American Elephants

When Will Journalists Ask What’s In It? by The Elephant's Child

I don’t understand the mainstream media. Theoretically, they are journalists, trained to dig into archives and conversations, to ask questions and conduct interviews. And granted, most are Liberals, but still…How come they miss so much? Only now that ObamaCare is coming fully into effect, a few media sources are beginning to notice that all is not as it seemed.

Headline: AP Exclusive: Applying for health care not easy And this is a surprise? The forms run to 15 pages for a three-person family. Online there are 21 steps with added questions. Three major federal agencies, including the IRS will scrutinize your application. That’s the first part that lets you know if you qualify for financial help. Then you have to pick a health insurance plan. Now your financial information is to be made available to the CIA as well.

HHS has put out a full 60 pages on its website to describe all the wonders of the 15 page form. Is this not typical of government?

The” Affordable Care Act” (you always knew that name was a joke) has 21 tax increases, and costs twice as much in new taxes as was advertised.  Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation pegs the price tag at over $1 trillion, almost twice the $570 billion suggested when the law was passed by legislative trickery three years ago.

The individual mandate was supposed to cost $17 billion. Looks more like $55 billion.

The “Cadillac tax” on higher-cost plans is $111 billion, not $32 billion.

The employer mandate is not the estimated $52 billion but a stunning $106 billion, and expect those estimates to continue to climb. Federal Programs are always vastly more expensive than estimated, often to and three times as much.

Conservatives warned in the beginning that the only federal government plan that had come in significantly cheaper than estimates was the much derided Bush  Medicare Drug Plan. And of course, Democrats removed the incentive that made the plan less expensive — the so-called “donut hole.” Democrats do not understand incentives.

Many employers will drop spouses from their insurance plans. People are able to keep their adult children on their policies until they reach age 26, which is an added cost for insurers. There is no requirement to keep spouses on the policies, and many employers are expected to drop them.

The country’s big health insurers say they expect premiums — the cost for insurance coverage— to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014.

When media people have to apply for their own health insurance, and pay for it, they may get interested in just what the act entails and how it will affect the American people. Of course when people really needed to know what they were facing, the media was either absent or uninterested. The closed doors behind which the law was being devised made a mockery of administration transparency claims, but nobody noticed.

I once went online to check out the Columbia Journalism School, and the classes all seemed to be “how to write an obituary,” or “how to write about global warming” (I made that up, there is a Society of Environmental Journalists that takes care of the science part. There isn’t any. They teach each other.) But there wasn’t a single class mentioned in journalistic ethics, or “how to be a government watchdog.” But then this was just an online list of classes, not an official catalogue.


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