Sen. Kamala Harris of California has some progressives praying that she’ll be their great black hope in the 2020 presidential race, and she’s going out of her way to make it look like she’s interested in the position. Harris uses every opportunity she can to get in front of a microphone and blast the Trump administration – which is whenever she can talk Maxine Waters into taking a step back. Which is not that often, unfortunately.
But when you go out on social media with the intention of heightening your own political celebrity, you have a tendency to make some…mistakes. And that’s what Harris did last week when she went beyond what we like to call “factual reality” with this tweet about the Republican healthcare plan:
“Once again, 129M people with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage and insurers could charge sick people more money.”
This is more or less the standard line from Democrats, but it was the figure she cited that caught the attention of the Washington Post fact-checking squad. The Post is loathe to turn their checkers against popular Democrats, but Harris’s fib was too egregious for them to ignore; they gave her the dreaded Four Pinocchios for the claim.
From the Post:
The use of the word “could” does not get Harris off the hook. As currently drafted, the provision [allowing insurance companies to hike rates for those with pre-existing conditions] affects a relatively small portion of the health insurance market — and even then several factors would need to play out before a person faced an issue. Moreover, the Republican plan specifically sets aside billions of dollars to help states create high-risk or invisible health pools to assist people if their health condition results in higher premiums or loss of coverage during the one-year transition period. It’s a valid question about whether the funding is adequate, but that’s different than assuming there is no funding at all.
Yet Harris uses a very high figure to suggest that everyone with a preexisting condition is at risk. The gap between her number and the reality of who might be affected is too large to ignore.
But none of this matter to Democrats, who couldn’t care less about the facts. President Trump and the Republicans could have passed a single-payer, universal healthcare bill written by Bernie Sanders, and they would still be out there holding mock funerals for all of the law’s potential victims. They are only interested in clawing their way back to power, and they’ll tell a thousand lies a day if it helps them get Donald Trump out of the White House.