Failures in Political Prophecy

ThinkProgress takes a look back at some of the predictions made by Republicans about the Affordable Care Act. If it passes, they declared, it will bankrupt the country, destroy the insurance industry completely, destroy jobs and send us into a huge recession. The opposite, of course, has happened.

1. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA): ‘It’s going to destroy our economy…It’s going to push us into a total economic collapse’ (October 8, 2013).

As TP points out, this was actually his attempt to walk back an even more inane comment he’d made the day before that Obamacare would “destroy America.”

2. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): Obamacare ‘will bankrupt our nation, and it will ruin our economy.’ (January 6, 2011).

And yet the deficit has gone way down in the last five years and the economy has gone way up.

3. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): ‘There will be no insurance industry left in three years.’ (October 12, 2010)

Reality: Insurance companies are liking Obamacare and more companies are signing up to offer policies in the insurance exchanges. And their profits have gone up.

4. Rush Limbaugh said Obamacare would cost the economy ‘2.5 million jobs minimum’ and would be a ‘literal tragedy’ (February 6, 2014)

The economy has actually added 3.2 million jobs just since Limbaugh made that prediction.

5. Glenn Beck: ‘This is the end of prosperity in America forever, if this passes. This is the end of America as you know it.’ (November 19, 2009)

Has Beck ever seen a policy he didn’t like that wasn’t the “end of America as you know it”? Even once?

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  • llewelly

    If only there was some kind of accountability for false prophets.

  • left0ver1under

    How interesting that the party of “voodoo economics” can’t figure out that it worked. Except that it wasn’t reduced taxes that increased profits, it was reduced waste and overhead.

  • raven

    The GOP also tried any way they could to actively sabotage the ACA.

    1. They lied a lot about the ACA to discourage people from signing up. Ran ads on national news media.

    2. Almost all GOP states refused to participte in it, and still do. No state exchanges, no Medicaid expansion. This is supposed to keep enrollment down so the ACA can fail.

    3. Last year, they shut the government down to try to kill the ACA. To destroy the USA to keep a few million people from buying private health insurance seemed to be overkill.

    None of this worked anyway The GOP is just evil but the people who needed the ACA were smart enough to ignore them and sign up in reasonable numbers.

  • teawithbertrand

    Paul Broun’s predictions didn’t come true? Sounds like “lies from the pit of hell” to me.

    The narrative I’ve heard lately from the RWNJ’s in my life is that Obama carefully crafted the ACA so that all these dire consequences (and more) will come to pass after he’s left office.

  • theguy

    “The economy has actually added 3.2 million jobs just since Limbaugh made that prediction.”

    But how could Limpballs’ prediction be wrong? He used numbers: decimals and shit! Scientific!


  • moarscienceplz

    This is the end of America as you know it.

    The end of the America where millions of its citizens are one health scare away from bankruptcy and homelessness? Good!

  • Nemo

    Not that I think these predictions were anything but inane (and mostly insincere), but if I were a Republican, I think my answer would be something like “It’s early yet.”

  • Area Man

    It’s a mistake to assume that they believed these predictions. If Obamacare were destined to fail, they would not have needed to go apeshit about it. There is generally an inverse relationship between how good a policy is and how stridently Republicans oppose it.

  • Area Man

    and would be a ‘literal tragedy’…

    As opposed to a metaphorical tragedy?

  • Area Man

    There is generally an inverse relationship between how good a policy is and how stridently Republicans oppose it.

    Um…make that a direct relationship.

  • dugglebogey

    Imagine how everything would have been without all that nasty obamacare holding it back?

    Holy shit did someone really say it would ruin insurance companies? The insurers LOVE obamacare! If I had a business I would love a law that required people to use my products.

  • grumpyoldfart

    The wise American public will never be fooled again by these hucksters.

  • busterggi

    But that’s exactly what happened in Right-Wing World, they say so a thousand times a day.