Torture Advocate On Fox News Says “ObamaCare Is No Katrina, It’s Much Worse”

Absurd and asinine analogies have been swirling for weeks by critics of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). They have compared it to Watergate, to slavery, to Iraq, and relentlessly to Hurricane Katrina. Their arguments are ridiculous and transparently political.

It is certainly within the realm of reason to oppose ObamaCare and articulate a case for pursuing a different solution to expand access to health care and lower costs for patients, businesses, and government. The only problem with that is that Republicans have no other solution. They are so fixated on repealing ObamaCare that they can’t be bothered with developing a plan that might actually help the American people. And in the process they are resorting to epic levels of overkill in order to characterize a glitchy website as the end of western civilization.

However, it’s one thing to employ hyperbole to advance a political agenda, and another to recruit a notoriously controversial figure to elevate that hyperbole to heretofore unspeakable heights. Yet that’s what Fox News has done by giving former Bush Justice Department lawyer, John Yoo, a platform to make grotesque assertions that diminish the tragic loss of life and property in the Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Katrina.

obamacare-katrina

For those who don’t recall, Yoo is the author of the Bush administration’s legal justification for what they euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation,” but which the rest of the world calls torture. For someone who has advocated the use of barbaric tactics that have been denounced by the United Nations and the World Court, to compare health insurance reform to a natural disaster that took almost two thousand lives is reprehensible.

Yoo is probably the worst possible spokesman for this line of attack, given his resume. And he proves it with his opening argument that favorably differentiates Bush from Obama by saying that “Bush had to respond to unpredictable events,” such as “an act of war in Iraq.” Unpredictable? The act of war in Iraq was a deliberate, preplanned assault on a nation that had done nothing to incite it. The stipulated reasons for the invasion all turned out to be false. And the consequences for Iraq and the United States were costly in terms of both human life and actual expense. Yoo goes on to make this inexplicably inane assertion:

“Obama is hitting the shoals for the exact opposite reason. ObamaCare’s collapse does not result from an act of nature or the attacks of a foreign enemy. Instead, it is a perversely self-inflicted, man-made disaster that replaced the efficiency of the private markets with the tangle, confusion, and ideological bias of government bureaucracy.”

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Once again Yoo falsely implies that the war in Iraq emanated from “the attacks of a foreign enemy.” Then he makes the delusional and unsupported statement that the private insurance markets were performing efficiently. Of course, if they were there wouldn’t have been 48 million people who were unable to get insurance due to cost or rejection for preexisting conditions. There also wouldn’t have been millions more who were paying for plans that provided little in the way of security, and that could be terminated entirely when a claim was filed. But the most grating rhetoric in Yoo’s screed is the repeated portrayal of ObamaCare as a “disaster” on par with, even worse than, Hurricane Katrina.

It is impossible to overstate the idiocy of an opinion that ranks a failed website rollout as inferior to the incompetence that left thousands to needlessly die in a great American city. Yoo dishonors the memory of the victims and insults the survivors. But coming from someone whose most significant professional achievement was to justify the use of torture, perhaps we should not be surprised. Neither should we be surprised that Fox News would embrace this cretin and his inhumane philosophy.

How Fox News Links ObamaCare To Falling Into An Orchestra Pit

“If you have two guys on stage and one guy says ‘I have a solution to the Middle East problem,’ and the other guy falls into the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?” ~ Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes

The “Orchestra Pit” theory of news programming by Roger Ailes perfectly describes the way much of the mainstream media, and particularly Fox News, responds to current events. Whatever angle they can wrench themselves into that results in producing more superfluous melodrama is the one they choose, regardless of how far that diverts from real substance or even reality (see Fox Nation vs. Reality for some flagrant assaults on truth).

Roger Ailes

Yesterday the administration released data on the number of people who enrolled in new health insurance plans made available by ObamaCare. In the first month there were 106,000 people who got new plans via Heathcare.gov and the state-based exchanges. Almost immediately that number was decried as a catastrophic failure by the media. However, very few reporters actually provided the necessary context within which to view this data. They leaped at the opportunity to bellow ignorantly about what they characterized as an insurmountable defeat. Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer even discussed the possibility that this would herald the end of liberalism.

A more thorough analysis of the data shows that the magnitude of the fiasco was not nearly as pronounced as the media declared. First of all, everyone knew that there were functional problems with the website that would hamper enrollments. So to register surprise when numbers were released that fell below estimates made a year ago is plainly dishonest. The lower figures were expected by everyone involved and the feigned shock illustrates the devotion that media has for hysterical theatricality.

Furthermore, the numbers are not even all that bad despite the botched technology. Comparing this rollout to the rollout of RomneyCare in Massachusetts shows a similar pattern wherein enrollments started out slowly and rapidly increased as it got closer to the deadline. The Washington Post reported last month that…

“Just 123 people signed up during the Bay State’s first month of open enrollment. By contrast, 20 percent of the first year’s 36,000 enrollees purchased coverage in the last month before an individual mandate penalty kicked in.”

It is also notable that the states that provided their own exchanges signed up many more people than those that failed to do so. For instance, Kentucky’s exchange signed up five times more citizens than its exchange-less neighbor, Tennessee. Of the “Four Corners” states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), only Colorado has its own exchange. But it signed up three times the number of citizens as the other three combined. In fact, California’s exchange enrolled more citizens than all 36 exchange-less states combined. What’s more, many in the media are conveniently forgetting that the expansion of Medicaid is also a part of ObamaCare. And 400,000 Americans now have health insurance through Medicaid as a result. That brings the total to half a million.

By this measure, with four months left in the open enrollment period, ObamaCare is on track to meet or exceed its estimates so long as the website problems are resolved, or people have adequate access to alternatives. But another factor that comes into play is the relentless attacks on ObamaCare by Fox News and other right-wing media. The consequences of this coordinated effort to frighten the American people include both dissuading new enrollments and prodding Congress to push for crippling legislation to delay and/or defund the program. It’s a self-fulling prophecy of doom wherein critics blast ObamaCare as failing to meet expectations, act to disparage and dismantle it, and then complain when it falls short of inflated expectations. Extremist right-wingers have been working furiously to sabotage ObamaCare, and it is no coincidence that almost every state without an exchange has a Republican governor and legislature.

The downside of this unfolding of ObamaCare news is the allegedly poor rate of enrollment. And on that matter, Fox obsessively focuses on negative reports that characterize the program as having tripped and fallen into a bottomless (orchestra) pit. But the other newsmaker on the stage is Obama’s plan that has provided 48 million Americans with access to health care that they had been denied previously. This solves a problem that prior administrations, going back FDR, have tried and failed to solve.

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It is a historic achievement, but the media is fixated on the website that fell into the Orchestra Pit, while ignoring the far greater achievement of making health care accessible to millions. So thanks, Roger Ailes, for helping the press to neglect what is truly important in order to promote relative trivialities and misrepresentations, and thereby advancing your personal agenda of Tea Party extremism and callous insensitivity toward those less fortunate than you. Despite your campaign to destroy a program that will bring life-saving relief to millions of Americans, the people are going to discover the benefits of this innovation and reward those who delivered it – and punish those who tried to kill it.

Serial Liar, James O’Keefe, Releases Another Deceitfully Edited Video: ObamaCare Edition

Some people are just gluttons for punishment. Take James O’Keefe for instance. The petulant, wannabe ambush journalist has already been exposed as a purveyor of dishonest videos that are deceptively edited in order to slander his victims. He was caught trying to execute a perverse scheme to seduce a CNN reporter. He had to pay a $100,000 to settle a defamation suit brought by a former ACORN staffer. And he was convicted of criminal behavior in a stunt he tried to pull in Louisiana.

James O'KeefeSince then his projects have been few and even many of his former allies declined to promote them. But now he has a new video that purports to expose some malfeasance on the part of some ObamaCare “navigators” who are helping people to acquire health insurance. As I’ve noted before, O’Keefe’s inner sadist assures that his projects are almost always aimed at attacking people and programs that serve the less fortunate. That’s true in this case as well.

The ObamaCare association seems to have loosened up those who abandoned him in the past, including Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. However, his reputation for producing video fiction is fully intact. In the new video he sends in a shill to pretend to inquire about enrolling in a health care plan. In the process, the shill attempts to trick his unsuspecting victims into giving bad advice. However, we can’t know for sure whether they did that because the videos are so heavily edited that there is no way to discern the actual context. Also, the people O’Keefe’s shill spoke with weren’t certified navigators, but were in fact trainees. So the prospect of them making a few mistakes shouldn’t shock anyone.

In one case, though, it is apparent that the navigators did not do what O’Keefe accused them of doing. O’Keefe alleged that the navigators advised the shill to misrepresent his income. In reality, they simply told him to report on the ObamaCare website the same amounts he reported to the IRS. It’s his responsibility to file his income taxes honestly. But the conclusions drawn in the video conceal that. That’s just one example of how creative editing can distort the true picture of what occurred.

Given that Fox News is immersed in an obsessive campaign to cripple ObamaCare, they must have given the green light to O’Reilly to readmit O’Keefe into their good graces – sort of. O’Reilly devoted most of his opening segment to O’Keefe’s video, but without ever mentioning his name. That may have been wise considering the disrepute associated with O’Keefe and his band of dissemblers. O’Reilly only identified the video as the work of Project Veritas, which he helpfully explained to his viewers means “truth,” something with which O’Reilly and O’Keefe have limited experience.

Even Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze couldn’t post O’Keefe’s video without disclaiming that “It should be noted that the video is heavily edited and employs deceptive tactics in order to catch the navigators offering the shocking advice.” When Beck’s crew is disturbed by deceptive tactics, you know you’ve crossed a line that most charlatans never see in their whole lives.

Shameless Plug: Please Get My Ebook,
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth

What’s worse, a United States senator, John Cornyn, Republican of Texas (where else?), also cited the O’Keefe video as evidence that ObamaCare needs to be stopped immediately. Cornyn said that “This behavior is unacceptable, and is yet another broken piece of a deeply flawed system. The Obama administration should stop this program immediately.” Obviously – if a trainee tells a dishonest, partisan shill something that isn’t quite accurate, in a video produced by a known liar and criminal, then an entire government program that was set up to help 48 million previously uninsured Americans get access to health care should be thrown out.

That’s the quality of the logic in use by Republican and Tea Party opponents of ObamaCare. And, as such, is more than ample justification for ignoring them completely. It also explains how the pathetically amateurish video fabrications of James O’Keefe get taken seriously by idiots in politics and the press.

[Update 11/14/2013] Another Fox News program is hyping the O’Keefe lies. Sean Hannity did a segment during which he also referred to Project Veritas as the video’s producer and never mentioned O’Keefe’s name. He also spewed other lies about the cost of the website, the navigators not getting background checks, and the scope of the people whose current plans will be terminated by insurance companies.

Tea Party Mullah Ted Cruz Thinks He Can Banish Obama From Texas

President Obama traveled to Texas this week to inform the citizens there that ObamaCare has benefits that specifically address their needs. Texas has the notorious distinction of being the state that has more uninsured residents than any other state in the country. A big chunk of that problem would be solved if Gov. Rick Perry and the state legislature would simply agree to expand their medicaid program to cover low income residents. It wouldn’t cost the state a single penny because it is paid for by the federal government.

Nevertheless, Perry has ruled out this expansion despite the fact that a million of his constituents will suffer needlessly due to his cynical politicization of health care. This will hurt real people who require medical attention who will not receive it, as well as people who manage to get care that they cannot afford, which will lead to financial hardships including home foreclosures and bankruptcies. Obama made reference to this dire situation in his address to the people of Dallas.

Obama: I think that all of you understand that there’s no state that actually needs this more than Texas. [...] Across this state, you’ve got a million people — because this is a big state — a million people, citizens, who don’t have health insurance that could get health insurance right away if the state of Texas decided to take advantage of [Medicaid expansion].

The response from Texas senator Ted Cruz to this common sense proposal was typically arrogant and insensitive. It exposed a deeply held animus for the President and disrespect for the office.

Cruz: President Obama should take his broken promises tour elsewhere so Texans can continue focusing on the solutions that have allowed our state to become and remain the nation’s economic and job creation powerhouse.

Fox Nation - Ted Cruz
Correcting Fox Nation. More corrections can be found in the
ebook, Fox Nation vs. Reality

Where Cruz gets the idea that he has some authority to direct the President’s itinerary is unknown. However, what is even worse is his obliviousness to the tribulations of his fellow Texans. By focusing on the status of the state’s economy, Cruz drives home the point that the business class of Texas has prospered at the expense of working families. If Texas is such an economic success and job haven, then why are more of it’s residents struggling to get by without health insurance than any other state?

That’s a question that Cruz and Perry and the rest of the GOP Scrooges still refuse to answer. They have a no-cost solution available to them that would relieve the stress of millions, but they won’t accept it because of their overriding desire to sabotage the Obama presidency. Eventually they will have to explain that to voters.

Bill O’Reilly Is Cool If You Go Bankrupt Or Die Waiting Another Year For Health Care

The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) was passed three years ago, and in that time has already helped millions of people by setting standards for insurance coverage that prohibit discrimination for preexisting conditions, permit children to remain on their parents policies until they are 26 years old, mandating free preventative care, forbidding arbitrary cancellations, eliminating annual and lifetime limits, etc. And that’s before the introduction of the health care exchanges that provide better and less expensive plans to millions.

Bill O'Reilly
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The new law has already saved lives and the financial well being of many families and individuals. But that is of no concern to Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. On his Tuesday night program he debated Dr. Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist who contributed to the development of both RomneyCare and ObamaCare (video below). O’Reilly began the discourse by asking how long insurance companies have been not insuring those with preexisting conditions. He then answered his own leading and manipulative question by saying that “It’s been, roughly, since the Revolutionary War,” and adding that one more year won’t matter. Dr. Gruber responded with the an observation that is all too frequently ignored by pundits and politicians who attack the ACA. But pay extra attention to O’Reilly’s retort.

Gruber: It’s easy for you to say, but you’re not someone who’s living every day with the risk of going bankrupt or dying because you don’t have insurance coverage.

O’Reilly: I’m talking about the greater good. I understand this suffering and if there’s any way that I personally can alleviate it, I will. I give beaucoup money to charity to try to relieve…The greater good is served by having a law that is being mandated, all right, imposed on the population, clear, number one, and functional, number two. And neither of those things are happening, doctor.

See? O’Reilly’s just standing up for the “greater good.” It’s perfectly acceptable for some families to lose their mothers or fathers or children if, in exchange, we can insure that there is a functional website to enroll others next year. That’s the greater good, isn’t it? So some families will will become homeless or have to spend their retirement savings on medical expenses. That isn’t nearly as important as avoiding Internet glitches or forcing people to enroll by telephone.

In almost every occurrence of some television blowhard criticizing ObamaCare’s flawed rollout, the critic is a wealthy member of a privileged class who never has to worry about access to health care. And like O’Reilly, they often reveal their callous insensitivity toward people who are less fortunate. O’Reilly trailed off in his self-congratulatory nod to his charitability without specifying how he personally relieves anyone’s suffering. Instead, he makes a judgment as to whether saving lives is even a worthy goal. And to compound his haughty arrogance, he demonstrates an embarrassing ignorance of the ACA’s scope.

Gruber: But Bill, you have to remember. This bill is not affecting the vast majority of the American population. That’s what’s getting lost is the fact that the vast majority of Americans getting their insurance from their employers or the government are not affected by this law.

O’Reilly: We don’t know that yet. The law is only about six weeks old. We don’t know that yet. But the evidence rolling in is that the suffering being caused by the law is much more intense than the help it is going to give.

Gruber: That’s absolutely wrong.

O’Reilly: All right. We have a gentleman’s disagreement on that.

What O’Reilly calls a gentleman’s disagreement is generally regarded as fundamental misunderstanding (or blatant misrepresentation) by rational observers. First of all, it is unarguably true that most Americans (over 80%) get their health insurance from their employers or governmental agencies like Medicare and the Veterans Administration. Secondly, the law is three years old, not six weeks. Like many ObamaCare critics, O’Reilly is mistaking the insurance marketplaces that just rolled out online as the whole of the program. Finally, O’Reilly didn’t bother to provide any details on the more intense suffering he alleged, most likely because there isn’t any truth to it.

However, if you’re looking for a public voice to advance support for functional websites at the expense of the health and economic security of millions of Americans, you have found your advocate in Bill O’Reilly – the Guardian of the Greater Good. [Note to O'Reilly: Isn't the "Greater Good" a socialist concept?]

Red State Revenge: Fox News Floats New ObamaCare Conspiracy Theory

As previously reported here at News Corpse, the anti-ObamaCare zealots have deployed numerous attacks on the Affordable Care Act that are based on disinformation and deceit. Their offensive is still in full force as demonstrated by Fox News today.

Fox News

The latest phony issue to emerge on Fox News is the false allegation that the Obama administration is deliberately punishing red states that didn’t vote for him with higher premiums for health insurance. The article published on the Fox News website says that higher premiums are…

“…more likely if you live in a ‘red state’ that didn’t vote for Obama, according to price data compiled by the Heritage Foundation. In red states, premiums for 27-year-olds rose an average of 78% on ObamaCare exchanges, whereas in ‘blue states’ that voted for Obama, premiums rose a smaller 50%.”

Setting aside the fact that the Heritage Foundation is a disreputable right-wing think tank run by former GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, a fiercely biased opponent of ObamaCare, the data imparted in their “study” is far from accurate. What’s more, Fox gets support for their story from Avik Roy, a senior fellow at the rightist Manhattan Institute, which is funded by the Koch brothers.

The main problem with the numbers presented by Fox is that they do not include adjustments by the subsidies that are available to most insurance consumers purchasing plans through the ACA exchange. Roy dismisses that fact by saying that the subsidies will still cost the federal government money, but that doesn’t address the question at hand. Consumers will still be paying less, and those who live in red states will not be subject to any partisan penalty.

The other area that may affect the average prices paid by residents of specific states is the availability of expanded Medicaid service for low income residents. It’s true that these citizens will either have to pay more or go without insurance, but that isn’t the result of any retribution by the President. In fact, it is quite the opposite. All states can choose to expand their Medicaid programs to cover these people and be reimbursed by the federal government for the cost. Governors in blue states are doing just that. However, the republican governors of many red states have declined to take advantage of that benefit. So it is the GOP governors and legislatures who are depriving their residents of affordable coverage and inflating their state’s average costs.

By accusing Obama of orchestrating some sort of revenge against the residents of states that didn’t vote for him, Fox News is again advancing a dishonest argument in the hopes of doing harm to the public perception of ObamaCare, and to the reputation of Obama. There is absolutely no truth to the allegation that Obama has sought to punish residents of red states, and the ACA does no such thing. The American people see right through this cynical scheme as evidenced in a recent poll that shows that more people want ObamaCare to be expanded or remain as is, than want it to be repealed and/or replaced.

All of this leads back to a simple question asked in these pages before: If ObamaCare is as bad as they say it is, why do they have to keep lying about it?

The ObamaCare Bashing Media Fails To Turn The Public Against ObamaCare

Ever since the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges opened a month ago, the media has been relentlessly hammering on every negative story they could find. They began with the famously glitchy rollout of the website. Then they shifted to allegations of increased premiums, complete with personal horror stories that turned out to be false. From there they segued to panicky assertions of plans being terminated, even when alternative plans were available that were better and cheaper. And that doesn’t even include some of the most delusional fear mongering over mythical criticisms the right-wing could invent.

Of course, Fox News was at the forefront of this effort to propagandize the nation into believing that there were no redeeming qualities to ObamaCare, but they were by no means alone. Most of the establishment media joined in the piling on to create an impression of utter chaos and failure.

Yet through it all the American people have managed to wade through the muck and learn for themselves whether the new initiative would be of benefit to them and their families. And the result is revealed in the latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation that shows unequivocally where most Americans stand on the issue.

Fox News
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After weeks of persistent disparagement, criticism, and lies, by most of the mainstream media, and their associated pundits and politicians, 47% of the country favors expanding ObamaCare or keeping it as is, compared to only 37% who want to repeal and/or replace it. And this poll was taken well after the problem-plagued launch of the website.

The partisan divide is notably evident. Nearly 8 out of 10 Democrats support the law, while about three quarters of Republicans oppose it. And you can guess where the Republicans are getting the information they use to form their opinions.

The poll also shows that opinions about the plan have hardly budged throughout this year despite the overwhelmingly negative press. Currently 38% have a favorable view, while 44% have an unfavorable view, a mere six point difference. The poll does not break out how many of those who hold an unfavorable view are actually supporters of the law but think it should have been more expansive.

The bottom line is that, even though there has been a concerted effort by the media, and particularly the rabid right-wing faction, to turn people against ObamaCare, it has not worked. The millions of dollars spent, and the hundreds of hours of airtime devoted, has failed to produce the animosity toward the plan and the President that they were aiming for.

This is another indication of just how impotent the Fox News driven conservative propaganda machine is when measured by real-world results. They may have high ratings that consist of the right-wing choir that is already in their congregation, but they have little affect on the population at large.

OBAMA SCARE: The Right’s Fright Offensive To Scare People Away From Affordable Health Care

Halloween is approaching and the hobgoblins of conservative minds are already spinning nightmarish tales of the horror of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Actually, they have been doing it for quite some time dating back to at least March of 2010 when Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller published an article headlined “IRS looking to hire thousands of armed tax agents to enforce health care laws.” Fox News re-posted the article on their community web site and Fib Factory, Fox Nation despite the fact that it was a complete fabrication and was debunked by the Annenberg Center’s FactCheck.org

Fox News
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This year the campaign to recast a program that makes health insurance accessible to millions of Americans as a plague of locusts has risen to fever pitch. The Republican Party and conservative media has pulled out all the stops in a strategy aimed at scaring people from signing up with the hope that low enrollment will collapse the system. President Obama had the same concerns last month when he said…

“What you’ve had is an unprecedented effort that you’ve seen ramp up in the past month or so that those who have opposed the idea of universal health care in the first place — and have fought this thing tooth and nail through Congress and through the courts — trying to scare and discourage people from getting a good deal.”

These are not the hackneyed GOP talking points about death panels, job killers and government bureaucrats coming between patients and doctors. These are far more fanciful efforts that stretch the limits of credulity and appear to have more in common with satire than actual news reporting. Yesterday Rush Limbaugh “ruminated” (sourced to Breitbart) that ObamaCare may just be a ruse to set up gun registries in the United States. This is what it has come to as ObamaCare has finally reached the consumer stage and conservatives are desperate to keep people from discovering its benefits. For instance…

1) Fox News Warns That If You Sign Up For ObamaCare Hackers Will Steal Your Life Savings
On an episode of “The Real Story” on Fox News, host Gretchen Carlson introduced an ominous new strain of fear mongering to demonize ObamaCare. She interviewed John McAfee, the anti-virus software developer who is presently a fugitive from a murder investigation in Belize. He asserted a wild accusation that visitors to Healthcare.gov are going to be victimized by hackers who will steal their identities and/or drain their bank accounts.

However, neither Carlson 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. He alleges that 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. But visiting Healthcare.gov does not expose anyone to these phony sites as implied by the fear mongers at Fox.

2) WorldNetDaily Reports “Obama ‘Crashing Health-Care Site On Purpose'”
This article asserts that the President is so afraid that insurance shoppers will learn that ObamaCare is really more expensive than the old system that he deliberately caused the website to crash to keep people from seeing the rates. No one is defending the botched launch of the insurance exchanges, however, the notion that the technical glitches were intentionally caused by Obama is delusional.

WND’s argument (supported by links to Rush Limbaugh) that rates will increase leaves out the subsidies and tax credits that are available for many applicants. With these adjustments, premiums for most people will be substantially lower. The administration would, therefore, be anxious for consumers to have access to that information and would not be putting obstacles in their path.

3) Rand Paul: Take ObamaCare Or Go To Jail
The Tea Party darling Rand Paul has made innumerable false statements about virtually every policy that has emanated from the White House. But none surpass the diversion from reality than when he said “They say take [ObamaCare] or we will put people in jail. People say we aren’t going to put anybody in jail. The heck they won’t. You will get fined first. If you don’t pay your fines, you will go to jail.”

That’s interesting coming from someone who has frequently complained that no one in Congress has read the Affordable Care Act. If he had read it himself he would have known that the law explicitly prohibits criminal consequences for non-payment of fines. It states “In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.” It rarely gets more clear than that, but the mission to frighten the public exceeds the motivation for truth on the part of GOP scare-meisters.

Notably, Bill O’Reilly insisted that no one on Fox News ever claimed that failure to enroll in ObamaCare would lead to a prison sentence, but he was hilariously embarrassed by the videos that proved otherwise, including on his own program.

4) Right-Wing Think Tank Mortified That ObamaCare Web Site Links To Voter Registration Form
This is a particularly curious horror story as it seeks to raise an alarm over something that ought to be regarded as a civic duty. Nevertheless, the conservative MacIver Institute (a Koch brothers funded operation) published an article that implied there was some sort of heinous objective on the part of the Obama administration for having included a link to a voter registration form on the ObamaCare website. This startling revelation is met with foreboding by MacIver and a flurry of right-wing media outlets that disseminated MacIver’s story including National Review, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, Breitbart News, the Daily Caller, and of course, Fox News. All of their reports agreed that this was a clandestine attempt to register only Democratic voters despite the absence of any partisan framing. MacIver even asks specifically “[W]hat does registering to vote have to do with signing up for Obamacare?”

The core of the right’s trepidation is rooted in a more fundamental aversion to the act of voting itself. It is why they are continually erecting new barriers to voting, such as unreasonably stringent identification requirements, shortening or eliminating early voting periods, wholesale purges of voter rolls, and of course, brazenly discriminatory gerrymandering. Democrats, on the other hand, have sought to expand voter turnout with bills like the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (aka Motor Voter) that mandates that certain government agencies provide people with access to voter registration. In fact, it is that twenty year old law that requires the ObamaCare administrators to make voter registration available. MacIver, and their similarly mortified conservative comrades, are either unaware of this, or are deliberately feigning ignorance in order to rile up their conspiracy-prone base.

5) Weekly Standard Finds Imaginary Threat On ObamaCare Website
The ultra-conservative Weekly Standard dispatched their crack reporters to ferret out what they portrayed as an ominous security threat on the Healthcare.gov website. What they found were comments in the site’s source code that said that “You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.” The Standard notes that these comments were not visible to users and were not part of the site’s terms and conditions. But that didn’t stop them from implying that users would be still be bound by it because “the language is nevertheless a part of the underlying code.” Not really. It’s only a part of some inoperative text that carries no more obligation than some discarded notes.

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 the Standard implied. If any of these “reporters” had a fourteen year old at home they could have learned what this is about. But that would have interfered with their goal which is to leave Americans with the false impression that some hidden danger lurks beneath the surface of ObamaCare.

6) Fox News Fears ACORN Is Back To Push ObamaCare
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 wrongly 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 Fox co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck who announced that “We’re getting information that ACORN operatives are trying to sign people up for the Affordable Care Act.”

While ACORN was never found to have engaged in any unlawful activity, there was a bill passed that prohibited them from receiving federal funds. However, there is nothing in the law that prevents organizations with former ACORN staff from getting federal grants. In fact, there isn’t even any current law that prevents ACORN from getting grants as the previous ban was not included in the latest Continuing Resolution. Fox is brazenly misrepresenting the facts in an attempt to reignite fears of the old ACORN bogeyman. And they upped the terror ante by further alleging that ACORN would use your personal medical and financial information against you politically. They never revealed how that would occur, or to what end, but that isn’t the point. Their only interest is in spreading fear, no matter how irrational and unsupported.

Conclusion:
The zealousness with which these right-wing propagandists pursue their disinformation campaign is evidence of their own fear that Americans will come to appreciate having access to affordable health care. Therefore, they see their mission as derailing the program before that eventuality unfolds. Their tactics get more extreme and absurd the closer the program gets to gaining acceptance. A particular target of their attack is young people whose participation is important for the program to succeed. Consequently, opponents have launched a well-funded campaign (thanks to the Koch brothers) to scare off young consumers. Generation Opportunity has already released the now notorious “Creepy Uncle Sam” videos that make false implications of government intrusion into medical care. Next they are embarking on a twenty city college tour to mislead students.

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PolitiFact has reviewed sixteen claims made by ObamaCare detractors and found all of them false. Twelve of those were designated “Pants On Fire” lies. If there is one question that begs to be asked, it is this: If ObamaCare is so terrible, then why do opponents have to lie so much about it?

ObamaCare Myths

FLASHBACK: New Republican Party Site Crashes Hours After Launch

For three weeks the Republican Party has been frantically railing about the alleged incompetence of the Obama administration due to the notoriously botched rollout of the website for the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace. Predictable calls for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have come from numerous Republican partisans like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Pat Roberts, Roy Blunt, Ken Cuccinelli, and Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

The condemnation from the RNC chief is particularly notable considering their own history of troubled website launches. In October of 2009, The RNC’s GOP.com was to debut with a grand fanfare trumpeting the arrival of the Republican Party into the 21st century with a modern social network that would set the standard for online politicking. It didn’t quite work out that way.

GOP Website Crash
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When the all new GOP.com premiered it was a train wreck of glitches, bugs, and failure. It crashed entirely within hours of the launch. No one was able to log on. Later it accidentally posted the administrator passwords. A list of GOP accomplishments ended five years earlier in 2004. It falsely listed baseball legend Jackie Robinson as a Republican “hero” (He wrote in his autobiography that “By and large Republicans had ignored blacks and sometimes handpicked a few servile leaders in the black community to be their token ‘niggers.'”). And a “Future Leaders” page was conspicuously (and presciently) blank.

Politico reported that the RNC’s New Media Director, Todd Herman had a familiar excuse, saying that the site was struggling from attracting “an enormous amount of traffic.” And then-RNC chairman Michael Steele laughably responded that “It’s a good thing when you get another email from Todd saying, ‘It’s down again.'”

For the record, CGI Federal, the contractor responsible for the ObamaCare website, is deeply connected to the Republican Party. Buzzfeed reports that…

“[A]ccording to Federal Election Commission records, that company’s PAC gave more to House Republicans than House Democrats during the 2012 cycle — including a $2,000 check for the GOP’s chief scandal investigator, Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa. What’s more, executives of CGI Federal personally gave more than twice as much to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney than to President Obama. The contractor has also feasted on more than $2.4 billion worth of IT work dating back to the early Bush Administration.”

Isn’t that interesting? Especially considering the new and unsupported complaints that the company got the gig due to some sort of sweetheart relationship with the President.

For the Republican Party to take such a strident stand against the President and his team, when they experienced a similarly embarrassing website flop, is hypocrisy on an Olympian scale. The GOP.com website wasn’t nearly the technological challenge that Healthcare.gov is. But Republicans seem to think that an admittedly poor rollout for Democrats is an unforgivable debacle, but for Republicans it’s a “good thing.”

What’s more, the disaster that plagued the GOP was merely a setback for their public relations efforts. At least the Obama administration is attempting to do something that will benefit millions of people, save billions of dollars, and even preserve the lives of Americans who might otherwise suffer due to the greed of unregulated corporations.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Hundreds Of Thousands Get Better, Cheaper Insurance

In keeping with their knee-jerk opposition to everything President Obama does, The liars at Fox Nation posted an item sourced to NBC News with a foreboding headline declaring that “Hundreds of Thousands Lose Their Health Insurance.”

Fox Nation
For more juicy examples of Fox Nation’s lies read Fox Nation vs. Reality.
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The first problem with this is that NBC News was not the source of the information Fox was referencing. This misattribution was an attempt by Fox to ding NBC, one of Fox’s favorite punching bags, as well as to pretend that a respected news source was criticizing ObamaCare. The actual source was the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization (not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente).

More to the point, the Fox Nationalists grossly misrepresented the substance of the original article. Contrary to the overtly biased headline, the newsworthiness of the article was not that insurance companies were terminating old, non-ACA compliant plans. It was that the new plans available on the ObamaCare exchanges were both better and cheaper. In fact, the third paragraph down began “By all accounts, the new policies will offer consumers better coverage, in some cases, for comparable cost — especially after the inclusion of federal subsidies for those who qualify.” ThinkProgress did an analysis of the changing plans and found that…

“Many policies currently sold through the individual market do little to help people who actually get sick. These plans come with appealingly low monthly premiums to draw in consumers. But those supposedly ‘affordable’ rates typically mask high deductibles, big gaps in coverage, and large co-pays [...] Insurance companies have been able to get away with this because they were largely unregulated before the health reform law’s passage. Now, Obamacare is changing that.”

Fox simply ignored the critical passages in the article to which they linked in favor of advancing their agenda of fear mongering about ObamaCare. They rely on the incurious nature of their audience to fail to read even three paragraphs of the articles they post. It is consistent with their efforts to frighten insurance consumers with poorly researched stories that allege exorbitant price increases, but fail to take into consideration the subsidies and tax credits for which most of the affected people will qualify. So we can chalk this up as just another lie from the folks at Fox Nation.

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
Click here for more documented examples of Fox Nation’s battle against reality.

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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