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Fake Obamacare victims

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.

The Colbert Report
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Comments

  1. Wylann says

    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.

    I work with several of those assholes, and you are right. Sympathetic is last word I would use to describe either them, or the feelings anyone might be inclined to have towards them.

    I’m an engineer. Everyone here makes a good salary, often better than University profs with PhDs. (Sorry, Mano..) It’s real hard to drum up sympathy for the guy who’s making $100/hr (that’s his actual salary, although he’s paid on a 1099, poor guy….) whining about how his cost may go up a little, because the service he had before probably would have dropped him at the first sneeze.

  2. raven says

    It is no secret that the Republican party and their Tea Party base hate the Affordable Care Act with a passion.

    That they do.

    Ironically, Republicans are signing up in expected numbers. One of the demographics targeted by the ACA are low socioeconomic status people. And that is the Tea Party base.

    More GOPers have put their adult to 26 children on their policies than Democrats.

    Enrollment in the ACA is going OK. They were aiming for 7 million the first year. And now have 4 million from the exchanges and even more from the Medicaid expansion.

    Who is getting stomped on are the poorest in Tea Party states that refused to extend Medicaid. They are left out of the system. Oh well, Tea Partiers hate everybody. Including themselves when they get bored with hating women, gays, educated people, Democrats, and nonwhites.

  3. rpjohnston says

    Who is getting stomped on are the poorest in Tea Party states that refused to extend Medicaid. They are left out of the system.

    *raises hand*

    The cheapest catastrophic plan on the exchange would be almost 20% of my income and do jack squat for $6k deductible. It looks like my best bet is to just hope to have less than $7400 in healthcare costs this year and go without insurance. I used to have healthcare but my employer decided to drop most of its plan rather than pay for more who’d sign up. We got a chunk of money up front and then they pay nothing going forward.

    Of course, people like me will probably be held up as a “victim” of Obamacare rather than my state psychopaths’ refusal to accept free Medicaid.

  4. Dunc says

    Of course, people like me will probably be held up as a “victim” of Obamacare rather than my state psychopaths’ refusal to accept free Medicaid.

    That’s the bit I really can’t wrap my head around… They’re actively refusing free money in order to make people’s lives worse. How fucked up is that?

  5. richardrobinson says

    @raven,

    You’re right. Something I noticed that went completely unsaid in the last Presidential election when Romney complained about that 47% of “takers” is that a huge swath of that 47% were registered republicans who likely ended up voting for Romney. And they were probably all blind to this fact while they cast their votes.

  6. Mano Singham says

    Stories like yours is why the refusal of the Medicaid expansion has to go down as one of the most gratuitously callous acts in recent times. It is sheer bloody mindedness that benefits no one but harms many.

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