Get Covered America volunteers wait on a porch as they try to talk with one of the residents about the Affordable Care Act in Chicago, September 7, 2013.
John Gress/Reuters

Obamacare attacks, heavy on rhetoric, light on facts

Is Obamacare really the worst thing since slavery? “Absolutely,” said the Fox News pundit Ben Carson, who doubled down on his recent claim in an interview Friday morning. 

Carson first made the claim at the Values Voter Summit last week, drawing the criticism of Sharpton and among others, who argued that comparing a law that saves lives to a life of bondage was outrageous.

When pressed about the issue in an interview on NewsOne radio, and asked if he’d gone too far in his comparison, Carson insisted he had not, but made a point to say he was only giving “his opinion” on the matter. He acknowledged that slavery was “horrendous” and emphasized that he thought the Affordable Care Act wasn’t as bad as slavery, simply the worst thing since. 

But when asked to think about “all of the devastating things that have happened to this country” since slavery, including Jim Crow, he didn’t back off

“Yes. Absolutely, including Jim Crow,” he said, before launching into his explanation of what is wrong with the Affordable Care Act.

“This nation was founded on the principle that it would be a new type of nation, that was for, of, and by the people,” he said. “A constitution was put in place that would assure that the people remain at the pinnacle of power, and that the central government would never reach the point where it had control of the people. This fundamentally changes the relationship.” 

Carson’s style of anti-Obamacare rhetoric will make him a good fit for his new job at Fox News, which has become an increasingly fact-free zone when it comes to the health reform law.

Salon.com’s Eric Stern fact-checked Sean Hannity and found that his segment uncovering the failures of Obamacare woefully one-sided and poorly reported. 

As Stern explained, the segment included interviews with six guests, all couples, who were suffering thanks to Obamacare. One couple complained about having to cut their work force to part-time, because of the law’s requirement that employers offer health care to full-time employees. 

Stern spoke to the husband, and discovered that wasn’t the real reason behind the cuts. 

Obamacare has no effect on businesses with 49 employees or less. But in our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did.

There is only one Obamacare requirement that applies to a company of this size: workers must be notified of the existence of the “healthcare.gov” website, the insurance exchange. That’s all.

Stern also spoke to a guest who complained about the $13,000 a year in premiums her family pays for health insurance. She revealed they had not shopped for insurance on the exchanges, because she heard they were not working. When Stern searched on her behalf, he found the family could receive a 60% reduction from what they were spending on the “pre-Obamacare market.” He found similar potential price reductions for another couple too. 

“They’re living in a parallel universe,” Michael Eric Dyson said of the misinformation on PoliticsNation Friday.

“The reality is they don’t want to confront the fact that Obama care, GOP don’t care,” he added. 

 

Affordable Care Act

Obamacare attacks, heavy on rhetoric, light on facts