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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  • ComradeRutherford

    The answer is that the Marketing Department has ordered that no one under 30 reads text anymore, so an image is now mandatory. Raw Story has to include an image by law, and can’t afford photo-rights to images that connect to the story in some way, so they are reduced to buying random shutterstock images.

    Not including an image is NOT an option, of course.

  • ComradeRutherford

    According to the far-right wing: Cancer patients are not as important as a congressperson’s travel plans.

  • I think is just another example demonstrating the sheer collective sociopathy of our current government.

    And just another symptom of the kleptocratic oligarchy of the plutocratic bastard class.

  • emjayay

    Photo-rights? I know that for example NOM would have had to pay for the images of models pretending to be families on their bus, as it’s cheaper than doing a photo shoot yourself. Stock photo existed long before they were digital.

    But the images that keep showing up here are so worthless (actually, of negative value) They add nothing to the text, and only detract. I’ve been wondering if it’s more like ShutterStock product placement. Is AmericaBlog actually paying for worthless annoying images, or getting paid?

  • txiconoclast

    If anything it does prove one thing, Congress will act when it directly impacts, i.e., inconveniences, them.

  • Or death be the enemy of life.

  • They don’t bother me the least. I use them on my site.

  • nicho

    We’ve done away with death panels. They’re just killing people indiscriminately. Death panels would have been better.

  • silas1898

    Force them to override it. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! (I think I just peed my pants too!)

  • Can we say death panels now? Remember when Gov. Jan Brewer of Ayranizona got the jump on this death panel trip by withdrawing dying matching state funds to transplant patients? About a hundred of these people began to die off as she diverted the money to a new sports stadium.

  • Drew2u

    But they do IMPORTANT work, so of course they deserve SPECIAL attention!

  • Drew2u

    I asked that before and the answer was, simply, photo-rights. It’s an unfortunate true-ism for media/news.

  • nicho

    Do senators really go through security with the rest of us? Or do they have special VIP lines? I don’t know, but I’m guessing the latter.

    Also, senators’ flights leave when the senators want them to leave. I was on a DC-Boston shuttle one day that was delayed at the gate for unspecified reasons for 35 minutes. As soon as John Kerry boarded and put his ass into a first-class seat, we pulled back from the gate and were the next plane to take off. The thing that pissed me off was that there would have been another flight in 25 minutes. But a whole plane load of people had to be inconvenienced to adjust to Kerry’s schedule.

  • *** The Senate approved it using a procedure allowing the measure to pass without a roll call vote after all 100 senators signed off on the bill. Some gave their approval en route to the airport for a flight home. ***

    Contemptible weasels, aren’t they.

  • nicho

    What they should have done is furloughed the flight controllers at the airports that handle private jets, instead of the airports that handle commercial jets. The sequester would have ended the day before it started.

  • nicho

    We have created a monster and it is The Corporatocracy. The Congress is only an appendage of The Corporatocracy — kind of like a withered arm.

  • Sean

    But you know the Reichpublicans and their evil sequester still want those patients, their families, and friends to keep paying taxes. Which is why I’m done giving this nasty government my hard earned money. Go leech of the rich parasitic trash that is Mitt Romney

  • emjayay

    Why is there a less than worthless ShutterStock photo in the middle of this post? I don’t see this crap anywhere else.

  • Ah! There was an NPR item yesterday morning about this congressional handwringing about flight delays. I didn’t really stop to think why the congressmen were so worked up about this matter in particular, though it should have been obvious to me.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Excellent post.

    I don’t know how else to put it but to say that the leaders of the Democrat and Republican parties in the WH and Congress are criminals. Their cuts are murder with malice aforethought and not just manslaughter. They going to affect patients of all ages but especially the elderly and immunosuppressed people.

    They killed hundreds of thousands in Iraq and now they killing us with entitlement cuts and the occasional drone.

  • samizdat

    What, no Drone-bamabot zombies trolling about trying to eat our brains?

    “Hillareeeeeeee, Hillareeeeee…” *droooooooool*

  • A_nonymoose

    Well, Obama could veto it. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! (I think I just peed my pants)

  • Drew2u

    “But don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good!”

  • caphillprof

    We have created a monster and it is the Congress.

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