Paul Tullis's Grim Tidings

Bitter musings on politics and policy

Lies the Republicans tell about health care

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One of the ways the Republican obstructionists have managed to convince people that the health care bill is a bad idea, even though those polled support most of its individual components, is through their skill at bullshitting.

Here are a couple of recent examples of Republican lies about health care reform: At the summit last week, Mitch McConnell said the US has the best health care system in the world. This is hard to fathom given that we spend the most money but don’t get the best results. For the record, here is where the US ranks on a number of statistical measures, according to the World Health Organization:

Life expectancy: 24th

Preventable deaths: 14th (below Greece and Portugal)

Overall health performance: 37th (we beat Slovenia! U! S! A! U! S! A!)

Here’s more bullshit from a Republican Senator, this time Lamar Alexander, speaking to ABC News (thanks to

The reconciliation procedure is a little-used legislative procedure—19 times, it’s been used. It’s for the purpose of taxing, spending and reducing deficits.

Here are a few bills for which reconciliation has been used:

* welfare “reform” (1995). This does not by any measure fall under any of the three categories Alexander uses.

* Both Bush tax cuts (2003 and 2005). These increased the deficit by more than a trillion dollars.

Alexander voted yes both times, as well as on two other reconciliation measures.

When you have no allegiance to the truth, you’ll win in politics every time. Republicans have pursued this strategy before, and they’ll do it again. Because they don’t care about governing; as they never tire of telling us, reducing the size of government is pretty much their number-one priority. How do they do that? When they’re in power, they reduce revenue to the point that the government is incapable of functioning except for the purposes it deems worthy, like dominating the globe.  So all they care about is wielding power, rather than governing. If you hate government, it stands to reason you have no interest in governing.

When they are out of power, all they care about, therefore, is obstructing those in power—and they’ll go to almost any length to do so, as the Alexander example above demonstrates—and winning it back.

The Democrats, regrettably, are complicit in this. They are too chicken-shit to call these lies what they are, and to call their hand in the Republicans’ procedural power-plays.

What has happened here is that the two major parties (effectively the only parties, because of the hurdles they erect to new parties emerging) represent the same interests: The corporate interests who pay for their re-election. So they don’t fight over issues, they only fight over power. Those in power get more corporate campaign donations. Then they fuck everything up, and the pathetic electorate—which won’t even go to movies about the wars they finance (let alone follow developments in them with the same acumen they devote to Brangelina)—rejects whatever party is in power for the other one.

Then the cycle repeats.

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Written by ptullis

March 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Lies the Republicans tell about health care – […]

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