Political ads stir health care horror
Families feel vulnerable to the catastrophic costs of serious illness, and few understand the labyrinth of private and government insurance, allowing partisans to play to their worst fears. Add to that the belief among political pros that health care worries can drive the votes of seniors.
“It is easy to deceive on the issue because the knowledge base of the electorate when it comes to the complexities of health care is relatively low,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, an expert on political communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center.
It would be hard to top Sarah Palin’s now-debunked assertion that “death panels” lurked in the recesses of Obama’s law, but don’t be surprised if that happens this year.
“Many people believe crazy things about health care because they want to believe them,” said Drew Altman, president of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Some of today’s outlandish claims remind him of fears about fluoridated drinking water in the 1950s.