A Moment for Empathy and Clarity

It’s hard to discuss a candidate’s family without it being too invasive or unintentionally cruel. To a large part, I think that family members should be off limits. But at the risk of seeming a bit harsh, Rick Santorum's family values conservatism opens his family to scrutiny. How he manages the challenges of his own family vs how he insists the rest of us behave, is an interesting contrast. Of course his notorious insertion of himself in the Terri Schiavo case would make him fair game anyway.

But the point of this post is on empathy. Rick Santorum has an opportunity to lead through experience. Santorum has an opportunity to examine his position on universal care in light of his own family’s experiences.

Santorum has a 3 year old daughter with Trisomy 18, Edwards Syndrome. The background of Trisomy 18 was discussed in the last post. Recalling that there are full and incomplete trisomy cases, in the true trisomy 18 situation most fetuses spontaneously abort, and few that go to term live more than a few weeks. Obviously, incomplete cases can have variable longevity. I have no information as to whether the Santorum child has incomplete or complete trisomy.

The best medical course of action based upon prognosis is not the purpose of this discussion.

Santorum and his wife decided to do everything possible to support their daughter and combat her congenital problems.

They are fortunate to have the resources to do that.

What I would ask Santorum would be to walk in the shoes of the uninsured for a time. Imagine what it would be like if he could not provide for his daughter's healthcare needs in the manner that his heart directs. What if the decision was pure economics? What if you couldn’t afford one of his healthcare savings accounts? What we he have done? How would he feel knowing that there was a guy out there spouting about the sanctity of life, who voted against essentially every bill aimed at making healthcare more affordable to people with fewer means? Would he change his mind?

This is the grim reality for millions of Americans. This group suffers under economic rationing of healthcare. Do we care? Should we care?


Michael Lockridge said...

How can there be a health care system that does not ration health care? No matter the system, I see cost dictating choices. Some of those dictated choices will necessarily conflict with individual morals and principles. How can it be otherwise?

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

I don't disagree Mike. The problem is that most, if not all, of the people making these decisions for the rest of us have no dog in the hunt. Only when Congress, and State legislators are limited to the same choices as the rest of America, will we have an equitable solution.

Mandate without shared sacrifice is simple tyranny.