Eric Stern at Salon today posted an amazing article titled "Inside the Fox News Lie Machine: I Fact Checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare". Here's Eric:
I happened to turn on the Hannity show on Fox News last Friday evening. “Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck,” Hannity announced, “and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.” Three married couples were neatly arranged in his studio, the wives seated and the men standing behind them, like game show contestants.
As Hannity called on each of them, the guests recounted their “Obamacare” horror stories: canceled policies, premium hikes, restrictions on the freedom to see a doctor of their choice, financial burdens upon their small businesses and so on.
“These are the stories that the media refuses to cover,” Hannity interjected.
But none of it smelled right to me. Nothing these folks were saying jibed with the basic facts of the Affordable Care Act as I understand them. I understand them fairly well; I have worked as a senior adviser to a governor and helped him deal with the new federal rules.
I decided to hit the pavement. I tracked down Hannity’s guests, one by one, and did my own telephone interviews with them.
It was all crap:
Simply stunning! I am at a loss for words.But here's what I know: when people have a genuine self-interest in finding out how something works, what it costs, what the real story is - then they will find out, eventually. Will they hold the misrepresenters accountable? Sometimes, but not always. But they will notice and remember that the Conservatives who spent four years trying to destroy Obamacare most likely do not have their middle-class interests at heart. Many of them will go further and conclude that if these misinformers are allowed to stay in their Washington jobs, they may finally succeed in breaking the program, and therefore it might be better if we didn't vote to send these folks back to DC.
There will be consequences. I promise.
After tax credits, the Georgia premium price for a 27-year old with an income of $25,000 is $103, just $5, or about 5%, above the pre-Exchange level. In fact most states shown above show a premium after tax credit that is lower than the pre-Exchange price.
I have more or less given up being surprised at misrepresentations like this from the Right, but they still grate. The truth will come out slowly but surely, as long as the media and the blogging world keeps at it.
But I wonder - do Conservatives ever ask themselves if there might be a political price to pay when folks find out that almost everything the GOP has told them about Obamacare is wrong?
I think there will be. November, 2014. The Mid-Term Elections.
Is a Grand Bargain possible now? Andrew Sullivan thinks so, though most do not. It will take some time to see how the political balances have changed due to the GOP's utter face plant and humiliation. Sullivan calls on the President to "Go Big" - to make a call for reconciliation and coming together, where he indicates a willingness to trade entitlement reform for new tax revenues from closing loopholes. Issue the invitation through a national public address. At the same time, make it crystal clear there will be no entitlement reform without new revenues, perhaps admonishing the GOP to listen to his words this time, so no one gets confused.
Challenge the GOP to explain why, if they are truly interested in the long term control of our deficits and debt levels, they would turn down this offer. No Democratic President has ever offered to negotiate over entitlements. Why wouldn't the GOP accept this offer, allowing both sides to work together to put the country on a solid long term financial footing?
I will not be surprised if Obama does this. Most of what he would give is already in his 2014 budget. He will still be killed on the hard Left, who call this The Great Betrayal - but he knows this, and is willing to take the hits from Liberals.
Boehner has once again allowed the House to vote on a measure a majority of his caucus rejected - one that was attacked by Heritage Action, and other Right-side pressure groups. Would he do it again for a Grand Bargain, so he and Obama will be remembered like Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan?
He might. Not yet probable. But possible.
|(This photo and video from theobamadiary.com)|