If ghosts could vote

Yesterday would have been my mom’s 73rd birthday. Her death earlier this year was in part a case of “Murder by Spreadsheet,” which is the phrase that describes the criminal cost-cutting widely practiced by health insurers. They routinely delay or override the official recommendations of medical professionals, fully aware of the deleterious and often fatal effects on their patients. The outstanding and passionate reportage on this subject by DailyKos’ nyceve will curl your hair.

In my mom’s case, her doctors wanted to keep her at the hospital while she recovered from a severe infection and received radiation treatments for (a very treatable form of) cancer. The insurance company said no and sent her to a nursing home, where the standard of care was far lower. There her health declined rapidly; she was dead within a few weeks.

Now here’s a surprising fact: of the 100 U.S. Senators, Democratic and Republican, who is the one who has taken the most campaign money from evil HMO’s? Hillary Clinton.

Here is another surprising fact: who is the U.S. Senator who has taken the second largest amount of HMO money? Barack Obama.

Now, which presidential candidate made a career of fighting evil HMO’s and drug companies and their ilk — and winning? Which one has promised, if elected, to discontinue Congress’ golden health-care plan unless it passes meaningful health-care reform? Which one has a detailed and realistic plan for just such reform? And which one has opted for public campaign financing in order to be free of undue corporate influence? John Edwards.

My mom’s ghost and I implore you to vote for John Edwards. He’s our only good hope for making sure the insurance companies don’t turn too many other people into ghosts.

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