November 7th, 2009
05:45 PM ET
4 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. usualone

    What a gimmick, a cheap shot...and using a baby.

    November 7, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. valwayne

    I wish Democrats and Republicans would leave the kids out of it!!!

    November 7, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Jay T.

    Seriously? Palin used her kids to inflate her image, so why not go back to the well. Some people will swallow anything.

    November 7, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  4. jim

    excuse me, but nothing that is seven months old has any clue what things cost. I say "shame on john shadegg" for using such an obvious ploy.

    i am disgusted

    November 7, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. ran

    Maddie's mom is making too much money if her taxes are going to go up $780Billion. What BS. Just more fear/hate/obstructionism by the Republicans.

    What the Democrats need to do is pass single payer non-profit universal health care now and let the republicans/"blue dogs" and Profit health insurance companies go play with themselves.

    November 7, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. Jay T.

    And when Maddie becomes a senior citizen hopefully she will enjoy the comfort of social security and Medicare- government run programs. But, if it is up to these wackos, that will be something she'll miss out on.

    November 7, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  7. We Won Get Over It

    We all knew republicans were kookoo and childest this proves it. They are still a bunch of sore loosers.

    Approving all that money for bush means they don't give a darn about spending the money. And the don't give a darn about the people who voted for them. All they care about is sinking the Obama administration and thinking they will get back in office.

    The more they pull this crap the lower they will sink in the polls.

    November 7, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. Paul

    that has got to be the most underhanded and disgusting thing that the republicans have pulled so far. This man should be ashamed of himself. I thought lying to congress was illegal. Shadegg, you should resign right now!

    November 7, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. corporateoverlords

    Absolutely shameful. To use a baby as a prop to spew lies and spread nonsense about a government takeover of healthcare is a new low. What don't they understand about OPTION!? It is truly amazing how these people get elected to serve the public when all they're concerned with is protecting the profits of corporations.

    November 7, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. grey

    Republican = infantile

    November 7, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. Joe in Vega$

    Sounds like someone is putting their words in her mouth.

    November 7, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  12. FactCheck

    Dear Maddie: since you are supporting the GOP plan, don't get sick and if you do, die quickly.

    November 7, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  13. pam

    Wow! Now a 7 month old baby is leading the Republican Party. What a long, strange trip it's been!

    Pam in Oregon

    November 7, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. Tom

    Oh stop it.

    November 7, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. Rob R

    Highly inappropriate. Hey Republicans, WE WANT THE PUBLIC OPTION. Get used to it.

    November 7, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. demsrulz

    Welcome to the 21st century republicans... Humph... Who cares because after all, the republican party is dead...

    November 7, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. blue j

    so maddies moms paying the 730 billion ??
    sweet!

    November 7, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. Mike

    you are all idiots.

    November 7, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    So – the leader of the Republicans in Congress is 7 months old.

    How interesting.

    November 7, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. bc

    Tell Maddie that she and her mama had better pray they stay healthy. There will be no such thing as "patient choice" when it comes to health insurance if you end up with a pre-existing condition. When you grow up, Maddie, you'll understand for yourself. And Rep. Shadegg will say you just happened to not be one of the lucky ones. Tough luck!

    November 7, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  21. Martin

    Yes. Lets have the insurance companies get between me and the doctor because clearly they do not have an ulterior motive like making money by denying me treatment and reimbursement for claims. Anyone who has ever dealt with any sort of insurance company in the US knows that they are a bunch of scoundrels - good at taking everyone's money in premiums but very lousy at paying on any type of claim.

    November 7, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. Mike

    i hope that one day you will all realize that a story about someone getting convinced to lose 70 lbs is not a story but the us military getting killed for other countries than ours is. these men and women are risking there lives for the good and wellbeing of others and you and your affiliate news corporations just ignore it and mention from time to time how many of them died. why not join the movement and voice your opinion in getting our marines sailor airmen and soldiers out of harms way to stop wasting our taxpayers money for the good of others and get our children home. this war has been going on since 60 AD to think that somehow we are going to stop it now is just absolutely insane. wake up america your children and future leaders of the world are dying for another country and no one cares anymore you all just catch the blurb on the news for 2 minutes feel bad for a second and change the channel on your HDTV. americans put little stickers or a flag on there car and dont know what it means what happenned to patriotism. 2 days out f the year americans are patriots the day before the fourth of july and the 4th thats it! this country is murdering our children not giving them the proper training before going into combat in different countries with different terrains leaving us fully unprepared. our president and everyone in charge of this fiasco has no idea what it is going to take to stop a war that can never be won. having a war on terrorism is like having a war on jealousy we are NOT going to wake up one day and say " YEP! got em all, everyone loves us again!".

    November 7, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. Veronica

    wow – why didn't he bring in a baby who currently has no healthcare??? what would that baby say? oh and news for you Mr. – premiums already went up to where families can't afford insurance! so looks like Maddie doesn't have to wait long for that to happen. what a ridiculous spectacle

    November 7, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. Josh

    Dumbest headline ever. He didn't "quote" the infant. He put words in its underdeveloped mouth.

    November 7, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. m jeff

    Let the rightwing nuts protest, we are tired of being mistreated by the Insurance Companies, bring on Healthcare REFORM.

    November 7, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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