November 13, 2014

We received our ACA renewal in the mail a couple of weeks ago. If we stay with our current provider, we'll pay about what we paid this year, assuming the subsidies stay level. If we switch to Blue Shield, which is the non-profit twin of Anthem Blue Cross, we'll save about $20 per month.

Overall, premiums increased in California by about 8 percent, which is far less than premium increases have been in the past, but more than the national average. Nationally, increases are coming in on exchange plans at about six percent, which is well below the double-digit increases we were getting earlier.

But never mind that, because Fox News is ON IT. And Stuart Varney is here to inform viewers that it's very, very terrible that premiums are going up on these policies. Brace yourselves, Colorado consumers, because rates could be going up as much as 35 percent on some plans or dropping by 22 percent on others!

For a market analyst, Stuart Varney is pretty stupid. Because markets matter here. It is true that at least one Colorado plan increased their rates by 35 percent, which suggests they lowballed their rates in 2014. On the other hand, another plan went high in 2014, and ended up dropping their rates by 22 percent.

Overall, the average rate increase for plans on the Colorado exchange is just over 1 -- ONE -- percent.

One might forgive the Daily Caller for their ignorant misreporting, but Stuart Varney calls himself a market analyst. Any market analyst worth his salt would know that Colorado's premium rates are behaving just like a competitive market should, with the benefit going to the consumer.

This was a big Fox News theme on Wednesday. And as ThinkProgress reports, they actually admitted the ACA was working before making sure they buried that claim.

Their context was the case pending before the Supreme Court where they admitted that gutting the subsidies would cause premiums to rise.

Fox News admitted on Tuesday that a conservative-led lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act would raise health care premiums for millions of Americans. But then in its on-screen chyron, the network sought to attribute the increases not to the litigants involved in the case, but to President Obama, potentially confusing viewers.

“Could legal challenges to taxpayer subsidies put Obamacare in a death spiral?” Fox host Bill Hemmer asked, pointing to “a new study funded by the Department of Health and Human Services saying the health care law may be damaged beyond repair if you take the subsidies away, if they’re eliminated.”


Hemmer and Fox contributor Byron York huffed and puffed about the dangers of such a ruling, calling it “colossal” — despite the fact that the suits have been filed by conservatives, are supported by Republican lawmakers, and have been reported on favorably by the network in the past. The National Review has called the lawsuits and “ingenious” way to halt Obamacare. Fox, celebrated the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling against the administration on July 22 by pronouncing, “one by one they’re getting chipped away so it’s starting to collapse.

And although the price increases are a direct result of a negative ruling, Fox News ran the story under the chyron “sticker shock again for some Obamacare enrollees as premiums set to rise,” implying that the law’s backers would be responsible.

Fox News: They confuse; viewers decide.

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