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 tony@mediatony.com.


Comments

6 Responses to “Health Care Reform and the Republican Lie Machine”

  1. George Jenkins LUTCF on November 1st, 2010 12:49 pm

    Lies Obama and Palosi told while trying to Get the Obama Care passed!
    1. This will not raise the cost to our budget.
    2. You can keep the coverage you have.
    3. You can keep the Doctor you now have.
    4. No one will lose their coverage due to high group health rates.
    5. Certain groups will get their health for FREE.
    6. We have to pass the bill so we will know whats in it!
    7. Everyone of the 3 million uninsured will by the coverage.
    8. Illigal aliens will not figure out how to “Game” the system!
    9. The states will not have to pick up the additional matching cost of Medicaid

    This is why you are a Radio Announcer rather than a insurance broker who can really know what is going on with the takeover of our National health care system.

  2. jenny on November 2nd, 2010 11:27 pm

    why there are so many deseases? it’s terrible.

  3. moviemaker on November 2nd, 2010 11:30 pm

    Why can we prevent these terrible deseases?

  4. Randall Pearson on November 16th, 2010 9:36 am

    Mr. Trupiano, your article is representative of one of the biggest problems we face in our society. On both sides of the issue too many people in your position are either misinformed or not familiar with the legislation.

    Massachusetts has already implemented Health Care Reform and their spending on health care has increased from approximately 16% of their state budget to over 30% of their state budget. People like you should be careful for what they wish.

    Without a serious mandate requiring eligibles to purchase coverage many people will buy it only when they need it. This will drive up costs for the rest of us who always buy health coverage.

    Our esteemed federal government has estimated this legislation to cost over $900 billion but will save over $100 billion. A large portion of this projected “savings” comes from significant Medicare cuts including a 20+% cut in Medicare reimbursements to providers. This will be detrimental to our system as there is a trend where providers are dropping Medicare due to the low reimbursement levels. A Mayo Clinic in Arizona reportedly (WSJ, Medicare and the Mayo Clinic, 1/8/2010) stopped accepting Medicare patients under a pilot program that could extend to Minnesota and Florida.

    No one can categorically state that Health Care Reform WILL NOT or WILL drive up costs but legislation in and of itself almost always drives up cost.

    Unless an UNLIMITED budget is established a government panel somewhere will have to limit services. It takes only a low level understanding of budgeting to understand this principal.

    If Medicaid enrollment increases so will the funds individual states spend increase.

    It would benefit your readers and you to spend some time reviewing HCR.

  5. dan chambers on November 17th, 2010 5:04 pm

    MSNBC is the only reporting of Republician LIES on Television. Radio only one station our community funded . The news we do hear from other stations is controlled,just like communist countries. Well Republicans are Traitors and I will expose these Traitors.

  6. s4dly on February 4th, 2011 3:37 pm

    George Jenkins & Randall Pearson: The US is the only developed nation that hasn’t figured healthcare out yet. The numbers are clear: our government spends more per capita than any other developed nation, and yet it covers fewer people. Even worse, the majority of bankruptcies in our nation are due to healthcare costs.

    If you would put your stupid socialism vs capitalism discussion aside for a minute (or better yet, permanently, as it is a totally pointless and stupid discussion) you’d see the obvious truth: Our system is designed to deliver profit to health insurance companies.

    Oh I know what you’re thinking. Our poor health insurers have very slim profit margins! How convenient that all salaries, bonuses, and company parties are considered “operating costs”.

    The fact is that while in most of the developed world most of the money that comes from patients goes to doctors & nurses, here in the US an enormous portion of the money goes to compensation and perks for middlemen.

    And yet you continue to defend the status quo. Like most “conservatives” your solution to our problems is to go back in time to when suffering and poverty was everywhere and environmental destruction was nothing to worry about. Fortunately, that perspective becomes less and less popular with each passing day.

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