Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The State of Play

The human side of the health care debate, the side the obstructionists don't want us to see. Senator Landrieu (D-LA) refused to show up.
Health reform's human stories Nov. 16: Countdown's Keith Olbermann reads an account by producer Rich Stockwell of the free health clinic held in New Orleans over the weekend, in which over 1,000 people attended.
A terrific segment on the state of play of health care debate in the Senate.
New challenges to GOP health reform obstruction Nov. 16: Senator Sherrod Brown joins Rachel Maddow to review the internal squabbles tripping up Republican opposition to health reform and the strategy by Senate Democrats to make Republican stall tactics as difficult as possible.
Sargent: White House Talking Points Declare Open War On U.S. Chamber

The White House is seizing on the news of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s planned anti-reform study to declare open war on the organization, circulating talking points on the Hill declaring it an “intentionally skewed” effort to “safeguard the insurance companies’ bottom line at the expense of the American people.”

There is no report yet, but the talking points, sent over by a source, launch a preemptive strike, linking it to the insurance industry’s earlier, widely-criticized anti-reform study:

* This so-called study would be at least the third intentionally skewed report as part of the last-ditch effort to safeguard the insurance companies’ bottom line at the expense of the American people.

* You may recall that last month, the insurance lobby offered an “analysis” that even the company who produced it said was skewed because that’s what the insurance companies paid for.

* And just days after that report, another insurance company produced a similarly flawed study.

* The only difference this time is that the insurance industry’s defenders were caught red-handed before producing their intentionally misleading “study”.

* So whenever we finally see this supposed analysis, we should all take it with a huge grain of salt.

The White House had been treading carefully in its standoff with the Chamber, perhaps not wanting to hand ammo to those portraying the reform proposal as a threat to the private sector. But the Chamber’s planned study has given the White House an opening to put the Chamber on the defensive at a delicate moment for the organization, much as the insurance industry’s study did.

It appears that any fragile peace that may have existed between the Chamber and the White House is off.

Sargent: MoveOn: Over 5,000 Medical Pros Have Called On AMA To Ditch US Chamber

The striking news that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is seeking to fund a “study” undermining the health care reform proposal creates an awkward situation for one of its leading members: The American Medical Association, which is in favor of the reform plan.

Here’s something else that could increase pressure on AMA: I’m told that over 5,300 medical professionals have signed a petition calling on AMA to ditch the Chamber over its opposition to health care reform, as many other members have over its climate change stance.

Ilyse Hogue, a spokesperson for MoveOn, which launched the petition last week, confirms the number.

The AMA, of course, gave the reform proposal a big boost by coming out in support of it, lending it the medical profession’s stamp of credibility. The Chamber, meanwhile, is one of the proposal’s most determined and well funded opponents, sinking big bucks into ads blasting House Dems who voted for it.

The question now is whether the Chamber’s new study — which apparently has the goal of proving that the reform plan is a “job killer” — will increase pressure on AMA to reconsider its membership, as thousands of medical professionals apparently want it to do.

The health debate continues. Nov. 16: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talks about the Republicans delay tactics to prevent health reform from being passed before the new year.

No comments:

Post a Comment