It is no secret that the Republican party and their Tea Party base hate the Affordable Care Act with a passion. The House of Republicans is soon expected to pass for the 50th time the repeal of the Act. In trying to drum up opposition, they have resorted to spreading stories about ordinary people who have been harmed by Obamacare by finding that they have to pay higher premiums and so forth, and running ads purportedly featuring such victims.
But the odd thing is that when reporters have investigated these cases, they have found that there is no basis to these complaints. The stories are from people who either refused to take advantage of the health care exchanges or were not telling the whole truth or, in the case of the ads, were not real people but actors.
As Michael Hiltzok writes at the above link:
What a lot of these stories have in common are, first of all, a subject largely unaware of his or her options under the ACA or unwilling to determine them; and, second, shockingly uninformed and incurious news reporters, including some big names in the business, who don’t bother to look into the facts of the cases they’re offering for public consumption.
This oddity caused Kevin Drum to pose the reasonable question: If the opponents who have all the resources to pour into discrediting the ACA cannot come up with even a single plausible victim, does this mean that there is not a single person adversely affected?
This seems unlikely. What is likely is that the people who have been negatively affected are people who are well-to-do and thus not eligible for the subsidies. But well-off people do not make for sympathetic stories. In fact, people are getting pretty sick of rich people whining about how tough things are for them
Stephen Colbert also took a look at this strange phenomenon.
(This clip aired on March 3, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)