Panic on the Right

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Health Care

The Right has figured out another way to sabotage Obamacare — persuade people who don’t have insurance to not get any, even if the ACA makes it possible. Reuters:

With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage.

Brian Beutler writes,

It almost goes without saying that this effort is being undertaken to keep younger, healthier people out of the exchanges, and send the individual insurance market into an adverse-selection “death spiral.” That would ruin the system for people who want the help Obamacare offers them. And so the campaign effectively amounts to asking people to continue putting their well-being and livelihoods at risk for the good of the cause of keeping health care for sick people unaffordable.

It sounds as if the Right is gearing up for a multipronged attack, and they will be cranking out the propaganda with everything they’ve got. And, y’know, massive disinformation campaigns are what the Right is really, really good at. But this part struck me as weird (Reuters again) —

FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, a conservative issue group financed by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, known for funding conservative causes, are planning separate media and grassroots campaigns aimed at adults in their 20s and 30s – the very people Obama needs to have sign up for healthcare coverage in new online insurance exchanges if his reforms are to succeed.

“We’re trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange,” said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters. The group is designing a symbolic “Obamacare card” that college students can burn during campus protests.

“Obamacare card”? This sounds like something a bunch of geezers would come up with. Do today’s college students know that much about the draft card burnings of more than 40 years ago? Do they care? And why would college students — many of whom are on mommy and daddy’s policies, thanks to the ACA — take part in something that’s such obvious astroturf? I know a few will, but I can’t see this as widespread.

See also Charles Pierce, “The Approaching Storm of Stupid.”

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16 Comments

15 Comments

  1. syskill  •  Jul 25, 2013 @10:06 pm

    This seems like a horribly roundabout and complicated way of attacking Obamacare. I have a better idea: why not just spread Ebola virus in populated areas? That way, the health insurance system will be inundated with claims and Obamacare will collapse.

    Just my modest proposal.

  2. Bill Bush  •  Jul 25, 2013 @10:26 pm

    Watch them pass out rolls of gauze, adhesive tape and bottles of mercurochrome as “self-suppiciency” kits to make insurance unnecessary.
    Oh, yeah, and Resinol like my grandma swore by.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 26, 2013 @5:38 am

    LOL!!!
    I want to see the faces of the non-College Republicans when they’re handed a symbolic paper Obamacard for burning.
    These kids have never seen a card without it being plastic and having a bar code and magnetic strip.

    What’s next?

    Paper IUD’s for young women to burn, while Christian Metal, “Rappity-Rap,” and “Hippity-Hop” groups play at anti-contraception rallies?

    Methinks our righties even more stupid and out-of-touch than anyone could imagine!

    Even more than I could imagine – and I have a pretty good imagination, and think they’re about as bright as Black Holes.

    And FSM, are they in for a rude awakening when the kids who aren’t College Republicans look at them, and ask them if they think they’re focking stupid? If they’re under 27, and their parents have insurance, they’re already covered – and why would they give that up?

    Having said that, were there periods in my life when I didn’t have health care insurance?
    Hell yes!
    But it was because I couldn’t AFFORD it, not because I didn’t WANT it!
    I didn’t have it from the end of 2008 until last summer, when, after my father passed away in the spring, and not being able to find a job, I was finally deemed “poor enough” by NY state, to get Medicaid.

    Our Reich Wingers think that young people are as focking stupid as their focking stupid FOX “News” viewers and radio-blabbers listeners are.
    And I suspect there aren’t THAT many focking stupid young people – at least, not yet, though our Reichies are working on that as we speak.

    All I can say is, “Please proceed, GOP. Please proceed…”

  4. Doug  •  Jul 26, 2013 @7:32 am

    I find myself wondering – if I was to start an advertising campaign advocating that people not pay their taxes – that it would be OK if they don’t – wouldn’t I be liable in some way for persuading people to break the law? I know free speech covers opposition to the law, which is fine, but advertising to BREAK the law is something else. What about the media who carries such advertising? Are there no standards which would prohibit carrying an ad to persuade people not to buy what the law requires?

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 26, 2013 @8:31 am

    Also too – last night, NC passed the most aggressive voter suppression laws in the country.

    I think BooMan puts what’s happening there, and on a national level, best:
    “…the explanation is that the Republicans got high on their own supply.”

  6. goatherd  •  Jul 26, 2013 @9:05 am

    One of my right wing friends, is fond of summarizing his opposition to “socialism” by saying “pretty soon you run out of other peoples’ money.” (Cue laugh track.)

I worked for over twenty years in nonprofits that served people with disabilities. One of the things you see pretty quickly is how traumatic injury is highest for the young and for the old. In my codgertude, I am more likely to trip over a cat toy and fall down the stairs, but, a young person is more likely to run his Harley into an oncoming car, get shot by a member of a rival gang or take a mind altering drug and do something “extreme”. I’ve seen a lot of busted up young people. Not one of them ever had the forethought or responsible nature to purchase insurance. I’ve heard laughable Libertarian arguments that people should only buy insurance that they need, as if people could foresee forthcoming traumatic injury or some other medical crisis. Some adherents even ended up in one of my programs. Most of them were pushing themselves around in wheelchairs purchased by the evil government.

    Healthcare over the course of their lives would cost in the millions. Most of them hadn’t quite started their careers yet, so they hadn’t paid a lot of taxes. The costs that weren’t paid by the government were, of course, added in to the red side of the spreadsheet and distributed over the bills of those of us who were fortunate enough to have insurance. I guess you could say, they were paid for with other peoples’ money.

    The difference between me and my right wing friends is that in a sense, I don’t care. I want us to continue to improve our healthcare system. I want to see everyone have insurance. But, if a better way of caring for the uninsured wasn’t at hand and some money had to come out of my pocket and my employers, I wasn’t going to lose sleep over it, as long as people got the “care they needed” which was too often on the bare bones side. I was the lucky one, with some insurance and the luck not to end up in a Stryker frame. Things could easily have been different. But, that doesn’t matter. Sharing a nation and a society involves entering a “risk pool” and using a pool of resources to mitigate the misfortunes of the sick and unfortunate. It’s a thing called “civilization”.

  7. Dan  •  Jul 26, 2013 @11:26 am

    Would that ANY politician would work so hard to make this country BETTER…

  8. muldoon  •  Jul 26, 2013 @11:26 am

    So college students, most of whom will be covered by their parents’ insurance, will join in Koch-sponsored protests and burn their Koch-supplied Obamacare cards to symbolically demonstrate their opposition to being covered by their parents’ insurance until they are twenty-five. ROFLMAO

    On a more sober note (but not a bad one), our non-citizen population could possibly have a significant impact on the ACA if or when these people are granted citizenship status, because they would then be eligible to join the insurance pools, and as a consequence fewer people would receive health care without being able to pay for it. Which in turn would lower rates for everyone.

    On the other hand, that could just be wishful thinking on my part.

  9. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Jul 26, 2013 @12:41 pm

    I thought that The Anarchist Cookbook included a great draft card protest. Don’t burn them. Fill them out. A dozen or more times. Flood the system with invalid information.

    (Would it have worked? I don’t know. But it was one of the good ideas in the book. I do hope everyone knows that the book is very dangerous and includes deliberate misinformation.)

    (I’d seen TAC, but I ended up rooming with the son of the guy who wrote it, which is when I got a chance to read it.)

  10. Stephen Stralka  •  Jul 26, 2013 @1:00 pm

    And meanwhile they’re doing everything in their power to make it hard for said college students to vote. You’d think they would at least remember why they don’t want college students to vote.

    I swear to God, we’re going to be seeing campaign bumper stickers next year that say “Fuck you! Vote Republican.”

  11. Tom_B  •  Jul 26, 2013 @4:53 pm

    Well, there is a penalty for not having a plan. Not sure this plot is fully baked.

  12. David Duff  •  Jul 27, 2013 @7:47 am

    And it’s not only those horrid Republicans who are trying to do down Obamacare but also those, er, horrid unions particularly, as it happens, the union representing IRS ‘workers’, the people responsible for applying and administering Obamacare:

    ““I am a federal employee and one of your constituents. I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” according to a form letter drafted by leaders of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents IRS employees.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/26/irs-employees-union-please-dont-make-us-enroll-in-obamacare/#ixzz2aFHxF8Lz

    I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked!

  13. maha  •  Jul 27, 2013 @10:00 am

    David Duff — You have fallen for another phony issue drummed up by Republicans. People who get insurance through their employers, including the federal government, will keep that insurance and don’t need the exchanges. The exchanges are being set up to make it easier for people who don’t get insurance elsewhere to buy insurance in the private market. It’s not a hand out. Do you understand that?

    Note that the insurance purchased through the exchanges is not “Obamacare” insurance. It’s insurance offered by private insurance companies that expect to make a profit selling those policies. A lot of us wanted a “public option,” meaning a choice to purchase a not-for-profit policy offered by the government, but that got shouted down. It’s probably the case that the insurance offered through the exchanges will still be more expensive than what the federal employees pay, which is why they don’t want to go there, but it beats no insurance at all.

    Getting insurance is often impossible for people as it is, which is something you couldn’t possibly appreciate, since you Brits have a national health program. As it has been, if you aren’t eligible for an employee or other group insurance program, for most uninsured people it’s impossible to get a policy on their own, because the private policies are outrageously expensive, and in most states insurance companies won’t issue policies to people who have even minor health issues. And what policies some of them can buy often are ripoffs that still leave them paying most of their own medical bills.

    So we have something like 50 million Americans with no health insurance, including Medicaid, and many more with inadequate insurance. And right-wing myth to the contrary, these people are in effect cut off from most medical care. And when they do get admitted to a hospital or emergency room, everybody else’s bills and insurance get padded to pay for it. This is causing huge problems, both for individuals and the U.S. economy, and it has to stop.

    Estimates have been that the Affordable Care Act will allow as many as 30 million people to acquire a comprehensive health policy who have no insurance at all now. A lot of people will still be uncovered, but many of us hope we can build on the ACA to get those people covered too, eventually. As someone else said recently, the ACA is about an area code short of being perfect, but it’s a huge improvement over what we’ve had before.

    I see that you are pathetically gullible and believe everything the Right dishes out, mostly because you’re a fool and you don’t understand what’s really going on here. But I do. Goodbye.

  14. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 27, 2013 @10:01 am

    The Daily Caller?

    THE DAILY CALLER, DD!

    You’re linking to The Daily caller!!!!
    A HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
    ROFMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Daily Caller’s a money-making prank Tucker’s pulling on conservative fools and suckers, after that loser got kicked off of every TV station except FOX “News.”

    And by linking, you’ve just proven what we all knew anyway – that you’re just another ignorant loser of a troll – and a fool and a sucker. And a rather insipid one, at that.

    Go back to your moron Reich Wing sites, where I’m sure even an insipid imbecile like you is looked upon as a great intellect.

  15. Stephen Stralka  •  Jul 27, 2013 @1:55 pm

    David Duff, haven’t you ever heard of checking your sources? It’s easy! Look.

    1. Here is the union form letter referred to in the Daily Caller article.

    2. Here is what the letter is protesting.

    Note that this is a House bill, co-sponsored by 17 Republicans, that excludes federal employees from coverage under the ACA. As you may know from following our politics, this bill has zero chance of ever becoming law, but that doesn’t mean the union is going to take it lying down.

    So, just to spell it out, the letter isn’t protesting Obamacare, it’s protesting a Republican attack on Obamacare.

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