Governor Ted was on a roll. Ted Strickland, our previous governor, is a national co-chairman for President Obama’s reelection campaign. It is his job to tell one side of the story. It is his job to shape the issues to his candidate’s advantage. And, if necessary, it is his job to bypass a fact or two en route to his desired destination. Governor Ted was born for this job. Lucky for him, the reporters were the Plain Dealer’s Sabrina Eaton and Stephen Koff.
The article, "Health care law may be big issue for young voters," appeared in last Sunday’s Plain Dealer. The online version linked here is slightly different from the version that appeared in the Plain Dealer. The crux of the article was that young adults are thrilled to be able to stay on their parents’ group health insurance policies. Dumping the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) could cost the Republicans the votes of everyone under age 28.
This is where Governor Ted comes in.
Without the health care law, this group could lose coverage under their parents’ plans and “it’s impossible to be able to afford an individual policy unless you’re a wealthy or semi-wealthy person,” Strickland says.
It’s impossible? Balderdash!
This act of journalistic sloth, printing that claim by the president’s reelection campaign without question, is inexcusable. The Plain Dealer reporters could have interviewed any health insurance agent. They could have contacted an insurer, like Medical Mutual of Ohio, who, unlike the Plain Dealer, is still headquartered in downtown Cleveland. Or, they could have gone online and run a couple of quick quotes.
They chose to do nothing.
And speaking of nothing, covering your children on your employer’s group policy is not nothing. The employer may be paying some or even the entire premium. The parent may be paying all of the cost. Ask your boss how much, if anything, you are paying to cover your children.
Let’s look at some numbers. Medical Mutual of Ohio. Elite policy with an office copay, Rx card, and a $2,500 deductible. Cuyahoga County (most expensive in Ohio). Healthy non-smoker.
$107.95 21 $136.50
$110.56 26 $150.57
There are less expensive policies. You would never know any of this if your only source of information is the Plain Dealer.
Is $107.95 a month less than your employer’s policy? Most definitely. And if you are paying for this coverage, you may be able to save money by ignoring Governor Ted.
I am not running a campaign, so I will tell you the whole story. Some adult children are benefitting from the PPACA. If your child is unhealthy, if your child has had a major illness or injury, or if your daughter is pregnant, your employer’s group health coverage and the law that allows your child to remain on your policy, is a godsend. That is not dramatic or scary, but it is real.
We need more access to quality health care, not less. We need more facts, not less.