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The Real Hoax Is Health Care

An attention grab that held millions of Americans transfixed. A story that seemed to be about life in the balance. It dominated the airwaves, the social networks, held Americans in its clutch. And then it turned out to have been nothing but a hoax. A play for attention that distracted the entire country.

Now that the Balloon Boy's story is blown, can we call out the health care hoax?

The anti-health care lobby is taking all our attention hostage. And a nation's hopes (and votes) for quality health care are floating away, leaving real lives in real danger.

If you're angry and feel played by the Heene family of Colorado, you'd better be furious at the private insurers.


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If you want Richard Heene and his wife to be jailed and their kids taken into protective care - you better be fighting for all Americans to be taken out of the custody of abusive wealth-insurance companies.

We know now that the Heenes were smart about how to manipulate the media in part because they'd starred in two episodes of Wife Swap. Cigna, Aetna, United Health own the news. They and their guns-for-hire lobbyists underwrite just about every pseudo-news show.  Call it "News Swap." (Theirs for the real stuff.)

And right now, with their House Republican pals they're planning to stop a health care bill by spending the next three weeks arguing over a phony-facts study that claims that the Democrats' measure will be a bad deal for small businesses, senior citizens, and women and children,"

At least the empty balloon that the Heene's floated was harmless. The anti-health care lobby is taking us all for a ride.  Where is the sheriff when you need him? And where are the felony charges?

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders is a best-selling author and broadcaster who hosts the The Laura Flanders Show, where she interviews forward thinking people about the key questions of our time.  The LF Show airs weekly on KCET/LinkTV, FreeSpeech TV, and in English & Spanish in teleSUR. Flanders is also a contributing writer to The Nation and Yes! Magazine (“Commonomics”) and a regular guest on MSNBC. She is the author of six books, including The New York Times best-seller, BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species (Verso, 2004) and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians (Penguin Press, 2007). The Laura Flanders Show first aired on Air America Radio 2004-2008. You can find all her archives and more at or via Twitter @GRITlaura

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