Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) office today released an internal study showing that 151 members of Congress “currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care — Medicare.” Of those 151 members, 55 are Republicans who also happen to be “steadfastly opposed [to] other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.” Included on Weiner’s list are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY).
This morning on C-Span, Weiner explained the idea behind the project:
WEINER: It’s more another way of looking at this debate, this discussion about the public option, to put it in focus. We went, just out of curiosity, looked at how many members of Congress get the public option. And I know a lot of people have said, “Well under the new bill, how many of you members of Congress would choose the public option?”
Well there already is one; it’s called Medicare. And we found 55 Republicans and 151 members of Congress are on Medicare right now. So they’re already getting the same type of public option that we’d like people who are without insurance to be able to get. And I guess the purpose of this list was to kind of point out some of the hypocrisy of this debate.
“You have members of Congress thumping their chest how they’re against government health care,” Weiner noted, adding, “and yet when it’s time for them to accept Medicare, they’re like, ‘Sign me up!’” Watch it:
Back in July, Weiner offered an amendment that would eliminate Medicare, saying at the time that it was “put-up or shut-up time for the phonies who deride the so-called ‘public option.’” Of course, no one voted for the measure.
“Even in a town known for hypocrisy,” Weiner said in a statement today releasing his study, “this list of 55 Members of Congress deserve some sort of prize. They apparently think the public option is ok for them, but not anyone else.”