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Friday, December 17, 2010

PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: 'A government takeover of health care'

For anyone and everyone that thinks or thought that the Health Care Reform Act--because some people still think the government's "taking it over"--the pulitzer prize-winning site Politifact just announced that this untruth is "the lie of the year."

Not that it will change their minds.

By Bill AdairAngie Drobnic Holan

In the spring of 2009, a Republican strategist settled on a brilliant and powerful attack line for President Barack Obama's ambitious plan to overhaul America's health insurance system. Frank Luntz, a consultant famous for his phraseology, urged GOP leaders to call it a "government takeover."

"Takeovers are like coups," Luntz wrote in a 28-page memo. "They both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom."

The line stuck. By the time the health care bill was headed toward passage in early 2010, Obama and congressional Democrats had sanded down their program, dropping the "public option" concept that was derided as too much government intrusion. The law passed in March, with new regulations, but no government-run plan.

But as Republicans smelled serious opportunity in the midterm elections, they didn't let facts get in the way of a great punchline. And few in the press challenged their frequent assertion that under Obama, the government was going to take over the health care industry.

And the purveyors of this bald-faced lie won't stop here, either.  They'll keep on perpetuating this story and do all they can, sadly, apparently, in their effort to repeal the Health Care Reform Act of 2010.

For the nation's loss.


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