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. Tom C in NY

    What an irresponsible idiot, and true Republican – using an actual baby, who has absolutely now say in this matter, as a political prop. This is truly despicable, but Replicans keep moving further into crazyland.

    November 7, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  2. Justin

    That's horrible and just plain stupid.

    November 7, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  3. Kim

    The republicans will throw anybody under the bus. He threw his chief of staff child under the bus just to refuse healthcare to people in need.

    November 7, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Baby Maddie will be thanking us later for fixing healthcare now instead of leaving it up to her generation to fix.

    November 7, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. KLS

    Only in America can something like this happen!!!!

    My sister-in-law developed grand mal seizures 30 years ago after the birth of their daughter. She has been on a variety of different medications over the years, some have been effective in controlling the seizures but only for a limited time. A few years ago she started a new kind of medicine that had been very successful. Two months ago my brother's company changed insurance plans to save money. The new insurance would not pay for the medicine she needs. Her doctor wrote a letter explaining her situation and my brother pleaded with the insurance company. The insurance company agreed she could have the medicine with a co-pay of $480 for a 30-day supply. The prior insurance had a $25 co-pay. My dad didn't know the full cost for the drug. Thursday evening she was rushed via an ambulance to the ER because her seizures were uncontrollable. They gave her the medicine she needed and her seizures stopped so she was sent home. At this point in time my brother has no clue what the insurance company is going to do about making her medicine affordable or what they will charge for the ER trip. One would think it would be a lot less expensive to provide the medicine what works instead of having go to the ER. How many Americans can afford $480 a month for any kind of drug!!

    November 7, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. MatthewDetroit

    The Kid is correct....
    We can NOT afford this healthcare bill.

    Unemployment is 10.2 %.

    Barack uses every excuse in the book to work on everything that does not matter.
    He is taking advantage of the crisis and of stupid people that voted for him.
    He is driving us deeper and deeper into debt.
    Stop making excuses Barack. Get umemployment fixed.
    We need jobs... Not health care for illegals.

    November 7, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  7. rick

    So do I, SSSSOOOO do I... my premiums just went up by 13%...

    November 7, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. Indy in AZ

    Shadegg is an idiot! I wish he wasn't from my state.

    November 7, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  9. David

    Gross. Grow up, Republicans. Every time I consider becoming an Independent, you remind me why I'm still a Democrat.

    November 7, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  10. Mark

    How sad that Shadegg needs to use a clueless child (who by the way has great health coverage not currently available to 46 million + Americans) as a prop why he makes greatly inaccurate and inflamitory statements about the health care bill. He doesn't care about the other children who aren't lucky enough to have health coverage like his staffers and their families do that is paid for by taxpayers. Where was his outrage when Bush turned a surplus into a run away deficit.

    November 7, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  11. Man in America

    Really? Did Maddie channel her thoughts to this representative from Arizona? Just shows that child-like minds think alike. What's the point?

    November 7, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  12. sue

    Rep Shadegg shame on you for using a baby to spew your lies.
    If you had taken the time to read the bill and formed a informed decision (which you clearly did not ). you instead used my tax dollars to that is used to pay your salary to have a YOU LIE MOMENT.
    I at least took the time to read and be informed.

    Oh by the way I have the public option that you also enjoy along with the other federal employees. It seems you need to give yours up
    along with all the nay sayers and I am sure this will bring down the cost since you along with the others truly want nothing to do with the public option. SO THE NEXT TIME YOU SIR TAKE THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE PLEASE LEAVE MADDIE WITH HER PARENTS, AND BRING YOUR PUBLIC OPTION MEDICAL CARD AND TURN IT IN
    AND TELL YOUR FELLOW NAY SAYERS TO HAND THEIRS IN.
    THIS WILL TRULEY BE CHANGE.

    November 7, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  13. Carnell From The Motor City!

    That Performance Deserves A Oscar...The Grouch Award! It Also Deserves A Best Supporting Actress Award For The Baby.

    November 7, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  14. dave

    what a disgusting display by the GOP!!!!

    November 7, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  15. MARK D. EVANS, AVON NY

    What a boatload of nonsense.

    November 7, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  16. ClintonFan

    Isn't it just like a Republican to think he can put words in a child's mouth?

    November 7, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  17. Patrick

    huh? America, ignore the GOP until they get real pragmatists to elect. Chris Whitman, maybe Cris Christie, these people today in the house are an embarrassment to our country. We can disagree and respect one another. Please

    November 7, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. John Ca

    We need the pope and the church on are side on this bill so, the Dems can pass a over all Health Care bill and we need 218 votes.

    November 7, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  19. independent

    Poor Maddie- She doesn't know yet the guy holding her is a schill for the insurance companies. What a phoney.

    November 7, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    What Maddie wants is competition in the health care market to bring costs down, along with a robust public option so if she or any family member gets sick or laid off, they won't lose their insurance.

    She also knows that the Congressional Budget Office and other non-partisan groups have shown that the health care reform proposal supported by the Democrats will save money.

    Typical Republican to lie and try to manipulate voters by using a child. All to line the pockets of the health care insurance company's pockets.

    Pathetic!

    November 7, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  21. charlie in Maine

    Okay "tea partiers" I have a question- actually 2 questions,
    1st Question I get why the insurance companies are against this (after all if UPS or Fed Express could get rid of the Post Office and charge whatever the hell they want for sending packages I could understand them wanting to do so). I also get why the GOP leadership is against this bill as well (one need only lokk at how long they were out of power after being against Social Security) But why oh why are regular people against this?

    2nd Question. If it really is about te money wher the hell were you guys when George W Bush decided we should spend 12 million dollars an hour on a war against a counrty that never attacked us? It has been a while but when W took office we were looking forward to surplusses as far as the eye could see. But that didn't seem to bother you did it?

    November 7, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  22. Ken, Arizona

    And just when you think the republicans can't get any more rediculous.

    November 7, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  23. Rob

    What an idiot. Pass this bill with the public option and no abortion amendment or be voted out of office.

    November 7, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  24. independent

    Here is what needs to be addressed regarding healthcare reform.

    1. What is affordable? When will we get specifics on what people will pay.

    2. In this economy people are switching and losing jobs. How will this healthcare bill deal with job changes and income levels? What if a person loses a job; will their rates go down? What if a person gets a great job; will rates go up? We really need to hear specifics in this area. How will red tape be kept to a minimum if someone takes on various jobs throughout the year? I think CNN should do a two hour show on such questions and really break it down. "Specifics"

    November 7, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  25. Tree

    Is this guy serious? lol! I am tired of seeing a bunch of old rich white elite men trying to convince the 98% of us that aren't part of that group, that they have our interests at heart. lol! Our system currently works to benefit that 2% and they don't want to lose it. Like he really cares about our children. If he did he would be fighting to ensure that ALL American children have access to quality and affordable healthcare. Instead he is rallying against it. This guy is a joke.

    November 7, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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