Aug 5, 2009

Fear mongering campaign against health care reform splitting Americans

The organized effort by a rightwing Washington, D.C. lobbying firm and an all out misinformation and fear mongering blitz by Republicans is making some headway against President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday today say 50 percent of Americans support the president's plans, with 45 percent opposed. Republicans have said this is not about reforming a system where more than 47 million Americans have no access to health care and health care premiums for family plans have increased 78 percent in Michigan since 2000 but simply about defeating Obama at all costs.

Health insurance lobbyists are spending $1.4 million a day on lobbying Congress to protect huge profits when other corporations are reporting losses or reasonable profits. In fact, just last month, health insurance giant United Health Group Inc. reported a second quarter profit of $859 million, a 155 percent increase from the $337 million earned during the same quarter a year ago; that’s what Republicans are trying to protect.

Right-wingers are rolling out every false fear tactic they can think of no matter how bizarre or false; from assisted suicide and rationing to long waits and the government getting between the doctor and the patient.

To make sure you don’t hear the truth and the facts, the rightwing lobbying firm and think tank Freedom Works, chaired by former U.S. House Majority Leader and rightwing Republican Dick Armey, are scripting and instructing people how to disrupt townhall meetings where lawmakers are trying to speak to constituents. These are the same people who organized the false Astroturf “tea parties.”

The CNN poll found some interesting things. “Nearly half of those who oppose the Obama plan say they are more likely to attend town hall meetings to express their views on health care; only 37 percent of those who support Obama's plan are very likely to attend a public forum on that issue.” We need to change that so the Democratic lawmakers – and that is who are being targeted just like the fake “tea parties – so they can speak freely and answer the questions of respectful people who show up and simply want answers from the people they elected.

The survey also suggests “that around seven out of 10 Americans think that major structural changes are necessary to reduce health care costs or provide insurance coverage to all Americans.” That’s not at all surprising considering the U.S. is also ranked 37th among all countries in health system performance, according to the World Health Organization.

We simply cannot afford not to reform health care. Medical problems caused 62 percent of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. in 2007, according to a study by Harvard researchers, in a story published in Business Week. And in a finding that surprised even the researchers, 78 percent of those filers had medical insurance at the start of their illness, including 60.3 percent who had private coverage.

The poll suggested an interesting split among generations. “Obama's plan is most popular among younger Americans and least popular among senior citizens," says CNN polling director Keating Holland. "A majority of Americans over the age of 50 oppose Obama's plan; a majority of those under 50 support it."

So, the people who have the option of soon going on a government provided plan – Medicare, the most popular health insurance program in the U.S., based on patient surveys – oppose the President’s plan, but those will have no option support the plan. Strange.

Remember, U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, is holding a health care town hall at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Romulus Athletic Center, 35765 Northline Road in Romulus. You can hear answers from a man who saw the need for health care reform a half century ago. We need to stand up against those who don’t want the truth to come out and will attempt to drown him out.


bluzie said...

The nasty tactics will be the further undoing of the Republican Party which has been losing ground for years!
They work to disgust people with these tactics and not embrace anyone. They are not allowing people to speak, they are rude and loud and if they think they are doing good work, they have lost their collective minds.

Not Anonymous said...

I guess we're doing something right then. If Democrats are going to worry about the future of the Republican party if they continue these tactics (which aren't true, by the way), then the answer must be for Republicans to continue to ask their elected officials questions and then call them out on it when they stand there and lie.

Senator Specter said that it was necessary to get it done fast after listening to a question from a constituent. The crowd responded with a no. It's more important to get it right, not to get it done fast.

They listened to Kathleen Sebelius say she was not a member of Congress and never has been before they groaned. They disagreed with her when she gave her excuses for the various plans that have been put out.

In New York, the people responded to what the Congressmen said in response to questions, which were heard.

The only one that I saw where they were chanting was at Congressman Dogget. But he wasn't talking. He was walking away. They chanted, "Just say no." Letting him know that they didn't favor the proposed health care plans.

I have yet to see anyone drown out anyone asking questions and they only drowned out the elected officials after hearing them lie about what's being done or the speed in doing it.

Where were you when they made the movie about Bush being assassinated? Where was your indignation at liberals calling Bush "monkey boy"?

Why did the press not question the accuracy of Cindy Sheehan, but they question the people asking questions now at town hall meetings and why haven't you complained about that?

Why are you complaining about protests and people asking questions when Obama was a community organizer that organized these very types of protests?

It appears that you're perfectly happy when threats, suggestions and protests are made about Bush, but you're upset that people dare to stand up for their beliefs against the government takeover of 1/6 of the economy.

Anonymous said...

So true... funny how they are against all of the tactics they used to get Obama elected.. what's good for the goose is good for the gander I say. If any party is going down I hope it's both the Dems and Repubs... it's time to rebuild our country!

Not Anonymous said...

(From a Senior Level Chrysler person)

Monday morning I attended a breakfast meeting where the speaker and
guest was David E. Cole, Chairman of Center for Automotive Research
(CAR) and Professor at the University of Michigan. You have all likely
heard CAR quoted, or referred to in the auto industry news lately.

Mr. Cole, who is an engineer by training, told many stories of the
difficulty of working with the folks that the Obama administration has
sent to save the auto industry. There have been many meetings where a
30+ year experience automotive expert has to listen to a newcomer to
the industry, someone with zero manufacturing experience, zero auto
industry experience, zero business experience, zero finance experience,
and zero engineering experience, tell them how to run their business.

Mr. Cole's favorite story is as follows:

There was a team of Obama people speaking to Mr. Cole (Engineer,
automotive experience 40+ years, and Chairman of CAR). They were
explaining to Mr. Cole that the auto companies needed to make a car
that was electric and/or run on liquid natural gas (LNG) with enough
combined fuel to go 500 miles so we wouldn't 'need' so many gas

Mr. Cole explained that to do this you would need a trunk FULL of
batteries and a LNG tank at big as a car to make that happen and that
there were problems related to the laws of physics that prevented them

The Obama person interrupted and said (and I am quoting here) ....

"These laws of physics? Who's rules are those, we need to change that.
(Some of the others wrote down the name of the laws so they could look
it up later.) We have the Congress and the Administration. We can
repeal that law, amend it, or use an executive order to get rid of that
problem. That's why we are here, to fix these sort of issues."

And there are those who want the government to run health care - right!?

Funny, huh?

bluzie said...

The function of a Townhall Meeting is to hear and be heard. So listen to the speaker and ask questions.
If you want a protest, then protest outside, but people came to hear their speaker and ask questions not to be part of an angry mob, where no one can hear a thing the speaker is saying. If you want to be a speaker, have your own townhall meeting.
There is NO EXCUSE for rudeness.
This will not end well and I personally will do what I can to have mob rule stopped.

Communications guru said...

I could care less about the future of your bankrupt party. What I do care about is your party putting out false information and using "thugery” to hijack meetings.

Senator Specter is correct if he said that it was necessary to get it done fast. This has been a proposal around for 50 years, and we have 50 million Americans without access to quality health care.

Do you honestly think the way those crowds acted is the proper way for civilized people to act? If you do, you have a problem. Maybe that’s the way they act in Ohio.

What does a fictional movie have to do with high-priced lobbyists getting people to act like thugs? People were calling questioning and making fun of Bush’s intelligence, or lack of it. Bush has never had to endure the racist attacks like President Obama has. Even the facebook page trying to drum up people to disrupt Dingell’s townhall meeting has a racist photo of Obama.

“Why did the press not question the accuracy of Cindy Sheehan?” Because there was nothing inaccurate about it. She lost her son in a senseless war Bush sold on faulty intelligence he knew to be faulty and manipulated to make his case for a war that did not need to be fought. No one is complaining about asking questions in a townhall, they are complaining about their thug-like behavior.

Obama didn’t organize protests. I have no problem with protests, but this is just intimidation and trying to stop people from hearing the truth.

What does this have to do with Bush? No protestor ever got within a half a mile of Bush. The thugs you support are following an elected official through the parking lot threatening him.

Communications guru said...

No one ever used these kinds of tactics to get Obama elected. I challenge you to produce one instance to prove your outrageous claim.

Communications guru said...

Not only not funny, but irrelevant, but more importantly, 100 percent false. David E. Cole has never met with the Obama task force. Factcheck debunked this myth.

See the link.

But to answer your question; the government is not running health care, and the government will not run health care with this current reform.

Communications guru said...

I agree, bluzie, but they don’t want you to hear.

bluzie said...

But they will hear if they go to see John Dingell. They will listen or be forced to leave. They will be given a chance like everyone else for questions and answers, but they will behave themselves or be escorted out. Enough is enough!

Not Anonymous said...

This is true. I read that union thugs were going to be used to keep the peace. Or maybe you could call out the New Black Panther group. They seem to get a free pass for intimidating people.

bluzie said...

Someone asked about documents describing how to disrupt a townhall meeting.
If you google that search you will find many, but here is he one thinkprogess has given a link.

RRR said...

These shameful episodes of the DNC dismissing Obamacare opponents as paid shills -even running disengenuous TV ads to slander them- while SanFranNan is halucinating and seeing imaginary Swastikas- should make clear to anyone just what these far-left elitists think of your opinion.

Note that whenever Obama, Emanuel, or Gibbs are asked about why polls show SO many people oppose their misguided Cap-n-Trade and Obamacare proposals, they ALWAYS segue-right-into “we need to educate the public…”.

LOL- save your breath- Constitutionally-aware patriots don’t take lectures from Marxists.

bluzie said...

You want to educate people? Conduct your own Townhall meetings, don't poach other people's.
Secure your own location, get your speakers, do the work!
This disruption is nothing about education. I think you are too lazy to do a townhall meeting. When did Mike Roger's ever do one?
Lazy,crazy liars, that is who you represent.

kevins said...

well, geez bluzie, at least you aren't resorting to cheap name-calling.

You are starting to sound about as sane as guru.

Communications guru said...

No one ever said health care reform opponents were “paid shills,” “RRR.” What I said, and it is a fact, is that paid lobbyists and the RNC are inciting tea baggers with lies like there is a “death panel” for senior citizens, and they are doing the bidding of health insurance providers.

“SanFranNan?” Who the hell is that, and the only one seeing swastikas is Rush “Viagra” Limbaugh.

It isn’t “so many people oppose Cap-n-Trade and health care reform.” The President and Democrats campaigned on reforming health care, and the people spoke loud and clear last November. The problem is the middle class doesn’t have $1.4 million a day to spend like the insurance lobbyists do.

I’m not lecturing anyone, and I’m not a Marxist. I’m a patriotic American and a proud liberal.

Communications guru said...

No one resorts to “cheap name-calling like you, brett.

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kevins said...

Actually, Nancy Pelosi says she has seen swastikas.

Communications guru said...

I’ve seen swastikas, too. Just go to any “tea party” or a townhall meeting put on by a Democrat.