Health discussion thoughtfully laid out on website with scary name: Deathpanels.org

A thorough look at the ongoing health care reform debate has been pulled together by online journalist Matt Thompson, and he’s using a frightening name — www.deathpanels.org — to draw attention to his site.

But once you get past the intentionally sensationalized intro screen, there’s a wealth of information about the current system, what the current proposals include, and debunking of myths.

In an audio interview about the site with online journalist Ryan Sholin, Thompson says that although he’s a journalist, he “definitely has a perspective on this; I’m in favor of health reform, broadly.”

Thompson says the name of the site, along with the gruesome graphics, is a play on the elements of fear and panic and paranoia that have been injected into the debate.

He said he’s tried to get a “a fairly sober, friendly, accessible overview of the problems in the current system, what Congress is doing about them, and what are some other resources to look at for finding more information about health reform.”

My thoughts: it’s a great compendium of information, most of it from what appear to be credible, usually non-partisan sources, but the site’s name and over-the-top presentation will keep many from even trying to engage it.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/14/2009 - 01:00 pm.

    Perhaps Mr. Thompson could put up a second, identical website at a friendlier-sounding web address with a friendlier front page and the same basic information. If he offered two separate comments sections, one for each site, it might make an interesting experiment.

  2. Submitted by Matt Thompson on 08/14/2009 - 02:30 pm.

    I’m planning on doing this very thing, Joe. As a matter of fact, before this became DeathPanels.org, it was going to be either HealthCareless.com or TheHealthCareProblem.com (both of which I purchased earlier). It was the death panels comment that finally pushed me over the top and made me sit down and git ‘er done.

    My plan is to choose one of those domains, probably the latter, and make a friendly, blue-and-white design for it that would point to the very same content. Trying at this very moment to figure out how to accomplish that technically without having to keep up two identical pages.

  3. Submitted by Matt Thompson on 08/14/2009 - 02:31 pm.

    (By the way, Joe, I’m also a Minneapolitan. Not sure if that’s why you linked to DeathPanels.org, but thanks!)

  4. Submitted by Ed Stych on 08/15/2009 - 12:10 pm.

    I didn’t engage in very much of Thompson’s website because it’s clearly just another partisan effort to convince us that we need to overhaul our health care/insurance system. There is no attempt to provide any kind of balance whatsoever. Why should I trust such a partisan effort?

    Here are a couple of recent Powerline posts in an attempt to provide just a little bit of balance.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/08/024282.php

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/08/024280.php

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