PoliticoMo reports that Vicky Hartzler, a Tea Party favorite who ran for office promising to diminish government influence, has no qualms about keeping her government-provided health insurance while voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to her spokesman:
The issue was and always has been government-RUN health care … not government providing PRIVATE insurance to its employees.
Not the most sophisticated argument since nothing in the Affordable Care Act mandates “government-run” health care. As FactCheck.org noted in the final run-up to the vote on the ACA last spring:
A pure government-run system was never among the leading Democratic proposals, much to the chagrin of single-payer advocates. Instead, the bill builds on our current system of private insurance, and in fact, drums up more business for private companies by mandating that individuals buy coverage and giving many subsidies to do so.
Hartzler’s excuses are also a bit paradoxical. We the taxpayers, via our proxy, the federal government, are really Hartzler’s employers. She is willing to accept a good, guaranteed health care plan from us, but will do little to insure that we, in turn, have access to affordable health care. Instead, by voting for the repeal of the
AFC ACA, Hartzler is actively working against that goal.
We all know that health care costs have been going up over the past few years; one of the reasons health care reform was so urgent was the pressure of rising health care costs on our national economy. If costs are not brought under control, which the ACA is designed to accomplish, fewer and fewer of our employers will be able to afford to offer the same type of comprehensive private insurance to their employees that Rep. Hartzler thinks she should be able to take for granted while on our dime.
Of course, we probably shouldn’t expect too much from get-the-government-off-our-backs types like Hartzler. Recently when this foe of big government handouts was asked about federal farm subsidies, which have benefited her family to the amount of $750,000 over the past nine years, all she could do was hem and haw – which, embarrassing as it is, is an improvement over her earlier response. At one point Hartzler asserted that farm subsidies might be a national security issue.