Republicans Want More Guns (Injuries) And Gutted Health Care!

I would love to have Speaker of the House Paul Ryan defend on national television the Republican push to allow ever more guns in society along with the horrific injuries they cause to people at the same time the GOP pushes to roll back health care laws.

Gun violence is a costly epidemic in the US, with a recent study based on emergency department visits between 2006 and 2014 showing the cost per patient was between $6,755 (US$5,254) for entering the emergency department to around $123,291 (US$95,887) once an overnight stay is included.

The annual bill is around $3.6 billion (US$2.8 billion) in emergency department and inpatient charges.

Conservatives would be just a running joke if the chaos they caused was not so deadly and costly.

Shouldn’t Las Vegas Gun Victims Have Same Health Care Coverage As Congressman Scalise?

There is no way to separate the needs of the victims of the horrific gun violence which took place this week in Las Vegas from those that impacted Republican Congressman Steve Scalise when he was shot earlier this year.  All the victims needed extensive and very costly health care.  The difference of course was that the congressman had the best of care with little personal injury to his wallet while some from the Vegas shooting are facing financial mountains to climb.

Victims of the Las Vegas shooting are facing mounting medical bills that could add up to in excess of $771 million (US$600 million), according to one expert who said the cost will be “beyond staggering.”

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation expert Ted Miller told Newsweek the Las Vegas tragedy will likely cost more than $771 million in terms of medical bills, mental healthcare, physical therapy, loss of income and police work following the crisis.

Canadian Hudson Mack is also wondering what his bill will be after his 21-year old son Sheldon was caught up during a birthday visit to the US done without travel insurance.  Sheldon has had his colon removed but is now out of intensive care and doctors may leave bullet fragments in his arm.

Perhaps Congressman Scalise cares to propose an answer?

Photo: View From The Mandalay Hotel Window In Las Vegas Shooting

This short article in The New Yorker is really quite good–and thought provoking.

An image taken by a wedding photographer, in 2010, shows the view from the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel window. But there’s only so much it lets us see.  Photograph taken by Mike Lichtemwalner.

Violence that comes from above, whether by gunman or drone or missile, exploits its distance from the victims; when we look down at the world from up high, the smallness of the people below can render them meaningless, interchangeable, and thus easier to harm. “Look down there,” Orson Welles’s character, the criminal Harry Lime, asks his childhood friend Holly Martins in a famous scene from the 1949 film “The Third Man,” as they take in the view from atop Vienna’s Ferris wheel. “Would you feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever?

In her book “From God’s-Eye to Camera-Eye,” Paula Amad, a professor of cinematic arts at the University of Iowa, notes that an aerial view is often assumed to be a tool of the powerful, a vantage from which they look down on the bodies they subjugate. But, she argues, the view from above can also challenge supremacy. From the sky, it’s possible to see humans as just one small part of a whole—people next to mountains, roads next to rivers. From that vantage point, the world’s inhabitants—the “tiny, fragile human body,” as Walter Benjamin put it—look vulnerable, precarious, in need of protection.