HOT BLAST: Anti-Obamacare congressman not going anywhere near Medicare
Oct 04, 2013 | 1451 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A "closed" sign is seen through the locked iron gate of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
A "closed" sign is seen through the locked iron gate of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
What follows is a snippet of a longer and incredibly fascinating interview report Josh Eidelson conducted with John Culberson, a Republican congressman from Texas who is closely allied with the Tea Party. After Culberson noted Obamacare should be "repealed and replaced," Eidelson pivoted to another government-run health-care program:

Well, should Medicare exist as a federal program?

That’s not even relevant to the conversation. Medicare has been the law for decades.

Do you believe that it should continue as is?

It’s been the law for decades. I’m not sure what you’re looking for.

Well, I’m trying to understand the position that you’re putting forward here.

Leave me alone. It’s not complicated. Texans want to be left alone. Let Texans run Texas. Let Josh take care of Josh. It’s really not complicated.

Does that mean that Medicare should end as a federal program?

Medicare is not at issue. Medicare is a, [has] been in place for decades and unless it’s repaired, it will go bankrupt. And it is on track to be bankrupt. I don’t know how old you are, but if you’re under the age of 54, your Medicare hospital fund doesn’t exist. It can only pay fifty cents on the dollar. It has to be fixed. It’s bankrupt, and we have an obligation as guardians of the treasury to prevent the program from going bankrupt.

So how should Medicare be fixed?

I don’t know what you’re looking for. I mean are you – I have to leave in a couple of minutes. I know you’re working real hard here to get a good story for Obama and the Democrats, but I just can’t help you there. I’m trying to give you the facts. And I’ve got to run. You’re wandering all over the map here.

Again – I know you have to go in a minute, but what kind of fix do you want to see to Medicare?

We want to prevent it from going bankrupt. It’s going bankrupt rapidly. As it is – as is Social Security. Our – fundamentally, Texans want to be left alone. It’s a fundamental right of all Americans to be left alone. Leave us alone. We want the government out of our lives, out of our pockets, out of our business, stay out of my church, away from my kids, my synagogue, and it’s not complicated. I mean I was sent here by my constituents to represent them, and I’m doing it in a way they have – the way they expect of me.

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