Health Care Retort: You’re Lying! No, You Are!

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It seems as if the partisan squabbling over health care reform is ratcheting up. On Wednesday, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party each accused the other side of lying about what’s in the health care reform package under construction in Congress. It began with a conference call for reporters held by the RNC, in which Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry claimed President Barack Obama has been prevaricating about his plan. Within moments, the DNC zapped out a retort.

Here’s how the DNC chronicled this spat:

On an RNC conference call today, Congressman Patrick McHenry accused the President of lying about the details of his health insurance reform plan. The only person lying on that call, however, was Rep. McHenry, and you don’t have to take our word for it. Multiple independent fact checkers have debunked the claims McHenry and his fellow Republicans continue to make about health insurance reform. With the cost of premiums soaring for so many families and small businesses, it’s disgusting that Republicans are willing to lie and use the same old Washington scare tactics to try to “kill” health insurance reform on behalf of their insurance company friends.

The DNC explained further:

RHETORIC: REP. MCHENRY CLAIMED THAT THE PRESIDENT IS LYING WHEN HE SAYS PEOPLE CAN KEEP THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN UNDER PROPOSED REFORMS

REALITY: THE HOUSE BILL DOES NOT OUTLAW PRIVATE INSURANCE AND INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY IS WRONG ABOUT THE PROVISION ON PAGE 16 OF THE BILL

Politifact: The House Health Care Bill Doesn’t Outlaw Private Insurance And The Provision On Page 16 Was Taken Out Of Context. “We got several e-mails from readers asking if new health care legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives bans private health insurance for individuals. We tracked the statement back to its source, an editorial from Investor’s Business Daily. ‘It didn’t take long to run into an ‘uh-oh’ moment when reading the House’s ‘health care for all Americans’ bill,” the editorial says. “Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.’ … Since then, the allegation about Page 16 has been repeated in many blogs and by at least one member of Congress. We read the section of the bill to which Investor’s Business Daily referred, as well as a summary of the legislation provided by the House Ways and Means committee. While the quotation is correct, it’s taken out of context. … To be sure we were reading the bill correctly, we turned to an independent health care analyst at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. The foundation has analyzed the major health care proposals, including those of the Republicans, providing point-by-point analysis. Jennifer Tolbert, the foundation’s principal policy analyst, told us that Page 16 doesn’t outlaw private insurance. ‘There will be individual policies available, but people will buy those policies through the national health insurance exchange,’ she said.” [St. Petersburg Times Politifact]

So that’s settled. But will the Republicans–some of whom are claiming that Obama’s health care plan will lead to early deaths for seniors–give up this particular talking point? I’m waiting for the next RNC email.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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