Mediaite White House correspondent Tommy Christopher says he wanted to remind his colleagues about the stakes of the government shutdown when he asked his highly unusual question at Tuesday's White House press briefing.
At the briefing, Christopher told White House press secretary Jay Carney that he was uninsured when he had his heart attack three years ago, then asked if the president would be willing to delay Obamacare if Republicans delayed "heart attacks."
"When I had a heart attack 3 years ago, I was uninsured, and haven’t been able to get insurance ever since then," Christopher said. "Listening to all the pressure on the president to negotiate, a lot of it from inside this room, made me think is the president willing to delay Obamacare for a year, if the Republicans were to agree to delay heart attacks for year."
Unfortunately, Jay Carney wasn't the one to ask, though I'm sure there were some reporters who picked up on the irony.
It's a great question. As Heritage Action holds the trigger to representatives' heads to block or otherwise impede any chance of keeping our nation from falling down the debt ceiling default recession hole, it's easy to forget that real people are suffering serious harm with each and every day that they don't have access to health care.
Christopher expanded on his thought in an email to Politico:
"I've been frustrated, for a long time, over the trivial way some of the White House reporters have handled this. The constant drumbeat for negotiations, the absurd questions about whether Jay Carney, who already has health insurance, will sign up for Obamacare," Christopher said. "I wanted to remind my colleagues that, for good or ill, the stakes here are serious. If the President is going to negotiate, this is what he is being asked to negotiate. I don't expect anyone to particularly care about my situation, but there are millions of Americans who are in the same boat, who don't deserve this."
I couldn't have said it better myself. Well done, Tommy.