During his recent speech before a joint session of Congress on his health care plan, President Barack Obama said "If you misrepresent what's in the plan, we will call you out." The legislators addressing the public where falsehoods are mindlessly repeated need to do just that.
Proponents need to create and distribute a list of the original sources of common misinformation for officials to cite by memory, so they can name the specific source to say, "what so-and-so told you isn't true."
That would hold the individual liars accountable as Obama implied would be done.
During his recent speech before a joint session of Congress on his health care plan, President Barack Obama said "If you misrepresent what's in the plan, we will call you out." So haven't defenders of the health care plan done that?
Congressional leaders addressing the public where falsehoods are being mindlessly repeated indeed should be calling out misrepresenters by name.
Proponents need to create a list of the original sources of common misinformation. Officials could familiarize themselves with it so they could connect a distortion to the specific source to say, "oh, yes, so-and-so started that rumor. It isn't true."
For example, on Sept. 9 the New York Times attributed allegations that the program would establish "death panels" to promote euthanizing elderly Americans to former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey of New York. Such a list would identify her as the initial source, with the Times article as reference.
To the extent the origin of other misinformation can be determined, it too should be "called out." That would hold the individual liars accountable as Obama implied would be done.
But that won't happen for a simple reason. The senators being paid to protect the health care industry privateers need misinformed grassroots opposition to help legitimize their mission: To flip reform upside-down.
With leadership from Senate Finance Committee health care bill writers Max Baucus, Charles Grassley and Kent Conrad, who collect more campaign money from the health care privateers than salary from taxpapers, the whole process is a joke. They have literally rewritten its intent from protecting Americans from predatory private industry practices, such as collecting ever-higher premiums for years and then abandoning insureds when they get sick, to forcing us all BY LAW to buy insurance from the predators.
Until the private interest money being stuffed into the back pockets of these Congressional leaders becomes the most persistent and prominent news, this health care reform surely will continue to be a cruel charade. It's going to leave most Americans worse off and the profiteering health care industry more entrenched and predatory than ever. It worked for the banking/lending/finance industries, so these industries must be licking their chops in anticipation of success.