For the first time this summer the Health Care debate, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) fielded open questions from his constituents on the health reform debate at the Richmond Times-Dispatch “public square” forum yesterday.
One constituent Patricia Churchill shared the story of one of her family member’s current battle with cancer. Churchill told Cantor that her relative has several stomach tumors, yet recently lost her job and her health insurance coverage. Churchill stressed to Cantor that this particular relative needs an operation as soon as possible to save her life.
Cantor who does not support the public option told Churchill that her relative should seek ‘other government options’ or to find a charity that might help with her much needed cancer treatment.
Cantor, who serves as the chief whip for his party, has said that he cannot support a health reform bill with a public option. But despite his political opposition to government insurance programs, Cantor then emphasized to Churchill that every American should be given an “option” for health care, including a government program:
CHURCHILL: I have a very close relative, a woman in her early forties, who did have a wonderful, high-paying job, owns her own home and is a real contributing member of society. She lost her job. Just a couple of weeks ago, she found out that she has tumors in her belly and that she needs an operation. Her doctors told her that they are growing and that she needs to get this operation quickly. She has no insurance. […]
CANTOR: First of all I guess I would ask what the situation is in terms of income eligibility and the existing programs that are out there. Because if we look at the uninsured that are out there right now, there is probably 23, 24% of the uninsured that is already eligible for an existing government program […] Beyond that, I know that there are programs, there are charitable organizations, there are hospitals here who do provide charity care if there’s an instance of indigency and the individual is not eligible for existing programs that there can be some cooperative effort. No one in this country, given who we are, should be sitting without an option to be addressed.
Today, Cantor called for a complete ‘scrapping’ of President Obama’s proposed public option insurance program.
So, Cantor believes no American should be left without an option; it just shouldn’t be a public option. Instead he seems to believe the options should be charities that provide assistance or Medicaid, which obviously not all Americans are eligible to receive. But he doesn’t believe Americans should have a competitive option, just the beggar’s option.
Nice Mr. Cantor, nice. Let’s hope you can find a charity or qualify for Medicaid once your constituents send you packing forcing you to leave behind the nice health insurance package that Americans currently pay for you and your family to have.