Looks like Nicholas Kristof got egg on his face.
James Taranto over at the Wall Street Journal has the goods (and when the goods are this good, it’s worth posting in its entirety):
A Questionable Medical Claim
On Tuesday and again yesterday we wrote about John Brodniak, the subject of Nicholas Kristof’s Sunday column in the New York Times. Brodniak has a painful and potentially life-threatening growth in his brain. According to Kristof, Brodniak has been unable to get treated, even though he is eligible for Medicaid.
Kristof’s argument, that this makes the case for ObamaCare, is illogical. But blogress Michelle Malkin says that her reporting shows that Kristof’s story isn’t even true. Malkin spoke with a spokesman for the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, who “confirmed for me two things”:
1) OHSU is a safety-net hospital not far from where Brodniak lives. The hospital accepts all Medicaid patients and would not turn Brodniak away. . . .
2) Brodniak is a patient at OHSU–and has been a patient there for the past three weeks.
In other words, at the time Kristof’s article was published this past Sunday, Brodniak was already being treated and cared for by some of the best neurologists in the country!
Kristof responds in an update to this blog post:
Several readers are asking about a Michelle Malkin account claiming that John was already receiving treatment at OHSU. John had one appointment there. He says he was told to give up, that they could not help him, and he was despairing when he told me about it; their version is different, that he was under “observation.” In any case, he says that after the column appeared, he suddenly got a series of phone calls from OHSU saying that they wanted to see him and could address his needs after all. In any case, it now appears that he will get treated, and other doctors are also offering him assistance.
We read this as a confirmation of Malkin’s reporting, inasmuch as Kristof concedes that the hospital’s story is at variance with Brodniak’s story as told by Kristof. But Kristof’s update is exceedingly vague on the details, so that we don’t know the points of dispute with any specificity.
It should be noted that because of the protection afforded to patients by confidentiality laws, Brodniak ultimately controls the information about his case. Malkin reports that he was unwilling to authorize full disclosure:
The spokesman told me that the Brodniaks were willing to confirm “reluctantly” for me that he has been a patient there for nearly a month, but they refuse to talk to me directly. The spokesman also told me that OHSU will not make its doctors available for further comment on the matter.
Kristof’s readers have been raising money to pay for the Brodniaks to get him treated. But Brodniak is covered. He doesn’t have to pay a dime.
If Brodniak is raising money off Kristof’s column while Kristof is using Brodniak to make a political point, it is possible that their interests have diverged and that Kristof’s story is less than clear because Brodniak has become less than fully cooperative. In any case, this story does not seem solid enough to justify spending trillions of taxpayer dollars, so we would appreciate if the Senate would forget about ObamaCare and find something else to do, or even knock off early for Christmas.
It seems that Kristof was scammed by Brodniak so he can get money who then in turn scammed his readers to play on their sensitivities to garner support (or keep support) for Obamacare. How much more dishonest can these Lefties get?