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Tilting at Windmills

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February 11, 2009

A CONSERVATIVE LIE CASE STUDY.... To paraphrase Twain, a right-wing talking point can travel the media world, while the truth is still getting its pants on. We've seen a classic example over the last 48 hours.

On Monday, Bloomberg ran an opinion piece from Betsy McCaughey, a staffer at a conservative think tank who also used to be a Republican Lt. Gov. of New York, attacking the economic stimulus plan. Specifically, McCaughey insisted that the policy would create a "new bureaucracy" called the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, which will "monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective." McCaughey said the federal government would then "'guide' your doctor's decisions," adding, "Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far."

The claim, not surprisingly, isn't true. The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology isn't "new"; it was created by George W. Bush five years ago. More importantly, the measure is about medical records, not limiting physicians' treatments.

In fact, the language in the House bill that McCaughey ... referenced does not establish authority to "monitor treatments" or restrict what "your doctor is doing" with regard to patient care, but rather addresses establishing an electronic records system such that doctors would have complete, accurate information about their patients "to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care."

So, the opinion piece Bloomberg ran was wrong. Ordinarily, that's hardly worth getting excited about; news outlets run misleading opinion pieces every day. But what's interesting about this particular story is they way in which it spread.

Step One: Rush Limbaugh told his minions audience on Monday about McCaughey's piece, insisting that a "national coordinator of health information technology will monitor treatments that your doctor gives you to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost-effective."

Step Two: By late Monday, Drudge was trumpeting McCaughey's mistake with this headline: "'National Coordinator of Health Information Technology' Slipped in to Stimulus..."

Step Three: Fox News and members of the Wall Street Journal editorial board got in on the act on Tuesday morning, arguing that the government will "essentially dictate treatments," thanks to the "secret" provisions in the stimulus bill. FNC's Megan Kelly said the non-existent language "sounds dangerously like socialized medicine," while FNC's Bill Hemmer said the recovery plan includes "new rules guiding decisions your doctor can make about your health care." All of this, of course, is patently and demonstrably false.

Step Four: Limbaugh took a bow yesterday, taking credit for the misinformation campaign, and telling listeners that his show "uncovered" all of this. "I found it," Limbaugh said. "I detailed it for you, and now it's all over mainstream media."

Remember, McCaughey got it wrong. Limbaugh and Drudge took the wrong information and exaggerated it further. Then Fox News took Limbaugh's lies, and stretched them even further still. That none of this is grounded in reality in any way was of no importance to any of these clowns. Untold thousands of Americans, who don't know better, get their "news" from these people, and have no idea they've been lied to.

DDay added, "This is how the conventional wisdom often gets set in Washington -- an article that 'the right people' read builds among the chattering class and then is distilled out to the people, no matter its veracity. While zombies like McCaughey are still churning out the lies, there's a whole new set -- Rush, Drudge, Fox -- of opinion leaders that get to set the agenda on these matters."

Steve Benen 8:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

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Comments

Boy, will Rush be embarrassed when he realizes what he's done! Ill bet his fans will be very disappointed when he issues his retraction.

Posted by: whydies on February 11, 2009 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, you should be thankful: this is the right's real contribution to economic stimulus. By publishing and amplifying this bullshit, they give liberals material to work with, guaranteeing permanent employment to liberal debunkers for generations to come.

Posted by: fromer on February 11, 2009 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

This is standard operating procedure for the rabid right: Take an obscure fact. Spin it into something diabolical. Insist that anyone who does not see the 'truth' of the spin is either blind, stupid, connected to the scheme, a member of the liberal elite, or all of the above. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Posted by: JoeW on February 11, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

If the name of Betsy McCaughey is familiar, it's because she's the person who wrote the infamous article "No Exit" that distorted the Clinton health care plan of the early 1990s and helped defeat it in Congress. She's at it again.

Posted by: Karl Weber on February 11, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Sigh. . . another day, another right-wing lie.

I really don't want a "National Coordinator of Health Information Technology" pushing to make my medical records available online until the country has completely re-worked our approach to privacy protection. Doctors are some of the most computer-illiterate people on the planet.

Posted by: SteveT on February 11, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Still more posts bashing Republicans and none taking a long hard look at the great ponzi schemer Tim Geithner enabled by liberal hero Barack Obama?

I'm ashamed to have supported him. The alternative was naked fascism though. Perhaps I should have written in Nader.

We're doomed.

Posted by: grinning cat on February 11, 2009 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

SteveT, believe you drop that computer part in front of illiterate, when you add Coburn to the list.

This ties in with comments at David Horsey's political cartoon site at the Seattle P-I. Today, his cartoon shows Rush in an Elephant Suit talking about his roles. The many right wing trools are blasting Horsey for attacking their hero.

Posted by: berttheclock on February 11, 2009 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

: Rush Limbaugh ... that a "national coordinator of health information technology will monitor treatments that your doctor gives you

You can understand how an oxycontin addict might feel threatened.

Posted by: Danp on February 11, 2009 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

If you think about the phrase "National Coordinator of Health Information Technology" you realize that the title sort of explains the job.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 11, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

You forgot Step Five: Rush's minions blast email everyone in their address book decrying the leftist plot to socialize medicine.

Posted by: redtickbeer on February 11, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK


Obama should hold a press conference every week, point out a deliberate lie by a major news outlet and refuse to call on "journalists" from that organization. This week would be "Instead of fact-checking McCaughey's story, WSJ and Fox amplified the lie by repeating it. So their reporters get to watch this week."

Posted by: Richard Greenslade on February 11, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

The sad part is that you could write a similar case study involving many of the same players (WSJ, Fox, Limbaugh, Drudge) virtually every day of the year.

What can we do to break the spin cycle and insert some facts into the right's media echo chamber?

Posted by: cognitive dissident on February 11, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

If memory serves me right, Joe Conason documented the Rush/Drudge-Fox-MSM triple play in his book Big Lies many years ago. And yet our so-called "liberal media" still "falls for it"...

Posted by: Gregory on February 11, 2009 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

What can we do to break the spin cycle and insert some facts into the right's media echo chamber?

With respect, I don't think this is the right question. I don't think there's anything that can -- or should -- be done about the right wing echo chamber.

The key is countering the mindless (?) adoption of right-wing talking poitns by a so-called "liberal media" that boasts that glorified Internet gossip Matt Drudge "rules their world."

Posted by: Gregory on February 11, 2009 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

We need new journalism schools.

Journalists (and for that matter Democrats) need to say, "Oh my gosh, how horrible"! Please, Mr. Rush Limbaugh show us and your audience PRECISELY where in the stimulus package this language is, so that we can ALL look at it.

Posted by: palinoscopy on February 11, 2009 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

berttheclock said:
SteveT, believe you drop that computer part in front of illiterate, when you add Coburn to the list.

Actually, I was trying (clumsily) to make a tangental point.

Coordinated efforts by the right-wing to distort Democratic initiatives happen several times each day. We need to debunk the lie, embarrass the "journalists" who repeat it, and move on to the next one.

However, on this particular issue, I thought it was worthwhile to mention a potentially big problem with making everyone's medical records available online.

berttheclock, at very little cost I could find out your real identity and then get all your private information -- SS number, bank records, phone records, and even the names of your children and the schools they go to. And there's currently very little your do about it if I don't use the information to actually steal from you.

The United States needs to completely re-think how we protect privacy. It's too late to try to keep private information private. Too many people already have access to it. The only way we can protect ourselves is to demand draconian penalties for anybody who even looks at private information they're not unauthorized to access.

And since doctors are some of the most computer illiterate people on the planet, I think medical records are a good place to start revamping privacy protections. Otherwise, we'll end up with a medical practice's website where all you'd need to do in enter a name to access that person's complete medical history.

I know someone who used to do tech support for a medical school library. My favorite story is that one day a med student came to him and said, "I'm loading a program that has three (diskets). I was able to get two of them into the computer, but the third one just won't fit."

Posted by: SteveT on February 11, 2009 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

The scary thing is how the dittoheads believe this garbage. My brother-in-law sent this to everyone on his email list:
"....A government board would be established that would be allowed to monitor your doctors records of your healthcare and determine if his or her care over you is "cost appropriate". In other words your healthcare would no longer be between you and your doctor. That's right. Your doctor will have to get any non-emergency healthcare for you approved by a federal government bureaucrat. The older you are the less likely you are to have the healthcare approved by the board because the system has a built in preference for younger patients.

So you see this is why the old abortion debate always mattered. Because if you don't value life then we are all subject to someone's Pro-Choice. In this case not limited to the unborn fetus. Now older folks will be the "choice" for an early death by the new administration because you see the older you are the more worthless and disposable you are in the eyes of the government.

These are truly very dangerous times and very dangerous people. It seems like those old stories we read in school, Animal Farm and 1984 are actually coming to pass."

Posted by: mitigate on February 11, 2009 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Remember the whole "we create our own reality" bit from years gone past? This is the perfect example of how it works. I always thought when I heard that quote that if you changed the word "reality" to "lie" it would describe the right-wing noise machine perfectly.

Posted by: JCtx on February 11, 2009 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

You really can not be that stupid. Whether or not this crap of a plan provides for some health care oversight via the body politic or whether it is done visa-vi access to internet data it is the same thing. More Gov't involvement in the daily decisions of Americans. You really, really can not be that freaking stupid...Well yes you can. And liberals telling conserviatvie that we have lied. PLEASE spare me the indignation you weaselly small minded imp.

Posted by: Taylor on February 11, 2009 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

SteveT, points well taken - However, my point is Coburn is not only a Senator, but a medical doctor. Ever soooo many doctors love to tell us how ardurous were their collective educations, and, yet Frist and Coburn come off as ignorant, once in the Senate. Yes, privacy is a concern. Once sat next to a Marine at the VA - He made a stink about not showing his social security number - He was assured that it would be protected. Less than a month after that, there was a massive glitch in the VA system and medical records, including SSNs were out there somewhere on a lost lap top.

Posted by: berttheclock on February 11, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

The HYSTERIA STRATEGY

I was pretty tired last night, and briefly meandered through cable news before going to sleep. On Fox, a priest (in his robes and clerical collar) was ranting about how the purpose of the fiscal stimulus plan was to murder babies. A quick flick to Lou Dobbs, where this McCaughey woman was explaining how the stimulus plan was full of secret provisions to introduce socialized medicine.

Evidently, the VRWMC (vast right-wing media conspiracy) has decided that while it will make sober economic arguments in the elite media ("It's not a stimulus bill, it's a spending bill"), their narrative for the cable-watching masses will be screaming hysteria about completely different issues.

Now, since the VRWMC may have noticed that much the same technique ("B.H.O. supports sex among 5-year olds") didn't work very well last year, this seems like an odd choice. Particularly since many of the audience they want to influence are probably feeling economic pressures quite directly, the tack of yelling "murdering babies" might not distract people quite as effectively as it did earlier, nor will attacks on "socialized medicine" resonate quite as much when the law in question is not about medicine at all, but also the people they're appealing to just lost their health insurance.

But the VRWMC never makes mistakes, as we know. That's why Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is so supremely profitable right now, right? ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/05/news-corp-suffers-stagger_n_164463.html )

Posted by: PQuincy on February 11, 2009 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

The congnitive dissonance is deafening. To the people who complain about the spectre of a bureaucrat "monitoring treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective," I want to ask, "What do you have now?"

I don't know about you, but a bureaucrat from an insurance company comes between me and my doctor every time. The insurance company monitors treatments and decides what's appropriate and cost-effective.

Maybe the critics don't have a health insurance plan like I and my friends and colleagues have. Maybe their health insurer lets them get any treatment they want. Laetrile. Botox. Etc.

If we're going to have bureaucrats looking over doctors' shoulders, why not have bureaucrats who answer to elected politicians, instead of bureaucrats who answer to corporate executives?

Posted by: Holdie on February 11, 2009 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

You summarize: "Remember, McCaughey got it wrong. Limbaugh and Drudge .... Fox News... Untold thousands of Americans, who don't know better, get their "news" from these people, and have no idea they've been lied to."

JCtx above reminds us of the whole "we create our own reality" bit from years gone past.

I was thinking that this is a perfect illustration of "what's the matter with Kansas."

One of the things that Obama has done by reaching out to the Repubs is to shine a greater spotlight on what they are actually saying and doing. He's exposing, or letting them expose, their ignorance, idiocy, mendacity, and hypocrisy to ever greater numbers of Americans.

Posted by: CMcC on February 11, 2009 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

I happened to be watching Lou Dobbs last night and he spit out the same crap.

I also noticed that his constant whining and complaining about the stimulus package was followed solely by right-wingers. There was not a single person on his show which even had a differing opinion, let alone a dem.

Posted by: MsJoanne on February 11, 2009 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

To the people who complain about the spectre of a bureaucrat "monitoring treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective," I want to ask, "What do you have now?"

My question is, "Why would you rather pay extra for an ineffective treatment just because you 'chose' it?" Wouldn't you rather know that the treatment your doctor prescribes to you will actually work and not, you know, kill you or injure you?

Why is tracking medical outcomes and recommending better ways to treat patients so horrific that we MUST block it all all costs? I can see drug companies wanting to prevent people from finding out that Vioxx can kill them or that they lied about Oxycontin not being addictive until they get sued, but why do our fellow citizens think it's a great idea to let drug companies make whatever claims they want with no oversight?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 11, 2009 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

What else could you possibly expect from a person whose official title should be "paid liar, health care division."

Indeed, if Betsy McCaughey says it and it relates in any fashion to the topic of health care, you can assume it is untrue.

Andrew Sullivan will never pay a big enough price or do enough penance to make up for his decision to publish McCaughey.

Posted by: Barbara on February 11, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK
You really can not be that stupid. Whether or not this crap of a plan provides for some health care oversight via the body politic or whether it is done visa-vi [sic] access to internet data it is the same thing. More Gov't involvement in the daily decisions of Americans.

So ensuring that a patient's records are shared with all of his doctors somehow equals the government being involved "in the daily decisions of Americans"? How is that, exactly?

You really, really can not be that freaking stupid...

Someone who can't even get the basic facts correct has no business calling anyone "stupid."

And liberals telling conserviatvie [sic] that we have lied.
Conservatives did lie. Repeatedly.

They claimed the bill creates something that was actually created five years ago.

They claimed this non-existent part of the bill would allow the government to make medical decisions. It doesn't in any way, shape or form.

They then repeated this over and over again, despite the fact it is 100%, undeniably, indisputably false.

That makes them liars.

PLEASE spare me the indignation you weaselly small minded imp.

PLEASE go away you reality-challenged, lying troll.

Posted by: Mark D on February 11, 2009 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and if anyone is interested, Bloomberg put McCaughey's email addy at the end of the column.

"To contact the writer of this column: Betsy McCaughey at Betsymross@aol.com"

Yes, she uses AOL ... which is perfect on so many levels.

Anyway, I already sent mine -- polite, yet pointing out her falsehoods. I suggest others do the same.

Posted by: Mark D on February 11, 2009 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

More Gov't involvement in the daily decisions of Americans.

One...more...time...

People don't make those decisions anyway - insurance companies with the bottom line ever in mind make those calls.

Idiot.

Posted by: Blue Girl on February 11, 2009 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand why the White House doesn't de-credential Fox News. Let them cover 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from the sidewalk.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on February 11, 2009 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't step three always have to be "profit"?

Posted by: Adam on February 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

CNN had a piece on this this morning, starting with the familiar trope "Some people are concerned ...". They walked through McCaughey's fantasy for a while, then actually made the point that the whole thing is false. The punch line came after a few minutes of reporting on McCaughey's bad dreams. If I had gone away after the first minute or so I'd end up thinking there was something to it.

My question is: if they are going to just tell us it isn't true at the end, why do the story in the first place?

Posted by: Jack Lindahl on February 11, 2009 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

What I don't understand is if all of what she described in the Bloomberg piece, already exists, why does all that language in the stimulus address it? Not trusting her, I checked to be sure and it's all there.

Is this expansion of the current Health Info Tech office? Can anyone who's in the know, explain? Thanks.

Posted by: steve on February 11, 2009 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Btw, different Steve than our host :)

Posted by: steve on February 11, 2009 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot Step 5: Bash the mainstream media as being liberally biased and hopelessly in the Democrats' tank when they try to correct the misinformation -- or lies.

Posted by: Ted Frier on February 11, 2009 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

My 75-year old mother called me yesterday in a panic about this. She is legally blind (due to macular degeneration), a cancer survivor with various other health issues, convinced that she will no longer be able to get mammograms, check-ups etc. I have tried to explain that none of it is true but as she's just heard it on MSNBC (as well as Fox, Limbaugh etc) she is even more upset. I told her to call her Senator's office and that they would tell her the truth.

I imagine my mother is just one of thousands of elderly people now freaking out around the country.

Posted by: Deborah Rudacille on February 11, 2009 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

steve (posted at 1:16)--
Below is the text of the bill in question. As you can see, it does nothing that the right claims. All it does is provide further clarification and rules about a five-year-old initiative, as well as how the Director of the initiative will be appointed.

Short version: They want to ensure there is funding and privacy protections, as well as the ability for doctors to have all the info they need to recommend the appropriate care.

NOWHERE, ANYWHERE, does it say anything about the government telling doctors what that course of treatment should be. All it does is state that the reason for the electronic records is so that Dr.s have the right info. That's it. No mention of the government telling any doctor anywhere how to do his/her job.

SEC. 3001. OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

"(a) Establishment-- There is established within the Department of Health and Human Services an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (referred to in this section as the 'Office'). The Office shall be headed by a National Coordinator who shall be appointed by the Secretary and shall report directly to the Secretary.

"(b) Purpose-- The National Coordinator shall perform the duties under subsection (c) in a manner consistent with the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information and that--

"(1) ensures that each patient's health information is secure and protected, in accordance with applicable law;

"(2) improves health care quality, reduces medical errors, reduces health disparities, and advances the delivery of patient-centered medical care;

"(3) reduces health care costs resulting from inefficiency, medical errors, inappropriate care, duplicative care, and incomplete information;

"(4) provides appropriate information to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care;

"(5) ensures the inclusion of meaningful public input in such development of such infrastructure;

"(6) improves the coordination of care and information among hospitals, laboratories, physician offices, and other entities through an effective infrastructure for the secure and authorized exchange of health care information;

"(7) improves public health activities and facilitates the early identification and rapid response to public health threats and emergencies, including bioterror events and infectious disease outbreaks;

"(8) facilitates health and clinical research and health care quality;

"(9) promotes prevention of chronic diseases;

"(10) promotes a more effective marketplace, greater competition, greater systems analysis, increased consumer choice, and improved outcomes in health care services; and

"(11) improves efforts to reduce health disparities.

Posted by: Mark D on February 11, 2009 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

CNN was parroting the same thing this morning with the ol' tried and true 'some say' this 'could' happen without a shred of evidence to back it up.

Posted by: James G on February 11, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, starting to get scary emails from friends parroting this.

Posted by: Nothing But the Ruth on February 11, 2009 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Good for you. Wouldn't the promised transparency be the best devise to prevent missinformation? This bill is being rushed through using fear of disaster as a sales tool without even holding hearings. Secrecy breeds speculation. Disclosure may slow the political process but ensure public support if the legislation is worthy.

Posted by: Frank H. on February 11, 2009 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

To:Whydies
Rush embarrassed? That man has no shame, he could care less if he spews lies. As far as his minions of Dittoheads, the have the intelligence of snails.

Posted by: david dee on February 11, 2009 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Standard operating procedure, say something loud enough a few times and the masses will believe it. He said it on TV, it must be true. It's unfortunate that most people don't have the will or the time to get their news from one source, even more unfortunate that the lazier they are, the more it seems they choose sources such as Faux 'News'. I'm still hopeful that one day people will wake up and see the lies for what they are.
In Case You Missed It

Posted by: nahummer on February 11, 2009 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

As a member of the "right wing conspiracy" I will be the first to admit that spin is horrible. I am personally thankful for this and many other sites that will publish the truth regardless of its own agenda. But please remember that spins in not limited to the Repubs and both sides are equally bad. So please read (as i do) all that you can so that you will be well informed. Then please vote for the country you wish to have. Ty

Posted by: Rabid Repub on February 11, 2009 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

To Steve:

Its funny how you have a copy of the bill that Congress has not even released. What you have is summary of the bill. It has yet to get out of committee, thus you have, in reality, nothing.

Personally, I hope every leftist dream is in this bill. We can then have 100% employment like GDR. REALITY is that there is NO way the country can afford compulsory universal healthcare for the entire country, especially without resolving the immigration issue. It is simply unaffordable. THEREFORE, the government, as it WILL choose to go down this path, will have to decide how to distribute the care. IF you think it will be a Panacea, then you are as deluded a fool as you claim Limbaugh is and are lying to yourself if you believe otherwise.

Lenin is Dead.

Posted by: dzfeanor on February 11, 2009 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

To Holdie

If you think that Congress is NOT answerable to the same people who run the insurance companies you have not read the correct books.

Posted by: dzfeanor on February 11, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Time out.

With all the lying going on with this bill, and in the Obama ('change you can believe')administration, and the crooked Democrats in Washington... we're supposed to believe this writer?

Forget it - pure garbage.

Posted by: BillSanford on February 11, 2009 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

to NauHammer:

==
Standard operating procedure, say something loud enough a few times and the masses will believe it. He said it on TV, it must be true. It's unfortunate that most people don't have the will or the time to get their news from one source, even more unfortunate that the lazier they are, the more it seems they choose sources such as Faux 'News'. I'm still hopeful that one day people will wake up and see the lies for what they are.
=================

Does "selected not elected" fit in here? How about Global Warming? Maybe FDR as the great savior of the country should also be included?
What happened to all of the war criminals in Germany after WWII--they were exectured no? What happened to all of the criminals in the USSR after the so-called fall of the country? Last time I checked, Putin has been in charge since '98 without a legitimate election to be seen, and not a single member of the Stalin-Gorbachev era has ever been tried for imprisoning and executing MILLIONS of its citizens (hey after all bush lied and only THOUSANDS died.)

DO NOT LECTURE ME ABOUT MISINFORMATION AND LIES.

USEFUL IDIOT.

Posted by: dzfeanor on February 11, 2009 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Mark D, while it may be a stretch, if you will notice that your paste includes the following: "...The National Coordinator shall perform the duties under subsection (c)...". If one looks at said subsection, there is a line that goes "`(A) IN GENERAL- The National Coordinator shall, in consultation with other appropriate Federal agencies (including the National Institute of Standards and Technology), update the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan (developed as of June 3, 2008) to include specific objectives, milestones, and metrics with respect to the following:...

`(vii) Strategies to enhance the use of health information technology in improving the quality of health care, reducing medical errors, reducing health disparities, improving public health, and improving the continuity of care among health care settings."


Now while many of us think it may be far fetched to think that someone could interpret that to mean what the right says it does, this is the government afterall - pretty much everything has at least one interpretation to somebodys liking.

And the part of this whole post that is so sophmoric is the presumption that news travels like this only if it is right leaning.

Posted by: Dave on February 11, 2009 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

This sounds very much like the CIA blew up the World Trade Center/it's an inside job conspiracy theories that ever liberal idiot spews. What is the difference?

Posted by: Brian on February 11, 2009 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

There’s a nasty story beginning to circulate about how Rush Limbaugh became the guy we know and love (hate?). I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it is, apparently, true. In 1987, when the Fairness Doctrine came to an end and radio/TV/press were allowed to support (or talk trash about) a political point of view without giving equal coverage to the other side, Terry McAuliffe, then a minor player in the democratic party, knew of radio personality Limbaugh. After discussing his “big idea” with senior members of the DNC, McAuliffe arranged a meeting with RL. They discussed the possibility of Limbaugh becoming an on-air anti-liberal – seemingly to support the republican cause and bolster the growing neocon movement. The idea: Limbaugh would help splinter the republican party by drawing the most conservative of their group into a new, highly conservative wing. The moderates, many of those republicans living in the northeast, midwest and west, would find it difficult to support such repressive viewpoints. The once solid republican voting block would fracture, thereby strengthening the democratic party. The only problem was, Limbaugh wanted money, and lots of it. That’s how the plot is being uncovered.

Posted by: b hogan on February 11, 2009 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

You mean it's not true?? Damn, I was hoping there was going to be a Gov't official who decided if old people got medical care..maybe if we got rid of a few of these loads on the GDP, we could start to recover the economy!! Oh, wait who could the Democrats scare into electing all these liberal idiots?!!!!

Posted by: RDW on February 11, 2009 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

I was reading the unfiltered comment section in the Anchorage Daily News last night. Someone had posted a hugh headline about the Stimulus bill was in actuality a Kill the Elderly bill. That doctors would be prohibited from treating their elderly patients in an agressive manner with all the resources avialable to them.

The person who posted this had a link to Demecrates (couldn't find on the internet) by Yomin Postelnik (him I did find). Apparently, he occasionally writes for the Canadian Free Press.

I just find these tactics way beyond the pale. It's bad enuf to scare anyone, but when the repubs start scaring the elderly...there are not words to express my outrage.

Posted by: pearl89 on February 11, 2009 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Cost-efficiency! Feh!

Oh, wait... that's NOT your objection?

Oh, it's that the FED shouldn't determine what's cost effective...

Right! Doctors should! They'll run every test they think is necessary, prescribe the most effective drugs eschewing what recently patented pill the pharmaceutical companies are pushing, then...

No? That's not what you had in mind?

Right. Well... the patient! The patient will determine cost-efficiency based on his or her own personal value to society and choose only those treatments that are commensurate with the quality of life likely to be obtained along with likelihood of value restored to society for this expense.

You don't buy that either? Mmm. Guess not.

Less... not doctors, not patients, not the government...

Who should decide what is cost efficient?

Who would concern themselves with costs best?

Oh wait! I think I follow your train of logic!
Brilliant!
Evil and revolting, but brilliant!

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on February 11, 2009 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it was "... before the truth can get its boots on."

Posted by: steveb on February 12, 2009 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

McCaughey references the location in the actual bill where her information comes from and correctly references how this is similar to ideas from Daschles book on healthcare. You however, make no attempt to say what she said that is incorrect. Just like Obama every mantra contains no verifiable information. Can you give a specific example where her article is incorrect? Most dems I talk to have not even looked at the stimulus bill and are too busy slobering on his picture in one of the various magazines.

Posted by: Cindy on February 12, 2009 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Can you verify if any of this is incorrect?

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

Posted by: cindy on February 12, 2009 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

My name says it all

Posted by: dzfeanorisasore loser on February 12, 2009 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Would someone please help me! I was in an argument with one of my conservative friends, and he said that there are no prosperous socialist economies in the world, and that socialist countries very rarely produce anything of worth, say modern inventions, new drugs, etc. Can any of you tell me which socialist economies are prosperous, and tell me some things to say about them. HELP!!!

Posted by: LuLu on February 12, 2009 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

'REALITY is that there is NO way the country can afford compulsory universal healthcare for the entire country, especially without resolving the immigration issue.'

Garbage. Cut your military spending by half and you've got the money.

As for the rest of the neocon liars spewing their hate here, fuck off. The chimp & co caused this mess, lying about everything on the way. The only thing the Republican party has left is more lies to cover their tracks.
Rush Limbaugh is a treasonous, drug-addled sex tourist. Anyone who is remotely associated with him is complicit in his criminality.

Posted by: waldo on February 13, 2009 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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