Durbin Misrepresented Daughter’s Plight in Floor Challenge to Cruz on Obamacare
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) deserves credit for engaging Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the Cruz's recent marathon speech critical of ObamaCare. The only problem is he misrepresented key facts about his now-deceased daughter's heart condition, and her ability to receive coverage under health insurance plans.
Moreover, he did not mention that the hospital that treated his daughter Christine was the recipient of huge earmarks of taxpayer money that he arranged. One can assume that Christine was treated as a Very Important Patient. With the full implementation of ObamaCare, will political connections become increasingly important to getting expensive medical treatments, which will not be available to everybody?
As Charles Johnson in the Daily Caller writes:
Sen. Dick Durbin movingly described his sick child's preexisting condition as a reason to support Obamacare last week, but the Illinois Democrat neglected to mention that his late daughter was easily covered by existing insurance, and that he used taxpayer money to reward the hospital that treated her.
Despite her preexisting condition, Christine Durbin, who suffered from a lifelong heart condition and died at age 40 in 2008, was eligible for coverage under existing laws in multiple states, including the senator's state and the state she ultimately settled in.
Durbin also neglected to mention that he sent his daughter to one of the best children's hospitals in the country, to which he earmarked millions of dollars from 2002-2010.
"I've had a situation in my family - a child - who had serious physical problems, who could not have qualified but for group health insurance available to me as a member of Congress," Durbin said in response to a pointed question to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
"If I had gone on the open market to buy a policy I'm not sure I could have bought one for my family to cover my child," said Durbin, who was first elected to Congress in 1982 when his Christine was fourteen.
In fact, Durbin wasn't sure about buying a policy on the open market because he never had to, having been a state employee from 1969 to 1982 and a federal employee from 1982 to now. His daughter, Christine, who was born in 1968, never went without the cushy government benefits offered to government workers and their families.
Johnson also noted that Durbin voted against including members of Congress in ObamaCare to this reaction.
"Senator Durbin wants to force Obamacare on average citizens while he wants a taxpayer-subsidized deluxe health plan for Congress. That hypocrisy explains why he goes to such lengths to change the subject. If Obamacare is so great, why do Mr. Durbin and other senators want to be exempted from the plan they want to impose on the public?" Ken Boehm of the ethics watchdog group, National Legal and Policy Center, told The Daily Caller.