Alex Blaze

Just a thought about health care and John McCain

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 03, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Elizabeth Edwards, health care reform, John McCain, single payer

John McCain is in good enough health to run for president:

Republican John McCain was deemed by his doctors on Friday to be in sufficient good health to serve as president even as they reported a long history of skin cancer, colon polyps, kidney stones and dizziness.

The Arizona senator, who turns 72 in August and would be the oldest elected first-term president, "enjoys excellent health and displays extraordinary energy," said his physician Dr. John Eckstein.

"I can find no medical reason or problems that would preclude Senator McCain from fulfilling all the duties and obligations of president of the United States," he said in a statement.

John McCain, without the help of modern medicine, would be dead:

The records showed that McCain has chronic shoulder pain and moderate pain of the right knee from injuries he received when as he was shot down as Navy pilot and spent 5 1/2 years in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp.

Also, he has had some common health problems including benign colon polyps that were removed and kidney stones. As recently as March 29, McCain had a total of six polyps removed during a colonoscopy.[...]

Of the most serious bout, the melanoma removed in 2000, there has been no evidence that the cancer spread, and his skin doctor, Suzanne Connolly, noted that the period of greatest risk for a recurrence is within the first few years.

A review of the records showed he has had frequent removals of sun-exposure related growths, the most recent when "a very early squamous cell carcinoma" was excised by shave biopsy from his right upper shin in February.

His most recent skin exam was May 12 and he has regular checkups every three or four months.

"Other less serious skin cancers have been removed over the years without complication. These have been non-melanoma basal cell and squamous cell cancers," the report said.[...]

A doctor's report from a February 6 exam said he takes medicine to control his cholesterol, along with a baby aspirin, allergy medicine and occasionally uses the sleep-inducing drug Ambien.

John McCain only has access to modern medicine because of government health care:

John McCain accused me of taking a "cheap shot" on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" yesterday for noting that people with preexisting conditions, such as he and I have, would not be able to get health care under his plan -- and that he perhaps was not as sensitive to this problem as he should be since he has been in government health care his whole life.

Sen. McCain noted that he was not receiving government health care for the six years he was in captivity. That is true. But it has nothing to do with my point -- which is that the problem with Sen. McCain's health care plan is not how it affects us -- but how it affects the tens of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions who, unlike Sen. McCain and myself, do not have the resources to pay for quality health care.

John McCain doesn't want to expand government health care for others:

"I've made it very clear that what I want is for families to make decisions about their health care, not government, and that's the fundamental difference between myself and Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton," McCain told reporters in Miami, Florida, referring to the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.[...]

The solution, McCain said, "isn't a one-size-fits-all-big government takeover" but "with the American people themselves."

"We have always trusted in ourselves to meet any challenge that required only our ingenuity and industry to surmount," the Arizona Republican said. "Any solution that robs us of that essential sense of ourselves is a cure far worse than the affliction it is meant to treat."

So I'm thinking, since I have, for a long time, just thought the reason we don't have health care is because of the American independent spirit or because some people don't want to pay more taxes or something along the lines of money and simply not caring about the people who die (they're usually poor, y'know).

But what if it's something more insidious? John McCain would have died before he could run for president without his awesome health care plan that everyone should have access to, just like many people in the queer community did during the height of the AIDS epidemic because they didn't have access to even the most rudimentary of drugs (and it's still happening). It's overwhelming to think of how much richer our community could be right now if the government had reacted responsibly to the crisis, with all those wonderful people I was too young to even meet still alive to tell their stories, to provide more generational continuity than we have now, and to keep on agitating for the community.

There was the "HIV is God's punishment, so let it work itself out" rhetoric. There was the "Round 'em up, put 'em on an island and nuke 'em" rhetoric. For many conservatives, ignoring AIDS, or worse, praising it, was about genocide.

I understand that the most fundamental, prominent, and obvious reason he opposes single-payer is to keep the vote from the business conservatives. He's the Republican nominee for president; I wouldn't expect him to support single-payer.

But what if, deep down in the conservative soul, opposition to universal health care is driven by something more insidious than the laissez-faire belief that the free market will provide, worse than a Randian apathy for anyone else's life, worse than a desire to make the cheapest buck off people's life-or-death decisions: an actual desire that others not have the same access to power because of their failing healths and shorter life spans? What if it's a fear that if the unwashed masses are in good health they'll displace those who are in good health now?

Because the connection between access to health care and power can't be better personified than in John McCain. And he opposes giving it to those who aren't him.

I know, I know, radical DFH leftist loonie talk, but when we know that it'll save lives, when he knows it saved his life, why don't we have government health care for all?


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I'd say that "dizzy" is a good word to describe McCain. After all those flipflops Mr. Straight Talk Express has done lately, I'd be dizzy too!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 4, 2008 12:10 AM

What I think about is that he had 1,200 pages of health records for just eight years. He has had more access to health care and testing than the average HIV patient. He was thoughtful enough to release them for, what, three hours on Memorial Day weekend when no one was watching television

Yeah, I actually thought this when I watched a bit about those conditions on TDS. It was like, um, what's the dude hiding? And what didn't those journalists find?