Why should you believe Richard Scott, the former CEO of Columbia/HCA Healthcare who was forced to resign amid fraud charges, when he says that Obama’s health care plan will “ration care” and place patients on “waiting lists”? Well, you shouldn’t, of course, but the $20 million dollar TV and Radio misinformation campaign that Scott’s front group, the so-called Conservatives for Patients Rights is launching, may be hard to ignore. Politico has their first couple of ads:
Their principles are rather ironic. Choice, competition, and accountability are deeply enshrined into Obama’s health care proposal. So much so in fact, that the President builds on the existing employer system, establishes an insurance exchange to enhance competition between insurers (the market is currently dominated by large insurers that don’t really compete with each other) and hold insurers accountable to Americans by ensuring that they can’t cherry pick the healthiest applicants or deny coverage to those who have pre-existing conditions.
The group doesn’t engage with the actual content of Obama’s proposal. Its modus operandi– developed and perfected during Clinton’s failed efforts to reform the health care system — is to launch its attacks against a straw man. In fact, it appears that the group’s public relations guru Brian Burgess, is from the same PR firm that managed the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth; launching concocted right wing fairy tales onto the airwaves is something of a cottage industry for these guys.
The other big irony, of course, is that by misrepresenting Obama’s actual proposal, these “conservatives” are protecting the status quo — in which 46 million Americans are uninsured, 25 million Americans are underinsured and many more are now skipping doctors visits and medications to make ends meet in a worsening economy. In delaying health care reform, they’re helping to realize their own doomsday predictions.
Conservatives for Patients Rights lists 703.683.5004 as its phone number for media relations; the same contact number is listed by Creative Response Concepts, Burgess’ PR firm.