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Obamacare trutherism is a thing

by Eric Ferguson on April 18, 2014 · 3 comments

It's a conspiracy!Yes, Obamacare trutherism is a thing. Conservatives don’t believe it can possibly work, so all the good news is lie. There’s the national version, that the numbers are made up, and in Minnesota we have our own version, that MNSure was bailed out by the state.
 
Probably many reasonable people are also incredulous at the idea Obamacare worked, because the pundit class and the beltway media joined the conservative bubble in trumpeting everything that went wrong, except the Medicaid gap; they were happy to ignore that. Reasonable people, however, will eventually figure out there wasn’t a disaster (hopefully before election day). Conservatives are off in full-throated denial after their media and politicians spent years telling them Obamacare is a disaster, already failed, lost in a death spiral, blah de blah — and now turns out Obamacare failed to fail. Even Healthcare.gov works now. Bad enough the predictions of failure were wrong, but conservative media often announced it had failed, and how can anybody be so stupid as to not see that? So the numbers must be all fake!
 
Yeah, um, about that. Let’s see if I can help any conservatives browsing by (let’s play concern troll!), and who buy the notion that Obama’s numbers are so fake you’d think he was trying to sell an invasion of Iraq. How can you tell if the numbers are real? Regarding the Census Bureau changing some questions, you could send a journalist to actually ask them for details. Granted, that would require having some journalists, so that’s a tough one for conservatives. Still, then you could find out they’ve been working on these revisions since before Obamacare and testing for a few years, so comparisons will be apples to apples. Nothing hidden there.
 

Also, there are outside sources of information, so no having to take Dick Cheney’s word for it that Saddam and Osama are best buddies and no, you can’t see any intelligence but the few bits we cherrypicked for you. Gallup is doing its own surveys, insurers collect their own information, and no doubt public health researchers will be conducting their surveys. No need to simply trust the government’s claims.
 
And of course, like is often the case with conspiracy theories, for this to be a conspiracy, loads of people need to be in on the plot, and able to keep quiet about it. None of that huge number can blow the whistle, be overheard by the wrong person, leave memos or data laying around. Ever. If you believe that can be the case, you’re pretty much the definition of someone who would believe anything (provided it was unprovable).
 
“Trutherism” might be a bit strong on MNSure. I suppose that’s really just a talking point that’s dishonest or grossly uninformed, your mileage might vary. Specifically of course I’m referring to the “bailout” claim, that the state bailed out MNSure. The linked MPR article explained what happened with MNSure’s shortfall that supposedly required a bailout. Briefly, premiums were lower than expected (generally a good thing, unless you’re a Republican candidate determined to complain about anything), which resulted in lower federal matching funds, so MNSure’s funding ran short. The shortfall was made up by transferring some costs from the MNSure fund to the general treasury. If you believe that’s a bailout, then you must think you can bailout yourself, which most of us actually refer to as “the opposite of a bailout”. This is like paying for your purchase by digging into your pocket and coming up short, so you get a “bailout” in the form of digging into your other pocket for the rest of the money. “Hey look, my pants pocket received a bailout — from my jacket pocket! Oh no, I’m about to become a MNGOP talking point!”
 
I’m glad I could lay conservatives’ concerns to rest. So of course Obamacare haters are going to look at the numbers, look at where they come from, apply some logic, fact-check talking points, be glad that millions of uninsured people now have the security of insurance, and accept the now obvious point that uninsured people badly want the security of insurance no matter how much trouble it is to get it, making Obamacare bound to attract millions.
 
Stop laughing!

Mac Hall April 18, 2014 at 8:07 am

A little off topic, but the Iraq war reference prompts a question :

Is that what the Democrats are facing with ObamaCare as an election issue ?

Here’s my thought process.
First, let’s acknowledge Donald Rumsfeld was a source of interesting observations — like in February 2003 when he said “It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months” — which went along with his known -unknowns- known ramblings.
But like the Iraq conflict, and every other military campaign, when the battleplan meets the real world, the real world wins. Nothing goes as planned. Errors pile up. Mistaken suppositions come back to bite you. The most brilliant plan loses touch with reality.
Well, I am not saying that the roll-out of ObamaCare was brilliantly planned, but the goals were correct and achievable. The fact that the “ObamaCare battleplan” failed should not have been a surprise … but we should now realize that those goals are happening.

Now, let’s move onto Election 2014 with a reference to the situation that Bush was facing a re-election in 2004 and a war that was going the wrong way.
What did Bush do … he attacked the enemy — his political enemy, the Democrats. And he told the American people that “we simply cannot pull back” … right or wrong, he got enough people to agree with him. He was vocal and won.

Now, what are the Democrats doing with ObamaCare ? Besides Keith Ellison, which Democrats are embracing it ? I sense “relief” that it is working and “fear” of discussing it. Remember that question at during the Farm bill briefing when Klobuchar/Peterson/Walz did not want to answer the ACA question. Or when Nolan/Peterson/Walz voted for the Republican’s Keep Your Health Care Plan Act.

Everyday I am reminded of how glad I am that I have ObamaCare. And when I signed up for MNsure, the only question my bride asked me was : What will happen to our policy if the Republicans repeal and defund MNsure ?
That’s the fear I have … while the Democrats can acknowledge the roll-out failure, but the message must be “we simply cannot pull back”

Mac Hall

Eric Ferguson April 18, 2014 at 9:38 am

It’s worth asking the question, especially since Democrats will have to either run on Obamacare or figure out a defense. The circumstance is different in that, and hopefully candidates figure this out, Obamacare is working whereas the Iraq war was clearly going badly. However, a war is fundamentally different from anything else in that the voters feel a need to rally around the president and put off hard questions until later. Bush didn’t hang on despite the war, but because of it. Voters have never turned out an incumbent president in war time, no matter how badly the war was going. I still think 2004 was likely stolen, but Bush still roughly tied the popular vote and might have won it even if all states had run a fair election, though without the war, I can’t see Bush winning.

So the comparison I see between Obamacare and Iraq is conservatives assume the same level of lying that actually happened with Iraq. They have no proof of the numbers are wrong, but proof is apparently optional.

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