I don't quite know what to make of the article. A lot of it is true... those against this reform (and at times it seems any
reform) put out a whole load of lies and misinformation about it to try to twist the debate. It's the sad state of politics in the US today where (from what I've picked up) a decent amount of people on both sides seem to gain their political insights from the infotainment type shows.(I do have to repeat one thing though. Death Panels (although not in the "send granny to see the doctor who decides whether it's worth treating her if she has a stroke in the next 5 years" sense) do exist... they exist in the NHS under the title of NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) which decides which treatments are cost effective... but they also exist in the US system where an insurance company worker does the same. The question isn't to death panel or not to death panel, it's about who you want sitting in such a group)
But yes, the article seemed ok... and then it came to this bit that scared me;
Well, you know what, what Massachusetts tells us is that we haven't done a very good job of explaining our values to them. Maybe we need to take a step back and have that conversation with them. And some of our opponents have been made that job more difficult by telling them things that just aren't true. But we believe that, when people learn what's really in the health care bill, they're going to realize how much good it does for our country. And that's what we were elected to do -- to get our country back on track after eight years of a government that misled the American people and produced the worst crises since the Second World War. We understand that people are scared and upset about the tumultuous times that we face and they have every right to be. But we have to continue pressing forward.
This seems to me to come scarily close to saying "Listen, you poor guys just didn't understand what was going on. Don't worry though, we'll keep telling you until finally you give us the right answer."
Now, that's not entirely fair. Massachusetts wasn't just a referendum on this health bill... Coakley was almost uniquely inept as a candidate, making gaff after gaff and never getting any real momentum while also appearing to insult many of the voters. Despite that she only lost by 5 points... if it had been a simple vote on healthcare or the Democrats had got an even vaguely capable candidate the entire result could have been much different even with a massive drop in Dem support. That said, both sides made healthcare a major issue... and the quote above is still troubling.
A similar situation happened in Ireland with the Lisbon treaty/EU consitution. Ireland voted no to the Consitution necessitating some backroom dealing which resulted in the Lisbon treaty... which is pretty much identical, at least according to nearly everyone involved with it (unless you're a UK Labour Politician in which case it's completely different apparently). So a few months after voting No, Ireland were made to vote again on roughly the same thing, the entire time the EU higher ups not thinking that perhaps the Irish (and others) genuinely disagreed about the direction of Europe but instead that they simply hadn't spelt out the case strongly enough. Of course, they were vindicated when the Irish voted Yes the second time, but it is perhaps telling that it was after the Yes side outspent the No side int he region of 10-1 and a large plank of the Yes campaign was that "Look, these idiots who are in power at the moment in Ireland screwed everything up... the EU can't be any worse."
Are people misinformed about the US healthcare plan? Yes, of course... the GOP spin machine has been working at its best/worst on the issue. Does the fact that some people are misinformed mean that those supporting this healthcare bill should act as if nearly all disagreement is simply due to that misinformation and that you should just keep going until people realise that it's the right answer? No.
Perhaps the author didn't mean that, but it sounds awfully close.