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The Lies Are Working

August 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

NBC and the Wall Street Journal put out a new health care poll yesterday that shows that not too much has changed in the past month. Public support hasn’t dropped off, it’s stayed about the same. Thirty-six percent think Obama’s health care plan is a good idea, 42 percent think it’s a bad idea, and 17 percent don’t have an opinion. On the public option, 43 percent support it, while 47 percent oppose it and 10 percent are unsure.

But, towards the end of the poll, they get into some of the myths about the health care bill that have been spread by its opponents. The number of people that have bought into them is astounding:

Besides the question relating to the “death panels,” a clear majority of the country believes that these lies about the bill are actually true. And 45 percent believe in the death panels! This isn’t just bad for the Democrats who are trying to get a bill passed, it’s bad for the public discourse surrounding health care reform.

Last week, I wrote about five common misconceptions about the health care bill and used the actual text of the bill to explain why they are not true. If you’re unsure about the answers to any the questions above, I recommend you read that post.

I should mention that the “government take over of the health care system” question in the poll above isn’t as black and white as the others. Some people believe that the public option would effectively crowd out private insurers, but others have probably been influenced by a lie that has been spread claiming that private insurance would actually be made illegal under the bill. This is absolutely false, as I explain in my post last week.

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  • Anonymous 08/19/2009 9:06am

    Please submit proof that these “myths” are not true. I have read the bill and see plenty of evidence to support these conclusions. I will be coming back and posting the actual page and location to support the truths behind what you call myths.

  • Comm_reply
    donnyshaw 08/19/2009 9:30am

    I’ve already done it. Please read:

    That post is full of references back to specific sections of the bill text. When you come back with references to the pages and lo0cation in the bill to support your positions, please consider using our bill section permalinking tool, which lets you create custom links to specific paragraphs and provisions of the text.
    Just scroll over any section at the link below and the option to create a permalink will appear:

  • Comm_reply
    AIRPOWER84 08/19/2009 9:45am

    How do you know what is truth? Have you seen the bill? I have and it has provisions in there that will make you sick. A public option will NOT work. If you think it will work then you don’t know jack about basic economics. If the government subsidizes the public option (which it will) then how can private insurances companies compete? What all those jobs that will eventually be lost due to a Government option? Will they then work for the government? I am veteran on the Iraq war and I do not trust the government to run our health insurance or our health care system because the VA health care system is very bad. I am all for reform but taking over sectors of the economy or demanding CEO’s and insurance companies come before Congress and report there fiscal data is crazy. It started with the Government bail out of banks and then firing the CEO of GM by the Government, followed by strong arming the Bank of America CEO into buying another bank and now this!? Continued…

  • Comm_reply
    AIRPOWER84 08/19/2009 9:46am
    What’s next? Congress demanding the doctors and nurses come before Congress for charging too much? Will they then take over that too? When will this madness stop? All they (Congress) want is power to rule our lives. Congress for the last 10 year’s and especially now has over stepped its bounds. The Government can’t run the Post Office, Amtrak, Medicaid or Medicare correctly so what makes you think they can manage our health care correctly? Why does everyone want the government to run their lives? If you think I am crazy then look at recent history because one thing leads to another. Also, the government can not create real jobs or job growth for the private sector but only for the public sector. Is that what we want? Everyone working for the government? What then? The government is too big and needs to be drastically cut down in size and power. The individual is the only one that can best decide on how to spend his/her own money and how to take care of him or her self. Continued…
  • Comm_reply
    AIRPOWER84 08/19/2009 9:48am

    I am extremely pissed off and these so called “lies” are very real possibilities. Like I said if the government can fire CEO’s and subpoena insurance companies before them, then who’s to say the government wont or cant have death panels? Do you not believe that is true because it has a scary name? Would that option be more believable to you if it were called something more bureaucratic? Like our founding fathers said, freedom is not free which means we have to constantly fight for it against foreign AND domestic threats so don’t be foolish to think that a government with total control over your life’s like Iran isn’t possible in America. Our freedoms are slowly being chipped away so let’s wake the hell up. This is not fear mongering over whatever catching name you want to call it, it’s called be wise and realizing that one bad behavior leads to many more so basically the public option would be another way to control the American people by government and give them more power.

  • Comm_reply
    AIRPOWER84 08/19/2009 9:48am

    The government should fear us not the other way around! But look at the town halls! Barney Frank makes fun of his own constituents on live TV!! WTF!? They obviously don’t care about the American people anymore because all they care about is power. Think about it people!

    Thank you for reading this.

    This is from the mind of a 25 year old military college educated man. Screw Foxnews and CNN! Think for yourself.




  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 08/19/2009 3:14pm

    Thank you for this link. Fortunately, I believe that it is Every American’s job to read the bill for themselves. I’ve studied these provisions. What boggles my mind is how positions can be so polar on such clear statements. I honestly can not believe how people who support this Health Bill are UNABLE to see what amounts to a government imposed death sentence. Please look for my references soon to follow — still figuring out how this program works.

  • Anonymous 08/19/2009 9:44am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    When people are happy with being ignorant and comfortable with stupidity how do you think you are ever going to inform them of the facts of anything? These are the same people that believe that their children dying in Iraq was for the purpose of avenging 911. They can not spell Iraq, can not find Kosovo on the map and clearly do not know the relationship between health care management and cost. It is a waste of time to try and explain. Of course the next level of existence is just plain foolishness; which is where we are all being dragged.

  • joeyjj 08/19/2009 11:08am
    Link Reply
    + -2

    These arguments against a public option are absolute nonsense.

    First off, the US..

    ranks 24th in the world for life expectancy

    despite spending 33% more per capita on health expenditures.

    Overall, we’re ranked 34th in the world in terms of quality for price.

    We’re paying a lot more for a lot less.

  • joeyjj 08/19/2009 11:08am

    All of the countries doing better with health care than us have some sort of government-sponsored health care or health insurance component. That’s every industrialized nation on earth. Most switched over from a system similar to ours after World War II.

    To say that a public option is going to kill private insurers is absolute nonsense. In France, private insurers exist along with a government-sponsored insurance. In the UK, everyone has the option of supplemental private insurance. If private industry in Europe is able to coexist with government-sponsored systems, why couldn’t it work here?

  • joeyjj 08/19/2009 11:09am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Also, the proposed public option IS NOT a government takeover of health care. Care will still be delivered by privately employed doctors and privately owned hospitals. All we’re talking about with the public option is the choice of government-sponsored INSURANCE. That’s how the Canadian system works — ONLY insurance is provided by the government. The rest of the system is privatized.

  • joeyjj 08/19/2009 11:10am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Furthermore, the idea that a public option would ration care and bureaucratic “death panels” would determine who lives and dies is, frankly, stupid. Medicare is a socialized, government-run health care system for a particular subset of society (the elderly). If elderly Americans with medicare aren’t being euthanized, why the hell would you expect them to be if a new plan NOT EVEN AIMED at them passed? And why aren’t the elderly or infirm euthanized in any country on Earth with a government-sponsored health care system? Because the purpose of a public option is to provide more efficient and affordable care to all citizens. And it’s proved to work in every industrialized nation.

  • joeyjj 08/19/2009 11:10am

    “Death panels” do exist, but only for private insurers. Recision:

    None of that would happen in a country with publicly funded health insurance.

  • Comm_reply
    seych 08/20/2009 10:51am

    I see you like the government running your life. Why not move to a country like Canada or the UK. Leave this country alone for those of us who dont want the government running our lives.

  • oderintdummetuant 08/19/2009 12:55pm

    How about doing this. We remove the restrictions that limit health care insurers to your state of residence? I can buy car insurance from any insurer in the nation, why is this not the same with health insurance? How much competition would that be for insurers to truly have to compete for my business. If we need the public option to drive down insurance prices why not have a public option for everything? Gas, clothing, food etc. Medicare is socialized you say? I say medicare is also bankrupting this country. How about dispelling this, tell me if this is a myth you can dispel. I make over $250,000 dollars a year, why am I going to be taxed extra to pay for this when you make $150,000 and won’t be taxed to pay for it?
    Tax everyone proportionally the same (a percentage that is the same no matter how much you make) or throw the public option out.

  • oderintdummetuant 08/19/2009 1:05pm

    As for what will happen or won’t happen, none of you can say. When has our government ever handled our money well? When has our government ever managed anything well? Our public education system, tell me where that ranks Joey…, and did you by chance attend public school? How did our President fire a private citizen from his corporate job, I don’t care if it was good or bad, how did that happen? We saw how well they handled that cash for clunkers plan, spending 3 times more than planned. Insurance is a profit industry, if there is a public option that I’m paying for…, who’s making the money? If our government is the only group that can’t make a profit in this industry then as an investor I don’t want to invest.

  • nmeagent 08/19/2009 7:42pm

    The government is not legally allowed to regulate health care as it is not specifically enumerated in the constitution. The very reason the government is restricted to those enumerated powers is to limit its size and power and to prevent potential abuse. Note, however, that in most cases the government and most of the people don’t seem to either know about this pesky constitution or don’t really care that the government is flagrantly violating it on a daily basis. In other words, the government is not bound by the rule of law. So even if ‘death panels’, etc. are not explicitly mentioned in this bill, it doesn’t really matter. If the government can make laws that blatantly violate the consitution, they can make laws and regulations that blatantly violate the text of this bill. If done in incremental steps so as to avoid enraging the mob, all of these nightmarish scenarios could gradually become fact over time.

  • seych 08/20/2009 10:54am

    I am so TIRED of these people who want to take over every thing in this country. I put in my time in the military so we wouldnt go down that road. I get offended by the few who demand that they have the right to tell the many what they can do and not do. My feeling is, "If you dont like the way this country is run, LEAVE. No one is making you stay here. Just leave and let us enjoy our MESS as you call it.

  • Anonymous 08/21/2009 6:59am

    I’m reading the healthcare bill (h.r.3200) and detailing what it actually says at I also have an email there from a supposed Stephen Fraser, MD. showing how what he says is wrong.

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