A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

He Just Keeps Getting Better

Yet another reason to love Al Franken.

The hearing was on bankruptcies caused by medical bills.
Kerry Burns, a witness on the panel, testified that her son was treated for cystic fibrosis before he died while she fell into debt. "The collection calls were unrelenting, upwards of 30 calls a day," she said.

As part of the bankruptcy filing process, Burns has to undergo credit counseling, where she was asked how she could have avoided bankruptcy. She called the course "humiliating" and "a slap in the face," and to this day has not successfully filed for bankruptcy because she had not filled out the forms.

While [Sen. Sheldon] Whitehouse was quick to express his outrage at the process she was required to undergo, after watching her son die, [Sen. Jeff] Sessions appeared more accepting.

"When the government starts to regulate anything, including health care, you have rules," Sessions answered.

When Diana Furchtgott-Roth from the Hudson Institute attacked everything from the public option to the health bill that passed out of the Senate Finance Committee last week, Whitehouse remarked that she "veered across three lanes of traffic."

"Did you actually read the bill that is the subject of today's hearing?" he asked.

When Whitehouse asked her about the issue she had failed to focus on -- bankruptcy -- Furchtgott-Roth replied simply that the current system does a good job.

"Did it do a good job for Ms. Burns?" Whitehouse rebutted, visibly frustrated. Furchtgott-Roth simply replied that Burns had been in a bad situation.