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State Report on ACA Distorted?

A state report on the price of plans under the Affordable Care Act has been politically distorted to make things look worse than they are, a health advocacy group says.

The report by the Office of Insurance Regulation is to be presented to a House committee today  at 2:30 p.m. The meeting is scheduled to be streamed live on The Florida Channel.

The presentation as posted online portrays the cost of insurance for individuals who buy their own policies as soaring 30 to 40 percent, without  pointing out the plans are nothing alike, according to Florida CHAIN, a non-profit  that works on health issues.

There is also a problem with the examples that the study includes, wrote Greg Mellowe, CHAIN’s policy director.

“OIR has compared plans that cannot reasonably be compared, taken averages of numbers that cannot be averaged, and pretended as if changes that affected a few affected many all in an effort to “prove that the ACA is causing significant premium increases,” Mellowe wrote in an analysis released at 10 a.m. Thursday.

He added, “It’s clearer than ever that they don’t know or don’t really care what people actually pay for coverage.” He called the report “an irresponsible and indefensible misrepresentation of what is happening to consumers under the ACA.”

Health News Florida has requested a  response from OIR but will cover the meeting and update this article, in any case.

In other legislative action,  a committee heard Wednesday that too many “medically fragile” children are still stuck in nursing homes, the Times/Herald Bureau reports. 

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.