Fear stalks the land | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fear stalks the land

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 6:06 AM

Fright is the elemental emotion in the health debate, Brummett writes.

Go to a town meeting. Except for the rabid anger, the most consistent thread is that people begin their comments anecdotally — about their own health care or that of a loved one.

Four in five Americans have health insurance and, while occasionally exasperated by the process and expense, they tend to find it acceptable at least in comparison to uncertain change. Thus they are susceptible to the stoking of fear by opponents, who raise the specter of soaring costs, higher taxes, reduced benefits, longer waits, rationed care.

Seniors hear about savings to be gleaned in Medicare reimbursement rates. They react with a range of fears, from a worry that fewer doctors will participate in Medicare to outright terror that they might actually die sooner and more horribly than they would otherwise.

The fear is irrational, of course. We fear the wrong thing — change rather than an unsustainable status quo.

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