Dum Pendebat Filius

A sniff in the kortevar, that what you cry for, yeled? A prert up the cull, a prang on the dumpendebat?

Right-wing healthcare

Right-wingers love to say things like, “What does it matter if you don’t have health insurance? You can always just go to the hospital!” Some Ohio AM-radio wingnuts just gave us a good example of this foolishness:

TAMNY: … the next time we hear about how there’s 40 million uninsured Americans in terms of health, I want you to remind the person who comes on and says that about the cell phones and HDTVs and cars that the poor people have — I think they can afford insurance, too.

CUNNINGHAM: They could, but they — they elect not to do it.

TAMNY: They know that we’ll pay for them. Yeah, yeah, ’cause they know they can go to the hospital and get free health care regardless, because someone like — like you is going to pay for it, so there you go.

[Shorter AM-Radio Wingnuts: Fat, lazy poor people get free food from the government, with which they eagerly stuff their fat faces, thus saving themselves money, which they then choose to spend on luxury consumer electronics instead of health insurance, because "they know they can go to the hospital and get free health care regardless." (And they accuse Democrats of "class warfare"!)]

Readers, I have pigmentary glaucoma. I use two different prescription eyedrops to keep intraocular pressure under control, so that my optic nerves don’t get damaged from high pressure inside my eyes and I don’t go fucking blind. I go to an ophthalmologist every few months, so that he can check my intraocular pressure, measure blood-flow rates inside my eyes, run tests to make sure I’m not slowly and gradually losing my eyesight, etc. I’m very lucky, because I have a job that gives me health insurance, so I can go to the eye doctor for $15 out of pocket, and I can get the eyedrops I need to keep my eyesight for $10 each.

Now, what if I didn’t have health insurance and couldn’t afford to go to the eye doctor? What if I couldn’t pay the full retail price for Xalatan and Alphagan P? I’d eventually lose my eyesight, more than likely.

Could I just show up at the emergency room every few months and ask them to run some tests on my eyes? (After all, the hospital’s there to give me “free health care,” right? Anything medical I need, they’ll just give it to me, right?)

Could I just show up at the emergency room every few months and ask them to give me prescription eyedrops? (It’s like CVS or Walgreens, only you don’t need a prescription and you don’t have to pay, right?)

Would they keep a copy of my medical records on file there at the E.R. so that the on-call Emergency Ophthalmologist would have access to them? Or would we just start from scratch every time I showed up for my “free health care” that everybody can get at any hospital?

This “just go to the emergency room” talking-point is beyond stupid. It’s a whole new level of idiocy.

Yes, if you break your leg, you can go to the ER and they’ll fix it for you. If you cut yourself, you can go to the ER and they’ll stitch up your wound for you. If you get shot, you’ll get taken to the ER, where they’ll try to save your life. If you’ve got an emergency, that’s what the “emergency room” is for.

But guess what? You’ll get a bill for whatever care you receive at the hospital. If you don’t pay the bill, you’ll hear about it from a collection agency.

And if you’ve got a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment, how can you go to the emergency room for it? What if you’ve got diabetes? Hypertension? Arthritis? Multiple sclerosis? Lupus? Not a problem, say wingnuts: just go to the hospital and say, “I want my free health care, please.” Just say, “I heard on the radio that you’ll treat me for free.”

Filed under: Political by dumpendebat at 2008/12/05 - 17:58


  1. Stram:

    Bill Cunningham is truly a disgusting human being. He’s worse than O’Reilly and Limbaugh and barely above Savage.

  2. Stram:

    And by the way brother, I’m glad you have health care. Pigmentary glaucoma sounds pretty scary and no person in this entire United States should ever be denied the RIGHT to be properly treated for it. Insurance or not!

  3. Right-wing healthcare | Blog posts trends:

    [...] Right-wing healthcare December 7th, 2008 [...]

  4. Dave Fourputt:

    Sorry about your condition.

    Aside from that, who’s going to PAY for universal healthcare?

    Read “Atlas Shrugged” sometime.

    Aside from all this there is nothing stopping anyone from making donations to orgs such as the Children Leukemia’s Fund (my favorite) and various others.

    Crack open those wallets if you are oh-so-concerned about the health of others. Nobody is stopping either of you two Socialists.

  5. dumpendebat:

    If you’re serious about Atlas Shrugged being a valid guide to life, you’d look down on those who donate to worthy causes. An Objectivist looks down on altruism, as it violates the core principle of “never living one’s life for others, nor asking another to live for oneself” (or whatever the hell the fools at Galt’s Gulch kept mumbling to one another whenever they weren’t standing around looking “gaunt” and “angular,” puffing on dollar-sign cigarettes, or engaging in low-grade S&M sexual activities).

    Atlas Shrugged is one of the worst novels ever written, as well as being one of the worst imaginable guides to life. (I’ve read it twice, once in 1991 and again in 2002, by the way, so you can’t accuse me of not having given it a chance.) The fact that you’re a good enough person to donate to deserving organizations proves that you’re too smart to take it very seriously.

    Who’s going to pay for universal healthcare? American taxpayers, that’s who. That’s where the money for public services comes from.

  6. dumpendebat:

    And, by the way, I don’t intend to suggest that glaucoma’s some really big deal; it was detected early and my eyes are perfectly OK, as long as I keep using my eyedrops. I merely use it as an example of an ongoing condition, which those who suggest “free medical care” is already there for the asking at any American emergency room never seem to think about.

  7. Dave Fourputt:

    Government will F-it-up! There’s a pool of money. Now some government fool gets to decide if your eyes are more valuable than Joe Smoe’s cancer.

    As an aside, the city of Pittsburgh has more MRI machines than all of Canada. Wonder why?

    I’d trust a profit-motivated company or a charity over the government any day.

    Have a good week.

  8. shneer:

    THIS is BULL. I have PG also, under the care of Jacob Wilensky at UIC. The whole place is Medicaid. They get drops for free or MUCH reduced, and visits all taken care of. MY bill has gone up. Why? The hospital admin. now splits the bill into a ‘facility fee’ and a ‘physicians fee’. Instead of one $20 Blue Cross PPO Co-pay taking care of it, I now pay a $hitload out of pocket expenses. I was told point-blank by staff that I pay more because the facility is mostly poor, Black Medicaid people and PEOPLE LIKE ME ARE ‘MAKING UP THE DIFFERENCE’! So, don’t go telling me how these folks won’t get their drop and visits. That is BULL!

    Seperatly, my former nanny had no insurance, goes to the ER all the time for everything for her and her kids. They work they system real well. NO, I don’t envy their position, but all their meds and visits are COVERED. Mine aren’t. Come to Chicago and see the real world, not the make -believe liberal one.

  9. Stram:

    Thought about you, brother, when I read this.

    Embryonic stem cell research: It’s great having a government that goes with science over stuipidity.

    Hope all is well.

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