AP's Advice Blames 'Insurance Plans' For Higher Out-of-Pocket Costs, Avoids Mentioning Obamacare
In among the more pathetic uses of the passive voice I've seen employed to protect guilty parties, a short, unbylined personal finance-related item at ABC's web site today by the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, identifies "5 KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL HEALTH CARE SHOPPING."
The writeup doesn't mention the fact that shopping for plans in the first place is difficult (actually, closer to impossible, given HealthCare.gov's implosion), and doesn't bring up Obamacare or its more formal name, the "Affordable Care Act," at all. As is the case with arguments favoring gun control, AP blames an inanimate object to shield the real perpetrators of the challenges consumers face. In this case, it's "insurance plans" which are to blame, thus implicating implicitly evil insurance companies and avoiding any mention of Obamacare/ACA, the real cause (produced in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) —
Gosh, AP, exactly who created the need for patients to "to shop more for health care ... that require(s) them to pay higher out-of-pocket costs"?
Hint: It's not "insurance plans." No, it's the people who caused insurance plans to be terminated or rewritten.
The people responsible for that are those who passed the 2,000-plus page Affordable Care Act in March 2010, which mandates medical services which must be covered in all insurance plans, regardless of whether people need or want those specific services; President Obama, who signed the Affordable Care Act; and officials at the federal government's Department of Health and Human Services, who have written over 10,000 pages of regulations to, among other things, enforce the mandates.
But AP apparently wants low-information readers to believe that insurance companies have just arbitrarily decided out of the blue to write plans "that require them to pay higher out-of-pocket costs." What a load of rubbish.
Although I realize that Tip Number 2 is about comparing costs of specific medicsl services, it's still laugh-out-loud hysterical. An "online tool"? Unless they're extraordinarily lucky (a debatable word, given Obamacare-driven premium increases), people can't even use an "online tool" to shop for or obtain Obamacare-sanctioned insurance in the first place.
AP failed, as expected, to provide the best available tip for those who are still in what's left of the individual market: Find and lock into a more affordable pre-Obamacare plan before year-end. It will at least enable you to avoid the ravages of Obamacare plans until the end of 2014.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.