Santorum needs a hug.

Thursday, December 8th, 2011 @ 4:21 pm | Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

Gosh, won’t someone just give him a chance? He’s trying so hard, and he really really super conservative and he’s against anything Obama-ish or Democrat-esque, he is a mighty rightwing warrior waiting to take off! He’s very much against Obamacare, for instance. Check out this withering attack:

If you don’t have to have insurance until you’re sick, why buy insurance? … How much would insurance be if only people who needed insurance bought it? The whole point of insurance is: healthy people buy it, sick people buy it, and those who are healthy support those who are sick…. But if insurance is only sick people buy it, well guess what’s going to be the cost of insurance. That’s why there’s a preexisting-condition clause.

Whoops, Rick Santorum just explained why either one has a mandate or else insurance companies just get to weed out anybody unprofitable. But he doesn’t seem to be aware, much like the other Republican candidates, just what the ACA is or what it’s already done for him.

Recently, Santorum has been openly discussing his three-year-old daughter’s illness, a rare and very serious chromosomal condition called Trisomy 18. “I had insurance under my employer,” Santorum told the students. “And when I decided to run for president, I left my job, I lost my insurance, I had to go out and buy insurance on the open market. We have a child who has a preexisting condition. We went out and we said, we left this plan, and we want to join your plan. Fine, we have to pay more because she has a preexisting condition. We should pay more. She’s going to be very expensive to the insurance company. That cost, while not the whole cost, is passed along to us…. I’m OK with that.”

You know what else the Affordable Care Act does? It bars insurers from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions. Right now. Before the bill was signed into law last year, a parent in Santorum’s position could find his child denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. Is he OK with that too? Because if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, that’s precisely the situation parents like him — though mostly not former U.S. senators — would find themselves in.

I’m not sure how wealthy Santorum is, so perhaps he could have afforded any level of insurance, but the fact is that for 98% of Americans, having a little girl with Trisomy 18 could mean being denied healthcare under Republican rule.

Nearly everything about the Affordable Care Act is popular among voters, and the one snag that gave Republicans hope, the individual mandate, has steadily increased in popularity as people come to understand what no mandate means.

Weed out the sick, break the insurance companies, or have an individual mandate, what’s your choice? Although breaking the insurance companies could deliver us into the sanctuary of a single payer program, I don’t think many people would agree with such an outright attack on private insurance, so what’ll it be?

For Republicans, the answer is just keep hating Obama, but that won’t heal a sick child, will it?


Hat tip to Sullivan here.

10 Responses to “Santorum needs a hug.”

  1. Anon Says:

    Health care is an individual responsibility, not a government one. It’s just like auto insurance, just like home insurance, accidental death insurance, rental insurance. It’s up to the individual to determine coverage.

    I don’t know why you Democrats want to make it different.

  2. Henry Whistler Says:

    Sure, the government could absolutely, as you would prefer, leave people to die outside the hospital en masse, without any Constitutional crisis.

    But it can also provide health care without one. It is in fact entrusted with some responsibility in the Constitution to provide for the general welfare, so the scales definitely tip against your blanket declarations based on comparing people to property.

    We’re also a democracy, and we choose to provide health care for all to some degree. Then we elected a guy who ran on more health care for all, and so we got that.

    So you don’t have much of a leg to stand on, do you?

    Also, please try to act like you read a post before firing off a generic rant based on the subject. It’s good to differentiate yourself from a spam-bot.

  3. ladk Says:

    Sure, the government could absolutely, as you would prefer, leave people to die outside the hospital en masse, without any Constitutional crisis.

    Show me where bodies piled up outside hospitals because they didn’t have health coverage and I’ll start to believe you.

  4. Henry Whistler Says:

    No, you wouldn’t believe me anyway, let’s get that straight. Because you already know about the bodies, so what difference would a visual demonstration make? What, the smell would change your mind?

    45,000 people a year.

    That’s fifteen 9/11s, every year. If the political cause suited you, you’d stream tears constantly over that many deaths. But since Republicans have an agenda against any health care that doesn’t benefit the wealthy most, they’re kindling to you.

  5. ladk Says:

    Where in the article is the study linked to?

    Because all I read was someone describing the Harvard Study without actually linking to it.

    45k a year without health insurance? I wonder how many of those people didn’t buy it because they didn’t want to. There’s a difference in whether or not someone dies because they truly were broke or that they couldn’t be fucked to pay for insurance.

    Also, I’m not for a national mandate and the ObamaCare plan is just trash, however I have no problem with the RomneyCare mandate and a mandate being forced by the States. The plans would have to be a damn sight better than the last two we’ve seen before I’d be for them though.

  6. Henry Whistler Says:

    So let’s see:

    1. You have no numbers, so kicking up a supposed cloud of doubt around mine is your (standard rightwinger) response. Because, after all, maybe it’s only 20,000. And you couldn’t very well make a pile of bodies with 20,000 people, could you?

    2. Like I said, “if the political cause suited you,” those deaths would be relevant, but your politics tells you that, oh, lots of them were probably just too lazy to buy insurance. And if lazy people die, all the better for us, eh?

    3. You’re against the Obama plan and for the Romney one, despite them being nearly identical. Funnily enough, nobody else buys Mitt Romney when he says it, so what excuse are we supposed to apply to you? What difference is it whether the federal government forces you to buy insurance or the state government? What makes one “just trash” and the other sensible policy?

    You know, besides the D next to the name of the guy behind the federal plan and the R next to the originator of the state plan…

  7. ladk Says:

    1. Do you not know how the burden of proof works? When making a claim you actually have to support that claim by evidence that exists. Not linking to something that says it exists without actually showing it.

    2. Why is it my problem, or your problem for that matter, if someone dies because they were too lazy to get something? When is the burden of responsibility placed on the person who’s health is actually at risk for something so small as to purchase a health plan?

    3. I didn’t say I was for the Romney plan. I said I was for states mandating insurance. The Romney plan is just as garbage as the Obama one. Because of how the mandate actually goes into effect into what plans you have to buy and what can be offered. That’s why those mandates are godawful ideas.

    I honestly give no two shits about who has what next to their name, quit projecting, I love certain Democrat principles just as I love certain Republican ones.

    What difference is it whether the federal government forces you to buy insurance or the state government?
    How about the 10th amendment and the Constitution in general? Does that do anything for you or would you rather just take the constitution at face value sometimes and then others just claim it’s outdated and doesn’t matter anymore?

    When do the rules that the government have to follow stop rules and just merely suggestions?

  8. Henry Whistler Says:

    1. You don’t get it. I can provide you the report here:

    But will it make a difference? All you need is a rightwing blogger with a poor grasp of statistics to kick up some dust and you’ll disbelieve the whole thing. Or you’ll try yourself. Because you started with a weak approach about piles of visible bodies when Republicans no longer support, as you indicate later, the idea of universal health care. But you don’t have the courage to endorse the results of your approach, so you choose to minimize them.

    2. Because few people are too lazy to get to the emergency room when they’re sick or injured. And they’re still human beings, so we should provide care and find a way to keep it from driving up everybody else’s costs. That lazy person drives up your premium, so of course you should support a kick in their ass to get them signed up.


    I didn’t say I was for the Romney plan. I said I was for states mandating insurance. The Romney plan is just as garbage as the Obama one. Because of how the mandate actually goes into effect into what plans you have to buy and what can be offered. That’s why those mandates are godawful ideas.

    Uh, you’ll have to get a little more specific there. It just sounds like you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too.

    4. Your invocation of the Tenth Amendment would be nice if the Commerce Clause and the power to tax didn’t already empower the federal government. As for what qualitative difference, nothing then?

    Besides a national exchange being able to get lower prices than a single state, that is.

  9. tron Says:

    That study by the Physicians for a National Health Program is bollocks for a number of reasons.

    For example, the “uninsured” status was from a single question asked just one time. That captures loads of people who are between jobs, and in no way guarantees a static group of life-long uninsured.

    So, the deaths they attribute aren’t even to a demonstrably long-term uninsured group, yet this is what they blithely assume.

    For another, they leave out ages >65, when people start getting Medicare. A proper methodology would make the same comparisons then, and, to support their contentions, would have to show improved outcomes for the same group.

    For another, there is no discrimination between causes of death, or that the deaths were even medically preventable in nature. For example, it could be (highly likely) that people who don’t buy insurance are more likely to crash their cars, or get murdered. To prove their point, they’d have to show which groups died from which causes, that medical care would’ve prevented it, and that lack of insurance prevented that medical care.

    But generally, national, mandatory everything is super. Everything the government does is better and cheaper. That’s why it has to be mandatory–because it’s better. Otherwise people wouldn’t willingly do it. They have to be forced, and force is always better, don’t you agree?

  10. Henry Whistler Says:

    In this Cox proportional hazards analysis, we controlled for gender, age, race/ ethnicity (4 categories), income (poverty income ratio), education, current unemployment, smoking status (3 categories), regular alcohol use, self-rated health (4 categories), physician- rated health (4 categories), and BMI (4 cate- gories). We tested for significant interactions between these variables and health insurance status (i.e., P<.05). We handled tied failure times by using the Efron method.


    In the model adjusted only for age and gender, lack of health insurance was signifi- cantly associated with mortality (hazard ratio [HR]=1.80; 95% CI=1.44, 2.26). In subse- quent models adjusted for gender, age, race/ ethnicity, poverty income ratio, education, unemployment, smoking, regular alcohol use, self-rated health, physician-rated health, and BMI, lack of health insurance significantly increased the risk of mortality (HR=1.40; 95%CI=1.06,1.84;Table2).Wedetectedno significant interactions between lack of health
    insurance and any other variables. Our sen- sitivity analyses yielded substantially similar estimates.


    The uninsured are more likely to go without needed care than the insured. For instance, Lurie et al. demonstrated that among a medi- cally indigent population in California, loss of government-sponsored insurance was associ- ated with decreased use of physician services and worsening control of hypertension.28,29 The uninsured are also more likely to visit the emergency department30 and be admitted to the hospital31 for ‘‘ambulatory care sensitive conditions,’’ suggesting that preventable illnesses are a consequence of uninsurance.
    The chronically ill uninsured are also less likely to have a usual source of medical care,32 decreasing their likelihood of receiving preven- tative and primary care. Discontinuity of insur- ance is also harmful; those intermittently un- insured are more likely to die than the insured.13
    All of these factors likely play a role in the decline in health among middle-aged unin- sured persons detected by Baker et al.33,34 This trend appears to reverse at age 65, when the majority gains access to Medicare coverage.

    I can keep pointing out passages that illustrate how much you misrepresent the care put into the study. And you can keep reading the Weekly Standard. And then keep pretending that regular health care and treatment is so useless, none of us really need health care, we just need an emergency room with a credit card slot in the entrance. And hey, mortality improves once people get Medicare, but we can’t really know what that means unless we go deny people Medicare and see what happens!

    Because hey, they might actually just get healthier after 65 on their own. Or private insurers would leap in to insure them if the evil government weren’t stealing all those customers and forcing them to accept the federal yoke.

    The point is ultimately that the last thing you give a damn about is whether or not every American has health care. You gave it away! You don’t like universal health care coverage because the government provides it, and yet only the government can provide universal coverage, so you’re simply against it, period, regardless the number of deaths.

    So you and your idiot brethren make up phony complaints to sow doubt on legit studies.

    What else is there to say?