Update below the fold.
Or I could more accurately write, “What does this say about both of these men…?” Those “men” would be Barack Obama, both as a Senator and as president, as well as Tom Hanks.
Some of you may recall that back in 2008 during one of the debates, then-Senator Obama spoke often about his mother’s cancer, and struggles with health insurance:
[snip]Throughout his 2008 presidential bid, Obama attributed his passion for health care reform to painful memories of his mother’s battle with a health insurance company that allegedly tried to avoid paying her medical bills on the pretext that her disease predated her coverage. He used her image in a campaign ad as far back as September of 2007, and he often told the tale during his primary battle with Hillary Clinton. In a New Hampshire debate he phrased it thus: “When I think about health care, I think about my mother, who, when she was dying of cancer, had to read an insurance form because she had just gotten a new job and they were trying to figure out whether or not this was going to be treated as a preexisting condition and whether or not they would pay her medical bills.” [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)
Remember that? Well, guess what – it’s back! Yes, now Tom Hanks – he of the major hatchet job on Gov. Sarah Palin with “Game Change” is now the voice of Obama’s 17 minute commercial, “The Road We’ve Traveled.” And in this commercial, Hanks intones about this difficult time in Stanley Ann Dunham’s life, as this Washington Post article highlights:
[snip]The sequence, in fact, evokes a famous story that candidate Obama told during the 2008 campaign—that his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, fought with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage.
But the story was later called into question by Dunham’s biographer. The fact that Obama’s initial claim is not directly repeated suggests the filmmakers knew there was a problem with the campaign story, but they clearly wanted to keep some version of it in the film.
Well, yeah, I mean, you wouldn’t want a good story to go to waste, would you? Who cares if it isn’t really true, right? Clearly not Obama and his Ad team. As long as they can get some emotional mileage out of it by manipulating people’s heart strings, why the hell not? That’s pretty much what they thought, or so it appears:
[snip] During the 2008 campaign, Obama frequently suggested his mother had to fight with her health-insurance company for treatment of her cancer because it considered her disease to be a pre-existing condition. In one of the presidential debates with GOP rival John McCain, Obama said:
“For my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”
But then earlier this year, journalist Janny Scott cast serious doubt on this version of events in her excellent biography, “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s mother.” Scott reviewed letters from Dunham to the CIGNA insurance company, and revealed the dispute was over disability coverage, not health insurance coverage (see pages 335-339).
Disability coverage will help replace wages lost to an illness. (Dunham received a base pay of $82,500, plus a housing allowance and a car, to work in Indonesia for Development Alternatives Inc. of Bethesda, according to Scott.) But that is different than health insurance coverage denied because of a pre-existing condition, which was a major part of the president’s health care law.
Scott writes that Dunham, who died in 1995 of uterine and ovarian cancer, had health insurance that “covered most of the costs of her medical treatment…The hospital billed her insurance company directly, leaving Ann to pay only the deductible and any uncovered expenses, which, she said, came to several hundred dollars a month.”
Dunham had filed the disability claim to help pay for those additional expenses. The company denied the claim because her doctor had suspected uterine cancer during an office visit 2 ½ months before Dunham had started the job with Development Alternatives, though Dunham said the doctor had not discussed the possibility with cancer with her. Dunham requested a review from CIGNA, saying she was turning the case over to “my son and attorney Barack Obama.”
That is a HUGE difference from the story Obama told. Having health insurance which covers almost everything while trying to get disability insurance to pay the rest is a massive discrepancy. Being out a few hundred dollars a month compared to what someone without insurance at that time would have been out is massive. And honestly – if Obama’s mother was short $200 to $300 a month, why didn’t he HELP HER until they could work this out? But the bottom line is that this version of the story, the one told by Obama, and to an extent the Obama Commercial, seems to be false:
[snip] The disability-insurance dispute certainly may have motivated the president, but he has never explicitly stated that. In any case, the filmmakers must have known they had a problem with this story or else they would have recounted it as Obama had done in the 2008 campaign, using phrases such as “pre-existing conditions,” “health insurance,” and “treatment.”
Instead, they arranged the quotes and images to leave a misleading impression of what really happened.(Click here to read the rest.)
The WaPo Factchecker gave this story Three Pinocchios. In other words, more lies and false advertising from Obama, and Tom Hanks. They seem to be on a roll, don’t they?
It is deplorable, absolutely despicable, that anyone would use their mother’s illness as a manipulative ploy to garner sympathy, or votes. It speaks VOLUMES about the kind of man Obama is. It is incredibly telling about Obama and his constitution that he would tell this story the way he does.
And it speaks volumes about Hanks that not only has he produced some major league trash to support this man, attacking a woman relentlessly to prop up Obama, and then going along with this major manipulation of the facts of Obama’s mother. Wow.
While I am talking about Tom Hanks, a disturbing little piece popped up about him today. Eight years ago, he was involved in a school fundraiser with another celebrity. As part of their whole little schtick, they had another man on stage with them. He was white, but in “blackface,” with a big Afro (click here to view the video). Wow.
Now I realize they were doing a whole tongue-in-cheek thing to point out how very bereft of diversity their exclusive private school was, but to choose such a stereotypical representation is a bit startling. And I thought this sort of “blackface” depiction was a thing of the past. Eight years is not “past” enough, and certainly cannot be chalked up to “youthful indiscretion.”
Tom Hanks is sure making a name for himself in his sycophantic devotion to The One. But it isn’t a good one. Maybe he, and the Obama Story Team, can try using some facts next time. Oh, no, wait – then they couldn’t manipulate people’s emotions as much. Never mind. Gee – I can’t wait to see what comes next from this duo. I’m sure it will be a doozy. At least Three Pinocchios worth, don’t you think?
UPDATE: Well, Tom Hanks has seen the light. Now, he “condemns” the “blackface” skit mentioned above. Um, that’s great, but who in the world thought that was a good idea in the FIRST place?! It was only 8 yrs ago – like I said, it isn’t like this was something from when he was in college or anything. This was an auction at the school his kids attended. But, I guess better late than never, huh?
Now, I wonder when he is going to “condemn” his sexist, misogynistic attacks on Gov. Palin??