Trump Whines Because ‘Democrats Are Smiling’ – No, They’re Laughing at You, Loser

The failure of Donald Trump and the Republican Party to pass their anti-ObamaCare bill is still stinging. Maybe a bill that would cancel health insurance for twenty-four million people was never a good idea. It had a pitiful seventeen percent approval rating in recent polls. Consequently, the prospects for its passage were dim from the start. But that didn’t sway the President and his party who are more focused on cutting taxes for their wealthy pals than helping average Americans.

Donald Trump

Having had a couple of days to think about, Trump is still peeved that his incompetence has been displayed to the world. So naturally he is blaming everybody else. In another of his morning tweets the President lashed out at those he feels betrayed him:

First of all, Democrats are smiling across the country, not just in D.C. And it isn’t just Democrats. All Americans who appreciate having access to affordable healthcare are glad that the GOP bill never got off the ground. Secondly, it wasn’t the House Freedom Caucus or the Heritage Foundation that doomed the bill. It was the short-sighted thinking of Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who thought they could muscle through sham legislation that achieved none of what they promised. Despite their public pronouncements, they never intended to insure all Americans. They never tried to hold costs down. And they never sought bipartisan consensus to attract Democratic support.

Trump’s tweet exhibits the petty vengefulness that is the hallmark of his flawed character. He’s attacking his closest allies because they weren’t a hundred percent obedient. Heaven forbid he should accept any responsibility for his own political fiasco. What’s more, he’s lamenting that Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare were saved. According to most polls, both are supported by large majorities of the population. They would certainly regard saving them as admirable, not lamentable.

Trump’s disconnection with the majority of the American people, and even his own party, is unusually vast. He appears to have a severe case of ideological tunnel-blindness that has warped his worldview. And by announcing that on Twitter he drew a response from the online community that puts him in his place. If he’s really interested in why “Democrats are smiling” here are a few of the reasons provided by twitterers:

Trump’s arrogance and inability to accept defeat continue to alienate him from most voters. It’s a big part of the reason he has the most unfavorable ratings of any president before him. His response to having been rebuked by the his congressional colleagues, and the voting public, is to hope that ObamaCare “explodes” and causes great harm to innocent people. That’s not leadership. That’s the response of a vindictive narcissist whose only concern is the feeding and welfare of his ego.

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

Trump Hates America, and His Pathetic ‘Leadership’ on Healthcare Is Proof Of It

The failure of TrumpCare is more than a political pratfall by Donald Trump and the Republican Party. It is an object lesson in the pettiness of a vengeful, self-absorbed man who couldn’t care less about the welfare of the American people.

Donald Trump

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump marketed himself as a master negotiator and dealmaker. But when push came to shove Trump couldn’t close the deal on what was the highest priority on his agenda. Instead, the man responsible for six bankruptcies failed yet again. He couldn’t move the ball across the goal line with a majority in both chambers of Congress. But what’s worse is that his reaction betrays a spiteful disregard for the citizens he purports to serve.

In a video posted on the White House website, the President made some brief comments about the TrumpCare debacle. True to form, he blamed Democrats for his own failings and those of his party. Never mind that Democrats could not have blocked passage if Republicans were united – or competent. The truth is that the GOP didn’t want to pass the bill because it was so transparently awful. They knew that their constituents were opposed to it. What legislator in their right mind would vote for a bill that had only seventeen percent approval?

However, the most disturbing part of Trump’s video statement is his virtual giddiness at the prospect of people suffering and Democrats getting blamed. He repeatedly made false assertions that “ObamaCare is exploding” (it’s not). His takeaway on that was a perverse pride in predicting that Americans will suffer:

“I think what will happen is ObamaCare, unfortunately, will explode. It’s gonna have a very bad year.”

Trump took solace in his estimation that TrumpCare’s demise was “the best thing that could happen.” So he believe’s that ObamaCare will inflict great pain on people, but that that’s a good thing. It’s a position that only a sadist could support. And his reasoning centered on a political analysis wherein Democrats would be held accountable for ObamaCare.

“I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because now they own ObamaCare. They own it. One hundred percent own it. And this is not a Republican healthcare. This is not anything but a Democrat healthcare. And they have ObamaCare for a little while longer until it ceases to exist. Which it will at some point in the near future. And just remember, this is not our bill, this is their bill.”

Seriously, what reality is Trump living in? Democrats have always “owned” ObamaCare. It didn’t get a single Republican vote. It was drafted and passed by Democrats. It’s nicknamed after a Democratic president fer chrissakes. What’s more, Democrats are proud of the bill. They are anxious to be associated with its historic drop in the uninsured rate. They happily note that it has resulted in the slowest growth of healthcare costs in decades. And the fact that its approval rating in recent polls is at its highest level ever doesn’t hurt.

Republicans had eight years to come up with a viable alternative to ObamaCare. They never even bothered. Rather, they held meaningless votes (more than sixty of them) to either repeal or cripple ObamaCare. But they only did that because they knew that Obama would veto anything that reached his desk. Now, with a Republican in the White House, they are cowering in fear of voting for something the country opposes. Even press secretary Sean Spicer called them out before the vote. “You’ve taken a bunch of these free votes when it didn’t matter because you didn’t have a Republican president,” he chided. “Well, this is a live ball now. This is for real.” That obviously didn’t work.

Also in Trump’s video, he tried to make excuses for his failure by rewriting his history on the subject. “I never said repeal [ObamaCare] and replace it within sixty-four days,” he whined. That’s true, he never said “sixty-four days.” But he did say “immediately” and “on my first day in office” and that “it’s gonna be so easy.” That obviously didn’t work either.

Trump’s habit of lying, making excuses, and blaming others is on vivid display here. And his utter lack of leadership is appalling. A real leader would not threaten people with predictions of pain and suffering. He would not find comfort in the hardship of others. A real leader would face reality and then seek to mitigate any harm that he perceived. He would accept the circumstances and try to make best of them, even if it was not what he favored.

For example, if Trump thinks that ObamaCare is going to result in higher premiums, he should advocate greater participation. That would increase the risk pool and keep premiums down. If he’s concerned about insurance companies offering plans, he should help to create incentives for them to do so. He’s already given up on “repeal and replace” so he should be focusing on helping people rather than hovering over them like a vulture anxiously anticipating fresh corpses.

That, however, is not Trump’s style. He is a petulant, vindictive, narcissist who throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. And it doesn’t matter who he hurts. He is as poor a leader as he is a dealmaker. The battle over healthcare has been an instructive experience that lays open the festering flaws in Trump’s character – or more accurately – the lack of it.

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

Watch Trump WHINE That America Will Remember Obama and ObamaCare Fondly – And He’s Right

Donald Trump has commenced his sales pitch for the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It’s generous to call it an alternative when it mainly guts the existing plan and grants millionaires a huge tax break. Nevertheless, Trump went into his negative branding routine, calling ObamaCare a disaster and falsely asserting that it is imploding.

Obama Trump

There is little in the GOP plan that can be identified as being beneficial to American citizens. But in a White House photo-op, the President heralded it as godsend. He claimed that competition was going to bring the cost of health care way down. “It will be a thing of beauty,” he said. But he didn’t explain why that would happen in a future without ObamaCare when it never happened prior to ObamaCare. In fact, costs increased at a far greater rate before the ACA than after.

He also claimed that the ACA covers very few people. That flies in the face of reality. Since the introduction of ObamaCare more than 20 million additional Americans have healthcare coverage. As demonstrated by his ludicrous crowd estimates at his inauguration, Trump has trouble with numbers. However, his ability to whine is firmly in tact. Predicting that the public will react negatively to RepubliCare, Trump sought to preemptively dismiss their judgment:

“So the press is making it look so wonderful. So that if we end it, everyone’s going to say, ‘Oh, remember how great ObamaCare used to be? Remember how wonderful it used to be? It used to be so great?’ It’s a little bit like President Obama. When he left, people liked him. When he was here, people didn’t like him so much. That’s the way life goes. That’s human nature.”

First of all, Obama’s approval rating never dipped below 50 percent in the last six months of his presidency. The nation’s appreciation for him did not start after he left office. And when he did leave his approval peaked at 59 percent. ObamaCare is also viewed more favorably than ever now. People don’t have to wait until it’s gone to miss it. They appreciate it now, especially in contrast to the Republican alternative. So Trump’s lament that everyone’s gonna “remember how great ObamaCare used to be,” is well placed.

Trump then returned to his robotic and hollow repetition that “ObamaCare is a disaster,” for which he offered no proof. All the available evidence points to a program that has exceeded the most optimistic projections. And it continues to gain popularity. This year ObamaCare had more enrollments than any year since it began.

Now that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has completed its analysis of the the Republican plan, a fair comparison can be made. The CBO projects that 24 million people will lose their healthcare coverage by 2026 under the GOP’s plan. And while premiums will decline marginally for young, healthy enrollees, they will skyrocket for seniors and low income earners. Meanwhile, the wealthy will get massive tax cuts that will make it even harder to provide coverage via Medicaid and Medicare. The GOP proposal will cost those programs nearly $900 billion.

Trump’s point men on the issue immediately rejected the CBO report without having read it. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made a blanket condemnation of the CBO’s competence and accuracy. And Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, spewed a litany of lies aimed at discrediting the CBO.

This is is pretty much all the Trump administration can do at this point. The facts are aligned against them. But it’s encouraging that even Trump realizes that American’s have positive views of both Obama and his healthcare policies. He can’t deny the popularity of a program that made insurance available to millions for the first time. But he sure does whine tremendously goodly.

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

Paul Ryan’s Health Insurance Seminar Proves One Thing: He Has No Friggin’ Idea How Insurance Works

Thursday morning Republicans rolled out a presentation of their long-awaited alternative to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It came in the form of a lecture by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. He stood before the class and gave a PowerPoint aided speech that supposedly spelled out everything you might need to know about the GOP plan.

Paul Ryan

There was just one problem. Well actually, way more than one. But in the broadest terms the single most problematic part of Ryan’s lecture was that it made no sense whatsoever. It failed to address how it would cover everyone who is presently covered. There were no financing specifics to explain how it would be funded. But the most prominent flaw in his presentation was that it revealed that he has no idea what insurance is. Nor does he have any notion of how it works. Ryan summed up his criticism of ObamaCare saying that:

“The whole idea of Obamacare is … the people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick. It’s not working, and that’s why it’s in a death spiral.”

Let that sink in. What Ryan is saying is not that ObamaCare doesn’t work, but that the whole concept of insurance doesn’t work. Every insurance product, whether it’s for healthcare or auto accidents, operates on the same principle. Many people pay into a pool that is used to cover the costs of the unfortunates who suffer a loss. Insurance depends on the fact that most policy holders will not have a claim (i.e. healthy people). Therefore, their premiums pay for folks who do have claims (i.e. the sick or injured).

Paul Ryan doesn’t seem to grasp that concept. To demonstrate the depth of his confusion, he offered a little example:

[Video below, starts at 14:30]: “Take a small business that has forty employees. Let’s say that four people in that business get cancer. Well, under that business, that business has to pay for all those cancer patients, all those cancer treatments. So the other thirty-six people in that forty person pool get hit with much, much higher premiums to pay for the four that got cancer. That’s how the insurance works today. And that is one of the reasons why this thing is going bankrupt.

“Here’s our solution. Let’s just make sure we cover the people who have preexisting conditions. Make sure reinsurance or risk pools kick in for those four people in that small business that get cancer. Subsidize that coverage and what you do by doing that is you dramatically lower and stabilize the price of insurance for everybody else.”

Let’s break that down. Ryan says that the practice of insuring people by having many people contribute to a risk pool is going bankrupt. He might want to run that by the multi-billion dollar, highly profitable insurance corporations for confirmation. Then he proposes that only the sick people get federally subsidized insurance. That leaves the population of healthy people with lower premiums. That’s actually true. And it makes the insurance companies wealthier because they are only covering people who don’t need any coverage.

But Ryan doesn’t say where the government would get the money to pay for the cancer patients in his scenario. Ordinarily those funds would come from the healthy people that he just removed from the picture.

So one of three things would happen. Either the government would have to bear the total cost of healthcare for America’s sickest population and incur massive debts. Or everyone would have to be taxed to finance the coverage for those patients. Or the sick people would just die. Ironically, there is a germ of a real solution in there. Universal healthcare would provide all Americans with coverage and spread the costs so broadly across the populace that the premiums would be easily manageable.

But that’s not what Ryan and company are proposing. They want to give all the healthy people cheap insurance and burden the sick with unpayable bills. That’s the solution that is being advanced by Republicans in Congress and has already been endorsed by President Trump. If you have the intestinal fortitude, you can watch the entire presentation by Ryan and see if it makes any sense to you. If not, stay away because intestinal maladies are not covered in the GOP plan.

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

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.