Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Analyze That!

"I got a letter -- I got a note today from one of my staff -- they forwarded it to me -- from a woman in St. Louis who had been part of our campaign, very active, who had passed away from breast cancer. She didn't have insurance. She couldn't afford it, so she had put off having the kind of exams that she needed. And she had fought a tough battle for four years. All through the campaign she was fighting it, but finally she succumbed to it. And she insisted she's going to be buried in an Obama t-shirt." - Barack Obama

What does it say about this man, that he thinks this story is an example of why he should control health care in America?
It turns out that this lady (and her partner) chose to invest in a small business instead of a more comprehensive health care policy. She chose not to have routine exams, because this expense would have come out of pocket. Her policy would have kicked in to cover her illness, and she would have only had to pay $10,000 out of pocket. Not a desirable price, but not an insurmountable amount either.

What does it say about the Democrats, and politicians in general, that they don't provide the coverage to their staff that they claim the rest of the country needs?
It would seem that a campaign that spent over $700 Million to elect Barack Obama as President, could have set an example of their flagship issue by providing Universal Coverage for their own campaign workers. To give this perspective, Obama spent $400 million more than his rival, McCain.

What does this say about the President's assessment of our ability to reason, when they claim cause and effect with this story?
This story is supposed to illustrate that if Universal Health Coverage existed, this lady would be alive today. It assumes that if her exams were covered at no cost, she would have had them done. But, the exams are inexpensive at a regular doctor's office and often offered for free for at-risk patients and the poor. Furthermore, it is common to be diagnosed early and yet still succumb to cancer. We can not be certain that catching this early would have saved her life or diminished her suffering.

What does it say about a person, that they feel compelled to tell the world that someone chose to be buried in a shirt with their name on it?
Is that really an honor? Is it truly a show of solidarity? The audience didn't think so, as they felt compelled to respond with a macabre laughter. Obama, however, was completely sincere. He proceeded to tell the crowd that the shameful thing to do would be to deny passage of a bill that would give immense taxing powers to the Federal Government. He claimed that the only dishonor would be in halting his fight to give the government the supreme authority over its citizens lives and health. In short, he claims that he could have managed this lady's health care better then she herself did. And, he does so with a completely straight face.