Letter: We must start our discussions with facts
In reading the letter from Jonnie Adams ("Our republic is being dismantled before our eyes," Jan. 13 issue), I see clearly why we have so much difficulty finding solutions to our national problems. We are arguing about issues that do not exist. How can we, as a nation, come to any solution if we start our discussion based on falsehoods? It’s like asking, "Why does the chicken cross the road?" when the chicken is a duck.
There are five assertions in the letter regarding the Affordable Care Act of 2010, commonly known as the health care law. All five assertions are incorrect.
There is no provision in the law to "set doctor’s fees." It is simply not part of the law.
The letter claims the government will "impose a prohibition on hospital expansion." For years, state law in Virginia has prohibited hospital expansion without approval from the Virginia Department of Health. This is not part of the new federal law, but a longstanding state law.
There is nothing in the law that gives "real-time access to individuals’ bank accounts" and nothing that gives "authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts." This is absolutely ludicrous.
There is nothing in the law that gives subsidies to "union members, union retirees and community organizations."
Members of Congress do fall under the law. They are not "exempt."
I am not trying to embarrass Jonnie Adams; in fact, I am certain there are millions who truly believe exactly what the letter asserts. They are guilty only of believing what they hear 24/7 from radio ranters and countless viral e-mails that circulate on the internet.
We have heard a lot about toning down the rhetoric since the Tucson shootings, and I could not agree more. However, as part of that "toning down," every citizen needs to understand that right and left wing pundits have an agenda, and it is not necessarily the truth. In short, they lie. There are some good non-partisan websites that filter all the garbage: snopes.com, politifact.com, and factcheck.org. We all need to use them more often rather than simply believing what we hear or read.
If we are ever going to solve our national problems, we must start our discussions with facts. If we start with lies, we are adding gas to the rhetorical fire, and we are wasting precious time. Lies may score political points, but they do nothing but harm when we are working to find serious solutions.