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Health care: Selling fear
Which side in the health-care reform debate is using scare tactics?
 

As a candidate, "Barack Obama promised to end the 'politics of fear and cynicism,'" said Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal. But as president he is "trying to sell his health-care proposals on fear." Obama is trying to "scare voters" by saying that unless his proposals are approved their health-insurance premiums will keep rising and doctors will perform unnecessary procedures to fatten their wallets. "This is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate."

Fear-mongering is definitely clouding the health-care reform debate, said Froma Harrop in RealClearPolitics, but that's the Republicans' fault. Their attacks on President Obama's plan are growing increasingly crazy. "A recent example invokes an evil plot to save money by knocking off the elderly." Betsy McCaughey, "the Sarah Palin of health care," actually said on TV that a Senate bill would "pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely," and her lie has become a Republican talking point.

The "deathers" have convinced many Americans that "the House bill and health-care reform in general are the legislative equivalent of euthanasia," said Christopher Beam in Slate. But it's only fair to point out that President Obama has suggested that without reform, health-care inflation could lead to cuts in Medicare. Both sides, you see, are resorting to "scaring Grandma."

 

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