Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Just the Facts on Berwick Nomination

In case you’re interested, Sen. Barrasso is starting his “Second Opinion” speech on Donald Berwick now.  Yesterday Chairman Baucus took to the floor to accuse Senator Barrasso of “libel”* for stating that Berwick “loves the British health care system” and supports government-imposed rationing of health care benefits on cost grounds – which he has in fact said on multiple occasions.  Will the personal attacks by Democrats against Republicans who dare to speak the truth on this flawed nominee continue?  Stay tuned…


(*For the record, several people have pointed out to me that the term libel refers to written statements, whereas slander refers to statements and comments made orally.  Others have noted that truth is an absolute defense against any defamation charge, such that if Berwick actually made the statements – which he did – a libel or slander charge by definition could not apply.  While most first-year law students are taught these distinctions, Senator Baucus may have missed those classes when he attended Stanford Law (Class of 1967) – either that, or he’s been so busy negotiating “rock-solid deals” with special interest groups behind closed doors that he forgot his legal training…)