Eric Cantor: Woman With Growing Tumors Should Find Gov't Program or CHARITY!

@anniepa (27251)
United States
September 29, 2009 7:13pm CST
Below is an interesting exchange between House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who says he can’t support health reform that includes a public option, and one of his constituents at the ONLY town hall meeting he attended: Patricia] CHURCHILL: I have a very close relative, a woman in her early forties, who did have a wonderful, high-paying job, owns her own home and is a real contributing member of society. She lost her job. Just a couple of weeks ago, she found out that she has tumors in her belly and that she needs an operation. Her doctors told her that they are growing and that she needs to get this operation quickly. She has no insurance. CANTOR: First of all I guess I would ask what the situation is in terms of income eligibility and the existing programs that are out there. Because if we look at the uninsured that are out there right now, there is probably 23, 24% of the uninsured that is already eligible for an existing government program [...] Beyond that, I know that there are programs, there are charitable organizations, there are hospitals here who do provide charity care if there’s an instance of indigency and the individual is not eligible for existing programs that there can be some cooperative effort. No one in this country, given who we are, should be sitting without an option to be addressed. You can also see this exchange at the link below: http://www.alan.com/2009/09/23/eric-cantor-says-woman-with-growing-tumors-should-find-govt-program-or-charity/ So, here we have someone who is opposed to a public option because it would be a "government program" telling a constituent to see if she's eligible for a government program since she's lost her private insurance! She just recently lost her job - and her insurance - and she owns a home so it's highly unlikely she'll be eligible for Medicaid. As far as "finding a charity" to help her pay for surgery to remove growing tumors and the likely subsequent treatment she'll need, chances are many of those who had previously given to charities which offered help in this regard are now looking for help of their own!! What say you? Annie
1 person likes this
7 responses
@iriscot (1290)
• United States
30 Sep 09
It sounds like Cantor is speaking out of both sides of his mouth and doesn't know what he is talking about. How could he know, he is well covered by insurance and has no worries at all for himself or family. Just wait until he is no longer in office (loses his job) then he will preach a different story. Well, maybe not, he is probably a lawyer and can go back to ripping off people to pay for a policy with all of the frills. Sorry to be so hard on you Mr. Cantor, but you sound like a jerk to me!
2 people like this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
5 Oct 09
Don't be sorry! The guy's a total a_hole as far as I'm concerned. Annie
@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
30 Sep 09
Not entirely a horrible thing to do annie. What was he suposed to do, steer her to a program that doesn't exist yet? Make all sorts of promises? And there is a difference to between being aopsed to ANOTHER government program and oposed to existinggovernment programs. That was a little skewed the way you put it. SO, would she in fact be eligable in her state for Medicaid? A while ago when I was out of work, I was, granted I didn't own a house but each state is different and she would have to find out what the criteria in her state is. Also, does she live in a state that has some sort of state program? there are a number that do already. In addition, he is right about charities. The hospital in my town has a program that doesn't require too many hoops to jump through and the financial requirements aren't too bad and they take care of EVERYTHING. So again, what was so horrible about what he did? Is it because he didn't isntantly take opertunity to push more government program creation and igonre all other existing programs ? Honestly, what was it YOU would liked to have heard him tell her?
2 people like this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
3 Oct 09
Let's just say since we are discussing Eric Canton I realize there was no possibility he'd say what I would have liked to have heard! I never would have expected him to admit he's wrong. From what I know about Medicaid she likely would not be eligible since she owns a home and had been gainfully employed until fairly recently. She lost her job so refinancing her home wouldn't be possible. It would be great if there were enough charities to help all of those in need but I know in my area they're spread about as thin as they can be. Annie
@Barbietre (1440)
• United States
30 Sep 09
I also saw a story about a woman who has cancer, and her daughter ( or daughters I think) has it also. Her insurance only pays a certain percents, so in order for them to afford treatments, she will NOT get hers so the child may live. So how is that fair? She pays her bills, has insurance, but will die without help. I have also seen stories of people who are contantly dunned with medical bills and even lose homes from this. And yet there are those who say, go to the ER it is free! Not if you have a job, they find you and hound you until they get their money.
2 people like this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
30 Sep 09
Isn't it ridiculous? Going to the ER IS NOT FREE under any circumstances! If they don't manage to get the money out of the patient they just increase costs for everyone who can pay either out of their own pocket or through insurance. Also, while they can't turn someone away at an ER with a medical emergency, they sure won't treat someone for cancer. Annie
@Koriana (302)
• United States
30 Sep 09
she should go to the er??? hate to tell this guy, but I was sitting around with no options.....a little state legislature opened the option up for me.... what's his problem? he should have gotten on the phone and made a few calls for the lady!
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
30 Sep 09
I don't know if he could go on the phone and make calls for this lady because frankly, I think it's a fabricated story and that her "friend" doesn't exist. The numbers just don't add up. See my post below.
@Koriana (302)
• United States
30 Sep 09
ya, you might have a point, but well, with cobra, you end up paying the entire premium....which might be a little unmanageable.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
5 Oct 09
So, Taskr, you don't think a situation like this could exist? You know what, I don't CARE if this story was fabricated! I don't think it was but regardless there are thousands of stories like this woman's that are the gospel truth and Congressmen like Eric Cantor don't care about them. Annie
@ParaTed2k (22977)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
30 Sep 09
I think it's kind of ironic that, in questions such as these, the only two options ever talked about are government and private charities. In this case, her own assets might be enough to be able to cover the bulk of the bill. She could also turn to family and friends for help. I'm not discounting charity or government help here, but it seems that we automatically assume that it's somehow beneath someone to use their own assets (either selling or getting equity loans, for example), or turning to friends and relatives. Why is it "right" to turn to strangers for this kind of help, but using our own assets, or asking friends or relatives is out of the question?
@Koriana (302)
• United States
30 Sep 09
in today's market, she could very well owe more on her home than she could sell it for, same with most other assetts. and, well, do you have any idea how much money cancer treatments cost, I doubt if her friends and relatives have that much money laying around to help her. susposed they should sell their assetts also at pennies on the dollar also? they way that the housing bubble blew up, I doubt if the charities would be of much help now. heck, if she lived around where I do, her best bet would be to get a little med key card....if they would give her a high enough limit on one. it's a interest bearing credit card just for medical expenses. they seem quite generous with the credit limit and have low monthly payments, she'd probably be paying the rest of her life, and never pay it off...but still, she'd get the treatment she needed.
1 person likes this
@ParaTed2k (22977)
• Sheboygan, Wisconsin
30 Sep 09
I didn't say she had to put herself and her friends in the poor house over it, I simply wonder why it seems ok for people to go to the government, or strangers for help but they aren't "comfortable" asking for help from friends and family.
@Koriana (302)
• United States
30 Sep 09
if you are talking about $50 or so, I would ask my family and friends....if you are talking about hundreds of thousands....ummm.....ya, I would feel uncomfortable!! ain't go any friends with that kind of money and I know it!
2 people like this
• United States
30 Sep 09
Why not have a charity drive? I know here locally there was a child that had cancer and the local fire department did a few charity drives (car wash, bake sales, etc) to help pay for what their insurance did not cover. They got enough to pay for her medical bills...plus that little girl now has a new inground pool to play in (local contractor did it for free). People will help. People will give IF ASKED. Not demanded. I think that is the issue most people have with gov healthcare or other social programs that come from our tax dollars. THey are not being asked if want to give...they are just going to get taxed higher. They are also not allowed to decide how much they want to give to help others. It is being dictated to them. People do give to charities. On a whole people give what htey can when they can. THey dont' mind being asked. They don't mind giving.But they do mind being TOLD they are going to give to charity and the gov. deciding how much they are going to give. HEre is an extreme example A person comes up to you and asks if you can give what you can for a certain charity. A person comes up to you and demands you give them money for a charity and if you dont give X amount of money they are going to sick the government on you and put you in jail. Which would you feel better about giving money to? YOu may give to the second one to keep out of trouble with the IRS but you will be mad as heck about it when you do it and feel like you are being robbed. Which will make you less likely to do charible acts.Where as the first one you will give to and actually feel good about what you did and may encourage you to do more good things to help others. Taking from the rich to give to the poor is still stealing if hte money is not given willingly or without the threat of something bad happening to them. If someone came into my house and robbed me and after he got caught told the police he did it to give to homelss people and could prove he did it to help out the homeless....he will have still committed a crime and would still go to jail. The end does not justify the means.
@anniepa (27251)
• United States
5 Oct 09
Well, if someone has tumors that are growing fast it would take a lot of baked goods being sold and cars being washed to pay for the surgery; I don't think it would even be possible. Is that the answer for all the thousands of Americans in this type of situation? There aren't enough people left who can afford to give much to charity. Also, when it's a child involved it's easier to get people to help out plus most states have health care for children that covers almost all of them whose family incomes are below $40,000 or maybe even higher. You said "pay for what her insurance didn't cover" but the woman in question in the discussion has no insurance. Annie
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
30 Sep 09
I don't know Annie, the numbers don't add up. I think this woman just made up this story to put him on the spot. If her relative only lost her job a few weeks ago her insurance would still be in effect. If she had a high paying job I don't see how that money ran out so fast that she couldn't use COBRA to continue her insurance. She probably found these tumors by doing what most people do, she rushed out to use her insurance and get full checkups because she knew it was running out soon after she was terminated. Either way, she could continue her insurance for 18 months under COBRA so she's not incapable of continuing her coverage only weeks after losing her job. http://www.cobrainsurance.com/COBRA_FAQ.htm Now as far as Cantor's response goes I can't see what he did wrong besides failing to mention COBRA. His point was that there are programs she could use now both from the government and from private charitable organizations. What would have been a better response? Should he have said "Tough luck?" Should he have said "Oh, you are so right! I'll vote for this bill so just hold on for FOUR YEARS and you might be covered under the public option!" All he did was point out there are programs to help her WITHOUT needing this current bill to be passed. He gave her solid advice and like I said, the only thing he didn't do was mention COBRA. This bill would take four years to go into effect so I don't see how anyone thinks it would help her now.