From Brent Budowsly at THE HILL:
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wins the award for why Republican favorable numbers on healthcare are barely above 20 percent. Mr. Cantor was recently asked what a woman with stomach cancer should do if she did not have the insurance to pay huge medical costs.
Here is the Cantor plan for middle-income Americans who may have lost their health insurance after being laid off by a company whose CEO might be making a million dollars a year. First, she should sell all of her lifetime possessions to desperately pay humongous medical costs, with the side benefit that this would make her poor, and therefore qualify for health programs for the poor that many Republicans don’t support. If this fails, Mr. Cantor advises the woman to do this: beg.
The Cantor Plan envisions a middle-class woman made poor by layoffs, cancer and skyrocketing healthcare costs begging for charity as a last resort.
Would Mr. Cantor advise this woman to fall to her knees and beg? Or would he merely have her write a tearful letter pleading and begging for help as she fights valiantly to defeat an illness that could be terminal?
Since Mr. Cantor is such an admirer of healthcare programs that help the poor, I invite him to join us in supporting the public option in the healthcare bill.
Let’s remember, the healthcare crisis is not only about the poor, it is about the middle- and working-class victims of a savage economy who get laid off, lose healthcare benefits and become poor.
Mr. Cantor presumably likes poor people, because the Cantor Plan will create more of them from the ranks of the middle class.
Instead of suggesting middle-class Americans sell their possessions to become poor, and beg for charity, I propose we enact a public option for those who are not protected by insurers, healthcare firms or Republican leaders in Congress.
You can watch the edited version or the entire “public square” hosted by The Richmond Times Dispatch where Little Eric made his remarks here and read excellent commentary by Yobie Benjamin. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) was the other guest.