Political PAC ads are the modern equivalent of a loose cannon. In a close campaign like the “Romney-Obama” match-up they do not surprise me. The “Ranae Soptic Romney Blame Game” ad is still ridiculous. The facts according to the Boston Globe:
“Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant. I lost my health care and my family lost their health care,” Soptic says in the ad. “And a short time after that, my wife became ill.”
By the time Soptic’s wife was examined by doctors, [her husband] says, her cancer was so advanced that “there was nothing they could do for her. And she passed away in 22 days.”
But contrary to Soptic’s assertion that his wife became ill “a short time” after GST Steel closed, Politico reported, Ranae Soptic died in 2006, five years after the plant closure.
And despite Soptic’s assertion that his family “couldn’t afford the insurance,” CNN reported that Soptic acknowledged in an off-camera interview that his wife’s employer provided her with health insurance after the steel plant was shuttered.
Later, Ranae Soptic tore her rotator cuff and left her job at a thrift store, according to CNN. It was then — not when Soptic lost his job — that she was left uninsured.
OK. So who is responsible for the death of this woman if anyone?
How could I say that?
Whether or not a person has seeks health care is a person’s own responsibility. Even though the link between Governor Romney and Soptic’s insurance coverage is getting weaker, health insurance is not the issue at all. Why did Ranae Soptic delay her trip to see her doctor?
I have lived a somewhat similar story by example:
Several years ago I ruptured my triceps tendon at a time in which I had no health insurance. I paid cash to have it repaired. Did I blame someone else for my lack of coverage? No. It was my fault. I took responsibility and addressed the issue because it was important.
When you choose to not have your health care issues addressed you are responsible for that choice. Ranae Soptic should have sought medical care sooner than she did. It might not be popular to place blame with those who have passed away, but sometimes their actions are in part to blame.
Lung cancer is a killer and frequently presents with late stage disease that is difficult if not impossible to cure. While I empathize with her family for their loss, when they chose to make her story political fodder, it became a subject for discussion.
John Di Saia MD