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Senate Opponents Delivering 'Chicken Little' Mistruths Crafted to Sow Fear on Health Reform, says Consumer Watchdog
Date:12/7/2009

Group Offers "Truth Squad" Messages to Counter Insurer-Spun Sound Bites

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Opponents of health reform are fear-mongering relentlessly during prolonged Senate debate, said Consumer Watchdog, spinning endlessly the lobbying messages of the insurance industry. While the public focus during the debate has been on opponents' maneuvers to delay a vote, the messages being delivered during that debate have been crafted to stoke fear and anger, particularly in Medicare recipients.

Below is a list of the most deceptive sound bites, and the longer truth of the reform plans.

"The fairy-tale character Chicken Little warned ceaselessly that the sky was falling, and health reform opponents are spinning similar tales to kill current legislation," said Judy Dugan, research director for Consumer Watchdog. "The same conservatives who spent years bashing Medicare are now all but sobbing at the podium as they 'defend' Medicare, by implying wrongly that seniors will lose large portions of their benefits."

The nonprofit, nonpartisan Consumer Watchdog said Senate Republicans are honing a batch of deceptive, poll-driven sound bites to drive the fear of seniors, stressed-out families and worried workers. The biggest beneficiaries will be major for-profit health insurers and allied companies that see even modest reforms of private Medicare, and the so-called public option, as threats to their bottom lines.

Consumer Watchdog noted Aetna's announcement in October to shareholders that it expected improved profits next year after substantial rate hikes force out up to 650,000 individual and small business clients. Senate leader Harry Reid focused on that statement over the weekend to illustrate the profit demands that drive the insurance industry, and its opposition to the current health reform bill.

That profit imperative is Aetna's truth, unlike its caring-for-
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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