How Republicans Argue

Kay at BJ relates a rare tale of reality asserting itself in political debate:

Conservatives and media promoted three big lies about the health care law. The law included death panels, it funded abortions, and it was a government takeover of the health care system. All three lies were used very effectively in the 2010 midterm elections. …

A federal judge in Ohio said Monday that the Affordable Care Act does not provide for taxpayer funding for abortion. The statement was the cornerstone of the judge’s ruling to allow a defamation lawsuit brought against the Susan B. Anthony List by a former congressman to move forward. …

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Their conclusion — that Steve Driehaus voted for a bill allowing taxpayer funding of abortion — is backed by every major pro-life organization in the country along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Congressional Research Service and other nonpartisan organizations. The SBA List will continue to defend its actions, the voters and the right to criticize our elected officials.”

Driehaus lost the election but Judge Timothy Black stated in a decision that the defamation lawsuit could move forward because “the express language of the PPACA does not provide for taxpayer funded abortion. That is a fact and it is clear on its face.” SBA List’s request for summary judgment on the case was denied.

This was only the dismissing of a motion for summary judgment by SBA List; there’s still more to come in this lawsuit.

Still, I was surprised to see SBA List citing the Congressional Research Service for the notion that the bill allows taxpayer funding for abortion. I found a post at their website containing the same claim (that the ACA was “a healthcare overhaul which, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service … will expand abortion”). That post links to this HHS pdf, which explains that the temporary high-risk pools created in response to GOP proposals might, as the Annenberg Center explained, provide coverage for abortions in the case of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is threatened.

Those facts are never part of SBA List’s boilerplate, blunderbuss accusations about the Affordable Care Act, of course. No, it’s just “ACA = Abortion.”

ADDED: Forgot to mention that as of six months ago, 12,000 Americans had signed up for the high-risk pools.

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3 Responses to How Republicans Argue

  1. Pino says:

    Conservatives and media promoted three big lies about the health care law. The law included death panels, it funded abortions, and it was a government takeover of the health care system.

    1. How do you define death panel? Or, perhaps better yet, how do you think that Palin meant it when she coined the phrase?

    2. I get the feeling that liberals would support the ACA independent of federal funding. Ad, as we’ve discussed before, by funding the lights, the rent, the wages, the computers in fact everything in the building, it IS funding abortions. As an exercise in this, consider if PP had to separate abortions and non-abortions in different buildings.

    3. How is it NOT a government takeover? Consider the government just mandated free rubbers. That seems pretty “takeoverish”, no?

  2. 1. She was talking about the section of the bill that provided funding for meetings between patients, doctors, and I believe others, discussing future treatment options. These programs have been found to decrease cost, increase satisfaction with care, and increase longevity. But that is irrelevant to Republicans, of course– as we have seen in the past decade-plus, Republicans don’t care about policy, they simply like having a side to cheer for and a few out-groups to hate.

    Politifact called “death panels” the 2009 “lie of the year,” which was probably the right choice.

    But given its short-circuiting of any possibility of a rational discussion of policy, reaching straight for the amygdala and managing to scare the ever-loving shit out of the ignorant whites who just love having the ever-loving shit scared out of them, “death panels” is more properly considered the “most Republican statement of all time”.

    2. The temporary high-risk pools created by the ACA are permitted to fund abortions (for all 12,000 enrollees) in the case of rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother. And that’s it. Seeing this policy development, the SBA List put up billboards scaremongering about the ACA providing “taxpayer funding for abortion.” That’s just how Republicans roll.

    3. Congratulations on bringing up “government takeover”– that was Politifact’s 2010 “lie of the year”.

    If a city passing a housing code means that it has completed a “government takeover” of the construction industry, then the ACA might be considered a “government takeover” of the health care industry. If, on the other hand, words mean things, then “government takeover” means that the government takes something over, and engages in the activity itself. That does not apply to the ACA, which didn’t even create a public insurance option to compete with existing private insurance plans, much less actually have the government “taking over” the responsibility for providing health care directly.

  3. Pingback: Seen Them Leaving When The Party’s Over | Poison Your Mind

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