Video: Bachmann zaps heckler over maternity care

posted at 1:36 pm on August 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Courtesy of The College Politico, who captures Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)’s quick-witted reply to a heckler at her contentious town-hall forum on health care. Bachmann held up a stack of headlines about the health-care crisis in the UK, especially a report about how 4,000 women had to give birth in corridors due to a resource shortage in the NHS. When the heckler tries to disrupt her, Bachmann offers her version of Complete Moral Authority:

“I’ve given birth here probably more times than you, sir.”

I’d say. She has given birth to five children, and a home to 23 foster children. It’s hard to argue against her on maternity-care expertise.

It’s even more difficult to dismiss the report Bachmann wanted to highlight:

The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets – even a caravan – went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000.

Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full.

Latest figures show that over the past two years there were at least:

* 63 births in ambulances and 608 in transit to hospitals;
* 117 births in A&E departments, four in minor injury units and two in medical assessment areas;
* 115 births on other hospital wards and 36 in other unspecified areas including corridors;
* 399 in parts of maternity units other than labour beds, including postnatal and antenatal wards and reception areas.

Additionally, overstretched maternity units shut their doors to any more women in labour on 553 occasions last year.

On top of that, an NHS patient-advocacy group’s study shows that more than a million NHS patients received “appalling care” from the government-run health-care system:

The charity has disclosed a horrifying catalogue of elderly people left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff.

The Patients Association said the dossier proves that while the scale of the scandal at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – where up to 1,200 people died through failings in urgent care – was a one off, there are repeated examples they have uncovered of the same appalling standards throughout the NHS.

While the criticisms cover all aspects of hospital care, the treatment and attitude of nurses stands out as a repeated theme across almost all of the cases.

Update: Fixed the quote.

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Mags:

It is entirely legitimate for people to bring up Britain’s health care system in the United States right now and entirely legitimate for us to criticize your health care system by way of trying to discourage our lawmakers from adopting a system which many of us believe would be a disadvantage not only to Americans, but frankly to the world.

It is, after all, to America that people often come when they want excellent treatment; and it is in America where most of the new treatments and pharmaceuticals are being developed. I don’t know what the effect on the pharmaceutical industry would be if we were to adopt a system similar to yours, but I doubt it would be good, especially since the people promoting it are the same people who seem to be terrified of the notion that somebody might actually–dare I mention the word?–”profit” from their labors.

As far as your country goes, you have its history to be proud of. Under Victoria, it was the greatest country on earth, IMHO, but modern Britain is a pale imitation of its former self. The fact that most Brits are satisfied with marginal health care does not speak highly of your fellow citizens’ drive and ambition, especially in the golden age of medicine. You should care how many MRI machines we have as opposed to you (per capita, of course) because many of the horrors that come from your country concern limited access to technology which Americans take for granted.

Furthermore, for you to say your countrymen and women have no interest in our health care system is disingenuous. You Brits take an extraordinary interest in what we do in the United States and root for particular outcomes of our political elections almost as keenly as Americans do. You are constantly sticking your noses in our politics and criticizing our leaders and, at least under President Bush, decrying America’s affect on the world, etc.

Last but not least, I have no idea what “we are not arsed what ideology you have” means, but I do know what arse means.

MissDarcy on August 31, 2009 at 3:17 PM

MissDarcy on August 31, 2009 at 3:17 PM
disadvantage not only to Americans, but frankly to the world.

Are you saying no other health system and scientist’s around the world have not invented or found cures for disease’s?
Thank you for making my point for me.Nobody from the rest of mankind is calling to introduce U.S type health system’s.

We are saying if you must discuss our’s could you please get
your information right.
Not use words like ‘evil’ and even ‘nazi’s’.
To say if Stephen Hawkings was British he would of been killed at birth by the N.H.S didn’t go down here very well.

It doesn’t get it right all the time for everyone, no system could, but it does get it right most of the time for most people. 92% of patients are happy with the NHS [read: patients and not grumpy Daily Mail readers]

There is a difference between following your foreign policy which effects the world,and your domestic issues.
I thought you got that.If your healthcare is so good,why do doctors need crippling amount of medical insurance due to litigation?

You wrote-
‘In the United States, we believe in rewarding hard work and encouraging people to be creators of wealth because that has the effect of making society better for everyone.’

That’s your ideology.We agree,we have lazy git’s here that try to milk the benefit system.

We view health differently.It is shocking to us to lose your house never mind your life if you become ill.
We think society benefit’s more by not excluding people,just because some kids have irresponsible parents doesn’t mean they should be ignored.

Immunisation and preventative care helps the economy -keeping the work force healthy.
It’s about us not the scroungers.

The U.S spends the most on it’s military,to keep yourselves ‘safe’.

We see health like the fire service and police,they want to help everyone.

When the U.S is rebuilding hospital’s in Iraq, donating money around the world to poorer countries,but then giving your own people a limited access to health based on wealth , this is bewildering.

mags on August 31, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Who’s the bored guy sipping water?

Republicans named Michelle seem to be great people.

Aronne on August 31, 2009 at 10:15 PM

Mags:

Of course, I am not saying no other scientists around the world have added anything to the practice of medicine; but the preponderance of new drugs, new treatments, and new medical technology comes from the United States. I happen to believe there is a connection between this and our capitalist ethic, which alas does not believe government should be the driving force of the economy.

As I said before, our system needs work, no doubt about it; it doesn’t require total reformation, however, as it works fairly well as it is.

Furthermore, Americans need to understand that health care is not a right. If it’s worth having, it’s worth paying for, and how much people are willing to pay will be reflected in the care they get. I know many uninsured people who spend a lot of money on entertainment and other luxuries rather than pay for health insurance. They don’t consider health insurance a priority until they get sick, I guess. Then they become a burden on the system because they end up getting free medical care, and the rest of us who pay for insurance (even when we are healthy) pick up the costs.

The malpractice costs are ridiculously high, I admit. Tort reform has to be a part of any health care reform because not only does it drive up the costs of medical care, it also drives doctors out of the profession or out of communities that most need doctors, such as poor parts of the country.

MissDarcy on August 31, 2009 at 11:28 PM

I love Bachmann.

Metro on September 1, 2009 at 12:59 AM

We view health differently.It is shocking to us to lose your house never mind your life if you become ill.

mags on August 31, 2009 at 5:10 PM

You people are so blinded by ideology. I’d quote the old saying “You can’t see the forest for all the trees”, but you don’t have those anymore. You may not get the reference.

In America, we don’t send twenty-two year-old people home to die from cirrhosis of the liver (Britain). And we don’t send twenty-one year-olds home to die of bursted appendixes because they forgot to bring their “health card” (Canada).

In our “pay” system, maybe those two young men would have had to sell stuff to pay the bill, or maybe they would had to declare bankruptcy. Sorry, but sometimes bad things happen to good people. True, it’s not their fault. But it’s also not anyone elses fault. My children shouldn’t be impoverished because of your problems, nor yours for mine.

Our leftists (read: dems) want to turn America into a lazy, entitled country, where they can decide everything about our lives. It’s that way in Britain now, but you’re so used to it you don’t even notice anymore.

Squiggy on September 1, 2009 at 6:11 AM

MissDarcy on August 31, 2009 at 11:28 PM

Squiggy on September 1, 2009 at 6:11 AM

I don’t recall a huge movements of British insisting yanks install the N.H.S .

It is not a left wing policy.I am not trying to explain how it works,due also to the fact i work in it,to persuade you to change your mind.

It’s about us as a country not you.We are just asking to be kept out of your arguments about something that we from all walks of life(and income)want.

Squiggy
Sorry, but sometimes bad things happen to good people. True, it’s not their fault. But it’s also not anyone elses fault. My children shouldn’t be impoverished because of your problems, nor yours for mine.

The fact that we feel differently about our fellow citizens has nothing to do with you.What you do in your country is your business.
We are not telling you to take our values and plant it in the U.S.

However that is what you are trying to do to us.The mis information is staggering.
If you want to know more about the N.H.S without the condemnation i am getting ,then i will reply.

mags on September 1, 2009 at 6:58 AM

Mags:

Nobody is trying to tell you Brits what to do with your health care. If you all like what you have, keep it. But we can still use your system and its faults to inform ourselves, as Americans, about the dangers and imperfections of socialized health care.

I’m sorry if you feel you are being deluged with news about what Americans are saying about the British health care system, but you need to take that up with your media, who are apparently obsessed with everything we in the United States say or do.

MissDarcy on September 1, 2009 at 8:19 AM

you all like what you have, keep it. But we can still use your system and its faults to inform ourselves, as Americans, about the dangers and imperfections of socialized health care.

‘to inform ourselves’
MissDarcy ,
Thats our problem ,some of things that are being used to inform you are a load of crap.

I’ve seen posters saying that we have enforced amnio’s leading to enforced abortion’s.
Death squads!That we would kill anyone disabled like Stephen Hawkings at birth.

Wrong information about waiting times,patients choice,what is covered by the N.H.S and what is not.That we are all lazy git’s.

Informing yourselves should include all sides and facts ,i have seen no evidence of this.

I’m sorry if you feel you are being deluged with news about what Americans are saying about the British health care system, but you need to take that up with your media, who are apparently obsessed with everything we in the United States say or do.

It’s because of the lies told about the N.H.S in the U.S ,it’s the lies and distortion’s that has driven the story in the media.
There has been a huge uprising of patriotism here.

We are not the ones obsessed with you.Ironically you all seem obsessed with us, which even this thread show’s.

mags on September 1, 2009 at 2:21 PM

We are not the ones obsessed with you.Ironically you all seem obsessed with us, which even this thread show’s.

mags on September 1, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Really? How do you figure that? You’re a Brit posting on an American website, not the other way around.

As for the “lies told about the N.H.S in the U.S”, are you denying my example? Was there not a twenty-two year-old man just now condemned to death (by the NHS’s refusal to treat him) because he was a lush?

And just for your info, we don’t even know what a “lazy git” is.

Squiggy on September 1, 2009 at 6:09 PM

I know this is a dead thread, but for posterity, I wanted to link to Mags own newspaper here. Who’s lying about the NHS, huh?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6127514/Sentenced-to-death-on-the-NHS.html

Squiggy on September 3, 2009 at 5:49 AM

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