Just as they did last year, Fox & Friends is ramping up another string of false attacks on the health care reform law as the anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) approaches. These smears also come as the Supreme Court begins its deliberations on the law's constitutionality. This morning, the show hosted serial health care misinformer and Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. to continue attacking the reform bill, this time by reviving the long-debunked claim that the PPACA is based on the British health care system, the National Health Service.
Co-host Steve Doocy introduced the segment by claiming that "[f]earing a financial meltdown, Great Britain's prime minister, David Cameron... [is] introducing a bill this week to partially privatize their own nationalized health care system. So is that proof that the president's new health care law [is] not working either?" Later in the segment, after asking if Cameron's bill could "be a preview of coming attractions here," Doocy claimed "We have apparently based parts of our system on their system and it's not working over there." Johnson concurred that we have the same kind of "government involvement "already now under Obamacare." Watch:
But Doocy and Johnson's characterizations of the PPACA, while consistently popular among the right-wing health care misinformers, are still completely false and demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of how health care and the health care marketplace works. The NHS is a system that more closely resembles the Veterans Administration system in America, in which doctors are employed by the government, and all health care is paid for by the government. The PPACA, by contrast, creates exchanges through which consumers can purchase affordable and comprehensive private or non-profit health care plans. Consumers, doctors, and private health care plans will continue to be the fundamental decision-making agents in all health care choices.
It should no longer come as any surprise that the right-wing media does not understand how health care systems work, or that their analysis of the PPACA is consistently flawed and misleading. These are the people who predicted that health care reform would destroy America, create death panels to kill the elderly, and destroy the economy.