Fear, Not Truth Dominates the Health Care Debate



The politics of fear roars on.  Republican Rep. Verginia Foxx on the House floor…

The Republican [health] plan would “make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government.”

And here’s conservative Betsy McCaughey, chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Death…

“Congress would make it mandatory — absolutely require — that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner.”

Politifact gave this one a ‘Pants on Fire’ rating.   The House bill actually says…

“such consultation shall include the following: An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to; an explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses; an explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.”

Medicare will cover one session every five years, the legislation states. If a patient becomes very ill in the interim, Medicare will cover additional sessions.

Jon Keyserling, general counsel and vice president of public policy for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, which supports the provision, said the bill doesn’t encourage seniors to end their lives, it just allows some important counseling for decisions that take time and consideration.

“These are very serious conversations,” he said. “It needs to be an informative conversation from the medical side and it needs to be thought about carefully by the patient and their families.”

Leave it to Republicans to take an intelligent and compassionate provision and twist it to the extent of claiming that the government wants “seniors in a position of being put to death.”  Fear over truth triumphs once more.

My mom would not have liked these people.


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11 thoughts on “Fear, Not Truth Dominates the Health Care Debate

  1. When I saw Virginia Fox on TV I wanted to scream! And BTW Betsy McCaughey – they do that now! Since the Republicant’s created a fiasco over Terry Schiavo hospitals got smart and CTA. If you are over 65 (and I am) they will require you to bring a Notarized Living Will the First time you’re admitted. The consultation is just if you have any questions about the living will and it is done by your own physician! It is also recommended that you make a Death Directive and you may have questions there too. Death Directive is just telling your family where in the house they can find important papers, Bank Account #’s :Insurance etc, etc. Hospitals do not Require or Need the Directive. I keep mine on the refrigerator door and update when I need to (even tho I am perfectly healthy and have no intentions of going anywhere – I do have trouble seeing buses LOL) I suggest Everyone, including folks in their 20’s keep these docs too. You may not get sick, but even Superman just went for a horseback ride.

    These documents have NOTHING to do with deciding to die or not taking the best care – the Schiavo case scared the shiving lit out of the medical industry and every operation offers some risk – even a face lift! Some people are squeamish talking about Death, Insurance or Living Wills so they don’t get it done – If the hospital requires this it takes some of the angst out of it. Or people like me who procrastinate!

    Fear is the most effective and most used tool of Propaganda. Its been used by Religion, governments, army’s etc. both parties use it, Republicans are just better at it perhaps because of their religious base. But it looks like Propaganda 101 with lies repeated constantly, buzz words, demonizing, controlling the opposition’s message. The list is long, but they seem to use them all – most of the time leaving the Democrats talking to themselves, feeling insecure and weak.

    Anger is the tool they get me with – even tho I repeat the adage: “If someone makes you angry WHO is in control?) – The one that made ya angry! There is going to be lots more of this so we should Get out the popcorn, comfy cloths, soft chair and try to guess which tool they are using when they speak. Then we can go to Twitter and start using our T-shirt mentality (which is good!!) to let them know it just doesn’t work like it used to!

  2. But hasn’t the administration indulged in their own brand of “fear” mongering?

    They advertised well in advance, requesting anyone with any sort of sob story concerning Health Care to email their stories in, then chose the most egregious examples of despair and failure to parade before the public in a naked attempt to evoke outrage, pity and sympathy.

    I’m just not sure I see a whole lot of difference between the actions of the two. You say one side is playing on fear. But the other side is playing on sympathy.

    Shouldn’t emotions be left out of the debate?

  3. Hi Hank; Actually I believe I said “both parties use it, Republicans are just better at it”. And since both of us see the same thing but with difference interpretations you would most likely see the Democrats as using it most or better etc. Having said that, I would interpret gathering real health issues from the public as sharing information. Wait, wait here is the difference… :-) If these health issues were made up of false information then that is egregious propaganda albeit easy to expose. If true then they need to know what some of us have been living with for a long long time

    As a matter of fact I was listening to both Dems and GOP on CSpan and web sites etc and I was appalled at how little they knew about how insurance works for us right now. You have to know the truth before you can twist or spin it. For instance one senator was saying your doctor should be making the decisions with you not some government employee – he probably doesn’t know that doctors have to make decisions according to the insurance company employees. Many of them employee’s who Work from Home to give approvals to doctors for a medical procedures. They must go strictly by charts based on medical numbers and cannot vary from it. If a doctor argues fervently they will be passed on to a doctor in the insurance co to make the decision for the doctor even tho he has never seen the patient. So is it propaganda – twisting the truth, or is it just that they don’t know the real facts?

    Another misleading statement is that you will always keep the same doctor (I believe Obama said this too) I have had to give up doctors I really like because they did not take the new insurance company my employer just changed too. I was hoping this would change – but if they don’t know what is out here, they can’t fix it huh?

  4. Emotion will always be part of a debate as sensitive as health care. The suffering endured by millions of people who either lack insurance or have inadequate coverage is real. Introducing fear by way of distorting the truth is where the repub end of the debate derails. Let people decide on fact and not managed lies.

  5. I disagree that emotion should be or needs to be a part of this debate.

    You say, “Let people decide on fact and not managed lies.” Well shouldn’t the same be said of managed “sympathy” and “pity”? Do you think the 5 or 10 stories they parade before the public represents a true picture of the majority of the 47 million (more like about half that) uninsured in the country?

    And is it lying or manipulating to provide information on Health Care Systems similar to those they are trying to force on us?

  6. Fear Mongering is not the same as truth telling. Fear mongering is when you use lies to create unreasoning panic and actions based on ignorance and lack of fact.

    Truth telling is when you have the fact of real people suffering real experiences and letting all of us know about it.

    Vast difference between the two. I would rather have the truth telling. I would rather know what people are really suffering and try to solve those problems than to hear fear mongering where truth is not there so we can’t truly solve any problems because there is no truth in fear-based lies. Please think about that the next time you hear fear-mongering by the wing nuts on the right led by Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Bachmann, etc.

  7. Fear mongering and mis-information have always been the tools of freedom fearing revolutionary movements. Communists, Maxists, Socialists, any movement that seeks to limit the free will of its populace will resort to these tactics.

    The Greeks, the Romans, and even the Native Americans, undertood that open, honest debate was essential to any nation who wants it’s people to be free. Only those who do not want people to be free will resort to lies and distortions.

    So I ask, who is more likely to use a tactic of lies and fear mongering, those who speak out in order to prevent an unconstitutional powergrab by our federal government, or those who want to subvert the Constitution in order to force people into a certain behaviour or activity that they deem better?

  8. @Tommy

    Nice speech and I agree with much of it. Finishing it up with a rhetorical question which suggests that in fact it is the dems and not reps who are utilizing fear and lies is odd. Odd in that it completely ignores the ton of examples which says the complete opposite.

    I know you’re hung up on this ‘subverting the Constitution’ shtick (baseless) but simply stating stuff doesn’t quite cut it. It does not matter “who is more likely” to do anything. All that matters is who is actually doing it.

  9. @mario

    I think liberals and conservatives are each blinded by their own rhetoric. The really hardcore ones will believe anything their side says, and disbelieve anything the other side says. Where does that get us?

    Even if we have some sort of “truth meter” that accurately calculates the truthfulness of each statement uttered by each side, what will it accomplish? It’s up to each of us to be responsible for what we accept as true. Do you believe everything Media Matters puts out, and disbelieve everything Fox puts out? I doubt it. You weight what they say against what you already know to be true.

    It’s that “what you already know to be true” aspect in both sides that worries me. I know for example that the Constitution has been a document that has worked really well to establish a republic unlike any that has ever existed before. Each of us has unlimited potential because of the safeguards it gives us. I don’t take the idea of messing with that very lightly.

    The 10th Amendment is very clear about the powers granted to the federal government. They were intended to be limited. That limitation protects us from a government that can become intrusive in our lives. By giving more and more control to the federal government of things that were traditionally handled at a state level, we leave ourselves open to a future of less personal control.

    Now be honest with me, what do you know to be true?

  10. Tommy, do you do anything but thump your chest and scream about Bamasoialistmarxcommies? Get your head examined, son.

  11. VP, you’ll notice I never once mentioned Obama. He wouldn’t even be on my radar of targets. He’s too visible. Visibility is the worst enemy of someone who wants to subvert something.

    I also don’t blame Democrats exclusively. There again, they’re just the latest “duckie” in the amusement park shooting gallery we call politics.

    I’m only asking people to find a common base of reference. My main one is the Constitution. If you don’t agree with that, that’s fine. Please tell me however what your base of reference is. What do you hold someone’s idea up against to determine if you think it’s a good idea?

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