Affordable Care Act, Lies, Michigan Republicans, Obamacare — August 25, 2014 at 7:17 am

MI GOP candidates flat-out lie about the ACA


Yes, I realize that’s about the least-shocking headline of the day, but it’s still appalling just how casually Republican candidates in Michigan are spreading misinformation about the Affordable Care Act.

First up is everyone’s favorite foreclosure attorney and MI-11 Congressional candidate David Trott (best known for kicking old ladies out of their homes), who gave a newspaper interview recently which was jaw-droppingly full of nonsense when it comes to (among other subjects) the Affordable Care Act.

For starters, the question itself was disgustingly biased:

Many American families experienced sticker shock when the first monthly premium arrived for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Many also now have high deductibles that make them wary of getting medical care at all. What would you do too bring down costs and improve medical care?

…but Trott decided to one-up his interviewer in the gall department:

The Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster, and it is one that I am committed to correcting as Congressman. A government takeover of nearly one sixth of the economy was a poorly conceived and executed power grab. Instead of limiting options to our citizens, we must open up the insurance markets for greater competition. Rather than forcing people to accept what the government gives them, the market should be expanded so that private sector solutions can be offered to each and every American. Obamacare promised that people who liked their coverage would be allowed to keep it, more than 4 million Americans found to be false. It is time for the government to step back from this failed experiment and allow the private sector to offer the most affordable care possible.

All of the tired, repeatedly debunked lies are there:

  • Unmitigated disaster” (except for the 24-29 million people actually helped directly by the law to date, and the other 280 million or so who aren’t really impacted by it at all as of yet);
  • Government Takeover” (except, of course, that it’s not that at all, unless you believe that Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Cigna are government patsies);
  • Limiting Options” (except, of course, that the ACA has actually increased competition tremendously, and the insurance companies themselves are fully on board with the law now);
  • 4 million policies cancelled!!” (except, of course, that in the end it was actually 1-2 million at most, and even then most of those folks just replaced their noncompliant policy with a new, ACA-compliant one);
  • and most revolting of all, “allow the private sector to offer the most affordable care possible“.

Seriously, I’m amazed that he didn’t manage to shoehorn in “How many have PAID???” and something about “death panels” into that response.

Next up, this morning I received the following from a friend, regarding 2 Republican candidates for local/state office: Hugh Crawford (term-limited state representative, running for county commission…and hoping to swap places with his wife, who’s currently a county commissioner running for his state rep seat) and Mike Kowall (state Senator running for re-election):

Last night was a candidates forum at Fox Run, the Novi retirement community. Candidates for the State House, State Senate, and County Commission were there. During the Q&A a question was raised whether the candidates supported Obamacare.

Both Hugh Crawford and Mike Kowall answered this way: “I don’t like Obamacare, I would have voted against it, but I very much support Governor Snyder’s Healthy Michigan Initiative, which brought the state over $400 Million in Federal Money.”

Of course, Healthy Michigan is the expanded Medicaid under the ACA, but they are giving credit to Snyder to claim they now support expanded health care. Just not Obamacare.

Exactly. The “Healthy Michigan Initiative” only exists because of the ACA (and in fact is funded by the law). Repeal “Obamacare” and kiss the “Healthy Michigan Initiative” goodbye; that’s 365,000 Michigan residents who’d be kicked off of their just-received healthcare coverage.

Crawford and Kowall join a long list of other Republican candidates, in both Michigan and across the country (including U.S. Senate candidates like Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and Joni Ernst in Iowa), who are trying to have it both ways: They bash “Obamacare”, then try to claim that they’ll protect everything that “Obamacare” (aka the Affordable Care Act; aka “Kynect” in Kentucky, aka the “Healthy Michigan Initiative” in Michigan, aka “Whatever the hell they’re calling the ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Program in Iowa”) brings to their residents.

In other words, Crawford & Kowall, like McConnell and Ernst, are basically the worst type of hypocritical liars.

Meanwhile, just this morning I helped an old friend from my high school days get himself set up with a new healthcare policy on Healthcare.Gov (he just lost his coverage, so qualifies for enrollment even though we’re in the “off season” right now).