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Center for Health Literacy Promotion Blog

Government shutdown is all FUD

FUD: Fear Uncertainty &Doubt. That is the foundation of the extreme House Republican’ position on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  That’s why they call it Obamacare- in order not to say “protection” or “affordable”; and  to hide the fact that the law was enacted 3 years ago, before the President was soundly re-elected running against an opponent who vowed to repeal it.
 
FUD, initially an IBM strategy to eliminate market competitors by spreading fear uncertainty and disinformation about their products, seems to be working for the House Republicans. At least to some degree, for now. Polls and analyses of social media suggest that some people favor the Affordable Care Act while opposing Obamacare.
 
Home visitors: “Obama snoopers” = FUD
I ignored the FUD like a parent ignoring a toddler’s temper tantrum until I saw the Fox “news report” about the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of home visitation. That’s  a preventive strategy in which public health nurses, social workers or trained paraprofessionals connect families to healthcare and community resources and offer health education and social support.  It’s origins date back to the 1800s. Programs are run by county health departments, school districts, foundations, and private-public partnerships. Home visiting programs are open to poor parents who request assistance.
 
It’s worth noting that in many countries, home visiting has long been standard for all parents, because they acknowledge that parenting is a challenge and everyone can use assistance. And because research shows it improves child developmental outcomes and has immediate and long-term benefits that extend to entire families and to the healthcare, education and justice systems. My research  shows that parents in home visitation significantly improve their health literacy, capacity to manage personal and child health and healthcare.
 
Pure FUD
A Fox announcer and a “business expert” called home visitors “Obama snoopers”.  They said  in this “brand new federal program”, “government home inspectors” make random, unannounced  “forced home visits” to snoop on parents.  This is not news. This is pure FUD - disinformation (lies) that specifically intends to instill fear, uncertainty and doubt about the Affordable Care Act, to prevent people from learning they can afford good healthcare coverage.
 
I have worked for decades with home visitors and know them to be among the most  caring, dedicated, respectful people on the planet, unlike the FUDders on Fox and in the House.
 
FUD won’t work for long. Yesterday, the heart of the Affordable Care Act started (keep saying the real name), opening access to healthcare for millions of poor and uninsured citizens. Almost 3 million people visited www.heathcare.gov. State exchanges were similarly overwhelmed.  People are about to find out that the Affordable Care Act makes good healthcare coverage affordable -for them. That will help them see through the FUD.  Insurance companies are helping too. They are enrolling people they previously rejected because, with the ACA, it’s good for business. Healthcare executives are calling for more doctors, nurses and allied health professionals - doesn’t really sound like a “job-killer” does it?
 
On the other hand, the House Republicans just put hundreds of thousands of people out of work in hopes they can FUD us citizens of the richest country in the world into continuing denying healthcare to poor people and sick people in order to preserve the freedom of the rich to get richer.
 
 
 
 

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