Rep. Alan Grayson, former US Congressman, wrote in the Huffington Post this week, Rick Santorum is Wrong. As reported by ABC News, in a speach at Christian college, a student citing a Harvard study published in the American Journal of Public Health, asked Santorum how he thinks God feels about all those Americans dying because they lack health insurance. Rick Santorum “replied, “I reject that number completely, that people die in America because of lack of health insurance.”
According to the study, 44,789 Americans die each year because they have no health insurance. That’s 1 out of every 6 Americans. Rep. Grayson put it this way, “If you take two Americans who are physically identical — same age, same gender, same race, same weight, same smoking history — and one of them has health insurance and one does not, then the one without health insurance is 40 percent more likely to die each year.”
Public health care option naysayers like to point out that people are not turned away at an emergency room. Grayson says, “I ask them to show me an emergency room that will provide chemotherapy to a cancer victim. There isn’t one.” He continues:
To answer that challenge, I started a website called www.NamesOfTheDead.com. I invited surviving family and friends to tell me about people whom they had loved and lost, because they had no health coverage. And they did — thousands of them.
Every single other industrialized country in the entire world has universal health care. Why can’t we? How many more people have to die? How many more sacrifices on the altar of Almighty Greed?
Any health care system that denies necessary care on the basis of wealth is evil. It doesn’t matter how you micromanage it, or tinker with it. It’s evil.
When Justice Harry Blackmun began voting against death in every death penalty case, he gave this simple and eloquent explanation: “From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.”
We need to reach the same kind of realization in health care. Forget about the tinkering. This is America, not Myanmar. People who are sick need to be able to see a doctor. Because we are human beings, not cattle. End of story.