April 19, 2017
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Do you want truth or ear-tickling? For example, on Monday, Politico called Speaker Ryan’s failed American Health Care Act (AHCA) a bill to “repeal Obamacare”:
AMERICAN ACTION PUTS $5M IN ADS BEHIND REPEAL - A nonprofit run by allies of House Republican leadership is pledging $5 million to defend members who back a plan to repeal Obamacare, in hopes of spurring a deal. American Action Network is setting aside the cash to encourage House Republicans to continue to work with House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House….The group's efforts are aimed to counteract the conservative groups attacking Republicans for supporting the GOP's first attempt at repealing Obamacare, which was scrapped last month.
But the truth is, AHCA (“ah-ka”) does not repeal the 2,700-page Affordable Care Act. Without the truth in hand, many Americans living out their busy lives beyond the Beltway may not realize that AHCA is what Congressman Justin Amash called it: “Obamacare 2.0.”
Truth is rare in politics.
“Political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness,” wrote George Orwell in 1946. Three years later, in the book 1984, his characterizations of the lying, euphemizing, propagandizing “Ministry of Truth” shows how words can be used to obscure the truth. For example, euphemism is defined as “the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.”
United Airlines’ euphemism is historic. Nearly two weeks ago, Oscar Munoz, CEO, described the forcible removal, injury and dragging of a passenger down the center aisle of the plane as having to “re-accommodate” him. The video of the violent extrication of Dr. Dao says differently. In response, Twittersphere lit up with “re-accommodate” hashtags and jokes. Here’s just one:
Americans prefer truth. And most prefer real repeal, not fake “repeal.” AHCA does not repeal Obamacare. It does not guarantee lower premiums or expanded choices. It does not guarantee greater or quicker access. It does not guarantee wider provider networks. It does guarantee continued federal control over health care.
It repeals just two of the ACA’s 12 mandates and not all its taxes. It does not repeal most of the 2,700-page law, its 449 sections or its 40,000 pages of regulatory documents. And it does not repeal myriad provisions that put medical decision-making in the hands of government agencies and managed care corporations.
I watched the first ad of AAN’s campaign. It was strong against Obamacare, but it inferred that the GOP plan is “Patient-Centered Care”? Is that propaganda or just cluelessness?
If the thought of repeal seems too harsh, perhaps we should discuss how to “re-accommodate” Obamacare – permanently.
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder