Thursday, May 14, 2015


Yes, that's what he said:
After calling for the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act during a Thursday stop at a brewery in Tempe, Ariz., Bush touted the potential of the health apps on his new Apple Watch

"On this device in five years will be applications that will allow me to manage my healthcare in ways that five years ago were not even possible," Bush told his audience. "I'll have the ability, someone will, you know, because of my blood sugar, ... someone will send me a signal it'll come here, I'll get a double beep saying 'you just ate a butterscotch sundae or something like that. You went way over the top. You're a diabetic, you can't do that -- whatever, we'll be able to guide our own healthcare decisions in a way that will make us healthy. Ultimately, we have to get to a health system, away from a disease system."
Dave Weigel sees this as out-of-touch rich-guy-ism:

Which it obviously is. But it's more than that. Think about Luis Lang, who refused to obtain private insurance, then refused to obtain Obamacare, and is now going blind:
Lang, a 49-year-old resident of Fort Mill, S.C., has bleeding in his eyes and a partially detached retina caused by diabetes.

“He will lose his eyesight if he doesn’t get care. He will go blind,” said Dr. Malcolm Edwards, the Lancaster ophthalmologist who examined Lang....

Edwards said he would provide care at no cost, but Lang now requires surgery and follow-up treatment that is beyond his expertise. His Eye & Laser Center has a network of specialists who work on a sliding scale and organizations that sometimes help with donations. But Lang requires such extensive and ongoing work that there’s no way to guarantee there won’t be significant bills, Edwards said.
Hey Jeb, got any apps on that watch that can reattach a retina and do a significant amount of follow-up care?

Yes, it's diabetes that damaged Lang's eyes, and the technology Bush is talking about could conceivably help a patient monitor blood sugar effectively, either on an Apple Watch or the inevitable cheaper knockoffs. But if you don't heed its warnings, or if heeding its warnings doesn't prevent calamitous health consequences, or if something happens to you that falls outside the technology's ability to help you, you're oing to need more medical care than you can get from a toy -- whoops, sorry, a highly sophisticated wearable -- on your wrist.

And while Jeb is a rich guy and Lang was merely a comfortable member of the middle class until his illness took away his ability to work, the two of them -- both Republicans -- suffer from the same problem: failure of imagination and belief that truly bad things don't happen to good (i.e., Republican) people. Jeb is talking as if this wearable tech will magically make the need for real health care go away. Lang believed that there was nothing that could happen to him healthwise that he couldn't handle out of pocket.

But good fortune runs out. Lang gets that now, maybe. Bush? Not so much.


M. Bouffant said...

And how much does an Apple Watch cost again? I think people can test their blood sugar levels for somewhat less.

Not exactly the same, but does remind me of Poppy Bush & his amazement at the supermarket scanner.

Cirze said...

Bush's need for health care went away with his birth.

And he knows it.

He also knows who is paying for the issues to be intentionally muddied for those not paying close attention.

I call them the inattentive or doofus citizens.

Not gonna happen to them.

Thanks for the reporting!

petrilli said...

I'm ambivalent about this subject. On the one hand it's becoming more difficult to feel sorry for people like Lang or Kansans who are in a statewide depression, or Oklahomans who get earthquakes and watch water faucets turn into Bunsen Burners. And it's getting easier to write them off. That's a decision I get to make. The decision I don't get to make is who these idiots (who all own guns) will blame for their self inflicted tragedies. They used to blame Jews mostly. Thankfully, they need Israel now for the Rapture. So no more "Joo killin" for Cleetus the slack jawed yokel.

Curt Purcell said...

Can you imagine if smart-watches really were a cost-effective healthcare aid and the Obama administration tried to distribute them for that purpose? Remember OBAMA PHONES!!1!? Remember how the right freaked out when someone in line at a charitable food pantry took a picture of Michelle Obama (who was volunteering there) on his phone? They were all like, "If he can afford a phone that takes pictures, he's rich enough not to be getting free food!"

Victor said...

There's still the Nigrah's to blame!
And boy howdy, do they!!!

Glennis said...

Curt, I am amazed at how many wing-nuts still consider a cell-phone to be a luxury item.

Unknown said...

Well, lets give Jeb one, with a secret service add on, save taxpayer money!