LETTER: Recent letter full of falsehoodsLast week, the New Richmond News ran a letter by William L. Munns under the headline “Obama Care: Features you may not like.” The title should have been: “Obama Care: More Misinformation from the TEA Party.”
To the Editor:
Last week, the New Richmond News ran a letter by William L. Munns under the headline “Obama Care: Features you may not like.” The title should have been: “Obama Care: More Misinformation from the TEA Party.”
Munns’ letter provided a whole list of shocking revelations that were supposedly passed into law as part of the Affordable Health Care Act, i.e., Obama Care. Included in the list would be such things as all non-U.S. residents – legal or illegal – would be provided health insurance and health care would be “totally subsidized by the government” for all union members, union retires and for community organizations like the Association of Communities for Reform Now (ACORN), blah, blah, blah.
The misinformation in Munns’ letter was taken from an Internet chain letter that has been circulating since 2009. The source of the information was a letter to the editor written by a David Kithil, a county judge in Texas. Kithil wrote his letter in August 2009 concerning House Bill 3200 that was never passed into law. Through the legislative process, the language in HB3200 was changed in November 2009.
The Senate wrote a more conservative bill in December 2009. By March, 2010, the House accepted much of the Senate bill. On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the bill – HR3962 - into law. About his much traveled letter to the editor, Judge Kithil said, “What I wrote about was a bill that never became law.”
To better understand the misinformation Munns’ wrote about in his letter, Google “Judge Kithil and health care” without the quotes. The first two listings will be from the fact checking websites Snopes.com and The Fact Checker at the Washington Post. Both sites are useful in debunking the myths, lies and fabrications getting transposed for Internet chain letters to letter to the editor in the local newspaper.
Perhaps Mr. Munns intentions were innocent. Perhaps he assumed anything forwarded to him on the Internet must be true. I assume nothing forwarded to me on the Internet is true.
Open and honest debate on political issues like health care reform is crucial to our society. These debates must be based on the facts and honest opinions. Mr. Munns has damaged his credibility by carelessly passing on misinformation that can easily be verified through the fact checking sites I mentioned above. Munns owes us readers an apology, if he is to ever have credibility in future contributions to this forum.
James P. Nelson