NY Times cited RNC release on Clinton health plan, but did not identify the RNC's "commentators and analysts"

››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

A New York Times article on Sen. Hillary Clinton's proposed health care plan noted that "the Republican National Committee [RNC] sent an e-mail message challenging Mrs. Clinton's promise that her plan would not be government-run or produce new bureaucracy, quoting eight commentators and analysts who assert that government would inevitably expand." But the article didn't identify the RNC's "commentators and analysts" -- a group that included Tucker Carlson, the Orange County Register editorial page, right-wing think tank analysts, and former Republican officials.

In a September 19 article on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) proposed health care plan, New York Times reporters Patrick Healy and Robin Toner wrote that on September 18 "the Republican National Committee [RNC] sent an e-mail message challenging Mrs. Clinton's promise that her plan would not be government-run or produce new bureaucracy, quoting eight commentators and analysts who assert that government would inevitably expand." However, Healy and Toner did not identify who was on the RNC's list of "commentators and analysts," which, in fact, consists of conservative pundits, right-wing think tank analysts, and former Republican officials.

The September 18 RNC press release -- "Hillary's Bureaucratic Hike: Just Like 1993, Hillary's Health Care Proposal Creates More Government And More Entitlements" -- cited eight "commentators and analysts:"

  • Michael F. Cannon, a former "domestic policy analyst at the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee," who currently serves as the director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.
  • A September 18 editorial by The Orange County Register, a California newspaper that says its opinion pages are committed to "emphasiz[ing] respect for the individual, limited government, free markets, free trade, self-responsibility, voluntaryism and property rights." The Register is the flagship newspaper of Freedom Communications, Inc., which describes itself as having a "legacy based on the principles of voluntaryism and the libertarian philosophy."
  • Paul Howard, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute's Center for Medical Progress, which it says is "dedicated to articulating the importance of medical progress and the connection between free-market institutions and making medical progress both possible and widely available throughout the world."
  • Robert E. Moffit, a former Reagan administration official who currently serves as the director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, "whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."

Four of the eight comments the RNC cited came from a September 18 symposium published at the conservative National Review Online.

Clinton said in a September 17 speech on her health care plan: "Now I know my Republican opponents will try to equate health care for all Americans with government run health care. Well don't let them fool us again. This is not government run. There will be no new bureaucracy. You can keep the doctors you know and trust. You keep the insurance you have if you like it. But this plan expands personal choice and increases competition to keep costs down."

Washington Post reporter Dan Balz noted in a September 18 post for the Post's political blog The Trail: "Clinton proposed no new government entities to administer the plan, although her aides acknowledge that some additional people would have to be hired within the existing bureaucratic structure to handle some aspects of it."

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
The New York Times
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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