Fear sells.  Fear motivates.  Fear scares people into acting worse than they would allow a toddler to behave.   But, as we've seen in recent coverage of Congressional Town Halls gone wild, fear does not produce intelligent discourse, constructive consultation or anything of real value to the current debate on health care reform.  For American seniors, fear of change and fear of reforms that could diminish their life-saving medical coverage under Medicare is especially acute.  It's this fear that has led industry-backed Astroturf groups and conservatives opposed to real health care reform to target seniors with a disinformation and intimidation campaign of frightening proportions.  These political opportunists are telling seniors that the government has targeted them for euthanasia, that they will foot the bill to insure the rest of America and that healthcare reform is converting the country they love into a socialist regime.  Never mind that many of the same people telling these lies about health care and Medicare now,  never supported Medicare in the first place. This isn't just politics as usual.  We here at the National Committee attend scores of Congressional town hall meetings each year to help members address issues impacting seniors in their district.  These sessions (before now anyway) were opportunities for voters to have some one-on-one time with their members of Congress.  Attendees ask questions and members answer them. Seniors often have questions about how Medicare and Social Security will be impacted by what's happening on Capitol Hill.  But now, seniors' legitimate questions will never be heard because these town hall disrupters have an entirely different goal in mind.
"Try To "Rattle Him," Not Have An Intelligent Debate: "The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions." leaked Town Hall Political Action memo
Here's what America's seniors need to know about health care reform but may never hear through all the noise: 
  • Health care reform bills proposed in the House and one Senate Committee include several important reforms for Medicare beneficiaries such as, closing the Part D doughnut hole, allowing government negotiation of drug prices in Part D and eliminating billions of dollars of wasteful subsidies to private insurers in Medicare.
  • We must pass meaningful health care reform. Slowing the cost growth throughout the entire health care system will improve Medicare's long-term fiscal picture.
  • There is more work to be done to ensure the final health care reform package sent to the President provides improved access and care to the insured, the uninsured, and beneficiaries in Medicare. The process is not finished!
That's why it's important that seniors educate themselves with the facts about the health care reform debate.  Attend a Congressional Town Hall meeting prepared to ask the legitimate questions seniors should be asking about health care reform and Medicare's role in that reform.  This debate is too important to allow ourselves to be destracted by lies and the politics of fear.