POLITICS
09/14/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sen. John Cornyn Wants To Make Texas' Failed Health Care System The 'National Model'

The last time we had occasion to think of Texas Senator John Cornyn, it was when his staff put out that ridiculous "Big Bad John" video, which captured Cornyn as a slow-motion rodeo clown who liked to ride his horsies. At the time, Cornyn suggested, "Maybe I need a new staff," but now he apparently feels that ad was the height of wit! He was recently quoted as saying, "The thing I liked about it the most is how much it aggravated all the liberals and the liberal blogosphere...It just made them angry." Poor dear! It made the liberal blogosphere laugh! What makes them angry is when Cornyn suggests that "judicial activism" is a justifiable excuse for homicide, but even then, this anger isn't founded in "liberalism," but "humanity."

Still, we recall that Cornyn ad boasting that the Senator was capable of "making lesser states squirm." But recent assertions Cornyn has made are only squirmworthy in the way he's allowed his own state to descend to "lesser" status. I speak, of course, of his recently stated plans to make over the national health care system in his own state's image:

"So, you have to understand what I mean when I say I want to make Washington, D.C., and the rest of our country more like Texas (because), frankly, we know the policies that actually work."

Frankly, Cornyn's claims are all hat, no cattle. Here's a summary of the "national model" we'll all be following, if Cornyn has his way:

  • 45.7% of America will be without healthcare or have significant gaps in coverage. Families USA recently crunched the census numbers, and discovered that over nine million Texans go without health insurance for all or part of the year.
  • Kids will be the big losers under Cornyn Care. The August 13 Houston Chronicle notes that John was an especially Big and Bad bogeyman to children: "Last year, Cornyn was among 18 members of the 100-member Senate who opposed a huge expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program." S/CHIP covered 585,000 children in Texas in 2006, but nearly two-and-a-half times as many -- 1,410,000, to be exact -- are going without.
  • Cornyn's repeatedly stuck it to kids. He cast six separate votes in 2007 to deny children access to healthcare.
  • Habitual blockage of key healthcare legislation. Cornyn's proud of his lack of accomplishments, and he has touted his role in preventing a number of bills that would improve healthcare from passage. Bills he obstructed include the The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (S.1955), The Nurse Faculty Education Act (S.1575), The Medical Care Access Protection Act (S.22), The Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act (S.244), The Patients First Act (S.11), The Workforce Health Improvement Program (S.772), The Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Act (S.2754), and the The Wired for Health Care Quality Act (S.1418).
  • But, give Cornyn a chance to vote for a boondoggle, and he's quick to saddle up. One highlight of Cornyn's career has been his embrace of the disastrous Bush prescription drug plan, in which Cornyn played a role in ensuring that Medicare didn't have the leverage to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs. (S 1932, Vote#302, 11/3/05)

Does that sound like a viable national model? Pretty much not! And, judging from the fact that Cornyn's celebratory ad made no note of these specific accomplishments either, it would appear that his own staff agrees.