Rep. Joe Wilson : Removing Cranium From Colon

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.: an exercise in decorum. Photo from AP.

Congressman Pants on Fire:
A Blog for Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina

By Steve Russell / The Rag Blog / September 10, 2009

Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana, who delivered the Republican rebuttal to the President’s health care speech, once got scammed while trying to buy a British title. Apparently, his colleague from South Carolina is taking GOP Anglophile tendencies into his own hands by heckling a speech to a joint session of Congress, which is customary when the House of Commons meets the Prime Minister… but we don’t normally run our Congress that way.

Whether is was “You lie!” or “Liar!” it was the unruly gentleman from South Carolina with his pants on fire, even if the bill did not specifically exclude the undocumented, which it does.

Let me pause to say the heresy: if it were possible to cover undocumented workers, we should. This is not a play for Hispanic votes because I don’t run for office anymore. This is economic reality. The more people in the pool, the more people paying premiums, the cheaper health insurance is. So instead of including undocumented — am I allowed to say human beings? — in the pool, we will continue to treat them in emergency rooms. That’s bad policy and that makes no economic sense.

The anti-immigrant crowd is either too racist or too stupid to wrap their minds around the fact that each person added to the insurance pool costs the ratepayers — us — less money rather than more. Health insurance is not charity.

What has become of politics where it’s necessary to deny being charitable?

Anyway, here’s why Congressman Pants on Fire would be wrong even without the plain language of the bill.

This is a coverage mandate. Everybody is required to buy health insurance. See above. A universal pool is cheapest. As the President said, it works like mandatory automobile liability insurance, complete with an assigned risk pool so people are not required to do the impossible.

To enforce such a mandate, government has to set up a wicket we all pass. In the case of automobile liability insurance, that wicket is registration of your automobile or renewing your driver’s license.

In the case of health insurance, that wicket is going to be form 1040 or 1040EZ, filed every year with the Internal Revenue Service. This is because so much of the bill happens on that form: subsidies for low numbers reported on that form, credits against sums owing on that form.

That wicket will miss the elderly, but they have Medicare.

That wicket will miss children, but they have coverage from their parents or S-Chip.

And it will miss the undocumented because they have no Social Security numbers and their very employment is unlawful. So if the mandate hits them, how will it be enforced?

The nonsense here, alongside the racism, is that medical insurance will, if Obama’s proposal passes, be free.

The other nonsense is that the government will run the entire system, like it does in Great Britain, the country where the two congressmen who set me on this rant will find their hereditary titles and their opportunity to shout down the country’s chief executive. I guess they are Anglophiles in all but health care.

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4 Responses to Rep. Joe Wilson : Removing Cranium From Colon

  1. So, driving to work this morning, a Congresscritter was claiming the President “was not truthful in his remarks.” This claim was apparently intended for the majority who do not know how our government works. It’s the Congressman’s job to legislate, not the President’s. If he thinks Obama’s lying when Obama describes what he will sign, then he should pass a bill that meets Obama’s description and let Obama fail to sign it. Then we have the President being “not truthful.” Right now, we have more debate directed to playing on public ignorance and creating more of it.

    It is not rational to say the President is lying when he describes what he wants Congress to do. It IS rational to say “It won’t work, and here’s why…” or “In spite of your claims you won’t sign off on anything not revenue neutral, Mr. President, here is where costs will get out of hand and you can’t stop them…”

    Is a real debate asking too much?

  2. Wizard says:

    Steve, the wingnuts don’t want illegals treated in emergency rooms either, doncha know?? They object to it every chance they get! They want ’em to LEAVE THE COUNTRY, or, failing that, to die in the damn street; whatever, as long as the Almighty US Taxpayer doesn’t have to pay for anything.

  3. dospesentas says:

    Obama made a clear statement cloaked as fact, he wasn’t ‘describing what he would sign’. Why have all the committees in the house and senate refused to include specific wording that bars access to the healtcare benefits by non-citizens? Why is there wording in HR 3200 that specifically bestows benefits in legal terms to non-citizens? Why are there no provisions in any of the proposals to verify citizenship status as a requisite to recieving benefits? All these FACTS lend credibility to Rep. Wilsons charge and contradict Obama’s claim.

    To Wizard: Most taxpayers object to access of public benefits by those who don’t contribute and who have no legacy investment in the institutions they take free advantage of. When you pay for a movie do you think it’s o.k. for someone to sneak into the theatre without paying? When you wait in a long line do you have a problem with someone breaking in front of you without waiting like you did? These are basic tenants of our society, without them it’s an unsustainable free-for all that will eventually degrade into nothing. What will it take for you to grasp personal responsibility? One person told me on this same subject; “they just want a better life”. My response; If someone breaks into your house (our country) and steals your possessions (healthcare/hospital access) would you be o.k. with that? – hey, they just want a better life. If you truly believe what you say, go write a big check to the Travis County Hospital District and put your money where your mouth is.

    “When China stops lending and all the rich are taxed into poverty, who will fund our ‘dependent society'”

  4. Steve Russell says:

    Leaving aside that you are ignoring what I said about there being no mechanism to allow illegals to buy into the pool (Could they? Most of them could. They are after all here to work. Would they if they could? Probably not, because it would interfere with sending money home.).

    Why do the Dems not want “check ID” language specifically written into a federal health care bill? BECAUSE NOBDOY WITH A BRAIN WANT ID CHECKED IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM!

    Think, if it’s not too much trouble. There being no IRS 1040, the only place illegals interact with the system is the emergency room. You want to be the one to tell docs to flush the Hippocratic Oath?

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