After the conservative site Forbes.com published a story headlined “Obama’s Doctor Knocks ObamaCare,” it was quickly picked up by the right-wing Drudge Report, where, presumably because of its conservative pedigree, right-wing commentators ran with it as if it were a point scored by the right against the White House.
On the popular right-wing site National Review Online (NRO), blogger Mark Hemingway joined in, posting three paragraphs of the Forbes report, followed by the triumphant, one-word commentary: “Ouch.”
Had Hemingway and his conservative colleagues failed to actually read the brief story before commenting on it? It’s possible, because any minimally careful reading would reveal that Dr. David Scheiner was criticizing “ObamaCare” from the left:
What should the president be focused on? Scheiner thinks that a good health reform would be “Medicare for all,” a single-payer system where the government would cover everyone and pay for it by cutting out waste in the system. “A neurosurgeon gets paid $20,000 for cutting into the neck of my patient. Have him get paid $1 million a year instead of $2 million or $3 million. He won’t starve,” Scheiner says.
It’s not at all clear that NRO‘s Hemingway realized this at first, because after publishing the item omitting mention that Dr. Scheiner supported “Medicare for all,” he revisited the story, writing:
Update: I didn’t intend to present this as one-sided, I quickly cut and pasted the first three grafs. Suffice to say, you should keep in mind the Hyde Park doc is criticizing ObamaCare from the left. Either way, that people close to the president feel free to express these kinds of opinions doesn’t seem to bode well for healthcare reform politically.
Beyond Hemingway’s odd suggestion that it’s a bad thing for a president to know people who openly disagree with him, it seems somewhat unlikely that he, as an NRO blogger, would have approvingly quoted a single-payer advocate’s criticism of the president–that is, if he knew the critic was a single-payer supporter.
We’ve all heard of stories that were too good to check out–for some on the right, this one may have been too good to even read.