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How many times can Mitt Romney prove he is totally clueless about the challenges of ordinary people before the American voters believe it?

Today, once again, Romney's lack of understanding and sympathy for those without health insurance is revealed in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, where he wildly purports, with no substantiation, that under "his health plan" those with pre-existing conditions would get a chance to buy insurance, but then if they do not, they could not get it later.

He also minimized the consequences of people not having insurance, and appears not to understand that poor people can not afford health insurance, but rather he appears to believe that poor people lack health care insurance due to flawed judgement and choosing to be "free-loaders."

“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’  ” he said as he offered more hints as to what he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to repeal.

“No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.” ...

“You have to deal with those people who are currently uninsured, and help them have the opportunity to have insurance,” said Romney, who favors letting states craft their own plans. ... “But then once people have all had that opportunity to become insured, if someone chooses not to become insured, and waits for 10 or 20 years and then gets ill and then says ‘Now I want insurance,’ you could hardly say to an insurance company, ‘Oh, you must take this person now that they’re sick,’ or there’d literally be no reason to have insurance.

But, the The Center for Disease Control estimates that 45,000 people die each year due to lack of health care, and I suspect the real number is vastly higher. (Updated from 26,000 - See below)

Please notice that Romney does not suggest any remotely plausible plan for how he intends to accomplish this miracle, already successfully achieved in President Obama's Affordable Care Act which he vows to repeal.  

How are states going to pay for this coverage? Why will they do it when he is president if they haven't done it already? Why will he find his reforms any easier to pass than President Obama did?  Why are journalists not even asking these questions?

In his debate with President Obama, Mitt Romney claimed people with pre-existing conditions could get coverage under his plan, but then his campaign issued a clarification that this was not the case, and it would be left up to states. States which under Paul Ryan's budget will have vastly less money because the Romney-Ryan Duo of Doom intends to slash their Medicaid funding.  

Bonnie Kavoussi reports that 26,000 deaths occur each year due to lack of health insurance, and that 49 million Americans do not have health insurance.

Romney took a similar stance in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" in late September, when he said: "We do provide care for people who don't have insurance. If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care." ...

Letting so many people go uninsured ultimately can cost both individuals and society. When people lack health insurance, their health worsens, and their health treatments become more expensive, research has found. People without health insurance also are in danger of facing massive medical bills, debt, and bankruptcy if they get sick or injured.

On top of that, society at large sometimes must pay for the uninsured through higher taxes and health care costs. The government often helps pay for unpaid emergency room bills. States and cities that run hospitals lose money when hospital bills go unpaid. And economists have found that hospitals sometimes charge higher prices for health care, and health insurance companies sometimes charge higher premiums, because the uninsured often are unable to pay for health care.

This "Baffle Us With Bull Shit," BUWBS, Romney maneuver appears to be another example of Romney's "steer to center" trick Rachel Maddow pointed out last night. She described about half a dozen examples where in the afternoon Romney makes moderate statements on health care, abortion, and other topics, and then his campaign immediately issues "clarifications" or all out denials to the conservative press in the evening, which do not get reported in the traditional media. As in, wink, wink, nod, "don't worry, I'm just saying this to get elected by gullible independents, then I'll be as severe a conservative as you can imagine after I'm elected."

How can traditional media outlets have any pride, self-respect, or sense of journalistic integrity if they see this consistent pattern of behavior, completely understand the motivation, yet not preface every report that contains Romney's BUWBS ploy with "here he goes again"?

3:46 PM PT: Mil offers us this link to a Harvard Gazette report asserting a

New Study Finds 45,000 Deaths Annually Linked to Lack of Health Coverage.

Nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance, according to a new study published online today by the American Journal of Public Health. That figure is about two and a half times higher than an estimate from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2002.

The study, conducted at Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance, found that uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts, up from a 25 percent excess death rate found in 1993.

“The uninsured have a higher risk of death when compared to the privately insured, even after taking into account socioeconomics, health behaviors, and baseline health,” said lead author Andrew Wilper, M.D., who currently teaches at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We doctors have many new ways to prevent deaths from hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease — but only if patients can get into our offices and afford their medications.”

The study, which analyzed data from national surveys carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), assessed death rates after taking into account education, income, and many other factors, including smoking, drinking, and obesity. It estimated that lack of health insurance causes 44,789 excess deaths annually.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 03:18:23 PM PDT

  •  There was an interesting exchange a little (8+ / 0-)

    while ago on Hardball over this point.

    Chris Matthews was pressing Michael Steele about it, who kept trying to deflect, unsuccessfully, mostly  by saying "Oh, Chris (how can you say that?)? in a hurt and bewildered tone because he really couldn't do anything else. The other guy (sorry, see him all the time but don't remember his name) said "There ARE people dying in their apartments because they can't afford healthcare".

    Healthcare is the hidden, mostly untalked about, major subterranean issue which could decide this election. Just because the pundits and the candidates aren't paying attention, doesn't mean the 75 million needing coverage aren't paying attention.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 03:27:44 PM PDT

  •  Harvard study: 45,000 not 26,000 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, HoundDog, Phoebe Loosinhouse, Smoh


    NY Times has more, and a link to the study itself.

  •   (5+ / 0-)

    To answer your question-infinity is the number of times he can be clueless.

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 03:34:53 PM PDT

    •  I was hoping for there to be some finite (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4mygirls, KenBee, Smoh, mll

      mathematical limit, that we might be able to estimate a asymptote for with the central limit theorem, or Zeno's Paradox.

      The philosophical implications of the possible existence of an infinite amount of Romney bull shit overwhelms me, and creates existential dread of a magnitude I haven't experience since the Bush-Cheney nightmare.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:35:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make Republicans go step-by-step rather than (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Gooserock, Smoh

    speak platitudes.

    Make them reason it out for themselves what an individual must go through and how much it costs. For example, the cost of diagnostic tests and routine doctor visits. The cost of prescription meds.

    Insurance isn't the issue; it's access to healthcare, to affordable heathcare that is the issue.

    If we had Single Payer. . . . . . Oh, somebody please make the Republicans run the numbers. . . . .

    And, if someone can find the story from Texas under then Governor Bush when a black mother's baby was taken off life support simply because the money ran out........Not because of medical reasons. Time and money limit on the uninsured.

  •  No, they actually DIE in the ER because they have (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, HoundDog, Smoh, Eyz, mll

    no insurance.

    They couldn't get diagnosed and treated early enough to prevent being rushed to the ER. They don't have insurance that would pay for a doctors visit when symptoms first appear.

    BTW. The other day Romney had the guts to give a shout out to Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Yet wants to cut funding of Planned Parenthood. He would deny women of the very examination that could save their lives! Nice guy!

    It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

    by auapplemac on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:50:30 PM PDT

  •  The Emergency Room (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, HoundDog, Smoh, Eyz, mll

    You can't get care for a variety of problems: cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and so on and so forth.

    "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther Party (quoted by Paul Ryan without proper attribution)

    by Land of Enchantment on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:51:38 PM PDT

  •  These are generally WORKING people... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, HoundDog, Smoh, mll

    This is the point that so many miss.  Generally, most of the people without insurance who cannot get necessary treatment for chronic illnesses are working people who do not get insurance through their jobs.  Because they have income, which often is needed to support their families, they are NOT eligible for Medicaid.

    Guess they are just part of the 47% that Romney doesn't care about.  I really wish people would be shouting this far and wide.  I believe that it is an absolute disgrace in a country as wealthy as the US that thousands of working people die every year because they cannot get needed care, often leaving spouses and young children.  It is a national tragedy and the reason that we must win this election so that Obamacare can be fully implemented.

    Gandhi: "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. "

    by FoxfireTX on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 05:12:21 PM PDT

  •  I've always believed the 45,000 deaths a year (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Smoh, mll

    is way understated..I'm not sure how they calculate it.

    How do you calculate the number of Americans who died years before they should have all because they couldn't afford to see a doctor and be timely diagnosed with an illness such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc????

    Yes, you can go to the emergency room but that's when you've gone without medical care so long something that should have been treated timely in a doctors office is now an emergency...

    A civilized society finds a way to make sure all its citizens have health care. Many developing countries have found a way. We can too. Will it cost money?  Sure. But taxes are the price you pay to live in a civilized society. And people are wrong to think there's no cost to having millions of Americans go without health care. We pay for that

    As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

    by joedemocrat on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 05:40:35 PM PDT

    •  basically (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      they look at the difference between mortality rates between people with and without insurance, figure that if you don't have insurance, you're X% more likely to die of a treatable condition than someone with insurance, and multiply that percentage by the number of uninsured. Obviously, there's more to it than that, but that's the logic of it.

  •  Yeah right, I could buy health insurance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyz, mll

    with pre-existing conditions.  With a history of cancer, stroke, hypertension, how much will it cost with your plan Willard?

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 06:33:17 PM PDT

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