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‘We Don’t Have People Who Die Because They Don’t Have Insurance’ Says Romney

by David Badash on October 11, 2012

in News

Post image for ‘We Don’t Have People Who Die Because They Don’t Have Insurance’ Says Romney

Mitt Romney yesterday continued his false statements tour, claiming that no one in America dies because they don’t have health care insurance, an absolute falsehood. “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance,” Romney said during an Ohio meeting with the editorial board of The Columbus Dispatch:

“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’  ” he said as he offered more hints as to what he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to repeal.

“No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”

He pointed out that federal law requires hospitals to treat those without health insurance — although hospital officials frequently say that drives up health-care costs.

Think Progress notes:

Emergency rooms serve as a place of last resort, but 45,000 Americans still die every year because they lack health insurance, or one every 12 minutes. Uninsured adults under age 65 are also at a 40 percent higher death risk. Hospitals may treat patients for emergency medical conditions regardless of legal status or ability to pay, but patients with chronic conditions that don’t require emergency interference are often unable to access needed care.

Romney’s health care proposal would leave 72 million Americans without health insurance and wouldn’t provide all uninsured Americans with a stable source of insurance.

Romney echoed almost the exact words of his former Republican presidential race opponent, and now supporter Rick Santorum.

In December of last year, Santorum responded angrily to college students who told him that “we have 50 to 100,000 uninsured Americans dying due to a lack of healthcare every year,” citing a 2009 study out of Harvard University. “I reject that number completely, that people die in America because of lack of health insurance,” Santorum said, adding, “People die in America because people die in America. And people make poor decisions with respect to their health and their healthcare. And they don’t go to the emergency room or they don’t go to the doctor when they need to,” he said. “And it’s not the fault of the government for not providing some sort of universal benefit.”

“Researchers from Harvard Medical School say the lack of coverage can be tied to about 45,000 deaths a year in the United States — a toll that is greater than the number of people who die each year from kidney disease,” a 2009 New York Times article reported.

And Physicians for a National Health Program in 2009 noted:

A research team at Harvard Medical School estimates 2,266 U.S. military veterans under the age of 65 died last year because they lacked health insurance and thus had reduced access to care. That figure is more than 14 times the number of deaths (155) suffered byU.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2008, and more than twice as many as have died (911 as of Oct. 31) since the war began in 2001.

Image via Mitt Romney

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Scott_Rose October 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

This is an example of the obnoxious, smug complacency of a "man" who says that he is not worried about the very poor.

eroissyfr October 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm

But it isn't just the 'very poor". I make $14 an hour. and work for a small company. I don't live beyond my means for the most part. Modest rent, no outrageous electric or phone bills etc. I watch my money and have enough left over for some leisure activities. I don't need stuff.

BUT I can't afford private individual health insurance and the company I work for certainly can't. There are 5 of us.

So far this year I have had two surgeries (one for cancer), my CC's are maxed out, I need more medical follow ups which I can't afford. They found another issue during my cancer surgical work up which could also be life threatening but I can't afford the procedure on top of the bills I have now.

Yet, I make $1000 a year too much to qualify for Medicaid under the Oregon Health Plan. But if I was pregnant, under 19, a legal refugee or immigrant I would AUTOMATICALLY qualify for a government program that I have put into for 32 working years. But I am not eligible.

So yes Mr. Romney many of us don't seek treatment because we can't afford it. It isn't free. I have enough bills right now I have to figure out how to pay. I can't borrow money, I don't have anything to sell.

Why don't you give me a few hundred thousand of those massive millions you have made on the backs of others? Or maybe I will give you a dollar so you can go buy a clue. Clues are cheap. Medical treatment is not.

Alex_Parrish October 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm

This man is not just out-of-touch; he is willfully ignorant and indifferent. He is not fit for ANY public office.

eddieVroom October 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Freedom Stiffness?..

LOrion October 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

GOT IT SHARING! Another Romney WHOOPPER I almost put…well maybe thats our new term for a huge hilarious Romney whopper.

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