Late last month, Jong abruptly resigned from the group, expressing concern that McCaughey was using it as a platform for some of the harshest — and frequently false — attacks against President Barack Obama's health care plan.
"I feel like I was taken in," Jong said. "I fear that if she had her way, more people would die."
McCaughey's role as a central, if disputed, player in the national health care debate has surprised friend and foe alike, coming after a rise-and-fall story unique even by the standards of New York's wild and woolly politics.
And so it was that Mc Caughey, who earned a doctorate in constitutional history at Columbia University, in 1994 wrote a scathing critique in The New Republic of President Bill Clinton's health care plan while a scholar at the Manhattan Institute.
The piece, credited with helping to kill the plan, won a National Magazine Award.
And so the "death panels" story begins...
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whose claim to fame in the current health care debate is helping to spread the infamous "death panel" myth, has been invited to testify before the New York State Senate about how reform will impact the state's elderly.