Crossroads GPS's ‘Propaganda’ Is Exactly That

Clara Ritger

Lest we relive Election Night 2012, here's a fact check of five points in Karl Rove's anti-Obamacare ad, a parody submission by Crossroads GPS for the video contest the Health and Human Services Department opened on Aug. 19. Crossroads GPS is associated with the Karl Rove-backed super-PAC American Crossroads.

1. Pay 2.5 percent of your income in penalties

False. Under the new law you pay a penalty only if you don't have health insurance. But that penalty doesn't reach 2.5 percent of your income until 2016, at which point you may already have health care from your employer (see number 5)—or, if Karl Rove has his way, Obamacare is repealed.

2. Young people don't have jobs

False. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate among 25-to-34-year-olds was 7.5 percent in July. That's down from 8.2 percent one year ago. Among that age group in 2012, the most current year available, 4,508,000 worked part time, compared with 26,192,000 working full time. Fewer than 3,000,000 indicated they were unemployed. Employment for young people also has followed the overall trend; the unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in July compared with 8.2 percent last year.

3. More part-time jobs due to Obamacare

False. The Federal Reserve already released a paper saying that recent trends in part-time employment are due to the recession. The paper also addressed concerns about the Affordable Care Act's effect on work hours: "…both the impact of the law so far and the ultimate effect are likely to be small."

4. Triple the health care premiums

Possibly. Age is less of a factor in determining Obamacare premiums than income. Under the law, a person receives more tax subsidies to defray the cost of insurance as he or she gets older. Earnings will determine the baseline of an individual's premiums as well as how much he or she qualifies for in tax subsidies.

It is true that what a person will pay in premiums is higher in the Obamacare exchanges than what workers pay on average for employer-sponsored care . Single people age 25-34 earning $45,960 or more (400 percent of the federal poverty line) likely won't qualify for tax subsidies and will pay triple (or more) in health care premiums than what workers are paying on average with employer-sponsored care, based on numbers from a Kaiser Family Foundation report and the Covered California cost calculator.

If you receive coverage under your employer, you shouldn't see a rise in premiums. If you currently buy coverage on your own and make less than $45,960, you'll probably get a tax subsidy and see some savings. If you don't have employer coverage and you make more than $45,960, it is likely you will pay triple the health care premiums under Obamacare.

5. Employers don't pay for one year and you do

True. The employer mandate was delayed until 2015, but the individual mandate takes effect Jan. 1, 2014. The employer mandate requires businesses with 50 or more workers to offer qualifying health insurance or pay penalties for each person receiving subsidized benefits from the exchanges. The individual mandate requires a person to have health insurance. So it is true that for one year, you will pay while your employer does not. But you could also choose to skip out on health insurance altogether. The penalty for not having insurance the first year is $95 or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater.

Want to submit your own video? The HHS is accepting submissions through Sept. 23.