Sunday, April 06, 2014

Jack Kelly on Obamacare, even though I write about the media

This is, as is my habit, a copy of a comment I put on today's Jack Kelly column Jack Kelly: The coming tsunami - Democrats would be wise to bail out on Obamacare .

The irony of this column is that Jack Kelly may not be wrong about the Democrats taking a pounding in the coming midterms, but it has little to do with any failings of the ACA. The irony is that Republicans/conservatives are really good at appearing to be victims of a vast left wing conspiracy that of course does not exist. But there is a solid fraction of the population that always loves a good conspiracy theory, and of course also the huge majority of the population that doesn't care about politics (and doesn't read Jack Kelly), but can be scared into voting certain ways.

The reason this is ironic is that Jack Kelly constantly talks about how ALL the media is liberal and in bed with the Democrats, faithfully reporting everything the Democrats want them to verbatim. Actually, the media pretty much reports most things most politicians (whether Democrat or Republican) say. but the news media is good at sniffing out more sensational stories. Stories about how SNAP (food stamps) is helping keep people from going hungry are nice and worth a few seconds on the TV news. but stories of food stamp fraud will play so much better, just like stories of investigations into murdered diplomats (how high does it go? Who knew what and when? Were they watching the murders on TX?) and stories of how the government health program is killing people will get so many more viewers. And it is pretty obvious no proof is needed, as long as there is an accusation from a Congress person, it will make the air.

All these accusations of welfare and healthcare fraud and abuse that we hear now, does anyone ever wonder why we didn't hear them from January of 2001 through December of 2008? Sorry, I guess that is a rhetorical question.

But the fact is that Republicans/conservatives are far better at getting their stories out into both the conservative and the mainstream media. Even the liberal media (such as it is) dutifully reports on conservative stories, if only to pick them apart.

We all know that 85% of us are covered by health insurance at work, so the stories of skyrocketing premiums are only about the remaining 15%. Yes, some corporations with lots of minimum wage employees are cutting hours to avoid insuring their employees, but rather than blame the greed of the companies and their stock holders (who are overwhelming part of the 1%), Republicans screech that this is the fault of the ACA (and the media dutifully repeats every word). But the scope of the individual market for healthcare is relatively small, yet again Republicans are able to frighten huge masses of voters into thinking the ACA is going to take away their employer provided health care.

I keep reading conservatives saying that the United States is being destroyed by Barack Obama, and giving us all these untrue reason why. Perhaps the United States is being destroyed, but I think it is because of all the conservative lies that permeate the media.

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