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Not Just a River in Eqypt

Sometimes people’s differing views tell the whole story of our rotten health care system. It isn’t just that some people are happy with the status quo, they’re tenaciously ignorant about it, barricaded by denial in a fortress of delusion. Rep. Heath Shuler, Mr. Revenue Neutral, is hearing all about it from folks in Asheville, where his sudden insistence on fiscal responsibility is decidedly not the right answer for some constituents. The Citizen-Times [1] reported today on recent rallies for and against the health reform measure making its way through the House.

The Asheville vigil featured speakers, including Leslie Boyd, who runs the nonprofit organization Life o’ Mike. The group is named for her son, Mike Danforth, who died on April 1, 2008, because he was unable to get needed diagnostic tests until his colon cancer was too advanced.”

You have to hand it to anyone who can even get out of bed after something like that, much less advocate for much-needed social programs. Here’s the beautiful part, though, the next quote shared comes from a Hendersonville woman, Vivian Armstrong, who has rallied against reform.

‘We believe the free market can handle those things much more effectively than the government, and history proves that,’ Armstrong said. ‘We need tort reform, there are just a lot of free market things that could go a long way in improving the system we have.’

Armstrong said there is no one in the United States who can’t get health care at clinics or emergency rooms.

‘If anybody dies in this country for lack of health care, it’s simply because they can’t get themselves to a place to get help,’ Armstrong said.”

Well, gee, lady, I’m pretty sure the son who died because he wasn’t diagnosed in time couldn’t have gotten his CANCER CURED BY SHOWING UP AT THE EMERGENCY ROOM in a timely fashion. Or maybe he was just lazy that way, the way some people are when they’re being devoured by disease but they’re too dumb or slack to do something about it. Maybe she has a point, huh? I guess that covers the where people – who aren’t stupid or indolent – can get all the excellent care this nation has to offer, though it doesn’t explain how people are going to be able to pay for health insurance premiums as they double over the coming decade. What’s the what on that point? Tort reform will not touch health insurance premiums. Even if you truly, truly believe that people can get all the care they need under our current system (which is not at all the case), you have to face the fact that fewer and fewer people can afford it. More insured people are going bankrupt every year because of health related expenses. What makes anyone think that is tenable? As Nicholas Kristof [2] (among many others) has pointed out, our free market health insurance system kills more people than any federal death panel ever could, and, as a bonus, it’s also pretty good at ruining the living. How can anyone care enough to go to their congressman’s office on an issue and yet be so utterly ignorant? How is there anyone willing to defend the health care status quo at all? That I’ll never understand.