Friday, March 05, 2010

Charles Krauthammer - Smart, but a liar

My favorite disingenuous conservative editorial opinion writer is at it again today. I didn't realize, until this morning, that Charles Krauthammer is actually a Harvard Medical school grad and is board certified in psychiatry. So he has the training to lie convincingly to his readers.

In "Onward with Obamacare, regardless", Krauthammer spews his conservative version of the facts on healthcare reform. "...a Blair House "summit" with Republicans, followed five days later with a few concessions tossed the Republicans' way."

A "few" concessions? The current HCR Bill is more Republican than it is progressive. Over 160 Republican amendments were accepted in the Senate version of the HCR Bill. Remember "single-payer health care"? Gone. Remember the "public option"? Gone. Remember "death panels"? Gone. A majority of people dislike the HCR Bill for two reasons. First, many progressives think the Bill doesn't go far enough, so they oppose it. Second, many, many people have bought into the Republican lies about the Bill so, of course, they oppose it.

Krauthammer goes on to write, "Unfortunately for Democrats, that seven-hour televised exercise had the unintended consequence of showing the Republicans to be not only highly informed on the subject, but also, as even Obama was forced to admit, possessed of principled objections..." Highly informed? Did Krauthammer even watch any of the health care summit? President Obama had to correct conservative "misconceptions" and "talking points" (let's face it...lies), time and time again.

For example, conservatives want health insurance to be sold across State lines. A good idea, but it wouldn't work without strong Federal insurance standards. Instead, we would get a race to the bottom in health care benefits. Besides, conservatives are opposed to interference of the Federal goverment with States rights.

Or how about the lie spewed by Rep. Joe Barton that "tort reform" would save us $150 billion a year? The Congressional Budget Office puts the figure closer to $5 billion. I'm sure Joe has a staffer that can find this article.

Krauthammer goes on to talk about ice cream, steaks and roses leading to the next conservative talking point. MEDICARE IS GOING TO BE CUT! This would be laughable if it weren't so sad. A conservative worried about cutting medicare. Sure, the Bill would take away $177 billion of government subsidies to insurance companies that participate in Medicare Advantage. But let's say there are cuts that are going to hurt Medicare. Haven't conservatives been telling us for years that we have to reduce government spending? Aren't conservatives opposed to "entitlements"? Were not conservatives initially opposed to the Medicare Bill?

Here's a good one from Krauthammer. "Well, yes. That has generally been the problem with democratic governance: cost. The disagreeable absence of a free lunch." Yep, you know those Democrats, they love to spend money. Unlike the years from 2000-2008 where we borrowed money to support fighting 2 wars, borrowed money to fund a huge Medicare drug benefit, borrowed money to fund "No child left behind" and borrowed money to fund 2 large tax cuts, mostly for the rich. And, let's not forget squandering a large budget surplus. Yes, you've convinced me that Democrats are the big spenders.

So the bastardized health care reform bill is going to cost $100 billion a year. But it's going to insure an additional 30 million people. It's going to prevent insurance company denying coverage to those with "pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies will not be able to drop you when you get sick. It does away with annual and lifetime limits on coverage. It requires that insurance companies spend at least 80% of every premium dollar on medical care. According to the CBO it would reduce the deficit (but remember, Reagan proved deficits don't matter).

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