The petty attacks on Rep. Joe Wilson continue

Don Surber has a good round-up of latest attacks on Rep. Joe Wilson coming from, you guessed it, Obama’s willing helpers in the MSM. He reports on a story from The Hill about how Wilson admitted in 2007 that he was a pill-popper … a NoDoz caffeine pill-popper. Gasp!

Better still was a story from the Newsweek blog insinuating that Wilson was a hypocrite on the issue of “government healthcare” because his sons – all enlisted in the military – get “free military healthcare.” The title of this absurd Newsweek post?

Joe Wilson’s Dirty Health-Care Secret

I swear – you cannot make this junk up.

James Joyner smacks down the idea that having “free military healthcare” makes you some kind of hypocrite on the issue of government healthcare:

But it’s patently absurd to argue that, because your employer is providing benefits to you in exchange for your labor — let alone the very real danger of being sent to war for years on end, risking life and limb — that you’re a hypocrite if you oppose having the taxpayer provide them to everybody. Let alone to people who aren’t even citizens!

I’m only slightly less annoyed by the related trope that Congressmen who won’t vote to extend free health care to all citizens should give up their own taxpayer-provided benefits. Our health care system has evolved as one where employers provide benefits for their workers. For government workers — be they military personnel, file clerks at the Commerce Department, or Members of Congress — their employer is the United States taxpayer. It simply doesn’t follow that taking the benefits agreed to as a condition of employment requires extending said benefits to non-employees.

Last but not least, and on a good note, Fox News reports that as a result of Wilson’s outburst, the Senate is moving to close the illegal immigrant loophole he brought to light:

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., was criticized for interrupting Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress to accuse the president of lying about his health care reform plan prohibiting coverage for illegal immigrants. Wilson quickly apologized, and the White House accepted the apology.

Wilson apologized again Thursday morning, though he also says a massive loophole could wind up in the health care bill: no requirement to prove citizenship for health care coverage.

Among three House committees to pass bills for health reform, only one expressly bans federal funding for proving health coverage to illegal immigrants.

“The Congressional Research Service has indicated that indeed the bills that are before Congress would include illegal aliens,” Wilson said. “And I think this is wrong.”

Indeed, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service study found that the House health care bill does not restrict illegal immigrants from receiving health care coverage.

House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner amplified the complaint that without proof of citizenship, illegal immigrants could be insured.

“There were two opportunities for House Democrats to make clear that illegal immigrants wouldn’t be covered by putting in requirements to show citizenships,” he said. “Both of those amendments were, in fact, rejected.”

In the Senate, Democrats in the so called “Gang of Six,” a group of bipartisan senators on the Senate Finance Committee which is the last panel yet to release its bill, began moving quickly to close the loophole that Wilson helped bring greater attention to.

“We absolutely assure that those who are here illegally would not get the benefit of any of these initiatives,” Sen. Kent Conrad said.

Will the House follow suit? Stay tuned.

Want to thank Joe Wilson for refusing to be muzzled? Click here. The site is understandably overwhelmed, so please be patient.

Update: Here are a couple of alternative contact links: Link 1, link 2.

Related: Make sure to check out John Hawkins’ interview with Wilson.

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