I will admit I’m not pleased with many of the results of our national elections. But the fact that the elections are over leaves me feeling almost cheerful.
That means I can start to recover from the gross overdose of political advertising that overwhelmed us all in the weeks leading up to the election.
The worst ads were not those that were directly sponsored by politicians, which were bad enough. The ones that really cheesed me off were those paid for by special-interest groups, including corporate lobbyists, masquerading as concerned citizens.
In the final days of the campaign, a commercial for a group that calls itself the “60 Plus Association” asserted that seniors would lose the right to use their doctors or to have access to treatments and essential medicine unless the recently enacted health care reform act were repealed. The group, which claims to represent senior citizens, is actually closely tied to the Republican Party and has at various times been heavily financed by groups backing aims of the pharmaceutical and energy industries.
Its recent commercials bleated customary right-wing alarmism about “a plan that could lead to a government takeover of health care” and warned that it would lead to cuts in Medicare.
Ironically, a few years back, 60-Plus was trying to scare seniors with false claims that Medicare changes that had recently been enacted would keep seniors from access to private care outside the government program.
This is a group that in recent years has tried to end the “death tax” (otherwise known as the inheritance tax, and a concern only for the wealthy). They have also prattled at length about the need to “save Social Security” (i.e., privatize it and invest some of its funds in the stock market).
Indulging in an excess of fabrication, the group also claims to be “non-partisan.”
Another group ran commercials during the campaigns that broadcast the lie that Americans could go to jail for not having health care insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
And even though the law does not provide funds for abortions, we still saw ads claiming it does.
Money spent to undermine the badly needed health care reforms (which I think were actually pitifully short of what was really needed) called it a threat to our freedom, if not our lives.
The truth is, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is going to mean much more business for the nation’s heath care insurers.
One group attacked a Congressman for sponsoring PPACA, claiming that it would “pull the plug” on ill seniors, and would cut $500 billion from Medicare. In reality, PPACA aims at saving that much by reducing spending growth–a completely different proposition from cutting planned spending.