Closed minds: Expect ‘corporate greed’ to bear brunt of blame for insurance cancellations


By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog

NASHVILLE — According to a reporter I know, I’m terribly misguided when I blame government regulations, and not the “greedy” insurance industry, for the fact I’ve now lost my health insurance due to Obamacare.

This former colleague, and now former Facebook friend, a highly experienced Florida newspaper reporter, lectured me last weekend when I took to the social media site to vent my frustrations upon receiving the bad news.

I was happy with my plan, and it’s certainly not government’s role to lecture me otherwise —and the same goes for the media.

This former colleague, however, feels otherwise.

SLANT: Will mainstream media reporters blame the insurance industry for health insurance cancellations caused by Obamacare?

“You are being naïve in thinking that insurance companies aren’t taking advantage of the situation to jack up prices,” he wrote on my open feed.

“You are completely closed-minded to even the slightest possibility that a lot of the price hikes are merely insurance companies taking advantage of the situation.”

Umm …. I’m the closed-minded one?

He also explains that people who oppose Obamacare should focus less on doing away with it altogether and focus more on fixing its problems — which spread almost to infinity.

I wish I could tell you that this person and his attitude is an anomaly in the mainstream media, but most of us know that he’s not.

I have countless anecdotes from my nearly 10 years in newspapers that demonstrate how many reporters and editors go above and beyond to defend not only Obamacare, but any other big government program. They only want what’s best for their communities, and they sincerely believe bigger government is the only way to accomplish that.

I predict that this year the mainstream media will deliver a narrative that parrots what my former colleague believes.

If reporters are interested in hearing what the insurance industry has to say, they could speak to representatives of America’s Health Insurance Plans, as I did. AHIP is a national trade association representing the health insurance industry.

In a statement, AHIP President Karen Ignagni said the following:

FIX IT? Should the federal government repeal Obamacare entirely? Or, as one mainstream media reporter urges, fix its many problems instead?

“The only reason consumers are getting notices about their current coverage changing is because the Affordable Care Act requires all policies to cover a broad range of benefits that go beyond what many people choose to purchase today.”

AHIP also quotes Virginia Bureau of Insurance spokesman Ken Schrad, who said insurance companies could offer customers with discontinued plans similar coverage, but it also has to include the new mandated Obamacare benefits.

“Indeed, some people may find the new plans cost more,” Schrad said.

Personally, I’ve talked to business owners and even local government officials struggling to find ways to comply with Obamacare’s many mandates.

To rebut what my former colleague said about me, I believe I’m way more open-minded and have a much better grasp of the situation than him.

I can only hope he and other mainstream media reporters paint the complete picture in their stories on this subject.

I hope they don’t resort to their usual knee-jerk “government is good, private business is bad” routine — it would be so close-minded of them.

Contact Christopher Butler at or follow him and submit story ideas on his official Facebook page.

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