To see and hear President Barack Obama say something with your own eyes and ears – that’s just a disinformation campaign according to Linda Douglass, communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform.
Douglass appeared on Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz’s Aug. 9 CNN show, “Reliable Sources,” and continued to defend the president, despite making his intentions known that he indeed prefers a single-payer health care system versus the status quo. She told Kurtz those comments were taken “out of context,” even though his comments were made available in whole by NakedEmperorNews.com.
“One of the things we learned during the campaign was that if you give people all the facts – they become better informed,” Douglass said. “You know, there were all kinds of myths and smears that were used against then-Senator Obama during the campaign. And what we discovered is if we countered them with the real facts, people really paid attention. They understand what the truth is when they seek it. And in this case, this was a bunch of clips that were taken out of context with a headline that said the president wants to eliminate private insurance. Well, that is the absolute opposite of what he’s talking about doing.”
Kurtz protested, questioning her assertion the comments were taken out of context. He asked the communications director how using Obama’s previous remarks was illegitimate. She insisted the remarks were “cobbled” together.
“Well, as you know, you can take a sound bite here and a sound bite there,” Douglass said. “They took pieces of sound bites from different periods of time, they put a chyron – that’s the words on a screen – that says ‘wants to eliminate private insurance’ to go along with these sound bites that they cobbled together. And our point is that he is saying exactly the opposite. The health insurance reform that we’re talking about is built upon the current private insurance system. That’s what it is.”
Kurtz once again alluded to remarks Obama made in 2003 – that he wanted to see a single-payer system. But according to Douglass, the president won’t be able to do so because Congress isn’t going to pass that sort of bill for him to sign into law.
“What he talked about early on was, look, if we could start over all again, maybe it would be fine to have a single payer system. But we’re not going to start all over again,” Douglass said. “There’s legislation that is being written in Congress that will become the law that he signs. That is legislation that is built upon the private insurance system. If you like the coverage you have at work, you can absolutely keep it. It doesn’t change except you’re protected from onerous insurance regulations. So, that’s the legislation that’s going through Congress, and that’s what he’s promoting as president.”
The health care issue has sparked a lot of interest in recent weeks, as Congress as adjourned for its August recess. Some members have had spirited interactions at town hall meetings with their constituents as many are starting question the merits of the federal government’s efforts to “reform” health insurance.