Early last year, Rush Limbaugh asked tea party Sen. Mike Lee of Utah why conservatives in Congress had to kill Obamacare.
“People will like it,” admitted Lee in an inadvertent moment of truth-telling.
Yes, people do like Obamacare, according to new research from The Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit health care foundation.
The study, posted at the organization’s web site, found the rate of uninsured Americans is dropping, that people like their health insurance plans and the newly insured say it’s easier to visit a doctor.
The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine reported nearly 20 million people now have health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
This is good news for Cobb taxpayers because fewer uninsured patients are showing up at Kennestone Hospital’s emergency room to receive health care paid for by you and me. Unfortunately, we’re still on the hook for the health care of 650,000 low income uninsured Georgians because Gov. Nathan Deal refused Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. Even conservative hard case Gov. Jan Brewer expanded Medicaid in Arizona, recognizing the utter stupidity of refusing to allow her state’s federal tax dollars to come home.
Back to those newly insured Americans who like Obamacare. Nearly 60 percent say they are “better off” with health insurance. Eighty percent who had no insurance before said they are “somewhat” or “very satisfied” with their new plans. Even 75 percent of Republicans say they are at least “somewhat satisfied” with their insurance.
See, Sen. Lee was right. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and recall those scary Obamacare predictions made by conservative pundits:
Sean Hannity, Jan. 11, 2012: “Death panels are inevitable.” (There are no death panels).
Wall Street Journal, Apr. 20, 2011: “rationing of care for the elderly.” (There is no health care rationing).
Glenn Beck, Nov. 11, 2009: “This is the end of prosperity in America forever.” (The Dow hit a 17,133 this week).
U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 television ads: “Obamacare will kill jobs.” (More than 1.4 million jobs have been added to the economy since January 1 when Obamacare’s key provisions went live).
Fox News’ Chris Stirewalt, Nov. 13, 2013: Obamacare is “government run health insurance.” (Obamacare regulates an industry that gamed the system for decades).
Neal Boortz, June 17, 2009: “Obama’s health care plan is going to end up killing people.” (There are no credible claims of deaths related to Obamacare).
Washington Examiner, July 26, 2013: “large insurers are pulling out of states as a result of the health care law ...” (In every state, more insurance companies are asking to participate in Obamacare).
Half-term Gov. Sarah Palin, Nov. 11, 2013: “Most Americans will not be able to keep the health care policy ...” (The relatively small number of Americans whose plans were canceled were automatically enrolled into better plans).
Will these conservatives who put so much stock in personal responsibility correct their words now that we know everything they said was bull feathers?
Are you kidding? Their goal from the get-go was to confuse and anger people, to obfuscate and erase the truth while exploiting fear, ignorance and prejudice. And they mostly achieved their objective, at least where certain gullible conservative audiences are concerned.
This is how propaganda works. You play to an audience’s emotions, not its intellect. You take something as critically important as reining in the runaway cost of healthcare in America and dumb it down into a cartoonish boogeyman.
Recognizing that the truth is out and knowing they’re on the wrong side of history again, conservatives are desperately trying to change the subject or doubling down on their losing hand with more lies about Obamacare as the November elections approach.
“Democrats, in order to meet the law’s enormous price tag, are gutting more than $700 billion from Medicare,” says Rep. Phil Gingrey, recycling a 2012 zombie rated “mostly false” by PolitiFact.
Allow your friendly progressive commentator to make a prediction, this one founded on the truths Hannity, Beck, Boortz, Palin, and Gingrey ignored.
The Affordable Care Act will go down as one of the most popular, pragmatic and humane laws passed in the 21st century.
Kevin Foley is an author, writer and public relations executive who lives in Kennesaw.