The state Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee held a work session last Thursday to discuss national health care reform, and how the various proposals might impact our state-administered Medicaid program. Testifying was DSHS staffer Roger Gantz, and almost from the start, Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R-Obstructionville) attempted to disrupt the discussion by threatening him with an ethics complaint.
Her beef? DSHS and the committee were using state resources to research and discuss pending federal legislation, an action she equated with illegal lobbying and campaigning.
What a load of shit.
As Sen. Ed Murray (D-Reality) helpfully pointed out, it is not an unusual practice for committees to have briefings on the scenarios the federal government may act on, and goes on to suggest that Pflug’s own efforts to threaten and intimidate Gantz, may in fact violate Senate rules on how they treat people coming before their committees.
But Pflug’s lack of etiquette aside, what this exchange really demonstrates is how incredibly frightened Republicans are to have a debate about healthcare reform at all, and how eager they are to shut it down. I mean, honestly, apart from the senators and the two people testifying, what are there, six other people in the hearing room, and maybe another couple dozen watching on TVW? And for this she’s willing to make herself look like an idiot by suggesting the Health and Long-Term Care Committee is ethically bound to avoid any long-term planning?