If you are trying to find a stunning example of the cruelty implicit in Republican ideology look no further than Rep. Bill Huizenga – and you don’t need to search very hard, he’ll actively brag about it.
In a recent sit down with MLive, Huizenga recounted the time he deliberately made his son wait a day with a horrific arm injury because he figured he could try to keep the cost down in medical expenses if it turned out the boy could tough it out. A day later, x-rays revealed the child had a broken arm.
What’s baffling about this story is that Huizenga meant for it to serve as an example of why people shouldn’t get medical help when they are sick or injured. In his view, the biggest waste of money in the medical system is… people using the medical system. Medical treatments should be kept expensive so that it dissuades people from using it.
His story about his son, then, is an example of a time he kept his child in pain because he didn’t want to foot the bill.
“We took every precaution but decided to go in the next morning (because of) the cost difference,” Huizenga said. “If he had been more seriously injured, we would have taken him in. … When it (comes to) those type of things, do you keep your child home from school and take him the next morning to the doctor because of a cold or a flu, versus take him into the emergency room? If you don’t have a cost difference, you’ll make different decisions.”
This warped view is the exact opposite of what most health advocacy experts are pushing for. The cost of health care in the country is crushing precisely because not enough people have insurance or the financial means to go to the doctor when they start to get sick. Instead, many Americans – including, it seems, Huizenga’s child – simply suffer through pain – only ending up in the hospital as a last resort. It’s oftentimes a costly gamble. For example, it’s much cheaper to get a prescription for medication to control blood pressure than deal with the surgeries, treatments, and loss of productivity that comes with having a stroke caused by untreated hypertension. Waiting is not what you want to do.
Huizenga’s beliefs strike at the very heart of the difference between liberals and conservatives. Illness and injury as punishment for not having the financial means to afford treatment is a world most liberals wouldn’t want to live in. Universal healthcare and affordable medical intervention are goals worthy of hardwork and sacrifice. The idea that anyone would rather their son moan through the night with a broken arm rather than become a “burden” to the hospital by getting treated is reckless to the point of cruelty.
Watch Rep. Huizenga’s interview below:
Featured image via YouTube