Republican Medicare Beneficiaries Slam ‘Government Care’

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"Republican Medicare Beneficiaries Slam ‘Government Care’"

gopconv.JPGLast Wednesday, the Associated Press “interviewed a handful of retiree delegates to the Republican convention to sample their views on health care and other issues that most concern them.” Ironically, while all of the interviewees registered their dismay for so-called government health care, all relied on government-funded Medicare, Medicaid or Veterans Health Care to cover their health care costs:

- Peggy Lambert, a member of RNC’s platform committee, is a Medicare beneficiary:

- On health care reform: “I’m not sure I know what the solution is. I just know what the problem is…It’s a terrifying experience to know that you have no coverage, and you limit your trips to the doctor, and there’s just so many things you can cut back on.”

- Frmr. Montana Gov. Tim Babcock benefits “from free prescriptions he’s entitled to as a World War II veteran”:

- On health care reform: “It’s an emotional thing that the Democrats like to build up, that everybody doesn’t have health care. I think I was about 40 years old before I realized there was such a thing as health insurance, and I got along all right.”

- John Ortega of Bettendorf, Iowa is a 67-year-old Army veteran who “receives Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Administration insurance”:

- On health care reform: “I think small or regular business can handle that better than the government can.”

This phenomena is not uncommon. As the Wonk Room pointed out, while the 2008 Republican platform states that “Republicans support the private practice of medicine and oppose socialized medicine in the form of a government- run universal health care system,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) himself is a beneficiary of government administered care.

As a 72 year-old war veteran senator, McCain benefits from The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, in which “the Government pays 72 percent of the average premium toward the total cost of the your premium,” and is potentially eligible for the government administered Medicare program and the Veterans Health Care administration, “the largest integrated health system in the United States.”

Hypocritical in their argument, some Republicans do have a single message: do as we say, not as we do.

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