Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal appeared on Fox News and went on an anti-ACA riff that was impressive only for how many lies he packed into a single paragraph. Let’s take a look at what he said, and then unpack the mendacity.
WALLACE: Question: how realistic do you think that that target is? And is this becoming — how big a problem do you think this is becoming to Democrats?
JINDAL: Chris, I think they’ll eventually fix the Web site. But let’s remember, this is the easy part. You know, the real critical issue is when it comes time to schedule your grandma’s cancer surgery, what’s going to happen then? I think this is symptomatic of a bigger problem, and I’ve long wondered, is this administration the most incompetent or the most liberal administration in recent history, I think this issue, this policy shows that — to quote Hillary Clinton — what difference does it make? This is an incompetent rollout, but it’s symptomatic of a liberal ideology that believes government should be running our health care. So, I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. Eventually, they’ll fix the Internet problems. Maybe they’ll bring in Al Gore, you know, the guy who says he invented the Internet, maybe they’ll fix the Web site. But the bigger is, this is symptomatic. We don’t need the government running our health care.
Lie #1. The Obama administration is the “most liberal” in recent history — which is just an indirect way of echoing the favorite conservative meme that Obama is the most liberal president in recent history (or ever).
In reality, Obama is the most ideologically moderate Democratic president, and the second most ideologically moderate president of any party (barely edged out by Ike), since 1945.
Lie #2. The ACA is going to make it harder for “grandma” to get surgery for cancer.
In reality, the ability to get cancer surgery under ACA is either the same or better. “Grandma” was covered by Medicare before the ACA, and she’s still covered by Medicare after the ACA, so her ability to get her needed surgery has not changed. If you (not “grandma) were covered by private insurance before the ACA, you’re still covered by private insurance after the ACA, so your ability to get needed surgery has not changed. If you could not get coverage by private insurance before the ACA because your cancer was a pre-existing condition or because your insurance dumped you after you got sick, you can now get coverage and get your needed surgery after the ACA, because the ACA prohibits your insurance company from dumping you when you get sick or denying you coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
Lie #3. The ACA is a government take-over — “running” — of health care.
In reality, this was Politifact’s Lie of the Year in 2010. The ACA is watered-down reform of health insurance, and nothing like the government “running health care.” Politifact wrote then that Republicans “didn’t let facts get in the way of a great punchline,” and it seems Jindal is sticking with that GOP tradition.
Lie #4. Al Gore claimed to have invented the Internet.
In reality, Gore never said that.
Lie #5. The ACA website is having problems because the ACA is rooted in liberalism.
In reality, one of the main reasons the website is a mess is the failure of the conservative love of privatization: Private contractors were out of control on the project, and they charge an average of 83% more than it would cost to use government employees to do the work.
In reality, the ACA is a conservative idea that Republicans have proposed many times over many years. In February 1974, Republican President Richard Nixon proposed, in essence, today’s Affordable Care Act. Thirty years later a Republican governor, Mitt Romney, made Nixon’s plan the law in Massachusetts. In 1989, the Heritage Foundation came up with a plan that would “mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance,” and the plan found its way into several bills introduced by Republican lawmakers in 1993. “We got the idea of an individual mandate from [Newt Gingrich], and [Newt] got it from the Heritage Foundation,” said Romney, who thought the mandate “essential for bringing the health care costs down for everyone and getting everyone the health insurance they need.”
Six lies in nine sentences? Disturbing.