Thursday, December 17, 2009
Less health care for more money: What's the catch?
The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof recently wrote a column about John Brodniak of Oregon, who developed a cavernous hemangioma, causing him great pain as blood leaks into his brain.
According to Kristof, Brodniak can't get medical help because we don't have universal health care. Senators who vote against Obamacare, Kristof said, are morally equivalent to someone who would walk past a man "writhing in pain on the sidewalk."
In another article in the Times, William Yardley wrote about Melvin Tsosies – also of Oregon – who ended up with $200,000 in medical bills after having a heart attack.
As of March 2008, Yardley reported, Tsosies was waiting to find out if he would win the Oregon lottery for health insurance. But with 600,000 uninsured state residents and a "universal" health care program with only enough money to pay for about 24,000 of them, Tsosies is more likely to win a Powerball lottery.
How can this be happening? Oregon already has "universal health care"! (Probably just a coincidence, but isn't Oregon also the only state with physician-assisted suicide?)