Government-run health care: Good or bad? GOP leader picks both
Are government-run health care programs good or bad? U.S. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor can't seem to decide. At a public forum Monday in Richmond, Va., the Virginia Republican contradicted himself and said people should find government programs to help them when they can't get insurance.
A member of the audience, Patricia Churchill, asked what her family member should do who cannot get insurance but needs an operation to remove tumors from her stomach. Cantor told Churchill to find a government program: "Because if we look at the uninsured right now, there is probably 23, 24% of the uninsured that is already eligible for an existing government program." Video: (Quote is at 1:28)
Cantor also suggested that having access to such programs is important: "No one in this country, given who we are, should ever be sitting without an option to go be addressed." Video: (Quote is at 2:12)
This support is very new. As a top House Republican, Cantor has previously been vocally opposed to government-run health care.
On Sept. 22, Cantor gave an interview to the Washington News Observer where he said President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats need to "push the reset button and scrap the bill that they've got" -- which includes a government-run insurance option. (Quote is at 3:00.)
On FOX News on Sept. 9, Cantor said: "Look, no government option, no government co-op, no government trigger. We just cannot. We've got to scrap this whole notion of the government in competition."
And as reported here on NowPublic, back in April of this year, Cantor voted for a GOP bill that would have eliminated the popular government-run Medicare program.
There has been no follow-up from Cantor to explain his change in opinion when asked directly by a voter about health care options.