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Health Alert | A Consumer’s Guide to the New Health Law

Fair. Unbiased. Evenhanded. We have produced something that is genuinely unique. It's a consumer's guide to how the new health care overhaul works, in a question-and-answer format. You can also get a pamphlet version - ideal for doctors' offices, clinics, work places and everywhere else that people meet and socialize.

When you read the consumer's guide, I think you'll agree with me that it's the first effort anyone has made to even try to be objective, and that in itself is rather amazing. See if you agree. Give us your comments below the fold.

During the nine-month period leading up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Americans were subjected to more than $200 million worth of TV, radio, newsprint and Internet ads. Almost all of these - pro and con - were pure propaganda.

Even today, the White House and leaders of both political parties offer us little more than sound bites crafted for the evening news. A taxpayer-funded mailing to Medicare enrollees has been accused of selling more than informing. The government's own Web site, while containing much valuable information, touts only the benefits of reform and ignores the costs. It focuses on what might go right and ignores what might go wrong. A 24-page PowerPoint presentation, prepared for members of Congress who voted for PPACA, advises on words to use and words to avoid. It's all about spinning, not about informing.

Most of the mainstream media has published "talking points" lists of the benefits prepared by the White House. We don't know of any regular news source that has reported in a similar way on the costs. The New York Times editorials on the subject have tended to be apologies for the PPACA - implying it delivers all gain, no pain. Even health policy journals have largely ignored the costs of reform and who will bear them. On the other side, Internet screeds warning of "death panels" have exaggerated from the opposite direction.

Many people are rightly confused about what to expect and why. We hope this publication will clear the air. Our goal is a balanced overview, with all important content sourced from government reports and other reputable documents.

John_GoodmanJohn C. Goodman is president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other publications, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts," and the Media Research Center credits him, along with former Sen. Phil Gramm and columnist Bill Kristol with playing the pivotal role in the defeat of the Clinton Administration's plan to overhaul the U.S. health care system. He is also the Kellye Wright Fellow in health care. The mission of the Wright Fellowship is to promote a more patient-centered, consumer-driven health care system.

Dr. Goodman's health policy blog is the only right-of-center health care blog on the Internet. It is the only place where pro-free enterprise, private sector solutions to health care problems are routinely examined and debated by top health policy experts throughout the country-conservative, moderate and liberal.  




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