Leeland Eisenberg in Rochester earlier this year. 

The man who taped road flares to his body and took over a Clinton campaign office in Rochester, NH, tried to seek admission to an alcohol detox center earlier in the week but was turned away because he did not have health insurance.

In an interview in today’s Foster’s Daily Democrat, Leeland Eisenberg’s estranged wife, Lisa, described her husband’s battle with alcoholism and said that he had gone on drinking binges during the previous three weeks.

After being turned away from the detox center, Eisenberg got another idea:

He watched a televised campaign ad for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton. In it, a man identified as Joe Ward tells viewers Clinton helped him get health insurance so his son could have a life-saving bone marrow transplant, Lisa Eisenberg said.

Leeland Eisenberg’s plan was to talk Hillary Clinton into getting him help for his alcohol problem.

“Although it was an extreme way to prove a point, Lee did have a point,” Ben Warren (Eisenberg’s stepson) said. When someone goes to the hospital and says they need help, Ben Warren said, “there should be something, insurance or not.”

At the core of this story is a man with a personal crisis — alcoholism and a failed marriage. But it ties to the political realities of America today where 47 million people like Leeland Eisenberg do not have health insurance. Certainly they are not all about to storm a presidential candidate’s campaign office and demand help, but in their own quiet, painful way are suffering the consequences of premeditated social neglect on the part of politicians AND voters who refuse to endorse universal health care.

Other relevant stories on this topic —

Are only the insured against health care reform?

Far right dooms Hillary Clinton’s health care reform.

Who killed Hillary Clinton’s health care reform?

For more information about alcoholism or to find a local chapter if you need help, visit Alcoholics Anonymous.

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