Monday, April 07, 2008

Hillary Caught Again

I'm not sure why I keep ripping Hillary - I'm pulling for her to steal the primary from Obama. I just can't help myself, I guess. A hospital in Ohio has called her on using a made up story to advance her plans for socialized medicine. The story had become a staple of Clinton's stump speech - a Ms. Bachtel, an uninsured, Pizza Hut manager (Hillary also called her "minimum-wage" although, as one who used to work for Little Caesar's knows, she probably earned at least double the minimum wage) died from complications of stillbirth because the hospital turned her away when she didn't have a $100 fee.
“It hurts me that in our country, as rich and good of a country as we are, this young woman and her baby died because she couldn’t come up with $100 to see the doctor.”

Mrs. Clinton does not name Ms. Bachtel or the hospital in her speeches. As she tells it, the woman was turned away twice by a local hospital when she was experiencing difficulty with her pregnancy. “The hospital said, ‘Well, you don’t have insurance.’ She said, ‘No, I don’t.’ They said, ‘Well, we can’t see you until you give $100.’ She said, ‘Where am I going to get $100?’

“The next time she came back to the hospital, she came in an ambulance,” Mrs. Clinton continued. “She was in distress. The doctors and the nurses worked on her and couldn’t save the baby.”

Ms. Bachtel did die of complications from stillbirth, however, she was not denied any treatment by the hospital and the hospital has asked her campaign to stop spreading this lie. Senator Clinton heard the story second hand and never bothered to confirm it with anyone from the hospital. I am reminded of Bill Clinton's "vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child" (no churches were burned in Arkansas during his childhood).

Senator Clinton will have to come up with a better argument to convince me that the government should take over another 1/7 of our economy. Unless Ms. Bachtel earned more than $19k a year, she would qualify for Medicaid. Also, hospitals do not turn away anyone in emergency situations. We already have great programs for low income people. We need to move to a system where we pay for our own health insurance instead of our employers. We could have plans that we could take with us when we switch jobs. Most of us would choose lower cost plans and pocket the increase in our pay. We would also shop around more for the best value, which would drive down costs. This could happen if healthcare expenses were tax-deductible for people as well as businesses. Also, why do we want our health insurance to pay for routine healthcare costs like a doctor's visit? Would we want to pay extra for car insurance that covered our oil changes? Market forces can be used to lower healthcare costs if we allow the consumer to be the buyer, instead of third parties, and remove excessive regulation. States typically require insurance companies to cover things not everyone would want to pay for (such as in-vitro fertilization, even if you don't want more kids) that drive up costs.

1 comment:

Rudi said...

Cool picture of Hil-dog from South Park. Did you see that episode? It was awesome... it mimicked the show "24".