Before this thing goes all “Obama is a secret Muslim” viral, I’m being proactive and sending the debunking to all of my friends and relatives who regularly send me “OMG is this true??!!11!!11!!ELEVEN!” e-mails. Because it is truly awful:
We're hardened, battle-scarred fact-checkers, so false claims in e-mails don't really surprise us anymore. But we sent Tolbert a copy of the latest from our in-box, and she was none too pleased.
"It's awful," she said. "It's flat-out, blatant lies. It's unbelievable to me how they can claim to reference the legislation and then make claims that are blatantly false."
The claim that the bill provides free health care for illegal immigrants is particularly egregious, Tolbert said. "No one's provided with free health care. That's ridiculous," she said.
In fact, the e-mail claims such outrageous things as:
• Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.
• Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.
• Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN).
• Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
Are any of these things true? Of course not. Not even close.
For bonus points note the use of these wingnut dogwhistles: ACORN, “unions,” "National ID cards" and “illegal immigrants.” I detect the aroma of the Swift Boat-“whitey tape”-“secret Muslim”-"Obama doesn't have a birth certificate" smears at work here. It’s "the Clintons had Vince Foster killed" all over again: the same crap the right wing has used to sink presidents and presidential candidates, and now they’re using it to sink healthcare reform. It’s sleazy, dirty, lying politics, and it hurts the very people they pretend to defend.
I suspect it's coming from the same source. I'd love to out these lying bastards, too. Maybe one of our crack reporters can get on it? Aw, who am I kidding! They're still rehashing the Great Beer Summit Of Ought-Nine.