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Monday 20 December 2010

Lie Of The Year – But Millions Believe It

Once again, the excellent PolitiFact site has conducted its poll for the biggest whopper of the year. And, once again, the winner is an assertion arising out of the debate over health care reform in the USA.

Last year, as I noted at the time, the winner was the claim, made famous by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, that reform would lead to “death panels”. As I also noted, although Palin’s assertion had no basis in fact, it took hold partly due to the inability of those supporting reform to get their rebuttal in quickly enough.

So it is with this year’s winner: the claim from the GOP that health care reform amounted to “A Government takeover of health care”. The reform as passed, without the “public option” did not increase Government control, and certainly was not a takeover.

But, as with last year’s Palin whopper, the assertion was not rebutted with sufficient speed and force, with the effect that more than half the respondents to this Bloomberg poll agreed with it.

That may be not unrelated to the move by Bill Sammon to hosts at his cable channel to stop referring to the “public option” and instead use the term “Government-run health insurance” or just “Government option”.

Sammon is Washington managing editor for our old friends, Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).

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