Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Pete Olson Sets the Record Straight

Obviously chaffing by being drubbed in the liberal blogs, capped by becoming the “best person in the world” on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC news program Countdown a couple of evenings ago, Pete Olson simply wants to set the record straight on his recent town hall fiasco in La Marque.

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 Michigan when all network doctors said the child would never be born alive.

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 Texas and decide not to cover the care she received.”

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 Brittany 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.”

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 America, I see this kind of thing all of the time. Sure there was some rewording, but in the end, there is only one thing you call this kind of coincidence in word choice.

It’s called plagiarism.


Bob said...

Pete's just following orders like a good AstroRep and voicing in OneSpeak.

I notice, in the emailed pleas for money he sends me, that Olson quotes the Lewin Group of Washington Post fame when blathering lies about health care reform:


Widely quoted also by the likes of Eric Cantor and other GOP wanna-be-against-somethings as a nonpartisan research group. Except that Lewin is owned by UnitedHealth Group.

I'm thnking it must feel warm and cozy in the pocket of the insurance industry.

rey said...

Right on brother! The most offensive thing about this Loya story is how Olson presented it as if it just happened and the imaginary "obamacare" care was in force. The verbal story was carefully worded to SOUND like it just happened and SOUNDED like someone had denied the mother medical care. They made it sound like the government was involved somehow.

The paper hand out pointed out how "luckily she had private insurance." Why was she lucky in 2002? Their implication is there is nothing wrong with health care in this country. So why did she need luck?

They quietly ignored the gigantic preexisting condition problem. How is he going to get insurance when he is older? My preexisting conditions are not as bad and I was rejected.

The help for his problem is WRITTEN IN TO HR3200. The mother somehow thinks this is a bad thing.

I sent most of this in an email to Olson.

Patriot Missive said...

Pete Olsen needs to represent his constituents and not the insurance and lending interests. If not he needs to GOOO...ASAP

I saw him in Washington several months ago taking about how important it was for banks to make 35% interest on credit cards and how his constituents had thanked him for supporting usury. I came very close to throwing a shoe from the balcony.

rey said...

We should admit the obvious -- Olson is not as bright as bush or reagan. It is what will make him a success in the gop. He is what the gop wants and I see a big future for him.

coyotelibrarian said...

(A much belated comment) the media never mentioned that "Brittany Kraft" had an insurance license and is a member of the Loya family whose billboards are all over Houston.