Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Republicans — February 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Republicans maintain a laser-like focus on Obamacare misinformation campaign


GOP Congressmen Walberg and Bentivolio are so busy trying to discredit the ACA, how can they have time for anything else?

How many Obamacare “horror stories” have to be debunked for people to realize that the GOP spin machine is pedaling so hard it’s about ready to rotate off its axis?

Better yet, let’s call it what it is: lying. And two U.S. Congressmen from Michigan are spending an awful lot of time doing it — on the taxpayers’ dime, too.

Rep. Tim Walberg has been holding a series of events I like to call “Let’s All Complain About Obamacare” meetings. At these public meetings, he has constituents tell their Obamacare “horror stories.” Rep. Walberg has never invited anyone with a success story, claiming that “he mostly hears from people who have had problems and said those may be the people who are more likely to contact him,” according to The Daily Telegram in Adrian, Mich., where a panel was held this week.

One of the panelists, Tracey Barron, told attendees that since her previous insurance plan was canceled because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), she’s been unable to find coverage for her mentally ill 14-year-old son.

But, according to The Daily Telegram, a reporter got the real story from Barron after the meeting.

Barron said she previously paid $386 a month for herself and her son for a plan that did ‘not cover much of anything.’ She now has a subsidized plan under the Affordable Care Act for herself for which she pays $116 a month, she said. However, Barron said she has been bounced back and forth between the Affordable Care Act marketplace and the state of Michigan about whether her son should get Medicaid or be able to get insurance through the marketplace.

Her son still does not have insurance, and his case is being appealed, she said.

Perhaps there wouldn’t be so much confusion about her son’s eligibility if Republicans in Michigan had passed Medicaid expansion with immediate effect, so it would have kicked in on January 1, 2014. It’s now slated to roll out in April, with many details still being worked out because of the delay.

Rep. Walberg is so opposed to Obamacare that it seems he’ll stop at nothing. In fact, he’s angry that Democrats want to talk about other issues that impact the American public, according to an article posted by Michigan Radio:

Walberg says it’s important for opponents to talk about Obamacare’s problems, since he says Democrats are trying to change the subject.

‘(Democrats would) rather pivot to talking about minimum wage, unemployment insurance, violence against women – and try to get people’s minds off of (Obamacare),’ says Walberg.

Apparently, Rep. Walberg doesn’t think creating more good-paying jobs, making sure people don’t starve or lose their homes, and protecting women from violence are important enough to spend his time on. But let’s keep trying to repeal Obamacare, shall we? Because that worked out so well the first 46 times.

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio is no better. He doesn’t hold public town hall meetings — you only get invited if you agree with him, as far as I can tell — but he frequently uses social media to post misinformation. More than one Facebook post asked for people to share how Obamacare has hurt them. Many of his constituents, myself included, commented that the ACA has helped us. We asked why he’s ignoring our stories. I’ve even emailed his office asking that, but have never gotten a response. That’s not representation. That’s rhetoric.

He’s also done his best to frighten people, leading them to believe that is one big data security risk, even though there’s no evidence the site has ever been hacked. Rep. Bentivolio keeps flogging a dead reindeer with his “Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act.” Funny, Rep. Bentivolio doesn’t seem at all concerned about security hacks at retailers like Target.

Any excuse to bash Obamacare instead of doing anything to help improve our country’s healthcare system. Just remember that the next time you see one of these alleged horror stories, most of which are quickly and easily discredited.

It didn’t take long to debunk the complex and genuinely sad story of a Michigan woman with leukemia, which Americans for Prosperity is using to attack Rep. Gary Peters. Read this fact check from the Washington Post and you’ll see for yourself that the story doesn’t hold up to scrutiny the way AFP would like it to.

Don’t forget all this when you cast your vote in 2014. Obamacare is already helping millions of Americans, and elected officials like Rep. Walberg and Rep. Bentivolio want nothing more than to repeal the law. In fact, they want it so badly that they’re focusing on it at the exclusion of nearly everything else that might help the American people.

[Photo credit: Chris Savage | Eclectablog]