GOP Official Is Booed After Resurrecting ‘Death Panels’ Lie – Then Calls Citizens ‘Children’

The American people are turning out in droves to protest the fumbling new administration of Donald Trump. Town hall meetings across the country have been packed with citizens expressing their outrage. The topics of concern cover everything from Trump’s Muslim ban to Congress’ do-nothing stance on Trump’s ties to Vladimir Putin and election tampering.

GOP Death Panel Town Hall

Citizens fed up with Trump’s incompetence and right-wing crackpottery are taking a page from the defunct Tea Party’s playbook. They are showing up at town halls and making certain that their voices are heard. The strategy is being advocated by independent grassroots organizers that have come to be known as the “Indivisible Movement”

The effects of the strategy are being felt by both Democrats and Republicans nationwide. Jason Chaffetz, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, got a taste of it this week. Constituents upset with his failure to investigate any of the myriad scandals associated with Trump showed up in force. And that was in bright red Utah.

On Saturday, a town hall in Florida for GOP Rep. Gus Bilirakis erupted into chaos when a Republican Party official rose to speak. Bill Akins, secretary of the Pasco County, Florida, Republican Executive Committee, ventured into territory not traveled since the heyday of the Tea Party. Seeking to defend the GOP’s efforts to repeal ObamaCare, he said:

“Here’s the problems I have with the Affordable Care Act. Number one, there is a provision in there that anyone over the age of 74 has to go before what is effectively a death panel.”

With that the room exploded in a chorus of boos, with many shouting that he was a “liar” and “wrong.” Undeterred, Akins stood at the front of the hall insisting that he was right and insulting the assembled citizens:

“Yes they do. Yes they do. It’s in there folks. You’re wrong. […] OK, children. Alright, children.”

For the record, the death panel myth was started by rightist conspiracy kook Betsy McCaughey, and made famous by Sarah Palin. There was never any truth to the claim. In 2009 PolitiFact crowned the Lie of the Year. But that didn’t stop Akins from attempting to resurrect it from its well deserved burial.

It makes perfect sense that this notorious falsehood would reemerge in the Era of Trump. This is time a that is ripe for lies, deception, and disinformation. It’s a time for “alternative facts” and “fake news.” It’s Donald Trump’s contribution to public discourse. And he gets welcome support from Fox News and other conservative media that eagerly regurgitate the very same lies – or as they should properly be known – Trumpisms.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

ALERT: There Are Still 5 Days To Sign Up For ObamaCare – Despite Trump’s Attempt At Sabotage

The Republican Party has spent six years trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Now, with Donald Trump in the White House, they have their best opportunity achieve their goal. Never mind that more than thirty million people will lose their health insurance. And despite their promises, the GOP has never proposed a viable alternative.

ObamaCare Trump

This week the Trump administration took another step aimed at crippling the popular program. With five more days left to submit applications for coverage in 2017, the White House halted all advertising and promotions to encourage last minute enrollments. According to a report in Politico:

“The Trump administration has pulled the plug on all Obamacare outreach and advertising in the crucial final days of the 2017 enrollment season, according to sources at Health and Human Services and on Capitol Hill. Even ads that had already been placed and paid for have been pulled, the sources told POLITICO.”

Politico notes that this decision came directly from the White House. And at this time there is no HHS leadership to consult for analysis and advice. But it’s well known that the last week of enrollment typically attracts a high number of consumers who spent the winter procrastinating. When they are reminded of the deadline, they rush to sign up before it passes. Many of these late enrollees are younger and healthier, a group that is important to keep premiums down and maintain fiscal sustainability. Therein lies the motives of the GOP. They are deliberately sabotaging ObamaCare to satisfy their political ambitions.

Healthcare advocates (and the Trump team) know that advertising in advance of the deadline is an effective way to reach people who actually want to sign up. So canceling ads that are known to work is part of a cynical plot to harm the program. Not to mention the millions of Americans who rely on it. In addition, they have stopped sending out emails to people who began applications but haven’t completed them. That is a measure that always produces positive results, yet costs next to nothing.

Speaking of costs, that is the excuse the administration is floating for canceling any future ads and promotions. However, as noted above, the email program is virtually free and many of the ads are already paid for. How can they argue fiscal conservatism if they are willing to let paid ads go un-aired?

Even if Trump and the GOP is determined to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare, that isn’t going to happen overnight. Consequently, undermining efforts to sign people up now will result in them being uncovered. There is no reason to place tens of thousands of people at risk while an alternative is allegedly being developed. This just proves that the Trump administration is willing to play politics with people’s lives.

For those who have not yet signed up for 2017, you still have until January 31, to do so. Just logon to Healthcare.gov if you live in a state that does not operate its own exchange. And below is a list of the state-run exchanges. Please pass this article on to anyone you know who is interested in having health insurance this year. And share it on social media and other places interested people might see it. We are going to have to do this ourselves, since our government under Trump is working against us.


How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

ObamaCare More Popular Than Ever – Just As Trump And GOP Rush To Kill It

Since 2010, Republicans have been staunchly opposed to virtually any health insurance reform that actually helped those who needed it. They voted more than fifty times to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) during Obama’s presidency. Now that the GOP has one of their own moving into the White House, they are giddy with anticipation of achieving their goal.

ObamaCare

There’s just one problem. The Wall Street Journal and NBC News just released a survey that has bad news for the GOP:

“As Republicans get closer to repealing it, President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law — or Obamacare — has never been more popular, according to results from a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.” […]

“50 percent of Americans say the law is working well (6 percent) or needs minor modifications to improve it (44 percent).”

The poll also notes that thirty-three percent of respondents think that ObamaCare could be improved with a major overhaul. However, only sixteen percent of the American people think that it should be eliminated entirely. What’s more, the public has very little faith in the Republican majority in Congress to produce anything to adequately replace ObamaCare:

“Just 26 percent of Americans have either a ‘great deal’ or ‘quite a bit of confidence’ that congressional Republicans will replace the law with something better, while a combined 50 percent say they have either ‘very little’ or no confidence with the GOP here.”

In light of that, Trump’s slumping appeal to the nation registers even more prominently. He is by far the least popular president-elect in modern history with a mere forty percent favorability. Compare that with the last three presidents just prior to inauguration: Obama (84%), Bush (61%), Clinton (67%). And this is at a time when a newly elected leader enjoys a “honeymoon” period. It appears the American people are more in the mood for a quickie divorce. And true to form, Trump blames that on “rigged” polls.

For the record, the polls were actually remarkably accurate. They predicated that Hillary Clinton was favored by two to three percent in the days before the election. And that is precisely her margin of victory in the popular vote.

The people’s opposition to a repeal of ObamaCare has a factual foundation that Republicans strive to suppress. A Congressional Budget Office analysis of repeal found that up to 32 million people would lose their health coverage. They also found that premiums would skyrocket by up to fifty percent more than current rates. Also troubling is their finding that insurance providers would bail out of the market in droves. In Fact, they project that half of the nation would live in areas with no individual insurers at all. And that would rise to three-quarters by 2026.

Perhaps that’s why Republicans passed a bill to prohibit the CBO from scoring their ObamaCare repeal efforts. It’s a tactic designed to insure that people remain in the dark when their representatives are screwing them over. If they truly believed in the benefits of a repeal, they wouldn’t be afraid to let people know how it will affect them.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So Republicans are attempting to undo a popular healthcare bill, whose repeal will raise costs for both citizens and government. And they’re doing it behind a veil of self-imposed secrecy, at the behest of a historically reviled new president. Sounds like business as usual for the contemporary Tea Party infused, Ayn Rand inspired, Trump led Republican Party.

Hurricanes, Riots, And Viruses, Oh My. Is God Trying To Tell Republicans Something?

In the past Republicans, and their evangelical emissaries, have been quick to declare that natural disasters and other civil disturbances were indications of God’s disapproval for sinful behavior. They believe that the calamities that wreaked havoc on Haiti, New Orleans, the Jersey shore, and even acts of terrorism like the massacre in Orlando, were divine messages conveying God’s anger and were intended as punishment for sinners.

God's Pissed

Today there is a report that the Republican National Convention may be suffering from an outbreak of biblical-style pestilence. Several delegates have come down with symptoms consistent with the norovirus which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is:

“…a very contagious virus that can infect anyone. You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up. These symptoms can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults”

The good news is that treatment for the norovirus is covered by ObamaCare. However, this potential health crisis could still threaten to upend a convention that has already been roiled by human-made catastrophes like Melania Trump’s blatant plagiarism of a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama. But this is just one symptom of a much larger problem for the the GOP.

Civil unrest has been a constant threat for the RNC since back in March when Donald Trump raised the specter of violence at the convention if he wasn’t crowned king of the Republican Party. He literally warned that “I think you’d have riots.” Having set that tone, Trump’s followers began planning to attend the convention fully armed and prepared for a righteous battle. The city of Cleveland has had to take extraordinary steps to try to prevent bloodshed.

And that’s not all. The last GOP convention in Tampa, Florida, in 2012 was also beset by tribulations. They were forced to cancel the first day due to the approach of Hurricane Isaac. That was actually the second consecutive Republican convention that was interrupted by a hurricane. The 2008 affair in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota was cursed by Hurricane Gustav.

So with this virus outbreak this is the third Republican convention that appears to have stirred God’s wrath. After hurricanes, riots, and viruses, what’s next? A plague of frogs? At some point you need to ask the question: Is God trying tell Republicans something? Is their aversion to many of the principles espoused in the bible causing these divine adversities?

After all, Jesus was a proponent of the poor; of feeding the hungry (food stamps) and healing the sick (ObamaCare). The bible commands believers to welcome immigrants in Exodus 22:21 saying “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” And even the environment is sacred as noted in Genesis 2:15 which says that God’s orders for humans with regard to his creation were “to cultivate and care for it.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In reviewing these sins of the Republican Party it is easy to draw conclusions. Anyone with an open mind can clearly see that God is pissed. It may be wise to stay away from GOP conventions, or vote for their candidates, until these issues are resolved and Republicans change their evil ways. And at the top of the list is dispensing with Donald Trump who says that he has never asked God for forgiveness despite having already committed all seven of the deadly sins.

Majority Of Americans (Including 41% Of Republicans) Favor Socialist Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) has been a contentious point of debate in the media ever since it was proposed by a timid Congress that worked fervently to water it down and excise its most progressive elements. In subsequent polling the nation has appeared divided on whether they favored the insurance reforms, although the polls often neglected to differentiate from those who opposed it because it went too far and those who who opposed it because it didn’t go far enough.

Medicare For All

This week Gallup released a poll that definitively settles that question. They gave respondents a clear choice that included the option of “Replacing the ACA with a federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans.” That option, which is essentially universal healthcare, received a clear majority of 58% favoring it.

What’s more, when Gallup broke down the responses by party, it revealed that 41% of Republicans were in favor of the federally funded option as well. Not a majority, nor even close to the 73% of Democrats, but a surprisingly high figure representing the heretofore unknown socialist wing of the GOP.

The other options in the poll were “Keeping the Affordable Care Act in place,” which was divided 48-49%, and “Repealing the Affordable Care Act” which was also close at 51-45%. However, as Gallup noted:

“…the group of Americans in this survey who favor the law’s repeal, a core policy proposal of many Republican presidential candidates during this campaign season, includes some who apparently want the ACA repealed to replace it with an even more liberal system.”

ObamaCare, in its present form, has been an unqualified success. It has brought the number of uninsured down to historically low levels. It has kept the cost of healthcare down, both in premiums paid to insurers and direct costs of care. It has guaranteed access to insurance for people with preexisting conditions and provided equality of cost and care for women. These are just a few of the reasons that, despite a concerted effort by Fox News and other conservative media to scare Americans away from it, ObamaCare continues to enjoy widespread popularity.

Considering the broad appeal of a universal, Medicare-for-all style healthcare program, it would be advantageous for the presidential candidates to pay heed to the will of the people. To date, only Bernie Sanders has taken a position that fully embraces this policy. Hillary Clinton, though, has been inching toward it with a recent statement in support of a public option.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It would also be helpful if the media would cover this preference on the part of the American people. This may not be as sexy a subject as Donald Trump’s latest sleaze mongering, but the press is supposed to be a source of credible information, particularly in the midst of a presidential campaign. No one would expect Fox News to report the results of this poll, and they haven’t. It would completely contradict their phony free-market, crony-capitalist, Republican sponsored narrative. But the rest of the national television newscasters have largely ignored it as well. And without a responsible media giving this issue the attention it deserves, the candidates for both national and local offices will feel no pressure to address it either.

ObamaCare Liars On Fox News Get Bitchslapped – On Fox News

There has been an aura of the absurd permeating this election season for many months. And it isn’t all connected to Donald Trump (although that’s a huuuuge part of it). The circus atmosphere of the Republican contest has exceeded all bounds of reason. They are calling each other liars, flip-floppers, and worst of all, Republicans. Who would have thought a year ago the the foulest insult that could be aimed at a Republican would be the accusation of being an “establishment” member of your own party?

ObamaCare

Amidst the turmoil and tantrums, Fox News, the staunchest evangelist of right-wing gospel, has itself come under pressure from within their own congregation. Most notably Donald Trump has pounded the network as unfair, unbalanced, and rife with dummies, losers, and bimbos. And he’s not the only wingnut taking swings at the conservatives favorite network. Everyone from Rush Limbaugh, to Glenn Beck to Ann Coulter has hurled broadsides at Fox. Well, those critics are not going to be happy about what happened the past couple days on the channel that had made destroying ObamaCare its prime directive.

Like most Republicans, Ted Cruz (R-TX) has feverishly attacked ObamaCare and promised its repeal if he were to be elected. This week he reiterated the demonstrably false GOP dogma that Obamacare was “the biggest job-killer in the country.” And when the subject came up on Bill O’Reilly’s show it did not receive the typical mindless thrashing that is the hallmark of Fox’s coverage.

O’Reilly noted that the Associated Press fact-checked Cruz and found that, not only was his statement false, the opposite was true. More jobs were created (over 13 million) simultaneous with an increase of nearly 17 million people getting health insurance who were not able to get it before ObamaCare. However, O’Reilly went on to cite dubious statistics that muted the beneficial aftermath of ObamaCare.

In response, his guest/victim, Kirsten Powers, disputed O’Reilly’s numbers, but also argued that even he were right “you have to make the connection that it was caused by Obamacare, and I don’t think that Cruz has made that connection.” Unfazed by facts, O’Reilly continued to muddy the debate by baselessly asserting that both sides have valid arguments. To which Powers replied with specific examples of conservative studies that affirm the positive impact of ObamaCare on employment. Characteristically, O’Reilly refused to budge, even while failing to offer a substantive rebuttal. He closed with a weak concession that Cruz ought to have sourced his data which, of course, O’Reilly himself didn’t do.

Today on Fox News Sunday the same issue was discussed. Ted Cruz was interviewed and given an opportunity to defend his own false allegations. He faced Fox’s Chris Wallace who surprisingly confronted him with the facts. Cruz typically dodged the question with a knee-jerk slam on the “liberal” media.

Wallace: The fact checkers say you’re wrong. Since that law went into effect, the unemployment rate fell from 9.9% to 5% as 13 million new jobs were created, and 16.3 million people who were previously uninsured now have coverage.
Cruz: Fact checkers are not fair and impartial. They are liberal editorial journalists. And they have made it their mission to defend Obamacare.

Of course. Everyone knows that fact-checkers have always been biased proponents of recklessly doling out healthcare to any slob that was dumb enough to get sick. Cruz’s notion that fact-checkers are not actually checking facts is a lunacy that is reminiscent of the Romney campaign in 2012 when his pollster declared that “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers [who have] jumped the shark.” Republicans keep admitting that the truth is of no use to them. And in that spirit the answer Cruz gave ignored the facts entirely, offered no alternative data to confirm his view, and then veered wildly off topic. Then he became obstinate and angry when Wallace pressed him to address the subject at hand.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Veteran Fox-watcher Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine has reported that personality issues and infighting have left Fox News grasping to shape an image during this campaign. But that is only part of the explanation for their spongy positions on matters that were once hard-coded. The viciousness exhibited by the Republican candidates toward one another presents an inherent conflict for a network that is so accustomed to agreeing with whatever the guy on the right said. Now they’re struck with the dilemma of who to suck up to if the choices are all right-wingers? And that predicament has left them confused and unprepared when a marginally progressive argument is dropped in their lap. They are simply so befuddled that they can’t keep their stories straight. Let’s hope this lasts until November.

Sarah Palin Stars In Night Of The Living Death Panels Sequel: The Re-Dumbification

Now that Sarah Palin has been unceremoniously jettisoned from her Fox News post, she has deemed it necessary to whip up as much controversy as possible in order to keep from becoming nothing more than a creepy memory and the reason for John McCain’s eternal damnation to Hell. That’s why she ditched her unsuccessful Internet video subscription service hoping more people would watch if they didn’t have to pay.

Sarah Palin Death Panels

To that end, Palin has posted a screed on her Facebook page declaring in all caps that “DEATH PANELS STILL NOT DEAD.” As the title suggests, Palin continues to suffer from an acute ignorance of law, facts, and common sense. Her blitheringly dumb resurrection of the Death Panel nonsense begins with the hilariously oblivious assertion that it’s the politicians who don’t get it.

“Their ‘Death Panels’ still won’t die. Last night Obamacare masterminds decided they’ll pay healthcare providers for vulnerable patients’ ‘end-of-life’ plans. Remember that’s the strange, intrusive, unaffordable, and unnecessary scheme that was actually stripped from Obamacare five years ago, once we ‘found out what’s in it.’ So now that part of this socialistic healthcare takeover is back.”

Palin then launches into a self-defense of her faulty grasp of what “end-of-life” plans (aka Advanced Directives) are. And she predictably slams the media for correctly noting that she has been “universally discredited” on this subject. She rants about the non-existent government rationing of healthcare and criticizes the imaginary “faceless bureaucrats” who she says “will measure a person’s worth.” She preaches about the “sanctity of life” in her trademark politi-vangelical style bemoaning that “a bloated bureaucracy and weak-kneed politicians sent millions of Americans into financial distress, unseen in history, with this leftist scheme called Obamacare.” Of course the documented truth is that, since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, more Americans are covered by insurance than ever before, and fewer are facing financial difficulties and bankruptcies due to medical bills.

What launched Palin into this confused orbit was news that Medicare is considering reimbursing doctors for consulting with patients about Advanced Directives. And while Palin calls it an “unnecessary scheme,” it is something virtually every medical professional and patient advocate recommends. The Medicare proposal does not require consultations, nor steers patients toward any specific preference of care. So in effect, what Palin is objecting to is giving people more control over their medical care. And when she fails to make a coherent case against Advanced Directives, she diverts her argument to a completely different and equally benign part of the Affordable Care Act, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is a doctor-run advisory group tasked with identifying the best practices in health care to insure the best medical outcomes and to avoid unnecessary or exploitative procedures.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

None of this is new. Palin has been on a rampage against these useful services for as long as they have been public. And for all of that time she has intensely misunderstood them. A year ago Fox News railed against Medicare’s exploration of this policy, making the same irrational arguments that Palin makes. In short, conservative wingnuts believe that it is a God-given right to be denied healthcare by the faceless bureaucrats at greedy insurance companies. But it is submission to tyranny if the government steps in and makes such care available and affordable. Palin et al prefer the old ways when Americans went bankrupt (or died) because they didn’t have insurance or their coverage was insufficient. And it is obvious that this zombie lie about Death Panels is going to be a cornerstone of conservative politics for the foreseeable future, despite how thoroughly it has been debunked by knowledgeable sources.

Update 7/14/2015: Sean Hannity weighed in on this with his predictably inane commentary saying…

“Remember all the talk about Gov. Palin talking about Death Panels? For those of you who were wondering what ever happened to the Death Panels, you don’t have to wonder much longer. You probably won’t. They’re currently being implemented under “Dying for Dollars,” a strategy where the administration pays doctors to persuade elderly patients to end their lives by discontinuing treatment.”

What a boob. He apparently has forgotten that end-of-life counseling may also result in patients choosing to prolong their lives with every expensive medical procedure that exists. It’s the patient’s choice. That’s the whole point. Hannity and Palin are arguing to prohibit patients from being able to make their choices known. What’s really sad is that they have so many people who blindly believe what they spew.

Republicans Despondent Over ObamaCare Should Be Sending The Supreme Court Fruit Baskets

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) is being portrayed in the media as an historic victory for President Obama. And, to be sure, the ruling does affirm the constitutionality of the law and prevents the cancellation of more than six million health insurance policies nationwide.

However, from a political perspective, the big winners are the Republican Party. Chief Justice John Roberts really pulled their butts out of the fire with his decision finding that…

“In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. […] Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

For the rest of the day, and throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, you will hear the moaning and gnashing of teeth of disingenuous Republicans pretending to be disappointed by the ruling. In fact, they could not be happier. This ruling allows them to run on a platform of repealing what they claim is a disastrous law that curtails all freedoms and sets the course of the nation toward Armageddon.

ObamaCare Supreme Court

Had the Court ruled against the subsidies, millions of Americans would have lost their health insurance, and the the remainder would have been subject to higher premiums as the pool of the insured became smaller and sicker. In that scenario, Republicans would have had to run the gauntlet of enraged voters who were suffering the consequences of the GOP’s greedy self-interest. Most of those voters would have been from red states and the south where the most recipients of subsidies from federal exchanges reside.

As a result of the this ruling, the GOP will still run on a “repeal and replace” campaign, but they won’t have to do it with their own constituents breathing down their necks in disgust. Instead they will lament the corrupt socialists on the Court and promise to deliver something better if they win the White House and Congress in 2016. Never mind that they have made that promise for more than six years but have never produced a viable replacement. To their credit/shame, they have voted more than fifty times to repeal ObamaCare.

On the other hand, Democrats won the legal and logical battle with this ruling. But they lost the opportunity to run against a Republican Party that had stolen the health insurance from millions of Americans. One of the great ironies of democracy is that it is harder to run on your accomplishments than it is to run on your opponents’ failures. So while millions of voters who were rescued from the heartlessness of the GOP by this ruling should be grateful to Democrats for passing the legislation, their gratitude will be harder to translate into votes than if the Court had struck down the bill and they could vote their disapproval of Republicans.

In the final analysis, it is far better that the Court upheld the subsidies because, politics aside, real people’s real lives hang in the balance. For whatever period of time that ObamaCare may have been obstructed by a negative ruling, Americans would have suffered both financially and medically. Indeed, people without access to health care would have become sicker and even died. And those who survived would have lost much of their financial security, including their homes and retirement savings. So if Democrats have to try harder to get their message across, then so be it.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In light of that, every time you hear a Republican whining about the awful Supreme Court decision, remember these two things: 1) They are actually ecstatic that it takes them off the hook for all the outraged voters who would have lost their insurance had the decision gone the other way. And 2) Their feigned despair is actually an expression of disappointment that millions of people didn’t get shafted and forced to face poor health and bankruptcy, which is what they were ostensibly rooting for.

Breitbart’s Asinine Advice To Wreck ObamaCare: Don’t Buy Health Insurance

There are times when one encounters political punditry that makes you genuinely question the mental health of the alleged pundit. One of those times is at hand with today’s article by Breitbart News editor John Nolte titled “Break ObamaCare’s Back: Do Not Purchase Health Insurance.”

Breitbart ObamaCare

BreitBrat Nolte is offering this blitheringly stupid advice to his dimwitted readers based on a series of falsehoods and a fetishistic aversion to the availability of effective, affordable health insurance. He begins his rant by revealing some personal reasons for putting his health – physical and financial – at severe risk.

Nolte: Running around uninsured for the first time in my adult life has not been easy. The tax penalty isn’t cheap (2.5% of your taxable income) and there is the constant uneasy fear of an expensive medical problem, a cancer or car accident, the kind that can bankrupt you.

“History has shown, though, that there is almost always a personal price to pay for social change through civil disobedience — a price I’m willing to pay to help break the back of ObamaCare, an immoral and illegitimate government program sold with serial-presidential (and media) lies and enacted into law using one-party procedural tricks.”

Nolte is portraying himself as the Gandhi of the anti-healthcare movement. He thinks he is taking a principled stand to save America from having to suffer the torment of access to doctors and medicine. But to him the the sword dangling over his head is worth the risk if it can contribute to forcing everyone in the country to face the same risk he is foolishly assuming voluntarily.

In his first attempt to provide a substantive reason to forego healthcare, Nolte praised pre-ObamnaCare policies that he ludicrously described as “these wonderful catastrophic policies.” Now there’s a turn of phrase that cries out “oxymoron.” Nolte has to be the only person who has ever had a catastrophic policy who thinks it was “wonderful.” The rest of the world regards them as a last resort and prays that they don’t get sick.

Even so, Nolte’s praise of these wonderful policies comes with the criticism that President Obama made them illegal. But then, in his very next sentence, he contradicts himself saying that “Actually, what ObamaCare did was make these catastrophic plans unaffordable.” He’s still wrong. Nolte’s evidence of this was his assertion that he would have to pay close to three times more were he to get a catastrophic plan through ObamaCare. However, he offers no proof of that claim and his numbers are utterly unbelievable. He says that he would have to pay a premium of $400.00 per month, but the average cost of a Bronze plan under ObamaCare is only $209.00.

Nolte goes on to claim that his out-of-pocket costs would increase because providers offer lower fees to people without insurance. However, they provide the same discounts to people with high-deductible insurance plans. Plus, many preventive services (annual exams, vaccinations, colonoscopies, mammograms, etc.) are paid in full with deductibles waived.

The real motivation for Nolte’s tirade is stated when he writes “I want to do my part to break the back of ObamaCare. I just can’t live with the idea of doing anything that will benefit Obama’s and the media’s serial lies.” Nolte is admitting that his agenda is political, and not based on his best medical interests. He is simply opposed to the “greedy takers enjoying these subsidies.” That tells you something about how he feels about low and middle-class Americans seeking access to health care.

Nolte closes by misrepresenting the public’s view of ObamaCare. He cites a recent poll by the Washington Post that shows 54% opposed and 39% in favor. But Nolte is leaving out a lot of pertinent information. For instance, the Post admits that their results “contrast with other recent polls finding softening opposition and support above record low levels.” What’s more, the Post survey also shows that a similar majority (55/38) say that the Supreme Court should not rule against the ObamaCare subsidies in the King v. Burwell case that is presently being decided. That includes 65% of Democrats, 57% of Independents, and even 34% of Republicans.

Another thing that ObamaCare opponents frequently use to misconstrue public opinion is the fact that many of those who say they oppose ObamaCare do so because they think it doesn’t go far enough. When the numbers for those who favor ObamaCare are combined with those who want it to be even more comprehensive (i.e. universal, single payer), they are a solid majority.

The right’s crusade to sabotage ObamaCare is nothing new. They have been trying to kill it since before it became law. That campaign has included brazenly lying about the law’s effects, including ancillary nonsense like threats of prison for those who don’t sign up. PolitiFact has ruled at least twelve times on “Pants on Fire” lies by ObamaCare opponents bent on scaring people away.

But what Nolte is doing is much worse. He is giving his personal advice to go without health insurance. That could lead some people to suffer terrible consequences should they become sick or injured and not have the ability to seek medical care. And even if they do get treatment, they could be find themselves in a financial morass that could leave them bankrupt or homeless. This is something that conservatives have tried before. Fox News even advocated what they falsely called alternatives to health insurance, but were mostly shams that failed entirely to cover people for real-world needs.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

These attempts to steer people away from health care are irresponsible and dangerous. And whether it is Fox News or John Nolte or any other partisan hack, they should be held accountable for the harm they cause. And there are real victims like this guy and this guy, and even this guy.

Uh Oh: Jeb Bush Proposes Federally Mandated ‘Death Panels’

At a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, prospective GOP presidential candidate and successor to the Bush dynasty, Brother Jeb came forward to praise his own actions as Florida governor during a controversy that involved a woman in a persistent vegetative state. Terri Schiavo had suffered irreversible brain-damage and was being kept alive by machines against the wishes of her husband and, according to him, herself.

The torturous spectacle that Bush engineered included multiple court challenges and even signing a law giving him, personally, the right to decide Schiavo’s fate. Somehow that didn’t offend his Republican principles against Big Government. That law was later ruled to be unconstitutional, and after months of emotionally brutal wrangling in the courts and the media, Schiavo was mercifully allowed to die.

Today Bush still thinks he did the right thing and says that “I don’t think I would change anything.” However, he went on to express what he said was his one regret:

“In hindsight, the one thing that I would have loved to have seen was an advance directive where the family would have sorted this out […] I think if we’re going to mandate anything from government, it might be that if you’re going to take Medicare, you also sign up for an advance directive where you talk about this before you’re so disabled.”

Jeb Bush Death Panels

Yikes! What Bush is talking about are the dreaded “Death Panels” that Sarah Palin made famous in her blitheringly stupid criticism of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Advance Directives are nothing more than voluntary statements that inform doctors and family members as to the wishes of a patient in the event that they are unable to speak for themselves. Palin turned this into a surreal debate over the wholly imaginary prospect of the government deciding who will live or die. For that she was awarded the PolitiFact “Lie of the Year” honors for 2009.

Having been subjected to devastating ridicule did nothing to temper Palin’s dumbfuckery. She continues to believe in the Death Panel myth that she was so instrumental in creating (although she has shifted her ire toward the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a group of health care professionals who insure best practices in medical care and fair pricing, which she now calls Death Panels). When Palin gets wind of Bush’s endorsement of Advanced Directives there is likely to be an earthquake in the Tea Party precincts that still admire her vacuous ramblings.

As for Bush, there is reason to be positive about his support for such a common sense initiative that gives people more control over their own lives. However, he may have taken it a step too far. The suggestion that Advanced Directives be mandatory seems like the sort of government intrusion that Republicans usually rail against. While a Living Will is advisable for most people, forcing them to prepare one when they may not be ready to make all of the profound decisions involved is way too strict a requirement.

What’s more, Bush is only proposing mandated Advance Directives for Medicare recipients. Why is he discriminating against just that sector of the population? Why not make it mandatory for anyone with a health insurance policy, whether public or private? As usual, the Republican solution to any problem is to put the burden on those who are already on society’s lower financial rungs. It’s why they advocate mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients, but not for doctors or lawyers or politicians, who hold people’s lives in their hands. It’s why states like Kansas are currently trying to dictate how food stamp recipients can spend their benefits, but there are never similar dictates on how wealthy recipients of government subsidies can spend their benefits.

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If you’re poor in America the government can tell you what to do and how to live. If your rich, anything goes, even if you still get benefits from the government, including tax breaks that contribute to your wealth. That’s the Republican philosophy. And then they will condemn anyone who proposes a policy that permits the government to control any part of a citizen’s life. Unless, of course, it has to with a woman’s control over own body, a patient’s desire for medicinal marijuana, or anyone who wishes to be free from mandated exposure to Christianity.

In short, the GOP Doctrine of Acceptable Hypocrisy requires that any regulation of the rich be condemned as an intolerable intrusion by Big Government. But similar regulations of the poor are necessary controls on irresponsible, and probably criminal, moochers.