Grover’s Bathtoys

December 9, 2008

I’ve advocated calling disaster areas “Grover’s Bathtubs” in (dis)honor of Grover Norquist, the anti-tax jihadist who famously declared that he wanted to shrink government to the size where he could drown it in the bathtub.

We’re going to see a lot of people in those bathtubs this coming year:

As jobless numbers reach levels not seen in 25 years, another crisis is unfolding for millions of people who lost their health insurance along with their jobs, joining the ranks of the uninsured.

The crisis is on display here. Starla D. Darling, 27, was pregnant when she learned that her insurance coverage was about to end. She rushed to the hospital, took a medication to induce labor and then had an emergency Caesarean section, in the hope that her Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan would pay for the delivery.

Wendy R. Carter, 41, who recently lost her job and her health benefits, is struggling to pay $12,942 in bills for a partial hysterectomy at a local hospital. Her daughter, Betsy A. Carter, 19, has pain in her lower right jaw, where a wisdom tooth is growing in. But she has not seen a dentist because she has no health insurance.

Ms. Darling and Wendy Carter are among 275 people who worked at an Archway cookie factory here in north central Ohio. The company provided excellent health benefits. But the plant shut down abruptly this fall, leaving workers without coverage, like millions of people battered by the worst economic crisis since the Depression.

Since the likes of Norquist have turned America into one big bathtubs, I guess we can refer to these lucky duckies as Grover’s Bathtoys.

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