‘Death Panels’ Are Out, ‘Sticker Shock’ Is In – Right-Wing Pundits Coin New Lie To Attack Obamacare

The use of “death panels” to attack Obamacare fizzled, badly. Despite that, the right-wing kept going back to them in an attempt to criticize Obamacare. Now the right-wing, after their conference earlier this month, has rolled out a new argument to try to convince people that they don’t need healthcare coverage: “sticker shock.”

The argument goes that the price of healthcare will jump so dramatically that it will cause a “sticker shock” for millions of people. One may find it put very eloquently in this piece from Forbes magazine by Sally Pipes, the paid spokesperson for the Koch brothers front organization, the Pacific Research Institute. In it, she blames Obama for every single cost increase ever for health insurance, despite the fact that insurance premiums have been steadily on the rise for over a decade. For a source, she used an interview of Aetna’s CEO, Mark Bertolini did with Bloomberg, which was discredited by numbers both the government and private studies have published.

They cherry-pick statistics and narrowly select groups, in order to try and make the claim. If you are an unmarried male, under 29, without children, who doesn’t smoke, who does buy their insurance on the private market – not through your employer – and makes over $50,000 a year, then yes, your premium will go up, an estimated 10-15% over industry price increases by 2016. The studies have found this to be the single largest increase in Obamacare, with the majority enjoying reduced premiums over what they would have been otherwise. Sally Pipes, and other paid-for shills for the Koch brothers, have to resort to yet another lie to try to validate their positions.

The problem with lies is that once you start, you can never stop. They began lying about Obamacare from day-one, and now have to keep lying in order to cover up their earlier lies, hoping nobody will notice. Now their lies are growing to the point that they can no longer maintain them, as people get insurance rebates for overpayment and enjoy coverage for pre-existing conditions. The right-wing abandoned its duty to be a counterweight to the left, digging in its heels to become obstructionists. They are now facing the real prospect of permanent minority status and never being a power player on the national stage again.

Nathaniel Downes is the son of a former state representative of New Hampshire, now living in Seattle Washington.

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