Cancer is inconvenient, but missing your flight is death

The sequester has caused US members of Congress to face flights delays, and it’s caused seniors to be turned away from chemotherapy. Guess which one the US Senate fixed last night?

The sequester is finally starting to take a bite out of programs and services that regular Americans have come to depend on, be it cancer treatment for elderly patients paid for by Medicare, or TSA employees responsible for security in airports. Both have faced cuts, both are already having significant repercussions.

In the case of Medicare, thousands of Medicare patients are being turned away from one set of cancer clinics in the New York area alone because of sequester-related cuts in Medicare benefits. The center has been forced to stop providing chemotherapy to a third of its senior cancer patients, over 5,000 people.  And that’s just one company.  Imagine the impact nationwide.

In the case of the TSA, cutbacks are leading to growing lines and delays at airport security checkpoints, and the next shoe that was getting ready to drop was cutbacks in air traffic control personnel, which would have led to major delays nationwide for months on end.

Guess which one the US Senate fixed late last night?

I’ll give you a hint: Not her.

Elderly Patient via Shutterstock

Elderly Patient via Shutterstock

Let’s take a little quiz:

How many Senators are currently undergoing chemo and having it paid for by Medicare? I don’t actually know the number, but it’s far less than the next number I’m going to give you.

And how many Senators rely on air transportation for much of their job, to the point that they practically live at DC’s National Airport? 100, in other words, all of them.

Yep. Your Senators in Washington didn’t do jack for the elderly chemo patients. But they fixed the lines at the airport because it’s a problem for them personally.

The United States Senate put its own personal pork ahead of the needs of people dying of cancer.

But hey, everyone knows that while cancer is inconvenient, a delayed flight is death.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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