THE TRUTH ABOUT OBAMACARE
A GOP Stunt Backfires,
And Accidentally Reveals
A Truth Republicans
By: Greg Sargent
July 6, 2017
The New York Times
THE MORNING PLUM:
With the Republican campaign to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act now set to enter its final, frenzied push, the Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana GOP attempted a stunt that was supposed to provide Republicans with more ammunition against the law. But the stunt went awry:
The Indiana Republican Party posed a question to Facebook on Monday: “What’s your Obamacare horror story? Let us know.”
The responses were unexpected.
“My sister finally has access to affordable quality care and treatment for her diabetes.”
“My father’s small business was able to insure its employees for the first time ever. #thanksObama”
“The only horror in the story is that Republicans might take it away.”…
By 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Indiana GOP’s post collected more than 1,500 comments, the vast majority in support of Obamacare.
As David Nather points out, this reveals that the energy in this battle right now is on the side of those who want to save the Affordable Care Act. But, while the rate of pro-ACA postings should obviously not be taken as a scientific indicator of public opinion, this episode also neatly captures another larger truth about why it is proving so hard for Republicans to repeal the law: It has helped untold numbers of people, and the GOP bill would largely reverse that.
This is admittedly a simple and obvious point, yet the extraordinary lengths to which Republicans are going to obscure this basic reality continue to elude sufficient recognition. If you think about it, pretty much every major lie that President Trump and Republicans are telling right now to get their repeal-and-replace bill passed is designed to cover it up.
The Washington Post and the New York Times have published two excellent pieces that debunk most of the leading GOP lies and distortions of the moment on health care. The Post piece looks at a series of White House claims. They include exaggerated assertions about Obamacare premium hikes (that don’t take into account subsidies that ease costs for lower-income people) and gamed statistics about the number covered by the ACA (that don’t take into account the enormous coverage gains achieved by the Medicaid expansion). Most insultingly of all, the White House is criticizing Obamacare because 29 million Americans currently remain uncovered. The spectacularly dumb argument here is actually that Obamacare is failing because it hasn’t succeeded in achieving universal coverage, so we should embrace a GOP bill that would leave nearly 50 million uncovered in 10 years.
Meanwhile, the Times piece looks at a bunch of claims by congressional Republicans. Among them: The dopey, dissembling, nonsensical assertions that the GOP bill somehow keeps the Medicaid expansion and that Medicaid spending actually goes up (the GOP bill phases out the ACA’s federal contributions to the expansion and dramatically cuts Medicaid spending relative to current law, which would leave 15 million fewer covered by that program). And some Republicans are actually blaming Obamacare for the fact that some remain uncovered by the Medicaid expansion in states where GOP governors didn’t opt into it.
NOTE: Let's all remember that most Americans get their health insurance through their employers. Here are some facts (data, statistics) from the U.S. Bureau of the Census about where we get our health care coverage:
In 2015, private health insurance coverage continued to be more prevalent than public coverage, at 67.2 percent and 37.1 percent, respectively. Of the subtypes of health insurance, employer-based insurance covered 55.7 percent of the population for some or all of the calendar year, followed by Medicaid (19.6 percent), Medicare (16.3 percent), direct-purchase (16.3 percent), and military coverage (4.7 percent).
So when you hear Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell yapping on and on about how evil Obamacare is, just note that they are lying through their brilliantly white teeth!
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