Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana said this morning at an American Spectator and Americans for Tax Reform press breakfast that House Republicans will “overwhelmingly” oppose any kind of Democrat-proposed health care reform that would lead to government-run health insurance. He mentioned that although he hadn’t yet seen the Baucus plan, announced this morning, the lack of a public option doesn’t assuage his fears. Regarding co-ops in place of a public option, he claimed, “at the end of the day you’re talking about government-run health insurance.”
“The minute Uncle Sam opens the door to government insurance,” Pence explained, “millions of people from small business are going to run to it.” He predicted that in plan with a public option or with state- or locally-run health co-ops, millions of workers would lose their private insurance because their businesses would cancel their insurance.
During the breakfast, Pence also defended Joe Wilson, the South Carolina congressman officially censured by the House of Representatives yesterday for his “you lie” comment during President Obama’s health care speech. Pence acknowledged Wilson’s mistake and commended him for apologizing, but he also noted that Wilson was reacting to a “harshly partisan speech” from Obama. Pence cited Proverbs 15:1 — “a harsh word stirs up anger” — in explaining Wilson’s outburst. He stated that Wilson’s comment in fact did “serve the national interest” by calling attention to the fact that “what the president said from the podium was not true.”
“People really were glad that he brought the subject up, no matter how…indelicately,” Pence concluded.