Fischer: Let Sick People Die

Fischer: Let Sick People Die June 24, 2012

Bryan Fischer has a solution to the nation’s high health care costs: Let people die in the streets rather than requiring hospitals to treat them. He says that’s why the costs are so high and hospitals can’t afford it.

If we want to bring down the cost of health care, it’s easy. What we lack is not the way but the will.

The way is simple.

First, eliminate the federal requirement that hospitals have to treat any patient who shows up. That’s the place to begin. Get government out of telling hospitals who they have to do business with. There is simply no way to control the cost of health care if hospitals are obligated to provide healthcare to all regardless of their ability to pay.

But then he contradicts himself and says that most hospitals will treat them anyway because they’re Christian:

Most hospitals were started by Christians or Christian organizations, and will find a way to offer care to the indigent whether the federal government is standing over them with a cudgel or not. The American people, because of the spirit of Christianity, are the most generous people on earth, which they prove time after time when disasters hit anywhere in the world.

Cognitive dissonance is your friend.

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  • redgreeninblue

    Never mind the cognitive dissonance. This:

    First, eliminate the federal requirement that hospitals have to treat any patient who shows up. That’s the place to begin. Get government out of telling hospitals who they have to do business with.

    Er. Wha…??

    Could someone explain to a European how it became socially acceptable in your country for a prominent talk radio host to suggest something so incredibly callous, and not face universal opprobrium? Among all Fischer’s craziness, this is the example which left me feeling the most shocked.

  • hunter

    What I find appalling is that the government has to require hospitals to provide emergency care. And no, this isn’t regulation for regulation’s sake — it grew out of a couple of well-publicized cases in which people died after being turned away from hospital emergency rooms for inability to pay. So much for “Christian charity.”

    But don’t count on the likes of Bryan Fischer — one of the most repulsive people in America — to bring that up.

  • Michael Heath

    What’s especially idiotic about Mr. Fischer’s argument is that hospitals ultimately don’t subsidize freebie services, paying clients do, whether its through our taxes, our entitlement contributions, increased premiums we pay for insurance, or a suppression of our wages given such freebie services increases employer-funded health insurance premiums. Negative externalities, like anthropogenic global warming, appear to be facts regarding our reality which conservatives aren’t capable of acknowledging exist.

    What’s ironic is that the people who are most effectively supportive of continuing to provide healthcare to people who can’t pay for it are older white people, who benefit from both Medicare benefits and Medicaid end-of-life benefits. What also makes them such repugnant human beings beyond their hypocrisy is their support for continuing these benefits for them while effectively reducing access to health care for all other people. It seems the older they get the more infantile they become in their politics.

  • raven

    This is no big deal.

    Sure a few people here and there will die, maybe thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands a year. I doubt it will be even close to a million people dead per year.

    Wait until Fischer’s other great plan kicks in. Eliminating food stamps, supplemental nutrition, and welfare.

    Somewhere down the line people in the USA will start starving to death.

    In theory, the UN relief agencies could set up refugee camps for the starving Americans and feed them like they do in Somalia and Ethiopia. But then again, Fischer and his friends hate the UN too.

  • dingojack

    Dear Mr Fischer –

    Once upon a time there was a man who was travelling through a strange town.

    A group of muggers attacked him and robbed him, leaving him nearly dead.

    A magistrate saw the man bleeding in the gutter and he hurried past, a councilman saw the man broken in the gutter and he quickly turned down a side street, a group of pious men saw the man dying in the gutter and crossed the street to avoid him.

    Then another man saw the man in the street and instead of asking ‘what will happen to me if I help?’, he asked instead ‘what will happen to him if I don’t help?’.

    He took the man to an inn, paid for a room for two weeks in advance so he could recover from his injuries, and cleaned and bound his wounds, made him comfortable and tended to him.

    Then when the injured man had recovered, he gave his former patient money so the injured man might return home to his family who were far away.

    Who was this rescuer? It was one of those hated Samaritans

    the Good Samaritan.

    Dingo

    —–

    I simply parphrase this story here, because clearly you have never even read the book supposedly written by the god you allegedly claim to believe in and serve.

  • Tony… therefore God

    Fischer’s lack of empathy for others is truly scary. It’s like he’s exists in some sort of fantasy world where he’s right and fighting the good fight. Why does he think it’s ok to say such vile things?

  • raven

    Could someone explain to a European how it became socially acceptable in your country for a prominent talk radio host to suggest something so incredibly callous, and not face universal opprobrium?

    This is tame. I can tell y’all aren’t from around here.

    Every once in a while one of these fundie xian leaders comes up with the idea of herding biologists and/or atheists into concentration camps and working them to death as slave labor.

    Tom Willis the creationist who wrote the science standards for Kansas once did this, some minister in Florida.

    Fischer isn’t a prominent talk radio host. He is a kook, part of our world’s largest lunatic fringe.

  • Death panels! The right-wing solution to the healthcare crisis!

  • This idiot is either unaware of or ignoring the fact that most Christian doctors down through the centuries have left the sick and dying to their own devices, unless they had money.

  • Michael Heath

    Bryan Fischer:

    First, eliminate the federal requirement that hospitals have to treat any patient who shows up. That’s the place to begin. Get government out of telling hospitals who they have to do business with.

    redgreeninblue writes:

    Er. Wha…??

    Could someone explain to a European how it became socially acceptable in your country for a prominent talk radio host to suggest something so incredibly callous, and not face universal opprobrium?

    He’s not a prominent talk show host. He’s only recently started to become notorious and even then only to relatively well-informed Americans which make up a very small fraction of the populace. The mainstream media is also too cowardly to sufficiently reveal the wingnuts. So he makes for an increasingly subservise figure though this position is contra his target demographic’s position unless your skin color happens to be non-white.

    In addition the demographic which the GOP primarily panders to on healthcare matters both demands free healthcare while obliviously promoting these costs get paid through negative externalities they don’t realize even exist. The fact their position on funding healthcare is both idiotic and arguably delusional when it comes to holding contradictory positions is only one of many topics where these people behave like this, especially the religious ones since their beliefs effectively require them to hold contradictory views and not acknowledge such.

  • rjmx

    All right, Dingo. You win. 🙂

  • redgreeninblue

    He’s not a prominent talk show host.

    Raven, Michael, thank ironic-god for that! Since RWW follows his activities, and that New Yorker profile of him, I had the impression he had a big following. (sigh of relief, hopes to goodness he stays well out in the fringes)

  • Oh, come on! It’s like you’ve never read the Holy Bible! Jesus never said anything about Big Government barging in to private, Free Market, for-profit hospitals and putting an unelected bureaucrat between you and the healthcare you don’t have!

  • Nice Ogress

    It’s not all that hard to decode this, really.

    Fischer doesn’t want everyone to die. Just the undesirables who are making it worse for everyone – you know, by not being male, christian, white and straight.

    And I’m sure any Good Christian Hospital(tm) will treat those poor, poor unfortunates too, right after they convert/go straight/swear eternal servitude, right? Think of all the sinners who will come back into the fold!

    Assuming they don’t inconveniently die of their injuries before they can be saved, of course. But that’s their own fault for not being Christian(+ straight, etc. etc.) in the first place!

    Ugh.

  • Childermass

    re: evilutionists to concentration camps:

    Tom Willis the creationist who wrote the science standards for Kansas once did this, some minister in Florida.

    For those who remember Willis, he is the guy who misunderstood what Donald Johanson said in a lecture and was too lazy to actually read his book resulting in the claim that Lucy’s knee joint” was found a mile away from the rest of Lucy thus disproving Lucy.

    He not only wrote the 1999 Kansas science standards but it was at the time a secret that he had. That he wrote the standards was discovered when someone checked the metadata hidden in the standards by the word processing program used.

    He has also got a reputation for being a geocentrist.

  • harold

    First, eliminate the federal requirement that hospitals have to treat any patient who shows up. That’s the place to begin. Get government out of telling hospitals who they have to do business with.

    The extreme irony here is that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act is widely understood to have been, among other things, an effort to head off true universal health insurance in the US.

    It was a fairly crafty piece of legislation. Naturally, progressives had to support it, too – the only other immediate alternative was not requiring that emergency care be provided. However, it certainly bought the private insurance industry a great deal of peace. There had been a number of scandals prior to the act.

    I must point out that the greatest beneficiaries of the act are the working poor. A truly indigent person can often be signed up for Medicaid, maybe even Medicare (private hospitals sometimes do try to turn away such people, but that’s usually social bias rather than rational economics). In a hospital with a good payer mix, Medicaid may very well pay the incremental cost of the patient’s treatment quite nicely (for example, if the emergency room infrastructure and staff were going to be there anyway, the true incremental cost of treating the patient may be more or less the disposables). NOTE – ironically, the more patients with high quality insurance your institution has, the less of a problem an occasional indigent patient who can be signed up for Medicaid is. It’s when the patient base is entirely inadequately insured that problems kick in.

    However, a working person who doesn’t qualify for Medicaid, but has either no, or inadequate, health insurance, won’t be able to pay their bill.

    What’s especially idiotic about Mr. Fischer’s argument is that hospitals ultimately don’t subsidize freebie services, paying clients do

    In the current environment, that’s a three quarters truth.

    Ultimately the cost does fall on society, but it can fall directly on the hospital. Hospitals that cover a lot of complex care for patients with suboptimal insurance, and don’t have sufficient insured patient base to offset, have been forced to shut down.

    However, your overall point is obviously correct.

    Could someone explain to a European how it became socially acceptable in your country for a prominent talk radio host to suggest something so incredibly callous, and not face universal opprobrium?

    This guy isn’t “prominent” and does face a lot of opprobrium.

    Still, it’s a good point. Supporting policies that would lead to starvation or other such fates for fellow Americans (although almost always in somewhat coded language) has become fairly common. Republicans right now are pounding for a cut in the food stamp program, on the grounds that more people are on food stamps now.

    I have a hypothesis about why billionaires do this. They can’t get any richer, in terms of marginal utility, but they still don’t feel superior enough, so they itch to make everyone else poorer in terms of marginal utility, which is easier to accomplish.

    Many Americans experience a unique combination of lowered economic expectations, but without (yet) physical discomfort or hunger. It’s possible that this combination tends to lead to narcissistic embitterment and extreme callousness.

  • uzza

    “… telling hospitals who they have to do business with

    Interesting frame there.

  • Michael Heath

    dingojack concludes:

    I simply parphrase this story here [Good Samitarian], because clearly you [Bryan Fischer] have never even read the book supposedly written by the god you allegedly claim to believe in and serve.

    The Bible doesn’t require conservative Christians who oppose government welfare programs to be illiterate to this passage. Instead they argue the admonition is in regards to how they personally behave, without advocacy the government carry-out these biblical edicts. I’ve yet to encounter these people discussing their personal obligation within the context of the efficacy of their effort to solving the problem discussed, merely going through the motions appears sufficient to them.

    I find this argument thoroughly unpersuasive. The Bible doesn’t condemn leveraging the power of government to improve the lives of the unfortunate, but it does contain passages demanding believers improve the lives of the unfortunate without always tying it to their personal behavior (which obviously makes us better people so that dual message doesn’t go unnoticed). So from this biblical perspective, if we empirically know government programs provide the most effective method to improve the lives of the unfortunate and even minimize the number who are unfortunate, I think the Bible makes a strong case for supporting government programs which do so.

    Pre-Benedict U.S. Catholics and liberal U.S. Episcopalians make very cogent biblically-based arguments for government largesse to the unfortunate, including some Catholics even today who support more liberal immigration policies. However we should also cynically note many Catholics also realize their religion’s increasing dependency on Hispanic and third-world faithful immigration to developing countries to suppress the enormous membership losses they’re suffering through in developed economies. So leveraging liberal immigration and welfare programs helps them when it comes to their declining membership rates.

  • Michael Heath

    Tony writes:

    Fischer’s lack of empathy for others is truly scary. It’s like he’s exists in some sort of fantasy world where he’s right and fighting the good fight. Why does he think it’s ok to say such vile things?

    Rush Limbaugh has far more influence and listeners while also railing against empathy. Four of the five conservative Justices on the Supreme Court are more than happy to serve their political cause even if their cause is both unconstitutional and causes increased human suffering. So I don’t find Mr. Fischer all that scary, I do find those people’s influence very concerning.

  • Childermass

    Michael Heath:

    It seems the older they get the more infantile they become in their politics.

    Infantile might not being the word. It is just the case of those who 70 and have not changed their political views since they were 25.

    Their views might not have seen so infantile 45 years ago. What views have changed are probably those which serve them directly which is not surprising since people of all ages can rationalize that they deserve to get something.

  • garnetstar

    I can see it now: hemmorhaging adults and convulsing children, mostly people of color, lie dying on the steps of hospitals. Fischer comes by to interview them and record their final screams, reminding them how grateful they should be that they have the opportunity die in a Christian nation that follows God’s law.

    It would make great news footage.

  • harold

    Could someone explain to a European how it became socially acceptable in your country for a prominent talk radio host to suggest something so incredibly callous, and not face universal opprobrium?

    I often suspect race as a major underlying factor.

    Americans were enthusiastic about progressive economics and social mobility – when combined with official and unofficial discrimination.

    Americans tolerate hypothetical official rules against discrimination – in the context of regressive, contractionary economic policies that damage at least some formerly-discriminated-against communities as much as the discrimination did in the past.

    Prior to 1929, Americans were quite happy with both regressive, unstable economics AND extensive discrimination.

    But the one thing many Americans appear to be unable to tolerate is progressive, sustainable economics and positive social mobility, in the absence of extensive discrimination.

  • Randomfactor

    Death panels! The right-wing solution to the healthcare crisis!

    Don’t be silly. Death panels cost money. Just don’t give treatment to ANYONE. The ones with money will still get treated, and nobody else deserves to live.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Cognitive dissonance is your friend.

    It would be, for those who don’t compartmentalize so thoroughly that they never become aware of the contradictions.

    Let’s see a show of hands by everyone who thinks that Fischer is capable of cognitive dissonance.

  • Michael Heath

    Childermass writes:

    Infantile might not being the word. It is just the case of those who 70 and have not changed their political views since they were 25.

    I strongly disagree. It’s my observation where I think the surveys validate my observation that these people are far more extremist than when they were of working age. We constantly see the Democrats and President Obama taking positions consistent with President’s Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and even Reagan; which are now considered acts of treason and liberal radicalism by the very people who supported these previous presidents.

    I think this radicalism can best be explained by their being retired and removed from the pragmatic necessity of working people. Including those who are older but established in their jobs. The rise of Fox News, having a stable fixed income, and a Democratic party which touts expert-derived policies they’re too dumb and ignorant to understand all have combined to push them to the right. Another factor is the increasing sophistication of demagogues who market themselves to this demographic coupled to the politicization of conservative religious denominations makes them far more susceptible to political positions tied to their religious beliefs.

    And finally the extra time they have on their hands coupled to conservative media has them moving down the slippery slope of their political ideology. Considering the implications of their politics increasingly demands an ever-purer form of conservatism which results in their ridding themselves of that affliction by becoming ever-more fundamentalist in both their politics and their religion.

  • dingojack

    Micheal Heath – Whew! Lucky goverments aren’t made up of actual human-type people, just lizardoids from the centre of the Earth!

    @@

    Yep, persuasive counter-argument from the RRR there.

    Dingo

  • Michael Heath, and also the endless, wildly reactionary conservative emails.

  • Not every conservative feels the same on any issue, but as a group look how they generally feel about…

    Eliminating welfare or any other subsidy to the poor.

    Eliminating minimum wage.

    Eliminating unions.

    Severely limiting health care options for the poor.

    Eliminating or seriously defanging workplace regulations.

    Eliminating or seriously defanging environmental regulations.

    The question left is this – Why do conservatives look at Third World countries and wish to become like them?

  • Tabby Lavalamp “The question left is this – Why do conservatives look at Third World countries and wish to become like them?”

    As long as they have someone to push down, they aren’t on the bottom.

    I don’t know what the politically correct version is, but the saying used to run along the lines of “Sure, I’m poor, but at least I ain’t no nigger”.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Why do conservatives look at Third World countries and wish to become like them?

    Have a look at the “rednecks” of the Deep South.

    The most bigoted, reactionary, anti-educational, anti-labor (etc.) people in the country were the next-to-the-bottom poor whites. Why? Because however shitty things were for them, they were worse for the <N-word>s.

  • slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ #19

    Four of the five conservative Justices on the Supreme Court are more than happy to serve their political cause even if their cause is both unconstitutional and causes increased human suffering.

    Heath give me the opening to rail once again against liberals like PZ Myers and Mano Singham who beat the drums for the position that Obama is a no good bum who does not merit reelection and are thus perfectly willing to add more Scalias and Alitos to the Supreme Court, which will be the result of electing Romney.

  • Michael Heath

    Modusoperandi adds to my list of factors which have caused the conservative movement to shift to the right and become divorced from reality:

    . . . and also the endless, wildly reactionary conservative emails.

    That’s a biggie worth mentioning. It’s perhaps the most underestimated influence on conservatives.

  • It’s interesting to read the speculations on the causes of current day wingnuttery. There’s no shortage of plausible factors.

    Prior to 1929, Americans were quite happy with both regressive, unstable economics AND extensive discrimination.

    But the one thing many Americans appear to be unable to tolerate is progressive, sustainable economics and positive social mobility, in the absence of extensive discrimination.

    One thing I’d wonder about this is if poor white workers back then were desensitized to their bad position because anecdotes of economic mobility convinced a lot of them that they were going to make it big, even though it wasn’t backed by reality. I doubt the average person had as much access to statistical measures and probably had less cultural inclination to seek out such measures.

    I wonder if that, mixed with the frustration of not seeing it happen to them made them worry the non-whites were ‘diluting’ their odds of winning the rags-to-riches lottery.

    Of course, there’s always the “They took our jobs!” factor mixed with standard bigotry.

  • ArtK

    Caedite eos! Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” – “Kill them [all]! Surely the Lord discerns which [ones] are his” None of this wimpy Good Samaritan stuff.

  • Michael Heath

    Harold writes:

    Prior to 1929, Americans were quite happy with both regressive, unstable economics AND extensive discrimination.

    But the one thing many Americans appear to be unable to tolerate is progressive, sustainable economics and positive social mobility, in the absence of extensive discrimination.

    Bronze Dog responds:

    One thing I’d wonder about this is if poor white workers back then were desensitized to their bad position because anecdotes of economic mobility convinced a lot of them that they were going to make it big, even though it wasn’t backed by reality. I doubt the average person had as much access to statistical measures and probably had less cultural inclination to seek out such measures.

    Harold’s rendering of pre-1929 U.S. history, especially the late-19th and very early-20th century, is wildly untrue. So your response Bronze Dog is not properly framed within our actual history.

  • Janine: History’s Greatest Monster

    Not at all surprising. Bryan Fischer is the same person who thinks that the Native American were deserving of the killer epidemics that got when contact with Europeans was established.

  • abear

    My understanding is that many conservatives in America resent paying taxes but don’t complain about having to pay twice the rate of every other developed country for their health insurance.

    Are they unaware they are being ripped off or do they not mind as long as the it isn’t the government doing it?

  • harold

    It’s my observation where I think the surveys validate my observation that these people are far more extremist than when they were of working age.

    In fact I saw a guy make a comment that he used to vote for the Democrats in the 1960’s but doesn’t any more because they are “socialists” now.

    It’s actually a bit sad. A lot of potentially decent people were traumatized by the undeniably traumatizing sixties and seventies – a sudden rise in crime, hard drug use, riots, assassinations, and then the oil crisis, inflation, unemployment, etc. Jimmy Carter was actually an initially extremely successful PR response by the Democrats – a non-threatening down-home peanut farmer who supported liberal values but was also reassuringly “traditional”. However, I do feel that unconscious ethnic biases also played a major role in the switch to the right. It’s hard not to feel that way, seeing the tactics that first Reagan, and then George H. W. Bush, each used the first time they ran for president.

    All developed countries had a “sexual revolution”, a reduction in outright tolerance of ethnic bigotry, anti-colonialism, cold war anxieties, etc. The US had a lot of extra turmoil – Vietnam, race riots, more dependence on oil, hostage crisis, etc. But of course, part of the extra turmoil was because of the past history of domestic slavery and segregation inflicted on a substantial proportion of the population. It’s hard to say which ingredients contributed most to a shift to the right.

    Prior to 1929, Americans were quite happy with both regressive, unstable economics AND extensive discrimination.

    But the one thing many Americans appear to be unable to tolerate is progressive, sustainable economics and positive social mobility, in the absence of extensive discrimination.

    One thing I’d wonder about this is if poor white workers back then were desensitized to their bad position because anecdotes of economic mobility convinced a lot of them that they were going to make it big, even though it wasn’t backed by reality.

    Nope, except possibly in the South (see above). Actual poor whites fought like crazy. And, with the loss of plenty of lives, actually won the eight hour day, workplace safety, ability to unionize, etc. Also, there were very few African-Americans anywhere but the south, and the lower class was overwhelmingly white everywhere else in the country. However, middle class whites, including small farmers and others who would be considered almost comically poor by today’s standards, tended to support the plutocrats in sufficient numbers.

  • jimmiraybob

    Raven@#4 –

    In theory, the UN relief agencies could set up refugee camps for the starving Americans and feed them like they do in Somalia and Ethiopia. But then again, Fischer and his friends hate the UN too.

    If it ever got to that point I’m sure that there would be roving “Christian” militias to intercept supplies and route the heathen UN forces.

    Technically, we already have limited relief missions occurring within the US, whereby, groups of medical personnel, support staff, equipment and supplies show up in poor rural areas to bring relief (I think some urban areas too). I don’t think that any of them are yet under the auspices of the UN.

  • dingojack

    Dear, dear it’s a crying shame that mainstream Christians decry the man they call they’re leader, Jesus, as a ‘bleeding heart’ liberal.

    What an opportunity lost, to follow his actual message and affect a real positive change in the world.

    By denying the message they claim to revere, the so-called Christians refuse to follow the very leader they claim to hold as a holy saviour.

    Dingo

  • Randomfactor

    The question left is this – Why do conservatives look at Third World countries and wish to become like them?

    They wish to become like the guys on TOP in those countries. Near unlimited power, no laws to impede them.

  • leftwingfox

    Instead they argue the admonition is in regards to how they personally behave, without advocacy the government carry-out these biblical edicts.

    How the hell they square that belief with the simultaneous one that government SHOULD follow the ir biblical beliefs regarding the establishment of religion, hatred of gays and denial of women’s rights is beyond me.

  • My understanding is that many conservatives in America resent paying taxes but don’t complain about having to pay twice the rate of every other developed country for their health insurance.

    During the health care reform protests south of the border it bemused me to see people complain that they don’t want a “government bureaucrat” between them and their doctors. I just couldn’t fathom why they’d rather have an insurance middle manager with an eye on the company’s bottom line between them and their doctor.

  • Scott F

    First, eliminate the federal requirement that hospitals have to treat any patient who shows up. That’s the place to begin. Get government out of telling hospitals who they have to do business with.

    I hadn’t realized that Fischer believed in Social Darwinism.

  • leni

    God I feel sorry for his family. He must be intolerable to deal with on a daily basis. If this is the kind of thing he says on the air I can only imagine how much worse he must be in person.

  • Childermass

    It was one of those hated Samaritans

    – the Good Samaritan.

    They should rename the story the Good Gay, Atheist Negro for the benefit of rednecks who don’t fully understand the significance of the Samaritan.

  • tbp1

    @#46: I think it was Asimov who suggested translating the parable of the good Samaritan in terms similar to what you suggest, because most people simply have no idea how much the Jews despised the Samaritans, and so miss a good deal of the point.

  • Midnight Rambler

    He’s not a prominent talk show host.

    To people like us he’s not. Among religious conservatives, he is:

    The American Family Association’s radio network comprises two hundred stations in thirty-five states, and Fischer’s program reaches more than a million listeners a day. That’s a fraction of Rush Limbaugh’s audience, but as large as that of Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews, on MSNBC.

    During the primary campaign he had Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Tim Pawlenty on his show, and was the one most responsible for getting Richard Grenell (Romney’s gay foreign policy advisor) to resign.

  • Fischer looks and sounds like my crazy uncle, Fritz. He’s been a conspiracy theorist much, if not all, of his life. He HATES black folks and he thinks the poor deserve to be poor. Meantime of course he sucks on the gummint teat and is lovin it.

    I’m going to a family reunion over the 4th of July week and am hoping that he will not put in an appearance.

  • Michael Heath

    Midnight Rambler,

    Radio listener counts are wildly overstated. I’m comfortable with my earlier assertion that Fischer is not a prominent radio host. He is increasing his notoriety and he does have a ripple affect which may someday move the party, but right now his positions are not policy nor has he influenced policy. And when a Mitt Romney blinks like he did with one of his press aides, that’s a sign of Romney’s cowardice rather than any strength Fischer’s [yet] achieved.

  • @leni:

    God I feel sorry for his family. He must be intolerable to deal with on a daily basis. If this is the kind of thing he says on the air I can only imagine how much worse he must be in person.

    I think his son is some kind of grunge or alt musician in Seattle or somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I’m not sure of the genre, but when I read about it a year or two ago, it did not immediately impress me as something that would go over well at home, but who knows?

  • leni

    @ Dr. X- I’m just going to quietly forget that the thought “Christian grunge” occurred to me and assume that he wised up. Somehow the world just feels better that way.

  • Taz

    Phase 1: Eliminate the requirement that hospitals treat indigent patients

    Phase 2: Continue to treat indigent patients

    Phase 3: PROFIT!!

  • @leni:

    I’m just going to quietly forget that the thought “Christian grunge” occurred to me and assume that he wised up.

    Trying to make good Christian rock, alternative, grunge would be like trying to make good Christian porn.

    Anyway, when I looked into the younger Fischer’s band, it did not appear that they were a Christian band.

  • @Dingojack (#5) — Funny how they always forget that story, innit?

  • By the way, on the subject of this post, a fair number of people get brought into the ER unconscious and in serious trouble, with no relatives accompanying them, and no insurance information on file unless the patient used that particular hospital system recently. So is Fischer okay with allowing hospitals the freedom to decline to treat in these instances? And if we’re going with an ultimate free market system, what would he say about the practice of billing people for treatment they never consented to because they were unconscious? How can you charge someone for something they never agreed to purchase?

    This is one aspect of emergency medical treatment that distinguishes it from other products and services. When people most urgently need ER care, you often can’t obtain consent to purchase because they can’t consent or decline.

    And what do emergency responders do in Fischer’s harebrained world? Call ahead to find out which hospital will take a patient in urgent need of care based on the hospital’s financial decision? Would they bring the patient to an ER forty minutes away instead of bringing the patient to an ER 3 minutes away? Would they first check the patient’s insurance before loading the potential patient into the ambulance? Do they remove a dying person from a wrecked vehicle and leave them on the street before towing the wreck or afterward? Can you transport someone to the morgue when they’re not quite dead yet because no hospital in the area will take them?

    Also, quite a few people arrive at the ER conscious, but don’t go through registration because of the nature of the emergency–heart or breathing difficulty, for example. When I was younger, I suddenly developed food allergies and drove myself to the hospital three or four times going into anaphylactic shock. They did not wait to get my insurance information. Walk in, tell them I can’t breath, and I’m on a cart with people stripping my clothes and a doc and two or three ER nurses attending to me. (Eventually got EpiPen). So, in Fischer’s wingnut world, whether or not I would get treated immediately as my condition warranted would depend entirely upon what hospital I happened to be near when my respiratory system was shutting down?

    Fischer’s a world-class jackass and there are a lot of conservatives out there who share his view on removing the obligation to Dx and treat in the ER.

  • theguy

    I decided to do some research on this. This link is useful:

    http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9174/index1.html

    (It’s a link to the Research ANd Development Corporation, not some Objectivist tripe)

    The research looked at the difference between free medical care and a copayment system.

    “The analysis found that cost sharing reduced the use of effective and less-effective care across the board (see the table). For hospitalizations and prescription drug use, cost sharing likewise reduced more-effective and less-effective care in roughly equal amounts for all participants. The proportion of inappropriate hospitalizations was the same (23 percent) for cost-sharing and free-plan participants, as was the inappropriate use of antibiotics.”

    I suspect we may find similar results in terms of free emergency care versus paid-for emergency care.

  • Doug Little

    You do this and you will end up with health care at gunpoint, not to mention underground clinics ran by people offering “cheaper health care”. This guy is truly moronic. Is it wrong to wish this guy doesn’t receive care when the time comes? I think I’ve said that before in another thread.

  • magistramarla

    Guys – This is already happening in Texas.

    I have a good friend who lives there who suffers with many complications of Lupus. She lost her great job and insurance due to the illness. She and her teen-aged daughter were living on $300 per month child support from her ex.

    After being declined several times, she was finally allowed to have disability, which provides a small monthly check. Once you are on disability, you qualify for Medicare, but there is a long waiting period before it kicks in.

    My friend was having chest pains and had a seizure due to CNS Lupus. Her panicked daughter took her to the nearest ER, a private hospital. She was somewhat stabilized, and a doc started telling her the long list of tests that he had requested. She told him her situation, and he cancelled everything. He told her “This is a private hospital – you need to go to the county hospital, which deals with your kind”

    Texas is a horrible place to be sick and female.

  • eoraptor013

    I just have to say it: The Wingnuts have had bumper crops the last four years for one very simple reason… in the back of their minds, though rarely acknowledged, they simply can’t stand the fact that a nigger holds the Oval Office. (I refuse to elide that hated, hateful word because that’s exactly what they’re thinking. Indeed, the proscription against crackers saying the word likely is behind much of the birther-islamo-socialist-fascist-foreigner bullshit; they can’t say the one thing they’d like to proclaim from the roof-tops, so they say every damn thing else they can think of to compensate.)

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    @Dr X #56:

    In 1995, I was shot in a robbery, and was taken to a hospital w/o my wallet (which the robbers took) and thus, w/o cash or credit card and w/o proof of insurance! In Fischer’s world, the hospital would have lost money by not treating me.

  • F

    It’s a twofer: He obviously wants to eliminate healthcare jobs as well.

  • dingojack

    Gvlgeologist, FCD – you weren’t treated by a Samaritan, by chance? 🙂

    Dingo

    —–

    PS: Sorry, it was a terrible joke. Still, I’m glad you survived to tell the tale (ie you weren’t in the Hobbesian World of Fischer’s masturbatory fantasies).

  • anubisprime

    Not so much ‘Cognitive dissonance is your friend’ more like ‘My xianity is the best’

    Fischer seems to be a tad dyspeptic about Christianity having lost its way!

    He wants and yearns for a Christianity that was all the vogue in the 13th century..

    As ArtK @ 34 points out….

    “Caedite eos! Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius”

    And these days the ‘liberal xians’ have taken all the fun out of life!

    I really think Fischer never forgave them for losing the holy privilege of burnin’ thems heretic wimmins…their screams as the flames licked around their cute fannies must have been heaven to hear!

    Does anyone here really think Fischer would be in the vanguard of complaint and vilification against such practice if the likes of Scalia ruled the punishment constitutional and a xian right?

    The man is a moron and humanity is diminished by his foul odor.

  • In 1994 while travelling to my niece’s wedding in Phoenix I ate ONE taco at a Taco Bell in the St. Louis Airport. Upon arriving at my sister’s home I was feeling a little “crappy”, excuse the pun, and went to bed. After three days of being miserable, I was taken to the ER at “Desert Samaritan”. I was there for 10 hours and the bill was about $3K. I was told by the attending physician that I absolutely had food poisoning and that the state of AZ required that I be given a copy of the medical report. I never got the report. After several months they started dunning me and then put a collection agency on it (a lawyer friend helped me deal with them). I offered them two free market solutions. Furnish the medical report (which they promised to do, numerous times) or take a buck a week for 3K weeks. They chose not to be paid.

    “Is it wrong to wish this guy doesn’t receive care when the time comes? I think I’ve said that before in another thread.”

    Actually, Doug Little, if you give a shit about the rest of humanity, it’s prolly wrong to NOT wish the fucker dead.

  • Skip White

    “What we lack is not the way but the will. ”

    Hmm… if only we could somehow make our will, I dunno, triumph in some way.

  • baal

    Alan Grayson was called a Poe (more or less) in the media for suggesting that Brian Fisher’s plan was what the republicans wanted. Turns out that it is.

  • hackerguitar

    In “The Conscience of a Liberal,” justly-renowned economist Paul Krugman makes the case that a lot of GOP/fundie/rightwing-wingnut policies are driven by racism.

    Fisher’s statements – and the various follow-ons which would stigmatize and criminalize poverty – make it clear that Krugman was, sadly, right. I don’t know how this country has gone so far off course that we have lost empathy and accepted thinly-veiled racism as a legitimate part of our political discourse.

    Maybe the dystopian futures penned by authors like Paolo Bacigalupi and others, in which the US is a divided state, driven by soi-disant ideologically-driven warlords, are not really that far off…a libertarian america, every person for themeselves, where power derives not from the consent of the governed but from pure coercion and force, and money is the ultimate arbiter of value and morality.