Washington Post resorts to clickbait

What happened next will kill 43,000 people

It will be yuge.  In the era of fake news and hyperbole, Trump is only one of many offenders.  We live in an age where anyone can say anything and lay claim to credibility.  It works especially well if you use half the facts and flawed research.  That’s exactly what the Washington Post did when they declared that repealing Obamacare WILL kill more than 43,000 people a year.  Not “it may”, not even “experts suggest”.  It will kill them.  43,000 a year.  Poof.  Just like that.  Without even getting end of life counseling.

“…thousands of American lives that were previously protected by provisions of the Affordable Care Act are in danger” begins the article.  The claim is based on a study that says that for every 455 people put on Medicaid, one person a year lives who would have died otherwise.  Since correlation always means causation, the reasoning is sound.  It’s even more sound if you consider that there is absolutely no replacement for ACA.

Of course, that’s not true.  Republicans already have a replacement ready, and it keeps some key parts of ACA such as not being dropped for pre-existing conditions.  But here the article makes a strange argument.  Despite being obviously anti-Republican, the article notes that while it only takes 50 votes to repeal Obamacare, it would take 60 to pass a replacement.  I think the argument goes something like this: Republicans can repeal Obamacare easily, but in order to replace it and save 43,000 lives a year Democrats would have to not filibuster.  So perhaps the headline should have read “Democrat filibuster will kill 43,000 people”.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time some wild eye, crazy hair person has claimed that repealing Obamacare equals mass murder.  Bernie Sanders used to say that without the ACA 36,000 people would die annually.  At the time he was given 4 Pinocchios by none other than the Washington Post.

Now? Apparently now Bernie’s prediction of 36,000 dead per year if Obamacare is repealed is “certainly well within the ballpark of scientific consensus”, according to the article.  Good night, and good luck.

 

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