Healthcare, Lies, and Videotape, and More Lies

August 20, 2009
Posted by Jay Livingston

You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, said Honest Abe. Maybe so, but Lincoln missed the point. You only have to fool about half of the people every couple of years. And dishonesty seems to be a pretty effective way to do it.

Some of the assertions about health care reform –broadcast in the media and sent around the Internet – are just plain lies. Here are four of them. The assessments are from either PolitiFact or

(For a larger, legible view, click on the image.)

Do these lies have any impact? A recent NBC/WSJ poll asked people how likely some of these outcomes were.
  • Will give health insurance coverage to illegal immigrants
  • Will lead to a government takeover of the health care system
  • Will use taxpayer dollars to pay for women to have abortions
  • Will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care to the elderly
Does lying work? At least for the moment, it certainly looks as though it’s not doing the liars any harm.

One more thing. Of the people who had seen coverage of the town hall meetings, most (62%) said that these made no difference in their views. The rest were about evenly split – 16% said they’d become more favorable to the Obama plan, 19% less favorable, because of the protests.

(Hat tip: Ezra Klein)

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