If Congress Can't Pass Health Reform, Yank Their Coverage

Pols should be punished for 'longstanding and grievous breach of responsibility: Kristof
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2009 7:30 AM CDT
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, and ranking Republican Charles Grassley prepare for the committee's continuing health care markup, Oct. 1, 2009.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – Nicholas Kristof has a modest proposal for lawmakers who vote down health care reform. If universal coverage is defeated, he writes, let’s take away the insurance of 15% of Congress, at random, and cut benefits to an inadequate level for another 8%. “I wouldn’t wish the trauma of losing health insurance on anyone,” writes Kristof in the New York Times, but their failure to ensure universal care “is such a longstanding and grievous breach of their responsibility that they deserve it.”

It’s a question of priorities; we were willing to spend $2.4 trillion on Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, but not $1 trillion on reform. A recent study found that 45,000 Americans die each year because they lack insurance. That’s a 9/11 every three weeks. That’s “not simply unwise and unfortunate," he says. "It is also wrong—a moral blot on a great nation.”