Betsy McCaughey Promotes Book By Rehashing Debunked Health Care Myths

Serial health care misinformer Betsy McCaughey appeared on Fox News to continue pushing debunked falsehoods about the health care reform bill, including claims that the government will dictate care and that employees will be forced into a “one-size-fits-all” health care plan.

Appearing on the January 14 edition of Fox & Friends to promote her upcoming book, Beating Obamacare -- which she said is “a no-spin, easy-to-understand guide” to the law -- McCaughey claimed that employees who gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act would be given a “government-mandated one-size-fits-all plan.” McCaughey further claimed health care exchanges will “only sell the government mandated plan” like “a dealership that sells four-door sedans.” McCaughey also repeated the falsehood that the ACA “puts the federal government in charge of your health care for the first time.”

But despite co-host Gretchen Carlson's promotion of McCaughey's claims, all of them have been thoroughly debunked. The health care bill doesn't create “one-size-fits-all” health care plans but does require plans to provide a minimum level of coverage. There is nothing in the law which prohibits insurers from offering additional benefits above the basic requirements.

In addition, McCaughey's suggestion that the exchanges would only offer one plan is absurd. The entire purpose of the exchanges is to provide a market where consumers are offered a choice of affordable plans. In fact, the ability of exchanges to provide competition is one reason they were endorsed by the American Medical Association:

State health insurance exchanges are coming in 2014 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They are intended to give uninsured consumers a competitive marketplace of health plans. The uninsured face a tax penalty if they don't purchase insurance. The AMA and others said the exchanges can create a more competitive insurance marketplace overall.

“The AMA envisions that health insurance exchanges created by the health reform law will have a critical role in expanding insurer competition,” said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, MD, a pediatric neurosurgeon in Newark, N.J. “Millions of currently uninsured Americans will benefit from having a patient-friendly market with more health insurance choices tailored to meet their needs.”

Finally, McCaughey's claim that the government will dictate how doctors and hospitals provide care to patients has been repeatedly debunked. McCaughey pointed to section 1311 of the ACA, claiming the provision allowed the government to be in charge of care. But that section only sets minimum requirements for a plan to operate in the exchange. According to the Democratic Policy Committee's summary of the law, the section only creates a minimum standard for plans in the areas of quality, marketing, provider choice, and enrollment.