Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Healthcare for Seniors

There is an email circulating now concerning the future of healthcare for seniors. It is anti-Obama-Administration in nature, and asks that we all make life miserable for those in Washington.

The email included this quote: Bloomberg: "Daschle says health-care reform will not be pain-free. Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them."

I left a message on change.gov to the effect that if Mr. Daschle thinks like this,
he has a real problem, and will be a problem. But I find it hard to believe that
Mr. Obama thinks like this. We all know that compromise and dealing with our present economic situation will not be painless for anyone. But to suggest that we "deal with" health problems instead of treating them is outrageous. And I'm quite sure Mr. Daschle, as he ages, will treat, not deal with his own health problems. Did he really say that?

The voice of the public does matter to this Administration. Let yours be heard. And if you receive the email that I received this morning, please do not do what it instructs you to do. It says, "If you disagree, do nothing." Respond to the sender and let them know how you feel about it. Your opinion matters as much as theirs. Make them think twice about making life miserable for anyone.

One nice part of blogging is, there is always someone out there who will know how to do enough research to help you answer questions.

Dianne has done that for me on this. She found a source that gave me the answer to whether Daschle made that statement. He did not! I would like to tell you what they had to say, in part. It's rather long, but I think when someone has been misquoted, they deserve to have it known exactly how it came about:

'Bloomberg did run a story about health provisions in the stimulus package on Feb. 9, 2009, under the headline "Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan: Betsy McCaughey." It was a commentary piece written by Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York and an adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

McCaughey warned that the stimulus included several troublesome provisions identical to ideas outlined by Daschle in his 2008 book, Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis. Midway through the article, McCaughey includes this paragraph:

"Daschle says health care reform 'will not be pain-free.' Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt."

We contacted McCaughey to see which parts of this were her words and which were Daschle's.

The phrase that health care reform "will not be pain-free" is a direct quote from Daschle, she explained. She said the sentence beginning "Seniors should be more accepting" was her paraphrasing of an argument in Daschle's book in which he quotes David Mechanic, a health care policy expert at Rutgers University, saying, "more and more of what were once seen as social, behavioral, or normative aspects of every day life, or as a normal process of aging, are now framed in a medical context. ... Whether wrinkles, breasts, or buttocks, impotence or social anxieties, or inattention in school, they all have become grist for the medical mill."

We think it's a stretch to summarize Daschle's position as saying that seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. Not treating wrinkles is one thing. Not treating, say, heart disease, is another. But that's fair enough for McCaughey to opine. This is labeled an opinion piece. The point is that these are McCaughey's words, not Daschle's.'

So it seems to me to be as I suspected, that words taken out of context have been used in an attempt to smear someone.

Please, please, please - don't ever just accept what you receive in your emails without investigating. Don't pass on lies or half-truths.

Thank you so much, Dianne. I didn't know how to investigate this. I will put politicfact.com on my bookmarks list today.


Sylvia K said...

I'm with you, Bobbie! Lord, I'm getting so sick of the dirty politics!

Daryl said...

I tried to find some verification of this email but cant .. on the other hand I cant find disclaimers either ..

Dianne said...

It took a bit of digging but I found this Bobbie


appears commentary re. Daschle saying reform will be painful is being twisted.

I tested the link, it works and is well worth checking out

I'm so sick of all the fear tactics - I found the e-mail talked about on an NRA affiliated site and the comments there re. Daschle and Obama should be invesigated by the Secret Service!

Deborah Godin said...

Terrific post - thanks to you Bobbie and to Dianne, too!! I guess we should say "Welcome to the new era of partisanship" where you need a fact-checker on call 24/7.

Shelly said...

Fabulous post Bobbie! I'm with you - dreadfully tired of nasty posts and e-mails. Some days I'm cranky enough to respond to those who send them to me with a simple reply that says "I know you're smarter than this"...I usually utter an evil snicker when I send it but it sends a clear message that I don't appreciate that type of garbage in my in-box...especially from people I know.

kenju said...

I have seen so many emails that are critical of current policy that I have decided none of them is worth reading or passing on. Most of them have lies or innuendo!

Margaret Cloud said...

I know one thing, I get confused about any type of insurance, I get so tired of going round and round with our health provider about them and our coverage. Thank you for this post I read it all, and now I am curious about this and will try to dive in also and see what I can find.

Kay said...

Thank you very much for clarying this, Bobbie. I can see the danger of merely accepting seemingly outrageous things people are quoted to have said.

Raven said...

Great post. I just hate it when people misquote or twist quotes to distort the intention of the speaker. I don't trust much of what I get in my email these days. Great researching by Diane!

I enjoyed the eagle and itchy ball posts too.

JD said...

Isn't this all nitpicking about words. I mean, yes people should be quoted accurately, but what what Daschle did say and what he is mis-attributed to him are not that far apart.

Your fighting over bark while the forest is on fire.

Unless you are very naive, you know in your heart what these politicians mean, regardless of how they parse the words to hide it.