Friday 8 May 2009

The GOP distortions on health care continue

As we know, the Republican party can find a hundred different ways to distort the facts: outright lies, distractions and evasions, shooting the messenger, ad hominem attacks, diversionary Straw-Man arguments etc.

One of their favorite tools is cherry-picking data: if ten Obama polls come out in a particular month, you can count on the Republicans to pick the worst number out of the ten, and shout it from the rooftops, ignoring the other nine results.

It is this method that they have chosen to launch their campaign against universal health care. As we know, dozens of countries in the civilized world have UHC systems, and all of them cover everybody and cost much, much less per head than the dorked-up system we have in the U.S. And almost all of them deliver excellent care – these countries are democracies and voters would demand that their representatives fix the health care system if it were broken. The two exceptions are England and Canada, two countries that have struggled a little more than most, to provide quality care.

So now the well-fed, well-heeled opponents of UHC are launching a million-dollar ad campaign screeching about how terrible UHC is – and focusing only on Britain and Canada. And then cherry-picking a few anecdotes from within those two systems. The implication being that all systems are as bad as the British and Canadian systems.

Cherry-picking data is logically fallacious: it’s another way to lie.

And another reason we know it’s a lie, is that the guy managing this attack campaign is Rick Scott, a health-care huckster who had to pay almost $2 billion in fines and penalties for fraud.

The GOP effort to attack the health care plan has begun with a million-dollar lie, and there will be many, many more lies to come. Don’t be fooled like you were in 1994.

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