August 10th, 2009
11:27 AM ET
13 years ago

White House launches health care 'reality check' Web site

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/10/art.whhcreality0810.wh.jpg caption="The White House launched a new Web page Monday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The White House is stepping up its efforts to promote health care reform with the launch of a new Web initiative that officials say is designed to combat misinformation about the issue.

Citing what it calls "a troubling trend" of "wild rumors and scare tactics," the White House Monday announced the launch of http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/, a new Web page which "focuses on what reform really means for you and your family" and "debunks some common myths along the way," White House New Media Director Macon Phillips wrote on the official White House blog.

In keeping with President Obama's use of social networking sites to engage and utilize his network of supporters during his presidential campaign, the new page also provides users with a number of ways to notify their own networks of contacts about the page and its content.

The Web page features half a dozen videos from Obama aides who discuss various aspects of health care reform and it also has a set of "faq's" or frequently asked questions about health care reform.

"Moving forward, we'll use this platform to provide you with the latest 'Reality Checks' and tools to combat misinformation," Phillips writes in the blog post announcing the new Web page.

The launch of the new administration Web page comes two days after Obama used his weekly Internet and radio address to address recent attacks on Democratic efforts to pass health care reform legislation. In the address, Obama responded to "outlandish rumors that reform will promote euthanasia, cut Medicaid, or bring about a government takeover of health care."

Obama's comments came one day after former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin posted a message on Facebook that suggested Obama's agenda for health care reform, if passed, would deny care to her parents and to her youngest child, Trig, who was born with Down's Syndrome.

The White House's aggressive move to defend health care reform also comes after a week where town halls meetings with congressmen across the country have been attended and disrupted by citizens concerned about the possible adverse effects of health care reform.

soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Dana

    I think TV news is giving a lot of coverage to the health care protestors to help the industry that pays them billions in advertising revenue (esp. pharmaceutical companies) fend off the potential change to their status quo of big profits.

    August 10, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Hugo

    Give it up, the American public is now wise to your power trip and control ideas under the guise of a Nationlized Healthcare system. If the politicians are so serious about fixing the cost of our healthcare insurance premiums (true issue) then they would regulate lawyers and insurance companies, not physicians and the public. Isn't it funny how they wont even get on to these topics seriously, makes you wonder how much lobbying power the trial attorneys have doesn't it? Isn't that the true cause of the increased insurance premiums, I mean risk exposure in healthcare insurance hasn't changed over twenty years, disease is the same, so what must be the dominating factor other than liability exposure to lawsuit, right? Where is the transparency, why not take a look at the Obammmmmmmma?

    August 10, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Susan

    We need Pres. Obama to stop talking about what's not in the bill and put the bill before the people so they can see what is in the bill. I've read it....it's not good.

    August 10, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Jim

    What is this right wing nut obsession with the idea that no one has read the bills? If they haven't read it by now, they're just being lazy. They keep warning us that we are tinkering with 15% of our economy but they can't take time to read the bills when that's their job? Makes you wonder how they enough about it to say all the stupid things they say...

    August 10, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. anti liberal

    i can't wait until we get the mid month report that shows the revised economic outlook for the first 6 months of the year that Obama stalled. When the truth comes out and states that decreased revenue has contracted the economy even more they'll realize they cannot sustain their entitlements forever. At some point he has to create meaningful sustained LONG TERM jobs.

    I'm thinking he'd better START doing that by Jan 2011 if he wants to have any shot of being re-elected.

    oh unless he shoves that immigration bill down our throats that gives him another 20 million voters on his side.

    Amaing. if the republicans tried something like what Obama's about to do they'd be tarred and feathered in here kind of like they were in 2000 with the florida re-count.

    August 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Sam Sixpack

    Would you like to know what the Whitehouse thinks of your intelligence? Just look at whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/

    August 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. Matt in CT

    "Of course, this (like EVERYTHING this administration does) will be blasted by republicants."

    Very witty, "Ralph." You certainly showed those mean Republicans. You guys truly led by example and never bashed anything from a White House of the other party. Why don't you come back here and post when you're a big boy and learn the definition of hypocrisy?

    August 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. I believe in ceiling cat

    Now do they cite the CBO report at all?

    August 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. ron

    The fact is that Obama won the presidency on a platform of healthcare reform. Yes, a MAJORITY of Americans voted for Obama, and like myself and most of the people in AMERICA, VOTED for healthcare reform.

    The poeple disrupting the town halls are traitors to democracy, trying anything they can to stifle what a MAJORITY of AMERICANS voted for.

    They should be arrested and tried for TREASON. TRAITORS!

    August 10, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Born Again Pagan

    What good is this when most on the right don't read such information; no need since they have their pointless, uninfromed, talking heads like Hannity and Limbaugh.

    August 10, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Oleg

    Could someone explain this paragraph in HR3200?
    Page 58

    ‘‘(D) enable the real-time (or near realtime) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the
    extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specificservice with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card;

    August 10, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. DW, San Diego

    We have so much profiteering (sp?) going on with the CEO's and managers of the insurance industry as a whole it has become blatant rakateering! Until I here that this will be managed I will not believe much of the bluster of fixing the health insurance industry or any insurance industry ! Too many of the CEO's of these companies are post convicted fraud perpetrators.

    This strategy of throwing out crazy fear statements at the town hall meetings and in the media is unfortunately successful thus far. Nobody to include CNN, FOX, or NBC are asking the obvious questions.........just covering the "bs" drama.

    Journalism is dead in this country.

    August 10, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Grace

    "Spoiled sports?" Obviously, someone has much disinformation of what Republicans want and people are drinking the Kool-Aid as I see it. The Democrats paint a picture that Republicans don't want healthcare reform or universal coverage. FAR FROM IT! Republicans support healtchare reform WITHOUT the public option (Is that actually possible!); the Republicans are also for universal coverage-that does not have to include the public option! The reason why some people think that they HAVE to have the public option in order for there to be healtcare reform or coverage for all is because that is how the Democrats are SELLING this proposal. With all the commotion at Town Hall meetings, we see that the Democrats and Obama are out of touch with the common people.

    August 10, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. IMPEACH PELOSI

    When you watch a video of senior citizens with WALKERS being called a "rabid mob" by a Democrat....that pretty much says it all.

    The Democrats can't answer the questions so they just attack. It's a strategy to get off message. We should be talking about how the numbers for government healthcare don't add up. We CANNOT afford a government plan...period. The Democrats know this. That's why they are inciting all this hoopla over the town hall meetings. Take people off message.

    Look at the numbers. The CBO was clear that this plan will not work. Now they have the SEIU/ACORN thugs out in force on the internet and at town halls. This is a KGB tactic. That's scary.

    August 10, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Chris - Denver

    In the abstract, a reality check is a good idea. Unfortunately, the self-interested right-wing leaders and their unthinking minions do not base their opinions on reality.

    August 10, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Stop the greed! Please

    Think about this.

    If we already had a public health care option that people could choose to buy into and everyone had health insurance and the proposal was to do away with it and only have “for profit” health care I wonder how many people would be fighting for the “for profit” only system?

    It is funny – other countries with government healthcare do not have people fighting to change it to the “for profit”only system. I doubt any country would want our screwed up system.

    Bottom line – Some people just can’t deal with change even if it is in their own best interest and some people are too bought off by the insurance companies to do what is right for Americans.

    August 10, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Marc

    The CBO showed that there are flaws in the bill, so ANY civilized discussion about the bill or an alternative to it is very much welcome and needed. By civilized I meant talk and listen, not just yelling and smearing...

    August 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Tommy

    Good. Now maybe the obstructionists will catch a clue. There is a
    reason why cousins aren't allowed to marry.

    August 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. matt

    The american people have spoken, they do not like this healthcare reform bill! CNN had a huge nation wide poll called grading the president, the second 100 days, one of the questions was "How do you grade the Obama administration's handling of healthcare reform" the national grade out of 241,000 voters was a D!!!!!!!!!!!! That means the people don't like it! Elected officials need to take note of that and stop calling all of these people un american, or else they won't be elected anymore.

    August 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Jack

    Hey Obama followers.. obviously none of you want to answer this question either.. I dare you to try and answer it!

    This web site does not answer one very important question, which is: why have all the legislators voted several times against forcing themselves or their own family into this public plan that they are forcing on the rest of us?
    Howard Dean avoided answering this question on Sunday and it is a valid question. Can those of you that support this public plan answer this question? Doesn't this bother you at all that the President, his family, congress and the senate and their families exempted themselves from the same health plan that is supposedly good enough for you and the rest of their constituents?

    August 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. Stunned

    From Wikipedia.com.."The Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue, in Newspeak) is one of the four ministries that govern Oceania in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. As with the other Ministries in the novel, the Ministry of Truth is a misnomer and in reality serves an opposing purpose to that which its name would imply, being responsible for the falsification of historical events; and yet is aptly named in a deeper sense, in that it creates/manufactures "truth" in the newspeak sense of the word." <-– Sound familiar? Like – maybe a website that touts that what it says is the truth, and what everyone else says is not.....? Freaking scary when you think about it.....

    August 10, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. Extreme-make-over....

    Health care needs to be revamped not reformed with more add-ons by the Dem-Feds....Take a look at the Insurance Industry, take a look at the Pharamceutical Industry and take a look the the Industry Health-Providers....Assess their high costs and stop Corporate GREED because within these Industries lies the answer to make Health-care
    fair and affordable for all....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 10, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. Doctor for Health Care Reform

    As a doctor, it's my duty to be informed of what the bill represents. At the end of the day, it's no worse then what we have today.

    As a doctor, I don't get to save your life, it's up to your insurance company. And it's a fight, tooth and nail, every time a life hangs in the balance. I am given the ok half the time, and in my own brutal use of words to describe their decision, told: Let them die, we don't care if this treatment would save their life.

    The plan is not perfect. But our current system makes life and death decisions based on PROFIT. It's up to you to decide whether the decision should be based on "MORALS and ETHICS" or based on "Profit and Quarterly earnings and Bonus pay".

    I strongly advise americans with morals to support this Health Reform. It's better then what you have now.

    August 10, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. johnr

    The reality check is that, while most people want health care costs down, they certainly DO NOT want Obama's version of socialist medicine and no amount of misleading info will change that. The more we learn, the worse it looks. Lets just fix what is broken, not throw all out for a very scary gov run program. The gov cannot even run a klunkers for cash – who in thier right mind want them running helth care? Time to slow down, lets listen to everyones ideas, not just the Dems trying to shove this through.

    August 10, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. Grace

    Sure, Obama won the presidency on his platform for healthcare reform, but with his socialist, elitist attitude, he automatically ASSUMED everyone wanted the public option! Here I am going to repeat myself because just because Republicans are not for the public option does not mean they do not want healthcare reform.

    So, for the uninformed ...Republicans support healtchare reform WITHOUT the public option (Is that actually possible!); the Republicans are also for universal coverage-that does not have to include the public option! The reason why some people think that they HAVE to have the public option in order for there to be healtcare reform or coverage for all is because that is how the Democrats are SELLING this proposal.

    August 10, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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