Republican Health Care Haters Should Reject Theirs Too, Say Dems

In the “hypocrite accountability” files: a letter is circulating around the House suggesting that Republicans who want to cut health care should reject their own government-funded health care, too. Drafted by New York Rep. Joe Crowley, the letter points out that Republican calls for health care repeal are a sham:

If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk that walk,” Crowley writes in a letter to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

You cannot enroll in the very kind of coverage that you want for yourselves, and then turn around and deny it to Americans who don’t happen to be Members of Congress. We also want to note that in 2011, the Federal government will pay $10,503.48 of the premiums for each member of Congress with a family policy under the commonly selected Blue Cross standard plan.”

As Think Progress points out, the baloney runs deep–55 Republicans are on Medicare, yet none of them support health care for the average American. In the most recent case–and the one that prompted Crowley to draft his letter–Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, a doctor who won on a government-sponsored health care-hating platform, spent his first Congressional orientation session demanding his government-sponsored health care.

“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” Thrush reports. “‘Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,’ added the aide [who witnessed the encounter], who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.”

More explicitly:

During an event at the Cecil County Patriots Candidate Forum in February 2010, Harris claimed “there is no constitutionality mandated role for the federal government in health care,” and criticized Medicare and Medicaid. Turning his attention to the health care reform legislation then moving through Congress, he described the public option as “a terrible idea,” adding, “you can’t have government-run health care, it’s just not right.”

 Interestingly, one Republican has pledged to reject his government health care, along with other Congressional bennies. Bobby Shilling, incoming Rep from Illinois, told ABC's Top Line that “Congress shouldn’t have anything better than the American people.” We'll see how many of his colleagues follow his lead, but something tells us not many will.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at November 18, 2010, 4:27am

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