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Give ACA some credit due

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A letter published Dec. 10 in the Superior Telegram was a bit premature when titled emphatically “Predictably, Obamacare fails.” Fact checkers affirm that presently only 5 percent of Americans purchase individual policies so; the writer’s claim that 150 million people will “lose insurance,” is also quite an exaggeration. And, although some employers might change group policies, employees will be able to find as good or better insurance on ACA exchanges.  As a regular reader of FactCheck.org, I have long known the president was misinforming the public when claiming that anyone would absolutely be able keep their own insurance if they liked it, and the Dec. 10 writer is correct to decry that lie. However, she is also correct that administration fact checkers knew the president’s absolute promise could not be met — since the stipulations in the bill were never hidden and were clearly in disagreement with the president’s claims. It would have been much better had Obama reported consistently about this fact. But, although many politicians are prone to lie, the new health care bill has not failed, and provides many benefits the GOP is already busy lying about themselves. Here is some pertinent information from FactCheck.org: Private insurance companies are the ones who set prices — not the ACA. While some networks might include fewer insurers, insurers in these networks may still decide what hospitals and doctors will be in their networks. For example, in Missouri, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, excluded one of the State’s top hospital systems — doing this in order to eliminate competition. Some providers have refused participating in networks. All of these controversial measures have arisen when prices are set by competing issuers and various providers seeking less costs and limited competition to ensure profits. Where prices will eventually be set — it’s just far too early to tell. So in the future take what you hear about the ACA with a grain of salt, and check out reality by using fact-checking sites. To provide some perspective about unscrupulous political lies, consider the lies of George W. Bush about the need to destroy nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, effectively killing and injuring tens of thousands of people in an unnecessary war that lasted almost a decade.  

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