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OVBIAGELE: Educate yourself about the health care reform bill

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People are uncomfortable with change even if they need it and want it. They’d rather stay in their comfort zones.

It takes a daredevil will to go against the status quo — attributes President Barack Obama and House Democrats possessed when they passed the health care reform legislation after a 14-month hustle.

It was a grand finale to what was a less-than-amicable debate. We saw both the worst and the best of American democracy.

But just like after any landmark event, it’s imperative we look at the lessons learned and sweeping misperceptions Americans have about the health care bill.

Of a large majority of people who opposed the reform, many don’t even know why. And even if they claim to have a coherent reason, it falls along the lines of crap.

Rather than take out time to educate themselves on what the bill actually entails, many Americans are comfortable with fallacies, letting Sarah Palin do all the thinking for them.

Here are some of the common misconceptions that the gullible hearts of many Americans have been led to believe: Health care reform will increase deficits, people will lose their private insurance, health care reform will raise taxes for all, and the most nonsensical, the government will create death panels.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, health care reform would expand insurance to 30 million Americans at a cost of $940 billion over 10 years. But, the reform would cut America’s budget deficit by $143 billion in the same period and $1 trillion in the second 10 years.

Time and time again, it has been noted that health care reform wasn’t designed to replace existing private insurance. If you like your current insurance plan as it is, then you can keep it. But I guess natural obstructionists never listen and only hear what they want to hear.

As for tax increases, most people won’t see them. Only those earning more than $200,000 individually ($250,000 as a married couple) and those with high premium insurance plans will see tax increases. And that isn’t wealth redistribution. It’s just fair.

The whole issue of tax increases also exposes a part of American hypocrisy that pisses me off: It’s so easy to draw up sympathy or a buck for a homeless person on the street, but when it comes to making a commitment to alleviate the burdens of the poor (like higher taxes), the rich grumble and murmur.

And as for death panels, it’s a myth not even worth debunking.

I just find it really amusing to know people actually bought into that. Palin and her followers never cease to amaze me — especially the Tea Partiers, who’ve bashed people over the health care bill instead of respecting others.

This was evidenced when civil rights leaders were called the n-word; openly gay Rep. Barney Frank (D–Mass) was called a faggot. These are all unacceptable behaviors. But what do you expect from a flock shepherded by America’s favorite madman, Glenn Beck?

Finally, people may find it hard to assimilate to change, but when change is needed, it shouldn’t be denied.

The health care reform bill might not be perfect, but it is a step in the right direction.

It’s going to take time to see the outcome of this legislation, but while we wait let’s not sit around complaining about it. Americans across the board should give health care reform a chance.

Food For Thought: It’s easy to sit on the side and criticize those bold enough to helm the mantle of change without asking yourself, what have I done for a change?

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9 Comments

9 Responses to “OVBIAGELE: Educate yourself about the health care reform bill”

  1. Steve on March 30th, 2010 3:53 pm

    Maybe being such a know-it-all and talking down to people who don’t believe the same way you do is why you lost so badly in the MUSG election. Just some food for thought: not everyone who opposes socialism is evil

  2. Taylor on March 31st, 2010 8:05 pm

    You are embarrassing yourself as a journalist by assuming that every person who opposes health care has a single perspective. I know I, personally, managed to form an opinion without the help of Sarah Palin and I just bet other people can too. You’re insulting the intelligence of anyone who brings up unintended consequence or disagrees with certain aspects. Name calling and degrading your audience is no way to gain respect and hurts your cause as well.

    And food for thought: this argument can very easily be turned around against you.

  3. Disappointed Reader on March 31st, 2010 10:05 pm

    As an aspiring professional in the field of media writing, I am very disappointed in this editorial. I understand full well that there is an overflow of opinions and ideas on the best course of action related to health care reform. Which ever viewpoint on this issue you adhere to is irrelevant. Instead, my primary issue with this article is the blatant ignorance used in trying to persuade people to give the bill a chance. You sum up the purpose of you article quite nicely at the end by stating, “Americans across the board should give health care reform a chance”.

    With this being the main intent of your editorial piece, I would think that you (being the skilled journalist you are) went in to writing this piece with the understanding that you need to persuade those individuals who lean to the right (and most likely, a percentage of moderates). It is fair to assume that a percentage of moderates and nearly all individuals who lean to the left agree with your given point of view.

    That being said, why on earth would you resort to name calling, stereotyping, and degrading the very audience you are trying to persuade? After reading your article, I am still grappling for a logical answer to this question. If you are trying to persuade those opposed to the reform, I highly suggest that you do not berate their intelligence and stereotype your diverse target audience as “rich” individuals who are part of a “flock shepherded by America’s favorite madman, Glenn Beck”, who “[let] Sarah Palin do all the thinking for them” and are “natural obstructionists [who] never listen and only hear what they want to hear”.

    The sad part is that I did not have to assume or suggest that you insinuated any of those words. They are all direct quotes from YOU, about the very audience you are trying to persuade to “give health care reform a chance”. The only difference is that I spliced your quotes together, and separated them from the peppered rhetoric you scatter throughout your article to gain a collective “hoorah” from people who already agree with you. If all of the above words were said about you, would you really be persuaded to action? Didn’t think so.

  4. Kelly on April 1st, 2010 12:16 am

    An “American democracy” doesn’t include a socialist health reform. Get out of my country and write ignorant articles elsewhere.

  5. Melkin on April 1st, 2010 3:42 pm

    All young people will now be required to purchase health insurance many of them do not need or they will have to pay a fine to the IRS. Seems like a tax increase to me. As an old guy I have no problem forcing all of you youngsters to pay for my health care. Thanks.

    Finally, you said “This was evidenced when civil rights leaders were called the n-word” Did you know the congressmen brought cameras to film their victory walk through a group of angry protestors in hopes that one of them would yell the n-word? Not surprisingly, not one piece of video has been released by them showing it really happened. Why? Because they lied. It didn’t happen. Al Sharpton actually went on Bill O’Reilly and said he saw the tape, but O’Reilly smacked him down and got Sharpton to admit he never saw such a tape. .

  6. Very Impressed Reader on April 2nd, 2010 11:18 pm

    Maybe what this country really needs is more know-it-alls because they are the ones that seem to actually get the important things done. There is no place in the “American democracy” for uneducated, misinformed, blinded, brainwashed people who can’t see the big picture that the know-it-alls see. It’s not anybody’s fault that some people just don’t have enough intelligence to deal with matters like this; so in this instance it would be best to leave your ignorance in your closet and be educated by those who actually know what they are talking about. It is better to be out there making the “wrong decision” than sitting and complaining about what’s going on when you don’t have enough guts to do anything, not even to help yourself.
    FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Go and get schooled and for heaven’s sake this is a COLUMN so stop being so childish.

  7. Lara on April 2nd, 2010 11:31 pm

    What you need to do steve is stick your pacifier back in your mouth; what have you succeeded at to condemn another. As for Kelly the only person that should be getting out of anywhere would be you…out of here; how backward can you “democratized american” get. So shut up and try about something simple like thinking before you let shit out your mouth. Thank you 🙂

  8. Disappointed Reader on April 4th, 2010 9:11 am

    It is incredible how if someone disagrees with another person’s opinion, they suddenly become “uneducated”, “brainwashed”, “misinformed”, and lacking in intelligence. Somehow all of his or her years of education and experience get thrown out the window all because of one differing opinion.

    Instead, I was under the impression that those who express dissent might be very educated and concerned Americans who love their country, and would be devastated to see anything bad happen to this great place we call home. These people might want to make sure that a suitable decision was being made and the right time. That would show me concern these people have for such a wonderful country. I think that we can all agree that we want the best for all of our citizens – and we want to make sure that the unintended consequences of such large decisions will be minimized in order to keep this nation as great as it can possibly be. I know that is what a lot of so-called “ignorant” and “uneducated” people believe as well.

    Leave the name-calling, berating, and profanity at home.

  9. Intrigued on April 6th, 2010 8:54 am

    The best part about this article (which regardless of your position you have to admit is poorly written at best containing little supporting or relevant information) is the flaming people are doing on the comment section. It’s the MU Tribune people it’s not a real newspaper–everyone knows it’s a joke.

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