Posted by: CarolAnn | August 21, 2009

Picking the Radical Brain: Sorting Facts from Fiction in the Health Care Reform Debate

Where to begin…I never imagined I’d come to a point in my life where I’d be at an utter loss for words. However, after last night’s town hall meeting on health care reform, I am thoroughly stumped. cbl-townhallThe atmosphere was indescribable. With the drone-driven apathy, apparent in the conversations among the crowded cafeteria, I actually came away from the meeting with the feeling that some alien life form had sucked out my vital force. Why? I live in a predominantly “regressive” State. Not saying anything is wrong with the overall population; just that there are a quite a few extremists that I observed and overheard last night.

Among the crowd were 912ers, “birthers,” anti-abortionists, Armageddon catalysts, and those who were dedicated to making South Carolina a “sovereign State.” Unfortunately, we have some of those “palin-thinkers” here as well. There were some individuals, who sat quietly, listening to Congressman Wilson as he told the rumor-hungry mob how the new bill would potentially include death panels, abortions, health care for (God forbid) illegal immigrants, and other underhanded attempts by Wilson to conjure graphic images of a “Trojan horse” government plan predestined to take over your lives and mine. Of course other implications were made, most of which prove untruthful and are comprised of extremist pipe dreams.

The sad part (and yes, following is an oxymoron) is not so much in the deceitfulness of an otherwise commendable man (who served in the US Armed Forces) but the deceitfulness and character of some…rather many, of the “debate” spectators. First impressions were quite misleading, as I quickly learned. In fact, seemingly intelligent, educated people were buying into utter mistruths to feed their dogmatic ideologies that they were following. Whether abortion coverage or the severe tax-payer cost, which Wilson implied would happen, people were all too eager to jump on the bottomless pit of lies. I believe, in fact, had Congressman Wilson implied that the world was flat (based of course on ‘non-partisan’ studies conducted by flat-earth map makers) that the crowd would’ve believed it. But that’s still not the saddest part…

The saddest part of the town hall meeting on health care reform in South Carolina wasn’t the underhandedness, the lies, or the genuinely misguided ideologies of the mob-rule; it was the disingenuous people that were in the group who spoke amongst themselves. I became nauseated from the vile and contentious dialogue that I overheard. There was heated discussion about the “degenerates,” the “indigent,” and the “illegals.” Presumably, these individuals have never fallen upon hard times, nor would they comprehend the meaning of being impoverished, or so desperate that they would flee their country to make a better life in another.

There was also a lot of talk about “torte reform.” Rollbacks on the earned income credit on the poor to pay for health care. But the point that was missed in all of the disinformation and communication breakdown was that in the end, the whole purpose of a public option in health care is not just for the “indigent” and “degenerates” (as one individual mentioned) it’s for the hardworking folks who fall between the cracks – the ones who earn too much for Medicaid, but not enough to pay for health care insurance; the ones who are suffering from long-term illnesses or disorders (commonly referred to by corporate insurance giants as “pre-existing” conditions), and for those of us who have lost jobs and can’t by any standard of living, meet our expenses. Suddenly, the zealous crusaders of independent ideologies can no longer distinguish the moral decision between right and wrong. Clouded in a delusion of ideologies and mistruths has created a vacuum of politically-driven but violent groups with a blood lust for…? Fill in the blank. Most of these agitated citizens have become the mob-rule. Let’s not confuse this with “majority-rule.” Intimidation tactics, including the gun-toting radicals showing up at presidential town halls, or individuals yelling profanities and defamatory comments at public officials and ordinary citizens; and fear and hate mongering…all boils down to one thing: the inability to communicate…rather, the ability to communicate disinformation.

Here are the RAW facts:

The study (and notoriously GOP-distributed “fact sheet”) so commonly referred to and facilitated by GOP leaders for the “health care reform alternative” was conducted by the “Lewin Group.” If we follow the paper trail, the Lewin Group is part of the Heritage Foundation – conservative think tank (which is NOT bipartisan). Furthermore, “The Lewin Group is an Ingenix company. Ingenix, (is) a wholly-owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group…”  Make no mistake – UnitedHealth Group is one of the largest insurers in this nation. Hypothetically speaking, would you trust a cardiologist who at the same time sold human hearts for profit? Think about it. This is a direct conflict of interest.lewin-group-prnt-scrn

 

There are NO death panels (Sec 1233) and NO illegal immigrant coverage (Sec 246) as implied by some.

  • Over 46 million Americans have no medical coverage at all; millions more are under-insured or fear losing coverage. If we continue on our current path health care costs will continue to soar and within the next decade one out of every five dollars will be spent on health care.
  • Your choice of doctors and plans will be protected; those that are happy with their current coverage can keep it or choose a new plan – including a public option.
  • Additionally, everyone will benefit from eight protections that will ensure stability and security for families across the country.
  • Coverage Regardless of Pre-Existing Conditions – Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing coverage because of medical history.
  • An End to Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductible and Co-Pays – Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Full Coverage for Preventive Care – Insurance companies must fully cover – without charge – regular checkups and tests that help prevent illness, including mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
  • No Dropped Coverage for the Seriously Ill – Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or lessening coverage for people who become seriously ill.
  • No Gender Discrimination – Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging people more because of their gender.
  • No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage – Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage people receive.
  • Extended Coverage for Young Adults – Children will be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
  • Guaranteed Insurance Renewal
  • Insurance companies will be required to renew a policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full.
  • Insurance companies won’t be allowed to refuse renewal if someone becomes sick.

“This isn’t about politics. This is about people’s lives. This is about people’s businesses. This is about our future.” – President Barack Obama

Sources:

  • Lewin Group – lewin.com/WhyLewin/AboutUs/
  • South Carolina Policy Council Fact Sheet (10 Reasons ObamaCare is Bad for Your Health and Your Pocketbook – [http://www.scpolicycouncil.com/research-and-publications-/fact-sheets/763–10-reasons-obamacare-is-bad-for-your-health-and-your-pocketbook])
  • Library of Congress: HR3200 – America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009
  • WhiteHouse.gov (Something worth forwarding)

Thoughts through the eyes of an independent constituent… CarolAnnB

PS – don’t take my opinion or words for it, I encourage you to READ the bill. If you can buy a car, maintain a household, run a business, guide your family or work on a job, you should be able to read HR 3200, which is publicly displayed at the Library of Congress (see link above).

More recommended reading:

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Responses

  1. The bottom line, unfortunately, is this. I have watched the debates, followed the news, talked to countless people, and in the process I have discovered that we are no better than the schoolboys in “Lord of the Flies”. The veneer of civilization is indeed even thinner than we ever expected. Ultimately people care only that they are taken care of, as long as they are taken care of they do not care what happens to anybody else. Taking care of somebody else might mean that they get less, and they will fight tooth and claw to hold onto everything they believe righteously, of course, is rightfully theirs. Some day they might discover, to their chagrin, that they need help – they might lose their job, lose their fortune, whatever. At that point they will pray that somebody might have pity on them, but they will find, alas, that it is too late. In my experience the people who have empathy and love for mankind are usually those who have suffered, not those who have not been there – yet. For many of those who believe that misfortune cannot touch them, due to their presumed superiority over others, whom they consider lesser human beings, those who are lazy and do not want to work, in their opinion, I have news. You too may be only 1 day away from losing your job, your health, your health insurance, your security. On that day remember how you have thought about and treated others in need. Yes, this is very simplistic language, not very sophisticated, but also profoundly true.

  2. Hello and thank you, Marianne – for taking the time to read and leave your feedback. I agree whole-heartedly, and I especially agree with the following statement: “For many of those who believe that misfortune cannot touch them, due to their presumed superiority over others, whom they consider lesser human beings, those who are lazy and do not want to work, in their opinion, I have news. You too may be only 1 day away from losing your job, your health, your health insurance, your security. On that day remember how you have thought about and treated others in need. Yes, this is very simplistic language, not very sophisticated, but also profoundly true.” Thank you once again. – Peace


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