For Or Against, Just Get Your Facts Right : Tell Me More Likewise, those who are saying socialized medicine in other countries is a flawless gem, I think might need to go spend some time in a country with public medicine. I grew up in one.
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For Or Against, Just Get Your Facts Right

TMM Producer Jasmine Garsd, here ...

When I was little, my father used to tell me the story of astronomer Galileo Galilee as a bed time story. As the story goes, Galileo was convinced that the earth circled around the sun -- and not the other way, as was commonly upheld. He was forced to recant by the Inquisition, and he admitted the sun and the universe rotate around the earth.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about Galileo. His story is that of a man with strong convictions, and we are living in a time of ideological polarization. Especially throughout this health care debate. This was clear to me on Saturday as I covered the "tea party" protest in the Nation's Capital. Tens of thousands of passionate protesters showed up to decry what they see as excessive government spending. Although many of the protesters had legitimate, well thought-out points, others were spewing utter nonsense. A poster comparing Obama to both Hitler and Lenin, is factually atrocious. Saying Obama is a Nazi who wants to bring communism to America, is historically ignorant. A white man dressed as a Native American to protest a return to the American values of our forefathers, pardon me, is a circus, and some would say a slap in the face.

Tea Party Protesters on Capitol Hill Brendan Smialowski/Stringer/Getty Images hide caption

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Brendan Smialowski/Stringer/Getty Images

Likewise, those who are saying socialized medicine in other countries is a flawless gem, I think might need to go spend some time in a country with public medicine. I grew up in one. Interminable lines, hospitals without hot water or electricity, medicine shortages. When I was 9 years old, I got a cold which, thanks to incompetent public medicine, developed into a serious pneumonia. Recently, my 90-year-old grandmother broke her hip and waited for hours in excruciating pain for a public ambulance to arrive.

The thing is, Galileo Galilee was more than a strong idea: he was facts. He had done his homework, years of research. He knew what he was talking about, and that's what makes his story so great. But in this debate, it seems like people on both sides are becoming enamored of an idea, without thinking through their facts and accusations. Everyone has ideas. It's doing the research and having the facts which turns you into an intelligent individual.

At the end of my father's story, Galileo admits that the universe rotates around the earth. But as he walks past his friend, he whispers, "E per si muove," ("and yet it moves") the earth around the sun. Time has made Galileo owner of the truth, but in this health care debate, things are not so clear cut.

Is there a right or wrong answer? How do you feel about health care reform?

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