Hensarling fails on so many levels

HENSARLING FAILS ON SO MANY LEVELS…. It’s easy to find opponents of health care reform making bogus arguments, but I’m especially fond of those who manage to pack layers of nonsense into a short presentation.

For example, consider the remarks this week from Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the House Republican Conference, explaining why he wants to gut the new system. (thanks to reader C.P. for the tip)

“The American people don’t want it. It’s personal.

“Here’s my story, two days ago, I was in San Antonio, Texas, and my mother had a large tumor removed from her head. They wheeled her away at 7:20 in the morning, and by noon, I was talking to her along with the rest of our family. It proved benign, thanks to a lot of prayers and good doctors at the Methodist hospital in San Antonio. My mother’s fine. I’m not sure that would be the outcome in Canada, the U.K., or anywhere in Europe.

“No disrespect to our President, but when it comes to the health of my mother, I don’t want this President or any President or his bureaucrat or commissions making decisions for my loved ones. Let’s repeal it today, replace it tomorrow.”

I’m glad to know the congressman’s mother is fine. I’m less glad to know her son doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

First, patients with tumors can and do receive fine medical care in Canada, the U.K., and throughout Europe.

Second, despite this fact, the comparison doesn’t make any sense, since the Democrats’ reform law bears no resemblance to the health care systems found in Canada, the U.K., and throughout Europe.

Third, there is literally nothing in the law that makes a president or other government officials responsible to making medical treatment decisions. Hensarling is either deeply confused or he’s making stuff up.

Fourth, for Americans who rely on private insurers, “bureaucrats” make treatment decisions every day for our loved ones, and sometimes they deny coverage for patients in need of care. If this is a genuine concern, even confused, far-right lawmakers should gladly endorse the consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act.

And finally, Jeb Hensarling is 53 years old, which makes it extremely likely that his mother is on Medicare. She therefore appears to have received excellent care through a system of socialized medicine.

I’m well aware of the fact that there are legitimate complaints about provisions in the health care reform law. The fact that Republican leaders can’t think of any, and are reduced to spewing such weak nonsense, doesn’t speak well of their understanding of the policy — or their reliability in trying to shape a new system for all of us.