This FOX News article on today’s decision (Individual mandate upheld: What does that mean for you and your health?) is one for the ages. It builds up the crazy slowly, but the author does her level best to make ordinary provisions sound like the slow death of freedom. For example:
Another change that will eventually go into effect is the government’s ability to seize your medical records. In order to make information more readily available for doctors during their appointments, the government hopes to create a national database of every person’s medical history.
A national medical database would be a concern if it gave insurance companies more chances to rifle through your deep history to find some excuse to deny your application or cut your support off after the fact. Those things are kind of evil, but the new law makes rescission and pre-existing condition denials illegal. What evil purpose might motivate the government to ‘seize’ your medical records is left as an exercise for the reader.
Then there’s the expert opinion. Three specialists that the article dug up mostly shrug and say that things will stay the same or else get better. As (redacted) told the android David, so the annoyed editor told his underperforming minion: “try harder.” Problem is, the journalistic arm at Fox only gets to make up so many outright lies per day, and the criticisms of Obamacare that gained any traction are based on taco dreams and wishful thinking. Thus they outsourced the business of making rubes believe false things to Elizabeth Vliet, a psychiatrist, wingnut and Herman Cain-iac whose quotes run through the piece like a flaming bobcat at a BBC panel discussion.
“You pay the penalty and if you don’t pay the fine, you risk jail,” Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, founder of HER Place: Health Enhancement Renewal for Women, Inc. in Tucson, Ariz., told FoxNews.com. “The penalty is going to be managed through the IRS. You have all of the same powers that the IRS currently has to attach your property for unpaid taxes. It’s truly draconian in what is being proposed and what has been passed in the law.”
Sadly, no. Congress in fact limited the ability of the IRS to punish ACA delinquents in any way, except to garnish their tax refund. And thus the ratchet turns another peg, and Fox readers know a bit less than they knew the day before.