Saturday, October 10, 2020

The V.P. Debate -- NY Times

David Leonhardt of the NY Times opines on the Oct. 7 debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris. Finding a more biased opinion favoring Harris would not be easy. Here is a transcript of the debate.

Both Harris and Leonhardt insist Biden will only raise income taxes on incomes of more than $400,000 a year. They ignore Biden's saying that he will reverse Trump's tax cuts. So both are lying and Pence noted it in the debate. His saying "on day one" is of no consequence.

Harris: "On day one, Joe Biden will repeal that tax bill."

Two minutes later, Pence: "Senator Harris tell you, on day one Joe Biden's gonna raise your taxes."

Harris: "That’s not what I said."

Two minutes later, Harris again blatantly contradicts herself: "Biden has been very clear. He will not raise taxes on anybody who makes less than $400,000 a year."

Harris absurdly claimed that Trump/Pence will take away health insurance from people who have pre-existing conditions. Harris' vague lie said, "you have Donald Trump who is in court right now trying to get rid of – trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which means that you will lose protections, if you have pre-existing conditions. ... If you have a pre-existing condition, heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, they're coming for you."

Leonhardt says, "The administration has repeatedly attempted to take health insurance away from Americans." It includes a link to a tweet that is a big lie.

Trump/Pence have not done or advocated such a thing. They got rid of one small part of the Affordable Care Act, the mandate to buy health insurance and penalties for non-compliance. They did nothing to eliminate the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges or hamper people with pre-existing conditions. Insurers on the Obamacare health insurance exchanges cannot refuse an applicant for pre-existing conditions and are prevented by law from ending somebody's coverage because the insured has pre-existing conditions.

Insurers who sell Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement policies cannot refuse coverage to a person when they first become eligible for Medicare. Medicare itself does not deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. These rules concerning Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement policies existed long before the Affordable Care Act. A total repeal of the Affordable Care Act would not change these facts.

There are plenty of other lies, distortions, and half-truths from Harris that Leonhardt omitted. An annoying one was Harris's portrayal of the response in the U.S. to the coronavirus as being dictated and entirely controlled by Trump and Pence. Harris completely ignored the role of the CDC, FDA, state governments, and governors such as Cuomo of New York, Whitmer of Michigan, and Murphy of New Jersey, all Democrats who forced nursing homes to take Covid patients. Pence did not invoke this.

There are plenty of other lies, distortions, and half-truths in Harris's claims and Leonhardt's article, about which I am refraining from saying more.

Leonhardt: "Post-debate instant polls: 59 percent thought Harris won, 38 percent thought Pence won, CNN’s poll found."  Gimme a break. Consider the source. There are plenty of polls saying that Pence won.  

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