With each passing day, I am becoming more convinced that a good many of the people who are engaging in the “debate” about healthcare reform have no clue about the issues that the Obama administration and Congress are wrestling with.
Last evening I logged on to a White House Forum on Healthcare Reform that was being conducted on Facebook. Not surprisingly, most of the participants in this chat room environment we posting comments favoring the Obama health plan. I don’t have a problem with people taking sides on an important issue like this, but most of the participants seem to lack knowledge of what is now being debated in Congress.
While I participated, a large number of the comments were directed at the sole person in the chat room who seemed to be challenging the need for reform, saying that he had a health savings account and it lowered his premiums and covered him for the unexpected and the catastrophic – a pretty good definition of insurance if you ask me.
However, this guy’s logic was met a myriad of slogans and catch phrases that indicated to me that the contributors were misinformed about the plans that are making their way through Congress. In fact they were making up their own version of what healthcare reform would look like.
Most comments, in my opinion, reflected a belief that there should to be a government-run single-payer system, and it ought to be free. One theme running through the posts was that of not wanting to have an insurance company telling them and their doctors what is, or is not, covered. I tried squaring that with having a government-run system, but my logic couldn’t take me there.
Thank goodness, that is not at all what the administration and Congress has been talking about. In fact, compared to where a lot of the people participating in the forum were, the bill being marked-up by the HELP Committee in the Senate sounds almost reasonable, despite its trillion dollar price tag and the threatened public plan option.
Having participated in this online experiment in democracy in action, I was not surprised when I read this morning that a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 50% of U.S. voters at least somewhat favor the Democrats’ health care reform plan, while 45% are at least somewhat opposed.
This in response to a question that did not in any way describe the plan as it stands to date. It was simply presented as the health care reform proposed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats.
What was interesting about the survey results is that while the overall numbers favor the plan, those with strong opinions tilt the other way. Twenty-four percent (24%) strongly favor the plan, but 34% are strongly opposed.
This tells me that these are the people who have taken at least some time to study the issues and learn about what the administration and Congressional leaders are really proposing including the projected costs and the proposed means of covering those costs.
Congress will reconvene on July 6. Hopefully, over the upcoming long weekend, more Americans will take time to read a newspaper article or simply Google “healthcare reform” and read what comes up. I think most will be surprised when they learn the details of the product that Congress is producing, and the price they will pay for it.