Before the middle of the night cloture vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the floor of the Senate yesterday said:

All over America, people are dying too soon. More and more, Americans who come down with the flu, or develop diabetes, or suffer a stroke are dying far earlier than modern science says they should die. More and more, Americans who contract skin cancer or have a heart condition are dying rather than being cured.

Pull out the medical records of these patients, and the official forms will tell you they’ve died from complications of a disease or a surgery. But what is really killing more and more Americans every day are complications of our health care system.

Much of our attention this year has been consumed by this health care debate. And a Harvard study found that 45,000 times this year – nearly 900 times every week, more than 120 times a day, on average every 10 minutes, without end – an American died as a direct result of not having health insurance.

The numbers are numbing. And they don’t even include those who did have health insurance, but who died because they couldn’t afford a plan that met their most basic needs…

…As I mentioned earlier, on average, an American dies from lack of health insurance every 10 minutes. That means that in the short time I have been speaking, our broken system has claimed another life. Another American has died a preventable death.

So as our citizens face heart-rending decisions every day, tonight every Senator has a choice to make as well. That choice: Are you going to do all you can to avert the next preventable death?

First how is the number he gave quantified?  There are many reasons people don’t have health insurance.  Some by choice.  Secondly, nobody dies as a direct result of lacking health insurance.  That is an asinine comment.  They died as a result of their disease, accident, or whatever and lacking health insurance may have taken options away.  I’m not saying that is not a problem by the way.

I am saying that the current health care reform bill will do little to help.  If Senator Reid is so concerned by the two people who died during his speech “from a lack of health insurance.”  Why is it that this bill will do nothing except cut back Medicaid and increase taxes until 2014?

Then some 24,000 will still be uninsured.  And they will still have done nothing to reduce health care costs.  His speech was pure manipulative poppycock.  But please let’s rush this through so we can wait four, five years before “the goods” take effect.

2 comments
  1. I agree, Shane. I wish they were willing to really work together to solve legitimate problems in health care access and funding. I know people with Diabetes who are not being legally treated, because they can’t afford both health insurance and housing, even though multiple people in the home work. It is frightening for them. but with the talk of Medicare and Medicaid cuts while increasing patients, he will only spread the suffering to people who currently have been receiving medical care.
    My mother and I have been receiving care that would likely stop in the system they are proposing.

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