Democrats and their news media allies are pushing a Marxist class warfare narrative toward Republican proposals to reform federal health care and insurance regulations; framing GOP efforts as the rich exploiting the poor.
H.R. 1628, the proposed Senate Republican “health care bill,” is being described by Democrats and assorted leftists as “mean-spirited,” with the usual suspects alleging the proposal as somehow reducing state-driven redistribution of wealth.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pushed the neo-Marxist “one percenter” narrative — popularized by the Democrat-funded Occupy Wall Street movement — on NBC’s Meet The Press:
“They’re seeing almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1 percent. …
This is a large tax cut for the wealthy. …
They are going to provide some $500 billion in tax breaks to the top 2%, to the insurance companies, and to the drug companies. Is what America supposed to be about, taking away health insurance from kids with disabilities, from people with cancer, in order to give tax breaks to billionaires?”
Barack Obama described H.R. 1628 as a “massive transfer of wealth” to the nation’s “richest people”; making his case on Facebook (emphasis added):
The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) derided H.R. 1628 as rich predation on the “middle class” and poorer Americans; pushing his narrative with a compliant George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week (emphases added):
But the bill is just devastating. And that’s what’s making it so hard for them to pass it. Here’s what it does. It kills the middle class and gives money to the wealthy. And let’s not forget one thing, George. The hard, hard right, these thousand very wealthy people have such dominance in the Republican Party, they have had two goals for decades.
One, reduce taxes on the rich. People who make over $1 million get an average of a $57,000 tax cut. Two, destroy the social safety for the middle class of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is the first step where they’re doing that in the Senate bill.
So that’s why there is such pressure on these Republicans, this narrow group of wealthy people with power. But the American people are crying out and saying no.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) framed H.R. 1628 as a theft of wealth by “billionaires” and “giant corporations”:
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) derided H.R. 1628 as a boon for America’s “wealthiest people” and “pharmaceutical companies,” making his case on Fox News Sunday:
What’s driving [H.R. 1628] is not health care reform, what’s driving this is a tax cut. A tax cut the Republicans insist on of about $700 billion for the wealthiest people in America and pharmaceutical companies. That is what the Republicans had to put in the plan to make it work for Republicans, and then they took the money out of health care, out of Medicaid, and that’s why we see 23 million Americans losing their health insurance. So, those at the highest income categories can get a tax break.
CNN’s Dana Bash — filling in for Jake Tapper as host of State of the Union — hyped reduced taxes for the “wealthiest Americans” as inherently problematic, asking Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price about H.R. 1628’s possible impact on his federal income tax payments:
It would slash taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Looking at the bill that came out of the House, billionaire investor Warren Buffett said that your plan would reduce his tax bill by $680,000. …
So, what’s the answer? How much would you save under the House and Senate bills?”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos hyped class warfare during his introductory monologue on This Week (emphasis added):
We know [H.R. 1628] follows the basic outline of the legislation passed by the House in May: repeal of the Obamacare taxes, those benefits flow largely to the wealthiest Americans, paid for by massive cuts, more than $800 billion, in the Medicaid public insurance program, which covers 1 in 5 Americans, 40 percent of poor adults.
NBC’s George Will — who is presented as a conservative across the news media landscape — echoed the left-wing and Democrat narrative of H.R. 1628: “This is a large tax cut for the wealthy.”
None of the Sunday show’s hosts — with the exception of Fox News Channel’s Brit Hume (filling in for Chris Wallace) on Fox News Sunday — inquired about the fiscal solvency of federal “social welfare” programs that ostensibly facilitate health care. No questions were asked about free market reforms, judicious administration of taxpayer funds, or moral hazards associated with diffusion of responsibility via state-driven redistributive “social welfare” programs.
ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN all present themselves as politically objective and non-partisan news media outlets.
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