Friday, March 6, 2009

Wamp vs. Brown: No contest

AS PRESIDENT OBAMA'S  health-care initiative gets banged around in Congress , as you know it will, it was good  to hear Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown's put-down of Rep. Zack Wamp, the Tennessee Republican who got all tangled up in his own words on whether health care was a right or a privilege.

The blog Think Progress picked up  this exchange from MSNBC:
WAMP:  Listen, health care a privilege...

MSNBC: Well, it's a privilege? Health Care? I mean if you have cancer right now, do you see it as a privilege to get treatment?

WAMP: I was just about to say, for some people it's a right.  But for everyone, frankly it's not necessarily a right. .    

Wamp went on to claim that many Americans are uninsured by choice because they "rejected" the insurance plan offered by their employers.  Asked to respond to Wamp, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Oh) remarked "Well, my reaction is that it was said by somebody who has a really good health insurance plan as a member of the House of Representatives.  More importantly than that,  [health care] is a right in this country." 
A couple of problems here, the guy Tennessee should know:  The millions of people who have lost their jobs do not have the option to reject a health insurance plan from a non-existent employer.

And to those senators and congressmen who will be in the trenches to oppose a sweeping health care reform, Brown  again touched a nerve by referring to the relatively inexpensive benefits that congressmen enjoy  to keep them healthy  so that they, like Wamp, can fight another day.

Just a few  (rights or privileges? ):

They are covered by the Federal Employes Health Benefits Program.   I'll let you decide how the plan  made it through an always vigilant Congress:

THERE are no preconditions for senators or representatives  for immediate health insurance coverage.  Indeed, you can sign up for it  just before the death rattle.

The government will pay for up to 75 pct. of your premiums! 

You will have your own pharmacy on Capitol Hill, with your own doctors and other medical services.   

Etc.etc. etc.

I think of this when guys like Wamp and his brethren make  fools of themselves in broad daylight.  It's healthy that Sherrod Brown provided us with a second opinion.  

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