Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) was delighted this week to announce more taxpayer spending in his district: the Richmond University Medical Center would receive a $3 million annual increase, thanks to aid from Washington.
“I have worked tirelessly, from day one, to address the issue of a looming physician shortage,” Mr. Grimm said a statement touting the new funding. “[T]his announcement to reward RUMC with additional residency slots is welcomed news.”
The Staten Island Advance echoed this sentiment, reporting Mr. Grimm “helped the hospital obtain the cash.”
The Graduated Medical Education funding in question, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website, actually appears to have come from the Affordable Care Act.
Yes, Grimm, a House Republican freshman, ran for Congress on a platform of eliminating the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. One of his first big votes as a federal lawmaker was to scrap every word of the law from the books.
But a year later, the congressman seems awfully glad the ACA exists and is helping make a positive difference in his district.
If this seems at all familiar, Grimm is the same House member who rejected calls a year ago that he turn down government-funded health care, because of his ideological opposition to government-funded health care.
In one of my all-time favorite quotes, Grimm said at the time, “What am I, not supposed to have health care? It’s practicality. I’m not going to become a burden for the state because I don’t have health care, and God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation. That can happen to anyone.”
Two weeks later, he voted to take away health care coverage from millions of Americans. A year later, he celebrated hospital funding included in the law he’s eager to kill.
Maybe Grimm should steer clear of health care policy for a while.