Saturday, October 1, 2016

Where's MY Death Panel, Dammit?

Republicans Predicted An Obamacare Apocalypse, reads the headline to a piece by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post.

After the first Obamacare launch there were a few stories about people who went broke because of Obamacare, but they thinned out quickly. I tried to follow up on one story, to see if it was, you, know -- true. A guy said that he had been getting cancer treatments paid for by affordable insurance for years, and then came Obamacare and he was going to lose everything. The story was vague on just exactly what the guy's premiums were before, what they were under Obamacare, and how well off he was generally. Eventually I found out that the guy owned 3 companies.

They might have been very small companies... Or maybe this was a case of a multimillionaire whose premiums rose from $150 a month to $200 a month, and the very thought that part of that $50 a month might be going straight out of his pocket to help keep poor people alive made him feel like he was being murdered by Negroes and jazz musicians.

Feelings are subjective. This year's 2016 Republican National Convention, which was almost entirely about feelings, really brought that point home.

Whoops: my feelings are subjective, too: that story I mentioned upthread? I got it completely wrong: It was a 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.

I have not been able to confirm any of those things he said.

But surely, no-one would ever lie about something such as their experiences with Obamacare, would they? What reason would anyone ever have to do such a thing?

I don't want to go around making fun of people with leukemia. That's more Donald Trump's style than mine. But when it comes to people who lie about having leukemia and about their out-of-pocket medical expenses...

I don't know if this guy was lying or not. All I know is that the story disappeared very quickly, and that it seems to have been the kind of story the GOP would have hung onto like a dog with a bone. It seems to me they would have... Unless, perhaps, if it turned out it was misleading in some of its details... Or maybe if it was some sort of clerical error, and as soon as a member of the Obama administration heard about it, it was straightened out and the man was re-imbursed for the error, and given plaques and personal apologies by local and Federal-level Democrats. Now that last version, that's the sort of story the GOP would NOT hang onto like a dog with a bone.

But my point is: Where's MY death panel, dammit?

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