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Betsy McCaughey

is an American politician who was 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 conservativemedia 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 theAffordable Care Act – then a bill being debated in Congress – again gained significant media attention in TV and radio interviews, and may have specifically inspired the "death panel" claim about the act.

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 medical equipment companies Genta(from 2001 to 2007) and Cantel Medical Corporation, until she resigned in 2009 to avoid the appearance of conflict-of-interest, given her public advocacy against the Affordable Care Act legislation.