As Michelle Malkin is reporting today:
But the Obama health care “town hall’s” climactic moment came when the consoler-in-chief plucked Debby Smith from the crowd to tell her personal health care horror story. She choked back tears as she talked of her battle with kidney cancer, her joblessness, and her lack of insurance. Obama hugged the trembling woman and dubbed her “Exhibit A” for his massive entitlement program.
Debby Smith, however, is no ordinary patient. While she may be “unemployed,” she has been rather busy working for the Obama campaign – as a volunteer for Organizing for America. It’s the old Obama for Change political machine now housed under the Democratic National Committee. Smith has also identified herself as a worker for the Virginia Organizing Project, which has been coordinating lobbying trips and health care forums with HCAN. Yes, that same HCAN.
Debbie is no stranger to the healthcare debate, in fact she moderated the Southwest Virgina town hall in 2008.
No one can convince me that the Obama administration wasn’t aware of Debbie’s story prior to their scripted town hall. I am sick to death of this administration thinking that we are stupid.
But there’s something else that bothers me. In an April 2009 interview in the Bristol Herald Courier Debbie Smith stated (emphasis mine):
Debby Smith spent four years serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and 25 years working as an accountant before she found out she had cancer — and now she can’t get health insurance.
“Since … I can’t work, of course, I don’t have health insurance, which means I have to pay out of pocket for … all my prescriptions and all my doctor visits and everything, and if you don’t work it’s hard to do that,” said Smith, 51, of Appalachia, Va.
“A lot of people, they think that people are just sitting around not doing any work just getting government assistance … and don’t try to do anything for themselves and ask the government to pay for everything,” she said. “I’m not one of those people. … I’d rather be working and doing my job and making a decent wage, but I’m not able to do that.”
With 12 years to wait for age-related Social Security benefits, she relies on a hospital charity fund for twice-yearly cat scans; a pharmaceutical company’s patient assistance program for help with her cancer drugs and her fiance, who pays $515 a month for her remaining medication and regular doctor visits.
If Debbie did indeed serve in the Marines, why is she not utilizing VA benefits available to her? Based on current information at the Veterans Affairs, if she was honorably discharged she qualifies for healthcare.