Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

You are what you believe…

I get out of the gym at the Shepherd University Wellness Center and go downstairs to the Cafe where I get my post-exercise coffee and plop down in front of the lobby television. Today on C-Span 3 they were showing an all Republican Health Care panel, supposedly exposing all the things wrong with the countries that have single-payer (read “socialized medicine”) health plans.

And, of course, the Congress- men and – women were quoting and basing their arguments on stuff from the “highly non-partisan” Lewin Group.

Did I say that the Lewin Goup is non-partisan? Yeah.. that’s what the Republicans attacking the President’s plans are saying. But I read this in the WaPo a while later:

To Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, it is “the nonpartisan Lewin Group.” To Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, it is an “independent research firm.” To Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the second-ranking Republican on the pivotal Finance Committee, it is “well known as one of the most nonpartisan groups in the country.”

Gee… they are all referring to this one, single consultancy.  But the WaPo goes on:

Generally left unsaid amid all the citations is that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by United Health Group, one of the nation’s largest insurers.

Indeed, according to the NY Attorney General, the Lewin Group is a subset of Ingenix, a United Health subsidiary, that the American Medical Association has accused of helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data (one of the reasons the AMA, I would guess, has surprisingly come out in support of Obama over the issue).

Lewin, which was bought by United Health in 2007, has tried to claim that there is no influence from this huge insurer on their opinions. Their Vice President, John Sheils claims there was no impact on them from Ingenix, which has now paid settlement fines to NY State and the AMA. The Insurance Industry, however, as represented by United Health, can push Lewin as npn-partisan, but it can also exert a kind of control over what is reported by them:

A February report contained information that could be used to argue for a single-payer system, the approach most threatening to private insurers, Sheils noted.

But not all of the firm’s reports see the light of day. For example, a study for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association was never released, Sheils said.

“Let’s just say, sometimes studies come out that don’t show exactly what the client wants to see. And in those instances, they have [the] option to bury the study — to not release it, rather,” Sheils said.

If party politics could be squeezed out of the Health Care debates, we might have a whole new view of the truth… but, frankly, this will be a Democratic success, or it won’t happen at all.

Under The LobsterScope


  1. so I can keep up with the talking points coming from the Right. They are full of misleading ‘facts’ and anecdotes about how terrible health care is in Canada and the UK. Like a woman from Canada that developed a brain tumor and was told she would have to wait 6 months for treatment.

    Here’s a sample of what they are saying…

    If you want to get an idea of how Obama-Care will affect you, look no further than Canada.

        Oh, the Canadian system is great – as long as you don’t get sick. The sicker you get, the worse you’re treated.

        And if your illness is life-threatening and requires immediate attention, you might as well start pricing cemetery lots.

        Did you hear the Canadian woman on Mike Huckabee’s show, talking about her excruciatingly painful back condition? She needed surgery, and she couldn’t even get an appointment with a surgeon. Estimated waiting period – 3 years.

        One doctor told her that she was too young to qualify for the operation – that she hadn’t suffered enough.

        When it got to the point where she was using a walker and wearing diapers, she scraped up enough money to travel to wicked, capitalistic America and got her back fixed skillfully and quickly.

        An American doctor who told his patients they “hadn’t suffered enough” would end up working the McDonalds drive-thru window.

        And you’ve probably seen the television ad featuring the Canadian woman who had a malignant brain tumor and was told she couldn’t be treated for six months. In six months she would have been dead. She came to the United States and survived. Obama-Care would put an end to all that.

    Here is a DailyKos diary about the woman with ‘brain cancer’.

    Obama knows better. If Obama-Care passes, you can kiss your private health insurance goodbye… maybe to your doctor, too… and you can certainly say adios to the best health care system the world has ever known.

        Is Obama trying to tear down America? Was he serious when he denounced the United States of America all over the world? Is health care only the beginning? Does he intend to wreck it all?

  2. The very ones who would be helped the most by reform are the most afraid of doing anything. Like this woman who left a comment on Mike Huckabee’s site.

    God Bless You,Mr.Huckabee. I tried to contact my Senators and Representives from my District In Florida .I did not suceed in getting a reply per this terrible Law that may [and probably will]pass with this Universal Healthcare.I struggle hard to get the Medical care I now have and now i am so afraid I may lose it as I am also afraid my husband and our Dear friend that has his home here with us also..will lose thier Veterans Medical care.Our friend is a retired Army Veteran of 20 years and 12 years of Civil Service to Our Country…My Husband is a Korean War Veteran and he is blind,has Alzehemers/Dementia/COPD,Parkenson and Heart disease.. and depends upon me and our friend for his care.I have Reflex Sympathetic Distroy and other problems and am considered as disabled and may lose my Medical Insurace due to the president and the Democratic Party..The Nancy Pelosis’s of this World ,Harry Reed ..ect.all the ones that wrote this bill.. are killing the dreams and hopes of America and what our men and women have died for right now at this moment in the war zones and our own Constitution being “REVOKED”. I am asking you to forward my mail to anyone that will help us keep this from passing.I live in Northwest Florida….{{redacted}}.My Phone # is {{redacted}} {{redacted}}…….Please feel free to use my words as you may need as I am glad to represent the low income American.I love my Country and I Love My Lord and Saviour. It is very hard for I set here after listening to President Obama tonight and how he stood before our Nation,Our Beloved Nation,and lied to every American! God Be with you continue our fight from where you are. {{name redacted}}

    Note: When I first posted this I redacted the name, but missed the fact that she had put her phone numbers in the message. I’ve deleted the original comment and reposted it without those numbers. I don’t think the poor woman understood what she might be letting herself in for when she included those numbers in her comment on Huckabee’s site.

  3. See the tentacles and … oh, wait. Those are American citizens. Damn.

    It’s the deceitful arguments from opponents that makes me so mad. Like this one –

    Oh, the Canadian system is great – as long as you don’t get sick. The sicker you get, the worse you’re treated.

       And if your illness is life-threatening and requires immediate attention, you might as well start pricing cemetery lots.

    Only one problem with that claim as you can see by comparing life expectancy rates in the two countries.

    Canada Overall – 80.34 Men – 76.98 Women – 83.86

    United States Overall – 78.06 Men – 75.15 Women – 80.97


    The UK with their terrible socialistic state-run health system beats us too.

    United States 78.06 75.15 80.97

    United Kingdom 78.7 76.23 81.3

    Canada 80.34 76.98 83.86

    France (metropolitan) 80.87 77.68 84.23

    Now, what was that about the greatest health care system in the world?

  4. there is this from CNN boss Jon Klein to Lou Dobbs:

    From: Klein, Jon (CNN)

    Sent: Thu Jul 23 19:00:44 2009

    Subject: Important re birth certificate

    I asked the political researchers to dig into the question “why couldn’t Obama produce the ORIGINAL birth certificate?”

    This is what they forwarded. It seems to definitively answer the question. Since the show’s mission is for Lou to be the explainer and enlightener, he should be sure to cite this during your segment tonite. And then it seems this story is dead – because anyone who still is not convinced doesn’t really have a legitimate beef.



    In 2001 – the state of Hawaii Health Department went paperless.Paper documents were discarded*The official record of Obama’s birth is now an official ELECTRONIC record Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the Health Department told the Honolulu Star Bulletin, “At that time, all information for births from 1908 (on) was put into electronic files for consistent reporting,” she said.

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