Fox News ignores Dem support of Congressional members enrolling in public option to falsely cast them as "hypocrites"

››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

A Fox News Bulls & Bears segment discussing Republican Sen. Tom Coburn (OK)'s amendment to the health reform bill that would force members of Congress to join the public option if it becomes law focused on the supposed "hypocrisy" of Democrats supporting a public option that they would not enroll in. In fact, despite the alleged efforts of GOP Senators to keep Democrats from signing on to the amendment, Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown, Christopher Dodd, Al Franken, and Barbara Mikulski have since become co-sponsors -- with Democratic co-sponsors now outnumbering Republican co-sponsors of the amendment.

Fox host, contributors falsely accuse Senate Dems of being "hypocrites" because they back a public option in which they won't enroll

Host Brenda Buttner: "Congress is saying to us, 'We're going to give you a government-run option.' Why shouldn't we tell 'em 'Hey, if it's so good, why don't you take it?'" At the opening of the Fox News show Bulls & Bears, host Brenda Buttner said: "Congress, you pass a government-run health care plan, you take a government-run health care plan. That's what some Senate Republicans are pushing for, but their amendment's expected to get shot down." Later on, she said, "Congress is saying to us, 'We're going to give you a government-run option.' Why shouldn't we tell 'em 'Hey, if it's so good, why don't you take it?'" [Fox News Channel's Bulls & Bears, 12/5/09]

Fox Business commentator Gary B. Smith on Congressional Democrats: Make "this big bunch of hypocrites ... eat their own cooking." During the discussion, Gary B. Smith said: "I love this, it's beautiful. You know, this big bunch of hypocrites sitting in Congress, who are saying to the average American, 'Look, this is what you should have.' Great, let them eat their own cooking." He later echoed Republican Sen. Coburn by saying, "Why can't they lead by example? They're the ones saying we definitely need this public option." [Bulls & Bears, 12/5/09]

Fox News contributor Tobin Smith to Congressional Democrats: "If health care's so important ... you should eat that dog food." Tobin Smith purported to highlight Democratic hypocrisy by comparing the public option to "dog food," asserting: "Come on man, if you're gonna make this -- if health care's so important, A., you should eat that dog food, and then B., you should look Americans in the eye and tell them why the heck we need this option plan in the first place." [Bulls & Bears, 12/5/09]

But Senate Democrats outnumber Republicans as co-sponsors of the amendment requiring them to enroll in public option

Democratic Senators outnumber Republicans as amendment co-sponsors. The seven cosponsors of amendment 2789 to the Senate health reform bill include four Democrats and three Republicans: Sens. David Vitter (R-LA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Al Franken (D-MN). [Accessed via Thomas]

Amendment requires "members of Congress to enroll in the public option." Amendment 2789 requires House and Senate members to enroll in the public option. From the amendment:

(D) REQUIREMENT OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO ENROLL IN THE PUBLIC OPTION.-

(i) REQUIREMENT.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all Members of Congress shall be enrolled in the community health insurance option when established by the Secretary.

(ii) INELIGIBLE FOR FEHBP.--Effective on the date on which the community health insurance option is established by the Secretary, no Member of Congress shall be eligible to participate in a health benefits plan under chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code

(iii) EXCEPTION.--Notwithstanding clauses (i) and (ii), if a Member of Congress resides in a State which opts out of providing a community health insurance option, that Member may be enrolled in a health benefits plan under chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code, during any period which that State has opted out.

Coburn, Vitter allegedly resisted allowing Democratic co-sponsors of amendment. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown told The Hill on December 3 that Republican Sens. Coburn and Vitter have "not said yes to allow me to be a co-sponsor ... I've called their office four times."

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Brenda Buttner, Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith
Show/Publication
Bulls & Bears
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