Define ‘big difference’

DEFINE ‘BIG DIFFERENCE’…. Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) is generally known as “Birther Bill” for his legislation on birth certificates for presidential candidates, but his ability to discuss health care policy is nearly as embarrassing.

Faiz Shakir reports on ThinkProgress’ attendance at a Posey town-hall event this week in Melbourne, where the congressman briefly stopped to respond to questions.

TP: I heard you’re against the public option tonight. Are you also against Medicare for your constituents? …

POSEY: No, we have Medicare now. I don’t have a problem with Medicare.

TP: Why not a problem with Medicare then? A public option is giving an option to all Americans just like Medicare?


TP: What’s the difference?

POSEY: There’s a big difference.

At that point, a Posey staff member pulled him away from our conversation.

It’s one of the great oddities of the health care debate. Far-right Republican lawmakers have no qualms about expressing their love of socialized medicine (Medicare), their love of government-run health care (the VA system), and their love of taxpayer-subsidized insurance (Congress’ own coverage). They then turn around and denounce socialized medicine, government-run health care, and of taxpayer-subsidized insurance.

All the while, these lawmakers pull it off with a straight face, some because they’re shameless, and some because they’re not quite sharp enough to appreciate the contradiction.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.