There’s lots of speculation out there about the effect on the 2012 elections of all the money that the Citizens United Supreme Court decision has unleashed – all the so-called issue ads paid for by big corporate stake-holders. Add to the corporate money, the fact that we know that negative ads work – we saw what several million dollars of televised trash-talk can accomplish a few weeks ago when the Romney greenback machine mowed down Newt Gingrich. Now add the final fillip – folks are free to lie themselves silly in these ads, and you end up with a situation where it’ll be difficult for anyone to withstand the big money boys who are out to buy them some gubment.
And guess what? The whole ugly shebang’s coming to a theatre near you. In fact, it’s already arrived. Last week the Chamber of Commerce debuted an attack ad aimed at Claire McCaskill:
As you noticed if you watched the video, the argument is simple, easy to digest and completely false:
Tell Claire McCaskill that Missouri doesn’t need government-run health care, we need jobs!
Obamacare will kill jobs. So why did Claire McCaskill cast a deciding vote for Obamacare in Washington, DC?
Missouri has overwhelmingly rejected government run healthcare. But McCaskill continues to support Obamacare.
Call Claire McCaskill and tell her Missouri doesn’t need government-run healthcare – 314-367-1364.
Fib number one is that Obamacare will “kill” jobs. This claim was debunked ages ago. It essentially rests on a creative misrepresentation of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis in a report prepared by GOP House leadership over a year ago:
What follows is a story of how statistics get used and abused in Washington.
What CBO actually said is that the impact of the health care law on supply and demand for labor would be small. Most of it would come from people who no longer have to work, or can downshift to less demanding employment, because insurance will be available outside the job.
“The legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount – roughly half a percent – primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply,” budget office number crunchers said in a report from last year.
In fact, the Center for American Progress contends that repealing Obamacare will be the real job killer:
A successful repeal of health care reform would revert us back to the old system for financing and delivering health care and lead to substantial increases in total medical spending. The consequences of this spending increase would be far reaching. It would hurt family incomes, jobs, and economic growth.
Repealing health reform would:
— Increase medical spending by $125 billion by the end of this decade and add nearly $2,000 annually to family insurance premiums
— Destroy 250,000 to 400,000 jobs annually over the next decade
— Reduce the share of workers who start new businesses, move to new jobs, or otherwise invest in themselves and the economy
The second, implicit, fib is that Obamacare is “government run health care.” It is, sadly, no such thing. It’s no more than an effort to impose some accountability on a deeply flawed and unnecessarily expensive private system of health care delivery, while ensuring that most Americans have some type of access to good health care. Less than 20% of Missourians voted in the 2010 election in which the anti-Obamacare Proposition C was “overwhelmingly” endorsed. We’ll see just what happens when, as will be the case in 2012, the rest of us go out to the polls.
I would, though, echo one sentiment expressed in the Chamber’s terse little ad. Do, by all means, call Claire McCaskill – and thank her for standing firm and voting for the Affordable Care Act. No matter how she waffles and bobs and weaves in order to deflect political sticks and stones, that vote should be something that she can always point to and feel proud of what she did in Washington.