Saturday, October 5, 2013

GOP Fearmongering Over Obamacare

I figured the Right would start keeping something like an "Obamacare death toll" on October 1. Looks like they're on the case. A few days before the ACA went into effect, Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner was on CNN's Crossfire, spewing gibberish about Obamacare and ignoring questions about what he said. Around the same time, Michelle Malkin claimed Obamacare had killed her health plan.

And yesterday ABC News 15 in Phoenix, Arizona ran this story about a man who says he has leukemia, says he was born poor, says he now runs two companies, and says he may have to get another job because his out-of-pocket for medical treatment has gone from $4500 to $26,000, because of Obamacare.

You could run the entire D-Day Normandy invasion force through the gaps of vagueness in this story. First of all, it seems that the only source for the story is this man who says Obamacare will crush him financially. He says he was born poor. Does this mean he was often homeless and malnourished as a child, or that he felt poor in high school because some of his classmates drove their own Lamborghinis to school, and he didn't? He was allegedly "one of six kids born to a school teacher." Are we talking about a single mother with six children and no income except her paycheck from a public school, or a schoolteacher married to a man who owned an oil company -- but a much smaller oil company than the ones owned by the parents of those darn snooty rich kids with their Lamborghinis and Armani clothes, while our guy was forced to drive a Porsche 914 and wear Calvin Klein (Sometimes even hand-me-down Calvin Klein! Oh the horror and squalor!) and a Rolex, a steel Rolex, forget about gold or platinum, and definitely forget about a Patek Philippe like all those snooty kids in their Lamborghinis with their Daddies who owned big oil companies, oh life can be so cruel! -- or what? He "runs two companies." What does that mean? Is he an assistant manager at a Wal-Mart in the daytime and an assistant manager at a Denny's at night, or does he make 9 figures annually running his own spam company and his own robo-calling company? His "out of pocket" was $4500 and now it's $26,000? What does that mean? Are $4500 and $26,000 his previous and current co-payments per medical treatment? Per month? Per year? Is that the total of his health insurance premium and co-payments per month? Per year?

My point -- and maybe you're way ahead of me already -- is that this story really isn't telling us jack. If "running two companies" means he's an assistant manager at a Wal-Mart and a Denny's, and his out-of-pocket expenses are going to go from $4500 to $26,000 a year, because of the Affordable Care Act, well then, obviously, something went very wrong.

If he makes $700,000,000 a year from spam and robo-calls, then, in my humble opinion, it's not an outrage if his medical bills are about to go from $4500 to $26,000 a year, or even a month, because of Obamacare.

If he makes, say, $150,000 a year, and his medical bills are going from $4500 to #26,000 a year, then he has a legitimate gripe. If they're going from $4500 to $26,000 a month, and he really has incurable, terminal leukemia, then this is a real horror story.

If ABC News 15 in Phoenix ran a story repeating everything an individual said, without checking any of the facts, just because what the man was saying made Obamacare sound horrifying, and if, for example, this guy's out-of-pocket medical expenses will go up only a little, or go down, and he's scared not because he's actually looked into what the ACA means for him, but instead just believed what he's heard from some Teabaggers -- well then, that'd be just about par for the Tea Party course.

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