November 7th, 2009
05:45 PM ET
5 years ago

Rep. quotes infant on House floor: 'Maddie wants patient choice'

Washington (CNN) – In the midst of a heated debate on health care legislation, Rep. John Shadegg, R-Arizona, brought the cute, bald 7-month-old daughter of his Chief of Staff to the floor and gently bounced her in his arms as he expressed his opposition to the Democratic health care reform bill.

Shadegg used Maddie to illustrate how he said the Democrats’ proposal would pass debt on to her generation.

“Maddie believes in patient choice health care,” Shadegg said. “She asked to come here today to say she doesn’t want the government to take over health care, she wants to be able to keep her plan.”

Shadegg continued as the small child began playing with the foam microphone cover: “You see, Maddie knows that if this bill passes her mom’s health care goes away and won’t be around in five years. As a matter of fact, the bill says, if the bill passes, then no more health care for her mom because it has to change.

“Maddie wants patient choice. Maddie doesn’t want her mom’s premiums to go. She doesn’t want her mom’s taxes to go up by $730 billion dollars, do you Maddie? That’s too much money.”

Shadegg then did what few if any lawmakers have done before on the floor of the house: He quoted an infant. “She believes in choices, but most of all, Maddie says, ‘Don’t tax me to pay for health care that you guys want. If you want health care, pay for it yourselves. Because it’s not fair to pass your health care bill on to me and my grandchildren.’”

When Shadegg’s time ran out and California Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman reclaimed control of the microphone, he said of Maddie, “That was a remarkable child,” and of Shadegg, “and a great ventriloquist.”


Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts
soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. AJ

    As long as her Dad has that great government run congressional plan for life -what does she care, meanwhile the other 300 million Americans are paying more than they can afford, or can't get any insurance at all.

    November 7, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. cathyinaz

    I am glad that Maddie wants to keep her healthcare – this bill is NOT A GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER – it's a bill to make sure those who do not have health care can be offered good care at an affordable cost as well as getting rid of the waste. Some are not as lucky as Maddie as Shadegg should know if he paid attention to what is going on is Arizona!

    November 7, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. brad

    wonder what she will say in 30 if she is like many who can't afford insurance. By that time the cost today will look great.

    November 7, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. northwest

    Since Maddie already has health care is this the best your party of not has to offer.
    You bottom feeders should hit the dust.
    When people voted for these idiots did they realize what a bunch or lame brains they were putting in office?

    November 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Mick

    I'd love to be the guest next time. "Here's a young man who can't afford health care in our broken system." Something needs to be done, and a cheap (albeit adorable) trick won't help.

    November 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. andrea

    Can the Republicans get any lower???????????????????????????? Maddie is a BABY, all she wants right now is Food, Love and a dry diaper.It is amazing how Shadegg can quote a BABY. GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. Joan

    If health care reform does not pass down because of the Republicans and a handful of blue dog Democrats, they will go down in history as being the spoilers of something so important to millions of Americans. Shame on them. If that happens, the voters should remember that in the elections in 2010 and 2012. They are going to be on the wrong side of history.

    November 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Mark

    A 7 month old child has about the same political maturity as the GOP now days, so sounds about right.

    November 7, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Joan

    If health care reform does not pass because of the Republicans and a handful of blue dog Democrats, they will go down in history as being the spoilers of something so important to millions of Americans. Shame on them. If that happens, the voters should remember that in the elections in 2010 and 2012. They are going to be on the wrong side of history.

    November 7, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Hazel

    Need an answer to the WHY of Ft. Hood? Read the Koran. Their focus is on Mecca not America and on Allah and not God.---Hazel

    November 7, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. baracuda

    Oh dear! Are there limits to this GOP lunacy? That little innocent kid has health insurance thanks to the American tax payer. The same applies to the congressman who enjoys the best health care coverage from the United States tax payers.

    If that toddler was born to an American who just lost his or her job or one who works part time she would be out cold with no health insurance whatsoever. Is that what Maddie and Rep. John Shadegg want for millions of American children?

    We may never know what Maddie, being used as a toy, by the congressman wants but we sure know the congressman is hoping for American children. "Don't get sick and if you do.........".

    I can't wait for the GOP filibuster in the Senate. Someone please take care of the kids. Let them bring their cats and dogs instead. What a bunch of hopeless losers. This bill will pass. And that is only the beginning.

    November 7, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. George O.

    Give me a freaking break! I'm thinking 7 month old Maddie is really thinking "when is my next feeding," and "I have to go poop in my Pampers!"

    How silly can Capitol Hill Floor speeches get? Are these the supposedly adult Representatives we vote in to look after our welfare and interests?

    Please get serious about the issues that need resolving and stop with the juvenile drama...that's not why I pay you $174,000 per year.

    November 7, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. Leon

    John Shadegg is despicable, using a baby to lie about Health Care Reform...

    November 7, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. RH1

    the repubs will try it all, before this is over I expect them to pull of a landing of a UFO sporting a sign that says STOP THE GOV FROM TAKING OVER HEALTH CARE ! What Jerks

    November 7, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Maddie may wish for a government run health care when she gets as old as I am. I love med care even if I have to pay for it because you see I have pre conditions which make getting insurance impossible. Can we vote Mr. Shadegg’s Government Health Care and his salary for the rest of his life out? Mr. Shadegg’s did you tell Maddie that she will have to take care of you and your wife if you have one for the rest of your life. Mr. Shadegg how come you are not asking some one to take your insurance away from you? Why don’t you pay for your own insurance that along will save the American People lots of money? I can thank of a lot of thing you can give up and save us money but it would take to much space.

    November 7, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. Sick and tired of republicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Republicans and conservatives had me at: "We need to cut the cost of spending and we can't pass debt to the next generation"........ REALLY!!!! so where was the concern for the last 8 years of waste and fraud at the hands of these (we care about the people) hypocrites. Everything is in the eye of the beholder, cause if you ask me what is wasteful spending, I would more likely than not say F.......WARS (billions and billions),TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH, billions for a bad medicare program, contracts with shady Halliburton (chenny's BFF!!!) As a good christian woman I would rather have my tax money invested in my on country's NEEDS, than mindless wars...... now that's wasteful spending, mind you. But from the bunch that thinks even Jesus is too Liberal, and want to change passages of the Bible, I take everything with a grain of salt. JESUS WAS THE FIRST SOCIALIST!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. John Ca

    Tell the rep that this bill will pass with or with them and everyone not getting what they want so try and have some balance like John Adams.

    November 7, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Maddie believes in patient choice, just so the only choice is the private insurance monopolies. And she believes that if the health reform bill passes her mother will no longer receive health care, which is what passes for a sound argument among the Republicans, even the Gopers over the age of one. The irony is this is the same BS that was thrown around by the same people when they were sure Medicare would be the end of civilization as we know it, and precisely why they are so desperate. Medicare is hugely popular and would be impossible to kill now. A robust public option would be just as popular, and just as hard to get rid of.

    November 7, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. Diana

    Good thing Maddie's mom works for the government and has good insurance, right? Other babies, the ones whose parents are uninsured, don't deserve health care.

    November 7, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. Chris from Calgary

    What a silly thing to do. ... Baffling.

    November 7, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I'm sure this child doesn't know there are millions of American children and children around the World that don't have healthcare as she does. Is this a continuation of raising our children not care about making a better World for all children, or is this the ignorance that will continue for generations to come, I hope not.

    November 7, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. Shameful

    The Obstructionists know no shame.

    November 7, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. Ellid

    This representative should be ashamed of himself.

    November 7, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. carole

    Actually, Maddie would probably prefer to have her father's boss tell the truth rather than demagoguing this issue. If serious health care reform doesn't pass, an adult Maddie may not be able to find/afford
    medical care. Consider what has happened to health care in this country over the past 15 years with Republicans and the health
    insurance industry in charge . . . then consider whether or not we need and deserve real change.

    November 7, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Rosalyn Casson

    Its official: The GOP is completely nuts.

    November 7, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
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