Fact checking Raffy "Ted" Cruz's Meet the Press #Obamacare lies


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ted cruz (Doug Mills-The New York Times)

Earlier today, Paddy posted Video- Meet The Press: David Gregory Thumps Ted Cruz-'You Haven't Moved Anybody.'

In that video clip, Raffy Cruz did what he does best: lie. It was way too easy to fact check him, but for those who don't have time, allow me.

First, on his claim that Congress is exempt , CNN begs to differ (h/t: Reader Riccardo Cabeza). Congress isn't exempt:

What the Obama administration has done is ruled that the congressional workers will continue to receive the employer contribution to help them buy their insurance on the exchange.


False. Congress is no more exempt than any other employer who drops coverage and then helps employees purchase insurance on the exchanges.

The second lie was that James Hoffa, president of the Teamsters, thinks that Obamacare is "destroying healthcare."

Wrong. USA Today:

On the same day that Cruz concluded his floor speech, Hoffa issued a statement telling the senator to stop misrepresenting what he and the other union presidents had said.

Hoffa, Sept. 25: Though we may have concerns with specific provisions of the ACA, we share the president's goal of ensuring that every American has affordable access to top-quality health care. It is on this main point that we disagree wholeheartedly with the efforts of extreme right-wing Republicans to gut the ACA. Any suggestion otherwise is simply political posturing.

I call on Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. David Vitter and others to cease and desist from misusing our constructive comments in their destructive campaign to hobble the president and the nation.

Of course, Cruz didn't listen.

And finally, Raffy laughably said the Affordable Care Act "is not working." Actually, the parts that have been implemented are working:

  • Children can now stay on their parent's insurance until they are 26
  • Preventive health services are already being covered
  • Big Insurance must spend at least 80% of the money a person pays in to pay for their treatment, and if a company exceeds the limit, it must pay rebates, money that many of us have already received
  • Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions
  • The Medicare “doughnut hole” has been closed

And then there's this reminder from CBS:

When open enrollment begins on the online, state-based marketplaces established under Obamacare, premiums nationwide are expected to be around 16 percent lower than originally predicted, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said in a new report released Wednesday.

Key words: "When open enrollment begins." It hasn't begun yet, but it will on Tuesday.

Note to Raffy: The earliest the policies of the new health care plan will take effect is January 1, 2014. As our regular contributor Will Durst put it:

Saying you tried it but didn’t like it is real similar to saying you didn’t enjoy Bruno Mars’ halftime show at next year’s Super Bowl. That you think Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman fell far short of the exacting standards previously set by George Clooney. That you found the church basement covered-dish spread following your funeral service to be underwhelming.

And finally, just for good measure, this from Think Progress:

Is it true that Obamacare will force me to switch doctors / force my company to cut my hours/ end employer-run health insurance as we know it?Many of these “downsides” to the law are being pushed by people who don’t like it for political reasons, but that doesn’t make them true. No, your doctor is not now going to be forced to ask you about your sex life. The new government-run plans aren’t going to put all your personal information at risk. And all the buzz you’re hearing about having to switch doctors because of the law is overblown. It is possible you might have to switch doctors in the coming years, but that has more to do with the state of the health insurance industry than with the specifics of Obamacare. As the LA times explains, forcing patients to switch doctors “has been happening anyway because insurers are under enormous pressure from big customers to cut costs.”

Obamacare is also becoming a scapegoat when it comes to the prospect of your employer potentially cutting your hours or moving people from full- to part-time. Any employer you hear about that is cutting people’s hours is just pretending Obamacare is the reason so they don’t look like the bad guy. Very few employers have cut hours citing Obamacare, and many actually say they’re planning to hire more workers just in time for the full Obamacare rollout.

And, in terms of Obamacare ending employer-based insurance, there’s no need to panic there, either. Yes, the law will provide more options than we used to have. It will probably gradually shift people away from employer-run plans, too. But even generous predictions estimate that the vast majority of people will still get insurance through their jobs over the next decade. One potential impact of the law is that more people will have the flexibility to look for a new job now that they know they won’t be tied to their employer-provided insurance for coverage.

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