COLUMBUS, Ohio - With rumors going about on matters ranging from its cost to its legality, experts say it's time to do some myth-busting on the Affordable Care Act. Co-chair of Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage Cathy Levine says some opponents of the law are spreading misinformation.
She says among the biggest falsehoods are claims that the law is a government takeover of health care. She says that's absurd.
"Politifact.com called this the lie of the year. The Affordable Care Act strengthens the existing employer-based health insurance market while making the market more fair for consumers by implementing consumer protections."
Levine says rumors that the individual mandate is the largest tax increase in American history are also ridiculous. She says it's projected to bring in $4 billion a year, which she says pales in comparison to many tax increases. And while there are claims the law will add trillions to the deficit, the Congressional Budget Office estimates it will lower the deficit by over $124 billion over 10 years.
As state director of the Alliance for Retired Americans in Ohio, Bentley Davis says many older adults fear cuts to Medicare under health care reform. She says not only is the program not being cut as some rumors might suggest, she says it's extending services so preventive treatment and tests, such as mammograms and prostate screenings, will be covered.
"If that's a recommended screening, that is now covered, so that's a huge saving for seniors. Similarly, the doughnut hole [in Medicare prescription drug coverage] is going to be closing and that is really positive."
Cathy Levine hopes Ohioans ignore the hype and learn how the law will make health care more affordable, improve quality and give consumers more control.
"The Affordable Care Act is being used as a political football during the elections, but it's really a piece of bipartisan health care policy. It represents a realistic fix to a very serious problem in our country."