It shouldn't really come as a surprise that a free market ideologue and political hack would distort the truth and omit inconvenient facts to make their point, but House Speaker Paul Ryan's latest Obamacare lie takes Republican dishonesty to new, truly repellant levels.
Speaking at a town hall event last night, Ryan doubled down on the GOP talking point that Obamacare is a complete failure. “The status quo is not an option. Obamacare is not working,” he said, “We’ve got dozens of counties around America that have zero insurers left.”
This, for lack of a better term, is complete B.S. Not only do recent US government statistics show that Obamacare is working, Ryan's claim that dozens of counties have no insurers left is a complete fiction. Writes Jonathan Chait:
It used to be true that dozens of counties lacked any insurer for the exchanges. This was not a good argument against Obamacare, since the lack of insurers was largely a result of the Trump administration deliberately driving them out. Nor was it a good argument for the Republican replacement, the largest effect of which was to slash funding for Medicaid, a solution not even plausibly related to the separate problems of the exchanges. But it was, at least, an argument for action of some kind.
At this point, that “fact” is no longer a fact. With the threat of repeal gone, insurers have filled in the remaining counties without a provider. At the moment there is one county, with 334 enrollees, lacking a provider. Not dozens. (Moderator Jake Tapper, who repeatedly grilled Ryan over his reluctance to denounce President Trump’s comments on race, did not take note of Ryan’s gross error.)
Ryan's flagrant dishonesty is part of the reason why Trumpcare in all its guises failed to pass. The constant lying about Obamacare and the farcical boasts about plans that would leave millions of Americans uninsured meant that no Democrat and enough Republicans rejected it over and over and over again.
History will not look kindly upon Paul Ryan. His major contribution to American society appears to be a steadfast commitment to enabling the worst president in history, and spending an inordinate amount of political energy trying to take people's health care away. Thankfully Ryan's spineless behavior hasn't worked to his advantage in recent times, but he remains a dangerous operator, always willing to lie and always ready to back president Trump no matter how insane he gets. As Chez Pazienza wrote last year:
At this point there's literally nothing Trump can do that will make these reprehensible assholes [Paul Ryan and the GOP] reconsider their decision. The best we can hope for is that Trump truly does take them all down with him.
It hasn't happened yet, but the clock is ticking.
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