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Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Health, Politics | 11 comments

Lying About Obamacare Not Working Out That Well For Republicans

Republicans, lacking any real policies they can campaign on,  have been relying on ads based upon lies about the Affordable Care Act. One ad which has received a lot of attention in the Michigan Senate race centered around a cancer patient who claimed her health insurance was unaffordable under Obamacare.  Several fact-checkers found that her new policy through the Affordable Care Act was actually saving her at least $1200 per year. The Koch brothers have been funding a number of similarly dishonest ads through Americans for Prosperity. They may have been wasting their money. A new poll has Democrat Gary Peters with a narrow lead over Republican Terri Lynn Land despite a barrage of dishonest ads from Americans for Prosperity.

Talking Points Memo ran a story yesterday claiming that Americans for Prosperity is giving up on these ads but later in the day a spokesman for AFP denied a shift in strategy:

“We are currently on-air with many different types of ads, including personal testimony of Obamacare impact,” AFP spokesman Levi Russell told TPM. “This is the same strategy we’ve been using for 6 months. This does not represent a shift in strategy.”

I’m not surprised. Take away the lies, and the right wing has no argument left. The old system was such as disaster, harming both millions of people and causing harm to the economy. The Republicans have no meaningful alternative. Claims made by the right wing are repeatedly being shown to be false, as with the ads from Americans for Prosperity.

The Affordable Care Act is turning into a major success, providing millions with health insurance coverage and ending the ability of insurance companies to abuse the system by finding ways to sell policies and then avoid paying out. Five million Americans have purchased health coverage through the exchanges, and this number will continue to increase. Millions more are purchasing higher quality coverage directly from insurance companies, benefiting from the expansion of Medicaid, or are now able to be covered on their parents’ insurance until age 26. No longer are people denied coverage, or have their coverage taken away, due to becoming sick or losing their jobs. In addition,  Obamacare frees people from the “insurance trap” which forced people who otherwise do not need to work to continue working for insurance coverage, along with other overall benefits to the economy. The Congressional Budget Office Report, frequently distorted by Republicans, showed that the Affordable Care Act will reduce unemployment, help decrease the deficit, and allow more people to leave large corporations to start small businesses, further stimulating the economy.

Originally posted at Liberal Values

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  • petew

    Its all true, but can Democrats get the American people to see the truth? They should at least run a number of ads from people offering personal testimony about the benefits of the new health law as well as one listing several of these bogus Republican anti ACA ads, and how they were discovered not to be true. Even without all of the dark money the GOP uses, if Dems play their cards right, a smaller number of hi-quality ads really can do the trick. Dems need less catchy slogans like “the War on women”—which many voters are tired of hearing from both major parties, and instead offer us accurate and provable information that voters can trust and believe.

  • SteveK

    My opinion… The ACA is going to speak for itself and the timing is perfect.

    Middle class people in States that refused to expand medicaid are seeing what’s happening in States that teamed with the Federal Government. They’re seeing what their fellow Americans have that they aren’t.

    All the democrats have to do smile and in a calm and friendly tone say, “Hey, look over there.”

    When ACA kicks in, and it will by November, the ‘people’ will be able to see for themselves.

    * * *

    Here’s a story that came out yesterday in my home town newspaper –

    Obamacare: California health exchange tops 1 million, big motivator in type of plan — price

    With two weeks left to sign up for coverage, California’s health insurance exchange announced Monday it has surged past a major milestone — 1 million enrollments — well ahead of its March 31 goal.

    And a new report suggests what may be the biggest motivator for people when they are choosing a new health plan: cost.

    Insurers like Blue Shield of California and Health Net have seen a major jump in market share, thanks to their competitively low rates, according to a report Monday from the Kaiser Family Foundation, while Anthem Blue Cross’ dominance has softened.


    There’s a lot of talk going round about how the Democrats are in trouble come November or how ‘experts’ predict the Republicans are going to take the senate… It seems these experts are cherry-picking polls that seem to be saying what they are saying and not looking at the general direction politics is going when you put all polls together.

    Congressional Democrats approval is 10 points higher then their Republican counterparts… Across the board. And when Republican approval in in the 20% range and the Democrats in the 30% range that’s monumental.

    Then there is the smoke and mirrors about President Obama’s Approval Rating. Yesterdays Gallup Daily Tracking had the President at 41% while Congressional Approval Rating is between 11% and 16%

    And they want you to think it’s the President that’s in trouble. [shakes head]

  • I mentioned that in another post. If the Republicans can put out ads with lies, why aren’t the Democrats putting out ads which are true? They could use people who were denied insurance in the past because of preexisting conditions, and people who couldn’t afford insurance in the past, who now have coverage. They could use truthful horror stories of people who lost their insurance in the past due to becoming sick to show why Obamacare was passed, and why we cannot repeal it.

    Unfortunately too many Democrats are afraid to run on Obmamacare, and that just makes the situation worse.

    They should also avoid vague slogans such as “war on women” and defend specific positions such as access to contraception and right to choice on abortion. They are probably afraid to campaign on such controversial issues, but those who vote based upon these issues are already voting Republican. By failing to stake out a forceful position counter to the GOP position, they fail to give potential Democratic voters a reason to turn out to vote.

  • slamfu

    You can’t blame the GOP for lying, its worked so well for them in the past. Much of their base will believe pretty much whatever they are told so I can totally see why they aren’t holding back with the BS.

  • sheknows

    Unless Medicaid is expanded in this country, ACA will be a failure. So much hinges on that happening for the poor, it’s kind of crazy to be thinking of it as a success story.
    To say ” Oh well, at least a majority of people were helped” means nothing That’s like saying” ACA is great, it reduced the amount of uninsured from 47 million non elderly, to only 20 million people”.
    Then of course there is the Medicare set, who need that extra help via the state and will not survive without it… Those millions were not part of the original figure. probably about another 20 million or so that depend on state assistance.

    IMO, the GOP is being completely successful in blocking the true purpose of the ACA. They don’t even have to lie to accomplish doing tremendous damage to the entire premise of this healthcare system. All they have to do is fail to cooperate.
    My guess is Obama will do nothing about those people who are helpless in those bullheaded red states…they won’t be addressed by any legislation, and they will be forgotten. So between the two groups, we will still have about 40 million hurt because of no Medicaid expansion.
    Oh, and no…they can’t move to another state as solution…that’s ridiculous.

  • I completely agree with sheknows. Not because she and I are aligned on all things political (albeit we are on many issues); but because she is being realistic.

    (1) The GOP is winning in their effort to rewrite the ACA (our shared viewed) relative to the importance of the lack of expansion of Medicaid.

    (2) The ACA is bad policy (my view // perhaps joined by tid bits and the dduck if past posts still apply).

    At least 30,000,000 million people are left uninsured. And some of them might be asked to pay a penalty.

    This site should not become an amen corner. Look up …

    I know I know … there is a crisis as the pastry chef left the white house today …

    • It comes down to a half full or half empty viewpoint.

      The Affordable Care Act was never designed to cover everyone, and Republicans are decreasing that number by their actions. Still it is both increasing the number who are insured, and just as importantly, giving those who are covered much better coverage which no longer can be taken away when sick. Millions who could not obtain coverage in the past are now able to do so. Millions who had junk policies in the past can now get real coverage, often at a lower price than they were paying for old junk policies.

      Kevin, you are once again repeating a dishonest Republican talking point which I already corrected you on once before. “At least 30,000,000 million people are left uninsured.” That is from a distortion of the CBO report being spread by Republicans. The 30,000 number is a projection for several years in the future with a huge chunk of these being undocumented aliens. It also includes a smaller number who qualify for coverage but choose not to purchase. My concern is for those who want to purchase coverage but could not do so in the past, and that those who purchase insurance receive real insurance, not the junk policies which were common on the individual market in the past. The Affordable Care Act has turned out to be a tremendous success on both of these points.

      “And some of them might be asked to pay a penalty.”
      The penalty has exclusions for those who cannot afford coverage and those who are denied coverage because of Republicans blocking Medicaid expansion probably being exempt from the penalty due to their income. The penalty was designed to prevent free riders who can afford to buy coverage but choose not to do so–and was a measure commonly supported by Republicans until the Affordable Care Act was near passage.

      • In addition, the entire question of whether the Affordable Care Act is a success or failure, or whether it works, is a mistaken use of Republican frames.

        The Affordable Care Act is a massive piece of legislation which affects many aspects of health care. Some parts will be more successful at first than others and every part which is a success is a move forward. Saying the entire law is a failure is a Republican game to discredit it based upon any problem they can come up with–many fictitious and many of their own making.

        Some parts of the ACA are not even things which people think about, such as CMS testing a huge change for the better in how Medicare handles Hospice patients. (I will probably do a post on this in the near future). Medicare and Social Security both required a lot of changes to reach their current point. Medicare had a very rocky start after it was first passed. The same was true of Medicaid.

        Health care coverage had reached a point of near disaster on the individual market and for small business. If nothing was done, we would soon be at a point where only people covered by government plans or big corporations would have meaningful coverage (and even those covered by big corporations would only have that coverage as long as they remained healthy and could keep their jobs). Something had to be done, and the Affordable Care Act moves us in the direction of acting on these problems.

        Further adjustments will have to be made. Political pressure will need to be placed on Republicans, but that is likely to happen. People in states where Republicans blocked Medicaid expansion will question why people in neighboring states have coverage but they do not. They don’t even have to flip the states blue to change this. There are Republicans who have spoken out on how the Medicaid expansion is like free money for them and are going along with the program. I bet in the future there will be Republican candidates for governor in red states running by promising Medicaid expansion (framing it in a way that sounds fiscally sound for Republican voters and playing down the fact that it is part of Obamacare). The number of states which participate will increase until it becomes the norm, just as with the original Medicaid program. The Affordable Care Act is a success for many reasons, including that many states now have Medicaid expansion, with the rest likely to follow in the future.

  • It comes down to a half full or half empty viewpoint.

    Sure it does. And everyone who has a slightly different viewpoint is part of the Health Care Illuminati. It reminds me of Malaysia’s global effort to help find flight 307. Nobody believes a damned thing they say anymore. Some of us need to meet with open minds.

  • Kevin,

    Open minds? I’m the one who is examining all the facts. You could be more open minded and consider the actual facts as opposed to repeating the same right wing talking points which have been demonstrated to be false. Coming up with a nonsense analogy is hardly looking at the facts.

  • Yer silly 🙂

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