You know what you will never see in Kentucky (and a Google and Nexis search confirms this)? The Kentucky Democratic Party sending out a press release slamming the blatant dishonesty, distortions and hypocrisy of Sen. Mitch McConnell. Apparently, they are scared to death of him. Or they just like him, I don’t know.
But really, look for yourself. You won’t find it. (at least from 2009 on, and if you do, please share)
But you know who is willing to do that? Rep. John Yarmuth.
And last week, Yarmuth sent a four page letter to McConnell that absolutely blistered him over the distortions and flat out lies he spewed in a Courier Journal op-ed a couple weeks ago about the Affordable Care Act.
We’ll have the full text below, but here’s just a taste at the beginning:
As Members of Congress, I believe we have an obligation to give our constituents the full facts about the law. When distortions and misinformation are allowed to displace the facts, each individual and every business in our state is left at a disadvantage that could cost them time, money, or much worse: their health.
Yarmuth then goes point by point through five inaccuracies of McConnell’s op-ed. Here’s the second one, as McConnell shamelessly distorts a poll to claim something that the poll does not even come close to claiming:
2. “A recent Gallup survey found that 48 percent of small businesses are not hiring now for fear of the potential cost of this law, and just as many are not hiring over concerns of government regulations on health care.”
Not true. In fact, the poll you mention did not include any questions about the Affordable Care Act or government regulations related to health care. You even misstate the premise of the poll: It only surveyed business owners who are not planning to hire, not all small-business owners as you suggest.
The same Gallup poll reports that “small-business owners’ hiring intentions are currently the best they have been since January 2008” (emphasis theirs), and that U.S. economic confidence is approaching its highest levels in the past four years.
Your claim is a significant distortion of public opinion. Health care, generally speaking, was the fifth response in a list of eight included in the poll. The overwhelming reason these small-business owners weren’t looking to hire was that they “don’t need any additional employees at this time.”
This is not a matter of interpretation but one of fact. Here is the poll for your reference:
And here’s the big finish, where Yarmuth calls a spade a spade, and challenges to an Affordable Care Act Debate Duel:
Unfortunately, misrepresentations like those in your editorial have prevented some Americans from taking advantage of the important benefits already available under the Affordable Care Act. For example, 4.4 million small-business owners are now eligible for health care tax credits, yet only 360,000 have used them. These credits cover 35 percent of health care costs for small-business owners and up to 50 percent starting in 2014.
Still, we continue to hear – from you and other Republican leaders – false messages that the law will hurt small businesses. In perpetuating such myths, you are placing millions of small businesses at a competitive disadvantage by withholding and distorting the facts about provisions of the law that directly and substantially benefit them.
In 2009, at the height of the national debate over the Affordable Care Act, I hosted a town hall meeting where our shared constituents in Louisville could ask me about any aspect of health care reform. We had a robust and constructive discussion. While I understand that your role in Senate leadership makes scheduling such events difficult for you, I want to reiterate my offer for you to join me in a public discussion of these issues, which are of great concern and consequence to our constituents. They deserve the opportunity to hear all the facts of the law, not false claims and irresponsible distortions.
I hope you will work with me to ensure that our constituents can make the most informed decisions about their health care and their businesses as the policies of the Affordable Care Act continue to take effect.
Mitch McConnell, you’ve been served.
The Kentucky Democratic Party? You too.
Here’s the full letter below, at your clickable pleasure: