Detroit priest: Let health care system’s victims speak

The Rev. Harry Cook in the Detroit News:

Bring before the august solons a woman whom I recently met — an African-American — whose husband’s petition for Social Security disability had been denied, though a back injury has rendered him unable even to do desk work. Her minimum-wage job has no health insurance benefit, but because of her job she has been declared ineligible for Medicaid.

She cannot even dream of affording the hundreds-of-dollars-a-month tab for her husband’s pain medications. The emergency room staff of the nearest hospital has told her not to bring him there anymore.

Let the senators, whose own health care insurance benefits are sleek, secure and government-funded, give her their set speeches about bootstraps, deficits, smaller government and the religion of the free-market system as she tries to keep tab on her restive children whom she had to bring with her to the hearing because she can’t afford day care.

Let the foghorn leghorns go on with their patronizing lectures until the woman has a meltdown on national television, while the cameras pan the senators, seeing but not comprehending those things they have left undone and those they ought not to have done — leaving it to the venerable Book of Common Prayer to observe that “there is no health in us.”

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