I was reading this post at the Buzzflash blog – GAO Study Confirms the Obvious About Health Insurance: Fixed Markets Claiming to be Free Markets Need Competition ( or competition will help businesses and individuals by putting downward pressure on premiums. One of the reasons UnitedHealth Group has used its employees to supply some astroturf support at the tea smoke-ins) and Buzz pointed to this recent analysis by Factcheck, Twenty-six Lies About H.R. 3200 or as I call it, Twenty-six Conservative Lies About Health-care Reform. Covering the fine points of 26 falsehoods and gross distortions obviously covers a lot of ground so I’ll just hit a few highlights,
* The e-mail claims that page 30 of the bill says that “a government committee will decide what treatments … you get,” but that page refers to a “private-public advisory committee” that would “recommend” what minimum benefits would be included in basic, enhanced and premium insurance plans.
* The e-mail says that “non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services” but points to a provision that prohibits discrimination in health care based on “personal characteristics.” Another provision explicity forbids “federal payment for undocumented aliens.”
* It says “[g]overnment will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.” This provision isn’t about children with learning disabilities; instead, it pertains to restricted enrollment in “special needs” plans, a category of Medicare Advantage plans. Enrollment is already restricted. The bill extends the ability to do that.
* It claims that a section about “Community-based Home Medical Services” means “more payoffs for ACORN.” ACORN does not provide medical home services. The e-mail interprets any reference to the word “community” to be some kind of payoff for ACORN. That’s nonsense.
Even though we keep hearing talking points from the tea baggers that originated with astroturf lobbying groups such as Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights( run by the DCI Group of professional lobbyists) and Freedomworks ( a front group started by former right-wing conservative Congressman Dick Armey) they keep insisting they’re stand-up citizens simply interested in spreading the truth about the evil of making a non-profit public alternative health-care plan available to working class Americans. Grassroots or plastic roots, some of them are very sincere. Wrong, but sincere. Sincere in their beliefs, and beliefs is the operative word. But beliefs are not the same as knowledge. When fringe Right Conservatives are not being condescending to the concerns of working Americans, they’re threatening “bloody war”. They’re difficult to ignore, but let’s forget for a moment about calls for bloodshed and Republicans demeaning people who have been denied insurance for various questionable reasons by our corporate knights in shining armor. When a political group rests their objections to health-care reform on a foundation of lies, realize a couple things. The Right is weak. A political movement doesn’t have to rely on lies when it is correct about its objections. If you take away the tea bagger’s sordid fabrications, they’ve got nothing. The Right hasn’t just tossed truth out the window, they’ve tossed integrity and honor out along with it. This is not new of course. When they lied about Iraq’s connections to al-Qaeda, integrity did not matter then either. When former security adviser and SOS Condi Rice said Iraq had nuclear capabilities, honor was dispensable. President Obama and progressive Democrats want to give the American people the freedom to form what will basically be a non-profit insurance company, not a super secret conspiracy to kill grand ma. The tea baggers, the corporate health lobbyists and health-care corporations want to deny America that freedom. One shocking truth that never seems to get shouted out out the conservative hate fests or passed around in the viral right-wing e-mails is that those that like their corporate plan or whatever their status quo is, will be free to keep that plan. If the Right is so sure they’re right about health-care reform then why are they so afraid of the truth.
Isn’t it odd the liburl press at NBC’s Today Show will hire a neophyte with a far Right political pedigree to lecture America about education, but cannot devote a few minutes to doing the broadcast equivalent of Factcheck’s feature on health-care reform myths.