Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCain's Transplant Folly

Perhaps the worst moment for John McCain last night was this answer he gave when talking about his health care plan:
Now, 95 percent of the people in America will receive more money under my plan...except for those people who have the gold-plated Cadillac insurance policies that have to do with cosmetic surgery and transplants and all of those kinds of things.
Immediately when he said that, Michelle looked at me and asked "He thinks people should have to pay more for transplants?" She said it before I did, but I was thinking exactly the same thing. What kind of out-of-touch do you have to be to suggest that someone who needs a life-saving organ transplant should only have it covered under a "gold-plated Cadillac insurance policy" that would cost more than what 95% of Americans can afford?

Catching up on the reviews from this morning, I've seen some suggestions that he was talking about hair transplants, which makes sense because he joked in the last debate about needing those and he coupled the reference with cosmetic surgery.

But there are millions of people who have had a life-saving organ transplant or have a transplant recipient in their family (I have two relatives who have had kidney transplants, for instance). For those people, McCain's answer was jarring. I read a lot of commentary so I was able to get a better idea of what he was talking about, but I wonder how many others heard his answer the way I did and questioned what would have happened to them or their loved ones had McCain been in charge when they needed an organ transplant.

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