Correcting claims of health care ad

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By Adele E. Zimmerman

I just saw a television ad sponsored by the U.S. Citizens Association about health care reform. I am all for airing a particular point of view, but I strongly oppose outright misrepresentations. The entire ad focuses on socialized medicine. Under socialized medicine, the government owns health care facilities and employs all health care professionals. There is no insurance. There is just health care for little or no payment. It is tax supported.

Misrepresentation No. 1: “President Obama and the Democrats are preparing to impose socialized medicine on you.” No one in the Executive or Legislative branches of government is proposing socialized medicine. What has been proposed is that the government operates a health insurance program, for which people will pay according to their means. It will be an alternative to insurance provided by private, for-profit companies. This will cover more than 40 million Americans currently without insurance. It will also provide healthy competition to companies currently enjoying and taking advantage of, a monopoly on health insurance.

Misrepresentation No. 2: “Government can tax and print money, which will eliminate private health care and impose socialized medicine.” There is no logical connection between printing money and socialized medicine. And no one is proposing socialized medicine.

Misrepresentation No. 3: “Also the quality of health care with socialized medicine is greatly reduced. You will wait months and years for treatment. Many of the people will not get treatment at all.” These are gross exaggerations, if not out-and-out lies, about countries with socialized medicine. And, once again, a proposal for socialized medicine is not included in any of the legislation considered, nor was it ever proposed by anyone.

Misrepresentation No. 4: “You will pay for free health care for more than 20 million illegal aliens.” There is language in every proposed health care reform bill to disqualify undocumented aliens from receiving any health care insurance. You already pay for the care of uninsured residents through increased provider fees, which result in higher insurance premiums and through taxes. Reform would greatly reduce the number of uninsured.

Misrepresentation No. 5: “Obama and the Democrats know that socialized medicine does not work. They want it because it gives them more power over you.” No Democrat is seeking power over anyone. And nobody — president, legislator, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Green, Red, Blue or Purple — is proposing socialized medicine!

Please do not accept any ad you see, hear, or read at face value. Your responsibility as a United States citizen is to be informed on a subject before you cast a vote or voice an opinion, especially to your elected representatives.

A nation of sheep is a nation on a fast track to disaster.

Adele E. Zimmermann