The irony I see in The Augusta Chronicle and The News-Times continues to amaze me.
The Nov. 18 New-Times column by Barry Paschal labeled the recently House passed health care bill "a dismal failure of government." A story on the adjacent page included quotes from U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, who continues to denigrate the bill.
On the very same day, The Chronicle's sports section ran an article on a local athlete, Stephanie Legg, who is being treated for a rare form of eye cancer. Because of her age, her medical insurance ended when she turned 22. The story detailed how the efforts and benevolence of friends and the community have pitched in through various fundraisers to come together to help defray her enormous medical bills.
Am I the only one who sees irony in these news items? Is this how we, as a great nation, cover medical costs - let them have fund-raisers? Why don't we have a plan for unforeseen emergencies, and allow everyone to be insured?
Instead, we have a system where insurance companies turn away people with pre-existing conditions, and try their hardest to deny claims, and pay health insurance CEOs outrageous sums. (Aetna CEO Ronald Williams was paid $24.3 million in 2008.) Any wonder health insurance premiums are out of sight?
Broun's plan for health care reform (according to his Web site) includes expanded health savings accounts, tax deductibility for medical expenses, physician's tax credits for pro bono work, Medicare vouchers and buying insurance across state lines. All this will do nothing to help those in predicaments similar to Miss Legg. Meanwhile, 15 percent of the country is without medical insurance.
The Chronicle and The News-Times missed a great opportunity to see our health care dilemma through the same lens as Miss Legg's. Instead, we are treated to the usual demagoguery we have come to expect from The Chronicle - vilifying current proposals, but offering no meaningful alternative that will solve the medical predicaments of our own residents.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.