You know, even for politics, this is pretty fucking low:
The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action lobbed a heavy-duty attack at Mitt Romney this morning, airing an ad that links the closure of a GST Steel plant in Kansas City to the loss of a family’s health insurance — and the death of a woman some time later.
The man speaking in the ad, Joe Soptic, says, “Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my health care and my family lost their health care. And a short time after that my wife became ill.” Soptic explains he’s not exactly sure when his wife became sick, but that when he took her to the hospital she had undetected, advanced cancer and died 22 days later.
The problem? Well, Romney left Bain in 1999. Bain shut down the plant in 2001. And the woman died in 2006. It’s awful that this family was without health insurance and therefore missed a diagnosis that might have saved her life (perhaps; they never say what the cancer was. If it was breast cancer, it might have been very treatable. If it was lung cancer, that’s rarely survivable).
But to blame it on Romney? I find that to be a biiiig stretch. And you really shouldn’t have to stretch very far when you’re blaming him for a woman’s death. An accusation of that magnitude requires a pretty short chain of events.
It’s not like no one in this country has ever been fired and lost their health insurance. Are we to blame all businesses that shut down when bad things happen to their employees? Maybe we could have prevented future incidents like this by weakening or breaking the connection between employment and insurance instead of passing Obamacare and strengthening it. All Obama has done is make — by weakening the economy and put more people into the Medicaid gulag — is made this scenario more likely to happen.
This is from a super PAC, not Obama’s campaign. But we all know how thin the line is between the PACs and the candidates. And the head of the PAc is not backing down, claiming he’s illustrating how long it took communities to recover from Romney’s decisions.
Push this aside slightly and see the bigger picture: it’s a scare tactic. “Republicans are coming to take away your health insurance” is clearly going to be a major plank of this campaign. And given how massively Obama has expanded health insurance subsidies, I fear it will be very effective. There are a lot of people who will lose insurance if Obamacare is rescinded. But that has to be weighed against the damage being done by it existence in place of real reform; reform that would help far more people while maintaining the healthy economy we need so that people don’t lose insurance in the first place.