If you didn’t attend last year’s health care town hall meeting in Petaluma, you owe it to yourself to see it. There are some clips on youtube, but Marin County’s G-Channel provides complete and high-quality coverage. Listen carefully to both the comments from the audience and to Rep. Woolsey. Evaluate for yourself the congresswoman’s deportment and the degree to which she does or does not answer questions.
I was at that town hall (which, you may recall, Lynn Woolsey, was very loathe to schedule at all). She didn’t want to face her constituents on this highly volatile issue, but she does deserve kudos for finally agreeing to do so. However, she struck me as inattentive to speakers who didn’t agree with her. I found that disrespectful of her and not a credit to her office. Also, she was not well informed about the particulars of the pending bill, and she admitted that she had not read it. Furthermore, when pressed, our member of Congress told the town hall that if the bill passed she would not give up her taxpayer-subsidized Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), explained more succinctly by FactCheck.org for the less comprehensive plan she was legislate on the American people. FEHBP, by the way, is not a single-payer government plan; federal employees can choose among over one hundred private plans. All covered have access to more options than most Americans do, and members of the Senate and the House are entitled to certain benefits not extended to other federal workers. So, Rep. Woolsey’s unwillingness to give up this important perk can hardly be unexpected. However, it demonstrates vividly the attitudes of our lawmakers: one standard for themselves and another, lower one, for their constituents.
It is also worth noting that Lynn Woolsey official website touts her recent election as the next president of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA). Read what the ADA wants American health care to look like:
ADA has been committed to a National Health Service since 1972 and continues to promote publicly supported, universal, comprehensive health coverage, specifically a single payer National Health Service. Even after the most recent reform, some 15 million Americans will remain uninsured and tens of millions more will face uncertain future expenses and coverage choices. ADA believes the simplest, most cost efficient solution is a single-payer one-class health care system, not linked to a job. Medicare for all, excluding private insurance companies, would save money, cover everyone, and allow patients to choose their health care providers, who would be paid by the government.
Lynn Woolsey is not one to hide her agreement with the ADA goals. The home page of their website trumpets her reintroduction of the public option (as mentioned yesterday, this “option” is not meant to perpetually compete with private plans, but to supercede them and become the sole plan available to Americans). But for voters this liberal/progressive ambition of a government takeover of health care ought to be grounds for reconsidering support for Lynn Woolsey in the next election.
And it does bear repeating that our current representative doesn’t mind in the least having access herself to superior health care that she is not willing to extend to the rest of the populace. That double standard is a glaring problem shared by many long-term politicians, and Rep. Woolsey is one of them.