Fox Ignores The Cost Of Defunding Health Care Reform

Fox News ignored important facts about the Affordable Care Act to falsely claim that House Republicans could simply defund the law, however economist have found that defunding the healthcare law withholds funds that actually lower the deficit in the long term.

On the November 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity asked Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour whether House Republicans “could fight to defund Obamacare”  instead of conceding that “Obamacare is the law of the land.” Nikpour responded, “Yeah, they can.”

In fact, the Congressional Budget Office has reported that “defunding the healthcare law would cost billions.”   In a letter to Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, it was reported that  defunding the healthcare law would “reduce the deficit by about $1.4 billion dollars in fiscal year 2011 but would increase deficits by a net amount of $.5.7 billion over the 2011-2021 period.”

Forbes  contributor Carolyn McClanahan found that while Republicans  have been successful in defunding parts of the Affordable Care Act,  “most of the success in defunding have been in good parts of the law” -- sections that limit the law's ability to “repair the system and help control future costs.”

The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee proposed additional cuts in its 2013 draft budget, according to McClanahan:

  • Community Health Centers - $300 million
  • Prevention and Public Health Fund - $1 billion
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research - $150 million

McClanahan added: “Every dollar spent on public health and prevention saves $5.60 in health spending, so the $1 billion cut in the prevention and public health fund will cost $5.6 billion.”

Hannity has previously claimed that it is “disinformation” to claim that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would expose women to unfair and discriminatory treatment by insurers. In fact, the law bans insurance companies from its current practice of charging women higher premiums for the same coverage as men, and forbids insurers from listing pregnancy as a pre-existing condition.