Saturday, April 10, 2010

Alex Chilton's Insurance

A few weeks ago I posted on the passing of dear Alex Chilton. Turns out our idiotic public health policies helped kill him.

At least twice in the week before his fatal heart attack, Chilton experienced shortness of breath and chills while cutting grass. But he did not seek medical attention, Kersting said, in part because he had no health insurance.

On the morning of March 17, she went to work. Chilton called her after suffering another episode; she arrived home before the ambulance, and drove him to the hospital. He lost consciousness a block from the emergency room, after urging Kersting to run the red light.

That week, the health care debate dominated Washington D.C. But Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) took time to memorialize Chilton from the floor of Congress. Chilton, an avid C-SPAN viewer, likely would have appreciated the moment.

I know so many stories of people close to me, acquaintances, and strangers whose quality of life and often very existence end up determined by lack of decent health care. Even if it were correct that health care reform is "socialist," which it's not as anyone who understands the term knows, it would still be unconscionable that a decent society would allow this endless stream of really existing cases of damaged lives in the name of some knee-jerk rallying slogan.

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