News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Health-care for dummies?

The New Yorker takes up the issue of the health-care bill, which the Republicans have vowed to repeal. They like to claim that the bill is "wildly unpopular," but The New Yorker article states that "The truth is that, in every age group but one—seniors—a plurality of voters want to keep the bill intact."

People over 65 opposed the bill by 60 percent.  The reasons are that they did not understand the provisions regarding Medicare, according to the article.  They seemed to  fall prey to the blitz of propaganda against it, and were, ironically, opposing aspects that would benefit them.

The article, "Greedy Geezers," suggests that an element of self-interest which would deny benefits to others played a large role in their perception of the bill.

That perception, however, was obviously shaped by the propaganda martialed against the bill.  The major media has reported the last few  days that the insurance industry gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86 million to  lobby against it.  The Washington Post article states:

It was always clear that AHIP and the chamber were united in fighting against Obama's health-care plan, particularly a proposed "public insurance option" that would have competed with private insurers. But the new IRS filing illustrates the extent of the business lobby's alliance with AHIP  [America's Health Insurance Plans.], whose members include insurance giants such as UnitedHealthcare, Cigna and Aetna.

The media is playing a belated role in revealing where and how propaganda is becoming the information on which people are basing their opinions and their actions.  As Orwell predicted in his fiction, the use of the media to control policy and the minds of people is now a reality.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States