Twenty years ago today, a group of angry seniors armed with picket signs literally attacked U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski’s car as he left a speech. They pounded on the windows and the hood. They were mad about an increase in Medicare premiums of roughly $40 a month – less for seniors with lower incomes. For that fee, Medicare would have covered — after deductibles – drugs and expanded nursing home and home care services. The bill also protected Medicare recipients from the “catastrophic” costs of an expensive illness.
Rostenkowski got out of the car as seniors followed him yelling “Liar…impeach..recall.” So Congress took them up on it and repealed the expanded benefits.
Hmm. Sounds familiar. CQ sort of puts it in context.
Hari Sevugan, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, says there is a difference between expressing a point of view and browbeating others — in this case congressmen and their constituents — who seek to express theirs.
“What’s legitimate dissent is something that provides for constructive dialogue in advancing the discussion on health insurance reform,” Sevugan said.
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio says the protests reflect the true sentiments of voters.
“Democrats are in denial. Instead of acknowledging the widespread anger millions of Americans are feeling this summer toward Democrat-controlled Washington, Washington Democrats are trying to dismiss it as a fabrication,”