Mike Coffman goes to the doctor

MIKE COFFMAN GOES TO THE DOCTOR…. Rep. Mike Coffman (R) of Colorado was jogging on Christmas morning when he stepped on something hidden by snow, fell, and ended up on crutches. “I successfully tested our health care system,” Coffman said. “It works.”

Of course it does — for him. Coffman, who has great taxpayer-subsidized insurance as a member of Congress, went for X-rays, found that he’d broken a bone, and received a cast and some painkillers. It cost him a $30 co-pay. A friend of a friend is a specialist, who saw Coffman on short notice and concluded that the conservative lawmaker would not need surgery. The visit to the specialist — at an exclusive clinic in Vail — wasn’t covered by his insurance, but Coffman, who makes $174,000 a year as a House member, had no trouble paying the $350 out-of-pocket expense.

I’m glad things turned out well for the congressman, but what about the tens of millions of Americans who have no insurance and might have to “test our health care system,” too? Would they also think the system “works”? Mary Winter had this item yesterday:

Of course the health care system worked for him, many Coloradans undoubtedly thought when they read the item in Saturday’s Post. Coffman, a Republican member of Congress who voted against the health care reform bill in the House last year, is covered by the Cadillac of American health-care plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan.

That’s why his X-ray, temporary cast and prescription cost him only $30.

But if he didn’t have insurance — like some 45 million Americans — the tab most likely would be closer to $375 ($150 for the visit, $150 for the splint, and $75 for the X-ray, according to prices quoted at a popular downtown Denver urgent-care clinic).

Indeed, the system of urgent-care clinics, like the one where Coffman received his initial X-ray, would be expanded under the Democratic reform bill he and his cohorts still hope to kill.

If Coffman wants to expand his horizons a bit, he can go to one of the free clinics that occasionally help the uninsured, and can talk to some of the folks who broke bones but didn’t have the money to get them treated. It can cause years of misery, all because they lacked coverage.

Any chance Coffman might want to create a system where anyone who had his experience could get the same quality of care he received?