Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Earlier today I wrote a post in response to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a teabagger who thinks his infant daughter's heart condition 27 years ago might not have been treated properly if we'd been living under the evil ObamaCare (because pinko socialist medicine stifles cutting-edge innovation, in his opinion). In comments to my post, CH wrote:

On the same subject: down here in Tx, at least, the young man (Dallas Wiens) who received the first US full face transplant is big news. It should also be big news, trumpeted from rooftops, that one big reason he was able to get the transplant is because of Obamacare: Wiens' dad was able to add him to his own policy, due to the reform act's prohibition of exclusion of adult children up to age 26 for pre-existing conditions. However, the Dallas/FW NPR station was the only media outlet to mention that, according to a Google search. Worse, I heard Sibelius on NPR this morning on the Diane Rehm show; the occasion was the 1st anniversary of the reform act, and Sibelius was there to talk it up. I heard not a syllable about Dallas Wiens' face transplant. (In fairness, I wasn't able to hear the whole show.)

Messaging, anyone?

Any Democrats paying attention?

Here's that story, by the way, from KERA in Dallas.

... The Fort Worth dad had no insurance at the time of the accident. The new federal health care law made Wiens' transplant possible because it allowed him coverage under his father's insurance plan.

I do see that MSNBC told us this last fall:

Medicaid paid for his initial care at Parkland, but he was dropped from the federal health care program for the poor when his disability payments put him over its income limits. As a disabled person, he'll be able receive Medicare by June.

In the meantime, he needed his father's insurance to help him pay for anti-rejection drugs, which will cost $1,300 to $2,000 a month, Wiens said. He was able to qualify for his father's insurance because a provision of the federal health care law extends family insurance coverage to adult children until age 26.

The Department of Defense will pay for the cost of surgery, he said. It's underwriting the transplant with the hope of eventually being able to help soldiers with severe facial injuries.

Medicaid, ObamaCare, Medicare, the DoD. Gosh, I don't see a benefactor from the free market in the bunch. Do you?

(Oh, and let's not forget that the first face transplant was performed in the socialist hellhole known as France. Cutting-edge enough for you, Senator?)


Meanwhile, Aaron Carroll of the Incidental Economist utterly demolishes Johnson's arguments.

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