Just a couple short weeks ago, an overly emotional House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warned the American people about the level of rhetoric in the health care debate. She choked back crocodile tears as she expressed her fears that the level of discourse in the debate could lead to violence.
To paraphrase one of Ann Coulter’s best lines, Pelosi was so upset her expression almost changed.
“I think we all have to take action and responsibility for our words,” Pelosi said. “We are a free country and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we, um, have to carefully balance.”
“I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco, this king of rhetoric,” Pelosi continued. “It created a climate in which violence took place. … I wish we would all curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements and understand that some of the ears that it is falling on are not a balanced as the person making the statements may assume.”
Perhaps her Democrat caucus didn’t see the video.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) in a speech from the House floor last night (video) said the Republican health care plan was for people to die quickly when they get sick. It wasn’t a slip of the lip; he actually had his staff make a poster of his quote in advance so he could refer to it as he said it.
“If you get sick in America, this is what Republicans want you to do,” Grayson said in his floor speech, proudly displaying his sign. “If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly. That’s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.”
Democrat desperation over their highly-unpopular health care plan has them literally wallowing in their own stink on the House floor. I’m sure the Speaker will get right on that accountability action.
Camp Asks for IG Investigation of Gag Order
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, requested yesterday that a formal investigation be opened by the Health and Human Services Inspector General to examine circumstances surrounding the issuance of a controversial gag order by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last week.
In a clear violation of their free speech rights, all companies offering Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans were ordered to stop all communications with their customers regarding the massive cuts to Medicare by the Democrats’ proposed health care legislation.
The order was not issued to AARP, the largest provider of Medicare-related health insurance. The AARP supports the Democrat plans for a government takeover of health care which cuts over half a trillion dollars from Medicare.
Last week, Camp gave the CMS a deadline of yesterday to explain their unprecedented action. CMS did not respond to Camp’s letter.
“The American people have a right to know what health reform will mean to them, and they have a right to know that millions of seniors will have their Medicare benefits cut if the President’s plan is enacted,” Camp said. “Why is the Administration trying to prevent seniors from getting accurate information about this bill? We need answers and if they won’t provide them, the Inspector General should.”
Camp’s letter, among other things, raises a litany of intriguing questions including:
9. Were any AARP communications with Medicare enrollees submitted by AARP to CMS for review to determine compliance with Medicare Advantage marketing regulations?
10. Did the Medicare Drug and Health Plan Contract Administration Group ever request a copy of AARP’s post-Labor Day mailing regarding health care reform and Medicare?
11. Upon press reports of similar communications sent by AARP, did CMS, HHS, or White House employees discuss whether to review those materials or apply the same regulatory standards due to the group’s role in supporting health care reform? If so, what decisions were made and why?
The full text of the Camp letter is found here.
McConnell on the McChrystal Counterinsurgency Plan
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell hinted in a speech from the Senate floor yesterday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal could be making a trip to Capitol Hill soon to explain his Counterinsurgency Plan.
“The President’s pick to lead our efforts in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has made clear that more forces are necessary to accomplish the mission. And while the administration hasn’t yet reacted to General McChrystal’s report, in my view, the President must soon explain to the American people his reasons either for accepting The McChrystal Plan or for taking a different course.
“Timing is important. A failure to act decisively in response to General McChrystal’s strategy, and his anticipated request for additional forces, could serve to undermine some of the good decisions the President has made on national security.
“That said, no president decides to commit troops lightly; all such decisions have far-reaching consequences. And that’s why General McChrystal and General Petraeus should also come to Washington to explain to Congress and to the American people how their strategy will work. A counterinsurgency strategy will require a significant investment in time, troops, and resources. We need an explanation from our generals why that investment is needed.
“The recent disruption of an alleged Al Qaeda plot against America was a reminder to all of us of the seriousness and urgency of our efforts in Afghanistan. There should be no doubt that Al Qaeda remains a serious threat. We cannot allow Al Qaeda to establish a safe haven in the very place where it plotted and planned the 9/11 attacks.
“The Taliban is gaining ground in Afghanistan. And our commanders in the field are in the best position to tell us what is required to complete their mission. General McChrystal says that without adequate resources, we will likely fail. In my view, we should listen to his advice. And hopefully, we’ll be able to get that advice in person in a timely manner.”