Representative Mike Pence (R) is doing his part to lie America out of health-care reform, The Democrats propose “a government-controlled health care plan that will deprive roughly 120 million Americans of their current health care coverage.” Mikey took his numbers and talking points from the Lewin Group – you know an “independent” research group that happens to be a a subsidiary of the health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group.
We’ll grant that Congress could come up with a Medicare-style plan and open it to everyone, but it doesn’t seem likely. Pence appears to be picking the worst number he can choose. And he doesn’t mention the fact that under the scenario laid out by the Lewin Group, people would still have health care coverage and their premiums reduced by 30 to 40 percent. He says the government would “deprive” people of health insurance, when actually the scenario is that they would choose a different option.
Even if you believe that an expansive government health care plan would drive private insurers out of business, that still doesn’t account for Pence’s “deprive” claim, because the Lewin report he cites is focused on people who have chosen the government plan, not people who were left to the government plan after private options disappeared.
[ ]…Given all this background and explanation, we rated Pence’s statement that the government would “deprive” 120 million people of their “current health care coverage” False.
Interesting way to make an argument against reform. Make up a series of programs that will be invented or killed. Throw in some meaningless numbers to the fantasy changes to health-care and use the resulting fairy tale to scare people. Pence and UnitedHealth Group must think America has the collective mentality of a five year old. Or maybe they’re thinking those lies about WMD and Iraq’s imaginary connections to al-Queda worked, why not try the same thing with health-care.
A little background on the type of company that pence and other conservatives think is doing a great job handling health-care, US: UnitedHealth Faces Suit Over Payment System
Cuomo, whose office has investigated the matter for six months, estimated the activity has occurred for about a decade. As an example, he said, UnitedHealth insurers knew most simple doctor visits cost $200 but told members the typical rate was only $77. The insurers then applied a contractual reimbursement rate of 80%, covering only $62 for a $200 bill, leaving the patient with a $138 balance.
Linda Lacewell, who heads Cuomo’s healthcare industry taskforce, accused UnitedHealth of telling an “outright lie” to consumers by claiming it based rates on information from across the country. She characterized the Ingenix database as “garbage in, garbage out,” with insurers sometimes manipulating data before submitting it.
Right Wing Media, Strategists Seize Upon Gates Arrest and Controversy – The president takes time to use what is on balance a rather small incident to say something larger about reaching out to people, crossing class and race divides – only the Right could try and turn such a moment into a bad thing.
The power of right wing media extends far beyond its base because it also influences the mainstream or “liberal” media. CNN and other cable networks compete for Fox viewers by moving rightwards. The network news and Sunday talk shows are much more willing to invite guests from the far right than from even the moderate left or left-of-center. This is also true for National Public Radio and Public TV, although they tend to be more liberal on cultural issues. All of this moves the guests, journalists, and commentators themselves, who want to make sure that they always remain acceptable to the mainstream. There is no comparable countervailing force from the left of center to match the influence of the right. Until that balance changes, the Republican right — even the troglodyte part of its base that worships Rush Limbaugh — will continue to have influence beyond their numbers on national political issues.