At the “Exempt America” rally on Tuesday, Rep. Louis Gohmert managed to spread every tired lie about the Affordable Care Act in about two minutes. In call-and-reponse mode, he asked the crowd a series of (mis)leading questions that the assemblage answered with a shrill “Yes!”
Here is each lie, debunked for your convenience. Enjoy.
Was Obamacare passed against the will of the people?
Nope. It was passed by a president who won the largest landslide in two decades and a Democratic House and Senate with huge majorities. It was passed with more support than the Bush tax cuts and Medicare Part D, both of which were entirely unfunded. And the law had a mostly favorable perception in 2010 before Republicans spent hundreds of millions of dollars spreading misinformation about it.
Is Obamacare still against the will of American people?
Actually, most Americans want it implemented. Only 6 percent said they wanted to defund or delay it in a recent poll.
Does it take away your freedom to make decisions about health care?
No, you can still make any decision about health care you need. And soon more people will be able to afford more services. Obamacare requires that you have health insurance if you can afford it or pay a penalty. But taxpayers are currently paying that penalty in the cost of covering the uninsured in emergency rooms.
Of course, your insurance company can still try to deny you services as they do now. But Obamacare regulates their decisions based on a “Patients’ Bill of Rights.”
Does it put the government between you and your health care?
This is sort of true. It puts the government there to make sure your insurer can’t drop you and has to spend 80-85 percent of your premiums on actual care. It also makes sure that your health care covers your kids who are in school, until they’re 26.
Here we get to the central fallacy of the arguments against Obamacare — they’re more true about Medicare. But you don’t see Republicans ranting about Medicare in public. In fact, they ran — falsely — on protecting it, twice.
Does it give the government information about every single aspect of your personal, private health?
No, all policies still have to adhere to the The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. If you trust Medicare, Medicaid and veterans health care, you can trust Obamacare.
Does Obamacare violate your right to privacy?
Can you count on the government to keep your physical health secrets?
Unless Edward Snowden gets ahold of them, your secrets are as safe with the government as with any private insurer.
Will Obamacare keep senior citizens from getting the services they need and deserve?
No. It’s added to Medicare’s benefits and lowered their prescription medicine costs.
Under Obamacare, will young people be saddled with the cost of everybody else?
No. Thanks to the coverage for students, tax credits, Medicaid expansion and the fact that most young people don’t earn that much, most young people won’t be paying anything or very much for health care. And nearly everyone in their twenties will see premiums far less than people in their 40s and 50s. If you’re young, out of school and earning more than 400 percent of the poverty level, you may be paying a bit more, but for better insurance.
Does Obamacare prevent the free exercise of your religious beliefs?
No. But it does stop you from forcing your beliefs on others. Employers that provide insurance have to offer policies that provide birth control to women. Religious organizations have been exempted from paying for this coverage but no one will ever be required to take birth control if their religion restricts it — they just can’t keep people from having access to this crucial, cost-saving medication for free.
Does it provide health care for people here illegally?
So was Joe “You Lie!” Wilson right?
Does Obamacare fund abortions?
You’re confusing it with Romneycare. Obamacare sticks to existing federal law for Medicaid that bars any funding of abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
Photo: @oxdspalla via Twitter.com