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After some particularly entertaining GOP antic, have you ever speculated that some of our state Republican legislators aren’t “all that” in the thinking department? Consider the case of GOP rope-a-dope in training, State Rep., Andrew Koenig (R-88). Koenig is a fresh-faced young man who looks as if he were custom designed for the role of aspiring young politician – but appearances are often deceiving.

During his freshman term, Koenig has done little to distinguish himself other than toe the GOP line, at least until his recent public championship of lowest common denominator climate-change denial. Now, in his latest constituent newsletter, he is attempting to present himself as a David standing, slingshot in hand, before the federal health care reform Goliath.

And what is it about the federal legislation, specifically HR3200, that so upsets Koenig – apart from its length – 395,096 words as he breathlessly proclaims?  The crux of the matter seems to be that our tender young Republican shoot thinks that the House bill would preclude individual choice:

This bloated bill is harmful to the people of Missouri and I believe in taking the steps necessary to prevent this so-called reform from telling Missourians what health care plan they must use.

Poor Koenig doesn’t seem to have a clue that this claim is patently false. Although health care coverage would be mandated, individuals would be free to choose their provider. Perhaps his fear of all those words kept him from actually reading the relevant sections?  

Or perhaps our baby pol was a little too uncritical about the propaganda making the rounds this year – such as the lengthy email claiming that a proposed Health Care Commission would dictate individual health care plans, a story Politifact rates as a “pants-on-fire” fib. I guess we should count our blessings – at least he isn’t harranguing us about “death panels.”

                                       

It is a shame, though, that nobody has set Koenig straight since he seems to share the goals of many progressives to introduce more competition into our system:

I believe that choice in health care is important. Without it, there is no competition between health care providers to ensure the best care possible.Choosing a healthcare plan that best fits the needs of an individual or business is an important privilege I intend to protect.

Didn’t anyone explain to Rep. Koenig how the now probably defunct public option would have spurred competition while leaving our right to choose private insurers intact?

And if someone does set him straight, perhaps they ought to also explain that his preferred tool for saving Missourians from the health care bugaboo, HJR 57, which proposes an amendment to the state constitution that would allow Missourians to nullify the federal legislation,  violates the U.S. constitution. Additionally, of course, while HJR 57, which Koenig is co-sponsoring, does address mandates, since Koenig seems to be overwhelmingly concerned with choice of plan, the provisions most relevant to his imaginary concerns necessarily address a non-existent problem.

To clinch my case for Koenig’s rope-a-dope status, bear in mind that he is getting all worked up to fight health care legislation that will successfully insure huge numbers of previously uninsured people. In Missouri, whose citizens he putatively represents, there are currently 670,000 uninsured adults under the age of 65. Worse yet, 65,000 were added to the uninsured lists just this year while little Andy was busy in Jefferson City counting the words in the federal health care bill.