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Congressman Denny Rehberg offered us a column here last Thursday (March 18) decrying the imminent Democratic health care reform bill.

He used inflammatory labels of questionable truth such as “government takeover of health care,” and “grassroots opposition at every step” to the Democratic reform plans. He also wrote that “Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have misrepresented the health care reform debate as a partisan battle” and that “118 new federal bureaucracies” are to be created, as well as claiming this “more expensive” approach to health care administration “did nothing to reign in health care costs.” There are more statements of this ilk in his column, and while it can be distorting to take partial quotes out of context as I just did, I don’t have the room here to offer you fuller quotes.

My point? Objective experts reading this language and these assertions have labeled them false, but our kind congressman bets that most of you won’t know this. Don’t trust me, though. Go read a few genuinely objective analyses of the new reform plan and its probable outcomes, and go back and re-read Rehberg’s description. Then ask yourself, as I did, if the congressman offered you a real and reasonable argument that is grounded in truth against this partial reform, or whether he was mainly reciting from his party leadership’s talking-points memo. You will find: Like most of the Republican opposition to health care reform, this was no real argument, no exercise of honest democracy. It was propaganda.

Eric Mendelson, Missoula

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