Chaos, misinformation and lies used as ingredients to derail health care reform

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by Juanita Bratcher

A health care bill devoid of “public option” would be insignificant and useless in bringing about REAL health care reform to America.

But unfortunately, there are organizations, lobbyists and special interests groups that are using underhanded tactics and misinformation to try and derail efforts by the Obama Administration to overhaul the health care industry. And Republican leadership in Washington is using delay tactics to stall passage of a comprehensive health care bill that they seem unwilling to compromise with and show no real interest in supporting in the first place.

Then there are the Sarah Palins, Rush Limbaughs and Glen Becks putting their spins on health care legislation that are totally untrue and doesn’t even make much sense – “death panels” and “reparations.” All of which are untrue.

Palin posted a message on her Facebook account that warned of “death panels” that would be set-up to encourage euthanasia.

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society’ whether they are worthy of health care,” she wrote. “Such a system is downright evil.”

Most Americans seem to want an overhaul of the health care industry. And a watered-down bill is unacceptable to many Americans. If a bill is devoid of public option, it can be looked upon as a band-aid without the adhesive.


While President Barack Obama’s desire is to push for a bipartisan health care bill, chances of that happening seems nil at best; and in the end might be a bill solely passed by House and Senate Democrats.

In Obama’s weekly broadcast, he stated that public option was still an option, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the Democratic-control House would not approve an overhaul health care bill without it. Sixty House liberals penned a letter to Health and Human Services Sec’y Kathleen Sebelius stating that they would not support a health care plan without a public option. The letter, signed by House members Raul Gryalva, Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee, is as follows:

Dear Secretary Sebelius,

We write to you concerning your recent comments about the public option in health insurance reform.

We stand in strong opposition to your statement that the public option is “not the essential element” of comprehensive reform. The opportunity to improve access to healthcare is a onetime opportunity. Americans deserve reform that is real – not smoke and mirrors. We cannot rely solely on the insurance companies’ good faith efforts to provide for our constituents. A robust public option is essential, if we are to ensure that all Americans can receive healthcare that is accessible, guaranteed and of high-quality.

To take the public option off the table would be a grave error; passage in the House of Representatives depends upon inclusion of it.

We have attached, for your review, a letter from 60 Members of Congress who are firm in their Position that any legislation that moves forward through both chambers, and into a final proposal for the President’s signature, MUST contain a public option.

Adding to the problem of House and Senate members’ attempts to have civil dialogue on health care initiatives with constiuency during recess, some town hall protesters are showing up outside of health care town hall meetings with guns openly displayed in holsters because it is their Second Amendment right to bear arms, they say. There are also disruptive and boisterous meetings on the inside.

When President Barack Obama discussed health care initiatives at the Convention Center in Phoenix, several people showed up outside the center with openly displayed guns strapped to their side. According to reports, one man was said to have an AR-15 slung over his shoulder and a holstered pistol on his hip.

Second Amendment rights are fine, but what about discretion and good common sense? Why show up at a public meeting with guns openly displayed? There’s an old saying, “there’s a time and place for everything.” Guns at a public information meeting on health care? If they attended the meetings without going inside to hear the message, why did they show up in the first place? Obviously, they didn’t come to hear about proposed health care initiatives. Was it to intimidate? And if so, whom? Did they think about safety concerns of others attending the event or that they felt uncomfortable being around guns?

At many meetings/rallies such as this, there are protesters on both sides of the fence. Some people can be tempermental, arguments can break out between opposing factions, and it can lead to stupid moves by one or the other. They get so heated about issues that if someone says anything in opposition to what they think, it could turn into a “wild, wild west escapade. And sometimes their actions can bring harm to an innocent  victim.

According to reports, one of the gun-toters had the nerve to say that he was making a “political statement.” What kind of political statement? For acting like an idiot?

Obama has tried to clear up misinformation such as health care legislation will create “death panels”, that illegal immigrants will be recipients of health care, and that it will fund abortions.

In a conference call with religious leaders, Obama said, “I know that there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate and there are some folks out there who are frankly, bearing false witness. I need you to spread the facts and speak to truth.”

Reportedly, a reform of health care would extend health care coverage to nearly 50-million Americans without insurance and hold back skyrocketing cost. It would also force accountability from insurance companies, private insurers. And those with insurance can remain with their insurance companies if they choose to do so.

The debate over public option will continue, but chaos, misinformation and lies should not be factors in trying to derail “real” health care reform.           


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