From The NationThe White House falsely claims the Trump/Ryan Obamacare replacement scheme is what "everyone has been asking for."
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared to be imitating Melissa McCarthy's Saturday Night Live imitation of him when he tried to make the argument for replacing Obamacare with Trumpcare by placing a copy of the final version of the 974-page law next to the sketchy Republican substitute.
Forget about the contents, argued Spicer. "Our plan, in far fewer pages, 123 -- much smaller, much bigger -- so far we're at 57 for the repeal plan and 66 pages for the replacement portion. We'll undo this. And remember, half of it, 57 of those pages, are the repeal part. So when you really get down to it, our plan is 66 pages long, half of what we actually even have there."
"[Look] at the size. This is the Democrats, this is us. You can't get any clearer in terms of this is government, this is not," said Spicer during Tuesday's press briefing, as he moved back and forth, hovering over the two stacks of paper. "And I think that part of the reason the visual is important is that when you actually look at the difference, you realize this is what big government does.... I think the greatest illustration of the differences in the approaches is that size."
Needless to say, the Spicer "size" video went viral.
But it was another Spicer statement -- or, to be more precise, alternative fact -- that should have gone viral, that should have been noted by the reporters in the room, and by the commentators on the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with a scheme that Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva says "ends affordable healthcare," and that Congressman Keith Ellison says "hurts nearly all working Americans by gutting Medicaid, defunding Planned Parenthood, stripping protections and benefits and increasing costs." "At the same time," notes Ellison, "it provides a huge handout to the wealthy and insurance corporations. Which begs the question: who exactly are the Republicans trying to help with this legislation?"
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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.
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