Obama’s Big Lie occasioned partly by Americans’s inability to handle the truth

Obana sweatingAnother country heard from. A day after liberal political columnist Cynthia Tucker offered up her best dog-ate-homework explanation for why Barack Obama deserves only some of the blame for lying through his teeth to the American people about the fate of their health care policies, along comes Michael Cohen of the Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, to try his hand at conjuring.

Like Tucker’s, Cohen’s feat of alchemy, which appears in New York’s Daily News, mentions the fact-checking website Politifact as the ultimate truthometer. He quotes their report that Obama “said at least 34 times that ‘if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.’ That statement,” Cohen goes on to add, “was not completely true, and it’s a lie that is today causing the President no end of political headaches.”

Not completely true? Accepting the implied premise that there are degrees of truth, which part of the statement would Cohen have us believe is true? He never says. But he does say:

Before we fully castigate the President for his rhetorical flights of fancy, it’s important to keep in mind that Obama was — to a large degree — telling Americans what they wanted to hear. In fact, he was giving them the type of comforting assurances they insist upon getting before backing any major policy change from Washington.

Americans regularly express dissatisfaction with the status quo and demand political change. But at the same time, they recoil at any reform that affects them directly.

Really? Then you might expect, if you went back and examined headlines for the last “major policy change from Washington” that impacted the nation as much as Obamacare has and will, you’d find plenty of teeth gnashing and nail biting. And yet, eight news stories gathered by BuzzFeed on the rollout of Medicare suggest otherwise. Consider this one and this one:

But there’s more. Cohen states further on:

The legislation … was constructed not to reach the most optimal or efficient policy solution, but to leave as many members of the public and key stakeholders, like insurance companies, as unaffected as possible.

If that was Obama’s intention, then I say, “Heckuva job, Baracky!” By one recent estimate, as many as 52 million Americans stand to lose their coverage under Obamacare. That’s 16% of the population — hardly a pittance. There are still no definitive numbers on the percentage of Americans who will lose their full-time jobs as companies phase out employees or cut the hours of full-time workers. That data won’t be available until the employers’ mandate kicks in, but the anecdotal evidence so far is not encouraging.

Not to mention the stated goal of the Affordable Care Act was to provide coverage to (depending on whose figure you use) 25 to 50 million uninsured Americans. One might argue that while it’s true that those people will be affected, it will be in a positive way.  But try telling that to people who use the hospital emergency room as their “primary care physician.” James Dunford, medical director of San Diego’s Emergency Medical Services system, said he “anticipates that the Affordable Care Act will bring a surge of patients to his ER and those around the country — the opposite of what’s supposed to happen.” Part of the problem is that the number of ERs nationwide is shrinking, but another part is trying to teach old dogs new tricks. How do you educate low-income residents of the inner city who are accustomed to visiting the ER when they have an ache or pain to make an appointment with a private doctor?

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