After weeks of health reform news coverage that has elevated unfounded lies and shameful disrespect for our elected officials, finally, ABC has raised the bar on coverage of the debate. I applaud Dr.Tim Johnson, chief medical editor at ABC News, for his report this morning. He directly addresses many of the myths and fears being repeated by the media so often that they are starting to resonate with people as fact.
Dr. Johnson adeptly took on the issue of advance care planning. This is not about "limiting life saving treatment" or "pulling the plug on grandma" but about educating patients about their options so they have control over their own care. He also addressed the concern that Medicare will be cut to seniors. Not true -- improving the Medicare system and eliminating waste will ensure that the program will continue to be strong for many years to come. Dr. Johnson could also add to his next report that proposed reform legislation will also close the "dough nut" hole for prescription drugs in Medicare Part D.
Lastly, he addresses fears that the health care legislation is "socialism." The reform effort builds upon the public/private system of health care delivery. He points out that the airline industry is heavily regulated while having robust private competition. We are assured as passengers that the plane is safe....similar to how government over site of the health insurance market will ensure that patients and physicians are not manipulated by health insurers.
Thank you Dr. Johnson and ABC for your thoughtful reporting. I look forward to more reports like this. I urge you to watch the report and share it with your colleagues, patients and community.