Tsongas: I won’t take ObamaCare because I have better options

posted at 8:48 am on August 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) manages to answer the question that Keith Ellison (D-MN) and the rest of her Obama-care supporting colleagues in both the House and Senate have avoided. The crowd, however, didn’t like the response very much, and lets Tsongas know it. At about the four-minute mark, one of Tsongas’ peons constitutents asks Tsongas whether she will commit to adopting ObamaCare for her own coverage and give up her so-called “Cadillac” or “gold-played” Congressional coverage, and that’s when Tsongas suddenly becomes concerned with protecting choice (via the boss):

CONSTITUENT: My question to you, Congresswoman Tsongas, is that if this is such a great plan, why did you opt out of it when you took the vote [loud applause, standing ovation]?

TSONGAS: People often say why don’t the American people have what those of us in Congress have. [Audience erupts] Let me explain what I have. Let me explain what I have. What I have is a tremendous array — you know, last year when I went to a discussion — what I have is a tremendous array of choices. And I made a choice based on what I was willing to pay for and what made sense in terms of coverage for me and my family. [Audience shouts out: "We want choice! We want choice!] This is essentially what we are creating for the American people. We are creating greater choice.

[Smattering of applause overwhelmed by boos.]

No, Representative Tsongas, you’re not creating choice.  You’re restricting choice, both explicitly and implicitly.  The ObamaCare bill explicitly forces private insurers into conformity in dictating coverages in order to qualify under state “exchanges”, which greatly reduces choice and will almost certainly wipe out at least some existing private plans.  Implicitly, the public option will undercut private insurers and give businesses a chance to opt out of providing coverage at all — which means as many as 83 million Americans will lose their insurance in the first ten years.  Thanks to the rules set up by ObamaCare, those people will have no choice at all but to take the public option.

But who won’t have to worry about losing their insurance?  Congress, of course.  They get to set the rules to ensure that ObamaCare applies to us but not to them.  Reminds one of royalty does it not?  That’s why the Tea Parties have become so popular these days, and one of many reasons why ObamaCare offends the sensibilities of Americans.

This axiom applies: Beware the cook who won’t eat his own food. Perhaps the best way to make that clear to Tsongas is to get her out of Congress and make sure she loses that Congressional coverage as fast as possible.


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blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Happy Birthday. Enjoy your day! The problems will still be here tomorrow. Go forth and celebrate.

sherry on August 10, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,….Proverbs 12:22
New Amer.Stan.

Liars hate their victims,…..Proverbs 26:28 The Message

ohiobabe on August 10, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Hey, at 25 you can look forward to your car insurance rates dropping. After that, there’s nothing left.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 9:42 AM

35, three kids, still get a thrill when my husband walks in the door.

TXMomof3 on August 10, 2009 at 9:46 AM

sherry on August 10, 2009 at 9:43 AM

The best birthday gift I could ask for would be the Obama Badministration all contracting the shingles.

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:46 AM

I can’t even count to 26.

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:41 AM

Can’t count. Fishy breath. Un-American views.

Nancy’s Health board says: Do not Resuscitate.

$50K saved. Only $11 trillion to go.

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 9:47 AM

At the 9:14 mark of this video, you clearly see an SEIU thug standing in the entrance to the auditorium and his body language clearly shows how agitated he is about how the townhall is going. You really can feel that this guy is just waiting to get into it with someone, perhaps even punch them or otherwise get physical with them. Hitler had his Brown Shirts to put down protest and civil disobedience and Obumma now has the Purple-Ts “to punch back” twice as hard and attempt to quell the rising tide of anger against his single-payer system. A dark chapter in American history is being written here folks as “the one” continues to be unmasked for the despot he truly is.

Goldy1 on August 10, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Personally, I don’t like this argument.

Even if these azzclown all said they would sign up for it, it’s still bad legislation, and a horrible direction for our country.

cntrlfrk on August 10, 2009

We know that they won’t and that’s the point…to call them on their duplicity.

SKYFOX on August 10, 2009 at 9:48 AM

What’s great is as the last girl in the video took to the mic, I said to myself… “oh.. this chick has got to be a lib…”

What’s with that liberal girl look?

What’s even better is how she had to close her eyes to concentrate REAL hard on her words and her FEELINGS….

“PEOPLE ARE DYING!” “NOOOO!!”

It’s almost like watching her scream “WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN???!!!”

johnnyboy on August 10, 2009 at 9:49 AM

$50K saved. Only $11 trillion to go.

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Kill every birthday boy!

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:50 AM

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Happy birthday! I liked 22. A nice plesant year devoid of great expectations so it was totally enjoyable.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2009 at 9:52 AM

35, three kids, still get a thrill when my husband walks in the door.

TXMomof3 on August 10, 2009 at 9:46 AM

True, but that’s not guaranteed for everyone, nor at any particular age. Glad to hear it, though!

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Kill every birthday boy!

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:50 AM

Cake and presents first, please.

This is part of the health care prioritization plan for us to live happily today, then sell our children to China for slave labor tomorrow.

It’s the American way.

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Thanks, Cindy. Wish I had a year devoid of expectations :p

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 9:57 AM

I bet there are a lot of boys who have their birfdays today. So, we can reduce our future healthcare costs by euthanizing them with secret deadly cakes

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Tsongas’ accidental honesty is not commendable. It’s the product of being too stupid to dodge the question.

SKYFOX on August 10, 2009 at 10:01 AM

True, but that’s not guaranteed for everyone, nor at any particular age. Glad to hear it, though!

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 9:55 AM

If you need a stimulus package, run for Congress. It comes in their standard benefit plan.

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Seems that as the employers of Congress, we should be able to change the options available to them. I think they need to go on the Public Plan.

katablog.com on August 10, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Happy birthday! I liked 22. A nice plesant year devoid of great expectations so it was totally enjoyable.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2009 at 9:52 AM

I remember that time fondly myself. We were broke and ate noodles every night for dinner, but we had a great time anyway.

TXMomof3 on August 10, 2009 at 10:04 AM

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Did you know that August 10th is the Commemoration Day for Saint Lawrence of Rome, the Patron Saint of Comedians?

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM

If you need a stimulus package, run for Congress. It comes in their standard benefit plan.

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Don’t think it hasn’t occurred to me, if for no other reason than to actually provide representation for Americans.

It enrages me to no end that I pay people’s six-figure incomes out of my low-five figure income, and they call me un-American for demanding they listen to me and give me some goddamned direct answers.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM

These protests are going to make The Vietnam War era look mild.

bluelightbrigade on August 10, 2009 at 10:06 AM

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Did you know that August 10th is the Commemoration Day for Saint Lawrence of Rome, the Patron Saint of Comedians?

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM

By golly I did!

Lawrence was my grandfather’s name, so every year I heard

YA KNOW YA GRANDFAAAH-THAA’S COMMEMMAHRATION DAY IS TAH-DAY?1?1?

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 10:07 AM

I was there and her answers were all pitiful. And yes, I do appreciate her even having the event – so far, no other reps are having open events – but in the end I’m sure she wishes she had stayed home.

I asked a question – a yes or no answer – and got a talking point answer. I asked if she would be willing to add an amendment upholding the Hyde amendment, banning all use of fed funds to pay for an and all abortion procedures. Her first response was “most private insurance policies cover abortion.” Her next response was “no amendment is needed because of the Hyde amendment” and “abortion is not even mentioned in the bill”.

She started the event by saying she had read HR 3200. She actually might have because her answers were as circular and convoluted as HR 3200. No meat, just noise.

gopmom on August 10, 2009 at 10:09 AM

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 9:59 AM

I mean the expectations of 16, 18, 21, & 30 (for some unknow reason) years that are considered milestones. I know you have expectations for yourself.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2009 at 10:10 AM

I mean the expectations of 16, 18, 21, & 30 (for some unknow reason) years that are considered milestones. I know you have expectations for yourself.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2009 at 10:10 AM

The milestone of 30 is the realization of “OH GOD, I’M GONNA DIE ONE DAY!”

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 10:11 AM

It enrages me to no end that I pay people’s six-figure incomes out of my low-five figure income, and they call me un-American for demanding they listen to me and give me some goddamned direct answers.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM

I think they have forgot the representing part. They have such a big ego that they believe they know what is best for us. The sad thing is an average citizen cannot raise the money necessary to make a run at office.

TXMomof3 on August 10, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2009 at 10:10 AM

It’s kind of a nothing birthday

21 ruled. Ugh. The good old days…

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 10:11 AM

run for Congress.

Don’t think it hasn’t occurred to me, if for no other reason than to actually provide representation for Americans.

It enrages me to no end that I pay people’s six-figure incomes out of my low-five figure income, and they call me un-American for demanding they listen to me and give me some goddamned direct answers.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM

I don’t know where you can best serve. I do know that you’re very smart, well read, a good writer, have a sharp wit, and care about our country. So, I can imagine you doing a good in Congress, if you could stand it. It’s difficult to keep a sense of humor with the crop in their now.

But if you do run and win, a lot of people would miss you here, very much. Perhaps you could make up for that by adding us as dependents under your gold plated Congressional health care benefits.

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:13 AM

blatantblue on August 10, 2009 at 10:07 AM

You really missed out completely on those Irish humor genes, didn’t you? We need to get you a transplant, STAT. If only you were a member of Congress. Then you’d really be a joke.

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:15 AM

The milestone of 30 is the realization of “OH GOD, I’M GONNA DIE ONE DAY!”

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 10:11 AM

My thoughts are on 40 in five years. I will have three teenagers less than four years apart.

TXMomof3 on August 10, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:13 AM

The Hot Air Health Stimulus Act of 2010?

Suh-weet.

Have to be an amendment in it stating that Allah only qualifies once he gives up his IPhone.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 10:17 AM

gopmom on August 10, 2009 at 10:09 AM

I’m sorry it was so disappointing. But I’m very proud of you that you went and had the gumption to stand up and ask an important question. Good for you.

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:18 AM

The Hot Air Health Stimulus Act of 2010?

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2009 at 10:17 AM

You get the stimulus. AP gets the bacon. MM replaces the Misspeaker. Ed replaces Hoyer. (Sorry Ed.)

So…

Where’s the beef?

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:22 AM

“At least she’s honest.”

That fits into the liberal crappola that seems to suggest, as long as you confess, all is forgiven. Confess that you beat your wife and molest children and things are hunky-dory.

Rep. Niki Tsongas is a pompous arrogant ass and expects Americans to do as she says and not as she does.

The representatives who support ObamaCare are sickening human beings and everyone of them ought to be voted out of office or impeached. Most Americans do not want ObamaCare shoved down their throats and they are being ignored.

This is a must read! Obama’s choice for Science Czar speaks to his actual belief system. VERY SCARY!

John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar, says: Forced abortions and mass sterilization needed to save the planet
http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/

sinsing on August 10, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:18 AM

I’m thinking of driving up to NH tomorrow to be part of the greeting committee for Obama. Think I’ll take a video camera and do some interviews – on both sides. After watching videos of the protests occurring across the country it is evident we’re on top. I’ll report back.

gopmom on August 10, 2009 at 10:36 AM

gopmom on August 10, 2009 at 10:36 AM

That’s very fishy of you. Good job!

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009 at 10:42 AM

gopmom on August 10, 2009 at 10:36 AM

I would sure be interested in what you find out.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2009 at 10:46 AM

All the Obamabots have is invective and personal attacks. Watching this video it really drove home for me how much Barack Obama and the democrats have simply used up all of their precious tool of ridicule. All the Obamabots can do is scream out nasty things about the people asking questions. They’ve used it so much — in particular the president has used so much the dripping sarcasm, the vicious ridicule — that it’s just boring now, and expected. Think about that: We’ve hit a point where we expect our president to call us vicious names, to lie about us, and to send thugs out to beat us up for opposing him. We expect it! Obama really is going to go down as the absolute worst president in American history. My 72-year-old mother yesterday just out of the blue starts stammering and sputtering, searching for her words, and finally she just gets real quiet and says, “I am so ashamed, so, so ashamed that that man in president of the United States.” That’ll be his legacy. National shame. His Republican successor will have to go on an apology tour, too, but it’ll be throughout the United States not overseas.

Rational Thought on August 10, 2009 at 11:04 AM

This Administration, and the Democrat legislators, all insist that their “reforms” are designed to give us more choice, not less. By giving us more choice, I guess their argument is that we will, in fact, be in the same boat as they are. Namely, that under their reforms we will be able to choose the “cadillac” plans that they have for themselves. Of course, we know better. We know that they’re lying to us because their lips are moving.

Neverthless, here is what I propose. The claim is that upwards of 50 million Americans are uninsured. I don’t believe the number is anywhere near that high, but let’s accept their number. That is roughly 20% of the American population that is supposedly uninsured. Those are the only ones that the Democrats need to be worrying about. There is no need to screw over 80% of Americans who are quite happy with their private plans just for the 20% who are, supposedly, uninsured. Now the President and Democrats in Congress insist that their “reforms” will not create a system that will effectively disembowel the private health insurers and drive them out of business. There is one way to make certain that they are right. In fact, this proposal would give the President and Congress tremendous incentive to make certain that there is a strong, vibrant private health insurance industry that is able to compete effectively with the public option.

To ensure that private insurers are not driven out of business, and that Americans are not forced into the public option, the law should be written to provide that if more than 20% of the American population is being covered by the public plan then the President, Congress, and all federal employees will automatically lose their “cadillac” plans and be moved immediately to the public health plan option. Under this approach Congressional aristocrats will be able to keep their current coverage – for the time being. However, their right to continue to keep their current coverage would be contingent upon making sure that no more than 20% of Americans is in the public plan. Under this approach, the 20% of Americans who are supposedly uninsured would have a public option available to them. On the other hand, Congress would be doing everything in its power to keep the number of Americans in the public plan as low as possible, if for no other reason than to maintain their right to their current Cadillac plans. If they choke off the private insurance industry and create disincentives for businesses and/or individuals to go to private insurance plans, they would wake up one day finding that they themselves are on the public plan. This alone would give them tremendous incentive to not merely ready but closely study any piece of legislation that might have unintended and detrimental consequences to the private health insurance industry.

Put up or shut up.

Harrell on August 10, 2009 at 11:05 AM

At the 9:14 mark of this video, you clearly see an SEIU thug standing in the entrance to the auditorium and his body language clearly shows how agitated he is about how the townhall is going.
Goldy1 on August 10, 2009 at 9:48 AM

At which point he reverts to his “look how big my muscles are” arm-crossed stance. Purpleshirtedhooligans are our national poop-in-a-punchbowl. God love ‘em.

rihar on August 10, 2009 at 11:14 AM

TXMomof3 on August 10, 2009 at 10:16 AM

My gracious wife and I had to teenagers 15 months apart in our late 30′s. They were best friends and the teen years were great. Of course they were home schooled and each were taking college classes when they reached 15. Be assured you will get through it fine.

chemman on August 10, 2009 at 11:16 AM

bad fingers: to = two

chemman on August 10, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Happy Birthday, blatantblue!

keebs on August 10, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Did you know that August 10th is the Commemoration Day for Saint Lawrence of Rome, the Patron Saint of Comedians?

Loxodonta on August 10, 2009

Is that Saint Lawrence the Cable Guy?

SKYFOX on August 10, 2009 at 11:52 AM

First I have one question, what are the SEIU even doing at any of these townhalls because what I understand is NO UNION MEMBERS will have to participate in Obamacare, they have their own great coverage. Second arms crossed “Definace”, and last does that banner behind the speaker say “Congress on our corner” shouldn’t it be “in our corner”, maybe not, gangs, our corner. Sigh,the public education system at work. God Bless America

concernedsenior on August 10, 2009 at 12:03 PM

If anyone else goes to one of these Townhalls where the SEIU is standing at the door like that and you have the opportunity to ask a question would you please ask why the SEIU is standing at the door like that? I think we need to bring to everyone’s attention the fear mongering they are creating. I’d do it myself but here in John Halls’ district in NYS we have no public townhalls scheduled – he met with hospital employees/admins and doctors only. People who got together to visit his office met with one of his aides, not him.

mph on August 10, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Niki Tsongas just proves that some animals are more equal than others. So much for Barry’s “fairness”.

GarandFan on August 10, 2009 at 12:18 PM

NO UNION MEMBERS will have to participate in Obamacare

I think that no government employees will have to participate, I don’t think it extends to all unions. Of course, we would know this for sure if the bill was clear, but I have read and re-read sections of it and still can’t make any sense of it. And I’m used to reading and interpreting government documents (i.e., FDA laws, NYS DOH regs) for my job. But this bill is impossible. It is written in legalese, the back references within the text require that you constantly refer to other sections of the document or other laws (Social Security law, Tax codes, Immigration laws, etc.) so that you lose your train of thought while reading. When the FDA comes out with a whole new law such as this they usually hold meetings for industry members to help them interpret how the law applies to them or they distribute clarifications, as does NYS DOH. You can only assume that this law was written purposely to be confusing and those who try to explain it to us seem to tell us things that are not verifiable in what is written in the bill. While there are attorneys and a few docs in Congress who may understand it, I seriously doubt that any members of Congress or their staff can comprehend it even if they did read it. There could actually be some sensible reforms in there but who can tell? I’ve read others’ interpretations of parts of the bill and tracked back to the bill in an attempt to verify but can rarely do so. They need to write a bill that the people can read and understand or they’re just promoting fear and opposition.

mph on August 10, 2009 at 12:26 PM

OK, we get it…congress is way too important.

SOoooooo….

Congress…PUT YOUR FAMILIES ON THE NEW PLAN.
.
and your staff.

shooter on August 10, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Ma’am, I won’t use Obamacare either because I, too, have better options. That’s WHY we don’t WANT your freakin’ half-a$$ed, ill-thought out, insanely conceived, COMPLETELY irresponsible legislation.

Just about EVERYONE has better options than freakin’ Obamacare … hence the peeved town hall attendees and angry outbursts. SHEESH.

American liberals and ObamaBots musta been home sick the day they handed out logic chips to all human beings. Either that or they got the “seconds and irregulars” installed in place of the quality tested, smart feller approved versions.

Mad Mad Monica on August 10, 2009 at 1:14 PM

What these nit-wits don’t understand is that WHEN they get voted out of office, then they will have ONLY the public option. Not the health plan of the law firm they sucker into making them a partner in…

phreshone on August 10, 2009 at 1:22 PM

blatantblue..

Having a birthday on the very same day that Obama is in Mexico, giving a speech??? Something does not add up here.
Seems fishy to me. Must be reported.

Happy Birthday, anyway.

betsyz on August 10, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Choices. Sure. For lower-income working people, in a few years the only choice will be Uncle Sam HMO. What small business is going to pay for private insurance if its workers can just go on the public dime?

Not to mention that mandating that everyone purchase health insurance, thus creating a greater pool of customers for Uncle Sam HMO, is not my idea of “creating choice.” But as usual, it’s left-speak. “You’ll have the choice to do exactly what we want you to do.”

evergreen on August 10, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Hey BB, Happy Birthday! We don’t interact a whole lot, but I should let you know I enjoy your comments. Have a blessed day!

Christian Conservative on August 10, 2009 at 2:23 PM

“….what I was willing to pay for….”

What do you mean ‘I’?

WE peons pay for your solid gold healthcare

LegendHasIt on August 10, 2009 at 2:33 PM

That last speaker was the perfect target for the media to investigate and find out exactly who she is, who her grandmother was, and why health care needs reform.

When homeless people die in emergencies rooms and it makes global news, I’d like to know who this obvious shills grandmother was and how she died of breast cancer because it was a pre-existing condition.

Gee. She covered it all, didn’t she? People dying because they can’t see a doctor. Breast cancer. Grandmother.

Who was this woman and how much did her family not love her enough to pay these hard hearted doctors who refused to see her?

I would have mortgaged my house to save my grandmother.

Jaynie59 on August 10, 2009 at 4:08 PM

And I made a choice based on what I was willing to pay for and what made sense in terms of coverage for me and my family. This is essentially what we are creating for the American people. We are creating greater choice.

Which brings us back to the original question. If it’s so good, then why wont you be on it? Are you going to answer or continue shoveling BS?

If not, then you’re fired. We don’t tolerate evasive and insubordinate employees.

RadClown on August 10, 2009 at 5:29 PM

I could tell that last person was a lib before she even opened her mouth.

DethMetalCookieMonst on August 10, 2009 at 6:03 PM

I’m a little frustrated that nobody threw page 16 of the bill back into her face. This bill does not allow choices, it outlaws insurance companies from issueing new premiums on the day the law is enacted. Tsongas is flat out lying when she says we are going to be given a choice.

page 16
10 (1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT.-
(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in this pararagraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.

Now somebody please tell my how it is I have choice when the insurance companies can’t issue a new policy.

boomer on August 10, 2009 at 8:27 PM

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