This site is devoted to helping understand all the changes happening in our nation’s health care and insurance system. It is open to thoughtful, serious, sometimes comical and, hopefully, always engaging commentary. Opinions are welcome. Made up stuff isn’t. Nor is re-posting unverified and/or demonstrably false “facts” about health care reform. Don’t be bringing that crap here. Do your homework. If you want to spew unchallenged, non-factually based opinions, take them back to your respective campfires and discuss it among yourselves. They won’t be posted here. (Yeah, yeah, I’m elitist and old school about this.) Having said that, all informed opinions that challenge conventional wisdom and common narratives about the subject of health care are otherwise welcomed. Still, part of what we want to do here is some helpful myth-busting. That means, from time to time, I will dissect some of the misinformation that makes its way into the mainstream, on Facebook, Twitter and other venues. I apologize in advance for even referencing some of these whoppers — putting anything on them World Wide Internets nowadays, even the blatantly false stuff — can sometimes result in extending the very life of the lie itself, despite the best effort to lay it to rest. (Think “death panels,” and “government takeover of health care.”) So I promise to do this with only the most despicable of these claims, and only then with the aim of explaining who created it and why they want to mislead you.
Here’s what you need to know about me. I spent nearly 40 years in the daily newspaper business, much of it covering science, health and health care policy. I still write a lot about it, mostly as a freelance journalist. I don’t consider myself an expert on policy, but I know something about how the system works for real people and how to help people understand the issues connected to it. I am unabashed proponent of expanding both government and private programs so that all Americans are covered by an affordable, quality health insurance plan. It is not only good for the nation’s economy, it is — bottom line — the right thing to do. I consider it a sad commentary on our nation’s standing in the world that we have yet to come to grips with this basic societal need. One day we will. Until then, let’s talk about how best to get there. See you around the blog. — mike king