In a meeting with the Columbus Dispatch editorial board yesterday, Mitt Romney minimized the disastrous effects that the lack of affordable health insurance has had on millions of American families, sparking outrage from those who have struggled to find and keep affordable health insurance.
“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’??” Romney said. “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”
In response, Georgeanne Koehler from Pittsburgh, whose uninsured brother lost his life to a heart attack after doctors refused to replace the battery in his defibrillator, had this to say about Mitt Romney:
“If Mitt Romney believes that you can get the care you need without health insurance, he is living in a dream world. I’ll never forget the day when a cardiologist told my brother you will not have your heart defibrillator replaced unless you find a private health insurance policy or you come up with tens of thousands of dollars to have it replaced.
It wasn’t one hospital or one doctor, I called every hospital and cardiologist and the answer was all the same: ‘If he is stable, we cannot replace the defibrillator and the outcome is going to be one thing and that’s death. We won’t be able to help him.’ Billy died on March 7th, 2009 when his defibrillator gave out. So now when I want to see my brother’s beautiful eyes, I have to close mine.
So Governor Romney, you keep dreaming if you want to, because it’s a lot easier to live in a dream world. Families like mine who have lost a loved one due to lack of insurance are stuck living in a nightmare.”
Georgeanne Koehler is a retired hospital worker, SEIU member and a tireless advocate for affordable healthcare access.