ABC, NBC, Spanish Nets Ignore United HealthCare Threatening to Leave ObamaCare Exchanges

In the latest piece of ObamaCare news that the liberal media have chosen to ignore, ABC, NBC, and Spanish networks Telemundo and Univision skipped on Thursday night and Friday morning word from United HealthCare from Thursday that it may withdraw from ObamaCare exchanges in the future after reporting losses of around $700 million for the year.

While ABC and NBC were joined by CBS in censoring this story from their Thursday evening newscasts, Friday’s CBS This Morning stepped forward with a measly 18-second, 46-word brief from co-host Charlie Rose that alluded to a Wall Street Journal piece on United HealthCare. 

Rose explained: 

The Wall Street Journal reports on one of the nation’s biggest health insurance company considering pulling out of ObamaCare. United Health Group said it suffered major losses on the policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Operating losses this year will total about $700 million.

CBS took one news cycle to get a hold of the story, but didn’t take any time at all for the Fox News Channel and its evening newscast Special Report to devote a full story to the matter from correspondent Rich Edson. 

Host Bret Baier declared in a short lead-in that “a major setback” is possibly “in the works tonight for ObamaCare” as “[t]he President’s health care law could be losing a huge source of the coverage provided.”

Filing from the White House, Edson reported that the long and short of it is that “participating in the health care law is costing the nation's largest health insurance company too much money.” Edson then cited a statement from United HealthCare that revealed it could “drop ObamaCare in 2017 as it's lowering the earnings expectations for this quarter by more than $400 million.”

Next, Edson provided excerpts from a statement released by the company’s CEO:

In a statement, the company's CEO says, quote, “in recent weeks growth expectations for individual exchange participation have tempered industrywide, co-operatives have failed and market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated, so we are taking this proactive step.” 

Edson also made sure to mention that such a story has given “ObamaCare critics” additional reasons to argue that “with rising premiums, fewer health provider choices, is another sign of the unsustainability of the health care law.”

As opposed to covering it, Thursday’s CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News each found time to tout the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a genetically-modified salmon for human consumption that won’t actually become widely available for at least a few years.

The transcript of the brief from November 20's CBS This Morning can be found below.

CBS This Morning
November 20, 2015
7:31 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN NEWSPAPER HEADLINE: The Wall Street Journal, “Biggest Insurer Threatens to Abandon Health Law; UnitedHealth cuts earnings outlook, citing losses from health-exchange products”]

CHARLIE ROSE: The Wall Street Journal reports on one of the nation’s biggest health insurance company considering pulling out of ObamaCare. United Health Group said it suffered major losses on the policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Operating losses this year will total about $700 million. 

The transcript of the segment from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on November 19 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
November 19, 2015
6:23 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: United HealthCare; Major Insurer May Leave ObamaCare]

BRET BAIER: What could be a major setback in the works tonight for ObamaCare. The President's health care law could be losing a huge source of the coverage provided. Correspondent Rich Edison is here to tell us who, why and what it all means for your family and the future of the health care law. Good evening, Rich.

RICH EDSON: Good evening, Bret, and participating in the health care law is costing the nation's largest health insurance company too much money. This is United HealthCare and it said in a statement today that it may drop ObamaCare in 2017 as it's lowering the earnings expectations for this quarter by more than $400 million. In a statement, the company's CEO says, quote, “in recent weeks growth expectations for individual exchange participation have tempered industrywide, co-operatives have failed and market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated, so we are taking this proactive step.” ObamaCare critics says this, with rising premiums, fewer health provider choices, is another sign of the unsustainability of the health care law. 

AMERICAN ACTION FORUM’s DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN: The people who buy first are those who really need insurance. They're expensive, they're ill, they're older, so the growth had to come the other part of the pool, the young and healthy. If they don't get that, it unravels, no other way around it. 

EDSON: And an administration official tells Fox News that these are dynamic markets, they expect these private insurers to go in and out of the marketplace and officials say the number of issuers participating in ObamaCare has increased overall in the last couple of years. In a statement, the Department of Health and Human Services says, quote: “This year, people looking for coverage in the marketplace continue to have robust number of plan choices and as the data shows, the marketplace is stable, vibrant and a growing source of coverage for new consumers. Today's statement by one issuer is not indicative of the marketplace's strength and viability.” Now, Aetna and Anthem say they have had some issues participating in the program, but they say their long-term optimism is going forward — they have long-term optimism. The announcement does not affect United HealthCare plans for this upcoming year, 2016. This is only a choice if they decide to make it — United — to pull out would affect plans in 2017. Bret?

BAIER: Okay, Rich Edson at the White House. Rich, thank you, we'll follow that. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center