SPIN ALERT: The House Did NOT Vote to Repeal Obamacare 33 Times
Last week, the Old Media reminded the public that the July 11 vote was the "33rd time the Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare." Only there is a little problem with that claim. It isn't true.
The fact is, the House has only voted twice -- not 33 times -- to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. And the two times includes the July 11 vote. Regardless of the truth, media outlet after media outlet parroted the "33rd vote to repeal" narrative.
One example is Daniel Akst of Newsday, who scolded Republicans for this repeal attempt. "Despite a host of pressing national problems, House Republicans today voted for the 33rd time to repeal President Obama's health care law," Akst scornfully wrote.
Akst's partisan "those-evil-Republicans" narrative was the one most media outlets followed.
A few more examples: McClatchy-Tribune took up the claim. Naturally, so did Lawrence O'Donnell on an MSNBC show. Bloomberg threw out the claim, as did CBS News. The L.A. Times joined them.
In short, nearly every paper, TV News outlet and cable channel uncorked this "33rd repeal" nonsense.
So, how did the Old Media get to a claim of a "33rd repeal vote"? By including the 31 other votes that removed small parts of Obamacare. It should be noted that most of those votes were a bipartisan repealing of small segments of Obamacare.
Remember when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chortled that we'd have to pass Obamacare before we'd know what's in it? Well, once the Democrats forced passage of that flawed bill stuffed with un-vetted and destructive provisions, many Democrats were shocked by the garbage stuffed into the 2,700 pages of Obamacare, pages not one single lawmaker ever read before voting on the bill.
Once Obamacare became law and some of the more idiotic things came to light, the House immediately began tinkering around the edges of the bill trying to eliminate the more egregious provisions in Obamacare.
Now, some outlets tried to fudge the "33rd" claim saying it was the 33rd time that a vote was held to "repeal part or all of" the inaptly named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But most didn't even bother with the qualifying rhetoric.
But as Lee Doren notes, the whole "33rd repeal vote" story is misleading from the beginning. Adding the qualifier of "parts" does nothing to keep the "33rd repeal vote" claim from being wholly misleading.
The Old Media wanted America to think the Republicans were just being petty and partisan. They were playing advocates for Obamacare again, not reporting the facts.