Friday, December 18, 2009

Sen. Brownback Explains Entire Republican Stance: "I Don't Want Health Care"

During the Bush years, any Democratic reluctance to support military spending brought charges from Republicans that they were refusing to give our troops what they need. Suddenly, in order to hold up health care reform, the Republicans recently adopted the tactic of filibustering military spending:

Senate Republicans failed early Friday in their bid to filibuster a massive Pentagon bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unusual move designed to delay President Obama's health-care legislation.

On a 63 to 33 vote, Democrats cleared a key hurdle that should allow them to approve the must-pass military spending bill Saturday and return to the health-care debate. After years of criticizing Democrats for not supporting the troops, just three Republicans supported the military funding.

...Democrats were furious at the filibuster attempt on Pentagon funds. "They are prepared to jeopardize funding for troops at war," Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said Thursday evening. "If Democrats did that, there would be cries of treason."

One wonders what now inspires the Republicans' total opposition to health care reform. The public option has been stripped away. The Medicare expansion proposal was dropped. The private heath insurance companies will have no public competition. Exactly how does the bill under consideration amount to a "government takeover" of health care?

The fact is that the Republicans are against all health care reform. Their constant call to "slow down" health care legislation–as if this agonizing process has been rushed–really amounts to a call to kill reform altogether. In this regard, Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) (above) summed up the entire Republican stance on the issue as he joined colleagues in the filibuster. Here it is, in just five words:

"I don't want health care."

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