Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The real meaning of Republicanism

This essay in NEJM is, unfortunately, off-limits to the common rabble as far as I know, but doctors Michael Stillman and Monalisa Tailor explain what these people who are fighting to their last breath to prevent people from having health insurance are really doing. Fair use excerpt:

The week before this appointment, Mr. Davis had come to our emergency department with abdominal pain and obstipation. His examination, laboratory tests, and CT scan had cost him $10,000 (his entire life savings), and at evening's end he'd been sent home with a diagnosis of metastatic colon cancer. The year before, he'd had similar symptoms and visited a primary care physician, who had taken a cursory history, told Mr. Davis he'd need insurance to be adequately evaluated, and billed him $200 for the appointment. Since Mr. Davis was poor and ineligible for Kentucky Medicaid, however, he'd simply used enemas until he was unable to defecate. By the time of his emergency department evaluation, he had a fully obstructed colon and widespread disease and chose to forgo treatment. Mr. Davis had had an inkling that something was awry, but he'd been unable to pay for an evaluation. As his wife sobbed next to him in our examination room, he recounted his months of weight loss, the unbearable pain of his bowel movements, and his gnawing suspicion that he had cancer. “If we'd found it sooner,” he contended, “it would have made a difference. But now I'm just a dead man walking.”

They go on to tell of a woman with a lung nodule who couldn't afford a PET scan -- so the surgeon refused to operate; and other horror stories. Research has found that 45,000 Americans die every year because they can't afford health insurance -- and note that these are nearly all people under 65. But the disinformation campaign has been effective: " During our appointment with Mr. Davis, he worried aloud that under the ACA, “the government would tax him for not having insurance.” He was unaware (as many of our poor and uninsured patients may be) that under that law's final rule, he and his family would meet the eligibility criteria for Medicaid and hence have access to comprehensive and affordable care."

These conservative billionaires who fund the astroturf "Tea Party" and Sens. Cruz and Rubio and all their co-conspirators are evil, repulsive, psychopathic bastards. That anybody will vote for these disgusting creeps proves that our political culture is profoundly diseased. 

1 comment:

kathy a. said...

Reliable information, too, can be effective. There have been a lot of obstacles to getting the word out -- the intentional disinformation campaign, the unintentional glitches with the website, website overload because certain states refused to set up their own and make this easier.

But we are now at the point where this thing is underway. Many if not most doctors prefer being able to help vs. sending people away to die -- and so I expect them to be disabusing patients of the scare stories and giving some guidance on help. People who have not had insurance are (across the political spectrum) desperate to get insurance if they can; being able to see a doctor and get treatment changes minds. When less informed citizens find out others have gotten insurance, and that there are subsidies to make it affordable -- well, if Joe could get that, I can too.

BTW, I think I can see the whole article via your link.