Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 6, 2009

THANK GOODNESS FOR GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE ON CAPITOL HILL.... About 20 minutes into yesterday's right-wing rally on the Hill in opposition to health care reform, one of the protestors suffered a heart attack. Fortunately, as Dana Milbank reported, medical professionals were able to respond quickly.

Medical personnel from the Capitol physician's office -- an entity that could, quite accurately, be labeled government-run health care -- rushed over, attaching electrodes to his chest and giving him oxygen and an IV drip.

This turned into an unwanted visual for the speakers, as a D.C. ambulance and firetruck, lights flashing, pulled in just behind the lawmakers. A path was made through the media section, and the patient, attended to by about 10 government medical personnel, was being wheeled away on a stretcher just as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stepped to the microphone. [...]

By the time it was over, medics had administered government-run health care to at least five people in the crowd who were stricken as they denounced government-run health care.

As far as I can tell, neither the conservative lawmakers or the far-right protestors actually voiced opposition to the government health care services, or called on the elimination of the Capitol physician's office. Government-run health care -- the scourge the Republicans assembled to denounce -- may be poised to contribute to the end of Western civilization, but it can also apparently be pretty helpful and effective.

On a related note, I can't help but wonder how many of the lawmakers who spoke at yesterday's rally also like to stop by the Office of the Attending Physician -- the elaborate, government-run health care office conveniently located between the House and Senate chambers, staffed with a team of medical professionals who are "standing by, on-call and ready to provide Congress with some of the country's best and most efficient government-run health care."

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), for example, hates government-run, taxpayer-subsidized health care, but he just loves the Office of the Attending Physician on the Hill.

I don't imagine this came up during yesterday's speeches. I wonder why.

Steve Benen 10:10 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (43)

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Should have let the protestor bite the dust. After all, what kind of red-blooded real American would want government to interfere with their god given right to die?

Posted by: citizen_pain on November 6, 2009 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

empirical proof that there is a goddess and she is laughing her ass off at the asses.

well, at least empirical evidence that these nuts are trying to think with their asses...and ignoring empirical evidence...up until it would likely kill them. a darwin award in the making...

Posted by: neill on November 6, 2009 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not surprised at the cynics on the Hill that deride government-run health care but use it frequently. What does continually astonish me is the sheer number of fools who buy into this nonsense, though it would take less than 15 seconds' worth of thought to see how they or those they love are already benefiting from such systems--not to mention what's going on right before their eyes. It is a willed ignorance of what's in one's own benefit. If there was a Con Artist Award of the Year, the insurance companies and their surrogates would surely win this year.

Posted by: Balakirev on November 6, 2009 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

By the time it was over, medics had administered government-run health care to at least five people in the crowd who were stricken as they denounced government-run health care.

Five of them?

Remarkably sickly bunch. No wonder they're paranoid.

Posted by: cld on November 6, 2009 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK


(The cost of the police removal of teabagging protesters)
(The cost of the various medical treatments)

Send the bill to Bachmann's office.

Posted by: koreyel on November 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

If ordinary paramedics from the DC fire department had responded, that still would've been "government-run health care," in a sense. But not in the sense the protesters were using. The irony would be blunted, but would still stand.

Posted by: Grumpy on November 6, 2009 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Free Flu Shots for all attendees.

Posted by: apeman on November 6, 2009 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

But, Steve, that's where you've made your mistake. They don't actually object to government medical care. They just don't want to pay their share. They'd be perfectly happy to have socialized medicine as long as you told them that everyone else in the country would pay but they wouldn't have to.

Conservatives are spongers of the highest order. They want everyone else to pay for the roads they drive on, the schools their children go to, the fire departments that respond to fires at their house. They see no reason why they should have to pay money to receive these benefits -- they should get them all for free!

As I've said before, these are the people that you only go out to dinner with once because they vanish when the check arrives and come back after it's paid, smirking at you because they were able to "save" money by making you pay their share.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on November 6, 2009 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter GOP: Government healthcare for me, but not for thee.

Posted by: Marko on November 6, 2009 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

I'm absolutely heartsick at the notion that those freedom-lovin' patriots had so much government intrusion thrust into their lives at the very moment that the Honorable John Boehner was waving his copy of the United States Constitution and reading a passage from the Declaration of Independence. Such a sad, sad moment.

Posted by: Tea Bagger Jones on November 6, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

I don't imagine this came up during yesterday speeches. I wonder why.

Steve, with this crowd, it wouldn't matter if it did. Both irony and duplicity completely escapes them.

Besides, I know this crowd well enough to know that when faced with a hypocrisy such as using government medical resources during their little anti-government run medicine rally, they wouldn't even bat an eye before exclaiming "damn right we're using them, our tax dollars paid for them."

Always the same with these people. When using services, it's their "right" because "they" paid for them. It's only when someone else uses them they get pissed. (And by someone else, I mean non-white or poor)

Posted by: oh my on November 6, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

First off, let me say that I hope the person with the heart attack and the others are OK and recovering.

Second, I wonder why they just didn't go to the emergency room? After all, everyone has access to to the emergency room. We don't need no stinking government-run health care.

Posted by: Eeyore on November 6, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see, the Republicans are against government ut aren't they part of that same government? So they are against themselves and no one at the "rally" really understand that the people they are listening to rail against government are the same people who are the government. How sad for these folks as they sell themselves out as fools.

Posted by: del on November 6, 2009 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Curious that Boner's face-and misreading of the Declaration/Constitution- was newsworthy enough to get covered by the news media, the heart attack drama evidently wasn't newsie enough for the newshounds to put on the news. . .

Posted by: DAY on November 6, 2009 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Call me a skeptic, but is there any vidoes circulating or other reports of this incident? Haven't been able to find any, as I like to post verfication for the wingnuts when they claim liberal bias media.

Posted by: Dave on November 6, 2009 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

About 20 minutes into yesterday's right-wing rally on the Hill in opposition to health care reform, one of the protestors suffered a heart attack.

I'm so thankful that real Americans took time out of their lives and braved heart attacks and other medical ailments to secure my privilege and god given right to be dropped by my insurance company wilst being over charged to the tune of 20% for the inefficiency of the private capitalized insurance system model.

Posted by: about time on November 6, 2009 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

I found this. Don't know if it would meet the strict burden of proof of the wingnut crowd. Although their burden is simply someone saying so, so it must be so. http://www.inform.com/photo/1918783

Posted by: Dave on November 6, 2009 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Benen last posted at 10:10 AM, and it's now 11:25 AM. Somebody in Vermont -- call 911.

Posted by: Where's Steve? on November 6, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

i trust the office of the attending physician got a copy of all these people's insurance cards before rendering service.

Posted by: mellowjohn on November 6, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

It is a sad day when ignorance monopolizes honest efforts to provide public policy that is smart, worth the cost, and beneficial to American citizens of all stripes! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on November 6, 2009 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

This is exactly the reason why the tea baggers haven't gained any traction except with cable news and talk radio. people look at them and see a handful of crazy medicare recipients protesting...medicare.

Posted by: SaintZak on November 6, 2009 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

I will cut off my nose to spite my face. That'll learn it!

Posted by: anomaly on November 6, 2009 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't be surprised if Pelosi's thugs made those people ill so as to force government healthcare on them. The lady's no lady.

Posted by: Myke K on November 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

More photos from the direct source. I'm convinced, send the medical bills out. The new hippy generation. http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=92770843&EditorialProduct=News#

Posted by: Dave on November 6, 2009 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

I went to my doctor's office today for a routine physical. I asked for a swine flu shot. He said, they had none and didn't know when they will get any.

I'd be willing to bet that every Congresscritter on the hill has had his/her flu shot courtesy of the Capitol Physician office.

Posted by: DeeCee on November 6, 2009 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

These physicians clearly were in violation of this gentleman's constitutional rights.

Posted by: reaster on November 6, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

We can add this to our list of "Hypocrites in Action". Don't forget the 9-12ers protesting government spending while at the same time complaining that DC hadn't provided adequate publicly-funded mass transit for them. And the head complainer was a TX congressman who had recently voted against funding.

Posted by: Me on November 6, 2009 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Given the blatant irony of these events, the obvious question that comes to mind is whether the attendees of the event realized the irony of their compatriots being treated by a government system, or whether they were oblivious to it. The third option is one that assumes the worst in people in that as long as the costs don't come knocking on their door, they are not interested in any system that looks after other people.

Posted by: Wellescent Health Blog on November 6, 2009 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

This should be played up a lot more than it is...complete with pics of the Medical center for congress. Such hypocrisy should not go under reported...especially for folks like Virginia senile Foxx.

I can't believe the attendees of gov. run healthcare showing up at that demonstration for an emergency was purely a coincidence...seemed more like fate...a slap in the face to these goobers.

Posted by: bjobotts on November 6, 2009 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

how dare those attending physicians not offer the heart attack victim the ability to opt-in on their services before forcing government run health care on him.

Posted by: pluege on November 6, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

This should be played up a lot more than it is...

US corporate media has got the wingnuts' backs making sure most Americans are unbothered with the constant, disgusting drone of wingnut hypocrisy.

Posted by: zoot on November 6, 2009 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Why weren't they just given vouchers so they could find their own emergency care?

Posted by: West of the Cascades on November 7, 2009 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Can't we get a list of who uses the Capitol Physicians under the Freedom of Information Act? We wouldn't need to know the diagnosis, just that they used this socialist health care program.

Posted by: Cal Gal on November 7, 2009 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

"This bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen in the nineteen years I have been here in Washington"

John Boehner
November 5, 2009

Oh, dear! Where was this knucklehead on September 11, 2001? Or when the Patriot Act was passed for that matter. Where was this fool in 2000 when the Supreme Court put a stop to the vote counting in the state of Florida and installed the Bush Mob in the White House? The greatest threat to freedom in nineteen years? Have another sip, Mr. Faux Tan Man.


Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Posted by: Tom Degan on November 7, 2009 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

I think the Republicans are jealous that Obama was genius enough to get his entire agenda funded by the stimulus right out of the gate. He gets to step up to the microphone every now and again and give 5 billion dollars away to advance some microcosm of this country.

Posted by: Ryan on November 7, 2009 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

How richly ironic. Reminds me of the anti-immigration sentiment that runs "round up and deport all the illegals . . . except those who work for ME!!! Keep your hands off!" But in reverse on health care: "Treat ME -- just not those other grubby people!"

Posted by: Mekhong Kurt on November 8, 2009 at 6:06 AM | PERMALINK

In no other land can ignorant fools be cared by the hand they trying to bite. What a Country this is.

Posted by: Walter Jarrin on November 8, 2009 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

They don't actually object to government medical care. They just don't want to pay their share. They'd be perfectly happy to have socialized

Posted by: Health Care on November 10, 2009 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

thin about what imabout to say/ask "what has the government done for your stae?"

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