Category Archives: right wing

Using lies to make Obamacare look incompetent

The graphic above has managed to be upvoted on Reddit to the point where it stands today at number 9 in the Hot category on the Front Page of the news aggregation site.

It was posted by user JoeInJapan on the /facepalm subreddit. 

It’s not until comment number 4 where user DancingCorpse has this to say about it:

That’s not Healthcare.gov and anyone who has ever actually used the site would know that. If I remember correctly, this image was taken from some stupid survey site or was spoofed using a survey maker. Probably easily verifiable by going to Snopes and searching “healthcare.gov have you died question”. This was a common Facebook propaganda spam two years ago.

The real face palm is that someone reposted this.

Snopes does have something to say about the graphic:

“The survey question was not related to Obamacare enrollment or Healthcare.gov.”

It should be noted that, against what seems logical to me, Snopes rated the graphic as Mostly False.

The question about death was not asked about Obamacare or on HealthCare.gov. Rather it does appear to have been asked in a survey, possibly a satirical one. somewhere at some time.

Just to be clear, the survey question was asked online somewhere starting about 2015, just never about Obamacare on HealthCare.gov.

Rating it as Mostly False instead of entirely false strikes me as Snopes splitting hairs and it gives the wrong impression if you don’t decipher the weird way this is explained on the Snopes page.

Rather than trying to explain it all away as humor from somewhere, I will offer another explanation.

It is entirely possible, based on what we know already about how they operate, that right-wing trolls purposefully introduced this graphic into the social media stream as just one small part of a larger effort to discredit Obamacare

After all, if the people who run Obamacare are so stupid that they put forth a survey question asking you if you died, how can they possibly be competent enough to manage your health care?

It’s part of the ongoing effort by conservatives to approach killing Obamacare with the death of a thousand cuts. If they cannot get rid of it outright — because a lot of conservative voters found they like many of Obamacare’s provisions once it became law — then they will try to slowly kill it through smaller steps.

Another way they have been doing this is by slowly chipping away at the administrative supports behind Obamacare. They’ve also been making it harder for insurance companies, many of whom have dropped out of Obamacare entirely, which is then blamed on the law itself and not the Republicans who are trying to undermine it.

This one graphic posted on Reddit — with 250 million users — is not the end of the world. But it has been picked up and shared across Facebook and elsewhere millions of other times.

So the next time someone tells you that HealthCare.gov asked this question as part of Obamacare enrollment, you can tell them they are wrong by sending them to this link

Internet trolls are masters at inserting right-wing talking points into the social media stream. Some of the efforts are well-organized. Click on the troll for information about one of those efforts.