Lying is bad. Lying while faking a fainting spell over the alleged lying of others is worse. On the left, the latter is also a cherished pastime. Earlier this week, AMERICAblog founder and editor John Aravosis insisted that Republicans were attacking an ObamaCare “abortion provision that’s an urban myth.”
Specifically, Aravosis is beside himself over “GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) continu[ing] to lie about this bizarre assertion that Obamacare includes a $1 abortion surcharge.” In a recent radio interview, the Congressman said:
What are we doing here? And I hear that from folks, you know, particularly like you mentioned, the issues of the heart, the issues of religious liberties, the issues of religious liberty under ObamaCare. Every single person under ObamaCare will pay $1 a month, and most of it’s gonna go to Planned Parenthood. $1 a month! That’s never happened before!
This, we are told, is a lie because PolitiFact says so. According to Aravosis, “it’s such a lie that Politifact calls the claim ‘ridiculous.’” But when you click the link, you find out that the primary claim PolitiFact gave their False rating to, and called “ridiculously inaccurate,” was actually: “Does Barack Obama’s health care bill include $1 abortions?”
The idea that you’d be able to get an abortion for a buck under ObamaCare was the unfortunate implication of some headlines in the days surrounding the rules’ initial publication. But that’s not at all what Huelskamp said, which is that people would be forced to pay $1 a month to subsidize abortions.
PolitiFact takes issue with that because:
The provision in question only affects people who purchase insurance plans that cover abortion and who do so on the exchanges — a much narrower group than the claim suggests. And people who make such purchases will be paying their private dollars into abortion coverage accounts voluntarily. Despite some puzzling wording, ultimately the law allows for full disclosure of its abortion rules at the most obvious time, when someone is signing up for coverage. On balance, we rate this claim False.
Note that PolitiFact confirms that, contrary to what Aravosis calls “bizarre,” ObamaCare truly “includes a $1 abortion surcharge.” They don’t deny its existence, but merely object to how its extent has been characterized. Indeed, $1 is actually the minimum amount.
Granted, it’s true that ObamaCare doesn’t compel exchange plans to cover elective abortion. While people will have to pay an abortion surcharge, it’s not “every single person.” But PolitiFact’s not telling the full story. What they dismiss as “some puzzling wording” are actually rules designed to make avoiding abortion plans as difficult as possible:
But insurance companies are not allowed to communicate in advance to employees which plans include this abortion premium. It may “only” be disclosed in the fine print of the “summary of benefits and coverage explanation, at the time of enrollment.” (ObamaCare Sec. 1303(b)(3)(A), Pg. 781)
The employee will discover that their plan contains an abortion premium either by seeking it out in the fine print once they have enrolled, or noticing the separate surcharge taken from their paycheck. (ObamaCare Sec. 1303(b)(1) & (2), Pg. 780)
So a more impartial ruling, regarding an issue PolitiFact was more sympathetic to, would have been one of their “Half True,” or at least “Mostly False.” And then, of course, there are the myriad other ways ObamaCare supports abortion.
Like the fact that, while the abortion surcharge lets Obama apologists say tax dollars aren’t directly funding abortion, abortion-inclusive exchange plans remain eligible for federal subsidies, meaning that even if your state bans abortion coverage completely, your taxes will still be paying for plans that kill babies in other states. By Alliance Defending Freedom’s math, “this fund could completely subsidize 2 million abortions per year.”
Like the fact that the Health and Human Services contraception mandate includes drugs that can induce abortions, such as Ella and Plan B—with virtually no regard for your religious beliefs or conscience rights.
Like the fact that ObamaCare directs hundreds of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood by including 480 PP facilities among the approved “essential community providers” insurers are required to cover, by funding PP sex education programs, by directly subsidizing PP locations as “community health centers,” and by paying PP to serve as ObamaCare “navigators.”
For good measure, Aravosis pads his hit piece with a litany of other supposed PolitiFact debunkings of ObamaCare criticism, which those interested can get the other side of by browsing here, here, and here.
At this point, I’m not sure any closing thoughts I could offer would improve upon simply redirecting Aravosis’s own challenge back at him, in light of the factual deficiencies his ode to honesty turned out to contain:
[Y]ou’d think that, in a normal person, a normal political party, the fact that your most effective way of winning over public opinion isn’t the truth of your convictions, and of your positions, but rather a lie, would give them pause. But you’d be wrong.