Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rep. Wilson Brings Townhall Antics Into House Chambers

Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) apologized for shouting "You lie" during President Obama's speech on healthcare to a joint session of Congress. Of course, Wilson had to do the politically expedient thing after his outrageous interruption, heard in the following video:

Wilson's outburst was not an isolated incident; it was part of the disruptiveness that took place in townhall meetings across the country, orchestrated by such right wing groups as Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. And Wilson, like those who are part of the townhall mobs, spread a falsehood by contending that Democratic healthcare plans call for the coverage of illegal immigrants. Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY) put it correctly in calling Wilson's interruption "outrageous" and a reminder of the "antics that are being used to disrupt and fog what is going on."


mjmand said...

This incident is a lost opportunity to address another issue; that is, should we be offering coverage to illegal aliens. I say that not only is every American entitled to adequate health care, anyone IN the United States should be so entitled. Illness and injury do not discriminate and any American citizen is as likely to be "infected" by someone here illegally as he or she is by another who is here either as a citizen or an invited guest. To quote a NY Times columnist - I think it was Bob Herbert - "You may hate your next door neighbor, but if her house is burning down, you better help her put out the fire before it engulfs your house." The medical community is not part of the Department of Immigration and Naturalization. I am a health care provider; I do not require citizenship or a green card to obtain treatment. If you need my services you get my services. Let's stop using such a minor problem as illegal aliens to divert attention from the essential need to reform how health care is delivered and funded here in the United States. Our current system is an embarrassment.

Jeff Tone said...

mjmand: You're right; if an illegal alien is infected with swine flu and doesn't get treated, he or she can infect anyone nearby. The illegal immigration issue can be used to emotional effect by any demagogue who is against health care reform. In a country in which end-of-life counseling was dropped as a reform issue because it was misconstrued as part of a "death panel," such appeals unfortunately work.