The rocky Obamacare roll-out, admittedly, left a hole big enough to drive a truck full of tea partiers through - and drive through it they have. With the terrible, horrible, very bad website issues, coupled with the low sign-up numbers, the fact that many people - despite the President's words to the contrary - are losing their healthcare plans, and the President's recent fix for this problem, Republicans have rubbed their fat little hands with glee and are in the process of doubling down on their dastardly plots against Obamacare. Just try to convince a Republican that the insurance plan problem is the fault of insurance companies who have deemed some plans no longer profitable; they're not willing to be confused with facts when their minds are made up - it's President Obama's "misleading" words that caused it all.
As noted by Wright on Health Blog, "The President, by his own admission, did 'fumble the ball' on the rollout of the major elements of health reform implementation. Not only is healthcare.gov not functioning as it should, but people in the individual market are having their health insurance coverage cancelled–despite repeated assurances that if they liked their current coverage, they could keep it . . . While that is absolutely a problem, it needs to be put into perspective. For each person in this country who is in the individual market and therefore at risk of having their insurance plan cancelled on them, there are three people who are–and have been–uninsured. It strikes me as somewhat ironic that while we are rightly upset about the broken promises of the Obama administration, we are not three times as outraged by the reality that has confronted the uninsured for decades . . . What does this mean for you? Well, for about 95% of Americans, it doesn’t mean anything." (Emphasis added).
Republicans don't need to keep playing the YouTube clips of President Obama's words, that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it; we get it. His words, though not intentionally misleading, were clear. What's also clear is that Obamacare did not go far enough in reining in the natural greed of insurance companies, their natural propensity to put profit over people - after all, insurance companies wouldn't be canceling plans that are profitable. And insurance companies have cancelled plans and jacked up rates indiscriminately since time immemorial. But that hasn't stopped Republicans from making hay with the crippled Obamacare rollout. Said one GOP Rep, "There's nothing more damaging than when your word is devalued and people think they were misled . . . And especially damaging is when it actually affects you and your family. So in terms of degree of impact, this is off the Richter scale."
Off the Richter scale. No, folks, what's really "off the Richter scale" is the misinformation and obstruction campaign - the most disingenuous rollout of lies in the history of ever - that Republicans have launched over Obamacare, including 47 repeal attempts based on the same set of faulty facts and outright lies and the refusal of Republicans to either set up health insurance marketplaces or expand Medicaid (even though the feds will fund 100% of the Medicaid expansion). Some examples . . .
- Of course, the most compelling example is the Republican government shutdown and perilous risk of defaulting on the national debt - over the funding of Obamacare.
- As the NationalMemo.com noted, "The most recent lie involves offering a poll that says 74 percent of employers will fire workers or cut hours because of Obamacare. The actual number, in a poll conducted by fierce opponents of the law, is 4.5 to 8.5 percent."
- The super creepy ads (see video) and rallies by Generation Opportunity - a group led by the billionaire Koch brothers - in an effort to encourage young people, the healthy backbone of the Affordable Care Act, not to sign up for health insurance by claiming to "educate" young people on their options outside of Obamacare. (The informed, of course, know what those options are: Junk policies that cover nothing, as opposed to Obamacare, which requires ten essential elements in every policy, and 80% of premiums to be funneled back into healthcare.)
- The "sky is falling" theme that insurance costs will go up astronomically (not true for most people) - without, of course, also offering the information that, as reported by NationalMemo.com, ". . . The plans being offered meet minimum standards that guarantee both coverage and that the insurance company will spend between 80 and 85 percent on medical care; 2) No one can be rejected for coverage because of pre-existing conditions, a new provision in nearly all states, which makes comparing current prices to past offerings pretty useless, and 3) 26 million Americans will be eligible for subsidies that will make sure they pay no more than 10 percent of their income on health care."
- Leading people to believe that the Affordable Care Act has already been repealed - in fact, four in ten aren't sure whether the law is intact or has been repealed.
- Death panels, the government "playing doctor," and the like, notions floated by idiots like Sarah Palin and the Koch brothers.
Kurt Eichenwald, writing for Vanity Fair, mused, "What is it about Obamacare that compels seemingly intelligent people to explode in bubbling spasms of stupid? Are they misinformed? Unable to see past the rage-fueled partisan sweat dripping into their eyes? Or just plain dishonest? . . . No matter. At this point, it has become obvious that history will look back on the four-year war on Obamacare as one of the saddest, most bizarre, and most dishonestly embarrassing episodes of our time . . . The lies are about to be exposed. And the Republicans are terrified of what the country will think when the veil of mendacity is torn away." (Read the entire, fabulous Vanity Fair article here.)
Although the rocky Obamacare rollout has, perhaps, delayed the day when the "veil of mendacity" is torn away, the website will be fixed, the exchange will be operational, the truth - that a special needs child, a child with cancer, the elderly in ill health, will be able to obtain decent health insurance without fearing an insurance company's rejection - will be front and center. People will learn that doctors will function the same, and Uncle Sam will not be performing a Pap smear. People will suddenly figure out that well care comes without a high deductible or co-pay, that insurance companies can't cap treatment, that emergency rooms will now be used for, well, emergencies.
President Obama misspoke when he declared that people would get to keep their health insurance plans if they liked them - but the bottom line is that the plans insurance companies offered, pre-Obamacare, were plans nobody would like and nobody should be saddled with or want to keep, regardless of the low premium. Obamacare has already - and will continue to - remake the health insurance market in significant ways, to the benefit of customers.
Republicans have more cojones than brains to think that, in the end, they will get away with lies and misinformation over things that will be easily proven wrong in the short run. And no amount of cojones will convince thinking people that President Obama's "misinformation" in any way rises to the level of Republicans' deliberate, misleading, sack of steaming manure they claim is educating the public.