Paul Krugman: Mitt Romney Doesn't See (Non-Rich) Dead People

The Nobel-prize winning economist shreds Romney's statement on health care.

In a scathing column published in Sunday's New York Times, Paul Krugman writes, "Mitt Romney doesn’t see dead people. But that’s only because he doesn’t want to see them; if he did, he’d have to acknowledge the ugly reality of what will happen if he and Paul Ryan get their way on health care."

Last week, Mitt Romney demonstrated for the upteempth time just how out-of-touch he is with the problems facing non-wealthy Americans, Krugman points out. In an interview with the Columbus-Dispatch, Romney said, “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.” The candidate, apparently, had not learned anything from the massive outcry triggered by his previous out-of-touch, false statement on health care, in which he suggested that all you have to do if you don't have insurance is hop in an ambulance and go to the emergency room.

The Nobel Prize winning economist goes on to shred Romney's absurd statement, pointing out that people do, in fact, die all the time because they lack health insurance; 


Even the idea that everyone gets urgent care when needed from emergency rooms is false. Yes, hospitals are required by law to treat people in dire need, whether or not they can pay. But that care isn’t free — on the contrary, if you go to an emergency room you will be billed, and the size of that bill can be shockingly high. Some people can’t or won’t pay, but fear of huge bills can deter the uninsured from visiting the emergency room even when they should. And sometimes they die as a result.

More important, going to the emergency room when you’re very sick is no substitute for regular care, especially if you have chronic health problems. When such problems are left untreated — as they often are among uninsured Americans — a trip to the emergency room can all too easily come too late to save a life.

The lack of a workable, humane health care system is likely one of the reasons life expectency is lower in the US than in Western European countries, Krugman points out, and goes on to detail just how much worse Romney and Ryan's right-wing policies are likely to make health care in America. Readit here. 

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior editor at AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @Russian_Starr.

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