Without even seeing that he was proving my point, an aide to Congressman Gus Bilirakis told me this morning that his own daughter gets government healthcare.
Here's the scenario: Democracy for America and the Democrats in NW Hillsborough County, FL, have collected healthcare stories from citizens around the state which we have delivered to our Congressional representatives. The delivery to Rep. Bilirakis' (FL-9) office was delayed because we wanted to give them to an aide during his monthly "Community Outreach" event. This morning, I took the stack of stories to the library where the event was held. The 40-something male aide was browsing the bookshelves when I got there.
We went into the private meeting room and I gave him the stories and asked that the Congressman sign on as a co-sponsor of HR 676 for single-payer healthcare. I also asked him to pass along the word that we would like to see Congressman Bilirakis vote to override George Bush's expected veto of the S-CHIP bill.
He then told me that the Congressman was against the bill because it would be giving healthcare to children whose families earn more than $80,000 dollars per year. I told him that had been taken out of the bill, but that it didn't matter, because ALL children, in fact, all Americans, deserve healthcare.
He then said "...children in this country are not denied healthcare. My own daughter, who is in her twenties and makes minimum wage, gets her healthcare at the County Health Department. So no one has to go without healthcare in this country."
My response was, "So your daughter gets government healthcare." He was a bit flustered.
"No," he said. "She goes to the health department and gets care."
"But that's government healthcare, paid for by the taxpayers."
I'm not sure if it ever registered that his daughter is taking advantage of a program exactly like S-CHIP. (Would you call that hypocrisy or stupidity?)
We talked in circles for awhile longer, but he was having none of it. There's no way that Gus Bilirakis (legacy congressman) will ever override this veto, despite the fact that his own aide's family can't afford healthcare. He follows White House marching orders and in the words of this morning's St. Pete Times editorial, "this is about ideology and politics, not money."
Crossposted on dailykos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/10/3/121949/040