Fool us twice, we won’t get fooled again*


    * Thank you George W. Bush

    So, I just put on Hannity to see how the wingers are responding to today’s decision. They seem to have seized upon the fact that in upholding the ACA, the Supreme Court used Congress’ taxing authority as a basis for upholding the individual mandate.

    Hannity (and other wing-nuts) is now calling the ACA the “biggest tax increase in history,” and a huge tax increase on the middle class. Eric Cantor just asserted that the ACA will raise the tax on stock dividends from 15% to 43%. What planet is this guy on?

    These are simply lies. And if I learned anything from the debacle of 2009-10, it is that we must push back on their efforts to push this and other false memes on the American people at every moment.

    Back then, when I heard about death panels and other crazy stuff, I said to myself, “This is nuts. People will never believe this crap.”

    But I was partially wrong. Yes, their arguments were nuts, but we allowed the wing-nuts to make their arguments in a vacuum, and so people wound up believing their crazy talk. Because of that, we in the reality-based community have only ourselves to blame for the electoral disasters of 2009 and 2010.

    Folks, this is not a tax increase.

    Consider, if you get your health insurance through your employer (like 80% of Americans), your taxes will not be affected one dollar by the ACA.

    If you have (or, as a result of the ACA, will be able to obtain) health insurance through some other means, such as a health exchange, like 15% of Americans, your taxes will not be affected one dollar by the ACA.

    If you are among the 5% of American who selfishly or ignorantly refuse to take steps to ensure your own health care, you can simply do the right thing and purchase health insurance that you should purchase anyway for your sake and peace of mind, and your taxes will not be affected one dollar by the ACA.

    This is not a tax increase. Conservatives and Republicans are lying when they try to argue that this is a tax increase. Do not believe them. Call them liars when they make this argument.

    Because they are lying.

    We can’t let their lies gain currency this time. Push back fast. Go to their websites. Call your representative. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Push back hard.

    The truth is on our side folks.

    • pashin

      Of course, it would be even better if the Administration, elected Democrats, and whatever passes for Democratic think tanks would grab the airwaves with a coordinated message on this.   One can only hope.  Or maybe even push them in that direction.  

      Keep saying it:  This is not a tax increase.   This is not a tax increase.   Unless you chose to remain uninsured, you won’t pay a cent more (and even then, it will be a penalty, not a tax increase).

      Let’s at least fight the messaging/framing battle this time.  

      And – apropos of framing – why are we still letting the Affordable Care Act be called “Obamacare?”  A) It’s a policy of the government, passed by both houses of Congress, and signed by the President.   It is bigger than one person, one administration. B)  This is the right’s label, like “Democrat.”  Why is the Left playing along (again)? C)  Polling indicates that the policy is more popular when people can focus on its features.

    • NotJohnSMosby

      We should all let Republicans know that, as far as their so-called “victory” in that the Commerce Clause argument didn’t win, it’s basically dicta.  It’s non-binding, since the lawsuit lost.  It’s like a football game – you can say your quarterback was better than the other teams, that you ran the ball better, that you had more completions.  But, come the end of the season, the only thing that matters is wins and losses.  You can’t use dicta from a case you lost and apply that to other cases.

      I’m sure that Republicans will try and push through lawsuits to challenge modern interpretation of the Commerce Clause, but they won’t have today’s ruling as a precedent.  Roberts opinion that the Commerce Clause argument is unconstitutional has no weight of law, none more than the dissenting opinion of Kennedy and the three stooges.

    • Jim B

      DC channel 9 last night had some examples of how the law may save lives, but why did they wait until the law was upheld? This stuff was known from the first minute the law passed.

      I basically give the democratic leadership an F for the way they promoted the law.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      Too bad we have to do the job of responsible journalism and the Democratic National Committee.

    • Teddy Goodson

      While you are absolutely correct when you say (and prove) that this is NOT, repeat NOT a “tax increase,” every time you use those words you reinforce the Republican meme in the minds of every listener… and President Obama himself has said repeatedly that the penalty is not a tax, no matter what Chief Justice Roberts says.

      It is a penalty fee, a premium for the uninsured, whatever we decide to call it, and it will apply only to 15 percent or less of Americans. As I understand it, estimates of how many will end up atually paying this premium (or penalty premium, if you will) is maybe 4 million people, but even that figure is not certain yet because of the numerous exemptions, such as Native Americans and those whose income is so low they cannot afford it. I think our emphasis should be on the penalty cost to those whose personal irresponsibility (in not buying health insurance when they are perfectly wealthy enough to do so but choose not to), costs the rest of us when they go emergency rooms.

      Let’s get our act together and find another term and frame within which to respond to the Republican meme of “largest tax increase in history.” That is crap, and we musdt not reinforce it when we respond.

    • Teddy Goodson

      Some one on DailyKos just suggested the health care penalty be referred to as a slacker tax. I like that except that it does use the toxic word “tax,” but it has the virtue of turning the Reublican meme on its head.

    • pashin

      The subconscious doesn’t process “not” very well.   So using the word “tax increase” even with the negative does reinforce the frame.  Mea cupla.

      Upon reflection, perhaps the best frame is a positive frame.  Like – ACA will lower your premiums.   ACA will increase your coverage.  ACA will reduce lines in the ERs.  ACA will give you more options.  Something good that it will do – and not just for the uninsured, but for the middle-class voter.

      What is the best frame is certainly open for discussion.   I’m far from a heath care wonk.  But we should definitely start re-defining this NOW.  Since, as Elaine noted, it’s sadly unlikely that the DNC, the administration will do it, and without an “alternative frame” the media will just buy the Rethug one.  

    • aznew

      TPM has an article up exposing the phony GOP emme for what it is:

      TPM points out that only 1% of the population is expected to forego insurance and choose to pay the penalty. And as TPM points out:

      And remember, these are people who are able to afford insurance but choose not to, knowing they’ll eventually need to avail themselves of the health care system. It’s actually fair to think of it as a free-rider penalty.

      By all means, this country can and should have a debate on the future of health care. It is an important issue in this election.

      But that debate should be based on facts and truth, not on the lies and tea-party soundbites we saw in 2009 and 2010.

      I am hopeful this time around that the MSM will not be as easy to manipulate now as they were in 2009 and 2010. When respected, widely read sites like TPM start publishing stuff like this, it goes a long way toward educating the MSM.

    • glennbear

      Given my cynicism of conservative motives I cannot help but wonder if Roberts et al used the taxation clause in upholding the law knowing full well that doing so would would give Rove and company a weapon in their lie filled media war against the President and Congressional Democrats.

    • RossPatterson

      … than Virginia’s existing fee for registering a vehicle without insurance.  And I’ve never heard anyone, R or D, call that a tax.