4:45 PM Eastern - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pushing Back on Right-Wing Lies on Reform

The video above is an example of good work by the White House to rebut smears that the right-wing has used to create a sense of fear in their base supporters. Linda Douglass, who leads White House communications on healthcare, responds to the false accusations that President Obama is seeking to abolish private health insurance and is pushing for legislation that would prevent individuals from choosing their own doctors. Obviously both are false--and Douglass does a great job of going point-by-point to defend Obama.

What's even more effective is that the video features cuts of President Obama himself stating clearly what he thinks reform should and should not do. For example, the President has consistently said that if you like your insurance plan, your doctor (or both), you will be able to keep them--and he's even proposed eight consumer protections relating specifically to the health insurance industry.

Not surprisingly, the right-wing doesn't have a leg to stand on when they are left dealing with facts and not fear tactics.

Video crops out truth of Obama's comments on healthcare

As chronicled by Media Matters, some of the fabrications on Obama's health care reform plan are so blatant they make you want to jump up and yell "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" at the talking heads, politicians and corporate lobbyists. For example: On August 2rd, a YouTube video surfaced of from an SEIU/CAP event in 2007 featuring Obama discussing health care--specifically, the then-Senator was discussing how health insurance could transition away from a system of primarily "employer coverage."

foxnation-20090803-private-1.jpgCut to Drudge Report and Fox News declaring, "Uncovered Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will 'Eliminate' Private Insurance" and "2007 Video! Did Obama Say He Wants to Kill Private Insurance?," respectively. Funny, we were at that event in 2007, and that's not quite how we remember it.

Here's Media Matters for the fact check:

Contrary to cropped video, Obama did not suggest "employer coverage" would be "eliminate[d]" in 10 to 20 years. Nor did he suggest it would be eliminated by his plan. What Obama actually said [YouTube video cropped the comments in italics]: "But I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out where we've got a much more portable system.

Obama stated during forum that under his plan, employers "still have the option of providing coverage." Following the remarks included in the YouTube video, Obama stated that under that "much more portable system": Employers still have the option of providing coverage, but many people may find that they get better coverage, or at least coverage that gives them more for health care dollars than they spend outside of their employer. And I think we've got to facilitate that and let individuals make that choice to transition out of employer coverage."

Later in forum, Obama stated that under his plan, pooling options would exist "in addition to the employer based system." Obama stated: "[O]ne thing that I think is important is to recognize that there are a lot of small employers who would like to get health care for their workers but they themselves can't afford it because they don't have access to large enough pools to allow them to save money. That's why I think it's going to be important for us in whatever system that we set up to make sure that in addition to the employer based system that we've got an alternative system that individuals who aren't getting it through the job can access."

This is the most important time in the movement to fix health care; we need to continue shining a light on the distortions and biased stats. When all else fails (i.e. the facts), the right-wing always resorts to what it knows best. Could it be because they're hoping you'll be so scared, you won't ask for any?

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