Sue Lowden really needs better health care advisors

Hoo, boy. First chickens, now this:

The good news for Sue Lowden's Republican Senate campaign in Nevada is that it's no longer talking about bartering, bargaining, and chickens. The bad news is, Lowden's campaign is still struggling with health care policy.

This week, the candidate's campaign manager, Robert Uithoven, was asked a straightforward question: does the campaign believe all Americans should have access to health care. He replied:

"They do. If I have a bullet hole in my chest, I can go down to UMC and I'm gonna get health care."

You know what you'll get after you "get health care"? A bill.

As the Political Animal link at the top of this post makes clear, this whole GOP "we have universal health care, it's called the emergency room" meme is as forehead-slappingly idiotic as it is common.

First of all, care delivered in the emergency department is not free. Somebody has to pay for it. Doctors and nurses don't work there gratis, and all the tests and treatments still cost something. Patching that bullet hole will involve a trip to the operating room, with a whole other set of nurses and doctors and medications and stitches and bandages and anesthesia, not to mention the care Lowden's moronic campaign manager would need as he recovered.

Further, not only does someone have to pay for all that "universal health care" people supposedly can access through the ED, but you can only get acute care there. What if, during the course of his bullet wound treatment, a chest x-ray discovers a suspicious mass that turns out to be lymphoma? Will Uithoven go to the ED for chemo or radiation? What about vaccines for his kids? EDs don't stock them.

It astounds me that so many prominent members of one of our two major parties seem to think EDs are a catch-all solution to health care problems. Quibble with the health care reform bill all you want, but don't suggest galactically stupid alternatives.


  1. I call BS. The GOP doesn't have a position that the ER is Universal Health Care. Some Reps may have galactically stupid opinions, just as some Dem pols have galactically stupid opinions, but that doesn't make the GSO the position of either party.

    This message brought to you by the Committee for Clarity in Political Discourse, and the letter M.

  2. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was touting it in November, and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) was thinking along the same lines in October. In July, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked about the 47 million Americans who go without health insurance, McConnell replied, "Well, they don't go without health care," because they can just go to the emergency room.

    In 2008, the conservative who shaped John McCain's health care policy said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance. The year before, Tom DeLay argued, "[N]o American is denied health care in America," because everyone can go to the emergency room. Around the same time, George W. Bush said the same thing: "[P]eople have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room." In 2004, then-HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said our healthcare system "could be defined as universal coverage," because of emergency rooms.

  3. Too much, too much, too much, too much! "Universal" used to have a fairly clear definition, or so I thought. But in the past two years, especially, I've learned that "universal" means anything you want it to whenever and wherever you want to use it for whatever purpose. Meanwhile.... Disheartening, that is, to say the very least.

  4. When Republicans talk about Universal health insurance (as opposed to universal care) they like to tout Universal access, meaning that everyone has the right to try to buy insurance (with the companies naturally having the right not to sell it)

    But wow, that was incredibly stupid. The notion that it requires a bullet wound to the chest to get care. And I love his nonchalant way of saying that after a person gets shot in the CHEST they can just mosey on down to the hospital, maybe stop for a cold one on the way there.

    In one sense, it is a shame the stupid is coming so early, Lowden will get beaten in the Primaries and whatever Republican left standing will look like a genius in comparison.
    I mean, all anyone has to do is bring some chickens to her events, or put a bulls eye on their chest saying that would like some care, would Lowden shoot me and then take a chicken as payment.

    And gj, I love the "some Dem pols" are galactically stupid without, you know, pointing out anything anyone of them said. I think Republicans have given stupid a whole new level and you would have a hard time matching it.


  5. I note that "universal health care" and "people have access to health care via the ER" aren't the same thing at all. And if the GOP, or the Dems for that matter, have policy positions, they are published on the GOP/Dem party site.

    I think you are being unfair and unreasonable here. Would you think it fair and reasonable if I posted the various one-line soundbites of Dem. Congresscritters who implied or directly accused the Bush White House of a conspiracy and coverup of 9-11, and then used that to buttress a claim that the Democratic Party advocated a meme stating 9-11 was a conspiracy and coverup?

  6. gj, yes, if there were any Dem. Congressmen who directly accused the Bush WH of 9/11 I would like to know. I condemned vigorously Moveon org. for its loathsome General Betrayus line they made. But, to some degree, the past is the past. I don't keep bringing up Bushisms. What I want is the general now. If there are Democrats saying really idiotic things now, point them out. (bearing in mind the particular idiocy of Joe Biden is unique in that it doesn't seem to have much to do with anything, like his saying he has been sleeping with a teacher for 30 years: his wife, or dissing the former WV coach during the memorial service, Joe's idiocy is more of the; HuH? variety)

    And also bear in mind that this is for Senator, where much higher standards should apply. (yes, I do think the House should be more rough and tumble than the august chambers of the Senate, and so did the framers)