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

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

Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Ryan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medicare For All

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah Palin Death Panels

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

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

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

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

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Available now at Amazon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ObamaCare Supreme Court

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeb Bush Death Panels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Effective Would A Travel Ban Be Against Countries With Ebola?

America’s politicians and pundits are engaged in a bitter debate over what to do about the Ebola non-crisis. One of the most fervently argued issues is whether or not to implement a travel ban against countries that are having a problem with Ebola.

GOP Tents America

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Let’s set aside for the moment that the United States is one of those countries, and that conservatives believe that because of our allegedly incompetent president, porous borders, and lax security, it is just going to get worse. So you’d have to ask if the the wingnuts want a travel ban on America.

The remaining arguments center on what benefits and harm will result from a ban on travel. Right-wing politicos have lined up on the side of a ban arguing that it would keep infected persons out of the U.S. On the other side are doctors, scientists, and other public health experts who assert that a ban would serve no purpose because people could still travel to places without a ban and continue on from there to the U.S. In the process they would have slipped though existing monitoring and tracking procedures. In addition, a ban would present an obstacle to the flow of doctors and supplies to the areas that need them most.

What I haven’t seen in any discussion on this topic is a straightforward, unbiased look at the relevant statistics associated with a travel ban. So here is what we are really talking about.

First of all, there is already a de facto ban due to the fact that there are no direct flights on U.S. carriers from the affected West African countries to the United States. However, travelers originating from those countries do arrive here via connections in other countries. The total is estimated to be about 150 per day.

The first (and only) infected West African to arrive in the U.S. was Thomas Eric Duncan. He was a Liberian who began his travel on September 19, without noticeable symptoms. He later became ill and eventually died in a Dallas hospital.

It’s difficult to pinpoint when the risk for Ebola-infected travelers began. So let’s just begin counting on the day that Duncan arrived in the U.S. From then it has been 28 days. With 150 travelers from the affected West African countries arriving every day for 28 days, there have been 4,200 people arriving here from the troubled region. And out of that 4,200 people there has been one – that’s ONE – who became ill with Ebola. That’s 0.0024% of the travelers from West Africa. And for that Republicans and wingnut pundits want to impose a total ban on travel that experts insist will make matters worse.

Three other people with Ebola (all Americans) came home to the U.S. for treatment. They all survived, and no one at any of the hospitals where they were treated became ill. The only transmissions (two so far) occurred at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital that treated Duncan.

Just thought you’d like to know.

The Daily Show’s “ObamaCare Apocalypse” Rips Naysayers To Shreds

Once again, the Daily Show demonstrates why they are a better source for news than much of the mainstream press. While conservatives love to bash its viewers for regarding it as a news program, the truth is that Jon Stewart & Company frequently put the so-called “real” news to shame. (For the record, nobody thinks the Daily Show is a news program. They just recognize that it savagely skewers the many deficiencies of the media).

Daily Show Betsy McCaughey

In the “ObamaCare Apocalypse” segment, “correspondent” Jordan Klepper, goes into stark detail about the media handling of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). He begins with a montage showing an assembly of talking heads, mostly on Fox News, spewing wild accusations about the health reform’s allegedly disastrous effects.

Klepper: “For years, television pundits have been doing important work sounding the alarm about ObamaCare.”
Lou Dobbs program: “We’re going to be, six to ten months from now, in a massive fiscal crisis.”
Klepper: “Come on, you can do better than that.”
Eric Bolling: “ObamaCare literally may kill you.”
Klepper: “Good, keep going.”
Ben Carson: “The worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”
Klepper: “That’s what I’m talking about.”

This parade of hyperbole is followed by a series of facts that Klepper finds facetiously disturbing. Such as the fact that the program’s popularity is steadily growing, medical costs are declining, more people are insured, and premiums are lower. He then sets out to interview subjects who will cooperate with his ACA bashing, but is frustrated to find only people who actually live in the real world. The highlight is his attempt to interview Betsy McCaughey, the originator of the death panel lie, who abruptly removes her mic and stomps off after the first question. You have to wonder why she agreed to do the interview in the first place only to immediately scamper away.

The segment concludes with a simple, yet profound, observation that sums up the coverage by Fox News and other conservative outlets:

“Luckily, to be an ObamaCare critic, being right is not a job requirement.”

Actually, that could be applied to nearly everything that Fox News broadcasts or is uttered by Republicans in Congress. Here is the whole segment for your enjoyment:

For more high-larious hijinks from right-wing jerks…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Night Of The Living Death Panels

Thank you Sarah Palin. You have managed to poison the public discourse with an utterly insipid and dishonest notion that has attained a measure of immortality due to the persistent ignorance of your followers and the spinelessness of your Tea Party Republican comrades.

Night of the Living Death Panels

That’s right, folks. The Death Panels are baaack. And with no more legitimacy now than when they were first peddled by Palin (who actually stole the idea from wingnut Betsy McCaughey). Of course it is Fox News who is reprising this zombie lie which they had a substantial part in promoting the last time around. This year’s model is back in the news thanks to Fox Nation, the lie-riddled community website whose aversion to the truth is documented in the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality. Their story carries the tabloid-esque headline “Death Panels? Medicare May Start Covering ‘End-Of-Life Discussions’” That phony characterization is a long stretch from the New York Times article to which they link that doesn’t mention death panels in their headline at all: “Coverage for End-of-Life Talks Gaining Ground.”

Fox Nation

The news in this story is that, despite being jettisoned by a nervous Congress, coverage for end-of-life counseling is being taken up by insurance companies on their own as a result of prodding from doctors. That’s because it makes good sense and benefits the patient. It is not an economic issue because, depending on the patient’s desires, health care may cost more (if the patient opts for every life-saving procedure available) or less (if the patient chooses to forego artificial methods of sustaining life).

From the beginning, the death panel term was a perversion of what the actual policy provided. It merely stipulated insurance coverage for voluntary discussions between the patient and the doctor to determine the patient’s wishes in the event of a catastrophic illness. Most medical professionals recommend this because, after an illness strikes, you may not be able to make your preferences known. That leaves it to either the doctors or traumatized family members who often disagree. But the completion of an “Advance Directive” always represents your wishes and never imposes any medical care, or lack of it, on the patient.

Tea Party nut cases took the position that you should not be able to have your insurance cover the preparation of such a directive in consultation with your doctor. They irrationally feared that “end-of-life counseling” was coded language that, when translated by enlightened wingnuts, meant “plotting to kill you.” It’s too bad that such stupidity isn’t covered under ObamaCare. And even though some right-wingers recognized that their misrepresentation of end-of-life counseling was making them look ridiculous, when they adjusted their rhetoric they just switched to a different policy, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and called that a death panel. They were still wrong. The IPAB was a doctor-run advisory group tasked with identifying the best practices in health care to insure the best outcomes and to avoid unnecessary or exploitative procedures.

When the ultra-conservative National Review agrees that “Insuring End-of-Life Talk [is] Not Death Panels,” then the distance Fox News has traveled from reality becomes ever more clear. They simply don’t care about honestly dispensing information, even when people’s lives depend upon it. And they persist with their campaigns of disinformation even after other conservative outlets have abandoned them.

FOX NEWS ALERT: ObamaCare Website Rollout Had Problems (Who Knew?)

Not too long ago, the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) dominated the political landscape in both Congress and the media. It virtually sucked the oxygen out of every other issue that didn’t involve Benghazi. But lately there has been a conspicuous absence of news about the program. And Republicans, once devoted to its demise, have all but banished it from their public communications. Until today.

Fox News

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That’s right. Fox News has brought ObamaCare back into the spotlight to announce that a Government Accounting Office report has found that “management failures” led to the botched rollout of the website. The network banged their signature gong and ran their “Fox Alert” graphics to broadcast this breaking news. After all, who would have ever imagined that a lack of managerial oversight and efficiency were responsible for the debacle that accompanied the launch of the ObamaCare exchange?

Thank goodness Fox News is here to enlighten us with their probing journalism. Such tenacity is representative of their professionalism and surely has nothing to do with trying to shove an old and obvious story into the news cycle in order to damage the President’s standing.

Perhaps they are just nostalgic for the good old days when they had a juicy drama with which they could smear the administration. Back when Congress held over fifty votes to cripple or repeal the legislation. At the same time, multiple committees were investigating everything from the faulty website, to alleged security risks, to threats of criminal navigators, to allegations of false audits, and the ever-present fantasy of death panels.

The media, led by Fox News, obsessed over the same issues as they emerged from the GOP committees investigating them. But they added their own scare mongering in an effort to frighten citizens away from the program and hasten its failure. The press falsely reported conservative assessments that claimed millions would lose their insurance, that premiums would skyrocket, and that their personal health and financial records would be compromised.

However, much of that talk has abated in light of the fact that ObamaCare has become an unmitigated success. Over eight million people had enrolled by the end of the open enrollment period. And just about every metric for measuring success has surpassed expectations. Even Republican enrollees have reported being overwhelmingly satisfied. That may explain why Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, has jammed into reverse. Just last February he told the National Review that…

“I think it’s going to be Obamacare all the time between now and November 5. If you ask me what day it is, I’m going to tell you it’s Obamacare. If you want to know what I want in my coffee, I’m going to tell you Obamacare. I’m going to talk about Obamacare all the time because I think it’s the No. 1 issue.”

Since then he has barely mentioned it. The last substantive comment he had about the program was in March. In May the RNC held their annual Spring Meeting where Priebus delivered a speech that only mentioned it once in passing while addressing a separate subject. His most recent allusion to ObamaCare was earlier this month when he tweeted “Thanks to #ObamaCare, average E.R. wait in California is 5 hours: […] And ‘it’s only going to get worse.'” Unfortunately for him, that comment was scored by PolitiFact and rated as “False.”

So it isn’t surprising that Fox News would jump at this opportunity to re-flog an old subject that had given them so much pleasure way back in, well, February of this year. They can’t hammer away at the actual programs or services that ObamaCare is providing, because most Americans are happy with it. So if the best they can do is to hype a glaringly obvious report that draws conclusions that everyone already knows, then maybe we should let them have their little bit of pathetic fun. After all, it’s either this or Benghazi.