This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone as Fox News rarely uses facts in its “reporting.” Eric Stern over at Salon did a great job of showing the bias on Fox and how misleading the network actually is, especially one show.
I happened to turn on the Hannity show on Fox New last Friday evening. “Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck,” Hannity announce, “and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.” … “These are the stories that the media refuses to cover,” Hannity interjected.
Of course the media refuses to cover it because it’s not news! Fox is manufacturing stories and airing them as fact. Mr. Stern decided to take it upon himself and track down the three couples Hannity had on his program and conduct his own interview.
First I spoke with Paul Cox of Leicester, N.C. He and his wife Michelle had lamented to Hannity that because of Obamacare, they can’t grow their construction business and they have kept their employees below a certain number of hours, so that they are part-timers.
Obamacare has no effect on businesses with 49 employees or less. But in our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did.
It’s interesting to note that only one requirement applies to companies like that of Mr. Cox: he must notify his employees of the existence of healthcare.gov. He is not required to provide his employees with insurance. He is not required to reduce his workforce. He is only required to tell his four employees the government has a health care option for them.
Next I called Allison Denijs. She’d told Hannity that she pays over $13,000 a year in premiums. Like the other guests, she said she had recently gotten a letter from Blue Cross saying that her policy was being terminated and a new, ACA-compliant policy would take its place. She says this shows that Obama lied when he promised Americans that we could keep our existing policies.
Allison’s husband left his job a few years ago, one with benefits at a big company, to start his own business. Since then they’ve been buying insurance on the open market, and are now paying around $1,100 a month for a policy with a $2,500 deductible per family member, with hefty annual premium hikes. One of their two children is not covered under the policy. She has a preexisting condition that would require purchasing additional coverage for $600 a month, which would bring the family’s grand total to around $20,000 a year.
I asked Allison if she’d shopped on the exchange, to see what a plan might cost under the new law. She said she hadn’t done so because she’d heard the website was not working. Would she try it out when it’s up and running? Perhaps, she said. She told me she has long opposed Obamacare, and that the president should have focused on tort reform as a solution to bringing down the price of healthcare.
I tried an experiment and shopped on the exchange for Allison and Kurt. Assuming they don’t smoke and have a household income too high to be eligible for subsidies, I found that they would be able to get a plan for around $7,600, which would include coverage for their uninsured daughter. This would be about a 60 percent reduction from what they would have to pay on the pre-Obamacare market.
So, even without trying green eggs and ham, Mrs. Denijs is certain that she does not like it. Stubbornness at its finest! She is refusing to entertain the notion that the ACA might actually be beneficial for her in covering her entire family and saving her thousands per year. Is that because the ACA came from President Obama? Maybe because she believes what Fox News “reports” as truth? Who knows.
Finally, I called Robbie and Tina Robison from Franklin, Tenn. Robbie is self-employed as a Christian youth motivational speaker. On Hannity, the couple said that they, too, were recently notified that their Blue Cross policy would be expiring for lack of ACA compliance. They told Hannity that the replacement plans Blue Cross was offering would come with a rate increase of 50 percent or even 75 percent, and that the new offerings would contain all sorts of benefits they don’t need, like maternity care, pediatric care, prenatal care and so forth. Their kids are grown and moved out, so why should they be forced to pay extra for a health plan with superfluous features?
When I spoke to Robbie, he said he and Tina have been paying a little over $800 a month for their plan, about $10,000 a year. And the ACA-compliant policy that will cost 50-75 percent more? They said this information was related to them by their insurance agent.
Had they shopped on the exchange yet, I asked? No, Tina said, nor would they. They oppose Obamacare and want nothing to do with it. Fair enough, but they should know that I found a plan for them for, at most, $3,700 a year, 63 percent less than their current bill. It might cover things that they don’t need, but so does every insurance policy.
At least here we have an answer: Mr. and Mrs. Robison have apparently taken as truth everything they’ve heard on Fox News. Does Mr. Hannity have a conscience? Does he not realize he’s hurting innocent people? He and the rest of the misleading machine at Fox are no different than the man who has claimed to know the end of the world. People believed this man and spent their life’s savings thinking the world was ending. Mr. Hannity and Fox News are the same. They may actually believe the ACA is bad for everyone but by spouting misinformation, they are hurting innocent onlookers who believe them and, thus, refuse to look into the ACA and see just how much benefit and savings they would actually see.
I’m certain these three couples really believe the ACA is terrible and there’s probably no convincing them otherwise. But, to not even look into other options is just plain stupid. You’re telling me that when your cell phone bill goes up you don’t even look at the other companies to see if they offer comparable but cheaper plans? That’s exactly what people are doing here. They are refusing to even consider the ACA because it’s a law from President Obama and they’ve heard for so long how terrible it is. And yet, they refuse to look into it for themselves. Yes, I blame Fox News but I also place blame with people who blindly accept what Fox News is telling them.