Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Republican Death Panels

Great Moment in the Republican debate the other night. Hope you saw it.
They asked Ron Paul the question I've been dying to ask him, Rick Perry and all the Republican candidates who are screeching about how requiring free born red blooded American citizens to buy health insurance when they may not want to buy health insurance.

Suppose a 30 year old doesn't want to buy health insurance. He's healthy and he doesn't want to spend $250 a month on health insurance he doesn't think he needs. Then he gets in a motorcycle accident, and winds up in the hospital, in a coma, uninsured. What would you have us do? Let him die?

And the audience, hand picked Tea Party faithful all, screamed out, "Yes!"

And that's the essence of the problem. You have people who want to take a risk, as Ron Paul says, and that's their right. But their right to not plan ahead and to take a risk runs up against our right to not have to pay for their mistake when things go bad.

And the thing is, as Americans, we find it difficult if not impossible to simply leave that guy on the street or say to him, "Well, if you're not insured, I'll just let you die."

That's the problem for the rest of us, your bravado turns into our burden.

We, once upon a time, had charity hospitals where the uninsured could go, but those have pretty much disappeared.

The myth of the man who can live his life off the grid, unbeholdened to the rest of the community is so starkly exposed by this need for the community to do something when that rugged individualist gets into trouble.

What happens is the family shows up, all pathetic and you have to do something or you cannot live with yourself.

We used to try to send people home to die, with their family, and the family would bring them back within a day or two, completely panicked, unable to watch their loved one die at home. (This was in the days before hospice.)

Ron Paul was a GYN, and never had to deal with these sorts of problems--so he's all strident about just allowing people to suffer, to live or die with the consequences of their own decisions.

Just another instance of the Republican delusional state.

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