I’ve already noted how rumored U.S. Senate candidate (and former Bush Administration Health & Human Services Secretary) Tommy! Thompson supported an individual health insurance mandate before he was against it, but I think it’s equally worth noting that in 2004, then-Secretary Thompson said universal care was right for Iraq:
Fresh from a two-day weekend visit to Iraq, the Bush administration’s top health-care official defended the $950 million that will be spent to help Iraq establish universal health care.
Congressional Democrats have criticized the administration for helping Iraq to establish universal health care without doing the same for U.S. citizens.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said yesterday there are major differences between the two countries that defy simple comparisons.
“Even if you don’t have health insurance,” said Thompson, who toured medical facilities in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Tikrit on Saturday and Sunday, “you are still taken care of in America. That certainly could be defined as universal coverage.”
During the health care debate in the House of Representatives, Ohio Congressman John Boccieri, an Iraq War Veteran, cited Thompson’s efforts to bring universal health care to Iraq in a speech on the House floor announcing his own support for health insurance reform here in America.
“I’ll remind my friends on the other side (House Republicans) who voted to send (former president George W. Bush’s secretary of health and human services) Tommy Thompson to Iraq with a billion dollar checks in hand to make sure that every man, woman and child in Iraq had universal health care coverage.”
“If it’s good enough for Iraqis, it’s good enough for Americans,” he yelled. “Who are you going to stand with today?”
It’s mind-boggling that Tommy Thompson would advocate spending nearly a billion dollars of American taxpayers’ money in 2004 to bring universal health care to the citizens of Iraq, while advocating in 2010 against providing health insurance coverage to nearly all Americans, including thousands of individuals and families right here in Wisconsin. If Tommy Thompson really wants to run for the U.S. Senate seat representing the citizens of Wisconsin, he’s certainly got a lot of explaining to do, because I’m sure Wisconsin’s voters would like to hear Tommy! explain why he feels Iraqi citizens deserve the universal health care coverage that Thompson is now arguing against for American citizens.