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A response to Rep. Goodlatte's letter to constituents

By Andy Schmookler

U.S. Congressman Robert W. "Bob" Goodlatte, R-Va., sent a grossly misleading email to 6th District voters following the Supreme Court's decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

With leaders -or misleaders--like Goodlatte telling lie after lie about "Obamacare," it's no wonder that half the American people tell pollsters they're confused about that important piece of legislation. The deception from Bob Goodlatte and his Republican buddies started with phrases like "death panels" and "government takeover" of health care, and this fear-mongering dishonesty continues.

No wonder so many people tell pollsters they're against this health care reform law, yet if told what's in it, they say they strongly favor most of those measures. The demonization of "ObamaCare" has worked.

How about the truth, for a change?

No, ObamaCare does not add to the national debt. It pays for itself, according to numerous experts. Indeed, the well-respected nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office--whose job is to tell the American people how much laws and spending will cost them -- has said that over its first decade, the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit not raise it.
No, ObamaCare is not a job-killer. That's something Goodlatte and his Republican buddies have made up, shamelessly, while they've systematically blocked every effort in Congress to put Americans back to work.

No, this law does not make "massive cuts to Medicare," as Goodlatte claims, trying to scare people who depend upon Medicare. In reality, the law slows the growth in Medicare spending by encouraging greater efficiency and eliminating waste and fraud in the program, taking nothing from the people who rely on it. The law actually enhances Medicare, closing the donut hole and adding new preventive benefits. You'd never know that from Goodlatte's scare-tactics and misinformation.

It's blatant hypocrisy for Bob Goodlatte to lecture us about protecting Medicare and reducing the deficit when he has twice voted for the Ryan budget, which would gut Medicare in order to fund yet another big tax cut for the wealthiest Americans while ensuring huge deficits for decades to come.

Instead of accepting the Supreme Court's decision and moving on, Goodlatte promises to fight to repeal the only health care reform measure Congress has been able to enact for generations--even though we Americans pay twice as much for our medical care as the citizens of any other advanced country and get a health care system that doesn't even rank in the top twenty.

It's an imperfect law, but one that we need our legislators to improve and build upon, not demonize it for partisan advantage.

Goodlatte concedes that we have to bring our health care costs under control. When Goodlatte claims he has an approach that could help, his constituents should ask him: "So, why have you and your party done nothing about this for the past 20y years -nothing but obstruct-- while you've been collecting your salary as our representative, as well as receiving federal health care benefits that are denied to many of us?"

Perhaps we should also ask Bob Goodlatte who exactly he's representing up there on Capitol Hill. It surely isn't the citizens, families, farmers, workers, and small-business owners of the 6th District, who are burdened by rising health care costs and increasing insecurity about getting proper medical care.

Maybe Bob Goodlatte's latest message is good politics since the Republican lie machine has convinced so many people that they will be hurt, and not helped, by the Affordable Care Act.

But we need members of Congress who are about more than "good politics." We need them to look out for their citizens, and not peddle fear-mongering lies to trick people into voting against their own self-interest.

We need leaders dedicated to telling people the truth, for a change. I'm promising to do just that, and I keep my promises.

Andy Schmookler is the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia's 6th Congressional District.


Andy Schmookler is a breath of fresh air. It would be great to have a representative who works for the people.

You will get my vote. The good ole boys have got to go!

I'm with you Diana! I think we have all had enough of the far right's blatant lies to the American people! Andy Schmookler has my vote as well!

Andy, you have my vote. I am so ready for truth! CBO was thorough, covering several possible outcomes. Cherry picking unlikely outcomes to scare people is unacceptable. The World Health Organization ranked our country #1 (highest) in health care spending and only 37TH in overall quality provided. I would like for all of our representatives to work together to improve that sad, budget-wrecking status.

Thank you. We need our representatives to care less about their own ambitions and more about meeting the needs of our people and our nation.

One of our needs is for a health system that gives the American people excellent care at an affordable cost.

What we've got now is one that threatens to bankrupt America's families, its businesses, and its government.

This problem has been clear as day for all the twenty years that Bob Goodlatte has been in office. But he's done nothing about it but try to prevent anything being done.

And here we have this idea that was a conservative idea, coming out of the Heritage Foundation; that was first floated by the Republicans in the Senate, when they were killing President Clinton's effort to reform health care; that was instituted in Massachusetts by the man who is the Republican nominee for president-- and what do we get from the Republicans?

They raise the alarm as though this were somehow some radical "socialist" idea that must be destroyed at all costs. (It's the opposite of a socialist solution: the Heritage Foundation-- which was to the right of Ronald Reagan-- proposed it as a way of covering all Americans while MAINTAINING THE PRIVATE HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY.)

So you know there's nothing honest about all this hue and cry.

And we also know why they're doing it: the Republicans decided even before Barack Obama was inaugurated that they would do everything they could to make him fail.

Even though the president's failure --at a time of national crisis-- would mean that the nation itself failed!

That's just the opposite of patriotism. The patriot sacrifices his own interest for the good of the country. Bob Goodlatte and his buddies have repeatedly sacrificed the good of the country for their own partisan advantage,

I'm running because I cannot accept having power wielded in our country in such an immoral spirit. And I'm encouraged to see that a great many people in our District are tired of that kind of politics as well.

Andy, I'm sure not rich but if you need some "worker bees" - put the word out, I can help. :)

Bob Goodlatte ran for office on the basis of term limits. He would only serve two terms because longer than that and you'd become a "crony." That was his promise to us. He's broken that promise, and most others he's made to us (for our own good, of course). The man has said anything and lied from day one. Why should he stop now, he's got a winning formula.

What went wrong between Goodlatte being on the outside looking in and being on the inside looking out -- then and now? Flip-flopping Goodllatte once firmly believed term limits were a good thing.... until he became one of the card carrying Good Old Boys, part of the problem, not part of the solution. If he can say "No" to affordable healthcare, I will say "NO" to giving him my vote.

If you drink the Kool-Aid and re-elect Goodlatte it will resemble taking me off my meds, giving me six no-limit credit cards and the keys to a well-stocked liquor store.


Great points Andy! I plan on carrying a copy of this everywhere I go. Once you start to mention no more pre-existing conditions and you explain no more lifetime caps, people start to like it. The problem is getting through the months of lies told by Fox Commentary Channel and the GOP.

Diana get in contact with Tony Dorell, chairman of the Shenandoah County Democratic Committee.

Pays for itself? You mean the fifteen new taxes, including 3% right off the top of the entire sale price when you sell your house -- no matter how poor you are?

Obama and Pelosi lied, of course -- as the Supreme Court decision (so welcomed by Obama and Pelosi) duly noted. Only in their ideological dream world are they "happy" to have been outted as profound prevaricators (= bald-face liars).

Obamacare is actually the biggest tax hike in American history (possibly world history, but I won't haggle on that one) -- all disguised under the attractive cover of "health care." A classic shell-game for the power-hungry.

As for Goodlatte, he a cipher, not a leader. What a zero. He will not lift a finder to help the Valley. He may as well live in a different time zone.

We will miss Frank Wolf, who was actually an active and helpful member of Congress who really did his best to represent the Valley.

As for Mr Schmookler being a "breath of fresh air," here's your Breathalyzer test: will he vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House?

That's all you need to know. Ask him. Get him on the record.

Because if he says "yes," the Breathlyzer registers not "fresh air," but halitosis.

In order to cool your ardor, you might want to recall what P.J. O'Rourke said back when Hillary was selling her version of the death panels in 1993:

"If you think health are is expensive, just wait 'til it's free!"

ObamaTax, formerly known as ObamaCare, will do nothing for health care, but it will impoverish us all, especially those on fixed incomes and the poor.

Welcome to the Third World. Enjoy your "fresh air" -- while it's free, of course.

Thank you for providing the answers nobody was waiting for.

Once again the far right wing fever swamp comes up with nothing but noxious vapor, threatening to make us eat broccoli... but not cauliflower (because its white). And who doesn't like Romney's 59 point plan that deliberately avoids all the big issues?

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld RomneyCare. And Obama has earned another 4 years in the White House... to find his real birth certificate and enlist the EPA to regulate that thing living on top of Trumps head.



I really wonder how people continue to believe that the Affordable Care Act is a tax on the middle class when the only people who pay the penalty are the ones who choose not to purchase insurance - the ones who, when a health crisis occurs, will be the first ones in line at their local hospital's emergency room - the place that is obligated to provide care but who have no choice but to pass the costs incurred by the uninsured onto everybody else.

How does the right square their hyperbole with fact? Obama bashers continue to make overreaching statements like "Obamacare is the biggest tax hike in American History..." yet they offer no evidence to back up their claims. Saying something often enough and loudly enough doesn't make true - it simply makes the person pushing the misinformation look like a Fox bobble-head. Turn off cable news for a while and try reading legitimate, non-partisan information - it's out there, you just have to have enough intellectual curiosity to want to take advantage of a point of view different from the one you've been programmed to trust.

Isopod Lover says "-----fifteen new taxes including 3% right off the entire sale price when you sell your house---no matter how poor you are". REALLY?? Isopod Lover, your statement is FALSE.

According to the nonpartisan site FactCheck----"The truth is that only a tiny percentage of home sellers will pay the (3.8%) tax. First of all, only those with incomes over $200,000.00 a year ($250,000.00 for married couples filing jointly) will be subject to it. And even for those who have such high incomes, the tax still won't apply for the first $250,000.00 on profits from the sale of a personal residence---or the first $500,000.00 in the case of a married couple selling their home."

FactCheck gave one example of an "empty nester" couple with combined income of over $250,000.00 a year who sell their $1 million dollar primary residence to move to smaller quarters. If they cleared $600,000.00 profit on the sale, they would be taxed on $100,000.00 of the profit (the amount over the $500,000.00 exclusion). Their health care tax on the sale would amount to $3,800.00 over and above the usual capital gains levy. That is a far cry from the gross distortion you have stated.

For their source of information, FactCheck used The Joint Committee on Taxation, the group of nonpartisan tax experts that congress relies on to analyze tax proposals and also William Ahern, director of policy and communications for the nonprofit, pro-business tax foundation.

As the saying goes, we are all entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts.

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