Health care hits home: Pennsylvania doctor’s health care paper ignored by Democrats Specter and Casey.
It began with a cough.
Which became pneumonia, a small stroke and atrial fibrillation.
The patient? My 90-year old Mom. Perfectly fine partying with family at Christmas, two weeks into the New Year she was suddenly in an emergency room with all kinds of tubes, wires and needles running in and out of her. Possessed of extraordinary good health — her last medical run-in almost 30 years earlier — abruptly she was in the middle of the most hotly debated political issue in America: the American health care system.
Which meant, of course, that as her only child I was now along for the ride as well.
This journey (she’s recovering in sturdy fashion — and yes, she had insurance) brought us into contact with exactly what’s right about American health care — and a doctor who has been trying and failing to get the attention of elected officials to discuss what’s wrong. That doctor is, in the aftermath of the Scott Brown rebellion in Massachusetts, the very embodiment of why so many Americans are so furious about the handling of the health care issue. According to the latest Gallup/USA Today poll, “An overwhelming 72% of those surveyed Wednesday say Brown’s victory ‘reflects frustrations shared by many Americans, and the president and members of Congress should pay attention to it.’”
Case in point: James F. Rich, MD, a partner in Connor, Rich Associates, a Heritage Medical Group practice in suburban Harrisburg. Dr. Rich, along with his colleagues Dr. Robert Kusztos (her longtime physician) and Dr. Claudette Jatto, have gone above and beyond the call for Mom. Not to mention Denise the Dallas Cowboy fan and blood tester extraordinaire. But there was something else here as well.
Sitting bedside for what seems like endless hours in a hospital is something many Americans experience somewhere along the line. In this case, I was lucky. As Dr. Rich made his daily calls on Mom, the television overhead reporting in increasingly astonished tones about the emergence of Scott Brown in his now famous race for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Martha Coakley, conversation turned to the obvious. What did Dr. Rich make of all this?
The answer astonished.
It seems that Dr. Rich, a thirty-year specialist in Internal Medicine who spends every day of his working life “caring for adults and dealing with acute and chronic disease,” was so disturbed about the turn the health care issue had taken that he had begun devoting considerable off-duty time to writing a white paper on the subject. “I’m not a writer,” he told me somewhat sheepishly, as he described his unsuccessful attempt to bring the results of his work to the attention of his elected United States Senators — Pennsylvania Democrats Arlen Specter and Bob Casey.
“Did you send it to them?” I asked?
Well, actually, Dr. Rich had done better than that. He personally took copies to their Harrisburg offices — and never heard a word from either Senator. He had gotten it to Republican Congressman Todd Platt, who did respond — but Platt, of course, sits in the House of Representatives run by Nancy Pelosi. So much for that.
I was incredulous. Dr. Rich may not be a famous TV doctor, but he is in fact a highly respected practitioner in this Pennsylvania community. And no response on the most important issue of the day from his two U.S. Senators, both of whom are staunch Obama supporters and of ObamaCare? None? Zip?
That is correct.
The treatment of Dr. Rich, in effect just blowing him off, is in fact emblematic of precisely the frustration profiled in that Gallup poll. It is exactly why Massachusetts voters responded so well to Scott Brown. Like Dr. Rich, Massachusetts residents were doing everything they could to tell their elected officials there was a better way to do health care. They felt no one was listening. Not the President. Not Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. And in Pennsylvania, in spite of those raucous televised town meetings where Specter parried with angry constituents, not Specter or Bob Casey, Jr.
What kind of people were the President, Reid and Pelosi really listening to?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online