Fox News Contributor Defends Statement That ObamaCare Is “The Worst Thing Since Slavery”

Last week when Fox News contributor, Dr. Ben Carson, told the ultra-conservative crowd at the Values Voter Summit that the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) is “the worst thing since slavery,” he was subjected to well deserved criticism from the ranks of decent Americans who were repulsed by his nauseating remarks. Unfortunately, this egomaniacal demagogue learned nothing from his critics and decided to go on Roland Martin’s radio show to defend himself. Not surprisingly, he made things much worse.

Ben Carson
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When asked by Martin whether ObamaCare was really worse than things like the Jim Crow laws, Carson responded “Yes, absolutely.” Then he went into a nearly incoherent rant that barely touched on the comparison between ObamaCare and slavery.

Carson: I’ll tell you why I think that. This nation was founded on the principle that it would be a new type of nation that was for, of, and by the people. A constitution was put in place that would assure that the people remained at the pinnacle of power and that the central government would never reach the point where it had control of the people. This fundamentally changes the relationship.

It is rather appalling that Carson’s defense would include a reference to the Constitution’s original language that permitted slavery. In this context his argument, that appears to be focused on the primacy of the people in a democratic republic, makes no sense whatsoever. Most Americans do not concur with the founding principle that allows ownership of human beings, but Carson is celebrating it. Furthermore, he never clarifies why ObamaCare changes the relationship between the government and the people. But he does attempt to invent some sort of intervention by the government into medical care.

Carson: What do you need for good healthcare? You need a patient and you need a healthcare provider. Along has come a middleman to facilitate the relationship. Now it has become the primary entity with the patient and the healthcare provider at its beckon call. Completely turns the situation upside-down.

The middleman to whom Carson is referring is not the government, it is the insurance company. And that’s the way things have been for decades prior to ObamaCare. However, in the past the insurance companies had even more control over the patient’s welfare financially and medically. They could deny coverage at will and put so many exceptions into their contracts that even conditions for which patients thought they were covered, they were held responsible and often driven into bankruptcy. If the situation was turned upside-down, it is with respect to the insurance company losing that sort of incontestable dominance.

Carson continues blathering nonsensically about insurance companies, who will now have more people buying in than ever before, will go out of business. Apparently he thinks that booming consumption is harmful to their bottom line. He then concludes that this failure will lead to a single-payer system. If only. That would be a great outcome, but nothing in his logic predicts it. Then he drops the most absurd part of an already epically absurd analysis.

Carson: And that will give the government the kind of control that it needs. And, you know, all you have to do is look back through history – and this is something that most people don’t, they don’t know very much about history, even in this country.

Huh? It will give the government the kind of control that it needs? To do what? Harvest organs for billionaires? Build replicants to work in extraterrestrial mining camps? Withhold dialysis from people who vote for Republicans? Carson doesn’t say. Neither does he say what historical lessons are being ignored with regard to health insurance reform.

The one thing that Carson has said affirmatively was that ObamaCare is the worst thing since slavery. His defense of that statement is unintelligible. But the falsity of it is obvious to anyone with a functioning cerebellum. Does he really think that making health care available to millions of Americans who never had it before is worse than anything since slavery? Is it worse than the civil war? The Great Depression? The incarceration of Japanese-American citizens during World War II? Forced segregation in the South? The Vietnam War? The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001?

If this is the depth of Dr. Carson’s intellect, it is hard to see how he got through medical school, much less became a renowned neurosurgeon. Perhaps his blind fealty to right-wing polemics and Christianist dogma have clouded his thinking. It’s understandable that Fox News viewers would buy into this shallow foolishness if it were coming from a flake like Sarah Palin. But Carson is a real doctor with respectable credentials and, in that sense, it makes it even more pathetic.

Wingnut Media’s Lame Attempt To Prove ObamaCare Is A Failure, Proves It’s A Success

The Daily Caller (TheDC), a website run by Fox News supplicant Tucker Carlson, has published what they laughably refer to as an “investigation” into “the numbers on the hilariously sad failure of Obamacare.” Unfortunately for them, what ends up being hilariously sad is their inept attempt to malign a program that is showing objective signs of success and is gaining in popularity.

Daily Caller
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TheDC based their article on reports of the Obama administration’s estimates that about half a million people would enroll in the ObamaCare exchanges in the first month. However, the launch of the online component of the program was something less than optimal, to put it mildly. As a result, enrollment was severely hampered.

It is was on this basis that TheDC concluded that ObamaCare has failed. But their own numbers tell a different story. TheDC cites an analysis by Millward Brown Digital, a private marketing firm, who estimate that 36,000 people enrolled in a new health care plan on the federal exchange in the first week. And according to an article in The Atlantic, an additional 115,000 enrolled via the the state exchanges. That’s about 150,000 enrollees in the first week, despite the software glitches. Extrapolate that number out for 50 more weeks, or one full year, and you get 7.5 million. The Department of Health and Human Services estimated that they would enroll seven million people the first year. Therefore, these numbers suggest that they will exceed their estimates.

Of course there are stipulations that need to be addressed. For one thing, there is an open enrollment period that only goes through March of 2014, so consumers cannot enroll from April to October of next year. However, it also needs to be considered that, absent the glitches, many more people would have already enrolled. It is highly likely that when the system is more stable enrollments will increase exponentially, not only due to the system’s availability, but to the demand for high quality, low cost insurance. In fact, information published by The Atlantic, but ignored by The DC who used the article as their source, shows that where the exchanges where functional, public response was quite positive:

“[T]he data suggests what must be a welcome proof of concept for the exchanges. The demand is there and people are completing applications through the marketplaces at a solid clip where it’s possible for them to do so.”

Also not reported in TheDC’s investigation is that, while only 36,000 were reported to have enrolled, there were over nine million visitors to Healthcare.gov in the first week, and over a million of them completed registrations. A completed registration is the best indication of an intention to enroll at a later date. A more complete reporting of the Millward Brown Digital study that TheDC excerpted reveals a far more optimistic appraisal of the program. And as confirmation of that, week two enrollments increased 31 percent.

So even using the TheDC’s numbers, which were significantly reduced due to technical problems, ObamaCare appears well on its way to success. The “sad failure” hoped for by TheDC and the rest of the right-wing opponents of Americans having access to health care is clearly not going to materialize. So in order to distract from that fact, TheDC chose to flesh out their phony investigation with ridiculous comparisons to other online subscription services, beginning with a bondage and sadomasochism site. The sexual fetishism of TheDC’s reporting continued with other comparisons to sites about boobs and sugar daddies.

However, all of the comparisons mentioned by theDC were not only childish, they were irrelevant. Subscriptions to online services that have been available for years, particularly those with sexual content, cannot be reasonably compared to a brand new government site offering health insurance coverage that has only been online for two weeks.

In another example of the right-wing media’s dishonesty, last Friday Fox News aired an episode of Sean Hannity’s program that included three couples who, according to Hannity, were “feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck.” However, when an aide to the former governor of Montana contacted these alleged victims, what he discovered was that not a single one of them had even bothered to look at the insurance exchange to ascertain whether or not they would be helped or harmed. In every case, as it turns out, they would have paid thousands less annually in premiums. They were simply blindly opposed to ObamaCare without any direct knowledge of it, and that’s certainly why Hannity chose them to appear on his show. This is typical of the dimwitted and deceitful brand of journalism practiced by conservative media in general, and by Fox News and TheDC in particular.

[Note: The Fox News community website and Fib Factory, Fox Nation, featured TheDC's story as their top headline news item on both Friday and Saturday]

In the end, what’s really hilariously sad is a pseudo-journalist who once said that Fox News is “a mean, sick group of people,” but now is reduced to working for them and regurgitating their flagrant falsehoods and propaganda.

Tucker Carlson

[Update] News reports now reveal that the ObamaCare exchanges have received 476,000 applications in the first two weeks. That’s just shy of the half million that the administration had estimated. And before anyone tries to dismiss this as liberal media trickery, the news outlet reporting this is Fox News.

OBAMA SCARE: Fox News Finds Imaginary Threat On ObamaCare Website

Fox News has been engaged in a massive disinformation campaign against the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) for going on three years now. After all that time, and having exhausted the considerable creative resources that came up with twelve “Pants on Fire” lies about the program, Fox’s desperation is showing.

Recently Fox News went apoplectic over a phony allegation that millions of Americans will be victimized by hackers if they try to enroll in a new health care plan. Then they fear mongered over the horror of Americans voting due to the Affordable Care Act website providing users with an opportunity to register. Then they trembled at the thought of ACORN zombies helping people to get health care coverage. And now they think they have uncovered an ominous threat lurking in the Healthcare.gov website.

And this is the Fox News mothership, not their rabidly dishonest Fox Nation community site.

Fox News Obama Scare

Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy (son of Fox & Friends Curvy Couch Potato, Steve Doocy) posted an article on the Fox News website that purported to have ferreted out what he called a “privacy threat” hidden in the ObamaCare source code. He wrote that “buried in that website’s blueprint (known as ‘source code’) lies an alarming warning.” He further stated, without any documentation, that unnamed security experts worry that “the U.S. government is ill-equipped to handle identity thieves.”

None of this was supported by any actual evidence. Mini-Doocy simply cited as his source a column on the ultra-conservative Weekly Standard website that said…

“Now comes another example of why the website’s reputation is in tatters. Buried in the source code of Healthcare.gov is this sentence that could prove embarrassing: ‘You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.’ Though not visible to users and obviously not intended as part of the terms and conditions, the language is nevertheless a part of the underlying code for the ‘Terms & Conditions’ page on the site.”

This is another situation where you have to wonder whether these people are embarrassingly stupid or brazenly dishonest. There is a reason that this language was not visible. It was deliberately removed with the use of HTML comment tags by the site’s programmers. It was undoubtedly edited out because it was not an accurate expression of the site’s privacy policy. It does not mean that users are agreeing to a secret clause permitting the government to spy on them as Fox News implied. If any of these “reporters” had a fourteen year old at home they could have learned what this is about.

In all likelihood, one of the programmers probably copied a block of text from a privacy policy somewhere else and then edited it by taking out the parts that don’t apply. The Weekly Standard even included this possibility in their article, but then downplayed it with their deliberately ambiguous assertion that “the language is nevertheless a part of the underlying code.” Not really. It’s only a part of some inoperative text that is not a part of the privacy policy and no one is bound by it. Fox News left out this explanation entirely. Their goal is to leave Americans with the false impression that some danger lurks beneath the surface of ObamaCare.

To make matters worse, Doocy’s article on the Fox News website was accompanied by a video that had nothing to with this source code matter. The video did feature Doocy reporting on Fox News an utterly asinine conspiracy theory that the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services “Planned Obamacare Website Glitches To Curb Cost Scare.”

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The crux of this nonsense was Doocy’s assertion that the administration was afraid that citizens would be put off if they saw insurance premiums prior to being adjusted by available subsidies and tax credits. Of course they would. It’s like saying car buyers would be put off by the manufacturer’s sticker price before being told of the dealer’s actual discounted sale price. The administration wasn’t trying to hide anything. They were trying to make all of the relevant information available so the consumer could make an informed decision. But in FoxNewsLand this amounts to a conspiratorial plot by the government to hobble their own website despite the obvious negative fallout from doing so.

Once again, this is proof that Fox News is committed to frightening the American people to keep them from taking advantage of a program that will be of great benefit to them and the nation. Fox News knows that this program will be popular once the public is aware of it’s value. And Fox will do everything it can to keep that from happening – even inventing phony horror stories.

OBAMA SCARE: Fox News Fears ACORN Is Back To Push ObamaCare

Fox News has been engaged in a massive disinformation campaign against the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) for going on three years now. After all that time, and having exhausted the considerable creative resources that came up with twelve “Pants on Fire” lies about the program, Fox’s desperation is showing.

Recently Fox News went apoplectic over a phony allegation that millions of Americans will be victimized by hackers if they try to enroll in a new health care plan. Then they fear mongered over the horror of Americans voting due to the Affordable Care Act website providing users with an opportunity to register. And now Fox is trembling at the thought of ACORN zombies helping people to get health care coverage.

Fox News Obama Scare

The Curvy Couch Potatoes over at Fox & Friends had a jolly old time resurrecting their fear of a community organizing enterprise that no longer exists. ACORN was hounded out of business by right-wing opponents after pseudo-journalist and convicted criminal, James O’Keefe, distributed some deceitfully edited and libelous videos. But that hasn’t stopped conservative media from exhuming the corpse whenever they are in need of a sensationalistic story as demonstrated by this morning’s broadcast:

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: We’re getting information that ACORN operatives are trying to sign people up for the Affordable Care Act.
Brian Kilmeade: Good luck. Let them try.
Hasselbeck: They’re banking on the American people forgetting what had happened in terms of voter fraud. So we need to ring the bell a little on this one.

As previously noted, there aren’t any ACORN operatives, and multiple investigations never found any evidence of wrongdoing by ACORN or their former staff. Despite their innocence, the Foxpods think that anyone affiliated with the former ACORN must retire to caves in Antarctica rather than resuming their vocation of helping the American people to navigate the complexities of government services. Fox just hates it when any organization aspires to help people for any reason. They continue…

Steve Doocy: Remember back in the old days, we used to show this video when we would show ACORN locations back in 2009. Famously they were caught in a sting operation by a journalist that showed they were showing people how to break the law. [...] After the scandal, and they were exposed, ACORN was banned from getting taxpayer money. So if they’re getting some of this navigator money in that kind of serpentine way — still illegal.

That’s cute. Doocy called O’Keefe a “journalist.” As for his allegation of illegality, there is nothing in the law that prevents organizations with former ACORN staff from getting federal grants. In fact, there isn’t even any law that prevents ACORN from getting grants as the previous ban was not included in the latest Continuing Resolution. Doocy is brazenly misrepresenting the facts, just as Hasselbeck does when she implies that ACORN will be getting $67 million. Actually, that’s the total amount of the ACA navigator program for all grantees. But then Hasselbeck introduces a new irrational fear:

Hasselbeck: The American people have great cause to be concerned about their personal information, medical information, financial information, being handed over – not just in terms of the money the government is giving out, but your information that is being given to an organization that will most likely be used against you at some point, politically.

Yowsa! ACORN using this information against us would be bad enough, but the prospect of such use being “most likely” really ought to scare the bejeezus out of the Teabaggers who watch Fox. Hasselbeck never explains how this info can used to politically harm anyone, but then again, she never offers any proof of her allegations in the first place. It is simply an attempt to dangle a ominous sword over the heads of her dimwitted audience.

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To recap, Fox has so far announced that ObamaCare enrollees are subject to financial ruin due to hackers, political strife due to ACORN, and some unspecified horror due to access to voter registration forms. They never mention the fact that they will also be covered by an affordable health care plan that may preserve their medical well being and prevent an illness-rated bankruptcy. No wonder Fox News viewers are so clueless about this and pretty much every other issue.

OBAMA SCARE: Fox News Warns That If You Sign Up For ObamaCare Hackers Will Steal Your Life Savings

On Friday’s episode of “The Real Story” on Fox News, host Gretchen Carlson introduced an ominous new strain of fear mongering to intimidate Americans from learning more about how the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) can benefit them. Fox News is so terrified that people will discover how much there is to gain by enrolling, that they continue to invent ever more frightening tales of horror.

Fox News Obama Scare
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Carlson’s guest for the segment was John McAfee, the notorious developer of the anti-virus software company, who is presently a fugitive from a murder investigation. Carlson introduced McAfee with a declarative statement that enrolling in ObamaCare is dangerous because “Hackers could easily steal your identity. You could even lose you life savings if you do sign up.”

Oh my! That sounds awful. Pack up the kids Mabel, we’re moving to our bunker in Idaho where we stashed the gold bullion and freeze-fried moose stew. Fox News has confirmed that legions of hackers will be stalking innocent health insurance consumers to bleed them dry and deliver their souls to Satan.

This wild assertion that visitors to HealthCare.gov are going to be victimized by hackers is designed to frighten people away from the web site. Fox News has embarked on a full scale assault against ObamaCare with false allegations of higher costs, reduced service, death panels, national deficits, and even allusions to slavery. Their goal is to steer enough gullible viewers away from participating in order to engineer the program’s failure. And now they are deploying their latest tactic, fear of a malicious army of identity thieves.

During the interview, Carlson raises the specter of outlaw hackers laying in wait on the ObamaCare web site. However, neither she nor McAfee actually provide any evidence of such a threat. In fact, when directly asked about it. McAfee diverts from the question and lays out a completely different threat that has nothing whatsoever to do with the ObamaCare web site:

“There are no safeguards to prevent anyone – you, me, anyone who can develop a web site that only costs a couple of hundred dollars – and pretend to be an examiner, an agent, and you can log on, I’ll ask you for your Social Security number, your date of birth, everything I need to an hour later empty your bank account. And this is going to happen, and it’s going to happen very soon. Nothing in the ObamaCare system safeguards against this.”

To be clear, McAfee is not talking about any flaw or security risk to users of HealthCare.gov. He is saying that other nefarious individuals could set up their own unaffiliated web sites in the hopes of luring naive people of whom they will seek to take advantage. Of course, that is a threat that exists every day for every web site, and has since the Internet began. It has absolutely nothing to do with the ObamaCare site and does represent any risk to its users.

In short, if you give your Social Security number to a fake web site, or the widow of a Nigerian prince, it isn’t Obama’s fault. And the fact that Fox News will lie about this so brazenly is evidence of how scared they are that most Americans are going to appreciate having access to affordable health care for the first time. They are going to appreciate declining costs and lower national deficits. And they are going to remember who it was that threw every obstacle they could find in the path of these reforms when they go to the polls in November 2014.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Case Of The Half-Naked ObamaCare Promotion

Now that the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) health insurance exchanges are open, Fox News has been shifting into overdrive to sabotage it and frighten away Americans for whom it will be valuable service. And not to be left out, Fox Nation is joining the assault with its customary disrespect for truth and ethics.

Toward that end, the Fox Nationalists posted an item criticizing what they regarded as a weak first day showing by ObamaCare because “Less Than 1% of Visitors Are Signing Up For ObamaCare on State Health Exchange Websites.” Who knows what Fox would consider a strong showing, but a 1% conversion rate is considered pretty good in the direct marketing business. It also rep[resents 65,000 sign-ups on day one. Is that supposed to be bad? At that rate, by the end of the year, that would add up to nearly seven million.

Factor into this the fact that, due to enormous interest, the heavy volume produced some technical glitches that prevented many people from completing their applications. Also factor in the fact that buying insurance online is not like buying socks or light bulbs. Consumers are going to want to compile information, compare options, and consult doctors and family members. Consequently, they may not make a purchasing decision as a result of the first visit. Finally, it’s likely the sign up rate will increase over time as people learn more about the benefits and get positive word-of-mouth feedback from satisfied customers.

Nevertheless, Fox is ramping up their typical disinformation campaign in order to cast a negative light on the new law’s implementation. But it doesn’t even come close to the ludicrous dishonesty displayed in another story posted this morning with the provocative headline “Obama Hires Half-Naked People To Promote ObamaCare.”

Fox Nation
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Oh lawdy, pass the smellin’ salts. Young folks wearing beach attire are on the mall distributing literature. What has become of this country? Thank goodness that Fox is around to expose our President for engaging in these sinful acts. It would be even more of a blessing if any of it were actually true.

Reading down the page a bit reveals that these morally loose boys and girls were not hired by Obama at all. Right there, just below the sensationalist headline, it says that “Colorado HealthOP, a consumer-run cooperative selling insurance plans on the exchange, sent models in skimpy clothing — and sporting signs with information — to greet Denver’s 16th Street Mall lunch crowds.” So contrary to Fox’s sweaty panicking, it was a privately run insurance coop that hired the semi-nudists to advertise their insurance products available on Colorado’s state exchange. It had nothing whatsoever to do with Obama or the federal administration of the Affordable Care Act.

The headline on this Fox Nation article is 100% false. And Fox’s attempt at deceit was so inept that it was contradicted a few lines down on its own propaganda tract. Clearly, they aren’t even trying anymore to disguise their lies.

Journalistic Malpractice: A Forensic Analysis Of A Fox News Lie About ObamaCare

As the country is mired in an unnecessary financial crisis courtesy of the Republican Tea Party establishment, Fox News is continuing to do its part in disseminating false information and right-wing propaganda.

Fox News Jim Angle

Yesterday’s Special Report with Bret Baier featured reporting by Fox News Chief National Correspondent, Jim Angle, on the harried first day of access to the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Angle presented an error-ridden account of the new law’s benefits and grossly misrepresented the facts. The core conclusion that he built up to was embarrassingly inept, untrue, and biased.

Angle: Without subsidies, many will be paying more than they would now. Not only that, we’re now learning what the wide range of deductibles will be, in addition to widespread reports of large increases in premiums, especially for the young. Those buying even the least expensive plan under ObamaCare will have a large deductible to pay before getting any insurance coverage.

Let’s dissect Angle’s remarks in detail to see the depth of his dishonesty:

“Without subsidies, many will be paying more than they would now.” Of course they will. That’s why ObamaCare included the subsidies in the first place. It is absurd to report the cost of the unsubsidized premiums that few if any Americans will pay. It’s sort of like advertising the sticker price of a new $30,000 car when every dealer in the country is selling it for $23,000 due to manufacturer incentives.

“…in addition to widespread reports of large increases in premiums…” Angle never documents the alleged reports of premium increases, nor what he regards as “widespread.” In all likelihood, he is referring to his own false reporting that omits the subsidies.

“Those buying even the least expensive plan under ObamaCare will have a large deductible to pay before getting any insurance coverage.” No kidding! This is the most ignorant part of Angle’s report. The least expensive plans are always the ones with the highest deductibles. Angle is spinning this as a flaw in the system when, in fact, it’s precisely how the insurance actuaries devised it from the earliest days of insurance. It’s a trade off between cost and risk. The more risk you’re willing to assume, the less you have to pay. The more you pay, the less your exposure to risk. Do you think Angle doesn’t know this?

The blatantly biased misrepresentations in Angle’s report are certainly nothing new for Fox News. At the same time that they are broadcasting Angle’s mutilation of the truth, they are spinning the government shutdown as a “slimdown,” as if it were diet program that will make us all deliciously svelte. And this isn’t the first time that Angle has lied openly in his reporting either.

Angle did a story last month about a man and his family in Kentucky that he said would suffer a tripling of their insurance premium. But Angle left out a couple of pertinent facts: 1) That subsidies available under ObamaCare could reduce the premium to an amount lower than the family currently pays. And 2) That the man in the report is the vice-president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, a conservative alternative to the AARP and an adamant opponent of ObamaCare.

That second fact is a wholly unethical failure of journalistic standards of disclosure. Surely an executive working for an anti-ObamaCare organization is going to have a built-in prejudice and an incentive to negatively portray the law. His occupation is a salient fact that any reputable reporter would mention. Angle certainly knew the man’s identity and his professional affiliation, but he deceitfully withheld that information from the audience.

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All of this adds up to journalistic malpractice on an Olympian scale. No news enterprise with an ounce of credibility would permit this sort of obfuscation and deception. Which is, of course, why Fox News not only permits it, they encourage it. And it is why Fox News viewers are so often proven to be more ill-informed than even people who watch no news at all. This is not an accident. It is the mission of Fox News to create as many idiots as possible, who will vote against their own interests and enhance the power and wealth of the upper-crusty corporatists who exploit them.

Sorry Tea-Publicans: America Made Its Choice And ObamaCare Won In A Landslide

House Republicans have succeeded in shutting down the government, a goal they have had for decades stretching back to Grover Norquist’s famous and heartless yearning to shrink it until it’s small enough to drown in a bathtub.

In the course of the debate there has been some dispute about whether the last election was a sufficient referendum on the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Republicans persistently assert that the American people oppose the law and that it should be repealed to conform with their wishes. Conveniently left out of this argument is the fact that the law was passed with a super-majority in both houses of congress and signed by a popularly elected president. It later passed constitutional muster according to a conservative leaning Supreme Court. Finally, President Obama was reelected by a significant margin. And while polls about ObamaCare seem mixed, they rarely take into account that a fair percentage of unfavorable sentiment is actually people who think the law did not go far enough and would prefer a single-payer plan.

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped the GOP from pretending that the election had nothing to do with ObamaCare and was not an affirmation of the people’s support. These Tea Party history revisionists might want to sign up for ObamaCare so they can get medical attention for their severely short-term memories.

Mitt Romney
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Mitt Romney had made repealing ObamaCare a key factor in his vain pursuit of the White House. He spoke about it on almost every campaign stop. And he did not mince words. Here are just a few examples of his pointed rhetoric:

  • If elected, I will repeal Obamacare on day one.
  • What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States. And that is, I will act to repeal Obamacare.
  • I’ve said that on the campaign trail, I think, every single day. Obamacare must be repealed –- in its entirety.
  • Our mission is clear: if we want to get rid of Obamacare, we are going to have to replace President Obama. That is my mission. That is our work. And I’m asking the American people to join me.

Apparently the American people declined to join Romney on his mission to repeal ObamaCare. Obama won by more than five million votes. And what is abundantly clear is that Romney had thrust the health care law into the forefront of the campaign. Anyone who attempts to dismiss the prominence of it as an issue is deliberately lying (I’m looking at you, Fox Nation). And if these comments by Romney are not convincing enough, he also produced an ad in the thick of the campaign blasting ObamaCare and making this promise: “Day One. Job One. Repeal ObamaCare.”

Just to reiterate – “Day One. Job One. Repeal ObamaCare.” That hardly seems like an issue that was an afterthought in the Romney Campaign. So America was presented with a choice that was focused on this very subject. They made their choice and now they are just beginning to discover the rewards of having made the right one.

That is what is so terrifying to the Republican Party. If they really believed that ObamaCare would be a disaster, they would allow it to proceed and fail, and then they would ride a wave of support into a senate majority next year and the White House in 2016. Instead they are putting up roadblocks, disseminating disinformation, and trying to persuade people not to enroll. Because they know that once people see what the program actually provides, they will not only be excited and grateful, they will lobby their representatives to expand it.

So remember that the more you hear Republicans slamming ObamaCare and trying to prevent its implementation, the more you know they are running in fear of a law that they themselves believe will be popular and will help millions of people. And if there is one thing Republicans hate, it’s helping people, because – you know – socialism.

House GOP’s New ObamaCare-Busting Bill Contains Provision To End Imaginary Exemptions

With the deadline for a government shutdown rapidly approaching, the functionally impotent Speaker John Boehner, and his minority clique of Tea Party diehards, are proposing a third version of the Continuing Resolution in an attempt to blackmail President Obama and the Democrats into undoing the benefits of ObamaCare that millions are already receiving, and that millions more will receive after the insurance exchanges go online tomorrow.

A feature of the new Republican proposal is a version of the Vitter Amendment that would strip health care subsidies for members of Congress, their staff, the President, and other federal employees. The argument proffered for this measure is that government officials have unfairly exempted themselves from ObamaCare and that they should have to live under the same laws as the people they represent. The problem with this tactic is that they already do, at least so far as ObamaCare is concerned. So the GOP is attempting to pass into a law a provision that addresses an imaginary exemption.

The gist of the deception put forth by the House Republicans is that if someone is not enrolled in one of the insurance exchange plans, then they are not participating in ObamaCare. But that is plainly false. The new health insurance reforms include both the exchanges and private insurance. Every American has the option to choose either type of plan. If the President or any member of Congress has the resources to purchase the pricier private plans, they are entitled to do so. And as employees of the federal government, they are eligible for health care benefits from their employer.

What the GOP want to do is pretend that only the exchanges constitute ObamaCare. However, the exchanges are just one part of the program, and they were designed specifically to make access to health care more affordable for people with limited resources. So in reality, forcing the President, or any other federal worker, into the exchanges is what is treating them differently than the people they represent who are free to choose the exchange plans or private plans. What’s more, the GOP amendment proposes to force federal employees into the exchange as well as denying them the benefits they are entitled to as employees. No other American is subjected to these discriminatory policies that were only devised to embarrass Democrats by falsely making it look like they were giving themselves special privileges.

Republicans have been spewing this dishonesty for months, but now they have committed it to paper in the form of a bill that, if not passed by the Senate (which it will not be), will lead to a shutdown of the government. Republicans, therefore, are so obsessed with shutting down the government that they will hinge the whole thing on their insistence that a nonexistent benefit be repealed. They have officially gone past their previous designation as the stupid party. Now they are the delusional party.

Feel free to share this graphic lesson by a character with more smarts than the average Teabagger:

Cletus on ObamaCare

12 “Pants On Fire” Myths About ObamaCare

Yesterday the Tea Party Texan, Ted Cruz, wrapped up a 21 hour talk-athon during which he couldn’t articulate a single fact that might convince an open-minded person that ObamaCare is the nightmare that he alleges. Rather, he rambled aimlessly through Dr. Seuss recitations, White Castle burger recollections, and Nazi references.

The truth about the Affordable Care Act is something that Republicans are deathly afraid of – that it will be effective and popular – which is why they lie about it so often and so flagrantly.

What Cruz could not do in 21 hours, PolitiFact has summed up nicely in a few paragraphs. They posted an article that contains sixteen “myths” that have been promulgated by right-wing disinformers, complete with links to detailed explanations that expose the brazen dishonesty of the health care law’s opponents. Included are familiar lies like “the health care law rations care, like systems in Canada and Great Britain,” and that “Congress is exempt from Obamacare.” But it is notable that of the sixteen lies listed, twelve of them earned the worst award that PolitiFact gives, the “Pants On Fire” designation.

As a public service, I have created a handy infographic with the 12 worst lies about ObamaCare as documented by PolitiFact. Please share this with your Tea Party infected friends and family.

ObamaCare Myths

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Fox Nation Promotes Creepy Uncle Sam Video To Discourage ObamaCare Sign-Ups

As previously reported here, Fox News has been engaged in a coordinated campaign to drive down participation in the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) by preventing eligible citizens from learning about their options under the new law. It is Fox’s goal to see ObamaCare fail because they prefer a system that gouges patients, fails to serve at-risk constituencies, and enriches heartless corporations, who in turn enrich their Republican benefactors in Congress.

In addition to keeping citizens ignorant about their legal opportunities for access to health care, Fox is now helping to promote a campaign that is attempting to frighten young consumers away from ObamaCare with blatant disinformation and outright lies (See Fox Nation vs. Reality for a compendium of Fox lies with full documentation). The new campaign features a video (below) produced by a Koch Brothers-funded operation called Generation Opportunity. Their mission is to prevent younger, healthier people from enrolling in ObamaCare, which would strain the financial viability of the program. Unfortunately for those who are fooled by this effort, it would also subject them to greater risks to their health and the threat of financial devastation should they become ill or injured.

The videos show young patients visiting their doctors for routine examinations, but are then surprised by the appearance of an “Uncle Sam” character who has a decidedly perverse demeanor and intent. The young patients react with justifiable horror, which is the same reaction that the video’s producers hope to instill in viewers. The ending tag line is “Don’t let the government play doctor,” which is followed by an appeal to “Opt Out” of ObamaCare.

However, the video does not describe anything in the health care law that would permit the government to interfere with a patient’s relationship with their doctor. There isn’t even an attempt to provide any facts that support their contention that the government would have any role in your medical care. The fear mongering in the video is entirely fabricated and untrue. It is the sort of typically vacuous dishonesty that permeates the GOP’s opposition to health care. Another recent example of this deceit is the charge that “ObamaCare will question your sex life.” That charge was obliterated by PolitiFact as a “Pants On Fire” lie.

Ironically, it is the Republican Party that has been most aggressive in their pursuit of intrusive medical practices. Several GOP governors and legislatures have enacted or proposed laws that prevent women from receiving the reproductive health care that their doctors prescribe. These bills call for invasive vaginal probes that are unpleasant and medically unnecessary. It is precisely the sort of perverse intrusion on a patient’s rights that the “Uncle Sam” video implies, but does not substantiate. Consequently, a better illustration of the horrors of medical interference would feature a Republican villain in the lead role.

Fox Nation
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Here is the offensive and dishonest video that Fox is helping to distribute:

Comical Weapon: Sarah Palin/Fox News Cling To ‘Death Panel’ Lies

You have to give Sarah Palin credit for perseverance. It was four years ago that Palin invented the notion that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) contained an ominous provision for something she called “Death Panels.” At the time she was referring to a section of the bill that provided reimbursement for end-of-life counseling, a service that enabled people to discuss with their doctors the measures they would want taken in the event they were gravely ill and unable articulate their wishes. Palin’s “Pants-on-Fire” mutilation of that simple and useful proposal was designated as the “Lie of the Year” by PolitiFact. And yet, she continues to peddle the same turd-o-licious deceit in a new video (below) aimed at raising money for her struggling Super PAC. And, as usual, she can count on the truth manglers at Fox Nation to help her to promote these time-worn fallacies.

Fox Nation - Sarah Palin

Palin introduces her video with a particularly offensive conflation of her death panel lie and the current crisis in Syria: “Enough of this foreign fiasco distraction. Get back to work. It is time to bomb Obamacare.” Not only is she revisiting her weary untruths, she is resorting to terrorist rhetoric. Her desire to “bomb” ObamaCare, in this context, both belittles the horror of actual bombings by the Assad regime, at the same time as it creates images of the destroyed lives (both medically and financially) of the people who would suffer without access to the medical services that ObamaCare provides. Palin, and her Tea Party, cohorts couldn’t care less about the well-being of Americans who are unable to purchase insurance from greedy corporations who exclude anyone with costly illnesses or preexisting conditions. Just as she couldn’t care less about the victims of atrocities in Syria.

It’s pretty funny, however, that most of the video recounts all of the criticism heaped on her for her desperate and obvious falsehoods. There are clips of President Obama, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, Joe Biden, and Fox’s Bob Beckel, all pointing out that she was full of Grade-A Crapola. Then, in an attempt to claim that she was right all along, she spins her original claim about end-of-life counseling to one addressing the ACA’s Independent Payment Advisory Board. This, of course, is another lie because the IPAB is just a process to maintain high standards and low cost for medical reimbursements. The section of the ACA that refers to the IPAB says explicitly that “The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care.” And then Palin has the gall to close her video by saying “Why wasn’t there just more honesty through this whole process.” Why indeed, Sarah?

This video is nothing more than a transparent and self-serving effort to fill the coffers of her PAC. She makes no attempt to validate her spurious allegations, although she does include dog-whistle imagery designed to make her dimwitted disciples salivate, such as a series of posters labeling Obama a socialist. It’s the same old tired smear tactics that contributed to her electoral defeat in 2008. But after failing at reality television, films, books, etc., she has nothing left but to fall back on the schemes that once helped her to fleece the far-right fools who make up her fan base.

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The Stupid Burns: Fox News SHOCKED That State Health Care Programs Aren’t Called “ObamaCare”

Ever since Barack Obama was elected President, Fox News has endeavored to sabotage his administration with insults and brazenly dishonest characterizations of his policies. They have referred to him as lazy, ignorant, and ineffectual, while simultaneously portraying him as a persistent, evil, genius, working hard and successfully at destroying the country.

Setting aside the obvious paradox in those contrasting descriptions, one of Fox’s proudest achievements was the labeling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as “ObamaCare.” It was an attempt to hang the legislation that was a product of a fractured congress around the President’s neck, and was clearly meant derogatorily. The President later adopted the name as an affirmation that he does indeed care about Americans having access to health care. However, now Fox is pretending that “ObamaCare” is some sort of official title, and that avoidance of it is tantamount to a snub.

Fox News
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The absurdity of this criticism is mind-boggling on multiple levels. First of all, the name “ObamaCare” was the creation of the President’s foes and is in no way official. It would be like expecting GOP-controlled states to call their photo-ID laws, the Voter Suppression Act (although that, at least, would be accurate).

Secondly, the fact that states are creating names like MNsure, Vermont Health Connect, California Covered, etc., is evidence that refutes one of the biggest Tea-publican myths about the ACA – that it is a big-government, federally controlled program. In fact, the ACA is just an insurance reform that permits states to create their own system of exchanges that offer health coverage to people who cannot get it from their employer or other private provider.

The ACA’s exchanges are entirely implemented at the state level, which is something that conservatives ought to be celebrating. Instead, they invent lies about Washington intruding on the jurisdiction of the states. But this complaint about how the states name their programs is an ironic example of the right inadvertently admitting their own lies. The states obviously have the right to control their own affairs, and if they choose not to use a name that was invented by anti-health care activists, it is within their power to do so.

It is notable that this epically idiotic article is the product of Fox News, not its lie-riddled affiliate Fox Nation (whose dishonesty is documented in Fox Nation vs. Reality). And the embarrassment of an allegedly serious news operation spewing such nonsense is even more pronounced when Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal is cited as the source for the story. The Journal included a couple of telling examples of insurance consumers. One was a rather moronic Tea-publican who was opposed to his own self-interests:

“The all-Minnesota marketing of the insurance plan didn’t persuade Andrew De Jong, a 25-year-old volunteer in the Minnesota Republican Party’s state-fair booth who said he currently works at a ‘bunch’ of part-time jobs that don’t offer him insurance. He said he has no plans to look for coverage on MNsure because he opposes Obamacare.”

What a brainiac. He would reject even exploring potentially valuable benefits because of his anti-Obama indoctrination. And then there was the liberal who made quite a bit more sense based on actual facts:

“Mr. Schauer, a part-time student, also works part-time as a park-and-water patrolman at the Dakota County Sheriff’s office, where he doesn’t qualify for employer-based health insurance. He said he broke his arm last winter in a snowboarding accident and was motivated to keep coverage. The MNsure calculator estimated he would pay about $65 a month for coverage with tax credits. ‘I figured it would be higher,’ he said.”

The summations by these two prospective health insurance consumers pretty much says it all. Conservatives blindly reject things they’ve been told to reject without any thoughtful consideration. Liberals weigh the facts and arrive at conclusions that best meet their needs.

As for Fox News, they just continue to make up phony issues and disseminate them to their undiscerning audience. Their well established goal is to make ObamaCare fail by discouraging people from enrolling in the exchanges, even if that means they are left unable to seek care if they need it, or driving them into bankruptcy because of their lack of coverage. This was explicitly stated by a Republican quoted in the Wall Street Journal article who said flatly that “We want to keep people out of the exchanges so they will fail.”

Notice that they don’t want to keep people out of the exchanges because they don’t work. They want to keep people out so that the program fails, which, of course, would mean that Americans who choose to participate would be left without options to seek necessary, perhaps life-saving, medical attention. That’s what they must mean by “compassionate conservatism.”

Sarah Palin Can’t Help Making A Buffoon Of Herself (With Help From Fox News)

Sarah Palin appeared on the Fox News Saturday program “Cashin’ In” to discuss her twisted perceptions of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), and the imaginary “death panels” she is obsessed with.

Palin was asked by wingnut host Eric Bolling if she felt vindicated by the presence of some Democrats who have come forward to criticize certain aspects of the law. Palin answered by mistakenly saying that “I don’t think we should condone them.” What she meant to say was that she didn’t want to “condemn them,” because she appreciated their position.

Setting aside that malaprop, Palin insisted that “There are, of course, death panels” in the law that she called “evil.” However, when asked what she thought the motives were of the critical Democrats, she went completely off the rails:

Palin: It’s black and white, in the law, that there will be rationing of health care. They couldn’t go forever in not acknowledging that or they would look like complete buffoons, and they would be deemed incompetent having not read the law to understand that death panels are a part of this atrocity.

If not reading the law makes you an incompetent buffoon, then Palin is at the head of her class. This is what the law actually says about the Independent Advisory Board about which Palin and Bolling were talking:

“The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care.”

It’s right there in black and white. The law explicitly prohibits rationing. Of course, Fox News will never let their viewers know that. But they did accidentally provide evidence of the dishonesty of their death panel fallacy. At the outset of this trumped up issue, Palin was referring to end-of-life counseling sessions which, in her dementia, meant death panels. In fact, they were merely opportunities for people to consult with their doctors about what sort of treatment they would want in the event of a catastrophic illness that left them unable to express themselves. After it became clear that Palin had miserably misinterpreted this provision of the law, she switched the complaint to the Independent Advisory Board (which she also misinterpreted), and pretended that that was her complaint all along. Well, Bolling’s graphic proves otherwise.

Fox News

Even after showing this graphic referring to end-of-life-counseling, their discussion covered only the unrelated Independent Advisory Board. If there is one thing you can say about Fox News, it’s that it is a network where incompetence and buffoonery runs rampant.

Fox News Doctor’s Fatal Misdiagnosis Of Bush’s Heart Surgery Wake-Up Call

“Former President George W. Bush, 67, underwent a procedure Tuesday morning to have a stent placed in his heart one day after a blockage was discovered in an artery, according to a statement from his office. [...] President Bush’s experience is a wake-up call for all of us.”

Indeed it is. That was the response of Dr. Marc Siegel of the Fox News Medical A Team to news that Bush had emergency heart surgery to repair a life-threatening blockage.

Fox News
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The problem with Siegel’s response, however, is that his idea of a wake-up call is a useless gesture for many Americans. Siegel’s advice to “see your doctor for a physical” is sound on its face. But if you are uninsured, the costs associated with an office visit and the battery of tests required to ascertain your health status are prohibitive.

Siegel noted that Bush underwent a stress test with an EKG and a CT angiogram. Having discovered a coronary artery blockage, he was immediately admitted and scheduled for surgery. Bush, of course, is a former president and member of a wealthy family. How is an average American without insurance supposed to pay for all of that? And after the emergency care, who springs for the pharmaceuticals that would be required for the rest their life?

Bush, his family, and most Americans are grateful that his medical scare was resolved and that he will resume a normal lifestyle. But insofar as his experience was a wake-up call, it was an alarm sounding to address the shameful lack of health care for so many citizens in such a rich nation. ObamaCare is a step toward providing that care, but it is people like Dr. Siegel who are throwing obstacles in the way.

Siegel frequently appears on Fox News to denounce the Affordable Care Act and the President for advocating it. He called the Supreme Court ruling upholding ObamaCare a “disappointment.” He spins phony horror stories about death panels, doctor shortages, and unfounded claims of higher premiums and fewer services. Although, how you get to fewer than zero (as was the case for 45 million pre-ObamaCare citizens), I don’t know.

In Siegel’s world everyone should consider getting regular checkups and preventative care, but it should only be available for those fortunate enough to be able to afford it. In other words. Bush’s experience is a wake-up call to financially secure folks like Bush. But it’s a snooze button for millions of others about whom Siegel doesn’t appear to give a damn.

Stephen Colbert On The Tea Party Burning ObamaCare Cards That Don’t Exist

The Tea-publican brain trust is at it again. It’s not enough that they campaigned feverishly to prevent the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) from becoming law; followed by an eye-popping 40 useless, symbolic votes in the House of Representatives to repeal the law; followed by Republican-led states refusing to participate in the health exchanges, transferring responsibility to the federal government they claim to hate; followed by efforts to intimidate schools, libraries, and sports teams from helping to educate Americans about a program that is available to them that can save money and even lives. And of course, Fox News is at the forefront of this festival of disinformation.

Fox News
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Nope. None of that was enough. So now they are embarking on a coordinated campaign to convince people that they should not sign up for ObamaCare when it becomes available. That’s right…If you are a young person with no health care, a family with over-priced private insurance, a patient with a preexisting condition, a senior on a fixed income, the GOP thinks you should forgo the benefits to which you are entitled and risk having expensive medical costs keep you from getting necessary care, or drive you into bankruptcy. Nice of them isn’t it.

The centerpiece of their campaign is a program to get people to burn their ObamaCare cards. There’s just one problem with that – as Stephen Colbert reveals, there is no such thing as ObamaCare cards. But never fear, the folks at the Koch-funded Tea Party asylum, FreedomWorks, are planning to make their own cards which will be suitable for burning. Watch Colbert spell out out the whole process works:

This is so typical of how the right works. Their most fervent desire is to see people suffer, rather than adjust their demented viewpoints. That’s true with regard to health care. It’s true with regard to the economy and jobs. It’s true with regard to foreign policy. And it’s really kind of depressing that so many people fall for it. Thank goodness for Colbert whose perspective on this sort of lunacy can bring laughter back into the debate, along with a big scoop of wisdom.

The Fox News Campaign To Keep Citizens From Learning About ObamaCare

We all know about the Republican support for a health care system that gouges patients, fails to serve at-risk constituencies, and enriches heartless corporations (who in turn enrich the Republicans). We know about the right-wing’s indifference to families who are thrust into bankruptcy due to exorbitant medical bills. And we are all too aware of the Tea Party conservatives’ fixation on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), which they have voted on thirty-seven times in the House of Representatives knowing full well it would never advance to the senate.

There is no ambiguity in the fact that the GOP is determined to defend a broken system that favors the rich and abandons everyone else to a Randian law of the jungle that guarantees that people will die unnecessarily. And Fox News is a critical component in the anti-health propaganda fest designed to keep the American people ignorant and sick.

Fox News
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In recent days Fox News has been escalating their disinformation campaign by attacking uncontroversial plans to give the American people information about their options under the new law and to educate them about the health insurance exchanges that will be launching next year. Fox has taken the side of the GOP anti-health zealots by criticizing routine efforts to provide the public with details about the program.

Reports that the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to publicize the availability of insurance plans by advertising and otherwise partnering with sports leagues, libraries, and schools have been met with ludicrous objections from the right. They have characterized these efforts as communist-style indoctrination and tyrannical coercion, even though they are nothing more than free market publicity. Fox News anchor Bret Baier went so far as to call it “threatening.”

Bret Baier: Forget reading, writing and arithmetic, you are paying about a million dollars to train public school children in California how to promote President Obama’s health care reform law. [...] Officials are promising – or threatening – strict enforcement of the grants with monthly, quarterly, and annual reports.

Holy crap! Now the feds want reports to ascertain whether federal grant money is being used effectively. What’s next, concentration camps?

Other plans being discussed include working with the NFL and the NBA to educate citizens about their options. This has been lambasted by right-wingers on Fox who seem to think that providing information to citizens about programs that they are entitled to use is the work of Satan. They call it propaganda, but it is no more propaganda than public service announcements about seat belts or the dangers of drug use.

The only propaganda here is that employed by Fox News who is trying desperately to misrepresent ObamaCare and the efforts to educate the public about it. Their arguments against publicity campaigns that work with sports leagues, schools, and libraries, consist mainly of phony attempts to turn it all into a political debate. However, ObamaCare is not a political debate – it is the law. And consequently, people are entitled to know what it is and how to use it. There is nothing partisan about that.

What Fox and the GOP are hoping to do is to sabotage the new health care law. They want it to fail (like everything else this administration tries to do) so that they can achieve their goal of repeal and restore the previous system that made them all rich, but that left millions of Americans without coverage. And the best way to produce failure is to make sure that the American people are kept ignorant of the program, which would keep enrollment down. So any effort by the government to let the people know what their options are must be shot down by any means necessary.

This campaign of deceit by Fox and their benefactors is meant only to harm citizens who may be interested in improving health care for themselves and their families. It is not an effort to persuade anyone of the political merits of the plan. It merely informs people of what is currently available. But the anti-health right prefers that the nation be kept as ignorant as possible. That’s something that is apparent to any objective person who watches Fox News. But in this case, the result is not merely being ill-informed, it can lead to serious repercussions for the medical well-being of innocent citizens who are more interested in the health of their families than the phony political controversies that Fox is trying to create.

Fox is embarking on a shameful exercise in greed over humanity. And even Fox viewers should be concerned that their network is working so hard to make sure they stay stupid.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Math-Challenged Poll Analysis On ObamaCare

In yet another attempt to turn their audience into blithering idiots, the Fox Nationalists have posted the results of a CNN poll on ObamaCare with a thoroughly misleading headline and commentary: “Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose ObamaCare.”

Fox Nation
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Fox Nation vs. Reality

Rather than linking to the actual poll results on CNN’s web site, Fox Nation links to a little known blog, Red Alert Politics, an affiliate of Clarity Media. Ultra-rightist billionaire Philip Anschutz owns Clarity as well as the conservative Weekly Standard. The excerpt that Fox extracts from Red Alert says merely that “54 percent of Americans still do not support President Obama’s signature domestic policy, compared to the 43 percent of Americans who support it.”

Not surprisingly, that is not the whole story – or even an honest representation of the limited story. A cursory glance at CNN’s web site fills in the details that Fox has deliberately suppressed. Although CNN also distorts the lede, at least they include the data that puts the poll’s results into context:

“A majority of Americans still oppose the nation’s new health care measure, three years after it became law, according to a new survey.

“But a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday also indicates that more than a quarter of those who oppose the law, known by many as Obamacare, say they don’t support the measure because it doesn’t go far enough.”

In other words, many of those who are being counted as opponents are actually supporters of a more liberal national health care plan. In a rational world, these people would not be lumped in with the Tea-publicans who want to repeal ObamaCare. They would be regarded as supporters who advocate an even more comprehensive policy.

Since 43% of respondents said that they support ObamaCare, and another 16% said that they support a more liberal version of it, a more accurate presentation of the poll’s results would say that 59% of Americans were in favor of the legislation – including some who want it to go further – and only 35% were opposed. That’s a solid majority of supporters.

But it may be too much to expect that Fox could grasp the complexities of math after they spent the last couple of years rejecting it along with pretty much every other principle of science and academia.

National Papa John’s Depreciation Day – Or How To Buy Health Care For 14 Cents

Well, here’s a bad idea, if there ever was one. “National Papa John’s Appreciation Day.” This is brought to you by the folks who supported Chick-Fil-A’s bigotry with an assist from Fox News.

Let’s say there is a nationwide pizza franchise that earns $1.2 billion annually, and whose owner is worth about $350 million. And this cheesy enterprise decides that providing health care for the employees who are central to its success is just too expensive, despite the fact that it would produce healthier, more productive employees and release the federal government and all other insured Americans from the burden of picking up the tab. Never mind that the company gives away millions of pizzas in promotions with the NFL, or that the total additional cost of the health care is only about $0.14 per pizza, or that the owner’s projections are that the program will only cost about $5-8 million a year (less than 1/2 of 1% of earnings)

Then let’s say that this pizza vendor announces that, rather than reducing his profit margins fractionally, or finding other ways to cut costs (like the exorbitant executive salaries), he’s planning to layoff already struggling, low-income employees or reduce their hours so that they don’t qualify for health care – not to mention making it harder for them to buy groceries or pay rent.

Who in their right mind would promote a campaign to support this fiendish and greedy scheme? Fox News of course. Today they are featuring two stories that directly benefit a social media effort to “Stand With Papa John.” The plan is to get people who are in favor of exacerbating the hardships of workers and their families to patronize the pizza parlor on November 16. No doubt they’ll find a few tasteless schmucks who will participate. But screwing your employees to avoid offering them health care over just 14 cents is nobody’s idea of fatherly.

Papa John - Deadbeat Dad

John Schnatter has officially became America’s Deadbeat Dad. And Fox News is his enabler. Just like the Chick-Fil-A affair earlier this year, it is so disappointing to see people rallying around businesses that make hatred and greed the prime ingredient in their product. That doesn’t seem like the sort of thing decent people would turn into a cause celebre. And since that isn’t a particularly good idea, here’s a better one: Print out copies of the “coupon” above and take them to a Papa John’s on Appreciation Day. Leave a few around for other customers so they know exactly how immoral the owner of this pizzeria is.

Romney And Ryan Think Seniors Don’t Care About Their Children

Much of the discussion about Medicare has centered around the question of who will be affected by the proposed reforms. The Obama campaign correctly points out that Romney’s pledge to repeal ObamaCare would immediately subject seniors to higher costs for prescription drugs and preventive care. The President also notes that the $716 billion dollars his plan saves would come from administrative expenditures and the reduction in waste, fraud, and abuse. Not a single dime would be cut from seniors’ benefits.

Romney and RyanHowever, a major talking point from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is that their plan to create a voucher program would not impact anyone who is 55 or older. The first question that raises is: Why not? If it’s so great, why are they preventing current Medicare recipients from enjoying it? Obviously, they recognize that their plan is objectionable and unpopular.

But the the more pressing problem is the notion that they can pacify today’s seniors by assuring them that they will not be harmed by the changes. They think that seniors will respond by saying…

“OK, thanks for not taking away the Medicare plan that is working so well for us. But go ahead and take it away from our children because who the hell cares about them. So long as we get ours those little snots can fend for themselves.”

If Rom-n-Ry think that seniors in Florida, or the rest of the nation, are going to be satisfied with assurances that their own benefits will be preserved but their kids will be hung out to dry, they are going to be in for a big surprise. Most seniors really do love their kids and grandkids and want the best for them. They will not willingly sacrifice the welfare of their children for promises that exempt themselves from the changes that reduce benefits and cost more.

The absurd suggestion that current recipients will not be effected is the very first item in a list of the “Key Elements of Mitt’s Plan.” Other elements are just as deceptive and/or harmful. For instance (taken directly from Mitt Romney’s web site):

#4: If seniors choose more expensive plans, they will have to pay the difference between the support amount and the premium price; if they choose less expensive plans, they can use any leftover support to pay other medical expenses like co-pays and deductibles.

This proposal reveals that the costs awaiting seniors will include unspecified co-pays and deductibles that will not be covered by the voucher, or “premium support.” The burden of that expense will fall on the recipient. It also makes clear the choices that seniors will face with regard to their health care. If their budgets are constrained they may have to settle for “less expensive plans” that fail to meet their needs. If it’s a choice between insurance or rent or groceries, it puts the recipient in an untenable situation. That is a big difference compared to what they get today from Medicare. It is also notable that any of the savings from choosing a an inferior plan cannot be spent on anything but authenticated medical expenses.

#5: “Traditional” fee-for-service Medicare will be offered by the government as an insurance plan, meaning that seniors can purchase that form of coverage if they prefer it; however, if it costs the government more to provide that service than it costs private plans to offer their versions, then the premiums charged by the government will have to be higher and seniors will have to pay the difference to enroll in the traditional Medicare option.

That is an admission that the “traditional” plan that today’s seniors are familiar with will cease to exist. The costs for the recipient may be substantially higher than they are now. And they will be competing with private insurance companies whose plans may be less expensive, but also less comprehensive. That also forces seniors into making decisions driven more by budget than by need.

#7: Competition among plans to provide high quality service while charging low premiums will hold costs down while also improving the quality of coverage enjoyed by seniors.

The assertion that competition among private insurance plans will hold down costs is refuted by the current market for heath care insurance. Does anyone reading this know of any insurance policy that has added benefits and cut premiums? Insurance companies are notoriously greedy in the way they administer their products, despite the fact that they are more profitable year after year. Most policies increase significantly over time while coverage is narrowed. That’s the free market that Rom-n-Ry want to force seniors into. And by encouraging seniors to exit Medicare, it will shrink the coverage pool, thus forcing costs higher while diluting the influence of Medicare to negotiate provider costs downward.

There are some services that ought not to be subject to the whims of the free market. Health care is one. Social Security is another. Just imagine the devastating hardship beneficiaries would have faced if their Social Security had been in the stock market in 2008. Yet that’s precisely what Rom-n-Ry support in their privatization plan. It is a plan that demonstrably harms seniors today and tomorrow. And seniors are not going to selfishly secure advantages for themselves at the expense of their kids. That would be a poor display of family values.