Patricia Nell Warren

"Senator Kennedy did not go to England"

Filed By Patricia Nell Warren | August 31, 2009 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: Concerned Women for America, Congressional healthcare, health care reform, Ted Kennedy, uninsured deaths, Wendy Wright

It was inevitable that some lamebrain conservative would try to make political lemonade with the lemons of Ted Kennedy's death. So Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women For America, stepped into the lemonade stand. She just pointed out that when Senator Kennedy "faced a serious health problem he did not go to England, he did not go to Canada, he did not go to a country that has a government plan. He sought treatment in the country that he believed had the best treatment available, and that is America. That is a lesson that we can take from Ted Kennedy."

What rock has this woman been living under? With all due respect to Senator Kennedy, it was his good fortune to be a sitting Senator that got him the "best treatment available" through all those years of brain tumor.

In his recent book "Practicing Medicine Without a License: The Corporate Takeover of Healthcare in America," author Don Sloan M.D. describes the astounding benefits that Kennedy and the other 534 members of Congress enjoy:

"Unlimited doctor office visits of your choosing; covers all accidents, routine exams, physical therapy, labs and X-rays; and the like; unlimited hospital visits and stays; certain chronic care and rehab; full prescription coverage; and unlimited specialty consultations. For the employee and the entire family. There are no deductibles, no co-pays, and only a $35 monthly fee taken from an annual salary of $158 thou. Thirty-five dollars! [And after they leave office] a full pension and continued coverage until their deaths."

Whatever tiny holes there might have been in this 22-carat-golden healthcare parachute, Kennedy could have patched them easily from his personal fortune.

And by the way -- Kennedy's healthcare came courtesy of a government plan.

Indeed, it's to his credit that Senator Kennedy was haunted by the thought of millions of Americans who lived without this insurance blessing of his...which is why he spent so many years fighting like a lion for healthcare reform.

If Kennedy had been some obscure old man with no health insurance, and he had been turned away from free medical care in his state or community, he would have died of that brain tumor quickly, quietly and probably in agonizing pain. He would have become one of the 25,000 or 30,000 Americans who die every year because they have no insurance and no access to care. Nobody would have given a damn about his death.

And it gets worse. There are numerous members of this Exclusive Healthcare Club called Congress who fiercely block all the best efforts at healthcare reform, and have taken money from healthcare-industry lobbyists to do it. And some of them are Democrats.

I'll bet that this president of the so-called Concerned Women For America hasn't spent a single hour of her life being concerned about Americans who can't get healthcare. So what lesson can we take from Ms. Wright's appalling statement? There are a lot of powerful people in the U.S. who have their brains set in the "off" position when it comes to this issue.


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Yeah well don't excuse me, and with no respect at all for Ted Kennedy, i say some damn LION. Spare me. HealthCare costs are a mess and Ted Kennedy was sitting in power for decades. PUKE on all this crap about how fantastic he was. There does happen to be more than two political parties fellow gay people. This makes me furious. Talk talk talk. I wish to whatever that people would stop putting this elitist on a pedestal.

You completely missed the point of my post.

Really, ewe? That's the best you've got? The author says you missed the point of her article and you can only say, "That's your opinion?" Uh, yeah. It's her article so I'm guessing she knows the point of it.

Perhaps instead of simply lashing out, if you engaged on the topic this conversation could work. But "says you!" never moved anything forward; it's meant as a conversation stopper when you've got nothing to add.

Did you even read the same article I just read? This was absolutely about healthcare reform, using Senator Kennedy's stellar healthcare plan which was supplied to him (and the other people deciding whether or not the rest of America is deserving of universal healthcare)by the government. Ms. Warren is attempting to illustrate the hypocrisy that is alive and thriving on Capitol Hill. In essence, this was not about Kennedy himself, rather it was about how how the government is treating the American citizens to the "do as I say, not as I do" mode of thinking.

I think the response to such a piece of insanity should be what Bill Maher has on occasion asked of racical christianists (and isn't it amazing how many anti-real-reform-oids are in that number?): If you're so confident about what awaits in the afterlife, why don't you just kill yourselves?

I think ..... your brilliant. Sincerely.

Folks, It seems to me that all along this discussion on a national Health plan there has been or should have been discussion on what one similar to the VA (Veterans Administration Health Care) which as a queer veteran have full access to with transportation provided by the DVA and the one that the Senators and Congressmen have access to as a starting point and unless I placed my bets wrongly that is exactly where and what has been needed save all the bitching and moaning coming out or the insurance agencies that have in fact been lighting fires and confusing people just to save their profit margin which as we all know is so out of tune with reality. Wasn't there an article just recently from an X-insurance person whose job it was to get people kicked off their heath care if it even smelled like there was money to be spent? Senator Kennedy had and used the best health care that our government has and from what I understand it prolonged his life if even for a few months over a tumor in the brain that normally would have killed him much sooner. Thanks for the original post Patricia NW as usual you are right on top of getting out and at the truth.

Many transgender veterans are not treated fairly in the VA.

GEZ LOUISE, Monica Helms, I feel for you...I don't understand you but is that the best you got on the VA? did you read what I read in the article by PNW or did you just go off into left field on a tangent of your own making? Bill Browning said it best with his suggestion to EWE, "get engaged to this article on the urgent need for health care reform". Sure some Veterans are not treated fairly by the VA be we LGBT or straight we served our country when called. However as I go on and on so many millions of us as veterans are treated admirably by the staff of Doctors, Dentists, Optometrists, Psychiatrists, Psychotherapists, Nurse Practitioners, Nutritionists, Counselors, and the Pharmacy in this system. This system asks for and gets prescriptions at much lower group rates as well. The cost is mostly free, based on the ability to pay, or by billing the veterans insurance plan if they have it. It is we, the veterans, who managed, worked with, and demanded the upgrade to create a much better system over the years. That Senator Kennedy received such good care is a testament to a government run health care program that pretty much takes care of its own members with no questions asked. He could have died a horrible death in much pain had he not had a health care of pre-natal to death and beyond with as PNW said would not have raised a brow of concern.

I'll repeat this, in case you didn't understand, "Many transgender veterans are not treated fairly in the VA." I've been fighting this for 10 years now, so I kind-of know a lot about this.

You want the best I got? Read the following survey done by the Transgender American Veterans Association in 2008 and correlated by the Palm Center.

http://www.tavausa.org/Survey_Results.html

By the way, I'm the Co-Founder and President of TAVA and I created most of the questions in the survey.

As seen in the news, many veterans have been treated badly by the VA. We just want to be treated equally as crappy as everyone else. That's OUR health care issues.

I didn't read this as an attack on the VA by anyone. Trans veterans aren't treated well by the VA system quite often. While "some veterans are not treated fairly," it's easy to say that a good portion of the trans veterans can't look forward to good treatment. They're the ones stuck with the unfair treatment.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 1, 2009 11:02 PM

Frustrating when they do not get the point. Thank you Patricia. As always I feel sad for the "tweens." I have a lovely friend in Duarte California who is fortunate to have her husband's health insurance to assist her in her cancer costs for the past two years. She is 46 and employed, but unable to work consistently now.

Any person who is over 35 who is downsized, starts their own business, or has an unlucky break is rolling the dice for health care coverage. If we have a national floor on this unreasonable cost imagine the innovation that could take place when more people are less intimidated into keeping a poor job just to have health care coverage.

When my partner was diagnosed with his non malignant brain tumor he was past 65, and with the gap policy we had in place for $600.00 monthly, he did receive excellent care and they arrested the tumor growth, but it will stay with him forever. This is an unreasonable expense for most persons in his age group, but in his case it covered hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment. I have referred to us as "insurance refugees" living in Thailand.

As the national debate over health-insurance reform gets fiercer, the Republicans are launching a campaign to try getting women who have or might get breast cancer on the side of opposing reform. These people are all as brain-dead as Wendy Wright.

Last night the president of NOW appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show. She was outraged and gave the anti-reform crowd both barrels about this. Because of women's needs for reproductive health, they have faced bigger medical costs than most men -- and they now face shameless Republican/conservative moralistic attempts to manipulate reform in the direction of what ultraconservative church people want.

I agree that congress is self serving. However, there are good reasons to oppose the current healthcare bill or any of the proposed compromises. I am a nurse, currently working in nursing informatics (Electronic Medical Records for hospitals and hospital systems). I have worked in the USA, the UK, the UAE, France, Spain and Canada; I must tell you that much of what the media tells you about socialized healthcare is wrong.

I don’t know any Americans that I have worked with overseas (all experienced in healthcare or healthcare informatics) that would stay in any of the foreign countries that I mentioned above if they were seriously ill. We do have the best healthcare in the world. Granted, the USA is ranked 36th in the world for patient mortality, but did you know that in Europe a baby isn’t considered a “live birth” until it is 24 hours old? In the USA a baby is considered a “live birth” unless it is truly stillborn. That seriously distorts statistics.

I must add a comment to rebut the person who believes that the breast cancer victims will be better off with reform. You are wrong. My nursing specialty was oncology, and I can tell you from experience that in the USA if a woman has a positive or questionable mammogram, she will be biopsied, diagnosed and be in treatment within days. If she had a bad mammogram on Monday she would be treated by Friday in the USA. In England and other countries with socialized medical delivery it can take weeks or months to start treatment.

Additionally, when working with low income or uninsured cancer patients I have never seen a patient refused medication by a pharmaceutical company. We contacted companies explaining the diagnosis and financial situation and invariably they supplied us with the necessary medication. Sometimes it was inconvenient to the patient, but ultimately they received the appropriate treatment either free or at an affordable price. Cancer under socialism is your worst diagnosis.

Insurance is artificially expensive in the USA because Congress has limited competition and because medical errors are jackpots for trial lawyers. The president has implied in his speeches that costs are also high because medical professionals, doctors and nurses, provide substandard care so that patients will be readmitted hospitals to boost profits. How dare he! Has he ever been treated in an American hospital?

Before committing to another gigantic bill we can’t pay why not ask Congress to remove the market restrictions on insurance companies and implement tort reform? At the same time lets ask Congress to extend the same tax exemption to individuals as they do to corporations when they purchase health insurance. That step alone would put health insurance within the budget of millions if Americans. Let us start there and after the market adjusts to the changes we can ask Congress to consider using subsidies to enable the uninsured to buy coverage and look at other alternatives to solve the problem of the uninsured.

Patricia has it right!
Mr. Kennedy understood that he had great health care and others did not! It bothered him a lot! He really was haunted by that! That is why he had tried so hard to get health care for everybody! He was a really great Man! Even He admitted that he was no Saint!