Somebody say something funny.

Or otherwise enlightening.

I dunno. I am sort of skimming paragraphs that read like this:

Busby lost by 4.5%, but it took the Republicans a lot of money to get it done. The good omen in the race seems to suggest that Busby had a shift of 18% her way from the last time she ran. As Bowers states, if that happens across the country in November, we’ll have a rout. Independents are falling heavily for Democrats, but as others who follow these things for a living have said, turn out was abysmal.

Apologies to Taylor Marsh for what’s about to come (because I respect your work and your optimism… I REALLY DO…) but fucking shit this sort of thing depresses me.

We’re spending an inordinate amount of time and resources rampaging towards the middle in our elections in this country. There’s some magic percentage of “undecided” voters that “centrist” candidates are chasing, and frankly all I can say is “Fuck those people.” Who, in the brave year of 2006 can look at a television news program for longer than an hour and think “Oh, ho-hum, who shall I vote for? I am undecided!”??

I know that Markos wants to form coalitions and work the local races and Crash the Gates through the ballot box, but when I read stories like this in the local paper:

Athens Regional Medical Center can charge uninsured patients higher rates than patients who do have health insurance, a state appeals court has ruled.

In a decision handed down May 26, the Georgia Court of Appeals said the practice violates no state laws.

The court’s ruling upheld a July 21 decision by Clarke County Superior Court Judge Lawton Stephens, who dismissed a 2004 lawsuit brought by five former ARMC patients.

“The Court of Appeals says Athens Regional does completely what they’re supposed to do under Georgia law,” said Ed Allen, a lawyer for Athens Regional Medical Center.

Lawyers for the five former ARMC patients said the dual-pricing system is unfair and fraudulent and should be declared illegal, partly because the burden of the higher charges falls disproportionately on poor people and minorities, those least able to pay.

Among the plaintiffs were Mercer Cox, charged $941.60 for ointment and a bandage in ARMC’s emergency room for a minor burn; Keith Hambrick, charged about $8,500 for a two-hour outpatient hernia operation – not counting what the surgeon charged; and John Wilson, charged $10,650.26 for a one-day hospitalization for a cardiac catheterization.

The hospital did not dispute that it charges more to uninsured patients, but maintained that the law doesn’t prohibit the price structure.

I just despair that we’re ever going to see candidates who are going to be able to get past the corporate media’s distortions and slavering obeisance to power and the status quo. I just don’t know how real fundamental change is possible if we have to squeak by on margins of “undecideds” when there are clearly so MANY COMPLETELY FUCKED UP THINGS GOING ON, and anyone with half a brain could see that.

Shorter US Healthcare System: Fuck the poor. Those insurance companies have mean lawyers and they won’t pay for stuff. Poor people? FUCK YOU.

I am having a little trouble getting enthused about electoral returns right now, unless there’s a headline that says “Angry mob of 100,000 moves on Washington.”

I just don’t know how this country got this fucked up, but I don’t think that the DNC has any plan to fix it.

5 Comments

  1. A lot of places charge insured patients more to cover the uninsured ones, a lot of whom aren’t going to pay anyway. You’re dead right though – our health care (hah!) system is seriously fucked up.

    Ms. Busby did pretty good, all things considered, even given her foot-in-mouth comment about “you don’t need papers to vote”. That shit don’t fly in a Republican border community, and the Reps jumped on it like a duck on a junebug.

    The term of office is only ’til November. Maybe she’ll do better next time.

  2. Holy shit, I hope I never break anything or hurt myself. $1,000 for ointment and a bandage on a burn?

    Unbelievable.

    How does our health system get away with that, when in almost any other country the same treatment would cost either $0 or $50 at the most? WTF.

    I had no idea it was so bad. Then again, I haven’t been to the hospital in almost 28 years.

  3. B Moe

    Holy shit, I hope I never break anything or hurt myself. $1,000 for ointment and a bandage on a burn?

    Exactly, Neo-Sporin and J&J in your own bathroom would cost about a buck, which is probably why they are trying to discourage people from cluttering up emergency rooms with trivial injuries. Also do you really think they are over-charging people who are already having trouble paying the bills just because they are mean? They would rather fuck people over than try to get paid? Because I would guess since most of these uninsured bills go unpaid anyway, they jack the price up to give themselves a bigger tax write-off, but this is pure speculation.

  4. "amy", R.N.

    Uninsured patients are using our E.R. as a doctor’s office (or a drug store), coming in for foolish things that can be taken care of with OTC supplies purchased at a drug store. Maybe, if the bill is very high, they will stop. Because of those people taking up our ER beds, people in REAL NEED of ER services are having to wait. (They also to this with the ambulance services. Nurses call this Ghetto Taxi).

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