Remember Fight the Smears? I spent the better part of a year using it as inspiration and fodder to hammer insane wingnut lunatics out to prevent Barack Obama from becoming President by lying and sowing seeds of fear and loathing among the masses.

It didn’t work out well for them.

One reason it didn’t was a coordinated effort by the campaign and by bloggers like me who fought back – hard. It’s the only way you deal with insane ignorant bullies. Hit them hard and keep hitting them until those who might sheepishly go along are forced not to. It wasn’t easy, but it worked. It took up a ton of time I didn’t have, but it was worth it.

The Fight The Smears website was a brilliant idea and one in a long list of Obama campaign innovations that will be studied for years. The reason it worked was due mostly to it’s simplicity. A clearinghouse for campaign lies and smears that were being forwarded ad nauseum and parroted in right wing outlet after right wing outlet. The messaging was simple too. Fight the smears. Simple. Easy. Effective. The site was resource with which armies of supporters could battle the insanity of the Palin Mobs. The energy of supporters enabled the campaign to harness a cadre of people willing to get the message out and counter misinformation. Daily.

Mission Accomplished.

That we have to do it again is sad, really, but that’s where the Birthers, Palin Mobs, and Townhall Rioters have led us. It is the summer of wingnut discontent and it requires action. Enter “Health Insurance Reform Reality Check“. Not quite “Fight The Smears”, but “Reality Check” is the perfect messaging for what is happening. We are in serious need of a reality check. The stuff that is being peddle by the right is not reality. Death panels. Nazi end of life euthanasia for seniors. So-called “Socialized Medicine”. Killing the Down Syndrome child of a former VP candiate. These fuckers are as unhinged as ever.

So the next time you hear one of these fantastical objections to health care reform (ie complete made up crazy shit), use Reality Check to answer them. Whenever and wherever you see them. Our instinct is to laugh them off, sure. It’s what I did with most of the original Birther arguments and Obama smears. We should begin taking them on directly and unequivocally.

So what is in it for us average Americans? What will health care reform get us? Let’s first answer what it WON’T do:

NO Euthanasia for seniors
NO Government takeover of health care
NO Government rationing, but prevention of rationing by insurance companies
NO Veteran health care affects
NO Small business burden
NO Medicare cuts
NO Forcing you out of your current plan

Of course, the “no socialized medicine” argument is easily debunked by explaining to people what Medicare is (Government run health care). The ignorance in this debate is breathtaking. It’s going to take at least as much work as it did defeating the Obama smears. The misinformation may even be worse!

OK, so that’s what health care reform WON’T do. What about what’s in it for us? Good question. Here are several consumer protections guaranteed by reform. It’s too bad they couldn’t have grabbed realitycheck.com. It doesn’t look like it’s being used and that would be a sweet URL to point people to.

Fight it.

Mock it.

But don’t forget to COUNTER it!

See also: www.healthreform.gov

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  • Brian O’Connell

    It seems the Dems are going to have to add the Congressional Budget Office to the health care smears they’re fighting against.

    In a letter to a congressman, the head of the CBO cites that New England Journal of Medicine study I linked to here a few weeks back (finally!), which shows that preventive medicine doesn’t save money- it costs more, despite the health benefits it generally brings. Story here- the letter and NEJM article are linked to from it.

    Predictably, Dems complain about the CBO’s fairness. Hmm, why is the CBO always biased against the party in power?

    Note: Edited to remove empty link code in html

  • Paul

    It?s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want ?faceless bureaucrats? making medical decisions but they have no problem with ?private sector? ?faceless bureaucrats? daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people. And who says that the ?private sector? is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait, Medicare and Medicaid and our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that?s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

    How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a lynch mob advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It?s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that?s all I been seeing, they hate and can?t debate. Too bad.

  • @1: What you raise is a legitimate policy debate. Even you can recognize the difference between that and shouting about “SOCIALIZED MEDICINE”, Hitler, killing old people and Down Syndrome baby. Surely you can recognize the difference. Don’t be silent on the insanity, it will only make you complicit. I’m sure you don’t want that, Brian.

    @2: Well said.

  • Brian O’Connell

    Here’s the link to the CBO story. (I’m sure I pasted that in the first time.)

    Here’s Pelosi and Hoyer in today’s “un-American” piece:

    “Reform will also mean higher-quality care by promoting preventive care so health problems can be addressed before they become crises. This, too, will save money. We’ll be a much healthier country if all patients can receive regular checkups and tests, such as mammograms and diabetes exams, without paying a dime out-of-pocket.”

    Emphasis mine. The problem with the highlighted statement is that it’s false.

    On the broader issue, both sides of this debate occasionally lie, exaggerate or are being deceptive. This isn’t shocking.

    For instance, I doubt we’ll see euthanasia panels. On the other hand, it was Obama who said that that 100 year-old woman might be given a pain-killer rather than surgery, while at the same time claiming there will be no rationing. Try to square that if you can.

  • @4: All that was there was a here /a in the code. no url. I find your cost argument interesting and I note you only try to counter what the politicians are saying that you are against instead of finding the best policy for Americans. The Party of No, I guess. The logic doesn’t follow that preventing serious illness is more costly than not doing so and fixing the problems later via pharmaceuticals or surgery. It may be true that costs could increase, but it would be because very few Americans are given preventive health care and just wait to get sick or have a heart attack. I’m left wondering if any such study would consider the cost of lost productivity such a system might perpetuate. I’m also left wondering if a “cost only” analysis is right. There’s value in being healthy. What is the benefit to any increase in cost associated with preventive care and what costs are avoided? I looked at your study a while back in another thread and didn’t get any answers to these questions.

    Additionally, if I remember right, the study did not just simply conclude that Pelosi is wrong as you indicate. You over simplify the results greatly and leave out information that would counter your argument.

    On the broader issue, come on, Brian. You know better. These aren’t mere innocent political exaggerations. No more than claiming Obama is the Anti-Christ from Kenya. Your inability to call it for what it is I think is telling here. Please point to me the comparable lies or exaggerations on the left as it relates to health care?

    You can’t. Nobody on the left is claiming Republicans will kill their children or their grandparents.

    Easy to square.

    First, most 100 year olds are not capable of surviving some types of surgeries. It’s a doctor/patient/family thing and nothing in that will change despite your parroting all the scary and hypothetical future implications.

    Lastly, I’ll echo Paul here and find it funny that you are not up in arms at all about rationing that happens TODAY by corporate interests who decide people’s fates based on profits. I guess as long as corporations are “killing people” and not government it’s OK.

    All these arguments are so specious and phony. There is government health care NOW. There is rationing of care NOW. But let’s not try to improve anything because we might disturb the mighty “free market” which has been so good to us.

    Dunno whether to laugh or cry…

  • “both sides do it!” in real language, means that republicans are getting into trouble for doing it. zing!

  • Brian O’Connell

    Eric, the logic of the study does follow- it’s quite simple and easy to understand- I can’t really explain it any simpler than I did in the other thread, or as it’s explained in the study itself. The relative number of Americans who now receive preventive care vs those who don’t isn’t relevant- the study compares the two groups.

    The lost productivity argument is there, but I have to figure that the time costs of preventive care will work out similarly to the money costs. A thousand people talking a couple hours off of work to get a preventive test done vs. one of them missing a lot of work. Not everyone will be employed or see the doctor during their work hours, but you can see how the costs of preventive care mitigate against its benefits. In any case, this isn’t a cost to government for the most part.

    As I also made clear, I’m not against preventive medicine and its benefits to overall health. That would be silly. I’m only saying that the cost-saving argument for it is false.

    Yes, we have rationing today. Obama’s website that this post links to claims that Reform will stop “rationing” – not increase it. You believe that?

    Obama’s main claims on “health insurance reform” is that we’ll expand coverage, lower costs, and improve health. These three can’t all be true- the CBO, with their $1T cost estimate backs me up here.

    Tort reform would lower costs, BTW.

  • @7 Dunno why your stuff keeps going in spam, but it does. Sorry.

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