Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our great healthcare denial

By Michael Berube from SALON

We're all an accident or diagnosis away from long-term care. Why does our healthcare debate never address this?

If you follow national debates about health care, surely you remember the story: It was the fall of 2007, and then-President Bush had recently vetoed an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). In response, the Democrats tapped 12-year-old Graeme Frost to deliver the response to Bush’s weekly radio address. Frost had sustained significant brain injuries in a 2004 car crash and was a beneficiary of S-CHIP — as was his sister Gemma, whose brain injuries were still more severe. After their horrific collision, both children had fallen into comas — Graeme for days, Gemma for weeks. Gemma had an open-skull fracture, shattering her left eye orbit, and when she emerged from her coma, doctors planned reconstructive eye surgery on her eye — but cancelled it, according to the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore (where the Frost children did their rehabilitation therapy), “when they discovered an abscess filled with shards of wood and glass.”

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