From the Senate HELP Committee health reform mark-up, Senate Caucus Room, Russell bldg.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) got me to thinking about a 1985 tune (“What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Gander, Too”) by Bobby Rush. Sen. Coburn offered up an amendment to require every member of Congress to get his or her health insurance from the proposed government-run health plan, adding “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
I tried hard to suppress the image of the jheri-curled blues singer, known for his raunchy stage shows with bouncing, buxom back-up singers. It seemed almost unholy to draw parallels between Mr. Rush and Sen. Coburn, the Bible-thumping conservative.
But they both seek to provoke.
Acting Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) didn’t take the bait. He immediately accepted the amendment and one-upped Sen. Coburn by using his proxy power to vote “yes” on the amendment for the absent Chairman, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). “It’s my proxy, I’ll do what I want with it,” said Sen. Dodd, drawing guffaws.
Sen. Dodd’s proxy put the amendment over the top. It passed 12-11.
The absurdity of it all was not lost on Sen. Coburn. “I’d love to be a church mouse in the conference committee when this gets dropped,” he said.
Sen. Dodd promised to try to land his colleague a spot on that committee.
What do you think? Should Members of Congress be required to get health insurance through the government-run health plan, if it materializes?
— Posted at 6:25 PM EDT by Alicia Ault (on Twitter @aliciaault)