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Monday, October 24, 2016

Politics is a constantly changing business, but there are still a few things you can count on in every election cycle: like Karl Rove’s dark money group, Crossroads GPS, blowing its donors’ money on misleading, ineffective attack ads.

Since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, its opponents have spent over $400 million on television ads attacking it, with Crossroads leading the way. But despite Republicans’ repeated assertions that Obamacare would be the issue that causes Americans to rise up against Democrats and throw them out of office, the torrent of attack ads has actually done little to sway public opinion against the law. In fact, according to a Brookings Institution study, anti-Obamacare ads may have actually increased ACA enrollments by raising awareness about the law and its benefits.

But still, conservative outside spenders are determined to take their anti-health care message directly to the voters. The latest example is a new ad from Crossroads GPS, in which a Colorado woman named Richelle McKim laments that Senator “Mark Udall’s vote for Obamacare has hurt families in Colorado.”

McKim recounts her husband’s decision to start a new business, saying “We knew we needed to find health care. Because we were a single-income family, we couldn’t afford our plan.” Text then flashes across the screen, letting viewers know that “Richelle had to go back to work.”

It seems like a perfect case to make to the suburban women who are likely to decide Senator Udall’s tight re-election battle against Republican congressman Cory Gardner.

It also happens to be totally false.

As Denver television station KDVR reports, McKim has worked constantly over the past six years; from July 2008 through May 2010, she worked from home as the office manager for her husband’s company (which, evidently, wasn’t founded as a response to Obamacare). Since then, she has worked for Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy — which have donated $57,550 and $36,000 to Gardner’s campaign, respectively.

By McKim’s own admission, Obamacare didn’t actually drive her back into the workforce, as the ad claims.

“It wasn’t the Affordable Care Act,” she told KDVR. “It was just a financial burden, having a single income for so long.”

And, for good measure, McKim’s husband used to forgo health insurance because he suffers from high blood pressure — a pre-existing condition that made his insurance more expensive until the ACA became law.

This is far from the first time that Obamacare opponents have been forced to stretch the truth, flatly lie, or just give up and use paid actors to tell a scare story. Indeed, it begs the question: If the Affordable Care Act is really such a disastrous boondoggle, why couldn’t Crossroads — or the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity, or even House Republican Conference chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers — find an actual victim?

In this case, the fact that Obamacare has helped cut Colorado’s uninsured rate by 6 percent might have something to do with it.

Screenshot: CrossroadsGPSChannel/YouTube

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • gmccpa

    Of course he can’t find victim. I’ve had similar conversations with some of my RW acquaintances. I point out, while millions are now insured due to the ACA….they cannot find a single person who is uninsured BECAUSE of it. They then go on to cite all the policies that were cancelled. When its pointed out that those people obtained new (and usually improved) insurance policies, they are at a loss. They have a hard time understanding that 1. many more people are insured due to the ACA. 2. policies that were lost or cancelled…were replaced. 3. while there are still people without insurance…this is NOT a cause of the ACA.
    Honestly, its actually a little pathetic at this point. They’ve been fed so much misinformation about the ACA, that its difficult for them to acknowledge any positives. I think they feel much more comfortable in their ignorant bliss….not knowing or learning anything factual about it. Its so much easier for them to simply go on hating it.

    • Faraday_Cat

      Even before they were replaced, most of those with cancelled policies were better off without any insurance than what they had…cost money each month and provides near nothing in the event of illness, or costs nothing and provides nothing?
      On topic, though…I wish we could get her to answer the following question: “You have lamented the lack of choice that you seem to think was available to you pre-ACA. If we gave you the choice right now to forego all of the ACA as implimeted so far, and exempt you from all future laws regarding the ACA, are you saying you would choose to go back to the pre-ACA status quo?”
      If the answer is no, then she should STFU.
      If the answer is yes, then the ACA should cover her MRI, cat scan and/or psychotherapy.

      • Elizabeth Arroyo

        I have the ACA and I had 2 MRI 1 catScan and all my 26 physical therapy were cover.. Unlike the other insurance did not cover none,, ty

      • Dominick Vila

        What many Republicans either don’t understand, or know it but prefer to ignore it or distort it, is the fact that the people who get insurance coverage through the ACA exchanges don’t get coverage from the government, but from for profit insurance companies. They also ignore that we have the same choices we did before insofar as choosing which level of coverage we want (there are different levels of coverage). The difference is that nobody is denied coverage, that artificial caps no longer exist, and that subsidies are available to help anyone earning less than $96K a year. The fact that such concept is evil in the minds of GOP-TP members reflects more on the ACA opponents than on the program that has already helped millions of Americans get the medical care they need to live a healthy life.
        Bear in mind that their position is influenced by greed, ideology, and opportunism, rather than logic.

      • Allan Richardson

        Republican politicians (and media hosts) are afraid of letting more Americans get help with their mental problems. What would happen to their already shrinking voter base? After all, a Stephen Colbert complained, “reality has a well known liberal bias.”

  • None of the Above

    At the company I work for, we met with our health care agent last week. It was a meeting where we had to pick our new plans for the next year, due to “changes”.

    I find it interesting that very early on in the discussion, he commented that the “costs have gone up due to the Affordable Care Act.” (My employer has increased their contribution, enough to cover the difference.) Being single, I’ve never really paid much attention to what my health care plan covers, except for if it includes eye care.

    Naturally, my initial reaction to his comment was to think, “damn, this would happen to me…” along with an initial disappointment in the changes. However, as he continued on, I started to wonder in the back of my mind that if the rates had to go up, how lousy was our previous “cheaper” plan?

    • Independent1

      And when people talk about ACA premiums going up, they forget two things; 1) Health insurance premiums have ALWAYS gone up from one year to the next, but over the past 3-4 years they’ve gone up at the slowest rate in 15 years and 2) as you pointed out, the new policies for Obamacare included numerous new benefits – anyone who thought these were going to come free has been dreaming:

      . No more lifetime or annual maximums
      . Deductibles have maximums now and are generally lower than in older policies
      . Coverage can no longer be denied for pre-existing conditions and people with pre-existing conditions can’t be charged higher premiums
      . For family policies, with children – Obamacare policies cover them to age 26

      . There’s now a specified set of preventive examinations that have to be provided now free of a co-pay.
      . I believe preventitive immunizations, such as flu-shots have to be provided free of charge

      .Probably one of the most important: insurers can no longer cancel policies at their discretion – like just before someone needs an expensive operation or medications like chemo therapy

      And I think there’s even more new coverages

    • Tom_D44

      Your old insurance was likely not a “cheaper” policy. The rates are going up because of the increased risk that the insurance companies are projecting into their future models and those risks are dictated by the new requirements the ACA set. Pre-existing conditions is a big one and is projected to cost the insurance companies a lot of money – albeit it is much better for the people. In any event, these costs were supposed to be offset by the influx of young healthy people whose premiums would pay for the sick. These people are not getting the policies as they were projected to do – instead they are paying the fines and still going without. The insurance companies are doing a combination of raising their rates and increasing peoples deductibles – which if you use your insurance is just a hidden rate increase. We have seen policies with deductibles as high as $8-$10,000 with the premiums the same as before. What average middle class worker can afford that? My wife is an agent and has already lost about half of her book of business. Her income has been cut in half. Many of her businesses can’t afford the rate increases and are dropping coverage which is putting people out to find their own coverage through the exchanges. Many of the “millions of newly insured people” are these people who were insured and are now just getting it through the exchanges because they have been dropped. These are the smaller companies who are under the 50 employee minimum requirement so they have been providing insurance for their employees because they want to and were able to afford it. They were never required to do it. The effects of the ACA requirements on the policies for businesses aren’t even going into affect until next year as Obama has delayed it until then, most likely because he knows it is going to have a very quick and very negative affect on these policies and is playing political games to insure it doesn’t affect the outcome of the 2014 elections. Any dummy who is even marginally informed could see this. Make no mistake, their rates are going to go up and by a lot. We get the flyers from the insurance companies informing the agents of what changes are coming so that they can keep their clients informed.
      Mr Decker – if you are having any trouble at all in finding a victim of the ACA, you can’t be looking very hard. Please feel free to call me. We are a double income family trying to keep our bills paid and one of our earners incomes has been cut in half – so far. Many of her agent friends are out of business. The people who have been dropped by their employers are not finding the deals on the exchanges and their costs have gone up. This is not good for the people at all. The politicians will always play their games – on both sides. But the problems with this law are indeed very real.

      • Wedge Shot

        I truly believe that you have not written one word of truth in your entire message. Your purpose, and everything you wrote was to make a case against Obamacare. Sorry but the evidence shows, for the vast majority of people, that Obamacare has helped millions get insurance that previously couldn’t and that the costs have either stabilized or gone up at the lowest rate in many years. If you are going to post something provide actual information and not the speculation and untruths that you have. Facts do count and you have not provided any.

  • Dominick Vila

    Trying to find victims of a program that eliminated the pre-existing condition clause, the insurance coverage cap, that allows dependent children to remain in their parents insurance policy until age 26, that subsidizes the insurance premiums of ALL Americans, and that give access to preventive medical care to people who only had access to emergency medical care before Obamacare became law, is something that only a Tea Party advocate can pursue.
    The closest they have come to finding “victims” is the revelation that less than 1% of insurance policy holders had their policies cancelled because they did not meet the minimum standards of coverage established in the ACA, and had no choice but to get better – subsidized – policies through the ACA exchanges.
    In the face of incredulity by logical thinking people, they now rely on the barriers they have erected for people in red states to get adequate and affordable healthcare coverage. Substance is usually conspicuous by its absence when it comes to Republican rhetoric, cynicism is not.

  • Pamby50

    I bet her husband has affordable healthcare now.

  • Mikey7a

    Florida’s District 1 victim here. Go here:

    Read the 2nd article titled, are you ready…wait for it, Obamacare Premium Hikes. I must warn you, any critical thinking person, just might regurgitate, so read this on an empty stomach!