In videos promoted on BigGovernment.com, right-wing author Jason Mattera confronted Democratic lawmakers Rep. Alan Grayson and Sen. Al Franken and sharply criticized them over their support for specific provisions in the House and Senate versions of the health care bill. However, Mattera's attacks are based on falsehoods and distortions of the bills - Mattera himself even debunks one of the attacks levied against Sen. Franken.
Mattera falsely suggested House bill contained giveaway to "Native American child molesters"
Mattera: "This is in the bill that you voted for." In a video posted in a March 24 post on BigGovernment.com titled "Native American Child Molesters Are People, Too!" Jason Mattera falsely suggested that Grayson and other House Democrats voted for giving money to "Native American child molesters." In fact, the House bill would not have provided grants to "child molesters," as Mattera falsely suggested in the video. Rather, the provision Mattera cites would have directed the Indian Health Service to establish "programs involving treatment" for "victims of sexual abuse who are Indian children or children in an Indian household" and treatment for "perpetrators of child sexual abuse who are Indian or members of an Indian household."
From the video:
MATTERA: What provisions or portions of the health care bill do you think Americans like better? Would it be the -
GRAYSON: Actually, the part that we just introduced scores highest in the polls. People love the idea of being able to buy into Medicare.
MATTERA: Medicare, really. What about the -
GRAYSON: The poll I saw said 72% favor it or something like that.
MATTERA: What about the house -- there's the House portion that provides funding for Native American child molesters and the Senate portion that provides --
GRAYSON: Oh God, are you a kook?
MATTERA: -- that mandates - No, this is in the bill.
GRAYSON: Are you a kook? 'Cause you're starting to sound like it.
MATTERA: This is in your bill that you voted for.
GRAYSON: Okay, have a nice day.
MATTERA: [Page] 1950, provides funding for Native American -
MATTERA: Is this not in your bill? Do you not know what's in your own bill that you voted for?
In fact, House version provided funding for treatment of victims and perpetrators of child sexual abuse
House bill contained provisions related to treatment and prevention of child sexual abuse in Native American populations. In the BigGovernment post accompanying the video, Mattera pointed to this section in the House version, which would have directed the Indian Health Services on the establishment of "child sexual abuse and prevention treatment programs" [emphasis added]:
'SEC. 713. CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND PREVENTION TREATMENT PROGRAMS.
'(a) Establishment- The Secretary, acting through the Service, shall establish, consistent with section 701, in every Service Area, programs involving treatment for--
'(1) victims of sexual abuse who are Indian children or children in an Indian household; and
'(2) perpetrators of child sexual abuse who are Indian or members of an Indian household.
'(b) Use of Funds- Funding provided pursuant to this section shall be used for the following:
'(1) To develop and provide community education and prevention programs related to sexual abuse of Indian children or children in an Indian household.
'(2) To identify and provide behavioral health treatment to victims of sexual abuse who are Indian children or children in an Indian household, and to their family members who are affected by sexual abuse.
'(3) To develop prevention and intervention models which incorporate traditional health care practices, cultural values, and community involvement.
'(4) To develop and implement culturally sensitive assessment and diagnostic tools for use in Indian communities and Urban Centers.
'(5) To identify and provide behavioral health treatment to Indian perpetrators and perpetrators who are members of an Indian household--
'(A) making efforts to begin offender and behavioral health treatment while the perpetrator is incarcerated or at the earliest possible date if the perpetrator is not incarcerated; and
'(B) providing treatment after the perpetrator is released, until it is determined that the perpetrator is not a threat to children.
'(c) Coordination- The programs established under subsection (a) shall be carried out in coordination with programs and services authorized under the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act (25 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.).
Mattera falsely claims health care bill contained "$7 billion to fund jungle gyms"
Mattera: "Why is that the job of the federal government to create an army of monkey bars?" In a March 29 blog post on BigGovernment.com, Mattera posted a video in which he confronted Sen. Al Franken and asked him about the health care bill. From the video:
MATTERA: Which portions of the health care bill lower costs? Is it the provision giving $7 billion to fund jungle gyms or the provision mandating that employers provide time off for breastfeeding?
FRANKEN: Uh, Give me --
MATTERA: You should know.
FRANKEN: Give me the jungle gyms.
MATTERA: Right here, the jungle gyms --
MATTERA: -- is on 1184.
FRANKEN: Yeah, show it to me right now.
MATTERA: Okay, 1184, to provide physical activity opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles. So why is that the job of the federal government?
FRANKEN: Okay, now. Let me --
MATTERA: Why is that the job of the federal government --
FRAKEN: If you won't let me answer --
MATTERA: -- to create an army of monkey bars? Go ahead, answer it.
In fact, there is no provision "giving $7 billion to fund jungle gyms"
The provision Mattera himself reads refers to giving grants to "provide physical activity opportunities" in order to reduce chronic disease. After falsely claiming that the bill contains a provision "giving $7 billion to fund jungle gyms," Mattera reads the provision he's referring to, which contains no mentions of "jungle gyms." In the "Creating Healthier Communities" portion of the Senate version of the bill, under the section "Community Transformation Grants," entities receiving grants may use them toward activities such as "creating healthier school environments, including increasing healthy food options, physical activity opportunities, promotion of healthy lifestyle, emotional wellness, and prevention curricula, and activities to prevent chronic diseases." From the bill [emphasis added]:
SEC. 4201. COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION GRANTS.
(a) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this section as the ''Secretary''), acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (referred to in this section as the ''Director''), shall award competitive grants to State and local governmental agencies and community-based organizations for the implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence-based community preventive health activities in order to reduce chronic disease rates, prevent the development of secondary conditions, address health disparities, and develop a stronger evidence-base of effective prevention programming.
(b) ELIGIBILITY.-To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), an entity shall-
(A) a State governmental agency;
(B) a local governmental agency;
(C) a national network of community-based organizations;
(D) a State or local non-profit organization; or
(E) an Indian tribe; and
(2) submit to the Director an application at such time, in such a manner, and containing such information as the Director may require, including a description of the program to be carried out under the grant; and
(3) demonstrate a history or capacity, if funded, to develop relationships necessary to engage key stakeholders from multiple sectors within and beyond health care and across a community, such as healthy futures corps and health care providers.
(c) USE OF FUNDS.-
(1) IN GENERAL.-An eligible entity shall use amounts received under a grant under this section to carry out programs described in this subsection.
(2) COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION PLAN.-
(A) IN GENERAL.-An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall submit to the Director (for approval) a detailed plan that includes the policy, environmental, programmatic, and as appropriate infrastructure changes needed to promote healthy living and reduce disparities.
(B) ACTIVITIES.-Activities within the plan may focus on (but not be limited to)-
(i) creating healthier school environments, including increasing healthy food options, physical activity opportunities, promotion of healthy lifestyle, emotional wellness, and prevention curricula, and activities to prevent chronic diseases;
(ii) creating the infrastructure to support active living and access to nutritious foods in a safe environment;
(iii) developing and promoting programs targeting a variety of age levels to increase access to nutrition, physical activity and smoking cessation, improve social and emotional wellness, enhance safety in a community, or address any other chronic disease priority area identified by the grantee;
(iv) assessing and implementing worksite wellness programming and incentives;
(v) working to highlight healthy options at restaurants and other food venues;
(vi) prioritizing strategies to reduce racial and ethnic disparities, including social, economic, and geographic determinants of health; and
(vii) addressing special populations needs, including all age groups and individuals with disabilities, and individuals in both urban and rural areas.