Health Care Opponent Asking For Donations For His Health Care (Subtitle: Beat Me In St. Louis)

Ken AshfordHealth Care1 Comment

Last week, there was a nasty incident where a rightwing opponent of health care reform named Kenneth Gladney was supposedly injured by SEIU members at a town hall meeting in St. Louis.  

You can watch the video.  Gladney was clearly pulled to the ground during the fracas.  But just as clearly, he bounced back up quickly, and is seen walking around soon after without any obvious injuries.

Gladney later went to the hospital, claiming to have sustained injuries to his "knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face".  His attorney has argued that Gladney was beaten during the fight, but there's nothing in the clip to support that.   So there's ample reason for skepticism, despite the fact that he's become a cause celebre for the right.

But let's set that aside.  There's more to the story.  There was an anti-healthcare rally held in St. Louis this weekend. Gladney appeared in a wheelchair, but did not speak.  His lawyer did, however.  And something interesting came out, according to this news report:

His attorney, David Brown, however, read a prepared statement Gladney wrote. "A few nights ago there was an assault on my liberty, and on yours, too." Brown read. "This should never happen in this country."

Supporters cheered. Brown finished by telling the crowd that Gladney is accepting donations toward his medical expenses. Gladney told reporters he was recently laid off and has no health insurance.

[Emphasis mine]

Wait – what?!?

This guy was (literally) fighting against a health care plan that would, among other things, make sure that people who get laid off still have health insurance (FUN FACT: 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance everyday)…. and now he's asking for donations from conservative supporters because he got laid off and has no health insurance?

This is a classic example of how uninformed conservatives seem to take positions which defeat their own self-interest.