Rep. Gohmert Accuses Dems Of "Revisionist History," Says Insurance Companies Supported "Obamacare"

February 18, 2011 1:42 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Rep. Louie Gohmert

In a speech on the House floor this morning, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) condemned the GOP amendment to defund the Affordable Care Act as "yet another example of our friends standing up for the insurance companies at the expense of the American people." Shortly thereafter, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) accused Pelosi of engaging in "revisionist history," pushing the conservative fairytale that insurance companies actually supported President Obama's health care law.  

GOHMERT: We heard the Minority Leader Pelosi saying earlier that we were here as Republicans siding with the insurance companies. Revisionist history's great, but if you go back and look at who was supporting the Obamacare efforts, you had the insurance companies lined up all out there supportive. You had the big pharmaceutical companies all out there supportive. You saw the American Hospital Association out there supportive. You saw the AMA out there supportive. You saw AARP — they were seen out there supporting the Obamacare stuff. Naturally, they stand to gain with the UnitedHealth more than anybody — they the biggest sellers of Medigap insurance.

So if you really want to look at history, who was it that was not supportive? Well, folks, we heard from them in November. It was the American people. That's why we're here. We're with small business — they'll create the jobs. We're with the American people. That's why we're doing this.

Gohmert, of course, is the one rewriting the past. As Bloomberg reported in November, "Health insurers last year gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million that was used to oppose the health-care overhaul law. ... The $86.2 million paid for advertisements, polling and even grass roots events to drum up opposition to the bill." Meanwhile, Republicans have been handsomely rewarded for their ongoing crusade against the reform bill:

While Democrats got just more than half of the [health care and health insurance] industries' money before the bill was approved in spite of uniform Republican opposition, the Republican[s] attracted 60 percent after the votes were counted. The Republican total for that period was $25.7 million, while the Democrats was $17 million.

Steve Benen recently commented on right-wing efforts to saddle the health care law with insurance industry support: "The record is unambiguous. ... to pretend the insurance companies were on the Democrats' side is evidence of either remarkable ignorance or astounding dishonesty."


UPDATE: Despite Gohmert's claim that Republicans are "with the American people," a recent CBS News poll found that 55 percent oppose the effort to choke off funding for health care reform while just 35 percent support it.    

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