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Family Research Council: Health Care “Reform” – Is There a Spin Doctor in the House?

Share with Friends | August 11, 2009 | Permalink

Is There a Spin Doctor in the House?

Pretty soon there won’t be enough PR teams in all of Washington to clean up the mess that House leaders are making with health care reform. Damage control was the agenda du jour yesterday after three Hill Democrats became publicly unglued over the opposition to their plan. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) imploded first, publishing an op-ed in USA Today that called anyone who disagreed with them “un-American.”

As if that weren’t enough, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the longest serving member of the House, compared townhall critics to the Klu Klux Klan. Apparently voters who want to keep costs down and retain their current plans are somehow racists. It’s a desperate attack by a desperate majority. Unless the messaging changes, this legislation is on the path to complete and utter self-destruction.

While President Obama seems to be distancing himself from the comments of his “leftenants,” he seems to be plotting his own retaliation for critics. Last week, a White House blog asked people to tattle on neighbors who oppose his plans. “Scary chain emails and videos are starting to percolate on the internet… Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help… [in reporting anything] fishy.”

If there’s anything “fishy,” it’s the White House asking people to police their neighbors’ political views. Is the White House planning to use this database of dissenters to intimidate their critics? The freedom of speech may be a pesky annoyance, but welcome to representative democracy and the reality of opposing views, Mr. President!

In between the spy campaign and health care pitch, the administration did have time to launch a new website aimed at setting the record straight on the reform. Although the website (“Reality Check”) shares its name with the pro-abortion site “RH Reality Check,” the pages are completely silent on whether the bill includes taxpayer-funded abortion–proving that there are some realities that even the White House can’t hide from.

Additional Resources
Find townhall meetings near you
20 Questions to ask your legislator about health care reform

Ben Cardin and the Cost of Reform

The more ordinary citizens learn about the President’s health care proposal, the more they’re outraged by it. The costs, the rationing, the big government takeover of Americans’ medical coverage and the federal funding of abortion are angering people weary of Washington’s “we know best” attitude. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) found this out last night at such a meeting in the community of Towson, Maryland. Sen. Cardin was subjected to loud boos from an audience frustrated by his allegiance to the Obama plan. But perhaps the most telling moment came when a questioner asked if the Senator could give one example of any government program run more efficiently than one in the private sector. Sen. Cardin then claimed that Medicare was such a program, and the crowd erupted in jeers.

Their dismay was understandable. Medicare is a morass of wasteful spending and inaccurate cost projections. As noted by scholars Steven Hayward and Erik Peterson, “in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation) … But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion.”

According to the 2009 Medicare Trustees Report, “Projected long run program costs are not sustainable under current program parameters.” And the Obama plan would only add to the current and long-term costs by burdening Medicare with even more beneficiaries as private supplemental health insurance plans decline. Sen. Cardin, please do some simple math. We can’t have a huge new government-run health program with any kind of real cost containment. Just imagine such an “efficient” program as Medicare magnified for every population group in the nation.

Additional Resources
Fox News: Sen. Cardin Booed, Jeered at Health Town Hall

For Planned Parenthood, Health Care’s a Steal!

The list of accusations against Planned Parenthood is growing faster than you can say “taxpayer-funded abortion.” According to Washington’s Department of Health, the Spokane branch was slapped with a $700,000 fine for three years of alleged fraud. Like clinics in California and Texas, auditors found that Planned Parenthood had been over-billing Medicaid (in some cases as much as three times) for services like abortion and contraception. And this is the organization that Senate Democrats want to entrust with more health care dollars? (“[The bill] would include, uh, it would include, uh, Planned, uh, Parenthood clinics.” –Sen. Barbara Mikulski, July 9, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee).

In documents obtained by Abortion in Washington, auditors outline five categories of abuse which include everything from unnecessary pregnancy tests to charging Medicaid with post-abortion drugs. As Steven Ertelt observes, isn’t this at odds with Planned Parenthood’s longstanding claim that “family planning” money doesn’t pay for abortion-related services?

Additional Resources Planned Parenthood in Spokane Fined 700K for Medicaid Overbilling on Abortion

A Pro-Life Champion Passes On

When President Reagan awarded the Medal of Freedom to Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1984, he lauded President Kennedy’s beloved sister with these words: “With enormous conviction and unrelenting effort, Eunice Kennedy Shriver has labored on behalf of America’s least powerful, those with mental retardation… Her decency and goodness have touched the lives of many.”

Mrs. Shriver, who died today at 88, helped in many ways to improve life in America. She will probably be best remembered for founding the Special Olympics. At a time when, tragically, the vast majority of unborn children who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted, Mrs. Shriver affirmed the worth of their lives as children created in the image of God. She spearheaded Community of Caring–to help teen-age women and their children. She was a loyal supporter of Feminists for Life. Our prayers and our thanks go out to the Kennedy and Shriver families for the life of this extraordinary woman.

FRC in the News

** If you missed last night’s interview on CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” click here for the video. We covered plenty of topics, including health care reform. **

Additional Resources
Watch Tony on Lou Dobbs Tonight

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