On Sunday, Fox White House reporter Ed Henry announced he would be taking some time off while he undergoes surgery to donate a part of his liver to his sister, who needs a liver transplant due to genetic degenerative liver disease.
Henry is a good match for his sister because he doesn't carry the same gene for the disease but is a stronger match than a stranger. I applaud his decision to make the sacrifice for his sister.
After he made the announcement, he tweeted this:
Yes, that's right. It's a GoFundMe set up by one of his sister's friends for the costs of recovery while she's unable to work.
And immediately, I think to myself that we have a walking, talking, high-profile argument for why universal health care and a social safety net for everyone is a necessity. You might be the sister of a guy who has a really high-profile job on a top-rated conservative news network which routinely calls universal healthcare (including the efforts of the ACA to get there) in any flavor "socialism," which goes on and on forever about "death panels" and whose hosts wonder how those "illegals" are taking all the care meant for white folks, and yet need a serious procedure which will apparently cost around $75,000 to recover from. That seems like a lot, quite honestly, and makes me wonder if part of it will cover her medical bills not covered by insurance.
Maybe instead of tweeting a GoFundMe, Henry could have spent more time on Fox & Friends confessing that health care is a right his sister is entitled to, as well as everyone else? Maybe he could have done this as a way of atoning for the network which wants to make healthcare the province of a privileged few instead of the right of everyone.
Maybe Henry could have spared a moment of gratitude that under the current law of the land, his sister will never be denied care or insurance due to her pre-existing condition. Perhaps he might have even expressed the thought that universal healthcare guarantees are a good thing for everyone! He could even have noted for the benefit of viewers and pundits alike that because of the ACA, his sister's care - and her life! - won't be defined by lifetime or annual limits.
Maybe he could have done this before he undergoes surgery on the very same day the ACA goes under the knife in the Fifth Circuit, as it fights for its life (and ours) in the Land of Intellectual Dishonesty before heading up to the Supreme Court for the death blow.
Maybe it might have changed some minds and hearts about how desperately we all need universal healthcare because if a guy like Ed Henry has a sister who has to pony up $75,000 for whatever post-surgical bills arise, doesn't that seem like an argument for us all to have coverage which would cover such a dire need, whether it's disability insurance or universal healthcare? Even the wording of the GoFundMe appeal is suggestive of the notion that only deserving people should get help, because that's how Henry's network has framed this issue for far too long.
"Colleen was unlucky with genetics and family history, not diseased by alcohol or lifestyle choices," her friend writes. "Despite the challenges of her deteriorating health, Colleen tirelessly has worked two jobs. She is humble and loved by everyone she meets." You, the donor, can be sure that Colleen Henry, sister of Fox News reporter Ed Henry, has earned the right to life-saving health care and recovery costs instead of simply being accorded that right as the consequence of being a human being. She's a good person so she deserves your support, as if others don't.
Ed Henry had an opportunity to dispel that notion. His sister is a human with a treatable condition who is fortunate enough to have a brother who can be a strong liver donor. That's all. She shouldn't have to beg strangers for help. She needs a liver transplant. She should get one, without having to beg to pay for the aftermath.
If only he could have conveyed that. He would have done everyone a great service.