“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,’ ”
“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.”
Uh, um. Hmmm. Well, yes Mitt that is what happens, people do die because they don’t have health insurance. I have seen people die for want of a Pap smear, an appropriately timed mammogram, or medications to manage high blood pressure. And of course there are all the babies who died from prematurity, babies that I delivered from mothers who received no prenatal care.
But let’s focus on heart attacks, since that’s Romney’s example. If you have a heart attack and are without health insurance you will hopefully end up in the emergency department (if you took an ambulance, add that to your stack of bills). And in the emergency department you will get your medical condition stabilized, you will get blood tests and imaging studies, you may be transferred to a cardiac care unit if you need it, and even surgery if it’s warranted.
But if you are uninsured you are 31% more likely to die from this heart attack than if you are privately insured (Ng et al 2012).
So, it is kind of tough luck if you are uninsured, unless I am missing how a 31% greater chance of dying is somehow preferable.
And in that same interview Romney reaffirmed his pro-life stance.
It just boggles the mind.
Possibly a more accurate Romney slogan:
Can’t get care