Sailing the Crazy Sea

Obama Administration

From browsing around the Web I see that the political Right and its zombie followers have settled on these Articles of Faith about Obamacare:

1. It’s imploding. Now everyone but the libtards will finally get behind repealing it.

There are two corollaries that accompany this belief. One is that President Obama cleverly intended the ACA to be a disaster so that he could then declare an emergency and enforce a single payer plan. The other is that President Obama is incompetent. You can find people who appear to hold both views simultaneously.

As proof for the “implosion” scenario, the Right is hyping every story it can find about problems in U.S. health care. This includes problems that have been going on for years. The Daily Mail had a “hard-hitting” investigation complete with photos with some faces pixil’ed out saying that people were showing up at hospitals without proof of insurance coverage and being told they would be stuck with the bill if they aren’t insured. Like that never happened before.

There was also a study being talked about earlier this week predicting that visits to emergency rooms would go up, not down. One of the selling points of the ACA was that reduced emergency room visits would save us all money. More implosion!

Think Progress reported that this happened in Massachusetts for a while. People gaining insurance for the first time don’t understand how the health care system works, and they continue to go to emergency rooms because that’s the only health care they know. (Hey, it’s what Mitt told them to do, right?) It takes awhile to educate people how to use the other parts of the health care system.

2. More people have lost coverage from canceled policies than have gained it.

The number I keep seeing on Twitter and in comment threads is either 5 million or 6 million, or sometimes 6 point something million, which is supposed to be the number of policies that have been canceled, causing the people who were covered by those policies to either go without coverage or to be “forced” to take Medicaid — or both — and either way they’re going to start dropping dead any minute for lack of health care. Wingnuts weep and mourn for these alleged 6.something million, but of course the 48 million who were uninsured before January 1 were of no concern to them.

I believe the number of policies that were canceled is thought to be as high as 4.7 million, which rounds up to 5, so that’s where they get the 5 million. I’m not sure where they are getting the 6.something million figure, however, and why so many have seized upon that number when there are worse numbers floating around out there.

For example, in November the Heritage Foundation solemnly predicted that 85 percent of private plans and 65 percent of employee benefit plans would be canceled, and that adds up to a whole lot more than 6.something million. You actually have to read the Heritage report to find those numbers, however, which may be why the wingnuts haven’t found them.

Some guy at Frontpage reported mid-December that for every one person gaining coverage under the ACA, 14 people would lose coverage. This guy went on to say that 7 million people are losing coverage, so maybe he’s rounding up the 6.something. But he doesn’t give sources for his numbers.

The sub-articles of faith that go with this one is that anyone whose policy has been canceled is SOL because (it is assumed) they can’t find an affordable alternative, and being stuck with Medicaid is the same as being uninsured.

And here’s the reality check, with the caveat that there are some hard numbers we won’t have for awhile:

Now, a new report from the minority staff of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has destroyed the foundation of that particular GOP claim. It projects that only 10,000 people will lose coverage because of the ACA and be unable to regain it — or in other words, 0.2 percent of the oft-cited 5 million cancellations statistic.

I skimmed the report, and it’s not clear to me why the 10,000 were left completely without options, but this is something that needs to be looked at. Nevertheless, this doesn’t look like “implosion” to me.

It’s also the case that Republicans are having a terrible time finding people who have lost insurance coverage whose stories even make sense.

3. Everyone’s insurance costs will be higher.

Wingnuts want to believe this, so it must be true.

4. Most of the people getting new insurance are illegal immigrants.

They don’t come out and say “illegal immigrants and blacks,” but if you read between lines that assumption isn’t hard to find.

Right now I think most people are confused about the ACA because the Administration didn’t do as much as it should have to educate people. And I think that’s going to continue for the first half of the year. Barring any new glitches, by summer I suspect most people will have settled down and realized the ACA is actually OK, if not perfect, but of course the Right will continue to believe in their articles of faith for the rest of their lives.

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  1. erinyes  •  Jan 4, 2014 @11:54 am

    I’ve been told its the first step toward communism and sharia law.
    I’ve also been told the rapture will occur any day now, but not many people are talking about that anymore. Wssup with that?

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 4, 2014 @2:57 pm

    Maybe the Christian Reich-Winger used the same IT company for their Rapture website that screwed up the PPACA website, and they’re all on hold – or, IT Purgatory, until they get through.

    In the meantime, while they wait, Heaven can wait, and they can bitch, moan, shriek, and cry, about “The Blah’s” and other minorities getting some health care – how DARE The unter menschen get heck-up’s!
    Oh, and the slut’s getting contraception for free!
    Only men should get stuff for free – like their “quicker-pecker-uppers!”

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 4, 2014 @3:06 pm

    Oh, and if a pharmaceutical company had a sense of humor, instead of V*agra and some of the other brands for “quicker-pecker-uppers,” it would have named theirs, “Lazarus!”

    You could have had a TV commercial where this older couple is in their bedroom, and he and she are obviously very frustrated.
    And then, Jesus would appear to them out of the mist, hand the man a pillbox of “Lazarus,” containing little “quicker-pecker-upper” wafers, and hand him a glass of wine, watch him put the wafer on his tongue, chase it with some wine, then smile at Jesus, then have Jesus smile back at him and wink – then have Mary come up behind Jesus, put her hands over his eyes, and lead him away back into the mist.
    Next thing you see in the ad, is the light going off, and giggling.

    Telling me THAT wouldn’t have sold?!?!?!???

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 4, 2014 @3:14 pm

    “…but of course the Right will continue to believe in their articles of faith for the rest of their lives.”

    Truer words were never spoken.
    Reich-Wing minds are like Roach Motels – once a belief becomes and article of faith and enters in there, it can never get out.
    Faith trumps reality, EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!
    And no facts, no charts, no demonstrations, no experiments, no amount of empirical evidence or data, will ever sway them from their beliefs.

    Because if you question an article of your faith, then you question your own faith. And you and your faith can NEVER be wrong – Jesus tells you so. Or, at least the Jesus-grifting douche-canoe at the front of your church tells you that’s what Jesus said.
    And he should know!

  5. Swami  •  Jan 4, 2014 @3:35 pm

    it would have named theirs, “Lazarus!”

    LMAO.. you’re too much, Gulag. 🙂

  6. erinyes  •  Jan 4, 2014 @5:11 pm

    Lazarus or “ressurection”. Funny stuff !

  7. Doug  •  Jan 4, 2014 @11:01 pm

    The disconcerting thing about the opposition is that it’s (IMO) coordinated and choreographed like the ballet. Also financed. I repeat – this is opinion, but if anyone disagrees and would argue that it’s purely spontaneous – we can work out a wager.

    (I need the money.)

    As Barbara suggests, the most common arguments in opposition are pretty much contrived. For example, where is the legal mechanism to impose single payer when not a single clause in ACA (or US Constitution) authorizes it? Yet, it’s repeated as part of a conspiracy theory that’s totally irrational and commonly believed.

    Where are they going with the program to discredit through misinformation? Obama won’t sign any legislation to repeal or defund. There isn’t a legislative avenue that goes anywhere, unless you think it’s a plank that can get a republican to the White House in 2016. And that’s repeating the 2012 election debacle.

    My best guess is that certain ideologues are desperate to prevent or undo anything like health care for all. I don’t think it’s about the money – I think it’s about the vision of the legitimate role of government. The idea of government of the people, by the people, and for the people is – in their minds – about government serving rich people.

    If ‘health care for all’ becomes a pillar of the temple of democracy (like Social Security and Medicare) – and voters expect government to put the welfare of regular folks first, it will threaten a really sweet deal these ideologues have been building for decades.

  8. Swami  •  Jan 5, 2014 @1:44 am

    The formation of the Tea Party was purely spontaneous, so why wouldn’t opposition to Obamacare be the same?

  9. maha  •  Jan 5, 2014 @7:38 am

    Swami — too droll. 😉

  10. justme277  •  Jan 5, 2014 @7:32 am

    My bullshit tolerance level is running low so pardon me if I am not very patient. But what I am hearing on social media is ACA is for takers and all these working people are just having to pay to cover the un insured.. they don’t wanna hear the policies they had were not worth the paper they were printed on, they only wanna hear they HAD insurance and the poor didn’t( because they are not worthy of it) and that insurance was gonna be good and cover them when they got sick (instead of just canceling them which is what happened). Even thought these folks never put their coverage to the test there is no telling them that they had a false sense of security..logic facts and reason don’t fit their MEME and there is nothing to be said that will change that.

    Last year I sat here with what turned out to be a blood clot in my left leg for 2 weeks before I finally got so afraid I went to the hospital with no insurance. And guess what happened after…I GOT A BILL. And when I couldn’t pay it ALL they sent me to collections even after I mailed them monthly payments I couldn’t afford. Now when I do recover financially I won’t be able to get a home loan because my credit is fucked up… I guess I just should have let myself die. I work but I am not offered health care so I guess that makes me a taker.I am now a terrible person because the company I work for doesn’t offer coverage. I don’t know what planet these assholes were dropped here from but the result of going to the emergency room with no insurance has ALWAYS been the same …YOU GET A BILL!And if you fail to pay it EVERYONE ELSE WILL be forced to. DUH!
    What it all boils down to is this the people who think they are not takers are the biggest greedy ass takers of them all…I got mine , fuck you seems to be their motto. They will sure take advantage of the pre existing condition thing for themselves but if YOU use Obama care YOU are bad, not them. Not very Christian from a bunch of people claiming to be a Christian nation…YOU ARE YOUR BROTHERS KEEPER!

  11. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 5, 2014 @8:20 am

    Since they’ve got theirs, I think they think the saying is ‘You are your brothers REAPER” – if he doesn’t have his.

    And if they say they’re Christians, they’re either lying, or using some sort of twisted pretzel-like version of Christianity, like the mega-churches which teach “The Prosperity Gospel.”

  12. maha  •  Jan 5, 2014 @8:51 am

    What people don’t understand is that they’ve been paying for the “takers” all along, anyway. All the “providers” and insurance companies tack on surcharges to the bills to make up for the bills they can’t collect. This adds, on average, a thousand dollars a year to family insurance policies. And I read that a few years ago, so it may be more than that. And lot of that money is eaten up by paperwork and, yes, collection agencies. We don’t have the best health care system in the world; just the stupidest.

  13. goatherd  •  Jan 5, 2014 @8:39 am

    My tolerance is running low lately, too. I think this must be one of the most intense misinformation blitzes in history and I don’t even have a functional TV. I can scarcely imagine what most people are going through. I usually like to at least check out opposing points of view, but, I am tired of wasting my time on distortions.

    I have Yahoo as a home page, mostly because I am too lazy to select an alternative and I seldom spend much time there anyway. Lately, amid the excruciating banality, is a constant stream of bogus scare stories about “Obamacare.” As my dear old dad and Jerry Hatlo used to say, “there oughta be a law!.”

    But, there used to be a “law” in the form of equal time provision. When St. Ronald did away with that he opened Pandora’s box and paved the way for colossal bullshit machine that is the right wing press.

  14. Buckyblue  •  Jan 5, 2014 @9:49 am

    Jesus’s command to Lazarus to ‘come forth’ suddenly has a whole new meaning.

  15. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 5, 2014 @11:04 am

    So who was 1st, 2nd, and 3rd?
    Or, is that not in the Bible 🙂

  16. dr. luba  •  Jan 5, 2014 @11:25 am

    That 0.2% who’ve lost insurance and can’t find new coverage? My guess would be that they had really crappy and inexpensive “coverage” before that is totally non-compliant, and which their company has cancelled and now either

    a) live in a red state that didn’t expand Medicaid and fall into the uncovered group or
    b) earn too much for Medicaid, but can’t afford the available coverage (old, smoker)

    I suspect most fall in the first group.

  17. Swami  •  Jan 5, 2014 @1:05 pm

    justme.. Last month I lost a friend who had a blood clot in his leg.. He was 56 years old and worked part time for Home Depot( no insurance)..He had been through the blood cot thing once before and that ended up with a huge medical bill and the knowledge that taking aspirin could alleviate the clotting problem. So when another clot developed in his leg he figured that he could avoid the medical expense of a doctors care and just take aspirin to manage the clot himself.
    From what I am told the clot traveled to his lung and when he was brushing his teeth in the morning he just fell out the same as you would expect from a massive heart attack victim. Gone.
    The point is that had he had the financial means or insurance to seek professional help he wouldn’t have made the decision to try to act as his own doctor. A totally preventable death due to not having affordable healthcare.

  18. Doug  •  Jan 5, 2014 @1:49 pm

    Swami – any mention of Home Depot and no insurance for employees should mention this – it’s all connected.

    “Billionaire Home Depot founder Ken Langone has a warning for Pope Francis.

    A major Republican donor, Langone told CNBC in a story published online Monday that wealthy people such as himself might stop giving to charity if the Pope continues to make statements criticizing capitalism and income inequality.

    Langone said he was worried the Pope’s comments about an “exclusionary” “culture of prosperity” that may make some of the rich “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”