A Republican town hall event in Florida, hosted by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, went up in flames after a party official slandered the Affordable Care Act with baseless arguments.
Bill Akins, secretary of the Republican executive committee in Pasco County, drew the crowd's ire after making the oft-cited, always-debunked myth that Obamacare, which President Donald Trump and his administration is working hard to repeal, subjects Americans to so-called "death panels."
The term was popularized by none other than former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who is not best-known for her astute opinion.
The claim also has the honor of being Politifact's "Lie of the Year," because, as experts showed time and again, there is no such thing as "death panels."
“The truth is that the health bill allows Medicare, for the first time, to pay for doctors’ appointments for patients to discuss living wills and other end-of-life issues with their physicians,” PolitiFact pointed out in 2009. “These types of appointments are completely optional, and AARP supports the measure.”
Now, nearly eight years later, Akins was booed by his constituents for repeating the same old lie.
“Here’s the problem I have with the Affordable Healthcare (sic) Act. Number one, there is a provision in there that anyone over the age of 74 has to go before what is effectively a death panel,” he said, prompting loud boos and jeers. “Yes they do, yes they do, it’s in there folks.”
However, instead of being embarrassed, the GOP official responded by chiding the audience for for being childish.
“OK children, all right children,” he said, much to the annoyance of the crowd.
Akins even got into an argument with a constituent.
After calamitous "death panel" claims, he takes on the crowd.— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) February 11, 2017
"You called me a liar."
"You ARE a liar—own up to it!" pic.twitter.com/7q7BDcFTzP
This is not the first time the obscure Republican executive has spread an insane conspiracy theory.
On Facebook, Atkin has been pushing lies about the government for a long time.
This man genuinely believes the government sprays "chemtrails" to kill elderly people and the Clintons have had potential trial witnesses against them murdered.
The GOP seems to be internally divided on the matter of Affordable Care Act.
Despite its repeal being a part of Trump's manifesto, many constituents do not want to see it go.
Two Republicans, Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Dave Bratz, have claimed that these disenchanted constituents are paid by the opposition.
Unsurprisingly, they could not and did not provide evidence to back that accusation.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Tom Mihalek