No big surprise: Republicans conjured up PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: A government takeover of health care.
By selecting "government takeover' as Lie of the Year, PolitiFact is not making a judgment on whether the health care law is good policy.
The phrase is simply not true.
..."Government takeover" conjures a European approach where the government owns the hospitals and the doctors are public employees. But the law Congress passed, parts of which have already gone into effect, relies largely on the free market:
• Employers will continue to provide health insurance to the majority of Americans through private insurance companies.
• Contrary to the claim, more people will get private health coverage. The law sets up "exchanges" where private insurers will compete to provide coverage to people who don't have it.
• The government will not seize control of hospitals or nationalize doctors.
• The law does not include the public option, a government-run insurance plan that would have competed with private insurers.
• The law gives tax credits to people who have difficulty affording insurance, so they can buy their coverage from private providers on the exchange. But here too, the approach relies on a free market with regulations, not socialized medicine.
Another no big surprise: a study found that watching Fox News makes people ill-informed.
In most cases those who had greater levels of exposure to news sources had lower levels of misinformation. There were, however, a number of cases where greater exposure to a particular news source increased misinformation on some issues.
Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe that most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely), most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points), the economy is getting worse (26 points), most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points), the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points), their own income taxes have gone up (14 points), the auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points), when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points) and that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points).
The effect was also not simply a function of partisan bias, as people who voted Democratic and watched Fox News were also more likely to have such misinformation than those who did not watch it--though by a lesser margin than those who voted Republican.
This is a big reason why our country is stuck in neutral (or even going in reverse) when it comes to solving important problems. The Republican Party, and it's media affiliate, Fox News, is dedicated to spreading lies.
Sure, the Dems are guilty of tilting the truth in their direction also. But not nearly to the same degree. The crazy thing is that lots of Republicans call themselves "values voters."
If you value truth, seriously consider whether voting "R" is the proper decision. Ditto for watching Fox News, the least truthful cable news channel.