Fox News' Sean Hannity did a stunning, heartbreaking Obamacare segment recently about the "train wreck" of the Affordable Healthcare Act, and the many families left financially devastated in its' wake.
It was shocking, moving, unbelievable... and basically 100 percent false. While Sean Hannity found four couples who were "affected" negatively by Obamacare, a followup piece by another outlet dug deeper -- and by deeper, we mean "actually discovered what is happening, a thing that took a tiny amount of research and should have been done before sending this BS up the Fox News flagpole."
According to Hannity, the couples above had seen premiums skyrocket, had been forced to cut back on small business growth, and were forced to pay for services they did not need, like maternity care.
If you (like many Americans) are confused by Obamacare, you must read Eric Stern's Salon piece, "Inside the Fox News lie machine: I fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare."
Stern did what Hannity should be ashamed his producers -- out of ignorance or willful malice -- did not do, which is checking up on what his eight guests claimed on national television.
Hannity said of the people's claims that they represented the "stories that the media refuses to cover," most likely because they were not in any way true or representative of the law as it's written and affects everyday Americans.
To be clear, such misleading information isn't just an "opinion," it is a lie and a falsehood that can actually trick Americans into believing their options are more limited -- and that can cost them thousands of dollars a year for their ignorance.
Stern watched Hannity's Obamacare piece, saying none of it "smelled right" to him. Explaining he "tracked down Hannity's guests, one by one, and did my own telephone interviews with them," the subsequent findings are... shocking, even for Fox News.
"First I spoke with Paul Cox of Leicester, N.C. He and his wife Michelle had lamented to Hannity that because of Obamacare, they can't grow their construction business and they have kept their employees below a certain number of hours, so that they are part-timers."
However, he immediately rebuts:
"Obamacare has no effect on businesses with 49 employees or less. But in our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? 'Well,' he said, 'I haven't been forced to do so, it's just that I've chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.' What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he'd call me back. He never did."
Stern notes in the piece that the only, single sole requirement that would affect Paul Cox or small business owners with fewer than 49 workers is that they must tell workers about Healthcare.gov. That's it. Not pay for it, not even provide a computer so they can visit the site. Just inform them, much like OSHA rules or other federal guidelines and statutes.
Hannity guest Allison Denjis told a terrifying tale of hiked premiums -- but as Eric Stern learned, never visited the exchange websites. It's difficult to tell, but it seems she was refusing to do so based on a dislike of President Obama -- which is not the same as more expensive insurance.
"I asked Allison if she'd shopped on the exchange, to see what a plan might cost under the new law. She said she hadn't done so because she'd heard the website was not working. Would she try it out when it's up and running? Perhaps, she said. She told me she has long opposed Obamacare, and that the president should have focused on tort reform as a solution to bringing down the price of healthcare."
Stern, however, had no such ideological opposition, and discovered the couple would get a "60 percent reduction from what they would have to pay on the pre-Obamacare market."
The Salon writer also contacted Robbie and Tina Robison from Hannity's Obamacare piece, who lamented having to pay more under Obamacare.
They took, of course, had actually not used the exchange. Stern explains:
"Had they shopped on the exchange yet, I asked? No, Tina said, nor would they. They oppose Obamacare and want nothing to do with it. Fair enough, but they should know that I found a plan for them for, at most, $3,700 a year, 63 percent less than their current bill. It might cover things that they don't need, but so does every insurance policy."
It's worth reading Stern's entire, embarrassing to Fox piece on Hannity's Obamacare lies over on Salon. You can find it here.