GOP Snake Oil, Health Care and the Supremes

Despite a propaganda push, the Affordable Care Act has been upheld. But the war isn't over.

(The Root) — The Supremes have delivered their verdict on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s chief legislative achievement: the Affordable Care Act. And in a fortunate though unpredicted twist of fate, Obama won.

Now it’s time to separate fact from fiction and unpack all the lies that Republicans told in their attempt to destroy the most fundamental American ideal: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Over the past three years, fierce political debates have been largely fueled by a Republican propaganda machine promoting an anti-health-care-reform narrative and using the perceived pejorative “Obamacare” to brand an otherwise-popular program as suspect.

GOP operatives and conservative pundits have skillfully played on the ignorance of America’s electorate, calling the ACA the “crown jewel of socialism” and “government takeover” of health insurance. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The attack campaign employed by the GOP establishment is reminiscent of the totalitarian government described in George Orwell’s seminal work 1984, in which the ruling party — intent on maintaining control — feeds its populace fabricated news stories and misinformation, engendering a de facto mind control that keeps citizens blissfully unaware of their diminished state.

What has now become known as Orwellian tactics, in homage to the author, refers to the systematic indoctrination of nonsensical statements such as those from the novel, including “war is peace,” “slavery is freedom” and “ignorance is strength.” The dogma reflects an inherent contradiction, but lies are accepted as truth simply because government authorities perpetuate it. Originally published in 1949, Orwell’s masterpiece envisioned a distant, unknown future.

Welcome to the future.

Socialism by Any Other Name Is “Romneycare”

Republican elected officials and their newly crowned leader Mitt Romney have campaigned on a message that demonizes the current legislation, ignores their past support for its foundational principles and purports an intent to replace it without ever offering any specificity. Indeed, the GOP fails to explain how it intends to provide universal health care by destroying universal health care coverage.

Even now, just moments after the Supreme Court announced its landmark decision to uphold the law, Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced that the Republican-led House of Representatives will begin passing legislation to dismantle the law. Of course these acts are ceremonial, since any such changes would be dead on arrival in the Democrat-led Senate. Yet Republicans persist in their attempted obstruction. Why? This is Orwellian strategy at its best and its worst: deceiving people into opposing what is in their own best interest.