From an Argus Leader emceed Q&A session with South Dakota’s lone representative that just wrapped up an hour ago.
It would seem that a fairly straightforward question did not get a straightforward answer. The question and answer repeat below in non-image format:
[Comment From Peter] @ 4:50
Rep. Herseth Sandlin, Congress has excluded themselves from the Healthcare reform that it is trying to impose on the country. Do you support including Congress in healthcare reform. Specifically, do you support the idea that members of Congress should live under the same laws that they impose on the citizens of United States?
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin: @ 5:01 Peter, I’m all for treating members of Congress like everyone else in the country. I think my co-sponsorship of the Wyden-Bennett bill proves that. The current proposals being debated set up an exchange intended first and foremost for people who currently can’t afford coverage but don’t quality for Medicaid, for people currently buying insurance in the individual market and paying extremely high premiums and for small businesses who currently can’t afford health care coverage for their employees. If you currently have the option of getting employed-sponsored coverage, you cannot buy a plan on the exchange until after a certain period of years.
I do not believe it to be a stretch to say that since she would not answer the question as asked, her answer comes down to “No.” (Update: This is my own perspective on the matter. Someone who tends to support her would probably find a “Yes” in that first sentence. The issue for me is that she would not simply say “Yes” or “No” and only then elaborate. Her avoidance gives her room to dance.)
One more aside. I was unaware of this Q&A until it was almost done. Does anyone know if it was widely announced via the Argus before it began?
I believe this is the bill Representative Herseth Sandlin refers to as Wyden-Bennett.
Herseth Sandlin has been frequently touting her support for an exchange: beware. Whether it is called an exchange, a co-op, or a public option government participation in the purchase and allocation of healthcare will force private insurers out of the marketplace leaving us no choice but to pursue a government plan.