Rand Paul from Kentucky was speaking recently about the new healthcare law some refer to as “Obamacare.” Like many Republicans, Paul, the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), is not a fan. Unlike many conservatives, the “tea party” sweetheart does not like the law because, he says, it reminds him of slavery.
“With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to healthcare, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me…It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses,” Paul said, adding that there is “an implied use of force…If I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to healthcare, you have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free healthcare would be…”
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor had decided to release the names of 37 Democratic members of the House, whom he is targeting to switch their vote on health care reform.
The Virginia Republican released a memo, which pinned the GOP’s prospects of derailing reform on convincing three of those 37 members to change their vote from a yea to a nay. If Republicans can secure those votes, it would reverse the narrow margin on which health care reform initially passed through the House of Representatives.
The memo read:
“Millions of Americans have made clear their opposition to the Democrat take-over of our nation’s health care system. Together with my Whip Team, I have identified 37 Democrats who – we believe – can be persuaded to vote against a final health care agreement. Because each of these 37 Democrats voted for the House bill, we only need to turn 3 votes to prevent a final agreement from passing…If we can convince enough of these 37 Members (along with the 39 Democrats who already voted no) to reconsider and switch their position on the bill, I know that we can defeat this government take-over of our health care before it becomes law.”
While the number of needed defections is small at best, Cantor’s gambit remains a long shot. Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of California, is widely believed to have the votes needed to get the legislation through her chamber. It is possible that some of the 39 Democratic lawmakers who opposed the reform in the first vote will switch their votes the second time. Certainly this will be possible if the legislation more closely resembles the Senate’s version.
Stay buckled in kids, it’s going to get interesting.