Separating the ObamaCare Facts from the ObamaCare Myths
We fact-check a number of myths about ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act).
ObamaCare or Affordable Care Act (ACA) is riddled with myths. These range from premium increases to the idea you can get put in jail for not paying the fee. They include the idea that “ObamaCare” is insurance (HINT: it isn’t, it is a law that affects insurance), that the Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act without any input from Republicans, and more.
ObamaCare Facts looks at the truth behind the myths about the Affordable Care Act to help separate the facts from fiction. Use a find command to find the ObamaCare myths you are looking for.
TIP: We try to keep this page updated, but some of the myths from past years are referencing statistics from those years that were relevant at the time but aren’t now.
The Following Are Some Common Myths About ObamaCare (The Affordable Care Act)
New ObamaCare myths are coming out every day. Keep checking back as we continue to fact check Affordable Care Act Myths and Misconceptions.
ObamaCare Myth: There is an ObamaCare “Death Spiral”
Although healthcare costs have risen over time, the ACA generally curbed the growth in healthcare spending. Thus, the idea that ObamaCare is in a “death spiral” (meaning it is unsustainable due to an impact on costs) is more myth than fact. See the Urban Institute Report that shows it works better in states that embraced the program and has slowed cost increases in those states. It is harder to summarize this than it is to say “death spiral.” However, it shows that “while increases suggest higher-than-expected utilization of services and claims costs, overall, premium increases are still modest by historical standards.” Meanwhile, it is projected that insurers already responded to rate hikes and that rates won’t continue to spike under the ACA unless efforts are “made on purpose to break the Affordable Care Act.” Learn more about this myth.
ObamaCare Myth: The ACA was Passed Without Input from Republicans
Obama was elected in 2008, he was reelected in 2012, and the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. From 2008 to 2010 there were discussions on healthcare between liberals and conservatives (see the legislative history of the ACA), and conservatives (in the Democratic and Republican Party) impacted more than a few aspects of the law in that time.
While it is true that Republicans didn’t fully agree on the final bill, and it is true that many Republicans have historically opposed it, it was not passed without input.
Not only that, but by Obama’s own admission the plan was drawn from “Romneycare,” the Massachusetts plan championed by then-Governor Mitt Romney. See The Real Story of Obamacare’s Birth One reason for the continued resistance to the Affordable Care Act is a badly distorted narrative of how it became law.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare and the Affordable Care Act are Different
The idea that the ObamaCare is different from the Affordable Care Act isn’t so much a myth as it is a misconception. ObamaCare is the unofficial name for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Healthcare reform, ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and HR3590 are all the same thing. Although ObamaCare was originally meant as a pejorative term, it has become a common shorthand way of saying “the new health care law.”
ObamaCare, ACA, Myth: The Majority Of Americans Want to Repeal ObamaCare
A common ObamaCare myth is that the majority of Americans want to see the law repealed because they don’t like the reforms in the law. While many Americans do want to see the law repealed, for different reasons (some practical and some political), according to polls the majority of Americans support the law, want to see the law improved, or don’t support it because it doesn’t do enough (for instance people wanted single payer instead).
What polls often show is that Americans don’t fully understand what the Affordable Care Act does. The opinions of those that do understand the law tend to be split between approval and disapproval, with the majority favoring improving upon the law and keeping popular provisions like the ban on pre-existing conditions.
In many cases, those who say they “don’t approve of ObamaCare” show overwhelming support when polled on key provisions contained in the law. Since the law contains hundreds of different provisions, a full support or full repeal stance usually stems from Media influence or association with a political party rather than research or experience.
Check out a summary of each provision in the PPACA here.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Creates Health Insurance
ObamaCare doesn’t create health insurance. It regulates the health insurance industry and helps to increase the quality, affordability, and availability of private insurance and expands and improves public health insurance options like Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. It also helps expand private coverage options inside and outside the workplace through subsidies, mandates, and taxes. The law does this by creating new rules for insurers, expanding Medicaid eligibility to tens of millions of Americans, and improving Medicare, expanding employer health insurance. It also created a Health Insurance Marketplace where Americans can buy subsidized, regulated health insurance in a competitive private market. There are also more reforms to the health insurance and health care systems.
ObamaCare doesn’t create a government-run health care system or Government insurance. It greatly expands business for the private for-profit health insurance industry, creating about 12 million new customers. ObamaCare regulates the “free market” and expands existing public programs; it doesn’t create new types of insurance.
ObamaCare Myth: I Don’t Have Insurance, So I Owe the Fee
This isn’t a myth as much as it is a misconception.
First off, the fee was reduced to $0 in 2019 in most states. So that is important to note. With that said even when there was a fee, the fee for not enrolling in a plan is a monthly fee, not a yearly fee. You owe a fee for each month you aren’t enrolled in a plan unless you obtain an exemption. You are allowed up to three months in a row without coverage each year due to a “coverage gap” exemption. If you go without coverage and aren’t exempt, then it is your “individual responsibility” to pay your fee on your year-end federal income taxes.
Over 20 million Americans were exempt from the mandate to obtain insurance in 2014. Reasons for exemption included a basic plan costing more than 8% of your family income for self-only coverage or having your plan canceled due to the Affordable Care Act. Learn more about ObamaCare exemptions.
If you don’t have insurance already, get covered during open enrollment, or you won’t have many options for getting covered and avoiding the fee. Learn what to do if you missed the deadline.
The mandate to get insurance is called the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision and the Fee is called an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment.
ObamaCare Myth: You Will Go to Jail If You Don’t Pay the Fee for Not Buying Health Insurance
The only way for the IRS to collect the fee for not having health insurance if you choose not to pay it is for the IRS to withhold the money you would get back after filing your income tax returns. The IRS cannot enforce the Individual Shared Responsibility provision (the provision that says you have to obtain health insurance or pay a fee) with jail time or liens.
ObamaCare Myth: You Have to Use the Health Insurance Marketplace
No one has to use the marketplace. The fact is anyone who wants to keep their current insurance can renew it, assuming it complies with the ACA or it has a grandfathered status. If you have Government-based insurance like Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP, then you are covered. If you like your work-based insurance, you can keep that too. The marketplace is for uninsured Americans and those who don’t like their current plan. Those making under 400% of the Federal Poverty Level may get help with monthly premium costs and reduced out-of-pocket costs for insurance purchased through the marketplace. Please be aware that if you have access to affordable employer-based coverage that provides at least the coverage of a “bronze” plan sold on the marketplace, you won’t be able to get cost assistance on the exchange.
ObamaCare Myth: The ObamaCare Website Doesn’t Work
Sometimes it feels as though the ObamaCare myth about technical issues with the website is spread to create news stories. Although we got many letters from readers noting issues with the early stages of health insurance marketplaces, since early 2014 the issues have been all but cleared up.
Healthcare.gov had some technical issues when it first opened, so not everyone who has signed up and enrolled has had a smooth ride. Since then, however, millions have used the site successfully and have done everything from applying to enrolling in a plan in less than 15 minutes. Lots of Americans report better deals and better plans, but some report that their options weren’t sufficiently affordable.
In states that set up their own exchanges, you can sign up and not worry about it. If your State didn’t, then give healthcare.gov a try. You can also sign up for the marketplace by mailing in an online application (read these instructions first), get in person help, or call the 24/7 helpline (800) 318-2596. Learn more about other ways to sign up for health insurance.
Since December 20th, 2013 the number of Americans reporting issues with the site has decreased dramatically, and over a million Americans enrolled in a new private insurance plan that started January 1st, 2014. By December of 2014 over 9 million Americans used the marketplace to enroll in a plan. As of 2015, almost 12 million had Marketplace coverage.
ObamaCare Myth: No One Is Signing Up For ObamaCare / ObamaCare Has Low Enrollment Numbers
People gain and lose coverage all the time, but as of June 30, 2015, enrollment numbers are on par with HHS and CMS projections at nearly 10 million still enrolled in the Marketplace alone.
Of course, the ACA doesn’t just cover people through the Marketplace. A May 2015 RAND Corporation study estimated that 22.8 million people were able to get coverage due to all ACA provisions. Although they estimated 5.9 million lost plans, that would still mean a net total of 16.9 million newly insured. That is 9.6 million people enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans, followed by Medicaid (6.5 million), the individual marketplaces (4.1 million), non-marketplace individual plans (1.2 million), and other insurance sources (1.5 million). In summary, there are now 4.1 million people newly enrolled in the Marketplace and 7.1 million people who transitioned to Marketplace coverage for a total of 11.2 million. This is only slightly off from HHS’s estimate of 11.7 million people and 4.5 million plan drops.
In March 2015 HHS reported a total of 16.4 covered due to the ACA between the Marketplace, Medicaid expansion, young adults staying on their parent’s plan.
According to a 2015 study by the CDC using Census data, the uninsured rate fell from 15.7% to 9.2% under ObamaCare in 2015, which is the lowest uninsured rate in 50 years.
ObamaCare Myth: Only a % of Those Who Enroll Actually Pay their Premiums / the Uninsured Rate Didn’t Really Decrease
Sometimes there is an idea that the ACA didn’t actually decrease the uninsured rate or that sign ups aren’t the same as people being covered (because people don’t pay their premiums).
However in general the ACA at one point led to record low uninsured rate, and even today numbers are still low (learn about the uninsured rate).
Further, while not every signup or enrollment leads to a full year of coverage, enough do to result in millions of signups each year. You can actually see breakdowns of who signs up, who enrolls, who pays, and who keeps their insurance overtime by following CMS data (learn more about enrollment data).
Here is an example of a specific myth being addressed:
An April 2014 report from the energy and commerce committee showed only 67% of those who signed up for health insurance under the ACA had paid their premiums. However, this headline ignored an important point, most of the 33% who didn’t pay had plans that hadn’t started yet. The report was done before May 1st when some “unpaid plans” started. Actual current conservative estimates for how many will pay their premiums are closer to the 80-90% range. However, the data we have collected unofficially indicates that the payment rate is closer to the 95% range. Assuming updated reports show that around 90% of those who purchased insurance did pay, the May Gallup Poll poll showing 13.4% uninsured rate (the lowest since Gallup began to record and down from a high 18%) is accurate.
As of the end of open enrollment, a total of 15 million uninsured became insured in and around the ACA’s first open enrollment period. This takes into account everyone who lost their coverage and those who simply switched from one plan to another. Learn more about the ObamaCare enrollment numbers.
Today we can reaffirm that the “67% myth” was an old and unreliable news story. Naturally, not everyone who enrolls in a health plan pays their premiums, and we should treat signups, enrollments, first-month premium payments, and retaining a policy for a year as different things. We aren’t just looking at who signed up; we are looking at how many Americans have obtained and maintained coverage. Crunching the numbers can be pretty confusing given the great number of ways to obtain coverage, so under-estimates and over-estimates are to be expected. Watch out for enrollment number talking points and see our enrollment numbers section for the current enrollment numbers with plan drops and all insurance types considered.
Obamacare Myth: Most People Signing Up Already Had Insurance
A post open enrollment Kaiser Survey that nearly 6 out of 10 of the 8 million who enrolled in the marketplace were previously uninsured. Most of them hadn’t had insurance in the past two years. While of course, some people who gain coverage under the ACA are simply switching insurances, many previously uninsured are signing up too, which is why the uninsured rate keeps going down. Even so, tens of millions of Americans are without health insurance, even many who now have access to affordable coverage remain uncovered. Learn more about those who had canceled plans. Only a fraction of them used the marketplace.
ObamaCare Myth: My Employer Has to Cover Me
The employer mandate had been pushed back to 2015/2016 when the ACA was first implemented. Small businesses with 50-99 full-time equivalent employees (FTE) had to start insuring workers by 2016. Those with a 100 or more had to start providing health benefits to at least 70% of their FTE by 2015 and 95% by 2016.
After those dates however, the mandate went into effect and large employers had to offer coverage.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 FTE don’t have to insure employees but can get tax breaks of up to 50% of their employee premium costs via the health insurance marketplaces. Health care tax credits have been retroactively available to small businesses with 25 or less full-time equivalent employees since 2010. Learn more about Obamacare and small business.
Please note, it is true that, if a member of the household has an employer based plan that offers coverage to the family, the family is exempt from marketplace cost assistance even if their coverage would cost more than 8% of household income for self-only coverage. This has led to a “family affordability glitch” despite that dependent having access to an exemption.
ObamaCare Myth: The ObamaCare Website Costs a Billion Dollars
You may have heard the ObamaCare website cost anywhere from 100 million to a billion dollars. You’ll get wildly different figures depending on which costs you include. The actual cost of the website itself is closer to the 100 million dollar figure and has been reported to have an actual cost of 68 million. That is expensive, but it isn’t a billion dollars. See this article for more information: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/10/24/the-myth-of-the-634-million-obamacare-website/196585
ObamaCare Myth: The Website Isn’t Secure
While valid concerns the security of the ObamaCare website have been voiced, there has been a lot of rhetoric coming from opponents of the law who wish to scare people away from using the marketplace. This tactic is meant to deter those who would get a better deal on health insurance and thus perhaps see the law in a more favorable light. It is meant to scare people away from using the site hurting the program by keeping sign-ups low. We have done extensive research and can not find any valid security concerns beyond those addressed on our Obamacare Website Update page. We urge you to ignore this untrue rumor and feel secure in signing up for your State’s marketplace. http://www.factcheck.org/2013/12/eric-cantors-security-scare/
ObamaCare Myth: Congress is Exempt from ObamaCare
The idea that Congress is exempt from the Affordable Care Act is a mostly a myth, but it is rooted in some truth. In general, Congress and their staff have work-based insurance so they should be able to stay on their current plans. However, an amendment to the bill before it became law said they must use the health insurance marketplace. They will use the marketplace. However, their staffers, who make as little as $30,000, can’t get subsidies through the marketplace since they have access to employer-based coverage. Their employer, the Government, is allowed to cover part of the cost of their premiums. Since all members of Congress have been well aware of this since 2010, most claims related to this are a willful misrepresentation of the truth. With that said, there have been changes and proposals to change to this rule over time, so sometimes when the discussion comes up it is good for reasons.
ObamaCare Myth: The 2.3% Medical Excise Tax Myth
Despite persistent chain emails and Facebook posts that show a “2.3% medical excise tax” on a Cabela receipt, there is no medical excise sales tax. The 2.3% medical excise tax is a tax on medical device manufacturers and importers, who must pay a 2.3% tax on the sale of taxable medical devices. Find out what taxes are actually in the law and which one affects you on our ObamaCare taxes page.
ObamaCare Myth: You Can Keep Your Current Health Insurance Plan
Over the years the claim has been made, “If you like your plan you can keep it, period.” The truth is a little more complicated than that. Not every American was able to keep their health insurance plan moving into 2014. Assuming your insurer offers your plan and your state allows it, those with private plans that meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, those with grandfathered plans, and those with public health plans can keep their plans. Those who have non-grandfathered plans that don’t offer the benefits, rights, and protections the new law mandates had to choose a new plan that meets standards by 2014. (This date was pushed back to 2015/2016 in many states.)
The truth is that the ACA mandates that insurance companies offer minimum cost sharing and minimum benefits, and so insurers elected to drop plans instead of upgrading them in many instances. The ACA does not contain a provision that says you can or can’t keep your plan. The talking point should have been, “If you like your plan you can keep it… assuming it complies with the new higher standards and your insurer continues to offer it or upgrades it.”
In many cases your insurer will help you make the change to an ACA-compliant health care plan, in other cases, it will be up to you to shop for a new private plan. This could result in higher or lower premiums based on your individual situation, but will almost always result in better quality health insurance. The truth is that many, but not all, plans that were canceled lacked important protections, like the ban on imposing lifetime limits, bans against insurance companies dropping you for reasons other than fraud, and bans on refusing coverage or treatment for preexisting conditions. See Benefits, Rights, and Protections to understand why getting an ACA compliant plan is a wise move.
Please note that insurance companies are electing to change grandfathered plans and thus asking Americans to choose new plans. While the law states that if a plan is changed, you’ll need to choose a new plan, it does not mandate that insurers change plans with grandfathered status. Learn more about Grandfathered Plans and Keeping Your Current Health Insurance Plan.
UPDATE: In response to the controversy surrounding this myth, the President announced a plan to let insurance companies renew and reinstate plans until 2015/2016.
ObamaCare Myth: You Can Keep Your Doctor
No section of the Affordable Care Act (check out our summary of every provision in the PPACA) says you can or cannot keep your doctor. Keeping your doctor is between you and your doctor, having them covered by your plan depends upon your network. Your network is determined by your insurance company, not by the new health care law. Your provider determines the network of doctors and hospitals to which you have access. So, if your insurance company changes your plan or offers you a new one, there is no guarantee that you can keep your doctor. This was the case before the ACA too. It’s always smart to ask your doctor what type of insurance they take when you shop for insurance.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Takes Sides
“ObamaCare,” officially titled the Affordable Care Act, was originally meant as a pejorative term to equate the bill with President Barack Obama and put a political slant on health care reform. The truth is, the Affordable Care Act is the result of a joint effort between all political parties, health insurance companies, and lawmakers, and has been in the works for decades. The law itself is based on “RomneyCare,” the Massachusetts health care insurance reform law, St. 2006, c.58. “RomneyCare” was based on the individual mandate which was proposed by the Heritage Foundation in 1989. The individual mandate was championed by Republicans as an alternative to single-payer insurance as it put individual responsibility at the forefront of health care reform. The ACA may be supported and passed by Democrats, but it leans more towards the center both in politics and who it benefits.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Only Helps A Few People
The truth is that ObamaCare helps everyone. Some of us might pay more, but almost everyone will be able to enjoy better quality health insurance and more rights and protections in regards to healthcare. When it comes to cost the rule of thumb is that the less you make, the more the law helps you. Those who may pay more include individuals and families making over 400% of the poverty level and businesses with over 50 full-time employees making over $250,000. No matter what you pay, all Americans now have new benefits, rights, and protections on all new insurance plans.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Subsidizes Americans Who Don’t Want to Work
The main group who will benefit from ObamaCare (AKA the Affordable Care Act) is the working poor. Americans with little or no income would have already had access to Medicaid long before the ACA. As with all public assistance programs that aid our nation’s poorest, it is a small minority of Americans who abuse the system.
ObamaCare Myth: Obamacare Means Higher Premiums
One of the widest spread ObamaCare, ACA, myths is that ObamaCare increases insurance premiums. Many Americans have seen their health insurance premiums rise since the ACA was passed, but blaming the law twists the truth. Our entire medical care system is run for people’s profits whether the entities who were employing the people officially make a profit or not. It takes some time to reign in those profits.
The truth is that insurance premiums have been growing faster than the rate of growth in income for well over a decade. Today there are more rules and regulations aimed at reducing the growth in premium rates like the rate review provision that stops insurance companies from unjustified rate hikes, and the medical loss ratio provision that stops insurance companies from spending your premium dollars on non-health care related expenses. Despite this, the Affordable Care Act has indirectly affected some premium increases.
ObamaCare stops insurance companies from raising premiums due to health status and gender or denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Every plan must offer essential health benefits and preventive services at no out-of-pocket costs and cover much more. In some cases, insurance companies have raised rates on existing plans to cover the cost of your new health care benefits, rights, and protections.
Luckily, ObamaCare does a lot to help premiums stay reasonable. Aside from the consumer protections mentioned above, ObamaCare created a Health Insurance Exchange Pool known as the Health Insurance Marketplace. Today low-to-middle income Americans (and small businesses) can shop for subsidized, regulated health insurance from competing health care providers using their State’s online marketplace.
Cost assistance offered through the marketplace greatly reduces premium costs of those making less than 400% of the Federal poverty level. (400% of the Federal Poverty level equates to individuals making less than $46,021, or a family of four making less than $97,200 a year). Learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Post open enrollment data shows that the average marketplace plan costs less than $100 a month for nearly 70% of enrollees. State-by-state reports on premium growth show them rising slower than or equal to historic rates. This indicates that the ACA is curbing the growth of premiums despite the new benefits, rights, and protections.
All of this being said, many were hit with a high premium increase in 2014 as insurers readjusted to having to offer so much more. As it is with any consumer product including health insurance, how hard the law hit or helped you has a lot to do with the region since insurers broker deals on a local level, and the cost of care in your region, coupled with supply and demand and rates. These factors affect the price of your plan more than anything.
ObamaCare Myth: Women’s Wellness and Child Protections Increase Premiums.
Coverage is only more expensive in some regions, for some people who didn’t qualify for Marketplace cost assistance. Typically those who had high-end plans that excluded sick people with pre-existing conditions, allowed the companies to drop those who became sick or limit how much they would spend on their care, saw the biggest rise in premiums. These premiums were being kept law artificially through exclusion or lack of protections offered under the ACA (namely pre-existing conditions). It’s a myth that minor provisions like the required women’s services and child dental are the cause of premiums being raised by any substantial amount. A marketplace must offer one plan with abortion services, and one without. The price difference is $1.
ObamaCare Myth: Obamacare Means Higher Taxes.
Many Americans will save on medical costs and taxes because of ObamaCare. Many more won’t pay a dime more than they do now as far as taxes go. Higher earners and large employers will be responsible for more taxes, but the group who will pay more almost universally profits from the new law. The fact is that ObamaCare includes the biggest middle-class tax cut to health insurance in our nation’s history, due to providing tax credits to millions of Americans to lower their premium costs.
The only tax that impacts the average American directly is the “individual mandate.” The mandate says: If you didn’t obtain coverage or an exemption by January 1st, 2014 you must pay a per-month fee on your federal income tax return for every month you are without health insurance. In 2014 the fee was $95 per adult ($47.50 per child) or 1% of income, whichever is higher. The family maximum is $285.
The “employer mandate” for large employers to cover their workers did lead to some employees being cut back to part-time, but it also led to more workers being moved from part-time to full-time in order to provide them with health benefits.
Small businesses won’t have to insure their employees, but if they choose to, they may be eligible for tax breaks of up to 50% of the cost of their employee’s premium costs.
The only people who are affected by most of the other taxes you hear about are about are the 3% of businesses and 2% of Americas richest families with incomes of over $250k and capital gains over $250k. – See ObamaCare taxes for More info and Myth debunking on taxes.
Of course, just because your taxes don’t go up, doesn’t mean you won’t pay more. In many cases getting a new plan that meets the benefits, rights, and protections of the ACA could end up costing you more (especially if you don’t have access to cost assistance through the marketplace). Whether you pay more or less under the new law is dependent on your situation, and the plan you buy.
ObamaCare doesn’t raise your premium and doesn’t mean higher taxes for the majority of Americans, but it does limit some tax breaks and tax deductions like HSA caps. And of course, those high earners and big businesses can expect yet another healthcare-related tax hike on top of paying the most for health care, sparking the question, wouldn’t single payer just be cheaper and easier?
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Means Lower Wage and Fewer Jobs
The biggest job creators are small businesses with under 10 employees, next is under 20, next is under 30 employees (it goes on from there). These businesses can receive tax credits through the marketplace to help ease the burden of providing health insurance to their employees. Small businesses have historically had the hardest time providing quality coverage to themselves or their employees.
In 2015 only businesses with over 50 full-time equivalent employees who don’t already provide health benefits to their full-timers will be affected by the “employer mandate.” These businesses account for .2% of all firms in America. Employees of some of those companies may have their hours cut to part time for their employers to avoid paying the penalty. However, ObamaCare actually creates millions of jobs, including tens of thousands of new health care jobs, 16,000 new IRS jobs as well as many more private-sector jobs (especially in small businesses with under 25 employees) and other government jobs.
Most of the top 3% of small businesses polled said that the idea that ObamaCare would affect their job growth or hiring process was an “ObamaCare myth.”
Although ObamaCare doesn’t directly result in job loss, companies who have cut back the hours of full-time workers to below 27 hours to avoid providing them with healthcare has been one of the nastier side effects of the bill. Ironically the requirement to provide insurance has been pushed back again.
NOTE: In some cases having one’s hours cut back can save families thousands on healthcare and prevent insurance from being unaffordable. Learn more about how having your hours cut back can actually benefit you.
ObamaCare Myth: The ObamaCare Death Panels
The concept of death panels, panels that provision health care and decide if you will live or die, is an ObamaCare myth. There is, however, a financial advisory panel that studies treatments to keep health care costs down. There was also a provision in the health care bill that had to be removed due to the rumor of death panels. The provision would have paid doctors for providing voluntary counseling to Medicare patients about wills and end-of-life care options. Removing the provision hurt seniors. Your healthcare is in the hands of you and your doctor. ObamaCare regulates insurance, not health care.
The truth is the majority of healthcare spending is on people in the later years of life. Of that spending about 20% on the last 6 months of life. Having someone else decide if you live or die based on cost is wrong (see for-profit health insurance). However, it is equally as wrong to avoid addressing the issue in the first place. Playing politics with the critical issues such as caring for dying patients instead of addressing the issue like adults is unproductive. Some end-of-life care is administered by orders of family members with no clear will or decisions made by the person getting the care. End of life counseling would give the patient freedom of choice.
ObamaCare Myth: Obamacare Comfort Care
There has been an ObamaCare myth going around since 2011 when a “brain surgeon” called up the Mark Levin show to let him know that patients over 70 years old could be given “comfort care” instead of brain surgery depending on the decision of a panel. This “neurosurgeon’s” claim has since been debunked by both the AANS (American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the CNS (Congress of Neurological Surgeons). We have also checked out the ObamaCare bill itself and can confirm that this is an ObamaCare myth. The AANS stated that the man was most likely not a neurosurgeon, but was pretending to be one instead.
ObamaCare doesn’t ration health care. It helps protect consumers fight the health care rationing insurance companies have been doing for years. In America the more you make, the better your care is. That is still true today, but less-so as all plans must cover minimum essential benefits and are now more affordable for many more people.
ObamaCare Myth: Standard of Living Will Decrease
Not everyone is going to be happy about the change in health insurance. For many, taxes won’t be affected, health care costs will go down, and health care will be improved. There are a large number of people whose standard of living will improve. ObamaCare ultimately decreases the deficit by over $200 billion dollars despite the $1.35 trillion in net costs, which helps our collective standard of living as well. Most importantly, new benefits, rights, and protections are leading to better quality healthcare for all Americans with health insurance.
Some may have less money, but many people will have access to health care for the first time under the new law.
ObamaCare Myth: The Cheapest ObamaCare Plan Will Be $20,000 per Family, or the “Average Family Will Pay $20,000 for Insurance.”
This ObamaCare myth is a misleading quote from an IRS report on what Americans will pay for a Bronze plan in 2016. For some reason reports labeled a family of 5 making $120,000 in taxable income as an average American family, making it seem like rates would go up.
$20,000 is what a family of 5 making $120,000 is projected to pay in 2016. Actual costs of that same family range from around $7,000 to over $30,000 depending on regional cost factors, age, and smoking status alone.
Truly finding an average cost for health insurance is next to impossible. In truth, every family is different and will pay rates specific to the plan they chose, their financial status, location, age, family size and smoking status. (Gender and health status are no longer factors in health insurance costs).
The report displays the disparity in cost, showing most individuals and families will pay 8% of their income or less while families with older heads of the household, located in states with high regional cost, making around and over the 400% FPL mark will pay more.
NOTE: In 2014 the average cost of health insurance on the marketplace was $249 a month before cost-assistance. 6 in 10 Americans without health coverage could get coverage for $100 a month or less on the marketplace with cost-assistance. And a large percentage of Americans will be able to get free health insurance due to the expansion of Medicaid.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Hurts Seniors and Medicare
ObamaCare reforms Medicare and offers many new benefits, rights, and protections for Seniors. There are some reformations to Medicare such as closing the “donut hole” for prescription meds, providing better health services, and reforming Medicare Advantage, a private Medicare option that lets Medicare be traded on the market, despite taxpayer funding. It currently costs tax payers more than Medicare and Medicaid combined.
Large portions of ObamaCare address improving and expanding Medicare for seniors. Get the truth behind ObamaCare and Medicare.
ObamaCare Myth: Medicaid Isn’t Good, People Don’t Want Medicaid, or Medicaid is too Expensive
Medicaid is the only option for many low-income Americans. The idea that there is something wrong with Medicaid is largely a myth spread by those who don’t want to use tax dollars to care for those who cannot afford insurance. Medicaid is not as comprehensive as higher cost coverage; the networks of covered providers are more limited. However, the ACA does a lot to improve that. Of course, for those with no other options, it’s better than nothing. Millions of low-income Americans including women and children go without health care because of politicians who refuse to expand Medicaid funding.
ObamaCare expanded Medicaid to 15 million low-income Americans. Many states opted out of supporting the expansion due to cost, even though the Federal Government provided 100% of funding for the first 3 years. The truth is that millions of Americans will go without any health care because of the myth that Medicaid isn’t quality insurance. Get the full story on Medicaid and ObamaCare.
Today taxpayers are responsible for tens of millions of dollars in unpaid medical bills because those who cannot afford insurance turn to emergency rooms for care because they have been left with no other option. Expanding Medicaid is shown to save State’s money.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare implants a “CHIP” in you when you get health care… The Mark of the Beast.
We have received multiple letters from concerned readers who believe that they will have a mandatory RFID chip planted in them due to ObamaCare. While an early version of the Affordable Care Act did mention data collection from RFID implants, there was never any mention of a mandatory implant and the current version of the law doesn’t even contain wording about data collection.
The following is an example of the ObamaCare implant myth (and is left grammatically intact the way we found it):
“I don’t think it is right for president to decide to put chips in the citizens of American hands or anybody else we as Americans have the right to decided if we want the chip its the mark of the BEAST People wake up its in the bible”
The idea that ObamaCare will force Americans to be implanted with RFID chips is a myth. We read the bill and did a search for information concerning this part of the chain email:
The Obama Health care bill under Class II (Paragraph 1, Section B) specifically includes ‘‘(ii) a class II device that is implantable.” Then on page 1004, it describes what the term “data” means in paragraph 1, section B:
14 ‘‘(B) In this paragraph, the term ‘data’ refers to in
15 formation respecting a device described in paragraph (1),
16 including claims data, patient survey data, standardized
17 analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of
18 data from disparate data environments, electronic health
19 records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the
The Facts on the ObamaCare Chip Myth
The quoted part of the law is about better data collecting for improving the quality of medical devices. The devices described in paragraph (1) are referring to class II devices which include both life support devices as well as RFID chips. There is no mandate about the insertion of any class II device.
The only time “CHIP” in mentioned in the 2,000 plus page bill is an acronym for “Children’s Health Insurance Plan.” CHIP provides funds to states in order to cover children in families that do not qualify for Medicaid but still have modest incomes. CHIP provides insurance to more than 5 million kids. It’s part of ObamaCare helping to ensure that all Children have health coverage.
The debate about centralized data collection, RFID chips and how it relates to the Affordable Care Act will become more important as we move into the next decade. Learn more about RFID chips and the ObamaCare Micro Chip Implant Rumor.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Forces Abortions and Contraceptives
ObamaCare gives religious institutions an opt-out for providing specific women’s health services (it has also granted waivers to some businesses). Also, contraception coverage is not required by health care companies or exchange commissioners. Although federal funding does go towards women’s services and education, it doesn’t force anyone to do anything in regards to these services.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare Rations Health Care
This is an ObamaCare myth. The new health care law doesn’t ration health care, but insurance companies do.
ObamaCare funds research establishes committees and enacts some provisions that protect consumers from the health care rationing insurance companies have been doing.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare is Socialist
ObamaCare is a program that everyone pays into through taxes in order to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable quality health care protections and services. Medicare / Medicaid / Social Security are all programs that work like this.
ObamaCare allows us all to purchase our private insurance in a regulated marketplace. This embraces the ideas of capitalism, regulated free-market and freedom of choice, along with the government’s protection of your new health care related rights. A great deal of your health care costs come from for-profit institutions. Hospitals, for instance, are almost exempt from economic regulation due to their ability to set and control prices. Also, many medical device manufacturers and drug innovators have such a tight control on necessary drugs and treatments that they control their own prices as well.
Calling ObamaCare a redistribution of the wealth or a socialist law is an inaccurate generalization. Ironically, there is a high chance that wealth is being “redistributed” to your family or small business, providing better coverage, bigger tax breaks and putting money back in your pocket while improving the quality of your health care.
ObamaCare Myth: We Need Less Government
When discussing the ACA, the issue is “do we need healthcare reform?” not “do we need more government?”
At this point in history, less government would mean undoing hundreds of years of progress and allowing corporations to do act without restraint. Regulations, laws, and taxes provide important protection to us. There is always room for reform, and that is exactly what ObamaCare does.
ObamaCare Myth: Privacy / Freedom Will Be Jeopardized
The idea that ObamaCare takes away your freedom is a myth. It cannot make you do anything in regards to your health care. The only example of freedom being restricted is the mandate to either purchase insurance or pay a tax.
ObamaCare costing you your freedom is a Myth. You will most likely save money and have access to better regulated Affordable Healthcare. We will all have better preventive services and the security in knowing we won’t be dropped when we are sick or denied for a preexisting condition.
ObamaCare Fact: 1 in 2 Americans technically has a pre-existing condition.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare is Unconstitutional
Not only is ObamaCare constitutional; it has also been a law since 2010. The supreme court upheld the law, reaffirming that the ACA, ObamaCare, isn’t unconstitutional.
ObamaCare Myth: ObamaCare “Culling” Seniors
ObamaCare helps seniors; it is certainly not “culling” seniors. In fact, much of the new health care law focuses on improving care for Seniors via Medicare reforms.
If you didn’t find the ObamaCare Myth you are looking for, please look at this official document from the American Nurses Association on Health Care Reform Myths.
Finding Out More About ObamaCare Myths
These are just some of the ObamaCare myths. Is ObamaCare perfect? Of course not, but if you don’t like it, make sure to base your opinion on facts and not the ObamaCare Myths we just debunked. Remember, you can set doubts you have to rest by checking out our summary of each provision in the PPACA here or Even full text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and do the research for yourself. Don’t believe the ObamaCare Myths; The Obama Care Facts speak for themselves.
The Facts on ObamaCare Myths