Newsweek Editor Plays Psychiatrist -- Links Health Care Opponents to Saddam-9/11 Theorists

Don’t like ObamaCare? Well, more than likely – you’re suffering from some sort of psychological delusion according to Newsweek Senior Editor and self-declared psychiatrist Sharon Begley.

Begley, in a piece posted on Newsweek’s Web site on Aug. 25, theorized that the widespread opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care reform is from any legitimate reason, but instead it exists mostly because people are not willing to go against their own beliefs, but have a desire to satisfy their need to think they’re beliefs are right.

Begley used the analogy that some people refused to dismiss a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terrorist as why people won’t dismiss some of the “myths” about ObamaCare.

“Some people form and cling to false beliefs about health-care reform (or Obama’s citizenship) despite overwhelming evidence thanks to a mental phenomenon called motivated reasoning, says sociologist says sociologist Steven Hoffman, visiting assistant professor at the University at Buffalo,” Begley wrote.

Hoffman examined why some people may link 9/11 and Saddam Hussein (not health care or Obama’s citizenship.)

“For an explanation of this behavior, look no further than the psychological theory of cognitive dissonance,” Begley wrote. “This theory holds that when people are presented with information that contradicts preexisting beliefs, they try to relieve the cognitive tension one way or another. They process and respond to information defensively, for instance: their belief challenged by fact, they ignore the latter. They also accept and seek out confirming information but ignore, discredit the source of, or argue against contrary information, studies have shown.”

And Begley made the leap and concluded this phenomenon is behind the opposition to Obama’s health care proposals. She assumed the entire opposition to ObamaCare was because of two key reasons – the fear illegal immigrants would get taxpayer-subsidized health care and the federal government would get access to physician’s bank accounts – not for reasons of costs, government interference in the market or what the role of government should be in a society.

“Which brings us back to health-care reform—in particular, the apoplexy at town-hall meetings and the effectiveness of the lies being spread about health-care reform proposals,” Begley wrote. “First of all, let's remember that 59,934,814 voters cast their ballot for John McCain, so we can assume that tens of millions of Americans believe the wrong guy is in the White House. To justify that belief, they need to find evidence that he's leading the country astray. What better evidence of that than to seize on the misinformation about Obama's health-care reform ideas and believe that he wants to insure illegal aliens, for example, and give the Feds electronic access to doctors' bank accounts?”

Begley has taken this elitist persona and dismissed contrary views in the past as crackpot, conspiratorial beliefs. In 2007, she likened global warming skeptics to moon-landing deniers.