4/04/2008

Roger Lott (my son) v. Barack Obama

Barack Obama recently gave a talk at my son Roger's high school. Here is the clip of that discussion. You might note that Roger obviously has quite a reputation there at the school. There is quite the ruckus as soon as it is clear that he is the one who is about to ask the next question.



Another view of his question can be seen here:


The Delaware County Times wrote a little bit about Roger's question to Obama:

It was when Obama pointed to a red-headed kid in a white T-shirt up in the corner of the gym that things got interesting. A titter went through the student section. Apparently, from where Obama was standing, he couldn’t see the kid was wearing a “Ron Paul for President” T-shirt.
The kid didn’t identify himself, but said he was concerned about any government-run health-care system modeled on anything like the Europeans use. He said his own grandmother died in Sweden because she couldn’t easily get the kind of treatment readily available in this country.
Obama was handling the kid’s question with aplomb until he closed with this: “I’m not advocating a government-run system, right now.”
Not right now? And that means, what? Not until after the election? Or sometime into his second term? Some clever Republican ad guy could have a field day with that clip.
But the best stuff came after Obama signed off. . . .
Turned out the kid with the red hair is named Roger Lott. His dad is John Lott, the conservative economist who wrote “More Guns, Less Crime.”
His mom has her Ph.D. in economics, too. I asked Roger what his dad makes of his Ron Paul thing. He said his pop has “some concerns”” about candidate Paul. What a relief! . . .


Personally, I didn't think that Obama did a very good job answering Roger's question. 1) The fact of rationing by governments when they pay for health care is well known. When you give something away for free people will want to use a lot more of it than you have. Having very few MRIs or long waits for surgery is very common. 2) The notion that the government can provide these services more efficiently wasn't credible. Whether it is education or mail delivery, is there a case that one can point to where given the same services and regulatory burden that the public sector provides the service at a lower cost? 3) The life expectancy comparisons between the US and Sweden were particularly poorly done. Life expectancy and childhood mortality rates depends on many things such as the behavior of the patients. If people use drugs or engage in other dangerous behavior while pregnant, you will have more problems of different types. Comparing infant mortality rates or life expectancy of whites in the US and whites in Sweden shows that the US does quite well.

UPDATE: I have gotten some emails asking about Roger's grandmother, his mom's mom, who died in Sweden. His grandmother was complaining of abdominal pain and got an appointment with a GP. The GP set up an appointment with a specialist, but she had to wait about three months before the first opening was available. The week before her appointment with the specialist she had to be rushed to a hospital for emergency surgery because the tumor that was producing her pain was blocking her small intestines. After the surgery, it took 8 months before she was able to get an MRI (to speed things up we offered to pay for an MRI in the US, but Swedish doctors would not approve her travel because they said she was too ill). After her MRI, it took another 7 months before her chemo started. By that time though there was apparently little that they could do to help her.

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12 Comments:

OpenID darcsfalcon said...

Interesting clip, thanks for sharing. :)

What Obama failed to mention however, is that the income tax rate in Sweden is over 45%. That doesn't include all the other taxes, like burial tax, etc.

And oddly, Obama goes on to praise the very health care system that failed this young man's grandmother.

4/04/2008 6:51 PM  
Blogger Federal Farmer said...

And how about "I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother"?

"What country was your grandmother impacted in?"

Where's the empathy? I guess grandmothers aren't high on Obama's list lately...

4/06/2008 1:33 PM  
Blogger trishrosenthall said...

Was it your mom or your wife's who died in Sweden? Very sorry to hear that. What kind of treatment was she waiting for?

4/07/2008 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Ibi Von Tater-Bacon said...

Sweden killed your mother-in-law??? -- most men would be happy about that. You and your son are complete douche-bags.

4/08/2008 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

What did you do lie to you child about how his grandmother died? Liar!!! This is such a ridiculous story that no one other than a young child would believe. Wingnuts such as you shouldn't be able to raise kids.

4/08/2008 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

What a stupid kid! All the other students had good questions, but your kid was an idiot. It is you and your family that are the murderers! Denying people healthcare by lying about the system in Sweden? Isn't it bad enough that Heston has all sorts of blood on his hands and now you want to kill others?

4/08/2008 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your attempts to "dissect" Obama's rebuttal to your obviously planted question have failed miserably.

To the comment regarding: "I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother... What country was your grandmother impacted in?" This is a completely legitimate and empathetic way to ask about the incident. Maybe you don't follow the college level sentence structure, but those of us who can assure you that it's OK. ... Oh, you're a farmer.

4/08/2008 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your family is filled with clowns. What mind damage did you do to your child to convince him that the Sweden government's health care could have any thing to do with his grandmother dying? Could you imagine how bad things would have been for her if the Sweden government hadn't been providing her with health care?

4/08/2008 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fucking pig. How could you raise a son like this? You should be ashamed for making him ask Obama this stupid question. How did you brainwash this poor boy about his grandmother? Does anyone believe that government insurance could have hurt his grandmother?

4/08/2008 7:00 PM  
Anonymous DHSmd said...

Unfortunately, the problem with the Healthcare system is far more complex than anyone with a voice is willing to admit - perhaps even to themselves.

This trainwreck of a system did not suddenly appear overnight - it took 60 years to reach "full flower". An appropriate solution would take just as long to implement.

What's more, the RESPONSIBILITY for this disaster rests with many more parties than anyone with a voice is willing to recognize - and since that includes patients (consumers) who of course can ONLY be portrayed as "victims" I have little hope for a mature and rational solution to this problem ever occurring.

While movement to a "socialized" system may make this system more "managable" for a while, and more appealing to a few, in the end, it is merely a lateral move that will simply shift the wreckage around into new piles.

While I firmly oppose any socialized solution to this mess, I strongly support Barack Obama, because my country comes first. The serious peril that currently faces our Constitutional Core, our Currency, our Infrastructure, our Security, and Our Environment all make my objections pale in comparison.

These are the problems that truly unify us, and make this coalition possible. I think focusing on these more radical leftist issues - either as an advocate or an opponent - is to foolishly squander what could be our last, best chance at repairing the damage done to our core principles as a nation.

4/08/2008 7:36 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Wow, what a lot of mean comments. The emails that I have gotten are similar. Obviously, these readers don't know it, but this type of rationing is the norm when the government provides health insurance. There are two forces at work. When the price of a product is zero people use it too much. Because of so much money being spent on health care, governments restrict access to the service. I don't think that most Americans would put up for a second a 8 month wait for an MRI. If they were told that they have cancer, I don't think that they would want to wait two months or even one month. Government also just doesn't run programs as efficiently as private operations.

Dear dhsmd:

Thanks for the useful note. Unfortunately, the solutions being offered by the Democrats mean that more people who get sick will die. I have written a lot on this (e.g., the impact of price controls on the incentive to invent new drugs), but there will be a real cost in terms of lives lost.

4/08/2008 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, the liberals who troll on this site are nasty! I guess if you can't defend your position/candidate articulately, then it's ok to curse and slander at will.

On another note.
It is sad to say that the situation with VA healthcare in this country is similar to that in Sweden; I am a veteran (Army 2000-2003, medical/honorable discharge) who has only VA health coverage, and here in Illinois that can be life-threatening. When I have a routine problem I have to make an appointment with the VA (which usually takes weeks to get an appt), but if it is an emergency they say to go to the ER. I went to the local ER a month ago with excruciating pain (exposed nerve in tooth socket), and was turned away because I have only VA coverage.
Last year I actually sent a letter to Obama and Dick Durbin, concerning the VA in IL. They emailed a form letter saying that they "support Illinois veterans," (same letter from both politicians!). I'm sorry, but mere words do not pay the bills, and Obama is full of words.

4/09/2008 5:55 AM  

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