Dragging Cancer Patients Into the Gutter

Sen. Harry Reid is attacking those who dare question Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tells reporters that Republicans are thwarting Democratic efforts pass a bill to extend unemployment benefits which expired at the end of last year, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.


Michigan cancer patient Julie Boonstra is on her way to becoming a household name thanks to the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called her a liar from the chamber floor Wednesday.

Boonstra, readers of an earlier post on the subject will recall, is in the battle of her life against leukemia and, apparently, against the national Democratic Party, which does not like the way she talks about her experience with Obamacare in a television ad airing in Michigan and paid for by the pro-free market group Americans for Prosperity.

Her claim that her new health care plan, purchased when her existing plan was terminated thanks to the mandated coverage portion of the Affordable Care Act, has been challenged by bloggers, by fact-checkers at the Washington Post and other papers and, now, by one of Washington’s most powerful Democrats.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Obamacare.]

Taking to the floor, Reid, who is no stranger to the gutter, tried to drag Boonstra and other Americans who have complained about their experience with Obamacare in there with him, asserting forcefully that the ad was “absolutely false” and every single one of the anecdotal “horror stories” was “untrue.”

That the majority leader had such wisdom and prescience had, to this point, escaped the attention of most everyone. His apparent intimate familiarity with what Boonstra and others have experienced is a remarkable feat that places him in the pantheon of soothsayers next to Merlin the Magician. Either that or the problem of tax data being leaked out of the Internal Revenue Service is much, much worse than anyone ever imagined.

It strains credibility to believe that every single story being told about the harmful impact of the Affordable Care Act is totally inaccurate. As usual, Reid blames those responsible for the message, the individual American citizens funding the effort against the progressive agenda whom the Nevada senator once again accuses of distorting the truth.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Democratic Party.]

This raises the question, however, of why the progressives are – save for their effort to muzzle the critics of the ACA – generally silent. Why, if Obamacare has done such a good job of controlling costs and insuring the uninsured, hasn’t George Soros or some other well-heeled progressive piggy bank moved to bankroll competing commercials singing its praises.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the chamber’s number three Republican, stood up to Reid’s bullying by releasing a statement that called him out for having “questioned the validity of the stories that Americans throughout the country have been sharing about the struggles they are facing thanks to Obamacare.”

He could have used stronger language. Yet his observation that Reid “and any Democrat who agrees with him, owes an apology to all Americans who are suffering under this disastrous law and whose personal stories he has dismissed as ‘untrue” is precisely on point. Has the Democratic Party become so shallow, so morally bankrupt, so hungry for power that it can so easily and so venomously dismiss the concerns expressed by John and Jane Q. Public – or are its operatives merely seething at the way the GOP has taken a page from its playbook to sensationalize the failure of government to deliver as promised?

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

Ultimately it’s up to the voters to decide, one way or another. The president approval numbers, while not quite as anemic as the economic growth and employment figures, suggest they are deciding against him and the members of his party who forced the Affordable Care Act upon the nation.