Two interesting developments in the Waxman House Energy and Commerce Committee writeup of the Obamacare bill today. Two of the Republican amendments that were rejected by the Democrats showed the disdain the Dems have for us “common folk.” The first, called the “put up or shut up amendment” required Congress and other Federal Employees to enroll in the public option health plan:
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., decided Thursday night not to allow a vote on adding members of Congress to the “public-option” government health plan.
The proposal to subject politicians right along with the public to government-run health care was offered by U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. He said that the reality of a public plan competing with private insurance is “that the public plan within a very short time becomes the only plan. This amendment just says that if there is a public plan, that the elected federal officials – the president, the vice president and members of Congress – would be enrolled in the public plan.”
“If this is a good plan for them,” added U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., “it ought to be good enough for us.” And U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., called it “a put-up-or-shut-up amendment.”
Today Senator Chris Dodd announced that he has prostate cancer, during that announcement he said, ” “For a person who loses health care coverage, that physical may not be something that you can afford,” he said. “I’m fortunate as a member of Congress to have those benefits.”
NY Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner has been pushing Obamacare by saying that he wants the public to have the same chance at good health care as Congress does. this afternoon, Republicans on Waxman’s committee offered took Weiner at his word and offered an amendment to the Obamacare bill that would allow the general public to enroll in that wonderful federal government health plan. Not only was it voted down, but Weiner turned out to be a weenie and didn’t even support his own idea:
In the end, the famously loquacious New York Democrat had two words to say about letting all Americans into congressional-style health insurance: “Pass” and then, “No.” His final decision combined with 30 other “No” votes from Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to kill the proposal he’d advocated a day earlier.
Republicans had argued that the idea made sense, and said they’d been hearing from constituents well before Weiner brought it up. “People will say to us, ‘Why can’t we have the same thing you guys have?’” said U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga. of the amendment offered by U.S. Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb. “We ought to give everybody in this country an opportunity to get this.”
“I’d have to oppose this because it strikes the public plan,” responded Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
Health Subcommittee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., added that just letting people enroll in something like the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, as if that “is going to be somehow better, is just a false assumption.”
The final vote was 31-28 against opening the multiple plans to everyday citizens.
I live in the same town as Congressman, Democrat Steve Israel, he used to be a member of my synagogue, my daughter and his daughter went to High School together, heck the Congressman sat in front of me during graduation. Last time that I wrote that Congress would be exempt from Obamacare, the Congressman tweeted me that I was lying. Today’s votes, reinforced my earlier posts.
If the congressional plan is good enough for his daughter, why is it too good for my daughter? If Obamacare is good enough for my daughter, why is isn’t it good enough for mine? The answer is that Obamacare does not have much to do with health care and has lots to do with expanding the role of government in our lives.