GOP Conference Chairman Hensarling "Deeply Confused" About Obama's Health Care Law

January 21, 2011 10:06 am ET — Media Matters Action Network

Rep. Jeb Hensarling

House GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) offers yet another reminder that Republicans can't be bothered with the substance of the health care law they just voted to repeal:

"Here's my story, two days ago, I was in San Antonio, Texas, and my mother had a large tumor removed from her head. They wheeled her away at 7:20 in the morning, and by noon, I was talking to her along with the rest of our family. It proved benign, thanks to a lot of prayers and good doctors at the Methodist hospital in San Antonio. My mother's fine. I'm not sure that would be the outcome in Canada, the U.K., or anywhere in Europe.

"No disrespect to our President, but when it comes to the health of my mother, I don't want this President or any President or his bureaucrat or commissions making decisions for my loved ones. Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow."

Steve Benen sets the record straight:

First, patients with tumors can and do receive fine medical care in Canada, the U.K., and throughout Europe.

Second, despite this fact, the comparison doesn't make any sense, since the Democrats' reform law bears no resemblance to the health care systems found in Canada, the U.K., and throughout Europe.

Third, there is literally nothing in the law that makes a president or other government officials responsible to making medical treatment decisions. Hensarling is either deeply confused or he's making stuff up.

Fourth, for Americans who rely on private insurers, "bureaucrats" make treatment decisions every day for our loved ones, and sometimes they deny coverage for patients in need of care. If this is a genuine concern, even confused, far-right lawmakers should gladly endorse the consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act.

And finally, Jeb Hensarling is 53 years old, which makes it extremely likely that his mother is on Medicare. She therefore appears to have received excellent care through a system of socialized medicine.

Hensarling, by the way, was elected to the party leadership because of his supposed policy "expertise" and "history of successfully debating" important issues.