gaining it and others buying insurance elsewhere. The CBO estimated that for 2019 — when the net figure is 8 million — those losing an offer of employer-based insurance, which they would have received had the law not been enacted, would be 12 million, with 7 million others gaining work-based coverage because of the law, and 3 million more declining their employers’ offer and getting insurance elsewhere. CBO has explained in its previous estimates that businesses dropping coverage are likely to be smaller companies with low-income workers who would be able to get subsidies to buy insurance on the exchanges.”

Quite a big difference between a net of 8 million and an assertion of 20 million, don’t you think?

I closed my letter to Amodei by saying what really offends me is the way he and his fellow Republicans are playing fast and loose with the facts in order to scare people about a program that will help most of us, for nothing but ideological reasons. I’m not scared, I’m mad. I don’t like to be manipulated by the people who are supposed to represent me.

Anne Macquarie blogs about clean energy and climate change in Nevada at