GOP Lies about Health Care Reform

 Mitt Romney and Republicans are out with outright falsehoods about Obamacare -- their favorite distortion being that this is somehow a broad tax on the middle class. In reality, this is all about personal responsibility -- and the "tax" they are trying to scare everyone about is actually a penalty for the 1 percent of people who can afford insurance but still choose not to buy it, leaving the rest of us to pay for their health care when they head to the emergency room.

Just like they did when the bill was before Congress, Republicans are playing fast and loose with the truth, making up scary consequences to keep you from knowing all the good things Obamacare does. They're not telling the truth about what this reform means for millions of middle-class Americans, so I need you to help get the facts out there.

Let's break it down.

#1 Republican distortion: "The President promised he wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class by a penny with this health care law. Well, that's been proven false now."

The facts: President Obama has cut taxes by $3,600 for the average middle-class family over the last three and a half years, and the Republicans fought him nearly every step of the way. From cutting taxes for every working American through the Making Work Pay and payroll tax cuts, to the American Opportunity Tax Credit which gives up to a $10,000 tax credit to help families pay for four years of college, the President has put more money in the pockets of middle-class Americans.

Here's another fact: Obamacare includes the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history. According to the independent Congressional Budget Office, 19 million people will receive tax credits -- worth an average of about $4,800 each -- to help afford health care. These tax credits will finally put health insurance within reach for millions of American families. In short, Obamacare cuts taxes for middle-class families. Period.

Around 1 percent of people -- those who can afford to buy coverage but instead choose to opt out, shifting their costs to the rest of us -- will pay a penalty. The Supreme Court acknowledged yesterday that this penalty will be charged through the tax code -- but that doesn't change its purpose (to ensure everyone who can afford insurance buys it) or its effect (to lower costs for everyone). It's also the same policy Mitt Romney implemented when he signed health reform in Massachusetts. For many folks in Massachusetts, the penalties under Romney's reform were even bigger. In fact, here's a video of him extolling the virtues of his penalty.

#2 Romney distortion: Romney said Obamacare meant "a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life -- separating you and your doctor."

The facts: Totally dishonest. In fact, this is one of the most dishonest claims in American politics. First, this isn't about government. Obamacare builds on and improves the nation's private health care system.

Second, here's what it fixes. Before Obamacare, insurance companies had free rein to arbitrarily cap and cancel coverage, and they could waste our premiums on overheads and big CEO bonuses. With Obamacare, there will now be clear rules of the road to give patients and doctors more control over their health care. These rules will make sure that you and your doctor -- not your insurance company, and certainly not a Washington bureaucrat -- have control over your health.

#3 Romney distortion: "Obamacare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have."

The facts: Outright false. If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it. The only thing that's changed is that your coverage is stronger. Here's how:

-- If you had a lifetime limit (and about 60 percent of employer-based plans did), it's been lifted.
-- If you have a child under the age of 26, they can stay on your plan.
-- Insurance companies can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions.
-- Starting in 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny anyone insurance based on preexisting conditions, helping up to 129 million Americans get the care they need.
-- Insurance companies will no longer be able to charge women more than men for the exact same coverage.
-- 54 million Americans already have access to better preventive services, free of charge.
-- And if you get sick, your insurance company can't drop your coverage, and if they deny you a treatment, the law makes sure you have a chance to appeal.

Republicans who tell you Obamacare won't let you keep your plan if you like it are lying to you -- and it is shameful.

#4 Republican distortion: "Costs are going up."

The facts: Health care costs have been going up for decades -- that's one of the reasons President Obama fought to pass the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare makes targeted changes to hold costs down. The President started by taking on the insurance companies. As he said yesterday, the law ensures that insurance companies spend 80% of your premium dollars on your health care, not administrative costs or CEO bonuses. If they don't follow that rule, they have to send you a rebate. This month, more than 12 million Americans will receive over $1 billion in rebate checks, and we're all seeing lower premiums because of it.

The law also takes on waste in our health care system. Let's take just one example. We spend billions of dollars every year treating people for infections they get while they are in the hospital. The health care law helps hospitals take simple but necessary steps to prevent infections. These types of reforms will save up to $35 billion and 60,000 lives.

#5 Romney distortion: "Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt."

The facts: Wrong again. The Affordable Care Act cuts the deficit by over $100 billion during the first ten years. In the following decade, it cuts the deficit by another $1 trillion. Not only is the Romney campaign misleading people about the President's deficit plan, they won't tell the truth about their own. Romney would grow the deficit by as much as $5 trillion by giving tax cuts that favor millionaires and billionaires while taking away health care benefits that people rely on. We can't let them get away with it.

I'm going to be perfectly clear: Mitt Romney has promised that if elected our next president, he will repeal Obamacare on Day One in office. Immediately after the Supreme Court ruled to uphold health care reform yesterday, Romney reminded his supporters: "When I'm President...Obamacare will be over."

If Romney gets his way, 105 million Americans could see their lifetime caps reinstated, and more than 3.1 young Americans could be booted off their parent's plan and could again be without insurance. Up to 17 million children with preexisting conditions could, once again, be at risk of being denied coverage, and insurance companies could once again drop you if you get sick.

That's why the Truth Team's work to spread the truth on Obamacare is so critically important.

Luckily, we have the facts to stop Romney, and the progress I just laid out to back us up.

Please spread the word, and forward this email to your friends and family.

Thank you,


P.S. -- When we talk about how Obamacare affects Americans across the country, these are just some of the people we're talking about.

GOP Lies On the Deficit and Spending

Republicans repeatedly place the blame for both the size of the national deficit and an “extraordinary” growth in spending at the feet of President Obama, but nothing could be farther from the truth on either point. Of all the onerous lies, the GOP and GOP supporters repeat, this one is the most often because they are terrified that the truth will come out, and it strikes at the heart of the “conservative” mantra…spending.
Democrats, meanwhile, protest in vain, by weakly pointing to spending during the Bush years on the only two unfunded wars in U.S. history and huge tax cuts with drastically reduced revenue streams for the government coffers. All the while, Republicans moan about the huge deficit problem while the preceding Republican administrations from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush proclaimed, “deficits don’t matter,”(Darth Cheney).
Do we, as Americans, really accept the notion that lies in politics don’t matter? Really?
The Truth About Spending (or GOP Lie # 4,993)
Federal government spending has risen under President Obama. The bulk of actual spending was the $800 billion stimulus expended to offset the deepest recession since the Great Depression that he inherited from President Bush. But even with this disadvantage from the day President Obama took office, the increase in federal spending under Obama is dwarfed by the increase under President Bush. Eat your heart out Joe Scarborough.
Here’s Federal Expenditures from 2000-2011 (quarterly figures, annualized), from the St. Louis Fed:
As above, from 2000 to 2008, under President Bush, Federal spending rose by $1.3 trillion, from $1.9 trillion a year to $3.2 trillion a year.
From 2009 to 2011, under President Obama, federal spending has risen by $600 billion, from $3.2 trillion a year to $3.8 trillion a year. It has also now begun to decline.
In other words, federal government spending under President Bush increased 2X as much as it has under President Obama, despite President Obama having to contend with decreased tax revenue from the effect of 700,000 Americans losing their jobs the month President Obama was sworn in. The Congressional Budget Office stated in December 2009, that not one penny of spending increased the deficit in President Obama’s first year.
Not one red cent.
Lost revenues, from taxes uncollected due to layoffs from George Bush’s eight previous years’ recession that were occurring the day President Obama took office, were $251 billion. The budget for President Obama’s first year in office was $223 billion over the last budget provided by George W. Bush.
By the time President Obama’s Oval Office chair conformed to the President’s butt cheeks, he was more than a trillion dollars in the hole for GOP policies, that they now intentionally and dishonestly attribute to President Obama.
But even with the 2009 stimulus program and the necessarily growing outlays for Medicaidunemployment insurance, food stamps and other safety net programs, those trillions in deficits had less to do with Barack Obama boosting spending than the dramatic loss of tax revenue.
As former Reagan administration official Bruce Bartlett explained in October 2009:
To recap, the deficit came in $223 billion higher than projected [in January], but spending was $28 billion and revenues were $251 billion less than expected. Thus we can conclude that more than 100 percent of the increase in the deficit since January is accounted for by lower revenues. Not one penny is due to higher spending.
The Truth About the Deficit (or GOP Lie # 4,994)
Republicans bellow that the deficit is 100% President Obama’s fault, because he has “exploded government spending and failed to fix the economy”.
We have already shown the GOP deceptions regarding spending. Now for the deficit.
The chart below shows the rate of growth in the annual deficits under Presidents Bush and Obama. Bear in mind that President Bush, inherited a budget surplus (the first in decades).
A cyclical recession occurred and he immediately took the budget into deficit. To make matters worse, he:
Cut taxes reducing tax revenues to the government without offsetting reductions elsewhere
He sent $300 checks to anyone who paid taxes the previous year without offsetting spending elsewhere which cost the government an additional $152 billion.
Then, Bush made the biggest, most common mistake that economists make whether economic policies are Austrian, Austerity or Keynesian based. They fail to balance the economic equation.
When the economy mini-boomed Bush did not restore the tax cuts. He doubled down and reduced revenues even more with a second tax cut, causing the economy to begin a further decline towards ultimately sliding into recession in 2007.
When “the Mother of all Real Estate and Investment Bank Crises” hit in late 2008, the die had already cast. President Obama took office as the financial tsunami hit its full stride.
In early 2009, President Obama took over, amid the worst recession since the Great Depression. President Obama signed an $800 billion spending increase at the same time that GDP and tax collections completely tanked. The combination of these two factors, growth in spending and a drop in revenue, exploded the deficit to $1.4 trillion. In 2010, the economy and tax collections improved modestly, and the deficit shrank to $1.3 trillion annualized.
Republicans endlessly shriek that it’s clearly President Obama that has exploded the size of federal government spending in his short tenure as President. While it is true that he has increased it, President Bush actually increased future federal spending by more than 3X as such as Obama; as shown below from the Washington Post
If you believe the facts, growth during the “Bush Boom” was a debt-fueled mirage and that the blame is properly attributed to President Bush. His combination of reduced taxes and increased spending took the US from a surplus to a deficit, and even the economic boom from a massive housing bubble and enormous borrowing didn’t close the gap.
Even if you think the “Bush Boom” was real, the recession and financial crisis began on his watch, and the deficit was already exploding when President Obama took office. So it’s very hard to escape the conclusion that President Bush bears a lot of the responsibility for our current mess.
Actual evidence still clearly shows that it is Republicans and their so-called “conservative trickle-down bull***t” that has crippled our economy, destroyed millions of American families, dreams, and retirements. And even worse? Paul Ryan’s budget that Willard Mitt Romney has endorsed, would INCREASE the deficit BY $5 TRILLION while dismantling Social Security.
This is, of course, notwithstanding the eye-rolling, righteous condescension, and incredulity displayed daily by the bobble-heads at FOX, or the shrieking squinty-eyed Morning Joe (Scarborough) on MSNBC, or proselytizing by NBC’s David Gregory, the most biased “moderator” of Meat the Press in its long and previously distinguished history.
My gosh I miss Tim Russert, and thank the lord for Bob Schieffer on CBS, and to an extent CNN.
THE ONLY workable, minimally-disruptive, all-inclusive solution is my own One Penny Solution (see here:
For god’s sake people, quit listening to the boobs at FOX, NBC, and all the other corporate-owned, broadcast media* who have a vested interest in corporate-friendly Republican victories. Read Bloomberg, Reuters, The Financial Times…but do not be fooled that there is widespread fair and accurate “News” on your television.
Most are no more unprejudiced or revealing than “Professional Wrestling” or Texas Hold ‘em on ESPN are really sports.
*NBC=Comcast / ABC=Disney / CBS=Viacom / FOX=Rupert Murdoch

Obama Keeps Edge in Swing States of Fla., Pa., Ohio

President Barack Obama is faring considerably better in vital swing states that are likely to decide November’s election, than he is doing in the country as a whole, two polls released on Wednesday show. And that is bad news for Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who needs to reverse Obama’s margins in those states if he is to be successful in his bid for the White House.


ObamaCares survives corporate hack Supremes

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) today released the ruling on President Obama's health care law and found the law to be largely constitutional with the individual mandate to purchase health insurance being classified as a tax.
Report from the Washington Post:
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual health-insurance mandate that is at the heart of President Obama’s landmark health-care law, saying the mandate is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority.
The potentially game-changing, election-year decision — a major victory for the White House less than five months before the November elections --will help redefine the power of the national government and affect the health-care choices of millions of Americans.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the majority in voting to uphold the law, Obama’s signature domestic initiative.
Passage of the legislation by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 2010 capped decades of efforts to implement a national program of health care. The legislation is expected to eventually extend health-care coverage to more than 30 million Americans who currently lack it.
Republicans in Congress and GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney have vowed to try and repeal the measure after the November elections.
Calling this a win for the White House may be a little premature. The short term victory in the ruling is a win but now the President will need to sell this legislation to a citizenry who have already rejected it. The court stated that the financial penalty for not purchasing health can be called a tax which means the President now has to defend a tax increase on anyone who does not purchase acceptable insurance. If the argument for ObamaCare was that many couldn't afford health insurance, the President may be left answering the question of whether someone who still can't afford insurance will now be forced to afford thousands of dollars in a "tax" for not purchasing insurance.
This will not be the end to this issue, of course, since it will be a large campaign issue heading up to Election Day.
More to come including reactions from the Obama and Romney campaigns...

"Game of Thrones" Attack Ads

By the MoJo News Team
In HBO's hit show Game of Thrones, there are dragons, sword fights, and zombie armies. But the heart of the show is intense political intrigue. Alliances are forged and broken; backroom deals are cut; principles are sacrificed. It's a dirty game. Yet imagine how much more unsavory it would be if super-PACs and dark-money outfits existed in the Seven Kingdoms. We did—and here are the results. Click through for all three ads (and mild season 2 spoilers). [READ MORE]

CNN Cancels 'John King USA'

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Jon Stewart mocks Wisconsin recall coverage with Mad Men send-up

Jon Stewart mocks Wisconsin recall coverage with Mad Men send-up (via Raw Story )
You know you’re only a few days before this season’s finale of Mad Men when you see totally unrelated product placement worked into The Daily Show’s treatment of the Wisconsin recall. Following an Abraham Lincoln penis joke, Jon Stewart offered a critique of the media coverage surrounding the…