I am disappointed in the Indiana County League of Women Voters. The League recently sponsored a lecture on Obamacare “Facts vs. Fiction.” The speaker, however, was a paid political advocate for Obamacare.
On the website for her organization (Pennsylvania Health Access Network) the speaker’s picture was proudly displayed being escorted out of the Pittsburgh Marriott where she was disrupting a speech given by someone with an opposing viewpoint. Her organization’s website clearly indicates that they are “advocates” (their word) for Obamacare and discussed how best to “message” the “good news” of Obamacare.
The speaker, like any good propagandist, spoke about 80 percent of the time on noncontroversial issues, giving out Medicare enrollment dates, etc.
She did, however, weave in her one-sided message about Obamacare in the other 20 percent of her talk. She presented opinions as facts, omitted the negative aspects of the law and stated half-truths. (Unlike the speaker, who had no medical background, I have, by necessity, been forced to find out the real facts of this law as I will be living with it every day.)
It is certainly OK to have an advocate speak. We should all be open-minded enough to listen to both sides of an issue. What is not OK is for the League to declare itself nonpartisan and then fill up a room with seniors to present “facts” supplied by an advocate of one side. There was no one to rebut the speaker, nor did the League provide any references for people to access other opinions. Censorship does not build bridges of understanding between groups.
I hope the League redeems itself and sponsors a lecture by a paid advocate that opposes Obamacare. Otherwise, the next time we see an event sponsored by the Indiana County League of Women Voters, we will have to realize that they are no longer nonpartisan but simply another divisive political organization.
Tom Trevorrow, M.D.