The Drudge Report and Ace of Spades both falsely suggested Rep. Bart Stupak said money in the BP escrow account could be used to "fund" national health care reform. In fact, Stupak said a "legitimate" use of the money would be to pay for the health care of those who lost their jobs and insurance due to the oil spill.
Drudge, Ace falsely suggest Stupak said "let's use that BP escrow account to fund" health care reform
Drudge headline: "Stupak: 'Legitimate' for BP Escrow Account to Fund Health Care." The Drudge Report linked to a video of Stupak's June 17 appearance on CNN's John King, USA with the following headline:
Ace: Stupak's comments evidence of his "slush-fund nationalize-everything fever." In a June 17 Ace of Spades blog post, Ace commented on Stupak's remarks by saying, "I propose the escrow fund be renamed 'Free Shit!!! Looters' Fund,' " and added, "[w]ithout wanting to confess error (who does?), this does rescue [Rep. Joe] Barton's statement... somewhat. But we still lost the day, and can't take advantage of Stupak's slush-fund nationalize-everything fever."
In fact, Stupak was discussing paying for health care for those who lost their jobs because of the spill
Stupak discussed possible uses for the fund and mentioned paying for health care of "those who lost their job and then lost their health care" as being "legitimate under this fund." During his June 17 appearance on John King USA, Stupak discussed BP CEO Tony Hayward's appearance before Congress that day and the establishment of a $20 billion escrow account to pay for BP's oil spill liabilities. Stupak mentioned paying for health care as one possible use of the money in the fund. Stupak made no mention of national health care reform. From John King, USA:
KING: Do you think, again, as the chairman of a committee in the Congress, as former police officer, should the attorney general of the United States at a time he's leading a criminal investigation into this company, be sitting across the table, at a time when there's no doubt the White House is pressuring BP to come up with this money and do more?
STUPAK: Well, don't you have the assistant attorney general? I think we had to have someone to say, look, this is where you can go without limiting your criminal liability or your civil liability. For instance, the question was brought up today, well, you're going to pay for all of the health care of the people in the Gulf?
Well, no, but I think those who lost their job and then lost their health care, that would be legitimate under this fund. They had to put some parameters in there. I think it was worthwhile having the attorney general there to help put some parameters there.
I'm sure -- and Mr. Hayward and everyone else said, look, we wanted to do this. This was to help out, to expedite it. People are saying we're too slow in this process. There is nothing like, well, if you do this, we won't move, push here, or that. There was nothing like that. That's just bad politics, people who make that accusation.