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Monday, June 22, 2009

Let Them Eat Fancy Feast

by digby

Think Progress caught a great exchange between GOP Representative and a couple of callers on the health care crisis. The first caller was a 60+ year old woman who worked in retail who was complaining that she couldn't get health insurance because she has diabetes. Here's Davis' answer:

DAVIS: Well, Dorothy, let me, let me say a couple things. First of all, you know, I understand the dilemma you’re in. I don’t know if you’ll be able to retire at 62 or not. Frankly, I mean all of our 401Ks are down. I wish I could retire at 62. I think you’re going to find Americans working longer than they had originally anticipated, given the economic downturn and some of the economic realities.

If you can find a job with a major employer, they’re not going to be able to reject you under those cases. I don’t think you’ll find, probably be able to find some health insurance but if its with a small business or you’re going out on your own, it’s difficult at this point. There may be a government plan or private plans that are mandated coming out of this that are maybe able to help you. But diabetes, particularly adult onset, is controllable. If you watch your weight, if you exercise, watch what you eat and, you know, continue I guess in this case to take your medication. I don’t know any reason why you shouldn’t be able to find something out there, but you want to look for an employer that has a health care plan. Good luck.


CALLER: I’ll make, I’ll make my comment then I’ll get off the phone. Anyway, one of the things that I noticed this morning was Tom’s reaction to the woman who called looking for the job with health care and his final statement was “good luck,” which I think encapsulates the entire Republican party’s attitude towards any problems that are facing the American people today. I also have a master’s degree in economics.

HOST: Did you want to respond to Rick?

DAVIS: Well, congratulations on — well, I wish her good luck at this point. We’ll see what comes out of the health care plan. It wasn’t a “good luck, you’re on your own type of thing.” I think we all feel for people that are in those kinds of positions. But it’s very difficult. When you start having the government take care of everybody with a problem, as I said you’re doing it with borrowed money, what you want to see is — these are not simple solutions. It is progressive to continue to borrow money, to spend to take care of people’s problems. This tends to be a pretty inefficient way of doing things, number one. And number two, down the pike, somebody has to pay for it. I think I’m fairly progressive in my views as well. I was the head of a county government before I came to Washington and had to run it, inherited a pretty big deficit and was selected two years later, after making a number of changes, as the best financially-run county in the country.

So I look at governance as a very very tough business and I don’t think “good luck” was like a kiss off. I would generally say good luck to you as you try to move through this problem. But I don’t know that she can count on Washington to solve it for her. She will be eligible for Medicare in 3 years. And at that point, you can probably get some relief on some of the issues she’s looking for. She wanted to retire at 62 years old. We’d all like to retire at 62 years old, but I’m not so sure government can guarantee that people can just retire at 62 years old or that we should be doing those kind of things and maybe that’s where I part company with the caller.

So this man who makes six figures and is covered for every hangnail until he dies is telling this woman that she needs to find a large employer who will hire a 62 year woman and then keep working (on her feet -- that's what retail usually is) for much longer than she hoped to. Sure, that's doable. It's just a matter of finding the right job after all, and who can't do that? After all the two of them are in the same boat --- the coiffed congressman who would like to retire at 62 but lost a bunch of his portfolio in the crash and this 62 year old shop clerk who's been working at menial, backbreaking labor her whole life. Hey, he found a job with a large employer who covers him (the federal government) why shouldn't she? He just can't figure out why she can't find a plan to cover her like he has.

The truth is that taxpayers can guarantee his health care and pension because he's so special, no, so superior to people like this caller. The government can 't afford to provide health insurance for losers. Only winners like Congressman Davis.

Meanwhile, we have other Republicans declaring war on the seniors. Evidently, they are all a bunch of whiners who refuse to give up their precious entertainment to pay for their medication. Here's Mark Steyn filling in for Limbaugh today:

STEYN: We've still got to do something to plug this little hole in the donut for the prescription drug plans for seniors. Because, heaven forbid, heaven forbid that these seniors, these seniors should have to choose between prescription drugs and Tony Danza doing South Pacific in dinner theater.

I guess they think this is a big electoral winner, but these gasbags had better watch out or they are going to lose the over 50 demographic just like they lost the under 30 demographic.

Conservative politicians and their wingnut welfare queens are just a bunch of heartless, rich jackasses, basically, always have been. But people are no longer quite so sanguine that they're going to get the chance to be rich, spoiled jackasses too so these lines don't read quite as hilarious or as "common sense" as they used to. A public servant telling some 62 year old retail clerk that she needs to stop bellyaching and find a job with a big employer so she can get health care is so "let them eat cake" that I can hardly believe he said it. And some overpaid creep calling senior citizens who are living on a thousand dollars a month "spoiled" is just asking for the guillotine, which in America is a metaphor for a tax rate of 90% on any fatuous wingnut gasbag who has the nerve to say something like this after what they've done to this country.