Monday, July 20, 2009

Michael Steele Follows Baffling Comments On Health Care With "I Don't Do Policy"

Following a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, fielded questions from reporters on health care. Steele's answers were breathtaking in their incomprehensibility and lack of knowledge. Watch:

Asked whether it's morally acceptable for millions of Americans to have no coverage, the chairman implied that that might be outside the concern of elected officials: “I don’t know if that’s a consideration for politicians versus a pastor.” Why didn't the Republicans do "anything substantial" about health care when they were in power? Steele didn't exactly compliment his party by stating, "The will to do it" and the "focus" just weren't there. Asked why we can't insure all Americans, he seemed to contradict his oppositional stance by answering, "Bingo! That's it."

Asked when Republicans will propose alternative legislation, Steele in effect said that since his party is not in power, why bother? Probed about an individual requirement to purchase health coverage, Steele seemed stumped and then informed the reporters that there are "different opinions." Questioned about similar past GOP opposition to Medicare, Steele spoke about Medicare and Medicaid's effect on the economy–but did not mention what the effect on the economy would be if millions of seniors could only seek care in emergency rooms.

On the cost of health care, Steele said that it is "something that's up close and right here." Perhaps realizing that such an answer means nothing, Steele admitted, "Look, I don't do policy. I'm not a legislator." That's a rather strange statement following negative comments on health care reform–which, to say the least, is a matter of policy. Based on his answers, Steele could have put it more precisely: "Look, I don't know policy."

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