Here at Care2, there are lots of dog lovers around (and other animal lovers, too). I recently got a new dog from the shelter after my previous pal of 16 years passed away. The new dog is great – but he is still young and needs some training, especially on how to walk on the leash. We’re making great progress there, but as I was walking him yesterday, I realized the kind of control that I must have over him in order for him to follow my directions. He’ll be fine, but as I think about the healthcare reform debate, I wonder if something similar is happening to us all?
Consider these issues, which we’ve all heard recently – and which are all false:
- The government wants to establish death panels which will determine when older Americans will no longer receive healthcare (due to cost & futility), effectively deciding “when grandma will die.”
- The government plan will institute socialized medicine and we all know that is an evil, evil thing.
- Dollars spent on healthcare will be redirected toward younger people and those who are older will suffer and eventually die.
- Reforming the healthcare system will financially break the nation (forget that not reforming it is breaking each of us).
- If you’re a woman and you get breast cancer in a new healthcare system, you are going to die.
I point out these “stories” not to take them on directly, but to note that many Americans believe these things, despite the actual truth about each issue. Nobody is going to kill your grandmother. Nobody is going to let you die of breast cancer. Socialized medicine is not what is being proposed for the US, but even if it were, it exists in other prosperous nations that we don’t consider evil. I’m reminded of the same sort of lies that came from various political machines during the period leading up the election of President Obama. Remember – he was secretly a Muslim, wasn’t really born in this country, was a racist White-hater, and so on.
It’s called propaganda folks, and both sides have been guilty of it in the past. I admit that it takes work to find out the truth, but isn’t that better than just towing your party’s line on an issue when what you may be arguing for (or against) is based in a lie? I think so.
The media doesn’t help, either. Remember the non-stop coverage of the disrupters at the healthcare town halls recently? Given the behavior of these few people, as terrible as it was in some cases, one could easily believe the healthcare reform train was off its rails. But lo, data from polling shows that Americans generally – and sometimes strongly – support a public option. Did the positive polling get news coverage equal to the town hall screamers? No.
I’d like to hear from some of you – how much fact checking have you done on the healthcare reform issue? Do you think Americans are just being led around like dogs on a leash, responding to commands from their political parties? Or is the media in control of this debate?
You can check your facts at factcheck.org – from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Here is a petition on the Public Option:
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