Monday, January 31, 2011

Healthcare Hypocrites


Healthcare hypocrite Sandy Adams (R-FL) opposes healthcare for our families, but she and her family get subsidized government healthcare from her husband's government-funded plan for judges.

The plush taxpayer-subsidized congressional healthcare plans kick in tomorrow, February 1. Anti-healthcare fanatic Andy Harris (R-MD) will finally be able to stop whining about not having government-funded healthcare for himself and his family. Harris has become the posterchild for the healthcare hypocrites who won election by demonizing healthcare and then insisting he get it for himself and his family. He's far from a minority. In fact, only 15 Republicans-- every single one of whom voted to repeal healthcare for regular Americans-- have turned down the congressional healthcare plans for themselves. It's ironic that Harris -- who defeated Blue Dog Frank Kratovil 55-41% (one of only 39 Democrats to have voted against the historic healthcare reform bill on November 7, 2009)-- hasn't done anything noteworthy since coming to Washington except whine about not getting his healthcare fast enough.

But like we've been saying, virtually all the Republicans are on the same page as Harris, even if most of them are being less promiscuous about flaunting it. Watch the video Think Progress made about one Republican congressman after another admitting their families will get healthcare while their constituents' families shouldn't. One, Ron Paul, admitted it "could be" hypocritical of the GOP Members of Congress to take healthcare after voting to repeal it for the country.

So Blue America got together with our friends at Daily Kos, the Americans for America PAC and Americans United For Change and did some radio ads that feed into polling data that shows Americans are opposed to congressmembers who voted for repeal taking government-subsidized healthcare for themselves.
Only 33% think they should accept the health care they get for being a member of Congress while 53% think they should decline it and 15% have no opinion... Republicans and independents-- who put these folks in office in the first place-- strongly think they should refuse their government-provided health care. GOP voters hold that sentiment by a 58/28 margin and Indies do 56/27.

Blue America decided to highlight two Members of Congress whose Democratic opponents we support, Sandy Adams in central Florida and Leonard Lance in central New Jersey. Adams wriggled out of it by turning her congressional healthcare down, but she signed up for the healthcare her husband-- a circuit court judge with the government plan-- gets! Nicholas Ruiz is the Blue America-endorsed candidate running in FL-24 against the wily Adams. He penned a guest post, "Republican Anorexia Economica," for us before we found out that Adams had wormed her way out of the hypocrisy conundrum. Our candidate in New Jersey's 7th District against Lance, Ed Potosnak, also did a guest post, "Healthcare Is For Members Only, Members Of Congress That Is." We did radio ads for both districts, and we have been raising money, along with Daily Kos, to run some.

But there are literally dozens of Republican healthcare hypocrites to choose from. Last week the Charlotte News Observer had another sad story about one, freshman teabagger Renee Ellmers, who is married to a wealthy doctor and now makes $174,000 a year but was whining that she had to take government-subsidized healthcare, despite campaigning against it and despite voting to repeal it for her constituents (some of whom may make less than $174,000 a year), because living in DC is just so damn expensive.
“Unfortunately, being here in Washington is very expensive,” said Ellmers. “Yes we do have a salary and we do have benefits. It costs a lot of money to be here. I've signed on to the private plan, just like so many in America are on. The benefit is available to me. People need to understand out there it costs a lot money to be here in Congress.”

If you'd like to offer suggestions about which Members deserve to have ads like these run in their districts, Daily Kos has a page for that. Every single Republican voted to repeal the bill, as did 3 slimy Blue Dog hypocrites, Dan Boren (OK), Mike McIntyre (NC) and Mike Ross (AR), each of whom takes government healthcare, of course. That actually makes them even worse than the 15 Republicans who voted against it and aren't taking it-- Cory Gardner (CO), Mike Kelly (PA), Joe Walsh (IL), Sandy Adams (FL), Robert Dold (IL), Chris Gibson (NY), Paul Gosar (AZ), Frank Guinta (NH), Nan Hayworth (NY), Bill Johnson (OH), David McKinley (WV), Rich Nugent (FL), Scott Rigell (VA), Bobby Schilling (IL) and Daniel Webster (FL).

Last week, Blue Arkansas showed how this plays out in a red state filled with conservative hypocrites in office.
Despite their calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act, only fourteen Republicans in Congress have been willing to give up their taxpayer funded health insurance. And guess what. You won’t find the names Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, Steve Womack, or Mike Ross for that matter on that list... There’s no excuse for politicians who want to take our health insurance away while living off the tax payer dole. If they want ours, give up their own. And that doesn’t just go for members of Congress, it goes for state politicians as well. After all, state legislators get a nice little health insurance packet, partially subsidised by you, me, and everyone else in Arkansas that puts money into the system. As such, we at Blue Arkansas are asking politicians like Rep. David Meeks and Rep. Denny Altes, the cosponsors of HB1053, the state version of ACA repeal, to give up their own tax payer funded health insurance. After all, if they’re going to ask us to sacrifice, shouldn’t they be doing the same?

No matter where you live, please consider voting for which healthcare hypocrites to target and consider helping out with the costs of running the radio spots. Here's the one we did for Leonard Lance in New Jersey:

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At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your tireless work on behalf of regular people.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

every liberal-progressive radio show should on top of this and hammer these healthcare hypocrits every segment. Every talk show needs to be synchronized and on the same page. disingenuous repukes have their LIE-MESSAGING memorized w/ the help of right-wing radio saturating 90% of the airwaves! This phony outrage about the ACA is about to explode in repukes' faces like a cheap cigar!


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