In light of the recent spate of anti Obamacare comments containing numerous myths about the Affordable Care Act, a proper response seems appropriate. According to this article in the Washington Post "the share of Americans younger than 65 who were uninsured was nearly halved, falling from 18.2 percent to 10.5 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Here are some of the more popular (and bizarre) myths with the real facts.
Myth #1:The law is keeping people who work part-time jobs from finding full-time employment
Fact: This began when the Republican National Committee stated a number of years ago, that over 8 million Americans couldn't find full-time work because of the ACA.
There have been many studies debunking this myth, According to Media Matters for America: "A new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that, contrary to right-wing media assertions, the overwhelming majority of employers have not responded to health insurance mandates in the Affordable Care Act by slashing jobs, converting full-time positions to part-time, or putting off hiring new workers. Fox News and The Wall Street Journal spent years claiming health care reform would threaten American jobs."
Myth # 2: The Affordable Care Act doesn't allow people to choose their doctors, or it doesn't allow them to continue to see the doctors they've been going to for years.
Fact: Before the act was signed into law, opponents argued that the government was going to "take over" the U.S. healthcare system.
The ACA doesn't actually provide insurance coverage to anyone and as a result it doesn't decide which doctors people can and can't see. Employers are free to reconfigure their coverage options under the ACA just as they could before it became law. Health care costs have been rising for many years and employers long before the ACA would seek out plans and options to reduce the cost to themselves and their employees. Some of those plans, then and now, would require as a cost savings, staying within a certain network of providers.
Myth # 3: The ACA requires that microchips be implanted into all patients.
Fact: According to FactCheck.org, this probably came about because of a proposed provision not included in the bill that was signed into law, that would have set up registry for certain kinds of implantable medical devices like artificial heart valves and cerebral shunts. No one has or will be " chipped".
Myth # 4: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains a "death panel" provision,
Fact:You have to love Sarah Palin. No provision of the "Obamacare" health care legislation mandates or authorizes the creation of "ethics panels" to determine which patients should or should not receive various medical treatments, based on their age or any other criteria. A rational and responsible national conversation about preparing for death and end-of-life care has been virtually impossible over the past six years because of the "death panel" myth. An early draft of the ACA included a provision to reimburse doctors for talking with the Medicare patients about advanced directives and end-of-life care. That was purposely misconstrued by Ms. Palin into " death panels" and the myth continues to this day. Case in point is comment 1/1 yesterday by anonymous to this post.
Myth #5: Obamacare forces Americans to consent to home inspections.
Fact: No one related to the U.S. government will be coming to your home under the ACA. If you meet certain requirements, there is a voluntary program for expectant or new parents, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administration for Children and Families who will provide prenatal advice.
Myth # 6: ObamaCare Subsidizes Americans Who Don’t Want to Work.
Facts:The main group who will benefit from the ACA 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.
Myth #7: Medicaid Isn’t Good; or People Don’t Want Medicaid; or Medicaid is too Expensive.
Fact: The ACA expanded Medicaid to 15 million low-income Americans. A number of states opted out of supporting Medicaid expansion, even though the federal Government provided 100% of funding for the first 3 years. Millions of Americans in those states will go without any type of health care because of the myth that Medicaid isn’t quality insurance.
Myth # 8: The ACA calls for armed IRS agents to enforce penalties.
Fact:the IRS won’t be sending armed agents to enforce the health care mandate, as falsely claimed by Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul. The law specifically waives any criminal penalties for those who both decline to obtain insurance coverage and refuse to pay the tax enacted to penalize lack of coverage