President Barack Obama’s health care reform project has attracted a lot of attention. Some people love it, some people hate it, the websites weren’t designed for the level of interest the project has attracted, and I’m sure most people don’t actually understand what it is, what it means, what it does, who is going to pay for it, and so on. However, just because people don’t understand it doesn’t mean people don’t like what it represents, and that’s why everyone’s paying attention to ObamaCare. That means everyone was paying attention when a pregnant, diabetic woman used as background color fainted during Obama’s speech on Monday.
The woman in question, Karmel Allison, was laboring (but not in labor) at many points during the speech, staring straight ahead, breathing heavily, and so on. A diabetic since age 9, Allison is also a grad student in San Diego and was one of the people brought onstage by the Obama administration as one of the people who is already benefiting from ObamaCare’s changes in the health insurance laws. As she got woozy and collapsed, her fellow healthcare props were there to support her and prevent her from collapsing into Obama as he spoke.
As Obama joined the supportive scrum, he joked, “I got you, you’re OK. This happens when I talk too long.”
This is the problem with using people as props, especially people with medical conditions. I know that every president uses people as props–that’s why there are people hanging out on stage with him at all times–but using people with health problems as stage dressing seems like a terrible idea. They’re up there for a long time while the president speaks, they’re nervous about being seen on TV, they probably got up early to make sure they looked their best, and they’re under hot lights in front of a big crowd and the assembled world. It’s a borderline miracle that more people don’t pass out on stage!
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