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The patchwork Republican approach to sequestration—i.e. "let's pass individual bills repealing specific cuts that have gotten especially bad publicity because they hit middle-class people, while leaving all the cuts to poor people in place"—strikes again. Following the revelation that Medicare cancer patients would have treatment delayed or denied because of the sequester, North Carolina Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers is on it:
Ellmers’s bill would exempt the chemotherapy drugs that physicians must administer to patients from the across-the-board budget cuts. It also directs Medicare to reimburse doctors for any reduced payments made since the sequester cuts took effect for them on April 1.

“As an unintended consequence of sequestration, millions of Americans are facing delayed care for life-saving treatments,” Ellmers said in a statement. “By dropping this bill today, we are ensuring that everything can be done to prevent these cuts from going into effect.”

Unintended consequence? Actually, no. The intended consequence of the sequester was that it would inflict broad, indiscriminate pain. Denying care to elderly cancer patients fits that description exactly. Additionally, the best way to "ensur[e] that everything can be done to prevent these cuts from going into effect" is not to drop a bill after the fact. The best way to prevent these cuts from going into effect would have been to prevent sequestration to begin with. But back when that was an option, here's what Ellmers had to say:
“I do believe it will start a very important process that will help our economy to start to grow,” she said. “The debt that we have at the federal level is our biggest threat for our country.”
If we're talking about eliminating "the biggest threat for our country," why is she now trying to get in the way of that process by repealing some of the cuts that are supposed to attack that threat? It's not even just the hypocrisy that's disgusting here. It's that Republicans are basically whiny, spoiled children who say they want something without having thought through the consequences, then have temper tantrums when those consequences hit home. But these whiny, spoiled children are in a position to prevent our government from functioning, make thousands of families homeless, slash the paychecks of public workers, and deny food to low-income women and their children, and thanks to gerrymandering, it's going to be really hard to put them on time out.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 08:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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