Crazy people will get expanded health care coverage to the tune of $3.4 billion as part of the massive federal bailout plan passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush last Friday.
This bailout tack-on, which supporters allege will expand coverage for 113 million Americans (do the math – that means over a third of this country is crazy), was one of the “sweeteners” Congressional leaders used to get votes for the controversial “economic rescue” plan, which was initially defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Organizations across the country applauded its passage. â€œThis historic legislation is a victory for millions of Americans living with mental illnesses who face unfair discrimination in co-payments, doctorâ€™s visit and hospital stays,â€ said Michael Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, predicted the legislation would help reduce the â€œstigma and discriminationâ€ that people with mental illness and addiction experience.
â€œNearly half of all patients with a mental health disorder do not receive needed treatment,â€ said Dr. Jeremy Lazarus, a board member of the American Medical Association. â€œThanks to congressional action, we can bring an end to insurance discrimination against patients with mental health needs.â€
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
We hate to be insensitive here, but there’s no way that 1 out of 3 people in this country is crazy. And even if that statistic was accurate, we’re sick of this sort of feel-good crap getting tacked onto bills as disastrous for our country as the bailout boondoggle clearly is.
The whole point of this $3.4 billion bill wasn’t to help mentally ill people, it was to get Minnesota Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad and a handful of other House members to switch their votes from “nay” to “aye” on the bailout bill, and it clearly worked.
Cuckoo for bailout? You better believe it …