In a yesterday’s debate with Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, Rep. Jim Matheson asserted that he was always against Obamacare, that he was an early “No” vote, that he was never ambiguous about his opposition, and that to assert otherwise was to be out of touch with his record. In making these assertions, Jim Matheson has illustrated that he either suffers from short-term memory loss or that he can’t be trusted to make an important decision like this one again.
To say that Matheson’s opinion on Obamacare was clear is to ignore history. Matt Canham of the Salt Lake Tribune wrote in an article titled “Matheson on the fence as Obama hopes for a yes from Blue Dogs” just days before the vote that Matheson said he was “now undecided, hinging his vote on what changes are made in the final bill, which is modeled on the Senate version of reform.” Utah voters were so angry at Matheson for not taking a decisive stance that they gathered outside his congressional office days before the vote in an attempt to persuade him as chronicled by Nate Carlisle in the Tribune article “Utahns lobby to influence Matheson’s health reform vote.”
In a March 4th article (weeks before the final vote) titled “Matheson looks like a maybe on final health reform vote“, Jim said the following: “We haven’t seen what this last bill is going to look like now. I think it is important to look at this bill. I do have concerns about the overall cost of the bill, which sounds like it is going up. I don’t think [reconciliation] is the cleanest way to go about it.” – to which Republican Party Chairman Dave Hansen rightly responded “Everybody knows what is going to be in the bill – 420 members of the House have been able to make a decision on it, why can’t he?”
Jim Matheson can’t pretend now that he was decisive on ObamaCare or that he’d made up his mind early. We as voters and informed citizens know better because we were paying attention. The fact of the matter is that our “representative” Jim Matheson failed to lead on this critical issue. He spent months “struggling” with an issue that was a no-brainer for most of his constituents. Matt Canham quoted Jim matheson in a March 20th Salt Lake tribune article after the vote as saying “I definitely struggled with [the vote]. It is such an important issue and there were definitely components of this legislation that I think we all support.” To assert that he was decisive in his opposition long before the vote and that we should know that is disingenuous and insulting – he was neither.
The bottom line is that Matheson is not a proper leader or representative of the people of Utah. ObamaCare was an easy vote. A child could have made the right decision on ObamaCare in less than an hour. It took Matheson months to make up his mind and he only did it at the very last minute when it was clear that his vote wasn’t needed anymore.
The Federal Government meddling in the insurance industry is about as good an idea as them getting involved in mortgage finance and securitization, or retirement savings, or anything else that isn’t authorized by the U.S. Constitution. We need to remember that there are limits on federal power and that those limits are guaranteed by the 10th Amendment, the concluding paragraph of the Bill of Rights. Obama and Matheson don’t believe in the 10th Amendment, which is curious considering they both swore an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend…” it along with the rest of the Constitution.
Mia Love has I think actually been rather nice to Jim. In her debate she focused mainly on his votes rather than his blindingly obvious lack of leadership! Utah can do better, and we deserve better. Paying someone $174,000 per year to “struggle” with decisions like ObamaCare isn’t a sensible option.