The New Republic has a fascinating article about how the Heritage Foundation has moved away from its think-tank roots into a political activism machine. Not surprisingly, these folks helped fuel the futile "defund ObamaCare" demands that led to the government shutdown. It's hard to think of any organization that could be less "fair and balanced." But at least, unlike Fox News, Heritage does not pretend to be. Yet, when Heritage blogged about a California couple who claim their premiums are skyrocketing thanks to ObamaCare, the Kelly File regurgitated the post and presented it as a news report. UPDATED
Trace Gallagher "in the west coast newsroom" gave us the Kelly File scoop that could have been phoned in directly from Heritage. For example, the Heritage blog post is called, "See Everything This Mom's Cutting to Pay for Obamacare." It begins:
The holiday season is looming, but this year Kate Joy and her husband aren’t budgeting for gifts or saving for a vacation. They’re figuring out how to afford the 150 percent premium increases they’ll face in the New Year, thanks to Obamacare.
Joy and her husband live in Sonora, California, and help support their 19- and 21-year-old sons, who both work part-time and attend a local community college.
Gallagher began his so-called reporting with the following:
Kay Joy and her husband have come up with a very extensive Christmas list - and yes, they have checked it more than twice. Only this is not a list about things they hope to get for the holidays. Instead, it's what they plan to give up to pay for their new health care plan. The Joys live in northern California. They help support their 19- and 21-year old sons who work part time and go to college.
Gallagher's report mimicked most of the rest of the Heritage article, too. He recited the premium increase and offered some examples of what the Joy family plans to give up, just like Heritage did.
One thing Gallagher did not report? Whether or not Joy really has to pay so much more and struggle to pay it. Heritage says:
Desperate for more affordable options, Joy made an account on the California Exchange website. She said the cheapest, best option for her family was only $100 less than the plan Anthem offered and since they live off her husband’s retirement salary, the family does not qualify for any subsidies.
If this family is struggling to get by to the point that they have to give up dental treatments (as both reports stated), it's hard to believe they wouldn't qualify for any subsidies. Considering that the Kelly File has come up with many of Fox's even more numerous bogus ObamaCare victims, there's good reason to be skeptical. It's also suspect that Gallagher didn't discuss it. After all, it's a major component of the Affordable Care Act. Did Gallagher not want to sully a good (Republican) talking point with a possible falsehood? Was he afraid to delve into the truth? Or was he just lazy about verifying the Joys' claim? Gallagher also gave no sign of having done any fact-checking whatsoever into whether there might really have been another viable plan for the family at a lower cost.
In short, all indications point to Gallagher doing a light rewrite of a post from a partisan source and presenting it as "fair and balanced" news.
UPDATE: Just as suspected, the Joy family IS entitled to subsidies. In fact, under ObamaCare, they can probably get a new plan for $4 a month.
1) The ACA is basically President Obama taking the talking points used to promote the Heritage Foundation’s “Romneycare…” and actually doing them. Romney, Ryan, Scott- They all sold that they would do what this program does as lies to get their own program, which basically equates to bleeding people dry, then getting mad they don’t create more blood fast enough.
They’re mad that someone is actually doing what they lied that they were planning to do.
2) I have yet to see one person who is a genuine victim of Obamacare actually prove it. Literally every case I’ve run across- On the internet and IRL -I asked to see proof that they were getting a major hike. A statement from the ACA, a receipt, the number of the agent who told them that they were hiking up, and that it was the ACA hiking their prices… Something more substantial than those stupid letters where the companies admit they’re hiking them 30%+ and cancelling certain plans to keep their margins.
They know full-well that’s what those notices really said, but they’re so invested in hating this because of the name on the policy, they won’t admit it past refusing to look me in the eye and giving a barely notable nod.
And a minor third point: Why does anyone still give two stone shits what Megyn Kelly says? Not only is she about to break Glenn Beck’s record for most on-air lies in a one month period… But she isn’t even interesting. Even a lot of her more loyal fans are just men who tune in and out to see if she’s in a shot where we get a real good focus on those legs.
I’ll take Griff over the very slick but viciously biased flat-out undisguised propagandist Jim Angle any day.
Tracy is a weak “correspondent.” He is one of the worst so-called “journalist” at this fraudulent “news” outlet.
Say what? This makes no sense on its face. There’s nothing about living on retirement (what’s a “retirement salary,” by the way? It’s an oxymoron.) that means you don’t qualify for subsidies.
Trace Gallagher is one of the very weakest of Fox’s exceptionally weak stable of “correspondents,” and this is a prime example of his utter incompetence.
Jim Angle would have done a great job of making something up that sounds reasonable to support his extreme bias, but Gallagher can’t even do that.
Even more to the point is why the hell isn’t Kay out there working, bringing in some income? It’s not like, with a 19- and 21-year old son living at home, she needs to be a “stay-at-home” mom.
And I’m kind of curious as to how much the husband’s “retirement salary” is if they don’t qualify for any subsidies? Most people living off some type of retirement income aren’t really doing that well.
I think there’s a whole lot more to this story than is being told from either Heritage or the Kelly File (13).