In Iowa today, 10 newspapers are running a full page ad advocating for a single-payer health-care bill, highlighting the fact Vice President Dick Cheney has benefited from his government-provided coverage. “If he were anyone else, he’d probably be dead by now,” the ad claims. Cheney, as the ad notes, has a long history of health problems:
The patient’s history and prognosis were grim: four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, angioplasty, an implanted defibrillator and now an emergency procedure to treat an irregular heartbeat
The ad, which is sponsored by the California Nurses Association and the National Nurses Organizing Committee, argues that without his government-provided health care, Cheney’s recent heart problems would have been “a death sentence“:
For millions of Americans, this might be a death sentence. For the vice president, it was just another medical treatment. And it cost him very little.
Unlike the average American, the president, vice president and members of Congress all enjoy government-financed health care with few restrictions or prohibitive fees.
In response to the ad, Cheney spokesperson Megan Mitchell told the Wall Street Journal that “something this outrageous does not warrant a response.”
The factual and provocative ad isn’t outrageous. What is outrageous is the fact that there are roughly 47 million people in America without health insurance, including 3.2 million children, but President Bush vetoed legislation in October that would have extended coverage to 4 million more children.
While it is certainly good that Vice President Cheney was able get the medical attention he needed, the groups’ ad is right. “The rest of us deserve no less” than Cheney.