Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cost as an excuse

A friend and faithful reader who lives in Colorado's 4th CD sent a message to Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Fort Collins) asking why she voted against the House health reform bill on Saturday. Here, in part, is Markey's response:
After carefully reviewing this legislation and hearing from thousands of Coloradans across my district, I could not support this bill. This was not an easy decision to make, because I know only too well that America's health care system is in dire need of reform.

This bill provides new coverage for millions of Americans, but it simply does not do enough to cut the health care costs that are crushing our businesses and families. It's critical that we control rising health care costs, increase quality and value within our health care system, and improve access to health care and affordable health insurance coverage.
It does not do enough to cut health care costs? She wanted the bill to be more invasive into the private insurance market? I find this a tad disingenuous. I seriously doubt that a bill with a more robust public option would have won her support.

But this is the same sort of thing Joe Lieberman keeps saying -- he won't support the current reform because of its costs. Never mind that health care costs are projected to be even greater if the reform fails.

I suppose it's a convenient rationalization. Voters get the idea of things costing too much, and a member of Congress can sound somewhat responsible for rejecting something that's too expensive. But it's not, you know, true.

Update: Good followup from Steve Balboni:
On balance I'm quite fine with this sort of thing so long as the offending politician is really in a purple or red district. You'll never hear me bashing John Salazar even though his voting record leaves a lot to be desired. When he's needed Salazar is usually there. If positioning himself with the Blue Dogs helps him get re-elected I hold my nose and go along. The flip side of Salazar though is Joe Lieberman. The Last Honest Man is a Senator from a deep blue state who's voting record continues to tack farther and farther to the right. There's no reason that progressives should tolerate that type of behavior.