July 22, 2009

George Voinovich is retiring from Congress next year, and I guess that means he can feel free to let a few things slip out. In this clip from CNBC, he admits what we've known all along - that opposition to the President is driving opposition to health care reform. Republicans know that if a Democratic President expands access to health care more than any time since Medicare, and lowers individual costs for most people, he will reap rewards. So their strategy, as revealed previously by internal memos and Jim "Waterloo" DeMint, is to obstruct reform to deny the President a "win", thusly turning the uninsured and the poor into pawns in a political game.

Most of Voinovich's remarks are of the fiscal scold variety, claiming that we cannot afford the cost of government (something I forget hearing from Voinovich when he voted to authorize a war in Iraq that cost three trillion dollars), but here's the key moment at around 4:25:

QUESTIONER: ...on health care, how much of this disagreement with the Administration is about the policy of health care and how to fix it, and how much of it is Republicans' obvious and understandable desire to declaw the President politically? How much of that does fit into the equation.

VOINOVICH: I think it's about 50/50, but I will tell you this...

He then claims that some Republicans want to work "on a bipartisan basis" on health care, but that's pretty much the death knell right there.

Democrats are right to jump all over this and expose the GOP as obstructionists. We've known this for some time with the record number of filibusters, but haven't gotten it out to the public. On a high-profile issue like health care, it should be radioactive to obstruct for political reasons and deny millions of people the right to have quality, affordable care.

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