A myth is defined as “ a legendary story, told over the years, usually concerning some being, hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation.” Such as it is with the Myth of Obamacare; the President and the Congressional Democrat Majority began their mythological narrative early in 2009 claiming the ACA would give Americans greater coverage, improved quality, lowered deficits, many free services and more.
The big problem confronting the President from the start was that even a cursory reading of the law demonstrated that he, indeed, was creating a narrative, which had no determinable basis of fact. President Obama nonetheless bristled at anyone who questioned him on this, foisting accusations ranging from the not so polite to directly accusing doctors of “cutting of limbs” in order to make more money. In short, he knew he was selling a myth, not a workable policy.
One of the myths propagated by Dr. Obama was that “if you like your health care plan you can keep it”. Doctors nationwide called out the President on this telling anyone who would listen that his promises was at best ill-informed, at worst a willful deception. True to form, rather than defend his position with facts, he turned the debate around and accused his opponents of propagating falsehoods, myths if you will.
Willful deception or a failure to read his law aside, we are finally seeing the ugly underbelly of Obamacare. The false promises. The mythology unfolds.
Last week, more than 10,000 California dentists, mostly small business owners, received notices stating, “Anthem Blue Cross will no longer offer [your current plan] beginning January 1, 2014…based on…the anticipated regulatory environment many carriers expect as the result of the ACA.”
I know my Association will find another option for us as they always do, but the uncertainty, loss of choice and likely higher costs are not a welcome development for anyone. The President’s narrative was very clear – everyone could keep their plan (and their physician) if they wanted to. Myth #1 busted.
But for the past three years, the Administration has propagated that myth and accused those who dared question his “facts” of being partisan hacks perpetuating a partisan myth. Since losing one’s health care plan was not going to happen until after the election, he was pretty safe in trying that strategy. And it worked beautifully – for his re-election.
Yes, the President deserves high marks for his political acumen, but he was helped, in no small part, by a failed GOP policy of focusing on its opposition to Obamacare without advancing a competing plan of its own. Without the moral high ground, the facts being presented were seen as typical GOP anti-Obama rhetoric by all too many Americans.
If the GOP hopes to debunk these health care myths in time to win a debate or an election, it must come forth with a credible alternative to ACA or it will remain on the edges of this debate for years to come. Political myths will continue to be believed just long enough for the GOP to lose elections while cementing it as the Party of No.