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This page contains a single entry by Westley Annis published on September 6, 2009 6:57 PM.

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The AARP's Attack on Truth: Debunking the AARP article on the Opposition to Healthcare Reform (HR 3200)

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The below commentary has been written in response to an article by Patricia Barry in the current issue of the AARP Bulletin. The article by Ms. Barry claims to be an unbiased account of what's really in the proposed healthcare reform legislation, also known as HR 3200, and how opposition to the bill is based on lies and hype to mislead the general public.

The AARP's Attack on Truth: Debunking the AARP article on the Opposition to Healthcare Reform (HR 3200)

by John Scurich

In the latest issue of the AARP Bulletin, which can be read online, Patricia Barry writes a scaving article criticizing the opposition to the Obama proposed Healthcare Reform Bill (HR 3200). Her article is titled "The Assault on Truth" - and boy is she right - but it's not an assault on truth by opponents as she would have you believe, but by the very proponents of the bill.

I could easily write a "War and Peace" in my response to Ms. Barry's article. That's because it is flawed with incorrect facts, misleading comments and outright lies from start to finish. To spare you hours of reading I'll just pick on only a few comments made by her which these alone destroy her credibility and the article by demonstrating how her article is written from a biased, pro-Obama healthcare reform position.

First, the perspective and assumption in which the article is written. Ms. Barry immediately begins her article from the standpoint that "anything" opponents say about the bill "must be" lies, hype, slurs and rumors. By virtue of the fact that she claims lies and rumors can "only" come from opposition means it is only the opposition that is "assaulting the truth" of the bill and attempting to mislead the public.

If I'm wrong about this assumption then why is it throughout her long article does she not mention once that it's possible at least some misleading information could also be coming from the proponents of the bill. In other words, she would have you believe that "everyone" affiliated with supporting the bill are perfect, little, truth-telling angels and "anyone" affiliated with its opposition are clearly evil-doing demons. Ms. Barry conveniently leaves out of her article that many members of Congress, both in the House and Senate, who strongly oppose this bill are members of the Democratic Party - it's not just those evil conservatives/Republicans who are against it and going around "spreading all these lies, hype, slurs and rumors."

But wait, Ms. Barry tries to provide some credibility to her position by quoting a "supposed" unbiased organization who claims to have scrutinized the proposed bill and given her (and us) their unbiased opinion. And which organization is this? None other than the Annenberg Policy Center. While this might sound all too legit and unbiased, I'll bet you didn't know the Annenberg Policy Center is also known as FactCheck.org, an organization well known for being liberal to the point of "left wing."

Though claiming to be nonpartisan, it only takes a few minutes of internet research on the organization to come across countless articles about its liberal bias - just read how they defended Obama against just about every attack during the 2008 presidential election - and you'll see they didn't even bother trying to do a good job of hiding their liberal bias. Even liberal media like the New York Times have questioned the analysis and findings of FactCheck.org. This is not surprising considering where the organization is based, the University of Pennsylvania, which has a reputation for being an extremely liberal institution of higher learning. It's an Ivy League school - need I say more?

Funny how Ms. Barry never sought an opinion from someone like the Heritage Foundation? And would it not have made sense to seek the opinion of the American Medical Association on its interpretation of HR 3200? Here we have the biggest medical/healthcare bill in history yet no medical professionals were sought for an opinion. Strange.

Next, she states Obama left it to Congress to work out the details of the reform bill - as if to imply he (Obama) really didn't have anything to do with some of the atrocious details of the bill. Yet, it has been well known for several months that the lead person who put the bill together was Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the chief health advisor to the President, as in "it came from the White House." If Dr. Emanuel's last name sounds familiar, he's the brother of Obama's White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, the former Congressman from (you guessed it) Chicago who recently made news for calling the "progressives" (blue dog Democrats opposing the Obama Plan) "f***ing stupid." Are you starting to see the dots connect here? Google Dr. Emanuel's name and you'll also come across many articles on him - most citing other reputable doctors describing Dr. Emanuel's medical beliefs from "extremist" to "down right bizarre."

One thing's for sure, we know most members of Congress aren't knowledgeable of HR 3200's contents since the supposed bill's author, Congressman Henry Waxman of California, was caught red handed during the committee hearing admitting he needed assistance from a staffer as to what various sections of the bill actually said. Yes, that's right, this is the bill's author who doesn't even know what's in his own legislation. Well, someone had to write this absurd bill - at least we know it wasn't anyone in Congress. That only leaves the White House as the guilty party, i.e. Obama.

Next, comes the most damaging blow to Ms. Barry's and the AARP's credibility with her article. She addressed the question "Will the government take over health care so we end up with socialized medicine?" Absolutely not, she says. She goes on to say "Obama has specifically rejected the idea of a 'single-payer' system, like Canada's, in which the government insures all citizens." Clearly, Ms. Barry is a poor researcher.

At this point I encourage everyone to go to YouTube. There are two video clips you need to watch. In the YouTube search box key in "Obama on single payer health insurance" and the other is "Shock Uncovered - Obama in his own words." These clips do not edit the video of Obama's spoken words. There is no scheme or plot here, as Ms. Barry might suggest of the opposition, to present Obama's very own words out of context. You get to hear what Obama says leading up to his position on "single payer universal health care" and what he says after the comment. Like I said, no editing or tricks are in this video. I can't help but wonder what Ms. Barry and AARP have to say after seeing this video - if they didn't already but was hoping the rest of America wouldn't find out about it. There are more videos of Obama supporting universal healthcare. How did Ms. Barry miss these?

Ms. Barry claims the healthcare systems in Canada and Britain are outstanding and the locals are happy with it - she also claims the same for our Medicare system saying it's "popular and successful." Let me also suggest you don't forget to Google what Canadians and British citizens think of their universal healthcare system - trust me it'll curl your hair and make you wonder why in God's creation would we ever consider such a system for the United States. You'll learn that the socialized medicine systems in these countries do in fact "ration" health services - because it absolutely has to remain fiscally afloat. This is something Ms. Barry claims is a lie promoted by the HR 3200's opponents - I say go ask a health administrator in Canada or Great Britain if this is a lie.

Not to mention Ms. Barry must not read many public opinion polls in the U.S. on what Americans think of our Medicare system. Oh well, so much for being for being popular and perceived as successful.

There's so much more I could easily correct in Ms. Barry's article, but this is long already. I will close on the following points she "fails" to talk about in her article. Ms. Barry failed to address what Obama and the Democratic Party claims to be the main reason for this reform legislation - to control the growing cost of healthcare in America. Funny, but there's not one mentioning in her article to refute both the claims of opponents and the Congressional Budget Office report that HR 3200 ("the Obama Plan") would result in a significant cost increase in national healthcare and significantly increase the national deficit for at least the next ten years. I guess I would have conveniently left out this part, too. You can read the actual letter from the CBO to the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Congressman Charles Rangel, dated July 17, 2009.

She also forgot to clear up the supposed misconception as to whether or not President Obama is speaking correctly when he says "the AARP stands behind his plan (HR 3200)." Obama has stated this several times in public speeches, as seen on CNN, Fox, etc. This article would have been the perfect time to set the record straight. I'm glad to see we now know where the AARP stands on this - with Obama and the Democratic Party leaders.

In closing, the only assault I see on truth taking place here is by Ms. Barry's article and the AARP. How shameful it is on their part to try and mislead millions of senior citizens that HR 3200's opposition is based on lies and hype. I've never met Ms. Barry and don't know much about her, but I can tell you one basic difference between us - I've read most of HR 3200, clearly she hasn't.

Media stories report as of late AARP has taken a serious hit in its membership. I can't wait to see how this article will make even more flies start dropping to the floor.

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