by David Safier
Gather a hundred "It's all about me," limited-self-interest conservatives together, and you'll have one composite liberal.
One budget hawk will be for funding autism research because a child or grandchild is autistic. Another will be for funding breast cancer research because a spouse or close relative is a survivor, or didn't survive. Another will support food stamps, remembering he only ate as a child because of the federal food subsidy. A free-marketer will want tougher car safety regulations because someone close to her was killed or badly injured in a shoddily built car.
Put together all those funding priorities and regulations which are near and dear to each of the 100 conservatives, and you'll have one empathetic liberal who believes an important function of government is to promote the health and well-being of its citizens.
Add Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who is returning to the Senate after suffering a major stroke, to the list. He's taking a closer look at government funded healthcare because he realizes someone on Medicaid wouldn't have gotten the care Kirk needed to recover.
Kirk said that most Illinois residents insured through the low-income health program would be eligible for just 11 rehabilitation sessions following a stroke.
"Had I been limited to that I would have had no chance to recover like I did. So unlike before suffering the stroke, I’m much more focused on Medicaid and what my fellow citizens face," Kirk told the Chicago Sun Times.
Then there's reliable conservative Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) who was irate because Boehner didn't hold a vote on disaster aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.
Would Kirk be a born-again government health care advocate if he didn't suffer a stroke? Would King have gone nuts if his home town wasn't hit by the storm? Nope. Those would be someone else's problem.