Latest Obamacare Scandal is Just More Republican Hypocrisy and Lies

If you went on this morning, you probably saw this headline: Obamacare: Voters, are you stupid? You might have watched this video:

And heard the ominous narration:

“Leave it to one of the key consultants of the Affordable Care Act to inflict the kind of damage to the president’s signature achievement in Congress that Republicans were never quite able to muster.”

Oh dear. What now?

The accompanying text tells the reader that,

Years-old but newly scrutinized videos of MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber ignited a political firestorm this week because the self-described architect of Obamacare thanks “the stupidity of the American voter” for leading to passage of the president’s signature piece of legislation.

The only problem is, this is a lot of fuss over nothing, and as Media Matters puts it, simply a part of The Fraudulent Media Campaign To Scandalize Obamacare’s Passage. And it is something that Media Matters went to the trouble of exposing on Thursday.

CNN apparently didn’t get word that there really was no scandal to go along with the “shocking remarks,” and jumped on the scandal on Sunday.

You know, three days after is was already proven there was no scandal.

This is what Gruber originally said:

The bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If [CBO] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in — you made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money — it would not have passed…Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.

The Republicans who ensured that all this came out when it did, just as Obamacare is proving its popularity with the American public, all jumped on this with cries of “deceit!”, “lies!” and “fraud!”

But The New York Times’ Neil Irwin pointed out on Wednesday, that this is simply how legislation is written, that,

Mr. Gruber was exposing something sordid yet completely commonplace about how Congress makes policy of all types: Legislators frequently game policy to fit the sometimes arbitrary conventions by which the Congressional Budget Office evaluates laws and the public debates them.

According to Irwin, “This kind of gamesmanship is a very much bipartisan affair.” And he explains that “Mr. Gruber was, in an infelicitous way, expressing frustration with that state of affairs.”

And Brian Beutler, at the New Republican, pointed out that,

First, Gruber’s actually overstating the degree to which the ACA needed to be finessed in order to pass. It’s true that the bill’s authors took steps to maximize its public appeal and minimize its vulnerabilities. Everyone writing significant legislation does this.


So this is nothing to get excited about. Republicans do this too. And they are more than willing to “forget” that fact so they can have yet another scandal with which to attack President Obama.

Of course, the mainstream media won’t tell you this. You won’t see CNN explaining this in any helpful way. Rather, CNN would prefer to be part of the problem, and run with scandalous headlines which further the Republican cause.

Yet contrary to everything the mainstream media is telling us, Beutler points out that “the Obamacare debate was one of the most transparent in recent memory,” and Media Matters points to the following:

Senate Held Years Of Bipartisan Hearings On Health Care Reform Before ACA Passed. Former Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) posted a timeline of his committee’s work on health care reform since 2008, which included more than a dozen hearings through 2008-09 and “31 bipartisan meetings to discuss the development of a health care reform bill” between June and September of 2009. [, accessed 11/12/14]

Media Matters also reminds us that Sen. Angus King (I-ME) responded to Gruber’s allegations by pointing out that “There was long debate about it on both sides.”

“I certainly don’t endorse those kind of comments. But I can recall that debate. I wasn’t in office. [I]t was a very vigorous debate,” King said when asked about Gruber’s comments. “Everybody knew that there were going to be additional taxes required to support the support for premiums under the Affordable Care Act. I don’t see it as any deep, dark conspiracy. There were all kinds of — there was long debate about it on both sides.” [The Washington Post, Post Politics, 11/11/14]

CNN mentions neither Baucus nor King, and you won’t find the word “debate” there either. CNN is, however, quick to point to Democrats and say they are being less than candid in response to the revelations. It is an image of impartiality we see on CNN, not the real thing.

Needless to say then, nobody seeing the CNN piece this morning is going to get an accurate analysis of the “scandal” but rather, will be force-fed Republican talking points. CNN tells readers that the controversy (which really isn’t much of a controversy), “is giving Republicans’ claims that the Obama administration misled voters on the “truth” of the Affordable Care Act more credence.” The trouble is, CNN doesn’t bother to disabuse readers of GOP talking points.

None of this is terribly surprising. We’ve seen “scandal” after “scandal” since the Republicans decided that the Obama presidency must be relentlessly sabotaged into failure. And they’ve done their best, both to make Obama a one-term president, and then, failing that, to completely obstruct his administration and even threatening to sue or impeach him for being what he was elected to be: president.

None of this helps America, of course. Hoodwinked by Republican propaganda, most people aren’t going to know what’s really going on, or what the facts are. This is proven by Gallup’s headline this morning, that more people disapprove of Obamacare than approve of it.

The mainstream media no longer concerns itself with facts, and Republican talking points, only loosely associated with our shared reality, have become “facts” instead. These, the MSM does not question.

Because, after all, why would the corporations giving you the “news,” question the corporations who have a vested interest in keeping the facts from the American people? We may not be stupid, as Gruber said, but we are misinformed, and CNN and the rest of the mainstream media – which we would really do better to think of as corporate propaganda organs – likes it that way.

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23 Replies to “Latest Obamacare Scandal is Just More Republican Hypocrisy and Lies”

  1. The real scandal is the Republican “leaders” and the corporate-owned media. I don’t know what we can do to counter all this, but something needs to happen, the right-wing is winning the debate because they are never challenged or made to prove their “facts”.

    I’m reading this morning that 38% of people approve of the ACA, but I’ve also read that an overwhelming number of people who are insured through the ACA are happy with their coverage. The disconnect between reality and what the media promotes is alarming.

    What is going on in this country is a perfect illustration of why the founders made this a Republic, they knew the masses would not be savvy enough to see through the lies of politicians and vote in an informed way. Right now, unfortunately, the demagogues are promoting their agenda with impunity because they own the airwaves, and therefore, the message is whatever they want it to be.

  2. I have been accused by wingnuts of being a demagogue myself, because I bother to provide facts, complete with hyperlinks taking curious readers to those facts, while those who accuse me simply flat-out contradict what I say without a cogent argument in rebuttal, let alone a single fact.

  3. For the GOP – and the media – to be scandalized by “managing” the perception of a bill is comical. The republicans have NOTHING but lies and they have become obvious to all but the most stupid voters…Think of Boehner saying, “Jobs, jobs, jobs…”

    FWIW the ACA was WRITTEN by the right wing Heritage Foundation in the 1990’s to counter Hillary Clinton’s single payer health insurance proposal, and they tinkered with it again to make it Romneycare when Mitt was governor of Massachusetts…and the GOP LOVED it then!

    The ACA was debated, discussed and PASSED by both houses of Congress, and certainly was not “shoved down” the GOP’s throat. They wrote it – they changed it – they voted for it.

    US media is becoming more disgraceful by the week, and I do not rely on any US source for real news. They are great for weather or traffic and local stories, but I use Reuters for big news and I don’t really trust them completely, either…

  4. As long as people are watching CNN this will happen. Let them fight with Fox Snooze for viewers, we do not need to support them or their advertisers

  5. Al Jazeera, BBC, NPR. The major US networks are useless. Actually, worse than useless, dangerous, because they further the contemptible corporatist agenda.

  6. The sum total of viewers watching the 3 main cable news networks is barely 5 million. More and more folks (young and middle-aged mostly) are getting their news from internet sites.
    If you live close to the Canadian border, I’d advise you to tune into CBC — just the facts, ma’am, with no biased embellishment. And Thompson-Reuters News Agency is a Canadian company, with no conservative connections.

  7. If the Republicans hate the ACA so much then let them come up with a better plan. S**T or get off the pot.

  8. I’d say the fact that the internet is a good source of information for those who take the time to search for it is the main reason the right is against net neutrality, the right wants to control all the information as all totalitarian types must do in order to control the people.

  9. CNN’s routine of getting people ginned up with controversy and fear is no different than the gop doing the same with their base. Today’s journalism is a sham. They don’t even bother with the basics of who, what, where, when, and why. E.R. Murrow must be rolling in his grave.

  10. This country reminds me of the USSR during the cold war days when the Government controlled what you could say and do, what they fed everyone on the state owned news, everthing you knew was spoon fed, and you didn’t dare question their athority, sound vaguely familiar like the John Birch society a.k.a Kock bros society, could we be heading in this direction ?

  11. Jose:
    ——I think the republican party is made of evil doers.——-

    Ha! That’s a good one. Good ‘Ol boy Bush coined the “Evil Doers” Line. It has come back to haunt his own party. Yeah!

  12. Putin is doing the exact same thing and the Repubs can’t get enough of him, Republicans would be just as bad as the old Russian communists if they could be, they are authoritarian types through-and-through.

  13. Lol. Dragnet. I used to love that show. Just the facts GOP. Just the facts! If the GOP were to only talk facts, their entire party would end up mute!

  14. It is going to be a tough two years where the GOP continues to refuse to make progress for America and the middle class, or what is left of it. The guy is right on one thing, there are a lot of stupid voters and stupid people in this country.

  15. I can’t believe you bunch of sheep are still standing behind Obama. He has done nothing but lie to the american people. And as for Gruber calling the American voter stupid He’s right, but he was talking about you guys. I don’t know a single Republican that voted in favor of Obamacare.

  16. You dont know a single republican that has voted for anything that would benefit Americans

    As for Obama lying, nice try. Go listen to Boehner and the turtle for a while, then you will know what lies are.

  17. Ya sure as opposed to you Bush sheep who followed him all the way to Iraq and into bankrupting a nation, almost the world.

  18. Is it a tax on us or insurance companies? I thought they said it was the insurance companies but Tapper video said us. Which is it?

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