HireCentrix News Updates
Falsehoods about the Affordable Care Act are still swirling -- and the intensity of the claims is rising as the exchanges are set to launch.
We’ve been batting down bogus claims about the Affordable Care Act for years, since 2009, when legislation was still in the debate stage. But they’ve been increasing in intensity in recent months as we approach Oct. 1, the date the insurance exchanges will be open for business for those buying their own insurance, mainly with the help of federal subsidies.
So, more than three years after our last health-care-whoppers piece (published just before the law was signed in 2010), we’re giving readers a rundown of the top claims.
Some have been around for years, and others are relatively new. Most touch on three topics: jobs, premium costs and medical care. For instance:
- Republicans have made the overblown claim that the law is a job-killer, but experts predict a small impact on mainly low-wage jobs. The Republican National Committee says 8.2 million part-timers can’t find full-time work “partly” due to the law. That’s the total number of part-time workers who want full-time jobs, and there’s no evidence from official jobs figures that the law has had an impact.
- Proponents say premiums will go down, while opponents say they’ll go up. In general, employer plans won’t be affected much, and a price change for individuals seeking their own insurance will vary from person to person. Obama claimed that all of the uninsured would see lower premiums than what they could get now (before accounting for federal subsidies), but that’s not the case.
- Critics continue to make scary claims about the government coming between you and your doctor, but the law doesn’t set up a government-run system. If anything, the law comes between you and your insurance company, forbidding them from capping your coverage or charging you more based on health status. Meanwhile, Obama can’t promise you can keep your plan. Employers are free to switch coverage, just as they were before.
And there’s more. Since 2010, we’ve been debunking the persistent claim that members of Congress are somehow exempt from the law. They’re not. The administration’s recent decision to give exchanges leeway in how they verify suspect applications for subsidies sparked the false claim that Americans can list what they’d like for their incomes and won’t face verification.
Beyond these more reasonable topics, we’ve seen our share of far-fetched viral messages about microchips being implanted in patients and forced home inspections by the government. Rest assured. Neither is true.
The law is long, complicated and still being implemented. Many of the claims we’ve seen — and expect to see for some time to come — center on the impact on employers (or employees), premium rates and medical decisions.
Claim: 8.2 million Americans can’t find full-time work partly due to Obamacare.
FactCheck.org says: False.
This assertion from the Republican National Committee echoes others conservative claims that the law is hindering part-timers from finding full-time jobs. But the RNC’s 8.2 million figure was the total number in June of part-time workers in the U.S. seeking full-time work — what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls “part-time for economic reasons” — and there’s no evidence from BLS numbers that the law has had an impact on such workers. There were more in this “part-time for economic reasons” category in March 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law (9.1 million). The latest figure, from August, is 7.9 million.
he law requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide insurance or pay a fine. (This provision was delayed until 2015.) Full-time is defined as 30 hours per week. These details have fueled Republican claims that the law will cause — or is causing — employers to reduce their employees’ hours to get under the 30-hour/50-employee thresholds. It’s certainly possible that some employers will try to get by with fewer workers, or fewer worker-hours. And some among millions of part-timers seeking full-time work may have had their hours cut. But we can’t say how many that would be, and neither can the RNC.
Growth in women's share of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations declined to 27% in 2011from a high of 34% in 1990. While women make up nearly half of the workforce, they were 26% of the STEM workforce in 2011.
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