Friday, October 30, 2009

Let's See How it Feels: Taking Away Health Insurance from GOP Politicians

I have always maintained it is such a dazzling display of hypocrisy and selfishness that Republicans only act on health and social issues when the bad news knocks on their own door, like Nancy Reagan's support of stem-cell research when she thought it could help bring back her dear Ronnie from the brink of Alzheimer's; or then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's desire to reform his state's drug laws only when his pill-popping daughter was caught trying to fraudulently obtain Xanax from a pharmacist. How about Cindy McCain's recent clamoring for substantially more federally-funded migraine research because...she happens to suffer from them? Classic.

But when it comes time to consider those hurting who are outside of their family circle, they vigorously balk at such a thing. For as fellow blogger Xmastime puts it, "extending help to these people would belie their own brave 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps, unless it's ME that needs help, then give me some money' credo. Um, yeah. Exactly.

Xmastime further cites a piece by Salon's Joe Conason, who believes "[e]ven the best of today's Republicans seem to lack [empathy], to say the least. Enjoying the ample blessings of the Federal Employee Health Benefits program and access to the best military hospitals, they're totally insulated from the troubles of those who lack adequate insurance, or any insurance at all.

If the Republican right manages to kill healthcare reform this year, then perhaps some brave Democrat should introduce a new kind of bill -- cutting off every member of Congress from the "public option" that protects them and their families."


It's not a new idea, though:
"To show Congress just how serious I am, on the first day of my administration, I will submit legislation that ends health care coverage for the president, all members of Congress, and all senior political appointees in both branches of government on July 20th, 2009 – unless we have passed universal health care reform."
- John Edwards, on the presidential campaign trail, September 2007.

Ah, if only Obama had that kinda fire in his belly...

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