A 22-year-old woman from Oxford, Ohio, died from swine flu on Wednesday. Kimberly Young graduated from Miami University in December and continued to live in Oxford, Ohio, within Minority Leader John Boehner’s congressional distrct. Reports now indicate that after initially getting sick, Young put off treatment because she was uninsured.
It will be easy for some to blame Kimberly…she chose not to have health insurance…she chose not to go to the emergency room sooner…emergency room treatment is free…
On that last one – if you’ve ever visted the emergency room, you know it is not free. They will bill you. If you don’t pay, they will turn the bill over to bill collectors who will hound you, take you to court, get a judgment and levy your earnings.
While people on the left will use Kimberly’s death as an example of why we need Universal Health Care, people on the right must maintain that hers is a small price to pay for the freedom to choose our own health insurance, our own doctors – to not have government bureaucrats determine our health care. They must maintain the position that her death, and the deaths of 22,000 other Americans this year due to lack of health insurance, is the price we pay for our freedoms. Why must they maintain this argument? Because they support the status quo.
Americans by the tens of thousands protested health care reform recently. They treatened violence, civil unrest, secession and civil war – because President Obama put forward the proposition that their tax dollars should prevent people like Kimberly from dying due to lack of health insurance.
As the H1N1 “swine” flu spreads, it will claim more Kimberlies. Republicans in Congress will continue to stall and attempt to kill health care reform. The more the Republicans (and Blue Dog Democrats) in Congress succeed, the more Americans will die. But these elected officials are willing to live with that, so long as money keeps flowing to their coffers from the health care and insurance industries.
The question is, how many more Kimberlies must die before the American people realize it’s not just about the poor, the homeless, the laid-off worker, the illegal immigrants receiving health care on the taxpayer’s tab – it’s about our own sons and daughters who are just starting out in life?
Were terrorist attacks to kill 22,000 Americans each year, we would pay virtually any price to stop the killings. Why, then, do we allow, even support, our insurance industry when it does the same?