Clarence Page is Spot On with GOP Health Care Scare

Stop by the the Chicago Tribune.  Clarence Page wrote a column about the scare tactics the birthers and other GOP servants are spreading regarding any attempts at true health care reform currently before congress.

From Clarence Page:

They have been aided in this mission by a key figure in the killing of Bill and Hillary Clinton‘s proposed health-care reforms in the early 1990s. Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, a conservative health-care specialist, lit the spark on various op-ed pages and talk shows, including former Sen. Fred Thompson‘s radio talk show.

There she told Thompson that “Congress would make it mandatory, absolutely require, that every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner.”

McCaughey added that the bill “expressly says if you get sick somewhere in that five-year period, you have to go through that session again, all to do what is in society’s best interest or your family’s best interest and [basically] cut your life short.”

Nonsense. The provision would require Medicare to pay for advanced-care consultations, but it does not requireindividuals to take advantage of the benefit.

Nor does it require that a government bureaucrat intervene among the patient, the patient’s family or a doctor or nurse practitioner, as McCaughey insists it does.

Look: read Mr. Page’s column.  We have to stay on message.  We must reform health care.  This will not be a repeat of the Clinton-era attempts at health care reform.  We know those who object to reform for who they are: they serve the health insurance industry.

They do not serve the American people.

Race in America: The Transplant Gap

The Chicago Tribune has an extraordinary piece on the disparity in treatment between African Americans who suffer from kidney failure vs. just about everyone else in America:

With transplant lists growing, it can be daunting for a person of any race to get a life-sustaining kidney. But many African-Americans face additional hurdles—whether it’s piecing together insurance to cover expensive anti-rejection drugs or searching for loved ones healthy enough to serve as living donors.

The result is a glaring racial disparity in which many black kidney patients remain on dialysis, a treatment associated with lower quality of life and higher death rates.

African-Americans account for 37 percent of people receiving dialysis but make up only 19 percent of the transplant population, according to the United States Renal Data System, a government database.

Think our healthcare system isn’t broke?

I know.  Republicans and our other friends on the right will say that we all have to do our part, provide for ourselves, and the private market and charities are somehow supposed to respond and pick up the slack, miraculously insure everyone.  Wealth is supposed to “tricke down” as Ronald Reagan once dreamed.  Cut taxes, and people have more to give away.

Except they don’t give away.  The rich get the tax breaks and buy more yachts.  Government has to step in to make sure people find the basic treatment they need.

I’ll grant that the United States Constitution does not say we have a right to privacy — except for those rights guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment.

But we do have a right to life.