I just received this delicious, though somewhat stale, double-dip of misattribution and pants-on-fire lies, with a topping of xenophobia and ignorance, from a thoughtful friend who asked me to "ponder this":
Paradoxical Quote of The Day From Ben Stein: "Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen." Now add this, "Many of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens." Think about it when you vote in November !"To which I replied: SNOPES, FACTCHECK.
Or, ponder this one. I know it's true and I know who wrote it because it's me. Without the Affordable Care Act I can not get private insurance for major medical, of any kind, at any cost, because of pre-existing conditions that do not affect my physical health -- which is very good -- and require medications costing only about $40/month. I am uninsured for major illness or accidents because although I work over 60 hours per week, it is at 3 different part-time, no-benefits jobs (teaching and research). It is not "non-citizens" who are keeping me from having health insurance. It is the insurance companies who won't sell it to me.
Romney's claim that pre-existing conditions are covered under his (very non-existing) health care plan was corrected by his campaign manager just minutes after the debate ended: no it doesn't -- he just won't change the existing law that guarantees continuous coverage for people who already have it. In other words, he won't end HIPAA or COBRA, which people who have lost their job can't afford anyway, and people who don't even know they have a pre-existing condition don't realize they need if they're ever to get re-insured (me again).
Or I suppose, as Willard said a few weeks ago, hey, I do have health coverage: I can go to the emergency room and they have to treat me! (Even though I'm a moocher who won't take responsibility and care for my life.) I'll remember that if I have a mammogram turn up positive. ("Excuse me, where is the line for cancer?")
My non-US citizen friends and colleagues from Norway, Denmark, Canada, Australia, England, and Germany are the ones who can't fathom our system. The only ones who can relate are from another country where health insurance is private not public, availability depends on what province you live in, there are caps on coverage, some conditions don't qualify, and out-of-pocket expenses are extremely high. The country is China. Great company we keep on this one.
DUN EVEN get me started....
That was the end of my rant.
Factcheck.org just posted a nice analysis of Romney's "new and improved" (as of 2pm PDT anyway; check back in an hour) position on covering pre-existing conditions.