Speaker John ‘Bonehead’ Boehner (R-OH) and the right-wing keep repeating the same lie over and over again that the “majority” of Americans want to repeal the “job killing” health care reform. They have been effective in brainwashing the uninformed by repeating this lie over and over again. Yesterday the conservatives overwhelmingly ignored the will of the people and passed repeal in the House of Representatives in a 245 to 148 vote. It’s a testament to the power of disinformation and flat out deception.
This approach by the right is beyond political theater and inflammatory
rhetoric: it is their bold move to placate their wealthy fat cat donors on Wall Street and within the insurance industry. They gloss over the fact that each one of these politicians are afforded extensive and FREE health coverage as elected officials while they deny the same access to the people they supposedly represent.
They deny and reject the latest poll figures that show the majority of Americans either want to keep healthcare reform (The Affordable Care Act) the way it is or make it stronger.
As for the lies and misrepresentations they peddle, it would be so easy for the teabaggers and conservative extremists to inform and educate themselves if they only bothered to do their homework.
Lauren Kelley at AlterNet has put together a simple and well researched post on debunking the top 5 lies the Republicans have put forth as justification for their obscene actions in regards to repeal of health care.
As Kelley’s article states, the repeal measure will stall in the Senate where Democrats still hold a majority. And if by some miracle, they were to get repeal through the Senate, it would be vetoed by President Obama.
Without two-thirds majorities, which the GOP doesn’t have, the party would not be able to override that veto. And at any rate, Republicans haven’t cobbled together the replacement part of their “repeal and replace” plan, so it’s clear that even the Republicans don’t think an all-out repeal is possible.
But there is still a credible GOP threat to the Affordable Care Act – the party’s plan, after the initial repeal effort surely fails, to de-fund and/or dismantle the law piece by piece. De-funding key portions of the bill could strip millions of people of the healthcare access they were promised and could have a negative effect on the nation’s economy.
If you’ve read this far, then you’re either a free thinker who wants to be adequately armed with information to debate the naysayers who have bought into the Republican lies, or you are on the right and you’re brave enough to delve deeper into facts and take your head out of the sand.
Lie #1: Healthcare reform will kill jobs. The right has really been pushing this myth hard lately. They even called their repeal measure the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health-Care Law Act,” which, aside from being awkwardly-worded, is a misnomer. The “job-killing” part of the name came from the GOP’s blatant misrepresentation of a Congressional Budget Office report, with Republicans claiming that healthcare reform could cost the nation 650,000 jobs.
FACT: From The Associated Press, who reviewed the CBO’s report and compared it with the GOP’s claim.
“the budget office, which referees the costs and consequences of legislation, never produced that number. What CBO actually said is that the impact of the health care law on supply and demand for labor would be small. Most of the lost jobs would come from people who no longer have to work, or can downshift to less demanding employment, because insurance will be available outside the job.”
Take a look at this recent segment from The Rachel Maddow Show debunking the “job-killing” claim:
Lie #2: Healthcare reform will bankrupt the country. Republicans love to argue that healthcare reform is irresponsible because it will cost the nation hundreds of millions of dollars at a time of widespread economic hardship. The economy is at the forefront of many Americans’ minds, and with good reason — unemployment and poverty rates are abysmal right now. “If our constituents have to cut back, the government should have to cut back too,” GOP leaders like to say. They’ve also released a report, to which they bestowed the incendiary title “Obama-Care: A Budget-Busting, Job-Killing Health Care Law,” claiming that healthcare reform will have an overall negative financial effect on the country.
FACT: This is a blatant lie! The CBO reports that healthcare reform “will cut the nation’s deficit by $1.3 trillion over the next two decades,” while the Republican’s repeal of the reform “would increase the deficit by $230 million in a decade.”
Lie #3: Healthcare reform will mean the introduction of “death panels.” This one’s an oldie that recently got another turn in the spotlight, despite being deemed 2009′s “lie of the year” by PolitiFact.
It’s just plain embarrassing that there are American voters who still believe that there is a possibility that “death panels” could actually exist in this country. The only remote chance of this would be if you lived in Arizona under Gov. Jan Brewer’s reign and were in dire need of an organ transplant.
FACT: Death panels have never existed under our current (unfair) healthcare and would not exist under healthcare reform. This is the greatest lie and fear tactic presented to the American people by Sarah Palin — someone who has enjoyed free healthcare as a public servant, and is now wealthy enough to never worry about adequate and affordable coverage.
Lie #4: Healthcare reform will cut Medicare payments. This is another myth that has persisted throughout the healthcare reform debate. Medicare spending will not be “cut”, per se, under the Affordable Care Act.
Medicare spending will continue to increase each year — it will just do so at a slower pace than it would have otherwise. In all, the law will decrease projected Medicare spending by $575 billion over a decade, largely by cutting fees to providers and private Medicare Advantage plans. (Sounds… fiscally responsible!) The 65+ set will not see their benefits slashed. In fact, some Medicare benefits have been added.
Lie #5: “Mandate” is a dirty word. A lot of people are still confused about what the so-called “individual mandate” included in healthcare reform is exactly, so let me clear that up first: the mandate requires all Americans to have a minimum level of health insurance coverage, either though a private insurance company, an employer-sponsored plan, Medicaid or Medicare. Republicans have singled out the mandate as healthcare reform’s weakest link — the element that, if killed, could undermine the “affordable” part of the Affordable Care Act.
FACT: If the “mandate” portion of the law is repealed, it will destroy the “affordable” portion of the Affordable Care Act.
Progressive political strategist Robert Creamer explains in the Huffington Post:
[Former Republican Majority Leader Dick] Armey argues that if they can kill the mandate, the rest of the new law will fall of its own weight, since if there is no mandate — but insurance companies can’t discriminate based on pre-existing conditions — then people who are not sick will wait to buy insurance until they are. And that, of course, is in fact a serious problem since it will drive up insurance premiums for everyone else.
If you’ve made it to the end of this article, then consider yourself informed, educated and armed with the FACTS and not lies. Use the information to counter the misinformation that is repeated by those who only pay attention to the fear tactics spewed by the Republicans, Teabaggers and right-wing pundits.
The Affordable Care Act is a good thing. It’s right for all Americans — except the wealthy insurance companies — and it is a necessity moving forward if we are to provide affordable, effective and efficient health coverage for all Americans, even those who seem to vote against their best interest because they’re too lazy to look beyond the inflammatory rhetoric of the right.
[Lauren Kelley is an associate editor at AlterNet and a freelance writer and editor who has contributed to Change.org, The L Magazine and Time Out New York. She lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter here.]