Archive for December 17th, 2010



17
Dec
10

museums, medals & michelle

First Lady Michelle Obama presents the National Medal for Museum and Library Services to 10 outstanding institutions, December 17

17
Dec
10

lie of the year: ‘a government takeover of health care’

Politifact: In the spring of 2009, a Republican strategist settled on a brilliant and powerful attack line for President Barack Obama’s ambitious plan to overhaul America’s health insurance system. Frank Luntz, a consultant famous for his phraseology, urged GOP leaders to call it a “government takeover.”

“Takeovers are like coups,” Luntz wrote in a 28-page memo. “They both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom.”

The line stuck….the law passed in March, with new regulations, but no government-run plan.

But as Republicans smelled serious opportunity in the midterm elections, they didn’t let facts get in the way of a great punchline. And few in the press challenged their frequent assertion that under Obama, the government was going to take over the health care industry.

PolitiFact editors and reporters have chosen “government takeover of health care” as the 2010 Lie of the Year. Uttered by dozens of politicians and pundits, it played an important role in shaping public opinion about the health care plan and was a significant factor in the Democrats’ shellacking in the November elections.

Read the rest of the article here

Politico: Bill Adair and Angie Drobnic Holan write at the nonpartisan, fact-checking website: “As Republicans smelled serious opportunity in the midterm elections, they didn’t let facts get in the way of a great punchline. And few in the press challenged their frequent assertion that under Obama, the government was going to take over the health care industry.

“The phrase is simply not true. Said Jonathan Oberlander, a professor of health policy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: ‘The label “government takeover” has no basis in reality, but instead reflects a political dynamic where conservatives label any increase in government authority in health care as a “takeover.” ’ …

“PolitiFact reporters have studied the 906-page bill and interviewed independent health care experts. We have concluded it is inaccurate to call the plan a government takeover because it relies largely on the existing system of health coverage provided by employers.”




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