Friday, January 6, 2012

Santorum: No One Has Ever Died Because They Didn’t Have Health Care |The New Civil Rights Movement

This is my first cross post on my two blogs (this one and PUSH-Pennsylvanians United for Single Payer Healthcare) because it fits in so nicely with what I've been talking about on both of them, Rick Santorum and the uninsured. As the former Senator from our state is quoted in the story linked below stating that no one has died due to a lack of health insurance while campaigning in Iowa in early December while he was still polling in the single digits. The exact quote can be read here.  This statement is consistent with his later statement right before the caucus regarding African-Americans and entitlement programs which preceded his strong showing on Jan 3 (only 4% in the CNN entrance poll said health care was the most important issue in the Caucus).

This one claim about health care is so demonstrably false with the study I discussed in my previous post on the PUSH website where 45,000 excess deaths in the US each year were estimated from a lack of insurance after adjusting for smoking, obesity, and poverty.  It would only be necessary to show one death from a lack of insurance to prove Santorum's statement wrong.  Josef Stalin once infamously said "one death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic."  It is important to supplement the statistics with narratives from those who are affected most by the problem of the lack of insurance.  That is why we included testimonials like the ones below from Healthy Artists on this webpage from the uninsured.

Michael Moore's film Sicko has the stories of several individuals who are underinsured including a few who died as a result of their situation.  The website Names of the Dead has testimonials from families of those who died as a result of a lack of insurance.  It gives the names and cities of each story so they can be checked for veracity.  This is one from Altoona, PA.  Senator Santorum says he wants to save America from fascism as his grandfather escaped it in Italy.  The first step in fighting it is acknowledging the truth.

Uncle Abe

64, Altoona PA
Cindy Lovell writes:
My Uncle Abe worked as a self-employed plumber. Some years he could afford insurance, and some years he couldn't. He came down with congestive heart failure, and he could not afford insurance. He kept waiting to see a doctor until he turned 65 so he would have Medicare. He waited and hoped. Finally, he got so sick that my other two uncles went and got him. They intended to take him to the emergency room and pay his bill. Both are retired and on fixed incomes, yet their baby brother was so sick, and they were so scared, that they figured they would come up with some way to pay his hospital bills. However, Uncle Abe died in the emergency room... waiting to turn 65!


Stephen Colbert takes Uncle Abe to task (he's really satirizing right wing thinking about health care and the uninsured).  I hope you're not offended.  It's meant to be satire.

 **Related Posts**

Santorum's "Bounce"


Making Sense of the Pat Toomey-Joe Sestak Senate Race


STOP Obamacare in Pennsylvania and the Uninsured


Teapartiers sandbagged by health insurers | MollyRush's Blog and a calculation mortality rates for lack of insurance