After yesterday’s post on the Tea Party debate audience cheering about either liberty or the death of an uninsured man, this story is literally unbelievable to me:
Back in 2008, Ron Paul’s 49-year-old campaign manager died of pneumonia, leaving his family $400,000 worth of medical bills.
Mr. Snyder, 49 years old, died of complications from pneumonia on June 26 — exactly two weeks after Mr. Paul formally ended his presidential campaign. He is survived by his mother and two sisters. Friends of Mr. Snyder created a Web site on July 2 to help his family pay the estimated $400,000 in medical bills accrued because Mr. Snyder didn’t have health insurance.
The site is hoping to tap into the same base of small donors that filled Mr. Paul’s campaign coffers. “Kent was the man that made the campaign possible, and inspired everyone that he met,” wrote Justine Lam, a former Paul campaign aide, on the memorial Web site.
Leaving aside the fact that it was Ron Paul who got the question the other night about whether or not society ought to let exactly such a man die, and that Paul’s answer was that the man’s bills should be paid by private charities — like his donors who paid this particular man’s bills, I suppose — let’s try to imagine a world in which it’s possible for someone without medical insurance to get treatment without accruing hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. I mean, let’s leave aside the question of why such a person doesn’t have insurance entirely and just focus on the outcome. We can deal with the other issues at some other time.
So, with that in mind, is such a world a possibility? Or is the only way forward for our society the one that Paul envisions, where everyone simply throws the dice, hopes for the best, and then leaves someone else to settle an impossibly expensive bill? What could possibly cause you to select this second option … especially if you had this first-hand experience?
HT: James Pauley.
vruz: for all of its wrongs “such a world of possibility” already exists and it’s called Cuba. the problem is not that it cannot be done, the problem is that it forces people to re-evaluate everything they consider a given in a former republic under corporate feudalism.
there’s many other important things that they don’t have in Cuba, like many civil liberties. but if I were to learn from people who got their healthcare system right covering every single citizen —who don’t have to pay anything for it— I would leave all fundamentalism aside and start to actually get real. after all, it’s really a matter of life or death.