The incredible hubris of Michael Steele

The Republican National Committee goes all out with its scare tactics on healthcare

Published August 28, 2009 4:50PM (EDT)

The Republican National Committee got caught earlier this week sending out a fundraising mailer that suggested healthcare reform would lead to medical care being denied to Republicans. Their response when reporters asked them for comment on the claim, which is completely bogus?

Although the question was inartfully worded, Americans have reason to be concerned about the failure of the Democrats’ health care experiment to adequately protect the privacy of Americans’ personal information. From bank accounts to tax payments to personal medical care data, the bill gives government bureaucrats access to a range of Americans’ personal information but does little if anything to protect that data from misuse and abuse. This is one of the many reasons we have called on President Obama to slow this bill down so that we can get health care reform right.

You'll notice that statement doesn't include any acknowledgment of the fact that the claim was completely and totally untrue.

That was bad enough, but RNC Chair Michael Steele took the party committee's audacity to new heights on Friday with a letter he sent to the AARP. In it, he asked the group to endorse the "Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights" he debuted in a Washington Post op-ed on Monday.

Never mind that the op-ed was filled with falsehoods, the whole proposal built on myths -- the AARP itself had previously shot it down, with Executive Vice President John Rother saying, "AARP agrees with Chairman Michael Steele's goals for reforming our health care system, and we are pleased nothing in the bills that have been proposed would bring about the scenarios the RNC is concerned about." (My emphasis.)

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Healthcare Reform Michael Steele War Room