Sunday Facepalm.

Yesterday, I briefly mentioned the stupidity of Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). Rather than just admitting his “no one ever died from not having access to health care” was extraordinarily wrong and stupid, he is, of course, doubling down, and blaming the media for focusing on a “5 second clip”. I think they are focusing on the stupid which fell steaming from your mouth, Mr. Labrador, especially in light of your history of saying equally stupid things in regard to health care.

On Saturday, Labrador posted a statement on the exchange, saying that his response “wasn’t very elegant” and criticizing the media coverage.

“In the five-second clip that the media is focusing on, I was trying to explain that all hospitals are required by law to treat patients in need of emergency care regardless of their ability to pay and that the Republican plan does not change that,” he said. “It certainly doesn’t help that the media is only highlighting a five-second video, instead of the entire exchange.”

Labrador’s longer explanation, however, also doesn’t hold up.

No kidding it doesn’t hold up. One of the reasons the Affordable Care Act was so necessary was because those without coverage would go to the ER, usually waiting until they were in a dire state. People taking care of their health in such a way drives up cost all the way around, for everyone. Mr. Labrador is also woefully ignorant of the fact that hospitals do come looking for their money, and they are quite serious about that, too. So, a really stupid, ineffective way to have a healthy citizenry, but that’s good, because you still have that option! I mean, if you don’t feel well, just go park yourself in a busy ER for 10 hours or so, you don’t need to work, right? Then, after you’ve been treated, and realize you can’t afford medicines or aftercare, you had best gather up all your stuff, get a new identity and move, because a big damn bill will be chasing you. Yeah, excellent choice, that. Well, as the rethugs have pointed out time and time again, there are options: there’s Jesus, or you could just die.

Think Progress has the full run down, with all the necessary numbers and links.


  1. says

    Exactly. Also, if you wait until things are bad enough to seek emergency care, it’s most likely going to be for late stage cancer, rather than catching it early, requiring less treatment, and with a hopeful outlook.

  2. says

    Not just cancer.
    Some paediatricians here say that 90% of their job is reassuring parents that their kid is alright. Because yeah, I know that situation. The kid is sick, you wait a while, then you decide that the doc needs to check that out. It’s a hassle and in our particular case it will most likely include a trip to McDonalds and I’ll eat that 50.000 calories chocolate cake. But no charge apart from parking. Most of the times the doc will say “rest, tea, do you still have Ibuprofen and nose spray, do you need a slip for school/work*?” Sometimes the doc will say “good that you came here, now we can catch this nasty bugger early”.
    I remember reading reports from parents who had to wait until they were ER worthy and their kid suffered horribly.

    *I’m even entitled to 5 days/year/kid of paid sick leave to take care of them.

  3. says

    Yeah, Jesus, I can’t even imagine making the excruciating decision to wait on help for your child until you know you simply cannot wait anymore. The smallest things can morph into the biggest nightmares.

  4. says

    I don’t want to imagine.
    I know how bad I felt after not taking the kid to the hospital directly when she had a greenwood fracture in her arm ’cause she’s an accomplished hypochondriac, only this time she had really hurt herself.

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