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A Reason for All the Health Care Rage

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Posted on Aug 11, 2009

By Eugene Robinson

    Could it be the heat that’s making people so angry and unreasonable at those town hall meetings on health care? Might it just be the effect that Raymond Chandler described so brilliantly in the opening lines of his 1938 short story “Red Wind”:

    “There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.”

    Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Red-faced retirees are railing against “government-run” health care and “socialized medicine”—with Medicare cards tucked inside their wallets. They could have just stayed home and harangued themselves. The August heat is punishing, but not enough to induce mass delirium.

    We know that there are crazies in the town hall mobs—paranoid fantasists who imagine they hear the whop-whop-whop of the World Government black helicopters coming closer by the minute. We know that much of the action is being directed from the wings by cynical political operatives, following a script written by Washington lobbyists. But the nut jobs and carpetbaggers are outnumbered by confused and concerned Americans who seem genuinely convinced they’re not being told the whole truth about health care reform.

    And they have a point.

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    Just so there’s no misunderstanding, I’m a true believer. It’s scandalous and immoral that the richest, most powerful nation on earth callously ignores the fact that 47 million citizens lack health insurance. I feel strongly that there should be a public option to keep private insurers honest; and I want the government to be able to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies.

    Whatever reform package finally emerges—after it’s been mauled by those snarling Blue Dogs—probably won’t go nearly far enough. But I’ll almost certainly support it, on the theory that something is better than nothing. I’ll worry about the cost, but I’ll reason that it’s worth it to save children’s lives and keep working-class families out of bankruptcy.

    But reform is being sold not just as a moral obligation but also as a way to control rising health care costs. That should have been a separate discussion. It is not illogical for skeptics to suspect that if millions of people are going to be newly covered by health insurance, either costs are going to skyrocket or services are going to be curtailed.

    The unvarnished truth is that services are ultimately going to have to be curtailed regardless of what happens with reform. We perform more expensive tests, questionable surgeries and high-tech diagnostic scans than we can afford. We spend unsustainable amounts of money on patients during the final year of life.

    Yes, it’s true that doctors order some questionable procedures defensively, to keep from getting sued. But it’s a cop-out to blame the doctors or the tort lawyers. We’re the ones who demand these tests, scans and surgeries. And why not? If a technology exists that can prolong life or improve its quality, even for a few weeks or months, why shouldn’t we want it?

    That’s the reason people are so frightened and enraged about the proposed measure that would allow Medicare to pay for end-of-life counseling. If the government says it has to control health care costs and then offers to pay doctors to give advice about hospice care, citizens are not delusional to conclude that the goal is to reduce end-of-life spending. It’s irresponsible for politicians, such as Sarah Palin, to claim—outlandishly and falsely—that there’s going to be some kind of “death panel” to decide when to pull the plug on Aunt Sylvia. But it’s understandable why people might associate the phrase “health care reform” with limiting their choices during Aunt Sylvia’s final days.

    We should be having two debates. One should be about the obligation to ensure universal access to health care, which will directly benefit millions of struggling families and make this a better society. The other—a more complicated, difficult and painful discussion—should be about the long-term problem of out-of-control health care costs, which would be a looming crisis even if President Obama had never uttered the word “reform.”

    Conflating the two has made the nation’s nerves jump and its skin itch. And now, anything can happen.

    Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.

    © 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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By garth, June 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Here’s some reason for rage.

BC/BS is about raise my premium rates 12 to 15 percent.  They already doubled my co-pay for a Doctor’s visit.  (I guess Buffy, the CEO’s daughter needs a sporty car for college this fall.) 

BC/BS also left a message on my phone that they are going to send a letter soon to inform me of the “re-alignment” of service levels.  Hmmm, I wonder what that could mean?)

You pay through the nose and you get it up the ass.

I have been getting a mailer from Brigham and Womens Hospital.  They want me to eat their food for 21 weeks and eat one meal a day at the hospital for which they’ll pay me $1500. 
They won’t say what’s in the food.  Only that it’s not a weight reduction diet.  As a matteer of fact, they want people to maintain their weight.

I wonder if I’d live long enough to spend the $1500.

What would a complete stranger do to me if I approached him and held out something and said, “Here, eat this.”?

Also, they are cutting Medicare services according to a hospital nurse in Kansas.


Isn’t this great. Boom-box Obama listens only to the demands of Big Oil, Wall Street, health insurance and drug companies.  And their cry-baby demands drowns out everything else.

Boom-box jauntily struts to the podium acting like this is the best of all possible worlds and shows that shit-eating grin.  What don’t people see.  What are they blind to.  That someone is so obviously a fraud and still gets a pass from the Democrats and the press discourages me to no end.

My sense of injustice makes me eager to see all those pols and CEOs and bankers and all those frauds get their comeuppance in the form of a very, very rude awakening.

But, with Boom-box Obama, there’s more to come.  We have BP shitting in the Gulf and after that a big Cap & Trade deal with its ensuing stock fraud.

The next fraud, the one over energy, involving the carbon capture and offsets and necessary carbon tax, will make the housing boom-bust fraud look like stealing money from the church poor box.

Also, property tax money which used to go to local schools, teachers and administrators will now go to Charter schools administrators who will have been flown in from out of state.  They will administer the school for something like $500,000 a year.  Municipal Bond holders like Barney Frank can sit back and enjoy another reliable income stream while out cities and our children go to hell in a handbasket. 

Teachers will be nickel and dimed and treated like crap to encourage high turnover.

The class size will grow to 40 or fifty students and no one will hear about it because the newspapers won’t cover it.

They’ve got all down pat.

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By Thom Westley, June 6, 2010 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

The debate and rage about the new health care system is fueled by the health insurance companies who don’t want a government ran health care system. They have huge financial interest on the issue and they will do anything it takes to stall a final decision.
Narconon Vistabay medic.

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By MarthaA, April 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

We need universal public health care for all citizens of the United States, which would be the ideal, but private insurance has more of the populace covered now than was covered before, so that is progress; but I think the unemployed populace will still get thrown under the bus or out on skid row, if the hospitals even take them at all.  It would be good if the government would treat all citizens like members of the nation’s family and not be like the mother and/or father that doesn’t provide for all their children, and act as if it is honorable.

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By garth, April 1, 2010 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

Oh, Eugene, Eugene, where’d I go wrong
I told you the white face is not where you belong.

Your flibber-flabber lips reinforce it’s all true,  take a poor boy, good test taker and you can make him your own. 

You’d look good though as a Sky Cap.

Eugene, you’ve coasted on the accepted parlance and on the conventional wisdom.  Now, it might be time for you to shed your cloak of the White Upper Middle Class Elite. 
You’re not on of them and you’ll never be one of them. 

Even though Barack Obama has been elected CINC it will turn out to be, No Big Deal.  They can now, more than ever before flood the campaigns with cash heretofore unheard of to elect anyone they want.

By the by, how’d you get to be an Associate Editor of the Washington Post?  Did they drop their standards, or has the paper changed.


I get all my news from investigation.  Not from the likes of you.  I survey the news media.

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By garth, March 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Someone, I don’t know who entered this final paragraph.
” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Red-faced retirees are railing against “government-run” health care and “socialized medicine”—with Medicare cards tucked inside their wallets. They could have just stayed home and harangued themselves. The August heat is punishing, but not enough to induce mass delirium.”

Now, one would think that a brave heart who casts veiled aspersions such as “Red-faced retirees are railing against “government-run” health care and “socialized medicine”—with Medicare cards tucked inside their wallets.” would identify himself or herself?  Be a stand up guy or gal for the Barack and the Big PHRMA guys and the health insurance suits   and come forth.  Tell us who sneaked that little kiss-ass Hershey for their man.
Ask Terry O’Neill of NOW if she supports Obama?  Ask Jon Nichol of Nation Magazine and Bill Moyers of you oughtta know by now who he is, you slug.

That is ultimate sleaze, cowardly.  It’s no wonder the country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Just wait a few years, till Obama’s Health Insurance extension hits everyone, along with the rest of his mish-mash plans that work to save the rich and futher plunder the poor and the working class.

Use your own goddamn name to enter comments.

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By garth, March 31, 2010 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.”

Thanks Eugene, but we’ve heard and seen and have read enough.  You intellectual media elites have misled the majority for tooooo long.

It’s nice to quote, but whn those quotes ate used to dissemble, to cover up what is realy going on, then the quoter becomes the enemy.
Heatlth Care Rage comes from the underliying belief that Obama was for change.  Workers faced rising premiums, recision, and higher deductibles, while the Insurance Execs and shareholders gained, and gained and gained some more.

Is this the end game?  Are we supposed to roll over and pretend?

Their plan, if anything, is inexorable.  Unless we stop it.  This is what they do.

They buy politicians, they buy media, they buy celebrities.

If I knew a way out, I’d tell you.  But these bastards have everyone hoodwinked. 

  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Red-faced retirees are railing against “government-run” health care and “socialized medicine”—with Medicare cards tucked inside their wallets. They could have just stayed home and harangued themselves. The August heat is punishing, but not enough to induce mass delirium.

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By MarthaA, March 31, 2010 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Mark, March 29 at 9:48 pm,

Mark says: “by a US return to dependence on public health care.”

MarthaA’s answer:  These Free Trade Agreements are being used like a weapon against the populace majorities of the nations and need to be outright scrapped and new regulations put in place for Fair Trade Agreements like FDR talked about in his speech in “Capitalism: A Love Story” by Michael Moore at http://xtshare.com/toshare.php?Id=26999 that Michael Moore has offered free to the populace.  All members of the populace need to see this documentary and learn that the Right consider the populace peasants and engage in “dead peasant” insurance policies on the sick citizens as peasants in their employment hoping that they will die at http://deadpeasantinsurance.com/.

How Free Market delusions destroyed the economy http://www.alternet.org/economy/144151/how_free-market_delusions_destroyed_the_economy_/?page=entire.

You talk as if the United States previously had public health care, what public health care are you talking about?  Medicare and Medicaid?  Should you get help from Medicaid, Medicaid will take everything you own and Medicare for the elderly.

I seriously doubt that trading between countries would end if all the people of the United States had public health care like Europe, Norway, France, Canada and the rest of the civilized world, where the uninsured populace will not be dumped on skid row if they get hurt or need health care.

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By ardee, March 30, 2010 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, August 15, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Welcome back, from one weak minded fellow to another.

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By garth, March 30, 2010 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Mark,

Thank you for spelling it out so clearly.  Professor Richard Wolfe of UMASS implied it in a talk he gave at Smith College in 2008.  The US’s last resort after the bubble economy failed was an increase in exports.  Except, the rest of the world was in dire straits and could not afford to buy our goods.

The answer, as you point out, seems to be a neo-liberal-Bill Clinton-World Bank answer: Make the populace accept harsh austerity and allow the world financiers to move in and take over, i.e., water, food, housing, schools, roads and highways.

The people of Bolivia rose up and revolted when Bechtel gained control of their water supply and raised the rates to unpayable levels. 
Is this the plan?  Do they want foment unrest?

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By Mark, March 30, 2010 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please spend some time to look into the way that “Free Trade Agreements” like GATS and NAFTA potentially can destroy our chances for affordable health care in this country. A good place to start is a report done by Global Trade Watch during the 2008 Campaign - all the issues raised in it are still urgent and need addressing. For example, did you know that we could lose our ability to switch to single payer forever, by allowing multinationals to sell insurance in this country across state lines, something we already have promised the WTO we would soon do!

Please read
Global Trade Watch’s report

here is the way they would bar single payer and public plans… (below)

The excerpt below is from a very good paper on G.A.T.S. and single payer by Nick Skala

“Market Access: The rules in this section are aimed at preventing governments from limiting the number, type, form, or size of foreign service suppliers in their markets or intervening to affect or regulate the way the firms provide the service. Examples of prohibited measures include (4, Art. XVI):
      * Limitations on the number of service suppliers
      * Limitations on the total quantity of service output
      * Requiring a specific type of legal entity (e.g., nonprofit)
      * Limitations on the “total value of service transactions or assets”

    National Treatment: This set of rules requires that foreign service suppliers receive, “in respect of all measures affecting the supply of services,” the same treatment that a nation gives to its own service suppliers. It is easy to think of situations in which a country may want to shape policy to favor domestic industry over foreign operations, but the GATS rules go even farther than these requirements. Under the National Treatment rules, any measure that modifies the conditions of competition in favor of a domestic supplier is a GATS violation.

    In other words, even if a policy has no intent to discriminate against foreign service suppliers–indeed, it can be totally unrelated to service provision at all–if it has the effect of disadvantaging them, it is potentially a violation of the GATS (4, Art. XVII).”

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By Mark, March 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its my understanding that any slowing of the privatization of public health care would be prohibited by our free trade commitments.

Please see an overview of the issues here

US companies need profitable export markets and, so, foreign firms access to high value US markets are a valuable trading commodity that can not be devalued by a US return to dependence on public health care. Regardless of economic conditions.

Such needs are irrelevant.

That is why we could never have had a public plan. Our existing free trade agreements, such as the General Agreement on Trade in Services have incrementally reduced, and prohibited any new (expansion of) monopoly service providers (like Medicare) since 1994. Obama and the Democrats have been true to the spirit of our trade commitments. For example, programs like SCHIP which represent a barrier to free trade are being phased out.

Public plans and means tested social programs are anti-competitive barriers to free trade and new ones are banned.

“Examples of prohibited measures include (4, Art. XVI):

Limitations on the number of service suppliers

Limitations on the total quantity of service output

Requiring a specific type of legal entity (e.g., nonprofit)

Limitations on the “total value of service transactions or assets”

also, significantly: “Normal GATS rules make an exception for government services and procurement (with significant limitations). The Annex specifically states that if a nation allows domestic service suppliers to compete with “public entities,” those entities are subject to GATS rules. This will have significant implications for Medicare, as we will see (4, Annex on Financial Services, ?1(b)(iii)).”

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By MarthaA, August 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

PhreedomPhan,

(Part 1 of 3)

PhreedomPhan Said:  “MarthaA writes a comment concerning lies about healthcare.  Her source is the government.  Might that be considered the lie to cover the other lies?”

MarthaA’s Answer:  YOU say the government lies, and YOU would rather trust PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES that have been dumping people to keep from paying.  Medicare is a government ran organization and has never dumped anybody, therefore government can be trusted.

You say you haven’t read the Health Plans, but it doesn’t matter, if it’s Government ran, instead of ran by Private Insurance Corporations, it has to be lies, which seems really one sided to me. 

Private Corporations are not going to equalize benefits for the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION, government has to as the following 3 lists of 8 Ways of Health Insurance Reform, 8 Common Myths and 8 Reason for the Need shows:

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage:

  1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

  2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

  3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

  4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

  5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

  6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

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By MarthaA, August 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

PhreedomPhan,

(Part 2 of 3)

8 Ways Reform Provides Security and Stability (cont.)

  7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

  8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won’t be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.

  Learn more and get details: http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/health-insurance-consumer-protections/

8 common myths about health insurance reform

  1. Reform will stop “rationing” - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a “government takeover” of health care or lead to “rationing.” To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

  2. We can’t afford reform: It’s the status quo we can’t afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.

  3. Reform would encourage “euthanasia”: It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.

  4. Vets’ health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans’ access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President’s budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.

  5. Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.

  6. Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare “doughnut” hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

  7. You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

  8. No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you - and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.
  Learn more and get details:

  http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck
  http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck/faq

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By MarthaA, August 15, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

PhreedomPhan,

(Part 3 of 3)

8 Reasons We Need Health Insurance Reform Now

  1. Coverage Denied to Millions: A recent national survey estimated that 12.6 million non-elderly adults - 36 percent of those who tried to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the individual insurance market - were in fact discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/denied_coverage/index.html

  2. Less Care for More Costs: With each passing year, Americans are paying more for health care coverage. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job. Americans pay more than ever for health insurance, but get less coverage. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hiddencosts/index.html

  3. Roadblocks to Care for Women: Women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%). While rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches and are more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain. These chronic conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up care. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/women/index.html

  4. Hard Times in the Heartland: Throughout rural America, there are nearly 50 million people who face challenges in accessing health care. The past several decades have consistently shown higher rates of poverty, mortality, uninsurance, and limited access to a primary health care provider in rural areas. With the recent economic downturn, there is potential for an increase in many of the health disparities and access concerns that are already elevated in rural communities. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hardtimes

  5. Small Businesses Struggle to Provide Health Coverage: Nearly one-third of the uninsured - 13 million people - are employees of firms with less than 100 workers. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. Much of this decline stems from small business. The percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to 59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. About a third of such workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through a spouse. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/helpbottomline

  6. The Tragedies are Personal: Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone.

  7. Diminishing Access to Care: From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. An estimated 87 million people - one in every three Americans under the age of 65 - were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families.

  8. The Trends are Troubling: Without reform, health care costs will continue to skyrocket unabated, putting unbearable strain on families, businesses, and state and federal government budgets. Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance - projections suggest that this number will rise to about 72 million in 2040 in the absence of reform.
http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/assets/documents/CEA_Health_Care_Report.pd

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By Folktruther, August 15, 2009 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

Phreedom- I am also incredibly weak minded in attributing the War on Terrorism to a homicidal racism. It is a war against dark skinned Muslims to steal their oil reserves. It appeals to the latant racism that Americans, including racial minorities, imbibed with their mother’s milk.

The US was founded on the ethnic cleansing of Ameraindians.  It was built largely on the slavery of African-Americans.  It was enlargeed by stealing half of Mexico from Hispanics. US imperialism prospered by the killing of millions of Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqi’s and Afghans.

I am incrrdibly weak minded enough to say so to strong minded truthers like yourself.  Ardee appears to be weak minded in the same way, and I owe my realization to the unsconscious racism of current Progressives to him.

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By ardee, August 15, 2009 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

Phreedom

I pity those who fear the reality of our racially divisive world, as they will never be a part of the solution.

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By PhreedomPhan, August 14, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

I truly pity those incredibly weak minded individuals who scream racism every time someone opposes them.  Their constant use of race marks them as the most virulent racists of all.

Rick
http://PhreedomPhan-lostliberty.blogspot.com
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com

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By Folktruther, August 14, 2009 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, Outraged- I agree with you, the emotion behind these desruptions is largely unconscious racism.  Many of the desrupters are unaware of it.  It is being used by the power structure to fight off a decrease in profits.  Much as Hitler used anti-Semitism in Germany to support the interests of the Gemran ruling class.

The racism encompasses a whole range of hot button issues-crime, violence, affirmative action, immigration, family values, welfare, law and order, and military, intelligence and police Defense.  Americans are highly racist, so much so they don’t realize we are. it’s part of American culture.

It is used by the power structure to evoke fear in the population, infantalizing us and through our intellectual regression, imposing authorized irrationality against our own interests.

The only defense against it is to make the racism conscious because many people unconsciously racist consciously think racism is wrong.  so says Drew Weston, a psychologist, in THE POLITICAL BRAIN.

This is an enormous historcal task.

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By Outraged, August 13, 2009 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

Re: PhreedomPhan

Your comment: “Outraged, my God!!  You’ve dated Republicans?  That’s outrageous.  What did your family say?  Do they still talk to you?”

Possibly you have dyslexia, invent things or are incredibly creative, however for the record…. I said NOTHING of dating republicans, only of racists.  Folks, I happen to understand and know VERY WELL. Kapeesh.

My comment:  ”“Christ I’ve even dated them….

That would be unwittingly, of course…. ya’ see… if they kinda like ya’, they don’t like to let that cat out of the bag until later, when they feel confident they’ve “got ya’”.”

It appears to me, at least from what you are saying is….. that ALL REPUBLICANS are racist…?  Certainly, you don’t believe this do you?  I said I’ve dated racists and that I believe these “issues” to be racially motivated.  I also didn’t see Repubs. “hootin an’ a hollerin’” regarding Bush’s outlandish machinations.

For the more explanatory record, here’s my initial post:

“Re: PhreedomPhan

I never said I didn’t think racism was behind a large portion of this feigned outrage, where were these people when Bush and the Repubs pushed through that “medicare drug benefit”?  You know the one with the big doughnut hole and the astronomical costs….?!

In fact, I have from the first claimed this to be racially motivated.  I believe it is racially motivated, YES.  I think this whole geriatric gentry ought to sign a statement relieving themselves of their medicare card AND ITS BENEFITS before they are even ALLOWED IN these townhall meetings.  Let them put their money where their mouths are…...

As for the racism, absolutely I’ve ALWAYS claimed this was racially motivated, that’s not “playing a race card”.  That’s simply the truth, I live in RACIST AMERICA, I’ve heard every excuse known to man claiming all types of supposed positions…. I say there’s a bottom line…. and I know racists, known them, met them, went to school with them, shopped with them, worked with them, lived next door to them, Christ I’ve even dated them…. yep, those would be racists.

I simply wasn’t arguing race with you.  But okay…..”

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By PhreedomPhan, August 13, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, my God!!  You’ve dated Republicans?  That’s outrageous.  What did your family say?  Do they still talk to you?

BTW, someone made a comment in an anwer to one of my posts, I’m not sure if it was on this thread, but they complained of people not allowing others who disagree to comment on their site.  Was that you?  I’ve been wondering why I never get any comments on my blogs.  The settings say no moderation which should pass everything through, but I haven’t gotten comments in a long time.

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By Outraged, August 13, 2009 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Re: PhreedomPhan

My comment: “Christ I’ve even dated them….

That would be unwittingly, of course…. ya’ see… if they kinda like ya’, they don’t like to let that cat out of the bag until later, when they feel confident they’ve “got ya’”.

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By Outraged, August 13, 2009 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

Re: PhreedomPhan

I never said I didn’t think racism was behind a large portion of this feigned outrage, where were these people when Bush and the Repubs pushed through that “medicare drug benefit”?  You know the one with the big doughnut hole and the astronomical costs….?!

In fact, I have from the first claimed this to be racially motivated.  I believe it is racially motivated, YES.  I think this whole geriatric gentry ought to sign a statement relieving themselves of their medicare card AND ITS BENEFITS before they are even ALLOWED IN these townhall meetings.  Let them put their money where their mouths are…...

As for the racism, absolutely I’ve ALWAYS claimed this was racially motivated, that’s not “playing a race card”.  That’s simply the truth, I live in RACIST AMERICA, I’ve heard every excuse known to man claiming all types of supposed positions…. I say there’s a bottom line…. and I know racists, known them, met them, went to school with them, shopped with them, worked with them, lived next door to them, Christ I’ve even dated them…. yep, those would be racists.

I simply wasn’t arguing race with you.  But okay…..

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By PhreedomPhan, August 13, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, you may or may not have played the race card in that post, although I say you did even if indirectly.  You made this quote:
Re: KDelphi

“I mean, the people who are like, “Obama scares me!” may not even understand their inherent racism. That being said, Obama is certainly NOT a progressive Af Am. They should be happy and dont even know it…it lets them scream. “white racism against white males…!!” Right…try that with somebody who believes it.”

I agree, “they should be happy and don’t even know it”, this is WHAT THEY WANT.  Seriously…... should we laugh or cry?  I realize I’ve been saying this all along….. and I’m certain it gets old.

You agree “they” should be happy, but you don’t disagree with the racist statement contained in the quote.  You also made another post with accusations of racism against anyone who doesn’t follow “the leader.”  Again, it’s difficult to tell what is quote and what is your post, but again you indicate no disagreement with the claims of racism.  You aren’t outraged, you’re just outrageous.

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By e&co;., August 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

Great point, Gene Robinson.  (And some fascinating comments too.)  I knew something was bothering me, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, and you did. The cost issue is pretty complex and really does muddy the waters.  There is one simple thing that everyone can say to the naysayers about cost, however, and that is the bigger the pool, the more the costs are amortized.  Even if those most in need of care cannot be denied (nor should they be), their costs would covered by those less in need of care.  (Same principle used by FICA, which pays current benefits out of the pool of current contributors.) This is why I want single-payer and the only way we can ensure Medicare and Medicaid (currently covering ONLY those most in need of care) can remain fiscally sound.  It is also, coincidentally, the principle on which insurance was originally created way back when, before CEOs figured out that their pocketbooks and shareholders liked it when they drove up profits by driving out the people who actually needed their product.  (And also the reason health insurance should at a minimum be not-for-profit since the market clearly does not work for something that should be considered INFRASTRUCTURE!)  Oh, I dream of the day we can finally hold an Article V Convention and write a Constitutional Amendment that I’d call the End-Users Bill of Rights and an Amendment to recall stupid politicians.  I’ll probably still be dreaming of it the day I’m sent by the death panel off to receive death counseling.  Unless the melting icesheets kill me first, of course.

Oh yeah, and with regard to the whole end-user thing?  The same principle applies to voters.  We finally appeared to start figuring this out in 2006, let’s hope we continue the trend in 2010.  I honestly don’t know how else we will kill K Street, unless we send a resounding message to Congress that they must be fired because they are so busy trying to win money to run TV Campaign Ads they forgot the goal, to actually win the election.  We can boycott products of lobbying corporations and use the resources available online that tally amounts of campaign contributions to try to keep them honest, but really the only way the dishonest ones will get the message is a firm boot to the butt. Maybe if there’s enough outrage about this, regardless of source, there will be enough boots to the butt that these so-called political strategists will finally figure out saying ads influence us doesn’t mean they actually do.  (It’s like the Bush Administration’s favorite tactic, the big lie combined with all that magical thinking, something we became damn sick and tired of hearing.)  WE HATE TV CAMPAIGN ADS and are ever so thankful for DVRs that allow us to ignore them completely.  (And many of us had already been ignoring them BEFORE TiVO.)

For example, how many reading this column have been skipping through those disgusting, obnoxious “socialized” medicine ads run by the disgusting, obnoxious health care “industry”?  Maybe it isn’t horrible everywhere, but I live in the land of Franken-Coleman, and trust me, if I hadn’t already started tuning ads out, that campaign would’ve done it for me.

Come to think of it, I probably won’t die from the melting icesheets now that I no longer live in Washington.  (Although Washington may be wiped from the face of the earth, and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.)  I’ll just be buried in another record snowstorm or drown in another record flood.  SIGH.

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By garth, August 13, 2009 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

I saw a re-broadcast of a town hall meeting in Texas with a Rep Scott (R-TX).  One of of the attendees who stood up knew what he was talking about.  He quoted facts and numbers of how the drug companies were ripping the people off.
We might not have the bully pulpit or the camera most of the time, but the people are not stupid. 
I don’t think they, the Obama administration and its admirers, get it.  We’re not fucking around here.
The insurance rates keep going up, the fear of serious illness looms larger and larger, and with it brings the fear of bankruptcy.  The bankers, the credit card industries keep sucking us bone dry, a new round of foreclosures is due in the Fall and the banks are unwilling to lend some of its cash, our loss of control over our lives due to loss of life’s work; we’re not fucking around.
I’d take on some of the boldness of some of the right-wing disrupters and say to Obamas, “Look, either shit or get off the pot.  You might be too young and too naive to handle this situation, but there are millions of hardworking people who’ve worked too hard and too long to let this moment pass with a whimper.  They know a thing or two.” 
One of the things, they’ve been good at is getting rid of dead wood.  I am not talking about the right-wing change of ‘94.  I mean the changes that could’ve occurred in the ‘30s.
I’ll tell you that if no one is listening to the status quo MSM propaganda, and if you want to maintain a democratic government, then straighten up, get a backbone, think and act.

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By Outraged, August 13, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Re: PhreedomPhan

Your comment:“Outraged, why don’t you change your name to “pathetic.”  It would be far more appropriate.  There is nothing quite so low as the creature who constantly falls back on the race card.  BTW, I voted for Obama in the primary, but I couldn’t bring myself to vote for him or McCain in the general.  Both are owned and operated by the same people.

If you want to talk about racism, let’s talk about the overwhelming majority of blacks who voted for Obama.  Because he’s the most qualified? Don’t make me laugh.  Uncle Tom is the most qualified to be a circus pitch man and not much else.  Do you think he’s his own man?  Don’t make me laugh.  He will do what his very rich very white handlers tell him to do.  Better take a better look at who is shepherding your shepherd.”

I didn’t invoke race in my post to you, here it is:

“You are so bogus.  As if…..  Poor, poor, baby…. poor, poor unfortunate child.  And this accusation from those who REFUSE TO ALLOW anyone to post oppostion on THEIR sites.  Bullshitter.  If you don’t like it here, go home….. where everyone agrees with you.  And btw, tell mommy and daddy the world disagrees.”

You want to invoke race (and you did)..... why?  Is your argument regarding healthcare driven by a position outside of the facts of the case?  From your very suspect comment, the one I reposted here….  I would say, definitely yes.

Why don’t we talk about the overwhelming majority of RACIST WHITES who voted for McCain (because he’s white) and were willing to put Failin’ Palin in charge of the vice-presidency…?  Dumb…dumb and DANGEROUS!

Of course, liberatarians want to throw grandma and gramps out in the street.  “Too bad, so sad”, appears to be their ill-begotten selfish creed.  They should’ve made it in the world before that, the fact that REALITY shows they didn’t…. too bad.  Throw ‘em in a poor house and every once in a while us greedy pups will sooth our conscience and throw a few coins in their pot.

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By MarthaA, August 13, 2009 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

All on this blog,

Obama’s Town Hall: Full Transcript
Posted by AlterNet Staff, AlterNet at 12:41 PM on August 11, 2009.
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/141914/obama’s_town_hall:_full_transcript/

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Portsmouth! Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Everybody have a seat. Oh, thank you so—

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. Thank you. (Laughter.) It is great to be back in Portsmouth. (Applause.) It’s great to be back in New Hampshire. I have to say, though, that most of my memories of this state are cold. (Laughter.) So it’s good to be here in August.

There are a couple of people that I want to acknowledge who are here today, some special guests. First of all, I want to thank principal Jeffrey Collins, and the Portsmouth students and faculty and staff. (Applause.) Thank you—our host for today. Your own outstanding governor, John Lynch is here. (Applause.) And his wonderful wife, Dr. Susan Lynch is here, the First Lady of New Hampshire. (Applause.) Your United States senator, doing a great job, Jeanne Shaheen is here. (Applause.) The governor of the great state of Maine, and we are glad he’s here in New Hampshire today, John Baldacci is here. (Applause.)

Two of my favorite people, they are just taking Congress by storm, outstanding work—Paul Hodes, Carol Shea-Porter—give them a big round of applause. (Applause.) And we’ve got your own mayor, Tom Ferrini is here. Where’s Tom? There he is. (Applause.)

Now, I want to thank more than anybody, Lori, for that introduction, and for sharing her story with the rest of us. (Applause.) Thank you, Lori. Lori’s story is the same kind of story that I’ve read in letters, that I’ve heard in town hall meetings just like this one for the past five years. In fact, some of you were in that town hall—those town hall meetings, as I was traveling all throughout New Hampshire. It’s the story of hardworking Americans who are held hostage by health insurance companies that deny them coverage, or drop their coverage, or charge fees that they can’t afford for care that they desperately need.

I believe it is wrong. It is bankrupting families and businesses, and that’s why we are going to pass health insurance reform in 2009. (Applause.)

Now, this is obviously a tough time for families here in New Hampshire and all across America. Six months ago, we were in the middle of the worst recession of our lifetimes. I want you to remember what things were like in January and February. We were losing about 700,000 jobs per month. And economists of all stripes feared a second-coming of the Great Depression. That was only six months ago.

That’s why we acted as fast as we could to pass a Recovery Act that would stop the freefall. And I want to make sure everybody understands what we did. One-third of the money in the Recovery Act went to tax cuts that have already started showing up in the paychecks of about 500,000 working families in New Hampshire—(applause)—500,000 families in New Hampshire. We also cut taxes for small businesses on the investments that they make, and over 300 New Hampshire small businesses have qualified for new loans backed by the Recovery Act.
[See the Rest of the President’s Town Hall Meeting that is too long (56,125 characters) at Alternet’s website]
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/141914/obama’s_town_hall:_full_transcript/

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By garth, August 13, 2009 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

I can venture one of reasons for “All the Health Care Rage.”  We were set up.
During the time that lead up to this fiasco, the press claimed that the Representatives and Senators will surely hear some input from their constituents when they return for August break. (That, in itself is an interesting proposition.  The whole month of August off. Sounds French.  Non?) As it turned out, it was not what the Single Payers were thinking.
All the Corporate money and all the corporate men and women became active.  The Senators and Representative were confronted with something that they do not usually see, a large crowd.  Who Knew?
Ignorance seemed to have held sway in the first few news casts. (I, personally, want to get on one of those Death Panels.)
Later it seemed that the administration and its opponents were guided by the idea of capitualtion. (Hmmmm.)  Give in!  Say you did your damndest, and then live the rest of life in quiet luxury.  (As if it is all going to stop here.)
The health insurance industry, the drug companies and the hedge funds played it like a violin.
I have met the unemployed who are near retirement and they are tired and bewildered.  At some point they are going to say, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. 
Unless you have all the voting commission people in enough states lined up, I’d say WATCH OUT!  Because these people vote and they now how to vote.

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By felicity, August 13, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

PhreedomPhan - Please enlighten us.  Whom DO you trust. You’ve made clear the entities and people you do not trust - government, Obama, “rich white handlers,”...so who or what qualifies as trustworthy.

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By PhreedomPhan, August 13, 2009 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Outraged, why don’t you change your name to “pathetic.”  It would be far more appropriate.  There is nothing quite so low as the creature who constantly falls back on the race card.  BTW, I voted for Obama in the primary, but I couldn’t bring myself to vote for him or McCain in the general.  Both are owned and operated by the same people.

If you want to talk about racism, let’s talk about the overwhelming majority of blacks who voted for Obama.  Because he’s the most qualified? Don’t make me laugh.  Uncle Tom is the most qualified to be a circus pitch man and not much else.  Do you think he’s his own man?  Don’t make me laugh.  He will do what his very rich very white handlers tell him to do.  Better take a better look at who is shepherding your shepherd.

No matter what you, his domesticated followers, try to say, it always comes out, “Baaa.”

BTW, what are you ranting about?  Those who refuse to allow opposition to post on their sites?

Rick
http://PhreedomPhan-lostliberty.blogspot.com
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com

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By Outraged, August 13, 2009 at 1:12 am Link to this comment

Re: PhreedomPhan

Your comment: “I guess my basically libertarian views don’t pass the censorship of what appears to be a site oriented toward the totalitarian left.”,

You are so bogus.  As if…..  Poor, poor, baby…. poor, poor unfortunate child.  And this accusation from those who REFUSE TO ALLOW anyone to post oppostion on THEIR sites.  Bullshitter.  If you don’t like it here, go home….. where everyone agrees with you.  And btw, tell mommy and daddy the world disagrees.

Re: KDelphi

“I mean, the people who are like, “Obama scares me!” may not even understand their inherent racism. That being said, Obama is certainly NOT a progressive Af Am. They should be happy and dont even know it…it lets them scream. “white racism against white males…!!” Right…try that with somebody who believes it.”

I agree, “they should be happy and don’t even know it”, this is WHAT THEY WANT.  Seriously…... should we laugh or cry?  I realize I’ve been saying this all along….. and I’m certain it gets old.  But I happen to KNOW these people, in one form or another….. and they have been misled….. time after time after time.  Now, it is generational but THEY DON’T SEE IT.

To them the very word socialism is one and the same as the word devil.  It’s ridiculous.  They need to grow up and start addressing the facts.

Not the “facts” in their “holy books” nor the “facts” in their propaganda literature, nor the “facts” on FOX news.  They need to grow a “set of new ones” and FACE FACTS.

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By FairnessFetish, August 12, 2009 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MarthaA:

Sorry, dear, I am afraid I missed what your argument was with what I wrote.  Did you accidentally include me in the list?

-Hal

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By PhreedomPhan, August 12, 2009 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

I came back to see if an answer I’d posted to MarthaA had been posted to the board yet.  It seems to have disappeared into the ether.  Although I’m registered, I guess my basically libertarian views don’t pass the censorship of what appears to be a site oriented toward the totalitarian left.

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By KDelphi, August 12, 2009 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

BTW—there IS (repeat—IS) a death panel now—it is called the private insurance industry…

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By KDelphi, August 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, FairnessFetish—support Wiener’s amendment! HR 676 IS single payer and Wiener’s Amdnd inserts the same type of language…

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/aug2009/pers-a12.shtml

This sums up the truth pretty well..

“According to press reports Tuesday, the drug industry lobby PhRMA will launch a $150 million advertising blitz in support of Obama’s healthcare reform drive, after the White House reaffirmed its promise that it will limit the industry’s “contribution” to the cost of healthcare restructuring to the $80 billion agreed on in closed-door talks between Obama aides and PhRMA chief Billy Tauzin (a founding member of the “Blue Dogs” before he left Congress to become an open rather than concealed representative of the drug manufacturers)....

Obama has repeatedly avowed his support for capitalist medicine, and the “right” of drug companies, the insurance companies, the medical equipment manufacturers, and a host of other parasites to profit from the sick. His differences with his Republican opponents are purely tactical, and largely concern which sections of corporate America will benefit the most from the current legislative undertaking.

Nothing that emerges from the machinations of big business politicians and corporate lobbyists in Washington can serve the needs of working people. Medical care must be made available to every American citizen and resident, provided for at state expense as a basic human right. This requires the nationalization of the insurance companies, the drug companies, and all the other healthcare profiteers, and the establishment of a system of socialized medicine provided free to all who need it.”


Patrick Martin (World Socialist Web Site)


Outraged—I wouldve disagreed with the racial component being very prominent in this one a few days ago, but that was naive. After watching some of these people,., it is clear that their opposition has little to do with health care, even if they dont know it (I didnt say, all, peeps!)

I mean, the people who are like, “Obama scares me!” may not even understand their inherent racism. That being said, Obama is certainly NOT a progressive Af Am. They should be happy and dont even know it…it lets them scream. “white racism against white males…!!” Right…try that with somebody who believes it.

We might as well have Colin Powell, if we wanted an Af Am—-actually, he might have been more progerssive…

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By Outraged, August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

“We know that there are crazies in the town hall mobs—paranoid fantasists who imagine they hear the whop-whop-whop of the World Government black helicopters coming closer by the minute. We know that much of the action is being directed from the wings by cynical political operatives, following a script written by Washington lobbyists.”

A new report from The Southern Poverty Law Center:

“The 1990s saw the rise and fall of the virulently antigovernment “Patriot” movement, made up of paramilitary militias, tax defiers and so-called “sovereign citizens…..”

“.....One law enforcement agency has found 50 new militia training groups — one of them made up of present and former police officers and soldiers. Authorities around the country are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and propaganda. “This is the most significant growth we’ve seen in 10 to 12 years,” says one. “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”

A key difference this time is that the federal government — the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man. That, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate. One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama. At the same time, ostensibly mainstream politicians and media pundits have helped to spread Patriot and related propaganda, from conspiracy theories about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps to wholly unsubstantiated claims about the president’s country of birth.”

“.....Militia rhetoric is being heard widely once more, often from a second generation of ideologues, and conspiracy theories are being energetically revived or invented anew. “Paper terrorism” — the use of property liens, bogus legal documents and “citizens’ grand juries” to attack enemies and, sometimes, reap illegal fortunes — is again proliferating, to the point where the government has set up special efforts to rein in so-called “tax defiers” and to track threats against judges. What’s more, Patriot fears about the government are being amplified by a loud new group of ostensibly mainstream media commentators and politicians.”

“.....A remarkable aspect of the current antigovernment movement is the extent to which it has gained support from elected officials and mainstream media outlets. Lawmakers complaining about the intrusiveness of the federal government have introduced 10th Amendment resolutions (reasserting that those powers not granted to the federal government remain with the states) in about three dozen states. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry raised the prospect of secession several months after Obama’s inauguration — a notion first brought up there in the ‘90s by the militia-like Republic of Texas. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she feared that the president was planning “reeducation camps for young people,” while U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), evoking memories of the discredited communist-hunter Sen. Joseph McCarthy, warned of 17 “socialists” in Congress. Fox News host Glenn Beck, who has called Obama a fascist, a Nazi and a Marxist, even re-floated militia conspiracy theories of the 1990s alleging a secret network of government-run concentration camps.

http://www.splcenter.org/news/item.jsp?aid=392

A good report.

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By anaman51, August 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hear them howling in outrage, afraid that something might be taken from them that would endanger their state of health. Listen to the fear in their voices as the government contemplates changing the way our medical system is applied. Where were these loud, concerned voices when the Bush administration was cheerfully gutting the medical support system for those of us who are disabled, poor, and elderly? Where were they when Billy Tauzin was busy selling the elderly down the river as he made his sweet deal with the big pharmaceutical concerns? It didn’t matter then, did it? It wasn’t about the whole then, only the small part of the population the cuts touched. Now it’s about everyone, isn’t it? Now it’s about everybody’s health care, about everybody’s well-being. Apparently it didn’t matter when it was only the few among us, those invisible few who don’t really matter. I’m afraid I have no sympathy for the whiners. They stood aside silently as the most helpless people in this country were attacked by the GOP; they said nothing, and they did nothing. You reap what you sow, people.

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By altara, August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

HEALTH CARE REFORM

Some of the opposition to health care reform is truly mystifying. I can understand the political part where many Republicans just want Obama to fail (even at the expense of our country). These politicians and the insurance companies are successfully stirring up strong and vocal followers to repeat outlandish claims and disrupt town meetings. Many of these are just doing their bidding, without real conviction.

It is claimed that some of these unthinking dissenters are motivated by racism, against a black president. I would hope, and guess, that this part of the group would be small.

But there are also sincere citizens who oppose health care reform, and ignore the facts. There is no abortion funding, no euthansia, no single payer mandate. Most of these citizens have health insurance. Don’t they realize that the goal here is to give them more rights and protection and to lower health care costs and thus halt or slow the increases in their premiums?

Some loudly oppose the public option, which insurers hate. But it’s not government takeover and the existing public plan, Medicare, is efficient and effective and well liked by its participants.

Many voice legitmate concern about the cost of the reform. But the plan is to keep the reform from increasing the deficit, to lower the overall cost of health care in the long run. 47 million uninsured and at health risk. Providing health care coverage for all brings us into line with all other industrialized nations and is obviously the right thing to do. What happened to the earlier polls that showed that most Americans were willing to sacrifice in order to provide coverage for their fellow citizens?

So it’s hard for me to understand how so many Americans are voicing unwarranted opposition. Is this a reflection of a deficient educational system?

At my age, I guess that I should just be content to worry about the death panels revealed by Our Lady of Wasilla.

homer   http://www.altara.blogspot.com

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By hippie4ever, August 12, 2009 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

oldhip, loved the cartoon.

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By oldhip, August 12, 2009 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Those That Are…

“Telling It Like It Is In Reality, Not As We Hope It is.”

Enjoy your reality…

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By PhreedomPhan, August 12, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

MarthaA writes a comment concerning lies about healthcare.  Her source is the government.  Might that be considered the lie to cover the other lies?

Having read that bill with the “analysis” floating around the internet in hand (actually I didn’t read the whole bill just the parts mentioned in the “analysis.”) and I couldn’t honestly say the “analysis” was wrong.  On the other hand, I couldn’t say it was right.  Anyone who claims to know what this bill is about is a liar.  The first beneficiaries of the bill, if it goes through, will be the lawyers who will find lucrative employment arguing over just what the thing does say.  The next will be those employed by the bureaucracy needed to administer it.  If I’ve learned nothing else in my lifetime, I’ve learned not to trust government.  I think the final result will be a massive bureaucracy that will further erode healthcare.  Just my opinion, but it’s based on many years of experience.

Rick
http://PhreedomPhan-lostliberty.blogspot.com
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com

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By MarthaA, August 12, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

PhreedomPhan, FairnessFetish and ChaoticGood

(Part 1 of 2)

“One of the things we aren’t told at those meetings is that this whole mess has been created by government in the first place.”

This is backwards. Your sophistry stinks.

It isn’t the government of the United States that is the nut job, it is the vast Right-Wing EXTREMIST conspiracy moving as much as possible to lead the government as a whole to the Right, and which you are trying to assist.

CORPORATIONS do lead the Right-Wing REPUBLICANS of our government, who have infiltrated the Left to a degree, but the government, as yet, as a whole has not completely turned over to CORPORATE RIGHT-WING dominance.

Balancing the government from the Left IS the solution.  FASCISM from the Right is NOT the solution as CORPORATE CONTROL has made our government TOO top heavy and is weighing the government down, but not to such a degree that the Left-Wing of the government can’t escape; the public option is a means of escaping FASCISM.

If you are talking about the DISTURBERS, they are lumpen-proletariat poor old people that draw Medicare that are being led against their best interests, or are paid members of the Right-Wing EXTREMIST Republican Party brought in from all over the country for the purpose of closing down democratic meetings.

Remember ALL the meetings the DISRUPTERS are trying to close down are democratic meetings, NOT REPUBLICAN MEETINGS.  My Republican state of Oklahoma has had no problem at all with anyone disturbing a Right-Wing Republican meeting. 

Here is a sight where anyone can find out what they need to know:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/

The Top Five Health Care Reform Lies Debunked:

Lie #1: President Obama wants to euthanize your grandma!!!

The truth: These accusations—of “death panels” and forced euthanasia—are flatly untrue. As an article from the Associated Press puts it: “No ‘death panel’ in health care bill.”  What’s the real deal? Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans.
(cont.)

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By MarthaA, August 12, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

PhreedomPhan, FairnessFetish and ChaoticGood

(Part 2 of 2)

Lie #2: Democrats are going to outlaw private insurance and force you into a government plan!!!

The truth: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. Obama’s reform plans will create a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace for affordable, high-quality insurance options. Included in the exchange is the public health insurance option —- a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers —- that will operate alongside private insurance companies, injecting competition into the market to drive quality up and costs down.

If you’re happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them. But the new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or individuals who choose to opt into it, including many who simply can’t afford health care now.

Lie #3: President Obama wants to implement Soviet-style rationing!!!

The truth: Health care reform will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage. Right now, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered—that is rationed care. And a big part of reform is to stop that.

Health care reform will do away with some of the most nefarious aspects of this rationing: discrimination for pre-existing conditions, insurers that cancel coverage when you get sick, gender discrimination, and lifetime and yearly limits on coverage.  And outside of that, as noted above, reform will increase insurance options, not force anyone into a rationed situation.

Lie #4: Obama is secretly plotting to cut senior citizens’ Medicare benefits!!!

The truth: Health care reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits. Reform includes savings from Medicare that are unrelated to patient care—in fact, the savings comes from cutting billions of dollars in overpayments to insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.

Lie #5: Obama’s health care plan will bankrupt America!!!

The truth: We need health care reform now in order to prevent bankruptcy—to control spiraling costs that affect individuals, families, small businesses, and the American economy.

Right now, we spend more than $2 trillion dollars a year on health care.  The average family premium is projected to rise to over $22,000 in the next decade —and each year, nearly a million people face bankruptcy because of medical expenses.  Reform, with an affordable, high-quality public option that can spur competition, is necessary to bring down skyrocketing costs. Also, President Obama’s reform plans would be fully paid for over 10 years and not add a penny to the deficit.

We’re closer to real health care reform than we’ve ever been—and the next few weeks will decide whether it happens. We need to make sure the truth about health care reform is spread far and wide to combat right wing lies.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/

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By FWHite, August 12, 2009 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

“But the nut jobs and carpetbaggers are outnumbered by confused and concerned Americans who seem genuinely convinced they’re not being told the whole truth about health care reform.”

I think the author overlooked a telling adjective in his description of the “confused and concerned Americans…” and that word is “stupid”.

Come on, ladies and gentlemen, health care is not rocket science.

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By PhreedomPhan, August 12, 2009 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

“...the nut jobs and carpetbaggers are outnumbered by confused and concerned Americans who seem genuinely convinced they’re not being told the whole truth about health care reform.”

Please don’t call our Congressmen “nut jubs and carpetbaggers.”  It goes without saying that they are outnumbered.  There’s only one of them at each meeting.

One of the things we aren’t told at those meetings is that this whole mess has been created by government in the first place.  Washington can’t escape its role in dismantling our industrial base.  It can’t escape responsibility for the inflation that has driven healthcare costs beyond the ability of the average citizen (subject?) to pay.  The only new car I ever owned cost a little over $3000.  It was a Plymouth Barracuda.  Now the government is handing out $4500 subsidies to offset a small part of the cost of a new car.

As usual, government is the problem not the solution.

Rick
http://PhreedomPhan-lostliberty.blogspot.com
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com

The truth is out there. - Fox Mulder
The truth is!  The problem is getting it out there! - PhreedomPhan

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By FairnessFetish, August 11, 2009 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

So here is an example of the confusion:  Spiritgirl thinks that a “single payer plan if done right” would include a public option.

It is very understandable that people are confused by all the proposed solutions to our health care woes.  There is the Single Payer plan (HR 676/S 703), there is HR3200 with the Wiener amendment, and there are more including (I think) HR 1200.  And that’s just some of the REAL, ACTUAL legislation being proposed.

Add to that all the non-legislation being pushed by the Right such as “Obamacare” which is not a plan at all.  Obamacare is just marketing puffery with no actual legislation behind it.  But that does not stop the ignorant from insisting that Obama has written some sort of legislation.  You can’t really blame them, being they don’t know that the Executive branch is not in the business of writing law, or that there are three branches of government in the first place, or that their names are not Moe, Larry, and Schemp.

It is too bad that there isn’t a web site that lists all the proposals and what they would actually do.  Preferably not one sponsored by a front group for the health insurance industry.  Besides, it would be difficult to keep it up to date with all the constant changes being made to some of these.

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By ChaoticGood, August 11, 2009 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

The whole healthcare debate thing reminds me of a story.

Once upon a time there was a bunch of cannibals who were very upset that whenever they cooked a meal, the meal got very upset and struggled all the way to the cooking pot.
So one bright cannibal marketing man suggested that when a victim was captured, that they be praised by all the cannibal tribe and convinced that they were special “health food” and that their death and the subsequent feast would honor their tribe and offend the government. The marketing cannibal went on to explain that since the victims were very fearful of the government they would gladly sacrifice themselves if they could hurt the government.  This hatred will allow the victim to feel like a “martyr”.  Thus reducing the struggling on the way to the pot. 

It sounded so good that they tried it out and
THE MARKETING PLAN - WORKED!!!
So well in fact, the victims started to offer recipe ideas for the feast.

Now just…..
Substitute insurance companies for cannibals
Substitute Republicans for victims
Substitute Obama for government

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By KDelphi, August 11, 2009 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

The confusion and fear of cost results from the insurance industry whose ass Dems are kissing.

I do agree that the 50 million uninsured (and under-insured , who dont know it until they get sick) has become a second fiddle to, all we hear about now, MONEY< MONEY< MONEY!

I finally watched Sen Cardin’s Towne Hall tonight—the Paul-tards NOT Libertarians—they are nOT the same!@)were rampant and these people have most certainly been coached. Can you imagine if a peace supporter had brought as gun to a Bush rally, assuming that they could have even gottin in the door?? But, everybody wants their guns—until they get shot…

That being said, the reason some questions are so hard to answer is that no one knows the answer. Another reason is that, Reid, et al insisted on Pay-GO—-these astro-turfers may be ignorant, but not ignorant enought to think that you can cover another 37 million without taxes—-you cant. The problem is, that they dont want to pay for any of it—they will tell you its ‘illegals” or “welfare people”—they dont want to pay for anything and they dont care about anyone but themselves. facts.

Outraged has it right…

Eugene is doing more excusing doctors, as I see it—drs in this country make millions—in civilized countries, most do not. We have way too many speciliasts—because of money.


Tha Capitalism is the problem, folks..we will never get civilized care with either of these parties.

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By MarthaA, August 11, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

I am in full support of legitimate outrage at Town Hall Meetings with Congressional Representatives and Senators that is in support of benefit to the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States as a Class and Culture, and giving the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture a seat at the table to make and enforce law and order that is in the best interest of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture, alongside the Classes and Cultures of the 10% minority population of the American Aristocracy and the 20% minority population of the Professional Middle Class that are represented in the House and Senate to the exclusion of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture.


I am not in support of illegitimate outrage, PHONY SOPHIST OUTRAGE led by Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Republicans “Neo Brown Shirts” that are nothing more than organized political disrupters, provoking to evoke a causal response to their SUBJECTIVE ASSERTIONS in order to obtain political benefit for the 10% minority of the American Aristocracy and the 20% minority of the Professional Middle Class at the expense of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture.

The 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States, as a Class and Culture, needs Congressional Representatives and Senators that will make and enforce law and order that is in the best interest of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture; rather than the industrialists, business men, bankers, and insurance companies of the 10% minority population of the American Aristocracy and their toadies of the 20% minority of the Professional Middle Class, to the exclusion of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States as a Class and Culture; to the extent that outrage is expressed at Town Hall Meetings in support of these aims, I consider outrage over these issues as legitimate outrage that is long overdue and that the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States as a Class and Culture has been far to compliant and silent for far to long; we need more legitimate outrage in Town Hall Meetings and everywhere else that it can be expressed in support of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture, because the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States is the only Class and Culture in the United States that does not have a seat at the table of government to make and enforce law and order that is in the best interest of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States as a Class and Culture.

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By MarthaA, August 11, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

I am in full support of legitimate outrage at Town Hall Meetings with Congressional Representatives and Senators that is in support of benefit to the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States as a Class and Culture, and giving the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture a seat at the table to make and enforce law and order that is in the best interest of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture, alongside the Classes and Cultures of the 10% minority population of the American Aristocracy and the 20% minority population of the Professional Middle Class that are represented in the House and Senate to the exclusion of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture.

I am not in support of illegitimate outrage, PHONY SOPHIST OUTRAGE led by Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Republicans “Neo Brown Shirts” that are nothing more than organized political disrupters, provoking to evoke a causal response to their SUBJECTIVE ASSERTIONS in order to obtain political benefit for the 10% minority of the American Aristocracy and the 20% minority of the Professional Middle Class at the expense of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture.

The 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States, as a Class and Culture, needs Congressional Representatives and Senators that will make and enforce law and order that is in the best interest of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture; rather than the industrialists, business men, bankers, and insurance companies of the 10% minority population of the American Aristocracy and their toadies of the 20% minority of the Professional Middle Class, to the exclusion of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States as a Class and Culture; to the extent that outrage is expressed at Town Hall Meetings in support of these aims, I consider outrage over these issues as legitimate outrage that is long overdue and that the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States as a Class and Culture has been far to compliant and silent for far to long; we need more legitimate outrage in Town Hall Meetings and everywhere else that it can be expressed in support of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class and Culture, because the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States is the only Class and Culture in the United States that does not have a seat at the table of government to make and enforce law and order that is in the best interest of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States as a Class and Culture.

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By diamond, August 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

You get what you pay for? Not if you’re Dick Cheney. Taxpayers paid for his pacemaker and his surgery. He’s used to having an easy ride but he doesn’t want anyone else to have one. These red faced fanatics turning up at the town hell meetings are Republican foot soldiers, sent deliberately to disrupt these meetings and terrify the citizenry. They are pathetic bastards one and all, shameless traitors to their own people.

Cain is Able, your present health care system is so sick if it was a dog you’d have it put down. Under the circumstances complaining about the fact that someone wants to fix it is:
1. Idiotic
2. Ungrateful
3. Deluded
4. Embarrassing

Nothing you’ve put forward is true, by the way. I think that could be relevant to the debate.

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By Cain is Able, August 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

Outraged,

It has been a long day and I don’t feel like responding to all of you comments, some valid. Plus, I hate long threads so there is no need to continue that one in its current form. 

Let me just say this, government bureaucrats are just as corruptible as executive VP’s.

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By Spiritgirl, August 11, 2009 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

The immorality of 48 million uninsured in America is outrageous!  A single payer plan if done right would:

(1)Control costs, so doctors aren’t paid by how many patients they see, but the quality of the care they give.

(2)Encourage preventative care by encouraging people to control their own diet and exercise to prevent problems before they start.  And seeing the same doctor would allow that person to see you for life (or allow you to change) and therefore that doctor would know you and be able to intervene just as a problem started instead of you showing up to the emergency room in distress.

(3)Allow for those that are currently happy with their insurance to keep it, but having a public option would keep the “industry” more honest.

(4)Would allow for negotiating drug prices, and fees for services (X-rays, other diagnostic tests).

(5)MEDICARE IS A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM! Contrary to what the nay-sayers want you to believe.

(6)As for end-of-life care shouldn’t that be decided between doctor and patient, long before you get to that stage.

It’s a shame and a sham that the right has not only hijacked the argument, but won’t even allow for civil discourse because they have bought the lies being promulgated by the loudmouthed ignorant blow-hards within their own camp!  As the right have NO IDEAS and NO PLANS other than to continue “privatizing” or “voluntary reductions” - well let’s look at Wall Street, how has that worked out so far for the masses?!

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By Cain is Able, August 11, 2009 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

Hippie,

I really don’t think you have proved me a corporate hack.  I was merely stating my opinion.  If you would look at my second post, you would see that I agree that our system is broke.  I just disagree with you, apparently, on how it should be fixed.

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By Cain is Able, August 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Martha,

The healthcare that congress and its staffers currently have is as pure of a free market system as can be found in the US healthcare market.  Each year the member of congress gets to choose from a list of providers which health plan he or she wants based on price, coverage, and other issues.  Taxpayers pay for the insurance premium not the care.

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By MarthaA, August 11, 2009 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Cain,

How that FREE PUBLIC HEALTH CARE PLAN working for Congressmen and Congress women?  Any long lines where they have to wait?

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By Big B, August 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

The health care debate has laid bare, for all eyes to see, the true nature of the american people.

We are a nation of cruel bastards.

Listen to the arguments. The most avid right wing wackos in the US DO NOT THINK HEALTHCARE IS A RIGHT, THEY THINK IT IS ONLY A PRIVELEDGE FOR THE THOSE WHO WORK, OR HAVE WORKED. It’s really that simple, this debate is class warfare coming to a head. Now I fear that only when heads are chopped off, will this problem be solved.

Then again, maybe the problem will take care of itself. Let the current system ride the way it is/has for the last 50 years. What happens to countries that ignore their healthcare systems? Why, pandemic, of course. As more and more people ignore illnesses because they cannot afford medical care, the more likely that that super bug everyone is worried about will spring from OUR slums.

I can’t wait for the day that the National Guard is posted at hospitals to prevent the diseased throngs from ransacking the ER.

Better add SAR’s masks to the shopping list of canned food and shotguns.

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By knobcreekfarmer, August 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

Please take 5 seconds and re-read my post. Those comments are NOT mine. Rather an email I just got today that I posted as an example… We are on the same page here!

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By SteveL, August 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Those of you that don’t want health care for all don’t mind if the person making your salad has hepatitis or tremulous?

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By Outraged, August 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Re: Cain is Able

Part 2.

6.  This might actually produce a cost saving, but it would likely stifle R&D at the drug companies, which means the funding to NIH and others would need to increase.  I would say this would be a wash in the long run or less innovation would result.

Much of our R&D is ALREADY subsidized by the government, a large portion in fact, as this is seen as “for the greater good”.  What happens NOW is “the greater masses” do not benefit like they should (cost-wise) because big pharma, “rakes us over the coals” with high prices of medicine (claiming R&D costs), for research WE PAID FOR.  It would not stifle innovation.

7.  I don’t know what you mean here perhaps a clarification would help.  The public option would by far be the biggest player in the game and would likely abuse its position.

I mean that insurance companies and big pharma would consistently attempt to undermine the “public option”, in fact THEY’RE ALREADY DOING IT.

8.  The public option should allow doctors to opt out if they want.  No doctor has to accept the terms of a private insurer provider.  Why should they have to accept the governments?  if the government want to truly compete in the marketplace, doctors should be allowed to not take the public option.

Well, yes and no…. If the whole reason for having insurance is to get care, then “having insurance” that doesn’t GET YOU CARE means nothing.  Good point, this only solidifies the basic tenet of single-payer.

9. How?  The benefits still must be paid for that means higher taxes on business and employees.

Business and employees ALREADY pay premiums, and the cost of these has sky-rocketed.  Single payer would eliminate premium costs, yes there would be a tax the difference would be a SAVINGS….. again, a quasi-reallocation of money.  The result would be lower cost overall with the additional benefit of a cost savings for employer and employee.

10.  True, but why not try to make coverage portable instead of universal.

Single payer IS portable and less expensive, and it covers everyone. 

11.  Could be.  I have not seen any study that suggest this. 

12.  There is no 12.

Whoops.

13.  That would greatly depend on the tax structure and other effects the plan would have on business.

A good place to answer some of your questions would be at the Physicians for a National Health Care Plan site:
http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single_payer_resources.php

14.  I don’t see how allowing everyone to be covered under a plan would reduce paperwork.  It will only increase fraud.

I believe Night-Gaunt answered this question for you so I won’t rehash the first premise, however regarding your second, EVERYONE IN means EVERYONE WATCHING, a good thing.

15. Reallocation does not reduce cost.

This would be another area where funds are being spent and could be used better utilized.  More bang for your buck, does save money.

16.  It would be impossible.  That is why many oppose it.  Once implemented it is here for life.

I would hope you’re correct.

17.  Only to be replaced by endless government dictates.

No.  Again, I would refer you to the PNHP site. 

18.  Nope they would just die waiting in line to receive their “free” healthcare.  In the end you still get what you pay for.

Firstly, this is mere speculation.  Secondly, if receiving healthcare funds is so AWFUL….. why are the insurance companies fighting tooth and nail to GET IT!

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By hippie4ever, August 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Cain is Able,

How do you explain this?

“In 2008, total national health expenditures were expected to rise 6.9 percent—two times the rate of inflation.1 Total spending was $2.4 TRILLION in 2007, or $7900 per person1. Total health care spending represented 17 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

U.S. health care spending is expected to increase at similar levels for the next decade reaching $4.3 TRILLION in 2017, or 20 percent of GDP.1

In 2008, employer health insurance premiums increased by 5.0 percent – two times the rate of inflation. The annual premium for an employer health plan covering a family of four averaged nearly $12,700. The annual premium for single coverage averaged over $4,700.2

Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, poor management, and inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems significantly increase the cost of medical care and health insurance for employers and workers and affect the security of families.”

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

You wrote, “While I am sure that you will dismiss me as a corporate hack or ill informed idiot,  please allow me to retort your claims.”

Well, I’ve done so, and you are a corporate hack.

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By Outraged, August 11, 2009 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

1.  Cost reductions would only be seen by reducing care.  The profit margins of health insurance sector is much less than that of the average S&P 500 company.  If you took away all of the “obscene profits” saving would amount to around 7%.

If the estimated cost would be 1 Billion, then the savings even at your conjecture of 7%, assuming it is accurate would be 70 Million per annum.

2.  Reallocated funds do not reduce cost.  In fact one of the ways the administration thinks they can pay for reform is by cuts in medicare.  Money is money and changing where it goes doesn’t change the amount.

You are correct, my mistake.  However it would reduce upfront cost considerations, additionally there are other less recognized costs which would actually be a savings.  As an example, veterans are reimbursed for lengthy trips to veterans clinics and hospitals for care… are these funds derived from “veterans healthcare allocations” or from other veteran funds.

3.  True.  Our veteran healthcare is a shame. however, it does present a great look into what government run healthcare could become, just with longer lines an more cost.

I don’t see your claim of “longer lines” in this scenario as veterans would receive care at the place of their CHOOSING whereby care would then be more evenly distributed, this then would alleviate lines, not lengthen them.

4.  Again, this is not a cost savings only a reallocation of funds.

Yes, this shows that money is being spent already.  This money could then be allocated more efficiently and distributed more broadly.  Another issue here is the true additional cost parameters of single payer if these funds are reallocated should be slight if any.  When we say 1 billion for healthcare, what IN TOTAL is the government now spending?

5.  This may be true if mandated by the government, but congress is already balking at this suggestion.  Greg Judd introduced an amendment to require congress to go on the public option, if passed.  It was soundly defeated.  Single payer would probably result in a system with greater inequality than currently exists. Those with money and power will be able to still buy better coverage, and no doctor would treat a member of congress the same as any other patient.

Some would sure, but we can at least get everyone insured at the lowest possible cost.  Remember a well-worded clause would prevent members of congress from scamming and thereby protect coverage for all.  Imagine the outcry FROM THE WHOLE NATION, should congress members stray from these parameters.  A truly a bi-partisan raucous would ensue.

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By MarthaA, August 11, 2009 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

A couple good frames for posters to be carried to one of these meetings would be, “HEALTH CARE NEED” vs. “CORPORATE GREED”, and “PUBLIC NEED” vs. “CORPORATE GREED”, to combat the Right-Wing frames that are against the public’s best interest.

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By felicity, August 11, 2009 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

I am completely unable to understand why we don’t just copy the successful, well-functioning, affordable health-care systems of other countries.

You’d think by now that we as a people and nation would have grown out of our ‘teens’- we know it all, we’re always right, adults are always suspect, adults don’t understand…on and on and on.

The wheel really has already been invented.

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By Cain is Able, August 11, 2009 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

Only responses follow.

14.  The original comment was that the new coverage would reduce paperwork and thereby save the government money.  the paperwork for private insurance is not what is at question.  However, it has been my experience that no entity produce more paperwork than the federal government for the simplest of task.

16.  It is a bad thing if you believe it will lead to an inferior system .

17.  Of course it CAN be simple , but our congress has failed to provide anything straight forward and uncomplicated for at least a century.  Even if it is just a big pot of money someone has to allocate the funds and dictate what each procedure is worth and how a patient qualifies. 

18.  That is the greatest argument for universal coverage, the emotional one.  I agree that everyone deserves the respect and dignity to go to a doctor when needed.  In the end though, I believe government provided coverage will lead to more suffering. 

It is a one sided analogy I know, but…Consider this if you were looking to leave all of your money to a single entity that you believe could alleviate the most suffering, would you leave it the the government, even if the provision was it had to be spent on the program of your choosing of would you leave it to the charity that is dedicated to providing the same service. 

I don’t argue that the system is prefect only that government run healthcare is not the answer.

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By MarthaA, August 11, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

The AFL-CIO working families in Chelmsford, Mass., union members and health care activists countered with civility and calm dialogue the disruptive and aggressive tactics marring health care town hall meetings.

Here’s a firsthand account from Rosa Blumenfeld, an organizer for the North Shore (Mass.) Labor Council, on how an organized and well-briefed union presence can counter the tactics many health care reform opponents are using to disrupt congressional town hall meetings.

As we arrived at the Chelmsford Town Hall, there were already people lined up to get in. Some were wearing T-shirts with angry tea kettles on them and carrying signs saying things like, “Stop Socialized Medicine” and “Obamacare: It’s to Die For.” As we were warned, they spread out all over the room and constantly disrupted anyone, including Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), who spoke out against their lies.

Our side had about a dozen people between the North Shore Labor Council and IUE-CWA Local 201 and another dozen from SEIU Local 615. There were many Obama supporters among the crowd of 200 inside the room, and the 200 more waiting to get in.

What worked were simple signs with large print slogans like “Real Health Insurance Reform Now,” and “Stop Insurance Company Greed.” During Tsongas’ opening remarks, we applauded forcefully and many in the room cheered. We even had folks countering the extremist amongst the crowd waiting outside.

One of the most effective points during the Q&A happened when one union woman stood up and said:

I think that everyone in this room can agree that we need to stop unnecessary death. My grandmother got sick and died from breast cancer because her insurance company refused to pay for her treatment. The system isn’t working. People are dying. We need this health insurance reform.

What we were not warned about was the incredible amount of tension that it would create both within the room and within ourselves. Even our most active members that attended were exhausted by the time it was over.

Two things became very clear during the course of this town hall event. First, if we hadn’t been there, they would have eaten the congresswoman alive. These people were constantly shouting and were not interested in discussion or debate. All they wanted was to disrupt things as much as possible. Because of our support, she stood her ground and answered the questions in a way that supported the public health insurance option.

Second, we have to keep our message on the insurance companies whose insatiable (and thus far unchecked) greed got us into this mess in the first place. We cannot focus on the Democrats who support a public option in health care reform or even President Obama. In our meetings with elected officials, it is entirely appropriate to thank them for their support and push them to be stronger advocates, if necessary. But in our public message to counter the extremists, we must keep the focus on corporate greed.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 11, 2009 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR
HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!
-so left i am right

Oh no, not again! With corporate health care it is rationed already by the bottom line. And it isn’t how they treat you or if you survive for it it costs them money they are against it. It just was codified by our gov’t if this passes in this form this particular version of the bill. There are at least two of them, maybe more.

Single Payer means it is the gov’t does it. You see whomever you want. There are many different plans we should explore, like Tiawan did a few years ago, to see which fits us. The insurance companies could still exist but they become non profit and can’t turn anyone down for a preexisting condition.

Page 42 of HC Bill:The Health Choices
Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have
no choice!
so left i am right

Again it is what you can afford from the Health Insurance company you join and what they allow you to choose from. This isn’t what we want or need.

Cain is Able
14.  I don’t see how allowing everyone to be covered under a plan would reduce paperwork.  It will only increase fraud.

Unlike now with much of the money going to processing of endless forms to fit the crazy quilt various coverages and doctors who approve and etc.


16.  It would be impossible.  That is why many oppose it.  Once implemented it is here for life.

That is a bad thing?

17.  Only to be replaced by endless government dictates.

It wouldn’t have to be complicated unless we let Congress make it so. In Canada it is just a pool of money that the doctors go to get the money to pay for the treatments etc as they come in.

18.  Nope they would just die waiting in line to receive their “free” healthcare.  In the end you still get what you pay for.

Like today where a low average of 731 people die every day not getting that healthcare they can’t afford? It is very good, but only if you have the money. Most of us don’t. We are the only country where people go bankrupt over health care. At least 60% do. Is that suitable to you? Most wait in line now. We have a shortage of doctors and nurses that need to be taken care of. A good place to direct so many of our people now in the subsidized socialist business of the military that spends around a $ trillion dollars a year to kill others and terrorize millions. Start cutting back on that by 90% should free up funds. That and taxing the wealthy on a graduated scale the more they have the more they pay.

It will save money because people won’t be constrained to wait until the medical problems escalate to the point to where financial considerations are overcome. {Such happened with me.} It is common place and so they go to the ER at the last possible moment and it clogs them with people and long lines. All that without single payer. Something Obama said he was for when he was lying to look good and now in power he is totally against. Sam-o-same-o stuff.

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By Steppin' Razor, August 11, 2009 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

“The unvarnished truth is that services are ultimately going to have to be curtailed regardless of what happens with reform. “

BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How come every nation in the Western World is able to cover every person for about half the cost?? How do they not curtail services??

“We can’t have what all the other Western Nations have” is The Big Lie.

Riech Wing Nuts and useful idiots, you like flat taxes?? Good, then charge a “Medicare For All” Flat Tax on all taxable income, no cap and funding for National/Universal/Single Payer Health Care is set forever.

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By garth, August 11, 2009 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Remember the right wing howl a few years ago that our government should be run in a more business-like fashion?  Well, let’s consider this application to the health care issue.

Productive output (amount paid for actual health care delivery) shrank from 95 cents on the dollar to 80 cents.

Overhead and wages (executive salaries, administration fees and payment to hangers-on)
grew to approximately 600 million dollars.

The overly determined outcome would seem to point to a business failure.
No?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, August 11, 2009 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Health Care and the Fox News Incentive by David Sirota OpenLeft 8/11/09

(Part 1 of 2)

http://www.openleft.com/diary/14551/health-care-the-fox-news-incentive-system

To understand how Fox News crosses the line from right-leaning news outlet into partisan propaganda machine (and there is a difference between the two), look no further than exactly how the network is driving (or at least trying to drive) the health care debate via the congressional town hall meetings.

As a PR tactic, Fox’s three-tiered formula is absolutely ingenious:

1. First, Fox has given a huge amount of airtime to covering the lobbyist-organized protests at the town hall meetings, without, of course, mentioning that many of the protests are organized by lobbyists. Mind you, we know this interest in protest and “democracy” is completely politically motivated because we know it is completely new - it’s not some ongoing Fox News principle. This is the same network that regularly pilloried anti-war protests during the Bush administration, and gave them almost no coverage, much less positive, whatsoever. So Fox it’s safe to assume that Fox is only now interested in protest and democracy because it might hurt President Obama, Democrats and the progressive agenda.

2. Whenever one member of the protestors in the Khaki Pants Offensive makes an especially circus-like scene, Fox then has that particular protestor on for an interview - all under the pretense that the protestor has made him/herself “news.” In the last two days alone, I’ve seen Fox aggressively promote “exclusive” interviews with screaming protestors from Rep. John Dingell’s (D-MI) and Rep. David Scott’s (D-GA) town meetings. Fox dutifully promotes these people as persecuted martyrs, and their actual claims about health care are barely - if ever - explored for their veracity (or lack thereof).

3. Finally, after helping create the media image of mass protests, Fox has manufactured a reason to continue covering the supposed mass protests. And the cycle starts over.

What this does is create a vicious cycle whereby the small group of conservative activists who are terrorizing these town halls have an incentive to be more and more aggressive. They know that if they can go further than the last supposed martyr, they might get their mug on Fox News. And so from protestors trying to shut down town hall meetings with screaming we get protestors shoving matches and then protestors arming themselves and then protestors making death threats. This is the Fox News Incentive System at work.

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By MarthaA, August 11, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Health Care and the Fox News Incentive by David Sirota OpenLeft 8/11/09

(Part 2 of 2)

Let’s be clear: I have absolutely no problem with conservative protestors - even those organized by corporate lobbyists - expressing their strong opposition to health care reform. While I happen to think most of these people are motivated from raw selfishness, and while polls show these people represent a tiny minority of Americans, I sincerely believe they have every right to make their voice heard. Indeed, my personal email signature is a Teddy Roosevelt quote which says, “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

However, just because you have a right to speak, doesn’t mean you have a right to block/intimidate others from speaking or a right to shut down town hall meetings. That’s what the Me-First, Screw-Everyone-Else Crowd is trying to do in starting its World War Z. And the Fox News Incentive System is rewarding them for it.

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, just as I was writing this post, Fox News did a “breaking news” segment that showed a crazed protestor screaming at Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (D). Here’s the screen shot from Fox’s website. I’m sure the protestor will soon be an “exclusive guest” on a Fox News program. As I said, this is not merely a right-leaning news outlet - it is a partisan propaganda machine.

——————————————
DAVID SIROTA
Columnist, Creators Syndicate
Author, The Uprising (2008) and Hostile Takeover (2006)
Political Blog: http://www.openleft.com
Pop Culture Blog: http://www.nerdivore.com
Personal Website: http://www.davidsirota.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/davidsirota
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/davidsirota

My sentiments as well.

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By Cain is Able, August 11, 2009 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

Outraged,

While I am sure that you will dismiss me as a corporate hack or ill informed idiot,  please allow me to retort your claims.

1.  Cost reductions would only be seen by reducing care.  The profit margins of health insurance sector is much less than that of the average S&P 500 company.  If you took away all of the “obscene profits” saving would amount to around 7%.

2.  Reallocated funds do not reduce cost.  In fact one of the ways the administration thinks they can pay for reform is by cuts in medicare.  Money is money and changing where it goes doesn’t change the amount.

3.  True.  Our veteran healthcare is a shame. however, it does present a great look into what government run healthcare could become, just with longer lines an more cost.

4.  Again, this is not a cost savings only a reallocation of funds.

5.  This may be true if mandated by the government, but congress is already balking at this suggestion.  Greg Judd introduced an amendment to require congress to go on the public option, if passed.  It was soundly defeated.  Single payer would probably result in a system with greater inequality than currently exists. Those with money and power will be able to still buy better coverage, and no doctor would treat a member of congress the same as any other patient.

6.  This might actually produce a cost saving, but it would likely stifle R&D at the drug companies, which means the funding to NIH and others would need to increase.  I would say this would be a wash in the long run or less innovation would result.

7.  I don’t know what you mean here perhaps a clarification would help.  The public option would by far be the biggest player in the game and would likely abuse its position.

8.  The public option should allow doctors to opt out if they want.  No doctor has to accept the terms of a private insurer provider.  Why should they have to accept the governments?  if the government want to truly compete in the marketplace, doctors should be allowed to not take the public option. 

9. How?  The benefits still must be paid for that means higher taxes on business and employees. 

10.  True, but why not try to make coverage portable instead of universal. 

11.  Could be.  I have not seen any study that suggest this. 

12.  There is no 12.

13.  That would greatly depend on the tax structure and other effects the plan would have on business.

14.  I don’t see how allowing everyone to be covered under a plan would reduce paperwork.  It will only increase fraud.

15.  Reallocation does not reduce cost.

16.  It would be impossible.  That is why many oppose it.  Once implemented it is here for life.

17.  Only to be replaced by endless government dictates.

18.  Nope they would just die waiting in line to receive their “free” healthcare.  In the end you still get what you pay for.

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By knobcreekfarmer, August 11, 2009 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Thank you Eugene.

If you listen to (no matter how hard it is)  “YELL” radio dick heads like Limbaugh it’s no wonder that all out civil war has not broken out in this country. He is out right dangerous! Who pays for him to pontificate corporate folly for three hours a day, five days a week, for 20+ years now???

Then again there are the dick heads running our country too…

Since I have not, and most likely will not, actually read the bill I can not direct a rebuttal to the following I just received in my inbox… But this is what is out there.


Senator Bayh,

As a practicing physician I have major
concerns with the healthcare bill before Congress. I
actually have read the bill and am shocked by the brazenness
of the government’s proposed involvement in the patient
physician relationship. The very idea that the government
will dictate and ration patient care is dangerous and
certainly not helpful in designing a healthcare system that
works for all. Every physician I work with agrees that we
need to fix our healthcare system, but the proposed bills
currently making their way through congress will be a
disaster if passed.

I ask you respectfully and as a
patriotic American to look at the following troubling lines
that I have read in the bill. You cannot possibly believe
that these proposals are in the best interests of the
country and our fellow citizens.


Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that
the Govt will audit books of all employers that self
insure!!

Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill - THERE WILL
BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits
you get.

Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR
HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!


Page 42 of HC Bill:The Health Choices
Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have
no choice!

Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will
be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Page 58 HC Bill: Govt will have
real-time access to individuals finances & a National ID
Healthcard will be issued!

Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24: Govt will
have direct access to you ur banks accounts for elective
funds transfer.

Page 65 Sec 164: is a payoff subsidized
plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community
organizations: (ACORN).

Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates
ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange.

Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications
for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration
your
Healthcare!

Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates
linguistic appropriate services. Example - Translation:
illegal aliens.

Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt
will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up
individuals for Govt HC plan.

Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications
of Benefit Levels for Plans. AARP members - your Health care
WILL be rationed.

Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill: Medicaid
Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in
Medicaid. No choice.

Page 124 lines 24-25 HC: No company can
sue GOVT on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Govt
Monopoly.

Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/
American Medical Association - The Govt will tell YOU what
you can make! (salary)

Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST
auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE!

Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay
for HC for part time employees AND their families.

Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with
payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option pays
8% tax on all payroll.

Page 150 Lines 9-13: Business’s with
payroll btw 251k & 401k who doesn’t provide public option
pays 2-6% tax on all payroll.

Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who
doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed
2.5% of income.

Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any
NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes.
(Americans will pay)

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By garth, August 11, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

It’s all very simple.

Wall Street hedge funds invest heavily in the health insurance and pharamceutical scam.  (Where else can you get weekly payments by millions of US citizens and provide next to nothing in return?)

Barack Obama is tool for the Wall Street investment class, a Brand Name created for the sale of war, shoddy health insurance deals, and whatever scam they can come up with.

The legitimate arguments for health insurance change have been lost. All that is left are made for tv disruptions of town hall meetings.

The so-called Democrats are starting now to sound like their loud-mouthed critics:  “We’re not for a Canadian plan.  We’re for a uniquely American plan.”  To paraphrase the California Rep Duncan Hunter when he denounced the aid to troops back from Iraq who were desitute and needed some kind support, “We are Americans.  We are tough.  We do not need handouts.”

Confuse the issue, start to sound like your opponents and blend in.  Then the situation either won’t change or it will get worse, but your political cover will be maintained. 
They rely on the axiom that you can’t lose by underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

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By Emma, August 11, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robinson is wrong. Universal health care and controlling costs are not two separate debates. They are the same. The problem is profit. Profit has no place in a health care system. Eliminate profit and everyone can be covered and costs are reduced. Medicare for all. Now.

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By Rodger Lemonde, August 11, 2009 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Single payer would reduce costs by simplifying the obscenely bizarre billing structure. No other industry has such an arcane lack of precision about the cost of services. Would anyone buy a car if they couldn’t get a price in writing? Clearing out even half vast numbers of billing clerks would have to reduce costs from Doc in the box operations to major hospitals.

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By Really Red, August 11, 2009 at 4:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Single payer only Eugene. Why would a doctor order an “unnecessary” test?  When did this alarming lie suddenly become so popular? “Expensive” testing cuts into an insurance companies profits? (hmm)
Testing might save someone’s life, or help diagnose an illness.
Why would this insurance company propoganda make it into an article in the Washington Post?

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By Roger Lee, August 11, 2009 at 4:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s support the angry and unreasonable. Obamacare is a complete cave in to big Insurance, under the guise of reform.
Why won’t the Post report on Single Payer? (They can’t) Obamacare is preservation of the status quo. The Washington Post is part of the problem.

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By Outraged, August 11, 2009 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

I’m not so confident of the motives behind this geriatic gentry of cannabals.  I agree that most likely every last one of them has a medicare card.  But I don’t believe more than a fraction of them are legit.

The problems with the public option are many and this is the real problem.

SINGLE-PAYER benefits over the public option:

1. With everyone in and nobody out, the reduction in cost is higher.

2.  With everyone in, medicaid and veteran’s care could be eliminated a tremendous cost savings that could then be RE-ALLOCATED to the single-payer fund.

3. Everybody In, Nobody Out would allow veterans more flexibility in their place of treatment and choice of doctor.

4. Free clinics, normally subsidized by the government could close or be re-utilized, another cost savings.

5. EVERYONE would protect the coverage and it would NEVER be found lacking including congress (this would be their plan too) and by a simple clause, congress members could be prohibited from buying additional plans.  (How fast do you think they’d start hacking away at pentagon budget then?)

6. The government could negotiate drug prices more easily, another cost savings.

7. The public option would be constantly hacked away at NO MATTER HOW WELL SET UP intially, and this would only hurt those who need it most.

8. The public option, via loopholes, might allow doctors to “not accept” the public option plan.  Again, just a backwards way of denying care and sabotaging the “option”.  In my state, dentists already do this with dental coverage paid for by medicaid.

9. This would help small business owners and their employees.

10. NO EMPLOYEE would have to stay at a crappy workplace because of the medical coverage.

11. It’s speculated that more local small businesses would open, thereby creating jobs, refurbishing neighborhoods/communities or allowing more flexible lifestyles.

13. All businesses would be better able to compete in the world market.

14. It would reduce the stacks of paperwork for medicaid and medicare eligibility requirements. (another cost and time savings)

15. Subsidies that are now received by hospitals to help cover the underinsured and uninsured could be reallocated. (Why are the hospitals in charge of these funds in the first place…. questionable, to say the least)

16. It would be EXTREMELY difficult to undermine single payer.

17. Doctors and patients would be freed of vicious insurance company dictates regarding care.

18. No one would have to die, like they DO NOW…... waiting for approval of coverage, because of inadequate coverage or because of no coverage.

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By ardee, August 11, 2009 at 3:02 am Link to this comment

The Health Care debate mirrors, in fact, the general lack of truth in politics. When a system attempts to pander to the moneyed interests while still pretending to work for the people it is not surprising that the truth is lost.

In light of the fact that our legislators work to keep the campaign checks flowing, the insurance industry spends millions each week to spread lies about health care reform in order to continue to make obscene profits, it is unsurprising that so many people are misinformed and afraid of change.

Barack Obama came into office with an incredibly high approval rating , the Democrats currently enjoy a bullet proof majority in the Senate yet noone defends the people. How much more is it going to take before a majority understand that our government does not work for us?

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