"A Daily Dose of Truth" (#9):
Repeal? Defund? Dismantle? Or move ahead?
Truth is witness to the whole. One short sound-bite taken out of context -- even if it's a fact -- does not necessarily represent the whole truth. We denounce the use of such sound-bites (from any party!) when they are intended to pervert truth for political gain. In the end, we acknowledge that a manipulation of facts to frighten and confuse vulnerable populations is just plain immoral.
Media commentators and political operatives from every perspective have been busy since the mid-term elections analyzing just what the vote meant. Like usual, all of us are interpreting the results in ways that are consistent with our own world views. What is missing is public discussion based on any truth behind the polling data.
One set of data that seems to get fairly broad agreement from all sides shows the American public is still divided on health care reform: 47% want to either leave the Affordable Care Act as is or expand it; 48% want repeal it; the rest are too confused to have an opinion.
Supporters assert that because half of us like the law there is no mandate for repeal. Leadership among the opposition interpret the same numbers as a mandate to repeal the new law -- even though exit polls show that jobs and the economy, not health care reform, should be the focus of the 112th Congress.
So where is the truth?
- It IS true that much of the public remains confused. Partisan disagreements, often based on myths, and sometimes lies, have trumped earnest dialogue about what's really in the law.
- It is true that many of the provisions of the new law arose from opponents' proposals in earlier reform attempts, included in an effort to garner bi-partisan agreement.
- Most of all, it is true that there is broad support for a wide range of provisions of health care reform. When factual statements are made about the law in settings where dialogue can happen, opponents actually lean more favorably to it.
Can the inflammatory political rhetoric really lead to the repeal, de-funding, or dismantling of reform? Can the change in our state houses complicate what needs to be done at the state level? Two recent articles help answer those questions.
The truth is we really don't know for sure what the future holds. Never before have we walked this particular road through a political environment like that of today. Never before have we embarked on such change in the context of the mass media capacities of this generation.
What we do know is major social change is never easy. Passing child labor laws, giving women the right to vote, guaranteeing civil rights for Africans Americans, establishing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid were every bit as difficult as enacting health care reform. And the debates around none of these issues were over just because a law was passed. In fact, changes to all of these legislative efforts were what ultimately led to their sustainability.
So, the truth is that there will be a long and difficult road ahead which will be mitigated somewhat as more and more people realize how the Affordable Care Act can positively impact our health care future. But more important is that this environment gives justice-seekers the opportunity to help transform public discourse with hope and truth, thus transcending the fear and lies that undermine progress on behalf of the common good.
>>> Note: Faithful Reform in Health Care is diligent about remaining non-partisan in its efforts to educate people of faith about health care reform. Unfortunately, this discussion is very partisan. The inclusion of what can be perceived as partisan materials in this Daily Dose is done in an attempt to present somewhat objective answers to partisan questions.
A Daily Dose of Truth Online
#1: Medicare in Health Care Reform
#2: Health Care Reform and Home Sales
#3: The Requirement to Buy Insurance in Health Care Reform
#4: There's a Lot to Like in Health Care Reform
#5: Making end-of-life decisions
#6: The "R" Word (rationing) in health care reform
#7: Health care reform & small businesses (including faith communities)
#8: The tax on "Cadillac" health insurance plans
#9: Repeal? Defund? Dismantle? Or move ahead?
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About "A Daily Dose of Truth"
It's clear, the attack on health care reform will continue as we move toward the time when the new Congress begins its work in January 2011. Even if the attacks are not completely true or, even worse, false, they are working. The mis-statements, selected to elicit fear, are having a profound impact on our electoral and legislative process. Shame on us!
As people of faith -- trusted messengers -- it's our turn! With fewer financial resources, but with relationships that reach into the depth and breadth of our communities, it is our job to transcend partisan politics and economic self-interests, and to be the truth-tellers in support of a compassionate health care future with a system that includes and works well for all of us.
We begin with the declaration that "truth is witness to the whole." We know that one short sound-bite taken out of context -- even if it's a fact -- does not necessarily represent the whole truth. We denounce the use of such sound-bites (from any party!) when they are intended to pervert truth for political gain. In the end, we acknowledge that a manipulation of facts to frighten and confuse vulnerable populations is just plain immoral.
We can change what's happening, but it means each of us must be willing to share the TRUTH when we hear it. We can and must make a difference because health care is, first and foremost, a people issue that should not be relegated to the caverns of political ideologies. In sharing TRUTH, we are not supporting one candidate over another. We are simply making sure that people make their choices based on truth that witnesses to the whole -- not on distorted perceptions based on mis-represented facts.
"A Daily Dose of Truth" will arrive in your email almost daily to help you compare what you are hearing to the real TRUTH in the Affordable Care Act. Please help spread the message to the far reaches of our country -- via viral email, Facebook, telephone calls, chats with neighbors, and discussions in your communities of faith. Help us counter what is touted as true (with a little "t") with what is actually the TRUTH!
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