Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catch of the Day

Digby was paying attention to the House debate on health care yesterday, and noted that Republican Phil Gingrey of Georgia mocked HHS statistics about pre-existing conditions by saying that "They would all have to have hang nails and fever blisters to have pre-existing conditions and if you believe those statistics, I’ve got a beach to sell you in Pennsylvania." Digby points out that Gingrey misses the entire point: one of the key problems is exactly that insurance companies were free to, and in fact did, reject people because of seemingly trivial maladies:
These pampered princes with their federal cadillac plan have absolutely no idea what it's like to try to deal with the private health insurance market. I was denied health insurance from three different companies because I had been treated for gingivitis in the previous five years. I kid you not. It took me appealing all the way to the top, with proof that the condition had been reversed, before a fourth would take me.

Not a hangnail or a fever blister, but close. They will use any excuse to exclude you, particularly if you are over a certain age. Gingrey is a privileged ass.
Yup. I'll disagree that the problem is because Members of Congress have solid health insurance; in my view, the problem is more one of a combination of ideological and partisan blinders. Either way -- nice catch.


  1. Ah, but even with ideological and partisan blinders, something could still find it's way into their limited line of vi-

    No, wait, I can't continue the metaphor without becoming ridiculous.

    My point is, if Congressmen were exposed to more "Real world" problems (For lack of a better term), then either their lockstep ideology would fall apart, or they'd at least find better justifications for it. But as it stands, they get pretty decent health care, and everyone they know gets pretty decent health care. So they don't see the problem, and they don't see the need to consider the issue BEYOND ideology.

    I think of it like Democrats on the upper-class tax cuts- partisan politics and a very abstract Democrat ideology augered FOR raising taxes on the wealthiest 2% (or whatever)...but in many cases, Represenatitves and Senators were exposed to that 2% more than anyone else. Granted, that created only indecision, but that was enough for the Republicans to get what they wanted.

    I mean, I still agree that partisanship will explain 90% of how a Congressman votes/thinks/speaks...but that 10% comes up sometimes, too.

  2. I once spoke with an acquaintance who was denied insurance because he was an expectant father.


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