"Yeah, That Number is Zero"

A word to the moronic, otherwise known as conservatives, if you're going to come to a Congressional hearing that is graced by the presence of Senator Al Franken, come armed with facts or don't bother opening your mouths. Yesterday at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on "Medical Debt: Can Bankruptcy Reform Facilitate a Fresh Start," Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a Senior Fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, claimed that that moving towards a European-style system of universal health care would increase bankruptcies.

Odd because the United States leads the world in medical bankruptcies. In fact, a Harvard study released earlier this year shows there has been a 50 percent increase in bankruptcies linked to illness and medical bills since 2001. In most of the cases, the people who filed for bankruptcy protection had health insurance. The study found that 62.1 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States in 2007 cited medical costs as the driving factor.

In the exchange, Senator Franken repeatedly pressed Ms. Furchtgott-Rott to back her case with facts. Problem is that conservatives seem allergic to facts. She didn't "have those numbers." Could be because the number is zero and they undermine her case.

FRANKEN: I think we disagree on whether health care reform, the health care reform that we're talking about in Congress now should pass. You said that the way we're going will increase bankruptcies. I want to ask you, how many medical bankruptcies because of medical crises were there last year in Switzerland?

FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don't have that number in front of me, but I can find out and get back to you.

FRANKEN: I can tell you how many it was. It's zero. Do you know how many medical bankruptcies there were last year in France?

FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don't have that number, but I can get back to you if I like.

FRANKEN: Yeah, the number is zero. Do you know how many were in Germany?

FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: From the trend of your questions, I'm assuming the number is zero. But I don't know the precise number and would have to get back to you.

FRANKEN: Well, you're very good. Very fast. The point is, I think we need to go in that direction, not the opposite direction. Thank you.

The answer remains single-payer national health insurance program and moving the country in that direction is a national imperative. Otherwise, we are just spitting money into the wind and ruining people's lives for naught.

Tags: Conservatives, healthcare reform, Medical Bankruptcies, Senator Al Franken (all tags)

Comments

11 Comments

Franken

Anything this good was worth waiting for.  Jon Stewart for senator from NY?  Pity we don't have a sitting Republican to challenge.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-21 05:37PM | 0 recs
I had high expectations

for Franken, but he's exceeding them.

by desmoinesdem 2009-10-21 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: "Yeah, That Number is Zero"

Yep, that's my Senator.  I have shaken his hand several times...can't wait to see him get his teeth into energy and reneable resources...

by Hammer1001 2009-10-21 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: "Yeah, That Number is Zero"

Uh, that would be RENEWABLE resources...

by Hammer1001 2009-10-21 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: "Yeah, That Number is Zero"

Heritage foundation hack: PWNED!

by onlinesavant 2009-10-21 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: "Yeah, That Number is Zero"

My mistake.Hudson Institute hack:PWNED!. There. I feel better.

by onlinesavant 2009-10-21 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: "Yeah, That Number is Zero"

What I thought was most impressive was how he came back even stronger when she tried to get snide.

I wish there was a cut away shot to Elisabeth Edwards. I really would have loved to see her reaction.

by Judeling 2009-10-21 06:41PM | 0 recs
But, but he's a CLOWN!!

How in hell could anyone be DUMB enough to make an argument about increased medical bankruptcies under a system that covers more people with insurance.  How do these morons get these jobs?

Oh yeah, by agreeing to check their conscience and their ability to think critically at the front door of the "Institute."

by Thaddeus 2009-10-21 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: "Yeah, That Number is Zero"

I <3 Al.  I now <3 him more than Frannie and Thomasin.  A hard goal for him.

by lojasmo 2009-10-21 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: &quot;Yeah, That Number is Zero&quot;

This is the same committee where Kerry Burns testified.  Kerry and her husband Patrick lost their 4-year old son Finn this year and while he lay dying in his hospital bed, they were getting dozens of calls a day from creditors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSDZLVfIQ Uo

by Khun David 2009-10-22 07:15AM | 0 recs
Franken-Grayson 2016!

A guy can dream...

by RT 2009-10-22 07:15AM | 0 recs

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