Al Franken: How Many Medical Bankruptcies Are There In Switzerland?

We stray into politics often at our peril but I had to share this clip of Sen. Franken kneecapping a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute conservative think tank. In what was supposed to be a hearing on the Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act, Diana Furchtgott-Roth instead used her testimony to pillory against health care reform proposals not even being discussed. After Sen. Whitehouse asks her if she even read the bill at hand, Sen. Franken goes: “You said the way we’re going will increase bankruptcies…How many bankruptcies because of medical crises were there last year in Switzerland?”

<- Franken clip.

In the second clip, Sen. Whitehouse asks: “Did you actually read the bill that is the subject of today’s hearing?”

Here she uses the big “UC” – that less strict bankruptcy laws have the “unintended consequence” of encouraging more people to seek bankruptcy. Her solution to so many medical bankruptcies is then to make it harder to seek bankruptcy, rather than addressing the underlying over-inflated costs that drive consumers into medical bankruptcy in the first place.

Pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly, Merck and Novartis number among The Hudson Institute’s funders.

You can watch the entire session and read and search the transcript here on C-SPAN.

(Thanks to Dirk!)