Health Care Reform and the Republican Lie Machine
October 24, 2010
(ChattahBox Op/Ed) – I don’t suppose it matters much now as the elections near and anxieties are at full bore. There are so many issues that have become central to this campaign and as any Democratic incumbent or candidate for either the House or the Senate know all too well at this point, the time for setting the record straight, for campaign purposes, are probably long past due. Being mindful that the Republican Lie Machine (RLM) has been cranked up for the past two years it feels important to me to help turn some of the lies into truths again. It may not help a candidate but it can help you to know the truth.My pet project, because this is an issue that I believe is critical to the way America can move forward, is Health Care Reform.
Before you all get your shorts in a bunch I want to take a two part approach to Health Care Reform and the conversation that must be had. Clearly there has been a disconnect between what Health Care Reform will do and what the RLM has been spouting on about.
Part one is really the philosophical side of me that makes me a Democrat. This is the argument that you can tear apart and criticize me on, and that’s fine. A good, healthy debate on philosophy serves us all, if done responsibly.
I am a member of a community, and as part of that community I try to serve that community in ways that makes sense to me and my family. Whether it’s to volunteer for a little league team, or attending a school board meeting and serving on a committee, I have mostly tried to be active and as a result of that I get to meet people from all walks of life. I see how challenges we all face affect people in different ways and there is no question the one issue that sets people apart is health care.
Too many people in this country are either uninsured or under-insured. If you are not one of them then Health Care Reform means nothing to you personally, but it should. Health Care as a service is critical to many people, especially as they age. But there are many families that deal with the challenges of health care as only they can in a depressed economy and a regression of wages and benefits in this country.
While we have seen the cost of health care rise at record rates year after year, we have seen benefits cut at record levels year after year. That is an issue that affects everyone, just some more deeply than others.
With the advent of political strategies that has moved this country backward for years now and the devastating aftereffects of these policies, the average American income has taken a pretty serious hit. There is a reason that the number one cause for bankruptcy in this country is as a direct result of health care costs and it’s not like we can shop for more affordable health care, can we? (Well, actually, with Health Care Reform we can)
The desperation of our aging population to try to find the economic balance between our living expenses and our health care demands are daunting at best so that Democrat lodged deep inside of me gets that the only option was to reform the system. President Obama made it a priority and with a Party line vote passed a weakened measure of what he wanted, but it is a step in the right direction. There should be a way to cover some basic medical needs of everyone living in this country. I think it just makes sense that if you are ill you should be able to get treatment no matter what. What I have tried to do is understand a rationalization that disagrees. I’m sure some of you will be happy to provide some for me, but I cannot see it at all.
I also don’t believe the health care industry has any interest in making their services affordable and should be forced to be more accountable. The monopolistic attitude of health care providers is criminal in my opinion.
Health Care Reform is a staring point to what I pray will one day be completed.
The second part of this is based on facts, or maybe lies. Even before this legislation was passed the RLM commenced an energetic and committed campaign to scare the hell out of everyone. Some points of interest that makes my point:
□ Lie #1: You will NOT have to go through a health care panel or a bureaucratic process to see your doctor or chose a doctor.
□ Lie #2: The Law will NOT cover illegal immigrants.
□ Lie #3: The U.S. Government will NOT be keeping a medical profile of every American.
□ Lie #4: This Health Care Reform will NOT be a government run system or takeover of health care (Socialist), it in fact it relies heavily on private insurers.
□ Lie #5: The government is NOT picking up the total cost of health care to low income and middle income Americans.
□ Lie #6: Health Care Reform will NOT drive up health care premiums.
□ Lie #7: Medicare will NOT be seeing a cut by as much as $500 billion dollars. This is the most often quoted lie by the RLM.
□ Lie #8: The almost certain increase in Medicaid will NOT costs individual states any additional money.
Those are a few of the examples that come to mind but they are also the major scare tactics that are being used by the RLM. The majority of Health Care Reform changes will not happen until 2014 anyway, and by then it is my hope that the economy will be in a much better place.
The few reforms that have taken effect to this date are positive. You can no longer be dropped by your insurer for a preexisting condition and your children are now covered until the age of 26, IF needed. No harm in any of that.
I’m not entirely sure what the RLM is afraid of. Is it that we may well create a culture of wellness in this country? Is it the possibility that Health Care Reform will create a competitive atmosphere among private insurers, actually driving DOWN the cost of insurance? Is it the reality that people will stop using expensive emergency room visits as their alternative for doctor visits? It is the reality that lawyers will make less money handling fewer bankruptcies? What is the fear about Health Care Reform? Bring facts and I will listen, but until you do what “ObamaCare” does is give most families peace of mind and access to needed health care when they NEED it.
Actually, this all sounds pretty American to me!
Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.