Mike Stark caught up with GOP Congressman Shadegg, who just announced his retirement. Shadegg was voted into office in the 1994 tide that saw control of the House go to the Republicans in a 54-seat swing. Mike asked him if he’s cheering for the health care bill to pass so the GOP will have ample campaign fodder in the next election:

SHADEGG: I don’t understand either bill.  Both the House and Senate bills contain mandates that compel, or would compel you and I as individual Americans to buy insurance from Americas private insurance industry. I think America’s private insurance industry is the problem…

STARK:  So are you for a public option?

SHADDEG: Well, you could better defend a public option than you could defend compelling me to buy a product from the people that have created the problem.  America’s health insurance industry has wanted this bill and the individual mandate from the get go.  That’s their idea. Their idea is “look, our product is so lousy, that lots of people don’t buy it.  So we need the government to force people to buy our product. And stunningly, that’s what the Congress appears to be going along with.  Why would they do that?

STARK:  Congressman, you’re making the progressive argument here.

SHADDEG: I’m with the progressives on this one! The notion … I mean, I completely agree with my progressive friends here. The notion of forcing Americans to buy a product they don’t want to buy from companies that aren’t doing it right right now is goofy.

Yeah, I know. Everyone’s a progressive when they’re not in a position to do anything about it. When they are, we’re just the hippies they point and laugh at.

Shadegg concludes:

Making the IRS the bill collector for Aetna and the rest of America’s insurance companies…Blue Cross/Blue Shield and United…isn’t the way to do it.

I don’t know who thought that penalizing people 2% of their income if they refuse to buy the product of private insurance companies was a good idea.  Maybe the same guy who thought NAFTA would be a winner for the Democrats in 1994.