INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Braun told so many lies about his company’s health care plan during one single exchange in a WISH-TV interview last week that the only way to unpack them all is to look at the transcript line by line and lie by lie.
Last week, the IDP took a closer look at Rep. Braun’s answer to a health care question in an interview with WISH-TV, where he finally admitted to the size of his $5,000 and $10,000 deductibles but failed to grasp how problematic they were for the average Hoosier. The problems with his answer didn’t stop there, however: from downplaying his excruciating deductibles to distorting the details of his company’s health care plan, every lie in his answer during this WISH interview is painful to watch.
We broke down his answer to better highlight just how wrong he was:
Let’s go to the tape:
Scott Sander: [00:00:00] … even though it is one that you have to defend as well. That deductible in that spot looks daunting. Help me understand. Explain it.
Rep. Braun: [00:00:46] Asked my son just the other day, what is the average employee’s entry into the deductible? $1500 a year. So $900 and $1500 is $2400. The typical Obamacare plan that’s out there with a $5,000, the premium is nearly $4,000, four to five times as much. So, it’s way up there.
Actually: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average American’s deductible is only $1,500 – approximately the same amount that the average employee of Rep. Braun’s pays out of pocket each year. That means an American on an average plan who is struggling with cancer would still pay less out of pocket annually than what a generally healthy employee of Rep. Braun’s company pays on regular basis.
Rep. Braun: [00:01:13] That is where you’re distorting and lying on the basis of, you know, what it costs. You don’t have any out-of-pocket expense other than your premium until you start spending for health care.
Actually: Well, yes, Rep. Braun – not paying for health care beyond your premium unless you need medical care is typically how health care works. Again, though, Rep. Braun’s $5,000 deductible is three times more than the $1,500 national average, so if you work for Rep. Braun and you do get sick, you’ll need to ‘start spending for health care’ more than three times past what the average American pays before your insurance kicks in.
Sander: [00:01:25] Do you fear, though, that people will not get the care that they should get because they’re so fearful of that deductible?
Rep. Braun: [00:01:30] No, because most deductibles out there that are on the exchange that people are using higher deductibles to keep their premiums down because the only thing that is a certainty when it comes to the health care market is the premium you pay.
Actually: This is something Rep. Braun should fear: studies have shown that high-deductible plans like Rep. Braun’s dissuade people from seeking necessary medical treatment because they are forced to pay $5,000 or $10,000 out of pocket before their insurance is able to cover them.
Rep. Braun: [00:01:45] And if the premium is $3-4,000 before you even get into your deductible, that’s more than the premium and the amount my employees get into their deductible. That’s kind of getting into the weeds. But what I’m saying is, it is, what are the incentives in your health care plan? Mine is we pay 100 percent of wellness. We’ve got a health savings account.
Actually: Many preventative services are legally required to be covered under the current health care system, so Rep. Braun’s bragging about wellness services doesn’t count for much. And while Rep. Braun talks up the importance of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), the Meyer employee handbook doesn’t say that there’s any employer match for HSA contributions, as is common at other employers. He wants you to get an HSA, but that doesn’t mean he’ll spend a dime to help you afford one.
Rep. Braun: [00:02:10] And we’re focusing on avoiding remediation and you can’t. And then here’s the other thing it doesn’t say. We don’t have any coinsurance. So after the deductible. That’s it. The plans that really break individuals would be the coinsurance.
Sander: [00:02:27] Where they’re still paying down the road.
Rep. Braun: [00:02:29] Up to a stop loss. We do not have that. All I can tell you is, if you compare an individual policy when the most you can spend is $5,000, and what the average individual on my plan with the premium and their entry into the deductible is $2,400, it’s one of the best plans out there because it’s predictable. It is low cost and I’ve kept it that way for 10 years.
Actually: Rep. Braun’s plan is “predictable” up until Meyer Distributing decides to fire you and backdate your date of termination to deny you health insurance for when you need it – just like they did to former Meyer employee Jim Songer, who was too ill to work and was fired by Meyer when he was in the hospital. Jim would tell you this plan is about as far from “predictable” as they come.