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Reforming Health Care Reform

The media has been concentrating on the more lurid and confrontational aspects of the debate over health care reform; for example, the protestors at town halls, including the recent case of a man who had his finger bitten off during a fight (which was itself ironic, since he was against health care reform, but having his finger reattached was paid for by Medicare).

But the reality is that most of the town halls have happened without incident, and even at the ones where there are disruptions, the people being disruptive are a small minority. It turns out that in the area of health care reform, most Americans agree on more things than they disagree on.

Don’t believe me? Watch this video of new Senator Al Franken at the State Fair in Minnesota, confronted by some people who say they are against health care reform. Franken manages to have a civil, intelligent, and substantive discussion about health care in the US, and how we can reform it.

Naturally, this won’t get any attention from the mainstream media.



  1. starluna wrote:

    I understand at the Lynch meeting last night, it was the same. I do wonder whether the woman in the Tea Party t-shirt was at all convinced by or at least understanding what Franken was trying to say.

    Friday, September 4, 2009 at 7:22 am | Permalink
  2. Daniel Habtemariam wrote:

    I went to John Kerry’s town hall meeting on Wednesday, and it was the same way. Kerry went through a laundry list of things that everyone agreed on, and the libertarian sitting next to me was quite civil in his objections. There were (borrowing Barney Frank’s term) a few dining-room-table dissenters, but they really were a small minority. I actually couldn’t believe how many more single-payer proponents there were (and how much louder they were).

    I’m beginning to think TV viewership is down, especially among younger adults, and so the vitriolic scenes you see on TV news is there because:
    (1) they’re clamoring for ratings,
    (2) it’s easier to cover conflicts in public opinion than it is to cover complex policy issues, and
    (3) it’s safer and less controversial to cover the horse race than the policy; news media organizations are constantly assaulted on the right (and on the left) for this or that ideological bias, and so they strive to be balanced rather than neutral by parroting uncritically what they hear from both sides.

    Friday, September 4, 2009 at 8:58 am | Permalink
  3. Sammy wrote:

    It is rather ironic that “people” get up in arms over politicians who, as they say, “vote whichever way the polls dictate” and then complain to politicians when they don’t vote “the will of the people”.

    Friday, September 4, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  4. starluna wrote:

    I didn’t know Kerry was having a town hall. Capuano (my rep) has always preferred the telephone town hall. Given the composition of this district, I can’t blame him. It seems to me that in Boston, we don’t really have much of the Tea Party loonies. We have plenty of the LaRouche loonies and the ones that believe that their view of things is “the will of the people”.

    Friday, September 4, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink