11 August 2009

Rumor Central: Obamacare (Updated)

Taking a break from The Project to post some links regarding the plethora of rumors on health care reform.

1. For seniors concerned about Medicare and the fears of the government controlling "life and death decisions": the AARP has a page on "Myths vs. Facts"

2. "Health Insurance Reform Reality Check" addresses the claims that health insurance reform will:
-lead to a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing."
-would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors.
-will affect veterans' access to medical care.
-will harm small businesses.
-would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits.
-will force people out of their current insurance plans / force them to change doctors.
3. The rumors and distortions--on both sides--have kept Factcheck.org pretty busy. See the entries under:
"Health Care"
"Health Insurance"
4. The Truth-O-Meter at Politifact goes wild in the "Health" category.

5. The Associated Press fact checks rumors about "death panels" and clarifies the bill's statements on advanced care planning.

6. The Institute for Southern Studies corrects some of the misinformation presented by, among others, The Liberty Counsel (you can see the Liberty Counsel's full list of talking points here. This list appears to be one of the sources for Sarah Palin's much debunked claim about government run "death panels").
Note: Politifact approached the Liberty Counsel about a particularly specious claim on the list: that the health care bill "'will establish school-based 'health' clinics. Your children will be indoctrinated and your grandchildren may be aborted!". . .the bills now before the House say nothing about the school clinics being able to offer abortions." Politifact "spoke with Sarah Speller at the Liberty Counsel, who told us that the group had been getting a lot of calls about the memo and that everyone there was very busy as a result. However, she assured us that 'as far as our office can tell, everything in the overview is accurate. That's about all I can tell you,' she said. 'I'm just relaying what I've been told to say.' [Politifact] see no language in the three main versions of the bill that would allow school-based clinics, which have a long history of providing basic health services to underprivileged students, to provide abortions. Nor would the clinics even be new — they have been around for three decades. So we rate the claim Pants on Fire!
7. McClatchy publishes "Headed to a health care 'town brawl?' Read this first," a brief guide to wild claims about health care reform.

8. C Q Politics does a decent job at "Vetting the Health Care Rhetoric."

9. Factcheck has a fresh entry tackling a chain-email currently making the rounds: "Twenty-Six Lies About H. R. 3200." Factcheck notes that the email makes 48 claims. Of these, 26 are demonstrably false, 18 are misleading, and 4 are true.

If you find yourself in a muddle from all the misinformation floating about, the sites included above offer some clarity.

And it's back to The Project.

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