How crazy is this comment (made at a debate at the Greenspring Retirement Community on October 4th in Springfield) by Teapublican State Senate candidate Miller Baker? Let us count the ways.
1. The Iraq War involved an invasion of another country on pretenses that turned out to be highly questionable at best. It has resulted in tens of thousands of U.S. coalition military casualties (both killed and wounded), and very well could end up costing America more money than World War II!
2. Health care reform, what Miller Baker falsely calls “Obamacare,” was modeled closely after the Republican 1993 plan and also off of Mitt Romney’s health care reform in Massachusetts. That includes the “individual mandate,” which was/is a conservative idea to promote individual responsibility, and as an alternative to the employer mandate, which Republicans dislike(d).
3. The purpose of health care reform, unlike the Iraq War to which Miller Baker bizarrely compares it, is of course is to expand access to life-saving health care to tens of millions of Americans. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, for instance, “by 2019, the two pieces of legislation combined will reduce the number of nonelderly people who are uninsured by about 32 million.” In addition, “About 95 percent of legal nonelderly residents will have insurance coverage in that year, compared with a projected share of 82 percent in the absence of that legislation and 83 percent currently.”
4. Also, according to the CBO, “According to our latest comprehensive estimate of the legislation, the net effect of changes in direct spending and revenues is a reduction in budget deficits of $210 billion over the 2012-2021 period.” That’s right, the CBO says that what Miller Baker childishly calls “Obamacare” will reduce U.S. deficits by hundreds of billions of dollars, while repealing it – as he and his teahadist friends want to do – will conversely crank up the deficits by hundreds of billions of dollars. Brilliant!
In sum, Miller Baker is wildly wrong and/or utterly ignorant on the impacts of health care reform legislation. As for his comparison to the Iraq War, that is both completely off base and also wildly offensive, crazy and bizarre. If there were any doubt prior to this that Miller Baker was an off-the-right-wing-deep-end Tea Party extremist, there certainly isn’t any now. Next Tuesday, 39th district voters need to reject this brand of lunacy: Vote George Barker, keep sanity and competence in the Virginia State Senate!