Human beings will adjust. To dying in the streets.

Virginia Republican Gubernatorial nominee (and current Attorney General) is really a piece of work.  Dahlia Lithwick has been chronicling his anti-sodomy (seriously) crusade for some time.  I just couldn’t let this bit of hard-right ideology pass by without note here (via Benen):

A Democratic source flagged this amazing clip in which Virginia’s right-wing attorney general was asked about the health care system, and he called for limiting something called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (or EMTALA). If this sounds unfamiliar, it’s the ’80s-era law, signed by President Reagan, that requires emergency rooms to provide care regardless of citizenship, legal status, or a patient’s ability to pay.

Under the system before the Affordable Care Act, the use of emergency rooms for care caused systemic problems — it’s been socialized medicine at its most inefficient extreme. The uninsured wait until an ailment is life-threatening, at which point they seek very expensive and medically dire care, which bankrupts the sick person while spreading the costs to everyone else.

Cuccinelli has his own vision for what to do about it. Help Americans have access to affordable care so they won’t have to wait for a crisis and show up at the E.R. for expensive treatment? No, of course not. In Cuccinelli’s vision, we’ll just scale EMTALA back so emergency rooms won’t have to treat the uninsured facing medical emergencies.

As he explains it in the video, “I would expect we would ratchet back EMTALA so that those are the people you’re left dealing with, not the people who come in with a cold who clog up the ER, the emergency rooms and use those facilities for maintenance…. There’s going to be a period of time where people are going to have to adjust…. Human beings will adjust.”

In context, “Human beings will adjust” appears to be a remarkable euphemism for “We’re going to let poor, sick Americans die on the streets.”

Just wow.   And this guy is not some crank state legislator, but the Republican nominee for Governor of VA.  Disgusting.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to Human beings will adjust. To dying in the streets.

  1. pino says:

    To dying in the streets.

    No special shout out to children, senior citizens, cancer patients or veterans?

    The uninsured wait until an ailment is life-threatening, at which point they seek very expensive and medically dire care, which bankrupts the sick person while spreading the costs to everyone else.

    No, they don’t “wait until an ailment is life-threatening”. Rather, they just goo to the ER when they want an ultrasound, treatment for an ear infection or have a toothache.

    So, here is his quote:

    I would expect we would ratchet back EMTALA so that those are the people you’re left dealing with, not the people who come in with a cold who clog up the ER, the emergency rooms and use those facilities for maintenance

    Scale EMTALA back to the point that people coming in for a cold are referred to a regular doctor. Gotta pregnant woman that just wants a routine ultrasound? Send her to a doctor.

    Where is it quoted that he wants people faced with life threatening conditions be denied care if they aren’t citizens, legal status or ability to pay?

    Answer? No where.

    • pino says:

      Where is it quoted that he wants people faced with life threatening conditions be denied care if they aren’t citizens, legal status or ability to pay?

      To be fair, this IS a condition that I would require for treatment.

      To compel one man to labor for the sole interest of another man is complete tyranny.

      Equally fair, I would work to establish a charitable organization to contribute to the costs.

      See Shriner’s Hospitals.

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