Fox Complains Unopened Obamacare Exchanges Haven't Insured Enough Americans Yet
Blog ››› ››› ELLIE SANDMEYER
Fox News host Steve Doocy jumped the gun to call the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a failure before its full implementation.
During the September 27 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy misleadingly suggested that the health care reform law had failed to insure many Americans who currently lack health insurance coverage:
DOOCY: Remember during the original argument about whether or not we should go ahead and pass the Affordable Care Act, also now known as Obamacare, very famously Karl Rove said on this program, he said, you know, 85 percent of the country has health care and likes it. So why blow up the entire system for 15 percent? There is a new poll out this morning that says that, take a guess, how many people in this country, what percentage have insurance now for the very first time because of the Affordable Care Act? How many? What percent?
CO-HOST ELISABETH HASSELBECK: I mean, I'd go 20. Let's go 20 percent.
DOOCY: One percent.
HASSELBECK: Oh, great.
DOOCY: One percent of the country now has insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.
HASSELBECK: That's it?
DOOCY: Yeah, we were told we're helping out 15 percent. But so far, just one.
But Doocy's critique completely misrepresented the timeline of the health care law's implementation. The public exchanges, which will offer new insurance coverage options to Americans who currently do not receive employer-sponsored health insurance, will not open for enrollment until October 1, and the new coverage won't begin to take effect until January 1, 2014. Expanded Medicaid access also doesn't take effect until January 1. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in May that, once it is fully in effect, the ACA's exchanges will help provide coverage to 24 million currently uninsured Americans by 2023, and the Medicaid expansion will cover an additional 13 million.
Doocy also ignored the many benefits that the law has already put into effect for individuals that currently have insurance. Nearly three years after the law's enactment, 6.1 million Americans with Medicare who reached the Part D coverage gap ("donut hole") saved more than $5.7 billion on prescription drugs. Additionally, 71 million Americans received coverage for preventive care in 2011 and 2012, and 78 million Americans saved a total of $3.4 billion on their health insurance premiums in 2012.