Monday, August 10, 2009


Scare Tactics in the Health Care Debate

Today's anecdote from the right wing hysterics comes from jolly old England.
A MUM suffering chest pains died in front of her young son hours after being sent home from hospital and told to take painkillers.

Debra Beavers, 39, phoned NHS 24 twice in two days before getting a hospital appointment. But a doctor gave what her family described as a cursory examination lasting 11 minutes, before advising her to buy over-the-counter medicine Ibuprofen.

Family members claim the medic was abrupt and rude - and when Debra clutched her chest, he told her: "Your heart is on the other side."

Seven hours later, the mum-of-two collapsed and died from a heart attack in front of her 13-year-old boy.
Beside anecdotal evidence being a logical fallacy, unfortunately, these types of medical errors occur regularly in the United States under our present system.

When my father consulted with a hospital oncology unit, a lady entered who suffered from a terminal brain tumor. She had seen her personal doctor numerous times for headaches and he treated her as if she was a hysterical women and prescribed painkillers. During one extremely painful episode, she went to the emergency room at the hospital where the doctors quickly recognized the symptoms as that of a brain tumor. Although this form of tumor had a nearly 100% survival rate if diagnosed in its early stage, the lady died because it was caught too late.

In another instance, my father-in-law felt pain and discomfort in his stomach. He went to the local emergency room where they told him it was ulcers and gave him some ulcer medicine. After a couple of hours, he felt no better and called my (now ex) wife (being an occupational therapist she is a medical professional of sorts). She called a doctor he had been seeing in Lexington, KY who advised us to bring him to a hospital there. We took him and within 15 minutes they had diagnosed acute pancreatitis. He nearly died and surely would have had we hesitated to contact the doctor in Lexington.

A year later, nearly to the day, my father-in-law began experiencing the same symptoms. My wife accompanied him to the local emergency room and personally told the doctor of her father's previous acute pancreatitis. The doctor insisted it was ulcers, prescribed ulcer medicine and sent them home. This time we called the doctor in Lexington immediately and took my father-in-law there. Same result but without the near brush with death.

The crazy scare tactic coming from the left wing tells us that our democracy cannot survive if the town hall protesters keep it up. The absurdity of this claim should be self-evident. After surviving the Civil War, several presidential assassinations, McCarthyism, the Cold War, the civil rights and Vietnam War protests with their accompanying riots, the Carter administration, we're going to be taken down by a bunch of geriatrics yelling at town hall meetings. Get a grip.

Maybe this is a veiled threat that they will end our democracy if we don't shut up. Of course, in that case, either way, democracy is ended.

Of course, some Congresspersons don't want to hear anything they disagree with, even from a constituent who supports health care reform. Listen to the congressman's paranoia. Who sounds reasonable here?

I sincerely doubt that many of the liberal Democrats in Congress or Obama give a rat's ass about the protesters. They've shown all the caring and concern of the Nixon administration.

The liberal blog, Dissenting Justice offers some excellent insight and suggestions. Indeed, I'm probably closer to his position on health care than you might imagine. He makes an erroneous assumption, although I suspect it to be intentional on his part and that of many lefties, that "I found the groups' protests peculiar because their sudden concern for fiscal soundness seemed unprincipled -- or as Ron Paul would say, it made them look like 'born-again fiscal conservatives.'" Failure to recognize that there is simply a point, in this case the deficit going up by multiples rather than percentage points, in which enough is enough is a gross oversight intended to avoid the issue and denigrate the people.

Dissenting Justice claims
I have always been consistent on this issue. In fact, unlike many liberal bloggers, I never condemned the "tea party" movement.

(I'll take him at his word on this.)
Nevertheless, the tea party protestors have the right to organize, mobilize, protest and criticize fiscal policy -- even in a way that is unprincipled -- until they collapse from exhaustion. The protests, however, were self-contained; they took place in locations where they did not silence the speech of others; the groups did not seem to break any laws with their activities. Rather than flooding local government and shouting down proceedings, they staged their rallies in appropriate venues and brought public attention to their cause. That is a model of advocacy. I do not agree with the advocacy, but the form in which it occurred is sound! The healthcare protestors used a different and unacceptable model.
Nice to hear someone can be civil.

I fully agree that screaming and yelling at public forums in non-productive at best. But, the left's hypocrisy on this is undeniable. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

A shout out to Nancy Pelosi for winning the name calling contest. Not only did she use Nazi references, she stole the conservative code word "un-American" and threw it back at them. 'Un-American' attacks can't derail health care debate By Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. Whatta woman!

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