WashPost Offers a Liberal 'Guide to Surviving Obamacare Debates at Thanksgiving'

November 26th, 2013 4:46 PM

Can you imagine The Washington Post publishing a guide to how to survive your relatives’ negative questions about the war in Iraq?  On Monday, Sarah Kliff of the Post’s Wonkblog posted “A guide to surviving Obamacare debates at Thanksgiving.” That’s assuming you’re getting armed to defend Obamacare just like a good Postie.

“This Thanksgiving, it's a pretty safe bet that debates over Obamacare will be just about as central as turkey,” Kliff wrote. “As Wonkblog readers hit the road and head home, we didn't want to leave you totally unprepared.” Don't let the Ted Cruz-heads ruin your meal:

For example, your parents shouldn’t think Obamacare is finished: “The thing is, the health-care law includes a number of safeguards meant to mitigate the impact of lousy enrollment and make it a bit easier for insurance companies to weather the first few years.”

Grandpa shouldn’t worry about death panels: “There is an Independent Payment Advisory Board, which would be allowed to recommend payment cuts for doctors who serve Medicare patients. This board is not allowed to deny patients' care; they only get to tinker with reimbursement rates. On top of that, the IPAB isn't going into effect this year– or in the foreseeable future. That's because it only kicks in when health-care costs are growing faster than the rest of the economy, and right now they're growing at about the exact same rate. So, at least until Thanksgiving of next year, there is no chance of any panel changing his benefits.”

The strangest one is answering that brother who has health insurance who wonders if he has to follow this, as if he might lose his coverage.Kliff says “Probably not: We're really not seeing much in the way of employers dropping workers into the marketplaces. He can keep his focus squarely on such important issues as when will Hannukah and Thanksgiving overlap again, or how long he has to stay at the dinner table.”

Oh wait, your uncle’s health plan was cancelled? Wait, Kliff says there’s no reason to get all frowny-faced in the long term: "Your uncle has a right to be angry, given that he got a promise he could keep his plan, if he liked it. But it also turns out there's a chance that he can: The president announced earlier this month that insurers have the option of re-issuing cancelled plans, provided the state insurance commissioners go along with the plan. If he wants to know whether his insurance regulator is on board, he can check this list. If your uncle does have to get a new insurance plan, chances are it will include more benefits than what he has now, since all compliant plans need to cover 10 essential benefits."

Is the Post a newspaper, or just a chunk of the White House communications shop? It's hard to tell the difference with an article like this.