Healthcare News March 3, 2012

  • Issa blames Dems for tone of contraception debate

    Democrats are largely to blame for the name-calling and personal insults of the contraception debate, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) charged Friday.

    Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has spent part of his last three shows referring to a Georgetown University law student as a “slut” with “boyfriends … lined up around the block.” But Issa said Democrats are also complicit in the deteriorating rhetoric, accusing them of insulting people of faith.

    Issa shot back Friday against Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who had asked the Oversight Committee chairman to disavow Limbaugh’s comments.

    “While your letter raises important concerns about these inappropriate comments and the tone of the current debate over religious freedom and Obamacare, I am struck by your clear failure to recognize your own contributions to the denigration of this discussion and attacks on people of religious faith,” Issa said in response to Cummings.

  • Obama jumps into controversy, backs student against Limbaugh

    President Obama called Sandra Fluke to express his support in the wake of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” comments.

  • House GOP leaders distance themselves from Limbaugh ‘slut’ comments

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) took the rare step Friday of criticizing radio host Rush Limbaugh, who earlier in the week called a Georgetown University law student a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

    The Speaker “obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate, as is trying to raise money off the situation,” a Boehner spokesman said.

    A spokesman for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said, “It’s not language the majority leader would condone.”

    Democrats and women’s groups are furious over Limbaugh’s remarks, directed at Sandra Fluke, the law student who was not allowed to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing last month about the Obama administration’s birth-control mandate. 

    Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said his hearing was not about the contraception policy itself, but rather about religious freedom and whether the mandate encroaches on religious employers.

    Democrats have launched an aggressive fundraising and organizing push and called on Republican leaders to disavow Limbaugh’s comments.

    The Republican campaign committees and candidates have also made fundraising pitches off the contraception debate.

    It’s rare for the GOP establishment to distance itself from Limbaugh, a powerful voice with the party’s base who is no stranger to controversy or anger from the left. But that anger has been especially pronounced this week, and Limbaugh waded into an issue where Republicans are already fighting accusations of a “war on women.”

  • Republican probes $111 billion jump in cost of healthcare law

    Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp said the Obama administration needs to explain the “staggering increase” in spending.

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