Axelrod threat to GOP: 'Make my day' 

Top White House adviser David Axelrod says that if Congress passes the Democrats' national health care bill, it will be politically impossible for Republicans to undo the changes brought by the massive legislation. "I say, Let's have that fight. Make my day," Axelrod said on "Meet the Press." "I'm ready to have that, and every member of Congress ought to be willing to have that debate was well."

Axelrod made the point as he put forward the now-common argument that House Democrats who have already voted for the health care bill once should do so again because they will be attacked by Republican opponents this fall whatever they do.

"I've said many times that they've got a vote that Republicans and the insurance industry and others can run against them already," Axelrod said. "What they don't have is the accomplishment. If this bill passes, this year, children with pre-existing conditions will now be covered. There will be an end to lifetime caps and annual caps on what the insurance companies will cover, so if you get sick you won't go broke, if you get sick they won't throw you off your insurance. The doughnut hole will be filled in, so senior citizens will save hundreds of dollars on their prescription drugs. The life of Medicare will be extended, and on and on and on."

There are holes galore in Axelrod's statement. The Senate health care bill, for example, does not eliminate the insurance coverage caps as Axelrod claims. Bans on discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions have been scaled back. And experts agree that taking money out of Medicare, as the bill does, would not extend the life of Medicare if that money is used to pay for the new health care entitlement instead of shoring up Medicare. Nevertheless, Axelrod said he is ready for a fight.

"So if the Republican party wants to go out and say to that child, who now has insurance," Axelrod continued, "or say to that small business that will get tax credits this year if [President Obama] signs the bill to help their employees get health care, if [Republicans] want to say to them, 'You know what, we're actually going to take that away from you, we don't think that's such a good idea' -- I say let's have that fight. Make my day. I'm ready to have that, and every member of Congress ought to be willing to have that debate was well."

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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