And it just earned St. Petersburg Times' PolitiFact Pants On Fire metric for mendacity, becoming the year's biggest, oft-repeated lie. And wouldn't you know, Tennessee lawmakers were tickled to death to repeat the meme. There's Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Sen. Lamar Alexander and, of course, failed gubernatorial candidate Zach Wamp, to name a few. Congratulations, y'all! One wonders if everyone received the same memo Republican pollster Frank Luntz sent to Sean Hannity about how recasting the bill as a takeover changes perception and opinion.
Here's the truth: Employers would continue to provide a majority of health insurance. Hospitals and doctors would not be nationalized. And for those who don't have insurance, exchanges would be created where insurance companies compete to cover them. There is no public option, which would provide for a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers. And the law addresses some of health care's greatest inequities, like the denial of coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. In each instance, insurance is being provided entirely by the private sector, unless you're in the military, work for the government — or are, ahem, a congressman or senator.