In a segment on This Week with George Stephanopoulis, Rep. Chris Van Hollen quite easily and succinctly cut through the rhetoric to the reality of any repeal of Obamacare.
September 22, 2013

Pay attention, Chuck Todd and David Gregory, because this discussion proves our claim about how the lies are allowed to be laid on the table without one journalist holding his or her nose.

This is a clip from today's Roundtable Discussion on This Week about the insane Republican need to continue their suicide mission to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

First, we have Chris Van Hollen finally getting a word in edgewise after Rep. Graves has gone on and on about how they're bravely saving the country from the horrible healthcare law.

VAN HOLLEN: Whenever there's a flood these days, you guys in the Republican Party say that's Obamacare. What I find interesting, I think...


KARL: Let me get in here just a second, because I want to ask you Congressman Van Hollen, we had a poll this week, ABC News/Washington Post, that showed the health care law is about as unpopular as it's ever been. Let's look at some of the numbers, 52 percent say they oppose the law. 55 percent disapprove with the way its being implemented. And only 11 percent in this ABC/Washington Post poll say they believe that Obamacare is going to make their health care better.

VAN HOLLEN: Hey, John, the biggest poll we had on this was the last election. This was one of the most heavily litigated issues in the last election.

KARL: You guys won the last election, no doubt.

See how that works? Just as Nicole Belle said in her earlier post, the discussion about the Affordable Care Act is viewed by so-called serious pundits as sport, as something that really wouldn't have an impact on anyone. Look at how Jonathan Karl teased the whole segment earlier:

The shutdown showdown is on. And there's the clock. Eight days till the government runs out of money. And right after that, the U.S. government faces default unless the Congress raises the debt ceiling. Battles ahead and we've got two of the key players right here. But first we asked ABC's Jeff Zeleny to break it all down for us. Call it Washington's own twisted reality show.

To people like our family who are barely holding on by our fingernails until we can get health insurance without mortgaging our house, it's not a reality show. It's a nightmare, and literally the difference between life and death. But to Jon Karl, it's just a "twisted reality show."

It is reality, and it is twisted, but it's Karl's job to try and untwist it, not just hand over the mic and let them spew. Yet spew Graves did, and he spewed nonsense like this:

GRAVES: Something very important has happened since the president did win the election and that he himself has amended, delayed, or repealed 19 components of his very own law. So if it's so good for America, then why he is delaying it for his friends in big business? Why is he delaying it for members of Congress like yourself?

Only, that's not really what's happening here. The delays he mentions are the result of some problems with how the final law was drafted. Those delays could have been avoided if the Republican House of Representatives had been willing to consider a technical corrections bill.

For example, the delay for Congress to participate is because there is no provision to apply an employer subsidy directly to policies purchased on the exchanges. Because the federal government pays a large percentage of the premiums for federal employees, the government cannot subsidize those policies without a change to the law allowing for that exception. That's a drafting error. Hardly reason to toss the entire law.

The employer mandate was delayed for similar reasons. There were issues with plans - mostly self-funded - that couldn't be reconciled without technical corrections. It's hardly because Obama hates his own law, folks.

But from Karl and Zeleny, the "break-down-the-facts" guy, crickets. So Van Hollen corrects and reframes, over and over and over again. Here are two examples. There were more.

VAN HOLLEN: Jon, look there's a reason Republicans senators like Senator McCain and others are saying this is absolutely insane because the Republican proposition here is they're going to shut down the government if they can't deny health care to millions of Americans, including millions of kids who are right now benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, kids with pre-existing conditions who can no longer be thrown off of their insurance policies.

That's right now. They're saying we're going to shut down the government unless we get rid of those protections, number one.

Number two, I think Tom and his colleagues have to explain to the American people how they voted for a budget that includes all of the Medicare savings from ObamaCare, that includes the same level of revenue generated from ObamaCare and, in fact, would not even balance in 10 years, if not for the Affordable Care Act.

So here they're running around the country on the one hand, saying let's get rid of the Affordable Care Act. And yet they passed the budget that only comes to balance because of it. Now that's misleading and that's a hoax. And they should explain that to the American people, how you're trying to do two things at one time.

And again here:

VAN HOLLEN: Actually, this is important, there are only 5 percent of businesses are affected by this law, number one. And number two, let me ask you this, you guys don't want to provide affordable care under this system for millions of Americans, but you have a plan to take millions of people in Medicare and put them into Obamacare system, that's what you're proposing to do.

KARL: We're going to have to come back to continue this...

VAN HOLLEN: It's astounding.

It's time for the media to understand that this is not a game for millions of Americans. The sequester isn't a game, repealing the Affordable Care Act isn't a game, and lying to Americans isn't a game. We, the people, rely on an independent press to cut through politicians' unending political spin. We rely on an independent press to actually report facts.

Start with this insane march to repeal something that will actually help millions of Americans. Follow it up by debunking the unending Benghazi nonsense. Put a flourish on it by thoroughly debunking the IRS non-scandal, and please get that one done before all campaign finance laws are undone, please.

I'd say your work is cut out for you. Get on it, boys.

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