13 January 2010

Thank you Minnesota

Far too many Democrats in Congress allow right-wing and corporate apologists to get away with telling outrageous lies. I don't know if it's because they don't know the real truth, or because they just don't have enough of a spine to call these people on their lies. Fortunately, there are a few Democrats who aren't afraid to point out these obvious lies.

One of these brave Democrats was elected to the Senate in the last election by the good people of Minnesota -- Al Franken. I thought he would make a good senator, and he proves that belief was justified with each day he spends in the Senate.

It is a well-known fact that around 62% of all bankruptcies in the United States are caused by medical bills, and 78% of those people had private health insurance (which still left them with enormous unpaid medical bills). It is a shameful situation, and one the private insurance companies would rather not talk about.

A couple of days ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on medical debt and bankruptcy. After several people testified how medical bills (unpaid by their insurance) had forced them into bankruptcy, right-wingers called a witness of their own.

That witness was Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the right-wing Hudson Institute. She tried to tell the committee that moving toward a European-style single payer insurance system would actually increase the number of medical bankruptcies. This outrageous lie was too much for Sen. Franken, and he had the following exchange with Furchtgott-Roth:

FRANKEN: I think we disagree on whether health care reform, the health care reform that we’re talking about in Congress now should pass. You said that the way we’re going will increase bankruptcies. I want to ask you, how many medical bankruptcies because of medical crises were there last year in Switzerland?

FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number in front of me, but I can find out and get back to you.

FRANKEN: I can tell you how many it was. It’s zero. Do you know how many medical bankruptcies there were last year in France?

FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number, but I can get back to you if I like.

FRANKEN: Yeah, the number is zero. Do you know how many were in Germany?

FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: From the trend of your questions, I’m assuming the number is zero. But I don’t know the precise number and would have to get back to you.

FRANKEN: Well, you’re very good. Very fast. The point is, I think we need to go in that direction, not the opposite direction. Thank you.

Although he made quickly made his point that Furchtgott-Roth either didn't know what she was talking about or was telling an outright lie, Sen. Franken could have gone on listing many other countries. Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Canada and many other countries also have ZERO medical bankruptcies.

The fact that the United States has any medical bankruptcies at all should be a source of great embarrassment to all Americans. Thank you Senator Franken, for standing tall and exposing the right-wing lies.

And thank you Minnesota, for giving America Senator Al Franken.

Thank you ~ Ted McLaughlin

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are welcome!
Please use the Name/URL option (you don't have to register, just enter a screen-name) or sign your anonymous post at the bottom.