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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

 
Lois Romano Won't Be Invited Back On Hardball Again

by dday

Chris Matthews unsurprisingly opened his maw and had Betsy McCaughey spoonfed bullshit into it today, repeating almost word-for-word McCaughey's argument about end-of-life care in the health care bill.

MATTHEWS: Lois, your thoughts about this debate, it's a provision in the Energy and Commerce version of the health care bill, Energy and Commerce Committee. It was put in, this provision by Earl Blumenauer from Oregon, there it stands, it's a provision which allows you to get counseling every five years or so. I wonder what the hell this provision's doing in a bill that's aimed at people who are younger. It's not about Medicare recipients, people over 65. Why are you going to be visited every five years by somebody to talk about how you want to die. I think it's crazy this is in there, but your thoughts.

ROMANO: But it's not in there. I mean basically-

MATTHEWS: It is in there!

(crosstalk)

MATTHEWS: It's in the bill, it's in the-

ROMANO: It's a benefit! First of all, Chris, Chris. First of all, it's an extension of a 1999 bill that was enacted during the Bush Administration, and it's a self-determination, a patient's rights bill. And all it really says is that Medicare will pay if someone wants to go in and have a consultation. It doesn't say you have to have a consultation.

MATTHEWS: It's not about Medicare, Lois, this is, we already have that in Medicare. This is about people under 65, younger people. This is not about Medicare, we've got it in that coverage, you're saying that. This is about a health care bill to help people in their middle years, in their younger years. Why would you have this conversation with them?


I don't know, Chris, because young people don't have a force field around them, and sometimes they get stricken with terminal illness, and sometimes they get in car accidents, and sometimes they get in situations for end-of-life care comes into play, and they should be allowed to have a consultation about those issues covered by their health care plan.

Also fun: Matthews thinks this bill has nothing to do with Medicare, when major provisions include eliminating Medicare Advantage, the private insurers who charge individuals twice as much as the government and offer worse care to seniors; the IMAC provision to look at reimbursement rates in Medicare, Medicare internal cost savings, Medicaid coverage expansion, and about 20 other things to do with Medicare and Medicaid.

This goes on for about five minutes, with Tweety checking his crib sheet for Betsy McCaughey's lies, and Romano fruitlessly trying to debunk them. He talks about "consultations on a recurring basis" and she yells "It's not mandated!" and he says "Well, what's it doing in there," finally deciding that it was put in by a lobbyist (evil!). The Politico bobblehead chimes in with the kind of "teach the controversy" hands-off refereeing, saying that you see conservatives bringing this up because it "offers political fodder." Yes, I imagine lying about the policy does offer political fodder, especially if people like Chris Matthews swallow those lies whole. At the end he demands, "Why is it in this bill!" Because health care policy should not be included in a health care bill. ("You can't fight in here, this is the War Room!") Romano replies, "Why not?" Matthews: "Because we're talking about it."

Mission accomplished, Betsy McCaughey. The 90s are back!

He did the same thing in the role of abortion policy in the health insurance exchanges, where he stumbled into something he knew absolutely nothing about, decided that offering the same reproductive coverage on a public option as is offered in 90% of all private plans was illegal under the Hyde Amendment, even though the public plan is self-sufficient and doesn't access public funds, and decided that dirty liberals were ruining a good bill by throwing a "lefty wish list" into it and driving good solid moderates like him crazy.

Chris Matthews is a deeply stupid person. He knows absolutely nothing about policy, and picks up scraps from The Weekly Standard and people from the Hudson Institute and cocktail parties and fits it into his dishonest everyman pose. For every day he takes down a Birther there are 20 or 30 instances like this where he actively works to deny progress for America.

If most of our media didn't exist, I'd have to say at this point people would be better informed.

...Rachel Maddow is very deliberately going through the Betsy McCaughey smear right now, calling her out as the head of a medical device company and part of a think tank funded by drugmakers, and said "Welcome to 1993." Two hours earlier this dumbass Chris Matthews bought every word of it.

By the way, I want to take this opportunity to thank Andrew Sullivan, who edited The New Republic in 1993 and 1994 and was most responsible for giving Betsy McCaughey's smears legitimacy, to our collective detriment to this day. Hey, appreciate it, Andrew!


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