Why offer more people health insurance, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) asked at a press conference Friday, if they might lengthen waits for doctors and otherwise increase the "hassle factor" for her?
"That's like having a mother bear protecting her little cubs, and she's seeing that she has to move heaven and earth to get her child what her child needs," Bachmann said, referring to the health care reforms being debated by Congress. "We'll do it if we have to, but why put ourselves in that situation?"
Near the end of a tumultuous week of delays for health care bills in both houses of Congress, Bachmann and a handful of other House Republican women said at a press conference that as far as they were concerned, any reform would just make things tougher for them.
"I think most all of us here have had the opportunity to take our kids to a fast-food restaurant," said Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.). "We want to get a good dinner, and you walk in and there's 50 people there and it seems like everybody in line wants to buy food for their soccer team or whatever. The American people aren't particularly good at standing in line, but that's exactly what's going to happen if this health care plan goes through."
"Any mother," Bachmann said, would do whatever it takes to get "the high-quality health care that her child needs... As a mother of five biological children and as a foster mother to 23 children, there is nothing more important to me than to make sure that my children have high-quality health care when they need health care."
Millions of other children, however, do not have the resources that Members of Congress enjoy. New U.S. Census data document that more than 8.1 million, or one in nine, American children did not have health insurance in 2007. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nearly 20 percent of the uninsured in the U.S. are children.
The 2007 Census numbers marked a slight improvement over 2006, but still recorded 428,000 more children uninsured than in 2004, the last year the number of uninsured children decreased.