This he attempts to do in a missive found on his congressional web page (yes, bought and paid for by the taxpayers, just as those glossy mailers are) but also cross-posted on this rightwing town hall website.
Foul, cried Olson. He never meant to suggest that the woman, one Brittany Kraft, that he featured in his recent town hall meetings could not find an insurance company to cover her son’s heart transplant operation.
“I did not claim that her insurance denied care for her child. Nor did I say the government denied her any care. I simply stated that doctors at the time did not feel that her baby could be treated and recommended termination of the pregnancy.”
Not a problem. Doctors have all sorts of skill sets. The ones Ms. Kraft consulted didn’t think that her child would survive an operation, or that an operation was actually possible.
Olson goes on further to explain that Ms. Kraft took it upon herself to find a doctor who knew how to treat this case, one who agreed to perform the procedure, and her insurance company, United Health Care, agreed to pay for the operation.
This is all pretty normal from where I stand. Perhaps if Ms. Kraft believed the doctors she immediately contacted in her network, as some would, that would have been that. But she didn’t. She persisted.
And that’s fine.
So where is the foul?
It lies in Olson’s assumption that Ms. Kraft’s assumption on what a government option health plan would look like was correct and not an inaccurate assessment of what doesn’t yet exist.
Here, according to Olson, is the gist of Ms. Kraft’s argument:
“The caveat that he [Obama] did NOT mention, was that while the care the patient WANTS will still be available to them, thus allowing the patient to make the decision, the government may opt NOT to cover it because they do not deem it to be the best path forward. NO bureaucrat would have approved the cost of Joshua's care in
when all network doctors said the child would never be born alive.” Michigan
So let me get this straight: Kraft believes the government would not have covered her son’s operation because the doctors in her local network said her son wouldn’t be born alive.
That’s a bit of a stretch. How can Ms. Kraft know what a nonexistent government plan would or would not cover?
And then there is the issue of Ms. Kraft’s overall qualifications to read and interpret the house bill in question, HR 3200. Here is what Olson says about that:
“Brittany Kraft’s concern (and she has been reading H.R. 3200 page by page herself) is that a government run plan might take the advice of the doctors in
and decide not to cover the care she received.” Texas
Now I don’t know what Ms. Kraft’s background is, but I suspect that Olson may be giving her a little too much credit for being able to pore through this document, a daunting task for any given lawyer, and coming up with the conclusions that she draws.
And there is also the point that Olson glosses over: she had health insurance. HR 3200 would not forbid her from keeping it. Olson’s weak argument is that the public option would set the standard. I wonder though, about this claim that this standard would drag down the quality of coverage as it already exists. Is there any evidence that this would happen, or is this just speculation on his part?
But this is the thing that really gets my goat. Who is feeding lines to whom? Here is what Pete Olson writes about a government option:
“While some maintain that Americans like
can stay on their private plans to keep government out of Joshua's health care, they are not considering the far-reaching implications of the government plan. A government-run plan means bureaucrats make the decisions and that private insurers will be forced to follow suit to remain competitive.” Brittany
Here is what Brittany Kraft (supposedly) wrote about the same thing:
“While some may say I can stay on my private plan so that government will NOT get involved in Josh's healthcare, they are not considering the far reaching implications of the government plan. If government implements a plan where they can call the shots, private insurers will have to follow suit to remain competitive.”
Now as an educator in
It’s called plagiarism.