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GIBSON: But let me ask a basic question, which may sound silly and naive. But we've got 46 million people who are uninsured in this country.

OBAMA: Right.

GIBSON: And one of your goals, one of the goals of health care reform is to get those 46 million people insured.

OBAMA: Right.

GIBSON: We only have X number of doctors in the country. If you add 46 million people to the insurance rolls, you can't get an appointment now, Mr. President. How are you going to get an appointment then, when there's 46 more million people competing for that doctor's time?

Fuck You Charles Gibson.

You who are so worried that someone might push you to the back of the line, or the middle, or maybe you'll have to go second or third.  

What an arrogant remark from an arrogant SOB.  It must be nice to sit on that high horse and look down at 46 million people and not have a clue about what an asshole you are.  Well let me tell you about one of these 46 million.  She's my daughter, Shaina, and she is 22 years old.  

Shaina's story is not as dramatic as some, or as urgent, but it's becoming more and more typical.  She works full time at a salon as a hair stylist.  She makes either minimum wage or commission, whichever is greater that week.  Most of the time it's minimum wage because the anchor store for that particular strip mall closed and there's not much reason for people to go there any more so there are very few walk-ins.  Many of her regular clients have decided to forgo the luxury of salon color for a box dye, or they're letting their hair go an additional few weeks before they get it cut.  They sure aren't coming in just for a wash and style any more.  Even in this nice area, the money is just not there.

Shaina's employer does provide health insurance for her small business but she would have to work for almost a week to pay the monthly premium and there is still a $5000 deductible.  It's not affordable for her on $7.15 an hour.  (Which, by the way, is less money than I, a high school graduate, made 20 years ago when she was a toddler.)  After graduating from cosmetology school and getting kicked off of our insurance plan at the end of that month, Shaina applied for private insurance but was denied.  The reason for the denial was the panic attacks that consumed her life when she was in eleventh grade.  Even back then I knew that by getting her some medical help and a diagnosis, I was screwing her for the health insurance market, but I weighed it out and concluded that she was even more screwed if she spent the rest of her life afraid to leave the house, curled up on the couch under a blanket, constantly sipping water with shaking hands, pale and crying and unable to explain to me or her father or even to herself what it was that she was so afraid of.  So we made an appointment with a psychiatrist and somehow convinced her to walk out the front door to the car, then from the car to the doctor's office, promising the whole way that she would be all right and that nothing bad would happen.

This morning my phone rang at 8:00 and I saw that it was her and I knew that it couldn't be good.  Sure enough, she has another urinary tract infection...probably the eighth one in the past 10 months...only now there's blood when she wipes and she's in far more pain than with the others.  Not having a primary care doctor, she usually walks in to MedExpress (no appointment necessary) when she gets these UTI's, where they give her antibiotics which help but the infection reoccurs in a few weeks.  Today I took her to the ER, partly hoping that they would do some tests to make sure the infection is not in her kidneys, and partly in a panic that she was in such pain.  After waiting two hours, she got a room in the back.  Another hour later, a PA came in and examined her.  Another hour later the doctor came in and said that the lab test on her urine showed that there was an infection and put her on antibiotics but ordered no further testing.  She did refer her to a urologist.  Nothing happened in the ER that hasn't happened before at MedExpress, only the wait time was longer and I'm sure it cost several times as much.  I'll eat the bill on this one.  Live and learn.  And wait.

So now to get back to you, Charlie Gibson, and your sickeningly arrogant remark.  Let's talk about waiting for a minute.  Let's talk about how Shaina cried this morning when she had to call off work because she was actually pretty well booked with clients.  I wonder what happened when they came in to the salon and their stylist wasn't there?  Do you think that maybe they waited for someone else?  Or are they waiting for Shaina to come back tomorrow from her costly trip to the ER?  What about you Charlie?  Ever wait for anything out there in your world?  Ever stop to consider that maybe you are waiting in a long line because an employee finally gave in and took 3 day's pay to see a doctor for something that's been bothering him?  Do you ever just look at people in their jobs, you know...your barber, the guy who delivers your paper, the cashier at the snack bar in your building, the girl who cleans your office, the person who fits you for your suits in whatever fancy-ass store you buy them in up there in NYC...and wonder if they're insured?  Because I do.  I look at everyone.  It's some kind of obsession with me now, wondering about the random people I interact with in my every day life, and I guess I've gotten this way by knowing and loving someone who could face disaster at any given moment and I am still filled with disbelief at the animosity that some show towards her.  When you made that remark, didn't it ever occur to you that there would be perfectly honest, intelligent, taxpaying, uninsured Americans watching this program with intense personal interest who would be overcome with varying degrees of...horror...depending on how long they've been fighting this battle?  It wears you out, Charlie, it consumes you.  But I think I'm asking a lot by expecting you to understand.  Fucker.

Originally posted to ImABlondOK on Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 04:18 PM PDT.

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