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Michele Bachmann on Welfare & Poverty

Republican Representative (MN-6); 2011 GOP frontrunner


Government subsidizes idleness, dependency, and delinquency

In our efforts to protect the family, I began to see that our government was often on the wrong side. Government officials were praising, even subsidizing, the worst kinds of behavior--not just abortion but also idleness, dependency, and delinquency. The pundits of [the 1970s and 1980s] called it "justice" and "liberation." But here on the ground, in real-world America, where I was living, the rest of us could see that government was fostering injustice and anarchy.

Indeed, in the seventies the bad trends were moving steadily up and the bad trends were moving down: abortion, crime, divorce, drug abuse, and venereal disease were on the rise, while test scores, the purchasing power of the dollar, and traditional family values were drastically falling.

Good moral behavior, I realized, is not just the path to a virtuous civil society; it is the prerequisite for economic growth. A healthy society; a healthy economy.

Source: Core of Conviction, by Michele Bachmann, p. 48 , Nov 21, 2011

Liability shield to allow charities to provide healthcare

Bachmann called for a "liability shield" for doctors to boost access to health care. The "shield" would protect health care providers from lawsuits in connection with free health care offered to those who couldn't otherwise afford it.

Bachmann said tha doctors and others who once provided charity care are scared off today by the legal risks associated with it. The "liability shield" would allay those fears. "Why not do that? Why not take care of poor people?" Bachmann said. "Why not make your lives cheaper and better so you don't have to worry about health care?"

In Iowa, something very similar to such a shield is already in place. Doctors who enter into a "protection agreement" under the program receive legal defense and indemnification for care provided to uninsured and underinsured patients.

Bachmann's proposal was light on details, but ostensibly would be a federal program, conflicting with her typical health-care rhetoric, which is sharply critical of federal involvement in medicine.

Source: Jason Noble in Des Moines Register, "Bachmann charity care" , Oct 28, 2011

Voted YES on maintaining work requirement for welfare recipients.

Congressional Summary:

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:

Opponent's Argument for voting No: