Media Matters and reality on Obamacare

Derek Hunter Contributor
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Forget comedy clubs, if you really want a laugh these days you simply have to venture over to the Media Matters website. The extent to which the organization is willing to contort reality to keep fellow “progressives” in line is nothing short of an expert yoga class. Given their recent “declaration of war” against Fox News for perceived bias, and the questionable legality of it given the group’s “charity” tax status, this is as surprising as the sun rising in the east each morning. There is no length to which Media Matters’ employees will not go to defend anything Democrats do; it’s what they’re paid to do. So it came as little surprise that on the one-year anniversary of Obamacare’s passage, Media Matters was there to defend the unpopular law.

Media Matters has mocked Glenn Beck for saying, “This is the end of America as we know it,” and Rush Limbaugh for stating that if Obamacare became law, “the concept of individual freedom and liberty will have been obliterated.” But a funny thing happened soon after the ink on the bill dried: a U.S. court ruled that Americans’ mental activity can be regulated by the government. Clinton appointee Gladys Keesler wrote:

As previous Commerce Clause cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congress’s power. However, this Court finds the distinction, which Plaintiffs rely on heavily, to be of little significance. It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not “acting,” especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.

The enactment of Obamacare has led to the government ruling that thoughts are actions and that therefore anything can be regulated by Congress. If that is not changing America as we know it, nothing is.

But this is typical of Media Matters and their defense of the bill — almost all the claims Obamacare supporters made before the bill passed have been proven wrong. The cost of health care has risen since the bill passed, for instance, and the administration cooked the books on the deficit numbers — including counting Medicare savings twice — in order to make the claim that the trillion-dollar entitlement would save taxpayers money. In fact, the administration understated our deficit by $2.3 trillion. As the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board put it:

We thought you’d like to know, and we also want to underline a less-noticed section that shows that ObamaCare will be far more expensive than advertised. To wit, CBO says the entitlement’s health insurance subsidies will cost $1.13 trillion between 2012 and 2021, not $1.04 trillion, the prior estimate. This 8.6% jump is the result of revised assumptions, the so-called technical factors in CBO’s budget model. The bill’s total cost now stands at $1.445 trillion, according to another recent CBO estimate. Remember that all of these are fictitious numbers that reflect Congressional gaming of CBO conventions to make it seem as if Obamacare “saves” money. But now, even under these conventions, CBO is conceding that it significantly underestimated the bill’s cost. If the propeller heads decide to add a few more trillion dollars in new spending, they might get somewhat closer to the bill’s true cost.

And despite repeated claims that Obamacare wouldn’t result in rationing, it already has. The FDA is pushing a scheme to ration the late-stage breast cancer drug Avastin by making it only available to those with the resources to pay for the drug from their own pockets. Thousands of breast cancer patients who rely on private insurance and Medicare to pay for treatment will be shut out if the FDA’s creeping rationing campaign begins. This, as the Wall Street Journal points out, will stifle innovation for future cures and treatments, like the rejected cancer drug Pixantrone, which was rejected not because it’s ineffective, but because it’s too expensive.

Nancy Pelosi, while scheming to find a way to pass Obamacare, promised it would create four million jobs. We’re still waiting. Unless, of course, she meant government jobs for the bureaucrats required to “keep people in line,” like the thousands of IRS agents being hired to make sure you comply with their wishes.

But Media Matters still plugs on, pushing this law as though it has fulfilled the promises made about it.

Media Matters is a group that will sing the praises of “democracy” when polls support its positions but ignore the consistent and extensive polling that shows the majority of the American people want Obamacare repealed. Praising democracy only when it suits your desires is not praising democracy at all; but it’s what “progressives” do — especially when their checks are dependent on it.

Derek Hunter is a Washington-based writer and consultant. He can be stalked on Twitter @derekahunter