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DeathPanels.org: The Disturbing Details Behind Health Care Reform!!1!!
August 13, 2009 3:17 PM   Subscribe

DeathPanels.org: The Disturbing Details Behind Health Care Reform!!1!!
I wanted to make something you could e-mail to your crazy uncle to explain why 1) health reform is sorely, sorely needed in the US and 2) "health reform" isn't code for "gas chambers for the elderly." Here's my attempt.
posted by grrarrgh00 (7 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by tylerfulltilt on August 30, 2009: DeathPanels.org: The Disturbing Details Behind Health Care Reform!!1!!

While the design is really attractive, I think your purpose is better advanced with fast load times, crisp design and no devil imagery (which does tend to alienate people from time to time). The MeFi post on the White House website for this purpose and the perils of video vs text provide some helpful guidance.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:20 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I liked the "death" theme.. I thought it was going to turn out to be a satirical "reform will 'kill' us! ha ha!" kind of website. But it had some good facts.
The links that lead to explanations of the bullet points will come in handy...because I think I might just send this to my mom.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 9:47 PM on August 15, 2009


If you can make an email version of this with a few pictures of MAXINE in it, it will spread like wildfire among the over 65 set. Those people fwd everything!
posted by mds35 at 5:34 AM on August 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is a great idea. You could really timecube it up a bit more, though. Needs more scrolling, more animated GIFs, more colors, less graphics design.

I know, I know, but I've slowly come to realize that the format of these e-mail forwards is almost or just as important as the content. If you can sufficiently mimic the format you might more quickly get your foot in the door with an audience that's expecting some more LOLSOCIALISM but surprisingly gets to learn something from your site.

The content is great.
posted by odinsdream at 1:13 PM on August 21, 2009


This is a great idea.

I think it's a little detail-heavy, though. I think there's a way to cut through the hysteria and lies with humor, but nobody is going to read all that text. The nuts are good at getting their message out, and it's not because they have a compelling list of facts - it's because they have catchy memes. You can make your point superficially, and still be correct, and more effectively use humor and sarcasm to make your point.

Also, I don't think you need to be so touchy about "socialized medicine." By defensively stating that it's not in play right now, you're embracing and perpetuating right-wing assumptions that such reforms would be harmful.
posted by univac at 10:28 AM on August 31, 2009


Love it. I don't think you need to change a thing!
posted by misha at 8:36 AM on September 1, 2009


I do have some suggestions that I'd consider if I were you, which I think might help you address the audience you're trying to reach:

1) I'd try to strike a more conversational, reasonable tone, and I think you should explain the purpose of your web site to visitors in a way similar to how you explain it to us on metafilter.

1b) Reconsider the tone of the intro screen which mockingly parodies the views of those you're trying to reach ("DISTURBING DETAILS ABOUT OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE REFORM!!!," etc.). This will be a turn-off to conservative readers. Be direct and straightforward when presenting information.

2) Not sure why the splash page only has those two options and only those. Why not provide links to the four main pages (problems, congressional plans, 10 myths, and about me) right from the splash page?

3) Personally, I think the site looks uber-cool, but (as others have noted) conservative uncle Joe probably isn't going to find that the death's head graphics very confidence-inspiring. I'd tone this down, and even consider a different domain-name.

4) In terms of rhetoric, I think you might want to calibrate your message to more squarely address the main objection to health-care reform. Stats showing the poor outcomes of the US health care system aren't really that effective, since reform opponents are generally people who believe that 1) their own health care and insurance are just fine and, 2) those lacking health care are lazy and don't deserve to get it. This is how Limbaugh, etc. sell their case, right? "We've got the best health care system in the world for hardworking good people like us [i.e. thinly veiled racial appeal], and others can get great health care too, if they decide to get a job."

To deal with this, I'd suggest that you address the issue of compassion more directly, admitting that while a few will no doubt abuse a public health care plan, that many more people suffer through no fault of their own (maybe include a link or two to specific examples). I'd employ some specifically Biblical and Christian language to make this case, if I were you, too. I'd also stress the benefits this plan will provide to the already-insured.

In other words, your description of the health care problems in the united states is all about how health care harms "us" here in the United States, but I think that since many opponents of health care reform don't habitually view themselves as part of a shared community with the poor and uninsured, that you might shape your message a bit to make the case that a widely-inclusive community of interests does (or should exist) with respect to health care.

Well, those are my thoughts. I only present them in some detail because I'm hugely impressed with your web site's clean and useful organization and arrangement of a large amount of complex information. It's really quite readable and informative. Best of luck with the project.
posted by washburn at 6:44 PM on September 6, 2009


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