On CSPAN’s Washington Journal yesterday, former Republican congressman Tom Davis received a call from an elderly woman named Dorothy, who said that because she has diabetes, health insurance companies “reject” her. “They don’t even want to accept me,” said Dorothy. “Is that, is that possible they could get away with that? That seems like discriminating.”
Davis responded by saying that he understood her “dilemma” and that she probably wouldn’t be able to retire by 62 as she desires. Advising her that she’d be alright if she found “a job with a major employer,” Davis said it would be “difficult” on her own:
DAVIS: I don’t think you’ll find, probably be able to find some health insurance but if its with a small business or you’re going out on your own, it’s difficult at this point. There may be a government plan or private plans that are mandated coming out of this that are maybe able to help you. … I don’t know any reason why you shouldn’t be able to find something out there, but you want to look for an employer that has a health care plan. Good luck.Later in the show, another caller criticized Davis for his “good luck” response, saying that it “encapsulates the entire Republican Party’s attitude towards any problems that are facing the American people today.” Davis replied that he didn’t mean “good luck” as a “kiss off,” but just as “good luck to you as you try to move through this problem.” Watch it:
Beyond responding to Dorothy with seeming callousness, Davis’ answer to her problem is also contradictory in its approach to a public health care option.
Davis first tells Dorothy that “a government plan” may “be able to help you.” (Which is true.) But when challenged by the later caller, he argued, “I don’t know that she can count on Washington to solve it for her.” In the next sentence, however, he said that she “can probably get some relief” when she qualifies for Medicare, which is government-provided. A NYT/CBS News poll this weekend found that 72 percent of Americans support creating a public health insurance option.
Transcript at source.