Why Congress’ healthcare plan isn’t like the public option

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ABC News has published a report on the healthcare coverage perks members of Congress receive that most Americans do not:

This fall while members of Congress toil in the U.S. Capitol, working to decide how or even whether to reform the country’s health care system, one floor below them an elaborate Navy medical clinic — described by those who have seen it as something akin to a modern community hospital — will be standing by, on-call and ready to provide Congress with some of the country’s best and most efficient government-run health care.

Formally called the Office of the Attending Physician, the clinic — and at least six satellite offices it supports — bills its mission as one of emergency preparedness and public health. Each day, it stands ready to handle medical emergencies, biological attacks and the occasional fainting tourist visiting Capitol Hill.

Officially, the office acknowledges these types of services, including providing physicals to Capitol police officers and offering flu shots to congressional staffers. But what is rarely discussed outside the halls of Congress is the office’s other role — providing a wealth of primary care medical services to senators, representatives and Supreme Court justices.

Through interviews with former employees and members of Congress, as well as extensive document searches, ABC News has learned new details about the services offered by the Office of Attending Physician to members of Congress over the past few years, from regular visits by a consulting chiropractor to on-site physical therapy.

The article goes on and on about the apparent excellent quality of care Congressional reps receive as part of their healthcare plan, and after reading it you can understand why Democrats who are pushing so strongly for the “public option” part of ObamaCare have said they would not drop their coverage and jump onto the public option, even though they routinely claim that the public option would not compromise “quality of care.” Uh huh.

Also implicit in the article is the suggestion that, if this government-run healthcare coverage works so well for members of Congress, well then Congress should damn well pass the public option in the OCare bill so work-a-day Americans who can’t get healthcare through traditional means (via work or with a private plan) will have the option to get a similar style of healthcare (we’ll just overlook for the moment that signing up for some type of healthcare coverage, OCare or not, really would not be optional if Senate Dems have their way – unless you were willing to pay thousands of dollars in fines for opting out of “affordable” healthcare coverage…). In fact, the implicit suggestion from this article that Congress better pass a public option considering they already have their own ‘public option’ was so strong that liberal proponents of socialized medicine fell for it. Liberal Matthew Yglesias grumbled:

What’s noteworthy here isn’t just the existence of the perk, it’s the specific form. Congress could have voted itself higher salaries. Or better travel benefits. Or larger appropriations so the congressional cafeterias can serve better food. But or just more generous health insurance. But what they wanted here was socialized medicine—health care that’s not only financed by the state but directly provided by government employees. This kind of state-provided health care is basically universal in the UK, it accounts for an important chunk of the health care in Sweden, and it’s what we give to our veterans in the United States. But most members of congress claim regard it as a horrifying prospect. And yet in practice they appear to like it just fine.

Um – um, not quite, sez Cassandra:

As the Reality Based Community LOVE to remind us, we are all entitled to our own opinions but we are not entitled to our own facts. The health insurance enjoyed by Congress is NOTHING like that provided to veterans – nor, indeed, does it even vaguely resemble either bill currently before the House or Senate, let alone the universal health care offered in the U.K. But aside from those “minor” details, Yglesias is… still full of it. Congress gets:

* a choice of 10 healthcare plans that provide access to a national network of doctors

* as well as several HMOs that serve each member’s home state.

* Lawmakers also get special treatment at Washington’s federal medical facilities

* and, for a few hundred dollars a month, access to their own pharmacy and doctors, nurses and medical technicians standing by in an office conveniently located between the House and Senate chambers.

In addition to that blistering response, she links up to this detailed NRO piece which flattens 21 claims President Obama made about his healthcare “reform” plan in his speech before Congress earlier this month. Make sure to read the article in full.

Related: Surprise: Senators turn back ID requirement for immigrant healthcare

Wednesday Open Thread

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My new tower is here, and I’m doing the happy dance.

I could probably attempt to use the laptop to liveblog the tower unveiling/set up, but in the event of troubles or minor glitches, I’d have to “clean up” my language before I liveblogged the moment, so I better just stay focused on getting it hooked up. ;)

I’ll check back in when I can. Wish me luck! :-ss

Whoopi Goldberg: What Polanski did was not “rape-rape”

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Her comments, blathered Monday on The View, pretty much speak for themselves:

I know it wasn’t rape-rape… All I’m trying to get you to understand, is when we’re talking about what someone did, and what they were charged with, we have to say what it actually was not what we think it was…

Initially he was charged with rape, and then he pled guilty to having sex with a minor, okay. And then he went to jail, and when they let him out, he said “you know what, this guy’s going to give me a hundred years in jail, I’m not staying.” And that’s why he left…

What we were talking about was what he did, and that’s what I wanted to clear up, and that’s all I wanted to clear up. ‘Cause I don’t like it when we’re passionate about something and we don’t have all the facts…

We’re a different kind of society. We see things differently. The world sees 13 year olds and 14 year olds in the rest of Europe… not everybody agrees with the way we see things…

Doesn’t sound like she – along with other Hollyweirdos – agrees with “the way we see things,” either.

Click the NB link for video of her remarks, and a partial transcript of the “rape-rape” victim’s testimony (warning for graphic content).

I laughed at this quote:

‘Cause I don’t like it when we’re passionate about something and we don’t have all the facts…

Ummm … Facts? The View? Anyone else notice the oxymoron of sorts here? ;)

In related news, Anne Applebaum, the WaPo columnist who was caught yesterday in a blatant conflict of interest over her apologistic error-filled column she wrote defending Polanski, has done herself no favors in her response to the criticisms of her defense of the famous child molester: she’s blaming the victim for the attack.

Have we “come a long way, baby“? I think not.

Update/Related – 1:33 PM: Patterico slams Applebaum again, this time for demanding a “correction” from him.

Bogus quotes and the WaPo

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Gary Larson (not the cartoonist) writes about how one WaPo journalist fabricated a quote out of whole cloth on an article about the duo involved in videotaping ACORN employees giving advice on how to how to evade taxes and hide child sex slaves, and how the “correction” issued by the paper doesn’t pass the smell test (via Power Line):

Veteran Washington Post reporter Daryl Fears, part of a two-person writer team, unmistakably wrote that filmmaker John O’Keefe had “said” he “targeted” ACORN, the advocacy group, for his candid-camera expose, because it registered voters to defeat Republicans.

O’Keefe said no such thing. It was a non-quote made out of whole cloth by reporter Fears, and published as fact on Sept. 17. Making the falsehood exponentially worse, the Post story then was retailed worldwide by the Associated Press.

Post’s goof took dead aim at someone called a “conservative activist.” That label then finds its way into left-wing blogs, too. But is it true? O’Keefe claims he’s “radical progressive.” But Post’s label sticks, tossed into a pigeon hole, a box, into which enemies of the Left are frequently cast.

The quote that never was — “he said” — caused Post editors to issue a correction, one that turned out to have a few slants of its own. Judge for yourself. Here it is en toto:

**Th[e] article about the community organizing group ACORN incorrectly said that a conservative journalist targeted the organization for hidden-camera videos partly because its voter-registration drives bring Latinos and African Americans to the polls. Although ACORN registers people mostly from those groups, the maker of the videos, James E. O’Keefe, did not specifically [sic] mention them.**

Specifically, did you catch that “specifically?” It is an adverb with a purpose. Call it a “Dan Ratherism,” an unproven fact that lives only in the eyes of the out-to-prove-something Left. Like CBS-TV’s Rather relying on bogus documents to hang President George W. Bush, it is designed to indict, not to enlighten.

Note the transformation of O’Keefe from “conservative activist” to “conservative journalist” in the tricky correction. At least the Post did not label O’Keefe “an operative,” another handy twist of political skulduggery.

Welll, this is a paper that worships Obama, after all – what did anyone expect? Chalk it up as another cheap attempt by our left-leaning MSM to paint opponents of President Obama in the worst way possible, all in an effort to get people not to take the opinions of people who dare to express disagreement with this administration seriously.

As Mark Steyn put it so succinctly in a recent column, conformity is now the new “dissent.” Next thing you know, supporters of President Obama will suggest that those “racists” who oppose his version of healthcare “reform” want people to die.

Oh wait – that’s already happening.