OK

There's the new Kochs' Americans for Prosperity ad, running in a number of states with Senate races. Note that it does not feature any specious Obamacare "horror" stories. That's because all the pushback, all the debunking, has worked. The Kochs started out by trotting out sympathetic women (often actors or Republican activists) with specific complaints about the law, almost all of which were full of holes and easily shot down. There has been so much pushback that AFP has abandoned that tactic, and has gone with this generic ad against the law with an obvious actor narrating.

And yet, it's still full of overstatements and lies. The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler takes them on.

In a nutshell:

  • "Millions of people have lost their insurance," patently false—they've been put into other plans (which happened a lot pre-Obamacare);
  • "Millions of people can't see their own doctors," which again happened frequently under the old system—insurance companies change, employers change insurers, doctors move or die—this isn't new and it's not necessarily the fault of the law;
  • "Millions are paying more and getting less" is probably the biggest whopper in the ad, because the law mandates so many more services, many of which are required to be provided without a copay.

Kessler was generous to AFP, giving the ad just two Pinnochios, presumably because there are people out there who are losers under the new system.

Greg Sargent calls the phenomenon of the dissipating Koch claims against the law the "incredible shrinking Obamacare sob story" and makes the very good point that the Kochs can't come up with a really compelling—and true—horror story about the law because those who are most hurt tend not to be the most sympathetic people. The law does have losers, but those losers tend to be generally winners in life. Most of the people who are going to be paying more for their insurance are people with higher incomes. Yes, it sucks for them, but you can't really have a healthy, wealthy person in your ads, complaining about having health insurance. And almost all of the things that can be said about the law that are bad are features, not bugs, of our reliance on the private health insurance industry for health care provision. They all existed, and in many cases were worse, before the law.

No, the real horror stories are all of those that happened before the law kicked in; all those cancer victims who couldn't get coverage at all; those people whose plans were cancelled or sudden illnesses not covered because at some point in their lives they were treated for a hangnail or something as irrelevant; and all of the people who just plain couldn't afford to buy the security of being able to take care of their health.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 11:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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