Crossroads GPS’s “˜Propaganda’ Is Exactly That

A fact check of the Karl Rove-backed group’s ad about Obamacare.

National Journal
Aug. 29, 2013, 5:37 a.m.

Lest we re­live Elec­tion Night 2012, here’s a fact check of five points in Karl Rove’s anti-Obama­care ad, a par­ody sub­mis­sion by Cross­roads GPS for the video con­test the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment opened on Aug. 19. Cross­roads GPS is as­so­ci­ated with the Karl Rove-backed su­per-PAC Amer­ic­an Cross­roads.

1. Pay 2.5 per­cent of your in­come in pen­al­ties

False. Un­der the new law you pay a pen­alty only if you don’t have health in­sur­ance. But that pen­alty doesn’t reach 2.5 per­cent of your in­come un­til 2016, at which point you may already have health care from your em­ploy­er (see num­ber 5) — or, if Karl Rove has his way, Obama­care is re­pealed.

2. Young people don’t have jobs

False. Ac­cord­ing to the Bur­eau of Labor Stat­ist­ics, the job­less rate among 25-to-34-year-olds was 7.5 per­cent in Ju­ly. That’s down from 8.2 per­cent one year ago. Among that age group in 2012, the most cur­rent year avail­able, 4,508,000 worked part time, com­pared with 26,192,000 work­ing full time. Few­er than 3,000,000 in­dic­ated they were un­em­ployed. Em­ploy­ment for young people also has fol­lowed the over­all trend; the un­em­ploy­ment rate was 7.4 per­cent in Ju­ly com­pared with 8.2 per­cent last year.

3. More part-time jobs due to Obama­care

False. The Fed­er­al Re­serve already re­leased a pa­per say­ing that re­cent trends in part-time em­ploy­ment are due to the re­ces­sion. The pa­per also ad­dressed con­cerns about the Af­ford­able Care Act’s ef­fect on work hours: “”¦both the im­pact of the law so far and the ul­ti­mate ef­fect are likely to be small.”

4. Triple the health care premi­ums

Pos­sibly. Age is less of a factor in de­term­in­ing Obama­care premi­ums than in­come. Un­der the law, a per­son re­ceives more tax sub­sidies to de­fray the cost of in­sur­ance as he or she gets older. Earn­ings will de­term­ine the baseline of an in­di­vidu­al’s premi­ums as well as how much he or she qual­i­fies for in tax sub­sidies.

It is true that what a per­son will pay in premi­ums is high­er in the Obama­care ex­changes than what work­ers pay on av­er­age for em­ploy­er-sponsored care . Single people age 25-34 earn­ing $45,960 or more (400 per­cent of the fed­er­al poverty line) likely won’t qual­i­fy for tax sub­sidies and will pay triple (or more) in health care premi­ums than what work­ers are pay­ing on av­er­age with em­ploy­er-sponsored care, based on num­bers from a Kais­er Fam­ily Found­a­tion re­port and the Covered Cali­for­nia cost cal­cu­lat­or.

If you re­ceive cov­er­age un­der your em­ploy­er, you shouldn’t see a rise in premi­ums. If you cur­rently buy cov­er­age on your own and make less than $45,960, you’ll prob­ably get a tax sub­sidy and see some sav­ings. If you don’t have em­ploy­er cov­er­age and you make more than $45,960, it is likely you will pay triple the health care premi­ums un­der Obama­care.

5. Em­ploy­ers don’t pay for one year and you do

True. The em­ploy­er man­date was delayed un­til 2015, but the in­di­vidu­al man­date takes ef­fect Jan. 1, 2014. The em­ploy­er man­date re­quires busi­nesses with 50 or more work­ers to of­fer qual­i­fy­ing health in­sur­ance or pay pen­al­ties for each per­son re­ceiv­ing sub­sid­ized be­ne­fits from the ex­changes. The in­di­vidu­al man­date re­quires a per­son to have health in­sur­ance. So it is true that for one year, you will pay while your em­ploy­er does not. But you could also choose to skip out on health in­sur­ance al­to­geth­er. The pen­alty for not hav­ing in­sur­ance the first year is $95 or 1 per­cent of in­come, whichever is great­er.

Want to sub­mit your own video? The HHS is ac­cept­ing sub­mis­sions through Sept. 23.

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