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Invitation to Keith Olbermann
Date:2/13/2009

NEW YORK, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is from Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., the author of the recent Bloomberg.com article, "Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan."

If Keith Olbermann of MSNBC could defend the health provisions slipped into the stimulus bill on their merits, he wouldn't be resorting to personal attacks on me. Olbermann calls me a shill funded by the drug industry (2-12-2009). That's not true.

I am not paid by the pharmaceutical industry or by the Hudson Institute. I hold only an honorary Fellows position at Hudson, and take no money or benefits from it. If Keith Olbermann has the courage, I invite him to debate me on his program.

The Obama administration promised transparency, but gave us a sleight of hand. Slipped into the stimulus bill are provisions that change healthcare in major ways. If these provisions are so good for us, why are they hidden in a stimulus bill and rushed through Congress?

Transparency is not a partisan issue. Good people may differ on their health care views. But who can argue with the fact that the health provisions in the stimulus bill should be removed and offered as separate legislation, so that the nation can consider the long term consequences and make an informed decision?

Mr. Olbermann, do you have the backbone (and the facts) to debate me?

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The cordial Elizabeth Cohen from CNN (2-12-2009) questioned my conclusion that the stimulus bill could allow government to guide your doctor's decisions. To double check, she contacted the bill's authors, who assured her, she said, that such an interpretation is "wildly inaccurate and preposterous." Ms. Cohen should keep in mind that these assurances made by the authors do not have the force of law. The ambiguities in the health provisions, the unprecedented discretion delegated to the Secretary of HHS to define and identify "meaningful users," and the fact that the provisions are slipped into a stimulus bill suggest that the bill's authors have a bigger agenda. If all they want is electronic records for the convenience of patients and doctors, why not just say so? Instead, the purposes stated in the bill are broad and vague (see list of purposes in Title XXX, Subtitle A, Section 3001(b). It lists 11 different purposes!).

Betsy McCaughey is the author of the recent Bloomberg.com article, "Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan".


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SOURCE Betsy McCaughey
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