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Health Care: Democrats Flounder, Conservatives Bring Guns, and Insurers Win

The debate over health care reform in the United States has now turned into more of a battle, replete with guns andGeorge Lakoff anger. The divisive rancor that had seemingly disappeared following Obama's election amid calls for national unity has resurfaced at contentious town halls on the health care issue, fueled in part, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, by "conflict-driven cable news." Linguistics professor and author George Lakoff, featured previously on Link in the special "There You Go Again: Orwell Comes to America," takes the Democrats to task in this video for failing to sell a national health care plan to the American public. (Video courtesy of our partners at FORA.tv!) Instead, according to Lakoff, conservatives are successfully framing the debate with phrases like "death panels" and "government takeover," while Democrats refuse to risk touting the real and tragic failures of insurance company-based health care in the United States. (For an interesting look at the ill effects of the American health care system on ordinary folk, check out Andrew Sullivan's blog series at the Atlantic Monthly, "The Views From Your Sickbeds," and another article in the September 2009 edition of the Atlantic, "How American Health Care Killed My Father" by David Goldhill.)

Yesterday, Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! also looked at the health care debate, interviewing Chad Terhune, a senior writer at BusinessWeek covering health care issues. Terhune's article, "The Health Insurers Have Already Won," looks at the real potential winners in health reform -- the health insurance industry. He writes, "The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable." (Watch the complete interview below, and read more at DemocracyNow.org.) And what do you think -- is a better health care system on the horizon for the U.S.? Or will insurance companies be the only winners in this battle?

 

 
 

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