Saturday, October 05, 2013

Mini-Snopes: the last line of defense against Obamacare


This bit of wisdom has been around since 2010 and has been attributed to no lesser great thinker than Donald Trump. Sadly, the real Snopes has determined that the Toupee never said this in any documented venue. To proceed:
Let me get this straight.
It says, in a probable copyright violation of a Hallmark character.
Were going to be "gifted" with a health care plan...
I'm not sure who called it a "gift," but feel free to make fun of them is you want.
...which we will be forced to purchase...
Actually, there is no plan that you will be forced to buy. You see, this idea is part of the claim that the government is going to "take over" the health care system. This argument is, what experts in logic call, "a lie." What the law requires is that everyone have insurance. That's it. If you get insurance through your employer, as fewer and fewer people do, that's great, nothing changes. If you get your insurance through socialistic government programs like Medicare or Veterans' benefits, that's also great. If you can afford to buy your own insurance, good for you, nothing changes. If you can't afford insurance, or have been empoverishing yourself to pay for it, you might be eligible for a tax break or subsidy. Many people too poor to purchase their own insurance will be eligible for expanded Medicaid, unless you live in a state with a Republican legislature that will not allow the expansion.
...and fined if we don't...
The only people who will be fined are people who can afford insurance, but who refuse to buy it, thus saddling the rest of us with their expenses when they have to go to an emergency room.
...which purportedly covers at least ten million more people...
More than that, I hope, since about fifty million Americans are without insurance.
...without adding a single new doctor...
I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Maybe someone made that claim, but I'm not sure who that was. What I want to know is, why is more doctors a bad thing? Hundreds of counties, mostly blood red, already need doctors. Doctors are well paid professionals who make a significant contribution to their local economies. I think more doctors is a good thing.

...but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents...

Congratulations, I'm glad to see that you've finally moved down from the claim of a quarter million IRS agents to a slightly less ridiculous number of 16,000. Nothing in the law provides for that number of new IRS agents. The IRS estimates the number will be closer to 375, or 7.5 per state.
...written by a committee...
Okay. The run on nature of the sentence is getting out of control. I'm going to express my editorial prerogative as the owner of the blog to add some sentence breaks.
[This bill was] written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it...
In fact, it was written by several committees. Republicans had a lot of influence on some of those committees. I'm not sure which chairman the writer means, but this is the first in a series of comments in which the writer tries to use one person out of the 300 million Americans to invalidate the law.
...passed by a Congress that didn't read it but exempted themselves from it...
Congress didn't exempt themselves from the bill. They hadn't when this tirade first started circulating and they haven't since then. This nefarious disinformation is based on a bit of unsuccessful trickery inserted into the original bill by one of it's Republican authors, Sen. Chuck Grassley. To review: everyone is required to have insurance. Members of Congress and their staffs already have insurance, the same insurance all federal employees have, no better, no worse.
...and signed by a president who smokes...
At this point we move into a series of meaningless cheap shots that, as far as I can tell, serve no other purpose than to fill space. This shows the ignorance of the person who wrote this rant. Short pithy quotes are much more effective that a long rambling rant. But, to the point. So what if the president smokes? I haven't seen any evidence of him smoking in the last few years. But even if he was smoking like a chimney, so what? The law doesn't require us to live the exact same lifestyle as the president. Who cares if he smokes?
... with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes...
Again, so what. The Secretary of the Treasury's past taxes are relevant to his getting the job. His current taxes are relevant to his keeping the job. None of his personal taxes are relevant to the validity of funding any specific bill. If they were, we would have to disband the military.
...for which we'll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect...
Well, it's been over three years since the bill was passed. Many of the benefits have already taken effect. The Medicare prescription donut-hole has been closed. Young adults up to the age of 26 can stay on their parents' insurance, children cannot be refused insurance for pre-existing conditions. And, on January 1, I'll have insurance for my cataracts. I'm not sure which horrible taxes I've been toiling under during those years, but they don't seem to have destroyed the republic. I thank the founders for designing our country so that allowing a bare hint of the compassion of our peers lavish won't destroy us.
...by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare...
Neither Social Security nor Medicare is bankrupt. We might argue about how to maintain their solvency in the future, but neither was bankrupt when this first began circulating and they are not not. To say so is unconscionable fear-mongering.
...all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese...
It's still an irrelevant cheap shot and, by now, tiresome. If we hired an aerobics instructor as Surgeon General, would you suddenly support the bill? Whatever your answer, it reflects badly on your argument.
 ...and financed by a country that is broke!
And no matter how often this is repeated, it's still a lie. Paychecks to our military are still honored by the banks. Foreign countries still line up to buy our bonds, even though we are now paying no interest. However, if we default on those bonds by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, then we might destroy our credit rating. The last time Republicans played games with the debt ceiling, our credit rating lost a notch, for the first time in our history. The only thing that held it up was the fact that we are too big to fail.

But, that is a different lesson. For now, the important lesson is that this rant is a farago (don't you love that word?) of lies, half-truths, deceptions, and irrelevancies.

To return to the document at hand.
What the hell could possibly go wrong?
Well , some honest person might be fooled by this BS.

9 comments:

BadTux said...

Not to mention that we're not broke. Raising taxes to cover the budget deficit would still have us paying well under the OECD average for taxes. Even the supposedly massive accumulated budget deficit would require raising taxes to the OECD average to pay it off over 30 years like a mortgage, something which hasn't bankrupted Germany or Canada as far as I've noticed (taxing at the OECD average I mean). If we wanted to pay it off. Which, if we're paying 0% interest, why would we want to do such a silly thing?

So no, we're not broke, and of course neither are Social Security and Medicare, not now and, with only minor twiddling, not in the future. But the latter is a subject for another post.

- Badtux the Numbers Penguin

Paul said...

I think the line about 'not a single new doctor' is making the point that there's nothing in the bill creating any new doctors, but it does create 10 million new customers for doctors.

If we ignore the point that those 10 million new customers aren't really new customers - having health care isn't going to make them any sicker than they were beforehand, and hence no more needing of doctor care - it misses the obvious and Republican-friendly point that the free market will provide!

Peter Hill said...

It's a shame the people who post these things will never read this but you did a great job.

Trashboy said...

The cheap shot about the President who smokes is especially impressive given the graphic in the original meme.

drunkenbullfrog said...

up here in canada, there's a LOT of doctors that are driving taxis cause they need recertifications, perhaps it's a similar issue down there. the recertifications would have to be run as part of a government program.

John McKay said...

Trashboy, I meant to mention that.

jhsheri said...

Thank you for refuting this line by line and in such an articulate way. I saw this old 2010 recycled garbage on my FB page when I opened it a few hours ago and have been researching it since in order to also refute. I found your blog in the process. I am going to share your link in my refutation and add a few findings of my own. Again, thanks. I can get back to Candy Crush now.

jhsheri said...

Excellent pointing out of the contradiction Trashboy!

Anonymous said...

Too bad nothing you said is true. We are forced to buy this and we are losing our current plans and we are going to be paying a lot more. I know that for a fact because I already got my cancellation notice and the bill for the Obamacare replacement is going to cost me $2700. more than my old plan if I don't need to use it. It will cost a lot more if I need it. Higher deductible and higher co-pays higher prescription coverage. I speak from experience and you speak from out your @$$.