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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Republicans Opposed to "Public Option" Currently on Medicare

From the "Progress Report" October 24, 2009:

HEALTH CARE -- FIFTY-FIVE REPUBLICANS WHO ARE 'STEADFASTLY OPPOSED' TO A PUBLIC OPTION ARE CURRENTLY ON MEDICARE: Yesterday, the office of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) released an internal study showing that 151 members of Congress "currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care -- Medicare." Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be "steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen." Included on Weiner's list are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY). Weiner explained that the purpose of this study is to "point out some of the hypocrisy of this debate." "Even in a town known for hypocrisy," Weiner said in a statement yesterday, "this list of 55 Members of Congress deserve some sort of prize. They apparently think the public option is ok for them, but not anyone else." Back in July, Weiner, an outspoken proponent of single-payer health care reform, offered an amendment that would have given these 55 people a chance to end their own public option by eliminating Medicare once and for all. According to Weiner, it was "put-up or shut-up time for the phonies who deride the so-called 'public option.'" Of course, no one voted for the measure. Yet now "you have members of Congress thumping their chest how they’re against government health care," Weiner noted, adding, "and yet when it's time for them to accept Medicare, they're like, 'Sign me up!'"

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