Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Right Where The Rubber Meets the Road

In the healthcare debate, here's where the rubber is going to meet the road. Right here:

Randall Shepherd, a 36-year-old father of three who needs a new heart after childhood battles with rheumatic fever, is one of 98 Arizonans no longer eligible for state-paid transplants after Governor Jan Brewer and the Legislature eliminated funding.

Shepherd, a plumber from Mesa who no longer can work, said he was next on the list to receive a heart of his size and blood type when the transplant program was eliminated Oct. 1, cutting him off from the $600,000 procedure. Now, “I wouldn’t even be notified,” he said in a telephone interview, his breathing labored.

The Republican governor’s elimination of transplants to save $800,000 toward a $3 billion budget deficit makes Arizona the only state to do so in the past two years, according to a report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health-care researcher in Menlo Park, California.

I don't pretend to have the answers here. But I know the question: are we going to let sick unfortunate Americans die?