I never thought I would link to Chris Matthews, but here he is in full panic mode after his guy’s dismal performance (2:11):
“Listen to this stuff he [Romney] got away with! Emergency room — the latest thing we got from Romney, because he said so, is you know what I want to do with people when they’re poor? Shove ‘em in the emergency room. Why didn’t Obama say that?”
I thought Matthews was talking about the muddled and embarrassing 47 percent speech, but I just looked at the Mother Jones transcript, nowhere there does Romney even mention the word “emergency”. But then I found this:
QUESTION: Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don’t have it today?
ROMNEY: Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people — we — if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.
C’mon, Matthews… that’s a long way from saying Romney wants to “shove” “poor people” in the emergency room. Romney is making a distinction, which too often gets lost, between “health care” and “health care insurance,” the latter being what those 50 million people do not have. And of course the ER is not the best way to provide routine care, nobody disputes that. But it is a safety net for emergency care that is available to virtually all Americans.