In between wasting time and money attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act every second of every day in the House, the Republican Party is rather adept at ‘Obamacare’ myth invention. It is as if an entire industry has grown up around the creation of Republican over-dramatic myths, from the early days screaming about ‘death panels’ to myths that provisions in the Act will allow forced home inspections, there have been many in between. And they tend to be pleasingly simple to disprove. Here are three recent GOP Affordable Care Act myths:
Forced Home Inspections.
The ‘forced home inspection’ myth is a particularly new and creative attack on the Affordable Care Act, that swept the blogosphere a couple of weeks back. Republicans on Twitter raged that this was definitely the end of liberty as we know it. The trouble is, it’s a complete fabrication.
The myth stems from South Carolina State Rep. Rick Quinn, at a state House subcommittee meeting back in March. Quinn said:
One of the things we can do … in terms of … preventing state employees from trying to enforce aspects of this law…for example, the forced home inspections that I’ve heard about.”
- This quote then made its way onto numerous blogs, and spread like wildfire. The facts though, do not support the quote. The aspect of the law that Rick Quinn refers to, is actually a state voluntary service providing home visits for new and expectant mothers. It is not in anyway involuntary. The use of the word ‘forced’ makes it appear violent, as if the President has troops waiting to invade your house. It is actually a law to provide a better service, and improve the health of the most vulnerable families. It could not be clearer. Article 7a of Section 2951 – Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visitation Programs – states:
“The participation of each eligible family in the program is voluntary”
- Rick Quinn is wrong. He appears to have tried to cover his inability to investigate for himself the allegations that he wildly spreads with the phrase “…that i’ve heard about”. That isn’t good enough. It’s the abandonment of reason, for the sake of presenting a false narrative for ideological purposes. It’s misleading, and thoroughly disingenuous.
Members of Congress can opt-out of Affordable Care Act:
Ted Cruz, the wonderkid of the Republican Party right now, is learning the ropes rather quickly. Cruz stood in front of the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa at the beginning of August, and said:
“President Obama just granted all of Congress an exception. And he did it because Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats who passed this thing came begging and said, ‘Please, please, please let us out of Obamacare.’ This thing ain’t working.”
- Much like the ‘forced home inspections’ line, this too, is a myth. Here is what that particular aspect of the law states:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law … the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are — (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).”
- There is nothing in this law that allows Congress to opt-out of the Affordable Care Act. Members of Congress are now treated to the same exchanges as small businesses and those who have no insurance. If you are to claim to opt-out for Congressmen, you must also claim an opt-out for small businesses and the uninsured.
Secondly, Cruz claimed that the ‘opt-out’ that doesn’t exist, was passed because Senate Democrats insisted that plan wasn’t working. That also, is not true.
The law quoted above, is actually a clarification, on an amendment proposed by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who argued that:
“members of Congress should get the same coverage that we are coming up with for everyone else.
- And that’s exactly what will happen, by January 2014.
Full-Time Work Destroyed by The Affordable Care Act:
According to the GOP website, 8,200,000 Americans are:
“Unable To Find Full-Time Work Partly Due To ObamaCare.”
- This is a wild distortion of the facts. The figures they quote from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is actually the number of those in part time work, looking for full time work. There is no mention of the Affordable Care Act. The Bureau never claim this figure has anything to do with ObamaCare. In fact, as FactCheck point out, the 8.2 million number is actually part of a fluctuating, yet downward trend in those working part-time, looking for full-time work:
- This is exactly as we’d expect to see, during a period of economic recovery following a deep recession.
Republicans have been touting this figure of 8.2 million, and “soaring” numbers of part-time workers forced to do so because of the provisions of Obamacare, for well over a year, and it is based on absolutely nothing of any substance.
I once watched John McCain tell a hall full of people in the run up to the 2008 Presidential election, that the British National Health Service refused to treat patients over the age of 75. This was the same week that my 83 year old grandmother here in the UK, was being treated by the National Health Service. Now, either McCain blatantly lied, or my grandma was younger than she claimed. Whilst I remember her cheating at Monopoly once, I’m not sure she could sustain a lie about her age for so many years.
When the complaints of Politicians toward a particular Act become more and more frenzied and over-dramatic, chances are, they aren’t being entirely honest. It is worth double checking every claim made by opponents of the Affordable Care Act, before accepting the complaint as genuine. It is also worth noting that whilst the Republicans spend an unaffordable amount of time and money attempting to repeal an Act signed into law and upheld by the Supreme Court, they are voting to ensure millions of the most vulnerable people – including children – remain uninsured and defenseless.