Thursday, March 24, 2005
An Excellent Commentary from New London
The GOP's Selective Compassion
By FROMA HARROP
Published on 3/24/2005
I have a question for all those “culture of life” people praying in front of Terri Schiavo's hospital: Where were you last week when President Bush and the Republican Congress were pushing to cut Medicaid? ...Perhaps you'd like to hear the story of another woman, Annette Arrico. A divorced mother, Arrico ran a tiny beauty parlor in Rhode Island, serving mostly elderly ladies. After expenses, she took home only $150 a week and could not afford health insurance.
Some years ago, Arrico found a lump in her breast. She knew the lump meant trouble, but she tried to ignore it.“I had all I could do to bring up our daughter,” she said at the time.Pushed by her daughter, Arrico finally saw a doctor, but by then it was too late to help her. She subsequently died.
There are thousands of Annette Arricos among us today. Lacking health insurance, they do not seek preventive care and avoid getting a diagnosis. That's why the mortality rate from cancer is up to two times higher for uninsured people than those with coverage, says a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation study....Here is another question for the “pro-life” folks: Where were you two weeks ago, when the Senate voted to toughen the nation's bankruptcy laws? The bill made no distinction between debt run up in a casino and debt run up in a hospital. A recent Harvard study found that nearly half of the personal bankruptcies were caused by unexpected medical bills. Funny, but I don't recall any spiritual leaders rushing to protect families in a medical crisis from losing all in a bankruptcy....
To the pliant members of the “pro-life” base: Follow your orders, and get excited over a poor woman who can neither think nor emote and for whom doctors can do nothing. ...Then sit back as your political masters try to cut the programs that help the sick, the frail and the dying. Let credit card companies harass families overwhelmed by medical expenses.
You have every right to call yourselves “defenders of life.” Just as long as no one else has to.
Froma Harrop writes for the Providence Journal-Bulletin. END QUOTE.
These are my sentiments exactly.