For a man who isn’t sick, Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) spent a lot of time in hospitals last week.
As part of his four-day healthcare tour, he visited three hospitals and attended an AARP meeting in Tupelo, Miss.
Vulnerable members like Childers left for the Memorial Day recess with the strong urging of leaders to focus on issues like healthcare and energy in order to lay the groundwork for a long summer of debate about how to rein in climate change and overhaul the nation’s healthcare system.
But he wasn’t the only one. Seeking to turn the focus of Congress away from the debate over CIA briefings to their ambitious policy agenda, House Democrats held almost 300 events on healthcare and energy during the recess.
It wasn’t always comfortable. Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), a leader of the centrist Blue Dogs, found himself at a local library fighting suspicion of “socialized medicine.” The Thibodaux Daily Comet reported that many of the physicians and hospital administrators criticized the cost of Democrats’ plan for universal coverage.