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Finding truth about health care

A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert found we process information in two steps. First, we accept information as true, then we interrogate whether it may actually be false. We often don’t have the time or energy/resources to take the second step, and when we hear the lie again and again it unfortunately becomes the truth, especially if it supports our worldview.

On March 15, 2017, an editorial by a Mr. Beougher seems to have formed many truths from what I will argue are lies told over and over again. First, he states that ObamaCare is a government-run system. It does legislate what insurance companies must do and cannot do. It does give poor people the choice to have health care — Medicaid, a government run system. Mr. Beougher may someday well benefit from Medicaid. But the rest of the ACA with all its correctable faults does not fit the definition of a government-run health care system. Preventing insurance companies from using

more than 20 percent of our premiums to pay for operations (80 percent must be spent on our health care needs) or preventing them from setting yearly limits or lifetime caps and allowing someone to stay on his or her parents’ insurance are regulations imposed on the insurance companies. But does that make the insurance companies part of our government? I missed that clause in our Constitution. I cannot fault Mr. Beougher for believing in the “government-run” lie since it has been repeated over and over again. I do fault him for not taking the second step to reason whether it may actually be false. Are insurance companies government entities? Even if so, his insinuation that we the American people don’t want what he apparently calls government-run health care does not square with recent polling.

He raises an issue of transparency and complains about closed doors in legislating the ACA (ObamaCare). He apparently does not watch C-SPAN which regularly broadcasts the proceedings of our legislatures. The ACA was debated in the legislatures over 18 months and had 79 hearings with over 100 expert witness testimonials. The Republicans were present for those debates. There was tons of press coverage and many hearings were telecast on C-SPAN. Did he see the recent news cast showing Rand Paul hunting for the AHCA plan (Paul Ryan’s GOP plan) which was rumored to be kept in a vault somewhere in the Congress? And just think how long this AHCA bill was been debated in the House. I think it was less than 48 hours. How does that compare to the ACA deliberations? Due deliberation indeed.

I too have on too many occasions not taken Mr. Gilbert’s second step interrogating a heard “so-called fact” to determine if it may actually be true or false. For health care debates, it literally may be a life-or-death situation for many people if we don’t question statements and seek the truth.

Harvard doctors say “that repealing Obamacare would directly result in 43,956 deaths per year.” This is scary for someone with a family member whose life may depend on the health care law. I hope none of you find yourself or a loved one as one in that number.

Jesse Parete,