In my following of Connecticut politics, I have always viewed Chris Healy as, at best, an oddity. He provided color to an otherwise barren and uninteresting Republican bench. He seemed to be a member of the Michael Steele school of politics–believing that saying something patently absurd is a perfectly acceptable thing to do so long as you get the press for it. However, his post on health care today coupled his penchant for drivel with a gross overstepping of the boundries of good taste. After rehashing the same conservative strawman arguments on health care and throwing in several ad homenims for good measure, Healy had this to say about Dodd’s recent diagnosis:
And then there will be rationing – lots of it. It is not cruel to say that if Sen. Chris Dodd were enrolled in a Canadian or English plan, he would probably not survive his diagnosis. Treatment would be delayed. Sen. Dodd certainly would not be able to schedule his surgery on his time table under the single-payer plan.
There is so much fundamentally wrong with this paragraph that it’s difficult to know where to start. Let’s look beyond the disgusting shot at Senator Dodd. First and most basically, there is not a debate on a single-payer plan. Perhaps Healy should address the bill that’s actually being debated. Second, Dodd is receiving health care through a public plan–that is, the plan that is offered to federal employees. Third, under the plan being debated particularly, the wait for emergency and medical treatment will be unchanged due to the same necessity-based triage system that already exists. Indeed, over time these wait times may in fact decrease due to widespread implementation of preventative care.
Healy’s words are more than tawdry, they’re absolutely wrong. And they reveal something fundamentally bankrupt about the Republican party on this issue. It’s about time for players in the Republican party to get serious on health care reform. It’s an issue that matters to an ever-growing number of American, including myself. As someone who will have to find a way to secure coverage when I go off my parent’s plan while paying off probably close to $80,000 in undergraduate debt, it really raises my bile to see Republicans continue to joke about this issue like it were some pipe dream rather than an easily attainable reality that has already been achieved unanimously by the rest of the industrialized world.
There is little else of substance in the article to rebut. I would be interested to see, though, if Chris Healy is at all keen to revise his comments on Senator Dodd.