Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Debate: Rep. Anthony Weiner vs Dr. Betsy McCaughey

I was hoping to hear a thoughtful conversation between two people who had very opposing views. I wanted to know the factual basis driving those who are anti-health care reform. But in end, I had a town hall-lite experience. Rep. Weiner presented statistics and well-documented sources about our current health care system, especially focusing on our Medicare system (a co-existing public and private insurance plan that is providing quality care with innovation in need of some changes, like payment reform and decreasing subsidies to private Medicare insurance plans). Before relinquishing the stage to Dr. McCaughey, he warned the audience: "Don't believe her when she cites a page in the bill, it's not there", pre-empting her trademark, "I've read the legislation on page XX" as she points to a gigantic black binder. Dr. McCaughey was more prone to vague references, illogical conclusions and well-known fear-mongering comments like "someone is going to steal granny's purse". During the Q&A session, a pro-Weiner audience member yelled "Answer the question!" to the ever-elusive McCaughey. A pro-McCaughey audience member also heckled Rep. Weiner several times, yelling, "Rude man! Rude man!" It was entertaining and only slightly educational. What I found interesting: 1. There are teabaggers in NYC. 2. Rep. Weiner pointed out that most people are not so enamored with their insurance company that they are afraid to lose it. Rather, people are afraid of losing access to their regular health care provider. For more, read the daily kos or politico.

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