Many people (many, many people) don't really know what's in the huge health care bill and will never read it. They rely on journalists and others to tell them what's in it and how that affects them. That's somewhat understandable. Legislation is really dry reading. And you've got to pay attention to what section and subsections you're in so that you can piece together which facts actually affect which other facts.
Which is why I'm steamed over the current health care bill. Actually, I'm steamed over the attempts by conservatives to distort the facts and misrepresent what's in the bill. The fear-mongering and scare tactics are especially cruel to people who are currently worried about health care costs and have medical issues that mean this bill will affect them very quickly when/if it passes.
A few places where you can begin fact-checking are Debunking Health Care Misinformation, which I mentioned in Monday's blog; The Washington Post (and be sure to click on related links so you can get updated articles; and the Huffington Post. You can search for more information and I'm sure you'll find many different stories out there.
That's what is so difficult about this issue; there's so many stories out there. But many of them are not true. Why is it that lies travel faster and farther than truth? Why does health care create such a ferver and bring out the worst in the GOP?
I'm going to single out Sarah Palin because she's getting a lot of attention with statements about fear of the government "pulling the plug" on her Downs Syndrome son. That's just so blatantly untrue and demonstrates her true nature. She's a sensationalist and will use anything, including her own children, to put herself into the spotlight. I'll wager that she hasn't even read the bill! And as a key figure in her state (before her resignation) and in her party (they'll use her for as long as she can grab attention), she should have read AND UNDERSTOOD every word.
We have a few more weeks that Congress is out-of-session. Let's use the time to actually research the facts about the health care bill, understand what it means for those we represent or our family members, and then expose the lies and distortions being played out across the airwaves, Internet, and newspapers. Let's help get the truth out to our families and seniors and those who don't have access to the truth. Let's talk to the staff of our legislators and find out their views on the bill.
And for those of you can stand it, get on those radio shows and debunk those myths that are being spouted by hateful, harmful people. Me, I can't stand talk radio and cannot listen for even 5 minutes, so I'd have a hard time listening long enough to call in! But if you can stomach it, go ahead and do that part.
Then, we need to inform our legislators on what we want them to do for us. We need to bring facts to them, not rhetoric. We need to bring voters to them, not lies. We need to gather the signatures of our families and people who have learned the truth and tell our legislators what we want them to vote on and how we want them to vote.
If we don't fight back, we lose; it's that simple.