Media is Powerful and NY Times At The Top
Actual journalism is valuable, and to her credit, Miss Kliff has notably shifted course over the years. She has exposed situations where either health insurance carriers or healthcare providers have, for one reason or the other, created havoc on a patient’s/policyholder’s life. That her position at the New York Times would be coveted by almost every journalist on the planet, and the has reached it is an undisputed, impressive feat itself. In other words, this isn’t a personal attack, she might even be a Cowboys and Wolverines fan.
However, for those that have followed the MYM Newsletter, I have pointed out enormous bias, or misstatements of facts regarding the ACA made by Miss Kliff and others. She wasn’t alone, nor was she the most extreme (enter Andy Slavitt and Ezra Klein). They all violated the principle of “If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.” This happens all the time, and especially when considering financial matters of every stripe.
“My insurance didn’t pay as they said it would.”
”It’s Obama’s / Trump’s fault.” > Pick a name, any ‘ole name or reason. How about: you didn’t understand how a duck actually works?
Using that principle, the cash flows of the ACA on everyday people looked and quacked like a tax (higher income, higher premiums). Guess why? “Follow the cash flows” didn’t lie: it’s a tax.
IRMAA and APTC are simply putting this front and center, something that followers have known for years and years, because there is no chance that they have continued to follow me, and not known this.
You do not need an advanced degree, you do not need years of financial experience around the world, you could groom animals for a living for all I care, all it takes is for people to ignore noise/jargon, and follow the cash. My most gratifying work is when we connect with those that may seem to be unlikely clients, but our explanations are clear so that they understand that a particular contract/situation is a duck, not an elephant..
Miss Kliff’s articles were evidence of either a) incomplete understanding of how insurance is priced (almost certainly true) or b) political bias (I will leave that with you). I don’t really care about point b, other than the fact that she had an inherent platform to subtly implant this bias. However, I care A LOT about point a. You might say I care too much about point a. Fair enough.
The reason I am this insistent, every time, is that noise gets mixed in, on top of your incomplete or flawed understanding of a facts, like that probability runs the price of health insurance, not your political beliefs. Humana, UHC, et al DO NOT CARE ONE STITCH whether you are Catholic vs Protestant, very certain. But since you are on such unsure footing, noise can push you off balance.
A higher standard needs to apply to those that have inherent platforms, like the New York Times. It’s one thing for a dog groomer to murmur to herself inaccurately, it’s quite another when the culprit is a journalist at one of the most influential media organizations on the planet.