Betsy McCaughey -- best known for repeatedly misleading about health care reform -- made numerous false or misleading claims in order to attack the effectiveness of the stimulus bill.
Newsmax has decided it wants to scare its readers about health care reform, and it has enlisted perhaps the biggest scaremonger on the issue to do it -- all in the service of selling stuff.
In the grand tradition of Newsmax, it's throwing out a loss leader as bait for something that could bring in some real revenue. This time, it's the "two-part book" of Newsmax's fearmongering about health care. As per usual, the book is free (except for a "nominal shipping charge" of $4.95), and includes trial subscriptions to two of Newsmax's health newsletters, which must be canceled before the trial subscription ends to avoid being automatically charged for a full year's subscription.
On the a web page (PDF) for this latest promotion, Newsmax health publisher Travis Davis states that among "the Nation's Top Minds in Law and Medicine" he has assembled for this scaremongering mission is "constitutional scholar and former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey," who is apparently this promotion's Dick Morris. You may remember McCaughey as the person Media Matters named as its 2009 Health Care Misinformer of the Year, and it appears McCaughey will be repeating some of her misleading attacks for Newsmax:
In a July 7 tweet, serial health care misinformer Betsy McCaughey wrote, "Obama sentences seniors to less care and shorter lives with Berwick appointment." McCaughey joins other right-wing media figures who have rehashed tired attacks against Berwick after President Obama announced his intention to install him as head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services through a recess appointment.
Media Matters has extensively documented McCaughey's pattern of smears, falsehoods and distortions about Democrats and health care. Last month, McCaughey took to the pages of the New York Post to smear "radical" "ideologue" Berwick.
In a New York Post op-ed, serial health care misinformer Betsy McCaughey attacked Obama nominee Donald Berwick as a "radical" and an "ideologue." Unsurprisingly, her piece was filled with false claims and misinformation.
In an April 12 column, Michael Barone cited Betsy McCaughey's suggestion that the health care bill could be unconstitutional because it would remove the "freedom to choose a hip replacement or a Caesarean section," which McCaughey argued would violate privacy rights established in Roe v. Wade. In fact, the section to which McCaughey refers simply sets minimum requirements for an insurance plan to operate in health care exchanges, and nothing in the legislation bans "hip replacements or a Caesarean section."
From the April 1 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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Right-wing media seized on Rep. Bart Stupak's (D-MI) recent announcement that three airports in his district received federal grant money in order to baselessly claim the Obama administration bribed him for his vote on health care reform. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that the airport funds are related to Stupak's vote, and indeed, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded grants in 47 states -- including one in Minority Leader John Boehner's district -- as part of a decades-old airport improvement program.
From the March 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity
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Serial health care reform misinformer Betsy McCaughey falsely claimed that, under the Senate health care reform bill, "for the first time in history, government officials are given power over how doctors treat privately insured patients." In fact, through criminal law -- including the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act -- federal drug laws, and other methods, states and the federal government currently regulate the relationship between doctors and patients, privately insured or not.
Media Matters for America presents its first-ever Health Care Misinformer of the Year award to Betsy McCaughey.
In a November 24 New York Post column, Betsy McCaughey suggested that both "women -- and men" would "lose" under the Senate health care bill because preventive care would be limited by the US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, and quoted medical professor James Thrall stating: "I fear we are entering an era of deliberate decisions where we choose to trade people's lives for money." But insurers operating under the Senate health care reform bill are not required to adopt recommendations against preventive screening, only to adopt those recommendations supporting preventive screening.
In a November 7 Wall Street Journal op-ed, serial health care misinformer Betsy McCaughey purported to provide "details you need to know" about the current version of health care reform legislation slated for a vote that same day in the House of Representatives. As with her previous descriptions of reform legislation, many of her claims are falsehoods or distortions, such as McCaughey's claim that illegal immigrants are exempted from a fine imposed by the bill.
Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is holding an anti-health care reform protest today on Capitol Hill to revive the largely manufactured fervor of the August town halls and to tell Congress "to vote no to a government take-over of one-fifth of our economy." The slate of speakers and attendees include Republican congressional members, far-right radio host Mark Levin, who has equated the Senate Finance's health reform bill with "economic slavery," actor and frequent Fox News guest Jon Voight, and... Betsy McCaughey.
McCaughey's participation and consequent endorsement of the Bachmann-led opposition to health care reform really shouldn't come as much of surprise given the falsehoods, distortions, and outright lies that she has told about health care throughout the year. However, this event should serve as final notice to any in the media who still believe she is a credible health care expert.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Betsy McCaughey misrepresented remarks by Dr. Jeffrey Borer to suggest that he is opposed to treatment guidelines when, in fact, he stated that guidelines are "needed" and "very valuable" while noting that "they have important limitations." McCaughey further advanced the claim that White House health care adviser Ezekiel Emanuel supports rationing of health care and attributed the claim to a doctor who belongs to a conservative-leaning group that holds several controversial views and has promoted the right-wing conspiracy theory that Vince Foster didn't commit suicide.
Here's The New Republic's Jonathan Chait:
In my field, we have something called the National Magazine Awards. Magazine writers tend to be both obsessed with who wins and convinced the process is a pathetic joke. This isn't just sour grapes, either. The last time The New Republic won a National Magazine Award, it was for publishing Betsy McCaughey's infamous anti-Clintoncare screed "No Exit," which is probably the worst article in the history of TNR. It's as if the last American to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Timothy McVeigh.
Which, of course, raises the question of why TNR hasn't given back the award -- and why its editor claims the magazine has "recanted" and "apologized" for "No Exit," even though it has done nothing of the kind.