Last week on Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy, speaking in an incredulous, leading tone of voice, asked his co-hosts, “What percent of Americans now have health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act?” I’m sure you can see where this is going.
Brian Kilmeade didn’t bother to guess (numbers reportedly make his head “angry”). Meanwhile, Doocy’s new female co-host guessed “20 percent.” If she had been correct, we’d be looking at a huge victory for Obamacare, given that the percentage of Americans without health insurance is around 15 percent (as mentioned by Doocy seconds earlier), and especially knowing that the insurance exchanges won’t be implemented until Tuesday. I’ll come back to this baffling contradiction presently.
Doocy’s answer? One percent. Which is still pretty amazing, all things considered. This one percent figure is made up of people in their 20s who are now able to stay on their parents’ insurance, as well as formerly uninsured people with serious pre-existing conditions who enrolled in the government’s high risk insurance program. Both of these groups are greatly benefiting from features of the Affordable Care Act, and both groups would lose their insurance if the law is repealed or de-funded.
Regardless, Doocy illustrated a trick that several tea party senators and the entire House Republican caucus has been employing since the government shutdown threat began. The trick is this: the Affordable Care Act has failed, therefore it must be de-funded. It’s an insanely risky strategy considering how this entire debate involves the well-publicized news that the sign-up for the ACA begins on Tuesday, regardless of whether the government shuts down.
I’ve rarely seen such an hilariously obvious example of cognitive dissonance. The law has failed, yet it hasn’t even started yet… [CONTINUE READING]