On the one hand, people fear the cost of the healthcare system--and of course, the rapidly rising cost of Medicare is a major flashpoint political issue these days. But on the other hand, even more than they fear the cost of healthcare, folks fear the ravages of ill-health. To paraphrase the great medical philanthropist Mary Lasker, if you think the healthcare system is expensive, consider the expense of not having a healthcare system. People live longer and better today, not because they have health insurance, but because healthcare providers have the medicines and treatments that secure their good health.
So the challenge is to simultaneous grapple with the important cost issue and theeven more important health/medicine issue. And Bachmann has found the formula.
The latest display of her political/policy acumen came this morning on "Fox & Friends." As always, Bachmann was resolute on the issue of controlling taxes, spending, and the debt. And yet at the same time, as she said, there's more to American life than "facts and figures and insurance policies." What else? For openers, there's life itself. So in addition, there's the issue of the good health and long life--and economic productivity--of the American workforce. And that means medical progress and cures.
Here's the Serious Medicine-related portion of the transcript:
FOX & FRIENDS: Are you somebody that's going to back off from Paul Ryan's plan to reform and preserve Medicare and Medicaid? Because of what happened in New York in that race in Buffalo where the upset happened because they claim, because of the ryan medicare and medicaid plan, his path to prosperity?
BACHMANN: I voted for Paul Ryan's plan. He's right, we have to save and keep solvent Medicare. What's the alternative? It goes into bankruptcy. Paul is exactly right.
The asterisk I put on that level of support are two things:
Number one, I want everyone to know this is the 55 and under plan. No one 55 years of age or older will be touched in anyway. The only reforms affect people 55 and younger.
The other thing is, in the midst of all the talk about facts and figures and insurance policies, we can't forget humanity. I want to see us focus on finding cures as well. Cures for Alzheimer's, cures for diseases that particularly deal with senior citizens, diabetes, for instance, that’s what we need to do. Just like we were able to eradicate polio, that's make that same type of effort for cancer and Alzheimer’s. That's an important area for us to concentrate as well.