There are days you are overwhelmed by the stupidity of Republicans in Congress.
And then there are days you get to watch Tom Coburn in action.
Coburn, in some sort of attempt to be cute, proposed an amendment today to the health care bill that passed the Senate HELP committee that requires all Members of Congress to enroll in the public option in the plan should it passed. Sens. Dodd and Kennedy called his bluff, and voted for it, and now it is part of bill.
I'm sure Sen. Coburn thought he was making some neat little point. "If it's good enough for America, then it should be good enough for us!" Well, yeah. Except, Sen. Coburn, you already some pretty nice health care, paid for with public funds, that most of America doesn't get.
First off, you are probably getting your health insurance through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, available to all Members of Congress and all federal employees. It's a great deal. I know. I'm covered under my wife's policy. She's a fed. You have lots of insurance choice, and the rates are better than competitive, because hey, those insurance companies are more than willing to negotiate great rates for federal employees when they know that taxpayers subsidize most of the bill.
But wait, there's more! You get even MORE public options as a Member of Congress. Better than any old standard gub-ment bureaucrat gets, that's for sure. On top of being able to enroll in FEHBP, you, as a Member of Congress, can visit the Senate Doctor or any U.S. military base and get care for a nominal fee. I even seem to recall, from my time working on the Hill, that there is an ambulance specifically reserved for Members of Congress to rush them to Walter Reed should you need care. Funny...I don't recall being able to do that myself, even as a lowly staffer.
And not to worry, Senator Coburn...I note that you are 61 years of age, so in just a few years you'll be getting full coverage on the public's dime under this little program. You might have heard of it. Hell, you've even given that program your full-throated endorsement at one point, saying:
Social Security and Medicare represent promises made and we must keep these commitments.Then again, given that you are a pretty high-earner as a Senator, and the fact that you are and were a doctor, you're probably not all that worried about public health care in your later years, given that you can afford a Cadillac plan.
Cut the crap, Senator. Stop trying to be cute with America. Damn right the public option is good enough for you, and it's good enough for me, and the rest of America.
You and the rest of the Members of Congress have already proven it with the health care YOU get.