Public Comment

Top Five Healthcare Reform Lies

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday September 03, 2009 - 11:15:00 AM

MoveOn’s Real Voices for Change campaign put together this list of healthcare reform lies that are spreading via anonymous e-mail chains. Remember when Sarah Palin bizarrely said that President Obama was going to set up a “death panel,” whatever that is. Here is MoveOn’s list of lies and their efforts to set the record straight. Spread the word. 

Lie No. 1: President Obama wants to euthanize your grandma! 

The truth: These accusations—of “death panels” and forced euthanasia—are, of course, flatly untrue. As an article from the Associated Press puts it: “No ‘death panel’ in healthcare bill.” What’s the real deal? Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans. 

Lie No. 2: Democrats are going to outlaw private insurance and force you into a government plan! 

The truth: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. Obama’s reform plans will create a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace for affordable, high-quality insurance options. Included in the exchange is the public health insurance option—a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers—that will operate alongside private insurance companies, injecting competition into the market to drive quality up and costs down. 

If you’re happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them. But the new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or individuals who choose to opt into it, including many who simply can’t afford healthcare now. 

Lie No. 3: President Obama wants to implement Soviet-style rationing! 

The truth: Health care reform will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage. Right now, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered—that is rationed care. And a big part of reform is to stop that. 

Healthcare reform will do away with some of the most nefarious aspects of this rationing: discrimination for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime and yearly limits on coverage. And outside of that, as noted above, reform will increase insurance options, not force anyone into a rationed situation. 

Lie No. 4: Obama is secretly plotting to cut senior citizens’ Medicare benefits! 

The truth: Healthcare reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits. Reform includes savings from Medicare that are unrelated to patient care—in fact, the savings comes from cutting billions of dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse. 

Lie No. 5: Obama’s healthcare plan will bankrupt America! 

The truth: We need healthcare reform now in order to prevent bankruptcy—to control spiraling costs that affect individuals. 

Source: lies.html?rc=tw. 


Ralph E. Stone is a retired Bay Area attorney.