Harry Reid Accuses Republicans of Telling 'Outright Lies' About Obamacare

Susan Jones | February 27, 2014 | 5:54am EST
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says despite all the "good news" about Obamacare, "there's plenty of horror stories being told, all of them untrue -- but they're being told all over America."

In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, Reid complained that Republicans, with help from wealthy donors -- he named the Koch brothers -- are telling "tall tales" and "outright lies" about Obamacare in stump speeches and political advertisements.

"Republicans may need tall tales and outright lies to convince people that Obamacare's bad for them -- but Democrats -- we don't have to make things up," Reid said."

To illustrate his point, Reid read a letter from Jane Thomas, one of his Nevada constituents, who was able to quit her job as a school teacher "thanks to Obamacare."

"This story is true," Reid said. "For years, Jane was locked into a job as a school teacher because she, (her husband) and her two teenage children needed guaranteed health insurance. And it cost a lot. But Jane was able to quit her teaching job, spend more time with her children, and help her husband with the family's small business. Jane says the Affordable Care Act has literally changed her life."

Reid blasted the wealthy Koch brothers for helping Republicans spread their "lies" about Obamacare:

"These two brothers are trying to buy America," Reid charged. "They funnel money into all kinds of organizations that do the same thing that they're doing...I don't believe America's for sale. We'll see..."

Reid said Democrats have their own stories to tell -- "true stories -- true stories of average Americans whose lives have changed for the better because of the Affordable Care Act.

Get out of your 'bubble,' Harry

Reid's comments drew a sharp rebuke from some of his fellow senators.

"The only thing that’s 'untrue' are the many promises the President made when he tried to sell the nation on Obamacare," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in a statement.

“It’s not insult enough that Texans and Americans across the country are losing their health care plans or seeing their hours cut at work because of Obamacare. Now the most powerful Democrat in Congress has said Americans' personal horror stories about Obamacare 'are untrue' -- not just some, but 'all of them.'"

Cornyn told the story of a Texas man in his 50s who lost his existing insurance plan, which he liked. "The most comparable plan he can purchase under Obamacare is 65 percent more expensive and includes maternity care that he doesn’t need."

Cornyn said this is what happens when a president "shoves his big-government agenda down the throats of the American people and forces them to buy health care they don’t need or don’t want. At the end of the day, the only thing that’s 'untrue' are the many promises the President made when he tried to sell the nation on Obamacare, chief among them: if you like your plan, you can keep it.”

“Today Senator Reid stood on the floor of the Senate and called thousands of Wisconsinites liars," Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said in a statement. "Senator Reid’s statement is not only shockingly offensive, it is ignorant and irresponsible."

Johnson said he has heard directly from hundreds of individuals, families, and businesses in Wisconsin who are being harmed by higher premiums or by losing the insurance they wanted to keep.

“It is shocking, even in today’s crass political climate, that the leader of the Senate Democrats would have the audacity to say outright that those real people with real stories are all liars.  An apology is in order.  And if Senator Reid truly believes what he says, then he needs to step outside of the Washington, D.C., bubble to listen and see what is really happening in this country.”

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