Ohioans got a surprise visit from Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D) on Labor Day — although it turned out to be darned few Ohioans. Hourglass1941 wanted to document the Facts Not Fear rally held by ObamaCare advocates in Goodale Park in Columbus, and to her surprise, Kilroy made an unannounced visit to exhort the troops to victory. Laughably, considering the sparse crowd, Kilroy argued that vast majorities of Americans supported the ObamaCare effort and that she had the answers to the questions. Afterward, though, she seemed very uninterested in sharing them:
There’s been a lot of noise, and there’s been a lot of fear tactics. We also can see that when you really poll the people of this country, when they hear what this bill is, people are for it in large majorities. But we gotta keep getting the word out. We gotta make sure that the truth about the bill is not distorted, and that a lot of people who do because of all the noise, because of all the misstatements of fact, are getting confused about things, uh, that they are able to have their questions asked and answered, so that they can get the truth about the health-care bill.
Try diagramming that last sentence. The gist of her statement comes through, however, which is that people need to get their questions answered. Kilroy got the chance to demonstrate that after her appearance at the rally, as Hourglass1941 asked her questions. Does Kilroy engage her constituent and offer to answer her questions? Or does she do a Forrest Gump impersonation and try to get the hell away from the camera?
Kilroy attempts to toss a couple of quick answers over her shoulder, and those should be addressed. First, Kilroy was accurate, but not right, to claim that the bill excludes illegal immigrants from receiving health-care coverage; it’s in Section 246. However, the Congressional Research Service says that HR3200 has absolutely no enforcement capability to prevent it, and that Democrats defeated an amendment in committee that would have fixed that problem. Maybe Kilroy should have done a little more studying on that topic.
Second, section 152 is oddly written, and Kilroy’s answer on making discrimination illegal on “personal characteristics” is completely inadequate. Statutes that protect against gender discrimination explicitly mention gender — they don’t use the ambiguous “personal characteristics” phrase seen here:
SEC. 152. PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE.
(a) In General- Except as otherwise explicitly permitted by this Act and by subsequent regulations consistent with this Act, all health care and related services (including insurance coverage and public health activities) covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services.
What else could be “personal characteristics”? Obesity? Bad breath? A curious habit of not paying one’s bills? Cowardice while facing a constituent asking questions? The bill does not define the parameters of “personal characteristics,” which means that courts will give that the widest possible meaning, making the clause an absurdity.
Kilroy should run, all right — to the bill, to read it more thoroughly. After all, if she wants to set herself up as the font of enlightenment, she’d better be prepared to answer specific questions about this very bad bill.