|McCaughey in 2008|
|72nd Lieutenant Governor of New York|
January 1, 1995 – December 31, 1998
|Preceded by||Stan Lundine|
|Succeeded by||Mary Donohue|
|Born||Elizabeth Helen Peterken
October 20, 1948 
|Political party||Republican to 1997
|Spouse(s)||Thomas K. McCaughey,
(m. 1972 - div. 1994)
Wilbur Ross, Jr.
(m. 1995 - div. 1998)
|Alma mater||Vassar College (B.A.)
Columbia University (M.A., Ph.D.)
U.S. Constitutional historian
|Known as||Betsy McCaughey Ross (1995-2000)|
Betsy McCaughey (//; born Elizabeth Helen Peterken, October 20, 1948), formerly known as Betsy McCaughey Ross, was the 72nd Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1995 to 1998, during the first term of Governor George Pataki. She unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination for Governor after Pataki dropped her from his 1998 ticket, and ended up on the ballot under the Liberal party line.
A historian by training, with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, McCaughey has, over the years, provided industry-friendly media commentary on U.S. public policy affecting healthcare-related issues. Her 1993 attack on the Clinton healthcare plan was likely a major factor in the initially-popular bill's defeat in Congress; also, it brought her to the attention of Republican Pataki, who chose her as his Lieutenant Governor nominee/running mate. In 2009, her criticisms of the Affordable Care Act -- then a bill being debated in the 111th Congress -- in TV and radio interviews, inspired the controversial slogans (popularized through repeated mentions by Sarah Palin) "death panel", and, "pulling the plug on Grandma" (both assertions that the Act would somehow allow [nonexistent] (see: Independent Payment Advisory Board) government healthcare administrators to make life-and-death decisions about seriously ill citizen-patients, as private-sector HMOs and insurers have, in reality) (citation needed). Widespread dissemination of McCaughey's impassioned rhetoric (from herself and others) was instrumental in creating a climate of pervasive, negative public opinion toward the Affordable Care Act -- strong enough to delay and nearly defeat its congressional passage, and overshadow the Act in its early years of implementation.
She has been a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute and Hudson Institute think tanks, and has written numerous articles and op-eds. She was a member of the boards of directors of Genta (a medical supplies corporation that focuses on products for cancer treatment from 2001 to 2007, and, Cantel Medical Corporation (medical equipment maker/marketer) -— until she resigned in August 2009 to avoid the appearance of conflict-of-interest, given her public advocacy against the Affordable Care Act legislation.
- 1 Early life, education, and family
- 2 Academic work, 1977-1988
- 3 Policy positions & scholarship, 1989-1993
- 4 Healthcare reform, 1993-1994
- 5 New York Lieutenant Governorship, 1994-1998
- 6 Career since leaving office
- 7 Healthcare reform, 2007-2009
- 8 Electoral history
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
Early life, education, and family
McCaughey and her twin brother William were born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Albert Peterken, a factory janitor, and his wife, Ramona. The family moved around the Northeastern United States for six years before settling down in Westport, Connecticut, where McCaughey's father did maintenance, and later engineering work at a nail clipper factory. McCaughey recalled her parents' difficulty in affording medical treatment, "my brother was a serious asthmatic as a child. I remember my parents sitting at the kitchen table wondering if they could afford to take [him] to the hospital."
McCaughey attended public schools in Westport through the 10th grade, spending much of her free time at the library. After receiving a scholarship, she transferred to a private Massachusetts boarding school, the Mary A. Burnham School, for her last two years of high school, rarely visiting home, either then or during her college years.
She received a scholarship to attend Vassar College where she majored in history. She wrote her senior thesis on Karl Marx and Alexis de Tocqueville, won several fellowships, and received her B.A., with distinction, in 1970. McCaughey went on to graduate school at Columbia University in New York City, earning her M.A. in 1972 and her Ph.D. in constitutional history in 1976. She won Columbia's Bancroft Dissertation Award in American History in 1976 and her dissertation was published by the prestigious Columbia University Press in 1980 under the title, From Loyalist to Founding Father: The Political Odyssey of William Samuel Johnson. She also contributed a chapter about William Samuel Johnson to the 1979 book, The American Revolution: Changing Perspectives by William Fowler and Wallace Coyle.
While completing her Ph.D., McCaughey trained in the corporate banking department at Chase Manhattan Bank, and served as a loan officer in the Food, Beverage, and Tobacco Division. She also took courses in accounting at Columbia's School of Business.
In 1971, McCaughey's mother, an alcoholic, died of liver disease at the age of 42; her father had died one year earlier at the age of 60. In 1972, she married Thomas K. McCaughey, a Yale graduate she had met in college and who was then moving up as an investment banker. The McCaugheys separated in 1992 and divorced in 1994 with McCaughey and her ex-spouse sharing joint custody of their three daughters. In January 1993 she filed an affidavit in her divorce proceeding in which she said she had no annual earnings from employment during most of the 18 years of her marriage to Thomas, and had never earned more than $20,000 per year, except in 1990, when she "sold an idea to Fox television for a windfall once-in-a-lifetime sum of $75,000". She married wealthy investment banker and prominent Democratic Party fundraiser Wilbur Ross, Jr. in December 1995; he filed for divorce in November 1998.
Academic work, 1977-1988
McCaughey taught history as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Vassar College in 1977–1978, was a Lecturer at Columbia University in 1979–1980, and an Assistant Professor at Columbia University between 1981 and 1983, teaching two classes per year. Between 1983 and 1984 she had a National Endowment for the Humanities post-doctoral fellowship. From 1986 to 1988, she served as a guest curator at the New-York Historical Society and was responsible for the museum's exhibit commemorating the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. She also authored a book, "Government by Choice: Inventing the United States Constitution" that cataloged the exhibit.
Policy positions & scholarship, 1989-1993
In the late 1980s McCaughey briefly considered a career in TV news, but opted instead for a position as a senior scholar at the Center for the Study of the Presidency, serving from 1989 to 1992. There, she wrote an article, book reviews, and a guest editorial for its journal, Presidential Studies Quarterly (PSQ), and an op-ed in USA Today advocating reform of the Electoral College method of electing the U.S. President. She testified at a July 22, 1992 hearing before the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, and helped produce a report suggesting constitutional amendments to fix perceived flaws in the Electoral College.
McCaughey also wrote op-ed columns that appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today, in which she opposed plans involving local and state redistricting to comply with the Voting Rights Act, and criticized federal court-ordered desegregation of schools in Connecticut and New Jersey. She also supported the nomination of (then-federal Judge) Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court, arguing that he would judge cases there on their merits, and would not tend to interpret cases in a manner consistent with his politically-conservative beliefs; supported a tobacco company in litigation before the Supreme Court; and praised the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey U.S. Supreme Court decision restricting abortion rights.
In February 1993, the John M. Olin Foundation funded a fellowship at the Manhattan Institute, a politically-conservative think tank, for McCaughey to write a book on race and the legal system to be titled: "Beyond Pluralism: Overcoming the Narcissism of Minor Differences". McCaughey wrote op-eds over the next six months in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today in which she supported the 1993 selection of a jury from predominately-white, Republican, rural counties for the urban (Memphis)-located retrial of African American and Democratic U.S. Representative, Harold Ford, Sr., and praised the 1993 Shaw v. Reno U.S. Supreme Court decision (favoring five white voters who said their rights had been infringed upon by redistricting that had been done to comply with the Voting Rights Act).
Healthcare reform, 1993-1994
On September 22, 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton delivered a nationally televised speech about his healthcare reform plan to a joint session of Congress. From September 28–30, 1993, First Lady Hillary Clinton, the architect of the universal health care plan, testified about its details before five U.S. congressional committees. The cost of providing insurance for the estimated 37 million people who were then uninsured was to be covered in part, by new taxes on tobacco. On the last day of Hillary Clinton's testimony, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by McCaughey, who wrote that the 239-page draft legislation differed markedly from the White House's public statements and would have "devastating consequences". Citing words and phrases from the draft, she argued that the 77 percent of Americans then covered by insurance would see a downgrade in their policies—most would not be able to keep their own physicians and would be forced into price-controlled Health maintenance organizations (HMOs), which would provide only the most basic of care. According to McCaughey, the HMO plans would not pay for visits to specialists or for second opinions, and most physicians would be driven out of private practice.
In late November, 1993, the Clinton health care plan of 1993 bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress as a 1,342-page document, (in large print and double-spaced), and was also distributed to the press and made available to the public. The Wall Street Journal then published an op-ed by McCaughey in which said she had pored over the entire bill and concluded that it had price controls that would cause rationing, and that in her opinion, the bill was dangerous.
McCaughey expanded her op-eds into a five-page article titled "No Exit", that appeared as the cover story in The New Republic (TNR) and was published a few days before President Clinton's 1994 State of the Union address. An internal memo by tobacco company Philip Morris, dated March 1994, indicated that representatives of Philip Morris had collaborated with McCaughey when she was writing "No Exit", stating: "Worked off-the-record with Manhattan and writer Betsy McCaughey as part of the input to the three-part exposé in The New Republic on what the Clinton plan means to you. The first part detailed specifics of the plan." (When the memo was discussed in a 2009 story in the Rolling Stone, McCaughey declined to comment.)
McCaughey's "No Exit" article was quickly used by conservative officials and commentators seeking to discredit the Clinton plan. Senator Bob Dole, in the Republican Party response to the President's State of the Union, used some of McCaughey's arguments of fewer choices, lower quality and more government control. Bill Kristol's Project for the Republican Future quickly launched television advertisements featuring quotes from McCaughey's two Wall Street Journal op-ed columns and herTNR article. Newsweek columnist George Will used McCaughey's writings as a basis for predicting the Clinton health plan would kill patients and make it illegal for patients to pay doctors directly for care—with 15-year jail terms for patients who tried to do so.
The Clinton White House press office issued a response to McCaughey's "No Exit" article, arguing that it contained "numerous factual inaccuracies and misleading statements." McCaughey responded that her claims were accurate and factual because they came "straight from the text of the bill". Supporters of the Clinton plan questioned McCaughey's claims, including her statements that "the law will prevent you from going outside the system to buy basic health coverage you think is better," and that "doctor[s] can be paid only by the plan, not by you", by pointing to the text of the legislation such as Section 1003 that said: "Nothing in this Act shall be construed as prohibiting ... An individual from purchasing any health care services." — House Bill 3600. February 4, 1994.
According to The Washington Post, the "No Exit" article, the White House response, and the ensuing television and radio interviews with McCaughey made her a star, and, "Her toothy good looks, body-conscious suits, Vassar BA and Columbia PhD reduced right-wingers to mush". The bill stalled and died in Congress in 1994, and the next year Clinton was reduced to asking Congress for a series of small, incremental reforms to the healthcare system. The "No Exit" article won the National Magazine Award for excellence in the public interest. Andrew Sullivan, then the editor of The New Republic later acknowledged he was aware of flaws in McCaughey's article, but said he ran it "as a provocation to debate." In 2006 a new editor recanted the story.
In 2009, the Daily Beast called her "The Woman Who Killed Health Care". The Woman Who Killed Health Care
New York Lieutenant Governorship, 1994-1998
Following the national attention McCaughey received in the 1990s healthcare legislation debate, George Pataki, a first-year New York state senator who was running for governor, chose her as his lieutenant governor/running mate. Despite McCaughey's complete lack of experience as a political candidate or officeholder -- and the fact that Pataki did not personally know McCaughey -- Pataki perceived that she was very popular among conservatives (who, at the time, were still suspicious of him), and that her public image would make his long-shot candidacy more appealing to independent and women voters. Regarding her status as a political rookie, McCaughey said, "Many New Yorkers see that as a plus."
McCaughey said that she accepted the nomination believing she would be Pataki's "point person on health policy". After winning the election, Pataki told The New York Times, McCaughey would have "very real and significant responsibilities" as lieutenant governor. McCaughey was initially tasked by Pataki to work on education policy, and on reducing New York's Medicaid budget. By January 1995, McCaughey had produced a set of recommendations that required cost-cutting by hospitals and nursing homes, so that the poor did not have to bear the entire burden of balancing the state's Medicaid budget (via a reduction of their benefits). However, McCaughey's recommendations were largely ignored. After Governor Pataki refused to give McCaughey permission to conduct a study into child abuse, she did one anyway, and publicly announced its results. McCaughey was publicly critical of the governor's proposed cuts to Medicaid, and gave a pro-choice speech without his advance permission. In March 1996, The New York Times reported that McCaughey was locked-out of the governor's inner circle because she had violated the "unwritten rules" of the conventional, American lieutenant governor's role (e.g., staying in the governor's shadow, publicity-wise; following the governor's orders; and, setting personal political ambitions aside, instead of appearing to groom her-/himself as an eventual challenger to the governor). Rather than following protocol as lieutenant governor by taking a seat with everyone else during Pataki's State of State address to the legislature in 1996, McCaughey stood for the entire fifty-six-minute speech's length, further attracting attention to herself at her governor's expense. In the spring of 1997, Governor Pataki announced that McCaughey would not be his running mate when he ran for re-election in 1998; he later selected New York State Supreme Court Justice Mary Donohue to replace her.
Though she had always voted Republican in presidential elections and taken conservative Republican policy positions, McCaughey suddenly switched her party affiliation to Democrat, and soon announced plans to run for governor against Pataki. McCaughey was the early frontrunner for her new party's nomination process, in part because of her statewide name and face recognition, and in part because of the financial support of her wealthy (then-)husband. During her campaign for governor, she was criticized for firing a succession of campaign aides and political advisers, and for possibly changing her core political beliefs in order to appear more electable to New York voters. As her opinion poll numbers sank, her (then-)husband took away more than half of the funds he had pledged to her campaign. McCaughey was defeated in the Democratic primary election by New York City Councilman Peter Vallone (who lost the general to Pataki, 54 percent to 33 percent). McCaughey had earlier received the nomination of the Liberal Party of New York for governor, and stayed in the general election campaign on their "ticket". The party attracted little support, however, and McCaughey received only 1.65 percent of the general vote for governor.
Career since leaving office
McCaughey has worked on patient advocacy and healthcare policy issues since leaving office in 1999. She was senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute beginning in 1999, then an adjunct senior fellow beginning in 2002. She was a member of the board of directors of Genta, a company focused on the delivery of innovative products for cancer treatment from 2001 until she resigned in October 2007. She was also a member of the board of directors of the Cantel Medical Corporation, a medical device manufacturer, from 2005 until she resigned in August 2009 to avoid the appearance a conflict of interest while she was engaged in advocacy on healthcare reform legislation.
In 2004, she founded the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID) in reaction to the alarming rise in anti-biotic resistant staphylococcus aureus and other hospital-borne infections. The non-profit RID is "devoted solely to providing safer, cleaner, hospital care". As the chairperson and representative of the organization, McCaughey has made the prevention of hospital infections through the use of hygiene protocols and products a prominent public issue, while pointing out to hospitals that they can increase profitability and avoid lawsuits by reducing the number of infections. She has appeared on Fox News, CNN and many radio shows to discuss her research and how to prevent infection deaths. Her organization's efforts have led to legislation in more than 25 states requiring hospitals to report infections.
Healthcare reform, 2007-2009
American Cancer Society
In August 2007 the American Cancer Society dedicated $15 million to a public awareness campaign on inadequate access to healthcare for the 47 million Americans not covered by insurance. The ACS claimed that there would be a greater decline in cancer deaths if more cases of cancer were diagnosed in the early stages. The society noted that studies had shown that patients without insurance were more than twice as likely to have their cancer diagnosed in the late stages of the disease. One of the cancer society's commercials stated, "We’re making progress, but it’s not enough if people don’t have access to the care that could save their lives."
McCaughey criticized the ad campaign, saying the ACS should drop it and re-focus on educating people about cancer prevention and detection. She argued that evidence had shown that the U.S. had higher rates of cancer survival than countries with universal healthcare coverage  due to shorter wait times for treatment, better availability of new drugs for therapy and more frequent cancer screenings. She expanded her argument into a "Brief Analysis" published the following month by the National Center for Policy Analysis, in which she maintained that the U.S. was number one in the world in cancer care. Sources for her analysis included a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non profit, non partisan research organization, and an article in the British medical journal, Lancet Oncology, that analyzed 2000-2002 cancer survival figures from Europe. The ACS responded by citing a study of nearly 600,000 cancer cases that concluded that compared to people with private insurance, uninsured patients in the U.S. were 1.6 times more likely to die within five years of their diagnosis.
2009 stimulus bill
McCaughey published an op-ed on February 9, 2009 claiming that the Obama administration's pending economic stimulus legislation contained hidden provisions that would harm the health of Americans as well as the healthcare sector of the economy. She argued that the bill would establish two powerful new bureaucracies; the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. McCaughey said the first entity would monitor patients' electronic medical records to ensure that doctors and hospitals treated patients in a way that "the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective", and that doctors and hospitals that deviate from the government's "electronically delivered protocols," would be penalized. She said the Federal Coordinating Council would be composed of appointed bureaucrats charged with a cost-cutting agenda that would slow the development of new medical products and drugs, and ration healthcare for senior citizens. She opined that the bureaucrats would use a comparative effectiveness formula that in the U.K. had resulted in a requirement that senior citizens go blind in one eye before the government would pay for a treatment to save the sight in the other eye.
Critics claimed McCaughey's claims were distorted, pointing out that the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology was not new but had been created five years earlier by George W. Bush, and that the 2009 legislation was not about limiting doctors' ability to prescribe treatments, but instead was about establishing a system of electronic records to give physicians complete and accurate information their patients. FactCheck noted that comparative effectiveness research had been funded by the U.S. government for years, but agreed with McCaughey that there would be penalties for health providers that did not use the electronic records system. The effectiveness research council was a new initiative, as McCaughey had said. However, supporters of the stimulus bill provision said the research that would be funded would provide additional evidence to guide treatment decisions, and would save lives and money by avoiding unnecessary, ineffective or risky treatments. Critic James Fallows remarked that McCaughey's arguments against the stimulus legislation were similar to the false claims she advanced years ago against the Clinton healthcare bill.
McCaughey's viewpoint was soon echoed and extended by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, and multiple Fox News Channel broadcasters. Republican U.S. Representative Charles Boustany Jr. of Louisiana, a heart surgeon, added that he feared that comparative effectiveness research would be misused by federal bureaucrats to "ration care, to deny life-saving treatment to seniors and disabled people." Other conservatives agreed that the legislation could put the federal government in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship. The stimulus bill was passed with the healthcare related provisions still included and McCaughey urged their repeal, so that their potential impact could be studied further.
2009 healthcare reform bills
McCaughey opposed the healthcare reform bills debated in Congress in 2009 and enacted in 2010. She made allegations about certain provisions of the bills that provided for Medicare payments to physicians for end-of-life and living will counseling, and about a particular physician, Ezekiel Emanuel, who was then an adviser to the Obama administration's budget director and chairman of the bioethics department at the National Institutes of Health. McCaughey's claims led to Sarah Palin's death panel controversy. The provisions in the legislation that McCaughey advocated against were removed from the bill before it became law.
In July 2009, McCaughey claimed that a section in the pending healthcare legislation titled "Advance Care Planning Consultation" actually prescribed "euthanasia for the elderly" because it included provisions that "would make it mandatory … that people [on] Medicare [be told] how to end their lives sooner". McCaughey's choice of words and analysis were described by The Atlantic's James Fallows as inaccurate and sensationalistic. The fact-checking site, PolitiFact.com, responded that the end-of-life counseling was voluntary, and gave McCaughey a "pants on fire", (least true) rating. In August 2009, WNYC's On the Media also addressed McCaughey's claims, concluding that the provision actually mandated that the federal government compensate "counseling sessions" on elder law, such as estate planning, "will writing and hospice care."
McCaughey described healthcare advisor Ezekiel Emanuel in a New York Post opinion article as a "Deadly Doctor" who advocated healthcare rationing by age and disability. PolitiFact called this claim a "ridiculous falsehood." FactCheck.org said, "Emanuel's meaning is being twisted ... he was talking about a philosophical trend, and ... writing about how to make the most ethical choices when forced to choose which patients get organ transplants or vaccines when supplies are limited." An article in Time magazine said that Emanuel "was only addressing extreme cases like organ donation, where there is an absolute scarcity of resources", and quoted Emanuel as saying, "'My quotes were just being taken out of context.'" The New York Times noted that Emanuel had, in fact, opposed the legalization of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide when such proposal were being debated in the late 1990s.
McCaughey resigned from the Board of Cantel Medical Corporation on August 20, 2009, "to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest during the national debate over healthcare reform," according to a press release by the company. Other reports opined that she resigned after negative reactions to her performance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, one day earlier. After McCaughey's Daily Show appearance, James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly criticized McCaughey's contributions to healthcare debate over the years as destructive and full of misinformation.
In a July 16, 2009 radio interview, McCaughey said "Congress would make it mandatory — absolutely require — that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner." The independent nonpartisan fact-checking site PolitiFact.com rated this assertion as "Pants on Fire," their lowest rating of truthfulness. The independent nonpartisan fact-checking site FactCheck.org also called her assertion false.
In an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Meeting on October 6, 2009, McCaughey advocated gradually extending the minimum age for Medicare coverage upward from 65 years of age to 70 in order to keep the Medicare system solvent.
In an August 7, 2012 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, McCaughey described as "phony" an assertion that repealing the Affordable Care Act would increase Federal deficits. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that repeal of the law would increase Federal deficits. Independent nonpartisan fact-checking organizations have further refuted McCaughey's assertion.
In a September 15, 2013 opinion piece in the New York Post entitled "Obamacare will question your sex life," McCaughey wrote "‘Are you sexually active? If so, with one partner, multiple partners or same-sex partners?" Be ready to answer those questions and more the next time you go to the doctor, whether it’s the dermatologist or the cardiologist and no matter if the questions are unrelated to why you’re seeking medical help. And you can thank the Obama health law." The independent nonpartisan fact-checking site PolitiFact.com rated her assertion as "Pants on Fire," their lowest rating of truthfulness. The independent nonpartisan fact-checking site FactCheck.org also called her assertion false.
In an October 25, 2013 appearance on Fox News, McCaughey asserted that the Affordable Care Act would have the effect of "eviserating Medicare." But the independent nonpartisan fact-checking site FactCheck.org states that the law actually "stipulates that guaranteed Medicare benefits won’t be reduced, and it adds some new benefits, such as improved coverage for pharmaceuticals." And on May 31, 2013, Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, stated "The Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is projected to be solvent for longer, which is good news for beneficiaries. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are taking important steps to improve the delivery of care for seniors with Medicare. These reforms aim to reduce spending while improving the quality of care, and are an important down payment on solving Medicare’s long term financial issues."
On her Twitter feed and on television, McCaughey asserted that members of Congress and other government employees were granted a "special subsidy" and a "premium illegally arranged by Obama" under the Affordable Care Act. The independent nonpartisan fact-checking site FactCheck.org found this assertion to be false. The independent nonpartisan fact-checking site PolitiFact.com also found this assertion to be false, as did fact-checkers at CNN
In television appearances, McCaughey presents herself and is described as an expert on the Affordable Care Act, with Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck calling her "a woman who read the law front to back." McCaughey has appeared on television with a large binder which is ostensibly the text of the Affordable Care Act, evidently to burnish her image as an expert. In an August 20, 2009 appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," McCaughey referred to the independent nonpartisan fact-checking site FactCheck.org as "spot-check dot org," claiming they failed to adequately read the House health care bill when they critiqued her assertions that the health care bill contained a provision that would institute mandatory counseling sessions telling seniors how "to do what’s in society’s best interest...and cut your life short." In a rebuttal, FactCheck.org stood by their analysis and provided further analysis that led them to conclude that McCaughey had misinterpreted the bill.
The progressive media watchdog Media Matters describes McCaughey as a "serial misinformer" and has critiqued many of her assertions, citing third-party sources (such as media reports, independent nonpartisan fact-checkers, government analyses and laws, economists and thinktanks) as evidence to support their conclusion that many of McCaughey's assertions are false or misleading.
Although many of McCaughey's assertions about the Affordable Care Act have been found to be false or misleading by independent nonpartisan fact-checkers, on October 29, 2013 the ABC program The View hosted McCaughey, describing her as a "health care policy expert."
|Governor candidate||Lt. Gov. Running mate||Party||Popular Vote|
|George E. Pataki||Betsy McCaughey||Republican,
Conservative Party of NY,
Tax Cut Now
|Mario Cuomo||Stan Lundine||Democratic Party,
Liberal Party of NY
|B. Thomas Golisano||Dominick Fusco||Independence Fusion||217,490||4.1%|
|Robert T. Walsh||Virginia E. Sutton||NY State Right to Life||67,750||1.3%|
|Other parties||Less than 1%|
|Governor candidate||Lt. Gov. Running mate||Party||Popular Vote|
|George E. Pataki||Mary O. Donohue||Republican,
Conservative Party of NY
|Peter F. Vallone Sr.||Sandra Frankel||Democratic,
|B. Thomas Golisano||Laureen Oliver||Independence Party of NY||364,056||7.69%|
|Betsy McCaughey Ross||Jonathan C. Reiter||Liberal Party of NY||77,915||1.65%|
|Michael Reynolds||Karen Prior||NY State Right to Life||56,683||1.20%|
|Al Lewis||Alice Green||Green Party US||52,533||1.11%|
|Other parties||Less than 1%|
- Fisher, Ian (January 19, 1995). "Woman in the News: Elizabeth Peterken McCaughey; Taking On a Challenge". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2011.
- Paul Schwartzman (July 12, 1998). "Hey, It's Her Party The Rags-to-riches Tale Of A Girl From A Troubled Home Who Embraced The Gop, Then The Democrats, In Her Determined Quest For The Statehouse". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- Linstedt, Sharon. "Beginner's Pluck: Unpolitician Betsy McCaughey Takes her Pragmatic Conservatism From Think Tank to State House," Buffalo Magazine in Buffalo News (New York), June 18, 1995, p. 6M.
- Grondahl, Paul. "The unreal McCaughey," Times Union (Albany), August 13, 1995, p. G1.[dead link]
- Whitehouse, Beth; Brand, Rick. "A political soap opera: A look behind the scenes of the Betsy McCaughey Ross brouhaha," Newsday, June 19, 1996, p. B04. (pay per view)
- Dao, James. "An Adjutant With Attitude: Betsy McCaughey Ross Pursues Her Own Agenda," The New York Times, March 3, 1996.
- "Bancroft Dissertation Award," Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University.
- McCaughey, Elizabeth P. "From loyalist to founding father: the public odyssey of William Samuel Johnson," New York: Columbia University Press, 1980, ISBN 0-231-04506-9.
- McCaughey, Elizabeth P. "William Samuel Johnson, the loyal Whig", pp. 69–102, in Fowler Jr., William M.; Coyle, Wallace (eds.), The American Revolution: Changing Perspectives, 1979, Boston: Northeastern University Press, ISBN 0-930350-03-0.
- "Betsy McCaughey Resume," Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, HospitalInfection.org.
- Michelle Cottle (October 5, 2009). "No Exit: The never-ending lunacy of Betsy McCaughey". The New Republic.
- Bumiller, Elisabeth."Through the gates of health: Elizabeth McCaughey transformed the debate. Not to mention herself," The Washington Post, July 12, 1995, p. D1. (pay per view)
- Grondahl, Paul. "Betsy's registry. With her nuptials next month, Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey shops for housewares," Times Union (Albany, NY), November 24, 1995, p. C1.[dead link]
- Vasisht, Rashmi. "The real McCaughey: Why the GOP's answer to Cuomo's brain has virtually vanished," The Village Voice, October 26–November 1, 1994, pp. 16–17.
- "Vows: Betsy McCaughey and Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.," New York Times, December 8, 1995.
- "Hearing Ordered on Pact Between the Rosses," The New York Times, March 28, 2000.
- McCaughey, Elizabeth P. "Government by choice: inventing the United States Constitution," (1987), New York: Basic Books, 124 pages, with preface by Warren E. Burger and foreword by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, ISBN 0-465-02683-4.
- McCaughey, Elizabeth. "Marbury v. Madison: have we missed the real meaning?" Presidential Studies Quarterly. Summer 1989, pp. 491–528.
McCaughey, Elizabeth P. "Book review: Michael P. Riccards, 'A Republic if you can keep it: the foundation of the American presidency 1700–1800'", Presidential Studies Quarterly, Spring 1990, pp. 395–397.
McCaughey, Elizabeth P. "Book review: L. Gordon Crovitz and Jeremy A. Rabkin, eds., 'The fettered presidency: legal constraints on the executive branch'", Presidential Studies Quarterly, Spring 1990, pp. 400–402.
McCaughey, Elizabeth. "Book review: James MacGregor Burns, 'Cobblestone leadership: majority rule, minority power'", Presidential Studies Quarterly, Spring 1991, pp. 371–373.
McCaughey, Elizabeth P. "Guest editorial: Clarence Thomas's record as a judge," Presidential Studies Quarterly, Fall 1991, pp. 833–835.
- McCaughey, Elizabeth. "Electoral nightmare looms: what if we can't decide," USA Today, May 26, 1992, p. 11A.(pay per view)
- U.S. Senate. "The Electoral College and direct election of the President: hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, July 22, 1992," Washington: U.S. GPO, pp. 102–109, 112, 117–119, ISBN 0-16-041444-X.
- McCaughey, Elizabeth P. "Democracy at risk: the dangerous flaws in the Electoral College," Policy Review, Winter 1993, pp. 79–81.
- McCaughey, Elizabeth. "Perverting the Voting Rights Act," The Wall Street Journal, October 25, 1989, p. 1.;
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|Lieutenant Governor of New York
|Party political offices|
|Liberal Party Nominee for Governor of New York