Monday, September 07, 2009


On July 31, Investors' Business Daily had an editorial against health care reform in which they said that under a "socialized system" like the one in the UK, a brilliant man Like Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance. The system would judge him as too handicapped and essentially worthless and so would deny care to him and allow him to die. Unfortunately, the writer was a bit more concerned about making an argument than checking facts. Stephen Hawking lives in Great Britain and is alive because of the British system, the most socialized health delivery system in the world.

So, the very illustration they used proved their argument is wrong. So you'd expect an apology or a re-evaluation of their stand, right? Nope. Instead they removed Hawkings name and kept the exact same argument in spite of knowing they were wrong. Here is the current version of the editorial. So, what can you say about such folk except they are liars.

Now, I did run into a situation that proves the brokenness of our current US system. A friend of mine has a "daughter-in-law" (she and the son were never married but she is the mother of my friend's grandchildren. The son died two years ago). She found a lump in her breast. She went to the doctor who feels pretty confident that it is cancer and sent her off to see a surgeon. He agreed that it is likely cancer and that surgery needs to happen as quickly as possible... the problem is, she doesn't have health insurance. She works as a waitress n a chain restaurant and makes about $7 a hour to support herself and her two children. She was told that she would have to pay the bills - surgeon, hospital, anesthesiologist, etc. - up front before she could have the surgery. So while she is trying desperately to come up with the money, the cancer grows and her chances diminish. And this is the best we can do?

Many people who hear her story are incensed that the physician etc. don't just do the surgery and either swallow the costs or work out some kind of payment plan. Well, if they "swallow" the costs, we all end up paying anyhow, you can't reasonably expect the doctor to personally swallow the costs and the hospital would just pass the costs on to other patients... and she can't possibly afford even a small payment with her income and her situation. So, she is scrambling. You can play out the possibilities.

We need reform NOW

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