Fox News touted Indiana's health insurance plan, the Healthy Indiana Plan, as an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, but ignored the significant problems with the plan, including barriers to care for lower-income individuals.
On the August 28 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade hosted Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) to plug HIP, a program passed by former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) in 2007. Kilmeade suggested that HIP is "a sign the federal government needs to leave health care up to the states," and concluded: "So much you can learn from Indiana." During the segment, Fox aired a caption declaring HIP a "solution to Obamacare."
The Indiana plan has a number of problems, which were left unmentioned by Kilmeade and Pence.
The program caps the number of people that can enroll. For that reason, according to Gannett's Maureen Groppe (via Nexis), HIP has "gotten four times as many applicants as the approximately 105,000 Hoosiers it has served." In a July article, Groppe noted that while roughly "37,000 Hoosiers are enrolled in the program and another nearly 53,000 are on a waiting list," over "400,000 Hoosiers could get health insurance under Medicaid" if Indiana expands Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Furthermore, in an article headlined "Indiana faces crossroads on health care for poor," Groppe explained that HIP relies on "increased cost sharing to keep costs down." That cost sharing, however, "creates a barrier to care" for those with low incomes (via Nexis):
Advocates for the poor say the cost-sharing creates a barrier to care.
Fran Quigley, an Indiana University law professor who has tried to help those who lost HIP coverage get reinstated, said that while a minimum $160 a year contribution sounds reasonable, low-income families have no room for financial error. A family or housing crisis can make them unable to find the money for even essential matters, he said.
"I understand the cost savings and personal investment theories behind the promotion of health savings accounts and premium requirements," Quigley testified at a public hearing on the state's request to continue the program. "But the punitive loss of coverage due to a family financial crisis, and the inevitable spike in taxpayer-shouldered costs for emergency room visits by persons unable to obtain primary care, are exactly the outcomes the (enrollment fee) prohibitions under federal law are trying to prevent."
According to Groppe, HIP also attempts to lower health care costs "by limiting some of the traditional Medicaid benefits and by capping the total value of benefits that recipients can receive each year and during their lifetime." For example, maternity care, as well as dental and vision coverage, are not covered by the program.
Rush Limbaugh dishonestly claimed that he never cited the use of concussion-preventing technology in the NFL as a sign of culture becoming "chickified."
During the August 26 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh said that he has never claimed that concussion-preventing technology is a sign that things are becoming "chickified":
LIMBAUGH: I never once have been critical of the NFL for trying to reduce concussion-related injuries. Now, we have talked about, you know, wearing pink accoutrements in the month of October and other elements of football that are becoming chickified, but not the concussion-related.
Limbaugh is contradicted by remarks he made during the August 12 edition of his show, which were highlighted on his website under the headline "NFL Helmet Sensors Latest Sign of Chickification":
National Review editor Rich Lowry criticized Senator Ted Cruz's effort to defund Obamacare as "a grass roots-pleasing slogan," adding to the conservative media divide over Republican plans to defund the health care law by threatening a government shutdown.
Republican politicians, including Cruz (TX) and Senator Mike Lee (UT), have threatened to shut down the government in order to stop funding health care reform. That approach has earned criticism from other Republicans, such as Senator Richard Burr (NC), who called it "the dumbest idea I've ever heard of."
Writing in Politico, Lowry argued against Cruz's strategy, dismissing it as "a grass roots-pleasing slogan" and unrealistic:
His push to defund Obamacare this fall is a grass roots-pleasing slogan in search of a realistic path to legislative fruition. Cruz never explains how a government shutdown fight would bring about the desired end. The strategy seems tantamount to believing that if Republican politicians clicked their wing tips together and wished it so, President Barack Obama would collapse in a heap and surrender on his party's most cherished accomplishment.
Lowry's criticism adds to an already wide split among right-wing media on GOP threats to shut down the government.
Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin invented a conspiracy theory that the clothing chain Forever 21 was intimidated by the Obama administration into claiming that its decision to cut worker hours was not a result of the health care law.
Media outlets are reporting that Forever 21 is cutting the hours of some full-time employees and reclassifying them as part-time. In a statement on Facebook, the company said that the cuts affect "less than 1% of all U.S. store employees" and have nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act:
Forever 21, like all retailers, staffs its stores based on projected store sales, completely independent of the Affordable Care Act. After a recent evaluation, Forever 21 realigned its staffing needs to better reflect sales expectations. This realignment impacted less than 1% of all U.S. store employees. Forever 21 values all of its employees and made every effort to affect as few employees as possible in this realignment.
Despite the company's explicit refutation and a lack of evidence to support her conspiracy, Malkin argued that Forever 21 was cowed into denying that the Affordable Care Act played a role in its decision to reduce worker hours.
On America Live, Malkin said that Forever 21's statement on its decision was evidence that "the intimidation campaign of this White House has worked rather effectively." Malkin added that companies that have "had the audacity to talk about the connection between Obamacare and cutting benefits and cutting full-time employees to part-time" were "punished," so "of course a company is going to deny that it had anything to do with Obamacare."
Fox News and other media outlets in recent weeks have aggressively tried to revive the claim that President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes "death panels," a myth that has been repeatedly debunked and is undermined by the law itself.
Fox News will air an hour-long special on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, on August 9 and 11. If history is any indication, Fox's special will be rife with factual inaccuracies and baseless smears intended to demonize a program that provides necessary food assistance to millions of Americans.
Fox Business' John Stossel attempted to revive the myth that the gender pay gap is a result of personal choice.
During an August 6 appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, Stossel responded to a statement by co-host Laura Ingraham about liberal criticism of the gender pay gap. Stossel said:
You normal women make different choices, and that's why women are paid less. When it's the same job, they're paid about the same.
Meanwhile, Laura Ingraham dismissed those concerned with equal pay as "feminists and all the Lilly Ledbetter supporters."
In reality, personal choice is not responsible for the gender wage gap.
In its 2013 Gender Pay Gap Report, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) found that women were paid 82 percent of what men were paid just one year out of college, and that lifetime gender wage disparities cannot be explained by personal choice.
Moreover, according to an April 2012 fact sheet from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, "Women's median earnings are lower than men's in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women."
Fox News figures are using a possible al Qaeda plot to falsely claim that President Obama declared the war on terror over.
The State Department has closed embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa in response to an intercepted communication between al Qaeda leaders about a potential terror attack.
During a segment on The Five about the threat, Fox producer Jesse Watters stated that in "the big speech he gave three months ago," Obama "said, technically the war on terror is over."
Fox News' Bret Baier downplayed the consequences of the across-the-board automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, ignoring that the cuts could cost up to 1.6 million new jobs.
On the July 30 edition of Special Report, Baier reported that unpaid furlough days for civilian workers at the Defense department may be cut to as few as 6 days. The Fox host also noted that "last week the IRS canceled one of its five furlough days" and that "a little budget shifting allowed the FAA to avoid furloughing its air traffic controllers."
Unmentioned, however, was that sequestration could cost the economy as many as 1.6 million new jobs, according to a recent report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Additionally, the CBO report showed that real gross domestic product could be as much as 1.2 percent higher without the sequestration cuts. In a letter to Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the CBO explained:
[T]he Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzed a proposal under which the automatic spending reductions in effect for 2013 would be canceled at the beginning of August and none of the reductions scheduled for 2014 would be implemented; for 2013, mandatory payments made after early August would be at the rates in effect prior to sequestration, and agencies would have an additional year to obligate the restored discretionary funding.
The full ranges CBO uses for those parameters suggest that, in the third quarter of calendar year 2014, real GDP could be between 0.2 percent and 1.2 percent higher, and employment 0.3 million to 1.6 million higher, under the proposal than under current law. Because those estimates indicate the effects of a prospective change in law, they do not encompass the full impact of the sequestration that has already occurred.
Fox News attacked President Obama's July 25 suggestion that "phony scandals" are a distraction in Washington, claiming that he was referencing attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya and calling the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi "phony." Yet Obama made no mention of Benghazi, and it's Fox who has pushed dozens of phony Benghazi conspiracy theories since the attacks took place in September 2012.