Stalin, East Germany, and emancipation: The 12 dumbest takes (so far) on 22 million people losing health insurance

After a report on the Senate health care legislation by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showed that the Republican plan would lead to 22 million more uninsured Americans than under the Affordable Care Act, right-wing media figures either tried to spin the CBO report by saying it was “extremely positive,” or attacked and undermined the CBO’s integrity. From an East Germany analogy to the suggestion that senators simply “forget” the millions that will be uninsured, here are 13 of the worst right-wing CBO takes. 

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

1) Fox’s Ainsley Earhardt: The CBO report “was extremely positive.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/27/17]

2) Fox’s Eric Bolling: “The whole mainstream media will say, Oh, my God, 22 million people, [but] that’s over the course of a decade.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/27/17]

3) Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist: Discussing Americans who will be left without health insurance is “like referring to people being kicked out of East Germany when the wall came down.” [Fox Business Network, After the Bell, 6/26/17]

4) Fox’s Chris Stirewalt: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should “forget the 10 years out and 23 million this and that many billion -- that’s mostly flummery.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 6/27/17]

5) Senate health care bill consultant Lanhee Chen: “Yes, the 22 million [without insurance], that’s going to get all the headlines. People are going to be talking about that. Not really substantially different, though, from the House bill.” [MSNBC, Deadline: White House, 6/26/17]

6) Fox’s Bolling: “In the CBO scoring, besides the 20 million uninsured, … Planned Parenthood is defunded for a year and there’s a whole, whole heck of a lot of tax relief, so there’s some for both [sides].” [Fox News, The Fox News Specialists, 6/26/17]

7) Trump adviser Matt Schlapp: “It's ironic; it's many Democratic voters who say they are pro-choice and they should have the right to make health care decisions over their own body. Somehow, it's wrong when they decide, 'Hey, I'm going to make my own decision to not get health insurance.'” [Fox News, America's News Headquarters, 6/27/17]

8) Fox’s Greg Gutfeld: “We will now be compared to Stalin killing 22 million people. … We know the CBO exaggerates. [The number of uninsured will] probably be closer to five than 22.” [Fox News, The Five, 6/26/17]

9) Noted voting rights misinformer Kris Kobach: “I see that CBO score as a shot in the arm for the Republican bill. … They can say to their constituents the Senate bill is better.” [Fox News, The Fox News Specialists, 6/26/17]

10) Fox contributor Jonah Goldberg: “If I understand Nancy Pelosi correctly, that means 14 million people will be committing government-forced suicide.” [Twitter, 6/27/17]

11) National Review’s Doug Badger: The Senate bill will “emancipate” “23.2 million Americans who paid, avoided, or ignored the individual mandate … from IRS oversight, and liberate an additional 15 million people (if you believe CBO) from coverage they’d rather not have.” [National Review, 6/26/17]

12) Fox’s Jon Scott: If millions of Americans do not have health insurance, “that's kind of the American way.” [Fox News, Happening Now, 6/25/17]