Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Qs for Tom McClintock, re our GV Sept 4 healthcare townhall meeting

Update: as explained in comments below, McClintock actually meant to say coverageforall.org and Dean Westly, not healthcoverageforall.org and David Westly. Carry on...
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(Pelline wrote a McClintock post yesterday, & in comments there I asked how to contact McClintock to get Qs answered; fellow commenters suggested calling his office, so I did so, but got a machine; and rather than try to verbalize my Qs to the machine, I decided to compose them here instead.)

At the 9/4 GV health care town hall meeting, Congressman McClintock spoke about a health-insurance-comparison website called healthcoverageforall.org; he said he'd gone to the site and found that a X-year old man in good health could get individual health insurance for $Y per month. And he said this website was the work of a private nonprofit foundation, among whose officers was David Westly, brother of (Democratic) former California state Controller Steve Westly.

I tried to verify this information, but came up short.

* Did McClintock misspeak when he said it was "healthcoverageforall.org", and that he'd visited it? There is a healthcoverageforall.org domain - it's registered to the PR firm Fleishman-Hillard - but as far as I can tell, there was never a website at that URL, so it's not clear how Congressman McClintock would have used it.

* What is the name of the private foundation, that's behind the website? When I tried to google up an answer, I didn't find any private foundation that David Westly was an officer of.

Also,
* Was David Westly present at our Grass Valley town hall meeting?

14 comments:

Steve said...

Hmmm. pretty good questions. Not a good idea to be using un-sourced information in a town hall meeting.

steve frisch

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anna. It's OK to call me Jeff. Only my wife calls me "Pelline."

Joel Berman said...

David Westly is not the brother of former CA State Controller Steve Westly. Controller Westly does not know David Westly and is not affiliated with the website healthcoverageforall.org.

Joel Berman
Press and Policy Advisor
Office of Steve Westly

Anna Haynes said...

> ...does not know David Westly...

Now that is interesting; I had considered a lot of possible scenarios, but hadn't thought of that one.

It seems our representative has got some splainin' to do.

Anna Haynes said...

Here's the transcript, of what McClintock said about the website, the foundation & David Westly.
(This is from the 2nd seating; due to space limitations - yes, even in the Vets Hall - there were two.)
=================
"But I did go online today, there's a private foundation, you can access it at healthcoverageforall.org - health coverage F-O-R all dot org, and by the way it's a private foundation, it's not some right wing group - the secretary of it is David Westly, brother of Steve Westly the Democratic State Controller. And what they do is, you plug in all of the basics - how old are you, how many kids do you have, preexisting conditions, that sort of thing - and then they will locate every government and private plan that you qualify for.

I did that today and discovered that if you're 44 years old and a nonsmoker you can get a - I forget if it was Blue Shield or Blue Cross for $112 a month. It's a high deductible ..."

=================

Steven said...

You know I just looked up www.healthcoverageforall.org (and all other domain suffixes) and it is not registered to a private foundation. It is registered to CSC Corporate Domains, Inc., who is a domain manager.

Anna Haynes said...

Steven, CSC is the "sponsoring registrar" (which I guess is like GoDaddy or whoever) -

Sponsoring Registrar:CSC Corporate Domains, Inc. (R24-LROR)
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Registrant ID:74087247b2cdb927
Registrant Name:Domain Administrator
Registrant Organization:Fleishman Hillard
...

Anna Haynes said...

2 small updates - first, I put up another post on townhall meeting oddities (with a video of McClintock talking about healthcoverageforall.org during the first seating); and second, I confirmed the "no brother David" statement with Joel Berman.

Igor Birman said...

Hi everyone,

The Congressman misspoke when he was giving out the web address. The address is http://www.coverageforall.org/

Hope this helps.

Best,
-Igor Birman
Chief of Staff
Rep. Tom McClintock

Anna Haynes said...

Ah. It's the Foundation For Health Coverage Education, and its secretary is its attorney, Dean R. Westly, who - according to Wikipedia at least - is the brother of Steve Westly.

Steven said...

This is a pretty helpful web site. I think it is a great service. I am glad Mr McClintock is spending time advising on this effort and I think that giving people data to help them make decisions has real value.

And thanks to Mr.Birman for clearing up the confusion.

Steven said...

Still an un-repenetent liberal.

Igor Birman said...

Steve and others: we have a constituent meeting in Truckee on Nov. 30 at 1PM at the Town Hall Chambers. Hope you can make it!

-Igor Birman

Anna Haynes said...

Thanks Igor for dropping by, and I'm glad the confusion got cleared up.

FYI to all, Congressman McClintock has a Contact form here on his website, which doesn't shoehorn you into stating a position & receiving a form letter; I should have checked for it and used it.

(also, for the record, when I called Westly aide Berman to confirm his "no brother David" comment here, it was via cell phone and had horrible reception, and since I didn't want to take up his time I didn't call back via landline to find out what he'd said in the space before I asked about the nonexistent brother David Westly and heard a "no" in response. Another lesson learned...)