Playing a Game of Operation for Health Care Reform

By Gorman Gorman

Aug 4, 2009 3:32pm

ABC News’ Elizabeth Gorman reports:

There was a game of Operation at the Capitol today. A hand-painted 8-foot version of the Operation game’s “Cavity Sam” was nicknamed Health Care Harry and displayed at the Capitol to kick off his U.S. tour to 12 different cities promoting health care reform over the summer, as members of Congress prepare to head home and hear from their constituents during the August recess. 

“We’re holding events like this so that Americans get a chance to operate on Harry and really see what it’s going to take to fix our broken health care system,” said Larry McNeely of U.S. PIRG, a non-partisan group campaigning for President Obama’s health care reform.

“Harry may look like a toy, but rising costs is certainly no game for America,” he said.

A pediatrician from the National Physicians Alliance was also at the press conference today to “operate” on Harry. His treatment included extracting a magnifying glass with a pair of large makeshift tweezers just like in the real battery-operated game, to show “that reading the fine print of most insurance policies can leave anybody cross-eyed and still no wiser about what their insurance covers,” according to McNeely.

Although Harry doesn’t buzz like the original Operation game, pulling the red tape from Harry’s tongue – the “red tape” forcing doctors to waste time and money filling out paperwork, said McNeely – does light up Harry’s nose.

Click HERE for a virtual Health Care Harry.

Also today, the insurance companies are pushing back on recent Democrat attacks that vilify insurance companies’ “almost immoral” behavior, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks last week.

Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, responded: “Attacking our community will not help get anyone covered, nor will it help our country bend the cost curve and make care more affordable for working families and small businesses. These are the issues that should be the focus of a national conversation this summer.”

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