The Harry Reid campaign is pushing a newly-released video of Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle, taped a year ago, of her opposing — and apparently even mocking — mandated health insurance coverage of autism.
The video, posted on the Nevada Democratic Party’s YouTube account, shows Angle at a Tea Party Express rally in late August 2009: “…take off the mandates for coverage in the state of Nevada and all over the United States. But here, you know what I’m talking about, you’re paying for things that you don’t even need. They just passed the latest one, is every, everything that they want to throw at us now is covered under ‘autism,’” Angle said using her fingers to make air quotes for the word “autism.” “So that’s a mandate that you have to pay for. How about maternity leave? I’m not gonna have any more babies, but I sure get to pay for it on my insurance. Those are the kinds of things that we want to get rid of.”
A press release from the Reid campaign pounces: “Nevada US Senate candidate Sharron Angle has used some exceedingly crass and callous rhetoric while articulating her extreme and dangerous agenda, but none is as malevolent and compassionless as the newly-unearthed comments of her mocking and scapegoating health coverage for those suffering with autism.”
It is very clear that Angle was opposing mandated health insurance coverage for various conditions, including autism. Beyond that, it’s not immediately clear what Angle meant by the air quotes. Was she mocking the very idea of autism as a diagnosis? Was she opposed to mandating health coverage for various items under an umbrella definition of autism? What exactly did she mean, if anything, beyond the opposition to mandated coverage (which itself probably isn’t a big political winner)?
The TPM Poll Average currently puts Reid ahead by 47.2%-44.9%.