RomneyCare: Let the Poor Die As Soon As Possible

PELLEY: Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don’t have it today?
ROMNEY: Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people — we — if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and — and die. We — we pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.

Having been out of the country and busy, somehow I missed this instance of verbal stupidity from Mitt Romney.

Sorry, Mitt, people certainly do sit in their houses and die of heart attacks because they don’t have health insurance. They die because they weren’t able to get care for a heart condition BEFORE they had the heart attack.

Though Mitt certainly must have suffered when he sold stock to get through college, he most certainly has never had to worry about health care. In fact, most politicians haven’t either. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that humans have a really, really hard time understanding the lives of other humans.

Nowhere is this more true than health insurance and access to care. People with health insurance really can’t imagine the lives of those who don’t. I remember those days well, having NEVER had insurance until I reached the ripe age of 38.

Every day is a risk. Even simple things like bike riding are filled with risk, not only for health, but financial security. A simple broken bone could leave a person financially broken, unemployed, and even homeless. It’s no mistake that people without health insurance are also likely to have zero savings.

But, in the world of the American right, people don’t have health insurance because they’re lazy. They’re too stupid to get a job that will provide it. They losers that weren’t born to wealthy auto magnates. Let ’em die.

Honestly, the abysmal access to health care is the US is the number one reason I consider taking a job in any number of more civilized countries and leaving this insanity behind. Not to overstate my worth, but the US can’t really afford to lose people like me. Though anecdotal, uncertain social welfare policies are driving qualified people out of the US. Who wouldn’t move to a good job in Canada, Sweden, Japan or Switzerland?

Right wingers would call this entitlement. I call it survival.

About Pete Larson

Researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Lecturer in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I do epidemiology, public health, GIS, health disparities and environmental justice. I also do music and weird stuff.

3 responses to “RomneyCare: Let the Poor Die As Soon As Possible”

  1. Alicia says :

    Love reading your stuff, Pete, and I agree with everything you’re saying. We, as citizens, need to watch out and provide for our brothers and sisters in need. And it’s sad that so many people isolate themselves from having that sense of compassion and care, and can’t imagine lives unlike their own.

    Another argument, of course, is that ERs are not the answer to providing care for those without insurance for a gazillion reasons (resources, inefficiency, and it’s too damn late to make a difference compared to providing preventive care). Also, from a financial standpoint, if we actually get people the preventive care they need and teach them how to use it (annual check-ups, healthy eating, etc.), we could probably start saving a whole lot of money in downstream medical expenses for obese diabetics showing up at the ER after having a heart attack.

    Romney and his load-of-crap/no-actual-plans platforms make me angry.

  2. Pete Larson says :

    Thanks, Alicia!

    Unfortunately, that’s the Republican Party of 2012: “No plan is a good plan, let’s just do it the way we always have. It’ll give us more time to do nothing.”

    Romney, as a self-described businessman, should be well familiar with how massively inefficient his proposal is, both in terms of finances and health delivery.

    It’s sad, because people will vote for him, and I’m actually afraid that he’ll win.

  3. Michael says :

    I have two abscess teeth right now. It hurts so bad sometimes I think about just shooting myself, but I cannot do that to my family. I do not have enough money to afford two root canals. I am not stupid or lazy. I am a university student with a 3.6 GPA and I will soon be qualified to design computer software. I could die because of the infection. If I do die, I will not miss this world or this country. I was having the American Dream, but then I woke up and realized it was just a dream.


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