"It's not that our liberal friends are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so." -Ronald Reagan

Friday, September 18, 2009

CBS Disguises Single-Payer Group's 45,000 Deaths Claim as a 'Harvard' Study

This is from Media Research (A daily compilation edited by Brent H. Baker, CyberAlert items are drawn from daily BiasAlert posts and distributed by the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division, the leader since 1987 in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.)

I've seen a number of stories & alerts about this one, this one covers it all pretty much.


Trying to boost the rationale for ObamaCare, Thursday's CBS Evening News ran two stories from far-left sources, but the network disguised the agenda behind both. Katie Couric announced that “while the debate goes on over the cost of insuring everyone, a new study reveals the cost of not doing it. The Harvard study says nearly 45,000 American deaths every year are linked to a lack of insurance.”

Neither she, nor reporter Jim Axelrod, noted that the report was really produced by Physicians for a National Health Program, “the only national physician organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to implementing a single-payer national health program.”

Next, Nancy Cordes touted “a rare sight – leaders from the nation's largest insurers sitting down to get grilled,” without pointing out it occurred at a hearing held by the Domestic Policy subcommittee of the House's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, a subcommittee chaired by far-left former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. Cordes began by showing Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings demagogically demanding: “Which of you, if any, give bonuses for folks who deny coverage?”

She followed with how “lawmakers accused the insurers of putting profits before customers, customers like two-year-old Sidney Gendernalik from Los Angeles who suffers from a rare syndrome known as infant spasms. From the moment Sidney was diagnosed at three months, her insurer, Riegle Medical Group, began denying treatments, tests, and drugs.”

In the first story, with the numbers on screen credited to “Harvard Medical School” and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler identified on screen as with “Harvard Medical School,” Axelrod reported Woolhandler “was part of a team that tracked more than 9,000 people for up to 13 years, comparing the health of those with insurance to those without. After factoring in education and income, smoking, drinking, obesity, researchers found the uninsured had about a 40 percent higher risk of death. In 1993, it was 25 percent.”

Woolhandler is one of five signers of an “Open Letter to President Obama to Support Single-Payer Health Care” and the CBSNews.com online version of Axelrod's story provides a link to a PDF of the “study” – as posted on the Physicians for a National Health Program's site.

Axelrod began his story with the plight of a man who “didn't go to the doctor until he could no longer eat” and then learned he had “stage four stomach cancer,” as if the lack of health insurance, which the man chose not to buy, prevented him from seeing a doctor and paying the full charge for a visit instead of just a co-pay amount. The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide these transcripts of the stories on the Thursday, September 17 CBS Evening News:

KATIE COURIC: Now, turning to health care reform, President Obama campaigned for student support at the University of Maryland today. Speaking to about 15,000 people, the President called health care reform a defining struggle of this generation. And while the debate goes on over the cost of insuring everyone, a new study reveals the cost of not doing it. The Harvard study says nearly 45,000 American deaths every year are linked to a lack of insurance. We have two reports on the health care crisis beginning with Jim Axelrod.

JIM AXELROD: A year and a half ago, Daniel Duarte started dropping a lot of weight. Was that concerning you as you went from 290 to 240 to, did you realize something was wrong?

DANIEL DUARTE: Yeah, definitely.

AXELROD: Having quit his full-time job at a dairy to freelance in the catering business, gambling he wouldn't need the insurance, Daniel didn't go to the doctor until he could no longer eat. The diagnosis, stage four stomach cancer. Medicaid paid for his surgery last April. Would you be in a different place if you had health insurance?

DUARTE: Totally. I would have been able to go to a doctor, like, maybe last year.

DR. STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: We found that 45,000 Americans are dying annually due to lack of health insurance.

AXELROD: Dr. Steffie Woolhandler was part of a team that tracked more than 9,000 people for up to 13 years, comparing the health of those with insurance to those without. After factoring in education and income, smoking, drinking, obesity, researchers found the uninsured had about a 40 percent higher risk of death. In 1993, it was 25 percent.

WOOLHANDLER: We've got lots of good treatments for high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. But we can't do anything for the patients if they can't afford to come to their offices.

JOHN GOODMAN, NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS: Well, I think this study is not well done.

AXELROD: John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis says the study results are exaggerated. Researchers don't know how the uninsured died or if they were uninsured the entire time they were being tracked. But even this critic agrees with the basic premise.

GOODMAN: I think you can't trust the results. Having said that, we ought to do something for the uninsured.AXELROD: Of course, it's not getting any easier to provide health insurance. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average cost of a family health insurance policy is now more than $13,000, having more than doubled this decade. Jim Axelrod, CBS News, New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth-

NANCY CORDES: This is Nancy Cordes at the Capitol. It was a rare sight – leaders from the nation's largest insurers sitting down to get grilled.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): Which of you, if any, give bonuses for folks who deny coverage?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I'm sorry, Congressman, without going back and doing research on that topic, I really could not give you a responsive answer to that question.

CUMMINGS: You don't know that? You don't know the answer to that question? Is that what you're telling me?

MAN #1: Yes, sir.

CORDES: Members of Congress pushed the top brass from Cigna, Humana, Aetna, and more to explain why premiums have shot up 131 percent in the past 10 years.

PATRICIA FARRELL, AETNA: For every dollar we take in we pay about, we make about five cents in profit, pay about 84 cents in medical claims.

CORDES: Lawmakers accused the insurers of putting profits before customers, customers like two-year-old Sidney Gendernalik from Los Angeles-

MARK GENDERNALIK, FATHER OF INFANT SPASMS SYNDROME PATIENT: That's one of her seizure events she's having right now.

CORDES: -who suffers from a rare syndrome known as infant spasms.

GENDERNALIK: She can have over 50 of these a day.

CORDES: From the moment Sidney was diagnosed at three months, her insurer, Riegle Medical Group, began denying treatments, tests, and drugs.

GENDERNALIK: There's a part of me that's lost an opportunity to be my daughter's father because I have to be out there spending time and effort battling one referral to the next, one authorization for a drug to the next. It's not, it's not right.CORDES: The six executives insisted they support reform, to a point.

THOMAS RICHARDS, CIGNA HEALTHCARE: We believe if those reforms are enacted, then a government-run plan is not necessary.

BRIAN SASSI, WELLPOINT INC.: We would not have a level playing field since insurers are subject to taxes and other types of expenses.

CORDES: Even more notable than what the insurance companies said was the fact that they said it at all. Normally, they like to stay out of the spotlight and let their national lobby defend their practices.

— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

President Obama Misleads On Abortion Funding In Health Care Reform

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement after President Obama said it's a "fabrication" and "distraction" to say abortion funding is included in the health care reform plans.

"Tonight, President Obama deliberately misled the American people by dismissing the concerns of millions of Americans who have deep moral objections to their tax dollars paying for abortions. With this President, you must look at his actions because his rhetoric doesn't match his deeds.

"The President called abortion 'a distraction.' To the contrary, 3,000 unborn lives lost each day is no 'distraction' but a compelling moral tragedy. President Obama's denials are inexplicit, unsupported and factually plain wrong. He knows better, and should come clean with the American people.

"President Obama has fully demonstrated his commitment to fulfilling his stated goal of funding abortion, articulated in last year's presidential campaign. He is now attempting to obscure this commitment because of an overwhelmingly public backlash. He fully intends to fund or subsidize abortion services in the health care overhaul.

"The President knows very well that pro-abortion House and Senate Committees rejected every single amendment to keep abortion funding out of the health care overhaul. Instead, the House Energy and Commerce Committee adopted the Capps Amendments, which allows abortion coverage in the public health plan, and subsidizes health plans that cover abortion.

"This evening, President Obama stated that abortion funding in health care reform is a 'distraction.' If that is the case - then why not end this so-called 'distraction' and amend the bill to explicitly prohibit abortion funding and coverage with his health care plan?

"The Religious Left, which has blindly put their faith in this Administration's attempted takeover of health care, has repeatedly said they do not want to get into the weeds on the policy aspects of health care reform. Instead they say their focus is on the moral mandate that all people have health care.

"Ensuring that taxpayers are not forced to fund abortions and that the conscience rights of health care workers are protected is not getting into the weeds, but rather it is ensuring that health care reform is kept on a higher moral plain."

Download Seven Reasons Abortion Is In The Health Care Overhaul


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Obama includes token Republican in list of Medal of Freedom Recipients...

So Obama has picked 16 people to receive the Medal of Freedom. Gag me, they're "agents of change". I found it interesting that the one token (known) Republican in the lot was honored for being a "bleeding heart conservative"...

Don't get me wrong, I like and admire some of the folks on this list. They have made some phenomenal contributions to our world.

I just noticed the overall "flavor" of those chosen was left, left, left. But that's to be expected I suppose. I also noted the language... jiminy, change, change, change. Don't you just get tired of that mantra? Expecially give the changes that Obama is cramming down America's throat.

And we're honoring a guy for being openly gay? I'm not one who has problems with someone being gay. Be whatever you want in the privacy of your home. Just don't rub my nose in your sexuality. It shouldn't be a badge of honor.

Here's the politically correct, one of everything, one of every ethnic group, one of every gender, list of Obama picks, including the one token Republican:

President Obama Names Medal of Freedom Recipients
16 Agents of Change to Receive Top Civilian Honor

WASHINGTON – President Obama today named 16 recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. America’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

This year’s awardees were chosen for their work as agents of change. Among their many accomplishments in fields ranging from sports and art to science and medicine to politics and public policy, these men and women have changed the world for the better. They have blazed trails and broken down barriers. They have discovered new theories, launched new initiatives, and opened minds to new possibilities.

President Obama said, “These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds. Their tremendous accomplishments span fields from science to sports, from fine arts to foreign affairs. Yet they share one overarching trait: Each has been an agent of change. Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way.

“Their relentless devotion to breaking down barriers and lifting up their fellow citizens sets a standard to which we all should strive. It is my great honor to award them the Medal of Freedom.”

President Obama will present the awards at a ceremony on Wednesday, August 12.

The following individuals will receive the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Nancy Goodman Brinker
Nancy Goodman Brinker is the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s leading breast cancer grass roots organization. Brinker established the organization in memory of her sister, who passed away from breast cancer in 1980. Through innovative events like Race for the Cure, the organization has given and invested over $1.3 billion for research, health services and education services since its founding in 1982 and developed a worldwide grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists who are working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find cures. Brinker has received several awards for her work, and has also served in government as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary (2001 – 2003), Chief of Protocol of the U.S. (2007 – 2009), and Chair of the President’s Cancer Panel (1990). In May, Nancy Goodman Brinker was named the first-ever World Health Organization's Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control.

Pedro José Greer, Jr.
Dr. Pedro Jose Greer is a physician and the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the Florida International University School of Medicine, where he also serves as Chair of the Department of Humanities, Health and Society. Dr. Greer is the founder of Camillus Health Concern, an agency that provides medical care to over 10,000 homeless patients a year in the city of Miami. He is also the founder and medical director of the St. John Bosco Clinic which provides basic primary medical care to disadvantaged children and adults in the Little Havana community. He has been recognized by Presidents Clinton, Bush, Sr., and Carter for his work with Miami's poor . He is also the recipient of three Papal Medals as well as the prestigious MacArthur "genius grant". He currently has a joint private practice with his father, Pedro Greer, Sr.

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is an internationally-recognized theoretical physicist, having overcome a severe physical disability due to motor neuron disease. He is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, a post previously held by Isaac Newton in 1669. In addition to his pioneering academic research in mathematics and physics, Hawking has penned three popular science books, including the bestselling A Brief History of Time. Hawking, a British citizen, believes that non-academics should be able to access his work just as physicists are, and has also published a children’s science book with his daughter. His persistence and dedication has unlocked new pathways of discovery and inspired everyday citizens.

Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp, who passed away in May 2009, served as a U.S. Congressman (1971 – 1989), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (1989 – 1993), and Republican Nominee for Vice President (1996). Prior to entering public service, Kemp was a professional football player (1957 – 1969) and led the Buffalo Bills to American Football League championships in 1964 and 1965. In Congress and as a Cabinet Secretary, Kemp was a self-described “bleeding heart conservative” who worked to encourage development in underserved urban communities. In the years leading up to his death, Kemp continued seeking new solutions, raising public attention about the challenge of poverty, and working across party lines to improve the lives of Americans and others around the world.

Sen. Edward Kennedy
Senator Edward M. Kennedy has served in the United States Senate for forty-six years, and has been one of the greatest lawmakers – and leaders – of our time. From reforming our public schools to strengthening civil rights laws and supporting working Americans, Senator Kennedy has dedicated his career to fighting for equal opportunity, fairness and justice for all Americans. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that every American has access to quality and affordable health care, and has succeeded in doing so for countless children, seniors, and Americans with disabilities. He has called health care reform the “cause of his life,” and has championed nearly every health care bill enacted by Congress over the course of the last five decades. Known as the “Lion of the Senate,” Senator Kennedy is widely respected on both sides of the aisle for his commitment to progress and his ability to legislate.

Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King was an acclaimed professional tennis player in the 1960s and 1970s, and has helped champion gender equality issues not only in sports, but in all areas of public life. King beat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, then the most viewed tennis match in history. King became one of the first openly lesbian major sports figures in America when she came out in 1981. Following her professional tennis career, King became the first woman commissioner in professional sports when she co-founded and led the World Team Tennis (WTT) League. The U.S. Tennis Association named the National Tennis Center, where the US Open is played, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2006.

Rev. Joseph Lowery
Reverend Lowery has been a leader in the U.S. civil rights movement since the early 1950s. Rev. Lowery helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott after Rosa Parks was denied a seat, and later co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a leading civil rights organization, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rev. Lowery led the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Rev. Lowery is a minister in the United Methodist Church, and has continued to highlight important civil rights issues in the U.S. and worldwide, including apartheid in South Africa, since the 1960s.

Joe Medicine Crow – High Bird
Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, the last living Plains Indian war chief, is the author of seminal works in Native American history and culture. He is the last person alive to have received direct oral testimony from a participant in the Battle of the Little Bighorn: his grandfather was a scout for General George Armstrong Custer. A veteran of World War II, Medicine Crow accomplished during the war all of the four tasks required to become a “war chief,” including stealing fifty Nazi SS horses from a German camp. Medicine Crow was the first member of his tribe to attend college, receiving his master’s degree in anthropology in 1939, and continues to lecture at universities and notable institutions like the United Nations. His contributions to the preservation of the culture and history of the First Americans are matched only by his importance as a role model to young Native Americans across the country.

Harvey Milk
Harvey Milk became the first openly gay elected official from a major city in the United States when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk encouraged lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens to live their lives openly and believed coming out was the only way they could change society and achieve social equality. Milk, alongside San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, was shot and killed in 1978 by Dan White, a former city supervisor. Milk is revered nationally and globally as a pioneer of the LGBT civil rights movement for his exceptional leadership and dedication to equal rights.

Sandra Day O’Connor
Justice O’Connor was the first woman ever to sit on the United States Supreme Court. Nominated by President Reagan in 1981, she served until her retirement in 2006. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, O’Connor served as a state trial and appellate judge in Arizona. She was also as a member of the Arizona state senate, where she became the first woman in the United States ever to lead a state senate as Senate Majority Leader. At a time when women rarely entered the legal profession, O’Connor graduated Stanford Law School third in her class, where she served on the Stanford Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Since retiring from the Supreme Court in 2006, O’Connor has served as Chancellor of the College of William and Mary, on the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center, and participated in the Iraq Study Group in 2006, as well as giving numerous lectures on public service. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding achievements and public service.

Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier is a groundbreaking actor, becoming the top black movie star in the 1950s and 1960s. Poitier is the first African American to be nominated and win a Best Actor Academy Award, receive an award at a top international film festival (Venice Film Festival), and be the top grossing movie star in the United States. Poitier insisted that the film crew on The Lost Man be at least 50 percent African American, and starred in the first mainstream movies portraying “acceptable” interracial marriages and interracial kissing. Poitier began his acting career without any training or experience by auditioning at the American Negro Theatre.

Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera is an accomplished and versatile actress, singer, and dancer, who has won Two Tony Awards and received seven more nominations while breaking barriers and inspiring a generation of women to follow in her footsteps. In 2002, she became the first Hispanic recipient of the coveted Kennedy Center Honor. Propelled to stardom by her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story, Rivera went on to star in additional landmark musicals such as Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie, and Jerry’s Girls. She recently starred in The Dancer’s Life, an autobiographical musical about her celebrated life in the theatre.

Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson was the first female President of Ireland (1990 – 1997) and a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997 – 2002), a post that required her to end her presidency four months early. Robinson served as a prominent member of the Irish Senate prior to her election as President. She continues to bring attention to international issues as Honorary President of Oxfam International, and Chairs the Board of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI Alliance). Since 2002 she has been President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, based in New York, which is an organization she founded to make human rights the compass which charts a course for globalization that is fair, just and benefits all.

Janet Davison Rowley
Janet Davison Rowley, M.D., is the Blum Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics at The University of Chicago. She is an American human geneticist and the first scientist to identify a chromosomal translocation as the cause of leukemia and other cancers. Rowley is internationally renowned for her studies of chromosome abnormalities in human leukemia and lymphoma, which have led to dramatically improved survival rates for previously incurable cancers and the development of targeted therapies. In 1999 President Clinton awarded her the National Medal of Science--the nation's highest scientific honor.

Desmond Tutu
Desmond Tutu is an Anglican Archbishop emeritus who was a leading anti-apartheid activist in South Africa. Widely regarded as “South Africa's moral conscience,” he served as the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) from 1978 – 1985, where he led a formidable crusade in support of justice and racial reconciliation in South Africa. He received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work through SACC in 1984. Tutu was elected Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986, and the Chair of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995. He retired as Archbishop in 1996 and is currently Chair of the Elders.

Muhammad Yunus
Dr. Muhammad Yunus is a global leader in anti-poverty efforts, and has pioneered the use of “micro-loans” to provide credit to poor individuals without collateral. Dr. Yunus, an economist by training, founded the Grameen Bank in 1983 in his native Bangladesh to provide small, low-interest loans to the poor to help better their livelihood and communities. Despite its low interest rates and lending to poor individuals, Grameen Bank is sustainable and 98% percent of its loans are repaid – higher than other banking systems. It has spread its successful model throughout the world. Dr. Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Can't help it...

Do you remember the days after September 11th? Who doesn't! I woke up every morning wondering if the world was OK, if there was going to be another attack.

I'm not a TV person so I had one old television back in 2001. I didn't have cable or Dish or anything other than the basic stations. Right after 9-11 I added Dish. I wanted to know what was going on in the world.

Another change in my habits was that every morning, without fail, I walked into the great room and popped on the TV for a few minutes. I needed to make sure that nothing else had happened.

If I turned it on to a commercial I knew things were calm and I immediately flipped it off.

At some point I slowly got out of that habit. I could get up, brush my teeth, fix my breakfast and go about my business without first turning on the TV.

I'm married now and with the marriage came a couple of newer televisions. We also have cable.

I find I'm back in that same habit of turning on the TV first thing each morning.

I hadn't realized I was caught up in that one again until this morning. So, after seeing that Fox and Friends had a normal show working, I turned off the TV and started pondering why.

I don't have that same always-with-me sense of trepidation or concern that the terrorists are going to hit us again. Although I will have to say that I strongly believe there's a much higher chance now than there has been these past years under President Bush. Based on what I'm reading and hearing, I think the signals we're sending are tantamount to practically asking for them to attack us. The terrorists don't respect weakness. They laugh when we want to negotiate. To them it's just another way to exploit the soft Americans.

So maybe there is a bit of post-9-11 insecurity at play, but it's mostly at a subconscious level.

When I thought about it more I realized the underlying cause is bigger, if that's at all possible, than 9-11. I fear for our country. Every day when I turn on the news, turn on the computer, read my daily news in my email inbox, I see the country I love being eroded by power-craving politicians.

I see Obama sending money to fund abortions when we need it here (not to mention the last thing we need to be doing is killing babies).

I hear about stimulus packages that are going to destroy the future for our children and generations beyond.

I read about the Fairness Doctrine which will kill conservative talk radio then, when that's successful and the voices move to the Internet, will extend its tentacles even further.

I see actions being taken to destroy businesses and other freedoms (i.e., the Employee Free Choice Act which will kill the secret ballot and usher in an era of Union control of our workforce).

I read about Obama's actions to undermine the things that have helped to protect us.

I think I just have to make sure the world hasn't completely collapsed while I slept.

Now that I'm aware, I'm not sure if I want to work to curb the habit or just let it go. I'll probably keep doing it simply because it's almost like a security blanket. I have a feeling I'm going to need more than a quick flick of the remote to ease my angst in the days to come.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

A tiny bit of good news...

Love it that President Ronald Reagan's inauguration in 1981, with only THREE networks in existence at the time, was viewed on TV by roughly 4 million more than Obama!

I suppose some party-pooper will come along and say that many were watching on the Internet, which I understand was hot and heavy. But still, think about it. The population has grown tremendously since Reagan's inauguration and there are probably more TV's in households.

Obama's inauguration was shown on 17 or so TV stations... compared with three measly little stations back then. I was surprised when I read the article, and pleased.

Hat tip to RightReel on Twitter for RT on this one, made me smile just a bit to have a tiny glimmer of rightness in this currently gloomy world.

Obama Inaugural Ratings Fall Short of Reagan’s
Thursday, January 22, 2009 1:30 PMBy: Rick Pedraza
Although the number of viewers watching the presidential inauguration coverage of Barack Obama was impressive, they fall short of those who saw Ronald Reagan take the oath of office for his first term in 1981. According to Nielsen Media Research, 37.8 million television viewers tuned in Tuesday to watch the swearing-in ceremony, which was the largest inaugural audience in 28 years. Reagan's first inauguration in 1981 drew a whopping 41.8 million...