Please Sarah Palin, Just Go Away

Copyright © 2009, Stephen Hawley All Rights Reserved

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. – Sarah Palin

You must be quite a privileged person, Sarah Palin. You must live in quite a nice imaginary world. In my world and my daughter’s world, we have to pay for an additional insurance policy outside of my job just to cover my daughter’s needs. She has Down syndrome too. We have had to take her to physical therapy twice a week for pretty much her entire life to teach her how to walk. Under the existing health care system, my primary insurance pays for 3 months worth of these PT visits per year and won’t be budged for more because there is no competition. It took my daughter 4 years to learn how to walk. That’s 36 months – three full years – that would not have been covered if I hadn’t been able to pick up MassHealth (Massachusetts public health insurance program) for her. My private health insurance will not pay for her to visit the Down Syndrome Clinic run out of Children’s Hospital Boston – one of finest, if not the finest program in the entire world, because they argue that there is a so-called equivalent in-plan program (I sent them a letter with all the credentials from the CHB program compared with theirs and they don’t even come close to lining up, and the in-plan program isn’t specialized for Down syndrome). If we didn’t have the option in this state of carrying MassHealth, we would be driven into penury.

So don’t pretend that a national health program would put your son in front of your lovely pejorative “death panel”. Don’t pretend that you would face hardship. Don’t pretend that your America is different from mine. In my America, I’m downright lucky to be a software engineer in Massachusetts and in a position to afford two insurance policies – because under the existing purely private system, faceless bureaucrats have already made the decision that 3 months of PT per year is enough for a girl born with hemiplegia due to a stroke at birth. Our America already made that decision for my daughter.

So you can take your patently false inflammatory pejoratives. You can take your poorly done appeals for pity, your appeals to fear, your misguided appeals to tradition and pack them up and go walking because your America isn’t good enough. Your America -OUR America- has the 37th best health care system in the world (according to WHO), and that can be and should be far better. So climb back up on your high horse and get lost. Your America is unsatisfactory.

21 thoughts on “Please Sarah Palin, Just Go Away

  1. Martha Spahr

    By the way, we have two children with Down syndrome and pay a stiff $1600 a month for COBRA coverage which will be up in June 2010. And then they will officially be uninsurable, but because of our income they don’t qualify for Medicaid. I believe there is a Texas Risk Pool Insurance plan which will cost us approximately $1000 per month. That’s a house note. This will only cover what the insurance company deems is necessary. My son had 2 major surgeries last year which were “preauthorized” by the insurance company and we are still going round and round with the insurance company because the anesthesiologist used during the surgeries weren’t on BCBS’s plan. I call, they resubmit, and then redeny. It’s obsurd. Of course, we are now in collections for something that they should have paid a year ago.

    Reply
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  3. Jenrose

    A-freakin’-men.

    We have a child with a rare chromosome disorder, and between her medical needs and mine, every single year the group policy we got through my husband would be too expensive the next year, for less services. EVERY YEAR. We’re now paying through the nose for the state’s high needs pool. But it covers things. She gets 60 therapy visits a year… pt is provided through the school system, but they are crap with speech, so she gets speech therapy.

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  5. Marc

    I sypathize with your situation. I think everyone agrees that healthcare could use some reform in this country. However, I don’t see how Gov. Palin’s comment should insult you. In fact, it seems like she is standing up to protect your interests. She did not say that health insurance is perfect just the way it is. She simply rejected the idea in the current healthcare bill that the government could decide if you are worthy of receiving benefits. I think you are over reaching to think that Palin likes things the way they are. I bet if given the opportunity, Palin would propose much better reform than the current line of thinking.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Sarah Palin had the opportunity to propose alternatives (open mic, press conference – remember?). Instead she used that opportunity for invective and poor rhetoric slanted to her political gain. That’s atrocious.

      Reply
  6. Mark

    Not that this bit of information maters, BUT … I worked a job where a large amount of money was taken out my check for insurance. To my surprise the policy didn’t cover a physical, didn’t cover a teeth cleaning, didn’t even cover my eye exam. Didn’t cover my anti depressants … didn’t cover blood work….

    “THIS BIT MATTERS” I see it is the same all over the country and especially with people that have some serious needs. The unfortunate outcome is this …. these poor idiots that are against will one day find themselves in a bad situation. Over the last year. I have watched my family go from low/middle to very low. How can a prescription and it should not but … it cost my mother $8000 a fill? … the Cancer Surgery cost close to a million.

    NOW GET THIS! I asked about them not taking money from me and me getting my own plan. I was in shock when they told me they can not let me get my own plan they had to take money and I was able to get another plan but had to pay for the two.

    Reply
  7. Olaf

    I live in Belgium where we have a medical system that is close what Obama is planning for many decades. It is not perfect though.

    How selfish is it not that if you are blessed with health and a good job not to help those that cannot pay for medical care? The money you pay is worth every penny because one day you might lose your job and become sick too and be very happy that you do get medical aide you need. Or worse maybe one of your friends or loved ones get sick and dies from it because she did not have medical care she needed.

    I am happy with the system what Obama is proposing.

    Reply
  8. Glen

    admin says, “Sarah Palin had the opportunity to propose alternatives (open mic, press conference – remember?). Instead she used that opportunity for invective and poor rhetoric slanted to her political gain. That’s atrocious.”

    Palin did propose alternatives on the same facebook page from where her “death panel” quote was taken. The alternatives are at the bottom of the piece.
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=116979483434

    Reply
  9. JD

    Marc, the insulting part of Palin’s remarks is the lies and distortions she’s perpetrating, particularly on the “death panel” scare tactic, which is a fabrication on Palin’s part designed to scare people. Now some members of the right is claiming that Obama’s trying to kill off all the old people, which shows how contemporary conservatism is now America’s #1 haven for nutters. There are plenty of non-not conservatives, the problem is that the loudest and most outrageous of them are getting all this traction.

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  11. Steven

    I have to agree with Marc. In addition, for all of you that think a socialized healthcare plan is the answer, I beg you to come back and post your comments when this system goes into effect, and although you are now covered to your satisfaction, you cannot get in to see a doctor, or you get stuck on a waiting list to see a doctor in six months to a year because no one wants to practice medicine in this country anymore. If you think my comment is exaggerated, ask our neighbors to the North, call a buddy in the UK. I have had friends in the UK, and they have told me that the Government run plan is crap, and those that can afford it spend the extra money on private insurance so they can have access to medical care. It’s even worse in Canada. You want to fix our system, there needs to be serious, tough, temporary regulation of he insurance and medical fields.

    Reply
  12. Traveler

    I honestly don’t know what Hillary Clinton proposed back then but I do know that this is the second time that Republicans have done anything they could to shoot down health care reform, they haven’t done squat to fix our health care system but whenever somebody does, wait let me correct that, whenever a Democrat tries to make it better, they attack and spread inaccuracies and use scare tactics to defeat it. And I read that Obama’s ratings are going down because people think he’s not working enough, hand in hand with the Republicans. Are they insane? I wouldn’t be working very well with them at this point either.
    And the bottom line is that there are so many cracks to fall through in our current health care system that millions go without basic medical treatment or the prescriptions they need.
    It’s more important that positive change isn’t made on somebody else’s watch than it is to do what’s good for the people of this country.
    Let me just clarify, my wife and I both have good jobs with excellent medical insurance. I don’t speak out on these points because of myself but right is right and our health care system is out of control in all kinds of ways.

    Reply
  13. Mark II

    So, as an ex-pat brit, who has participated in both the NHS service, private healtcare in the UK, and both HMO /private healthcare in the US, I can attest Steven, that you are somewhat misguided by your ‘friends in the UK’.

    HMO in the US and NHS in the UK, in my experience, remain largely similar. This would include a 1-2 hour wait for non life threatening, ER care at a busy period of the day. Both standards of care I found to be acceptable (concussions and pinched nerves in both countries).

    There is no appreciable wait to see a Dr in a local surgey inthe UK in my experience. You simply call and make an appointment, just as I would here in the US.

    Specialist care, I cannot speak to.

    Much the same as the US, private health insurance is taken by everyone that can afford it, as it provides for a better standard of care (private hospitals), and little to no wait for both minor and major sugeries (thought more than likely, for major surgeries you will be using the same Dr you would have through the NHS).

    I am moving in the US from HMO to Blue Cross, in order to obtain a regular Dr for my baby, as this is unavailable under my HMO (but would be perfectly easy to obtain under the NHS in the UK).

    The NHS, as would the PHS in the US, will act mainly I believe, as a safety net for the poor. And, as I imagine you will agree, caring for the poor is the Christian thing to do?

    I am sure, if anyone can screw the pooch on implementing such far reaching changes, it will be Government. However, lets not be ignorant and claim that vast and sweeping changes need to be made.

    Indeed, there are many people, throughout the First World who are unhappy with their Public Health System (and of course, everywhere else in the world does have a PHS). But be aware, for every 1 you can find that condemns it, there are a million that will fight to keep it.

    Reply
  14. André

    Very well said, sir. You have my deepest respect and i hope your blog post will get the recognition it deserves.

    From Norway,
    André.

    Reply
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  16. julie w.

    You are using Michelle Bachmann as an example? She is a wacko and an embarrassment to the GOOD people here in Minnesota.

    Reply

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