December 1st, 2009

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Senator Cheerleader for Sickness and Death

Texas has two Senators, neither of whom represents me or my views on anything, but right now the one in my sights is the blonde female one, she whose ad on TV I just saw, proclaiming her firm opposition to what she calls "the government takeover of medicine."

This is the usual Republican approach, covering up a large gaping hole empty of any concern for the people of Texas, a state where one quarter of the population has no health insurance. That's 25.6% uninsured, compared to 15.2% for the rest of the country, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services figures.

That quarter does not, of course, include John Cornyn or Kay Bailey Hutchinson or any of Texas' U.S. Congresspersons, all of whom get their health care free, courtesy of the rest of us, in the juiciest bit of employer (read, "taxpayer") provided health care in the country. 100% of those folks are covered.

But wait--it gets better. The site referenced above does not give an estimate of the number of uninsured children in the state, but looking at the by-age-group and by-race figures strongly suggests that a lot of children--probably more than 25%--are not covered by health insurance. (CHIP in this state is always underfunded and doesn't begin to cover all low-income children.)

18-29: 41.5% uninsured. White 13.3
30-44 29.9% uninsured. Black 27.3
45-64 20.8% uninsured Hispanic 45.4
65+ 2.5% uninsured (the effect of Medicare. Which, of course, is an example of the government funding medical care--something Hutchinson opposes. She wants the elderly to be just as uninsured as everyone else.)

When do most people start their families and in what age range are they most likely to have small children? 18-29

Do they have medical-care needs in this period? Yeah, unless you don't think women need prenatal care, and their newborns and young children don't have any medical care needs. This is also the age range in which people have the most trauma.

And when are people raising the kids they had between 18 and 29? And maybe having still more kids?

Do they have medical needs in this period? And in the next (not to bore you with the details)? Yes, of course they do. Very few people make it from 18 to 64 without needing any medical care (and very few children make it from birth to 18 without needing some medical care.)

And look at the race numbers. Basically almost half of Hispanics have no medical insurance. Over a quarter of blacks. And sufficient number of whites that every one of us knows a white person without medical insurance.

Senator Hutchinson is worried about socialism and government takeover of medicine, she says. She's utterly opposed to it.

She's bragging, in other words, that she's in favor of sickness, injury, and death. As more and more people slide under the economic waves, as the ERs are ever more crowded and overwhelmed, as rural counties lose their hospitals and their medical care providers, as people have to go farther and wait longer for care--if they have insurance and enough money for what insurance doesn't cover--she's up there on her safe little throne, smug as any of the slick blond cheerleaders you see on TV..."I've got mine; I'm in the in crowd; who cares about the rest of you?"

Here's a clue: don't elect cheerleaders (she was one), frat boys, mean girls, or mean boys. They're just as arrogant and selfish and mean in Congress and the White House as they were in high school and college.