THE BLOG

The Myth of "Page 16"

08/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The newest tenet in the growing mythology that has replaced conservative intellectualism is that the House health care reform bill will outlaw private insurance coverage. The myth is a double shot of illusion for the Right now addicted to a new religion of conspiracy and paranoia. The belief fits nicely into the dogma pushed by conservative radio hosts, the high priests of the Right, that Obama wants to control everybody in the country while stirring the fears about reform long instilled by the health insurance industry into the psyche of the American people.

The Right points to the ominous "page 16" as proof. Page 16 of the House health reform bill is becoming the now primarily conspiracy-based conservative movements' "Revelation". For the uninitiated: "page 16" clarifies the requirements of private individual insurance coverage that can continue to be in effect after the passage of the bill. The Right says it will outlaw private health insurers.

Page 16 may have been cause for concern if it was not preceded by pages one through 15 and followed by pages 17 to 1000. The only real concern here is that while most Americans have now realized that conservatives are bad at economics, the fact that they believe that a page numbered "16" stands by itself raises the question of whether the Right understands the basic numeric system at all.

According to the actual words of page 16 and all the other pesky words in the 1000 page bill there will be private individual insurance coverage available through the new Exchange proposed by the bill that meets certain criteria. The criteria includes the requirement that insurance companies must offer a basic affordable package that does not exclude those with preexisting conditions. Even the insurance lobby currently does not oppose the basic provisions of the Exchange. Page 16 guarantees that insurance policies that come from companies outside the Exchange may continue to exist and be serviced as long as they are sold before the beginning of day one of reform. In fact not only can they continue to exist but the coverage can be extended to future dependents.

I have a basic rule of thumb and that is if someone has to lie about your position in order to make their point, then they have a very weak point. The best that the right wing talkers have been able to do so far is pull a single page from the health reform bill and lie about it's meaning. So, too, are numerous conflicting religions built from single holy books.

In DC there are a couple of beautiful buildings that were once dedicated to the pursuit of conservative intellectualism. They are now temples built on myths and distributors of tin foil amulets that protect those wearing them from the horrors of "page 16" and other words that may disturb the status quo. Lets hope that Americans reject the myths and continue to believe in themselves.

Mario Solis-Marich can be heard on Am760 and at www.GotoMario.com Monday through Friday from 4 PM to 7 PM MT. Check out Mario on Facebook.com

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