Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
The last post debunked the claim that the Affordable Care Act, called “Obamacare,” constitutes the largest tax hike in American, or world, or possibly cosmic, history. But that’s not the only false rumor in circulation right now.
Kelly Greene reports on one rumor for the Wall Street Journal. There are persistent rumors that the Affordable Care Act will increase Medicare Part B premiums to $104.20 in 2012, $120.20 in 2013 and $247.00 in 2014.
As Greene says, this is just plain not true; there is no such provision in the ACA. Medicare Part B premiums are determined every year by Medicare officials. They go by a formula that has been in place since the 1990s. The amounts of 2013 and 2014 Part B premiums haven’t been determined yet.
False rumors about government policies often are spread by opponents of the policies. It’s an easy way to get people worked up against something, and in the age of the Internet, rumors can spread farther and faster than ever. But it’s better for all of us, and America, when we choose to oppose or support things based on facts and not rumors. Whether you are working or retired; whether you are healthy or have a life-threatening condition such as mesothelioma; it’s in your own best interest to sort fact from fiction about Obamacare.
For example — another rumor currently being promoted by the website The Daily Caller is that many physicians are about to quit practicing because of the ACA. The DC reports that 83 percent of U.S. physicians have considered quitting their practices because of “Obamacare.”
This statistic comes from a group called the Doctor Patient Medical Association (DPMA). A bit of googling reveals that the DPMA was organized specifically to repeal “Obamacare.” It is affiliated with the National Tea Party Federation and also with the American Grassroots Coalition, which also was organized specifically to stop the ACA from being passed. And DPMA is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has been discussed here before.
So, it’s fair to suspect that the “84 percent” figure is not representative of U.S. physicians. Since the only physicians who might join DPMA are those against Obamacare, it’s a wonder that 16 percent of them say they aren’t thinking of quitting.
What do physicians really think of Obamacare? Possibly like everyone else in America, some like it and some don’t. However, the ACA was endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American College of Cardiology. Also, a recent online poll of physicians who lead hospitals, health systems and large group practices across the U.S. found that more than 60 percent agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the ACA.
The website Snopes, which is dedicated to rebutting false stories making their way around the Internet, has addressed several rumors about Obamacare. Such as –
Obamacare requires that we all be implanted with microchips by March 2013! That’s false.
Muslims are exempt from the mandate to purchase insurance. False.
Obamacare won’t allow patients over the age of 70 to have brain surgery. False.
No one over 75 will be allowed to get major medical procedures unless approved by an ethics panel. False.
Snopes also debunks the rumor that Medicare Part B premiums will jump to $247 in 2014, which is on its list of hottest urban legends on the Internet right now. So, the next time you get an email about how Obamacare is about to do some crazy, scary thing, take it with a grain of salt, and check with Snopes.