Baggers: Let ‘im Die!

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Republican Party

I’m just now catching up on news from last night’s GOP debate. Here’s a highlight: The baggers in the audience cheered at the suggestion that a 30-something man with no health insurance who needs medical care should just die already.

I will add that young and healthy people who could get health insurance but choose not to are a big reason health insurance is so expensive for the rest of us. However, if all clueless youth were to die off, we might soon be facing extinction. And there are millions of people who cannot get health insurance in this country through no fault of their own.

Dana Milbank writes that Rick Perry was revealed to be an empty suit. Spokespersons of the GOP establishment such as Jennifer Rubin and Byron York were critical of Perry’s performance. He doesn’t seems to have a grasp of the issues, they fume. Like that matters to the base.

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44 Comments

  1. Rick Massimo  •  Sep 13, 2011 @10:47 am

    I really don’t understand why everyone is so shocked by this. As a white, evidently straight man, conservatives assume I’m in the club, so they say what they really think. And they’ve been saying this for 30 years, though not for public consumption. If this country had the “balls” to let people actually die, the others would “come around,” they say.

  2. c u n d glag  •  Sep 13, 2011 @10:50 am

    “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”
    Mel Brooks

    Republicans:
    S’ok, as long as it ain’t me.

  3. A Canadian Reader  •  Sep 13, 2011 @10:53 am

    This Canadian is speechless.

  4. c u n d glag  •  Sep 13, 2011 @11:01 am

    Canadian Reader,
    Don’t forget Michelle Bachmann critisizing Perry for vaccinating girls against HPV. That got applause, too. I thought that was kind of sweet – applauding women dying from cervical cancer.
    Or, so I’ve read.
    Disclosure: I didn’t actually watch the debate because my sanity is already only hanging on by a thread, and watching and listening to this assemblage of vicious and evil clowns might have thrown me over the edge.
    And I’m only talking about the audience, I’m not even talking about their candidates.

  5. PurpleGirl  •  Sep 13, 2011 @11:03 am

    Canadian Reader — This is what the rugged individualists want for Canada. I know one such person who lives in B.C. I’d advise Canadians to be aware and on the alert to protect your health care system.

  6. Felicity  •  Sep 13, 2011 @11:16 am

    If nothing else, the audience at last night’s debate defined the Tea Party for me. Let’s hope the rest of America ‘got’ them too and was as equally as appalled as I was.

    As to the young opting out of health insurance – the primary, important, meaningful reason why a universal health care system, as in place in much of the rest of the world (including Israel, by the way) is the only reasonable solution to ‘our’ health care problem (debacle.) Social Security has ‘worked’ these many years because the great majority of us must pay into it. It’s not rocket science.

  7. goatherd  •  Sep 13, 2011 @11:16 am

    It really is true that the “savings” that baggers, libertarians and their fellow travelers envision when they talk about ending government programs providing healthcare or refusing healthcare to those who cannot pay, will only come about if you are ready to let people die. They also seem oblivious to the fact that many of the zygotes/blastocysts/fetuses that they value so highly would be among them. As Mort Saul said of the Reagan administration, they “believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth”.

    Other consequences of “taking personal responsibility” would be shorter life expectancy, higher poverty rate (especially among seniors) many more medical bankruptcies and unsightly homeless people marring the Galtian heroes’ view of the Randian paradise.

    I sometimes despair of what’s left of our culture. But, is it possible to imagine a more horrific society than one in which the new Robber Barons, financiers and hedge fund managers represent what is best in humanity? Is there such a thing as species dysphoria?

  8. Swami  •  Sep 13, 2011 @11:57 am

    “Every man for himself and the Devil take the hindmost”

    Just hypothethically..they should use some of that 60 billion dollars that vanished in Afghanistan to pay for that young man’s recovery.

    I like hypotheticals..Why didn’t Wolf do the ticking time bomb torture hypo? That’s one of the best ones out there.

  9. c u n d glag  •  Sep 13, 2011 @12:03 pm

    Why is that I feel that the person who’ll get the Republican nomination is the first one who in a debate will get up and say:
    ‘I just shot a man in Reno just to watch him die…’

  10. twtfltrd  •  Sep 13, 2011 @12:29 pm

    “I will add that young and healthy people who could get health insurance but choose not to are a big reason health insurance is so expensive for the rest of us”

    Maha there you go again using logic? I still have not quite figured out why it’s ok to mandate insurance for your car but not for your health? I mean it’s the same god dam thing isn’t it? All that personal responsibility crap the wingers always spew. I would argue the folks who cheered are at least consistent, it’s the ones who rail against the mandate but won’t let the sick rot on the curb who are the real hypocrites. I mean Paul’s answer was to let the church pay for the care?

  11. maha  •  Sep 13, 2011 @12:51 pm

    I still have not quite figured out why it’s ok to mandate insurance for your car but not for your health?

    In the video Ron Paul said something to the effect of freedom meaning taking responsibility for yourself and paying the consequences of your own decisions. The problem with this is that those decisions, and those consequences, impact the rest of us, too.

    If you think about it, most laws are about criminalizing behavior that most responsible people wouldn’t do, anyway. For example, if we had a temporary suspension of homicide laws I don’t think most of us would take advantage and murder somebody. Well, I wouldn’t, anyway. But there are always those who don’t do the responsible thing, and so to keep them from making everyone else miserable the criminal justice system steps in and says, no, you don’t get to do that.

    Uninsured people who need medical care they can’t pay for are a real problem that is impacting all of us, if only because it’s one of the factors cranking up the cost of health care and making insurance so expensive. Ultimately, we’ve either got to see to it everyone’s medical care is paid for but do it in a more cost-effective way than we’re doing it now, or we’ve got to tolerate a whole lot of preventable deaths. And, in fact, we have been tolerating preventable deaths for some time; we’ve just been in denial about it.

    I can sort of buy the argument that destructive behavior that doesn’t physically or materially harm anyone else but the perpetrator is none o’ the gubmint’s business, but the health insurance situation really does impact the rest of us.

  12. Lynne  •  Sep 13, 2011 @12:48 pm

    I know I shouldn’t think this, but couldn’t we just cut Texas loose and tell all those “every man for himself” folks to move there and have their particular care-not utopia? They’d no longer be citizens of the US of A and could apply for foreign aid, I guess.
    Having them in this country is just like having a large mean dog for a pet – one you can’t turn your back on and which bites you whenever you try to interact.

  13. joanr16  •  Sep 13, 2011 @12:53 pm

    These GOP debates are in dire need of a drinking game.

  14. c u n d glag  •  Sep 13, 2011 @12:58 pm

    Joan,
    You’d better have EMS on speed dial ready with a stomach pump!

  15. goatherd  •  Sep 13, 2011 @1:59 pm

    “or we’ve got to tolerate a whole lot of preventable deaths. And, in fact, we have been tolerating preventable deaths for some time; we’ve just been in denial about it.” — I was thinking just this same thing, but I couldn’t phrase it as clearly, so I passed. But, as you note there is a lot of denial involved in the status quo.

    You notice of course that Ron Paul never owns up to it. He says “No” to Blitzer’s last question, but obviously has no realistic alternative. Maybe it should be called the “Hypocritical” Oath in Paul’s case.

    As I have mentioned, I live in a very fundamentalist community. My neighbors are hardworking, honest and very conservative people. Not one of the young people in the neighbor hood has ever been caught doing anything illegal or using drugs. They do tend to get pregnant and marry at quite a young age, and usually in that order, if you catch my meaning. Evidently, birth control isn’t part of the home school curriculum. Teenagers are teenagers. Nearly all have their babies delivered with some sort of public assistance, Normally this might inspire some change of heart or mind regarding sex education, public health and universal healthcare. But, as with the HPV vaccine issue, the concept of “sin” makes the practical and the rational unthinkable for fundamentalists.

  16. goatherd  •  Sep 13, 2011 @2:02 pm

    “Baggers: Let ‘im die!!” –not even a “death panel”. Small government does save money!

  17. twtfltrd  •  Sep 13, 2011 @3:30 pm

    “Baggers: Let ‘im die!!” –not even a “death panel”. Small government does save money!

    “Nearly all have their babies delivered with some sort of public assistance”

    Heck yeah, I was down in southern Indiana this weekend, catching up with some of my college pals, teabaggers all, many have teenage kids with babies getting some form of assistance, but it’s OK cause they deserve it, and it aint a way of life for them, it’s just temporary, not like them colored? I’m convinced that the only way to convince many of these folks is to let the wing-nuts have their way for 5-10 years, then they may wake up and realize that we do need some form of government, regulation, taxes, civil order etc. But since we have these 20% low info voters that keep switching sides every 4-8 years neither party ever gets credit for good or accepts blame for bad. It seems to be what corporate America wants too, they keep changing sides with donation money as well, and why not as long as gubmint keeps getting blamed they can run away with all the money, quite a scam.

  18. khughes1963  •  Sep 13, 2011 @3:53 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me the Tea Partiers would cheer letting someone without health insurance die, look at how many of them cheered Perry’s execution record. They fail to put themselves in the other person’s shoes.

  19. erinyes  •  Sep 13, 2011 @4:57 pm

    I watched the entire debate last night, but I must have dozed off during Ron Paul’s exchange with Wolfie. My emotions were between “These guys are a pack of idiots “and “WTF???”
    If one of them won the election, I would hope it wood be Huntsman, but even that is like choosing the knife that guts you.
    I working up in beautiful Bushnell this week, and had breakfast at the local Waffle House. The women behind the counter were not having a good day;one was in obvious emotional distress. I wondered if the problem was about health, money, or a relationship. Perhaps a combination of all.This recession has hit Bushnell hard, and the “season” which the locals depend on is about 2 months away.
    One woman was very vocal, and asked me if we should get rid of Obama;to which I replied with a laugh, “you can’t fix 8 years of stupid in two years or less” . She agreed, but I got a steely look from a nearby 60 something white boy.
    You can’t fix 60 something years of stupid in two years or less either.

    It became obvious that this “Tea Party” is a toxic mix of fear, greed,gingoism, and religion. Sadly they forget the sermon on the mount, but remember the Old Testament quite well.

  20. buckyblue  •  Sep 13, 2011 @5:42 pm

    To piggy back on Maha’s comment that the uninsured really do impact the rest of us. The belief is also that there really is a choice to have health insurance or not. Unless you make six figures plus, you have to get your health insurance through your employer. If you don’t you’re likely uninsured. To think that people are willfully uninsured is just delusional. $500-1,000 monthly premiums, plus co-pays and high deductibles, makes health insurance unreachable for most Americans who don’t get it through their jobs. And often times even if you do get it through your employer it’s not great; super high deductibles and co-pays. A school district in WI changed, under scotties ‘tools’, to a $5K deductible and then 80-20 after that. A trip to the hospital could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. The simple fact is that no-one can afford the health care in this country. When they don’t start doing something about the cost, they’re not doing anything.

  21. Bonnie  •  Sep 13, 2011 @5:55 pm

    Health care is going to continue to be expensive as long as the insurance companies are involved. We need to get the insurance companies out of health care. I read somewhere yesterday that some insurance companies are going to use that Supercomputer Watson for billing. This sounds just too ominous to me. People don’t want a Government person inbetween them and their doctors; but, we have insurance execs already in between our doctors and us. Now, we are going to have a Supercomputer AND insurance execs between our doctors and us. Wonderful.

  22. A Canadian Reader  •  Sep 13, 2011 @6:17 pm

    To my American friends, yes, things are getting more and more Americanized here in Canada. I know and I shudder.

  23. erinyes  •  Sep 13, 2011 @7:26 pm

    Canadian reader,
    Y’all better get you a border fence pronto!

  24. Candide  •  Sep 13, 2011 @7:42 pm

    A Canadian Reader said: To my American friends, yes, things are getting more and more Americanized here in Canada. I know and I shudder.

    Canadian Reader, I’m just wondering – Do you have Murdoch polluting your news media up there in Canada too? What about your AM talk radio? I blame America’s rapid decline on the conservative news media, so I’m curious to what extent you’re exposed to it in Canada, and if so, for how long?

    Rush Limbaugh has been around for decades, but he (and his imitators) really came into their own when Clear Channel took over AM talk radio largely thanks to dimwitted legislation that Bill Clinton signed, the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Prior to that, there were laws in place to prevent any one corporation from dominating the news media in any one market. Murdoch’s hideous Fox News was also launched in 1996. It seems that 1996 was a pivotal year in America’s decline. Another key year was 1987 when the FCC threw out the Fairness Doctrine.

    As for newspapers, last time I was in the USA I was appalled to see how much the print media had declined. There isn’t much in there other than sports and advertising.

  25. Nrj  •  Sep 13, 2011 @7:59 pm

    As someone who works in the healthcare field, no one “dies” if they don’t have insurance. They get seen and treated in an ER, regardless of insurance or ability to pay.

  26. maha  •  Sep 13, 2011 @10:59 pm

    As someone who works in the healthcare field

    If you’re a healthcare professional I’m Lady Gaga. Real health care professionals understand why using ERs as free health clinics is the most inefficient and expensive way we could possibly be providing health care to the poor, and it’s another reason why health care costs are out of control in this country. They also know that the law does not require ERs to treat diseases but only to stabilize patients.

  27. moonbat  •  Sep 13, 2011 @8:33 pm

    Good article about Tea Baggers, The Cult of Death:

    …And they are Christians, members of the faithful, who enjoy executions and who think uninsured people should be left to die.

    Correction: they are “Christians,” because it is impossible to build any kind of bridge between the teachings of Jesus and the beliefs these people espouse at the top of their lungs.

    They are not Christians, but are in fact a death-worshipping cult. The best response to the vile display broadcast by CNN on Monday night was provided by former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who has had more than a few go-rounds with this particular breed of cat. “What you saw tonight,” said Grayson, “is something much more sinister than not having a healthcare plan. It’s sadism, pure and simple. It’s the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading – bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about – ‘the war of all against all.'”

    Thanks to the “mainstream” news media, to ardent yet covert supporters like the Koch brothers, and to the sweaty intensity of their own deranged ideals, these “Tea Party” people have emerged as a true force in American politics. What we saw last week, and on Monday night, is a glimpse of what the world would be like if these people achieve the supremacy they seek.

    Jesus wept.

  28. Bonnie  •  Sep 13, 2011 @11:20 pm

    Here is the article about the Supercomputer Watson and Wellpoint. I was wrong about billing. The computer will be used for diagnosis. Ack! Are the insurers going to make sure the computer is programmed to only diagnose the cheapest ailments????!!!!!!

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9219937/IBM_s_Watson_supercomputer_to_diagnose_patients

  29. ~riverflow  •  Sep 14, 2011 @1:50 am

    I work in the ER (not medical staff– I register patients). While it is true that EMTALA regulations make it where no one can (supposedly) be turned away from the ER, the problem is the ER then just works as “damage control” long after an injury or illness has caused sometimes irreversible damage to the patient’s health.

    All the ER does is do a quick fix to the immediate problem, but cannot treat the larger health issues that led to the visit in the first place. Like Barbara said, the ER is only obligated to stabilize the patient, that is all EMTALA requires.

    Nobody benefits from such an arrangement and its yet another reason why the US spends so much more money than other countries. The value of having health insurance is to PREVENT things from getting worse. The logic of “We have free healthcare– just go to the ER” is NOT a solution.

  30. James F. Epperson  •  Sep 14, 2011 @7:23 am

    There is a lot of confusion and poor argument on this point. Conservatives and libertarians emphasize the personal responsibility of this situation—the hypothetical individual decided not to get insurance, so he should suffer the consequences—and that is what appeals to the Baggers. What they don’t understand is that we all end up paying for his foolish mistake, and we would all pay less if he were required to have insurance.

  31. c u n d glag  •  Sep 14, 2011 @8:36 am

    Our health care system here in American will be the death of us all.

  32. joanr16  •  Sep 14, 2011 @9:02 am

    [T]he hypothetical individual decided not to get insurance, so he should suffer the consequences….

    There’s also the current problem of lack of affordable insurance. According to news reports I heard earlier this week, employer-provided health insurance is rapidly dwindling. There aren’t other options for most people. The TPers who hooted at the theoretical uninsured man’s death don’t understand this (or do, and don’t care because they are socially damaged).

  33. maha  •  Sep 14, 2011 @9:41 am

    The TPers who hooted at the theoretical uninsured man’s death don’t understand this (or do, and don’t care because they are socially damaged).

    They don’t believe this could happen to them because they are (choose as many as apply) Christian, hard working (in their minds), “real” Americans, patriotic (as they define the word), white, and otherwise deserving of privilege just because.

  34. c u n d glag  •  Sep 14, 2011 @10:00 am

    Republicans:
    “S’ok, s’long as it ain’t me!”

  35. Swami  •  Sep 14, 2011 @1:09 pm

    Those teabaggers who were hooting for the young man to die are the same ones who were screaming ” pay your bills,deadbeat” when millions of Americans were losing their homes due to the mortgage crisis…They have concept of the human element. It’s the same with the abstinence only crowd.. They won’t allow facts into their minds that don’t conform with their vision.
    What I find puzzling is that I would assume that almost nobody has escaped the experience of economic hardship and the understanding of it..So why are these teabaggers so eager to stomp on their fellow human beings. The only parallel in understanding that I can find are the Kapo’s in the death camps. Serving their masters by stepping on their own kind while in reality they are just as doomed as the rest of us.

  36. twtfltrd  •  Sep 14, 2011 @3:55 pm

    “As someone who works in the healthcare field, no one “dies” if they don’t have insurance. They get seen and treated in an ER, regardless of insurance or ability to pay”

    Some people die from cancer don’t they? Funny I’ve never seen anyone get treated for cancer in an ER? Always thought you had to go through an oncologist for that. I guess maybe if you have a hundred grand or so lying around they’d take cash.

    You are a fucking imbecile!

  37. maha  •  Sep 14, 2011 @5:05 pm

    Funny I’ve never seen anyone get treated for cancer in an ER?

    The myth of the “free” ER medical care for poor people is a major obstacle to getting people to understand how bad a fix we’re in.

  38. Arizona Mildman  •  Sep 15, 2011 @9:25 am

    Yes, I would like to reply to that. No one gets admitted to the hospital without insurance is what the problem is. I have worked in the most slip shod conditions in the County Hospital here where EVERYONE is supposed to be able to be treated no matter how their insurance or employment is, and there is always a unit clerk chasing some guy on a gurney with a gunshot wound that makes him sign a form taking financial responsibility for his bill before he gets pain medication or treatment. It is the antithesis of the Hypocratic oath. There are people who need constant medical treatment who will never get it since the Health Care Revision act, insurance companies put pressure on doctors and NO ONE DOES ANYTHING FOR FREE anymore, that is a myth. Those days when financial responsibility falls into write offs and county eligibility ended in the early eighties. The onslaught of illegal aliens with false identification have made it necessary for everyone to be refused treatment at the whim of the physicians. Try and find a doctor’s office that doesn’t have a sign that says “Copay will be due before treatment” for the people who do have medical insurance.

  39. Arizona Mildman  •  Sep 15, 2011 @9:28 am
  40. Felicity  •  Sep 15, 2011 @11:49 am

    “The hypothetical individual decided not to get health insurance…” What about the individual who got health insurance only to lose it when he got seriously ill. After all, 1/3 of all bankruptcies are filed by people who ‘lost’ their health insurance when they got seriously ill.

    The health-insurance consortia have managed to increase their profits 428%, raise their premiums 97% (and still stay in business) – all in the last 9 years. Off the top of my head, they’re screwing us royally and we’re taking it like loyal subjects that we are. Where’s the rage.

  41. c u n d glag  •  Sep 15, 2011 @12:02 pm

    Felicity,
    We’re too afraid to rage.
    It’ll raise our blood pressure, and those who don’t have insurance can’t afford that, and those who do may lose their coverage.

  42. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Sep 15, 2011 @12:54 pm

    I will add that young and healthy people who could get health insurance but choose not to are a big reason health insurance is so expensive for the rest of us.

    I don’t know if that’s true or not. You’re right that it’s a huge, potential problem if you set up insurance as “you must take all people, for a similar price, with no exclusion for pre-existing conditions”. But I don’t know how many young, healthy people choose to forgo health insurance, nor how much it costs us.

    It is a huge moral hazard, but I don’t know if it’s cost us much yet.

  43. Felicity  •  Sep 15, 2011 @1:20 pm

    LongHairedWeirdo – I can’t give you a number but the countries that have adopted universal health-care have made subscribing to it mandatory for a reason.

  44. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Sep 15, 2011 @5:42 pm

    Felicity – agreed, universal coverage is important to cost control. Since we’re not just covering people (e.g., single payer) and are preventing exclusion for pre-existing conditions, we need something like the individual mandate, or we’ll risk a big free rider problem.

    I guess I was being a bit nit-picky – “I know it’s a huge risk, but I’m not sure if it’s actually costing big money *right now*”.



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