Friday, August 7, 2009
It seems that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is giving the smackdown to Congress. The senator/doctor is now introducing an amendment that would require all members of Congress to enroll in any healthcare legislation that is passed.
"So that we feel the same effects of that plan as every other American that ends up in it and the data shows that a 104 million Americans are going to end up in that plan, so what's good for us ought to be good for everybody else," the Oklahoma Republican and doctor said.
Democrats are already bristling at the idea because they claim that the assumption will be that a public option (government run socialist plan) will be the only plan offered. At first it may not be, but eventually....
"Members of Congress will very likely be in the same situation as every other American will be vis-à-vis the public option," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "They can choose it, or they can not choose it. So the idea that members of Congress would be forced into it disrupts the whole notion that underlies it -- that this is a choice." [Author's note: Mr. Gibbs left out the words "for now."]
Surprisingly, other Democratic senators supported this amendment that came out of the Senate Health committee. Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. joined most of the Republicans in supporting the amendment. The lone Republican "nay" vote on the committee was Senator Judd Gregg. According to Coburn, Gregg's rationale for voting against it was that he didn't want to subject ANYONE, including fellow senators, to a public option.
The amendment would have to be merged with other versions from other committees, and some political analysts say that it may not survive.
"If I had to make a guess, I'd say that they will try to create a requirement to be in a public plan with a number of loopholes that would enable most senators to avoid the requirement," said Michael Franc of the Heritage Foundation.
Dear Leader seems to be in favor of this amendment.
"You know I would be happy to abide by the same benefit package," Obama said. "I'm going to be honest with you; I'm the president of the United States so I've got a doctor following me every minute," he said, drawing laughter. Yeah...that was hysterical. Do we get that too? What a big piece of fecal matter!
In my opinion, the high-ranking Dems are supporting this for one reason: They know that while it has a chance, it may not make the final cut. Then they can say they supported it and had no hand in killing it if it dies.
I must give credit where credit is due. Tom Coburn seems hell-bent on exposing and trying to make sure that, should this pass, Congress is put on the same playing field as everyone else.
Now there's change I can hope for.