The two articles below are just a small sampling of what Congress thinks about the “American People” so many of them are fond of citing. It has been pointed out that many of the serving legislators are Lawyers, attorneys or what ever the descriptive term for their profession maybe. The job is to argue for or against someone or something on behalf of someone or entity. It appears that our Congress for the past 10 to 15 years (or more have been arguing against the people who elected them.MA
A Texas member of Congress Key congressman: It’s ‘a good thing’ if more Americans lose coverage
It was therefore rather striking yesterday when the far-right congressman appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and shared an unusual insight. BuzzFeed reported:
Burgess was asked about concerns that repealing Obamacare will lead to a drop in the number of people with health insurance. He responded that it would be a good thing because it means fewer people are subject to the individual mandate.
“First off, we’re not going to send an IRS agent out to chase you down and make you buy health insurance,” said Burgess. “So if the numbers (of insured people) drop I would say that’s a good thing because we restored personal liberty in this country.”
U.S. News’ Robert Schlesinger noted in response, “If you listened to Burgess, you’d think that all or most of [the 20 million people insured by the ACA] were dragged kicking and screaming into the system and that they yearn for liberation from the tyranny of being able to afford catastrophic illness.”
Burgess, however, isn’t the only one reading from this script. Vice President Mike Pence said this week he wants to gut “Obamacare” in order to bring back “freedom.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) added that his anti-ACA plans is based on a single principle: “Freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need. Obamacare is Washington telling you what to buy regardless of your needs.”
All of this must resonate with the focus groups Republicans convene, but it doesn’t make nearly as much sense as GOP officials want to believe. The New Republic’s Brian Beutler explained the other day:
Under the old order, far too many people didn’t have the ability to buy insurance in the first place. Or if they could, they were subjected to lifetime coverage limits, no coverage for pre-existing conditions, and any number of other personal barriers and restrictions.
And since Obamacare’s major accomplishment was to counter those forces, and thus enable people to get health insurance, that in turn opened up whole new areas of personal freedom: the ability to take risks and get new jobs, or start new businesses, and or simply have a sense of security and peace of mind.
So how exactly would it be a victory for “freedom” to pull out the rug from those who can finally buy health insurance?
Ryan believes “freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need,” but the Speaker may not understand the point of insurance: we don’t always know what we’ll need, which is why we seek medical coverage in the first place.
I look forward to Republican policymakers telling countless Americans, “Your family is one serious illness away from financial ruin, and your health is at risk from treatable ailments, but look at how great your liberty is!”
SHY DEMOCRATS. It’s not just the GOP: Even some Democratic members of Congress are avoiding holding town halls. “From Montana to West Virginia, the nation’s most vulnerable Senate Democrats are avoiding town hall meetings as their Republican counterparts get pummeled by an energized electorate frustrated with President Donald Trump’s early agenda,” reports the Associated Press. “Some Democrats prefer to connect with constituents over the telephone or social media. Others are meeting voters in controlled environments with limited opportunities to ask questions. But few of the 10 Democratic senators facing re-election next year in states carried by Trump have scheduled in-person town hall meetings during this week’s congressional recess.”
‘HAVE SOME COURAGE.’ Former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head during a constituent meeting in Tucson, Ariz., in 2011, urged members of Congress to have the courage to meet with the people they represent after Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert cited fears of violence as a reason to avoid town halls. “At this time there are groups from the more violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety,” Gohmert said Thursday.
Giffords issued a blistering statement in reply via Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention group she co-founded:
“I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public. Ron Barber — at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead — held town halls. It’s what the people deserve in a representative.
“In the past year, campaigning for gun safety, I have held over 50 public events.
“Many of the members of Congress who are refusing to hold town halls and listen to their constituents concerns are the very same politicians that have opposed commonsense gun violence prevention policies and have allowed the Washington gun lobby to threaten the safety of law enforcement and everyday citizens in our schools, businesses, places of worship, airports, and movie theaters.
“To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.”
One person who’s not afraid of town halls? Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan. Sure, the libertarian-leaning lawmaker got yelled at plenty during his town hall on Thursday. But he took questions, and he’s out there telling Republicans to buck up and deal with the people they represent.