A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Spinning Premium Rates

Both sides in the great Obamacare debate are distorting the facts about premium rates on the soon-to-open health exchanges to make their case for or against the law.

Obama’s Premium Promise

On Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Managing Editor Lori Robertson fact-checks President Obama’s claim that all of the currently uninsured would be able to get insurance on the exchanges “at a significantly cheaper rate” than what they can get now on the individual market, without federal subsidies. Even Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has acknowledged younger Americans would likely pay more.
For more on Obama’s statement, see our Aug. 13 post, “Obama Overpromises on Premiums.”

Obama Overpromises on Premiums

President Obama claimed that all of the currently uninsured would be able to get coverage on the exchanges “at a significantly cheaper rate than what they can get right now on the individual market” even without federal tax credits.

Health Insurance Premium Spin

A new analysis on the Affordable Care Act prompts Republicans and the White House to trade misleading claims about the law’s impact on insurance premiums. Predictably, one side says they’ll go up; the other says they’ll go down. But both are stretching the facts, just as they’ve been doing since 2010, before the law was even enacted.

‘Obamacare’ to cost $20,000 a Family?

Q: Did the IRS say that the cheapest health insurance plan under the federal health care law would cost $20,000 per family?
A: No. The IRS used $20,000 in a hypothetical example to illustrate how it will calculate the tax penalty for a family that fails to obtain health coverage as required by law. Treasury says the figure “is not an estimate of premiums.”

Premium Hype

Both Republicans and the Obama administration have pushed misleading claims on what impact the federal health care law has on insurance premiums.
For more on this issue, see “Misleading on Premiums” from March 26.

Misleading on Premiums

Both the Republican National Committee and the Obama administration are making misleading claims about health insurance premium costs. An RNC ad falsely implies that the federal health care law is responsible for all of the $1,300 average increase in family coverage premiums last year. But at the same time, the Obama administration makes the misleading claim that families “could save up to $2,300” on health care costs per year in the future by buying insurance through exchanges called for by the law.

FactChecking Health Insurance Premiums

Health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored family plans jumped a startling 9 percent from 2010 to 2011, and Republicans have blamed the federal health care law. But they exaggerate. The law — the bulk of which has yet to be implemented — has caused only about a 1 percent …

Earmarks, Taxes and Premium Hikes

In episode 38 of our podcast, we highlight false statements from Democrats on the Sunday talk shows, and exaggerations from Republicans about the impact of the new health care law on premiums.

For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Sunday Replay  Nov. 15
The Truth About Health Insurance Premiums  Nov. 19

The Truth About Health Insurance Premiums

Leading Republicans in Congress are blaming the new health care law for double-digit rate increases being sought by insurance companies in Washington state, New York and Connecticut. But insurance regulators, leading health care experts …