Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't Have to be Crazy to be Wrong

The New York Times has a story today about an opponent of healthcare reform from Georgia.  He's a very calm man who traveled an hour to attend a town meeting held by Congressman Sanford Bishop, (D-GA), described as a moderate who's undecided on the legislation.

Mr. Collier waited until the end of the 3 hour meeting to pose a comment to the Congressman urging him to oppose the legislation because it would lead to "rationing" and would, essentially, destroy our way of life.  The story depicts Mr. Collier as a sincere and honest man with genuine concerns about the reform proposals before Congress.  Presumably, this was an effort to balance against the loonies and to show there are real people with real concerns.  It, thereby, increases the credibility of the opponents.

However, the story goes on to say that it was Mr. Collier's personal experience with the healthcare system that moved him to attend the town meeting.  His wife contracted breast cancer and was treated apparently successfully.  But here's her story:
When Ms. Collier’s breast cancer was diagnosed three years ago, Mr. Collier’s employer-provided insurance paid for her office visits, a biopsy and three surgeries. But the insurer covered only a small fraction of her radiation treatments, which it considered experimental, leaving the Colliers with a $63,000 bill. To their great relief, the charge was later written off by Emory Healthcare, whose doctors had recommended the regimen.
So, the insurance company rationed her care.  It denied coverage for life saving treatment.  Yet this is the system that Mr. Collier is seeking to preserve.  Why?  How could he be so misguided?

Here's how:
The Colliers are committed conservatives who have voted Republican in presidential elections since 1980. They receive much of their information from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh’s radio program and Matt Drudge’s Web site.
That's the battle Obama faces. Ignorance, pure and simple, fomented by interests who's real agenda is to "break" this president.

Makes me sad.

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