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pudge's Journal: Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Lying or Ignorant? 21

Journal by pudge

A few days ago, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz incorrectly told her constituents, "We actually have not required in this law that you carry health insurance."

She went on to say it's a choice in how you file your taxes, not a requirement.

She either didn't read and understand the law, or she's lying. Section 1501 of the law she voted to pass amends Subtitle D of the IRS Code, adding a new Section 5000A, which is titled, "Requirement to Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage." The very first words of 5000A are, "An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable
individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month."

The law itself, that she voted for and supposedly read, says, unequivocally, that people (unless they are exempted, such as Indians and Amish and incarcerated prisoners) are required to have health insurance.

Ironically, Wasserman Schultz said on her Facebook page a few days earlier: "A FACT Check: Members of Congress and the health insurance reform bill? Apparently some people don't know that the health insurance reform bill we just passed REQUIRES that Members of Congress and their staff to obtain the same health insurance plans created by the law (some states might offer different plans) or through... the Exchange (market or purchasing pool) created in the law."

And, apparently, some people (ahem) don't know that the same bill REQUIRES all non-exempt people to obtain health insurance.

UPDATE: Just after I wrote this, Wasserman Schultz was on Crossfire with Chris Matthews and she repeated the same line: there is no requirement, it's simply a different way to file your taxes. She's an intelligent woman, she's had a few days to fix her error, and she's still repeating this clearly false statement, so I'm calling it: she's not merely ignorant, she's lying.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

This discussion was created by pudge (3605) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Lying or Ignorant?

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  • The mandate came from the republicans. Obama and the rest went along. They know a golden goose when they see it. The "opposition" angle was played very astutely to keep that issue out of mind for the most part.

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      The mandate came from the republicans. Obama and the rest went along.

      False. In the campaign, it was part of Hillary's plan. The current Republicans were almost completely against it, with a few exceptions. In 1993, a liberal Republican had a plan with a mandate (Senator John Chafee), but it was also in other plans at the time, and a MINORITY of Republicans signed onto Chafee's plan (and many of them would not have supported the plan if it ever went to committee, let alone a vote on the floor: they just wanted to see an alternative being pushed).

      So, yeah, no. You're just

      • You're just making it up.

        :-) As you wish... Personally I didn't think the acting was that convincing. Sure do wish you all kept the issue up front ahead of the other nonsense before they passed it.. You would've had a better chance of killing it. As it is, it's like taking candy from a baby. The industry got the bill it wanted, with very little effort actually. The money they invested will pay very nice dividends.

        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          Sure do wish you all kept the issue up front ahead of the other nonsense before they passed it..

          Shrug. I've been talking about it for ... years. And in regard to this bill specifically, for many months. (See http://slashdot.org/~pudge/journal/237661 [slashdot.org] and http://slashdot.org/~pudge/journal/237703 [slashdot.org] and http://slashdot.org/~pudge/journal/246218 [slashdot.org] for a few examples).

          But many voters don't care, so it hasn't been one of the main "talking points," for better or worse.

          You would've had a better chance of killing it.

          I dunno ... I think it's one of the big reasons a majority of voters opposed it.

          • Well there you go. You made the mistake of framing this as a "democrat/Obama" issue, where in reality they(and the republicans of course) are simply reading from their scripts and advocating the desires of the industry, where the opposition should be directed. And by doing this, along with screaming "baby killer" and about "death panels" and "socialism", you do a disservice to the legitimate opposition that went unheard. It will all be "guilt by association" with the lunatic fringe now, which is probably th

            • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

              You made the mistake of framing this as a "democrat/Obama" issue

              Shrug. Not when I criticized Romney for my former state's mandate [youtube.com].

              Further, I didn't frame it as such an issue. In the first link, I merely stated the fact that their plan had a mandate. I didn't make it us vs. them, I just identified the actual people trying to pass the bill. Seems odd to NOT do that.

              In the second link, I never mentioned parties or individuals at all, but only gave a brief legal analysis.

              In the third, the post was about deceptive claims of bipartisanship, so of course I made it about pa

              • You are aware of the editorial "you", aren't you? However you personally do seem to be quick to accuse others, it seems. On that note, feel free to foe. Means nothing to me, and I'll just friend you. If I remain interested, I can always create another account.

                Now if you wish to believe deals are made in front of the cameras instead of the local pubs, and that these people are for real, knock yourself out. I know how movie magic is made, so, sorry if I can't believe everything I see on the screen.

                • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                  You are aware of the editorial "you", aren't you?

                  Yes. You did not use it. You might have intended to, but you didn't. You responded to my comments, where I discussed Obama and Democrats, saying You made the mistake of framing this as a "democrat/Obama" issue. Your very next sentence was, And by doing this, along with screaming "baby killer" and about "death panels" and "socialism", you do a disservice ...

                  I do not apologize for reading that as though you were talking to, and about, me. That is how it was written.

                  Now if you wish to believe deals are made in front of the cameras instead of the local pubs, and that these people are for real

                  They are. No serious person believes

                  • Maybe you've heard of this little game [salon.com]. I can assure you that even your favorite puppet is playing it. And the republican party played it to the max, in reverse. It's very easy to play like you're* "for real" from a position of weakness where your influence is limited. But when it comes to brass tax, he will cave faster than Kucinich did after he got his little lecture on board air force one. Put him on some powerful committees and see what he does about ag subsidies, prohibition, the FCC, etc. It is downri

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      I can assure you ...

                      But you clearly have no idea what you are talking about, so your assurances are pointless. You're quite wrong, in fact, and you have no evidence of any sort to back up your assertion. You're just making it up because you want the world to fit neatly in the liitle boxes you've made for it.

                      Do not continue to assert that Tom Coburn doesn't mean what he says unless you have some evidence to back it up. It's dishonest.

                      Accepted

                      Stop lying.

                    • I just read up on some of the crap he's pulled. He's a vindictive asshole. There's nothing remarkable or particularly controversial about him. He's following the standard playbook. You can have him.

                    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                      I just read up on some of the crap he's pulled. He's a vindictive asshole.

                      You're a liar. You did no such thing, and you're just making it up, and you've worn out your welcome with your lies.

                  • I have a parenthetical aside regarding the word "you".

                    To take a step back, and at the risk of over-rationalizing this poster's intent, the sloppy language might be due to sloppy thinking, and the sloppy thinking is likely a fruit of a sloppy language-- Modern English. Although it happened before I was born, I've become increasingly aware the decline of the English language in one specific case... we've lost the words to distinguish second-person-singular "you" from second-person-plural "you-as-a-group"/"y

  • Yes, it says it's required. But the law prohibits the government from taking you to criminal or civil court for failure to comply. Without a hearing or a trial, you can't be found guilty or be ordered by a judge to do anything. So for all intents and purposes, there is no requirement to have health coverage.

    Sure, they could change all of this later, but her point that this is choice in how you file your taxes is valid -- you choose to have insurance or (optionally) pay the penalty.
    • by Bakkster (1529253)

      Sure, they could change all of this later, but her point that this is choice in how you file your taxes is valid -- you choose to have insurance or (optionally) pay the penalty.

      We made this point on a previous journal entry, but it's a combination of semantics and execution. It's a requirement because you pay a flat penalty if you do not. If it were optional, you could choose to take a flat tax break.

      Beyond the subtle difference in wording, this makes the tax cost of non-compliance the same, regardless of tax bracket. This means people get taxed proportionally more for not having insurance if they are not wealthy. So, the people who have less money to pay for insurance (whose

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      Yes, it says it's required. But ...

      For the purposes of my point, there is no "but." The law says it is required. Therefore, the law requires it. Therefore, she was wrong. As a Congresswoman, who voted for the law, and had several days to fix her error, and repeated the incorrect claim anyway, she is lying.

      There's no "but."

      ... the law prohibits the government from taking you to criminal or civil court for failure to comply. Without a hearing or a trial, you can't be found guilty or be ordered by a judge to do anything.

      The IRS can legally withhold your refund from you in the amount of the penalty: in fact, you're found guilty of violating the law by the IRS without any need for a trial.

      So for all intents and purposes, there is no requirement to have health coverage.

      False. This sentence completely contradicts you

  • Never ascribe to stupidity or incompetence that which can be explained by greedy self-interest.

    So, I think she's lying.

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      Never ascribe to stupidity or incompetence that which can be explained by greedy self-interest.

      How about, "never ascribe anything to anything unless you're damned sure." :-)

      But that she continues to sell this lie means she's lying, at this point. Saying it and then spinning away from it or admitting your are wrong, fine, maybe you weren't lying. But continuing to assert a clear falsehood? When you're a Congresswoman who absolutely should know what the law says? Lying.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Well, it's kind of like occam's razor, in that it's not foolproof, only logical. But like I said, I think she's a gold-studded liar, as you point out. But then, how do you know a politician is lying? Their lips move.

      • by pudgetest (548119) *

        test

  • ignore

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