04 April 2010

He Can't Be Bothered

We've all heard about the Florida doctor who taped a sign in a window directing people who voted for Obama should "seek urologic help elsewhere" (noting cleverly that "Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years"). The good doctor, of course, is free to do as he likes, and I certainly take no issue with him critiquing health care reform, nor with his "warning off" patients. What I do find concerning is that the doctor doesn't actually know what is in the health care bill. That's right. Although it's been online for months, apparently, tl;dr. In fact, as he told Alan Colmes, he opposes the bill because "I’m not the guy who wrote the plan." From the interview:
Cassell: Hospice cuts in 2012…Does the government want people to die slowly?
Colmes: Do you really think the government wants people dead?
Cassell: Well I think that they’re cutting all supportive care, like nursing homes, ambulance services…
Colmes: What to you mean they’re cutting nursing homes?
Cassell: They’re cutting nursing home reimbursements
Colmes: Isn’t what they’re cutting under the Medicare plan what was really double dipping; they were getting credits and they were getting to deduct them at the same time.
Cassell: Well you know, I can’t tell you exactly what the deal is.
Colmes: If you can’t tell us exactly what the deal is, why are you opposing it and fighting against it?
Cassell: I’m not the guy who wrote the plan.
Colmes: But if you don’t know what the deal is why are you speaking out against something you don’t know what the deal is?
Cassell: What I get online, just like any other American. What I’m supposed to understand about the bill should be available to me.
Colmes: It is; it’s been online for a long time; it’s also been all over the media…
In fact, the National Association of Home Care and Hospice praises much of the bill

Don't you rather expect a doctor to have an eye for details? Or at least to realize the significance of seeking evidence to support one's claims--of fact-checking--and of not assuming to know the truth or falsity of an issue based on hearsay? Of course we find this all over the place--well-educated people asserting "truths" that are certainly shaky or undeniably false, but, at least in terms of health care reform, this has become all-too common. As Steve Benen writes, "some of the loudest, angriest critics of the Affordable Care Act are also some of the least informed, most confused, embarrassingly ignorant observers anywhere." The question is, under media exposure, do these critics carry on asserting a questionable "truth", or do they revise their assertions in the face of evidence? Based on the media's history of privileging of the loudest, more notorious Obama critics--despite how ill-informed they might be--my guess is that the good doctor will continue to assert his version of "the truth," and he will enjoy another 12 minutes of fame.

H/T Balloon Juice

No comments: