I’ve recently been doing a lot of debating online lately with Obamacare opponents. The litany of complaints I hear always includes the same lies and untruths being repeated over and over again in every discussion. If you’ve been talking about it, you’ve probably heard them too. The list includes far too many egregious claims, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Obamacare rations health care
- Muslims are exempt
- Death panels will routinely deny coverage to older Americans
- At age 76, you are no longer eligible for cancer treatment
- The IRS will maintain a file on everyone’s health
- Obamacare allows for forced home inspections
- Congress is exempt
- The President keeps changing the law
- Obamacare is cancelling current coverage
- Obamacare violates HIPAA privacy regulations
All of the above lies, have been killed MANY times but somehow, they consistently get zapped by the Fox News defibrillator, and they rise from the dead. It happens every 15 second or so.
But there is another type of “lie” that has insidiously make its way into the public sphere, and lately it has been all over the news. Actual people are going on television, online, and in print media, telling their personal stories of skyrocketing rate increases, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs going through the roof, and other “real-life” horror stories that PROVE the right-wing has been correct all along. Some of these people are lying for effect or for political reasons, but a high percentage of them, it turns out, are just uninformed.
Two weeks ago, for instance, Sean Hannity led off his Fox program with this salacious intro:
“Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck…and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.”
Hannity’s three guests, then came on to tell their gruesome tales of personal calamity, and Sean continually shook his head in feigned empathy, while simultaneously pointing the finger back at Obamacare.
Eric Stern, of Salon, wrote an amazing investigative piece last week, debunking all three “horror stories”. He added,
“I don’t doubt that these six individuals believe that Obamacare is a disaster, but none of them had even visited the insurance exchange. And some of them appear to have taken actions (Paul Cox, for example) based on a general pessimistic belief about Obamacare.”
YES!!! Give ’em HELL, Eric!
The New York Times uncovered another fraudulent “victim story” a week ago. Fox News correspondent Greta Van Sustren (yes you read that right!), did an amazing investigative piece debunking another “Obamascare” victim fraud reported by CBS News. On October 18th, Robin Abcarian of the LA Times slammed yet another fallacious story about an ice cream company being “forced out of business” by the ACA. And then, just today, MSNBC’s brilliant correspondent, Rachel Maddow uncovered and debunked yet another “See, we TOLD you Obamacare sucks” tall tale into oblivion.
Yet the attacks keep coming. The Republican party and their TEA party excrescence have bet the farm on this one. If Obamacare succeeds, it may well mark the beginning of the “end times” for the right. They have done everything in their power to block, delay, repeal, and besmirch the Affordable Care Act in a desperate “all-or-nothing strategy. Pay attention, because it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
For you naysayers out there, one tiny piece of advice: before you EXPLODE, try, just try shopping the exchanges.