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Republican Congressman: Cancer Patients Should Use Emergency Room

Republican Congressman: Cancer Patients Should Use Emergency Room

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In March,  before Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) voted to replace Obamacare with Trumpcare, he was asked on CNN about a woman who is a Republican and a Trump supporter. He was told she is only alive today because of Obamacare, which allowed her to get $1 million worth of cancer treatments that saved her life.

DeSantis, who is a member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, said there are plenty of health care alternatives beyond Obamacare. He suggested the woman could always get her cancer treated somewhere. 

“If people really need it,” responded DeSantis, “they show up to the emergency room, they do get care, it just gets passed on to other folks.”

When told by CNN’s Erin Burnett that there was no way she should have gotten the specialized treatment she needed in an emergency room, instead of answering the question directly, the Congressman went into a litany of complaints about Obamacare.

He also did not address her question about passing off the cost of care to “other folks.”

DeSantis went on to complain that no “able-bodied person” should get Medicare of any other government assistance, but rather just buy their own private insurance. He didn’t seem to care that over 70 percent of Medicaid assistance are people who work but still can’t afford their medical care. 

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DeSantis is a Navy veteran who did most of his service as a military lawyer. One bill he cares passionately about would provide funding for traumatized former service members so they can have service dogs at a cost of up to $27,000 per animal to comfort them. It is called the PAWS Act.

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While he is willing to spend $10 million a year to help veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome, a worthy cause, he isn’t willing to spend ten cents to help people who work for a living but need some help when a family member becomes sick and requires many thousands of dollars in treatment.

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DeSantis also likes to dig up a lot of old Republican claims about welfare abusers, who are just taking advantage of the taxpayers, and working people who shouldn’t get any government money.

Shortly after his comments to CNN, DeSantis was attacked by some of his constituents and had to admit he made a mistake: ““I received criticism this week for an interview I did on CNN and, having reviewed the transcript, I think the criticism is warranted. Serious diseases such as cancer require highly specialized treatment, not ad hoc visits to the ER. Implying otherwise is not correct as a matter of fact.”

None of that stopped DeSantis from voting for Trumpcare, which will cost millions of veterans and others their health care coverage.

At age 38, DeSantis may not yet be old enough to suffer the pains that come with age, or the economic burden of medical costs that force people to declare bankruptcy, or the cruel cost of not offering health insurance to people in need, who then may not get help in time and pay for the lack of government assistance wth their lives.

An ambitious politician, DeSantis wanted to run for Senate last cycle but dropped out after Marco Rubio reclaimed his seat. The best things the voters of Florida can do is send DeSantis into retirement, hopefully without any medical benefits, so he can have a taste of his own medicine. 


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Benjamin Locke

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