When Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) asked health care crisis denier Sally Pipes about her credentials to testify as “an expert” on health care issues before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, Pipes’ lack of any serious background in health care policy exposed her real function. You see, Pipes doesn’t hold a masters degree in health policy or public policy. Nor she does have much experience in academia:
With her ‘BA with honors’ in economics, Pipes leads a tiny ‘think tank,’ Pacific Research Institute, and advances special interest (PRI’s list of donors include Altria (formerly known as Philip Morris), Microsoft, Pfizer and ExxonMobil) agendas. PRI promotes itself a s “free-market think tank,” but Pipes offers little in the way of solutions. During her testimony, Pipes simply regurgitated Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) health care plan:
If we could change the tax code to level the playing field by removing the tax advantage from those who get their insurance through their employer, reduce state mandates that add between 20-50% to the cost of a premium, allow the purchase of insurance across state lines, and have medical malpractice reform, we could reduce costs and significantly reduce the number of uninsured in this country.
Pipes’ real contribution is her ability to conflate the administrations’ health care proposals with the evils of socialized Canadian medicine and reference discredited health care crisis deniers along the way. For instance, when Braley asked Pipes why “dont’ people who come from your point of view come to this committee and talk about constructive ways we’re going to reduce preventable medical errors” and lower overall health care costs, Pipes quoted fellow health care denier Betsy McCaughey!
The most outrageous moment of the hearing, however, belonged to Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ). In trying to keep the committee on time, Pallone accidentally pronounced Pipes as Peeps. Happy Easter, Sally!