Two things from the Wichita Eagle worth pointing out. The first
is Richard Crowson's editorial cartoon:
Crowson was retired last year when the Eagle decided they didn't
need original editorial cartoons, then finally brought back on a
very infrequent basis. For more, see Crowson's
Bill Roy: Health care rationed based on ability to pay:
One of the best opinion pieces I've seen on the health care town halls.
Lynn Jenkins defeated Democrat Nancy Boyda in the 2008 election, running
as a "moderate" Republican (versus a rather uninspiring one-term Blue
Dog Democrat), but since she got in her record has been indistinguishable
from the other Kansas Republicans: conservative Jerry Moran and rabid
fascist Todd Tiahrt (both running for Sam Brownback's senate seat).
Roy is a retired MD who served two terms in the House, then lost two
very narrow statewide Senate races against Bob Dole. I'm tempted to
quote the entire piece, but here's just the start:
I attended a death panel in Holton last week. Rep. Lynn Jenkins,
R-Topeka, was the convener and presided.
I don't think anyone went there expecting to participate in a death
panel, and even afterward, most don't realize they did. But any group
that meets with the specific purpose of denying other people necessary
medical care fully qualifies as a death panel. By its action, people
Small-town people should have a good idea that people without
insurance or money often -- not always -- can't get care. If for no
other reason, they should remember the bake sales they have had to
raise money to help a neighbor get care for a family member who would
die without it.
On the other hand, no one would expect them to have read the 2004
report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of
Sciences that estimated 18,000 uninsured people die each year because
they don't get timely medical care.
Americans ration health care on ability to pay. If people did not
know that before the congresswoman's meeting, they should have when
they left, because a neighbor told them how it happens.
A local businessman said he has 15 employees, and only one has
health insurance. He cannot afford to buy health insurance for his
employees, who earn $12 to $15 an hour, and they cannot afford to buy
their own health insurance.
The consequence: "One of our workers died of cancer last year,
because he didn't see the doctor until it was too late." There was a
short pause. Then those in the crowd, which was heavy with Medicare
recipients, went back to expressing fears about what would happen to
them if other people had health insurance, too.
Read the whole thing.
By the way, I've started Arnold S. Relman's A Second Opinion:
Rescuing America's Health Care. Thus far, it is one of the best
books I've seen on the subject. More on that later.