Weekly Pulse: White House Takes Offensive Against Health Care Repeal

By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger

This week, House Republicans will hold a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill is expected to pass the House, where the GOP holds a majority, but stall in the Democratic-controlled Senate. In the meantime, the symbolic vote is giving both Republicans and Democrats a pretext to publicly rehash their views on the legislation.

At AlterNet, Faiz Shakir and colleagues point out that repealing health care reform would cost the federal government an additional $320 billion over the next decade, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The authors also note that despite Republican campaign promises to “repeal and replace” the law, their bill contains no replacement plan. Health care reform protects Americans with preexisting conditions from some forms discrimination by insurers. At least half of all Americans under the age of 65 could be construed as having a preexisting condition. No wonder only 1 in 4 Americans support repeal, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released on Monday.

Perhaps that explains, as Paul Waldman reports at TAPPED, why the White House is vigorously defending health care reform. The Obama administration is making full use of the aforementioned statistics from The Department Health and Human Services on the percentage of Americans who have preexisting conditions:

As the House prepares to vote on the “Repeal the Puppy-Strangling Job-Vivisecting O-Commie-Care Act,” or whatever they’re now calling it, the White House and its allies actually seem to have their act together when it comes to fighting this war for public opinion. The latest is an analysis from the Department of Health and Human Services on just how many people have pre-existing conditions, and thus will be protected from denials of health insurance when the Affordable Care Act goes fully into effect in 2014

Republicans are fuming that Democrats are “politicizing” a policy debate by bringing up the uncomfortable fact that, if the GOP’s repeal plan became law, millions of people could lose their health insurance. As Waldman points out, the high incidence of preexisting conditions is an argument for a universal mandate. It’s impossible to insure people with known health problems at an affordable cost unless they share the risk with healthier policy-holders. Hence the need for a mandate.

Anti-choice at the end of life

In The Nation, Ann Neumann explains how anti-choice leaders fought to re-eliminate free end-of-life counseling for seniors under Medicare. The provision was taken out of the health care reform bill but briefly reinstated by Department of Health and Social Services before being rescinded again by HHS amid false allegations by anti-choice groups, including The Family Research Council, that the government was promulgating euthanasia for the elderly.

As seen on TV

The Kansas-based anti-choice group Operation Rescue is lashing out at the Iowa Board of Medicine for dismissing their complaint against Dr. Linda Haskell, Lynda Waddington reports in The Iowa Independent. Dr. Haskell attracted the ire of anti-choicers for using telemedicine to help doctors provide abortion care. The board investigated Operation Rescue’s allegations, which it cannot discuss or even acknowledge, but found no basis for sanctions against Haskell. Iowa medical authorities said they were still deliberating about the rules for telemedicine in general.

Salon retracts RFK vaccine story

Online news magazine Salon.com has retracted a 2005 article by Robert Kennedy, Jr. alleging a link between childhood vaccines and autism, Kristina Chew reports at Care2. The article leaned heavily on now discredited research by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. His research had been discredited for some time, but only recently did an investigative journalist reveal that Wakefield skewed his data as part of an elaborate scam to profit from a lawsuit against vaccine makers.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Pulse for a complete list of articles on health care reform, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

Bobby, Barack, Hillary & my Sister

Thinking about the anniversary today, and slowly emerging from the primaries....

My first maternal grandmother in this country raised 7 children (had 2 more died in childbirth) alone & penniless, because her husband was burned in a cabin by "hostiles" near the St Charles River. My grandmother died in childbirth at 19 after eloping. My mother almost died in a self-administered abortion at 19. My sister lived her entire life knowing she can never have children because of complications of birth (8 years after my mom's near-fatal abortion).  

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Did Obama Accuse Clinton Of Plotting His Assasination?

Hey, folks.  

Remember when Hillary basically called Obama a muslim scumbag, by taking him at his word?

No?  Well then, its a good thing stuff floats around the internets for a while.  This is just a random sampling from Daily Kos:

Hillary: "I take him at his word," Obama Not a Muslim [video]
by turneresq
Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 04:32:08 PM PDT
This is probably gonna get some blowback. The issues of Obama being a Muslim (not that there is anything wrong with that) has repeatedly been roundly debunked. But it is something that is still circulating and is a source of frustration for the Obama Campaign.

There are still whisper campaigns out there (some from the Clinton Campaign.) To be fair, those staffers were let go. But tonight's 60 Minutes will probably generate some chatter.

Tonight on 60 minutes Steve Kroft talks to Hillary and Obama as well as voters. This quote from Clinton is frankly bizarre, and will probably generate negative news for her. Thanks to Hope08 for the link to the transcript.

It happened again last week, when a photo of Obama in ceremonial African tribal dress during a visit to Kenya was featured prominently on the Internet and attributed to people in the Clinton campaign.

Senator Clinton disavowed any knowledge of it.

"You don't believe that Senator Obama's a Muslim?" Kroft asked Sen. Clinton.

"Of course not. I mean, that, you know, there is no basis for that. I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that," she replied.

"You said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not...a Muslim. You don't believe that he's...," Kroft said.

"No. No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know," she said.

Absolutely bizarre to me. This sounds like she has some lingering doubts, but will give Obama the benefit of the doubt as far as these claims. I'm sure we'll have video later, but I think she has some 'splaning to do, especially on the heels of the criticism she took for the campaign's (non?) role in the "Obama in Somail Garb" flap which generated this tacky defense from Stephanie Tubbs Jones:

Check out 60 Minutes tonight.

Update: Video is here.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, 2008 Election, Muslim Smear, Recommended (all tags) :: Previous Tag Versions

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Daily Kos Help

Tips (329+ / 0-)

I don't know what she was thinking.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/3/2/1 9235/02786/275/467539

You will note that there are 329 recommends on this particular diary.  There were also hundreds of comments, most of which claimed that Hillary is an ambitious bitch who is destroying the party because she took Obama at his word.

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Clinton: Why I Continue To Be Reluctantly Contrite & Delusional

Seeking a rationale for her fading campaign, Hillary's bloggers are jumping on her op-ed in today's Daily News about why she's continuing to run.  Nothing new or relevatory is offered of course, other than her meme of defiance that we all heard in past stump speeches (i.e. I won't quit because I won't quit fighting for you blah blah blah).  

But what still resonates with an aura of a will-o'-the-wisp is that she made this statement in today's op-ed regarding her RFK remark:

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HRC in NY Daily News OP-ED: "Why I continue to run"

I've never been more ashamed of the "gotcha" and feigned outrage exhibited by the punditocracy and many, many blog commenters over HRC's SD Editorial Board meeting.  Anyone with an ounce of integrity and honesty would have to admit that she was referring to historical truths: that even a day is a lifetime in politics, and that anything can (and has) happened in past election primary seasons.  Yet even having to continually defend her rationale for staying in the race is absurd.  She just won two overwhelming victories in WV and Kentucky; she still continues to outpoint Obama in Head-to-Head vs. McCain in the GE; for all the talk that this is "over", she still runs fairly evenly with Obama in national Dem trackers (closer by the day, lately).  

I'm so sick of these nattering nabobs of negativisim (to quote that wonderful guy <snark>, Spiro Agnew) who chime in daily over what she should or shouldn't do.  Andrew Sullivan?  What a pathetic human being. Howard Fineman?  Please; why would anyone take YOU seriously?  The political chatter in this country is devolving rapidly.  It's really sunken deeper than I could have imagined, and I'm pretty used to the low class b.s. that masquerades as political opinion/commentary.

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