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bito On January - 18 - 2011

Nuttin' But Da Truth!

The newly elected and Republican controlled House will take up their first major bill of the new session, therefore it is gifted with HR2, “The Repeal of the Jobs-Killing Obamacare” (According to THOMAS, HR 2 is the only occurrence of the word “killing” in the official title of a bill in the past 22 years) or some other misleading title.  This is all part of their campaign slogans of “Taking Our Country Back” and “The People Have Spoken”, even though the repeal of the HCR bill polled way down the list in many exit polls. (Job creation was number one, shouldn’t that be their first bill?)

(Aside:  When I was a youngster, to use the word or to call someone a liar would warrant a punishment worse than what the perpetrator received. [something Joe Wilson never learned]  So with that in mind and with respect to my parents, I will use the term “Invalid Statements” in this post.  You may see it as a lie, or in some cases just simply “crazy talk” [No Shelly, I’m not talking about you]?  Call it whatever you like.)

During debate and passage of the bill we all heard many “Invalid Statements” from the “death panels”, “getting arrested and doing prison time” if one didn’t purchase health insurance to “rationed care” and “cutting Medicare.” The list was long and wrong.

One of the many problems of original passing the bill was that the “Invalid Statements” were allowed to linger and be repeated for days before they were refuted.  They had Dr. Luntz, we had Mr. Putz getting out the sound bites and arguments.  (Political sound bites on television news now average 7-9 seconds- Monkey Cage, leaving  little time for explanation.)  We were always on the defense not the offense.  This needs to change.  We need the bumper sticker slogans.

We now have what amounts to another debate on HCR and we need to be better prepared for it this time.   When ever you hear an unfounded lies, oops, “nugatory phrases ” please post and if possible find a link refuting it.  Let’s make this argument be based on facts and reality.
If you can’t find a link discrediting the falsehood, post the statement and we can all work on finding a link.  Here is your chance to have a hand in becoming a wordsmith and sloganeer.  If you have one, great, post it.
This will be our clearing house.  This is your chance to discredit their false assertions.  Do not allow them to linger and become talking points.

We all need to become firefighters.  Let’s put out the brush fires before we have to fight forest-fires–this time.

Written by bito

Was once a handsome frog until kissed by an ugly corporate princess.----- Like a well honed knife, the internet can be a wonderful and useful tool. It can be used to prepare and serve a delicious meal or it can be used to cause harm. peace

76 Responses so far.

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  1. bito says:


    What Do Americans Really Think Of Health Care Reform Repeal?

    All or nothing polls tend to exaggerate support for a full repeal by counting respondents who may only dislike one part of the comprehensive law.

    Rasmussen is perhaps the biggest culprit here, as they ask a direct repeal or no repeal question and allow respondents to say only whether they “strongly” or “somewhat” fall to either side. By that measure, Rasmussen pegged support for repeal at 60% in mid December, with just 34% opposing repeal. (Rasmussen has been criticized in the past, notably by Nate Silver, for using methodology that may create biased results.)

    When more nuanced wording is used, the picture changes drastically.

    Rasmussen is often not just a few points different but many times different by large numbers, combine that with their slanted poll questions and their sampling weighed heavily with Republican voters why are they given any credibility?

    Rasmussen Polls Were Biased and Inaccurate; Quinnipiac, SurveyUSA Performed Strongly

    The discrepancies between Rasmussen Reports polls and those issued by other companies were apparent from virtually the first day that Barack Obama took office. Rasmussen showed Barack Obama’s disapproval rating at 36 percent, for instance, just a week after his inauguration, at a point when no other pollster had that figure higher than 20 percent.

  2. bito says:

    How will the repeal of HCR affect people in your congressional district? an interactive map from the Democrats:

    New District by District and Metro Area Analyses of the Impact of Repealing Health Reform

    Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Rep. Frank Pallone released, for each congressional district and the 30 largest metropolitan areas, an analysis of the impact of the repeal of patients’ rights, protections, and benefits contained in the historic health care reform law.

    H/T Mother Jones

  3. bito says:

    Surprise, Surprise, the house passes repeal of HCR~~245-189

    • Chernynkaya says:

      You know, bito, I have heard many an impassioned argument from the Left (and I too have made a similar one)that sometimes it is justified and desirable to take a stand even if you know you will lose. The idea being that one must occasionally stand on principle. During the original health care debate in its many iterations, we would see people like Kuchinich vote against an amendment that didn’t include a PO, but who came back into line on the final vote. I have no problem with that.

      But this seems on one hand like such cynical theater, while on the other, following through on the Goopers’ promise to those that brung ’em: The Baggers. I see that they had to do this, from that standpoint, and they are doing us a huge favor. We get to address the issue after the dust has begun to settle and make our case again, having hopefully learned how to hone our message. And we are finally winning that debate!

      I am trying to be intellectually honest with myself here. I have occasionally called for a vote on principle alone from the Dems, even when I knew it was hopeless. It seems wrong to ridicule the Right for doing the same thing. Except now, as I watch THEM do it, it looks foolish, and I will try to remember that the next time I get on my high horse. (I might fail though!)

      • bito says:

        Cher, you and I have had a few discussions on principles and compromise, and I totally agree with you. I find it hard to compromise on many issues, “but” (that word “but”) that is what is most often what one is left with in the end. Your example of Kucinich was perfect. He stood for his principles (which were correct, IMHO) on single payer, but in the end he had to compromise in respect to the greater good.

        More later…

      • Khirad says:

        Indeed I can’t blame ’em. They had to do this. I think many of ’em knew how meaningless it was too. They got it right out of the way.

  4. bito says:

    Rep. George Miller’s Impassioned Defense Of Health Law: Costs Have Gone Up ‘Faster Than Superman!’

    I saw this speech this morning and was quite moved by his fevor.

    MILLER: The other side of the aisle said this is a bureaucratic system. Has anybody, any family in America, any single mother, any spouse, any child, any grandparent, met a more bureaucratic system than the American health care system? There is no more bureaucratic system! […]

    • kesmarn says:

      Good for Mr. Miller!

      And he speaks truth. I’ve seen firsthand the misery that insurance companies can inflict, from both sides — as a patient and as a caregiver. It’s horrible.

      At the moment, our hospital system has an RN assigned to every single unit (each unit being 24-26 beds) for 12 hours every day specifically to deal with insurance issues! These nurses do no patient care. They sit or stand at rolling computers and go from room to room, documenting, auditing charts, calling insurances companies on the phone, fighting denials, re-writing, nagging overworked doctors to get patients out faster-faster-faster, and coping with endless amounts of online forms. I don’t ever want to bid on one of those jobs. Those look like the worst jobs on the planet to me. And what a waste. People with years of experience who do nothing for patients that is of immediate practicality. It’s just quibble, quibble, quibble, all day every day. 94 hours a week of RN time for each unit!

      Insurance companies are nothing more than middleman brokers…with the emphasis on “broke.” They connect you (if you’re lucky) with a doctor and/or hospital, take a healthy cut of your money, and then proceed to interfere negatively in every aspect of your care.

      Sigh…if only they could all have gone away the first time around! But the American public just had to keep what was familiar to them. Well, they got what they wanted.

      These companies are familiar alright…like a case of eczema that just won’t go away.

  5. bito says:

    From Dr. Krugman:

    Upton Sinclair and the Wonk Gap

    There was a time when conservative think tanks employed genuine policy wonks, and when asked to devise a Republican health care plan, they came up with — Obamacare! That is, what passes for leftist policy now is what was considered conservative 15 years ago; to meet the right’s standards of political correctness now, you have to pass into another dimension, a dimension whose boundaries are that of imagination, untrammeled by things like arithmetic or logic.

    Oh, that Krugman, he be so funny. 🙂

    • Chernynkaya says:

      pass into another dimension, a dimension whose boundaries are that of imagination…

      That’s from the Twilight Zone! Cool. But, bito, I think the most important point is how far Right we have moved. I am really very sad that the Left is barely a force at all. Very distressing!

      • bito says:

        I had the same thought, Cher!

      • kesmarn says:

        It’s gotten to the point, Cher, at which I begin to drift a bit when I try to speculate (remember?) what a really lefty candidate for the presidency would craft as a platform. It’s been so long…

        What would the American public think about really radical ideas like nationalizing rail and energy sectors? The banking industry? 90% tax rates on the ultra-wealthy?

        • choicelady says:

          Wouldn’t that be interesting! I lived one summer on Cape Breton teaching at the University of Cape Breton college, and all I can recall is my absolute delight that those discussions were had along with the beer and pretzels. Nothing special. No necessary agreements, but no fracas either. Just a thoughtful reflection of “what could be good for Canadians?” It was wonderful.

          Wish we could do that here. And mean it. Of course there are other things going on -- lots of discussion of a ‘third way’ in which local control such as worker or community ownership and management of industries and business ARE occurring. There is a great deal to be said for that since state ownership is often just another form of corporatism. On the whole though, you are not hearing even this above the local level of politics.

          Wouldn’t it be loverly, as Liza Doolittle sang. Sigh.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Yes, I remember, kes. I honestly no longer know what the public thinks.I think THEY no longer know what they think either--they seem to think whatever their talking heads tell them.

    • kesmarn says:

      “…in general right-wing think tanks prefer people who genuinely can’t understand the issues — it makes them more reliable.”

      Oh, Dr. Krugman, you little dickens, you. Smart and funny at the same time…who can resist?

      Love it!

  6. Chernynkaya says:

    OK, I have to just vent about how much this sickens me. I read the interview (on NBC news) with Dick Cheney and HIS fucking platinum health care.

    Well, there’s a system called the LVAD, Left Ventricular Assist Device. And it in effect takes blood from the ventricle chamber of your heart and moves it into your aorta. And it significantly increases the amount of blood flow you’ve got going, which is vital when you get to end stage heart failure.

    It significantly improves the function in the kidneys and your liver because they get an adequate supply of blood. And I’d reached the point after 30 years and five heart attacks where I really needed to do something. And so that’s what we did. It’s a pump that runs at about 9,000 RPMs. It’s battery powered from the outside. But it’s a wondrous device. It’s really a miracle of modern technology. And now I’m here today because we have that kind of technology. And because the doctors were able to adapt it to my situation.


    More and more people are using these instead of heart transplants, but usually they use them for a year or two. Are you thinking about a heart transplant?


    I haven’t made a decision yet. The technology was originally developed to provide a transition. To take somebody who’s reached the point where they needed a transplant but a transplant wouldn’t immediately be available, so they put this in as a temporary measure.

    What’s happened over time is the technology’s gotten better and better and we’ve gotten more and more experience with people living with this technology. So I’ll have to make a decision at some point whether or not I want to go for a transplant. But we haven’t addressed that yet.

    In the meantime, actual human beings are dying, awaiting transplants where there is NO money. Just die already, DICK. There, I said it.

    • choicelady says:

      Cher -- when he got this implant, I noticed in a story about his procedure that one side effect is that he has no pulse. None. Anywhere. At all. For some reason that totally creeps me out. It would merely be an interesting phenomenon in someone else, but with him? It totally creeps me out. Totally.

    • bito says:

      And in one segment he criticizes Obama and HCR, while 2 people have died in AZ from Brewer’s 2 million-“Transplants don’t work.” -- dollar cut.
      Oh, did I mention, AZ cut mental health care, too?

    • kesmarn says:

      I think I need to amend my agreement to be an organ donor, Cher. For whatever it’s worth, my heart can go to anyone except Cheney.

  7. Chernynkaya says:

    Ezra Klein: Omnibus post on the ‘gimmicks’ in the CBO’s score of the health-care law

    Whenever the health-care law and its CBO score comes back into the news, I get deluged with requests to respond to various Republican critiques of the bill’s score. Earlier today, for instance, John asked:

    Can you please respond to John Boehner and Paul Ryan’s assertions that CBO was given incorrect assumptions when scoring the health care bill. Specifically cited as phony scoring is:

    1) $115 billion implementation costs left out
    2) Double counting of social security payroll taxes
    3) Class Act premiums
    4) Medicare Cuts
    5) Doc Fix



    • bito says:

      Cher, what a good article! How did Ezra get so smart, he articles are often very informative.
      On the DocFix:

      The argument was the same as saying that America has $2.2 trillion in needed infrastructure upgrades, and those should be added to the cost of the bill. Incidentally, the GOP repeal bill doesn’t include a word on the doc fix. If you follow their logic, this means that the cost of the doc fix should be added to their repeal bill, and in that case, their bill increases the deficit by $540 billion, not $240 billion. But they don’t actually believe the argument they’re making on this subject and neither do I, so I’m not going to try to get you to believe that.

      I am unaware of any of Paul Ryans budget numbers ever passing CBO, or anyone’s muster, yet he is Mr. Budget for the R’s.

  8. Kalima says:

    If I could make the rules, I would demand that every Repub who is against the bill, stand up and read the parts of the bill that they claim will ruin the country. Want to bet that most of them have no idea what is even in it?

    • bito says:

      What a great idea, Kalima! I heard mostly nothing but generalities today from the R’s, exept from Mr. Ryan and the CBO disputes his figures.

      • Kalima says:

        At least there would be room for debate as the meaning and wording could be explained to those thick heads. Seems to me that they don’t even understand your Constitution, someone needs to give them some lessons, preferably in public. I’d like to see them blathering when each of their arguments against HCR are reduced to ashes.

        The Repub mentality is like someone shouting “gun shots’ when a car back fires, causing everyone else to stampede. Dumber than dog poo.


        Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-independent senator, plans to announce he won’t seek re-election, sources say.

  9. Khirad says:

    Oh, and then there’s this bit of theater.

    26 states join Obama health care lawsuit in Fla.


  10. bito says:

    Okay, let’s see exactly what repeal would do:
    Allow insurance companies to deny children if they have preexisting conditions.
    Reopen the donut hole for seniors.
    Not allow dependents up, to 27 years-old, to stay on their parents policy.
    Cut 34 million off from health care insurance.
    Give the insurance companies back 500 billion in profits from Medicare Advantage.
    Do away with preventative screenings for children and seniors.
    Increase the deficit.
    From Cher:

    Allow lifetime limits on benefits.
    Allow refusal of coverage if pre-existing condition
    Allow Ins Co to drop you unexpectedly if you get sick (recession)

    Help! More?

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Allow lifetime limits on benefits.
      Allow refusal of coverage if pre-existing condition

      Allow Ins Co to drop you unexpectedly if you get sick (recession)

  11. bito says:

    “Insurance corporations are not middlemen, they are there to serve.”
    That what the rep from NY seemed to be saying.
    “buying insurance across state lines” That one, I have heard multiple times. There is a pilot program in HCR to see if it is even feasible.

  12. bito says:

    What are “private sector solutions” in health care? Seems like the only solution that there ever came up with is how can we solve this so I can buy that new private jet.

  13. bito says:

    Ron Paul: GOP ‘Could Be’ Hypocrites For Using Gov Health Care For Themselves, Repealing It For Public

    Members of Congress on average receive a $700 a month taxpayer subsidy for their health insurance plan, which they can choose through a highly regulated exchange offered by the government. The federal exchange establishes a minimum benefit plan, which bars discrimination based on preexisting conditions and other insurance industry abuses, and provides a menu of private sector plans to choose from. Congressional staff members receive the same plan as members. The federal system mirrors the reforms enacted by Democrats and President Obama, which end health insurance abuses by regulating coverage through an exchange, while offering subsidies to individuals and small businesses to make coverage more affordable.

    H/T ThinkProgress

  14. kesmarn says:

    In the area of making things understandable to the reading-averse, there’s a cool little cartoon that explains HCR objectively and understandably here:


    • bito says:

      k’es, this is very good. A must see, Thanks.

      • kesmarn says:

        Thanks, b’ito.

        (Sorry I vanished there for a bit…had to pay my socialist property taxes, get my hippie recycling stuff to the recycling center, and do the yard man’s job of shoveling this frozen sunshine we have in Ohio off the front steps and sidewalk. Whew. Good thing I didn’t have to work today.)

        • choicelady says:

          Gawd -- and here we thought you just sat around eating bonbons…made of Fair Trade chocolate, of course, you unreconstructed hippie you.

          • kesmarn says:

            Hey, c’lady!

            The cat is the one who gets to sit around and eat the fair trade bonbons on a little china plate with a garnish of organic catnip, while I slave away.

            Next incarnation: house cat for me!

  15. bito says:

    Cher, You said that they changed the title of the bill, I heard that, too. However it still is up as:

    To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions
    in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

    In fact it calls it that 5 times in the 2 page bill.


  16. bito says:

    From C-Span: Senate Majority Leader says he won’t even schedule a vote if the bill passes the House!

    Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) saying there are no plans to debate this repeal legislation. President Obama has also stated he would veto the bill if it comes to his desk.

    In spite of this opposition, House Republicans say they will try to find other ways to block the law. On Thursday, the House is expected to debate a measure instructing three House committees to create a substitute health care bill.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Bito, what if they simply won’t fund it? Isn’t that within their power?

      • choicelady says:

        This is the weak link, yes, but there are ways around that because so much of it is in the general budget.

        I’d like to note that I am cautiously optimistic about the White House’s ability to control the House majority’s slavering desire to kill off everything they don’t like. They have wants and wishes, too. The Tax Compromise passed in December shows the power of conscientious negotiation: The amount “given up” in extending two things -- 2 more years of tax cuts for those netting 250,000 and above plus the higher exemption ($5 million) before the estate tax kicks in -- totaled 16% of what passed. SIXTEEN PER CENT!!! That was the GOP wish list, period. The rest -- 84% -- EIGHT-FOUR PERCENT -- went to all of us in continued tax cuts, to the unemployed whose extensions were voted down, to Earned Income Tax Credit money for the working poor, and a myriad of other benefits. THAT IS HUGE!!!!! You can read the analysis at the progressive budget analysis site for Center for Budget & Policy Priorities at:

        In other words, Obama “done good”. Done GREAT! Thank you, Mr. President, for getting provisions that genuinely help working families!!!

        This gain includes a startling new tax credit for businesses -- mostly manufacturing with hardware investments -- that is called the “Expensing Provision”. Huh? Well, this is the first GOOD idea we’ve had in the last 40 years! In Europe if manufacturers or those investing in capital improvements buys new equipment, they allow a write down almost immediately. We depreciate it over 5-7-10 years. The Expensing Provision will allow OUR manufacturers to buy new machinery in 2011 and take a 100% bonus exemption plus a 50% credit in their next tax year.

        We do this accelerated depreciation -- when businesses FAIL. We pay CASH to manufacturers and other businesses with capital goods when they go OUT of business even if that is the reason they bought the business in the first place. The poster child was Youngstown (OH) Sheet & Tube, a profitable company bought by a bunch of investors from Lykes Steamship who closed the mill, ended 10,000 jobs, and tore down the plant. They used their cash to get into electronics.

        The government-subsidized write down and cash back plan has depleted our manufacturing industry, reducing it to a “cash cow” rather than encouraging growth and new jobs. As a long-time supporter of both manufacturing as an essential part of our economy AND of good middle income (union) jobs, I am over the MOON at this Expensing Provision and hope the freaking RW National Association of Manufacturers will become Obama’s BFF and fight to retain this tax credit -- at least the depreciation speed up. It’s seriously good for Americans.

        Now add in affordable health care, and you can see how these benefits benefit America overall in humane treatment of our people AND in global equity in terms of trade.

        The buffoons who say health care is a job killer are indeed providing what bito so kindly calls “invalid statements”. Nicely said, bito. And every inch the truth.

      • bito says:

        Cher, I read (where?) that, yes, they can do some harm to the implementation of the act and it may slow it down, but it will still go forward. (now where was that article? 🙂 )

  17. bito says:

    Justin Amash (TB-MI)-teabag tenther-is on claiming it is unconstitutional.

    • kesmarn says:

      Did he start out his statement by vowing to forfeit his own gummint-provided health care, b’ito?

      I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in the Constitution about all congressmen getting free, platinum insurance while the commoners go without…

  18. kesmarn says:

    I hope more media outlets will do what our major NW Ohio newspaper did: make this page one news.

    The lead story today, with a nice large font headline, was: “Health Care Law: Experts say reform won’t hurt hiring.”

    The first sentence: “Despite what the GOP says, the 2010 health-care law isn’t necessarily a job-killer, experts say.” The article then goes on the cite neutral sources debunking this lie. (With all due respect to the seriousness of using the “L” word. 😉 )

    But — of course — as b’ito says, the trick now is getting people to read!

  19. escribacat says:

    This annoys me so deeply I can’t even watch.

  20. Chernynkaya says:

    “Like lies? Vote Republican.”

    “Hate facts? Vote Republican?”

    “Can’t deal with reality? Vote Republican.”

    Seriously though, these are some of the lies we need to respond to, imo:

    Death panels.

    Obama is a Muslim/Socialist/Fascist.

    Obama is going to take away our guns.

    Obama is raising our taxes.

    Fascism is a left-wing phenomenon.

    Global warming is a hoax.

    Some 16,000 new IRS agents will enforce the new health care reform act by throwing you in jail.

    Millions and millions of Americans follow the Tea Party and Glenn Beck.

    The Tea Party is a non-partisan, broad grassroots movement.

    I am not a wordsmith, but there are plenty around who could do a better job than even Luntz. The problem for us is that we over-think things and also eschew less-than-honest slogans. We need to get over that.

    How about simply saying, for example, that the Republicans want to repeal the LIFE-SAVING health care reform bill?

  21. Khirad says:

    Or as SNL put it, the “Repealing the Giving our Jobs a Lethal Injection of Socialism that is Poisoning our Economy and Our Freedom Health Care Act”?

    The title of that bill alone tells me not even the Republicans are being serious about this.

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