November 7th, 2009
05:45 PM ET
9 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. moe

    We have just witnessed a new low in politics. The Republicans will do any means necessary to kill reform for millions of americans without health insurance and give millions more a choice in regards to coverage. The party of no just went beyond the line.

    November 7, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. Pete

    Dragging any child without the communication skills to honestly express their desires or fears into the national spotlight is dreadful. How can he consider himself to be a caring individual respecting the rights of an individual if he can neither respect the rights of this child or care for the more immediate needs. Shame on the parent as well – for using your child, flesh and blood, as a PROP!

    November 7, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. John Ca

    The U.S. House is working weekends! What did hell go out of business?

    John Ca.

    November 7, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. JIlli

    An absolutely ridiculous display.

    November 7, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  5. Hugo

    What Maddie doesn't get is that Maddie and Maddie's children will be saddled with an even more monumental debt for the rest of their lives! Thanks for the Change Demowits!

    November 7, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. Nater

    Now Republicans are trying the "cutesy" approach....anything to stop the forward progress.

    November 7, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Susan/Colorado

    What a mess the Republican Party has become....sure ain't the Party Mom and Pop once supported.

    November 7, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. richard

    I suppose the intelligence level is the same for the Congressman as for the infant. Funny, that is how most of us wanting real health care reform see the whole group of the folks that supposedly represent us acting as: infants. The child is being used as a tool. Shame, Shame, Shame.

    November 7, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  9. Maddy

    Just another Republican attempt to screw things up.

    November 7, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  10. Aimee

    Groege W. Bush gave us and future generations plenty of debt when he entered us into two wars. DUH!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. JILL29

    I'm sooooooooooo sick of Republicans and all their antics. What a bunch of crappers.

    November 7, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  12. Tony T

    The democratic party is an embarrassment to this country. THEY think they know better than all Americans. THEY think they need to tell us what we need. This bill is garbage and they know it. Pelosi is so far left it is disgusting.

    The last hope we working Americans have is that the Senate filibusters this path way to socialism into oblivion. I am half hoping this trash passes so the next two elections are so one sided, that not only can we repeal this mess, but the Dems will never have control again. Its no wonder they only are given control 2 out of every 20 years.

    And if it doesn't happen, I am willing to STOP paying my taxes, since I know MUCH better than these looney libs, what MY MONEY should be going to.

    It is quite obvious that we have someone as president that was a HUGE mistake. Can't make up his mind on sending troops to protect our brave military, but is more than willing to rush into wasting trilions of dollars his golden road to socialism. VOTE THE LOSERS OUT IN 2010 and 2012 AND TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!!!!

    November 7, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. JILL29

    Look what George W and his Republican thugs gave our children and our children's children. They have mucked everything up and God help whoever tries to straighten it out for them.

    November 7, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. Mathew

    Regardless of whether you are pro-reform or anti-reform, isn't a little low to exploit children for your cause?

    And Maddie is 7-months old. I doubt she has a really concrete opinion on the health care debate.

    November 7, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    now CNN is talking to M Steele the tocan for the republican war machine backing the insurance industry what a dung ball idiot
    he needs to crawl back under the cheney rove rush cow paddy
    what a jerk lies lies lies .. and the democrates will get the votes for america

    November 7, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. Bridget

    Interesting and creative use of a child as a shield for Republican lies.

    November 7, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. Don M.


    November 7, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Bess

    been watching debate over 6 hours. Bottom line? Republicans are passionate about money. Democrats are passionate about people. This is not a rich/poor fight. This is a life-or-money -first brawl. It may not be fair to get money from the rich, but they are the only ones who have any. No hoarding, please. The money is not yours, it belongs to the economy. You get to use it to get great houses and stuff and then you must recycle to the bottom to keep capitalism going. Duh!

    November 7, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  19. juge

    Let that child decide for herself when she can think for herself. Hopefully she will grow up to have more smarts than y'all do. The health care reform would lower insurance cost by spreading the cost for everybody to everybody. Now those with inusurance are paying for those that do not have insurance and use the emergency rooms. AND would give a good kick in the pants to the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists that are feeding you.

    November 7, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. Economist

    Maddie is baby. What is the rest of the Congress's excuse for their childishness?

    November 7, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. thanks, but no thanks

    Great example congresman. Next time you vote to send our troops to unjust wars, bring an infant and declare that we are going to war for his/her future. What a joke Repugs are? Playing with the fears and ignorance that is the only card left for you. l hope you become super minority in 2010. As an independent, l will make sure of it.

    November 7, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. Bob, SC

    I want a choice too, but one of the choices must be the government option! That's the ONLY way to keep the Health Insurance Monopoly honest!

    November 7, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Lynn

    He better hope that cute little baby never is diagnosed with a life threatening illness, such as childhood leukemia or diabetes. It may thrive and reach adulthood, but under the insurance company controlled coverage we have today, this child will end up with Medicaid, or other welfare program.

    November 7, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Jeremiah Lee

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

    Funny that Bush spent 3 trillion in 4 years for Iraq and the wacky GOP were fine with that but Obama spending 900 billion over 10 years is bad. This is why we need more educated people in politics.

    November 7, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. markus

    hey Maddie, daddy's exploiting you to push his party's warped agenda...

    November 7, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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