As heard on Fox: They’re giving us our old Hayes back!


Overheard as the analysts cheered: Conservative voters hear a lot of prime bullroar on Fox. Liberals should be looking for ways to tell them they’re being conned.

For that reason, the analysts sent up a long, lusty cheer last week. Chris Hayes was talking to Ben Domenech about the debt limit nonsense.

Along the way, Hayes described the way the world works—and he displayed some human feeling. When he made these remarks, the analysts loudly cheered:
HAYES (10/16/13): So here is my question. The conservative grass roots, which I would say you are a member of—and there are many people, I think, you know, rank and file members of conservative grass roots who I just substantively disagree with, find even their views dangerous and contemptible, but just good citizens like you and I, right? People of different backgrounds.

And I just want to say you are being played for a con. These hucksters tell you things that are false. They lie to you. Ted Cruz lies to you. Heritage Action lies to you. Everybody lies to you. There is a whole cottage industry before the election to tell you, “You are winning the election, they are losing.” They tell you your ideas are popular when they are not. They tell you your party is winning when it is not. They tell you the president is losing this and he looks terrible because people are stronger. At what point do grass roots conservatives stop allowing their leadership to lie to them
“They’re giving us our old Chris Hayes back,” one of the analysts cried.

Impossible! First, Hayes seemed to say that he can respect people whose views differ from his. He then described the way the world works:

Those people are getting lied to, conned, a large amount of the time!

What is the great moral failure of the pseudo-liberal world? We’d say it’s the inability to feel angry when regular people, however gullible, get lied to by the swells.

It isn’t like we liberals don’t get lied to by our leaders too! All last year, the leadership of the liberal world churned an astounding array of false and unfounded facts about the killing of Trayvon Martin.

We liberals didn’t know we were getting conned. That’s the way the world works!

Last week, when the analysts cheered, we quietly took them aside. We told them it would have been even better if Hayes had said something like this:
What Hayes actually said: At what point do grass roots conservatives stop allowing their leadership to lie to them?

What Hayes should have said: How can decent people work together to make the lying stop?
Some say we’re a dreamer. But, as Gallant said to Goofus, we’re not the only ones!

At any rate, conservative voters hear all kinds of bull on Fox. And then, just two nights ago, Chris Hayes did it again! He started his program like this:
HAYES (10/22/13): Good evening from New York. I’m Chris Hayes.

Republicans have been scoring a lot of cheap political points on Obamacare lately because, let’s face it, has made it easy to do. When for example your Web site doesn’t work, you leave yourselves open to attack.

But Obamacare also provides a convenient scapegoat to blame for all sorts of economic ills that either pre-existed or just have nothing to do with the health care law. Thanks to a new jobs report today, delayed by the government shutdown, tonight we have facts. One bit of data in particular might finally put one of the most insidious lies out of its misery, [the claim] that Obamacare is a job killer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (videotape): Larry, you say blame the health care law for the surge in part-time workers?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (videotape): Welcome to part-time nation. Not something we want to be proud of.

HAYES: “Obamacare is causing a rise in part-time employment.”

GRACE-MARIE TURNER (videotape): In order to comply with this law, they’re having to put people on part-time to save their company.

HAYES: You hear it everywhere.

STUART VARNEY (videotape): There’s been a shift in hiring patterns because Obamacare is coming.

HAYES: It’s a talking point repeated by pundits of all stripes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (videotape): You can all see the rise in part-time employment labor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (videotape): We are becoming something of a part-time employment country.

HAYES: On Fox News.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (videotape): We have also cut back on hiring full-time employees.

HAYES: And by Republican politicians ad nauseam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (videotape): Just when we need a full-time economy, America is becoming a part-time economy. These are the effects of Obamacare.
Trust us, that was just the beginning. On and on—and on and on—the repetitious videotape went. Hayes played tape of voice after voice after voice after voice, all declaring that Obamacare was causing workers to get bumped back to part-time work.

This ubiquitous claim never really made sense. New data show that it just isn’t happening. But the claim will surely keep getting repeated. That’s the way our society works.

As he opened his program that night, Hayes was displaying the basic architecture of American pseudo-discourse. The same thing happened all last year, when voice after voice after voice after voice conned the nation’s liberals by telling them, to cite one example of many, that George Zimmerman had been told not to get out of his car.

Liberals didn’t know that was a con. Conservatives don’t know that the claim about part-time work is a con. But as he played that repetitious tape, Hayes was displaying the architecture of our broken discourse and world.

What a pair of performances! Last week, it almost seemed that Hayes knew how to be offended when regular people who vote conservative get disinformed by the swells.

Very few liberals know how to do that. We are very bad people now too, with hate-filled leaders working hard to lead us far astray.

That’s what Hayes did last week. This week, he did something that should be done all the time. He played tape of people repeating a standard ubiquitous claim—a standard claim which is bogus.

Last week, the analyst cheered when they Hayes displayed some human feeling. “They’re giving us our old Hayes back,” one analyst gullibly shouted.


  1. So the duty of Hayes is to debunk views that his audience doesn't hold, and for this you applaud him?

    More to the point, in what way are mistaken factual claims (some quite trivial, but never mind) about the doings of George Zimmerman equivalent to false assertions and beliefs about public policy questions? Are you examining the knowledge base, or merely comparing attitudes?

    Of course, there are many false notions in discourse which passes as "liberal", but they're never critiqued here because they constitute analysis from the left, not the right, and don't satisfy the site's contrarian imperative.

    1. Anon 5:52

      Yes, Virginia, TDH is contrarian, with all the potential pitfalls that entails. If you want someone to tell you that you're morally superior to the other tribe, the WWW is vast and various. I wish you luck with your search.

    2. And where, in anything 5:52 has written is any claim of moral superiority to "the other tribe"? My you certainly do have that tenet of Bobism down pat.

      Honestly if this blog existed 60 years ago when Edward R. Murrow took down Joe McCarthy, Bob and his minions would have written, "There goes Murrow again, spinning tales about how morally superior our tribe is."

      As for Zimmerman, as we have seen with Campaign 2000, and now with Ripley, believe it or not, Bob has a tendency to beat horses well beyond death, scatter the bones after the corpse has long rotted, then, years later, go back and find the bones and beat them some more.

      Meanwhile, the rest of the world spins gloriously on without him.

    3. It wasn't Edward R. Murrow that took down McCarthy, unless you believe everything you see in the movies. It was the televising of the Army hearings and the suicide of Hunt. McCarthy pushed too far and was revealed for what he was. That was when the Senate censured him and his crusade ended. Murrow stood up against McCarthy but it was the public airing of McCarthy's activities on TV and the Army's defense of itself that put the nail in his coffin, not Murrow.

      As for Bob's repetitiveness, he writes as if readers here were drop-ins, not necessarily daily readers. He assumes that because the same messages appear in the press day after day, they need to be countered day after day, because this is a battle of attrition.

      Is it enough to say something once and then move on? Advertising and PR don't work that. Neither does Fox, where the same points are hammered over and over everywhere at once. Political campaigns give the same speech everywhere, run the same ads repeatedly. Why is Bob only supposed to say his message once? So he won't get through? To undermine his effectiveness as an opposing voice?

      I suspect the world would spin gloriously on without any of us, and certainly without you. Nice of you to point that out.

    4. The Murrow analogy probably isn't the best one, in any case: mainstream Republicanism today represents a far greater danger to civil society, as that term is understood in all other industrial democracies today (yes, "all", than McCarthy ever posed. Of course, the U.S. is also among the most corrupt of industrial democracies in modern times-- the convergence of the two features is not coincidental.

      This reality is, of course, completely unaddressed by this blog, where an innocent reader could be forgiven for thinking that this quaking epistolmological dispute is merely a show of bad manners, and that mutual respect and mass sing-a-longs would solve our problems.

    5. Anon 5:52,
      Zimmerman is the touchstone for whether commentators/pundits/political leaders are truthtellers or con artists. (Obama, Holder, NBC, CNN, Jeffrey Toobin, every black commentator on TV --- con artists or crazy,)

    6. The idea is not that mutual respect and mass sing-a-longs will solve our problems, but that in order to change opinions you have to get people to listen, and they do not listen when being disrespected.

      We have common cause and shared interests with people who are being lied to by Fox and conservative pundits. Insulting those people perpetuates powerful elites because it keeps us focused on factions instead of uniting to address our real problems, which affect us all despite the differences used to keep us from joining forces.

    7. 10:06, go back and study your history some more.

      See It Now aired "The Case of Milo Radulovich" on Oct. 20, 1953. It aired "A Report on Sen. Joseph McCarthy" on March 9, 1954.

      The Army-McCarthy hearings were held from April-June 1954. Sen. Hunt's suicide was June 19, 1954, and the cause, like all suicides, are extremely complex.

      The censure of Sen. McCarthy occurred on Dec. 2, 1954.

      Murrow was not the ONLY person who took down McCarthy, but what he did to him was certainly a take down. And it came early, at a time when McCarthy was receiving rather high favorability ratings in the polls which Murrow at the very least helped to reverse.

      So next time you accuse someone of getting their history from the movies, try looking things up so you don't look like such an utter foot.

      As for the rest of your display of tribal loyalty, yes there is a difference between returning to subjects as needed and beating a dead horse --- a distinction that is apparently lost on the few remaining Somerby loyalists.

    8. AnonymousOctober 25, 2013 at 4:34 AM,

      This blogger and Zimmerman - what a match made in heaven. He has been carrying brief for Z from day 1 - going on and on about how severe Z's injuries were and that "librulz" were lying about those injuries even before the trail.

      Then came manna from heaven - "Zimmerman was told not to get out of his truck" - the monstrous, Goebbelsian pure evil LIE told by librulz - especially highly paid librulz - has there ever been a worse travesty? How long will this golden oldie be played by this blogger?

      Perhaps until Z almost certainly self-destructs in the near future - I guess the blogger will then smoothly try not to talk about him.

      In the meantime - A Republican congressman - from the Holy Land of Texas says "I can't bear to look upon you" to HIS president who won reelection thumpingly - and the blogger can't be bothered to say anything about it. Come on blogger - can't you at least express pity for Sessions for having misinformation fed to him by Fox, Limbaugh et al ?

    9. By that metric of "How much attention does national media give the issue?" the Zimmerman case was far more important than any public policy questions.

    10. Anon5:23, I wouldn't call airing a show within a few months of the Army hearings as particularly early in McCarthy's reign of terror. I would say Murrow jumped on the bandwagon when it became increasingly obvious that McCarthy was out of control and needed to be stopped. He performed a service by publicizing what was happening to a broader public, but he didn't take down McCarthy in any sense.

      In CA, the Army hearings were broadcast after the 11 pm nightly news every evening. My parents stayed up to watch them. But they happened long after many in Hollywood lost their jobs. McCarthy didn't only affect actors and directors. His Red Scare cost my father his job, simply because my mother was taking lessons in Russian language in night school. It didn't take much to be under suspicion in those days. So, that isn't history for me -- it was part of my life.

    11. Re Republican Congressman who hates to "look upon" Obama. I can't stand the sight of him myself. Also could not stand the sight of Bush. Is this the best we can do? Its too bad.

  2. Since Fox news wasn't the only place this idea of jobs being lost was repeated (I saw it on CBS Evening News), your assertion that liberal audiences don't hold that view may be mistaken. I think it is the duty of any pundit, commentator or journalist to inform the public of truth, even if it means debunking what is being said elsewhere. How can that be wrong?

    1. And members of the public can watch C-SPAN, where the canard is repeated at least daily.

  3. So, is Obamacare causing a surge in part-time employment? According to the Christian Science Monitor, the word "surge" may be too strong, but the ACA may be causing an increase in part-time employment, particularly in certain industries:

    But in specific low-wage industries, such as bakeries, social assistance to elderly and disabled, and home improvement stores, as Investor’s Business Daily points out, the work week has fallen to record lows for nonmanagers. Thus, the economic effect might fall hardest on workers who were supposed to be the biggest beneficiaries of health-care reform: less-educated Americans working part time in low-paid jobs.

    All this is guesswork, admittedly, based on figures that could be revised up or down in the months to come. The Obama administration pushed back the mandating of health benefits until next year. Until it’s in effect, we really won’t know for sure whether health reform will create a growing share of part-time workers.

    “It is very volatile data,” Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, told reporters in a conference call Thursday. “It’s much too early to conclude that there’s a shift going on.”

    That last point should be emphasized. We won't really know the impact until the ACA is fully in effect.

    1. Yes, this illustrates the fact that this claim is being presented lots of places, but it doesn't provide empirical support for it. The comment by Zandi is "It's much too early to conclude..." which means there is no evidence this is happening. There is no evidence of such a shift in any of the employment data despite a bunch of anecdotes and lies about it.

      You do not get to claim a trend must be occurring -- it is just too early to see it yet. You only get to claim such a trend is occurring when it is measurable. If it is not measurable, it doesn't exist.

      This report claims we won't know until it is implemented, but others are claiming there are already layoffs and reductions in time occurring. I've seen those interviews myself. If it were anything more than a few misguided people here or there (or propaganda), it would show up in employment figures. It isn't there. Volatile data means it changes rapidly. If there were such a trend happening, the fact that the data is volatile means it should be visible. It isn't.

  4. No one knows what the status of the ACA/Obamacare law will be 2 years from now. "Liberals" won't admit that but they all know it. The law relies on young, healthy, non-subsidized people signing up, i.e., a voluntary act. What happens if they don't?

    I don't know what to make of what Bob sees as "conservative" fear-mongering or conning. But its certainly true that the proObama side is conning people that theres no potential problems.

    1. What happens if non-subsidized people don't sign up? They'll be assessed a penalty at tax time, so there's no benefit to not signing up.

      It is only inside your skull that people who want the ACA to work says there are no potential problems. There are. It turns out that people who live in rural areas pay a lot more for insurance because there's little to no competition. It turns out that insurance companies are buying hospital systems and using that leverage to screw their insurance competitors while keeping prices high. It turns out that a combine of about five companies arranges to price artificial joints at $15K per. The items cost around $300 to manufacture.

      Will there be problems? Sure. What's your alternative to the current system that keeps insurance costs accelerating and enlarges the pool of the uninsured?

    2. The penalty is much much less than what insurance would cost them.

      And politically there is a problem with assessing them taxes. Wait and see. Maybe you are too young to remember the Catastrophic Care addition to Medicare that was passed with great fanfare in the 80s but did not go into effect until 1989. Thats when people on Medicare found out that they were the ones who would be paying for it. It was repealed very quickly.

  5. It's great to see that the "conservatives" here are now debating whether Obamacare will create jobs or not, having implicitly conceded that it won't, as Repubs have long insisted, kill the American economy.

    Now if we could just get you to concede that your main beef with Obamacare is the horrible notion, sufficient to destroy sleep forever, that people who don't earn much money will actually get health insurance for the first time, as in every other industrial democracy, we'd be making real progress.

    As for Moody's, and the reliability of its forecast -- you mean the organization which rated junk mortgage bonds AAA? And about which Warren Buffet said, when asked if he would seek reforms there in the face of the catastrophe, , that he never tampers with a success business model?

    Then again, "conservatives" who regard George Zimmeran as the touchstone for accuracy in media likely won't have any quarrels with Moody's. Lionel, you do a great service to American polity, by openly stating views your cohorts also share but won't admit to.

  6. AnonymousOctober 25, 2013 at 11:34 AM wrote:
    Now if we could just get you to concede that your main beef with Obamacare is the horrible notion, sufficient to destroy sleep forever, that people who don't earn much money will actually get health insurance for the first time, as in every other industrial democracy, we'd be making real progress.

    Imputing bad motives without evidence is disgusting. Suppose an ACA critic wanted to use that tactic Anon. He could ask you to concede that you support the ACA because it will provide worse medical care for millions of people, and you're happy to see people die.

    This game is easy, but it doesn't lead anywhere.

    1. It's totally shady and thank you for calling Anon on it, David.

    2. Yeah. Its a kind of passive aggressive thing with "liberals" (totalitarian liberals which should be a contradiction): if you don't want to spend money the way they want to spend money, you are bad.

  7. I agree, absolutely, David in Cal, that grudging poor working people health insurance is disgusting, but this conclusion is not speculative.

    A certain Mr. Romney ran an entire presidential campaign on the notion that nearly half the population -- including the currently uninsured -- are government moochers. And there are open admissions among Repubs, even now, that Obamacare will create a even permanent class of moochers, who will vote Democratic.

    Of course, you for your part can attribute any motive you wish to supporters of Obamacare, but the claim that it will result in worse medical care, and that supporters actively seek worse medical care, is your fantasy, not theirs, on two counts: that care will be worse, and that worse care is the object of supporters. By contrast, Republican hostility to providing care to the poor and middle-class has a long history, going back to Medicare.

    1. Romney most certainly did not run his campaign on the idea that half the country are moochers. It was something he said at a private function.

      It is true that Republicans don't want to expand the number of people who want to thank Democrats for government services, but these same Republicans supported Medicare Part D, just a half dozen years ago.

    2. Exactly, JoshSN -- Romney's policies were all built on the moocher line, but of course he wouldn't openly advertise it. That revelation was for big donors only, but was clearly seen in the his policy prescriptions.

    3. And as for Medicare Part D -- you really believe Republicans supported that provision out of compassion, when Republican govenors are refusing billions in Federal aid to cover the poor?

    4. JoshSN,

      Those weren't the same Republicans.

      You've got two choices here -- venality or stupidity. Either Republicans have knowlngly declared war on the uninsured or they're dumb enough to believe teahadist crap. We know which one DAinCA is going for. You too, eh?

  8. Republican hostility to providing care to the poor and middle-class has a long history, going back to Medicare.

    Not quite. I think you mean
    Republican hostility to THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT providing care to the poor and middle-class has a long history, going back to Medicare.

    Republicans are more generous in terms of charitable giving than Democrats. E.g., see

    States that voted Republican in the last presidential race are far more likely to be generous to charities than those voting Democratic, a report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy suggests.

    1. The federal government isn't providing care to the poor and middle class. The federal government is subsidizing some members of the poor and middle class so that they can purchase medical insurance and thereby obtain care from the usual providers of medical treatment.

      If you factor out church tithing, republicans are not more charitable.

    2. Why would you ignore church tithing? Churches use their resources to aid the poor and needy.

    3. DAinCA,

      Churches use their resources to aid the needy? That's adorable. The Catholic Church uses its resources to pay judgments in sexual abuse cases. The Mormon Church uses its resources to try to kill marriage equality. Evangelical churches use their resources to annoy other at home and abroad by proselytizing. Westboro Baptist church uses its resources to harass the bereaved.

      States that voted Republican have lots of Democrats; states that voted Democratic have lots of Republicans. Unless we know who gave how much to charity, it's impossible to know who's more generous.

      But perhaps all those blue states didn't have enough money left over for charity after their taxes went to red states.

  9. Ah, heck. Liberals are always being told by the nastiest people how nice they have to be. Bag it!

  10. Yes, the Trayvon Martin issue did give a good example of liberal foolishness...Primarily from one named Bob Somerby who pretended that Zimmerman's repeated lies, bad character, unjustified stalking, and provoking of a guy talking on his cell phone counted for nothing since it was a black kid wearing a hoodie.

    1. Anonymous @ 11:19P,

      My! Aren't you the poster boy for TDH's screed about the Zimmerman trial.

      TDH didn't write about Zimmerman's "lies" because, assuming Zimmerman lied, that wasn't germane to his point about getting basic facts correct. TDH didn't write about Zimmerman's "bad character," because, assuming Zimmerman's character was bad, that couldn't be probative for anything that happened that night. That's why character can't be issue at trial.

      You, yourself might try getting your facts correct, even if you can't control your prejudices.

      There's no evidence that Zimmerman "stalked" Martin. Certainly, not in the legal sense. And not in the vernacular sense of a predator stalking prey. Otherwise, Zimmerman was the first stalker to get punched out by his victim. There's no law against following someone in a public place.

      There's no evidence that Zimmerman provoked Martin. No one knows what precipitated the fight after the two confronted each other. Absent a threat, there's no law against confronting someone in a public place either.

    2. Deadrat, you are an idiot. The very notion that the fact that Zimmerman lies weren't "germane" is retarded. When the killer lies on essentially every point, you must throw out the self serving offal that deep throats like you suck in, like how the final conflict began.

      You have no evidence whatsoever that Z was the first one struck, other than the claims of the killer, who changed his story every time the police or Hannity warned him he wasn't believable.

      That leaves you with the admission against interest of Zimmerman that the conflict began when Trayvon asked why Z was after him, Z refused to answer, and Z grabbed for his gun. Manslaughter.

    3. You have no evidence whatsoever that Z was the first one struck

      There's no evidence that Trayvon Martin was ever struck. Unlike Z, M had no injuries consistent with having been struck.

      Of course, M was shot to death. But, nobody would argue that M was shot to death before he beat up Z.

    4. "Zimmerman's lies" -- The jury heard it all and believed Zimmerman because Zimmerman's version was internally consistent and consistent with the facts. Moreover, it made sense. If you watched the trial, the prosecution not only did not make sense but their witnesses contradicted each other and at the end of the trial, the prosecutor himself admitted that Martin was beating Zimmerman, actually brought out a dummy and acted Martin's part.

    5. Anonymous @ 9:32A,

      I may be an idiot, but unlike you, I'm familiar with both the evidence and the law.

      I think Zimmerman lied. And the prosecution did its best to use his narrative against him. It was an uphill battle since 1) he didn't testify and couldn't be cross-examined, and 2) he killed the only rebuttal witness. When I say his credibility wasn't germane, I mean it wasn't germane to the issue of TDH's blog entries. No one can know for sure what and how much of Zimmerman's statements are untrue, but we can know certain facts. You and many journalists simply ignore those facts, and that's what TDH complains about. If you think that TDH is interested in analyzing Zimmerman's behavior or assessing Zimmerman's guilt, you've missed the point of his blog.

      The only evidence that anybody has that Z was struck first comes from Z himself, and that's obviously suspect. But even if M struck Z first, that wouldn't necessarily have been illegal. If M had reasonably believed that Z presented a threat to his own life and safety, M was under no legal obligation to wait for Z to attack. M's preemptive strike would have been legal even if he was reasonably mistaken.

      Z did not say that M asked why he, Z, was after him. Z claimed M said "You got a problem." Z did not report that he refused to answer; Z said he answered "No." Z did not say that at that point he grabbed for his gun; Z said he reached in his pocket for his phone. All of this is self-serving, but absolutely none of it is an admission against interest.

      Zimmerman's statement to the police is one of the few pieces in the whole episode that we can be absolutely sure of. We actually have Zimmerman's signed statement of his account. And you're 0 for 3 in making claims about that statement.

      Which one of us is the idiot again?

  11. deadrat wrote: What happens if non-subsidized people don't sign up? They'll be assessed a penalty at tax time, so there's no benefit to not signing up.

    The penalty is much smaller than the insurance premium. Furthermore, it can only be collected from an income tax refund. If you don't overpay your estimated tax + withholding, you won't actually have to pay a penalty.

    What's your alternative to the current system that keeps insurance costs accelerating and enlarges the pool of the uninsured?

    My personal alternative would be a chain of clinics, locally run, that provide basic medical care at affordable cost. I have a vague memory of being treated at such a clinic in the Bronx in the late 1940's. In addition, I'd pass a law that hospitals and pharmacies have to charge the same price to all. Under the current system, the government or insurance company gets an enormous discount. If you don't have insurance you pay full price.

    1. DAinCA,

      Is there no bottom to your foolish ignorance? About your chain of clinics: Go here:

      The penalty starts out low to avoid dinging people during the inevitable confusion surrounding a new law. It eventually rises to 2.5% of income exceeding the threshold for filing a tax return. There can be neither criminal sanctions nor liens, but the penalty is collected under a particular section of the tax code that allows the IRS to double the original penalty when confronted with a refusal to pay.

    2. Right and watch all holy hell break loose when they start trying to enforce a sizable penalty. Catastrophic Care addition to Medicare had to be abandoned when people found out it was not free and that they would be charged for it based on income.

    3. The Catastrophic Care addition to Medicare did not provide for catastrophic care in spite of its name, the additional taxes cost more than they were worth, and they applied to all Medicare recipients. There are about 48M uninsured people in the country. Of course, not all of them will end up insured, but the CBO says that only about 4M would wind up paying the penalty.

    4. Obviously, thats the CBO's prediction of what will happen based on the CBO's assumptions about human behavior! In the late 80's, the CBO made assumptions about how the cost of the Catastrophic Care bill would go down. They had it all figured out because there job is to find a way to say "This is whats going to happen.,"

    5. The CBO doesn't predict human behavior. It reports statistics and makes estimates. I'm guessing that was true back in the day with the Catastrophic Care change to Medicare, and that as usual you're just making up a report by the CBO on how the costs "would go down" with retirees. There are 48+M uninsured in this country. Let's assume that the 4M who would face the penalty are part of that 48M. To a first order, that means that the natural constituency for those who might benefit from the ACA outnumbers by eleven to one those who don't want insurance.

      Not everybody in the 48M will be covered of course, and of those who are, not all will be satisfied. Just as not all of the 4M will decide facing and fighting penalties is worth going without insurance.

      No one really knows what will happen, but the comparison with the Catastrophic Care episode is specious.