Tea Partiers and Health Insurance


The latest from Public Policy Polling:

Most Americans think incoming Congressmen who campaigned against the health care bill should put their money where their mouth is and decline government provided health care now that they’re in office.

Excellent! What makes this especially cool is that Democrats are pretty tolerant of conservative congressmen getting their healthcare. It’s conservatives and independents — by a 30-point margin — who think tea party congressmen should put their money where their mouths are.1 Tom Jensen comments:

This is an issue where Democrats really have the opportunity to create tension between the newly elected officials and the Tea Partiers who put them there by highlighting the disconnect between the freshmen Republicans’ rhetoric and their actions. Their base clearly expects them to act in a way consistent with their stated opposition to government provided health care but given Andy Harris’ recent outburst about his care not starting quickly enough it’s not clear the new electeds are getting the message.

I dunno. I’d like this to be true. It would be terrific to hoist these guys on their own petards. But it’s hard to see how liberals can gin this up into any kind of media firestorm. Without that, it won’t generate any real pressure, and without that it will die off soon and the tea partiers will never think about it again. But it’s a nice idea.

1And what makes it extra super duper cool is that a lot of the tea party conservatives who think tea party congressmen should forego their government health insurance are themselves probably on Medicare.

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