‘Harry & Louise’ looked fair by comparison

‘HARRY & LOUISE’ LOOKED FAIR BY COMPARISON…. We’ve known for a while that Rick Scott and his Conservatives for Patients’ Rights group were going to play a very unhelpful role in the debate over health care reform. Looking over Scott’s new ad, we’re getting a sense of just how spectacularly dishonest Conservatives for Patients’ Rights is prepared to be.

Scott: Deep inside the stimulus bill Congress buried an innocent-sounding board, the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. It’s not so innocent. It’s the first step in government control over your health care choices. This federal council is modeled after the national board that controls Britain’s health system. Listen to Britain’s Dr. Karol Sikora about what happens to patients once the government takes over.

Sikora: They’ll lose their own choice completely. Lose control of their own destiny within the medical system.

Scott: Not only could a government board deny your choice in doctors but it can control life and death for some patients. Ask Canada’s Dr. Brian Day about bureaucrats rationing care.

Day: Patients are languishing and suffering on wait lists. Our own Supreme Court of Canada has stated that patients are actually dying as they wait for care.

Scott: Tell Congress you won’t trade your doctor for a national board of bureaucrats. Let’s put patients first.

I’ve looked for the slightest bit of honesty in this ad, and I literally can’t find any.

The claim about the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research is patently false. The claim that the government will have “control over your health care choices” isn’t even remotely true. The notion that Obama’s plan is similar to Britain’s and Canada’s health care systems is just ridiculously wrong.

But the closer one looks at the ad, the even more dishonest it becomes. Richard Scott relies on Dr. Brian Day, former head of the Canadian Medical Association, without noting that Day considers the current health care system in the U.S. — the one Conservatives for Patients’ Rights hopes to defend — as the one thing Canada should go out of its way to avoid.

For that matter, if they want to talk about patients “languishing and suffering on wait lists” and “waiting for care,” perhaps Conservatives for Patients’ Rights would be interested to know that’s already happening in the U.S. under the status quo.

Despite the overwhelming deceit, both CNN and Fox News have already begun airing the ad, and Scott’s far-right group has invested $1 million to keep in on the air for a while. The Service Employees International Union has asked both networks to pull the commercial, describing it as “unfit to air.”

Here’s hoping SEIU is successful.