Sad That Workhouses & Debtors Prison Not Yet An Option

Romney: Healthcare Through Emergency Rooms Is A Pretty Sweet Deal

Welcome to the MachineIn his interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes yesterday, Mitt Romney patiently explained that the Poors don’t need to worry about health care, because they are allowed to live even though they do not pay taxes and emergency rooms are required to treat their irresponsible asses anyway, so why all the fuss anyway? Asked by interviewer Scott Pelley whether government had any “responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don’t have it,” the self-proclaimed expert on fiscal responsibility replied,

“Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance,” Romney said. “If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance and take them to the hospital and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.”

Sure, it’s expensive, but it would be really unfair to require people to have insurance, which would actually cover preventive care and cost less, because that’s socialism. And Mitt Romney does not like socialism! For instance, here he is in 2007, explaining to Glenn Beck just how much he does not like socialism:

“When they show up at the hospital, they get care. They get free care paid for by you and me. If that’s not a form of socialism, I don’t know what is … So my plan did something quite different. It said, you know what? If people can afford to buy insurance … or if they can pay their own way, then they either buy that insurance or pay their own way, but they no longer look to government to hand out free care. And that, in my opinion, is ultimate conservativism.”

Oh, damn those lucky duckies! They have once again forced Mitt Romney to try to decide what is worse: a socialistic mandate to purchase private insurance from a for-profit company, or a socialistic scheme through which public and private hospitals provide only a minimum of emergency care that costs a hell of a lot, drives people deep into debt, and drives up healthcare costs across the board.

Perhaps actual socialized medicine would cost less and provide better care than either of these options, but only raving communists would suggest such a thing.

[Washington Post / Daily Kos]

About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom
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    1. MadBrahms

      Having lived in Quebecistan for a number of years, I can tell you that Canadians bitch non-stop about their healthcare. Well, at least they do until someone from the US opens their mouth about it, at which point they get sort of glum and say "well, at least we don't have it that bad". My conversations about such issues usually took place over poutine, something which no one without health insurance should ever eat.

      1. Fukui-sanYesOta

        I'm sort of lucky in that I've experienced both the NHS in the UK and US healthcare for an extended period of time. Again, luckily, it's not me who needed the healthcare, but I've seen people very close to me require it.

        The NHS has many, many flaws, and there's a big movement to make it more privatized and market in the UK. I'm not happy with that, but hey, I've lived in the US for years.

        The US system is shitball back to front. I detest, hate, the American system. Your wife can get cancer and you get raped to fuck for money because it doesn't fit with the company's scales for that kind of cancer.

        THIS IS WRONG.

        I cannot explain how wrong this feels for a man who's used to the NHS. I don't give a monkey's cock what your goddamn company has decided is the treatment cost for illnesses or procedures, I really don't. I know that I pay over four hundred fucking bucks a month to not worry about it … and yet I do have to worry about it?

        No, fuck you, insurance companies. Americans just don't know how good the rest of the world has it.

  1. bumfug

    Ironically, as badly as Mitt's campaign needs emergency care, it is instead just sitting in its apartment, dying.

    1. zumpie

      As Bay Buchanan and John Sununu desperately insist everything's awesome and they'll be up and running marathons in just a few secs.

    2. Gleem McShineys

      Au Contraire! The campaign is doing way way great, it has been having all kinds of sex!

      Okay, sure, fine, with dogs.
      But look, all the bed-shitting is making David Vitter all kinds of jealous.

    1. MadBrahms

      Horses are too expensive and hard to come by, so they've resorted to putting the head of the last guy who died in triage on your bed instead.

  2. freakishlywrong

    So, Alan Grayson was right. And just don't die in a place where Miffed or Egg would be inconvenienced by having to step over you people.

    1. Willardbot9000_V2.5

      That pretty well sums it up…so long as the plebes are out of sight and mind Miffed and Egg assume they're happy because Miffed and Egg are happy that way. This sort of assholery has been 40 years in the making: maybe after Miffed gets squashed and the GOP brand is tarnished beyond all hope by chronic asshattery he'll reveal himself to be the ultimate liberal sleeper agent. The sad part is after they do get toasted wingnuts will be portraying him that way, anyway….because ya know, whenever someone actually presents conservative ideas in the raw, cruel way in which they create them they cease to become conservative. That way conservatives need never admit their ideas suck and they are assholes, no Romney was just incompetent. Perfect justification for further-right wingnuttery to commence….

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        I bet $10,000 they boo Mitt during his concession speech, the moment he suggests that they accept the choice of the majority.

  3. SorosBot

    Those emergency rooms work really well for medical problems that require long-term treatment, like cancer.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      Nothing better than emergency room chemo, without a doubt. They provide all the latest technology and everything. Nothing better than sitting in a waiting room for hours with gunshot victims and knowing you've got the best there is available to you.

      1. prommie

        My local ER keeps its long-term patients with cancer and such on this one hallway. Its a sad place. Your stabbing victims and freaking-out methheads and people who got banged up are a pretty cheerful group in comparison.

      2. SorosBot

        And just imagine if you're pregnant, but not yet in labor; I'm sure those emergency room ultrasounds are the best. And after you've been seriously injured in an accident and survived, the ER's rehabilitation treatment is just the best!

    2. MissTaken

      I loooove emergency room pap smears. Nothing says 'Saturday Night' like being in the stirrups next to a gun shot victim bleeding out.

    1. SmutBoffin

      This is a problem that Romney was an expert at solving at Bain. Just take those in failing health, give their good organs to to some job creators who deserve them more, then lay the sick person off/to rest.

    1. MadBrahms

      It's the "please" that does it. I tried asking straight out once, and they kicked me out the door with a shot of methadone and a bill.

  4. Sophist[Kochblocker]

    What's the over/under on how long it takes for the campaign to say he didn't really mean that? Two hours?

  5. Blunderthing

    American President, to the aliens who have invaded: "What do you want us to DO?"
    Alien: "Diiiiiiiiie."

    1. MadBrahms

      Does Barack Obama get to punch an alien in the face and yell "Welcome to Earth!"? Because that might improve his poll numbers.

  6. SheriffRoscoe

    Scott Pelley then pointed out to "CEO candidate" Romney that this method was the more expensive method of providing healthcare. But I didn't catch Romney's response to that one because I was laughing so hard.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      If you're not going to let Mitt borrow a shitload of money, pocket half if it, fire the doctors, screw the suppliers, and welsh on the pensions, how the hell do you people expect him to improve hospital service?

  7. Texan_Bulldog

    He is literally incapable of opening his mouth without saying something 1) stupid 2) flip floppy or 3) hateful/rude. Amazing….

      1. Terry

        Quaintly enough, Agnew was charged with taking over $100,000 in bribes in total while he was Baltimore County executive, Maryland Governor, and then Vice President. He made a bargain and plead guilty to one charge of not reporting slightly less than $30K as income, but he had to step down as v.p. as a part of the bargain. He ended up paying the State of Maryland around a quarter of a million dollars, too. The State of Maryland disbarred him and called him "morally obtuse". I don't remember him as having actually spending time in the big house, but I could be wrong about that.

        Today, someone in his position would just have the person offering the bribe donate a few million to his or her PAC.

    1. LibertyLover

      Doc, I've had this …. er….opinion for over 4 hours, can you help me, please? It seems so unnatural.

  8. Oblios_Cap

    Didn't GW Bush (or whatever that fuckhead's name was) advocate the same approach to healthcare? How'd that rein in health care costs?

    1. Isyaignert

      Baby Bush and his pals didn't rein in costs at all. Medicare Part D was a sloppy French kiss to BigPharma when they said the gummint didn't get to negotiate lower prices, even though the gummint is the largest purchaser of drugs.

  9. Tundra Grifter

    Remember the beginning of Michael Moore's "Sicko" where they show the security camera film of a hospital crew dumping a very ill woman onto the mean streets of LA?

    1. SpeedoFart

      Well, technically, an ER only has to treat you if you're giving birth or actively dying. Anything else? Sayonara, sucker!

    1. LibertyLover

      My grandfather believed that. As a microbiologist, I learned that there are so many germs there that a person is more likely to die of a secondary infection than the original reason that you went to the hospital in the first place.

  10. Tundra Grifter

    Here's some good news for a Monday Morning.

    Based on the consensus there are just 8 swing states, Mr. Obama wins if:

    #1. He takes Florida.

    #2. He wins Ohio and Virginia.

    #3. He wins Ohio and Colorado, Iowa, Nevada or New Hampshire.

    #4. He wins Virginia and any two out of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.

    #5. He wins Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.

    That doesn't include any scenarios with North Carolina.

    1. SmutBoffin

      I say it like this: Romneytron 666(beta) need BOTH Ohio and Florida (necessary but not sufficient). Barry can win with neither.

      Mitt is in a tough spot.

    2. prommie

      So your saying Mitt has to sweep them all to have a fucking chance, right? Isn't that what you are saying? Tell me thats what you're saying?

      1. Tundra Grifter

        prommie: Miffed (r)Money has to run the table like Fast Eddie Felson.

        Real Clear Politics (which I prefer to Nate Silver and TMC because it doesn't give Mr. Obama the same size lead, and I don't want to be over-confident right through here) has Mr. Obama at 247 and (r)Money at 191.

        Florida as 29 electoral votes; Ohio (18); Virginia (13); Colorado (9); Iowa and Nevada (6) and New Hampshire (4).

        Mr. Obama needs 23 from the swing states. (r)Money will probably get North Carolina (15), so that brings him to 206 before the 7 swing states decide the race. Where does he get 64 electoral votes?

        We have a long way to go – but I like our position right now.

        1. Tundra Grifter


          I found these numbers over at Nate Silver's 538 Blog. If they don't keep (r)Money awake at night – or tearing off his clothes and running naked through the snow – it's a stronger man than I think he is.

          Mr. Silver gives Mr. Obama a 77.6% chance of winning the election.

          Yet, "The odds that Obama loses at least one state he carried in 2008: 92.8%. The odds Obama wins at least one state he failed to carry in 2008: 18.5%."


  11. fartknocker

    Mitt has a fallacy in his theory and that is the community has a reasonably decent EMS system. Here in Travis County, TX (Austin) over 1/3 of the air ambulance responses are to rural hospitals to capture the patient and bring them to Austin or San Antonio for specialized care. I can assure you someone is getting a bill and if they don't have any form of insurance or medicare, the costs are in the high 5 figures.

    1. Jerri

      Mitt thinks rural patients send for the town doctor whose services are paid for with a combination of apple pie and chickens. It is more wholesome that way.

        1. Jerri

          I think in that case you'd be paying for the doctor's prayin' time, so probably more like seven. Seven apple pies per 3 hours of prayer and forehead sweat-moppin' with his gingham handkerchief.

      1. vtxmcrider

        I always take chickens with me wherever I go, just in case of an accident. I don't want to be denied medical care.

  12. Hammiepants

    These guys won't really be content until we grind up the poors into fertilizer. They think poor people are shit anyway, so that would be their logical progression.

    1. HogeyeGrex

      Why would you want to grind up perfectly harvestable organs?

      Okay, the rest of them? Sure, but the poors true calling in Mitt's America is to proudly incubate hearts, lungs and livers for their betters. These, of course, are to be picked at their peak of freshness.

  13. Wilcoxyz

    Hold on libtards: drop your insurance and you not only get free care, but they send someone to pick you up. In a limo or whichever Caddy Ann isn't driving that day. I am starting to see the genius of tax cuts.

  14. Joey_Blau

    "“Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance,” Romney said. “If someone has a heart attack, they . . . die."

    seems like a direct quote.. let's use it in an ad.

  15. randcoolcatdaddy

    When asked about the problem of home foreclosures, Romney said "You people have payday loan firms ready to serve you".

  16. CthuNHu

    Wait, if free excellent American healthcare is available to anyone without health insurance, surely anyone who is so foolish as to actually needlessly spend money to purchase insurance is disqualified from public office.

  17. prommie

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it! And everyone is so happy with the way its working now! Everyone who is in that 53% of non-lazy-parasite people.

  18. ph7

    “If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance and take them to the hospital and give them care. "


    Also, "we"? Mitt should spend a day in ambulance duty, watching what lack of health care does to people.

    1. MissTaken

      Yeah, what the fuck about apartments, Mitt? I pay shitloads more in rent for my apartment than my parents or my friends pay for their fucking mortgages. And they get the fucking mortgage interest deduction. Fucking asshole.

  19. MadBrahms

    Oh, fuck your chronic arthritis and your cancer and your coal miners' lung. You call that suffering? RomneyBot cares about suffering, people – emergency suffering. It takes a lot of juice before the electronic compassion circuit kicks in.

    1. YerMa

      everyone knows that the *real* victims in this country are those uber rich people who are forced to pay taxes. THEY are the ones suffering in this god-forsaken country. Can you image what it must be like to have tens of millions and be forced to have to give some to poors!?!?! The HORROR!!!

      1. MadBrahms

        Corporations are people too, and they hurt. They bleed money speech. Only Dr. Mittens will see to their pain, providing sweet amelioration through completely gutting all financial regulations.

  20. Toomush_Infer

    I doubt Mitt's ever been in an Emergency Room – they just call the doctor and give him the address…..anyway, he probably imagines it's like the Cheers bar, where everybody knows your name…and you're really glad you came….

    1. sharethegrief

      He's had some close calls. He and Ann have both had difficulty remembering exactly which estate they're on.

  21. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    The US America provides all the healthcare you want, as long as you have at least one bone sticking out. Oh, and you will have to declare bankruptcy to get away from the 100s of thousands of dollars of crippling debt you will incur. On second thought, mebbe just let that bone stick out. You can hang your shopping bags on it. Handy!

    1. Jerri

      Oh, and you will have to declare bankruptcy to get away from the 100s of thousands of dollars of crippling debt you will incur.

      That's why I always put down my name as Willard Romney on the forms.

    2. Bezoar

      Where I work, when someone shows up with a bone sticking out, we drop everything and do our damnedest to put it back where it belongs. We can't imagine not doing this. We don't really give a fuck about the money. And, we don't really give a fuck about anybody who does. There, I said it.

      1. SpeedoFart

        Just putting my ducks in a row here:
        -Preventative medicine is totes unnecessary
        -Fetuses are people too, my friends
        -Healthy and wanted behbehs!

        Makes perfect sense!

  22. Geminisunmars

    I swear I had a dream this morning where Romney announced he was pulling out of the race. The rest of the dream was pundits trying to figure what was supposed to happen next. You can imagine my disappointment when I awoke to find out it was all a dream. However, I have been known to have prophetic dreams. (Usually about tsunamis and earthquakes, but still.)

  23. a_pink_poodle

    OOooooooo those lucky duckies indeed! Well it does say "Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth" and "woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation" in the Bible so all the rich people gotta get what they can grab before God redistributes the wealth and if it means screwing people out of decent healthcare, so be it!

  24. Peckerwood_Pete

    I have a friend who works in an ER… she told me the goal is to basically give anyone who comes in there RX strength Ibuprofen and get them the fuck out as fast as possible.

    1. proudgrampa

      Unless they DO have insurance. Then they run every test, MRI, and procedure known to man so they can generate the revenue. And THEN they give you the Ibuprofen.

      Trust me. I know.

  25. prommie

    I got to make a fact-finding tour of an ER lately. It was interesting. Its true they treat you whether you have insurance or not. Though I have never seen people so pleased and amazed to be seeing a patient who did have insurance.

    The bill was around $35,000.00. But since I had the insurance thingy, the insurance company didn't pay nearly that much.

    Its only the worst of all possible systems in every way imaginable. Why would we want to change it?

    1. SheriffRoscoe

      Did they send the nice lady with the clipboard to stand by your bedside to discuss payment options with you while you were waiting for test results to come in? I find that to be one of the most charming aspects of the system.

      1. FakaktaSouth

        She was a very nice lady and her clipboard was FULL. She smiled so big at the "um, no it's okay, this will be paid for in a way that doesn't include a debt-collector" and it was nice to make someone's day. And she was glad he wasn't having a baby with no pre-natal care. Just, win, win.

        1. prommie

          the orthopedic surgeon was pretty stern though, I was ascared of her. I felt that somehow she disapproved of me for being so careless with my bones.

          1. FakaktaSouth

            She looked at YOU like she disapproved of YOU? You think? And that tiny thing rammed that rod in there like a champ, so what can you do?

          2. prommie

            She was all like "Disapproving Churchlady." Is there such a thing as an approving churchlady? They live to disapprove. "Puritinism: The sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, might be having fun."

      2. prommie

        When she heard "insurance," it was like the heavens had opened and a light shone down. I wound up with a private damn room and all even, and it was HUGE. I'm not 100% sure how that shit happened though; morphine for the WIN!

        1. FakaktaSouth

          Don't forget the armed guards and code words too, that shit was right on time, heavenly, and two beds is so very nice. Just, magical. Fucking morphine bogarting no sharing bullshit.

      3. Isyaignert

        True story: I got the nice lady with the clipboard to discuss payment options right after I had major gum grafting surgery with my mouth stuffed full of gauze while high on some pharmaceuticals. Good times!

    2. Steverino247

      There's easier ways to find out what's going on in ER's than visiting one of them in pain, my friend. Get well soon!

  26. Geminisunmars

    In the last years I have on several occasions had to take my poor hubby to the ER. The bills that come back will show something like $20,000. Then it will show "Insurance Adjustment" showing a deduction (magical, apparently) of 18,000. And then the insurance payment is 1850.00, leaving my husband with the $150 balance copay required by his insurance. I know the insurance companies and the hospitals have some kind of a contractual agreement, but does this mean that a non-insured person will owe the full $20,000, while the insurance company is paying out $1850 plus whatever that prepaid agreement amount is. And why don't we get to see what that amount is. Seems so crooked to me.

    1. FNMA

      I have a friend who works in the billing department of a very large healthcare concern and she has no idea how the fuck it works. It seems designed so that nobody knows how the fuck it works.

  27. ibwilliamsi

    In the early days of silent movies and the early talkies the great films were about people with disfigurements. The Phantom of the Opera. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Granted, some of these were CLASSIC stories, but they particularly piqued people's interest in the late teens and twenties because THIS is what veterans who returned from war and people injured in industrial/farm accidents were lucky enough to look like. They were burned and disfigured. They limped and gasped for breath. They were missing facial features and limbs. Because they were stabilized on the battlefield or the hospital and if they lived through it they spent some time in a filthy recovery ward and were let go home with no further care. Maybe if they were lucky they could get a new wooden limb, or something to roll around on.

    This is what Bishop Romney is talking about when he says we don't let people die, we treat them in the ER. We stabilize them and send them home. Have a great gash? Stop the bleeding. That's all they have to do. Spill hot oil on your face? Stop the infection and put some dressings on it. Have an infection? Cut it off.

    Bishop Romney wants us to go back to the medical care available to us in 1920. After all, 47% of us don't take responsibility or care for our lives and don't deserve any better.

    1. Steverino247

      Thank you so very much for stating this so well. This is exactly what that fucker wants for all of us outside his socioeconomic level. Imagine if the VA system went away, as troubled and overwhelmed as it gets sometimes. What nightmares would be unleashed?

      Those who believe there's no real difference between political parties aren't looking around.

  28. Jus_Wonderin

    If this asshat was looking for my vote this "emergency room" arguement is EXACTLY the hot buttton for me. We PAY for those freeloaders Mr. Richpants!!!!!

  29. fuflans

    speaking of communists to the north: there is a story my mom (canadian) likes to tell about a canadian PM (diefenbaker?) picking up eisenhower at the airport in his wife's battered station wagon. eisenhower suggested canada perhaps should provide him with a car. for dignity.

    i have no idea if it's apocryphal or not, but i find it charming.

  30. BartStarrland

    Romney went on to say coverage for marital counseling is a big waste due to the wide variety of strip clubs in our country.

        1. vtxmcrider

          But it automatically goes online when:
          – its voice recognition system hears the name "Joseph Smith"
          – it hears the sound of a cash register
          – it is directly addressed using the SWIFT code of a foreign bank

  31. DahBoner

    Which emergency room gives preventative healthcare?

    Oh. "None", you say?


  32. SorosBot

    This is so much better than having the gall to suggest people are actually entitled to health care, and food too – why Obama suggests the government should feed the hungry when they can always dig for scraps in restaurants' dumpsters!

  33. docterry6973

    Thing is, Mitt knows health care and he knows very well that what he is saying is nonsense, that ER care is the worst possible solution short of letting poors die in their hovels (which happens often enough as it is). I am trying to comment more elegantly but for sure I am cursing at the…gentleman… in my mind.

  34. barto

    Actually, there is little evidence that preventive care saves money (it might possibly save money in the very long term), but it certainly does keep people from dying and improves the quality of our lives in general. What Mitt is proposing is just about the most expensive possible way to deliver health care – through an Emergency Department. He is an idiot.

  35. hagajim

    So what do you do about the people who call an ambulance from the ER because they can't get service Mittens…fuckin' asshole.

  36. Serfville

    As I would say to jackass Ron Paul….Can you get chemotherapy in the ER genius, Mr. Bottom Line Business Person Mittens? Can you? Oh, then why are there Dr.'s in this country that are clearing out storage rooms in their own private practice so they can give free chemotherapy to cancer patients in the good ole' USA? Because they are angels and rare. So, as Blanche Dubuois would say, we must "Relah on the kindness of strangers" in the USA when we get cancer? How about chronic illnesses that need constant care, that you CANNOT get that kind of care in the ER? Such as what your wife has Multiple Sclerosis & Breast Cancer. I guess charity does begin and END at home doesn't it? There are thousands of such disorders that "those, you people,oh shut up" the rest of us mooching swine get in the USA. You and yours are losing this campaign from hell so badly comedians and the Prez are thanking the comedy gods for such a present as your assine, nasty, throw the dog on the car, and 47% of Americans under your car and bus, self. And as your dog did we shall shat on you November 6, 2012. It's called trickle up economics from us down here under your Bentley.

  37. Bezoar

    In the same sense, we provide mortuary care for the poors also, i.e., we scrape them up off the sidewalk when they die and take them to the landfill. For free.

  38. ttommyunger

    Took wifey to ER about five years ago for severe and persistent nausea/runs. She was there about eight hours, tab was $3,500. Had no ins. at the time. I frankly felt it was a bargain, but far from free.

  39. Buckminster

    Yeah it's all silly-willy, we'll life flight you to the nearest Cardiac Care Unit until that first bill comes and they repossess your house, car, and first-born child.

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