• HACK ALERT: Don’t Listen To John Rother On Health Care

    You might have read something or heard something said positive about Obama’s health care policies from a guy named John Rother. He is president and CEO of a group called the “National Coalition on Health Care.” Next time you see his name, take his arguments with a grain of salt, because he is a partisan hack with a very liberal agenda. It is pretty safe to believe that whatever he says – do the opposite.

    Rother wrote late last year in U.S. News and World Report about ObamaCare that “the Affordable Care Act was enacted nearly five years ago with the goal of addressing multiple dysfunctions in U.S. health insurance and health care delivery.” The dysfunction stemmed from too much government intervention rather than too little.

    ObamaCare was a step toward a single-payer socialist dream; a dream that Rother has had on occasion. It is no coincidence that he loves government run health care, because he advocated for it during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

    Rother loves ObamaCare and government run health care, because he helped craft HillaryCare in the early 1990s. Hillary Clinton’s attempt to use government power to take over health care didn’t make it across the finish line, yet Rother was a high paid cheerleader for the effort and he also drew up some of the plays.

    At the time, Rother was the legislative and public policy director at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). He was considered one of the left leaning people over at the AARP. His actions while at the AARP show that Rother is the furthest thing from an objective expert on health care reform.

    John Rother is credited with coining the phrase “global expenditure budget” as a way to make price controls sound less offensive. It was a way to rebrand an idea that was unpopular. This history explains his push today for price controls on drug prices.

    Rother wrote in a piece titled “Congress Shouldn’t Raise Drug Prices For Those In Need” that “Americans need a medication to keep them from fainting over the cost of new medications these days. But the increases in drug costs are no accident. Nor is the pharmaceutical industry’s attack on a drug discount program that helps the poor.” He further claims that drug manufacturers don’t compete in a free market and they don’t use profits to conduct research. He is a committed hater of the free market.

    He has demonized pharmaceutical companies because they make a profit. Just like the left hates the oil industry, because they have a profitable business model, Rother hates segments of the health care economy that make a profit. He has resorted to calling the pharmaceutical executives names. Rother called the industry “bullies who are not looking after the public interest” in the New York Times in 2002.

    This is a guy who has zero credibility.

    He compared Hillary Clinton to Ronald Reagan in the July 5, 1994 edition of the New York Times. He advocated for a single payer (i.e. socialist) system of health care in case that Clinton’s proposed health care reform ideas were to fail. They did fail and the American people did not follow Rother’s recommendation for a 100% government run system.

    He has, in the past, accused the pharmaceutical industry of being motivated by “flat-out greed” in July of 2004.   Yet he has proven greedy himself for his liberal Democrat pals.

    When New Gingrich in 1994 requested a meeting with AARP leaders, he was smart enough to ask that Rother not be allowed in the room. Predictably, he fawned over Al Gore’s 2000 drug plan and fell in love again with the 2007 version of HillaryCare.

    As for GOP ideas, he opposed the sale of insurance across state lines, because it is a Republican idea. On Fox News Sunday in August 16, 2009, Rother argued that “from a consumer protection point of view, the result of allowing sales across state lines would be that the state with the least restrictive regulatory scheme would have an advantage and could undercut all the others, and you would have a race to the bottom.” For left-wingers, free competition equals a bad outcome.

    John Rother and his National Coalition on Health Care should not be trusted on health care and they should be looked at as rubber stamps for every liberal health care idea coming from liberal politicians.

    Cloakroom Confidential

    Cloakroom Confidential was a longtime Capitol Hill staffer and insider who has contacts in the House and Senate at the highest levels.

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