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Another Phony Health-Care Horror Story


The Left specializes in appealing to emotion while playing fast-and-loose with the facts. This tendency is on full display in the national debate over health-care reform, as statists try (unsuccessfully) to convince the public that our current system is dreadfully inhumane.

To this end, President Obama offered two heart-wrenching anecdotes to stoke anger against private insurance during his September address to Congress:  

One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found that he hadn’t reported gallstones that he didn’t even know about. They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it. Another woman from Texas was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne. By the time she had her insurance reinstated, her breast cancer more than doubled in size. That is heart-breaking, it is wrong, and no one should be treated that way in the United States of America.

Very moving. The trouble is, neither tale is accurate. 

Now, Michelle Malkin has jumped into the fray, executing a thorough take-down of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s latest health-care column, subtly entitled “Are We Going To Let John Die?” She tore apart his narrative by simply picking up a telephone and placing a call to gather the facts. Groundbreaking stuff, to be sure.

As it turns out, the U.S. health-care system isn’t letting John down quite as badly as Kristof would have us believe. Michelle explains (emphasis added):

Today, I did something that Pulitzer Prize-winning NYTimes columnist Nick Kristof apparently didn’t do: I talked to a spokesman at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.

I called them up after OHSU’s Dr. Johnny Delashaw left a comment about Kristof’s piece spotlighting the horrible plight of John Brodniak, an Oregon man with a neurological condition that he says no one would treat.

Kristof used Brodniak’s plight to argue for universal health care, decry Brodniak’s deadly lack of insurance (even though he got Medicaid coverage in August), and lambaste doctors for refusing to treat Brodniak due to low reimbursements.

Well, OHSU confirmed for me two things:

1) OHSU is a safety-net hospital not far from where Brodniak lives. The hospital accepts all Medicaid patients and would not turn Brodniak away.

Okay, are you ready for Number 2?

2) Brodniak is a patient at OHSU — and has been a patient there for the past three weeks.

In other words, at the time Kristof’s article was published this past Sunday, Brodniak was already being treated and cared for by some of the best neurologists in the country!

If liberals are going to use tragic individual stories to justify their massive governmental power-grab — and some true sob stories surely exist in a nation of 300 million people — they ought to have the decency to at least get the important details right.  

Obamacare: Never let the facts get in the way of a tear-jerking story.


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