Friday, October 18, 2013

Your Evidence is Faulty, Mr. DeMint

(from USNews)

This morning, Heritage CEO, Jim DeMint blasted Obamacare in general, and the premium hikes now being experienced in the individual insurance market, in particular, in an article titled We Won't Back Down on Obamacare:

We know that premiums are going up due to ObamaCare—Americans are getting notices in their mailboxes every day. On Wednesday, Drew Gonshorowski of the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation published research that shows exchange premiums are going up in all but five states.

This sounded way off to me, so I went to the Heritage site and pulled up Gonshorowski's study and then checked out the HHS study he carefully references. Have no idea what Gonshorowski did to come up with his numbers - the ones documenting the huge premium increases DeMint attacks in his op-ed - but they bear little relationship to the hard data presented by HHS. Below is an excerpt from Gonshorowski's chart and one from HHS'. The complete charts and full reports are available through the links.

HHS Study
Gonshorowski-Heritage Study

Take Georgia, which DeMint calls one of the "hard-hit states". Gonshorowski shows the Exchange premium at $263.28, a 168.3% increase over the pre-Exchange market for the same policy of $98.12. But the HHS study shows Georgia at $142 (Bronze level). Now let's see what happens after tax credits, which almost 2/3rds of people will be eligible for:

HHS Study

After tax credits, the Georgia premium price for a 27-year old with an income of $25,000 is $103, just  $5, or about 5%, above the pre-Exchange level. In fact most states shown above show a premium after tax credit that is lower than the pre-Exchange price.

I have more or less given up being surprised at misrepresentations like this from the Right, but they still grate. The truth will come out slowly but surely, as long as the media and the blogging world keeps at it.

But I wonder - do Conservatives ever ask themselves if there might be a political price to pay when folks find out that almost everything the GOP has told them about Obamacare is wrong?

I think there will be. November, 2014. The Mid-Term Elections.

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