by John Grooms
What do you call someone who clings to his ideological purity even if it means others will literally suffer for it? You call that person, lets see ... Osama bin Laden. Or Mao. Or maybe Jim DeMint. Thats it: Jim DeMint, the Tea-hadist. The junior senator from South Carolina, representative from the 1950s, and avid hair-coloring aficionado, DeMint is catching grief for sticking to his Tea Party guns rather than save U.S. taxpayers billions and help 300,000 dialysis patients.
Dr. David Cull, a vascular surgeon in Greenville, S.C., has invented a new valve system that could spare 300,000 dialysis patients across the country enormous suffering and save American taxpayers billions of dollars in Medicare costs. When Cull applied for a $249,479 Therapeutic Discovery Grant a part of the health care reform law designed to encourage cutting-edge biomedical research DeMint, Culls hometown U.S. senator, refused to write a letter of recommendation and support for the grant. Why? Because the grant was part of Obamacare, which, as we all know, is evil and socialistic. Never mind that Culls invention is a major advance in its field and could save taxpayers a bundle. Here is an explanation of Culls invention and its importance, from the original McClatchy story:
Cull's valve system would replace a plastic stent that's been used for a half-century for patients with acute kidney failure. Once inserted under the skin, blood flows through the tiny tube all the time, even though a kidney patient undergoes dialysis only nine hours a week on average.
The constant blood flow causes numerous painful complications, among them circulation impairment, clot formation, gangrene, finger ulcers and severe arm swelling. A typical dialysis patient will undergo 10 to 12 operations over a lifetime to treat the complications, with 1 million performed each year all paid for by Medicare.
Cull, meanwhile is readying to start clinical trials with 12 patients of the new Hemoaccess Valve System. No thanks to Sen. DeMint, the Tea-hadist whose personal ideology trumps anything so practical as saving lives and tax money.