I need to stop reading news sites and blogs because now I'm really pissed!
No, not about last night's outburst from Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina. Well, okay, yes I'm pissed about that, too.
But I'm even more pissed since I read a comment on at the end of this post on Mountain Sage.
A commenter whose user name is "timesr" posted the following comments and provided a link to this article to which s/he refers:
Republicans are not opposed to universal health care, they just don’t want Americans to have it.
” WASHINGTON — Fresh from a two-day weekend visit to Iraq, the Bush administration’s top health-care official defended the $950 million that will be spent to help Iraq establish universal health care.
Congressional Democrats have criticized the administration for helping Iraq to establish universal health care without doing the same for U.S. citizens. ”
Just in case you don't feel like you want to move on over to the Seattle Times website, let me just quote the significant part of the 2004 article for you. Tommy Thompson's response to the Democratic criticisms was:
"Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said yesterday there are major differences between the two countries that defy simple comparisons.
"Even if you don't have health insurance," said Thompson, who toured medical facilities in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Tikrit on Saturday and Sunday, "you are still taken care of in America. That certainly could be defined as universal coverage. Every American's health care is far superior to what the health care is in Iraq."(my emphasis).
So, in 2004 it was perfectly acceptable for the Bush administration to spend $950 billion to help Iraq establish universal health care, but in 2009 it is unacceptable for the Obama administration to spend $900 billion on health care reform and provide a public option so that ALL Americans can receive adequate health care.
And, in whose reality are all Americans "taken care of"?? Apparently only in Tommy Thompson's reality, since as a government official he has better health care than anyone else I know.
Just a few years ago, I had health insurance through COBRA from my previous employer. In the 18 months I was eligible, the premiums rose from $400 per month to nearly $650 per month. In the 18 month period, I paid $9,800 in medical insurance premiums. In addition, my co-pay for doctor's visits went from $15 per visit to $35 per visit, $50 for visits to a specialist. My portion of the major medical was 20%.
But, let's put this in better perspective. During that same 18 month period the following transpired:
- I broke my left foot and tore a ligament in my right foot. Total cost out of my pocket was about $1,800.
- Subsequent visits to orthopedic specialist, out of pocket $250.
- I had to undergo a specialized stress/heart test. Total cost out of my pocket was $600.
- Tom broke his leg and required emergency medical help and subsequent surgery. Total out of pocket cost, $2,800.
- Subsequent visits to Tom's orthopedic surgeon for follow up. Out of pocket cost $600.
In an 18 month period we spent almost $16,000 out of pocket for insurance and excess medical expenses. That doesn't even take into consideration the medications, crutches, wheel chair rentals, etc.
I feel fortunate that Tom and I were able to meet our financial obligations and pay our portion of the medical expenses not covered by insurance. Most people are not so damn lucky.
But if Mr. Thompson believes that we would have received medical care had we not had insurance, he is delusional. We might have received basic "adequate" care, but at what cost? At the very least, we'd certainly be close to bankruptcy because of it.
The arrogance of Mr. Thompson and other Republicans who stand opposed to health care for all Americans is offensive and unconscionable.
I'm going to be pissed off for the rest of the day! Damn!