This is called jumping the ObamaCare shark.
A national correspondent for Bloomberg View compared the Republican scandal of “Obama misspoke” to Bush’s weapons of mass destruction lies today, wondering if the New York Times editorial board “argued” that Bush misspoke when he claimed Saddam had WMD.
“Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that…” http://t.co/VzKTd3Curd
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 3, 2013
@jaketapper Serious question: Did NYTimes argue that Bush “misspoke” when he said Saddam possessed WMD?
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) November 3, 2013
Here’s the relevant bit from the NYT:
Congressional Republicans have stoked consumer fears and confusion with charges that the health care reform law is causing insurers to cancel existing policies and will force many people to pay substantially higher premiums next year for coverage they don’t want. That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.
Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that. By law, insurers cannot continue to sell policies that don’t provide the minimum benefits and consumer protections required as of next year. So they’ve sent cancellation notices to hundreds of thousands of people who hold these substandard policies. (At issue here are not the 149 million people covered by employer plans, but the 10 million to 12 million people who buy policies directly on the individual market.)
But insurers are not allowed to abandon enrollees. They must offer consumers options that do comply with the law, and they are scrambling to retain as many of their customers as possible with new policies that are almost certain to be more comprehensive than their old ones.
So yeah, Obama’s language wasn’t precise, but it’s not as if he mislead people about the bottom line. And the truth is that often the people complaining the loudest in the media about losing their coverage actually had junk insurance that wouldn’t cover anything. They also touted a woman complaining about losing her coverage who had never even gone to the website or picked up a phone to see what she qualified for. This kind of lack of precision is okay with the media.
The media isn’t too interested in accuracy on their end — only on the President’s end.
The reason Republicans are searching for a new scandal is because their attempts to claim that people will lose coverage have been widely debunked. PolitiFact explained:
“There is some truth to saying that they are losing their coverage plans they are now in — they are no longer available,” said Timothy Jost, a law professor at William and Lee and co-author of the casebook Health Law. “Presumably those are plans with very high deductibles, high out-of-pocket costs.”
However, “it is also inaccurate saying people are losing coverage.”
The fact of the matter is many people are getting much better coverage, and their current plans do not qualify as actual health insurance under the ACA. We are to be outraged over consumer protection, apparently.
So this is now equal to Bush’s weapons of mass destruction lies in the eyes of people who are working super hard to make “Obama misspoke” the new Benghazi.
Let’s see. Obama misspeaking precisely about the mechanism through which people would be covered is the exact same and just as bad as taking us into war with a huge, deliberately manufactured lie about weapons of mass destruction. One was an attempt to save lives, and another killed hundreds of thousands, so yeah, great comparison there.
In the meantime, conservatives managed to get “#ObamaMisspoke” to trend on Twitter, which they are using to explain that he misspoke when he took office… etc.
So this happened today, just in case you were wondering how silly the media can be and why they create scandals out of non-scandals while ignoring the millions dying from lack of health insurance in this country. Yes, we are still mid-media/GOP-ObamaCare scandal-gasm.
If the media is looking for a political scandal, how about the outrageous and desperate ObamaCare lying propaganda they have helped the Republican Party disseminate to the public over the last several years or the very real way in which the Republican Party deliberately sabotaged the rollout of the ObamaCare website, hoping it would cause the law to implode upon itself.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.