Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Face of the Opposition

Powerful article by Bob Geary about some of the North Carolina people who went to Washington last month and confronted Sen. Kay Hagan about her waffling on the need for a "public option" for health insurance in any so-called "reform" bill. Gives insight into the reaction of community activists in the Durham region to hearing Rahm Emanuel say that maybe a public option wasn't necessary. That's non-negotiable, community organizers in the Triangle told White House ambassadors. People are tired of high-costs, of obscene insurance company profits, of people losing their insurance for "pre-existing conditions."

People are sick and tired of the deniers -- those who poo-poo the idea of millions upon millions of Americans who are uninsured -- and whose every response to reform is to scream "socialism," as though that word contained any content whatsoever beyond its apparent power as a club to beat down the already sick.

People with lots of money are very pleased with their health-care. People like Congresswoman Virginia Foxx. She has the best health insurance money can buy and pays precious little for it. We subsidize it for her. She's got it for the rest of her life, along with her family.

Meanwhile, Foxx blithely denies the statistics on the uninsured. She was in a college class at Gardner-Webb's satellite campus in Statesville in March 2008 when she told the students that she didn't believe in universal health care. A nursing student asked, "Then what are you in favor of?"

This was Foxx's response, as reported in the Statesville newspaper (the article is no longer on-line, but we grabbed the quote at the time here:
...Foxx said that the number of Americans without health insurance was typically given as 47 million.

She broke that number down by saying one-third of it was made up of illegal immigrants, one-third was of those who were uninsured for only a portion of the year but not all of it, and one-third was of people who have access to insurance "but choose not to take it."

"Choose or can't afford?" another student asked.

Foxx compared health insurance to homeowner's or automobile insurance and said health insurance was initially designed for "catastrophic" events and "not for maintenance."

"A huge portion of health insurance funds go into the last 18 months of a person's life," Foxx said.

What do we make of that?

1. She's a grade-A, Olympic-size denier. The only uninsured Americans in Madam Foxx's world-view choose to be that way. Or else they're illegal immigrants and deserve to be run over in the road.

2. If you cut off your hand (a "catastrophic" event), you maybe deserve a little health insurance. But not if you have, say, adult-onset diabetes. Health insurance should not be "for maintenance." Unless it's for her and her family.

3. Old, sick people ... what a drag.

What to do about health-care reform in America? For Madam Foxx, the answer is always the easiest one: zilch. Because nothing whatsoever is wrong in the world beyond the tip of her nose.

Sen. Hagan did vote for the bill passed out of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee yesterday, which contains health insurance coverage for nearly all Americans. And is now bragging about her vote. Good for her.

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