Baby Joins House Health Care Debate

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Nov 7, 2009 4:18pm

Well this is a first…ABC’s Z. Byron Wolf reports:
Rep. John Shadegg hoisted a cute, bald little baby today on the House floor, employing a unique prop to argue that the Democrats health reform bill will be paid for by future generations. “I wish this was my granddaughter,” said Shadegg. “This is Maddie (the seven month old daughter of his chief of staff) but Maddie believes in freedom.” “Maddie likes America because we have freedom here and Maddie believes in patient choice health care. She has come here to say she doesn't want government to take over health care. she wants to keep her plan. He went on: “Maddie knows if this bill passes, she knows her mom's health care will go away and won't be around for five years. If the bill passes then no more health care for her mom because it has to change. Maddie wants patient choice. She doesn't want her mom's premiums to go up. She doesn't want her mom's taxes to go up by $730 billion, do you, Maddie?” he asked the baby. “She wants America's health insurance companies to have to compete with each other. she believes in choices. but most of all, she says, don't tax me to pay for health care that you guys want. If you want health care, pay for it yourself, because it's not fair to pass your health care bills on to me and my grandchildren.” The display brought a rebuke from Rep. David Obey from Wisconsin, who was presiding over the chamber. “The chair is aware to happy have the guest referred to but the gentleman is reminded not to refer to guests of the house,” said Obey. Rep. Henry Waxman, who is running the debate for the Democrats, was less kind to Shadegg. That was a remarkable child,” said Waxman of Maddie, “and a great ventriloquist,” he said of Shadegg, for holding the baby at the podium and speaking for her.UPDATE: It was not as overt as Shadegg giving his floor speech through the baby, but Democrat Pete Stark brought up his two children, twins Andrew and Hannah (age 8), when he gave a speech supporting the health care bill.

“I encourage each of my colleagues to join me in voting yes and I can assure you these guys,” he said motioning to the kids, “aren't going to have to pay for it in the future.”

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