Chris Matthews just asked Senators Richard Durbin and Orrin Hatch several questions in a row about the possibility of a public health care plan that might include federal funding of abortions.
The question Matthews didn't ask? "Abortions are legal medical procedures. Why shouldn't a public health insurance plan pay for a legal medical procedure?"
Instead, Matthews' questions all seemed to assume that such funding shouldn't be allowed; he ultimately told Hatch "I think it's going to be an issue, Senator. I think your side may win this ultimately."
Earlier this year, Matthews said the possibility of including family planning services in the stimulus bill "sounds a little like China."
From the July 12th edition of Fox's Fox News Sunday:
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A Wall Street Journal editorial echoed House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-OH) false claim that the public insurance option would cost a trillion dollars. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office found that the public option as outlined by the Senate health committee's bill "did not have a substantial effect on the cost ... projections" for health care reform.
Referring to a British man who "superglued his tooth together," Sean Hannity stated: "The Democrats have their way [on health-care reform], get your superglue ready." However, a U.S. woman reportedly has also glued in her teeth because of the costs of dental care.
CongressDaily reported yesterday: "CBO has scored the House healthcare overhaul bill at $1.5 trillion over 10 years, according to sources. House Ways and Means Democrats plan to help pay for the bill by raising taxes on people earning $250,000 or more and taxing sugary beverages, sources said."
Uh ... ok. What "sources"? Absent any further description -- Democratic sources? Republican sources? Ways and Means Committee sources? Some guy yelling at the clouds outside of Metro Center? -- this is a completely useless description.
CongressDaily may as well have attributed the information to "some guy." That would have been exactly as transparent and informative. Only nobody would take seriously a report that says "CBO has scored the health care bill at $1.5 trillion, according to some guy." So they fancy it up by changing "some guy" to "sources." But that doesn't give you any more reason to take it seriously -- you have no ability to assess the "sources'" credibility or motives based on CongressDaily's description.
And, sure enough, The Huffington Post's Jeff Muskus reported a little later that the CongressDaily report was wrong -- and Muskus attributed his report to an actual person, with an actual name. And to another source, with some descriptive information:
The Congressional Budget Office has not scored the House health care reform proposal, despite reports that it had estimated the plan would cost taxpayers upwards of $1.5 trillion, Melissa Merson, a CBO spokeswoman, told the Huffington Post.
CongressDaily reported earlier Tuesday that the package had been scored -- legislative lingo for a cost estimate -- at a figure that would make passage of the House bill in the Senate difficult.
The report caused a stir on the Hill and stoked fears of a setback.
"THERE. IS. NO. SCORE," e-mailed one frustrated committee aide.
Really makes you wonder about that CongressDaily "source," doesn't it? But wait! Muskus has more:
The Press Offices of the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce and Education and Labor Committees released the following statement today in response to an inaccurate report published in CongressDaily asserting that the House Tri-Committee health care reform legislation has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office:
"This report is premature and entirely fabricated. In fact, none of the reporters working on this piece contacted our press offices to fact check their story. The three House committees are still working to develop legislation and have not yet received a score from CBO on the discussion draft. As the three chairmen have made clear, our health care reform legislation will be paid for and we're still considering revenue options."
So, CongressDaily didn't bother to contact the communications staffs of the relevant committees; they just ran with a "report" based on who-knows-what, with no transparency, giving readers no ability to assess the credibility of the report -- and no reason to trust it.
CNN.com reported that Republicans are using "accounts from Canada to warn against government involvement in the health care system" without noting that Democrats have ruled out moving toward a Canadian-style system.
CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC aired at least 15 segments to discussing the Congressional Budget Office's preliminary analysis of an incomplete version of the Senate health committee's draft health reform bill, but they have aired only one segment to the CBO's analysis of the updated bill.
Geoff Colvin falsely suggested that a CBO estimate of the Senate HELP Committee's health care bill demonstrated that a public option would come at a "huge cost" for a "minor benefit" in the number insured.
On Special Report, Carl Cameron and Brit Hume previously claimed that adding a public insurance option would substantially increase the cost of the Senate health committee's health reform bill, but the program has yet to note the CBO's finding to the contrary.
From the July 7 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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ABC and CBS evening newscasts both reported on the Congressional Budget Office's June 15 preliminary analysis of an incomplete version of the Senate, but they have yet to report on the CBO's analysis of the "complete bill."
From the July 1st edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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"We need a public plan to keep the private plans honest."
But then why stop there? Eating is even more important than health care, so shouldn't we have government-run supermarkets "to keep the private ones honest"? After all, supermarkets clearly put profits ahead of feeding people. And we can't run around naked, so we should have government-run clothing stores to keep the private ones honest.
Supermarkets make money by selling people food. Clothing stores make money by selling people clothes. If they don't give people food/clothing, they don't get money.
Insurance companies, on the other hand, make money by selling people insurance -- and they make even more money by selling insurance, and then denying claims.
Surely even John Stossel can see the difference.
Media outlets have advanced the claim that a public plan option is too far out of the mainstream for the Senate to pass by reporting as fact that health care reform legislation would require 60 votes to pass. In fact, the Senate leadership could add health care reform to the budget reconciliation process, which requires a simple majority to pass.
Bret Baier falsely suggested that President Obama has cited Canada's medical system as a "possible model" for his health care reform plan. In fact, Obama has explicitly rejected a Canadian-style health care system.