Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Health Reform's Public Image

Public opinion continues to slip for health reform, says Politico. As best I can tell, the main reason for this is that people don't understand it and so many politicians and media are running with misinformation.

For example, huge numbers of people still think there are "death panels" in the legislation. This is a complete fabrication. In an earlier draft, there was the ability of Medicare providers to bill Medicare for conducting end of life discussions with patients. This provision was dropped due to all of the public outcry, even though there never were going to be government officials deciding who lives and who dies. It was malarkey from the start.

There is a basic disagreement in America. Do we take responsibility for each other or do we not? Do we help the uninsured to become insured even if it means changes for all of us that are scary? Be careful about how you answer this question. There are plenty of politicians who are against health reform who also would dismantle Social Security and Medicare, or at the very least, privatize them.

If you want a social safety net for yourself if you get old and/or sick, you have to also favor the social safety net for others who are old and/or sick. Before you start screaming about big government, understand that, if you succeed, you not only will be taking something away from today's poor, old, and sick, but those resources won't be there for you if you need them.

There but for the grace of whomever/whatever go we all. Jennifer

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