Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Health Care Reform Free Association

A courthouse clerk in Pineville, Mo faked a cancer diagnosis. Co-workers held fundraisers to help her deal with the costs, raising an estimated $10,000. Never mind what kind of a person would fake cancer for sympathy and free money. That's too easy. Keep your eye on the ball.

What kind of society finds it acceptable that a full time government employee would need private fundraisers to cover the costs of medical care?

Forget the lying clerk. What about us? The private fundraiser for health care costs has become increasingly common. I used to associate it mostly with the local (uninsured) music scene. But recently I saw a flyer in the Jackson County courthouse elevator advertising a bake sale for some poor women who works out in Independence and needs help paying for her kid's care. This is madness! This is a prosperous nation. And yet we think it's ok to have a "Hey, gang! Let's put on a show in the barn!" attitude to providing needed health care.

The idea that a serious diagnosis frequently has a catastrophic effect on finances is not controversial. It's understood that people will continue to get sick. This is a serious problem that crushes people's lives far beyond the medical diagnosis. And yet, our public debate is stuck in some Neverland where the real issue is defending the honor of free market principles rather than making sure people get the health care they need.

Speaking of the public debate-- shut up, Steve.

“Supporters of insurance reform got caught flat-footed at first,” conceded longtime Democratic operative Steve Glorioso, who helped McCaskill’s staff decide on a room for the forum.

Things I picked up from this sentence in the Star's story about McCaskill's health care town hall meeting at UMKC:

1. Steve got the early-August reframing memo out of D.C. that (infuriatingly) determined we are focused on "insurance" reform, rather than "health care" reform.

2. Steve Glorioso is so awesome in his longtime Democratic operativeness that people pay him to come up with bright ideas like how to find a room in a liberal urban area that is likely to draw liberals in support of a liberal cause. And he came up with the idea of doing it on a college campus! In the heart of the liberal 4th district! Within spitting distance of the east side! The man is a []* genius!!!

3. If only supporters of "insurance" reform had the sense to consult Steve earlier, they would not have been caught "flat footed" by republican displays of crazy.

The Star's coverage of the town hall was frustrating but representative of media coverage of this issue. Short on the substance people claim they want, long on theater. I appreciate that the article at least got in some basic information about the public option and the reconciliation process. But the entire "family values" exchange was cringe inducing.

Finally, video of Howard Dean addressing what appears to be a happy hour gathering at Netroots Nation (an annual liberal blogger conference). Not the best sound quality, but he gets in some good lines about health care reform and a nice self-deprecating reference to his love of listing states.

The public option is the last shred of reform in this bill. That is the compromise. We already made the compromise.

Preach it, Howard:

*I don't want to alienate readers who don't like reading obscenities. But sometimes, it's really really hard to refrain. If you don't want to read obscenities, please skip the post-script.

p.s. Fuck you Steve, and your retractable roof.

p.p.s. h/t tkc on the cancer story.

1 comment:

  1. It saddens me to inform the internet that I have been diagnoses with spleen cancer. Of course bloggers are among the uninsured, especially the ones who never actually do any blogging, so any financial support you all can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    And don't worry! I'm not going to spend the money an crappy American healthcare. I am a big proponent of self medicating as a cost cutting measure.