Monday, January 27, 2014

Coralie Koonce's writing also accurate and informative

Amazing. After many years of reading Coralie Koonce's letters to the editor and other books and other publications, I've never found her on the wrong side of any issue. Brilliant woman. Share essay below, please.
  • Coralie straightens out the misinformed‏

To: Coralie
Cc: Linda Farrell, Darrell H., George Patterson, Dick Bennet, Art Hobson, Gladys Tiffany, Aimee Crochet, Aubrey Shepherd, Barbara Fitzpatrick, Doug Kruger, Pippin Lowe, Richard Drake, Shelley Buonaiuto, Vivian Michaels

Misinformation Abounds From Editorial Pages

If the editorial pages are any indication, Northwest Arkansas is awash in misinformation and extreme partisanship.
This morning’s newspaper had a cartoon with President Obama’s face and the caption “Big Brother is watching you (less excessively).” If ignorant of recent history, which many seem to be, one would think NSA surveillance was introduced by Obama. In fact it was established by President George W. Bush by secret presidential order in October 2001.
In a recent letter Sue Richardson accused the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) of trying to kill off older people.
She bases this on something a doctor said, which she may have misunderstood. She refers to “Obamacare insurance plans” but there is no such thing. The ACA regulates the existing insurance industry - it does not set up new insurance companies.
People older than 65 are covered by Medicare (“LBJ Care”) rather than by the ACA. The government pays doctors directly for their Medicare patients. So it is not likely insurance companies are leaning on doctors about older patients. I’m older than the Richardsons and have many friends older than 65, some with serious health issues.
None have complained about losing Medicare prescriptions or other benefits since the ACA went into effect, nor has this happened to me.
Ms. Richardson assumes that liberals are young people who don’t care about the elderly. But I know dozens of liberals older than 65. Most of them regard the ACA as a definite improvement but would have preferred that the law included the public option or had simply extended Medicare to younger people. According to polls, about 15 percent of the general population agrees that the ACA is not liberal enough.
The public has not received clear information about an admittedly very large and complex change to our healthcare system. Propagandists have rushed in to spin it like a top. What many are calling a “lie” I regard as an overoptimistic miscalculation about how the insurance companies would grandfather in certain kinds of insurance policies.
But a political fumble is a far cry from a hidden agenda of genocide.
It is sad that some people will so readily believe the very worst about the ACA, the president and neighbors in their community who have more liberal views than their own, to the point of outraged hysteria.
A third area of concern is continual misinformation about climate change via columnists and articles from other newspapers. People need to know that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends are most likely due to human activities. Most of the leading scientific organizations in the world have issued statements to this effect. Those of our citizens who believe the scientific academies of countries from Albania to Malaysia to Zimbabwe are all in some plot to push this theory for nefarious reasons of their own should look for a sale on tinfoil hats.

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