07 Jul 2009 What Talking Points Memo Doesn’t Tell You
The liberal Talking Points Memo blog’s Brian Beutler is touting some memos the House Committee on Energy and Commerce‘s staff created — with tax dollars — to pressure their fellow members of Congress (TPM wrongly reports they were created only for Committee members) into going along with the the Democrat health care bill.
The memos purport to show the benefits that will head toward constituents of the individual Members if only they would sell their souls to obtain the benefits.
Talking Points Memo helpfully displayed the one created for the district of Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR). Like others I reviewed, this document is just one page — a curiously short summary for an over 1,000 page bill with literally life-and-death implications.
Such things as the following also were missing from the summaries:
- references to the counseling sessions Medicare will start paying for so seniors know how to minimize the expenses of their last year of life (e.g., potentially by forgoing that last year of life);
- revealing that people who pursue healthy lifestyles and are rewarded by lower premiums will lose this benefit (“hardly a formula for lower costs,” says CNN Money) if the House bill becomes law;
- the $500 billion in Medicare cuts, including the $156 billion in cuts to the popular Medicare Advantage option;
- a minimum benefits package that includes abortion;
- the Congressional Budget Office estimate that the bill “would result in a net increase to the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period.” (The one-pager falsely claims the bill is “fully paid for.”);
- the Lewin Group estimate that 88.1 million Americans could lose their present health care coverage, even if they don’t want to;
- the fact that an estimated 1.2 million small businesses would be hit by a 5.4 percent surtax, and many Americans would face a higher income tax rate than do taxpayers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan;
- the letter the Mayo Clinic sent to Congress, warning the House bill could put it out of business;
and a good bit more.
It appears that Talking Points Memo and the Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee want the public to be educated on what is in the House bill — but not too educated.