Congressman John Shadegg's New Prop

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The New York Times brings us this tidbit from this weekend's health-care debate in the U.S. House of Representatives:

Representative John Shadegg, Republican of Arizona, held up the tiniest prop so far, a little girl called Maddie, 7 months old, whom he introduced as the daughter of a staff member. After saying he wished she were his grandchild, Mr. Shadegg apparently began channeling the infant’s hopes and dreams for the future of health care:

“Maddie likes America because we have freedom here, and Maddie believes in patient choice health care. She has come here to say she doesn’t want government to take over health care. She wants to keep her plan.

“Maddie knows if this bill passes, she knows her mom’s health care will go away and won’t be around for five years. If the bill passes, then no more health care for her mom, because it has to change. Maddie wants patient choice. She doesn’t want her mom’s premiums to go up. . . ."

Leaving aside the stupidity of Shadegg's belief that Maddie knows anything at all about her health-care options: If indeed Maddie is the daughter of a staff member, and that staff member is getting health-care coverage through employment by the federal government, isn't Maddie already getting government-provided coverage?

We liked this detail at the end:


Representative Henry Waxman, Democrat of California, conceded that the baby was quite remarkable, as was the ventriloquist act.

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