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.