What can we say about ourselves as a society when “Let Him Die” becomes the saying of choice when talking about health care? Those of who watched the most recent Tea Party express debate will know what I am referencing. For others, you may be startled at the circumstances surrounding that quote. That portion of the debate centered around health care. Since all of the candidates on that side have opposed the health care bill that passes, and don’t believe in quality, affordable health care for everyone, they were being asked to answer how they would handle it. When faced with a scenario of what to do if a middle-aged uninsured man needed care, members of the tea party crowd began to say “Let Him Die”. While none of the candidates used that response, they stood their ground on the fact that health care is a choice and not a right. If you choose to not have health care then you run the risk of high bills. Ron Paul’s own former campaign manager was in this situation. Yet his stance is still the same.
It saddens me that none of the candidates took time out of their responses to address the crowd, while they have issued statements in the aftermath, none of them took a stand during the debate. If that is not a message you want your followers to be spreading then take a stand. But what does this say about us as a society? Are we now God (or whatever higher power you believe in), that we should decide who lives or dies based on their ability to pay? It also shows the hypocrisy of some in the tea party. During the health care debate, one of the big opposition talking points was based upon death panels. They were falsely claiming that the new health care bill would create these death panels to decide who would live or died when it came to receiving care for the elderly. This was a false claim, but how would that scenario be different from their stance on letting someone die who cannot afford coverage?
If they really want to lower the cost of insurance and the amount of tax payer dollars going to cover the uninsured, then they should want everyone to have health coverage. The more people who are insured the less people will choose to use the emergency room for basic health issues that could be covered by a doctor visit. Increases usage of emergency rooms by people who cannot afford to pay only increases the amount of tax payer dollars going to coverage. Even if we put policy aside, are we in that bad of a place as a nation? Do we really care so little about the least fortunate among us that we think it is better to offer them no services than have the government offer assistance? I wonder if these same people will feel the same way, when they lose their job and insurance and are facing a life or death health situation and need assistance?
The fact is, this situation has shown the hypocrisy of the tea party. Oppose death panels (false claim) when it helps you oppose the president, but support your version of the death panel (true claim) when it proves your position on too much government. The tea party gets mad when people make claims about their movement and what it stands for, but their own debate audience makes it clearer than ever what they stand for. When none of their leaders will take an aggressive stand against cries like this, what are we supposed to believe about the tea party? Their actions and words seem to paint an accurate picture.