A couple of weeks ago, Eclectablog team member Charles Gaba – publisher of the internationally-recognized ACASignUps.net – busted Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck for spewing lies about the Affordable Care Act. Charles found no less than seven clear factual errors in Colbeck’s op-ed in The Detroit News.
Here are a few of the more egregious items:
- He claimed that the ACA is costing $1.35 trillion per year. It’s actually priced at less than 1/10th that price ($120 billion per year).
- He claimed that the ACA is “still leaving 36 million people” without insurance, while failing to acknowledge that 4 million of those are stuck in the Medicaid Gap created by Republican-run states, while another 6.3 million are undocumented immigrants who aren’t legally eligible for coverage under the law.
- He claimed that the ACA is costing over $71,000 per enrollee per year, when the actual number is closer to $5,000 per person.
- He claimed that “159 organizations” which stand “between a patient and a doctor” were created by the ACA, which is utter nonsense.
Yesterday, Charles discovered that the op-ed has since been edited to correct some of the lies and the comments section has been deleted:
I submitted a shortened version of my blog entry from that morning to James David Dickson, the Detroit News Op-Ed Editor, at 9:30pm on April 27th.
I never heard back from the News and was going to dismiss this as just another in a long line of Republican politicians spewing nonsense about the ACA (thus the title).
Tonight, over at Daily Kos, a diarist going by the name “Inflection” posted this diary:
Below the cut (where I’ve posted some screen grabs) are two versions of an anti-Obamacare rant by one of our state “legislators” here in Michigan that was published as an op-ed in the Detroit News.
…Thus, the News either made or let Rep. Colbeck make a major overhaul of the article; after the order of magnitude drop made the Obamacare costs look better compared to the kind of plan a healthy young private citizen could get, he also lost 5 million enrollees to make the denominator smaller, and changed his comparison to a cheap catastrophic plan. After doing all this, they scrubbed the comments page and failed to note any corrections or edits to the article.
After Charles called Colbeck out on his editing five days after the op-ed was published and most people had already read it, Colbeck tweeted that “truth matters”, an ironic statement given that he was fine publishing lies about Obamacare so long as nobody noticed:
— Sen Patrick Colbeck (@pjcolbeck) May 4, 2015
This truly calls the credibility of The Detroit News editorial staff and their editorial page policy into deep question. First, they printed a pack of lies that even they should have known to be deceptive. Then, after allowing Colbeck to make changes, make no mention of the fact that it has been severely edited after the fact.
Colbeck and his colleagues are trying in vain to prove that Obamacare has been a failure. The problem for them is that it has been anything but a failure. And if they are able to repeal it or if it is eviscerated by the U.S. Supreme Court, they are going to have to contend with upwards of 14 million Americans who are thrown off their health insurance and won’t be able to afford to get coverage.
That may seem like a winning strategy to them now. But when those people go to the polls, they will hold liars like Patrick Colbeck accountable.
Kudos to Charles Gaba for exposing and debunking Senator Colbeck. He clearly has far more credibility than the good senator.