Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Group Four Health Care Debate Discussion

The Health Care Debate rages on

The health care debate has spawned an unprecedented onslaught of ideological warfare. Crucial to understanding the debate and the role the media plays is the understanding of core concepts discussed within the debate.

Central to the debate is the impression of opposing sides ideals upon those in society who have the influence to sway the debate into true action or inaction. Communication strives to persuade an audience to believe a certain way. Media is used to shape and reinforce our attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, values, and myths that define our culture.

It has become a massive branding exercise. Part of media literacy is to understand that branding is so powerful that once a brand image is reinforced it is very hard to rebrand.

When discussing these terms think of how they are framed and why. Think of who the sender of the message is and what the desired effect of the message is.

Socialism: In general terms, is a form of government that is comparable to communism. The very word evokes fear among those who hear it.
In this situation, the term socialism is used as a fear tactic to uphold the dominant ideology that says: "Government hands off." There is limited information available regarding the health care plan which allows these scare tactics to flourish.

Socialized Medicine: Socialized medicine in general terms, illustrates the concept of government run health care.

Government Run Health Care:Is a health care system paid for and run by the government.

Single-Payer System: A health care sytem where the government pays for but does not necessarily run health care.

Public Option: This term is exactly what it says, an option to buy into government funded health plan. Taxpayers will have the option to keep the insurance they currently have whether it's through an employer or purchased.

Universal Coverage: is medical coverage for eligible citizens. The coverage is often extensive and includes: preventative care, emergency medical care, dental and mental health. Universal coverage is funded through governmental programs or a tax, meaning anyone who pays or has paid taxes is eligible. Universal coverage has nothing to do with the purchase of insurance. The bottom line is: If you need medical attention, it is readily available.

Medicare: Is the type of health care the U.S. currently has for our senior citizens. The health care program is federally administered and available to those 65 or older.

Health Care Reform: is a term that can only be used generally. There are no ideological or cultural perspectives attached. It simply means that our health care system is not working and changes need to be made.

Free Market: An economic system where market forces are uninterrupted by government intervention. Free-market ideals permeate our culture.

Oligarchy: is a term that describes the distribution of power. In an oligarchy, power is limited to an elite group based on wealth, religion any many other factors. The U.S. has a democracy, but there are segments of our political system that seem to highlight an uneven distribution of power.

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