WhiteHouse.gov Plays Media Critic: Calls Krauthammer’s Washington Post Column 'Wholly Inaccurate'
Well, it's not quite as bad as Paul Krugman critiquing the Fox Business Network, but a little troubling because tax dollars are being spent to undertake such an effort.
A Nov. 27 post by incoming White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer on the The White House Blog attempted to fact check a Nov. 27 column by Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, proving the left-wing noise machine isn't the only shop in Washington, D.C. criticizing conservative voices (h/t Amanda Carpenter of The Washington Times).
"In today's Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer takes great pains to paint a bleak picture of health care reform as ‘monstrous,' ‘overregulated,' and rife with ‘arbitrary bureaucratic inventions,'" Pfeiffer wrote. "The columnist's argument may be cogent and well-written, but it is wholly inaccurate."
While Krauthammer may be pleased to know someone within the White House find his column to be "cogent and well-written," it appears to be business as usual with the Obama administration taking on a media personality head-on. (CNBC's Jim Cramer and Rick Santelli, Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck and conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh are other such examples.)
Pfeiffer took umbrage with the final paragraph of Krauthammer's piece that suggested the "better choice" for health care reform should contain specific components.
"The better choice is targeted measures that attack the inefficiencies of the current system one by one -- tort reform, interstate purchasing and taxing employee benefits," Krauthammer wrote. "It would take 20 pages to write such a bill, not 2,000 -- and provide the funds to cover the uninsured without wrecking both U.S. health care and the U.S. Treasury."
According to the incoming White House communications director, the Senate's proposal does all that and more. However, it doesn't go to the extent of "tort reform, interstate purchasing and taxing employee benefits" as Krauthammer suggested. Pfeiffer explains the Senate version offers a "voluntary state incentive grants program" for tort reform, imposes a fee on "high-cost health care plans" as the taxing component and an allowance for "interstate health care choice compacts" for the interstate purchasing provision. However, none of the components are guaranteed to make it through the Senate's amendment process and/or the House-Senate conference should the bill make it through the Senate.
But Pfeiffer doesn't attack one of the main complaints in Krauthammer's article - the creation of massive bureaucracies in the name of this so-called health care reform.
‘The fundamental problem with the 2,074-page Senate health-care bill (as with its 2,014-page House counterpart) is that it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions, regulations, mandates, committees and other arbitrary bureaucratic inventions," Krauthammer wrote. "Worse, they are packed into a monstrous package without any regard to each other. The only thing linking these changes -- such as the 118 new boards, commissions and programs -- is political expediency."
That's a notion Pfeiffer seemed to embrace in his response by suggesting commissions and programs were an essential part to health care reform.
"And while Mr. Krauthammer may try to label reform legislation as a package of programs linked only by ‘political expediency,' the legislation actually is designed to take health care off the unsustainable path it is currently on by improving the health of all Americans and reducing costs for families, small businesses and the government," Pfeiffer wrote.