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Tom Zirpoli: Misinformation abounds on Obamacare

Regarding the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress have tried to block it, defund it and delay it. Republican governors and state legislators have refused to cooperate with the implementation of the law and have gone so far as to pass laws forbidding state workers from helping their citizens learn about the law or take advantage of the law.
Michael Tomasky, editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, states that the Republican effort to disrupt the ACA "has been indisputably the most strenuous effort at policy sabotage we've ever seen in the modern history of this country."
Charles Blow, of The New York Times, writes, "Republicans are pretending that they care about the problems encountered in signing up for a system that many of them are bent on destroying. They are demanding an immediate fix to something they want to break."
The Affordable Care Act called for each state to set up a website and exchange program for their citizens. Republican governors and state legislators, however, refused to cooperate, and so the federal website has had to pick up the slack. State-run websites are running more smoothly because of their smaller task of signing up tens of thousands of people within their individual state vs. the federal website now required to sign up tens of millions of people across 32 states that refused to set up their own websites.
Having failed to block the ACA rollout, Republicans are left with spreading misinformation about the law. Sen. Paul Ryan, for example, stated that Obamacare was a "big driver of our debt." This is an interesting suggestion since enrollment for the ACA just started less than one month ago. In addition, according to the Congressional Budget Office, "the ACA will reduce deficits over the next 10 years and in the subsequent decade." Specifically, the report stated that the ACA "will reduce federal deficits by $210 billion over the 2012-2021 period." As stated by Laurence Lewis, of The Daily Kos blog, "That Obamacare would add to the deficit is one of the GOP's most insidious zombie lies."
Sen. Ted Cruz, king of the government shutdown, is leading the ACA misinformation parade. He recently stated that seniors were "losing their health insurance" because of Obamacare. In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation found just the opposite and reported that, "Since 2010, enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has grown by 30 percent in spite of concerns that the payment changes enacted in the 2010 Affordable Care Act would lead to significant reductions in enrollment."
In addition, Allyson Funk, of the AARP, noted that because of the increase in participation, Medicare Advantage premiums have gone down "while quality has improved," since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Cruz also said that seniors "are facing higher prescription drug costs" because of Obamacare. In fact, according to FactCheck.org, "Seniors to date have received $7 billion in rebates and prescription discounts under the Affordable Care Act, and the average senior will have the choice of more prescription drug plans for 2014."
Regarding people with disabilities, Cruz said, "families of special needs children will face" higher costs for health care. According to FactCheck.org, "provisions of the new law greatly benefit people with disabilities." In fact, national disability organizations such as The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy endorsed the ACA. Because of the ACA, people with disabilities no longer have to fear being refused health insurance because of their pre-existing conditions.
Meanwhile, millions of seniors and children with disabilities are being harmed each day by not having affordable health care because 26 Republican governors and state legislators have blocked the implementation of the Medicaid expansion plan, an option under the ACA, in their states.
People are entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

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