Worst Propaganda Award

This project is in the hopper as well, but Families USA has so many strong entries the chance for most other competitors is remote.

In its latest media-orchestrated broadside [press release here; study here], the organization criticizes states for lacking consumer protections-including guaranteed issue and community rating. Yet far from protecting the average consumer, these laws benefit about 5% of policy-holders while doubling the premiums paid by everyone else.

Specifically, Families USA would deny the vast majority of people the opportunity to insure at a premium that reflects their real expected costs and instead force them to pay two or three times as much for their health insurance. Far from defending consumers, FUSA has a history of defending mandated health insurance benefits-which almost always reflect the lobbying power of provider interests rather than the desires of ordinary patients.

The group also claims the individual market is worse than the group market for sick people and turns this judgment into an attack on John McCain. Yet Pauly and Lieberthal (here) discovered that people with a health problem hold on to their insurance longer if they have individual insurance rather than small group insurance.

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