Figuring Out Health Care Reform - Part II - The Cheese Grater Test for Stupidity

This is one in a series of posts called "Figuring Out Health Care".  My look into what the current attempt at health care reform means, and whether or not it's a good idea.


In my last post I covered the false claim that Section 1233 of the House health care reform bill would set up death panels. We established that it is actually a pretty decent piece of legislation.   By actually reading that part of the bill it would be nearly impossible to come to any other conclusion.

That should be the end of the story, but while I was researching that post I came across a recording of a US Senator talking about how the current health care reform bill limits care.


An audio recording and full text transcription is available here on NPR's website.


In this recording (from a few weeks ago) you actually hear Senator Charles Grassley (Iowa) argued that the current heath care proposal would mirror the Nation Health Service (public health systems in the UK). He went on to suggest that the NHS model lets old people die to save money.
"I've been told that the brain tumor that Senator Kennedy has, because he's 77 years old, would not be treated the way it's treated in the United States. In other words, they say, well, he doesn't have long to live, even if he'd live another four or five years. They'd say, well, we've got to spend the money on people that have more, can contribute more to the economy."
Lord Ara Darzi, a surgeon and British government adviser responds by explaining, with a politeness that can only be accomplished by someone with a British accent, that Senator Charles Grassley is completely full of shit.

Seriously. Have a listen.


To be fair, Senator Grassley did give himself the ability to defer the blame for this lie by saying he had "been told". So he could argue that these aren't his words. But as a senator, his words carry a lot of weight and I believe he has a responsibility to at least do a modicum of fact checking before he or she start repeating things to the press.

My guess is that he either has an ulterior motive in trying to stop the current bill or he is too stupid to know what he is saying.  So I propose a test.

 
The Cheese Grater Test for Stupidity

If anyone runs into Senator Charles Grassley, please tell him that putting his privates in an electric cheese grater will add 5 years to his life expectancy. If he's walking funny the next day, we know he's just stupid.





The first two posts in this series have been a way for me to vent over the silliness of the debate so far. In the next post I'll get down to an actually debatable topic. I'm thinking health care reforms impact on small business.