GOP lies on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Liar-Liar The kid doesn't like it when you lie and he'll let you know it.

Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly is correct, "they just don't care." Lying is just what Republicans do:

THEY JUST DON'T CARE…. Perhaps the most exasperating aspect of health care debate was the incessant lying. An aggressive rhetoric fight over ideological goals makes sense, and plenty of overheated predictions are to be expected, but claims made by opponents of reform turned out to be so soul-crushingly false, it was genuinely depressing.

At one point, during the House debate, Ruth Marcus marveled at the "appalling amount of misinformation being peddled" by Republicans. "I don't mean the usual hyperbole…. I mean the flood of sheer factual misstatements," she said at the time. "You have to wonder: Are the Republican arguments against the bill so weak that they have to resort to these misrepresentations and distortions?"

Actually, they were that weak. The Affordable Care Act had its flaws, but GOP officials simply weren't prepared for a credible discussion of the policy. So they lied uncontrollably. They'd tell a falsehood, be shown proof that it wasn't true, and then repeat the falsehood anyway. It was as depressing a display as anything I've ever seen in the American political discourse, and it's directly responsible for the widespread public confusion about the reform law that still exists.

A year later, Republicans are still trying to kill the policy — and they're still lying. We're not talking about exaggerations; we're talking about demonstrable errors of fact. Today, for example, Washington's two most powerful Republicans — House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — have an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer, condemning the law they failed to kill. It reads like a greatest-hits collection of obvious falsehoods.

Throughout the debate over the Democrats' $2.6 trillion government takeover of health care, Americans were concerned that the measure would increase costs, force them off of coverage they like, and make it harder to create new jobs. 

The "government takeover" line was named the Lie of the Year in 2010. They're still telling it. What's more, after the ACA became law, job creation went up, not down, including in the health care sector.

According to the independent Congressional Budget Office, the health care law will result in the loss of more than 800,000 jobs over the next 10 years alone. 

That was absolutely ridiculous when Republicans first started making the attack, and it's even more offensive now, given that GOP leaders can't defend this obviously-wrong argument that they keep making.

Taken together, these broken promises illustrate why so many Americans continue to support a full repeal — which the new Republican-led House has passed — followed by common-sense reforms that will actually lower costs, improve care, and protect jobs. 

The clear majority of the country opposes "a full repeal," and if Republicans have a reform plan that lowers costs, improves care, and protects jobs, they should stop talking about it and actually put it on the table.

Boehner and McConnell have had more than enough time to (a) learn a little something about health care policy; and (b) come up with a way to discuss it honestly and intelligently. But they've failed on both counts, in part because they know people will believe lies, and in part because they know the media won't make much of an effort to set the record straight.

So they keep lying, knowing they can fool a whole lot of the people a whole lot of the time.

Speaking of the feckless media, Steve Benen has more about that CNN Poll on the Affordable Care Act. Benen makes the point I have made in the past — you have to break down opposition between those who want the Act to go farther and do more, and those who do not want it. The lazy idiots in the media always lump them all together. The Washington Monthly:

The new CNN poll on the Affordable Care Act, celebrating its first anniversary today, is already proving to be popular on the right. And if one only looks at the first two paragraphs, it's easy to see why.

One year after President Barack Obama signed the health care reform bill into law, a new national poll indicates that attitudes toward the plan have not budged.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, on the one year anniversary of the signing of the law, 37 percent of Americans support the measure, with 59 percent opposed. That's basically unchanged from last March, when 39 percent supported the law and 59 percent opposed the measure.

But what this neglects to mention is the relevant detail — there's quite a disagreement within that 59% majority.

In fact, the top line is pretty misleading. While 37% support the law, another 13% want the Affordable Care Act to go further, be more ambitious, and offer more progressive reforms. In other words, 50% of Americans support the law or want it to be more liberal.

The assumption is generally that opponents of the reform law agree with the right and have bought into Republican arguments. That's clearly not the case. It's obviously wrong to characterize the ACA as popular — after a massive misinformation campaign, it's clearly not — but the nature of the opposition matters.

This isn't limited to the CNN poll. The latest data from the Kaiser Family Foundation offered a similar take on public attitudes. Americans with unfavorable attitudes about the law still outnumber supporters, but when asked about preferences, a majority of the country either backs the Affordable Care Act or wants it "expanded."

Results like these have been a staple of health care polling for a year, but the point is consistently left out of the larger policy discussion, swamped with establishment assumptions about how much Americans "don't like" health care reform.

The "conventional wisdom" of the Beltway media is always the corporate line. That corporate advertising revenue pays their salary, don't you know. The truth be damned.

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