The current amendment would go further — not only barring members of Congress from exempting themselves from a public plan, but actually forcing them into it. Vitter is also considering proposing banning physician services currently available to legislators at the Capitol as well as special privileges they are allowed at military hospitals. Specifically, members of Congress receive taxpayer-subsidized medical care at Bethesda Medical Center and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.Maybe the senators could be forced to vote for it in the Senate where it may be forced to the floor. But it will never be brought to a vote in the House and will die away. However, it is just sublime to see Democrats argue against the measure because it will be reducing their choices.
Vitter plans to announce the amendment on Friday. U.S. Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) has introduced a similar measure in the House.
Most Democrats called the Coburn-Vitter effort “a world-class gimmick” that undercuts the party’s effort to create more choices and also allow Americans to keep their current plan.Of course, it is a gimmick. But it's a clever one. They have to admit that the new plan would reduce choices from those who are happy with their own plan. And it's just a rhetorical lie to say that they're creating more choices when they're providing the incentives for companies to end their own health insurance plans and let their employees get health care from a public option.
“The whole point of what we’re trying to do is create more choice, and that would include keeping the plan people have now,” said Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.). “I understand the point they’re trying to make, but I can’t support that.”
“What they want to do is to try to have us say ‘no’ and then say ‘Why, isn’t it good enough for you?’" Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said of Coburn and Vitter. “The fact is they oppose the public option and they want to ridicule and diminish it.”
“If there's this brave new world where coverage is guaranteed one way or another, a lot of people are going to get dumped,” he said. “That's just competitive and economic reality. The rule for this should be the same as it is for doctors: First do no harm.”