it's always wolf blitzer's fault

Stuff People Don’t Know About ObamaCare, Harumph!

If onlyYour Wonkette took this Kaiser Family Foundation online quiz about the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. AbortionCare, and hot dog, we scored a 10 out of 10. The money’s sure to trickle in now. And yet the overall results seem to show — get this — that there’s some confusion out there about what the law actually does. This is probably because more than two years after the law passed, and three years after versions of it were coming out of committee, most mainstream media outlets have never bothered to explain the law at all. Usually the routine goes like, say, “Welcome to CNN, I am your host, the Wolf. Today we’re going to talk about health care reform. Which political party wins? We will have a Republican political consultant and a Democratic political consultant talk past each other at the top of the hour.” At the top of the hour, no actual information is passed on to the viewer. Let’s look at an example of what people don’t know about the law, and then perhaps the teevee can pass these bits of information to the American public. Ha ha. Still.

Usually you’ll see a Democratic political consultant mention that the party needs to “amplify” the part about ending insurer discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. And it doesn’t hurt to mention that over and over. Yet the poll shows that 67% of the American public understands this. It’s rare for a majority of Americans to understand any fact, so perhaps this message is fairly well known now. Similar percentages of people also know about the individual mandate, the subsidies for individuals to purchase coverage, and the Medicaid expansion.

What only 25% of the people answered correctly is, “Will the health reform law require all businesses, even the smallest ones, to provide health insurance for their employees?” The answer is no, it won’t. Only businesses with 50+ employees will face that requirement, and 96% of small businesses have fewer than 50 employees. Those businesses will be offered tax credits to extend coverage to their employees.

So next time you see a teevee segment about some Friendly Barber who has maybe three employees and is worried that he’ll be required to bring everyone health coverage, BEAT THE TEEVEE WITH A HAMMER. And next time you see a teevee segment with a host who doesn’t know that the Friendly Barber won’t be required to extend coverage to employees, but will be granted tax credits if he chooses to do so, BEAT THE TEEVEE WITH A HAMMER. We may be speaking metaphorically, may not be. It’s hard to tell at this point. Point is, we’re getting sick of this shit.

[Kaiser Family Foundation]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell
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  1. Awful People

    Then I'll put the teevee in a box, and I'll put that box in another box, and I'll mail it to myself and SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER.

    1. GeneralLerong

      This isn't a cheap-and-dirty Shroedinger's cat quantum theory brain cramper, is it?

      I hate those.

      1. Maman

        Yes, it is… It is Shroedinger's health insurance. You both have and don't have the insurance but will never know until you try to use it.

    2. MittBorg

      Have you thought about having, you know, a glass of wine, or a joint, instead? All this smashing sounds dreadfully tiresome.

    1. YasserArraFeck

      No problem – we'll just replace them with more Chinese-made TVs from WalMart

    1. Wadisay

      I want to be on the one that gets Michele Bachman, when she comes in with the sniffles.

    2. Eve8Apples

      Craigslist posting:

      Snarky Wonketteer looking for position on death panel. Diligent worker with a sunny disposition but low tolerance for tea baggers. I will provide my own shotgun, machete, chain saw and guillotine. Wages and benefits negotiable. References available upon request. Willing to relocate for right job.

  2. metamarcisf

    Hey Jim: Listening to one of wing-nut radio shows last week, and somebody said that to fund "Obamacare", there will be a tax on people everytime they sell their house. True or not?

    1. chicken_thief

      True or not, you know Obamacare is a disaster because it sucks so bad that it rooned the economy the year before it was passed!!!!

  3. BaldarTFlagass

    How about if I skip the middleman and just beat the know-nothing I'm talking to with a hammer?

    1. OneYieldRegular

      And only then ask them if they'd care to have health insurance? Now that's just mean.

  4. Come here a minute

    Obamacare is going to crush my small business because it's making me buy insurance for both of my employees.

    My business is beating teevees with a hammer. Business is good.

      1. JoeHoya

        I hear you can get Indian kids to beat televisions with hammers for only 2 cents an hour. And those aren't your flat screens; those are CRTs. It takes more work to pound one of those.

    1. ramm10

      humm tevee binness? jobs jobs keep talking wonkette and you too will be a job creater

  5. Mittens Howell, III

    I know what the law does, it insures the poor and pisses off wing-nuts. Therefore, I support.

    1. sullivanst

      It's a little taxier than a speeding ticket – the IRS collects it, your income is a factor in the calculation of the amount, and you can't go to jail for not paying it.

      But yes, the intent is not to raise revenue but to encourage a particular behavior.

  6. coolhandnuke

    Put the message in the box
    Put the box into the car
    Drive the car around the world
    Until you get heard

  7. Antispandex

    They just don't want to confuse alot of people with facts. Facts are harder to deal with than talking points. Kind of like math and stuff.

  8. shortsandpants

    But this doesn't explain how to handle an interview with the Death Panel people!!! WHAT DO WE DO WHEN CONFRONTED WITH THE DEATH PANELZZ??????

          1. sullivanst

            Amusingly when I google her name, one of the first hits is to a HuffPo piece with the blurb:

            Betsy McCaughey is a famous liar who famously lied about the Clinton health care bill back in the 1990s, who has returned to lie just as …

          2. shortsandpants

            It is said that when she cut down a cherry tree and was confronted about it, she said "I cannot tell the truth;" which was confusing because by admitting that she was a liar, she was telling the truth. Or maybe she wasn't? Who knows?

    1. Tundra Grifter

      And after a week's hard play, all their talking heads would have won precisely nothing.

    2. HobbesEvilTwin

      Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. No, Really, Don't Tell Me. La la la I can't Heeeeeear You.

  9. SorosBot

    It almost makes one suspect there's been a deliberate fear-mongering misinformation campaign about the ACA that the media has tacitly supported.

    1. MissTaken

      Impossible! I learned in the lead up to the Iraq War that the media would never, ever spew misinformation just because some untrustworthy 'source' said it. Nuh uh!

        1. SorosBot

          Look, if Karl Rove tells you that the source is trustworthy, then the source must be trustworthy, goddammit.

    1. bobbert

      Ha, 10/10 and I AM an American living in the US.

      (Actually, doing better than 99.6% of respondents makes me obscurely sad).

  10. SayItWithWookies

    Q: Is it true that every time an American gets subsidized health insurance, God kills a kitten?

    A: No — Karl Rove does.

  11. barto

    I got 10 out of 10 also. But I'm a policy wonk. Even I almost answered the least well known question incorrectly. Phew!
    Now try and explain the funding formula for Medicaid expansion. Oh wait, no need…

          1. MittBorg

            Just got back from doctor and dentist, and still crabby about what it cost. Other than that, my day has been just ducky, darlz, how's yours been? We're actually having a *warm* day, with a little *sunshine* and everything. I can hardly bleev it.

          2. starfanglednut

            My day has been meh. In bed all day with migraine. But like anything else, the more acceptance you have, the less it hurts. Some reasonably nice seeming bi boy from ok cupid messaged me. I think we're gonna have coffee. Adorable girl says “I really want to see you” Good lord. Sorry bout your teeths. Why don't you go see Orly? I hear her rates are quite good, and she can clear up legal problems as well.

          3. MittBorg

            Sorry about the migraine, those totally suck. I've had a few, but they mysteriously vanished when I turned 14, only to reappear twice more, about 20 years apart. Weed helps.

            Bi boy sounds interesting Adorable girl is back, is she? What a tiresome child.

            It was a regular teef-cleaning, it just costs a bundle when you don't have insurance. And my teeth are mostly pretty OK.

            Someone else suggested Orly. I think I'd rather pull out my teefs with pliers first.

  12. Thurman Munster IV

    It would be more fun to beat off every time instead but I'm afraid I don't have that much jam cause I'm an old.

  13. SorosBot

    "You answered 10 out of 10 questions correctly, better than 99.6% of Americans."

    Ha, suck it 99.6% of Americans!

    1. bobbert

      I wonder what the 10/10 success rate is among Wonkers. Pretty high, compared to the gen pub, I'd think.

      To be just a little fair, the questions are structured in such a way that answering "the answer that I, a liberal, would like to be the answer" will get you 10/10 easy.

    1. Oblios_Cap

      Real American Patriots think the correct thoughts, worship the correct diety, and love the troops whose jobs are more important to America than anybody else's.

      Now do you see the difference betwwen US and the former Soviet Union?

  14. Baconzgood

    A tad off topic,

    I didn't have a TV for a 4 year stretch because I threw a boot through it. FUCKING NEIL O'DONNELL AND THROWING 3 INTERCEPTIONS!!!!!

  15. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    If I smash my tv then how will I watch Mad Men and figure out how real women are supposed to act?

    Ps. I am not talking about Peggy Olson as obviously she is a communist dyke Satan worshipper.

    1. Geminisunmars

      Joan seems to be catching anti-man disease too, in that she didn't like her husband anymore, even if he is a *man* and (be still my heart) a Doctor. Sally Draper is going to grow up to be you and me.

    2. prommie

      Joan disturbs me. I love boobies, god, as much as any man, and all that, but she is fucking freakish. She should fall over, as the Japanese said. Its just not right, there is just something not right about those fucking missile nose-cones on her chest.

      1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

        Joan's brassiere was developed by NASA as part of the Apollo space program.

  16. Baconzgood

    All anyone needs to know about the Obamacare is that it's making Jebus Emerica a fascist-socialist-communist-nazi country like Frenchy land.

    1. GeneralLerong

      I think that's why $arah "Bullseye" Palin is now sulking because she went 0 for 10 on the test.

    2. MittBorg

      I'm srsly wondering if Amercia is code for a special part of this country where reality works according to a different set of laws. You ever been to Kansas?

  17. mavenmaven

    Since when do the facts have anything to do with Republican politics? We all know that truth is supposed to come trickling down from the truth sayers when reality is taken out of governing.

  18. MissTaken

    9. Will the health reform law create a new government run insurance plan to be offered along with private plans?

    Only 27% answered correctly. See! We totally could've had a public option, dumb Americans already think we do.

  19. Extemporanus

    Jim Nwell while u bloging on Wonkete u said 'time to infrom abt healthcare' When you are a 'hammer' u think evrything is TEEVEE I'm no TEEVEE.

  20. anniegetyerfun

    Wow, I got ten out of ten, and I was just randomly clicking. Even random clicking is smarter than 99.6% of Americans.

  21. MissTaken

    I can't trust this quiz. Not a single answer option was "YES, doncha know, cuz teh FOX News blonde woman said so and they always be tellin the truth"

  22. SorosBot

    Look, conservatives say that "Obamacare" creates death panels, and liberals say it does not. We will report what both sides say without telling you which is true and which is false because that would be partisan and biased.

    The Media

  23. qwerty42

    Will the barber be required to set up the death panel on his own or with these be handled as part of the FEMA death camps?

  24. MissTaken

    Ah crap, you just know that all us Wonkett people with our 10/10 on the quiz are gonna be the first people called before the FEMA Camp Death Panels.

  25. poorgradstudent

    When my friends and I wanted to get depressed – like so depressed we would have hallucinations – we'd watch and compare CNN with the BBC or even just CNN International.

  26. Goonemeritus

    I took the test and I got 10 out of 10 as well. I would love to see a breakdown of how people do on this test based on where they get their news.

    1. Ducksworthy

      Puleease! Now you want more facts? What the hell good would that do at this point?

  27. shortsandpants

    Obviously the RNC is hacking this quiz. That question regarding our imminent demise due to the moon-people invasion was simply unacceptable.

  28. elburritodeluxe

    Americans just know that important people in suits say it is Socialism. What more does one need to know.

  29. fuflans

    next time you see a teevee segment about some Friendly Barber who has maybe three employees

    i read that as Friendly Berber.

    1. PinkoMoonbat

      The Berber at home is really friendly! Point of caution for medical care: they do seem to think good olive oil can fix a broken leg. Also that you can get HIV from flies. But friendly!

  30. Preacher_Griz

    Naturally, they conveniently omit asking any questions about provisions that force Young Christian Virgins to swallow abortion pills and to carry condoms on their person 365.25/24/7

  31. HarryButtle

    Barry ought to go on TV and speechify. I'm thinking something like:

    Look, there aren't any motherfucking death panels in this motherfucking bill. There is no motherfucking public option in this motherfucking bill. All this fucking bill does is help all of you dumbfucks buy insurance! Me? I'm covered for the rest of my life, I don't need this shit. But you tards do. So stop listening to those fucking GOP greedheads and look out for your own motherfucking self interest for a change! Thank you and God bless America.

    1. Ducksworthy

      Also, "Grow the fuck up America." (Hmmm. I think I see bumper sticker sales potential here.)

  32. deanbooth

    I got some health care knowledge today. If you need a chicken pox vaccination (for college), how much does it cost? $600, and not covered by insurance! I'm lucky — I can afford it; what do the poors do?

    1. BoatOfVelociraptors

      Just offer to getlicked by an infected child at a pox party. Nothing creepy about that, and much cheaper!

      1. emmelemm

        Coincidentally, that's exactly how I got the chickenpox.

        (I'm NOT KIDDING. I hadn't had it by the time I was a teenager, and then I ended up volunteering at a kindergarten, for a "public service credit" type thing. And then I got the chicken pox.)

        1. bobbert

          Honestly, when my kiddos were small, if any other kiddo got the chicken pox, we'd herd them all together. Cheaper than the fucking vaccine.

  33. ttommyunger

    Today's teevee news channels are giving me a sad for the wimminfolk. The nice-looking anchors all have teh ghey and the straight ones are all butt-ugly….I'm talking to you Wolf, and Howard Kurtz, and David Gregory, et al.

  34. Attila_T_Hun

    I'll bet the members of the Death Panels will be unemployed Draft Board members.
    Weren't they death panels too?

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