There’s a lot of propaganda that comes from the right as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), and even I admit that at times it’s tough to know every rule that the law carries with it.
However, the blatant lies coming from Republicans since the law’s inception have been seemingly endless. So I decided a few of them needed to be debunked.
Granted, the following aren’t the worst lies — they’re just the lies I see most often from right-wing trolls on my pages Right Off A Cliff and Forward Progressives, as well as my conservative friends and family who get most of their “information” from Fox News.
So in no particular order, let’s go ahead and debunk 5 of the biggest Republican lies about Obamacare.
1) Death Panels: Who actually believes that there will be some committee of government officials sitting at a desk determining whether or not someone lives or dies? How is it that people are this stupid? You would think that this myth would have faded long ago, but sadly I still see it pop up far too often. For the record, Obamacare is not a government takeover of health care. Which leads me to…
2) Obamacare is socialized health care: Obamacare is not socialized health care. That would be a single-payer system which Republicans simply refused to support in any way. What Obamacare equates to is insurance reform. It requires that every American obtain health insurance (you know, the whole “personal responsibility thing”) and those who can’t afford it will be given subsidies (tax breaks) in order to help them afford coverage. Those who can afford insurance, but don’t make that much, will be given tax breaks as well based on their income. It’s still largely private insurance companies providing health insurance to Americans. Not a government takeover of health care.
3) The mandate is unconstitutional: Actually, according to our Supreme Court it is constitutional. In fact, the mandate is vital for any kind of insurance reform to work. Think of it like car insurance. People can’t pick and choose when they want car insurance. If they want to drive, they have to have insurance. Well, we can’t pick when we’ll get sick and need medical attention. So health insurance is a little different. If we require that all Americans be given access to treatment (the pre-existing conditions part) then it’s vital that we require all Americans to obtain health insurance. Otherwise people would only purchase insurance when they got sick, use it, and then drop it as soon as they’re well. This behavior would be catastrophic for everyone who continually kept health insurance. The whole point of insurance in the first place is to lower individual out of pocket costs by essentially paying into a pool of money. If we allow people to pick and choose when they want coverage, and allow them to drop it whenever they don’t need it, then that would skyrocket the cost of health premiums even more. While it never sounds good to say “the government mandates…” when it comes to pretty much anything, the fact of the matter is it’s vital for Obamacare (or any health insurance reform) to work. Otherwise, everyone who pays responsibly would then be paying the price.
4) Obamacare is a radical leftist idea: Actually, that’s false. An individual mandate was originally a Republican idea in the 1990’s, as a counter to the push during the Clinton administration for true universal health care. They proposed essentially what Obamacare is—health insurance reform. It’s also a law that was passed in Massachusetts by then governor, and former GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. In fact, Obamacare so closely resembles Romney’s health care plan that Republican opponents to Romney during the primaries referred to his health care law as “Romneycare.”
5) Obamacare is so bad, Obama gave Congress an exemption from it: Again, that’s false. This has been a talking point Ted Cruz has often used–and it’s simply not true. It’s also a lie that Politifact rated 100 percent “false.” In fact, there was an amendment added to the law (by a Republican) before the bill became law that specifically prohibits members of Congress from being exempt from the law.
So there you have it, 5 of the biggest Republican lies about Obamacare exposed. Sadly, I don’t expect many conservatives to change their opinion about the law just from pointing these out. Facts rarely make an impact.
But still, I would encourage everyone who reads this to share it often, especially with conservatives. Because if nothing else, it’s always funny to confront Republicans with a few facts and watch them try to dispute them with their spoon-fed right-wing talking points that often just don’t make any sense.