Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stop Lying

In my previous post (below), I refer to the false balance that affects — or should I say, “infects” — journalism.

I must, for he sake of conscience and what truth there may be in public discourse these days, take my discussion a step further. In Amarillo, the Amarillo Globe-News goes far beyond false balance and peddles lies. Here is a quote from today’s editorial, “While a government shutdown is not going to help Republicans (and won’t derail the federal government’s takeover of health care), there is a simple but legitimate question we ran across recently related to Obamacare that puts the problem in perspective.”

First, the Affordable Care Act is not a government takeover of health care. As I’ve pointed out on many occasions, the ACA restructures many of the mechanisms for financing health services, but it is not a “takeover.” As Winthrop Quigley so clearly and brilliantly points out in his Albuquerque Journal column today, “As it happens, Obamacare has very little to do with health and everything to do with finance. It is an attempt to rescue the nation’s for-profit health-care financing system from itself.”

In short, Dave Henry and Les Simpson you two are either too stupid to understand what the act is about or you do understand and you continue to spread disinformation. That makes you liars, but it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve either shown abysmal ignorance or mendaciousness.

Henry and the AGN editorial goes on to ask, “What reason is there for optimism that a government-mandated takeover will work, now or in the future?”

If you define “government takeover” as the Veteran’s Administration or the military medical services, then I share your pessimism. Those are not the shining lights of systems that consistently and across the board deliver the best of American medical care. Oh, some places do, especially those affiliated with university-based training programs; but those are the exception.

On the other had, if you define “government takeover” as the financing mechanism, then the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services far outshines any of the private insurance firms. As I’ve pointed out, the retention rate for Medicare is generally around 2 percent, far more efficient than the administrative and overhead costs of the private insurance companies.

At the end of the disinformation — maybe we should refer to the AGN as Amarillo’s Disinformation Station — the editorial almost incoherently states, “Don’t forget, there is a reason this country is $17 trillion in debt, give or take a few trillion or million, which shouldn’t be a problem for the federal government.”

Well, Dave, some of us haven’t forgotten why we’re this far in debt. It’s because the former Republican president and his corrupt and lying vice president and defense secretary lied the United States into two Middle Eastern wars. And, because they turned their heads on the corrupt acts of the Wall Street bankers who triggered the Great 2008 Recession.

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan pointed out, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”