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  • Missing the Facts on Townhall Concerns

    When health policy experts, journalists and those in the health care system gathered at the National Press Club this week to discuss the facts and fiction behind health care reform, they glossed over one key issue, and dismissed three others that people at town halls across the country keep bringing up.

    First the issue the Press Club event deemphasized: cost. Many voters (55 percent) say they’re more worried Congress will spend too much money and add to the federal deficit with health reform than they are that Congress won’t pass reform system, according to a new study released by Quinnipiac University.

    Worse, when many in the press, do address some of the other concerns Americans have about Obamacare (concerns that the Obama-approved health care reform will infringe on individuals’ freedom, allow for illegal immigrants to receive health benefits and fund abortion services with taxpayer dollars) they are unquestionably dismissive. Commenting on a recent NBC poll, MSNBC‘s Mark Murray asserts:

    Majorities in the poll believe the plans would give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants; would lead to a government takeover of the health system; and would use taxpayer dollars to pay for women to have abortions — all claims that nonpartisan fact-checkers say are untrue about the legislation that has emerged so far from Congress.

    President Barack Obama brought up these same concerns in an online health care forum with his advocacy group, Organizing for America. “Now, c’mon,” he told a cheering crowd of liberal community organizers. “We can have a real debate because health care is hard and there are some legitimate issues out there to be worked through. But we have to cut through the noise and misinformation.”

    But the President, MSNBC’s “nonpartisan fact-checkers,” and other policy experts don’t seem to understand the facts.

    The Heritage Foundation has shown why Americans should be asking their representatives about these issues:

    • Taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants: The House bill, as currently structured, does not offer clear guidelines to ensure that illegal immigrants cannot access taxpayer-funded health care benefits. An amendment to safeguard so only U.S. citizens could access federal health care benefits failed on a straight party-line vote.
    • Government takeover of health care system: Whether it’s a public health insurance plan, government-run cartel (which is being dubbed a “co-op”), individual mandate or employer mandate, the provisions in the health bills being pushed by the Obama administration call for more government regulation and intrusion in the American health care system. Even the mainstream media is calling President Obama to task for his own “misinformation” — that if you like your health insurance you can keep it if a public plan is introduced in the private insurance market. The Lewin Group found an estimated 56 percent of Americans with employer-based coverage would lose their current insurance under the House bill.
    • Funding abortions with taxpayer dollars: This concern has been raised in all three House committees and the Senate HELP committee. Based on the passage of an amendment to require at least one insurance plan to cover abortion each geographical region and the failure of several amendments to prohibit federal funds for abortion services, taxpayers could end up financing abortion.

    “A serious health reform effort warrants a serious discussion,” Health Affairs Editor Susan Dentzer said at the start of the press club event. She’s absolutely right.

    Americans should have the opportunity to voice their concerns (in a civilized tone) at the town halls this month and actually be heard by their representatives. Lawmakers also should deliberate this proposed health care overhaul in a civil and serious way that doesn’t include tactics like reconciliation to ram through health reform that many Americans don’t want.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Missing the Facts on Townhall Concerns

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      If the federal government really wants to help folks access quality care, offer generous individual tax breaks. Allow people to keep more of their earnings so they can choose a private health plan better tailored to their personal needs. The Beltway demagogues keep boasting about creating a competitive government run health plan. But no matter how they color their fantasy, it's still socialized medicine. And with it comes more intrusive federal control over people's lives. So again, not only is this whole nationalized healthcare debate economically misplaced, it's anti-American. Of course, look who's behind the wheel.

    2. Jackie Cousens, RI says:

      Has anyone figured out the expense to the tax payers for Obama's television invasions since his presidency commenced?

    3. Jody, Rockledge FL says:

      Washington, Aug 21 – Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) has announced that he will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting, open to the public, on the subject of Healthcare Reform in Brevard County on September 2, 2009 at 6:30 PM at the Holiday Inn on N. Wickham Road in Viera.

      The event will include presentations by Congressman Posey and Mr. Dennis Smith, former Director of the Federal Center for Medicaid and State Operation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A panel of representatives from local health care providers, medical practitioners, and the business community will also be available to field questions from residents.

      Open to all Residents of Florida’s 15th Congressional District

      Read more and RSVP by going here: http://www.posey.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.as

    4. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 08/20/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    5. Roger S., Ma. says:

      Missing facts? Read the bill! Study the bill! Understand the bill! How many from Congress have actually done it? Without this — admittedly Herculean — effort, how can they answer questions or preside over intelligent (and civilized) discussions? Where are the Major Media ? Instead of bending to their task of really informing the public, they practice idolatry! Instead of providing checkable information, they provide sound-bites! Instead of hard answers to tough questions, they give us "the show"! Small wonder the public has become fed up, or did I miss much?! Maybe, that "the facts" are none too savory, are better kept hidden?!

    6. Roger D, Henderson, says:

      It would seem that if I was trying to sell people health insurance that I would be on the plan and tell them that I was.

      Will Obama, Nancy, Harry and the others be the first to sign up for their plan?

      If they will not, why not?

    7. Pingback: Have Americans Stopped Having Confidence In Their Government? « A Nation ADrift-Why?

    8. patsy williams says:

      wouldn't it be great if they would write health care bill before they ask us to pass it? are we so stupid that we would give Washington a blank check,and think they would spend that money wisely.if we do that we deserve what we will get.

    9. edward M. says:

      the health care problem started with the union demands (Gov.( teachers ,cops ,poloticians,etc.) and private bloated factory workers)for everything that was'nt deservrd .Solution :You can have gov. health care plan if you are the employee , all others (wife ,overwieght kids etc .)have to pay like everyone else not employeed by gov.If private wants to give you all so be it.I want my property taxes to be lower so i too can afford health care coverage.The time to select a new form of government has arrived . The USA is not capable to govern America anymore !!!Demand a new voting ballot that states no more usa or dems. or repubs . Viva la revolution

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