America, Being Dumb

It’s hard to read an article like this and reconcile it with the fact that America is the wealthiest country in the world.

Layman and her family offer a stark example of the law’s potential impact. Two years ago, her son, then 16, was hit head-on by a speeding driver high on drugs. Her son’s girlfriend was killed; he suffered severe internal injuries and recently underwent colon surgery. Now 18, he will soon age out of Medicaid coverage.

And Layman, a gregarious 38-year-old, recently lost coverage for her own considerable problems. She suffers high blood-pressure, for which she takes three medications, purchased at a discount from the county health office. She suffers sciatica stemming from the time eight years ago when a co-worker at a dollar store let slip a heavy box of wrapping paper Layman was handing up to her. Layman lunged for it and badly hurt her back, for which she takes the nerve-pain medication Lyrica.

She also suffers depression, and has been on Prozac for several years. But during a rough spell last fall, she came close to committing suicide. It was on her return home from a week in the psychiatric hospital that she found a letter from the state saying that, as a result of a bump up in her husband’s disability payments (he was caught in a front-end loader when he was eight years old), she was now ineligible for Medicaid.

Lacking coverage, she has not seen a psychiatrist since her hospital stay. She played this down: “I can recognize my craziness when it gets out of hand.”

Um, no. Unacceptable. Every American should have access to quality health care. We can afford it, several hundred thousand times over. And the bigger problem is if we provide care to people we avoid larger costs down the line. When a patient lets a health situation linger – linger – linger because they can’t afford a doctor’s visit, when it hits the crisis point they will come in to the hospital and taxpayers have to pay for a larger bill.

This doesn’t even consider the immorality of allowing our fellow citizens to live like this.

We can do better. The health care reform law is a good, strong step in the right direction. But we’ve got a whole lot left to do. See here for more.

  • The Dark Avenger

    justanothertightly, thank you for your concern, but I don’t subscribe to your farrago of nonsense that poses as political wisdom.

  • Justanotherrighty

    Are comics an illegitimate form of expression or something?
    No, but they are comical…

    Do you even know what a serf is?
    “A serf was a peasant [taxpayer, or recipient of government benefits] who lived on either a manor (large self-suffienct estate) or a fief (a collection of several manors) [or public or rent-subsidized housing] under a political and economic system called feudalism liberalism that was practiced during the period (A.D. c. 1930 – the present). Serfs occasionally performed daily labor and were bound to the lord of the property where they lived and worked. A serf occupied a position somewhere between a free person and a slave. The word serf is derived from the Latin word servus, meaning “slave,” and the right of serfs came from custom and not law.
    See ? I know exactly what it is …

    Because I would define something like attacking labor rights as “treating people like serfs”.
    And that would mean you are incorrect (see above)

    Tell me, why should gays support gay marriage bans? Why should women support limited access to contraception? Why should hispanics support voter suppression?
    I have no idea… But I am sure you don’t have any idea what in the he** you are talking about.

    You’re confusing lack of caring with agreement
    No, I was merely stating what I know to be true about the behavior of liberals in the Comment section of weblogs: When you have no answer for a portion of a person’s comment – even if it represents the total substance of the comment – pick some trivial, tangential issue and gnaw at that bone. In other words, “non response = agreement.”

    • Zython

      *SIgh*, looks like the spam filter’s been tightened with the move. Now I can’t have more than 1 link per post. Hang tight…

      • Zython

        Screw it, this is taking way too long.

        No, but they are comical…

        True, and you consider humor to be an illegitimate form or expression…why?

        “A serf was a peasant [taxpayer, or recipient of government benefits] who lived on either a manor (large self-suffienct estate) or a fief (a collection of several manors) [or public or rent-subsidized housing] under a political and economic system called feudalism liberalism that was practiced during the period (A.D. c. 1930 – the present). Serfs occasionally performed daily labor and were bound to the lord of the property where they lived and worked. A serf occupied a position somewhere between a free person and a slave. The word serf is derived from the Latin word servus, meaning “slave,” and the right of serfs came from custom and not law.
        See ? I know exactly what it is …

        That sounds more like a company town or Dubai than it does a representative democracy.

        But I am sure you don’t have any idea what in the he** you are talking about.

        No, it means you haven’t been paying attention. (Links to follow)

        No, I was merely stating what I know to be true about the behavior of liberals in the Comment section of weblogs: When you have no answer for a portion of a person’s comment – even if it represents the total substance of the comment – pick some trivial, tangential issue and gnaw at that bone. In other words, “non response = agreement.”

        So does that mean that you agree that Romney is a serial liar?

      • Zython
      • Zython

        Re: Limited contraception

        And if you need a link to gay marriage bans, well, you should probably quit while you’re behind.

  • Zython

    Zython: You didn’t actually respond to my comment with a comic, did you? You made a mistake in the link, right? Right?

    Why? Are comics an illegitimate form of expression or something? That’s awfully elitist of you.

    And Democrats treat minorities like serfs, homosexuals like serfs, women like serfs, and pretty much everybody like serfs.

    Do you even know what a serf is? Because I would define something like attacking labor rights as “treating people like serfs”.

    Tell me, why should gays support gay marriage bans? Why should women support limited access to contraception? Why should hispanics support voter suppression?

    Oh, and thank you both for agreeing to the three points I made…

    You’re confusing lack of caring with agreement.

  • Justanotherrighty

    Oh, and thank you both for agreeing to the three points I made…

  • Justanotherrighty

    Zython: You didn’t actually respond to my comment with a comic, did you? You made a mistake in the link, right? Right?
    they also have racism, homophobia, misogyny
    And Democrats treat minorities like serfs, homosexuals like serfs, women like serfs, and pretty much everybody like serfs.
    Don’t see how that makes him infamous
    Maybe that’s because that isn’t why he is infamous …
    Plunket ?

  • The Dark Avenger

    Yeah, he lost his Congressional seat in the 2010 election. Don’t see how that makes him infamous, Plunket.

  • Zython

    (if it even is anymore – Thanks, Obama !)

    You’re welcome.

    It does many other things

    You’re right, they also have racism, homophobia, misogyny, among others. Not anything to be proud of, of course, but you’re certainly right on this point.

  • Justanotherrighty

    My state has no-fault insurance . Your medical needs related to an automobile accident are paid for, for as long as they are required. I don’t know the situation in that state, but that’s the problem with “Argument by anecdote” – you never get all the details. For example, no one ages out of Medicaid. If you need it, you get it.
    Also, there are two provisions for when your income rises above the Medicaid minimum. You do not lose your Medicaid. There is the “spend down” for people whose benefits exceed the minimum, and there is the “buy in” for people whose wages exceed the Medicaid minimum. There is a cap, but it is very high.
    I believe three points can not be made strongly enough: 1) Medical care in the United States has never been, and is not now, a “dog eat dog”, “every man for himself” affair (Alan Grayson is a fool and a knave, a nasty and bitter man, who thinks himself eloquent).
    2) The idea that the United States is the “wealthiest nation in world” (if it even is anymore – Thanks, Obama !) is not at all relevant to determining the health needs of America’s population, and how best to subsidize those needs. If we said that about every perceived problem – hunger, obesity, family violence, et al – the nation’s wealth would soon be gone.
    3) Whatever our nation’s healthcare needs may be, and however rich we may be as a nation, that does not mean “any port (piece of legislation) in a storm” is the preferred way to solve this problem.
    Elsewhere, the blog’s author wrongfully pointed out that conservatism is a “one trick pony” – “taxes bad.” It does many other things , including adhering to the idea that when it comes to ‘legislative fixes’, it is always worth it to “look before you leap.”

  • The Dark Avenger

    db,

    That would be in line with Alan Graysons’ famous summary of the Republican approach to health care:

    After saying he was inspired to read the Republican health care plan by the paper-waving GOP lawmakers at Obama’s recent address, Grayson summed up his findings with a few simple pieces of posterboard. “The Republican health care plan: don’t get sick,” he said. But, he added,”The Republicans have a back up plan in case you do get sick … This is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly!”

    • Plunket

      It’s famous for what people remember about him that got his ass canned.

      Infamous is the more apt descriptive.

  • The Dark Avenger

    SaveFarris has nothing except yells about how bad Obama is on anything.

    If Obama walked on water, SF would be here complaining how ‘uppity’ he was behaving.

    • db

      Hi DA,

      I was hoping for some sort of positive solution as, so far as I can see, the only Republican “solution” is limiting the amount recoverable for Medical Malpractice. Now by limiting the amount recoverable; one does limit the risk of malpractice & thus encourage the practice. And I’ll admit that by encouraging Doctors to malpractice; one does limit the need for health care. But killing the Patient is hardly a positive solution.

  • db

    Okay Farris,

    What is your plan? Do you leave the Hospitals picking up the tab for the uninsured? Do you make health care an, ever more limtied to the wealthy, service?

    Can you go beyond just criticizing President Obama & all his works?

  • SaveFarris

    “We can afford it, several hundred thousand times over.”

    Uh, No We Can’t.

    We don’t have a definitive solution to that long term problem.

    — Treasurer of the United States

  • Christopher Foxx

    And the bigger problem is if we provide care to people we avoid larger costs down the line.

    “Problem”? I don’ think that word means what you think it means.

  • db

    thad,

    You’ve got it exactly. The only question is how the health-care will be provided & paid for. As it is, the Hospitals (particularly inner-city ones) eat the cost of uninsured care.

  • thad

    Pre-frickin’-cisely.

    What the people shrieking “SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!!” don’t seem to get is that we’ve had socialized medicine ever since the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 mandated taxpayer-funded ER coverage for absolutely anyone who walked in the door.

    I forget, what crazy leftist bolshevik was President in 1986?