Jul
22

Watchdog Barks, Bites Own Butt, Blames The Cat




Posted at 6:32 by Tintin
vadum_zombie
ABOVE: Matthew Vadum

Yeah, I know, posting (again) on NewsBlusters is like shooting dead catfish in a tiny barrel with a shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenade launcher. So fire me.

But before you do, come take a look with me at Matthew Vadum’s awesomely idiotic posting which he hilariously titles “CNN Aims to Discredit Canadian Mayo Clinic Patient, Flops Spectacularly.” Now, I assume that even in Basic Wingnut Blogging 101 they teach you that it’s not a good idea to accuse someone else of flopping in a post where you don’t just flop but you crash, burn, explode, and incinerate, leaving behind only some skidmarks and a few burnt crumbs from the toasty Quiznos sub (with extra Ranch dressing) that you had for lunch.

So let’s step back and watch Vadum self-destruct:

Patients United Now, which is a project of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, is now running an effective TV ad (available here) opposing President Obama’s socialist healthcare scheme.

It features Holmes, who came to the U.S.-based Mayo Clinic, to have a brain tumor removed. Canada’s dysfunctional government-run healthcare system informed Holmes that she would have to wait for six months to see a specialist. “In six months I would have died,” Holmes says in the spot. The Mayo Clinic where Holmes received successful treatment tells her story at its website.

What really elevates this post from minor fuck-up to total self-immolation is that Vadum actually cites Ms. Holmes’s story at the Mayo website without having even the teensiest clue that it completely contradicts the story that Holmes, Vadum and Patient’s United Now (with its sadly unfortunate acronym) are pushing.

Let’s roll the tape:

Dr. Naresh Patel, neurosurgeon, diagnosed Holmes as having a Rathke’s cleft cyst (RCC). The rare, fluid-filled sac grows near the pituitary gland at the base of the brain and eventually can cause hormone and vision problems.

Cancer? Brain tumor? Certain death in six months? Well, Sadly, No!™ Not one word about any of that on the Mayo website. And, you know, I just bet that The Great Gazoogle can tell us lots of stuff about Rathke’s Cleft Cyst. (Consulting Google is frowned on at NewsBlusters as a frivolous waste of bandwidth when you can just scream “socialism” and be done with it.)

Here’s an interesting fact:

Rathke’s Cleft Cysts are not true tumors or neoplasms; instead they are benign cysts. Rathke’s pouch forms as part of normal development and eventually forms the anterior lobe, pars intermedia and pars tuberalis, of the pituitary gland. This pouch normally closes in fetal development, but a remnant often persists as a cleft that lies between the anterior and posterior lobes of the pituitary gland. Occasionally, this remnant enlarges to form a cyst. RCCs can cause pituitary failure, headaches and in some instances, vision loss.

And an even more stubborn fact:

Mortality associated with RCCs is extremely rare. In a study conducted by Shin and colleagues, the mortality rate was 0%, and the recurrence rate was 19%.2 In the literature, recurrence rates typically are lower, commonly 5-10%; however, Mukherjee co-authors reported a recurrence rate of 33%.3

Shin’s study reported the cumulative rates of recurrence-free survival to be 85% at 5 years, 81% at 10 years, and 81% at 20 years.

So, let’s sum up. Holmes didn’t have a brain tumor She didn’t even have cancer. And her condition wasn’t deadly. The Canadian health system hadn’t given her a death sentence, as she, her American handlers and Vadum are suggesting — which means that Holmes’s story, as dutifully-repeated by the Google-challenged Vadum, is, to use the precise term of art, utter bullshit.

Quelle surprise, as people who, like myself, are French, fags, or both often say.

UPDATE: Mayo took down its page on Shona Homes, no doubt because she had turned herself into a spokes-idiot for the anti-reformists. Thanks to the miracle of the Google cache, we have saved the page as a pdf for posterity and you can find it here.

215 Comments »

  1. Stephen Ockham said,

    July 22, 2009 at 6:42

    Amazing failure.

    So, is the general public being made aware that the “PUN” ad spot is bunk?

    Also, Canadian here, and if you have a nothing condition you can bloody well wait – behind the actual brain cancer folk for one.

  2. Doctorb said,

    July 22, 2009 at 6:51

    Are you doing the thing with apostrophe’s to give some of your reader’s embolism’s?

  3. ike said,

    July 22, 2009 at 6:52

    I dig the chick.

  4. pedestrian said,

    July 22, 2009 at 6:56

    Sure, Canadians get free health care most of the time. But what if you have a non-critical condition and $100,000 laying around? You migh chose to spend it at a private hospital! Out of pocket! Like an American!

    Is that the world that Americans want for themselves?

  5. Tintin said,

    July 22, 2009 at 6:59

    Doctorb said,
    July 22, 2009 at 6:51 · Edit

    Are you doing the thing with apostrophe’s to give some of your reader’s embolism’s?

    So fucking fire me.

  6. ike said,

    July 22, 2009 at 7:00

    i really dig that chick in a zombie love quadrangle.

  7. Substance McGravitas said,

    July 22, 2009 at 7:00

    An interview with the Canadian in question:

    http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/asithappens_20090721_18335.mp3

  8. Sophist FCD said,

    July 22, 2009 at 7:11

    I think Matthew Vadum’s post might have accidentally gotten cut in half or something. See he includes a quote from Canadian Senator Hugh Segal:

    Segal, who would feel perfectly at home in America’s Democratic Party, told CNN his “fellow conservatives” in the U.S. are dead wrong about Canada’s healthcare system. “What you have is a longer life span, better outcomes and about one-third less costs. That’s what you have,” said Segal.

    …but the space where his devastating counter-argument to these claims should be is just empty. Odd, that

  9. libtards nemesis said,

    July 22, 2009 at 7:35

    I just saw a guy on local public TV complaining about government anti-terror surveillance programs – I’m not sure what this guy thinks of Obama-dont-care, but most libs are paranoid about Bush’s anti-terrorism programs, but they somehow don’t mind giving the government full control over their healthcare, which means their lives.

    They’re either hypocrites or they’re idiots.

    BTW – If Canada has longer life-spans, it’s because America is open to them coming here for their healthcare. Once that option is gone, where will the Canadian’s go?

  10. pedestrian said,

    July 22, 2009 at 7:40

    If Canada has longer life-spans, it’s because America is open to them coming here for their healthcare. Once that option is gone, where will the Canadian’s go?

    The Canadians will go to Canada for health care, as we are forced to do now. Nothing will change, really, except that our life expectancy will go up and theirs will go down. And shorter ambulance rides.

  11. SJohn said,

    July 22, 2009 at 7:44

    I’m not sure what this guy thinks of Obama-dont-care, but most libs are paranoid about Bush’s anti-terrorism programs, but they somehow don’t mind giving the government full control over their healthcare, which means their lives.

    Well, ya know, BushCo already got all (and I mean all) of our personal information, don’t you think it’s kind of ridiculous to assume that they don’t already have all of our medical data, too?

    Or, were you saying that the government can’t be trusted with my healthcare, unlike my insurance company who has a strong financial motive to kill me?

  12. owlbear1 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 7:48

    It’s not “The government” that is untrustworthy, it’s Republicans.

  13. krassen said,

    July 22, 2009 at 8:00

    I think Mr. nemesis is onto something. Really, we now enjoy strip searches and cavity searches at the airports, which are completely free-of-charge and all the libs do is bitch about it, while at the same time wanting -you guessed it – free-of-charge CAT scans and prostate exams!! Hypocrites!

  14. owlbear1 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 8:06

    Case in point:

    Jindal traveled to Anacoco, Louisiana to present a jumbo-sized check to residents of Vernon Parish. The funds included hundreds of thousands of dollars directly from the Recovery Act — at least $157,848 in Community Block Grant money authorized by the Recovery Act and $138,611 for Byrne/JAG job training programs created by the Recovery Act. Rather than credit the federal government or the Recovery Act he opposed, Jindal printed his own name on the corner of the massive check.

    Slide a knife into ribs as they smile in your face.

  15. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 8:45

    It’s such a shame that when Canada developed universal care, they outlawed private clinics like the Mayo clinic.

    Oh they didn’t?

    Well, it’s such a shame that if the US provides a public health care plan, they’ll make it illegal to buy private insurance or just pay to go to the Mayo Clinic like this woman did.

    Oh they won’t?

    The fact is, people are free to cross borders to go to any clinic they want to, and yes, they have them in Canada also. If you find a specialist in a certain one that you like you can go there, in either country, just like she did.

    I’ve used the French and US system, mostly the French for the past ten years and the US system for some of the past year.

    Mind you, I’ve found really long waits, enormous amounts of paperwork, and lots of run-around. <b<But that was all in the US system.

    In France I’ve never waited more than a week. Ever. For anything, from routine visit to surgery.

    I actually don’t remember the US system being like that when I was growing up, but something has clearly changed, it’s broken.

  16. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 8:47

    ‘course, they couldn’t do anything for my typing brackets backwards, sheesh.

  17. jim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 8:55

    Pretty funny to hear the Canuck lady in that AIH interview backtracking like a motherfucker when she gets busted for lying about her “tumor” – “oh golly gee, it’s not like I can go into detail in a 30-second spot” – yet it’s time enough to sling the bullshit & carry water for the human detritus who want to leave Americans in the lurch when it comes to health coverage, no matter who gets bankrupted – or how many die.

    libtards nemesis said,

    July 22, 2009 at 7:35

    I just saw a guy on this thread complaining about government health-care reforms – I’m not sure what this guy thinks of Obama, but most neocons are paranoid about helpful government programs, especially when they help women, the poor &.or non-whites … yet they somehow don’t mind giving the government full control over their civil & human rights, which means their lives.

    They’re either hypocrites or they’re idiots.

    BTW – if Canada has longer life-spans, it’s because America is getting royally screwed by comparison when it comes to access to healthcare – & thus many of them come to Canada for cheaper generic prescription drugs. I’m willing to bet Harper would be delighted to gobble some Big Pharma knob – & give a much-needed assist to his beleaguered American comrades in the GOP – by either bringing generics up to US prices or taking them off the menu completely. Once that option is gone, where will the Americans go?

  18. noen said,

    July 22, 2009 at 8:58

    It’s fine if Jindal tried to take credit for the stimulus money and put his name on the check, now Obama owns him. Let’s see him try to walk away from that now.

  19. noen said,

    July 22, 2009 at 8:59

    BTW, Matthew needs just a little makeup and he’d be a dead ringer for Grandpa Munster. Cute couple.

  20. justme said,

    July 22, 2009 at 9:10

    I actually don’t remember the US system being like that when I was growing up, but something has clearly changed, it’s broken.

    Indeed. Something has changed. We are completing the capitalist dream of becoming somebody’s profit center. Personally. Bodily.

    At this point, really, why shouldn’t we be selling kidneys on the open market? Is it that much different from having our longevity reduced to actuarial tables that are used to suck us dry up until the point where we’re sick enough to cost more than we have left to wring out, and then to dump us out in the gutter, denied the services we spent years or decades paying premiums for? I mean, if we are basically bought and sold whole on the hoof, what’s wrong with parting us out?

  21. jenniebee said,

    July 22, 2009 at 9:23

    The 7-11 down the street has a can sitting by the register, picture of a seven year old on the front, wide smile, hands folded, her last from school. Won’t you please help? They know what to do, but it takes money and that’s all gone finding out what to do in the first place. The house is sold, now a 2br 1ba, walkthrough with the landlord and make sure to initial the note about the carpet stains. The couple next door fights loudly and makes up loudly and the walls are thin. They had insurance and assurance and everybody did the right thing, even the right thing by the stockholders, which is why nobody at Dad’s company has insurance (or assurance) anymore, now that seven year old smiles have a price. So grateful in this free country there’s no one to blame for making her wait to know will she live or die, just you to thank for whatever’s left over when you break a five.

  22. tincture said,

    July 22, 2009 at 9:54

    Mrs’ Vadum’s hotness has surely dashéd any hopes of sleep I had for tonight.

  23. Grace Nearing said,

    July 22, 2009 at 10:14

    Holmes returned to Mayo Clinic for several weeks of tests, and then got ready for the surgery.

    That has to be a typo (on the Mayo website). Holmes’ cyst had already been diagnosed during a 10-day stay at Mayo, which is a pretty long stay for a series of MRIs and probably some endocrinologic blood tests. She then returns home to Canada for an unspecified period. She then returns to the Mayo Clinic for several more weeks of testing! Huh? Was the Mayo Clinic padding the bill?

  24. Some Guy said,

    July 22, 2009 at 10:54

    Sure, they have free health-care, but on the other hand, Gentlemen: the Loon.

    So, the Mayo clinic was able to fleece this chick out of lord knows how many of thousands of dollars for tests on a mostly-benign growth. They then turn around and flout this as a pristine example of superior American health care craftsmanship.

    Nothing funny to add to that. Just let it stew in your head for a bit.

  25. Kerlyssa said,

    July 22, 2009 at 12:07

    Like they shouldn’t have run tests before cutting someone’s brain open to remove a possibly benign growth?

    How were they to know that just slicing randomly probably would have improved her mental status?

  26. Ted the Slacker said,

    July 22, 2009 at 12:59

    Thinking there should be a new tag, Sadly Newsbusters, or #sadlynewsbusters if like me you are into this kool free iran Twitter gadget.

    For those occasions when #GOPFail doesn’t fully capture how some wingnut idjit has totalled the propaganda.

  27. The Tragically Flip said,

    July 22, 2009 at 13:20

    It amazes me that people implicitly accept the absurd premise of doing an apples to apples comparison between Canada and the US on health care. Canada has a per capita GDP that is thousands of dollars less than the US, and moreover the US pays about 1.5 times the rate of GDP towards health care. So America is both wealthier and devotes a larger share of income to health care.

    So the fact that Canada’s system is even at parity (never mind superior) to US health care when we’re a poorer nation and we pay less for this system is a testament to how fucked up US health care is. You’re paying Ferrari prices for Chevrolet performance and right wingers are proud that sometimes this $300,000 chevy can beat Canada’s little electric car.

  28. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 13:35

    Canada has a per capita GDP that is thousands of dollars less than the US, and moreover the US pays about 1.5 times the rate of GDP towards health care.

    Never mind the crippling effect that “money” called loonies and toonies has on the Canadian psyche. Canadians probably expect doctors to treat them by dropping anvils on their heads and then disposing of the corpses down roll-up holes.

  29. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    July 22, 2009 at 13:49

    So fucking fire me.

    Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!1!!!!

    [hugs Tintin]

  30. kate said,

    July 22, 2009 at 13:52

    Thanks for the podcast from “As it Happens” a show that I’ve listened to often.

    There’s nothing more royal than having a fat bastard stand over you as you starve, dripping with sauce from his mouth and crumbs from his swollen gut falling on your face, tell you, that even though you don’t get any food besides the crumbs that roll from his fat gut, that the real tragedy lies in his inability to get fois de gras delivered to his house when he calls for it.

    I am so tired of hearing stupid people who have enjoyed health insurance for years, through their employer or other means (especially ones who get medicaid or medicare) stand and tell me that the private system is really the option.

    Even though if not for my going on welfare to go to school and geting Medicaid, my daughter would never have been diagnosed with a serious vision problem which had been the cause of her poor school performance and my son might have suffered serious life threatening injury had his hernia finally not been repaired.

    I could be walking right now, with cancers growing in me who knows? Pain, exhaustion, or any other symptoms must go ignored until they are a major emergency so that only then can I get the little treatment possible to see the end of my life.

    I can’t say anything more without devolving into ad hominem attacks, healthcare reform is about the most basic tenants of survival, not about some dumb bitch’s spoiled, self centered whines about a waiting list.

    In Canada you can mortgage your house or wait.

    In the US you can mortgage your house or die.

  31. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 13:56

    I’d rather have a system where the loonies are in my pocket instead of the insurance companys’ pockets.

  32. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 13:58

    And by “loonies” I don’t mean money in the second case, BTW.

  33. King Kot of the Kuba Kingdom said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:05

    The new cover for “Pride and Prejudice and Wingnuts”?

    Lord knows they”re heavy on the prejudice.

    And the pride, in the jingo sense.

    Now that I look at the picture, though, Missah Matthew manages to look even creepier than his lady companion. Wow.

  34. Ted the Slacker said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:23

    OT, but shorter Shithead Friedman for today:

    Remember when I said, “SUCK. ON. THIS.”? Only kidding, what I meant was you only bomb towel-heads when you can bomb them into submission. Otherwise, quagmire, Afghanistan… you do the math, Obama.

  35. NYCMike said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:29

    The government runs my healthcare (retired military). Pre-existing condition? Didn’t matter. Cheap co-pays on medicines and everything my (private-practice) doctors have wanted, has been granted. I’ve spoken to one person who gets his healthcare taken care of by the VA, and he was happier than I am.

  36. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:31

    Really, we now enjoy strip searches and cavity searches at the airports, which are completely free-of-charge and all the libs do is bitch about it, while at the same time wanting -you guessed it – free-of-charge CAT scans and prostate exams!!

    If Bush had been smarter, he would have sold body cavity searches as part of his national preventive healthcare package.

    “Just think! WE’LL do your protstate exams and Pap smears for free! Why enrich your doctor when DHS will give you the results in no time!”

  37. King Kot of the Kuba Kingdom said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:31

    OMFG there is just SO much fail in that Friedman column. I mean, yeah, Friedman, but wow.

  38. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:32

    Are pilodinal cysts malignant?

  39. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:41

    Exactly one F.U. after Obama is inaugurated, Freidman loses his taste for war. He should have warned Obama that his first six months were pivotal in terms for Foreign policy success.

  40. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:50

    Oh, and one more thing I gotta say about little Tommy Friedman, aged six:

    So, here’s hoping that The Class Too Dumb to Quit can take all that it learned in Iraq and help rebuild The Country That’s Been Too Broken to Work.

    You fucking shitbag. You complete fucking asshole. Fuck you with something sharp, pointy and infected with painful diseases. Yes Afghanistan is a hellish quagmire – but any stoopit fucking dickweed that thinks Iraq should serve as a model for anything is a useless brainless waste of sperm.

    Baghdad:
    #1: A one-year-old baby and a girl of eight were among three people killed when a bomb exploded at a market in the capital’s Shiite slum district of Sadr City, police and the defence ministry said. Fifteen others were wounded.

    Earlier in the day, the police said that two bomb attacks occurred in Baghdad, one targeted a group of construction workers in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City. According to latest police reports, the blasts killed three construction workers and wounded 25 others in Sadr City

    #2: Another two people were killed and 30 wounded in an earlier twin bomb attack in Sadr City, a sprawling district in northeastern Baghdad.

    #3: Also in the capital, Water Resources Minister Abdel Latif Jamal Rashid escaped a bomb attack as his convoy drove through the central district of Karrada, security sources said. His ministry denied Rashid was the target. Six passers-by were wounded when the bombs exploded near a bridge.

    and up to12 people wounded in the minister’s convoy incident. Earlier, the police put the toll of the minister’s convoy incident at wounding three traffic policemen and three civilians.

    #4: A car, parked outside a fuel station near the al-Rasheed wholesale vegetable market in Baghdad’s southern district of Doura, detonated before midday, killing a civilian and wounding four others, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

    #5: In a separate incident, a roadside bomb went off near a Sunni mosque of Adelah Khatoon in Bab al-Muadham area in downtown Baghdad, wounding six people, the source added.

    #6: Monday Around 7 p.m. Mortar shells slammed into the Iraqi military academy in Rustumiyah area in Baghdad. No casualties report.

    #7: Monday Around 9 p.m. a sticky bomb exploded in a civilian car in Al Dora neighborhood injuring the driver and three other people were passing by.

    #8: Twelve members of the same family were hurt when the minibus they were travelling in was struck by a roadside bomb in the northern Baghdad neighbourhood of Baab al-Muadham.
    They were taking the body of a dead relative from the morgue to his burial when the minibus was hit.

    Any fucking day – little Tommy. You pick the day and look at what’s going on in your precious little Iraq.

  41. kate said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:59

    Willful ignorance is one major health problem afflicting American citizens that the healthcare and defense industry would rather promulgate than solve.

  42. Ted the Slacker said,

    July 22, 2009 at 14:59

    Honestly, that Friedman column makes me sick to my core. Not just that he is a criminal nitwit who cheer-led the Iraq War. But he has the gall to write shit like this:

    It is worrying because between the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are grinding down our military.

    You reckon? Oh yeah, the surge in Afghanistan has been going for like 1 month. And already Obama is as responsible as Chimp for deep-sixing our military stamina?

    Also: Never have so many asked so much of so few.

    Because we all know the whole country had Tommy’s Neocon boner.

    And: One reason torture and Abu Ghraib got out of control was because our soldiers had built so few relationships that they tried to beat information out of people instead.

    Friedman world: cultural naivety = understandable use of torture.

    More: I feel a gap building between our ends and our means and our time constraints.

    Okay, yeah, that’s just some light comedic relief with one of little Tommy’s garden variety grammatical snafus.

    Finally: Does Mr. Obama understand how much he’s bet his presidency on making Afghanistan a stable country? Too late now.

    Hey, SUNK COSTS, please write another sternly worded letter to a Mr T Friedman, c/o Pinch Sulzberger, demanding some face time. Let me know how you get on.

    Ps. There’s even this:understanding of the “real” Middle East that would rival any Middle East studies professor.

    This is a small but not wholly unimportant point, but Afghanistan is pretty much always treated in academia as part of South Asia, not the Middle East. Tommy Friedman, foreign policy eggspurt indeed.

  43. Scott said,

    July 22, 2009 at 15:08

    The NYTimes published Judith Fucking Miller’s lies and continues to publish Friedman’s dreck. They’re nearly as compromised as the WashPost or WashTimes.

  44. Newsbusters said,

    July 22, 2009 at 15:14

    Hey! I don’t come to where you work and slap the dick out of your mouth.

  45. Jennifer said,

    July 22, 2009 at 15:14

    The only good thing about a Friedman column that stupid is that it means we’ll soon have another excellent Taibbi column about how stupid Friedman is.

    Maybe little Tommy has forgotten, or perhaps he’s just too dishonest to mention, that Bush made a lot of big promises about fixing Afghanistan before we went in there. He was not only going to wipe out al-Quaeda, he was also going to free the people from the oppressive Taliban and rebuild the country. Except less than a year later, he “forgot” to include any funding whatsoever for accomplishing those goals in his budget request.

    Maybe if not for this “oversight” on the part of Bush, perhaps if not for his attention deficit disorder which led him to start a war somewhere al-Quaeda and the Taliban weren’t – with the full support of Friedman and assorted other morons – Afghanistan might be in a better place by now, and little Tommy wouldn’t have wring his little hands over it.

  46. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    July 22, 2009 at 15:15

    And what would happen in you wanted to get something taken care of at the Mayo clinic in the USA, home of the greatest health insurance in the whole world?

    I’m guessing 1) Denied and/or 2) insurance canceled.

  47. Zoogz said,

    July 22, 2009 at 15:26

    The Republicans are the same party that had Newt Gingrich in the 90s emphasizing language and pejorative meaning…

    …and now they run around teabagging each other and making extremely unfortunate acronyms for astroturfing organizations.

    I only hope that future messaging adventures incites as many, or more, guffaws than the first six months of 2009.

  48. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 15:31

    And what would happen in you wanted to get something taken care of at the Mayo clinic in the USA

    I’m guessing that the Canadian just paid for the Mayo clinic work. Which is sort of the whole point. In fact an American could do the same, either now, or after universal public health care is enacted, just pay cash for whatever treatment you want. The idea that the Mayo clinic will close its doors if we have a public plan is sheer scare mongering idiocy.

    That’s what’s so nuts about their whole approach, it’s scaring people not only with immoral crap but utterly illogical immoral crap. People in France who want to pay for it can go to the equivalent of the Mayo clinic, it still exists. Contrary to what people think it’s not usually done to get faster treatment, just fancier treatment, a famous specialist perhaps, or a ritzy hospital. Insurance might cover some of it but not all, i.e., if a procedure costs 300 Euros most places, that much will be covered, and if it costs 900 at the ritzy place then they still only reimburse you for 300.

    It’s up to you, is the point.

    They’re completely full of shit, is the other point.

  49. creature said,

    July 22, 2009 at 15:33

    As a service-connected disabled US Army vet (Vietnam era, non-combat), I can say the VA system is by far the best health care I have had. When I was forced to use non-VA services it literally almost killed me, left me damaged (not seriously, though), and had the audacity to bill me for the inconvience. There is a better way, and it is a reality. It is not Canadian, either. Oh, and Tommy Friedman, suck my friend’s dick so I can get photos.

  50. JM said,

    July 22, 2009 at 15:35

    It’s newsbusters. They know their readers aren’t going to click through.

    You know: morons.

  51. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 22, 2009 at 15:48

    and hey, a big ol ghoulish shout out to Tintin, who zombified the thread BEFORE THE FIRST COMMENT!! well done, well done indeed!

    It’s great to see us all moving beyond our irrational bigotry toward the undead.

    Can I get a round of Kumbayah?

    ….actually, I was going to answer thunderpantses question, but Mr. Pilgrim beat me to it.

    Incidentally, before I was a zombie, I used billy pilgrim as a nym. It served me well, use it in health.

    Unless you are a victim of the US Health Insurance Industry, in which case I expect to see you soon at the zombie meetings.

    Hey! Does anybody else suspect that the US Health Insurance Complex may have a LARGE role to play in the upcoming zombie epidemic? It would certainly explain the rapid spread…

    “I’m sorry sir, we cannot treat your pallor and rigor mortis until you have filled out these seventeen forms, brought your premiums up to date, and submitted the office visit co-pay. What’s that? You’re a new patient? Then I’m afraid this is a pre-existing condition. Please wait over there for several hours while an adjuster reviews your files.”

    Wouldn’t YOU be tempted to gnaw on a few brains?

  52. King Kot of the Kuba Kingdom said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:01

    and hey, a big ol ghoulish shout out to Tintin, who zombified the thread BEFORE THE FIRST COMMENT!! well done, well done indeed!

    I’m still more worried that Mr. Matt would decide to nom nom on my forehead than his lady friend.

    Fried-man column:

    Early in both Iraq and Afghanistan our troops did body counts, à la Vietnam.

    Yeah, until they prompted comparisions with Vietnam, and until folks like Marc Herrold (?) started counting the civilians. Then the Pentagoon decided they weren’t so interested in numbers.

    But the big change came when the officers running these wars understood that R.B.’s (“relationships built”) actually matter more than K.I.A.’s. One relationship built with an Iraqi or Afghan mayor or imam or insurgent was worth so much more than one K.I.A. Relationships bring intelligence; they bring cooperation.

    It would certainly help if we stopped killing civilians – or at least were willing to admit the fact, instead of smarmy comments about “The Pentagon cannot confirm these reports”.

    One good relationship can save the lives of dozens of soldiers and civilians.

    I’m sure Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl is so reassured by that comment.

  53. Jennifer said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:18

    I’ve been excoriated for this suggestion at several places on the tubes, but…if the Republicans and “Blue Dogs” fuck us out of health reform this time around, it’s time to take matters into our own hands and just collectively drop our health insurance. If the youngest and healthiest among us just up and said tomorrow, “I’m not giving you my money anymore,” raising the levels of uninsured to 100 million or more, the private insurers would be out of business in 6 months. Because those are the customers who are funding not only care for the sick, but also the large CEO salaries and shareholder profits. If 50 million people cancelled policies all at the same time, the insurers have only a few ways to handle it: 1) raise premiums on remaining policies through the roof – which will result in more cancellations, which will require raising premiums even higher, resulting in more cancellations – a self-cannibalizing circle; or 2) demand the government step in and staunch the bleeding, in which case they would be operating from a position of such weakness that not only would a public option be guaranteed to pass, the insurers would be lucky to escape seeing the whole thing turned into a single-payer system.

    I think that’s what is so maddening about the current system – we are preyed upon with our own consent. These companies are only able to get away with this shit because we keep giving them our money. Now, I know there are a few out there for whom insurance is an employment perk completely underwritten by the employer…but these days those folks are few and far between. Most of us are picking up at least half the cost of our monthly premium and just hoping that if we get sick, we’ll be covered and won’t end up in bankruptcy. That’s not good enough. I wouldn’t pay my internet provider hundreds of dollars per month to offer me internet service if and when they feel like it. Why should I do that for a health insurer? We have the keys to solving this problem in our own hands. All we have to do is get over this idea of “fuck you; I’ve got mine” and cooperate. Together, we can drive a stake through the place where their hearts should be.

  54. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:21

    he does look like an early stage zombie. The pallor, the strained rictus-grin, the slightly disheveled hair…

  55. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:30

    Together, we can drive a stake through the place where their hearts should be.

    I agree completely, even though I have been relying pretty heavily on my insurance for the last year. That said, if the typical web site can’t get regulars to not feed trolls, what are the odds that progressives could get 50,000,000 people to do anything in unison?

  56. tigrismus said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:34

    PUN’s site is pretty funny, what with its tongue-clucking concern about patients having to WAIT for treatment in non-life-threatening cases(as if that doesn’t happen already) at the same time they paint Obama as an infomercial huckster because he’s pushing for rapid action on healthcare reform.

    If Canada has longer life-spans, it’s because America is open to them coming here for their healthcare.

    So, what, do they get better care here than we do, thereby raising the numbers for Canadians, or do the sickies come here and croak, depressing our numbers? Or are you just filled to the brim with bullPOOP?

  57. Jennifer said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:45

    N_B – like I said, we’d have to get over the idea of “fuck you; I’ve got mine.” And granted, the odds against that are approaching 100%.

    But not to fear – the insurers will more or less accomplish this themselves given another 10 years or so. My solution would involve a lot fewer deaths and bankruptcies since it would break them quickly, but I know from my work with HCAN that most folks who have insurance don’t seem to think there’s a problem. Of course, when they need to use it many of them will change their minds, but by then, it’s too late.

    But here’s another thing: insurance is organized not as a national market, but as a collection of state markets. It’s not impossible that they could be knocked down state-by-state, if there was a nationwide organization sizable enough to provide financial assistance to people in the targeted state who get on board by cancelling their insurance. Best of all, we could target the insurance markets in Republican and Blue Dog states…let the chickens come home to roost with those most responsible for standing in the way of fixing the system.

  58. Bitter Scribe said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:50

    I don’t know why these people think they have any credibility when it comes to Canada’s health care. To hear them tell it, everyone from St. John’s to Vancouver should have dropped dead in the street three or four times over by now.

  59. Southern Beale said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:53

    What’s completely hilarious about this whole story is that my very own sister had a pituitary tumor that was leaking human growth hormone. She lives in San Francisco and for YEARS she had these symptoms (achy joints, sensitivity to sunlight, terrible fatigue) and it went undiagnosed. She was tested for everything, told it was all in her head, told she might have Epstein-Barr, etc. etc.

    It just so happens she has a friend who is a doctor at Stanford University who she met for dinner one night and he took one look at her, and the changes in her facial features, and said: I believe you have a pituitary tumor. A simple blood test could confirm this. Go get one.

    My sister called her neurologist and was told it would be 6 weeks before he could even see her to check it out.

    That is American healthcare for you!

  60. Casual Observer said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:55

    Before the invasion and destruction of Iraq, before the crippling sanctions, before the brutal bomb-them-back-to-the-Stone-Age assault that followed on the invasion of Kuwait greenlighted by Ambassador Glaspie, Iraq had a better health care system than the United States.

    Canada has a better health care system than the United States.

    Iraq: lots of oil. Canada: lots of oil.

    Watch out, Canada.

  61. Southern Beale said,

    July 22, 2009 at 16:56

    Here’s another story:

    Knoxville-based freelance journalist Carole Borges has health insurance for the first time in her life. No, her employer does not offer her a policy. No, she could not afford to purchase an individual plan from a private health insurance company. Neither did she qualify for Medicaid.

    Carole Borges simply lived long enough to become eligible for Medicare.

  62. lawguy said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:04

    Do you think that any one has asked for he complete medical records from both Canada and the Mayo clinic?

    No why would they. I mean they are more than willing to believe Obama, right?

  63. King Kot of the Kuba Kingdom said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:11

    Do you think that any one has asked for he complete medical records from both Canada and the Mayo clinic?

    I demand the vault copy of the biopsy!

  64. jim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:17

    everyone from St. John’s to Vancouver should have dropped dead in the street three or four times over by now.

    Heck, I’ve dropped dead in the street FIVE times just in the last WEEK! It’s the reason Canada doesn’t have a Zombie problem – all the Canucks falling like autumn leaves every minute of every day just makes it way too confusing for ‘em here. Well, that & the state ban on fatty foods – y’know, brains ARE high in fat, eh?

    OT: when the going gets weird, the weird run for office.

  65. King Kot of the Kuba Kingdom said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:21

    y’know, brains ARE high in fat, eh?

    That explains a lot, quite frankly.

  66. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:22

    I used billy pilgrim as a nym.

    Billy?

    BILLY????

  67. Michael G. said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:25

    Can we have a new thread on just the Friedman Piece of Fail?

    Also, I like Jennifer’s idea. I’d like to know that in my health and youth, my low risk is subsidizing someone who needs better care rather than someone’s bottom line. After all, I won’t be young and healthy forever.

    One problem is the name, “health insurance”. I don’t want just insurance against catastrophe, I want health care. Unlike car insurance, regular health care helps to prevent catastrophes from occurring. Just treating acute problems is bad medicine and bad policy.

  68. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:25

    y’know, brains ARE high in fat, eh?

    Only for conservatives.

  69. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:31

    Jennifer – we’d have to get over the idea of “fuck you; I’ve got mine.”

    It’s funny. I’m a small-business owner who knows what it costs to get a decent plan for my employees. (As a point of pride/management/basic decency, I use the same plan I offer my employees.) My wife works for a hospital and gets decent coverage there. Both of us want a single-payer plan because (a) it’s fair, (b) it works better, and (c) even in our relatively privileged position, dealing with the insurance companies sucks shit.

    Excluding the top 2% of earners, I can’t imagine who thinks that what they’ve got is good.

  70. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:32

    Correcting my own post: I use the same plan I offer for free to my employees.

  71. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:34

    Incidentally, before I was a zombie, I used billy pilgrim as a nym. It served me well, use it in health.

    Ah. Yes, I know, how still alive of me using a literary name, not to mention dating myself in the bargain. I tried dating other nyms, but I’m a much cheaper date it turns out. Actually I just date myself for the sex.

    Anyway I’m glad the pre-corpse I’m pretending to inhabit was previously yours, though I have a bone to pick about all the cigarette butts you left in the ashtrays, sheesh.

    Oh and no, I’m being well-taken care of by the Commie system of the Fifth Republic so not due to become a bloated roaming corpse for some time yet, though I’ve been told there’s a resemblance.

  72. Substance McGravitas said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:39

    Names generated upon request.

    Trekcooj Cashing-Unwholesome
    Aunt Kliqulurlene Billie the Notary
    Janna Richelle the Fire Officer
    Ensign Extemporaneous the X-ray Technician
    Reverend Shayflame Bower
    Major Banquetingsoyg Seeccoydehuvu the Specialist
    Colonel Validation payoff-Titan the School Superintendent
    Lady Tulavep Defense-Domains the Prickly Howler Monkey
    Indexed Jani the Slug
    Cousin Jumblenay Mevlayplqui the Drowsy Infantryman
    Kenneth-Tamela Rebel
    Prince Tacr the Enticing Navigator
    Professor Mayor Muxvoh
    Listen Xob
    Cucfa Stefan the Office Assistant
    Broadcaster Elmer
    Aunt Cracloyw Derrick-Cylinders the Mountaineer
    Giscarelessly Paoli the Outrageous Gulper Eel
    Senator Coubjomseeh Koutcoowo
    Zookeeper Larita the Earthy Journalist
    Holli Impinge-Helium the Bilingual Slimy Mackerel

  73. Athenawise said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:41

    I heard that conservative evangelicals are praying to Jesus that he gives her cancer so Vandum can be proven correct and all’s right with the world.

  74. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:41

    Hmm.

    “Major Colonel the Slug Cousin” is kind of enticing

  75. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:43

    Trekcooj

    That’s what’s chased around the convention center by Trekcock.

    Unwholesome, indeed.

  76. Till said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:43

    Things have gotten so bad, some of the generated nyms need to work multiple jobs to get by.

  77. Steerpike said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:44

    What is that list, the Hall of Fame of bad band names?

  78. Interrobang said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:44

    Iraq: lots of oil. Canada: lots of oil.

    The only reasons the US hasn’t invaded Canada yet is because it doesn’t need to: The US right has gone to lots of effort over the last 30 years or so to coopt everyone in Canadian politics to the right of the NDP, the Canadian media, Canadian think-tanks, and so on. Add that to the trend of US-based transnationals buying up Canadian companies (and the contextually-suspicious appearance of “free trade” agreements) and an invasion becomes completely unnecessary.

    I ask you: Why would a corporate overlord waste time and effort convincing his governmental underlings to gin up a war when buying wholesale is easier, cheaper, and can be excused as “business as usual” under the ideological capitalism sold to the rubes?

  79. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:45

    Oh I thought you wrote “generated nymphs” at first glance.

    I think I’ll go check my generator, is there a setting for that?

  80. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:46

    I think I’ll go check my generator, is there a setting for that?

    “Hot”

  81. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:47

    though I have a bone to pick about all the cigarette butts you left in the ashtrays, sheesh.

    careful, those aren’t cigarette butts.

  82. Major Kong said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:48

    The only reasons the US hasn’t invaded Canada yet is because it doesn’t need to

    We invaded them twice.

    Once during our Revolution and once during the War of 1812. We burned the parliament building in York (now Toronto) in 1812, which was why the British burned Washington DC in retaliation.

  83. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:54

    We invaded them twice.

    Everything sounds bad when you use facts.

  84. Lexxus Camaro, exotic dancer said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:55

    You’re paying Ferrari prices for Chevrolet performance and right wingers are proud that sometimes this $300,000 chevy can beat Canada’s little electric car.

    le mot juste!

  85. tigrismus said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:56

    careful, those aren’t cigarette butts.

    ‘Scuse your fingahs?

  86. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 17:58

    though I have a bone to pick about all the cigarette butts you left in the ashtrays, sheesh.

    careful, those aren’t cigarette butts.

    Died of leprosy, eh?

  87. Jennifer said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:03

    N_B – totally not intended as a slam on you or the many many small business owners who do go those extra 20 miles and provide insurance for their employees.

    But I can tell you from my experience working to sign up small business owners to the HCAN coalition, I was able to get very very few businesses in wealthier parts of town to join up. Those were the businesses that provided health insurance. Other reasons people declined to sign up: “I get my health insurance through my spouse;” “I’m on Medicare;” “I’m covered through the VA.” I’d also guess that probably 90% of the businesses who have signed up are minority-owned.

    I wasn’t asking them to buy anything; we are just looking for people who are supportive of the idea that a public insurance option needs to be available. And the split was impossible to ignore: those who had insurance weren’t interested in it – those who didn’t were interested – and had a 90% likelihood of being a minority. It very much does look like there’s a prevalent “fuck you; I’ve got mine” kind of mentality out there, from my anecdotal experience signing up about 50 businesses to the coalition. I guess I talked with 150 – 250 business owners to get those 50. Out of those 50, only 2 of them were businesses that currently provide insurance.

  88. slippy toad said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:07

    @ jenniebee July 22, 2009 at 9:23

    The 7-11 down the street has a can sitting by the register, picture of a seven year old on the front, wide smile, hands folded, her last from school. Won’t you please help? They know what to do, but it takes money and that’s all gone finding out what to do in the first place. . . .

    I call this healthcare by way of mayonnaise jar.

    Perhaps we can refer to the results as a “Mayo” clinic.

    At any rate, fucking only in fucking America do we have po’ folks begging for healthcare dollars through A FUCKING MAYONNAISE JAR.

    How FUCKING EMBARRASSING. And morally sickening.

  89. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:10

    You’re paying Ferrari prices for Chevrolet performance and right wingers are proud that sometimes this $300,000 chevy can beat Canada’s little electric car.

    I think that’s a good line too but only if the Chevrolet were a particularly broken-down rusted-out wreck that was built from a bad design in the 30s and now barely runs and needs tires, doors, windows, a new electrical system, an engine overhaul, and leaks fluids all over the floor every time you turn the radio on. And still costs 300K and is the only car on the lot available.

  90. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:16

    totally not intended as a slam on you or the many many small business owners who do go those extra 20 miles

    Understood. I guess what I was saying is that I have got mine (by Repub standards, anyway) and I still want single-payer. I could claim that’s pure altruism, but a significant part of it is how bad “mine” is in the U.S.

    I wasn’t asking them to buy anything; we are just looking for people who are supportive of the idea that a public insurance option needs to be available.

    How do I phrase this delicately? Most of my fellow small-biz owners are fucking morons. They think their enemies are people like themselves and the government, when in reality most of their problems (other than those self-inflicted) start with the huge corporations.

  91. SomeNYGuy said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:16

    careful, those aren’t cigarette butts.

    Those midgets sure use a lot of tampons.

  92. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:17

    I think that’s a good line too but only if the Chevrolet were a particularly broken-down rusted-out wreck…

    Actually, I see the car representing American Health Care as a sleek, ultra-modern gas-guzzling SUV with all the bells and whistles – but it only seats 0.8 people.

  93. King Kot of the Kuba Kingdom said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:18

    At any rate, fucking only in fucking America do we have po’ folks begging for healthcare dollars through A FUCKING MAYONNAISE JAR.

    WOOOO! U-S-A! U-S-A! WOOOOOOO!!111

  94. LittlePig said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:18

    When I start seeing scads of old folks protesting the horrible government intrusion of Medicare, I might start buying some of this “horrible government coverage” crapola.

  95. King Kot of the Kuba Kingdom said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:24

    Wait – if there’s a “state ban on fatty foods” in Canada, WTF’s the deal with poutine? I get heart palpitations just looking at pictures of the stuff, and I live in the American South, a.k.a. “If It Doesn’t Move, Deep Fry It Land”.

  96. N.C. said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:27

    The Mounties have a very strict “look but don’t touch” policy for poutine.

  97. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:28

    WTF’s the deal with poutine?

    It’s Québecois – so I’m gonna have to go with the Notwithstanding Clause.

  98. SomeNYGuy said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:29

    The Mounties have a very strict “look but don’t touch” policy for poutine.

    We used to call them “confirmed bachelors.”

  99. justme said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:30

    Are pilodinal cysts malignant?

    The one that wrote the article seems to be.

  100. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:34

    pootine is a Controlled Substance

  101. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:36

    Incidentally, in case cheese curds and gravy on fries wasn’t enough, ou can now get bacon or pulled pork on your poutine.

  102. roseyv said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:44

    “The government runs my healthcare (retired military). Pre-existing condition? Didn’t matter. Cheap co-pays on medicines and everything my (private-practice) doctors have wanted, has been granted. I’ve spoken to one person who gets his healthcare taken care of by the VA, and he was happier than I am.”

    See, this is the thing that confuses the hell out of me. Don’t all these Republican (and blue dog Dem) senators and Congressman receive government-run healthcare? If it sucks that badly, do they simply drop it and go with a private insurance provider? Or if it doesn’t, then doesn’t that solve the problem?

    Simply give every American the exact same identical coverage our political representatives, military personnel and other government workers get and be done with it. I’d take that. Hell, I’d leap at the opportunity. Especially the company I work for was bought by another firm a few years ago, and the first thing they did was take away our Oxford plan (which was outstanding) and replace it with one of BC/BS’s patented “never pay” plans.

    Why wouldn’t that work?

    It’s a mystery.

  103. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:44

    Actually, I see the car representing American Health Care as a sleek, ultra-modern gas-guzzling SUV with all the bells and whistles – but it only seats 0.8 people.

    Man, I need to find out where you go to the doctor then. After living with a commie socialist system since 1998, in 2007 I returned to the US for a year or two and had health coverage from work, and only then learned why the right wingers were always slamming the “six month waiting for appointments” in Europe– it’s called “projection”.

    I’ve now experienced both kinds of systems very intimately and I can tell you that if the one in the US is a shiny new SUV with bells and whistles, then the one in France is a Bugatti Veyron or a Lamborghini Reventon.

    I never waited six months for a crappy appointment until I was back in the US. Then it happened all the time.

  104. mingo said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:48


    At any rate, fucking only in fucking America do we have po’ folks begging for healthcare dollars through A FUCKING MAYONNAISE JAR.

    How FUCKING EMBARRASSING. And morally sickening.

    what is even more sickening, is that if this became a meme for single payer, you would have fundies coming out from under their rocks to coo over the awesomeness of the “community” helping each other out*, and how you wouldn’t get this total awesomeness if you had commie health care.

    *not that the community-sponsored mayo-jar clinic isn’t a beautiful thing, it just shouldn’t be necessary.

  105. justme said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:48

    You’re paying Ferrari prices for Chevrolet performance and right wingers are proud that sometimes this $300,000 chevy can beat Canada’s little electric car.

    I think that’s a good line too but only if the Chevrolet were a particularly broken-down rusted-out wreck that was built from a bad design in the 30s and now barely runs and needs tires, doors, windows, a new electrical system, an engine overhaul, and leaks fluids all over the floor every time you turn the radio on. And still costs 300K and is the only car on the lot available.

    Actually, I’d be more inclined to say “if the Chevy were a decent and solid older machine that was great in its heyday, but got bought by a scrapyard that stripped it down to bare metal and watched it rust out, shotgunned the sheetmetal for fun, chucked in a twenty year old lawn mower engine, took out the seats, used the passenger area for a toilet and still charge 300K for a ride around the block where they dump you out halfway.”

    But that’s me.

  106. OneMan said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:49

    “At any rate, fucking only in fucking America do we have po’ folks begging for healthcare dollars through A FUCKING MAYONNAISE JAR.”

    Not true!

    I’m sure the same goes on in places in Africa.

  107. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:51

    Man, I need to find out where you go to the doctor then.

    Confession time. I’m Canuckistani. My doctor is in Toronto. Also, single-payer is wasted on healthy folks like me – but one day, Invisible Pink Unicorn willing, I’ll be old, infirm and a major drag on the system.

    Phew, that’s a load off my chest. Now I can start sticking u’s in where they doun’t beloung, eh?

  108. kingubu said,

    July 22, 2009 at 18:57

    It very much does look like there’s a prevalent “fuck you; I’ve got mine” kind of mentality out there, from my anecdotal experience signing up about 50 businesses to the coalition. I guess I talked with 150 – 250 business owners to get those 50.

    First, Jennifer, rock the fuck on for helping to organize. Those 50 are 50 we wouldn’t have had without your hard work.

    Also, the FYIGM pattern you noticed comports with what I’ve seen in a number of polls: those who already have insurance are generally satisfied. But that number changes massively based on how much and how often they actually use the insurance that they have. In other words, most people are satisfied with what they think their insurance will do for them if they ever need it; those who have actually gotten sick or hurt and tried to use that insurance have learned the hard way and line up with the “unsatisfied”.

  109. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:00

    See, this is the thing that confuses the hell out of me. Don’t all these Republican (and blue dog Dem) senators and Congressman receive government-run healthcare?

    They’re really mostly operating on pure ideological fumes at this point, not actually reflecting that all of the “communism” and “socialism” they’re throwing around describe the health care they get and enjoy already.

    It may seem unbelievable to be that dim, on the other hand, Jonah Goldberg wrote an entire book about how he doesn’t understand what “fascism” means.

  110. Djur said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:04

    The fact is, Obsama wants us to have healthcare just so we’ll be healthy and numerous for the “Mountains of Flesh” when the Ilwrath come.

    N__B, small business has unfortunately always been a breeding ground for petty fascists and Randroids with delusions of grandeur. All of the worst stories I’ve heard from workers have been in small businesses — the corporations exploit their workers, but they have enough institutional knowledge and stability to know you can’t constantly terrorize and intimidate them.

    Jennifer, count me as someone with health insurance who would gladly jump for single payer. I’m “covered” by one of those ingenious HSA hybrid plans the Bush years created — sky-high deductible and copay, minimal prescription coverage (I get a whopping $7 off my $150 monthly prescription bill), but oh, you get a tax-free account to put your own money into.

    If I get seriously ill, I’m fucked. I might as well not be covered at all, but I’m counted in the statistics as covered.

  111. King Kot of the Kuba Kingdom said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:05

    Jonah Goldberg wrote an entire book about how he doesn’t understand what “fascism” means

    Oh, WELL.

    Obviously it’s defined as “any government run by principles other than strict Randian Objectivism or gLibertarianism”.

    Of course, he’s still full of shit.

  112. King Kot of the Kuba Kingdom said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:06

    sky-high deductible and copay, minimal prescription coverage

    Sounds like Wal-Mart’s medical coverage.

  113. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:09

    Confession time. I’m Canuckistani.

    Ah, that would explain your not having suffered through the US system enough to realize how crappy it is ;)

    Hmm, a suspiciously high percentage of zombies Canadians on this thread.

    I meant Canadians. Really. Get back. I mean it.

  114. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:13

    Me: fucking morons.

    Djur: petty fascists and Randroids with delusions of grandeur

    To-may-to, to-mah-to.

  115. kingubu said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:16

    Hm, Canadian zombies. Do they ask politely before biting you? Do they wear down their prey with relentless passive-aggression? Slather their victims in maple syrup and roll them in Timbits?

  116. lawnorder said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:17

    So the woman had something that amounts to little more than a pimple and went to Mayo Clinic instead of having it removed for free ?

    IOIYPAR

    It’s ok if your pimples are Republican!

  117. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:20

    I meant Canadians. Really. Get back. I mean it.

    Les cerveaus, eh? Owt and abowt in Aboot!11!une!!

    No seriously though, the reason for so many canooks in this thread is that complaining about health care is one of the two Canadian National Pastimes. We actually do recognize how sweet a deal we got, but pissing and moaning about health care is pathologically addictive for us. It’s the classic Canadian ultra-polite and super-passive-aggresive way of saying “IN YOUR FACE!!!”

  118. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:21

    How do you get two hundred Canadians to form a line?

    Say “Please form a line.”

  119. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:21

    In case you were wondering, the other National Pastime is sex complaining about the CBC.

  120. Djur said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:22

    N__B, I’m sure you’re familiar with the tone of a lot of the literature written by and for small business types, as well as the trade rags. A lot of Horatio Alger stuff about how so-and-so became the number-one provider of novelty hats to the greater Wichita area by the triumph of his noble will, hard work, and a couple of nameless “workers” he beat into shape with his manly cock. Now that he’s got his own Lexus, a four-bedroom house, and the money to pay for breast augmentation he’s suddenly outraged by Chappaquiddick.

    Not that the bigger corp literature doesn’t also advocate the fuehrer-principle, but at least they veil it in blather about communicating and incentivizing key values about greening everyone’s dumb dong.

  121. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:24

    How do you get two hundred Canadians to form a line?

    Open up a Tim Horton’s drive-through.

  122. Djur said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:25

    It’s hardly a pimple. I’ve never known a pimple to cause pituitary failure and vision loss, and a cyst doesn’t clear up with regular application of Oxy pads. But it’s certainly not malignant brain cancer.

  123. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:25

    one of the two Canadian National Pastimes

    Yep, French too. I always want to tell friends back in the US: When people from other countries do that complaining thing? Don’t listen. They’d run back in a second if they had to experience what we have in the US, in fact many of them have done just that.

    Sorry about the you know, zombie thing, if you want to bite me aboot the neck I’m told it’s like smoked meat. Though I don’t smoke anymore.

  124. tigrismus said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:26

    Something righties never seem to mention in discussing how great insurance is in the US is that most policies have lifetime caps, after which you’ll be booted to Medicare or Medicaid anyway, no matter how long you’ve paid in or how little you’ve used your policy in the past. Those caps are not indexed to inflation, or anything but insurer generosity.

  125. Steerpike said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:28

    Canadian zombies:

    http://soresport.com/movies/uploaded_images/fido_ver4-793437.jpg

  126. tigrismus said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:30

    How do you get two hundred Canadians to form a line?

    Say “Please form a line up.”

  127. OneMan said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:30

    See, the thing I don’t understand about small businesspeople is that even if they are covered, they have to be aware that their insurance is going up by 20% a year.

    Are they too stupid to realize that that could possibly affect their bottom line? Too stubborn to be willing to be taxed to create a giant (300 million-strong) pool for single payer?

    Sometimes….pow! zoom! right to the moon!

  128. a different mikey said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:35

    Wow, double pork poutine. Another reason to move to Canada.

  129. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:35

    Now that he’s got…the money to pay for breast augmentation

    I had no idea so many of those guys were getting implants. Perhaps all that’s wrong with them is gender confusion.

    My business is professional services (engineering) so I’m off that track. I read journals that have the rants about how metrication is a commie plot, unions are tools of the devil, and all taxes are evil except for those that pay for infrastructure projects. Same shit, different toilet.

  130. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:36

    When I start seeing scads of old folks protesting the horrible government intrusion of Medicare, I might start buying some of this “horrible government coverage” crapola.

    This might be the most cogent refutation of the right wing I’ve seen on this issue

  131. Jennifer said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:46

    Are they too stupid to realize that that could possibly affect their bottom line? Too stubborn to be willing to be taxed to create a giant (300 million-strong) pool for single payer?

    In a word, yes.

    I called on one business – a small grocery/convenience store in a mostly black & Hispanic neighborhood. The manager, a 50 something white guy, listened as I gave my spiel and then teed off with “well, the owners of this place would never do anything that would allow me to get healthcare, but even if they would, I wouldn’t want them to sign it because all these people who DON’T WORK and DON’T BELONG HERE will get free healthcare paid for by raising taxes.”

    I was momentarily stunned, then snapped back with, “Ok, just so I know I’ve got this straight: you work for someone who won’t give you any healthcare, and you want to make sure no one else will give you any healthcare, either. Got it. Have a nice day!” And then I flashed a huge grin, turned around, and walked out as the Hispanic customer waiting at the register cracked up.

  132. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:50

    Wow, double pork poutine. Another reason to move to Canada.

    The Duckfat poutine makes me want to visit Maine, but I’d probably have to make it out of bed first.

    Curses!

  133. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 19:58

    I wouldn’t want them to sign it because all these people who DON’T WORK and DON’T BELONG HERE will get free healthcare paid for by raising taxes.”

    Just remember folks: all of life is a zero-sum game. If you wish to draw breath, you must suffocate your neighbor first. And not using the good, erotic form of suffocation.

  134. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:02

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSJshUpp9pM

  135. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:04

    I’m with N____B. Professional services, architecture, so quite a few more commie elitists in the profession. Don’t get me started on the clients, though, hoo-boy. You have to listen to an hour on the evils of Davis-Bacon and DBE programs.

    I don’t have any employees right now, but even several years ago I offered health care, it was still going up 20% year over year. Terrible burden on cash flow, so I never understood how a small business could be opposed to universal health care. Do you treat your employees so poorly that you need the threat of losing health care to keep them? Well, I know one of my former bosses does, but still… I think it points out how stupid business owners can be.

    Back On-Off Topic:

    Canadian zombies. Do they ask politely before biting you? Do they wear down their prey with relentless passive-aggression?

    The massing scenes feature Rush instrumentals.

  136. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:06

    How about we start pressuring Congress to convert their health care to referendum style…

    If we don’t get universal health care, they don’t either. In fact, one better: their health care is the exact same as the worst one being provided to anybody in America.

  137. cyntax said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:07

    The massing scenes feature Rush instrumentals.

    The horror… the horror.

  138. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:11

    Back On-Off Topic:

    Actually, Canadian zombies mostly stay at home laughing hautily with one another about the atrophied and dilapidated state of American brainzzz – smugly proclaiming that they would never stoop to eating something so crass and populist. Then they go and order some online.

  139. Substance McGravitas said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:11

    The horror… the horror.

    Another fine individual who prefers it when Geddy sings.

  140. PeeJ said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:12

    Yeah, socialized health care is a fucking nightmare. Check out John Aravosis’ traumatic experience with socialized medicine.

  141. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:14

    The massing scenes feature Rush instrumentals.

    The horror… the horror.

    I can imagine: the trombone of his fart as he shifts in the over-burdened chair, the flute of his clogged and dilapidated sinuses, the cymbal of the “golden” microphone hitting the back of his throat as he deeps it, the maracas of his jowls shaking…

  142. Knights in White Satin said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:24

    a’…if the Republicans and “Blue Dogs” fuck us out of health reform this time around, it’s time to take matters into our own hands and just collectively drop our health insurance…”

    Maybe the blogs could set up “Co-Op’s” of our own? S,N Rude Pundit plus other snark sites, KOS and FireDogLake, Crooks & LIars and Think Progress.
    That would be cool

  143. cyntax said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:24

    Another fine individual who prefers it when Geddy sings.

    I can imagine: the trombone of his fart as he shifts in the over-burdened chair, the flute of his clogged and dilapidated sinuses, the cymbal of the “golden” microphone hitting the back of his throat as he deeps it, the maracas of his jowls shaking…

    Wow. Way to take it to the hoop. I’ve got nothing but that image left in my head.

    Must bleach brain.

  144. LittlePig said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:29

    This might be the most cogent refutation of the right wing I’ve seen on this issue

    Thanky, sir.

    I’m always reminded of a Bloom County strip where Opus is trying to learn to be a farmer.

    Milo:”Repeat the following sentences without laughing. ‘Get them goombahs up in Washington off my back!’”

    Opus: Get them goombahs up in Washington off my back!

    Milo: “Where’s my federal subsidy check?”

    Opus: Where’s my BWAHAHAHAHAAA

  145. N__B said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:46

    Rude Pundit Health Insurance: no coverage for illness, but full reimbursement for having vegetables removed from orifices and for dealing with leather-chafed skin.

  146. tigrismus said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:49

    Also: no copays for lube, edible body paint, or gimp masks.

  147. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:54

    edible body paint,

    Mmmmmm…. edible body.

    Damn. I knew this was a zombie honey trap. Now look what’s happened.

  148. kate said,

    July 22, 2009 at 20:59

    What I wanna know, is if we ever have single payer, wouldn’t worker’s comp insurance be unnecessary?

    The Republicans have scared many small biz people into thinking that their worker’s comp payments will increase if single payer passes.

    I think some clarification on the part of the pro single payer lobby is in order, then I think the small biz types who have a brain would be on board.

    The small biz community will always have a contingent of loons as often “I am a small biz owner” is no more than, “I am a maladjusted, self centered ass who couldn’t work a day shift or answer to anyone or anything anywhere and my wife/husband supports my lazy, shiftless ass.”

  149. justme said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:11

    Slather their victims in maple syrup and roll them in Timbits?

    So you’ve met my ex.

  150. justme said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:13

    And not using the good, erotic form of suffocation.

    You’re saying wetsuits aren’t covered, then.

  151. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:14

    wouldn’t worker’s comp insurance be unnecessary?

    We still have teh WSIB here in Ontario – they make wonderful teevee ads.

  152. Matthew Vadum said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:16

    You have deliberately misrepresented my post.

    I never wrote that the condition Shona Holmes suffered from was life-threatening. Holmes herself said the condition was life-threatening.

    The only error was my mistake in referring to her condition as cancer.

    I have corrected the item: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-vadum/2009/07/21/cnn-aims-discredit-canadian-mayo-clinic-patient-flops-spectacularly

  153. Anonymous said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:17

    The small biz community will always have a contingent of loons as often “I am a small biz owner” is no more than, “I am a maladjusted, self centered ass who couldn’t work a day shift or answer to anyone or anything anywhere and my wife/husband supports my lazy, shiftless ass.”

    And also a contingent of people who nobody would ordinarily think of as a small business owner. There was a guy on the local news bitching about how as a small business owner he couldnt afford benefits when he had a combined payroll of $14 million. If you have $14 mil a year for employees, you can afford benefits.

  154. owlbear1 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:22

    “You have deliberately misrepresented my post.”

    an effective TV ad .. opposing President Obama’s socialist healthcare scheme.

    yep, sure thing there Matt.

  155. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:24

    I wouldn’t want them to sign it because all these people who DON’T WORK and DON’T BELONG HERE will get free healthcare paid for by raising taxes.”

    Uhhhhhhhhhhh, what does he think happens right now?

    These folks, who are indigent and in hiding, go to the ER knowing full well the hospital cannot refuse coverage, and cannot turn them into Immigration.

    So these folks, who under a single payer system likely would get CHEAPER healthcare, are charged premium prices ($12 for an aspirin, say), stiff the joint, and who gets stuck paying the tab?

    You. Me. The pasty white 51 year old fucking supermarket clerk. Our insurance rates are adjusted upwards because we can afford to split the cost of that $12 aspirin over the pool of the insured.

    Idjits. Fucking idjits.

  156. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:25

    I never wrote that the condition Shona Holmes suffered from was life-threatening. Holmes herself said the condition was life-threatening.

    And of course, you took her word for it.

    Idjit. Google was invented for a reason, shmeckle-head

  157. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:26

    You have deliberately misrepresented my post.

    How so? Tintin’s commentary on what you posted was bang on. You had deliberately amplified Shona Holmes’ claims – and you got called on it.

    Kudos for the update though.

  158. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:26

    Canadian zombies. Do they ask politely before biting you? Do they wear down their prey with relentless passive-aggression?

    The massing scenes feature Rush instrumentals.

    I’d rather take my chances with the zombies, thank you.

  159. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:31

    ..is not cancer, so in the interest of accuracy I changed the description in the lede above from “cancer patient” to “brain tumor patient”. I was also told that someone suffering from this condition was not considered to have a brain tumor. This is an arguable technical point for scientists to debate….”

    That’s actually much funnier than anything anyone here wrote.

    I believed this woman when she said it was cancer, but I was told that it wasn’t, so I wrote that it was a just a tumor instead. I was then told that it wasn’t a tumor either. I’m not going to change that though because then I’d have no article.

  160. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:31

    Vadumb’s update:

    Note: I updated this post July 22 around 3 p.m. It was pointed out to me that the condition that Shona Holmes suffered from, Rathke’s cleft cyst, is not cancer, so in the interests of accuracy I changed the description in the lede above from “cancer patient” to “brain tumor patient.” I was also told that a patient suffering from this condition is not considered to have a brain tumor. This is an arguable technical point for scientists to debate and therefore there is no reason to change the description in this post.

    So, rather than, say, do the prudent journalistic thing and simply say “there’s doubt that this is a tumor, even” (indicated by making it clear that Holmes’ was self-describing the condition, as was the Mayo Clinic), Vadumb decides that, indeed, he will keep the flame under the potboiler as high as possible by saying “there’s nothing to see behind that curtain! Move along! Move along!”

    Vadumb just got Vadumber.

  161. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:31

    Argh, Bill E beat me!

  162. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:32

    Incidentally Va-dumb, are you comfortable with the closing sentences of your update?

    The larger point here is that if the condition had not been dealt with promptly Holmes could well have gone blind. Her government-run health system was perfectly content to let this happen to her.

    post-op visual loss = 0 of 118 cases.

    I’m no neurosurgeon, nor do I play one on teevees, but I’d probably try to ask one about what the possible ramifications of a delay in RCC treatment would have been before accusing OHIP of wanting Shona to have gone blind.

  163. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:33

    Argh actor212 beat me to “Va-dumb”!

  164. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:34

    No, you have the kewl hyphen in yours.

  165. pedestrian said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:35

    Canadian zombies. Do they ask politely before biting you? Do they wear down their prey with relentless passive-aggression?

    Q: How do you get 17 Canadians out of a swimming pool?
    A: Ask them nicely.

  166. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:36

    Argh! Bill E beat me!

    Oh, actually I have to go out for a late drink, but perhaps another night.

  167. Dragoun-King Wangchuck said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:36

    One last point Matthew Vadum. We’re you going to mention in your update, or possibly anywhere on your post – that Shona Holmes’ condition was in fact not fatal? Some sort of Note, pointing out that her statement about being dead in six months was less than entirely accurate.

  168. Xecky Gilchrist said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:40

    Q: How do you get 17 Canadians out of a swimming pool?
    A: Ask them nicely.

    Actually, it’s a trick question. There are no swimming pools in Canada because they would freeze solid.

  169. a different mikey said,

    July 22, 2009 at 21:51

    Yeah, duckfat poutine sounds good too, and I’m going to be in Maine next month. There’s lots of good things to eat in Maine if you’re not a zombie.

  170. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge said,

    July 22, 2009 at 22:02

    “You have deliberately misrepresented my post.”

    This is a right-wing code phrase. What he means is: you’ve quoted what I fucking said, and that’s dirty pool! I see this kind of thing all the time. Quoting what somebody demonstrably fucking said, or playing a tape of it, falls under The Politics of Personal Destruction™, qv.

  171. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 22:07

    By the way, TinTin?

    The link Vadumber links to isn’t even the Holmes story, which leads me to suspect that Mayo took it down because it was being used as a political football by, well, Vadumb.

    So hold the Mayo, Vadumb! It’s looks like you got the ham on cry.

  172. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 22:09

    Mayo is also fiercely critical of ObamaCare.

    Also, VaDUMB, this is a misrepresentation.

    Mayo says the plan doesn’t go far enough in helping people actually afford health care and in fact, Mayo later endorsed important and specific proposals of the plan.

  173. Xecky Gilchrist said,

    July 22, 2009 at 22:19

    Also, VaDUMB, this is a misrepresentation.

    Man, I can hardly move in here for all the points being reinforced, strengthened, and having things be central to them.

  174. Mojotron said,

    July 22, 2009 at 22:31

    Vadum: This is an arguable technical point for scientists to debate

    there are no scientists debating this. None. It’s a benign non-fatal cyst that she spent $100K out of pocket on, you didn’t do any dilligence on her story and added fuel to her paranoid delusions about it being a fatal brain tumor and continued the spread of falsehoods. Rather than saying that the story as it actually happened doesn’t validate your point about the inferiority of Canuck health care (as it actually happened, it pretty much proves the opposite), you’re weaseling on the details.

    and you can get duck confit poutine at Victoria Gastropub in Columbia MD

  175. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 22:37

    I was right. The now-liberal media “Mayo Clinic” scrubbed the Holmes story from its website.

    Gee, just yesterday, they were the conservative media darlings! Now, just another tool of the O-bots…

  176. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    July 22, 2009 at 22:44

    and you can get duck confit poutine at Victoria Gastropub in Columbia MD

    That also sounds tasty, but comes no closer to helping me with my craving. That’s not even closer than Maine. I want to know how to get poutine (preferably duck fat-based, but any reasonable poutine will do) for my sorry bedridden pregnant self at my apartment in Cambridge.

  177. MzNicky said,

    July 22, 2009 at 22:45

    zombie rotten mcdonald: I saw this at my local news site and immediately thought of you.

    http://www.knoxville.com/news/2009/jul/22/zombies-moonshine/

  178. Crissa said,

    July 22, 2009 at 22:56

    Hey, guys, you missed the part where her family took out a second mortgage and is in deep debt for this six month jumping of the queue.

    Tho, if I was sick and losing my vision, I think I might be worried about waiting a bit longer… But if people who are about to actually die are first in line, I’m not sure I can complain.

  179. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 23:05

    Dr Mrs.

    Gazoogle is your friend:

    http://cityvoter.com/boston/anyone-know-where-to-find-poutine-in-boston-the-delicious-artery-clogging-quebec-junkfood/q/1825

  180. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 23:06

    http://www.knoxville.com/news/2009/jul/22/zombies-moonshine/

    Zombies in Cocke.

    Something doesn’t seem right there…

  181. actor212 said,

    July 22, 2009 at 23:09

    http://cityvoter.com/boston/anyone-know-where-to-find-poutine-in-boston-the-delicious-artery-clogging-quebec-junkfood/q/1825

    Of course, Gavin will probably now come down to the city and shoot me in the face for posting that. He probably blocked it off your Gazoogle to avoid a 2AM craving run…

  182. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    July 22, 2009 at 23:15

    At any rate, fucking only in fucking America do we have po’ folks begging for healthcare dollars through A FUCKING MAYONNAISE JAR.

    Fundraisers for FD and PD families with sick children are a common occurrence at local bars in my vicinity. Yeah, all those heroes of 9/11 that the GOPers were lining themselves up to get photographed with are screwed when there’s an illness in the family.

    What I wanna know, is if we ever have single payer, wouldn’t worker’s comp insurance be unnecessary?

    Workers’ comp insurance also covers lost wages while one is out of work due to an injury. The amount is capped so the injured party is incentivized to get back to work (here in NY it’s 2/3s of salary, with a cap of $400 per week), and it is indexed to the percentage loss of use of a particular body part (veiled PENIS reference). The system is, ideally, geared to pay less as a person gets better or pay a structured settlement according to permanent loss of use. Funny how pirates hit upon this method of compensation back in the 18th Century.

  183. tigrismus said,

    July 22, 2009 at 23:18

    Did anyone go read the original CNN article to which he’s replying? I can’t see how he takes it as them trying to discredit her, or flopping at it. It was a typical crappy “show both sides” job, pretending Mitch McConnell’s opinion on Canadian healthcare is just as valid as those of Canadian doctors, but doesn’t actually question Holmes’ story at all, instead calling it a “horror story.”

  184. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    July 22, 2009 at 23:23

    Of course, Gavin will probably now come down to the city and shoot me in the face for posting that. He probably blocked it off your Gazoogle to avoid a 2AM craving run…

    Not to fear, actor212. That place in Inman is only a few blocks farther to walk than the Taco Bell that he is sometimes dispatched to. Also, I won’t tell him it was you.

    Might need more than a day and a half’s worth of bedrest to get him to make the trek, though. Hmmm…

  185. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 23, 2009 at 0:10

    there’s a place that serves poutine two blocks from my house in Milwaukee….

    Haven’t tried it yet. Don’t I eat enough food that tries to kill me?

  186. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    July 23, 2009 at 0:37

    Don’t I eat enough food that tries to kill me?

    Apparently not!

  187. celticgirl said,

    July 23, 2009 at 0:49

    FWIW people, when I was diagnosed with this condition I was told by my doctor that I had a “small tumor” on my pitutary gland and that it was benign. So it is called that, accurately or not.

  188. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 23, 2009 at 1:09

    LDMM brings the mockhammer down on the zombie.

  189. OneMan said,

    July 23, 2009 at 1:38

    “LDMM brings the mockhammer down”

    With parents like that, Studebaker is doomed, DOOMED!

  190. MzNicky said,

    July 23, 2009 at 2:36

    Oh Dr. MM darling. Are you in bedrest for the duration? And, seriously: poutine, or whatever that vile thing is? As a vegetarian I must register my severe disapproval.

    Then again, my vegetarianism was sabotaged by SATAN when I became pregnant with Nicklet No. 1 and suddenly found myself practically eating raw liver over the sink á la Rosemary’s Baby.

  191. MzNicky said,

    July 23, 2009 at 2:38

    Something doesn’t seem right there…

    You’ve obviously never been to Cocke County, Tennessee. Pray to Zulu you never will.

  192. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    July 23, 2009 at 3:34

    Oh Dr. MM darling. Are you in bedrest for the duration?

    No, no, and good thing, because I would go insane. Little Studebaker was putting pressure in some really bad spots yesterday, so I couldn’t do anything but come home and lie down. When I tried to go to work this morning, I had abdominal pain so bad I couldn’t walk properly. I was on the T doubled over and crying and panting (and no one offered me a freaking seat, the bastards). I work at a hospital, so instead of going to work, I went straight to OB triage, and they checked the heartbeat and did an ultrasound, and decided it was probably a muscular thing and told me to go home and go to bed, at least for today. It doesn’t hurt nearly as bad now as it did earlier, but I haven’t done anything more ambitious than moving from the bed to the couch and back.

    We’ll see how getting to work goes tomorrow. If no one gives me a seat on the T, I plan to vomit on someone.

  193. Substance McGravitas said,

    July 23, 2009 at 3:39

    Be aggressive. They’ll move.

  194. Stimp said,

    July 23, 2009 at 3:43

    Celticgirl: I can believe that it would sometimes be called a tumor. It’s an awful lot like one, even if it technically isn’t one. But the curx of this story is that Ms. Holmes said she was in very dire straits and would have died if she hadn’t gone to the Mayo Clinic, which isn’t true. That’s the point.

  195. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    July 23, 2009 at 3:43

    Be aggressive. They’ll move.

    For the most part, I’ve taken the more passive-aggressive track lately if no one gets up – taking a hard step backwards to catch my balance when the train lurches, and maybe sometimes completely accidentally stomping some toes in the process. Hey, pregnant ladies have bad balance, right? But I couldn’t even talk today. I was just holding on for dear life. Hard to be aggressive in that circumstance.

  196. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 23, 2009 at 4:17

    Lady Doc, missus Zombie was put on bedrest for the last four weeks before Z-prog was born.

    Nearly made her nuts. Nuttier, I mean; after all, she married me.

    But I believe that barfing on morning commuters would have brightened her days considerably.

  197. Lady Doctor Missus Marita said,

    July 23, 2009 at 4:21

    Lady Doc, missus Zombie was put on bedrest for the last four weeks before Z-prog was born.

    I’m counting my blessings – my blood pressure is still fairly low, and there were absolutely no signs of early labor today. I’m really hoping to work as close to my due date as possible; can’t even imagine four weeks in bed. My muscles are all stiff and achy from the past two days of doing nothing… four weeks would be hell.

  198. OneMan said,

    July 23, 2009 at 6:11

    The answer is obvious, LDMM: bring the Mockhammer down on ‘em.

  199. MzNicky said,

    July 23, 2009 at 6:25

    L. Dr. Ms.: I recommend immediate bed rest for the duration and demands for lots of bonbons or whatever you want to eat. Milk it, sweetie. This will be your last chance. Trust me on this.

  200. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    July 23, 2009 at 6:43

    So, MzN, if I get preggers, I can get my wife and son to bring me poutine?

    Deal.

  201. celticgirl said,

    July 23, 2009 at 9:23

    Stimp: I think the point is that a major medical organization used a patient for propaganda purposes for political end. And she may well have been led to believe her life was in danger or her symptoms were extreme enough to give her that impression – and believe me, they can be. Even my benign, symptom-free “tumor” sounded pretty freaking scary when it was being described to me, sort of like a ticking time bomb scenario. I have a 22 year old step-niece with the same condition and she has suffered terribly with life long complications since childhood, even with the surgery. She was left blind in one eye and is on a cocktail of meds and hormones that she will be dependent on for ther rest of her life, plus the annual MRI scans to make sure it’s not growing back. And of course she has no medical insurance but hey- because of her family’s poverty she qualified for assistance. I guess if anything the irony is that this condition is an argument for universal healthcare, not against it. If left untreated I’m quite sure my step-niece could have died or become permanently dibilitated – the ‘cyst’ had become that large. With treatment and monitoring, she is able to live a fairly normal life and is training to be a teacher.

    I guess the point is was Ms Homes actively complicit, or vulnerable and manipulated? I get a bit squeamish when we start to blame medically vulnerable people. Granite countertops etc.

  202. g said,

    July 23, 2009 at 9:31

    well, without intending to give anyone TMI, a couple years ago I had an acutely painful condition making it difficult to SIT DOWN, and under my gold-plated US health insurance coverage, I was also told I had to wait four months for an appointment with a specialist.

    And I’m not being sarcastic about gold-plate coverage – I really do have a relatively great health-insurance plan, by US standards.

    Hell, if I’d had the money to travel to a famous clinic and pay for treatment that was outside my network coverage, I might well have done so. Does the article say anywhere what this all COST Holmes?

    How much do you pay out of pocket for treatment at the Mayo Clinic?

  203. RvB said,

    July 23, 2009 at 11:19

    Poultine jokes aside, they’ve got some healthy fckers up there. Ruddy cheeked mounties, burly lumberjacks, Olympic athletes…
    …well, maybe they’re the exception that proves the rule of socialized medicine.
    Let’s see, Australians: noted weaklings, physical rejects demoralized by waiting 6 months for brain tumor treatment. Uh, sadly no, more like notoriously robust specimens so buff and healthy-looking that their actors routinely steal American jobs.
    The cognative-dissonant crapfest of all this really beats everything I’ve seen, and I lived through 8 years of Reagan.

  204. actor212 said,

    July 23, 2009 at 14:10

    Might need more than a day and a half’s worth of bedrest to get him to make the trek, though. Hmmm…

    TOO MUCH INFORMATION!1!!!!!!

    But…do you have a cute sister?

  205. actor212 said,

    July 23, 2009 at 14:14

    Little Studebaker was putting pressure in some really bad spots yesterday

    Maybe if you hadn’t installed the swimming pool under the pancreas, Studie wouldn’t think it was a high diving board…

  206. actor212 said,

    July 23, 2009 at 14:15

    How much do you pay out of pocket for treatment at the Mayo Clinic?

    Hemmorhoid surgery begins at $15,000.

    Now forget that I told you that.

  207. MzNicky said,

    July 23, 2009 at 14:55

    How much do you pay out of pocket for treatment at the Mayo Clinic?

    When Mr. N. had his thyroid cancer surgery there years ago we ended up paying $32,000 out of pocket. No shit. We had wretched health ins. at the time. What we’ve got now is marginally better.

  208. Qbert said,

    July 23, 2009 at 17:22

    Krugman linked on his blog a few weeks back to a study that looked for evidence of significant numbers of Canadians coming to the US for treatment. It came up with nothing. So much for Ms. Holmes’ Friedmanesque story about the US border guard praising her for her “bravery in coming forward” about the horrors of health care here. The woman is a lying wingnut. I’ll bet she’s sitting on a big fat check from the people who put her in that ad.

    You want an anecdote? My US-born uncle, who lives in Alberta, is conservative and VERY rich, has had to undergo surgery 3 times in the last 10 years, for prostate cancer and heart surgery (twice). He could have paid for his surgery out of pocket in the States if he’d wanted. He had every operation performed here in Canada.

  209. Substance McGravitas said,

    July 23, 2009 at 17:24

    Nah, I figger she travels to Washington DC on her own dime to do a public service to downtrodden Americans, especially after spending six figures on surgery.

  210. kate said,

    July 23, 2009 at 18:18

    Here in NH you can get poutine (prounounced ‘poot-sin’) a few different resturants, with your choice of plain gravy on the fries or everything in the gravy that the kitchen has to offer from just farmer’s cheese curds to hamburg, peppers, onions and even kielbasa.

    The real french canadians around here have it with a side of beans and some groton (prounounced gor-toe).

    Thank you BigBald Bastard for clarifying my question about worker’s comp, I had forgotten about the wage compensation portion of it. Still, I think without the need for medical coverage, the costs could be lower, which would get most thinking small biz persons on board, as WC is always a bitch.

    But, being self employed in construction, I can tell you that I’d rather pay the small amount for WC than have to deal with an injury that I could possibly be liable for out of pocket (plus fines).

    I had a compensable injury here in NH quite a few years ago. I forget that I actually received a portion of my wages, as my wages were so small at that time anyway, the “compensation” was an amount that barely covered the fuel bill to the doc’s office. In addition the attorney that represented me was so incompetent that I had to fight for a few years after just to get all the med bills that should have been paid, covered.

    Might I also add that my face was injured as well; the compensation for my face injuries was the lowest. NH, home of the non-union mill towns has one of the worst comp rates in the country.

    I’m sure here in NH if they could have gotten away with it, the legislature would have refused to pay death benefits to workers killed on the job.

    What the hell? Zombies can stand at a knitting machine!

  211. tigrismus said,

    July 23, 2009 at 18:24

    From the CNN article: “Her treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona cost $100,000, and she and her husband put a second mortgage on their home and borrowed from family and friends to pay for it.”

  212. M.Sphinx said,

    July 23, 2009 at 22:55

    Ok, and now for something a little serious.

    I just read about a 24 year old newlywed woman who has been denied a life saving transplant twice by her insurance company.

    http://www.katu.com/news/50319587.html

    Alyssa Olsen calls it her death sentence.

    Olsen is fighting for her life and her insurance company, which has denied her requests for a transplant.

    “I’m dying,” she said.

    Olsen is just 24 and a newlywed. She suffers from a severe immune deficiency that lead to diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and an underactive thyroid. She coughs constantly and tires easily.

    “So I look for elevators in every building that I’m in, and map the quickest way out of places, park as close as I can,” she said.

    Olsen’s heart beats twice as fast as a normal rate. Her lungs operate at half their capacity.

    “So I live like a 90 year old in a 24 year old’s body,” she said.

    Since childhood, Olsen has been hospitalized more times than she can count. She worried she’d never find a husband who’d stay with her in sickness and health. But then she found Kyle.

    “It breaks my heart. I feel so helpless,” said Kyle Olsen.

    Alyssa Olsen’s immunologist claims a bone marrow transplant offers her only hope for survival, but her insurance carrier has denied coverage twice.

    “My doctor has said I have two to three years if I don’t get this transplant, because of the complications I’m experiencing,” she said.

    Without insurance coverage, the transplant would cost at least $250,000. With her job at a nonprofit group and his job as a police officer, the couple simply can’t afford it.

    The Olsens are appealing Regence Blue Shield for a third time but admit after two rejections, they hold little hope.

    This is horrible.

  213. commie atheist said,

    July 23, 2009 at 23:18

    But the curx of this story is that Ms. Holmes said she was in very dire straits and would have died if she hadn’t gone to the Mayo Clinic, which isn’t true. That’s the point.

    According to the tape of her interview, the /Mayo Clinic wanted to admit her when she and her husband told them they had made appointments back in Canada to get the situation taken care of, and were asked how far of the appointments were. She told them six weeks, and it was at that point that the doctor “took off his glasses” or some other dramatic shit and said, “you’ll be dead in six weeks.”

    Let’s assume for a moment that she is accurately describing what happened, and that the doctor didn’t, in fact, diagnose her with something that she interpreted as being imminently life-threatening. How hard is it to imagine that this doctor saw a potential $100,000 payday about to walk away, and said what he had to in order to prevent that from happening? What, no one around here has ever heard of doctors doing or saying something unethical?

  214. thepoliticalcat said,

    July 24, 2009 at 3:33

    SouthernBeale, many’s the time I’ve had something horribly (acute, not chronic) wrong with me and called the doctor’s office only to be told that they have no openings available for at least a month or longer. I’d switch doctors, but there are NO doctors anywhere near me who are taking new patients. As I pointed out to the charming young lady on the phone the last time this happened, by the time a month had passed, I’d either be dead or cured. Her response: Go to the emergency room. As a fully-insured working person paying top dollar for my employer’s “generous” health package, I resent having to sit in the emergency room for half a day or more while bleeding gunshot victims have their lives saved. There’s no need for me to be there sharing my germs with them. The last time I had pneumonia, I went to the emergency room because I couldn’t get an appointment with my “primary care provider.” Grrrr.

  215. BigDuck said,

    July 24, 2009 at 7:49

    That Mayo Clinic page on Mrs. Holmes is still up….

    It appears to have been cleaned up a bit, only refers to “tumor” once, and implies that the Canadians diagnosed it as a tumor.

    Ironically, in a search for “tumor vs. cyst,” the Mayo Clinic web page comes up near the top:
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tumor/an00463
    “Tumors and cysts are two distinct entities. ”
    “A cyst is a sac that may be filled with air, fluid or other material.” “A tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue.”

    But tumor sure sounds scarier than cyst.

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