Two more days worth of editorials in the Wheeling News-Register demonstrates that last week's attack upon Obamacare's popularity was just the beginning of our local papers' repeal efforts. So desperate are they to see Obamacare ended that they are clearly willing to lie about its passage and how it relates to the current Republican proposal.
Their biggest lie so far is that Obamacare was passed very quickly, with little opportunity for debate and it's been noted in every editorial and Myer column on the subject. (As a corollary, they often argue that the Republicans are doing things differently.) Thursday's News -Register editorial, for example, asserts:
But in contrast to the arrogance of Pelosi and her fellow Democrats in shoving Obamacare down our throats without even explaining in advance, Republican lawmakers are taking a different approach.
Of course, this assertion can be checked -- there are a number timelines online that document the passage of Obamacare. For example, eHealth begins with:
July 2009: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and a group of Democrats from the House of Representatives reveal their plan for overhauling the health-care system. It’s called H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.
eHealth then lists the various hearings, debates, and votes and concludes:
March 21, 2010: The Senate’s version of the health-care plan is approved by the House in a 219-212 vote. All Republicans and 34 Democrats vote against the plan.
March 23, 2010: President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act into law.
That's at least eight months from beginning to end.
And what have the Republicans recently done? Mother Jones documented their actions on Tuesday. After detailing the many months that it took to pass Obamacare, the article tell us that:
Republicans have taken the exact opposite approach for their repeal measure. Last week, they kept the bill under guard by Capitol Hill police so that only Republican House members could read the language. That sent Democrats scrambling to figure out what was in the bill. Even Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) went on a stunt chase to try to get access to the bill.
House Republicans finally released the text of the plan on Monday night. Then they scheduled two simultaneous markup hearings for Wednesday morning, less than 48 hours after the release of the bill and almost certainly before the Congressional Budget Office will have had time to conduct an analysis to see how many people would lose or gain insurance under the proposal and how much it will cost taxpayers. After those hearings, Republicans hope to push the bill to a quick vote on both the House and Senate floors before a recess scheduled for next month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he plans not to have the relevant committees in his chamber debate the measure; instead, he will just bring whatever the House passes to a vote on the Senate floor.
Tell me again, who's "shoving it down our throat?" (I think that's what psychologists call "projection.")
The Thursday editorial goes on to tell us that "Democratic leaders are pushing the GOP majority in Congress to act speedily." Evidence? There isn't any and as I noted above, news sources say just the opposite.
But the misrepresentation does not end there. The locals, like some Republicans (Sean Spicer, for instance) love to misrepresent an old Nancy Pelosi quote that seems to suggest that the Democrats did not allow anyone to even see the bill before its passage. She's quoted in both editorials as saying:
"We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what's in it."
The date for the Pelosi quote is March 9, 2010 -- eight months after the bill was introduced. Here's an explanation:
Pelosi's comment did not refer literally to hiding the contents of the legislation, which would have been impossible, because at the time Pelosi made the remark in March 2010, the full text of the bill had been debated, publicly, for months and was two weeks away from becoming law. Rather, Pelosi was expressing—perhaps inartfully—her hope that once the bill passed, misinformation about reform would subside and Americans would learn about the law's benefits.
"You've heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other," Pelosi said in March 2010. "But I don't know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it's about diet, not diabetes. It's going to be very, very exciting. But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."
Not unlike Hillary's "coal mine" comment from last year, I think that this won't be the last time we'll see Pelosi's quote taken out of context. For our local "newspapers" it's simple: the ends justify the means.
Note -- no link for Friday's News-Register editorial -- it was not posted online.