Accuracy in Media

dick durban on obamacare

Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer asked Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) if there was any hope of fixing the problems plaguing Obamacare:

We now learned that the administration has told people—although they haven’t announced it publicly—that if you don’t like your health care you can just switch and get another one. This thing just seems, every day and in every way, just seems more confused. Is there any hope in getting it straightened out?

Durbin responded by saying that thanks to Obamacare, 10 million Americans are now insured who wouldn’t have been otherwise, and that it is slowing health care costs and reducing the deficit. He added that while there was a bad rollout, it’s gaining steam and “we can’t go back.”

Unfortunately Schieffer allowed Durbin to get away with the administration’s inaccurate enrollment numbers. The 10-million figure that Durbin cited includes 6.3 million people who are eligible for Medicaid. But that’s not the number of people who have gained coverage who didn’t have it before, or weren’t eligible for it regardless of Obamacare. According to Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post’s “The Fact-Checker” column, Durbin gets four Pinocchios for his claim. Kessler cites a health care consulting firm that estimates that only 1.1 to 1.8 million of the 6.3 million enrollees could be attributed to Obamacare.

The remainder of the 10-million supposedly newly insured that Durbin cites comes from those obtaining private coverage from the marketplace, but it includes an unknown number of people who had prior coverage and were forced to shift to the exchange. That is how Durbin and his Democratic cohorts have come up with that 10-million figure.

So another Obamacare lie is left unchallenged by the media. By not correcting Durbin, Schieffer has only aided and abetted the Democrats as they struggle to defend an indefensible law.

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