Monday, June 21, 2010

Pete Olson Continues to “Be Factually Inaccurate”

Pete Olson, my congressman, continues to be factually challenged.

June 17th, it seems was a kind of double witching for Olson, first being quoted from the House floor as denouncing Iranian President Khatami for trying to get a nuclear weapon, then in his own words in a local newspaper on “Obamacare”.

From the House floor:

“I mean, the—Mr. Khatami and Iran is scary. I mean, he‘s trying to get a nuclear weapon. He was here at our country a couple of weeks ago, at the United States, at the U.N., at the United Nations, sat down with George Stephanopoulos and literally—this is the leader of Iran, told him that the Osama bin Laden is here in Washington, D.C.”
Like, ya know? Khatami is scary, dude.

But in truth, Mohammad Khatami, a FORMER Iranian president who stepped down in 2005, was going to oppose the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but stepped aside in favor of his friend Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

Rule Number One: Get name right.

Oh, but then why let a few facts get in the way of a good narrative, right? Iran is scary and so is Khatami.

 Then on the same day, Olson’s blast at “Obamacare” appears in a local paper that often prints his diatribes unanswered. It is here.

Olson took up Medicare Advantage, a Republican poster child for all that is bad about healthcare reform it seems.

Medicare Advantage is a plan that funnels Medicare funds to private insurers, something that Republican lawmakers can get behind, especially those who want to privatize the whole Medicare program. Over the years, more and more medicare funds have been absorbed by private insurance providers. Olson, and all Republican supporters of the health insurance industry argue that “…to pay for the health care reform law, the law’s sponsors cut $575 billion in cuts to Medicare. The President’s own analysis indicates that up to 50 percent of seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plans because of these cuts. Seniors will lose benefits and services starting as soon as next year…”

Factually inaccurate, again.

Medicare Advantage has been identified as a huge waste of taxpayer money. Republicans argue for elimination of waste in Medicare need look no further than Medicare Advantage.

Here is President Obama’s answer to Republican objections to ending Medicare Advantage found in this interview:

“These (Medicare Advantage providers) are essentially private HMOs who are getting, on average -- and this is not my estimate, this is Democrats and Republicans, experts have said -- they're getting, on average, about 14 percent more over payments, basically subsidies from taxpayers for a program that ordinary Medicare does just as good, if not better, at keeping people healthy.”

“Now, they package these things in ways that, in some cases, may make it more convenient for some consumers, but they're overcharging massively for it. There's no competitive bidding under the process.”

“And so what we've said is instead of spending $17 billion, $18 billion a year, $177 billion over 10 years on that, why wouldn’t we use that to close the donut hole so the people are actually getting better prescription drugs…”
So the choice for seniors who fear loss of Medicare Advantage is this: you choose, close the ‘doughnut hole’ or pay more for services that Medicare already provides.

Pete Olson is not responsible for the ‘doughnut hole.’ That was a brainchild of a CD-22 predecessor, former congressman and tango dancer Tom DeLay. But Olson chooses to invoke his party’s impossibly inaccurate shtick.
And why is that? Why promote such an impossible scenario? Does it have to do with the time-honored tradition of Republican politics that Facts Flee in the Face of Fear?

Is Ahmadinejad an Iranian President?

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