The memo, first reported by Politico and Big Government and pushed hard by Drudge, allegedly shows the Dem leadership telling rank and file Dems to stay hush-hush about a scheme for a “doc fix” later this year that, in essence, would make the bill’s deficit-reduction meaningless.
The memo, however, was pushed to some reporters by the office of GOP leader John Boehner. A source forwards an email sent at 12:58 PM by Boehner spokesman Michael Steel to The Daily Caller’s Jon Ward and other reporters, with the original memo attached.
“Folks — Please read the attached draft memo addressed to `Democratic Health and Communications Staff,’ Steel wrote. “It makes it clear that Democrats want to avoid discussing issues related to the CBO score of their latest government takeover legislation because their claims don’t pass the straight face test.”
Asked for comment, Steel would only say: “Will the Democrats do the `doc fix’? If they will, they are low-balling the cost of health care by hundreds of billions of dollars.”
(T)wo hours after the story went up, TPM reported that Democrats were calling the memo a “hoax,” and Politico pulled the story. At a 3:30 press conference called “to highlight the concerns over the Democrats’ budget gimmick to temporarily exclude a $371 billion ‘Doc Fix’ from the health reform bill,” Reps. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) quickly dismissed the memo.
“Look,” said Cantor, “the appropriate question there is, ask the reporter who wrote the article. I know nothing beyond what I read in Politico.” The “real hoax,” he said, was on “the American people.”
Ryan was even quicker on the dismissal. “Who cares who wrote the memo?” he asked.
Of course? Who cares if it was faked? A spokesperson for the House Leadership released the following statement:
Opponents of health reform can’t win on the merits of
their arguments so they must stoop to acts of desperation to deny
Americans an honest and truthful debate. The latest examples of this
came today with the maligning of Democratic Members on the House
Floor, and the circulation of an apparently fraudulent memo that was
falsely attributed to Democratic staffers. These two incidents are
exhibits Y and Z in a long line of evidence showing that opponents of
health reform will do anything and say anything to stand in the way.
Republican leaders have said they will do anything to stop this bill,
but no matter what they do, Democrats will continue working to deliver
affordable health care for America's middle class.