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Information vs. Misinformation Age

By Dr. Sultan Rahaman

This is supposed to be the information age. Life across the globe is transforming at a fast pace with the aid of widespread use of the Internet, including social media such Facebook and Twitter. Limitless information is just a second away on a computer or a smart phone using Google, Yahoo or Bing. Even in my daily work as a primary care physician I use many of these tools to serve my patients’ medical needs and my curiosity alike. However today, more than ever, it is important to warn against believing everything read, heard or seen in the media. This is also the misinformation age. Unfortunately the power of technology is often used to misinform, rather than providing the facts.

If you spend any time at night watching the most popular cable news channels such as CNN, MSNBC or FOX NEWS you will notice how large sums of advertising dollars are spent to misinform. Case in point, ex-presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appears in a frequent TV commercial urging people to “join the most massive petition drive the nation has ever seen”. On behalf of he asserts “the healthcare bill not only is a bad product but it was concocted in a bad process in locked rooms in the middle of the night”. The commercial urges Americans to sign the petition to repeal ‘ObamaCare’ “before serious damage is done to our healthcare system and our economy”. Mike Huckabee writes on his HuckPAC website, The law hasn’t even been fully implemented yet and Obamacare is already a disaster”.

If you (individual or company) have the money, you can legally disseminate false information without limit. Today the media can be bought and manipulated to misinform for purely ideological and political reasons.

However here are the facts about The Affordable Care Act:

1.     “Reforms under the Affordable Care Act have brought an end to some of the worst abuses of the insurance industry. These reforms have given Americans new rights and benefits, by helping more children get health coverage, ending lifetime and most annual limits on care, allowing young adults under 26 to stay on their parent’s health insurance, and giving patients access to recommended preventive services without cost.

Many other new benefits of the law have taken effect, including 50% discounts on brand-name drugs for seniors in the Medicare “donut hole,” and tax credits for small businesses that provide insurance to employees. More rights, protections and benefits for Americans are on the way through 2014. Find here out how the law provides better benefits and better health.”

2.     Repealing The Affordable Care Act would raise the deficit by $210 billion in the first decade.

The Affordable Care Act clearly provides numerous benefits to Americans and also is projected to reduce the federal deficit in years to come.

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