Saturday, August 15, 2009

Who is Behind Health Care Misinformation?

I don't know whether these folks oppose health insurance reform due to true conscience -- and huge change of heart about government intrusion into our lives -- or if they are playing the same old, "I lost at my turn, so now I'll cheat and make sure you lose at your turn."

Either way, some of the champions behind spreading myth and misinformation are the same people who felt that Congress should step in and take over the life-or-death decision regardng Terry Schaivo about 4 years ago.

From the Huffington Post...
"Some of the same conservative figures taking potshots at Democrats for wanting to fund voluntary discussions about end-of-life decisions between doctors and their patients were leading the charge four years ago to contravene the decision by Schiavo's husband and guardian to remove the feeding tubes from his wife after she had spent 15 years in a vegetative state."
...learn more with wikipedia information on the Terry Schiavo case...

Once again, GOPers want to have it both ways. It's interesting to note, however, that their charges of government intrusion in the health insurance reform bill are actually made up, fictitious, as in not real. The language of the bill does not mandate any end-of-life decisions. The langauge does encourage and provide incentives for end-of-life discussions between physician and patient about every 5 years.

They are getting the headlines, though. And this is confusing the heck out of a lot of people, especially those with limited access to information from both sides of the issue. Who are the people with such limited access to information? Why, in many cases, they're the very people that health insurance reform is supposed to help! They're low-income elderly who don't have cable (yes, America, not everybody in America can afford even basic cable), they're homeless, or non-English speaking, and others who aren't digitally connected to high speed Internet or aren't computer savvy.

Another problem is that sorting out this misinformation takes time. I've spent many hours reading through different viewpoints and actual text of legislation. I've had the privilege of a summer intern who did some basic research for me, bookmarking websites and getting bill #s and references so I can do a more thorough review. Not too many people have that assistance. I'll do a separate post with many of those links.

Why is the GOP so intent on spreading myth and misinformation? Could it be that they have no valid reasons to fight against health insurance reform? Is this just a GOP tactic to make it difficult for Democrats to push through reform? It isn't a stretch for me to believe that. I just look at some of the other tactics they've taken over the years when it looked as Democrats might win. The "Swift Boat" attacks on John Kerry come to mind.

The GOP seems to find it easier to make things up rather than argue the facts. The sensational headlines are an easy grab, make for more media coverage, and give them air time when they have nothing real to say. Shame on them.

Health care and health insurance reform are needed. Now. Whether the President's plan is the best one to follow, it's a start in the right direction. It does not create socialized medicine, which is something so many people fear. It creates a multi-player and multi-payer system that extends health coverage to a great many people who don't have any coverage now.

Let's face it; staying healthy is less expensive than getting sick. If we can provide health care to more people, so they stay healthy, we'll have gone a long way toward fixing a broken system.

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