Fox Fearmongers About Costs Under Health Care LawMarch 22, 2013 1:37 PM EDT ››› MIKE BURNS
Fox Business host Stuart Varney selectively cited a Wall Street Journal article to fearmonger over President Obama's health care law, ignoring that potential increases would impact only a small part of the insured population and would be partially offset by federal tax subsidies.
On America's Newsroom, Varney, citing a Wall Street Journal article, claimed that millions of people "will be paying a whole lot more for their individual coverage after Obamacare takes full effect next year. In some cases, the premiums that they will pay will double."
But Varney ignored several key facts from the WSJ article to stoke fears about costs under the health care law.
The Journal reported that tax subsidies "will limit many consumers' costs" and that "[m]ore than half of the 35 million people expected to be in the individual market by 2016 are likely to qualify for credits." The Journal also noted that some individuals and small businesses will actually see their premiums decrease and that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office "says average individual premiums, on an apples-to-apples basis, would be lower."
Moreover, an Associated Press report found that potential increases in health care premiums would impact "a relatively small slice of the insured population" and that the law "is expected to tame health care costs for many." The AP also found that tax credits will offset some of the premium increases:
There also will be tax credits, or subsidies, given to people with incomes that fall within 400 percent of the federal poverty level. For 2013, 400 percent of the poverty level for all states except Alaska and Hawaii would be $94,200. These credits won't lower premiums, but they can ease the insurance bill depending on a person's income.
The credits should help the 20-something customers that insurers warn will see big premium hikes, said Linda Blumberg, an economist with the Health Policy Center of the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan policy research organization.
"While these folks are potentially facing some premium increases due to all these reforms, they also are the ones most likely to get the financial help from the exchanges," she said.
On March 13, Fox & Friends also misled on premium costs under the health care law when co-host Alisyn Camerota claimed, "Your premiums are going to double and that your bills could double, this is really stunning news for lots of Americans."