Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tales From the Crypt


You probably think that the healthcare crisis has very little to do with illegal immigrants who have leprosy, and very much to do with the fact that insurance companies are for-profit businesses with exorbitant lobbying and marketing budgets, and outrageous CEO salaries.

In reality, the exact opposite is true. And WorldNetDaily has the numbers to prove it, so long as you don't insist on strict accuracy, fairness, or logic:

While "Sicko" filmmaker Michael Moore is blaming greed and a broken health care system for the inability of Americans to get health-care insurance, it turns out a heavy percentage of those without coverage are illegal aliens.

According to the latest Census Bureau figures, 43.6 percent of non-citizens in the U.S. are without health insurance. In addition, 33.6 percent of those born elsewhere are without coverage.
The main problem here, obviously, is that neither non-citizens, nor people who were born somewhere else, are necessarily "illegal" -- just ask John Derbyshire. (The role of greed in the hiring of dirt-cheap, uninsured laborers is a discussion for another day.)

The article goes on to say that hospitals are closing because they can't afford to provide emergency services to "uninsured and under-insured patients."

You may be thinking that this is a central point of healthcare reformers: the system's failure has increased the unnecessary use of ERs, which is astronomically expensive compared to preventative care and early intervention.

With all due respect, that type of thinking is destroying this country, and with it, the world's only hope for a brighter conservatarian tomorrow.

Now, you can find experts to argue for any position you like. But humanity has always granted a special authority to the opinions of revenants, haints, and spectres, whose membership in the Choir Invisible gives them a unique perspective on the issues of the day. This is precisely what makes the testimony of Madeleine Pelner Cosman so compelling:
Madeleine Pelner Cosman, author of a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, is particularly concerned with increases in multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis, chagas disease, dengue fever, polio, hepatitis A, B, and C, she told Lou Dobbs on CNN in June.
Ms. Cosman died on March 2, 2006. It's not clear why WND would wish to imply otherwise, but I'm sure it has something to do with Freedom, or perhaps Values.

Listen and tremble, foolish mortals, as the vivacious Ms. Cosman rails from beyond the grave against the acts and monuments of compassion:
A terrible, absolutely vicious, law called EMTALA: the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act...is really the culprit that requires every emergency room, and every physician of an emergency room, to treat [human beings] illegal aliens for free....

"Even physicians in those emergency rooms don't fully get the point that by being compassionate, and generous, and gracious, they are, in essence, destroying their own livelihoods as well as their own hospitals," she said.
The thing is, they could accomplish this destruction a lot more efficiently by allowing people to bleed to death on the sidewalk. That the EMTALA is the focus of wingnut outrage explains perfectly why their cause is doomed; this country simply will not tolerate the formal, systemic refusal of medical care to men and women and children who will die or be crippled or suffer noisily without it.

And even if it did, you couldn't find many doctors or nurses who'd be willing to work under those conditions. And even if you could, they'd be emotionally defective oddballs at best, and would be likely to give you and yours inadequate care.

Give people like Cosman what they want for a single month, and this country will have socialized medicine within the year.

(Illustration: From Trick Photography, 1902. Via Jack and Beverley's Spirit Photographs.)

5 comments:

echidne said...

The story discusses what percentage of illegals are without health insurance. It doesn't discuss what percentage of the total uninsured pool the illegals make. I'd wager that it's a very small slice.

Phila said...

The story discusses what percentage of illegals are without health insurance. It doesn't discuss what percentage of the total uninsured pool the illegals make. I'd wager that it's a very small slice.

If it weren't, you can bet they'd be saying as much.

cosmic tumbler said...

I came to post the same thing echidne and phila said. The majority of those without health insurance are the poor, minorities and people between the ages of 24 and 30.

Phila said...

I'd wager that it's a very small slice.

I should add that Cosman claims it may be as high as fifty percent. But again, all WND offers by way of evidence is the Census figures. Not all of those people are illegal, and I imagine there's also some overlap between non-citzens and people who were born elsewhere. And as you note, it says nothing about the ratio of illegals to the total number of uninsured.

Still, it's undoubtedly illustrative of something.

dan mcenroe said...

Ms. Cosman died on March 2, 2006. It's not clear why WND would wish to imply otherwise,

Because the undead Cosman...ATE THEIR BRAINS!!! AIEEE!!!