With legislation as complex and far-reaching as the ACA, it would be difficult for it not to have bad effects for someone, even though it’s a major positive on net. What’s remarkable, as Michael Hiltzik and Kevin Drum have pointed out, is that the anecdotes about alleged horror stories carefully cherrypicked by Republicans have all turned out to be frauds. (Indeed, in several cases they have made Republicans look bad, as they seem to have convinced some of their followers to massively overpay rather than using Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s evil website.) Krugman notes that we’ve been down this road before:
Remember the “death tax”? The estate tax is quite literally a millionaire’s tax — a tax that affects only a tiny minority of the population, and is mostly paid by a handful of very wealthy heirs. Nonetheless, right-wingers have successfully convinced many voters that the tax is a cruel burden on ordinary Americans — that all across the nation small businesses and family farms are being broken up to pay crushing estate tax liabilities.
You might think that such heart-wrenching cases are actually quite rare, but you’d be wrong: they aren’t rare; they’re nonexistent. In particular, nobody has ever come up with a real modern example of a family farm sold to meet estate taxes. The whole “death tax” campaign has rested on eliciting human sympathy for purely imaginary victims.
And now they’re trying a similar campaign against health reform.
“Purely imaginary victims” — not just a great name for a band, a fixture of Republican propaganda.