Taking GOPer Bachmann a Bit Too Seriously

Back when the Senate kicked off its health care debate, Republicans tested out a new line of attack against health committee chairman Edward Kennedy’s (D-MA) draft bill: Its investment in encouraging walking and biking amounts to inexcusable government waste.

Never mind that walking and biking have scientifically proven public health benefits. Never mind that the Federal Highway Administration is already promoting the activities the new health care bill would expand.

b4eb3_bachmann_crazy.jpgRep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): Walking and biking don’t belong in a health care bill. (Photo: More About Politics)

The Republicans pushed their anti-pork line against the legislation’s "community transformation" grants for a time. But Sen. Mike Enzi (WY), the health committee’s senior GOPer, ultimately failed in a bid to prevent the bill from spending money on sidewalks, bike paths, streetlights, and other health-related infrastructure items.

The House has recently begun its health care discussions, however. And none other than Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — whose greatest hits include calling for an investigation into the president’s patriotism — is on the case against the bill’s proposed public health grants.

Bachmann wrote on her blog:

Essentially, we’re talking about federal funding for bike paths, lighting, jungle gyms, and even farmers markets.

In
the House bill, at least the spending is capped — $1.6 billion per
year.  The Senate bill leaves the sky the limit – leaving the amount of
spending up to the Obama Administration.

While
these projects may have merit, they certainly don’t belong in a health
care reform package.  With priorities like this running amok on Capitol
Hill, is there any doubt that health care costs will only continue to
skyrocket under government-run health care?

To return to an earlier theme, let’s take Bachmann a bit too seriously for a moment. The chances that she will actually vote for Democratic health legislation are effectively zero. So we can safely assume that her goal here is to burnish her fiscal-conservative credentials by picking a project to deride as "pork."

How about the government’s estimated $1 billion in unnecessary Medicare payments? Was Bachmann at all concerned when health industry lobbies said they’d rather not be bound by White House savings targets? Apparently not; it’s people walking more that truly frightens the congresswoman.

(h/t Minnesota Independent)

  • God forbid Minnesotans get any less fat….

    http://bit.ly/B00Go

    Minnesota’s obesity rate continues climb upward.

    Study shows obesity increased to almost a fourth of its population, but rates of diabetes didn’t rise.

    By PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune

    The rate of adult obesity in Minnesota is on the increase, but the state is still better off than most.

    That’s the word this week from an annual report issued by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    The report ranks Minnesota 30th, with 24.8 percent of its adults being clinically obese. That’s up from 23.7 percent in the previous year’s report.

  • So the government can heavily subsidize the agri-farming industry and that’s OK with Bachmann? But not those commie/socialist Farmers Markets run by individual farmers? Not only is she a nut, but she’s downright stupid too.

  • “Bachmann wrote on her blog”

    I feel sad that I didn’t know she had one — but also dumb because *of course* she has one.

  • Lee Watkins

    her idea of health insurnace is a prayer chain. she’s a Christian fundamentalist politician from the outer-suburbs of the twin cities who tried to have science replaced with intelligent design when she was on the school board. She tried to have the movie Aladdin banned because “it teaches witchcraft”.

    Usually, she’s out there claiming CO2 is a harmless gas and insisting we should drill for oil on all the wildlife refuges, and rejects cap-and-trade.

    Recently she was on the air claiming the swine flu was a plague sent by god because we elected another democratic president.

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