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. Illinoisman

    So you put up a website that has no way of letting the other side tell their side of it and call it fact. What makes your words fact over any other website? Who paid for this anyway. It better not be MY tax dollars.

    August 10, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. Karen

    What a great informative web-site, too bad many Americans are too lazy to go to it and learn, they would rather be spoon-fed lies by talking heads.

    I work in healthcare and know that right now decisions to treat or not are being made by insurrance executives whose bonus depends on limiting the payments made for health care for thier customers.

    I would much rather have a panel of doctors who have no financial stake in thier decisions make recomendations about what treatments are most effective. Note: these are recomendations, not requirements so individual doctors and patients still have the final say.

    I just had to tell a patient today that thier insurrance will not cover any more chemotherapy, even though a few more cycles may bring about a complete cure! How's that for rationing? (Private insurrance)

    August 10, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. LIP

    It would be interesting to see how many people in the current health care industry would become unemployed once the transition from private to public takes place and how many people the government would employ to replace those that lose their jobs. With more bureacracy, what would these new government employees cost the taxpayers annually?
    Perhaps Reality Check could enlighten us with these figures.

    August 10, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. peter

    So,

    Are these hit and run posters representing the lunatic fringe right actually able to read and comprehend? I keep seeing references to "what's in the bill" and yet there isn't "a bill". THere are four different proposals. In addition, they keep making these slipery slode arguments and stating that certain things are in HR3200 that aren't.

    People, if you truly perceive yourself as an inteligent or at least literate human being, call these people out and read it yourself. Its 1067 pages but is double-spaced. Thats around 500 pages.

    There is nothing such as these nut-cases say is in there. I think people just post that because they know that many people won't actually take the time to check or read "the bill" -assuming HR3200.

    Educate yourselves.

    August 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. C White

    I think the people that complain about health care reform and do not want it should have to give up their medicare cards. No socialized medicine tor them!!!!!

    August 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. STOPTHEINSANITY

    The Democrats have the house, the senate and the white house and they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars campaigning against the conservatives. What's wrong with this picture???

    JOBS....The country needs JOBS...not green jobs...REAL jobs. We need a strong economy. We don't need free money handed out to us and we don't need a bunch of hand-outs going to special interest groups. The Stimulus money went into the hands of the far-left freaks in this country who got Obama elected. Now they want more money.

    Well they can't have it!!!! This country is going into debt like never before in our history. Obama has TRIPLED the deficit in six months. And that's BEFORE healthcare and cap and trade. We will all be eating SPAM for dinner and living in trailers. This is NOT GOOD.

    It does not take much of a brain to know that the government could not run a TWO TRILLION DOLLAR program when it can't even fix social security or the post office. WAKE UP PEOPLE.

    August 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Mississippi Mike

    They should list all of the lawmakers who have read the bill in its entirety and can answers relevant questions at town hall meetings. That would be very helpful.

    August 10, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. AndrewCPA

    I agree with someones comment about Pres Bush... he took the feedback both +/- and responded to ones he thought required a response. Pres Obama seems a need to respond to everything or have his team do this....create web sites, youtube videos, etc...

    Also, during the last election, I do recall people being very disruptive at the RNC convention... looked a lot like "left wingers"..,. did the RNC cry about this... no calim that this was staged/orgainzed by the DNC...no.

    Come on dems, grow up and take this like an adult. If you can not take feedback that questions your plan then maybe you are really working for the people.

    Also, I have not been aware of any townhall meetings in my area and I would love to go and ask questions. Like – Have you read this? If no, why not? if yes, what sections do you think should be refined before a final version is drafted? Do you think the CBO is honest in the assessments it is providing? Why is the leadership of the House and Senate willing to push this through without working out the details with all sides? – These are not points from the "right wingers", but just some of my own.

    August 10, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Lea

    This entire thing is pathetic, a controversy that will see no end. I looked around this website and read the FAQ – are we that gullible that we believe everything that we see and read? Sure, it may sound nice as to the way they have answered the questions but is it the truth? Anything in the written word can sound enticing and persuasive, but it sounds more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Society is so inclined and persistent to believe everything on blogs, twitters and now this website. Anything can be sugar coated to lure in the unwilling. After it’s all said and done – will we even see changes or be pissed off and stuck paying for their mistakes? People don't want this and it shows – no one is convincing them to disagree. We actually do have minds and opinions of our own and do not have to be brainwashed into thinking otherwise. We can rant and rave all we want but in the end it doesn't matter because they are/will not listen to the American People! God help us.

    August 10, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. Steve

    In the USSR and Hitler's Germany, they called it propoganda. The community organizer in chief will be pleased to know there are so many sheeple out there. Alas, and thank god, there aren't enough. The protests are real, by individuals who are sick of being raped and pillaged by the dems for the benefit of the lazy.

    August 10, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. Troy from NJ

    People wonder how we have a broken Government. I listen to these idiots who make 40K a year talking about they are scared of Obama's plans to socilze their medicine, but at the same time complian that they cant afford the plans they have. The Republicans have a well that keeps giving, they have idiots for their base so they can keep lying to them by telling them they are rich..Example...Joe The No License Plumber)..and these idiots beleive then you add in the racist, well thats the GOP!!!

    August 10, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Predicta

    The reality is health care is and always will be a commodity. By increasing the number of people who can get health care by 47 million, you essentially ration care for the 250 million who currently have it. This means longer wait times and less care. Without addressing the costs of taxing the existing systems resources, this health care bill will cost everyone in the quality of care they receive, just so those who don't have it can get it. Apparently, this doesn't sit too well with those who currently have health insurance and rate it as either good or excellent (79%). Anyone who doesn't think the rationing of health care will not fall disproportionally on the elderly or terminally ill, is really not being honest about the current proposal as it has been wriiten in the house of representatives.

    August 10, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Ian

    The administration should just call their health plan "CASH FOR CLUNKERS."

    Bring in your 80 year old relatives to be put out to pasture so they won't drain any more health care dollars, and the Gov't will give you $4,500 dollars back to spend on your own health care.

    August 10, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Mike O

    Considering the government has massively missed budget estimates, mishandled cash for clunkers, spent TARP money on all sorts of things unintended and NOT succeeded in generated economic recovery with the stimulus money, do you REALLY expect them to do any better with health care?? Remember the definition of insanity, folks.

    Government REDUCING costs???? Give me ONE example where that actually happened (redistribution of costs to others doesn't count).

    August 10, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Moderate Democrat

    The facts of the web site are spot on. A nice change compared to the faulty information we keep hearing from the uneducated right wing wacko's (ie: Palin, Rush, any one who would be a republican and follow their proven failed policies).

    After sanctioning the death of babies, senior citizens and true americans under the current Health Care industry, it's time we do the right thing. It's time for Health Care Reform. I'll take this one that we HOPE works over our current system that DOES NOT work.

    August 10, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Troy from NJ

    Would you Republicans please go blog on Fox, We want to have an itelligent debate on this blog.

    August 10, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Randolph Carter

    Hey, I'm all for healthcare for ill eagles. Eagles are a magnificent bird, and the symbol of our country. When one gets sick, I think we should help it get better. Have a nice day!

    August 10, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. STOPTHEINSANITY

    When you are in debt you don't spend your way out of debt. You pay off your debt. Obama has lost this concept and it's 101 of financial planning.

    Healthcare and cap and trade will destroy our economy. We need jobs...we need a strong economy...we need a BIPARTISAN government that works together to make people's lives better. It's that simple.

    All I see is hatred. The DNC has completely lost control. The far-left is controlling government right now and they need to go. Americans need to get them out....NOW.

    August 10, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. D. Tree

    I'm glad the President is working to put the truth about Health Insurance Reform out there.

    Of course people are scared and angry, but that's because they have been lied to about "socialism" and "euthanasia."

    I hope these angry people learn the truth, because reforming health insurance will probably help most of them. They are fighting against something that could help them and their families!

    August 10, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. ROGER

    They should put the entire thing on the web, give an index of topics with an explanation of what each area means. For the people who make death threats etc., they should be tracked down, charged, fined, and placed on a list of domestic terrorists. Imagine how they would feel everytime the local cops or fbi hauled them away from work for questioning about a new threat. As for the outbursts at meetings–that is just repubs being repubs! They are terrified of the facts- they have theiir minds made up and facts sre only confusing!

    August 10, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. Donkey Party

    The zero-intelligence right-wingers are so good at spewing hate, it's even worked on me. I now fully despise (HATE) the RepubliCONS, and I hope them, their lunatic followers, and their kids all die of cancer. Thank your lying, treasonous Neo-cons for succeeding in turning a warm heart cold. They have no compassion for Americans, I have none for them. Let them spend eternity burning in hell for their crimes against humanity.

    August 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Republican from Alerbami

    Im against healthcare even though I dont have any now,but I could use a set of teeth,maybe Rush will buy me a set since he has a 400,000.000.00 income.

    August 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. yuri

    And now watch for the spoil-sport steps of the moronic GOP. They just do not want to get it, it appears. They also seem much more anti-Dem than they are pro-America.

    August 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. MomofFour

    I have worked in the medical field for 25 years. I do not know any doctor who thinks this is a good idea. They ALL say it will ration care and ruin the standard of care that we have.

    All you have to do is look at the plans in Europe and Canada. They are all screaming at us not to do it.

    This is a far-left wing takeover of our healthcare industry. These nuts have completely lost control. Obama is weak and cannot control the far-left fringe of his party. This is going to ruin our country. We cannot let this happen.

    August 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. Glennis

    I have no reason to believe their version of the "facts" than I do of the extreme opposition's "facts". And to be honest, I think the White House is behaving badly on this issue.

    August 10, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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