Monday, August 24, 2009

Who is Betsy So-and-so?

A person on the right side of the political spectrum wrote this comment in the thread, birthers-deathers-and-shamwows,

"As far as Betsy So-and-so, I have never heard of her.
And death panels...that was coined because in the health bill it mandates that a panel will be the final decision maker as to what proceedures a person may have...which if you need some type of surgury that will save your life and you're over a certain age which makes it cost ineffective, they can deny it to you...IE a "death panel" being they CAN make a life or death decision for you. The bill does not say "death panel" but, I suppose if you're 65 years old, need a lifesaving operation and the decision to grant you the operation falls onto a committee, it would be easy for that person to see it as a "death panel"...would you be happier if the GOP called it a "life panel" instead?

The author of this comment is usually above average in intelligence, but I'm afraid that he's fallen to the Dark Side lately. Propagandized might be a kind assessment. ShamWow-ed.

Elizabeth 'Betsy' McCaughey, aka Betsy So-and-so, is a shill for the health care industry. A ShamWow pitch-lady. Huckster. She may have once run a carni stand at an amusement park. Well, no, she was an editorialist who first began her crusade against Federal involvement in health care back in 1993, writing OpEd articles against the Clinton proposals.

As a 'reward' for her anti-health reform writing, she was chosen by New York governor-elect Pataki to be Lieutenant Governor.

Her 'fame' began on September 30, 1993, the last day of Hillary Clinton's congressional committee testimony, when The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by McCaughey, who said she had read and reread the 239-page draft health care reform plan and concluded that the plan differed markedly from the Clinton White House's public statements and that the plan would in her opinion have "devastating consequences."

'Devastating consequences.' Now there's a loaded phrase. In fact, she was correct: the Clinton Health Care proposal would have devastating consequences on the profit margin of the health care providers and insurance industry.

As a second shot across the bow, in November 22, 1993, the Wall Street Journal published another op-ed by McCaughey, who said she had pored over the 1,342-page Health Security Act bill and concluded that its price controls would cause rationing and in her opinion was "dangerous."

The anti-government 'welfare' crowd so liked McCaughey's two Wall Street Journal op-ed columns about Clinton's health plan that she was commissioned to expand them into an article for a The National Review cover story. McCaughey's five-page article "No Exit" was featured as the cover story in the February 7, 1994 issue of the magazine which indeed had 'devastating consequences' for the Clintons.

Of course, the 'devastating consequences' phrase was picked up by the GOP and its media shills as meaning devastating for the citizens. A super grand spin. It worked and the health care industry reaped grand rewards for the subsequent 16 years.

Then came another Democrat into the White House. It was time for Betsy 'devastating consequences' McCaughey to be rolled out once again. No longer a NY State official, but rather on the Board of Directors of Cantel Medical Corporation, Ms. McCaughey grabbed some paper and a pen and wrote another 'devastating consequences' OpEd, choosing the phrase, 'euthanasia for the elderly' this round.

On February 9th, 2009, McCaughey published an op-ed on She claimed that one of the provisions "would make it mandatory … that people [on] Medicare [be told] how to end their lives sooner"; she went so far as to label such protocols as "euthanasia for the elderly."

The tea-bagers and deathers ran with the story, creating placards reading, 'Obama Wants to Kill Grandma!' and other nonsense.

In August 2009, WNYC's On the Media addressed McCaughey's "euthanasia for the elderly" claim. The provision actually mandated that the federal government compensate senior citizens requesting "counseling sessions" on elder law, such as estate planning, "will writing and hospice care."

The Obama-haters, however, ran with the 'Death Panels' claim and it was 'authoritated' by the likes of Sarah Palin, Senator Grassley, dingbat Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich along with the ditto heads on talk radio.

McCaughey met her Waterloo when she agreed to appear as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on August 20th, 2009 to discuss the controversy around the supposed "death panels".She was humiliated. As a result of this interview, she was fired from her position on the Cantel Medical board.

Apparently one 'can't tell' the same lie forever.

Back to my right-wing commenter. What he doesn't know about the health insurance business is that there are, in fact, 'death panels' already in place. Read your policy. It's all there in black on white. It's called 'limitations and exclusions.'

In the end, Betsy So-and-so was right about 'death panels.' It's just that she tried to spin them onto Obama when, in fact, they are written into your health insurance policy.

Have a nice day.

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