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October 21, 2009

Health Care Policy – The Terms of the Debate

As House Democrats move forward with their version of health care legislation that includes the public option, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how the various messages and terms used in the online debate have Healtherms evolved over the last few months.
Despite the lack of clarity of what is contained within the “public option,” public option advocates appear to have regained control over defining the terms of the debate.  
An analysis of the terms used by the bloggers at the center of the health care debate (see Morningside’s recent social network analysis on health care policy ) shows that attempts to rebrand the public option as “rationing,” a “government takeover,” or “socialized medicine” have lost steam after peaking in August.
While use of the term “public option” has also decreased since August, it has dominated the overall health care debate since June.
The only health care related term (with the exception of terms to broad to have meaning such as “health care reform”) that was used by bloggers that exceeded “public option” in a given week was “death panel,” which peeked in early August.

The charts below map the use of these terms since June across each of the Attentive Clusters of bloggers that Morningside identified in our research.



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Its sad to look back at this post and see how the whole health care thing has played out. Forced health care where you pay a fine if you don't have it? What in the world is happening to the United States. Force this, force that...force everyone to leave the country is what will happen over time. Blech.

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