Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Single Payer’s “Long Lines” or No Care and a Lifetime Injury that didn’t have to be that way?

When you ask your friendly conservative state representative about government health care insurance, you’ll hear the scary stories of long lines for elective surgery and some strange bureaucrat wedging themselves between you and your doctor.

Of course, they never have a single horror story about the inhumane health care system we have right now. They are strangely silent. Are we to suppose they have never heard from any one of their constituents who may have had a problem? Maybe they missed the hundreds of stories published yearly in the newspapers. Like this story:

Wisconsin State Journal: A Beloit Wisconsin mom’s two sons suffered a nightmarish car crash, leaving “a bone sticking out of one of her son's legs, and the collarbone and shoulder blade of the other son cracked into pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. Federal law required the emergency room to treat the young men, even though they had no insurance. No law guaranteed care after that. Her youngest son, 23, was discharged in a few days."I had to clean his open wounds," Hovland-Moffitt recalls. "For 26 days he sat in my recliner, screaming with pain. I begged the emergency room to take him back."

Finally in September, he had surgery to piece together his shoulder with a metal plate. By then, he had lost much of the use of his arm, she says.But his mom fears that the health problems he has now could bar him from ever again qualifying for private health insurance. "No mom should have to ask this question," she says. "If we could get him insurance, would he be able to use his arm again?"

There really shouldn’t even be a debate. But we entertain their side of the argument as if they made any sense or presented a valid position. Why?

Maybe the visual image of impatient Republicans waiting in “long lines” is much worse than someone losing the use of their arm. Let the endless, pointless, debates continue…..

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