I wrote here about a hard-hitting Obamacare ad that Americans For Prosperity is running in Michigan. The ad features Julie Boonstra, a Michigan resident who suffers from leukemia. Mrs. Boonstra had an excellent health care plan, which gave her access to top-notch doctors and the treatments that she needs. But she lost that coverage because of Obamacare. The ad targets Congressman Gary Peters, who voted for Obamacare. The ad is, as I wrote, devastating.
Now the Democrats are striking back. They are calling Mrs. Boonstra a liar, and are demanding that Michigan television stations stop broadcasting the ad–an implicit admission of how damaging it is to Peters, who is running for the Senate. The Democrats’ cease and desist letter was signed by two lawyers from the powerful Perkins, Coie firm in Washington, D.C. You can read their letter here. The Democrats, using a one-two punch, also apparently complained to Glenn Kessler, who writes the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” column.
The gist of the Democrats’ complaint is that Mrs. Boonstra has been able to acquire coverage under Obamacare that is just as good, and approximately as expensive, as what she had before. The lawyers for Peters’s campaign wrote in their cease and desist letter:
[T]here does not appear to be any evidence that the Affordable Care Act has made Ms. Boonstra’s plan, or health insurance plans generally, “unaffordable.” Ms. Boonstra has previously told the Detroit News that her monthly premiums were cut in half. Additionally, under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans have an out-of-pocket maximum, capping the total amount that an individual would ever have to pay for medical services in a year. The conclusion of the Washington Post is that Ms. Boostra’s savings in premiums alone will likely match her annual out-of-pocket expenses.
That seems right, as far as it goes: at the end of the year, the cost approximately breaks even. But it is far from the whole story. Recently Mrs. Boonstra went to pick up a critical medicine from her pharmacy, and found that it is no longer covered. So that turned into a major out-of-pocket expense. Moreover, under Mrs. Boonstra’s new policy, out-of-pocket expenses are accumulated rapidly, early in the year. Mrs. Boonstra, unlike so many Democrats, is not wealthy. The issue of when she incurs expenses–the ability to space them through the year–is, to her, an important element of affordability.
But here is the real point: Why is Mrs. Boonstra in this situation at all? She had health insurance coverage that she understood, with which she was perfectly happy, and which provided her with the critical medical services and medicines that she needs to have a chance to stay alive. She was lied to. President Obama told her, dozens of times, that if she liked her health insurance, she could keep it. Other Democrats, like Gary Peters, told her the same thing, even though they knew it was not true. They lied because they needed to lie to pass legislation to concentrate power in Washington. Now, as the result of the Democrats’ lies, Mrs. Boonstra, like millions of other Americans, has lost the insurance policy that she had, and is forced to scramble around to try to cobble together coverage, via a pathetically dysfunctional exchange system, in hopes that it might turn out to be nearly as good as the coverage the Democratic Party took away from her. She is still trying to figure out what her new plan will cost (and when) and what it will and will not cover, even as she continues to battle for her life.
That is a powerful story, one that the Obama administration, and its minions like Gary Peters, don’t want voters to hear. So the Democrats’ thugs are trying to silence Mrs. Boonstra. Contemptibly, the Obama administration’s lawyers have threatened to use the Democrat-dominated Federal Communications Commission to take away the licenses of television stations that run the AFP ad:
You have an obligation “to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising.” Licensee Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.C.2d 623 (1961). Failure to prevent the airing of “false and misleading advertising” may be “probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility” that can be cause for the loss of a station’s license. See Cosmopolitan Broad. Corp. v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1978).
In other words: Nice television station you’ve got here. Shame if anything should happen to it.
But here’s a thought: didn’t this television station, and every other television station in Michigan, broadcast speeches by President Obama and many other Democrats in which they said that if you like your plan, you can keep it? Wasn’t that false and misleading advertising? That isn’t even a matter of debate: it was a flat-out lie, endlessly repeated on television and through other media. Far from being “false and misleading advertising,” the Julie Boonstra ad, and others like it, are necessary correctives to the worst lies ever foisted on the American people.
And the Democrats know it. That is why they are hysterical at the prospect of free speech. At the idea that people can openly discuss and debate the merits of Obamacare. At the possibility that they might finally be called to account for their endless lies, and pay the price at the ballot box. To avoid that fate, there is no thuggery to which the Obama administration and the Democratic Party will not stoop.
Julie Boonstra, one more time:
PAUL ADDS: Perkins, Coie, whose lawyers sent this cease and desist letter, is the law firm of Bob “The Reckoning” Bauer. As general counsel to the Obama campaign, Bauer filed complaints against groups supporting Obama’s opponents (including Hillary Clinton) in order to intimidate them and (in his words) make it “rough on the donors.”
Bauer’s wife is Anita Dunn, the former director of communications at the White House. Dunn is best known for her attacks on Fox News.