All of the vitriol coming out of the debate about the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) is enough to make even the most avid policy wonks and political junkies want to tune out. Many comments made over the last few years by proponents and opponents alike have been nothing less than absurd.
“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it – away from the fog of the controversy.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Um, okay. Sounds a bit backward and condescending. Pelosi later put more context around her comment, but it’s still not what you typically want to hear from an elected official.
“And what is Obamacare? It is a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that allowed slave owners to come to New Hampshire and seize African Americans…” – New Hampshire state Rep. Bill O’Brien (R)
That has to be one of the worst analogies ever…but perhaps in a near tie with the inane Obamacare-Katrina comparisons that many media outlets made in November. As Daily Show host Jon Stewart so eloquently put it:
“Look, I’m not trying to polish the [dot]turd that is HealthCare.gov, but comparing the government abdication of responsibility after Katrina, the death of hundreds of people, the displacement of thousands of people to a f— website is offensive.”
That brings me to a story I discovered on “Freshly Pressed” the other day: A Day in the Life of Assistance by Graciela Guzman. Graciela is an Affordable Care Act enrollment specialist. In this post, she chronicles challenges faced in helping her clients navigate health-care programs.
I have conflicted feelings about Obamacare, but I enjoyed reading about Graciela’s experiences. In fact, her post prompted me to leave this comment:
“I worked in a hospital before and saw firsthand the struggles from that perspective, but it was really interesting to read about the challenges on the front end of health care. Thanks for your dedication and for sharing your story!”
But Graciela’s post also reminded me that whenever I want to laugh (and then cry) about low-quality news coverage of a particular topic or simply need a break from the screaming extremists “debating” the big issue of the day, I have an alternative. There is an abundance of voices out there accessible through blogs – unique, less over-the-top points of view that traditional media often fail to capture.
So while I’m very excited about focusing on my personal journey to becoming a better writer this year, I’m also looking forward to stumbling across new, interesting blogs, stories and viewpoints along the way.
What about you? Do you experience news-coverage fatigue like me? Have you discovered a post about a hot topic that provided you with a refreshing perspective?
(This post was inspired by Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog’s daily assignments: Day 11: Be a good neighbor — leave comments on three new blogs and Day 12: From comment to blog post — be inspired by the community.)
January 19, 2014 at 10:44 pm
Oh, yeah, I’m right there with you on news-coverage fatigue. And not just news, but the stream of bickering between opposing sides coming from entertainers, politicians, and even Facebook friends. I had not considered looking at blogs for the less reactionary, less polarizing, and perhaps better informed perspectives in blogs. Thanks for the idea!
January 20, 2014 at 10:08 am
Well, I’ve already found a few heated debates on some of the WordPress blogs that I’ve discovered over the past few weeks, but they still seemed more thoughtful than those I’ve witnessed elsewhere….we’ll see how long that holds true. 🙂