Freshman GOPer Didn't Know Government Paid For Her Health Benefits
February 4, 2011
A fun nugget buried in this story about Rep. Ann Buerkle's (R-NY) first town hall meeting as an elected member of Congress. Constituents repeatedly asked a puzzled Buerkle about her health benefits. She couldn't figure out why. But her staff sure could.
Buerkle, who voted to repeal the health care reform act, was twice asked about the health insurance she receives as a government employee. At first she said she couldn't understand why people were so interested in her health insurance, and that taxpayers didn't pay anything for it. She later corrected herself after being handed a note from a staffer. Like most employees, she pays for a portion of her insurance and her employer, the government, pays the rest, she said.
As Republicans point out, these are employer provided benefits, which they're all for. So it's not as simple as straight hypocrisy. But there's a fundamental tension between the GOP's naysaying on health care reform and their willingness to accept federally subsidized private insurance -- just as in the health care law. These flubs grow out of that tension. And Dems can't get enough of it.
She's *soaking* in privilege. She's fucking textbook, privileged enough that she doesn't even have to think about her privilege or the fact that her easier life comes at the cost of the suffering of others. She doesn't have to imagine what the realities of living without insurance are for tens of millions of her fellow citizens. Not only is the health care of her and her family not even a question to her, she doesn't even have to think about the way taxpayer money (some of it coming from uninsured people!) is cocooning her privileged ass six ways from Sunday so she can be healthy and fit to go out and oppose "Obamacare" for poor and working people.
FFS. And lest anyone say that she works hard for her insurance -- she doesn't even bother to know basic facts pertaining to her decisions as an elected representative. How much you want to bet that 90% of the uninsured people she desperately longs to fuck over work harder than she does?