Before a society can make intelligent choices about something that affects its citizenry, it must know the facts. In the United States the debate over health care reform is degenerating into violence and at least one congressman (Brad Miller of North Carolina) has received a death threat for his support of Obama’s health care plan. There has been a carefully orchestrated misinformation campaign that has spread rumors that, among other things, Americans would be forced to give up their private insurance and that seniors would be euthanized. Neither of these things are true.
Personally, I would rather see the government focus attention on ensuring that Americans can purchase their own health insurance no matter who they work for or what their pre-existing conditions are. I also saw first-hand how medical centers give expensive tests to people (me) who don’t need them just because insurance will cover them. (I went in to an emergency room needing pain medication and ended up with $8000 in Cat-scans and EKGs.) Clearly an overhaul is needed. But why not discuss the situation intelligently? Why must the debate become violent?
Thanks to Jill, I found this commentary by Paul Krugman. Krugman shares this interesting anecdote:
There was a telling incident at a town hall held by Representative Gene Green, D-Tex. An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands.
Obviously, Medicare IS government-run health care. Krugman makes the point this commentary (an excellent read!) that if the citizenry that are so violently opposed to Obama’s health care reform don’t know what they are opposed to, then they are actually opposed to something else.
The group that […]