Freshman Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-4) is pretty sure that she’s a Godly woman. She’s even written a primer for Christians in politics, Running God’s Way: Step by Step to a Successful Political Campaign, which intersperses practical advice with scripture. It’s safe to assume that Rep. Hartzler knows her bible, so I can only wonder what she makes of the admonition in Luke 12:1 to “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”
I ask this because Hartzler’s only been in office for a few weeks and she’s already had some trouble hiding one or the other of her two faces. She ran against government handouts, and then attempted to justify federal farm subsidies (which have, incidentally, benefited her and her family quite handsomely). She attacked earmarks, but if Claire McCaskill’s remarks in an interview with SMP’s Michael Bersin are accurate, she’s now evidently decided that she’ll go after the earmark goodies anyway.
Most glaringly, though, last week Hartzler voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but refused to heed the call to reject her own federally provided health care insurance. She essentially denied any moral culpability for endangering access to health care for those same taxpayers who foot the bill for her excellent health care.
Hypocrites are basically just liars who mostly lie about themselves, so it’s not that surprising that Hartzler has no compunction about parroting the usual, tired GOP falsehoods to justify her vote. In the brief statement she made on the house floor last Tuesday she said:
I’m a small business owner, myself, and I can tell you since this has passed that health insurance premiums have skyrocketed in anticipation of the mandates going to be forced on them.
Sadly for Hartzler’s veracity, Factcheck.org has addressed the issue of rising insurance premiums, summarizing the plentiful evidence showing that they are indeed going up – but at similar rates to those of the past 10 years, and that the reason is not the new law, but rather rising medical costs. And, as a moment’s reflection reminds us, none of the provisions of the ACA that are specifically designed to slow growth for medical costs have gone into effect yet.
I would, of course, be more than remiss here if I were to fail to to point out that small business owner Hartzler can also take advantage of a nice tax credit provided by the ACA to help pay for her employees’ health insurance – as lots of other small business owners have already figured out. I bet that if Vicky Two-face is actually eligible, she’ll manage to get in on this, just like she gobbles up farm subsidies and, potentially, earmarked pork.
Hartzler also stated that the ACA “… put another $1.2 trillion of debt on our country.” This is pure bilge. The ACA will pare the deficit down by $1.3 trillion over 20 years according to the CBO. In contrast, the GOP repeal bill, which our intrepid deficit fighter voted for, will actually add $230 billion to the deficit. The GOP response to this information, as exemplified by the good Christian Rep. Hartzler, is to keep repeating false claims, while mounting a spurious attack on the source of the figures, the CBO.
The most tone-deaf claim, though, was Hartzler’s effort to play on the fear of the individual mandate by branding the repeal bill a “freedom bill.” On this point, she actually is right – although not in the way she meant. Repealing the ACA will insure that many individuals are indeed free; free, that is, of any access to health care outside of emergency rooms – emergency room care, I might add, that the rest of us pay for through those ballooning insurance premiums Hartzler pretends to find so horrifying when she is trying to blame them on “Obamacare.”
Which brings us back to the question of Vicky Hartzler’s federal insurance coverage. Since she loves freedom so much, shouldn’t she be willing to share in the freedom from good health care with which she seems so willing to gift us? Is she worthier than we are? As a student of the Christian bible, perhaps, when she considers health care reform, she should keep in mind Matthew 7:5:
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Other postings about Vicky Two-face’s opposition to the ACA: