There is one arena in which misleading the public not only is abided but is the norm: politics. In fact, much of what constitutes political discourse in this country is now built on a foundation of dishonesty.
The campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt -- or FUD, to use its acronym -- continues to this day against the Affordable Care Act, and it will be waged in coming months by cynical politicians who believe it will be the surest way to win votes in November.
Ads supposedly sponsored by the Coalition for Medicare Choices started appearing last week warning that seniors will face higher costs, fewer benefits and a loss of provider choice if Congress and the administration don't take action.
The mainstream media seems to willfully ignore what corporations and other moneyed interests do to get what they want in Washington. As a result of this lack of media interest, Americans remain in the dark.
While all companies are required to report their federal lobbying and Political Action Committee expenditures, that money is just a fraction of what they often spend in the political arena to protect their profits.
When you're shopping for health insurance, wouldn't it be great if you could find out every insurer's claim denial rate? And how much each one spent on lobbying and advertising -- and how much they paid their CEO?
As the video of the hearing shows, instead of allowing me to explain how common industry practices contribute to the dwindling number of small businesses being able to offer coverage, Rep. Blackburn gave me only one-third of one minute to talk when it was her turn to ask questions.
On Friday I was one of three witnesses to testify before a House committee hearing on whether the cost of health insurance will be higher or lower for people who cannot obtain it through their employer when important provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect in a few months.
Facing government cuts to one of their cash cows -- private Medicare plans -- health insurance companies have launched a multi-pronged campaign, financed by the customer premiums, to persuade Congress to keep the cuts from going into effect next month.
During the final weeks of the health care reform debate, insurers papered Washington with a flawed "study" warning that premiums would soar if lawmakers ignored their recommendations. And now insurers are once again disseminating a new study with similar predictions.
It's complicated -- so complicated that unless you are a reader of obscure insurance industry newsletters, you've probably never heard about this, even though it has the potential to cause the collapse of the exchanges and completely circumvent the intent of Congress.
Although it's a few days past Thanksgiving, I'm still feeling grateful, even to much maligned federal employees. Last week bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services did us a big favor by resisting pressure from insurance company executives.
If health care leaders really cared a whit about the most vulnerable, millions of us would not be uninsured because of common industry practices -- practices like charging women and older people such high premiums that many have no option but to remain uninsured.
Twelve people were killed and 58 wounded in that shooting at the Century Aurora 16 theater complex on July 20. While some have been released, others are still fighting for their lives in hospitals. And many of them will likely be fighting to stay afloat financially after they're discharged.
Health insurers avoided their worst case scenario last week -- the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down the individual mandate but letting the rest of the health care law, especially profit-threatening consumer protections, go forward.