Original Link: http://blog.aflcio.org/2009/05/28/here-come-the-big-lies-about-health-care-reform/
By Mike Hall
We noted a few days ago how the private insurance industry was set to unleash its attack dogs on health care reform to try to kill a public health insurance plan option as part of President Obama’s health care reform initiative.
Those dogs have started to bark.
Yesterday, the fake group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP)—another one of those astroturf names meant to appeal to All of Us—launched a $1.7 million TV ad campaign claiming we may all die if Obama’s health care reform proposals are enacted.
The ads don’t even skirt the neighborhood of the truth, but then, as Robert Borosage wrote last week, the health care industry has a long history of “trying to scare the hell out of Americans” when it comes to health care reform.
The ads conjure up the boogeyman of a “government-run” health care system where patients will die as their cancerous tumors grow to fatal stages while they wait months to receive care. Scary stuff. Phony, but meant to scare us all.
A public health plan option has won the endorsement of major health care groups and many senators and representatives and is a key component of the AFL-CIO’s health care reform principles.
It would provide workers who have private insurance and those without insurance a choice in coverage: Stay with their private plan or choose the public plan option. It would also—which scares the hay out of the private insurance industry—provide some competition for an industry that has secured a near-monopoly of the market and recorded record profits, while we are paying more for less care.
The Wall Street Journal reports that another group, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, is buying air time for a 30-minute Sunday morning infomercial featuring “horror stories” about the Canadian and British health care systems and warning the U.S. government is about to take over health care here.
Like AFP’s campaign, that message doesn’t even have a nodding acquaintance with the truth. But a key Republican strategist says the truth doesn’t matter when it comes to fighting health care reform. BTW, most Republican lawmakers have decried a public plan option with strikingly similar, and just as phony, arguments.
Think Progress reports that lies about health care reform are not going to go away anytime soon.
In an interview with The New York Times, conservative pollster Frank Luntz admitted that he would continue raising the false specter of a ”Washington takeover” of health care—whether or not that was Obama’s actual proposal. “I’m not a policy person. I’m a language person,” Luntz said.
Click here for a detailed look at the blueprint for the propaganda campaign against health care reform.
The truth may set you free, but a big lie just might protect Big Health Insurance Companies’ big profits.