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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Show Me an Emergency Room that Provides Chemotherapy

I don't usually post stuff I receive in fundraising emails, but the one I received from former Rep. Alan Grayson arrived at just the right time, emotionally, for me this afternoon. I had watched former Senator Rick Santorum's speech after the Iowa Caucus and was put out by his comparison of social welfare programs with Benito Mussolini's fascism. Indeed, Santorum specifically included Medicaid among the programs he said are making people more dependent, one element of how more government is fascism. (Yes, I know that makes no sense. He apparently doesn't.)

Grayson's email, which he also posted to Daily Kos, went after Santorum on health care. The best part, to me, was his takedown of the argument that people can always go to the emergency room if they need health care. Maybe it's an obvious retort, but it had never occurred to me before, and I try to follow this issue because it is close to my heart. Grayson said:
I remember the same response from right-wingers then as we hear from Santorum today – anyone can go to an emergency room.  I ask them to show me an emergency room that will provide chemotherapy to a cancer victim.  There isn’t one.
  If you need chemotherapy, your cancer is life-threatening, and the treatment is grossly expensive. According to the American Cancer Society, over 577,000 Americans will die of cancer this year. And as Grayson says, you can't go to the ER for treatment. So the view that all Americans can receive health care, and that lack of health insurance isn't bad for your health, is cruelly false.

1 comment:

  1. Aaron Carroll and Austin Frakt at The Incidental Economist posted a longer-form answer to this question at back in April.