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July 20, 2009

Health Care: Starting with Debby from Appalachia

Obama Cancer Pt. 2.jpg

Obama Cancer Pt. 1.jpg

Obama’s narrative all along has been that reform is hard, but if you bring in all the sides, sit them down and talk, it can be done. – Ambinder/The Atlantic.

Congresspeople West Wing Healthcare.jpg

…And then, there’s “the Rahm-side” of things, the herding of Congress, the forced march.

(updated: Noon PST, 7/20)

(image 1: Larry Downing/Reuters. image 2: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters. caption: U.S. President Barack Obama hugs cancer patient Debby Smith of Appalachia, Virginia, during a forum on health care at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia July 1, 2009. image 3: Ron Edmonds/AP. caption: Members of Congress walk to the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 17, 2009, to meet with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on the health care reform. )

  • jtfromBC

    I have checked CNN this morning and the HMO’s attack ads on Canada’s Single Payer Health Care System.
    If those misleading and fraudulent claims continue many thousands of us may die from Laughter.
    Thus there may be long lines and then the HMO’s will have something to cite, out of context of course.
    According to that analysis, 119 million Americans – roughly two-thirds of those now on private plans – would defect to a public option if they had a choice. But the right-wing group, in airing its ad on CNN, presents that number as a case of denying those Americans the choice of staying on their private plans.

  • ceenik

    Interesting how skeptical she looks in the first pic, then you see being enfolded by his arms–looks like a therapeutic or even quasi-religious moment.

  • La Cabeza

    Too bad Rahm’s brother, Dr. Emanuel isn’t pushing the issue of tax-supported vouchers and unbundling quality healthcare from ones employment status. Although he was listed as a policy adviser to the President, seems that points of view other than the Administration’s are being silenced in favor of simply getting something through the Congressional gauntlet and concerted Healthcare / Big Pharma misinformation campaign. Even if something called reform does slide through, it won’t go into effect until 2013 – one year after the next presidential election.
    In the meantime, there are people like Debby who must wait. Looks like she’s not the only skeptic in the room. I’m referring specifically to the dark-haired woman and man wearing a yellow tie seated to her left.

  • Johanna

    Debby is not understanding, and has not been told, that her weight issue will no longer be her own business. Her obesity will be a matter of government attention under the new plan. This is truly the issue of the picture that no one is speaking about. In our present situation of private insurance, people can engage in behavior that has negative health consequences as a matter of choice. Someone like her will be seriously harassed in the future.

  • CF2K

    “Debby is not understanding, and has not been told, that her weight issue will no longer be her own business.”
    And under the current private insurance regime, how long before obesity is classified as a “pre-existing condition,” and Debby loses her insurance?

  • Johanna

    How long? It hasn’t happened yet. Some people here, though, might think it is the public’s business how much Debby weighs. There is no way, in her present condition, she gets good coverage under Obama care. But then again, you might think that’s perfectly fine. The sanctions should, it goes without saying, extend to smokers like Obama, and drinkers like Kennedy.

  • CF2K

    Given the cliche’ and puerile ad hominems (President Obama smokes! Senator Kennedy drinks!) you employ, it’s pretty clear that you’re interested in something other than a serious conversation.
    This approach makes sense, given that your central claim about obesity counting as a pre-existing condition “hasn’t happened yet,” is false. As in, wrong. As in, refuted by facts. As in, intentionally misleading for you to continue to assert.
    Here are a couple of insurance-related references: there are many, many others.
    If you want to claim that the use of the BMI (body/mass index) score as a condition for receiving or being denied coverage is different than an overt classification of obesity as a “pre-existing” condition, be my guest. But you’ll be playing semantics at that point, and not very well, either.
    And then there is *this* claim:
    “There is no way, in her present condition, she gets good coverage under Obama care.”
    Unless you can demonstrate some ability of clarivoyance, this is your opinion rather than a factual claim, to which my response, appropriately is, “it’s nice that that is your opinion, but who cares.” Given that we don’t know what the Public Option will look like at this point, it’s easy to throw brickbats. A lot easier, certainly, than making sure that people are treated justly and taken care of, rather than just having their money taken.
    And certainly easier than admitting the obvious: that millions of people are losing their health insurance, and that some are dying as a result.

  • Johanna

    “Given that we don’t know what the public option will look like at this point….” Yet you demand it be signed into law in what, six days? The burden of proof is appropriately on those who would institute a massive change, not those who maintain the status quo. The acceptance of that burden, and the acknowledgment of legitimate resistance, is what I am not hearing. The prez went a bit of the way toward that last night by acknowledging what he called legitimate skepticism, which he attributed to “cynicism” about what government can do. Well, okay, but he needed to prove that he can and has produced, before he asks for another sign on to plans without the slightest review or hesitation. Anecdotes about letters he has received don’t cut it, nor does that story about little red and blue pills. That was the low point of the presentation.

  • CF2K

    “The burden of proof is appropriately on those who would institute a massive change, not those who maintain the status quo.”
    Really? Even when the “status quo” has millions of Americans losing their employer-based health insurance coverage in the middle of a global economic meltdown that is producing 16% real unemployment? To say nothing of the financial costs of maintaining the “status quo” in which fee for service medical delivery continues to spiral upward, and to put pressure on employers who can’t afford to meet increasing health care fees?
    Barbara at Mahablog does a good job addressing your argument:

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