Sunday, August 26, 2012

Misinformation At Its Best

    Yesterday one of our associates received a mailing from a group called "60 plus". True, he is slightly over sixty. This mailing, unsolicited,  bore correct address and somewhat correct family name. It appeared to be a specie of "junk mail". How it was targeted, we can only guess.

    It would normally land in a trash bin, where routinely its kind belongs, if it was not that the piece treated of issues of health care that are so dear and so freshly on the minds of our citizens. After opening it, an entirely new feeling overwhelms the reader. One can only wonder that so much of misinformation and propaganda can find its way into a civilized mail. What the originators of such message count on, can be only a total ignorance of a reader with regards to current events. At first, it makes an impression of being a "flight-by-night" operation of a political group opposed to its adversaries. It is not uncommon in a smear campaign to observe this kind of tactics. After checking the website given on the flier, it turns out to be an established, functioning group, no doubt financed by ultra-conservative members of our society.  We do not recommend reading it, but nevertheless wealth of information about it can be found on

    Back to the flier. It measures 11"x171/4" (28cm x 44cm), so it's rather large. Its spread consists of 3 folded panels. The wealth of visual information is, mildly putting it, stunning. We think, uncommon minds were there at work. Hard work! Some of the phrases are spelling truth. Naked truth. General truth. The truth that's taken out of context and put along with a picture that together creates great distortion and poisons the mind.
    Please, dear 60plus, do not take us for complete morons. Your approach is very crude, and it's time for something more intelligent than simplified scare tactic. The time for negative campaigns must be gone. Show some faith in brain power of American people. To show how brazenly this is done, read on.

    First panel asks the question, whether we as a nation can afford the path in health care we are on.

Obviously, we cannot. As we all know, the costs of health care in the US is much higher then in any developed nation (by a factor of 3 for Japan, Canada, UK, ...the list can go on). On top of it, the quality of our health care puts us in 37th position in the world, regarding vital statistics. With calling President Obama we would wait. Let's be honest. This was not his law. This was the law created by members of our House and Senate, and sort of a compromise with what he proposed. Whatever happened with the "Public Option" that was to be included with this health bill? It was killed by the lawmakers corrupted by the big insurance lobby. The picture here shows an elderly couple, a small businessman with his wife are looking into some papers, most likely bills to reconcile, sent by a greedy health care provider. The quote from The Weekly Standard is certainly not true.

    The second panel shows a concerned surgeon. How will America pay for my services? I am concerned with providing for my family! Instead of my usual take home pay of $470,000 a year, I will be only taking $450,000. This will put me in significant financial difficulty! We cannot have that. WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS LAW. Best way - repeal it. Let the insurance companies and care providers (ME including) rip off the society, especially those elderly and disadvantaged, that don't have a voice, and most of the middle class, that doesn't have much more.

    Let's take a look at the 3rd picture.

Higher Taxes.   No nation can exist without general taxes. Imagine the land without roads for example. Or an army! Or judicial system. Of course our tax money have to be spent a bit wiser, but the taxes WILL go up, regardless what kind of government we have. And they do ever.
Lost Jobs. General occurrence. Jobs are going overseas mostly. But to be honest, there is a marked improvement in jobs gain. Mostly menial and degrading jobs are created.
As to Medicare Cuts - Haven't you heard of all the abuses of care providers and insurance companies cheating the government, all at the expense of the tax payers? This is a pure utilization of generally known statements that have no connection with the subject of health care. Just to raise the level of anxiety of the reader. We all agree that the green of the dollar bills at the background of the picture add to authenticity of the statements showed in the foreground. We should nod our heads in confirmation of those truths. What is the meaning of them with regard to our health care - NONE. But they attempt to make impression that there is.

    An elderly coupe, deeply troubled, bent over insurance bills that cannot be paid. Deeply scarred faces, hands over heads in utmost desperation. Muscular arms of the man, who worked hard all his life, and at the end, he is left with nothing but grief. The woman, very modestly clad, wearing spectacles and clutching her head with one hand, with the other holding an unpaid health bill. A sore picture of pending ruin. They will have to file for bankruptcy. At their declining years such a trouble, such destitution. Background of "past due", "notice", "economic turbulence" and such others, add to the dismal picture of the impending catastrophe. We must feel strongly the empathy for their plight.
    It is so true! Again - "America CANNOT afford the path we're on". "Health care costs are skyrocketing", etc, etc... To mind come the words of Swiss Prime Minister: " would be a disgrace, if in this country (Switzerland) somebody bankrupted because of the health bills. To compare, the GNP of Switzerland is a small fraction of that of the USA. If they can bring it under control, why can't we. But for that we need to curtail the greed that's taken over all sectors of our health care and legislation.

    Again, quotes from different walks of life, entirely taken out of context, that are presented to fortify fear and make sure that nobody will sleep well after reading it. Mind the fact that whatever progress is made in health care provision in our country HAS to displace the system that permeated the country for so long. Pure, pay-for-service system, has no place in modern society, as multiple and successful systems around the world prosper for the benefit of other nations.

   Based on the previous contents, the conclusion is totally false. It serves the rich minority that fights to uphold present status. It is draining money and resources from the people that can least afford this to happen. All the wealth flowing from the current care system goes to the already deep pockets of the insurance companies and the providers. Just imagine that the executives of the health care providing conglomerates are worth BILLIONS. We are lucky, most of us, to have good roof over our heads and make ends meet from month to month.
    So, wait with this call to the President. We are confident that he will do what he can to ease our lot. He demonstrated his willingness already. He is not "big business".
                                                                                                             to be continued by
                                                                                                                 Hugh Harding

PhD-Central (Copyright) is a non-partisan, non-profit Midwestern group interested solely to benefit citizens of our Nation.