The White House is stepping up its efforts to promote health care reform with the launch of a new Web initiative that officials say is designed to combat misinformation about the issue.
Citing what it calls "a troubling trend" of "wild rumors and scare tactics," the White House Monday announced the launch of http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/, a new Web page which "focuses on what reform really means for you and your family" and "debunks some common myths along the way," White House New Media Director Macon Phillips wrote on the official White House blog.
In keeping with President Obama's use of social networking sites to engage and utilize his network of supporters during his presidential campaign, the new page also provides users with a number of ways to notify their own networks of contacts about the page and its content.
The Web page features half a dozen videos from Obama aides who discuss various aspects of health care reform and it also has a set of "faq's" or frequently asked questions about health care reform.
"Moving forward, we'll use this platform to provide you with the latest 'Reality Checks' and tools to combat misinformation," Phillips writes in the blog post announcing the new Web page.
The launch of the new administration Web page comes two days after Obama used his weekly Internet and radio address to address recent attacks on Democratic efforts to pass health care reform legislation. In the address, Obama responded to "outlandish rumors that reform will promote euthanasia, cut Medicaid, or bring about a government takeover of health care."
Obama's comments came one day after former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin posted a message on Facebook that suggested Obama's agenda for health care reform, if passed, would deny care to her parents and to her youngest child, Trig, who was born with Down's Syndrome.
The White House's aggressive move to defend health care reform also comes after a week where town halls meetings with congressmen across the country have been attended and disrupted by citizens concerned about the possible adverse effects of health care reform.