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Bush's Views On Health Care Make Me Sick

By       Message Todd Huffman, M.D.       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   7 comments

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I usually take extra time and care to craft my articles to the best of my present and always-in-the-need-of-improvement abilities, but today I simply have to vent.

About Bush.

About how his views on health care make me sick.

Last week, our Decider/Inquisitor/Commander Guy/Corporate and Religious Right Mouthpiece-in-chief made the incredibly callous and clueless remark that “people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.” 

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Sure, and the rich and poor alike are free to sleep under bridges, too.

WTF? Was Bush’s line ad libbed, or did somebody actually write that line for him? My guess is the latter. The idea that “there is plenty of free health care in emergency rooms” has been tested, pushed, and refined by right-wing think tanks for several years. Last week, it finally percolated its way to the top, and blew out through Bush’s ignorant mouth.

Could Bush really believe that emergency rooms are a great way of providing medical care for poor people? If he does, then this statement is the latest in a long line of Republican presidential gaffes that reveal how utterly out of touch these bluebloods are with the reality of everyday life (as if we didn’t already know that, but couldn’t they at least just pretend?).

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I’m paraphrasing, but first there was Reagan's line about unemployment, and how there really couldn’t be so much unemployment because all you have to do is read the want ads.

Then there was Poppa Bush, astounded by the bar code scanner in an average grocery store, and unable to come even up with a guess at the price of a gallon of milk.

What was it Molly Ivins, may her witty and wonderful soul rest in peace, once said? Something about too many years, and too many limousines?

Now I don’t want to go around seizin’ on every misquote or mistake that POTUS makes, for that would make for a whole lot of seizin’ (to everything there is a seizin’, so to speak), and I simply haven’t got that kind of time.

But our Compassionate Conservative-in-chief got my dander up again yesterday when he said he objected on philosophical grounds to a bipartisan Senate proposal to boost the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by $35 billion over five years by levying a 61-cent-a-pack increase in the federal excise tax on cigarettes.

By threatening to veto the proposed legislation, Bush has essentially told the 6.6 million children currently covered by SCHIP, and the 3.3 million presently uninsured American children for whom these additional funds would be used to provide medical care, to “Go to the emergency room. Your care is free there.”

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Mr. Bush apparently has no philosophical objections to the number of children equivalent to the entire population of the state of Oregon going without health care. Why should he? We all know that he also has no philosophical objections to the number of Iraqis he’s killed equivalent to the entire population of Austin, Texas.

After all, it has been made eminently clear these past six years that the ability of Mr. Bush and his ilk to care about life is inversely proportional to the number of cells something has. If we were raising the excise tax on cigarettes to protect one-hundred-celled blastocysts, well, then, that would be different.

 

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Todd Huffman is a pediatrician and writer living in Eugene, Oregon. He is a regular contributor to many newspapers and publications throughout the Pacific Northwest.

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