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Tilting at Windmills

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September 1, 2009

'GO BE A GROWN UP'.... Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R) of Kansas has, all of a sudden, started making quite a name for herself. Last week, the far-right lawmaker said she hopes to see a "great white hope" step up to defeat President Obama and congressional Democrats. Now a clip is making the rounds with Jenkins sharing her thoughts on the plight of the uninsured.

In this clip, taken at a July town hall meeting, Jenkins is confronted by a constituent named Elizabeth Smith -- a full-time waitress with two young kids. Smith's employer doesn't provide insurance, and she can't afford private coverage. Smith's not looking for a handout; she's looking for an affordable choice.

"I want an option that I can pay for," Smith told her representative. "I work. I pay my bills. I'm not a burden on the state. I pay my taxes. So why can't I get an affordable option? Why are you against that?"

Jenkins responds, literally chuckling at the question, "A government-run program is going to subsidize not only yours but everybody in this room. So I'm not sure what we're talking about here."

Jenkins went on to tell Smith that "people should be given the opportunity to take care of themselves with a refund, or an advanceable [sic] tax credit, to go be a grown-up and go buy the insurance."

"Be a grown-up"? The taxpaying constituent Jenkins was blithely dismissing works full time and takes care of two young kids. She is a "grown-up." Indeed, tens of millions of Americans are lacking coverage -- some due to pre-existing conditions, some because their insurers dropped them through rescission, some because they can't afford it -- and it's not because they haven't "grown up."

I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a member of Congress take such a condescending attitude towards struggling American families. Nothing comes to mind.

Later, Smith explained she hasn't been able to take her two-year-old son to a doctor in 21 months, except for emergency room visits for ear infections. "I am frustrated," she said. "In a functioning, civil society, people take care of each other."

I keep wondering if there might be one game-changing moment in the debate, a turning point in which one person stands up and becomes a symbol for the larger cause. That's probably not realistic, though I thought we might have seen such a moment recently when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) callously rejected the concerns of a woman whose husband is a brain-injury victim. It got a little attention, but in general, people didn't care.

Maybe Elizabeth Smith's plight will gain more traction? She doesn't want charity; she wants an affordable choice for her and her family. Democrats want to give her one. And yet, here we have at least one Republican lawmaker who finds the idea of giving struggling families a choice laugh-out-loud funny. Indeed, she'd like to see Americans who can't afford coverage do more to "go be a grown-up."

Steve Benen 2:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (64)

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Good luck being a 'grownup' if you aren't in perfect health.

Posted by: Go, Sestak! on September 1, 2009 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a member of Congress take such a condescending attitude towards struggling American families. Nothing comes to mind."

Really? Haven't you ever heard a republican speak before?

Posted by: Nautilator on September 1, 2009 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a member of Congress take such a condescending attitude towards struggling American families. Nothing comes to mind.

How about Chuck Grassley telling a constituent to go get a goverment job if he wants the same health care options as a member of Congress.

Posted by: Winkandanod on September 1, 2009 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Aaaaaaaaaaand Obama's numbers continue to slide because he won't take things like this and drive them through the Republicans' ugly mugs.

People hate Republicans. If Obama doesn't hate them too, his popularity declines. If he compromises with them, he looks like a collaborator.

Posted by: JM on September 1, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Why does the term "promote the general welfare" ring a bell with me?

Posted by: JW on September 1, 2009 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK
Maybe Elizabeth Smith's plight will gain more traction?

Probably won't happen. The media did love them some Joe the Plumber, though, didn't they?

Posted by: noncarborundum on September 1, 2009 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems should put Medicare and every government-run healthcare program (Schip, etc.) on the table and make it crystal clear that the kind of coverage the "public option" is aiming at (albeit incompletely) is of the same sort. Then force the GOPs to oppose this and when they do announce that unless they stop opposing reform Medicare will be phased out. Obviously this would produce a howl of outrage from seniors, but it would demand a raising of consciousness for those who are hiding from the realities here. The backlash is coming on healthcare, and the Dems need to be very careful not to become the target.

Posted by: BGinCHI on September 1, 2009 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Maybe Elizabeth Smith's plight will gain more traction?"

Good luck with that. You likely won't see this get much play on mainstream media.

Posted by: Buford on September 1, 2009 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Grow up...

If God wanted you to have health care, he would have let you be born into a wealthy family!

Grow up...

If God wanted you to have an education, he would have let you be born into a weathy family!

Grow up...

What part of our republican agenda of government spending only to support corporate interests do you not understand?

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on September 1, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Without blinking, Jenkins disparages government subsidized health insurance and suggests instead a tax credit or refund to subsidize the cost of health insurance.

Posted by: doubtful on September 1, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

See, if this were the other way around, Republicans would be taking this waitress--Elizabeth the Waitress--and parading her around all the cable shows and newspapers and giving her public speaking appearances and talking about how the Democrats just. don't. get. it. That's what they're good at, and why their message always seems to resonate with people who don't know any better.

Posted by: Matt on September 1, 2009 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Accountability: This woman, the government suck, not Ms. Smith, needs to have her home "renovated" and her family threatened with serious harm. There is no excuse for this kind of vile language to be unanswered. I am furious and am not feeling like a St. at this moment. The town halls need to become overrun by angry progressives and the vicious "conservatives" called out for their lack of compassion and human caring.

Posted by: st john on September 1, 2009 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

I keep wondering if there might be one game-changing moment in the debate, a turning point in which one person stands up and becomes a symbol for the larger cause.

I don't think so my friend.

Posted by: koreyel on September 1, 2009 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a member of Congress take such a condescending attitude towards struggling American families. Nothing comes to mind."

Oh she's not alone - did you hear the woman in the background saying "It's not our job to pay for your healthcare".

THEY JUST DON'T GIVE A DAMN. if they're doing okay, then screw you.

Soulless and selfish bunch of Americans. Hopefully they aren't the majority...but I'm wondering?

Posted by: whichwitch on September 1, 2009 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's good to be a wealthy republican!

What part of "I've got mine, f*ck you!" do you not understand?

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on September 1, 2009 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Soulless and selfish bunch of Americans. Hopefully they aren't the majority...but I'm wondering?

I fear they are. I have seen too many people say "I'm getting mine, go suck it" to think otherwise.

Posted by: Personal Failure on September 1, 2009 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Even worse than the Congresswoman were the people shouting that it's not their job to pay for her healthcare.

Posted by: Kevin Ray on September 1, 2009 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

That seems to be a Republican meme - that so many of the 40-50 million people who don't have insurance don't have it because of THEIR choice. It's as if they close their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears and say "NA-NA-NA" over and over again that the problem will just go away or something. Extremely callous.

I think we should tie Medicare to the public option - tell these seniors who are packing the town halls that if they get special government treatment then everybody should, or nobody should. But if they don't think it's the government's (or anybody's) responsibility to pay for someone else's health care - then no one should get it.

Posted by: andy on September 1, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

It got a little attention, but in general, people didn't care.

Correction, Steve: The so-called "liberal media" didn't care.

And why should they? All those Very Serious People got theirs, after all.

Posted by: Gregory on September 1, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Michelle Malkin is looking in Elizabeth Smith's windows and taking pictures of her house or apartment at this very moment.

Posted by: howie on September 1, 2009 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

On the bright side, remember how much grief Barney Frank got for being "mean" to a constitutent? I'm sure Fox News will cover this clip just as thoroughly.

Posted by: Hoosier Paul on September 1, 2009 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a member of Congress take such a condescending attitude towards struggling American families. Nothing comes to mind.

Is Ms. Smith a single mom? Because that's not really a "family" in Republican-speak.

Still, she is white. I am a little surprised Jenkins would allow her contempt to become so overt and personalized.


Posted by: Chet on September 1, 2009 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I think, at the very least, the more recent example is more likely to be a flashpoint. As misguided as his response was - and as heartbreaking as the woman's plea was - at least Coburn made an attempt to be sympathetic.

Lynn Jenkins shows nothing but distaste and condescension towards Elizabeth Smith, the exact type of woman Republicans have claimed to support. Well, other than the fact that she s a working woman, and, presumably, single.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on September 1, 2009 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

And in the back of Lynn Jenkins' mind, that little sound file playing on repeat was saying, "Well if that dirty slut had just kept her legs closed and gone to church she'd have had a decent husband with a good job and employer-provided healthcare by now. It's her own damn fault."

Don't expect compassion from these people. Their entire mantra is, "Screw you, I got mine!"

If the Founders had the political will that Democrats today do, Elizabeth Smith and her two children would have universal health coverage under NHS.

Posted by: Keori on September 1, 2009 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggghhhhhh!!!!

It's not our job to pay for your healthcare! Okay, but who pays for YOUR healthcare? If you have employer-supplied health insurance, all the customers of your company are the ones paying for your health care.

All of us pay for employer-supplied health care every time we buy a product made by a company that covers its employees. I've tried to make this point dozens of times and I keep getting blank looks in response. We're already paying for health care for those folks who get it from the employer!!!

Why not put the same concept to work in a way that can extend coverage to everyone so that nobody has to rely on the ER for ear infection treatment??

God, I'm tired.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on September 1, 2009 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

If you remember the utter contempt displayed for Katrina victims by Bush and even his mother, this attitude is not a surprise. These people don't think of anyone else as human or worthy of basic consideration.

What's really ashame is that many white folks looked the other way when it was black people, jews, or immigrants who were the object of scorn.

Now that poor whites are beginning to suffer the same treatment, maybe they'll stop being so easily manipulated by race baiting and scapegoating.

Posted by: Banana-Eating Jungle Monkey on September 1, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Until CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS run these stories as often as they ran tea party stories, nothing will change.

We need to be pressing them to give the debate a human face.

Posted by: zak822 on September 1, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Could we call her "Elizabeth the Waitress" and build a publicity campaign around her?

Posted by: xtalguy on September 1, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

This completely disgusts me. Unfortunately this won't be the lead story on tonight's news, which is where it should be. But the media would rather listen to the discourse from the Cheney clan than what's really happening in America.

Had Ms. Smith been screaming that Obama is a Nazi, we sure would see it out there plenty of times.

Stetson Kennedy wrote -

"Lynn Jenkins shows nothing but distaste and condescension towards Elizabeth Smith, the exact type of woman Republicans have claimed to support. Well, other than the fact that she's a working woman, and, presumably, single."

Stetson, I disagree, the only women and children that these people support or care about are the pregnant ones and their unborn children. Once they give birth they couldn't give a rat's ass about mother or child....they've proven that over and over again.

Posted by: Fred on September 1, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm all for parading this around on the internet, interviewing the woman, etc. So, it's up to us to get the momentum going - on blogs, people in this woman's area, etc.

Drive it forward ourselves.

Posted by: Fang on September 1, 2009 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Michelle Malkin is looking in Elizabeth Smith's windows and taking pictures of her house or apartment at this very moment. "

She's too busy fuming about an article about Michelle Obama's hair.

Posted by: dk on September 1, 2009 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Jenkins is a sociopath.

Posted by: neill on September 1, 2009 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Elizabeth Smith is 27. If she's been working since she was 16, she's paid 40 quarters, and thus AS A TAXPAYER, is eligible for Medicare... except that she's not 65.

Ya want to change the debate? Organize people who have worked for 10 years and want that to allow 'em to buy in to Medicare coverage as a bridge when they are out of work.

"Yo, Congresswoman: I paid for it. Why are you denying it to me?


Posted by: theAmericanist on September 1, 2009 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

"It's not my job to feed all these people. Why dont they grow up? Haven't they heard of a loaves and fishes store, for Chrice-sake!"

Posted by: colonpowwow on September 1, 2009 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Go be a grown-up and go buy the insurance.

This, in extremely plain English, is the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats see healthcare as something everyone should have access to.

Republicans see healthcare as an opportunity for someone to make money. If you don't have money, what use are you to the Republican Party?

It's the Shock Doctrine for healthcare. Let the system get totally fucked up from deregulation, and then find where the money can be made.

Anyone who is not filthy stinking rich has no business throwing in with these heartless bastards.

Posted by: chrenson on September 1, 2009 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP is do damn good at taking one person who asks one question in public-- Joe the Plumber is the most obvious example-- and making them into a symbol of the regular working American.

Why cant the Democrats do the same with Elizabeth Smith? We can call her "Elizabeth the uninsured working mother".

Posted by: aleupp on September 1, 2009 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Has Smith's son been vaccinated? Has he received the kind of early medicine that can be so crucial in a child's development? Her lack of insurance at this stretch in her son's life could have long-term effects for him. It's not Smith that needs to become the poster-child (poster-mom?), it's her boy. He's being shafted by our system in ways he could be dealing with the rest of his life.

Posted by: NHCt on September 1, 2009 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine if what the conservatives have in place today had been in place over two hundred years ago before the American Revolution.

Today, the for-profit British aristocrats have been replaced by the wealthy for-profit CEOs running the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

But what if Revolutionary War pamphleteers had had to contend with Faux News, a corporate/aristocratic-friendly MSM and a right-wing dominated radio network?

You see, back during the Revolutionary War, the colonists were split into three groups: the Tories who backed the crown, the "libertarians" who just wanted to be left alone and the American revolutionaries who wanted to throw off the yoke of British tyranny in hopes of establishing a "more perfect union" based on laws instead of imperial fiat, with American citizens guaranteed specific inalienable rights as expressed in a Constitution and Bill of Rights.

So, if the Republican/conservative/Blue Dog "machine" had been in place over two hundred years ago, the pamphleteers would have been drowned out and Revolutionary War figures like Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and even George Washington would have been shouted down at town hall meetings. leading me to believe that the United States of America would have never been formed...just as today a desperately-needed Health Care Reformation is probably doomed, with over two-thirds of U.S. citizens knowing we need a change from the "status quo," but who are having their voice drowned out, while the die-hard Tory third lobby, through their corporate/aristocrat-controlled media outlets, for a continuation of the current corporate/aristocrat-driven for-profit system.

Posted by: The Oracle on September 1, 2009 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

The scary thing is that the tax-credit thing _is_ the GOP solution for health care reform.

Nowhere on the planet can they point to an example where such a system exists but that really doesn't matter, a tax credit is their solution to everything.

Since universal health care is our agenda, not their's, they can pretty much pull anything out of the air that they want. And 'tax credit' it is.

Posted by: leo on September 1, 2009 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

The basic view from the right,as far as I can discern, is average Americans don't deserve health insurance. It is a privilege not a basic right. It would be nice if the Dems dispensed with all the plans and policy discussions and just say we think everyone deserves access to medical care and our opponents don't.

Posted by: Kevin B on September 1, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Chrenson is half-right -- or rather, he's right about the part that isn't a problem.

You heard the voice in the background, demanding of Smith: "Why should we pay for your health care?"

That's the authentic voice of the Republican base -- not the crazies, though it sure sounds that way. We need an answer that doesn't talk down to 'em, which makes 'em see THEIR interest in reform.

Well?

I use the analogy of car insurance: EVERYBODY who drives has to have insurance. Hell, if it's a hostile crowd, demand answers: "anybody object to that?" Point out that no private driver gets government-paid for insurance, either. No need for it. And it's a good deal, even for a good driver: there's a reason they're called "accidents", they can happen to anybody.

Then explain how a private car insurance company makes money. They take money from good drivers. Insure enough of 'em, and their money will give you plenty to pay for the relatively few accidents that happen to good drivers -- and you can always charge bad drivers (or unlucky ones, those with more accidents) to minimize your losses. If a driver has enough accidents, don't insure 'em at all -- they shouldn't be driving.

The private model for health insurance IS remarkably like the one for car insurance: with cars, you want to insure good drivers, with health care, you want to insure healthy people.

But of course: that's where the analogy breaks down, because unlike a car, EVERYBODY is going to get sick and die, sooner or later -- and unless they're actually killed in a car accident, the last year of life is going to run up bills that no private insurer can cover.

"Why should we pay for your health care?" It's us vs, them. To win this, we need to expand the "us".

If she's worked for ten years (which she probably has, she's 27), then SHE has already paid enough to qualify for Medicare -- so why shouldn't she get it as a bridge?

As an OPTION, which she can choose until she can afford higher-priced private insurance.

"Why should we pay for your health care?"

She's ALREADY paid for it.

Posted by: theAmericanist on September 1, 2009 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

FACT: All Republicans are sociopaths.

Posted by: Bender on September 1, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I got to meet Lynn Jenkins last week and here's the deal: She's dumb. I'm talking clinically, willfully, embarrassingly stupid.

While I didn't get a chance to speak to her at length about anything important, she had problems grasping even a simple concept the President of my company tried to explaining to her. And it was just painful to witness. (And sadly, all that means is that she represents a large chunk -- though by no means all -- of her district quite well.)

Here's what I don't get:

Why the hell aren't Dems framing this whole thing in moral, and even religious, terms? And using this clown's comments as the basis?

The GOP claims it's the party of GOD, so why not point out that Jesus made a big point of helping the sick and poor? Then ask them what Jesus would think of our health care system, in which the poor are victims of the wealthy.

If the GOP believes in a "culture of life," ask them why they are so set against reforming a system that causes so much unnecessary death.

If the GOP believes in the amorphous idea of "freedom," ask why they're okay with a system that squashes freedom from changing jobs.

Ask them why they treat "regular Americans" like Jenkins did above, instead of showing even a milligram of concern.

Or, just point out that the GOP is obviously full of shit on each of these points -- if they weren't, they'd show some actual concern for their fellow citizens, rather than treating them with such disdain.

If only the Dems knew how the play the game the way the GOP does ...

Posted by: Mark D on September 1, 2009 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Are there no more emergency rooms? Workhouses? Are all the prisons full?

Posted by: Conservatroll on September 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

This Elizabith Smith could be the Katy Abrams of the pro-reform movement, except she handles her own finances and pays her own bills.

Posted by: Winkandanod on September 1, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

During last year's campaign, there were breathless news reports saying, "OMG! Hillary did not tip the waitress in Iowa." A bunch of reporters tripped all over each other trying to get an interview with that waitress even though the story was false and not newsworthy anyway. Elizabeth Smith will not get that kind of coverage.

Posted by: Rosali on September 1, 2009 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Obama should take this proposal at its face value, and provide funds from government to all people who cannot buy health insurance due to lack of enough income.

Posted by: gregor on September 1, 2009 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Does Jenkins actually consider herself a grown up? By her definition she's not - she has govt health care and she's paid by the taxpayers. How is that a grown up under her definition?

Posted by: Matt on September 1, 2009 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK
The GOP claims it's the party of GOD, so why not point out that Jesus made a big point of helping the sick and poor? Then ask them what Jesus would think of our health care system, in which the poor are victims of the wealthy.

Sadly, it won't work. Most so-called "Christians" have convinced themselves that when Jesus talked about treating all men as their brothers, he really only meant their fellow Christians -- in fact, only the specific people who go to their church. Everyone who's not a real "Christian" can go get stuffed, Jesus said.

Of course, you pretty much have to ignore the entire New Testament and substitute your own words in there to come to this conclusion, but since it was either that or feel guilty all the time for not doing what their religion insists they must do, they re-interpreted the Bible for their own convenience.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on September 1, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Why the hell aren't Dems framing this whole thing in moral, and even religious, terms? And using this clown's comments as the basis?"

Because it would work. Howard Dean is doing it. Harry Reid isn't because he really agrees with the GOP on this. Pelosi, who knows?

Posted by: zak822 on September 1, 2009 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

As several previous commenters have pointed out, it's easier when you own your own TV network.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on September 1, 2009 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist @ 3:49 PM: You heard the voice in the background, demanding of Smith: "Why should we pay for your health care?"

That's the authentic voice of the Republican base -- not the crazies, though it sure sounds that way. We need an answer that doesn't talk down to 'em, which makes 'em see THEIR interest in reform.

I suppose that we must try, but I have to say that's one tall order. I've tried having that conversation with some conservative colleagues and I am impressed by their ability to ignore facts and reason.

A lot of the liberal agenda can be seen as "enlightened self-interest." However, these faux-libertarians have no interest in paying for services from which they receive no perceived benefit.

Their hatred of taxes is such that they are willing to put up with a great number of social ills, the remedy of which would benefit them at least indirectly. Since they do not believe that government can effectively remedy these ills, they see no purpose in paying for efforts to try.

It's a nice little tautology they have going and it further justifies their hatred of government and taxation. The result is an atrophied sense of social and civic responsibility.

Posted by: AK Liberal on September 1, 2009 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Lynn Jenkins is a typical vicious C#nt, this is what this clip shows. I'm sure she's got some lovely "family values" though! Where again is the highly anticipated moral outrage from the "thy brother's keeper" Bible bunch again? White "Christians" make me sick.

Posted by: GTrollop on September 1, 2009 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

The first or second time Russ Feingold ran for Congress his opponent was this out-right Nazi who would have won except during a televised debate a little girl asked him a question and he blew up at her accusing her of being 'Democrat' plant and she burst into tears.

It went out on live tv and was repeated on the evening news for the next week or more.

It's the only thing that turned it around for Feingold that year, he'd have lost otherwise and probably wouldn't be in Congress now.

Posted by: cld on September 1, 2009 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

"It's not my job to feed all these people. Why dont they grow up? Haven't they heard of a loaves and fishes store, for Chrice-sake!"

I am so stealing that line and spreading it all over the place.

The Sermon on the Mount if Jesus had been a contemporarly Republican--it's perfect.

Posted by: doretta on September 1, 2009 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

RE-Publicans: I believe it was Publicans that Jesus condemned by name, on more than one occasion. So, the modern ones are RE-Publicans. repeated over and over again. They stand on the street corners, proclaiming their holiness and Jesus throws them out of the temple. Mixing a couple of biblical stories, but you get the drift.

Posted by: st john on September 1, 2009 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Could someone please tell Lynn Jenkins that we the taxpayers pay for her healthcare.

Posted by: JS on September 1, 2009 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bring her before my panel, and I'll see that she is quickly dispatched to Grown-Up land, where the infirm go to die.

Posted by: Death Panelist on September 1, 2009 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

THESE need to be the commercials. Show the victim. Show the callous legislator mocking her. With a giant tag: Lynn Jenkins, REPUBLICAN. Not "R." Republican, across half the screen.

Posted by: bcamarda on September 1, 2009 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Jenkins is a weak little coward. Look at her trying to keep the bullies in the audience at bay -- not from the uninsured waitress, but from herself. God forbid she should show even the slightest trace of sympathy for someone who actually cares about the issues instead of about an excuse to defeat Obama.

Posted by: T-Rex on September 1, 2009 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

All those gray heads saying "Elizabeth, why should we subsidize your healthcare?" I'm wishing she'd said "I'm subsidizing yours, with Medicare taxes out of every one of my small paychecks. Why should I subsidize YOUR healthcare?"

Posted by: gretchen on September 2, 2009 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

So Jenkins condescends to this hard working woman, saying she wants other people to subsidize her healthcare, and then suggests the correct solution is to have other people subsidize her healthcare with a refundable (I assume refundable) tax credit?

How can people make arguments like that with a straight face? It's better to use taxpayer's money on a private plan with a higher overhead than a public plan with a lower overhead? Yeah, great plan.

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