Want to know the toughest job in America? Two sad sacks — one a congressman, the other a journalist — demonstrate that it's probably defending Obamacare.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., tried during Thursday's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing to refute testimony from multiple witnesses about the many ways Obamacare is causing a shortage of health care providers, especially doctors.
As the Washington Examiner's Susan Crabtree reported on PennAve, Connolly said Democrats on the committee "could have chosen our [own group of doctors], and we could ask you to wear the white coat and could get a very different story."
At that point, committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., displayed "a powerpoint slide of Connolly's official website from 2010 in which he promised that the Affordable Care Act would bring down premiums for families and small businesses." Similar scenes will happen repeatedly between now and next November.
Journalist makes it up
Then there's Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik. Name sound familiar? It should, as a few years back, Hiltzik's editors took away his column.
Why? In 2006, Hiltzik was caught using fake names to post comments praising his own work and attacking his critics.
It didn't help that, according to the New York Times, he had previously been caught reading colleagues' email without their permission.
Some people never learn
Hiltzik got his column back in 2008 and more recently has turned it into a reliable and aggressive agit-prop platform for Obamacare.
Yesterday, he claimed -- falsely -- that Examiner senior investigative reporter Richard Pollock "revised his story" about California doctors refusing to participate in Obamacare's Covered California exchange.
The "revision," according to Hiltzik, was from saying doctors are "boycotting" Obamacare to saying their refusal to participate was a "spontaneous" movement.
But Pollock never characterized the doctors' actions as a boycott. That was how independent insurance agents he quoted described those actions. They, not Pollock, estimated that 70 percent of them were refusing to join Covered California.
Story was NOT revised
If anything, Pollock's second story reaffirmed and deepened his first story's description of the rebellion among California doctors against Obamacare. He got similar responses at 15 other locations around the nation.
Worse, Hiltzik criticized Pollock for quoting the immediate past president of the California Medical Association, who said he "wasn't surprised" that many of his colleagues weren't participating in the exchange.
Then two paragraphs further, Hiltzik quoted a CMA spokesman saying "we have no idea how many doctors are participating. We don't collect that data."
Obviously, if CMA has "no idea," then CMA isn't a credible source for refuting a doctor who professes not to be surprised by the actions of an unspecified number of his colleagues.
Might be time for Hiltzik's editors to take away his column. Again.
On today's washingtonexaminer.com
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Mother Jones: The budget deal is a big win for the Pentagon.
The Nation: A cruel, irresponsible and dysfunctional budget deal.
Powerline: Obamacare, for "piece" of mind.
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The Federalist: A splash or a wave for the GOP in 2014 Senate races.