March 15, 2017

Separating Fact From Fiction Amid The Obamacare Debate

President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010.

The Republican Party declared war on the Kenyan born Muslim American president in 2009 that persists today, with specious claims about Obamacare and fuzzy math surrounding their own plan. 


A fact is indisputable and reflects certainty. We can support a statement of fact by citing empirical evidence, academic observations, professional studies and expert opinion.

Disseminating biased or misleading information to justify a political point of view is propaganda of the worst order. Propaganda relies on alternative facts, misinformation and hyperbole. The Republican Party has been engaged in a coordinated and lengthy propaganda campaign to denigrate and discredit president Barack Obama and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) which he signed into law on March 23, 2010.

Obamacare is Socialism (communism).


Before the bill was passed by Congress, the GOP started their misinformation offensive by frightening voters and claiming that increased access to health insurance was socialism which was antithetical to free-market capitalism. They wanted to conjure up images of communism, Stalin, the Cold War, and the Iron Curtain. They used coded language to infer that the president was an autocratic foreign born ruler impervious to the needs of the people.

Paul Krugman's Obamacare quote exposing Republicans
Conservative Fox Snooze entertainer Bill O’Reilly wrote that the Affordable Care Act was “a hallmark of socialism and we, in America, are now moving in that direction. That has angered the Republican Party and many conservative Americans who do not believe our capitalistic system was setup to provide cradle to grave entitlements.”

Republicans in Congress dubbed the legislation ‘Obamacare’ because they wanted to link our Kenyan born Muslim president’s name to the ACA, because they believed that they would doom the bill and the president’s reelection campaign. While Democrats cried foul, the president’s approval ratings in the Fall of 2010 hovered around 45%, and Republicans rode their relentless attacks to victory in the midterm elections, and they regained the majority in the House.

The GOP filed a federal lawsuit in 2010 to overturn the law because the they thought that the bill was unconstitutional. In 2012 the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act and ruled against Republicans.

Obamacare is killing jobs and people.


Willard Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, told voters around the country that Obamacare was killing jobs. He insisted that Obamacare meant higher taxes, fewer jobs, and more regulations, with no factual evidence to support his specious assertions. He lost the 2012 election.

Former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a 2012 candidate for president, stood on the House floor in 2013 and alleged that Obamacare would ‘literally’ kill people. She said “that’s why we’re here. Because we’re saying let’s repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.” There is NO factual evidence that Obamacare killed anyone.

A senior policy analyst at the right-wing Heritage Foundation also alleged that the ACA was killing jobs and wrote, “The Affordable Care Act has discouraged companies from creating jobs and workers from accepting them. No doctor should prescribe such a policy to an already weak economy.” There is no data to support these claims.

From 2011 through 2016, House Republicans voted over 60 times to repeal Obamacare, knowing that Obama would veto the legislation. I guess they thought we didn't get it the first ten times they voted for repeal.

When Obama left office in January 2017, there was 75 straight months of job growth, the longest streak since 1939. You'd think we could state that Obamacare does not kill jobs or negatively affect job growth or the economy. The GOP views the former president and his success in the same vein as Harry Potter's nemesis, and Obama is 'he who must not be named.'

Free markets and less regulation will solve our Obamacare problem.


GOP quotes about Obamacare
There’s a reason why every modern industrial nation in the world does not have a healthcare delivery system based on free markets and little regulation. It’s an impossible proposition. If we continue to allow corporations to profit from people being sick, we will return to a healthcare system where millions of people lack adequate coverage because they can’t afford it. There will be those who “have” insurance, and the “have not’s” will lack insurance.

Republicans tell their constituents that they favor free market solutions that are unencumbered by laws and government regulation. That sounds great doesn’t it? They forget that we tried that before. Prior to Obamacare there were millions more people lacking health insurance. That resulted in the people with insurance being stuck with the bill, paying for those without insurance. That led to higher costs, higher insurance premiums, and America’s emergency rooms became the primary care providers for people without insurance.

When a politician talks about free markets, they ignore the fact that corporations exist to make profits. A hospital or insurance company increases profits by ordering tests, performing surgeries, prescribing medication, and scheduling follow up visits. Our fee for service healthcare delivery system doesn’t increase profit margins with preventive care programs and a healthy population. They see healthy profits by encouraging us to be sick.

If both Republicans and Democrats were serious about reducing costs and leveling the playing field, the first order of business would be eliminating for-profit hospitals and health insurance providers, and requiring a transition to non-profit organizations. That’s a proposal we never hear from either side of the aisle, and the issue should be an integral part of any healthcare debate.

Repeal and replace Obamacare. Believe me. It’s a disaster.


It's a disaster that doesn’t work? That's one of the worst outright lies about Obamacare we've ever been told.

A parade of Republican politicians over the years have asserted that they would reduce costs by introducing legislation to enable insurance companies to sell their product across state lines.

This is pure propaganda and there’s a reason why we haven’t seen this legislation. The assertion is NOT true. There is NO federal law prohibiting insurance companies from selling their products across any state line.

Then there’s our birther-in-chief Donald Trump. He’s acknowledged his propensity to lie in the past and said he thinks it’s harmless. He calls his chronic habit of lying ‘truthful hyperbole’, which is interesting because a hyperbole is a lie. There’s nothing truthful about hyperbole.

During the 2016 contest for president, Donald Trump repeatedly promised voters that he’d save Medicare and Social Security. He vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare with a program that would lower the cost of health insurance and make healthcare more affordable and accessible for every American.

Now that the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) has been introduced by House Republicans, Donald Trump’s leadership and ability to make a ‘deal’ will be put to the test.

The billion dollar question for the billionaire president remains. Was Donald Trump’s campaign promises ‘truthful hyperbole’ or was he telling the truth?

Donald Trump has the answer to that question. Or he might not.

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