Monday, November 25, 2013


Another Attempt to Blame Republicans For ACA Disaster

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of America's incredible shrinking papers, does itself no good by calling a sizable subset of its readers, the Republicans, liars and saboteurs in a dishonest, fact free, unsigned editorial. It alleges:

The Republicans are sabotaging the ACA with propaganda which are lies, which propaganda is merely criticism of the ACA, which the Republicans hate and are sabotaging with an immoral probably illegal plot. There simply is no possibility that the opposition is based on honorable, rational differences of opinion about what is best for the country. What the Republicans do is lie, hate, and sabotage the Democrats' and the President's single 'achievement' of the past 5 years.

Let's pause for a second to consider whether calling the other side evil liars is really the best way to convince them, or even someone on the fence, that the ACA is actually all sweetness and light. Maybe the ink and space on the paper pages might have been better spent trying to argue rationally about the good attributes of the ACA which arguments would be best supported by facts and evidence. Too late now.

The editors say that the early problems with the ACA do not mean the law is "intrinsically broken" and if only people would give it a fair review, the law's "advantages ought to become apparent." Alas, none of those supposed advantages are part of the editorial. I can't seem to think of a single advantage to the law.

Let's pause for a second also to consider this. The ACA, which passed by the skin of its teeth, was sold with lie after lie after lie. In fact, it appears nothing the President told us again and again about the law was true. We won't be able to keep our plans, or our doctors, and the 5 million plus unfortunates in the private market so far who know that as a sad fact will be joined next year by many tens of millions when the same thing happens to many of the employer provided plans. (Is there a single person who says the law recognizes a difference between employer-provided and self-provided plans where the minimums to be covered are concerned?) There will be no savings of on average $2500 for families and the deficit will indeed go up as government revenue is used for subsidies. Against that monstrously large record of lies, the PP-G rails against true but negative publicity by the loyal opposition as if it were equal. Beam, eye, speck.

The editorial admits the President lied about savings and the Republicans were truthful when it admits:

Of course, some people will have to pay more, although the poorest will qualify for a subsidy and generally the coverage will be better. (Emphasis added).
The Democrats' idea of "better" coverage is the mandated coverages useless to some, and anathema to many deep in the Christian faith. The plans certainly are not better for the individuals who have to pay more for things they don't want.

The editorial says that we should keep the big picture in mind, that before the ACA we had 30 million uninsured and the costs of premiums and medical costs were constantly going up. I'm not sure how throwing millions of Americans off the insurance they liked is helping to reduce the number of uninsured. One not as sophisticated at math might think that increasing the number of uninsured is somehow different from reducing the number of uninsured. And is there a single thing in the ACA or in the media's coverage of it that indicates the law contains any mechanism whatsoever for reducing the historical, steady increase in the cost of medicine, doctors, and hospitals and the costs of the premiums of medical insurance? A single thing? Nothing was mentioned in the editorial. Perhaps we are to believe the promises of the President that magically costs will go down as coverage gets "better" and more people are covered at reduced rates.

The editorial urges the Republicans to surrender, become moderate and help the Democrats improve the ACA. This comes at the end, so the structure of the editorial is: You lying, evil, hate-filled saboteurs ought to help the opposition here. Come on, you jerks, help!

I'm not sure that is the way to enlist help--asking for it only after you have repeatedly called the other side bad names.

The Republicans were remarkably united in their opposition to a bad law. They had no input into its drafting and certainly didn't vote for it, not a single one. They did so because they believed it was being sold on a tissue of lies and that there was no way it could improve service or keep costs down by deeply involving the federal government.

Who do you think was closer to the mark?


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