Are Americans Being Led Like Dogs on Healthcare Reform?

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 stronglysupport 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 – from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Here is a petition on the Public Option:

Tell Obama: The Public Option is Not Optional!

Image © - used with permission


Fred Truman
Past Member 8 years ago

Nope; not like dogs. Like lambs too the slaughter, again, by Reps and Dems alike who are more duty-bound to industry and their lobbyists than they are to the needs of the people.

Harry Truman both quoted and aspired to Roman philosophy, most notably that of Cicero:

"Salus Populi Est Suprema Lex."
(The welfare of the people is the ultimate law.)

We don't get much of that from our elected reps today, and sadly, I think President Obama is falling well short of his promises to the millions that contributed to his campaign and the many millions more who voted for him.

He's bending over backward to manage us in scripted town hall "meetings" and then caving-in to special interests. I love the guy, but right now I think the President is earning a C- grade. He's our leader; he needs to lead more and follow less, IMO.

Jim D (now Fred since the whacked my Jim D profile)

leslie c.
leslie c8 years ago

So are 911 responders. Please sign" Gov't Won't Help 911 Heroes. " You have to type that in cause I can't find this petiton on the list

Lorna E.
Lorna E8 years ago

Codex Alimentarius is definitely behind this, Please for your own good, check this crime ridden organization , and then ask who is in control of the Health care, definitely not you or I. Take action folks..

David B.
David B8 years ago

the sad thing about this situation call health care is the rebublicans have been given cart blanch (?spell)as to what the american people hear about reforms.and unfortunately all there hearing is lies and bullsh-t.i myself was dicovered to have prostrate cancer ,bout a year and a half ago.i had raidation treatments a shot every 3 months that cost $1200.00 a pop,which i'm still on till december this year and it's cost me thru the whole process 50 some dollars a month i pay for medicare.and here everyone is covered not just the fat cats who can aford it!so sad that you watch people died cause they "can't aford"to live!death panels?? and you believe that crap?i have a bridge for sale.our line ups and wait time maybe long but at least we have them,not sorry you have no money ,go away !check the fact people.your prez is trying to good something good for you,don't let those who would keep the hmo s in power lead you down the garden'll find all they have waiting for you there is a compost heap!

Claire M.
Claire M8 years ago

Quite frankly the media is in control of way too many debates. If you look up the history of some of the mass media corps you might be concerned about their motives too. Especially Fox that is owned by Newscorp. What is really sad is how people who spend much of their free time transfixed in front of a TV or even have one running all the time while they do household task become attached to a favorite media mouth piece and refuse to believe that they would lie to them.

Jaette C.
Jaette Carpenter8 years ago

I agree with you P.H. of Sept. 4th. We do need a new plan that does not include these old useless insurance corporations. Even if they now claim that they will accept pre existing patients, big deal. The corporations will accept and begin to put the squeeze on the pre existing in multiple ways, making their lives miserable/ high deductible/ out of pocket/ premium up and up/ pharmas skyrocketing/ fee, fee, fee, blah, blah, blah, on and on until they are slapped in the head by someone or put out of existence as old and antiquated companies.

Jaette C.
Jaette Carpenter8 years ago

It wasn't long ago that people with cancer were dropped flat by the health insurance companies. It wasn't long ago that people with aids were dropped flat by the health insurance companies. It wasn't long ago the people with disabilities were dropped flat by the health insurance companies. ( thus MA) Each time, THE LAW and/or THE LEGISLATURE intervened on behalf of these oppressed people. The 'nonprofit' health insurance companies may have served a purpose when they were new on the scene in the 60's, but they have over served themselves at this point and an intervention needs to take place. 'Trigger' indeed! How would the civil rights issue have moved with if we had stated that we'd insert a 'trigger' 'in case' things didn't move as expected. A big stick was needed then and it is needed now to use on the 'in it for themselves' health insurance companies. Corporations are needing to be taken to the wood shed throughout our entire economic system. Money Grubbers on the backs of the sick. Only setting up insurance for a Utopian few. We do not need a 'trigger' for these bad boy insurance monopolies, we need the whole weapon.

Ronald N.
Ronald N8 years ago

Any kind of health care deal that President Obama makes with the big pharma, health insurance medical complex will probably be a compromise. That is a sad fact when the majority of the American public would prefer to have a single payer system much like Canada. The compromise won't be much and will not disturb the profit making potentials of the those industries. They are locked within the system and unyeilding. I really don't have much faith in the system and know the fault was allowed to fester and grow with the the American trends of maximizing profits. It's a business and the basis of the system is imbedded within the American culture. As for the sustainability and the viability of such a system, most Americans know it's an absolute failure Just look at rising costs. If president Obama wants to get this one right, he needs to follow the lead of the people, not the corporations. If this is socialism, so be it!

Charlene R.
Charlene Rush8 years ago

When thinking about reforming health care, there is one question, everyone should ask themselves. WHO, most wants to STOP healthcare reform? Let me think! Oh gee, it's the INSURANCE INDUSTRY. What a shock!

P H.
P H8 years ago

Insurance is not health care!!! A public insurance option will not reform the system. We need a new system, a public plan that is not based on the insurance model. The model is the problem.

When does insurance ever improve anything? Having a public insurance option will only force everyone to buy insurance, it is a win win for the insurance companies. No politician from either party wants to support anything that is not based on the insurance model.

Think about it we need public health care not health insurance. It will be business as usual with some window dressing to look like reforms. Until we have a new model there is very little chance of reforming the system.