Better Dead Than Insured


The New York Times/CBS News poll out yesterday posed the following question:

57. Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — that would compete with private health insurance plans?

Sixty-five percent said yes. Twenty-six percent said no. According to health insurance reform opponents, that makes nearly two-thirds of Americans socialists or worse.

At the Washington Post, Harold Meyerson observes:

Think about that. The public option has been demonized non-stop for the past half-year; it’s the key to the Republican charge that instituting such a program is tantamount to bringing socialism to America. They have clearly rallied the Republican base to this position, just as they rallied the base to fear the coming of death panels and publicly-subsidized immigrant care. But whereas pluralities of Americans simply said they didn’t know enough to believe one thing or the other about death panels and immigrant care, virtually all Americans not in the Republican base support the public option.
Since Republican legislators represent the 26 percent of Americans opposed to the public option, their opposition to same poses no mystery. The conundrum is why some Democrats — all save those from the most right-wing districts — oppose it. When The Post’s uber-policy blogger Ezra Klein asked North Dakota Democratic Senator Kent Conrad yesterday why he didn’t support the public option, Conrad replied, “I don’t think a government-run plan best fits this culture.” In Conrad’s mind, such as it is, American culture doesn’t seem to be shaped by the American people.

Funny how that works inside the Beltway. The status quo — which, presumably, Conrad does think fits this culture — produces outcomes like this from the Dayton, Ohio Daily News:

OXFORD — Friends say the Miami University graduate who died this week after reportedly suffering from swine flu delayed getting medical treatment because she did not have health insurance.
Young became ill about two weeks ago, but didn’t seek care initially because she didn’t have health insurance and was worried about the cost…

That puts “Kimi” among the 45,000 a year whose deaths are attributable to lack of insurance coverage in America, according to a new Harvard Medical School study.

But then, better dead than red … at least for a noisy 1/3 of the people in our democracy. Here’s what that looks like:

Kimberly Kimi Young, 22, died Tuesday night Sept. 22, 2009 at University Hospital.

Kimberly "Kimi" Young, 22, died Tuesday night Sept. 22, 2009 at University Hospital.

Categories : Health Care


  1. Diogenes says:

    Makes me wonder why, with such apparent public support, this long overdue reform can’t be made. What’s wrong with our legislative system that a minority can so disrupt the will of the majority? Then I think about the crack-pot public leadership of the obstructionists: Bush, Palin, Limbaugh, Orly Taidz! Orly Taidz. Now there is a nit wit whose future, along with Joe the Plumber is surely bright if past practice is any indicator. What will she be running for? And, let us not forget how we were forced to endure 8 years of this idiot. From a recent interview:

    >>While sitting alone on the porch of his home late Monday afternoon, George W. Bush, 63, chuckled upon suddenly remembering that he was once the president of the United States of America for nearly a decade.

    “Huh,” uttered the amused former world leader, reflecting upon how for eight years he controlled the executive branch of the most powerful nation on earth, executed its federal laws, and acted as commander in chief of its 1.4 million active-duty troops. “President.”

    “Man, oh, man,” Bush added. “Ha!”

    According to neighborhood sources, Bush then clapped his hands together lightly and shook his head in apparent disbelief.

    “I was president,” murmured Bush, his mind returning again and again to the thought of “eight years” as he emitted a series of short, guttural laughs that reportedly grew in volume the longer he lingered on his time in office. “That was what I did for a living. Me. George W. Bush. For almost a decade.”

    “I did that,” Bush added. “As my job.”

    Continued Bush, “I’ll be damned if I wasn’t the president of the United States of America.” <<

  2. Paul -V- says:

    I’m sure Kimi must have felt heartened as she was dieing to see all the Teabaggers in DC, fighting hard to make sure she wouldn’t get care.

  3. barry says:

    You do know that Bush interview was a joke, right? Just checking.

    Don’t feel bad. Just a few weeks ago, some newspapers in India believed the Onion story that Neil Armstrong had become convinced that his own moon landing was a hoax.

  4. barry says:

    I believe that future generations will look back at this healthcare debate with the same shock and disgust we feel when we look back at slavery.

    “Millions suffered so a minority could get rich. How could they not know this was wrong?”