The liberal advocacy group, the Commonwealth Fund, is fond of publishing advocacy pieces masquerading as research. A favorite tactic of theirs is to create reports with convoluted indexes designed to make their favored proposal appear superior to what they are contrasting it against. In one of their latest examples of issue advocacy, they compare the candidates’ health plans. Of course the proposal that features less government control and more consumer choice comes up short. Their comparison can be summed up using one of their graphics.
The errors in its comparison where the Romney Plan comes up short are numerous. For instance:
Item #1: Aims to Cover All Americans. At last check, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the ACA will leave 30 million people without health coverage. This statement is patently false.
Item #2: State Health Insurance Exchanges. The Romney plan (in Massachusetts) created a health insurance exchange. Nothing in his presidential campaign proposal precludes states from implementing an exchange.
Item #4: Expanding Eligibility for Medicaid. Expanding Medicaid eligibility erodes and crowds out private coverage — something two of President Obama’s advisors found years before they became his advisors. The Supreme Court also found the ACA’s Medicaid provisions too coercive and struck down the requirement states that expand Medicaid. Moreover, it’s unlikely new Medicaid enrollees could find doctors willing to treat them for the paltry provider reimbursements Medicaid pays.
Item #6: New Medicare Benefits. This is referring to the ACA provision that closes the so-called Donut Hole in Medicare drug benefits. However, in the process the ACA cuts $716 billion in Medicare Advantage plans and provider reimbursement in the first 10 years. Seniors will have access to cheap drugs; but have difficulty finding doctors who will treat them under the ACA’s draconian Medicare cuts.
Item #7: Individual Requirement to Have Health Insurance. This comparison is correct. Although the health reform Romney signed into law in Massachusetts did require individuals to have health coverage, his presidential proposal does not include an individual mandate. The ACA requires everyone to have health coverage because it puts into place coercive regulations that attempt to force some groups to overpay so other groups get huge subsidies.