Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 21, 2011

THERE ARE ALWAYS EMERGENCY ROOMS.... Mississippi is arguably the nation's poorest state. With crushing poverty and a massive number of families without health care coverage, Mississippi stands to benefit more than most from the Affordable Care Act.

The Boston Globe had a fascinating piece this week, explaining that Gov. Haley Barbour (R), a 2012 presidential candidate, is determined to "throw out the overhaul" of the health care system and reject the improvements that would benefit literally hundreds of thousands of his struggling constituents.

"There's nobody in Mississippi who does not have access to health care,'' Barbour said. "One of the great problems in the conversation is the misimpression that if you don't have insurance, you don't get health care.'' [...]

"Most of the health disparities in Mississippi are not because of the inability to get access or afford health care,'' said Barbour. "They are because of diet, alcohol, because of drugs, the very high incidence of illegitimacy that leads to high incidence of low-birth weight children."

Now, the article is filled with overwhelming evidence that countless families in Mississippi are "falling through the cracks," ineligible for Medicaid but unable to afford private coverage. And because these people can't afford preventive care and/or medication, they routinely fall victim to more serious (and expensive) ailments.

"There is a lot of needless suffering,'' Roy Mitchell, director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, said. "But this is Mississippi. People suffer.''

Of course, they shouldn't, and they don't have to. The Obama administration, through the ACA, is poised to expand Medicaid eligibility in the state, and "will pick up 100 percent of the cost of the Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2016 and 90 percent of the cost after 2020." Barbour, meanwhile, wants no part of it, no matter how many people will benefit.

Pressed on Barbour's belief that "nobody in Mississippi" lacks "access to health care," the governor's office said was talking about "emergency room procedures."

Of course, having access to an emergency room isn't the exactly same thing as having access to health care.

This comes up from time to time, and Republicans really ought to know better. It's true that under the previous system -- before the Affordable Care Act passed -- if you're uninsured and get sick, there are public hospitals that will treat you. But it's extremely expensive to treat patients this way, and it would be far cheaper, and more medically effective, to pay for preventative care so that people don't have to wait for a medical emergency to seek treatment.

For that matter, when sick people with no insurance go to the E.R. for care, they often can't pay their bills. Since hospitals can't treat sick patients for free, the costs are passed on to everyone else.

In other words, it's the most inefficient system of socialized medicine ever devised.

And yet, Republicans keep praising it. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) told Fox News last year, "The fact is a lot of people that don't have insurance are getting [care] right now. They're not denied in the emergency rooms." Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) made a nearly identical case in 2009, and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) was thinking along the same lines a month prior. In July '09, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was asked about the 47 million Americans who go without health insurance, McConnell replied, "Well, they don't go without health care," because they can just go to the emergency room.

In 2008, the conservative who shaped John McCain's health care policy said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance. The year before, Tom DeLay argued, "[N]o American is denied health care in America," because everyone can go to the emergency room. Around the same time, George W. Bush said the same thing: "[P]eople have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room." In 2004, then-HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said our healthcare system "could be defined as universal coverage," because of emergency rooms.

It's a dumb argument. That it remains a staple of Republican rhetoric only adds insult to injury.

Steve Benen 3:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (60)

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Comments

You can't go to the emergency room to be treated for a chronic disease like diabetes or asthma unless you let it get so bad it is life threatening. This is yet one more reason not to take Haley Barbour seriously

Posted by: atlliberal on April 21, 2011 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

You can't get fucking chemotherapy in a fucking emergency room.

Posted by: dob on April 21, 2011 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

And ... emergency rooms are the most cost-effective way to ensure the health of the poor? Hospitals and insurance companies prefer this approach to universal single-payer because it is more profitable? Doctors insist that the uninsured are best served by emergency room care because it guarantees people will follow doctors' orders and get follow-up treatment? I cannot believe the GOP's constituency gets warm fuzzies from the idea - I can't even think of a profit-oriented argument. Why does the GOP hate Americans?

Posted by: ManOutOfTime on April 21, 2011 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm... Lets ALL go to emergency rooms. Total health coverage!

Posted by: Buford on April 21, 2011 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

And one of the great lies in the ER room crap is the vast majority of them CHARGE HIGHER RATES AND PRICES FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT HAVE MEDICAL INSURANCE ... of course you would never hear of this from corporate media cum sluts like Brian Williams, et-al ........

Posted by: stormskies on April 21, 2011 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

@dob - Fucking + fucing 1 ... ! Repug sources tell me you go to Walgreens for that.

Posted by: ManOutOfTime on April 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Not only that, the people who are truly there for emergencies may have to wait when the rooms are filled with people who are there because they stubbed a toe and need an x-ray.

Posted by: apmat on April 21, 2011 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

"For that matter, when sick people with no insurance go to the E.R. for care, they often can't pay their bills. Since hospitals can't treat sick patients for free, the costs are passed on to everyone else."

Here's a question:"Who actually DOES pay for the care when patients can't?"
County taxes?
State taxes?
Mississippi tax dollars gong into the pockets of hospitals for very expensive care.
Any federal money? Do federal dollars subsidize Haley Barbour's emergency rooms?

Posted by: Olie on April 21, 2011 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Most of the health disparities in Mississippi are not because of the inability to get access or afford health care,'' said Barbour. "They are because of diet, alcohol, because of drugs, the very high incidence of illegitimacy that leads to high incidence of low-birth weight children."

Well shit, Mr. DumbFuck, those are exactly the kind of things that regular, preventive health care and health education can help, uh, you know, PREVENT!

This man needs a good ol' fashion'd Mississippi helpin' of "beat some sense into you!"

Posted by: chi res on April 21, 2011 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

So we already have unconstitutional socialized medicine! Who'da thunk it.

Better close down those emergency rooms pronto!

Posted by: wvmcl2 on April 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Lying beneath the obvious idiocy of the Republican implicity assertion that ER care is FREE FREE FREE! for the poor and insured, is a more subtle bit of misdirection. Yes, when an uninsured person comes to the ER for treatment he or she can't pay for, that cost is ultimately passed on to everyone else in the form of higher taxes and health insurance premiums. But that only happens after the hospital sues for payment of the massive bill and gets an uncontested judgment that drives the uninsured poor person into medical bankruptcy.

Posted by: Another Steve on April 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Let's not forget that this is the same state that asked the country of IRAN for help with it's profound medical problems.http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/25/nation/la-na-mississippi-iran25-2010jan25

Posted by: Dls on April 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting at WikiTravel, travellers to Mississippi are advised about ER care in that state. The site mentions, while large cities have world class hospitals, many rural cities have no ER care, unless, you travel to a county seat or go to an Urgent Care facility, which, usually, is open for a short time on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. The site, also, advises about the risk of having no insurance. It states, that if you do not tell them upfront, you will receive extra and expensive testing, and, even with a minor problem the billing will be HUGE. Many poor people live in the rural part of Mississippi. Trying to find an ER is akin to St Ronny telling folks to "vote with their feet".

Having had to sell off some property due to an ER visit by my wife, during a short spell of being uninsured, I am well aware of what happens at the ER. In addition, the RepuGs never speak of the number of hospitals which have had to close due to being overwhelmed financially with treating the uninsured.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 21, 2011 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

And where are the medical progessionals/doctors on this? Did they vote for Barber(is this short for Barbarian[sic])and how do they benefit from overcrowded ERs? As chi res says, the conditions Barber describes are exactly what regular healthcare addresses. One might also look at why people in MS resort to drug abuse, have "illegitimate" births, obesity, etc. There is a cause and effect relationship that often has to do with social and psychological conditions and stress. A "liberal" application of compassion to the people of MS and the rest of the nation might be a welcome remedy to the heartless opinions of many GOP politicians.

Posted by: st john on April 21, 2011 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Its
Darned spell check.

Posted by: Dls on April 21, 2011 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, the billing for the uninsured for ER visits is, always, higher than for the insured. Insurance plans establish costs for all services. Need codiene? When one is uninsured, that person will pay more than one with insurance. So, if, you have real property, but, no insurance, you will end up with a much higher bill. If you can't pay, your property will be liened. If the hospital can't recover costs, they may have to close their doors. Ain't nothing free about ER care.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 21, 2011 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Most of the health disparities in Mississippi are not because of the inability to get access or afford health care,'' said Barbour. "They are because of diet, alcohol, because of drugs, the very high incidence of illegitimacy that leads to high incidence of low-birth weight children."

Oh. My. God.

And WHAT, Mr. Barbour, causes low-birth weight children? Lack of pre-natal health care, Mr. Barbour.

Amazing that the governor of a state can say, in effect, "There's nothing with my state except for the fact that it's citizens are all fat, drug-addicted drunken bastards."

Posted by: g on April 21, 2011 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we all know he's talking about when he talks about drug use and illegitmate births, right?

Posted by: wvmcl2 on April 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

What several people above me said.

I have a friend with a chronic condition that could be fixed through (expensive) surgery. Despite the fact that she's a successful business owner, she had no insurance because she's in her 50's and no one would give her insurance with her pre-existing condition.

So she had to go to the emergency room several times when the condition flared up. The hospital treated her symptoms and stabilized her, to the tune of about $15,000 in medical bills which she's still paying off, but wouldn't give her the surgery she needed.

BTW-She finally got insurance (and her surgery) this year, thanks to ACA. The program's called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program - https://www.pcip.gov/. My friend says it may have saved her life and definitely saved her from bankruptcy.

Posted by: FoxinSocks on April 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

ah. More evidence that professional republicans are just mendacious assholes. How long, God? How long are we going to be afflicted by these monsters?

Posted by: LL on April 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Haley Barbour: "Most of the health disparities in Mississippi are not because of the inability to get access or afford health care,'' said Barbour. "They are because of diet, alcohol, because of drugs, the very high incidence of illegitimacy that leads to high incidence of low-birth weight children."

Classic blame the victims. Anyone who has studied our health care system or worked in it knows Barbour's statement is a miserable lie.

Posted by: max on April 21, 2011 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Most of the health disparities in Mississippi are not because of the inability to get access or afford health care,'' said Barbour. "They are because of diet, alcohol, because of drugs, the very high incidence of illegitimacy that leads to high incidence of low-birth weight children."

Even if this were true, which it isn't, this teetering dangerously close to a "blame the victim" position. You see, if poor folk don't get health care because of "bad lifestyle choices", well, that's just too bad and they can all die and our Christian Consciences are clear.

Posted by: Eeyore on April 21, 2011 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I like this idea, that everyone has access to emergency rooms and as such doesn't lack health care. But as berttheclock points out, not everyone is near an emergency room. If there was only some kind of way to broaden the base of the system, like maybe everyone had access to _doctors_, not just in emergencies. And if you were sick you could just, you know, _go_. And you would pay little by little instead of only when something terrible had just happened. Nah, too crazy to work.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on April 21, 2011 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

ERs do not treat uninsured people for free. FIRST they drive them to bankruptcy through collections processes that are increasingly abusive. THEN they write off the loss as 'charity care.'

Of course if people are moderately okay financially but don't have insurance, they are also charged anywhere from 3 to 6 times as much as everyone else for each procedure. If BC/BS pays 1000 for the procedure -- they are likely to be billed 3000 for the very same procedure. AND then driven into bankruptcy or into long term penury as the hospital pulls out all stops to collect.

Posted by: Artemesia on April 21, 2011 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

The quick and easy rebuttal has to be one that Republicans can't deny being in favor of - the ACA forces those who would otherwise be freeloaders to pay into the system by helping them PAY for coverage. This framing of the ACA was entirely missed by mainstream Democrats.

Posted by: JByrd on April 21, 2011 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, would like to applaud Barbour for discussing openly that his record as governor includes poor public health "because of diet, alcohol, because of drugs, the very high incidence of illegitimacy that leads to high incidence of low-birth weight children."

These are very important qualifications to consider when choosing a president, and I hope this gets lots of coverage.

Posted by: Redshift on April 21, 2011 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Well Guess what you dumb hillbilly Barber. Most counties have a hospital taxing zone that gives the hospitals money to take care of the indigent and uninsured. Here in My county in central Red State Florida (65% McCain) it costs me a Tax of $125 per year to pay for the uninsured

Posted by: John R AKA Mr. Serf Man on April 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

well, the dog's gotta whistle about something...

Posted by: dj spellchecka on April 21, 2011 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

"But this is Mississippi. People suffer."

That sums it up perfectly and should be the new Mississippi state motto.

Posted by: Winkandanod on April 21, 2011 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

On so many issues, Thuglicans are such plain liars, but I wonder if on this one, many of them really are sheltered, spoiled, and ignorant. (Particularly in Mississippi? ;-)

Posted by: jTh on April 21, 2011 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

The proper Republican response is obvious: overturn the (EMTELA) law that made ER care mandatory. Only then can teh Free Marketz fix medical care.

Who will be first to champion this vital legislation? (My vote: rep. Steve King)

Posted by: Trollhattan on April 21, 2011 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, should read "EMTALA"

Posted by: Trollhattan on April 21, 2011 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans don't care how much health care costs that's why they pull out the "everyone has access to emergency rooms" justification.

Posted by: ET on April 21, 2011 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Louisiana: 10.2 infant deaths per 1000 live births.
Massachusetts: 4.8 infant deaths per 1000 live births.

Louisiana: 1001 deaths per 100,000
Massachusetts: 796 deaths per 100,000

Louisiana: 56 births per 1000 teens.
Massachusetts: 23 births per 1000 teens.

Posted by: dr2chase on April 21, 2011 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK
Of course, having access to an emergency room isn't the exactly same thing as having access to health care.

And, perhaps more important to the currently-insured, middle-class folks that much of the rhetoric against ACA is designed to scare, emergency rooms as the sole health care outlet for the vast number of uninsured means that emergency services are less available to everyone, including the insured.

Every person you can insure so that they get regular medical care and aren't forced to wait until they have a condition bad enough to require emergency room stabilization decreases the cost and improves the timeliness and quality of emergency care for everyone who still needs ER service.

Compassion is an important reason to care about universal access to real health care, but self-interest, even for those currently insured, is also an important reason.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

What part of the Four Freedoms do Republicans like Barbour not get? The one that reads Freedom From Want? Or is it the one that reads Freedom From Fear?

Because with a paragraph of desensitized rhetoric, Gov. Barbour has no problem in denying Mississippi citizens of both, especially if they are fearful they will not get their health issues addressed and as a result, suffer from the want of affordable health care!

Oh, but I just realized why leaders like Barbour wouldn't even think of the Four Freedoms - They were articulated by FDR in a State of the Union Address on January 6th, 1941 and according to some on the far Right, FDR was a commie!

We sane Americans are really being wagged by the tail of insanity, and it belongs to the GOP elephant! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 21, 2011 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Non-Emergency Care

Is it that most of these guys are, well, GUYS? That they don't comprehend that children, for one example, need to be taken in regularly, like every year, for checkups, immunizations, screenings, evaluation of proper growth, and what we like to call "preventive care"? Don't they know that women particularly need regular appointments, to at least check out their Female Parts™?

I know that young to middle aged men are likely to skip the regular checkups, as they are immortal and clearly peak physical specimens (at any weight), not to mention God's Gift. Is this a part of it?

"The women" (and I don't mean to be gratuitously sexist here) have traditionally been the ones who set up the appointments and take the kids in. Might the old-style US men, bedrock of the TeaTard Republican base, just NOT BE AWARE of how much medical care is necessary and going on underneath their noses? And this is why they truly believe that the only time anyone ever needs to see a doctor is under emergency conditions?

Posted by: zandru on April 21, 2011 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

We were just talking around the water cooler. Don't the Republicans take all the joy out of being an American. The pride and excitement that came with thinking America could do anything back in the last century have been replaced by the doom and gloom, and perpetual fear that the Republicans and Fox News spout every day to dominate the national conversation. They list dozens of new problems, but never offer a viable solution. Mitchell's comment sounds typically Republican. "This is America, people suffer."

Damn I long for the old "can do" spirit.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 21, 2011 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Redshift: I, for one, would like to applaud Barbour for discussing openly that his record as governor includes poor public health "because of diet, alcohol, because of drugs, the very high incidence of illegitimacy that leads to high incidence of low-birth weight children."

Are you kidding? He's not the Governor of those people!

Posted by: chi res on April 21, 2011 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see the cite for the notion that "illegitimacy" (how that for a pro-life word - certain babies are not legitimate! not legitimately WHAT, human?) is directly, causally linked to low-birth weight. Because that appears to be what he is suggestion, and while there may be confounding variables that make those things correlate, I'd be pretty shocked if he can find a study that claims causation.

Not that ol' Haley knows the difference, what with his state being a consistent bottom-dweller in graduation rate, college rate, and ACT/SAT scores and all.

Posted by: zeitgeist on April 21, 2011 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Damn I long for the old "can do" spirit. Posted by: Ron Byers

Instead we get John "Hell No We Wont!" Boehner. sigh.

Posted by: zeitgeist on April 21, 2011 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

zandru: Is it that most of these guys are, well, GUYS?

ExCUSE me? I KNOW you did not just say what I THINK you said!

That is some kind of reverse sexist shit there, girl!

Posted by: chi res on April 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, having access to an emergency room isn't the exactly same thing as having access to health care. -- Steve Benen

Of course not. You're not going to go to ER to get your blood test or your pap smear or your mammogram... You know what? It sounds to me like ERs are just like what Repubs imagine the Planned Parenthood Clinics to be. Only, it can't be so, since they seem to love ERs and hate PP.

[...] illegitimacy that leads to high incidence of low-birth weight children -- Fats Barbour.

I'd have thought being born in double sin would have made the babies heavier, no? There are lots of things that contribute to low birth-weight of babies but, illegitimacy, per se, is not one of them. Shhesh, what a loathsome prick that man is.

Posted by: exlibra on April 21, 2011 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Have any of these smug Rethugs ever BEEN to an emergency room? When dad has to take unpaid time off work and sit with a sick child for six hours in an infectious environment waiting for "treatment", not only is the experience not free, it comes at a very high price to that family.

When we suggest taxing the rich a bit more, the GOP is quick to shriek, "Class War!" but they have no compunction about dropping bombs on the poor. What the hell do we call *that*?
. . . jim strain in san diego.

Posted by: Jim Strain on April 21, 2011 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

And no one goes hungry in America. You just go to a restaurant's dumpster.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on April 21, 2011 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a question:"Who actually DOES pay for the care when patients can't?"
County taxes?
State taxes?
Mississippi tax dollars gong into the pockets of hospitals for very expensive care.
Any federal money? Do federal dollars subsidize Haley Barbour's emergency rooms?

Fed dollars pay this through Disproportionate Share Hospital payments. The stimulus provided some cash for this too.

http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/cms/dsh.html


Posted by: flyonthewall on April 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

@cmdicely: Very good points. On almost any scale, early and preventative healthcare is more cost-effective and compassionate. Self-interest is a rational position to take on this issue. I wonder how Haley Barbour justifies living in a state that has so many of the concerns that he mentioned when he can clearly afford to live elsewhere...unless his wealth is based on taking advantage of the poor, ignorant and desperate people of his state. I don't know his source of wealth, so am only speculating. Does he have relatives who are without affordable healthcare and rely on the ER for their medical services? Does he have any relatives who abuse drugs, are obese(like he is), poorly nourished and/or illegitimate(this is such a descriptive term for a human being)?
I think the greatest source of societal dysfunction is the belief that we are separate from each other and our environment. May I suggest you visit the website: www.IAMTheDoc.com. I AM is a documentary film written and directed by Tom Shadyac, director of The Nutty Professor, Liar, Liar and Bruce Almighty, among others. He asks two questions with this film: "What's wrong with our world, and what can we do about it?"
Please go see it when it comes to your area, and join the conversation.

I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on April 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a question:"Who actually DOES pay for the care when patients can't?"
County taxes?
State taxes?
Mississippi tax dollars gong into the pockets of hospitals for very expensive care.
Any federal money? Do federal dollars subsidize Haley Barbour's emergency rooms?

Fed dollars pay this through Disproportionate Share Hospital payments. The stimulus provided some cash for this too.

http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/cms/dsh.html


Posted by: flyonthewall on April 21, 2011 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

DAMN, that's the most prejudiced, irresponsible statement I've heard come out of an elected official's mouth in ages. This combined with the BMW driving Medicaid patients and his playing down of southern racism, shows a certain approach to life which would prove disastrous in a president, I think its called, "good old boy."

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on April 21, 2011 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Effing, immoral. The suffering of others is a mere abstraction to Barbour and his ilk.

Posted by: AK Liberal on April 21, 2011 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

I wish for all Republicans diabetes (labile) and aggresive cancer for one week, just to experience a magical trip to the emergency room..

These people are sociopaths, anyone who displays this behavior should for all rights and purposes be marginalized at best, but there they are still!

Posted by: Trollop on April 21, 2011 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

@chi res:

I did apologize for coming across sexist; maybe you didn't read that far?

In this case, however, I believe that "sexism" is justified. We are, are we not, speaking of a group of whitemen who revere pre-1950s notions of sex roles? Call them "sexist" and they'll shake your hand. Unless, of course, you're a woman - then they'll call you a ***.

And they'll continue to think of themselves as "gentlemen."

Posted by: zandru on April 21, 2011 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, STOP IT NOW! When you say that it's true that emergency treatment IS available to the uninsured and that public hospitals WILL treat the uninsured, and that the problem is merely that emergency room treatment is expensive and inefficient, you are buying into one of the GOP's biggest lies. Certainly, an uninsured person can obtain treatment in an emergency room for an EMERGENCY, but these same patients are not entitled to, and often do not receive, further treatment for their illnesses or diseases. People with chronic illnesses such as MS, lupus, or heart disease can expect only the treatment necessary to deal with their immediate crisis. They cannot expect, and often don't get, anything more than that. And heaven help the uninsured who need an organ transplant -- they are out of luck, period. Just ask Jan Brewer. It's time to put an end to this big GOP lie. Emergency rooms are for emergencies. Emergency rooms do not give uninsured Americans a hall pass so they can get the chemotherapy, dialysis, transplant, bypass surgery, or other necessary life-saving treatment they need. Suggesting otherwise just gives the GOP cover for their reckless disregard for human life.

Posted by: ameshall on April 21, 2011 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

A very warm greeting to all readers, thank you very much for allowing us to express ourselves in her blog, I am a complete pleasure to have the opportunity to have such a fabulous read an article like this.

Posted by: Raw Super Foods on April 22, 2011 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

Wait, illegitimacy leads to low birth weight babies? How does a fetus know whether the mother has a wedding ring or not?

Posted by: Speed on April 22, 2011 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Surely you don't expect the Massah to fuss too much about the care of the field hands? There's only so much you can do for those people, you know.

Face it, Barbour doesn't really care about health care for people other than his Good Ol' Boy gang and their corporate benefactors. All these arguments are true, but he doesn't care.

The plantations may be gone, but the memory lingers on, and one of the traditional perks that comes from being the boss-man is the ability to willfully ignore the suffering of those beneath you.

Posted by: biggerbox on April 22, 2011 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Not many changes in the last 45-50 yrs except political party affiliation and signs missing over drinking fountains and restroom facilities designating who can use which.

Posted by: Thomas E Butler on April 22, 2011 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

It totally disgusts me the way Republicans run on "Christian values", and yet when confronted with legislation that would provide for the poor and/or disadvantaged citizens they represent, these same Republicans consistently vote to repeal or prevent such charitable, "Christian-based" laws. They pro-caim themselves "pro-life", but tat ony applies to the few months if gestation, not a minute efre or after. Hypocritical, self-serving bastards is what they are, when they aren't actually hypocritical, self-serving CRIMINAL bastards.

Posted by: LAHP on April 22, 2011 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Four hours in the Biloxi ER waiting for an allergy shot that will cost $500. Sounds like a circle of hell Dante left out. Barbour is as credible talking about health care as fat old Ed Meese was when he talked about child hunger in America. Don't worry about it.
Typical mixture of nonsense, lies, and moral vacuity that typifies the Republican Party.

Posted by: wesfromGA on April 23, 2011 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, ameshall,

I;'m with Steve. Emergency room services are not comprehensive, but they are free health care.

You merely point out that not only is the care given expensive and inefficient, it's also very poor quality with poor outcomes.

Cost-efficiency is something conservatives have taught America to care about. Compassion is SO 20th century.

Beat them over the head with the weapon they gave us.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on April 23, 2011 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK
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