Congressman Anthony Weiner launched into a blistering “half-time” report in the middle of today’s House debate on healthcare reform, scolding Republicans for misrepresenting facts, demonizing the bill and using red-herrings to argue their opposition.

“I just want to advise people watching at home playing that now popular drinking game where you take a shot whenever a Republican says something that’s not true, please assign a designated driver, this is going to be a long afternoon,” Weiner said in front of his colleagues.

The Congressman said the Republicans have been pulling “canards out of the sky,” alleged falsities that were also brought up during the first round of healthcare fights. New agencies, a swelling federal workforce, death panels and more – the Republicans have been “making stuff up,” Weiner said.

He also argued that the first healthcare reform bill that passed last year, which Republicans have now brought back to the floor in attempt to kill or weaken it, was a GOP victory, in which concessions were made to expand coverage, but still keep insurance in the hands of private companies.

“We’re offering small businesses tax incentives to go buy private insurance plans. This was a proposal first made by Republicans that was adopted,” he said. “We decided that was the way to go,” and now Republicans are against it.

“Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. This is the sign of a philosophical division. You have one side that stands up for patients and for citizens and for businesses,” he said, gesturing to the Democratic seats in the House. “And the other side, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the healthcare industry.”

“If you’re in love with insurance companies and want them to succeed and you don’t care about anything else, by all means, this is your team,” he added, pointing to Republicans. “This is your guy.”

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  • Anonymous

    Kew Gardens? Rockaway? Please explain to me … who the hell would vote for this guy? He does absolutely nothing but talk

    • levp

      I did, for example.

      He is doing his job. I (among many others) asked him to speak up in support of ACA. By the way, he has a 100% record of responding to my letters and emails.

      The fact that you disagree with his positions doesn’t mean that he does nothing.

    • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

      Since he represents the 9th district, we do. I do. Finally someone willing to draw the line and call bullshit on republican “bipartisanship.” Had he shown this passion during his mayoral bid I would have voted for him then.

  • Bkboy

    Wow. Good public speaker.

  • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

    I wanna move back to Sheepshead Bay just so I could vote for him again.

    • nolastname

      He does have them made of brass. He has always been active for this community.
      From day 1 on Avenue U.

  • Bugg

    Despite outspending his opponent 4 to 1, and said opponent getting no help form the antional GOP, 43% of Wiener’s constituents did not vote for him.Bob Turner in fact did win Rockaway.

    Every entitlement program ever instituted grows like crabgrass. SSI and Miecare now consume the bulk of the federal budget. Our government is broke to the point that we are on the cusp of raising the debt limit yet again to over $14 trillion. We also have for the first time monetized our debt, whcih is like playing one credit card with another at a higher interest rate. Obamacare will make things worse. The governemnt is too big and does too much. Insurance companies often do suck, but we could address that much more easily by allowing crossstate competition.

    Weiner labors under the illusion government can give you something for nothing. At some point we will have to live within our means and make the cuts we have to make about everything-entitlements and every program and agency including defense. We can either make those decisions now and amke them wisely, or do them soemtime in the future out of desperation and panic. Weiner is a goddamn fool.

    • levp

      We went through this before.

      First, it is 41%, not 43:

      Candidate Vote Vote%
      Weiner 47,004 59%
      Turner 33,330 41%

      http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2010/results/individual/#NYH09

      Second, Turner lost in both Queens and Brooklyn:

      Brooklyn
      Candidate Vote Vote%
      Weiner 14,599 52%
      Turner 13,395 48%

      Queens
      Candidate Vote Vote%
      Weiner 32,405 62%
      Turner 19,935 38%

      http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2010/results/county/#NYH09p1

      These are the facts, the rest is your opinion, which are absolutely entitled to.

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      I usually stay out of the comments on issues like this, but your argument – save for the invective – was factual (re: portion of federal budget), a rarity in these discussions. So I wanted to ask a question.

      You said that this will cost the government more money, and will consume the budget. When I saw Weiner talk on this issue, one of his main arguments is that it will save taxpayers money, as there will be less need for emergency care since more will be spent on preventative, which is more affordable. As it is now, people refuse to go to the doctor ’cause they can’t afford it, then go to the ER when something is really wrong, and the taxpayer is forced to pay for it.

      The Congressional Budget Office has said that this will save taxpayers money as well, generally agreeing with what Weiner argues. (http://www.newsweek.com/2010/03/20/how-health-care-reform-reduces-the-deficit-in-5-not-so-easy-steps.html)

      Now – I’m a local news guy. This isn’t my territory, and I don’t presume to know any more than anyone else here. So I was just curious what your thoughts are on the assertion that reform will save us money, not cost us money. And please, don’t give platitudes like “oh, these programs ALWAYS cost more than we think.” I’m looking for a well-reasoned response.

    • galaxymover

      I’m pretty sure that national defense dominates the federal budget. I’m also an economics student. Just saying.

  • nolastname

    When I hear preventative medicine and the City of New York I think of calorie charts and small changes in fast foods.
    A lot of the people who need help to eat are not in the position to shop anything other than generic. Never mind that until recently most neighborhoods with low income did not have anything other than a bodega to shop in.
    So in move the next bracket (heck skip a bracket) and there are now stores that the well of can afford.
    I just can’t understand how this city can be doing so much at one end of the totem pole and just watch the people at the base bare the weight. Something will give.

    Build, build, build, OK but people are getting buried alive.

    • levp

      While I completely agree with you on the social policy aspect of your post, preventive medicine is more than just changes in fast food:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preventive_medicine

      Got polio?

      • nolastname

        I do know things like lipid profiles are directly associated to
        preventative medicine.
        If a cardio Dr. tells you, “you need Lipitor” his next statement will
        be watch your diet.

        • levp

          And he will probably be right – in both cases…

  • Bugg

    CMB is required to give outcomes based on the data and esxpectations that Congress asks of them to accept. So Congress essentially controlled and played with thsoe variables until the outcome of the equation said the budget numbers would be improved. Yet in EVERY CASE of an entitlement program, such estimates prove to be wrong. The programs always cost more, be it SSI or Medicare or Bush’s drug benefit. That is not a platitude, it’s a fact. There is no reason to think this woudl be any different. The biggest lie is that somehow Obamacare will magically be able to take huge chunks of cash out of Medicare withou impacting care. Does that sound remotely plausible?

    I know this; if you work and pay taxes, under the ilk of Wiener and Obama your taxes will go up, and it will pay for those who do not work. Healthc are until 26? Are we children? Our xcountry is borke. Creating more entitlements is lunacy.

    http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=ZDhkYzVlYjc1ZGYxODMyNmI3YzcyMTAzNjQyMzY0MjA=

    • levp

      CBO creates their forecasts based on the law as it is written. That makes sense; what else are they going to do – imagine things themselves? Congress has not supplied to CBO (a non-partisan office) any information other than what is written in the law.

      And yes, reducing fraud in Medicare will save a significant amount of money without affecting patient care. Totally plausible with no magic involved.

      On your last paragraph (my taxes will pay for those who do not work):
      http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bible_(King_James)/Leviticus#19:34
      “But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt…”

      Unfortunately, in today’s world, an opposite version of the Golden Rule is in effect: “He who has the gold, makes the rules.”

    • galaxymover

      I think some of your spelling is broke.

      • Bugg

        Got a head of steam going and wasn’t all that careful about spellcheck.

        We are in fact broke. Giving people bread and circuses and shiny baubles is not going to work . It never has. Further the government cannot madate anyone to buy something, be it health care nor anything else. Currently 26 states are suing in opposition to that mandate alone.

  • nolastname

    I question all insurances when it come to the frequency of all testing be it preventative or post.
    There is a real abuse of the system in part of all involved.
    Yeah, my insurance will pay for me to see my primary Dr. every 3 months. Do I need to? Some do and some do not.
    Some of the abuses of structure in the medical insurance field makes my skin crawl.

  • http://twitter.com/nicktherat nick the rat

    im not with weiner on this one. this health care bill is just adding more taxes on to everyone and not adding much else.

    he just likes to scream and sound super democratic. this two party system is a horrible failure.

    • levp

      Health Care Reform so far:

      1. Starting January 1, insurance companies are required to spend at least 80 to 85 percent of premiums – the money you send them each month – on health care, not on overhead or executive salaries.

      2. For seniors, the Medicare Part D donut hole continues to close. Their costs for brand-name medications will be cut in half when they reach the coverage gap, and over the next decade, that gap will be closed entirely. They’ll also get free preventive care under Medicare like mammograms and colonoscopies.

      3. All this is in addition to the reforms that went into effect last year – from allowing young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents insurance, to helping small businesses cover their employees, to stopping insurance companies from taking away your health care if you get sick or discriminating against kids with pre-existing conditions.

      Read stories on how HCR benefits them from real people here:
      http://www.momsrising.org/blog/stories-map/?topic=healthcare

      Momsrising.org also have good Q&A on HCR here:
      http://www.momsrising.org/health-insurance-reform-questions-and-answers

      • nolastname

        I am sorry for buttin’ in. I hope you don’t mind.
        My experience is that a Dr’s office has huge write-offs for expenses
        incurred.
        Many Dr’s did take a pay cut the last few years.
        My Parents kept Dad’s secondary insurance, though they were advised to
        give it up. This helped pay the bills.
        I wish I could have kept my daughter on my insurance until she was 26.
        Her house would have been paid for.
        You present real issues that hinder our system.

  • Bugg

    Where do you people suppose the money to pay to cover your children until they are 26 will come from? The sky? There is no such thing as a free lunch, no matter how well-intended. The path to hell is paved with good intentions. When I was 26 I had this thing called “a job”(you had to get up and go there every day and perofrm various tasks, often with people telling you what to do!) which withheld money from my check for health insurance. As to “helping small business” a big reason those buisness are not hiring is because they’d rather not hire and expand if they are stuck facing heavy insurance mandates. Unless, of course, you are good buddies with Obama like MCDonalds and unions and get a government waiver. This is INSANITY. No empire nor government nor country has ever spent it’s way to prosperity by going into debt. We are burdening our children for generations. But at least we ran up a bill so they didn’t have to be adults until after they were 26. It’s pathetic to see Americans come on this site and others with the idea someone should pay for their health care-and everything else. Are we adults or overgrown children?OIh, great-if someone else paid your bills, you would be richer. Gee, quite a mature attitude there. As was said by a wiser man than me, a republic can only stand for as long as the populace doesn’t succumb to the temptation to vote themselves the treasury. We are doing exactly that right now.

    And what do you know-this very day Obama is hosting our loanshark-in-chief, Hu Jintao. Don’t worry thought-Hu’s a smart guy, and he won’t kill us, jsut bleed us slowly as he buys our debt at higher and higher cost to our children. Weiner and his boss are a disgrace, though Bush was no better.

  • HereIAmAgain

    Wow, just saw a map of the 9th Congressional district, it’s a site to behold.

  • Restore the Republic

    Is Health Care a Right?
    By Walter E. Williams
    3/10/2010

    Most politicians, and probably most Americans, see health care as a right. Thus, whether a person has the means to pay for medical services or not, he is nonetheless entitled to them. Let’s ask ourselves a few questions about this vision.

    Say a person, let’s call him Harry, suffers from diabetes and he has no means to pay a laboratory for blood work, a doctor for treatment and a pharmacy for medication. Does Harry have a right to XYZ lab’s and Dr. Jones’ services and a prescription from a pharmacist? And, if those services are not provided without charge, should Harry be able to call for criminal sanctions against those persons for violating his rights to health care?

    http://townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2010/03/10/is_health_care_a_right