Texas Representative Michael Burgess joined Chris Matthews for a chat about the impending death of Trumpcare in the Senate. I say "impending," because Mitch McConnell has vowed a vote on repeal next week regardless of whether they have the votes, for the pure purpose of identifying Senators they think should be primaried.
Good luck with that. Polls indicate primarying GOP electeds over healthcare is a losing proposition but that didn't stop Burgess from smarmily insinuating they'd have no problem threatening any Senator who didn't vote to kill people.
"Do you believe health care is a right," Matthews asked quizzically.
Burgess replied, "I told you. It's a responsibility."
And that launched one of the most contemptible moments I've seen on cable television ever.
Matthews: "No. Is it a right like life or is it a right like the right to bear arms or a right in the Bill of Rights? Do you have a right to health care provided by the federal government?"
Stupid framing, Chris. The federal government is regulating the healthcare delivery system, not providing healthcare. But it set up the question for Burgess well.
Burgess answered, "You have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Matthews: "Not health?"
Burgess: "I'm a physician. If someone has a right, that means you take my skills and the fruits of my labor. That is what you're telling me."
Matthews: "I'm just asking. I'm not telling you anything. I want to know where you stand."
Burgess: "I told you where I stand. It is a responsibility that people have to have the provision for taking care of their health and their family's health."
His argument is essentially this: Open the door, beckon the guest, and as soon as they get to the threshold, slam the door hard and ask for the password they never received. If they cannot provide the password, they die. Only those who were lucky enough to receive it live. And it is their responsibility to get the password, whether they have the ability or not.
What a contemptible little bastard that man is. He took an oath -- the Hippocratic oath -- and he lied all the way through it. Clearly he worships the Almighty Dollar far more than he believes in the power of healing.
I pity his patients.