The Power of Money and False Claims

10 months ago Citizen#7 0

Death Spiral, this is how Republicans characterize the Affordable Care Act.  These are powerful words that conjure up pictures of a plan spiraling towards the ground and certain destruction.  A powerful phrase meant to scare people, particularly spoken with conviction and passion as Speaker Paul Ryan intimates.  But is the claim true?

According to PolitiFact in a word, No. Speaker Ryan’s characterization is FALSE.  To see how PolitiFact reached that decision go to:

Paul Ryan False Claim

There are many other sources that agree with Politifact including:

Center on Budge Policies and Priorities  

CBS News

Kaiser Health News

The following reports in agreement that Speaker Ryan and his minions are spreading a false claim can be found in; USA Today, The Associated Press, Roll Call, The Los Angeles Times, Modern Healthcare, The Hill, The Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Atlantic-Journal Constitution, Chicago Sun Times, etc., all agree the claim is false.

In 2014, Sen.  Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation to repeal funding to supplement insurance companies with high numbers of high risk insured people called “Risk Corridors. Here is the actual Bill -The Obamacare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act, which failed to get the required votes and failed. He bragged about this during his 2016 presidential campaign. To see Sen. Rubio’s and other Republican attacks to stop funding the ACA look in:The Hill.

The Republican Party has done everything within their power to kill the Affordable Care Act. A Think Progress Article provides a timeline and actions taken to stop insuring poor, elderly, medically challenged people. There certainly are things within the ACA that need to be reformed and it would be great to see a bipartisan effort to improve upon what we have. If you were insured or wanted to be insured prior to the ACA you may remember that if you or a loved one had a pre-existing condition insurance was either impossible or you were relegated to a “Catastrophic Insurance Policy”. These types of insurance have a high “stop-loss” amount often in the $10,000 range. This means before the insurance company pays a penny you must spend $10,000.  These policies don’t cover Doctor visits, prescription costs (until you hit the stop-loss limit). Not very good insurance if that is the best available you either set aside $10,000, hope you don’t get sick, or go bankrupt.

Another bad memory is being trapped. If you had employer paid insurance you had to stick to that job. If you went somewhere else your insurance may not travel with you. You were essentially trapped in a job because of the potential loss of health insurance. While we are talking about employer paid insurance don’t forget that raises were almost non-existent or meager at best due to yearly premium increases.

When you hear claims of the high cost of insurance there are many reasons why some have to do with the political impact of Republicans unwillingness to engage in meaningful reform. The ACA covers things like annual physicals, and other preventative care that were often omitted in pre-ACA health care insurance plans.

Words from the Republicans about the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring of the American Health Care Act poisoned the well before the report was made public saying the CBO was way off in the scoring of the Affordable Care Act so you can’t believe what they say.  This is another patently false statement. reported in this Article how the CBO did and what a surprise they did pretty good in scoring the ACA.  Republican Newt Gingrich is advocating for the dismantling of the CBO altogether.  As always when the facts don’t fit the narrative claim the facts are wrong, cherry pick the things you can twist to make it appear logical and accurate.

The Congressional Budget Office has reviewed the American Health Care Act and has reported that over 10 years 24 million people will lose health insurance, costs will go up, and low income and elderly will be particularly negatively impacted by the legislation. This view is shared by the Kaiser Family Foundation  The Washington Post  The Brookings Institute and many others. When people don’t have insurance they still need medical care and those that have insurance and those that pay taxes will pay for those visiting the Emergency Room for treatment.

Canadians pay about 1/3 of what an average American pays for health care in any given year and average life expectancy in Canada is higher than here is the US despite the huge difference in health care costs.

In the movie about Watergate “Deep Throat” reportedly tells news reporters Bernstein and Woodward to “Follow The Money”. When it comes to politicians that must always be a consideration. A very strong case can be made about Speaker Ryan being beholding to rich campaign contributors representing industries that would benefit from his American Health Care Act.

Speaker Ryan received campaign contributions from the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate industries. He ranked First in the House of Representatives (1st) in campaign contributions from the: Insurance, Pharmaceutical and Health Products, Hospitals and Nursing Homes, and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing industries collectively raising $4.4 million of his $19 million total for the 2016 election cycle.

Words matter. Politicians have become masters of giving patriotic, names to mask intentions that aren’t what they appear on the surface. They rely on repetition, believing if you say something enough times in enough places from enough sources people will believe it as true. They count on lazy people listening and not bothering to check the facts.

Don’t be swayed by repeated false claims about the ACA please checkout the links in this article to see for yourself what is real and what is fiction. Don’t take my word or any politician or pundit who says “believe me”. The only people that ask you to believe them are people that are being dishonest.

Demand that Congress stop the foolishness of the American Health Care Act and engage in making the ACA better and don’t be swayed by repeated false claims.