Ensign's Hypocrisy: Received Nearly $1M Healthcare Earmark While Railing Against Healthcare, Earmarks

It has been revealed that GOP Senator John Ensign of Nevada lobbied for, and received, a $960,000 earmark for a healthcare project in his state, despite having voted against healthcare reform and crusaded against earmarks.

Think Progress obtained a letter (PDF) from Ensign in which he requests funding for a Primary Care Residency Expansion program at the University of Nevada. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Ensign's request was granted.

Ensign has been a vocal opponent of healthcare reform and recently joined Jim DeMint and other GOP senators in trying to ban earmarks.

As the blog notes, prominent Republicans have a history of such hypocrisy:

In 2009, Republicans like Ensign smeared Obama’s stimulus as a waste and a failure. However, Ensign (and even DeMint) privately requested stimulus money for their states.

Furthermore:

Ensign’s letter to HHS serves as a stark reminder that while Republicans have ludicrously smeared the health reform law with lies and demagoguery, in private they realize its benefits to their constituents. Like every other GOP lawmaker, Ensign voted against the Affordable Care Act and like nearly every other GOP lawmaker, has pledged to repeal the entire law — including the grant program from which he requested money for his own state.

Read more at Think Progress.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at November 16, 2010, 3:03am

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