Deliberate Lies or Reckless Ignorance?

Saturday, 15 August 2009
I've been pretty quiet on this health care reform debacle. It doesn't matter if I support the House, Senate or White House version of the bill, and it doesn't matter if I think President Obama is right or wrong on trying to push this through. The deliberate lies and reckless ignorance floating around in regards to what the bill includes DOES matter to me. These lies from extremists such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh (or Lim-bo as the BBC announcer said when he played one of Rush's embarrassing rants in the UK) and Sarah Palin always seems to stick to those who have no capacity for critical thinking.

These people (who are mostly uneducated and religious extremists) buy right into it. Can you even believe Palin announced the health care reform plan - which is to help everyone get health care despite pre-existing medical conditions - is "evil?" Someone put a microphone in front of her face again sadly and she said the House bill includes a "death panel" and that babies with down syndrome will be killed. Is she out of her tiny mind? Does she have any folds on her brain left at all? And these are the phone calls that came into our newsroom when we did a fact check and reported that there was no such thing as a "death panel" in any version of the health care reform bill:

Caller - "Why are you a mouthpiece for Democrats?"
Me - "I'm sorry, sir, what?"
Caller - "There IS a death panel and you're just giving talking points from the Democrats."
Me - ??
Me - "No, sir, I assure you, I've read that section of the House bill 3200 regarding end-of-life counseling to terminally ill patients. The sessions would be paid for through the reform and people would get a chance to discuss living wills and their expectations for their last days."
Caller - "How dare you!?" America is going to hell in a hand basket and you side with the evil administration! President Obama pays your salary. (Slams down the phone.)

If that's the kind of nonsense we're getting in Eugene, Oregon - a pretty open-minded city, I can only imagine what people in the Mid-West and South are thinking. I shudder when I watch the video of people standing up screaming and spitting at Representatives in town hall meetings. They are even getting VIOLENT.

I think ALL United States citizens should have access to affordable health-care. (Cut to angry town hall meeting -- over-weight, white man with long beard and overalls screaming at a Congressman -- WHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION DOES IT SAY WE SHOULD HAVE HEALTH CARE?") It doesn't - but does that mean we shouldn't have health care? This is 2009.

My dream would be to some day become an independent, freelance writer. As long as we have the current health care options, my dream will not be realized. Perhaps I would never be accepted by a health insurance company. What happens if I have a pre-existing medical condition? Did your mother, sister or daughter survive breast cancer? If they don't work and their husband left them, they would have to get a full-time job so they could have health care. They could not get private insurance and if they did, they would have to pay THOUSANDS in premiums each year.

In regards to health care, we are slaves to mainstream companies which offer that benefit. Even though I am healthy, I pay a lot of money to be insured. So do you. Add up what it costs a year for your health insurance. Find out what your deductible is if you were to be severely injured. You might be surprised.

Please, please read outlines of the bill yourself. If you hear opinions that sound extreme don't just turn up the volume and ignore your own mind. Think. Would Congress, which is made up of mostly older, white men really pass a health care reform with a bill that kills old people? Would a President who supports diplomacy around the world come up with a health care plan that kills children with disabilities? I can't even believe I have to write a blog post like this.


Vegiegail said...

Thank you, Danae, for being a voice of reason. Like millions of Americans, I cannot afford the high cost of insurance premiums, copays, and deductibles, even though I am working full time. Millions of other Americans are insured, yet are denied needed treatment, because their insurance companies won't pay, or lose their homes and are forced into bankruptcy when they become ill. It's time to stop treating health care like it's some kind of privilege reserved only for those who can afford it. Access to quality health care is a basic human right, just like safe food, clean water, and safe, affordable housing.

Millions of Americans are already enjoying government provided health care: It's called Medicare, and it works. Try taking it away from my 84-year-old mother, who recently suffered a stroke and had all of her medical expenses paid for no questions asked, or from any of the millions of other seniors who enjoy Medicare benefits.

The insurance industry has done an amazing job creating irrational fear among lots of gullible Americans. Yet, it is only the insurance industry that has anything at all to lose when real health care reform is finally enacted in this country.

LizP said...

I am still looking for an explanation of the proposed bill that is in terms a layperson can understand. Everything I have read so far is convoluted and in legalese (which makes my eyes cross just trying to read it).

Unfortunately who are heard the most are crackpots like Sarah "Soundbite" Palin. It is tragic that people choose to listen to her rather than read for themselves.

I have always had health insurance but since I moved to Oregon I have paid a pretty penny for it. Deductibles have gone up, along with co-pays and premiums. You get to the point where you decide not to go to the doctor because you can't afford the co-pay and/or the labs. It's not a fun position to be in.

Thanks for writing this!

Michelle said...

It's sad that you use only the few and most rediculously visible examples of right wing politics as examples for mainstream conservative values.

For me, and many conservatives I know, the issue of government sponsored healthcare comes down to personal choice; specifically, the freedom to make ones own choices when it comes to how they spend the money they earn. The current bill proposes "optional" healthcare plans provided by the government. However, if you choose not to enroll, you are taxed 2.5% of your income up to the amount of the premium. That's not much of a choice. I work hard for my money and I should be allowed the choice to spend it how I want.

The opportunity for healthcare is a wonderful thing. To require healthcare, in a system which lays the subsidy for the sick and old on the backs of the healthy, is un-American.

Denae said...

So it is un-American to help others?

Anonymous said...

i thought that equality was the way forward and living in the uk for ten years and having a national health has help me and many other also lived in south africa were there is no nation health a little story my brother was in a accidant and was in a bad way and the the accidant happened outside a private hosiptal and the nurses and doctors did nothing to help he had to be rushed to another hospital to get treatment thank god he was help but makes me sick that if you dont have cash you can die what happened to the hipacratice oath people you dont want to help others are a joke and should get sick and find out the hard way im all up for national heath and peolpe who are not well i dont need to say what i think about them sarah paline is a red neck a should stay in the bush she does not have a brain lets wait till she gets sick

LizP said...

People do have a right to say how their taxes are spent ... by the officials they elect. In this country it is majority rules and the majority elected the people who are now in Washington. People forget we are a Republic, not a democratic society. We are governed by those we elect. If people do not feel that the health care proposal is valid/viable/whatever then they need to contact their state congress people and state their opinion. That is how you affect change.

Chris F. said...

The government already runs healthcare, so we are left with long lines, insurance is unaffordable, bureaucrats make the decisions about what treatments we get, etc...

Get the government out of the matter and problems are at least partially solved.

Chris F. said...

Yes, socialism is un-American. It did not work in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, so why should we believe it will magically work here?

Chris F. said...

Would Congress, which is made up of mostly older, white men really pass a health care reform with a bill that kills old people? Would a President who supports diplomacy around the world come up with a health care plan that kills children with disabilities?

Yes they would. They get their own personalized healthcare attended to by the best, so what healthcare legislation is passed on us does not affect them in the least. Their laws do not pertain to them.

Denae said...

Chris, no one is forcing the U-S into Socialism. Health care reform does not = Socialism. That is another comment made to incite those who don't know any better from extremist, irresponsible pundits.

Denae said...

LizP - Excellent points about this Republic state. Elected officials have the final say so we must educate ourselves and excercise our right to vote.

Michelle said...

It's very American to help others. It's un-American to be forced by legislation to help others.

Chris F. said...

It is not an issue of if the U.S. is socialist, but when did it become socialist. The roots can be traced back to the so-called progressives at the turn of the
20th century. The U.S. didn't have to be invaded in order for socialism to prevail. It was done internally. Socialists make up many stripes, political parties and labels, but power over others goes to the heart of what they do.

Anonymous said...

My tax dollars supported the Iraq invasion. Goodness knows I didn't want that. So, if you don't want to pay for your neighbor's cancer treatment - fine. I want the taxes collected under the Bush administration back.
Not a very practical social policy, is it?

And to the commenter above who believes you are citing the extremes...who else is there representing the Republican party at this time? Please elect a true fiscal conservative that doesn't spew lies and hate, and I will be on board!


Anonymous said...

To be fair, nobody here has aligned an opposition to the bill with the Republican Party's view on the topic. The Republicans have become just as bad as the Democrats when it comes to tax and spend policy. The opposition to the proposed health care legislation comes from true conservatives with true conservative values and no political party to call home. Perhaps this is why their voice isn't heard.

Denae said...

A quick THANK YOU to everyone for keeping this lively debate going. I'm learning things and appreciate your time.