Campaigning politicians love anecdotes. They tell stories of people they’ve met along the campaign trail. They might speak of a single mother who struggles with three jobs, they might speak of the unemployed engineer who’s job was outsourced. They might speak of Not-Joe, the Not-Plumber.
Michele Bachmann has a pretty loose relationship with the truth. She told us the story of the girl who allegedly became mentally retarded after receiving a vaccine. She erroneously told us that President Obama spent over $200 million per day on a trip to India. She confused actor John Wayne with serial killer John Wayne Gacy. In the gaffe heard round the world, she mistook Massachusetts for New Hampshire.
One of the reasons that politicians love anecdotes is that it’s very difficult to prove or disprove their veracity. Most politicians, even if fabricating, tend to come up with believable anecdotes.
Bachmann, it seems, has freed herself from the chains of facts. In a recent town hall meeting in Webster City, Iowa, she told the audience three anecdotes, all of which are pretty easily discredited. Video and transcript from Think Progress:
– “Under Obamacare illegal aliens don’t have to pay for Obamacare. Only American citizens pay for Obamacare. [...] Illegal aliens have the possibility of getting the care, but they have no requirement to pay for the care. Only the citizens do.”
– “One man stood up, he was over 7-feet tall. He was a physician in the community. And he said, ‘I had a little lady in my office and because of Obamacare, I had to call the IRS and I had to get a number to put on a form before I could see her.’”
– “When I was a little girl…There were people who could not pay [for health care]. I mean they just did not have any money at all. And so the doctor would just write it off. [...] It’s very different today. Now, doctors don’t feel like they can do that…they worry about liability.”
It’s possible that Bachmann actually did hear these stories, but if she did, the people were mistaken. Congress specifically ensured that undocumented immigrants would be exempt from receiving tax credits under the Affordable Health Care Act.
The seven foot doctor, if he existed, obviously has a time machine. “Obamacare” does not take full effect until 2014 and there will be absolutely no need for doctors to call the IRS.
Doctors are still under the Hippocratic oath to offer healthcare. Emergency rooms are and will be required to still offer healthcare to the indigent.