Jacqueline Jackson broke her leg. It was August, and she and her husband, the Reverend Jessie Jackson, were visiting the Ivory Coast. Without warning, a performance stage collapsed under the weight of dancers and somehow Jackie Jackson was injured. Strangely enough, in spite of the fact that her leg was promptly seen and set at a local hospital, the Jacksons flew back to Chicago so she could be treated by the notoriously substandard American healthcare system.
On August 17th, the day they landed at O’Hare on Air France a private ambulance was waiting for Mrs. Jackson. But, lo and behold, other arrangements had been made.
Although Chicago City workers were on mandatory furlough that day to save thinning tax dollars, the Chicago City Fire Department had arranged a city ambulance to whisk Jackie away. Deputy Commissioner Mark Levinson authorized Ambulance Two from the Cumberland Stationhouse to be used for “special duty” to transport the very special Mrs. Jackson to prestigious Northwestern hospital. Her injuries were evidently so serious she was observed for one night and released.
Meanwhile, on August 17th on the other side of the Atlantic, a very different ambulance odyssey unfolded. Pregnant mother-of-three Carmen Blake went into labor unexpectedly. She was advised by local health authorities to take a hot bath. Realizing her fourth baby was coming quickly and fearing she would never make the hospital, Carmen made a second call requesting an ambulance. Said local authorities of superior government health care refused to send one and told her she had had nine months to “sort out a lift.”
Desperate, Mrs. Blake pulled herself out of the bath and tried to make it on foot to the Royal Infirmary. Her daughter, Mariah, was delivered by a passerby on the pavement outside the hospital. Too bad Mrs. Blake’s last name wasn’t Jackson or that she didn’t live in Chicago.
The new government plan proposed by the Obama administration is purportedly based on the British system, the strengths of which are demonstrated in the dreadful account of Mrs. Blake. But rest assured, if we move to a British system, Obama and his friends, as illustrated in this ridiculous Jackson story, will have “government care” like none of the rest of us.