Did you catch Betsy McCaughey on this morning’s The View, talking as a “health policy expert” on the Obamacare plan and its ongoing implementation?
While McCaughey’s status as “expert” in policy is shaky, her link with and interest in Obamacare is long-running. In fact, the former New York State Lt. Governor under former Gov. Pataki is one of the most tenured opponents of health care reform — as well as a former board member of for-profit medical companies.
Not a normal The View viewer myself, I caught a short segment fortuitously today as I waited in the lobby of the doctor’s office for a sudden visit. McCaughey’s segment happened to be airing during this period I’d normally be here, writing articles… and it was stunning to watch a seasoned journalist like Barbara Walters stand the sheer amount of misinformation issuing forth from McCaughey’s facehole.
Even in the brief bit to which I was exposed, Betsy McCaughey stated a number of half-truths, out of context claims, and other things that would be more the realm of lobbying and not daytime television. What she lacked in factual backup, she made up for in scaremongering and insurance industry propaganda. And for most of it, Walters just allowed her to speak unchallenged.
When I looked McCaughey up in the exam room as I waited for the doctor, the context clicked — I recalled reading in the past about how she’d essentially invented the now-debunked “death panels” claim, and Media Matters has a quote.
Back in 2009, when McCaughey was still linked professionally with a pharmaceutical company, she said that the legislation what would come to be known as the ACA, or Obamacare, would “absolutely require — that every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner, how to decline nutrition, how to decline being hydrated, how to go in to hospice care.”
These companies with which McCaughey was associated, until she resigned to avoid appearance of conflict of interest, stand to lose revenue should their practices fall under government regulation due to Obamacare, of course. This was not mentioned on The View.
What was mentioned as the panel listened to McCaughey’s “expertise” were some spurious claims about cuts to Medicare — erroneous — as well as another pointed out by MMFA, that poor families would be obliged to buy insurance regardless of their poverty:
“McCaughey also used her View appearance to claim that health care consumers who cannot afford plans will be required to purchase one anyway. As the Kaiser Family Foundation pointed out in 2010, however, the law provides automatic exemptions for ‘those for whom the lowest cost plan option exceeds 8% of an individual’s income, and those with incomes below the tax filing threshold (in 2009 the threshold for taxpayers under age 65 was $9,350 for singles and $18,700 for couples).’ “
You can watch Betsy McCaughey’s The View segment on Obamacare, above.