Krugman On the Trina Bachtel story

By Big Tent Democrat

Again Paul Krugman demonstrates that he gets it:

Not long ago, a young Ohio woman named Trina Bachtel, who was having health problems while pregnant, tried to get help at a local clinic. Unfortunately, she had previously sought care at the same clinic while uninsured and had a large unpaid balance. The clinic wouldn’t see her again unless she paid $100 per visit — which she didn’t have. Eventually, she sought care at a hospital 30 miles away. By then, however, it was too late. Both she and the baby died.

You may think that this was an extreme case, but stories like this are common in America. . . MORE

Krugman then gets to the part of the story I was focused on:

All of which makes the media circus of a few days ago truly shameful. Some readers may already have recognized the story of Trina Bachtel. While campaigning in Ohio, Hillary Clinton was told this story, and she took to repeating it, without naming the victim, on the campaign trail. She used it as an illustration of what’s wrong with American health care and why we need universal coverage.

[T]he news media went to town, accusing Mrs. Clinton of making stuff up. Instead of being a story about health care, it became a story about the candidate’s supposed problems with the truth. In fact, Mrs. Clinton was accurately repeating the story as it was told to her — and it turns out that while some of the details were slightly off, the essentials of her story were correct.

And finally Krugman noticed what I had noticed -- to some so called "progressives," attacks on Hillary Clinton were more important than the health care issue:

In other words, this was a disgraceful episode. It was particularly sad to see a number of Obama supporters (though not the Obama campaign itself) join enthusiastically in the catcalls against Mrs. Clinton’s good-faith effort to put a human face on the cruelty and injustice of the American health care system.

Look, I know that many progressives have their hearts set on seeing Barack Obama get the Democratic nomination. But politics is supposed to be about more than cheering your team and jeering the other side. It’s supposed to be about changing the country for the better.


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    Realy. . . (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:13:56 PM EST
    if I may engage in a little leftosphere purple prose, it's as if those commentators murdered Ms. Bachtel themselves.

    They didn't murder her (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:27:54 PM EST
    They were too busy trying to find out what kind of countertops she had.

    They didn't murder her, (none / 0) (#62)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:57:41 PM EST
    they just dug up the body to display it in the sideshow.

    Krugman (5.00 / 13) (#2)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:14:17 PM EST
    Look, I know that many progressives have their hearts set on seeing Barack Obama get the Democratic nomination. But politics is supposed to be about more than cheering your team and jeering the other side. It's supposed to be about changing the country for the better.

    Could he be any more dead-on?

    Thanks for posting this.

    Krugman is Amazing (none / 0) (#99)
    by pluege on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 06:40:55 PM EST
    Krugman ALWAYS = "dead-on"

    Another... (5.00 / 14) (#4)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:23:00 PM EST
    ... unhinged rant from Paul Krugman, whose blind hatred of Barack Obama has clouded his once clear vision. I heard that if Krugman were to have a son, that son would be working for Hillary Clinton.

    Who cares about people like Trina Bachtel and Monique White? Instead of the rabid, bomb-throwing, inflammatory rhetoric about issues like health care, can't Krugman focus on real issues instead as Maureen Dowd, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Randi Rhodes do with their trademark quiet thoughtfulness, evenhanded wisdom, and restrained sophistication?

    Fess up (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:24:32 PM EST
    you copied that directly from DK or TPM, didn'tcha?



    I couldn't have done that... (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:50:50 PM EST
    ... I don't visit those sites anymore. :)

    Nor do I (none / 0) (#52)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:22:43 PM EST
    but I recognize the style. You nailed it. :-)

    Unhinged Rant? (none / 0) (#10)
    by STLDeb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:27:29 PM EST
    Just a simple question if I may ask ... why is this an unhinged rant?  

    Now believe me when I say I'm no Krugman fan, HOWEVER, I do agree with him on this point (and some others as well).  First of all, when the media & BO supporters went after Hillary for "her lie" which it was not and secondly for the health care for ALL americans.  


    It was snark. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:28:17 PM EST
    I'm SO sorry (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by STLDeb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:41:48 PM EST
    I'm sorry, I guess I have a hard time with snark online, LOL.  Oops, my bad.  

    Snarking (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:28:18 PM EST
    Read carefully (none / 0) (#14)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:29:42 PM EST
    that was snark.

    The part about "if he had a son" should have tipped you off.


    If not that, then the last sentence (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:31:55 PM EST
    oughta do it.  I just had to explain to my family what made me laugh out loud and so loudly. :-)

    hangs head in shame (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by STLDeb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:43:27 PM EST
    :( hehe  LOL

    okay NOW I understand.


    don't worry (none / 0) (#75)
    by facta non verba on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:34:55 PM EST
    I had to read it twice too! I fell for his first line. It was very clever indeed.

    Rant from Krugman? (none / 0) (#79)
    by PennProgressive on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:55:10 PM EST
    Really? You cannot be  serious. The  trouble is for many so called progressive bloggers (why do we call them progressive?)any support of Hillary Clinton and any criticism of Obama or Obama supporters cannot be tolerated. That is why you fail to see his reasoned logic but compare him with CM or  KO or MD  who are really guilty of  unhinged rant. I do not know why you write "  "Who cares about people like Trina Bachtel". We are in this  mess in this  nation because many of us have stopped caring for them.  This election should have changed all that. Judging by your writing it seems that you or your preferred nominee do not  want change any of that. Why care? Because that is critical for  understanding the  health care  crisis and perhaps our moral crisis. And  then you write ,  " I heard that if Krugman were to have a son, that son would be working for Hillary Clinton." It  is a  joke , right? Because if it is not and you are serious and you arre  going to vote, it does not matter for  whom,  the nation is  in trouble.

    Don't worry... (none / 0) (#86)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:33:16 PM EST
    ... I was kidding. :)

    on the square! (none / 0) (#103)
    by english teacher on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 06:17:02 AM EST
    But, But . . .Tuzla! Monica Lewinsky! (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:25:32 PM EST
    Vince Foster!  Mena Airport!

    /end snark

    if the media were fair (and pigs could fly) (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Kensdad on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:25:43 PM EST
    they would investigate the motives for the O'bleness Hospital's P.R. stunt, who promoted it (without checking the details), and then do many stories about the health care crisis that Hillary is trying to highlight (to make up for their lame reporting on this issue.)

    Was that ... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:32:11 PM EST
    ... the gross violation of patient privacy that it appeared to be? It's clear that the family wants as little public attention as possible. It's terrible that they have to be dragged through this, so soon after losing Bachtel herself.

    pigs can fly???? (none / 0) (#31)
    by STLDeb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:52:06 PM EST
    pigs can fly?????  I just can't help myself since I made that boo-boo up above.  

    Seriously, where is the media and why do they continue to distort Hillary's records, words, and the list go on & on.


    I have diabetes. (5.00 / 8) (#9)
    by dianem on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:26:55 PM EST
    Barely. I barely pass the criterion for diagnosis. But my doctor decided to treat it aggressively in order to keep problems associated with it to a minimum. My mother has the same problem, and gets the same treatment, and is doing quite well 5 years after she was diagnosed.

    People without insurance don't get tested for diabetes, don't get blood sugar testing materials, don't get metformin. They don't attend classes on how to manage blood sugar and prevent the long term complications that can happen as a result of diabetes. You don't go to the emergency room because you are thirsty. So... heart disease, kidney failure, lost circulation leading to loss of limbs. Undiagnosed, untreated diabetes can be nasty. I won't ever have to worry about that, a simple blood test gave me the power to control my destiny, at least for the forseeable future.

    We have got to START politicizing this kind of information, and putting it above partisan politics, even intra-party partisanship. We have to recognize that things like health care are too important to simply let slide because it's hard to do. We can't let "gotcha" politics get in the way.

    Krugman continues (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:33:06 PM EST
    his merciless plagiarism of you.

    No (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:41:00 PM EST
    He actually knows about health care issues. I do not.

    If our work here was any inspiration for his column, I am greatly pleased.


    Seems to me that he's talking (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by andgarden on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:47:19 PM EST
    as much about politics as policy. Anyway, I'm just ribbing.

    And is it the hospital that outed her? (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:34:31 PM EST
    Clinton was careful not to identify her.  

    HIPAA, the health privacy act, precludes medical practitioners, institutions, etc., from releasing identities or identifying information, private health information, etc.  How did Ms. Bachtel become identified?  First I saw was from following up on the hospital's news release.

    If so, there's a suit waiting to be filed, you bet.

    Krugman on point as always. (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by stefystef on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:33:04 PM EST
    I read the whole opinion.  As always, Krugman is looking at the big picture of poor health care in this country (we are low on the list when it comes to industrialed nations).

    Instead the media wanted to prove Hillary a liar so much that they avoided the real issues.  This case is an example of the media bias against Hillary.

    Thank you Mr. Krugman, for reminding us of the facts of health care in this country.  I hope the Obama followers are reading the Times today.

    Bob Somerby at Daily Howler (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:39:59 PM EST
    points out how quickly the media lost interest in the story when it turned out Hillary was telling the truth.

    Yeah, we all know (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:41:12 PM EST
    that an eventual plan is going to look different from the specific plan any candidate is proposing, and we also know that the president does not write legislation - that's the job of the Congress.

    What we do know - ar at least have reason to believe - is that one of the candidates starts from a position of being willing to give in and compromise and work with the interests that don't want any kind of legislation that will reduce their power, and the other candidate does not.

    Now, I'm willing to bet that one of these candidates is going to work very closely with the Congress to craft legislation that is as close to the original plan as possible, and the other may or may not choose to even make it a priority.

    So, the fact that the plans themselves may be quite similar is not a measure of the candidates' commitment to health care reform; it is the person behind those plans that will make a difference - and I have seen nothing from Obama that indicates he believes in his health care plan, as much as he believed he needed to have one as a candidate.

    This is not just a health care issue, it is a leadership issue, and the candidate who thinks "Me, too!" makes him a leader is not the one who is going to make the kind of progress we truly need.

    The plans are not similar (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by smott on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:01:02 PM EST

    Obama opposes mandates.
    Which means peole get to stay out of the pool if they want to, and cancer survivors like myself get to pay more.

    His plan misses the whole point, that we are all in this together, and until we are all in the pool from a funding standpoint, it isn't fair and it falls short of the basic moral standard of providing care, fairly, to everyone who needs it in this society.

    HRC's plan has everyone contributing because she seems to get the whole notion of the Common Good. Like Social Security, or taxes, or funds that go towards ensuring public health, public safety, Public Good.

    I've no doubt that if either one of them gains the WH, which looks like a long shot now, the ulitmate plan may bear less resemblance to what's being described now. But at least HRC's starts from the proper premise IMO.

    Anyway. Their plans are not that similar.


    I know they're not, and I also (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:22:26 PM EST
    know that Obama has no commitment to universal health care - if he did, his plan would cover everyone.  But it doesn't, but that hasn't stopped him from saying that it does.  He goes out of his way to draft in Hillary's wake, and that's a little too much hoodwinking going on for my taste.  I'm really tired of politicians treating us as if we couldn't read or do the research, and be able to see the very important differences in these two plans.

    I suppose my point was that even if they were identical plans, I see Clinton as being more driven to get it done; Obama's ready to roll over at the first sign that someone might not like him if he pushes too hard.


    Tiny details aside... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:39:36 PM EST
    Does anyone actually believe that Hillary Clinton said anything that she didn't think was true?

    If not, and the story is essentially correct, and certainly commonplace in America, what on earth is the big deal?

    This behavior from the lefty blogosphere is beyond contempt. BTD and Krugman could not be more right.

    Krugman the manipulator (2.00 / 2) (#18)
    by 1jpb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:33:50 PM EST
    I don't think WaPo has conceded in the way Krugman states in the article you linked to.  This quote he credits to WaPo is identical to one from the AP, and in the AP piece the quote is from Trina's aunt.  WaPo must have been reporting the aunt's quote, quite different from the WaPo actually making a statement.

    Also, the AP source indicates that Trina's aunt wouldn't name any clinic that she was implicating with the $100 claim.  She also said that the staff of the unnamed clinic(s) were helpful to Trina.  There are two clinics in Trina's area (population of only about 2000), the AP went to both and neither had records of serving Trina, so how could she owe them money?  Something is wrong with the aunt's story.  I'm not being accusatory for two reasons 1) her own account is second hand and 2) things get mixed up.  HRC supporters may want to proceed with caution on this story.

    The medical system is a mess, why does Krugman need to shoot himself in the foot by being caught in a manipulation, if not an outright fib about the comments credited to the WaPo.  Why should I believe anything he says?  His sort of old book "The Return of Depression Economics" makes predictions that have been proved wrong.  On health care he equates HRC's plan to European plans that have a completely different structure, especially when compared to the much more similar MA plan, which has major problems Krugman ignores.

    You say Krugman, I say no thanks.

    Proving my point (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:40:06 PM EST
    and Krugman's as well.

    I could not ask for more.


    Facts matter (none / 0) (#38)
    by 1jpb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:58:09 PM EST
    I'm not apologetic, and neither are others.

    Making up stuff is not the way to win political support.  There are plenty of legitimate problems, why resort to manipulation?  This is shooting oneself in the foot, it's counterproductive and stupid, imo.


    Yes facts matter (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Warren Terrer on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:00:02 PM EST
    And counter-tops are a fact, right?

    (h/t to myiq2xu above for reminding me of this)


    Facts and lying (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:08:09 PM EST
    There seems to be an absolutist relativism in the Obama camp.  
    A delirious allegiance to the concept of  facts.  Yet facts in this campaign have proven to be slippery little buggers.   No one has been immune.  When it comes to people like Krugman, who everyone respected and found them to be wise, this rage rears it's ugliest head.  

    The collective rage that Obama fans get into demanding facts, demanding heads to come off cause of lies are absolutely the best theatrical part of this campaign.   I can see the veins popping among all the fact obsessed.  

    Yet, when it comes to their man, they suspend all known empirical standards and believe things that are the most improbable notions.  They make a collective leap that they want us to join in.  They actually want us at times to disregard facts and known conclusions that we draw, and join in the protection of the "story", the sacred story.  Many have implored and begged us to cover up those facts, cause they may tarnish the story.  


    This article (2.33 / 3) (#67)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:14:09 PM EST
    seems to contradict what many say about Bachtel:

    As it turns out, almost none of what Clinton said was accurate. Bachtel was insured through her job managing a pizza restaurant, she was under the regular care of an obstetrics facility in Athens, and she had been part of the O'Bleness Health System in Ohio.

    Despite allegations by some critics, Clinton did not invent the dramatic facts but instead passed on to her audiences a reasonably accurate version of the story told to her Feb. 28 by a Meigs County deputy sheriff.


    During her pregnancy in 2007, Bachtel was under the care of River Rose Obstetrics and Gynecology, which is part of the O'Bleness system and across the parking lot from O'Bleness' hospital in Athens.


    Broecker said that even if Bachtel had not been insured, she would have been treated at O'Bleness. "The hospital is a charity provider," Broecker said. "We don't turn pregnant patients away."

    There is apparently more to the story.


    Apparently, O'Bleness (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Fabian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:58:47 PM EST
    was some distance from her home.  It appears that the clinic in question was much closer to her.

    Did she have reliable transportation?
    Was she unable to get to O'Bleness when she had a crisis?  Was it too far away?  

    People talk about the state of our health care "system"(heavy sarcasm) and one of the problems is access.  Often one or two hospitals serve the poor and uninsured and access is a huge problem.  What good is hundreds or thousands of medical care practices if only a tiny fraction of them will actually see you?  (And even then with considerable travel and long wait times.)


    This has always been the point (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:04:09 PM EST
    O'Bleness has NEVER been the issue. Bachtel's insured status after 2005 has NEVER been the issue.

    The clinic in question has been identified. It seems impossible for these Hilary Haters to grasp the point.


    And the competition is just plain weird. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Fabian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:00:23 PM EST
    Health care corporations are duking it out like drug stores around here.  Outpatient clinics pop up in wealthier suburbs while the poorer areas remain underserved.  ("close to home" is the appellation of one set of satellite clinics)

    Like anything else, health care corps follow the money.   Wealthy suburbs get multiple competing clinics, urgent care centers and even specialty practices and poor rural areas have inadequate care, and the care they do have is only due to federal and state dollars.  If it weren't for the direct federal support(not Medicare/Medicaid) those areas probably would barely have any health care at all.

    I wonder how the health care map would change if care was allocated per capita, not per income.


    Who is making stuff up? (none / 0) (#41)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:00:58 PM EST
    Getting minor details wrong is not making stuff up.

    You're just trolling.


    Indeed (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:06:55 PM EST
    that is a nonsequitor. I am unapologetic at calling you a fake progressive and a fake Democrat.

    BTW (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:12:08 PM EST
    Citing Tom Maguire again is hilariously ironic.

    Pssst, Maguire is wrong.


    Yes, I can see that (none / 0) (#58)
    by 1jpb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:39:50 PM EST
    my preemptive apology for the google possibly pointing me to a wingnut (that did have legitimate quotes and links, never mind the opinion) did turn out to be well advised.

    But, it looks like that blog does approach BO in ways that are not completely unknown to popular liberal blogs.  Less ironic than my hasty link, but still a little ironic.


    Ironic (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:09:41 PM EST
    only because I  know the Great Orange Stan's place s your favorite blog.

    MaGuire is not wrong because he is a Republican, he is wrong because he is wrong.


    Feel free to reject Krugman (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Fabian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:45:13 PM EST
    but do tell us which economist you trust, so we know where you are coming from.

    Donald Luskin? (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by badger on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:12:45 PM EST
    (The reference may be a little obscure)

    Goes with Tom Maguire (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:16:25 PM EST
    and Krugman Hate.

    Sully also hates Krugman.



    I can't respond to everything (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by dianem on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:49:14 PM EST
    ...you say. I'm not an expert in economics. But as for what you say Krugman says about Clinton's plan, you are flat out wrong. Krugman freely admits that Clinton's plan is not perfect. He simply prefers it to Obama's plan (he liked Edwards plan better than both).

    I think you're missing the point about the Bachtel story, also. Clinton was telling a story that was told to her. It is a powerful example of how our health care system is failing. Are some deatils wrong? Maybe. I don't care. You are doing exactly what Krugman criticizes - putting the politics of the story above the meaning. Whether you like Krugman or not, our health care system is broken and millions of people are suffering as a result.


    You prove BTD's point (5.00 / 7) (#32)
    by badger on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:52:50 PM EST
    You're more interested in imagined inconsistencies in press reports, slamming Krugman and attacking Hillary than in recognizing that the incident is symptomatic of a health care system that actually kills people rather than treat them.

    Not much different than your post a few days ago that was more concerned about punishing insurance companies than providing access to health care for everyone.

    It seems like some people don't care what happens in this country, as long as their preferred candidate gets nominated.


    Here's how AP works (4.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:38:54 PM EST
    as little of its reporting is its own.  The AP story looked like Kornblut's story to me.  

    The wire services (so called from the telegraph days of the 1840s, when AP was the first to be founded) such as AP (some differ) are groups of member media that share stories -- even before publication in the original media in most cases, so wire services can break the stories at the same time.

    That said, Kornblut's tv interviews and her paper's handling of this story for several days, until she finally got to the truth, were abominable as well.  They owe the public as well as the candidate an apology for feeding the frenzy instead of doing their job, which is to find the truth and print it -- and print it only then.


    Why don't you go check her countertops? (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:57:43 PM EST
    You obviously want to nit-pick details of the story when the issue is that millions of Americans don't have proper health care.

    This isn't your first attack on the issue, I checked your comment history.  A few days ago you were bashing mandates.

    So what's your point?  Do you have a solution to the problem?  Should we do nothing?


    Huh? This is off the wall (none / 0) (#68)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:15:05 PM EST
    and do please show me which comments you thought were mine.  Health care is one of my priority issues.  I do oppose unfunded mandates, but not here, that I recall -- and I'm for many mandates, if responsibly written so as to be properly funded.

    So I think you . . . well, I don't know what I think of you, but I'll look forward to your clarification.


    I wasn't (none / 0) (#96)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:41:18 PM EST
    responding to you.

    I went to the google to (none / 0) (#28)
    by 1jpb on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:47:29 PM EST
    get the AP story for you but I found a blog that blows apart the Krugman story even more than I noticed.

    If this is some wingnut blog I apologize in advance, but the quotes and references are all legitimate with links.


    I don't see how they can fault Clinton... (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by dianem on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:56:37 PM EST
    ...for not "vetting" the story. This has been headline news for a couple of weeks and the media still have not been able to settle on a single story. It keeps changing. That happens with facts. Some people see things differently from others, and facts often trickle in, and often the facts that trickle in are contradicted in the next release. "Truth" is not as concrete a concept as we would all like it to be.

    So... I try to sort out simple realities. I can be sure that 1) our health care system is badly broken and 2) Obama's plan is not what he says it is.


    Um, Maguire is wrong (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:56:44 PM EST
    He simply does not understand the story at all.

    but I do get chuckle out of an Obama supporter citing a RW blog to attack Hillary. To hear the Big Orange Satan's blog tell it, Jeralyn is evil because she linked to Instapundit.

    Hilariously ironic. the Obama Rules again.


    That response doesn't seem to hang (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:16:35 PM EST
    together and make sense at several points and contradicts others that were evidenced -- while this blog doesn't seem to provide its sources.  So . . . ?

    The big McCain ad on the righthand side (none / 0) (#40)
    by badger on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:00:26 PM EST
    might be a clue.

    Go back (none / 0) (#78)
    by facta non verba on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:50:17 PM EST
    and look at his archives. He seems to like McCain now but might have been a Romney supporter first and on more than one occasion dating back to late January attacks Krugman's op-eds. The author apparently lives in Darien, CT.

    The Columbus Dispatch in an (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:25:52 PM EST
    article published today names the clinic and has reviewed the clinic's records.....See the link below.

    I read that story (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:02:36 PM EST
    and it did not review the clinic's records. You do realize that Bachtel's debt was to ANOTHER clinic? This is just another example of how those intent in the Hillary Hate coupled with an incompetent Media (in this case the Columbus Dispatch) will do ANYTHING to avoid the issue and the truth.

    The O'Bleness clinic was 27 miles away from the womn. The LOCAL clinic where Bachtel had run up a debt when UNINSURED demanded 100 dollars per visit to pay down her debt.

    Yet again, some of you demonstrate a callousness and unconcern for the issues at hand that I am truly disgusted.  


    The Columbus Dispatch (none / 0) (#87)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:34:12 PM EST
    is by all accounts a reputable paper, so one would think it would tell the whole story.

    It would appear that although she received regular treatment from her Athens doctor (14 visits during the last six months of her pregnancy) and Athens clinic (7 visits), she needed emergency care from the Middleport clinic in her home town where she had ran up the debt and was refused treatment....She could not make the trip to Athens, postponed treatment and suffered the tragic consequences...

    It would be helpful if a reputable paper would discuss the entire story and not leave out important details....


    The number of clinic visits (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Fabian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:08:51 PM EST
    points to a high risk pregnancy.  Normal is one visit a month starting in month 3 or 4, and then twice a month in month 8 and then it varies in month 9, possibly weekly.

    Bachtel appears to have been very responsible regarding her own health.  Like I said before, she appears to have done the right thing.  She did her part.


    Indeed it would be helpful (none / 0) (#89)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:45:28 PM EST
    The Dispatch was NOt that paper. their story is just plain FALSe. They did not factcheck the Ohio Deputy's story. They seem not to even know it.

    Link above (none / 0) (#73)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:31:02 PM EST
    Nirvana. (2.00 / 1) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:56:18 PM EST
    From Krugman's piece:
    Stories like those of Trina Bachtel and Monique White are common in America, but don't happen in any other rich country -- because every other advanced nation has some form of universal health insurance.
    Hmmm, are you sure?
    A grandad with terminal bowel cancer has been refused a drug on the NHS that could extend his life - despite offering to pay for it himself.

    David Swain, 60, wants to shell out £2,000 a month for Erbitux after the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence ruled it was too costly.

    David said: "It could prolong my life by months or years."

    But the OAP of Long Clawson, Leics, was told he must pay the full £10,000 cost of his treatment if he wants it. Leics Primary Care Trust said: "We do not allow people to part-fund NHS care."

    IT IS estimated that 7.4 million people in England and Wales have not been to a National Health Service dentist since April 2006, because they cannot find a dentist working within the NHS in their area.

    Citizens Advice estimates that of the 7.4 million people, 4.7 million had sought private treatment and 2.7 million had simply been forced to go without dental care. The government acknowledged in 2006 that two million people could not get an NHS dentist.

    One in five elderly people have been wrongfully denied free care, according to a Government review of the system.

    The shocking figure emerged as Downing Street pledged to eliminate the 'postcode lottery' for those who need continuing care on the NHS.

    But the figure was quickly dismissed by a leading charity as "just the tip of the iceberg".

    Nurse denied NHS funding to save her sight
    Last Updated: 2:14am GMT 08/03/2008

    A retired nurse who dedicated four decades to the NHS claims it has abandoned her after she was refused funding to save her eyesight.

    Cora Slade suffers from wet age-related macular degeneration. However, her local primary care trust has told her that it will not pay for treatment.

    The 74-year-old from Sidmouth, in Devon, said she was worried about how the loss of her sight would affect not only her, but her family.

    Her husband Don, 76, has Parkinson's disease and Mrs Slade is his carer. She said: "They wrote to me and turned me down. But I thought it would make a difference that I'm a carer and need my sight to look after Don."

    Her husband said: "She gave her life to the nursing profession and the NHS, but when it came to getting something in return help was not available."

    Patients are being denied operations on the NHS simply because they are overweight or smoke, a survey by Sky News has found.

    Six million people affected

    Nine primary care trusts have a specific policy to refuse joint replacements to obese patients. And four will not consider orthopaedic surgery if patients smoke.

    In all, six million patients live in areas affected by so-called lifestyle rationing.

    So you oppose universal health care? (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:57:38 PM EST
    Does Obama?

    I oppose BS from columnists. (none / 0) (#45)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:12:11 PM EST
    I oppose it from anyone (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:15:28 PM EST
    As should we all. (none / 0) (#51)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:21:43 PM EST
    All that proves (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by badger on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:09:35 PM EST
    is that it would fantastic to live in a country that actually reports on the failings of its health care system, instead of obsessing over minor details in an attempt to yet again attack Hillary Clinton.

    These kinds of anecdotes ... (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by dianem on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:13:41 PM EST
    ...distort the entire health care crisis issue. Nobody ever said that national health care was perfect, just that it's better. When we institute a plan, we will have to make the same hard choices about cancer care for advanced patients and treatment for preemie babies that insurannce companies have to make right now. But the people making the decisions will be deciding based on what the best use of the money is, not how much profit they will make if they don't provide treatment. And medical coverage won't be limited to the healthiest and richest among us, and it will not longer be a major force weighing down the economy.

    Oh...and keep in mind that a lot of these articles don't tell the entire story. For example, there aren't a lot of treatment options for macular degeneration. It may (or may not) be possible to slow down the advance of the disease, but it can't be cured with existing technology.

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.


    As opposed to these kinds of anecdotes? (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:20:06 PM EST
    Stories of Trina Bachtel and Monique White

    Again (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:34:52 PM EST
    Are you saying that these kind of stories DO NOT happen here in the states? That our system is just fine and this is false alarmism?

    Are you good with our health care system as is?


    Just pointing out that (none / 0) (#60)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:51:52 PM EST
    you seem to be dismissing as irrelevant the anecdotes that you don't like, but embrace as definitive those that you do.

    To your larger question, I have not seen a health care proposal that, imo, is better than what we have now.

    You are certainly free to have a different opinion.


    That is all I wanted to know (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:56:47 PM EST
    So you are against any kind of health care reform, at least as proposed by any current candidate. That explains a lot of your posts. They are indeed in line with your opinion.

    Your point? (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:33:56 PM EST
    So you find an exception in which universal health care didn't help one person. You use that to equate it to how it would NOT serve 50 million uninsured people?

    Are you trying to make a serious argument out of this or are you practicing political hit and run?


    I checked the cancer drug. (none / 0) (#94)
    by Fabian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:14:52 PM EST
    There are serious contraindications for it that may have been the real reason they refused to give it to him.  It may have been that the drug was likely to kill him.  

    According to the article: (none / 0) (#97)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 06:07:19 PM EST
    the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence ruled it was too costly.

    But he was going to pay for it (none / 0) (#98)
    by Fabian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 06:24:40 PM EST
    and they still wouldn't give it to him...?

    That implies that it was more than just money.

    People sometimes think that you must try everything possible.  


    According to the article: (none / 0) (#100)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 06:49:30 PM EST
    [He] was told he must pay the full £10,000 cost of his treatment if he wants it.

    That's fair. (none / 0) (#102)
    by Fabian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 07:54:24 PM EST
    How much are a couple years worth?  He can't take it with him.  AND the cancer was going to kill him, fast or slow.

    One of the outrages that I really get fed up with are people with stage IV cancer(mestastasized, incurable) who get all bent out of shape because their health care provider won't approve some outrageously expensive drug that will NOT cure them and may, just possibly, give them some additional time.

    I'm for getting the best bang for our medical buck.

    The money is best spent in the Prevention phase, and next in early detection and treatment to minimize the impact of the disease.  But when you get to end of life decisions, it's exactly the wrong time to pour resources into their care.  And every dollar/pound that is spent isn't available to spend elsewhere.  


    Clinic v. hospital (none / 0) (#5)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:24:18 PM EST
    I've read that because she went to a clinic rather than a hospital at first, she could be refused care. I think hospitals are not allowed to refuse care, and the hospital she ultimately went to did care for her.

    There are plenty of stories (none / 0) (#21)
    by badger on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:39:47 PM EST
    of hospitals shifting indigent patients to other hospitals, even at the ER level, sometimes with fatal consequences.

    Lots of things are against the law - doesn't mean they don't happen. We're not necessarily talking the Sisters of Mercy here either - it's just as likely to be a hospital run by a corporation owned by Bill Frist's family.


    True enough (none / 0) (#80)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:55:25 PM EST
    There are many ways to get around the laws, but the question was whether she was refused treatment at a hospital, and my understanding is that she was not.

    I'm talking about the hospital identifying her (none / 0) (#70)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:19:12 PM EST
    in its news release, if it did -- as it was the hospital, not a clinic, that did a news release that blew up this mess, when WaPo went with it.  (When, oh when, will we get a media that doesn't fall for news releases by PR pros?  PR pros, hospitals, etc., have every right and even a responsibility to be advocates -- but media don't and are irresponsible when printing puffery not full checked out first.)

    Actually, (none / 0) (#85)
    by mm on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:11:48 PM EST
    I was surprised to learn from Bob Somerby that it was the Washington Post that started this mess in the first place.  Just as with Al Gore they'll spare no expense to try find a gotcha.  It was the Post that first made public the name of the woman which apparently prompted the hospital to "contest the story".  As Somerby says, we've "seen this movie before".

    Why did Kornblut write this slightly odd story? We were most struck by something near the end, when she reached the hospital story. Uh-oh! In this account, we spied a key fact: For whatever reason, the Washington Post was fact-checking Clinton's anecdotes:

    KORNBLUT: But it is the story of the pregnant pizza worker to which Clinton comes back repeatedly. At a Democratic dinner on March 2, she recounted it in full. She told it at a late-night rally in Cleveland just two days before the Ohio primary March 4, bringing the noisy audience to near-silence. She told it again in Charleston, W.Va, last month. Even her daughter, Chelsea, who was with her mother in Ohio when she heard the story, repeated it at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania last week. Clinton was told the story by Bryan Holman, the Meigs County deputy sheriff, who said the deceased woman was Trina Bachtel, whom campaign officials had been unable to identify.

    Bachtel, Holman said, had been turned away from the hospital not only for lack of $100 but also because she had unpaid bills--a detail that Clinton has not mentioned. Public records show that Bachtel of Pomeroy, Ohio, died on Aug. 15, 2007, at age 35. She previously had thousands of dollars in hospital debt, but it was paid off by 2005.

    To us, that highlighted statement seemed suggestive. For some reason, the Post had gone around checking "public records" about this anecdotal event. (They had also gotten Holman's name, and they had interviewed him.) Because we've seen this movie before, we suspected we might be seeing the "Goring" of Clinton. Recently, Clinton had made a misstatement about her landing in Tuzla, and it was being widely flogged. Now, the Post was fact-checking public records about a fairly tangential matter--praying, we would have to suspect, that they might find misstatements again.

    Two days later, all the excitement led an Ohio hospital to say that they hadn't turned Bachtel away. "Ohio Hospital Contests A Story Clinton Tells," said the headline on Deborah Sontag's report in the New York Times. In fact, Clinton had never named any hospital in the course of telling this story (nor had she ever used Bachtel's name). But as a result of Kornblut's report, a local Ohio paper had written a further story, and the finger of blame had started to point at the hospital which was now complaining in Sontag's report. This led to predictable pundit grumbling about Clinton's vast dishonesty. By last night, for example, a credulous cable host was making this unwise but predictable statement:

    MATTHEWS (47/08): Welcome back to Hardball. So what else is new out there in politics? Well, for weeks, Senator Clinton has been retelling a hospital horror story about an uninsured pregnant woman who died along with her baby because she couldn't pay for her treatment. Here's Senator Clinton reflecting this past Friday on that tragedy.

    CLINTON (videotape): As I was listening to this story being told, I was just aching inside. It is so wrong, in such a good, great and rich country, that a young woman and her baby would die because she didn`t have health insurance or $100 to get examined.

    MATTHEWS: Well, it turns out that story wasn't true.

    I don't have much to add beyond what I've (none / 0) (#53)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:32:33 PM EST
    already posted, but since I typically argue on Obama's "side" here, in so far as there are sides, I'll just repeat that Krugman is absolutely correct, and as usual says things succinctly and powerfully. If Obama had told a similar story and gotten attacked by the media, I'm nearly certain some progressive blogs who'd attacked Hillary would have defended him (and it would have been the right thing to do). At least a couple blogs did do a brief mea culpa when the facts came out a few days later.

    I'm sorry, does Obama have (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:04:59 PM EST
    a side in this story?

    We need healthcare reform.  The only issue is what that reform should be.

    The Bachtel story isn't Hillary's, it's ours.


    Actually, I hoped to see Obama (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Cream City on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:23:18 PM EST
    step up on this story and point out that the point is the need for better health care access in this country.  

    Just as I hoped he would step up and speak out against the misogyny in the media.

    Frankly, as he is hardly averse to saying "what she said" in debates when he agrees with Clinton, I don't get why he isn't getting good advice to step up and speak out on these stories -- which would go far to curb the frenzy of media and some of his supporters to pillory Clinton at every turn.

    If he did so, even once, it might make him look like the "uniter," the leader, that he will need to be to win over Clinton voters.  And there have been so many times when he could have done so, so easily -- just by doing the right thing, as with this story.  Instead, it only angers Clinton supporters more to see some of his backers go ballistic on this.


    I would have defended Obama (none / 0) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:34:41 PM EST
    if necessary. The truth is it is almost NEVER necessary. He is a Media darling. that is a good thing.

    I hope that continues to be the case, (none / 0) (#59)
    by RickTaylor on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 02:48:49 PM EST
    though assuming he wins the nomination he's going up against McCain who's also a media darling. I noticed the media largely took McCain's side in the one hundred years of war flap; it will be interesting to see how it all develops.

    jgarza (none / 0) (#74)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:34:08 PM EST
    You are suspended for the day.

    Right-wing mind-set (none / 0) (#93)
    by corey on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:09:12 PM EST
    Right-wing mind-set:

    "She shouldn't get pregnant if she knew she would not have enough money and/or insurance to care for the child. It is HER fault she and her child are dead, and any money used to try in save them will become a tax for the community going to others like her."

    Do I have that about right?

    Corey Mondello
    Boston, Massachusetts

    Inaccurate about accuracy (none / 0) (#101)
    by Lora on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 07:30:42 PM EST
    In fact, Mrs. Clinton was accurately repeating the story as it was told to her --

    Krugman is incorrect, as I will show:

    word substitution (based on Clinton quote farther down):

    As I recall it, I was disappointed twice at a local ice cream parlor when I wanted vanilla ice cream. The server said, "Well, we don't have vanilla.  I said, "That's what I want."  They said, "Well, we can't give you vanilla until we get another delivery."  I said, "Where am I going to get vanilla ice cream?" The next time I came back to the ice cream parlour, I ordered chocolate."

    No one could possibly think I was talking about two different ice cream parlours.

    This is the exact phrasing Clinton used as posted here:

    As she tells it, the woman was turned away twice by a local hospital when she was experiencing difficulty with her pregnancy. "The hospital said, `Well, you don't have insurance.' She said, `No, I don't.' They said, `Well, we can't see you until you give $100.' She said, `Where am I going to get $100?' "The next time she came back to the hospital, she came in an ambulance," Mrs. Clinton continued. "She was in distress. The doctors and the nurses worked on her and couldn't save the baby."

    Clearly she meant one and the same hospital.

    The sheriff telling the story to Clinton clearly stated that there were two hospitals, as heard in the video posted here:

    He says, ..."so she went to another local hospital..."

    Krugman is wrong when he says Clinton was accurately repeating the story as it was told to her.  She changed it slightly, I have no doubt accidentally.  But if Krugman is going to talk about accuracy, he should be accurate himself.