Last weekend on
the House floor, unruly Republicans literally shouted
down members of the Democratic Women's Caucus who were attempting to speak
in support of health care reform. It was
a shameful display, which Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) condemned as "rude,"
"disrespectful," and "sexist." Watch
a mash-up video of the incident here.
Yet, writing in
the Washington Times today, Reps.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) had the audacity to
complain that pro-reform Democrats don"t
care about women:
As congresswomen, we think
we should be listening to and speaking out for women.
in Congress and the administration had been listening to women, they would not
have drafted and passed a reform bill that takes power away from women and
gives it to federal bureaucrats. Today, we, women - working with a trusted
medical professional - guide which treatments are best for our family, from flu
shots and hormones to heart stents and long-term care facilities. If H.R. 3962
ultimately becomes law, these decisions will increasingly be made by
bureaucrats, statisticians and actuaries.
health care plan aims to have an impartial, all-knowing federal government make
decisions that cannot be trusted to mere housewives (and their greedy,
small town doctors).
For McMorris Rodgers and Jenkins to gripe about anyone disrespecting women is laughable. In addition to last weekend's theatrics, every single Republican
member of the House voted for the so-called Stupak
amendment, which will impose extreme restrictions
on a woman's right make reproductive choices.
The vote came a day after one of their conservative colleagues actually compared
women to smokers in order to justify gender-based discrimination on the
part of insurance companies.
As for the
merits of their complaint, it has been made before and it's just not true. Under reform, there will not be an
"all-knowing federal government making decisions" that would normally be made
by patients. (The claim comes from a
distortion of comparative effectiveness research, an existing
practice that will not take choices away but rather will lead to better options.)
Later in the
column, McMorris Rodgers and Jenkins cite problems with the H1N1 vaccine as
evidence that the government can't "make good medical decisions." However, both
women -- and all but 5 of their Republican colleagues -- voted against funding
evidence to the contrary, McMorris Rodgers and Jenkins want us to believe that
Republicans are sticking up for women. But
the fact is, the congresswomen and their party have consistently opposed
providing families with better health care options. Why would anybody trust them now?
Crossposted at Media Matters Action Network