Rep. Blumenauer On Health Care Reform, Stimulus and Bikes

Monday, November 02, 2009


We speak with Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) about health care reform, how his proposal to provide "counseling for patients about end-of-life care" became the much-ballyhooed "death panels" meme, the prospect of a second stimulus package and the power of bicycles. (click through for the full interview transcript.)

Watch a video from StreetFilms of Congressman Blumenauer talking about bicycle-friendly Portland.


Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Comments [4]


Let's face it; there is no reason whatsoeevr to assume that fair an balanced coverage of the health care debate will be found by public radio listeners to The Takeaway.

What listeners should expect is a kind of general cheerleading for the House bill and a so-called "public option." (John Hockenberry can scarcely contain his editorializing on that subject.) Listeners should also expect a long repetition of Democrat talking points: That any "death panel debate" was a silly waste of time, and that opponents of the House bill are really just crazed yokels from leftover "tea parties."

This is an insult to a large and thoughtful group of public radio listeners.

The Wall Street Journal has compiled its own list of links to 100 or more editorials and Op-Ed columns on Obamacare. Almost none of those views are ever reflected on NPR, most especially not on The Takeaway.

Nov. 02 2009 10:59 AM

As long as John Hockenberry was asking about the utility of competition in health insurance, wouldn't it have been sensible to ask, "Why don't the Republicans have a point, when they suggest that interstate and national competition by health insurers might also have a beneficial competitive effect?"

And why not ask, "You've got this House bill, that doesn't have one single serious measure designed to reduce the costs associated with an epidemic of malpractice litigation costs and defensive medicine? Why? Why is there nothing about that in the House bill?"

Nov. 02 2009 10:47 AM

Can anyone imagine that John Boehner, or Mitch McConnell, or any other Republican in Congress would get such a warm and fuzzy interview, as what Celeste Headlee and John Hockenberry did with Blumenauer?

Can anyone even imagine The Takeaway giving another equivalent block of time to a Republican at all?

I really think that "death panel" controversies are a favorite trope of the left wing, typified by NPR. Of course, while it isn't part of the current House bill, it is worth noting that sometime NPR-commentator, and sometime Obama-advisor Robert Reich actually DID propose a national health plan in which some patients would be told, "We're going to let you die," by a national health care insurer.

Nov. 02 2009 10:43 AM

John Hockenberry to Blumenauer- "Would you vote for a second stimulus package?"

Blumenauer- "I would, but I don't think we need one."

... Then why would you vote for one!?! Agh!!!

(and if i misquoted something, I apologize. I only heard the interview once, but the above comment is surely what my ears heard)

Nov. 02 2009 09:47 AM

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