Juan Williams Calls Republican Obamacare Opposition “Empty Rhetoric”

If your health insurance plan got cancelled because of Obamacare — like many of them have been — don’t be mad. Most importantly, don’t believe the noise coming from right-wingers about it. Sure, it’s easy to become upset because big government has intruded in your life; but like I said, don’t be upset about it – no, not this time. While it sounds like President Obama trampling on your life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it isn’t.

The truth is that most people with cancelled policies as a result of the new health care law, will be able to buy cheaper insurance through the exchanges; and, they will also receive more benefits. Now I don’t know about you, but getting more bang for your buck has always been a good thing, yes? That is of course with the exception of living in that Republican alternate universe and perpetual echo chamber devoid of facts on FOX News. Having said that, it’s good to see at least one of the FOX faithful, Juan Williams, challenge at least one of the many lies on “Fox News Sunday”.

Fox News analyst Juan Williams hit out at Republicans on Sunday over their opposition to Obamacare.

Williams appeared on a “Fox News Sunday” panel. He responded to Chris Wallace’s charge that some Americans are losing their health insurance plans under Obamacare.

“I get the sense that people on the Republican side are enjoying this moment, but this is empty rhetoric,” Williams said. He added that some plans are being cancelled because they do not meet Obamacare standards, but that those affected have received offers “for better packages at lower costs with more benefits.”

“This is not the apocalypse,” Williams added.

Brit Hume disagreed, saying, “The president promised explicitly — we heard it on this program—if you like the coverage you have now you can keep it, period… They’re now being told they can’t have those polices anymore. They must have policies that involve coverage for things they may feel they don’t need.”

Of course I realize that being forced to pay for cheaper and better health care coverage might not sit with some. But hey, that’s because nobody takes the occasional voice of reason on the political right seriously. Williams is absolutely correct. Many Americans have seen their insurance plans cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act. But of course Williams is black like Obama, so why should any of you take anything he says with a grain of salt. Well, for those of you who are of this opinion and skeptical, here’s a little something from the folks at Kaiser:

FOX News Contributor, Juan Williams
FOX News Contributor, Juan Williams

The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are cancelling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

By all accounts, the new policies will offer consumers better coverage, in some cases, for comparable cost — especially after the inclusion of federal subsidies for those who qualify. The law requires policies sold in the individual market to cover 10 “essential” benefits, such as prescription drugs, mental health treatment and maternity care. In addition, insurers cannot reject people with medical problems or charge them higher prices. The policies must also cap consumers’ annual expenses at levels lower than many plans sold before the new rules.

[…] An estimated 14 million people purchase their own coverage because they don’t get it through their jobs. Calls to insurers in several states showed that many have sent notices.

Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual policies in the state. Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people – about half of its individual business in the state. Insurer Highmark in Pittsburgh is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers, while Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is dropping about 45 percent.

Some Policies Targeted

Both Independence and Highmark are cancelling so-called “guaranteed issue” policies, which had been sold to customers who had pre-existing medical conditions when they signed up. Policyholders with regular policies because they did not have health problems will be given an option to extend their coverage through next year.

Now tell me, how can anyone with common sense be upset about this?

For the past week, the Republican party and the national media have gone around foaming at the mouths about some troubles people are experiencing with the Healthcare.gov website. What an outrage! – Because, you know, buying health insurance in the individual market used to be just so simple until Obamacare came in and messed things up. Also, because it’s not like there’s a toll-free number with quick answer time (1-800-318-2596) isn’t available to consumers who are having trouble on the website or would rather pick up the phone, or human navigators who could help.
But America’s uninsured aren’t buying the media’s poutrage. They are signing up in droves. Already, federal and state exchanges have completed 700,000 applications (and this is yesterday’s number) – and given that an application may cover a whole family, the number of individuals covered by those applications are likely well over a million. That’s 24 days into a 180-day open enrollment period.