In spite of comments to the contrary, I am genuinely outraged about the health care debate. Not because there are legitimate policy questions raised by the other side. But because there is a tide of lies–just outright lies–floating around the intertubes that pollute the entire discussion.
It started with Sarah Palin and her “death panels.” I figured everyone who can contain their own drool would have to agree that her remarks were outrageous, indefensible and entirely untrue. That excludes Glenn Beck, Newt Gingirch, other Republican officials and few conservative media figures. But everyday people possessing normal mental faculties would surely condemn her. Right?
Wrong. Here, in the pages of my own humble blog, folks have defended her allegations. This prompted some research on my part. Where are these people getting this shit? Is there something in the House bill that’s making them nuts? What is it?
That search eventually led me to a lengthy and bizarre list of outrages supposedly contained in the bill. Some highlights:
Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services.
Page 126: Employees MUST pay health care bills for part-time employees AND their families.
Page 241: Doctors: no matter what medical specialty, will all receive the same compensation!!!! You can thank the AMA.
Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals. Trig and other children with Down Syndrome will be excluded or accepted according to Øbama’s Death Panel.
Page 425: Advance Care Planning: Counseling for Senior Citizens, assisted suicide and euthanasia. Scary and evil!
And on and on and on. This list is all over the web. It’s everywhere. It’s on Palin fan blogs. It’s pasted into the discussions about health care articles on CNN.com. You’re saying to yourself “come on, that’s bullshit,” Right? That’s what I said to myself. So I hit up Google again.
First, I found a page on dailykos written by a “Duhboid” where the entire list is debunked. Problem is, I don’t know who Duhboid is, and kos is a highly partisan site. Nobody is going to be convinced by that.
Then I found the US House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor had a page debunking the entire list, too. But, okay–that committee is chaired by a Democrat. I doubt whether they’d be able to lie with that volume and specificity on a US government web site, but okay. More searching.
Then I found a page on politifact.com–an aggressively non-partisan fact-checking site–also debunking the list. What motivates someone to disseminate what they have to know are outright lies? Money? I just don’t get it.
Anyway, if you or anyone you know has received an email containing this list, now you know where to direct them for a thorough
reeducation spanking debunking.
Update: Wow, this is even getting some play on CNN. Nice! And notice that politifact also charges Obama with not being completely accurate in some of his claims, too. (Although I myself am given to wonder how the fact that your employer or insurer could decide to change your policy at any time amounts to it being only “half true” that the health reform bill will allow you to keep your current plan–but I’ll not nit-pick.)