On the Health Care Mess

The majority of Americans, those in the spectrum between the town hall cranks and automatic-accepting Democratic partisans, want accurate, useful information. With this in mind, why is the public confused about health care reform? Why has the discussion of this important issue turned away from meaningful dialogue?

Whether watching town hall meetings, listening to our elected officials, reading editorials, listening to talk show pundits, lobbying groups, special-interest groups, or relying on chain emails and bloggers, the public is receiving a lot of misinformation. Take your pick.

Sara Palin (Republican Activist)
“Seniors and the disabled “will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.”
PolitiFact Rating – Pants on Fire; PolitiFact Comment – A sci-fi scenario not based on reality; PolitiFact Explanation

President Obama (D)
“I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter.”
PolitiFact Rating – False; PolitiFact Comment – Oh yes he did. PolitiFact Explanation

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
“The Democrat-backed health care reform plan “will require (Americans) to subsidize abortion with their hard-earned tax dollars.”
PolitiFact Rating – False; PolitiFact Explanation

Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
“The Congressional Budget Office most recently came out and analyzed the current (health care) plan and said that it was not only deficit-neutral, but also that over 10 years it would create a $6 billion surplus.”
PolitiFact Rating – False; PolitiFact Explanation

Rep. Dan Lungren, (R-CA)
“President Barack Obama suggested on national TV that the Democratic health care bill ‘will have government decide’ that a healthy, 100-year-old woman in need of a pacemaker “should take a pain pill” instead.
PolitiFact Rating -False; PolitiFact Comment – Rep Lundgren is twisting the president’s words. PolitiFact Explanation

President Obama (D)
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
PolitiFact Rating -Half True; PolitiFact Comment – As long as your employer agrees. PolitiFact Explanation

Paul Krugman, Noble Prize Winning Economist
“During the 2005 fight over Social Security, “there were noisy demonstrations — but they were outside the events,” and opponents were “not disruptive — crowds booed lines they didn’t like, but that was about it.” PolitiFact Rating – False; PolitiFact Comment – They were raucous in 2005, inside and out. PolitiFact Explanation

Liberty Council: An organization advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family.
“Page 992 of the health care bill will “establish school-based ‘health’ clinics. Your children will be indoctrinated and your grandchildren may be aborted!”
PolitiFact Rating: Pants on Fire; PolitiFact Comment – Nothing in the bill like that.” PolitiFact Explanation

Investor’s Business Daily Editorial
“The health care reform bill — on Page 16 — outlaws private insurance.”
PolitiFact Rating & Comment: Pants on Fire; Comment- Misreading the legislation, then standing by it. Explanation

Chain E-Mail
“All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services.”
PolitiFact Rating: Pants on Fire;  Explanation