The Hill: By Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), Opinion Contributor - 05/19/17 09:30 AM EDT
Take a moment to consider some remarks made recently by House Republicans:
- "Nobody dies because they don't have access to healthcare."
- Poor people “just don’t want healthcare and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”
- “Rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest in their own health care.”
Sometimes, people make regrettable statements based on ignorance or lack of personal experience. But do we really believe that is the case here? Who among us has never had a loved one touched by cancer? Don’t we all know someone whose life was saved because they had the right test at the right moment? Isn’t good health at the top of everyone’s wish list?
These statements were not just unfortunate slips of the tongue. Instead, the statements are a window into a broader ideology based on the belief that people are deserving of healthcare, happiness – and even life – only if they can afford it.
I served as an emergency physician for 10 years. Here’s what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt:
First, thousands of Americans die because they don’t have access to health care. That’s a fact.
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