American Elephants

Astroturfing For Obama! Exposed! by The Elephant's Child
January 26, 2010, 2:02 am
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Politics | Tags: , ,

This is the “Letter to the Editor” from Ellie Light:

Today, the president is being attacked as if he’d promised that our problems would wash off in the morning. He never did. It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything.

It appeared at Politico; the Philadelphia Daily News, the San Francisco Examiner; the Washington Times; and a USA Today blog. Also small town papers like the Los Banos Enterprise, the North Adams Transcript and the Danbury News-Times, and more. Speedy-traveller Ms. Light claimed to be a resident in each area.

This letter to the editor that has appeared all over the country comes from Jan Chen, Gloria Elle, Mark Spivey and yes–Ellie Light, and many more.

As one listens to the Republican anger over health care reform, one can imagine an anti-government protester cheerfully paying premiums on insurance policies that drop you after you make a claim, or happily sauntering out of an emergency room that denied them treatment because of a coverage problem. One can imagine a town hall sign-waver enthusiastically forking over most of their pay to bill collectors after suffering a catastrophic injury, thinking, “Wow, the free market system is great.”

Patterico of Patterico’s Pontifications is following the trail, and readers are submitting the names on the same letters in their local papers.  All pretend to be locals.

Wasn’t it Nancy Pelosi who claimed that the Tea Parties and the AngryVoters at Town Halls were simply “Astroturfing” — just a bunch of people paid for by “Rich Republicans” to protest to keep “tax-cuts for the Rich in place?’

I guess that’s like the union members who got $60 each for holding signs for Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, who said they were there because they needed the money, but they were voting for Scott Brown.  Nancy Pelosi’s sheer gall never ceases to astound.

AstroTurfing in the White House Rose Garden. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama summoned invited 150 doctors to the White House rose garden so that he could give them his 34th speech about health care reform.  They represented all 50 states, we were told, and they were members of all sorts of different medical organizations, mostly Doctors for Obama now renamed Doctors for America.

They were asked to bring their white lab coats for the photo-op, but many simply came in suits.  (Not all doctors wear lab coats).  But the White House had purchased a quantity of lab coats so there would be enough for everyone. Important for the Photo-op.

white coats

President Obama gave much the same speech he has given the previous 33 times.  And it was just as inaccurate.  He said that the doctors have seen what happens when their patients can’t get the care they need because some insurance company has decided to drop their coverage or water it down.

President Obama is an attorney.  He knows that a health insurance policy is a legal contract between the insurance company and the patient.  Insurance companies cannot drop someone because they get sick.  That’s what health care policies are for, taking care of people who get sick.   If the patient has lied or failed to disclose pre-existing conditions, that can void the contract. The attempt to demonize insurance companies so that the ignorant will prefer a government option is transparent.

The two cases that Mr. Obama has used in previous speeches were not exactly as he represented them. In both cases, it seemed that the patients had failed to disclose serious pre-existing conditions, not acne, as Mr. Obama claimed.  In both cases, it was straightened out fairly quickly, and the bills were paid.

Mr. Obama said that insurance companies “will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on how much coverage you can receive in a given year or a given lifetime.  We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses.  And insurance companies will be required to cover, at no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care.

So there will be no limit on how much care you can have, an absolute limit on how much it will cost you, and insurance companies will be required to cover everything at no cost.  We will have fewer doctors, they will have to see more patients, they will be told what treatments they are required to give to any specific patient by a bunch of Washington bureaucrats (friends of the administration), but it will be way more rewarding for doctors (just not financially). Health Care will cost less, so much less that it will solve the financial crisis, not cost one extra dime, serve 30 million more people, and everyone will be healthier. If this makes sense to you, you need some remedial math.  And the administration assumes that the American people are completely stupid.

obama doctors

This is a classic case of “AstroTurfing” that over-used new word devised to describe artificial grassroots.  A survey last fall of 270,000 primary care physicians by the Physicians’ Foundation found that if health care reform passes, 30% expect to see fewer patients, 13% will find something that does not involve patient care and 11% plan to retire altogether.

You would think that an expert public relations man like David Axlerod would recognize that this gathering of lab-coated Obama supporters would look like a bizarre costume party.

Straight talk, transparency, real debate and some honesty would be most welcome.

(ht: Gateway Pundit)

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