Or dog people, or goldfish people — Enroll America has released this charming clip in which pets encourage their owners to sign up for health insurance before the March 31 deadline. (Something like 70% of those below 400% of the poverty line don’t realize they are eligible for subsidies designed to make coverage affordable.)
Republicans are programmed to call Obamacare a disaster (has it been a disaster for you?) when the only change you’ve likely seen is that you never again have to worry that you — or someone you care about — will ever be denied coverage for a preexisting condition or that you or they will exhaust the lifetime cap he or she may not even have realized their policy contained).
The latest misdirections are:
Obamacare is going to cost the economy 2 million jobs. Not true. The terrific Steve Benen straightens that one out, here. (“Despite what Americans are being told, the CBO did not find that the health care reform law would cost the nation over 2 million jobs. What it actually said is that the law will empower more than 2 million Americans to leave the workforce if they want to, no longer feeling forced to stay at a job in order to have benefits for them and their family. . . .”)
Taxpayers will be on the hook to bail out Obamacare insurers. Not true. But this one will play well for the Republicans because it takes a little time to understand — which makes their deception no less real but easier to get away with. Chris Hayes explains. (Basically, the “profit corridor” built into the law — for only the first three years, as things sort out — is a smart way to keep premiums lower than they otherwise would have been by letting insurers buy reinsurance. The current estimate is that — far from getting hosed — we taxpayers will get to keep $8 billion in reinsurance premiums and pay out nothing at all.
There’s just so much of this.
Examples abound, and, no, it’s not equivalent on the left and the right. Just as I’ve argued Congressional dysfunction is not equivalent on each side.
(Republican moderates have been primaried out of office and those that remain are afraid of being primaried, so Republicans eschew compromise. Democratic moderates have not been primaried by extremists, thus don’t fear it, and, so — from the President on down — they do look for reasonable solutions.)
Republicans were the tobacco industry’s ally in fighting regulation — for decades, they claimed not to be satisfied there was any real scientific proof that smoking caused cancer. (The fifth former Marlboro Man just died of tobacco-related disease.)
Now it’s climate change — the Republican chair of the House committee on climate change is himself a climate change denier. Republicans delight in making fun of the overwhelming scientific consensus that disaster looms. With Fox and the rest, they have actually managed to decrease the proportion of the public that believes climate change is real or worth confronting.
In between it was Iraq: a country President Bush had planned to invade even before 9/11 (see the January 31, 2001, agenda for his very first National Security Meeting — it was all Iraq), and which the Republican FOX Limbaugh machine somehow led 70% of those who voted to reelect him to believe had attacked us on 9/11 . . . just as a high proportion of Republican voters were somehow persuaded that the President is Kenyan — and a socialist for adopting the Mitt Romney / Heritage Foundation approach which, until he did, was the conservative solution to health care.
And this notion that the super-rich are the “job creators”? It is in fact the rapidly shrinking middle class who are the job creators — as Nick Hanauer (for anyone left on earth who hasn’t seen it) explains so will here.
One could go on forever — here is today’s Republican National Committee attempting to dupe Democrats into giving them money — and I want to say again: it is not equivalent. Democrats are not perfect or right about everything (and Republicans are not evil or wrong about everything), but one side has taken intransigence to unprecedented levels and the other has not. One side “believes in science” and the other — with regard to the most crucial issue we face — does not. One side all but invariably takes the side of billionaires and the other side generally takes the side of the middle class and those struggling to climb into it. Choose your side, but please don’t tell me they are the same, or that the truth always lies someplace in the middle — that the earth is neither flat not round; that the female body can partly resist a rapist’s sperm; that President was born halfway between Kenya and Hawaii; that Iraq sort of attacked us a little on 9/11.
Obamacare is the conservative think-tank’s health care solution that Mitt Romney adopted, with success, in Massachusetts. It will be a success and increase the health care security of virtually every American. It would have been even better if the Republicans had allowed a “public option” or anything resembling a single-payer plan of the type the rest of the modern world has settled on. But it still bends the cost curve down and shifts tens of billions of dollars a year from the very most fortunate (who will pay an extra $38,000 in tax on each $1 million in dividends and capital gains they earn) to provide a great deal more health care security, care, and dignity to everyone else. Terrible, I guess, if you’re a Darwinian capitalist who believes it’s every man for himself; quite a good thing if you believe we are all in this together, and that a reasonable balance should be struck between communism, at the extreme left tip of the ideological continuum, and undiluted libertarianism, at the extreme right tip.
The good news even for them? As that Nick Hanauer clip makes clear, when they do allow the masses higher wages and better benefits (within reason), it enriches them — the rich! — as well.
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History is a vast early warning system.~Norman Cousins
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