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(Think Progress)   Uninsured conservative blogger in hospital with liver failure. Liberal and conservative bloggers band together to raise money for his medical bills. Good job guys, now just 45 million more to go   (thinkprogress.org) divider line 441
    More: Hero, liver failure, medical bills, RedState, Blogging  
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3707 clicks; posted to Politics » on 02 Aug 2013 at 9:04 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-02 09:28:03 AM

CPT Ethanolic: The guy was an alcoholic. Many tweets from him involving vodka.


Good.  They're hesitant to give transplants to people that have substance abuse problems.

Karma, with a side of personal responsibility irony.  I like it.
 
2013-08-02 09:28:43 AM
ppffffft.....I wish him well, but will save my assistance to those who do not have the luxury of writing blog posts that seek to exclude and marginalize others. Besides, I am sure the Koch Brothers, Sean Hannity, Josh Trevino, Ben Domenech or Mike Krempasky will be right at his side with open wallets and schmoopy conservative love. Yes?

/eyeroll.jpg
 
2013-08-02 09:29:21 AM

Dr Dreidel: Aristocles: If medical costs weren't so inflated and docs were allowed to compete across state-lines, maybe his treatment would have been affordable.

And if he'd had insurance, he'd have spent his own money on the care he's now getting. (I know that's not how it works - the premium I pay today goes mostly to other peoples' claims tomorrow, and when I file a claim, their premia come to me. I'm simplifying.)

Libertarian moocher is a mooch.

Let's say he's been without insurance for the last 3 years. His portion of an employer's plan premium would have been about $951/year, or $79.25/month. For 3 years or 36 months, he chose to spend $2,853 on everything but planning for this kind of contingency. $2800 wouldn't be near enough to cover this illness, sure, but the insurance he bought with it would have, even if you figure in a $10k deductible (his goal was $25k).

Everyone who donated has financed his awful planning. Shouldn't a father of two young girls be a better life-planner? Isn't that the responsible, "family-oriented" thing to do, Libertarians?



Libertarians aren't exactly known for consistency. Hell, Ayn Rand, the patron saint of those assholes, died with Social Security and Medicare paying for her lung cancer treatment.

This is just another classic example of "IT'S DIFFERENT WHEN I DO IT!"
 
2013-08-02 09:29:38 AM

born_yesterday: CPT Ethanolic: The guy was an alcoholic. Many tweets from him involving vodka.

Good.  They're hesitant to give transplants to people that have substance abuse problems.

Karma, with a side of personal responsibility irony.  I like it.


Siskel & Ebert give this post two thumbs up!
 
2013-08-02 09:30:02 AM

qorkfiend: No insurance? No problem. Right up until it becomes a problem, of course. Then the rest of us get to pick up the slack.


How is mandatory insurance not making everyone pickup the slack for those who get sick?
What you pay in covers for what the insurers pay out on those who got sick. We're simply debating whether payment is done by voluntary charity or an automatic deduction from our wages.

The problem is it isn't just the lack of insurance, but the outrageous pricing.  Insurance would be easier to afford (and you could sooner cover the bills without it) if we could drag the costs of hospitalization back down to reasonable levels.

I'd rather see a conversation about that than one for how best to give the middlemen their money.
 
2013-08-02 09:30:28 AM
Private handouts are ok and bootstrappy, public ones are not and turn you into a moocher. Got it.
 
2013-08-02 09:31:18 AM

Dr Dreidel: Aristocles: If medical costs weren't so inflated and docs were allowed to compete across state-lines, maybe his treatment would have been affordable.

And if he'd had insurance, he'd have spent his own money on the care he's now getting. (I know that's not how it works - the premium I pay today goes mostly to other peoples' claims tomorrow, and when I file a claim, their premia come to me. I'm simplifying.)

Libertarian moocher is a mooch.

Let's say he's been without insurance for the last 3 years. His portion of an employer's plan premium would have been about $951/year, or $79.25/month. For 3 years or 36 months, he chose to spend $2,853 on everything but planning for this kind of contingency. $2800 wouldn't be near enough to cover this illness, sure, but the insurance he bought with it would have, even if you figure in a $10k deductible (his goal was $25k).

Everyone who donated has financed his awful planning. Shouldn't a father of two young girls be a better life-planner? Isn't that the responsible, "family-oriented" thing to do, Libertarians?


Wait, you mean actually practice what you preach? nah, that sounds like too much work. Now, give me free stuff cuz it's different when it's for me...
 
2013-08-02 09:31:47 AM

CPT Ethanolic: Mugato: They're called transplants and they can be a little hard to get if you're not Larry Hagman or Mickey Mantle.

... or David Crosby...  sadly, very true.


Um, no.

Liver transplants aren't a "wait in line for your turn" allocation system. People with high MELD scores (MELD = composite indicator of liver function) rise to the top of the list. The fact that some people get liver transplants faster than others has almost* nothing to do with fame or money.

*'Almost' only because people with a lot of money can go to regions (donation service areas) where the wait time within a given MELD score is shorter, increasing their odds. But there's no real way to game the system within a region and get your patient a liver transplant ahead of the system without all the transplant surgeons in nearby hospitals yelling their heads off to UNOS and their senators.
 
2013-08-02 09:32:23 AM

way south: I'd rather see a conversation about that than one for how best to give the middlemen their money.


By removing the middlemen, and going straight to government-paid healthcare.

That would greatly reduce the costs of health care. Sort of like how we have government paid police and fire departments: When the elasticity of a good can get to "Buy this good, right now, or you will die", free market theory doesn't really work.
 
2013-08-02 09:32:39 AM

stoli n coke: Dr Dreidel: Aristocles: If medical costs weren't so inflated and docs were allowed to compete across state-lines, maybe his treatment would have been affordable.

And if he'd had insurance, he'd have spent his own money on the care he's now getting. (I know that's not how it works - the premium I pay today goes mostly to other peoples' claims tomorrow, and when I file a claim, their premia come to me. I'm simplifying.)

Libertarian moocher is a mooch.

Let's say he's been without insurance for the last 3 years. His portion of an employer's plan premium would have been about $951/year, or $79.25/month. For 3 years or 36 months, he chose to spend $2,853 on everything but planning for this kind of contingency. $2800 wouldn't be near enough to cover this illness, sure, but the insurance he bought with it would have, even if you figure in a $10k deductible (his goal was $25k).

Everyone who donated has financed his awful planning. Shouldn't a father of two young girls be a better life-planner? Isn't that the responsible, "family-oriented" thing to do, Libertarians?


Libertarians aren't exactly known for consistency. Hell, Ayn Rand, the patron saint of those assholes, died with Social Security and Medicare paying for her lung cancer treatment.

This is just another classic example of "IT'S DIFFERENT WHEN I DO IT!"


As for what should happen to this guy, the libertarian answer is probably: accept the charity if it is offered, but "charity" shouldn't be forced so if it doesn't come in, start selling off your shait.

As for Ayn Rand, did she pay into Social Security and Medicare when she paid taxes?
 
2013-08-02 09:32:42 AM

way south: The problem is it isn't just the lack of insurance, but the outrageous pricing. Insurance would be easier to afford (and you could sooner cover the bills without it) if we could drag the costs of hospitalization back down to reasonable levels.


So long as people can still turn a profit on health insurance, AMIRITE?
 
2013-08-02 09:33:17 AM
Shame on him for using his daughters to guilt people into giving him money. If he loved them so much he would have put down the bottle and bought them some health insurance.
 
2013-08-02 09:33:29 AM
And let's not forget Ron Paul's chief of staff, uninsured and dead of the flu, or some such.

But COMMUNISM.
 
2013-08-02 09:35:03 AM
They should have let him die. Compassion isn't a Real American value.
 
2013-08-02 09:36:14 AM

HotIgneous Intruder: And let's not forget Ron Paul's chief of staff, uninsured and dead of the flu, or some such.

But COMMUNISM.


Communism is well-intended, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  The road to heaven is paved with the bootstraps of patriots.

Checkmate.
 
2013-08-02 09:38:13 AM
He sounds like a socialist or communist! Why should we have to pay for his bills?!
 
2013-08-02 09:39:39 AM

Princess Ryans Knickers: He sounds like a socialist or communist! Why should we have to pay for his bills?!


Hey, if dying for lack of insurance is good enough for a vet, then it's good enough for this libstain!
 
2013-08-02 09:40:56 AM
Let him walk the walk, let him and his family be financially ruined.
 
2013-08-02 09:41:34 AM
This sort of thing makes absolutely no sense... unless, as I've long maintained, kindness is hardwired into human genes.

Empathy - the ability to perceive the emotional state of another; especially, to feel his suffering.
Compassion - the urge to do something about another's suffering, because it's making you suffer.
Kindness - the act of doing something about another's suffering, with no ROI from the one helped.

These three things fit together in a feedback loop that forms and strengthens societal bonds. Acts of kindness build social capital, if they are known, or at least expectations of reciprocity if they are known only to oneself.

A person with a reputation for kindness generally receives support from society when he needs it, because his kindness is useful to others.  Religions teach people to have faith that kindness, especiallyif done anonymously, will be rewarded by God.  So important is kindness that both secular and religious institutions place enormous value upon it and encourage it mightily.

Behavior which enhances survival prospects may, over many generations, result in a biofeedback mechanism that gives an organism a neurochemical reward for such behavior.  In short, acts of kindness make you feel better, inclining you to be kind more often.

It's always about feeling better.
 
2013-08-02 09:42:21 AM

way south: qorkfiend: No insurance? No problem. Right up until it becomes a problem, of course. Then the rest of us get to pick up the slack.

How is mandatory insurance not making everyone pickup the slack for those who get sick?
What you pay in covers for what the insurers pay out on those who got sick. We're simply debating whether payment is done by voluntary charity or an automatic deduction from our wages.

The problem is it isn't just the lack of insurance, but the outrageous pricing.  Insurance would be easier to afford (and you could sooner cover the bills without it) if we could drag the costs of hospitalization back down to reasonable levels.

I'd rather see a conversation about that than one for how best to give the middlemen their money.


Okay. Let's start with the fact that every other developed country on the planet spends less money on health care than we in America do. Are there any common denominators there? It turns out there are; every single one of those countries uses government power to set prices for health care services.
 
2013-08-02 09:43:28 AM
Seems to me the bootstrappy thing to do would be to run up enormous medical bills and simply not pay them.  BK out if you have to.  It's the American way.
 
2013-08-02 09:44:44 AM

BarkingUnicorn: This sort of thing makes absolutely no sense... unless, as I've long maintained, kindness is hardwired into human genes.

Empathy - the ability to perceive the emotional state of another; especially, to feel his suffering.
Compassion - the urge to do something about another's suffering, because it's making you suffer.
Kindness - the act of doing something about another's suffering, with no ROI from the one helped.


I disagree that the three are tied up together. One can show empathy and do nothing to help. Others can feel no empathy at all but act in what will be perceived from an observer to be compassion or kindness.
 
2013-08-02 09:45:22 AM
Liver failure, so is this guy a drunk, a doper or did he get Hepatitis from some random sex encounter?


I am just asking questions here.
 
2013-08-02 09:48:39 AM

RexTalionis: BarkingUnicorn: This sort of thing makes absolutely no sense... unless, as I've long maintained, kindness is hardwired into human genes.

Empathy - the ability to perceive the emotional state of another; especially, to feel his suffering.
Compassion - the urge to do something about another's suffering, because it's making you suffer.
Kindness - the act of doing something about another's suffering, with no ROI from the one helped.

I disagree that the three are tied up together. One can show empathy and do nothing to help. Others can feel no empathy at all but act in what will be perceived from an observer to be compassion or kindness.


They may not be, but I think he's right about cooperation being an evolved behavior that helps our genes survive and thrive.
 
2013-08-02 09:49:45 AM
There are 45 million Uninsured conservative bloggers in the US?!!

I think I found one of our problems
 
2013-08-02 09:49:59 AM
After reading a bit about this douchebag I think they should keep his liver and transplant the rest of him.  Christ, what a shiatstain.
 
2013-08-02 09:50:05 AM
As a staunch conservative capitalist, I have to tell this fellow that he represents a terrible investment.
 
2013-08-02 09:50:22 AM
Uninsured conservative blogger in hospital with liver failure. = 47%er

//some people are just takers and always will be, the GOP is not concerned with them we are concerned with the middle class who works to provide for themselves. - Mittens
 
2013-08-02 09:52:25 AM

spongeboob: Liver failure, so is this guy a drunk, a doper or did he get Hepatitis from some random sex encounter?


I am just asking questions here.


Or cancer. Or accidental Tylenol overdose. Or a number of other causes which do not point to personal moral failings on his part.
 
2013-08-02 09:52:50 AM

Chummer45: No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.


And a rock feels no pain,
And an island never cries.

That song is one of the greatest trolls ever.  Millions bought it and listened to it just to vehemently disagree with it. :-)
 
2013-08-02 09:53:18 AM
Should've let him die. So long as we keep bailing out failed conservative policies, they're never going to learn. Sure there's a chance that this guy will take this situation, learn from it, and come out with an empathetic mindset that understands that relying on charity for basic medical care is untenable, but most likely he's going internalize his derp using the rationale that he deserved saving over everyone else or have an "I've been on welfare and food stamps and nobody helped me" moment.

Let conservatives lie in their bed for once.
 
2013-08-02 09:53:33 AM
"He'll be dead really, really soon, so fark him!"

Is what Caleb Howe said about Roger Ebert when he was dying of cancer.


I know it's morally the right thing to do and all and we're supposed to act better than drunken d-bags who behave horribly towards other human beings, but I'm still having a hard time with this one.  :/
 
2013-08-02 09:54:28 AM
Hey, It's God's will and the human nature.
 
2013-08-02 09:55:02 AM
I offered to share some of my Health Care a couple weeks ago...

I rescind.

Does this not remind you of how the right-wing opened their eyes to stem-cells after Saint Reagan started to go downhill?
 
2013-08-02 09:55:53 AM
Oh, the sweet rush of schadenfreude.
 
2013-08-02 09:56:03 AM

BunkoSquad: What a uniquely American story - people pitching in to help because we refuse to pitch in to help.


It's the difference between being kind or mugged.
 
2013-08-02 09:56:16 AM

HotWingConspiracy: As a staunch conservative capitalist, I have to tell this fellow that he represents a terrible investment.


Doesn't he have a whole bunch of perfectly good organs he could sell?  Shouldn't he have to sell those to avoid going into bankruptcy first?

I bet he still has a refrigerator, too.

/Tired of America-haters like this mooching off of people
 
2013-08-02 09:57:19 AM
I can't wait until he recovers from his transplant enough to start blogging about how people who can't pay their own way through life are trash who deserve utter scorn, and how medical bankruptcy is a myth because hey, he got a liver transplant and doesn't owe jack shiat but a smile and a hug.
 
2013-08-02 09:58:26 AM
This reminds me a little of the GOPers that are staunchly against gay rights . . . until a family member turns out to be gay.  Then, they change their position overnight.  It seems to be par for the course for these conservatives - unable to back something that doesn't affect them personally, until it affects them personally.
 
2013-08-02 09:58:27 AM
Everybody begging everybody for money is a realistic solution to the rising cost of healthcare.

Or, you know, we all just chip in via taxes and let the government handle the payments to healthcare providers.

Nah, then I wouldn't get the pleasure of ignoring someone's pleas for money and knowing that I helped kill them.
 
2013-08-02 09:59:23 AM

BSABSVR: I can't wait until he recovers from his transplant enough to start blogging about how people who can't pay their own way through life are trash who deserve utter scorn, and how medical bankruptcy is a myth because hey, he got a liver transplant and doesn't owe jack shiat but a smile and a hug.


If he's an alcoholic, unless he's very rich or famous, the odds of him getting a transplant are pretty slim.
 
2013-08-02 09:59:37 AM

LL316: Bloggers should never get charity.


They don't.  They get tips for services rendered.

I ran a blog once upon a time, and at the bottom  of each post was a simple pitch:    "If you liked what you've read, please leave a tip."  A tip jar icon led to my Paypal account. I got tons of derisive comments and a couple hundred bucks a month, on average.
 
2013-08-02 10:00:47 AM
Alcoholic conservative blogger?  Sir, you are no P. J. O'Rourke.
 
2013-08-02 10:00:54 AM
Also reminds me a little of this: http://www.savewalterwhite.com/
 
2013-08-02 10:01:45 AM

stoli n coke: If he's an alcoholic, unless he's very rich or famous, the odds of him getting a transplant are pretty slim.


How can they prove he's an alcoholic?

/may be relevant to my interests someday
 
2013-08-02 10:02:02 AM
So why didn't this bootstrappy fellow have insurance?
 
2013-08-02 10:04:13 AM

qorkfiend: No insurance? No problem. Right up until it becomes a problem, of course. Then the rest of us get to pick up the slack.


He has insurance and has been paying premiums for it.  His insurance is the reputation he has built with his labor.  Reputation is social capital.  It can be converted to money at need.
 
2013-08-02 10:05:38 AM

Mrbogey: NewportBarGuy: Imagine if his health care were covered by a single-payer entity. He wouldn't have to beg like some homeless person.

Instead he'd have to hope for the compassion of a faceless bureaucrat properly filing and approving his request and then receive bottom tier care. Relying on your neighbors and people who genuinely care for you to help you, that's no way to go through life, I tells ya. Gov't assistance... now that's dignified.

It's nice to know that the compassion some people feel towards him exists only as far as they want to prove a point.


Because it's totally practical to have your medical coverage by begging for donations.  I suggest you do this for the lulz.
 
2013-08-02 10:06:15 AM

Aristocles: As for what should happen to this guy, the libertarian answer is probably: accept the charity if it is offered, but "charity" shouldn't be forced so if it doesn't come in, start selling off your shait.


The problem here is it wasn't his Rich Uncle Pennybags who set up this charity for him, he did it for himself when his plan of "I won't get sick, I'm a healthy young man with two photogenic daughters!" failed. He'd have had much better results paying into a PRIVATE health care plan for the last 3 years (or even more!), and wouldn't have had to rely on the kindness of strangers.

Of course, maybe this is a call to action. Perhaps people should pool their money together to plan for such health eventualities, their individual contributions based on some calculation of their expected health versus expected treatment costs. Then, when someone needs to draw from this pool, they submit an application for some funds, and after the request gets approved they are disbursed directly to the care provider (to minimize the work required of the afflicted person). That way, everyone's got "skin in the game", and everyone has access to the care they might need without resorting to forcing care through EMTALA or begging for charity.

That seems like an appropriately bootstrappy way of providing care, don't you think?
 
2013-08-02 10:06:40 AM

Mugato: stoli n coke: If he's an alcoholic, unless he's very rich or famous, the odds of him getting a transplant are pretty slim.

How can they prove he's an alcoholic?

/may be relevant to my interests someday


They don't prove you have an uncontrollable urge to drink.  They just prove that you've drunk a lot by looking at physical evidence.
 
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