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. Debbie from CA

    To "use" a child for your own means is not acceptable.

    You could have also said that the child was saying that: if you don't pass health care that the America of today the child has been born into will not exist. The healthcare industry will cripple the American economy.

    But maybe it might be wise to let the child grow up and speak for herself instead of putting words into her mouth?!?

    November 7, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  2. JR

    That's what I've always thought republican arguments were, the blathering of small children.

    November 7, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. JR

    Way to go con, use an infant your your own gain, what a guy, what a POS.

    November 7, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Jatovi

    To bring an infant to repeat something you've told that infant to say, this is not a debate, this is a side show. Give me information and facts, not flash and glitter.

    November 7, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. Andrew

    I like how the Republicans have no ideas of their own, so they use infants to speak for them. At least they found a group with similar powers of intellect

    November 7, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  6. nathan smith ga

    lol.b the gop is a big joke.

    November 7, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. Joe

    Wow_This guy is a real idiot. It is amayzing who the American people elect and send to Congress. Hopefully when Maddie grows up she will be a Republician.

    Listening to this guy it kinds of reminds me of a vaudvulle act with that talking doll.

    November 7, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  8. Jim

    Wow, what a truly inspired way to provide an argument. "Look at this beautiful child. She will inherit the debt we are creating. But we won't show you her when we discuss the debt the Republican party will create with our non-existent reform that according to the CBO will provide less deficit relief in 10 years, and cost individuals more". They keep things to themselves then...

    November 7, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  9. Brad, OH

    What a sad example of biased indoctrination into children...and the child can't even speak yet!

    November 7, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  10. Bill

    Republicans just cannot resist lying, can they?

    Well, Shadegg's chief of staff has the same insurance that Shadegg has.

    November 7, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  11. katia

    did they catch that on tape? i wonder how she'd react to the scene when she is 18... how dare he speak for someone who ....... is a friggin baby. ridiculous!!

    November 7, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. Mack

    Representative Shadegg made Jon Stewart's job much easier for him this coming week.

    November 7, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  13. LisaB

    Despicable to use a child in this manner. She doesn't know what she wants, but if she really did want choice, she would support the pulbic option. Duh.

    November 7, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. No Morons

    What a whacko!

    November 7, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. Greg K., PA

    That's not only ridiculous but it's offensive that he would use an infant for political purposes like that. He also apparently missed the part where the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the bill would not only be revenue neutral but also reduce the deficit over the coming decades.

    November 7, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  16. AUC

    These Republican SOB's are so low down to try to think a baby should sway someones' opinion on healthcare reform.....we know too well they are low down dirty dogs. How about the number of children who don't have health care or whose parents have lost their jobs/homes due to high medical bills while they are in beds with the insurance companies and drug companies. Wake up America and don't fall for their theatrical bull s*** this time!!!!!

    November 7, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  17. cashcow1

    Just enjoying beautiful Saturday at home in FL watching the house debate the health bill. I keep hearing over and over about Canada and England health care system. My question to all is, how many of the people talking about Canada and England health care system really know anything about the systems in both countries. I have been fortunate enough to live in both countries for some years and have some knowledge of the systems. I know the health systems in both countries are not as it is being portray on TV right now. Here we are in America, debating on a major issue (future of our country) and I'm listening to our reps. using these systems that are actually working very well to make their case against the bill. Are you kidding me? Are we that naive in this country? How many of us have been to England or Canada? Did you see people dropping dead in the streets of these countries? Did you get the sense that the people in these countries feel that their government was between them and their health care providers? Did you get the sense that the people in these countries were worry sick about getting treatment for major health issues? Actually, it is the other way around. For every system including the one we have in this country, you can always find a case or two to use to make a point to scare people. This is the country of the brave and we have to start behaving that way again. Why have we become a country of cowards? Where did our can do attitude go? I read on the blog stuff like "why should my money be used to pay for someone else health care". What do you think would have happen if our founding father had the "me mindset" we have today in this country? When did we get to the point where America is second to individual interest? To be that passionate about low lifes' that might take advantage of whatever system we have in place is a waste of passion. The only obstacle is ourselves. We will be stop only when we allow it. We are better than that!!! Wake up people...take a hard look in the mirror and be truthful to yourself and let get this country back on track.

    November 7, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. amy

    wow. The GOP has sunk low when they use a little baby as a puppet for their tired message. Maddie needs this bill so that when she grows up she won't go bankrupt if she has an uninsurable preexisting condition.

    November 7, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  19. Meka

    And, someone had the IDEAL . . . TO ELECT this man!

    November 7, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. cb!

    Okay, it's official – Republicans are indeed morons...

    November 7, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. Kevin Schmidt

    A Republican politician quotes an infant?

    Takes one to know one!

    At last, now we know why GOP arguments are all whiny and sound like gibberish!

    November 7, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. Canadian, eh?

    Oh come on. What a cheap shot! You know you've truly got nothing useful to say when you feel you need to parade a baby around just to make a point. It always disgusts me when politicians and protestors feel the need to parade kids around to make a point. It's not like that kid has any opinion about healthcare.

    November 7, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  23. Larry

    Republicans are such an insult to themselves

    Fortunately intelligent Americans see through their childish antics

    Get a life Mr Shadegg

    November 7, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  24. Eric

    Oh wow using a baby to state their case. Boy the Republicans have really hit bottom. Have they no shame!!

    November 7, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  25. Perusing-through

    HOW IRONIC . . .
    . . . the same Republican supporters that shout "Kill the Bill" would rather replace the current Congressional Healthcare Reform bill supported by AARP & AMA, with their own GOP sanction "Don't Get Sick and Die Quickly" bill, which happens to be overly generous to a Health Insurance Industry that is sucking middle-class America dry.

    Just whose side is the Tea Party Republicans on?

    November 7, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
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