Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2014

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Rep. Berkley livens health care debate with story of her own

WASHINGTON -- Leave it to Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley to liven up a late-night health care hearing with tales of dating the doctor who would become her husband.

On the eve of last Saturday's marathon health care debate, the Las Vegas congresswoman told the House Rules Committee about how she was diagnosed with osteoporosis on one of their early dates.

Berkley explained that the doctor suggested during a date that they stop by his office. Once there, he wanted her try out a new machine.

"He said it will only take five minutes and you don't have to take your clothes off," Berkley told the panel, as eyebrows raised and chuckles ensued. "I thought that was an interesting offer from a man."

The machine delivered a bone density reading which showed, as the doctor suspected, that she suffered from osteoporosis and needed to be on medication.

"You shouldn't have to be dating a Jewish doctor in order to get a bone-density test in this country."

Berkely was seeking committee support for her amendment to provide funding for bone density testing in the House health care bill. The amendment, like most of the dozens that were before the committee during that marathon meeting that stretched until the midnight hour, was rejected as House managers sought to keep the bill mostly in its original form.

But the performance was notable. The Washington Post's Reliable Source captured the moment -- and links to the video clip here (scroll down to 5 p.m. on Nov. 8).

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