Nets Warn ObamaCare Repeal Will Cause ‘Millions’ to Lose Health Care

Media fearmongering over Republican plans to repeal and replace ObamaCare reached a fever pitch on Tuesday, as all three network morning shows seized on a Congressional Budget Office report that selectively examined the impact of repealing the law without passing replacement legislation. Despite that being in direct contradiction with GOP proposals, the hosts and correspondents ran with the news anyway.

On NBC’s Today, while reporting on the upcoming Senate confirmation hearing for President-elect Trump’s Health and Human Services nominee, Congressman Tom Price, correspondent Hallie Jackson sounded the alarm: “Price's public exam hot on the heels of a new report showing what could happen if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement. The projection? 18 million Americans could lose insurance after the first year. 32 million Americans could lose it after ten years. Premiums potentially spiking 20 to 25%.”

The on-screen graphic blared: “Trump’s Health Department Pick on Hot Seat; Study: Millions to Lose Benefits if ObamaCare Repealed.”

Only after hyping the sensational headline did Jackson briefly note: “To the GOP, the estimate not painting the full picture. House Paul Ryan's office calling it ‘meaningless’ since it doesn’t factor in a plan to replace the law.” The reporter then dismissively added: “The catch? Republicans haven't announced a replacement plan yet or even agreed on what it should look like.”

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On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos grilled top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway about the matter: “You’ve said that under Mr. Trump's plan no one who has coverage will lose it, but the Congressional Budget Office said just yesterday that the repeal could cost 18 million people their insurance right away. So how will President Trump guarantee that everyone who now has coverage will keep their coverage?”

Despite Jackson’s assertion on Today, Conway detailed aspects of a replacement law to Stephanopoulos:

Well, what we're saying is that people who are relying on insurance currently, George, will not go without coverage during the time of transition. He has made that clear. I think he said it at his press conference or sometime last week.

Secondly, it's just a more patient-centric free market system of buying and having health care. Why? Because you'll have a health savings account with your name on it, where you own it and you will be able to control spending. We will block grant Medicaid to the states probably. So those who are closest to the people in need, who know how to administer it, will do so.

And, of course, the big one, that you can buy health insurance across state lines. Your viewers right now know that they buy goods and services across state lines every day. Why, in the most intimate purchase that you can make as an American, for your health care, would you not be able to do that?

So he wants to make sure it's truly affordable and accessible. There are Americans who have been helped through the Affordable Care Act. They will not be harmed. But there are many Americans who feel that they had great benefits and their premiums have skyrocketed. Their choice, their quality, and their access has been diminished. We want to help those people.

On CBS This Morning, fill-in co-host Anthony Mason offered a 28-second news brief on the CBO report:

USA Today reports what could happen if ObamaCare were repealed and not replaced. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts 18 million Americans would lose medical coverage within a year. Premiums would rise by up to 25 percent and the number of uninsured would jump to 59 million by the year 2026. The projections were based on a 2015 Republican plan to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

None of the coverage mentioned any of the major problems plaguing ObamaCare and the need for a replacement. In fact, the law’s difficulties were largely ignored throughout the 2016 campaign.  

Here are excerpts from the January 18 NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows:

Today
7:11 AM ET

TAMRON HALL: A cabinet hearing is also beginning today for the President-elect's choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services. The position is a critical one given the ongoing efforts to repeal and replace President Obama's signature health care law. NBC’s Hallie Jackson is on Capitol Hill. Hallie, good morning. 

HALLIE JACKSON: Hey, there, Tamron, good morning to you. Some Democrats had tried to delay today's hearing because of ethics questions they had, with Donald Trump's transition team accusing them of basically playing politics. So today, it will be Congressman Tom Price in the hot seat with the war over ObamaCare intensifying.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump’s Health Department Pick on Hot Seat; Study: Millions to Lose Benefits if ObamaCare Repealed]

Facing his first congressional checkup today, Congressman Tom Price, the Georgia doctor picked to lead the Health Department and help oversee Donald Trump's overhaul of the health care law. Price's public exam hot on the heels of a new report showing what could happen if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement. The projection? 18 million Americans could lose insurance after the first year. 32 million Americans could lose it after ten years. Premiums potentially spiking 20 to 25%.

To the GOP, the estimate not painting the full picture. House Paul Ryan's office calling it “meaningless” since it doesn’t factor in a plan to replace the law. The catch? Republicans haven't announced a replacement plan yet or even agreed on what it should look like.

Donald Trump says he's “down to the final strokes” on that replacement. But don't expect to hear those details today from Price. Instead, a transition source tells NBC News the Congressman's prepared to offer “broad principles” in line with the President-elect’s campaign pledges, adding, Price and Trump have met twice in the last two weeks.

DONALD TRUMP: You’re going to be very proud of what we put forth having to do with health care.

(...)


GMA
7:13 AM

(...)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about health care. President-elect says he has the goal of insurance for everyone even those who can't pay for it. You’ve said that under Mr. Trump's plan no one who has coverage will lose it, but the Congressional Budget Office said just yesterday that the repeal could cost 18 million people their insurance right away. So how will President Trump guarantee that everyone who now has coverage will keep their coverage?

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Well, what we're saying is that people who are relying on insurance currently, George, will not go without coverage during the time of transition. He has made that clear. I think he said it at his press conference or sometime last week.

Secondly, it's just a more patient-centric free market system of buying and having health care. Why? Because you'll have a health savings account with your name on it, where you own it and you will be able to control spending. We will block grant Medicaid to the states probably. So those who are closest to the people in need, who know how to administer it, will do so.

And, of course, the big one, that you can buy health insurance across state lines. Your viewers right now know that they buy goods and services across state lines every day. Why, in the most intimate purchase that you can make as an American, for your health care, would you not be able to do that?

So he wants to make sure it's truly affordable and accessible. There are Americans who have been helped through the Affordable Care Act. They will not be harmed. But there are many Americans who feel that they had great benefits and their premiums have skyrocketed. Their choice, their quality, and their access has been diminished. We want to help those people.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:31 AM ET

ANTHONY MASON: USA Today reports what could happen if ObamaCare were repealed and not replaced. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts 18 million Americans would lose medical coverage within a year. Premiums would rise by up to 25 percent and the number of uninsured would jump to 59 million by the year 2026. The projections were based on a 2015 Republican plan to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

NBDaily Congress Trump Inauguration Health Care Medical Insurance Trump transition Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Hallie Jackson George Stephanopoulos Anthony Mason

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