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Ad Overstates Risk of Rising Premiums

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A TV commercial running in Ohio and Florida, paid for by a group that spent $33 million trying to defeat President Obama's re-election in 2012,  tries to discredit the Affordable Care Act as it ramps up for full implementation between Oct. 1 and Jan. 1.

The ad shows a pregnant woman worrying that under the law patients will no longer be able to pick their own doctor and that costs will rise. "What am I getting for higher premiums and a smaller paycheck?" she frets.

PolitiFact focused on the claim about costs. The fact-checkers said that the law won't affect premiums of most Americans -- the 60 percent of those under Medicare age who are covered by their employers, nor the 22 percent who are covered by Medicaid, KidCare or other public programs.

PolitiFact asked Americans for Prosperity about that, and the group said their claim is about those who buy their own policies, the individual market. Because carriers have been able to refuse coverage to those with health risks in the past, the premiums have been low for young, healthy adults. Now that insurers will have to take all comers, the younger customers are likely to see premiums rise, experts agree.

But the individual market accounts for just 7 percent of the population. So the claim was rated half-true.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.