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AIP Column: Nancy and Steny's Message to America

As most of you already know Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer published an editorial in USA Today on Monday. I responded to it in an article in my American Issues Project column (my columns are now being published on Wednesdays):

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer penned an editorial in USA Today this past Monday. It is a missive to the American people who have had the audacity to resist the government's attempt to assume control of the US health care system. Their message to these Americans is clear: you will be assimilated; resistance is futile. Pelosi and Hoyer are trying to convince the American people that the push for a government-run health care system has been building for too long and has gained so much momentum that it is impossible now to stop. What they really mean is that they will not allow Barack Obama and his large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate to go to waste, and their message to the American people is that they ought to relax and let the statists have their way, because fighting back will just make it worse.

The Pelosi-Hoyer editorial is nothing more than a clumsy attempt to silence criticism of the health care bills by building up the myth that most Americans really want a government-run single payer system but a small Nazi-like minority is engaged in an effort to ruin this medical paradise for everyone. In reality, the polls indicate something quite different: the majority of Americans are actually against the government running the health care industry. Support for Congress's plan specifically has dropped to a new low of 43 percent for it and 53 percent opposed to it. Additionally, the vast majority of Americans are against a single payer health care system, 57 percent to 32 percent. Pelosi and team would prefer you not know that 48 percent of the American people rate the American health care system as good or excellent, compared to a mere 19 percent who rate it as poor. When asked if Americans are happy with their current health insurance policies, 57 percent say yes. An even worse poll for President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Steny Hoyer's health care plan says 51 percent of the American people fear their government more than they fear their health insurance companies. That fear has probably intensified now that the Obama administration is encouraging people to report them to the government for criticizing or advancing criticisms of the reform bills. Now we are learning the administration has even launched a massive pro-government run health care propaganda site funded by their own taxpayer dollars.

Read all of it. The Democrats are becoming desperate because they know that health care is the brass ring. Once they have that, they have everything. With Obama installed in the White House and significant Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, they know this is the only time they will be able to achieve their goal of total control over the lives of their constituents. As we all know, the more the American people become dependent on government, the more they will vote big government politicians into office, hence, Democratic majorities in Washington for years. If you have any thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment here or at the AIP column itself. While you're at AIP, be sure to read all the other great articles and blog posts.


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Comments (102)

You're wrong, the Dems aren... (Below threshold)

You're wrong, the Dems aren't doing this because they're desperate, they know that they get better mileage impugning their critics than they do trying to defend the merits of their policies. Attack the opposition is Step 1 in every Democrat's playbook.

It is only rape if you cont... (Below threshold)
burt:

It is only rape if you continue to say "NO". Why don't you just relax and enjoy it?

Watch for another modificat... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Watch for another modification in tactics: The Dem paid astroturfers have been easy to I.D. by their union-printed mass-produced protest signs. They've been called out on this.

So look for more homemade or 'homemade-looking' Dem protest signs soon.

"With Obama installed in... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"With Obama installed in the White House and significant Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, they know this is the only time they will be able to achieve their goal of total control over the lives of their constituents."

I understand there are medications that are effective for treating paranoia. Once Democrats pass health care reform you'll be able to see a doctor and get some.

"The Dem paid astroturfers have been easy to I.D. by their union-printed mass-produced protest signs. They've been called out on this."

Lorie Byrd couldn't come up with any evidence whatsoever that the ad she wrote about was connected to astroturfing, but maybe you know something she doesn't?

I'm sure there are unions printing signs, but that doesn't mean the people holding them are paid to be there.

Vic

Victory is Ours: "I'm su... (Below threshold)

Victory is Ours: "I'm sure there are unions printing signs, but that doesn't mean the people holding them are paid to be there."

Actually EVERY Pro-ObamaCare sign (whether called at an Obama "TownHall" or not) is machine made. EVERY ONE. And 99.9999% of ANTI-ObamaCare signs are hand-made.

The people going to TownHall meetings who are AGAINST ObamaCare are from every walk of life...and show up of their own accord. The people who are FOR ObamaCare are nearly 100% UNION workers...whether specifically padi for the event or just "encouraged" to attend.

Yet the TRUE GrassRoots movement is called "Astroturf"...and the TRUE Astroturf "movement" is called "GrassRoots" by Piglosi and the media.

hmmmm?????

Vic you are delusional but ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Vic you are delusional but at least blindly loyal to your master. The protesters supporting Obamacare the other day were hispanics in a day labor camp. They were asked in spanish what the signs said. They did not know. How absurd. The left has to pay people for there support, the right volunteers their time because they actually believe what they are supporting.

Vic, I am sure you have been paid to support Obama. You may even be paid now to be on conservative sites. I wouldn't be surprised. ww

I see the great Vic is back... (Below threshold)
Rick Caird:

I see the great Vic is back. I usually know better than to feed the trolls, but....

Astroturfing. Is not offering paid jobs to support national health care astroturfing?

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/etc/1303066561.html

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/search/ggg?query=health+care+reform&catAbbreviation=jjj&addThree=

Second, do you really doubt unions such as the SEIU expect to be paid back by the administration? It sure worked for the UAW. Are you now going to claim the SEIU goons, each individually, decided it would be a good idea to show up at a Town Hall and decided to wear their SEIU t-shirts? Only a deluded liberal could believe that.

The whole point is that the idea of pre-printed signs, particularly when the same ones show up all over the country, indicates organization. That is astroturfing. Astroturfing is not individuals showing up with hand made signs.

Rick

Kim: You completely distor... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Kim: You completely distort what Pelosi and Hoyer are saying. Here's the entire quote:

"The dialogue between elected representatives and constituents is at the heart of our democracy and plays an integral role in assuring that the legislation we write reflects the genuine needs and concerns of the people we represent.

However, it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue. These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted "Just say no!" drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion."

Yelling, screaming and trying to intimidate public officials at town hall meetings who are trying to explain a complicated legislative proposal, and interfering with the right of others to hear their public officials is not "un-American," but it is downright rude, offensive and counterproductive. I've seen these town hall meetings, and the hecklers share a common modus operandi: (1) insult the public official, (2) ask a loaded question or simply grandstand,and (3) distort what Congress is actually considering (death panels, etc.). That's what Pelosi and Hoyer -- and reasonable people object to. Here's my favorite town hall moment, thus far, because it says so much about the unbridled ignorance of these mobs: one ignoramus right-winger asked Senator Arlen Specter (who is Jewish) whether he had read the Koran. How insightful!

The beauty is that these tactics will alienate moderates. This is why the GOP is condemned to become an irrelevant regional party pandering to the most extreme, base, bigoted, misinformed, selfish (as in, "I have my insurance, f*ck those that don't") and ignorant sectors of society.

"The people who are FOR ... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"The people who are FOR ObamaCare are nearly 100% UNION workers...whether specifically paid for the event or just "encouraged" to attend."

Or... they want to be there. My experience with unions tells me that the latter is much more likely. The union asks for people to attend, people sign up and volunteer - nobody is paid - nobody is coerced.

See medication note above.

"The whole point is that the idea of pre-printed signs, particularly when the same ones show up all over the country, indicates organization. That is astroturfing. Astroturfing is not individuals showing up with hand made signs."

Organization in terms of handing out printed signs, true.

Since printed signs are such an obvious sign of "organization" by your very definition, it clearly isn't astroturfing. Astroturfing is the act of pretending it isn't organized.

And if I sat in my living room and made up 20 handmade signs, then hired people to hold them, you're saying that isn't astroturfing?

No, that is astroturfing. It's what the GOP did at last year's convention - they made up a bunch of handmade signs and handed them out so it appeared on television to be a bunch of everyday people. It wasn't. It was the GOP "handmade sign" division.

Vic

Kim: You're absolutely righ... (Below threshold)
TOhio:

Kim: You're absolutely right! I agree with you 100%. Thank you for writing articles to combat the lies coming from Pelosi, Obama and company.

Listen folks, we've got to fight this. If they are able to get away with this health care plan, don't think that it's going to get any better. They'll not only get us into rationed health care, but they'll also succeed at using lies and intimidation to get their way.

If lies and intimidation works this time, they'll use it again and again to enslave us all. They're like school bullies who will not learn until they are stopped.

If the majority of Americans were in agreement with them, they wouldn't have to lie would they?

"I understand there are med... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I understand there are medications that are effective for treating paranoia."

Oh, and this paranoia would not be justified when the DHS issues a white paper labeling those with differing views as "terrorists"? Ooops! They pulled that report, didn't they? Don't want the common folk to see how they think.

Got your Brown Shirt uniform yet, Vic?

The beauty is that these... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

The beauty is that these tactics will alienate moderates.

That probably explains why support for Obamacare is dropping like rock.

http://www.thebulletin.us/articles/2009/08/11/news/nation/doc4a81ddbfcacbe083990480.txt

"If lies and intimidation w... (Below threshold)
Jim:

"If lies and intimidation works this time, they'll use it again and again to enslave us all. They're like school bullies who will not learn until they are stopped."

You mean like claiming the proposed bills mandate death panels? Or will ban private health insurance carriers? Or will require rationing?

I agree, if the Right wins on this, they will keep lying again, and again and again -- just like they did for 8 years of Bush/Cheney while our young men and women -- most barely adults -- were sacrificed at the altar of neo-con lies. How many of you kept your fat happy mouths shut then?

Vic:Are you trying t... (Below threshold)
Burt:

Vic:
Are you trying to convince me that Republicans are smarter than Democrats? Keep trying.

The great Vic returns with:... (Below threshold)
Rick Caird:

The great Vic returns with:

"Or... they want to be there. My experience with unions tells me that the latter is much more likely. The union asks for people to attend, people sign up and volunteer - nobody is paid - nobody is coerced."

But, we have this from ProgressOhio:

" Can we count on you to go to Senator Sherrod Brown's upcoming event, and simply hold a positive sign in support of healthcare reform? You'll be in good company. Our partners in the Health Care for America Now coalition will be standing together at the event - partners like Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN) Ohio, SEIU, Organizing For America, and many others. We need healthcare reform supporters both inside and outside the event.

WHEN: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12th at 9:00 AM (event starts at 10, but it's important to get there early!)

WHERE: OSU Biomedical Research Tower, 460 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-2210

Sen. Brown's event inside is entitled "What Does Health Care Reform Mean to Me?""

Gee, isn't that astroturfing, Vic?

Rick

iwogisdead: Congratulation... (Below threshold)
Jim:

iwogisdead: Congratulations, the polls reflect that your side's lies and misinformation about the proposals are having an effect. That does not mean that -- come election time -- moderates will vote for the extremist Republican crud the party is currently offering. They won't. Also, look at Rasmussen again -- the young (those under 30) overwhelmingly favor universal coverage. Those over 65 oppose. Hardly the stuff that will win future elections for your side.

You're welcome, Burt - but ... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

You're welcome, Burt - but frankly, if you chose to judge the relative intelligence of Democrats and Republicans on the basis of what you read on this web site's comments section you aren't getting a very good reading.

I overlooked this previously: "Is not offering paid jobs to support national health care astroturfing?"

No, people who are paid to go door-to-door canvassing in support of health care - asking people to cal their congressional representatives, and probably asked for a donation too - those people are not "astroturfing".

I can see where you would be confused on the term, since it has been incorrectly thrown around on this web site a lot.

Here's the definition of "astrotufing" that most people agree on:

Astroturfing is a word in English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.

Someone canvassing door to door, handing out pamphlets, asking for support and asking for donations, is not astroturfing. They aren't "seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior".

Likewise, a bunch of union members holding up organized printed signs is also not "seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior". They are wearing t-shirts and/or holding up union-supplied signs! That's not "spontaneous grassroots behavior"!

Vic

PS: "Oh, and this paranoia would not be justified when the DHS issues a white paper labeling those with differing views as "terrorists"? Ooops! They pulled that report, didn't they? Don't want the common folk to see how they think."

The report you referred to was commissioned by the Bush administration prior to Obama's inauguration.

See what I mean, Burt?

Jim says: "the proposed bi... (Below threshold)
Rick Caird:

Jim says: "the proposed bills mandate death panels".

OK, Jim, I am going to explain this to you. First, the House bill encourages physicians to discuss end of life treatment. That is not so bad. But, we also have the "effective treatment" board whose job is to define permitted treatments for any illness.

Now, in Oregon, they have a list, ordered by priority, of diseases. Each year they go over the list and the politicking begins as to the final order. In this years iteration, drug addiction is treated, but not stage 4 prostate cancer or stage 4 breast cancer. So, in essence, we do have a death panel that orders by disease.

It is not at all hard to imagine just how quickly the "effective treatment" will morph into a "what we will pay for" board and then into a death panel by disease.

Ya' know, Jim, the problem with guys like you is that you trust government. It seems to be a liberal trait. I am guessing you didn't trust Bush, but rest assured that even if you foolishly trust Obama, there will be a Bush soon enough. Your problem is trusting the current governors and assuming future governors will be the same. Wrong.

The pro abortion woman cry they want control over their own body. Yet, the same ones are quite willing to give the government complete control over their bodies. Strange.

Rick

The great Vic has definitit... (Below threshold)
Rick Caird:

The great Vic has definititional problems. He says:

"Someone canvassing door to door, handing out pamphlets, asking for support and asking for donations, is not astroturfing".

That might be true if the "volunteer" identified himself as being paid, but he doesn't. He presents himself as a volunteer for the Obama campaign. Hence, he is astroturfing by the very definition the Great Vic offers.

Rick

Ya' know Rick Caird, the pr... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Ya' know Rick Caird, the problem with you folks is that you fail to understand (or you just keep lying about it) that (1) Congress is not considering abolishing private plans, and (2) private insurance carriers already have "bureaucrats" that decide whether or not to cover any given treatment (i.e., insurance companies ration now). So, the plans under discussion offer a comparative advantage to those who have no insurance, and let those that like their plans keep them. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize this, you just need to know how to read.

Assuming your characterization of Oregon is correct -- so what? The Oregon plan is not under consideration at the federal level -- just more right-wing distortion.

Since you're going to make assumptions about me, I'll let you know that I'm a former Republican who tired of W's lies. I'm also a Catholic who believes -- as does my Church -- in social justice, including universal health care. I mention the latter only because I know far too many Catholic hypocrites who go to Mass on Sundays, and then lobby against helping the poor.

"...the young (those under ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...the young (those under 30) overwhelmingly favor universal coverage. Those over 65 oppose. Hardly the stuff that will win future elections for your side."

Couple of points: Those under 30 just show the miserable state of our 'education system'. Congratulations liberals, it's working. The 'young' also tend to be liberal in their outlook....until life and reality come along and kick them in the ass and they find that 'there is no such thing as a FREE lunch'. The young also DO NOT use 'health care' that much (for them it's usually an emergency situation). The elderly, the one's MOST USING health care systems AND the one's who got a half-way decent education know that you can't fit 10 pounds of bullshit (increased number of users) in a 5 pound bag (current medical system). You also don't get 'better service' or 'the same service' when you cut back on the amount you previously spent. But Obamanomics say that you can pull $500 BILLION from Medicare WITHOUT a reduction in the quality of service. The elderly also have concerns when the CBO tells Congress that the plan they are currently considering is FISCALLY UNSUSTAINABLE. The "young", hey, they still got credit cards.

"Congress is not considerin... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Congress is not considering abolishing private plans"

Odd, HR3200 states that private providers won't be able to sell NEW policies when the bill is passed. You get 'grandfathered' if you have a policy. If you change your policy, or lose it by moving to another job, you have ONE "choice". Government care. One of the architects of HR3200 is on record as saying that the bill 'its not a Trojan Horse to kill private insurance'. "It's right there, we're not hiding it."

READ the fucking bill.

Ya' know, Jim, the probl... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Ya' know, Jim, the problem with guys like you is that you trust government.

Did you trust Bush to defend you, Rick? Do you trust the armed forces? The fire department? Do you not trust any teachers? Any cops?

When so many people have such disdain for public service in your country, the best and brightest are discouraged from joining it, thus perpetuating how awful it is. It doesn't have to be that way. We have a lot of great public servants in Canada--and some terrible ones!--who take pride in their work, which is making a large social democracy function. I'm not suggesting that people should exalt public servants, but when the public looks upon government employees as a collection of fuck-ups who weren't smart or ambitious enough to find work in the private sector, then that reinforces any truth within the stereotype and makes your country a worse place to live.

Just saying.

GarandFan, thanks for under... (Below threshold)
Jim:

GarandFan, thanks for undersoring my point. Like I said, the GOP's days are numbered.

Now, I take it you're a fan of the free market. Me too! So, can we agree on these free market solutions to reform health care?

(1) Abolish Medicare -- it's government-run and paid for (the free market abhors that). If you're over 65 and don't have health insurance, well . . . that's the way of the world, but at least you're free.

(2) If you are overweight or obese (about 60 percent of America -- and even higher in red states), the law should allow insurance companies the option of dropping you from their coverage (at least for certain diseases like cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and certain type of caners). Why should those of us who are fit have to subsidize the gluttonous (free marketers abhor free riders and subsidies?

Can we agree on those modest reforms?

GrandFan: I call bullshit.... (Below threshold)
Jim:

GrandFan: I call bullshit. Where in HR3200 would Government abolish private plans? Give me a precise -- fucking -- paragraph cite. Cheers, Jim

Ah yes, GarandFan, that old... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Ah yes, GarandFan, that old canard: young people are more liberal and more in favour of public health care because the public education system has turned them into ignorant sheeple. Because only someone with false inforamtion would support public health care! Everybody who supports the type of health care system enjoyed in every other developed country is ignorant or stupid!

Sing it! Sing it like you actually think it's true!

hyperbolist: "Because on... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist: "Because only someone with false inforamtion would support public health care!"

The truth is that "information" is spelled, well, like I just spelled it.

and as for "Everybody who supports the type of health care system enjoyed in every other developed country is ignorant or stupid!" implies that people "ENJOY" the health care system in those countries. Evidence is overwhelming that they do NOT. Canadians and Brits are especially displeased...even those that "win" the Doctor lotteries that actually enable them to see a doctor.

Justrand: Look Gallup. Ci... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Justrand: Look Gallup. Citizens of countries offering universal health care (including single-payer systems) are even more satisfied with their health care than are American:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/117205/americans-not-feeling-health-benefits-high-spending.aspx

GarandFan: I'm still waiti... (Below threshold)
Jim:

GarandFan: I'm still waiting. I think I'll double down on your bullshit. -Jim

"Citizens of countries offe... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Citizens of countries offering universal health care (including single-payer systems) are even more satisfied with their health care than are American:"

Well that explains those Canadians and Brits coming here for medical procedures (when they can afford the expense).

GarandFan:Thanks f... (Below threshold)
Jim:

GarandFan:

Thanks for the quip. It's not my poll, it's Gallup's. Engage in whatever cognitive dissonance you want, it still shows satisfaction rates in universal health care states superior to those in the U.S.

Good point though, I think we've all noticed those long lines of Canadians rushing to the U.S. border to take advantage of our healthcare.

Find that cite yet?

So I make a typo and get cr... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

So I make a typo and get criticized for it? That's rich. Can't wait until the next time I make fun of someone's 4th grade-level grammar: "Yeah, well you misspelled 'information' on August 12, 2009, so you're the idiot!" I'll be totally devastated.

We'll give you some time to find a counter-example to Jim's Gallup poll before calling you a liar. Get Googling!

Jim: Start at page 16. I'... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Jim: Start at page 16. I'd be more specific, but I suffered thru reading those 1000 pages of crap, you can at least expend the same effort.

hyperbolist: It shouldn't ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

hyperbolist: It shouldn't take Justarand any time to find a counterexample. Like he said: "Evidence is overwhelming" that citizens of countries offering universal coverage "do NOT" like their systems. -Jim

GarandFan, what about all t... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

GarandFan, what about all those Americans who fly to Thailand and Mexico for procedures because they can't afford to pay for them in the United States?

The Gallup pole still shows... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

The Gallup pole still shows satisfaction rates in universal health care states superior to those in the U.S.

So people who aren't exposed to the US system, compare their system to one they've never had.

Wouldn't that be like me, comparing the pain of a bullet wound to what a woman experiences during labor?

GarandFan: I'm familiar wi... (Below threshold)
Jim:

GarandFan: I'm familiar with the bill. If I start at page 16 and read to the end, I won't find it (and neither will you) because there is no proposal to abolish private insurers. Verdict: Total unfiltered right-wing bullshit. -Jim

what about all those Americ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

what about all those Americans who fly to Thailand and Mexico for procedures because they can't afford to pay for them in the United States?

I never said our system is "perfect". I object to a wholesale revamping of 1/5 of the US economy in just a few short weeks by the same idiots who stimulated the economy by spending $116 million on a San Francisco Bay marsh mouse. And no Jim, I won't give you the reference, look it up yourself.

And don't forget hyper...some of those 'treatments' they go overseas for are like the cancer treatment with crushed apricot pits. It was all the rage several years ago.

"I'm also a Catholic who... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"I'm also a Catholic who believes -- as does my Church -- in social justice, including universal health care. I mention the latter only because I know far too many Catholic hypocrites who go to Mass on Sundays, and then lobby against helping the poor."

Then you will completely understand, as a Catholic that is, that imbuing power in a govermental entity to take from one person by force to give to another is not charity at all. Especially when that governmental entity is already rife with corruption, waste and fraud.

If it makes you feel good to give, then by all means, give. I do. But I don't like being forced by do-gooders who are never happy with how much I've given voluntarily and by force. So much so that they think they have to comment on blogs about "hypocrites" lobbying against heping the poor. They're not lobbying against helping the poor. They're lobbying against government usurping the role of charitable giving from the individual.

But surely, as a Catholic, you understand these subtle differences.

GarandFan writes: "The Gal... (Below threshold)
Jim:

GarandFan writes: "The Gallup pole still shows satisfaction rates in universal health care states superior to those in the U.S.

So people who aren't exposed to the US system, compare their system to one they've never had.

Wouldn't that be like me, comparing the pain of a bullet wound to what a woman experiences during labor?"

Oh, what a slippery logical slope. Americans also necessarily are comparing their system to those they don't have (universal care). And they don't like it as much. By your logic, Americans should try a universal health care system before they evaluate what they have now. I'm down with that.

Oh, come-on you racists. Di... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

Oh, come-on you racists. Didn't you listen to Michael Smerconish's radio show last night; America would buy the Socialist/Marxist/Communist lie, hook-line-sinker if we only had a old, white, male pitching the sales line? (extra points for fat and bald)

Justrand: Look Gallup. C... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Justrand: Look Gallup. Citizens of countries offering universal health care (including single-payer systems) are even more satisfied with their health care than are American:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/117205/americans-not-feeling-health-benefits-high-spending.aspx

You'd better take another look at that poll.

"Gallup measures perceptions of one's own physical and mental health through the Personal Health Index."

The poll is not asking about satisfaction with healthcare.

"I'm familiar with the bill... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I'm familiar with the bill. If I start at page 16 and read to the end, I won't find it (and neither will you) because there is no proposal to abolish private insurers. Verdict: Total unfiltered right-wing bullshit. -Jim"

Nice try. Read the bill.

Oyster, the Church's positi... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Oyster, the Church's position is not that a free market system comports with social justice. The Church's position is clear: a just society needs universal health coverage mandated by government if necessary.

Now, you contend that "as a Catholic" I should know that "imbuing power in a govermental entity to take from one person by force to give to another is not charity at all." That's irrelevant to the Church's position. The Church accepts taxation to subsidize social justice programs, including health care. It does not believe that voluntary charity alone with suffice. And the tens of millions of uninsured simply proves that voluntary charity is insufficient. Your argument is one against any form of taxation -- which is fine -- it's just not the Catholic Church's position.

Just laying out what the Church says to those Mass-going Catholics so ready to shoot down universal health care.

GarandFan: I'm familiar ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

GarandFan: I'm familiar with the bill. If I start at page 16 and read to the end, I won't find it (and neither will you) because there is no proposal to abolish private insurers. Verdict: Total unfiltered right-wing bullshit. -Jim

The bill does not abolish private insurers per se. However, the bill forces private insurers, over time, to compete with the government option by entering the exchange and offering coverage as dictated by the Health Benefits Advisory Committee. Private plans will not be able to compete with the government option, because the government option has unlimited funds. Unable to compete under these conditions, almost all of the private insurers will go belly up. So, the effect of the bill, as written, will be an elimination of all but a very, very few the most expensive private plans.

GarandFan: Third time: I'... (Below threshold)
Jim:

GarandFan: Third time: I've read the bill, it's not there. But, if anyone on this blog can point to the specific provision that would abolish private carriers, please give a specific cite -- GarandFan is unable to. Oh, the pungent smell of right-wing bullshit!

iwogisdead: From the same Gallup survey: "Only 56% of American respondents say they have confidence in their country's healthcare system. Of the countries in the OECD, only five have significantly less confidence in their country's healthcare system than the United States: Poland, Greece, Slovakia, Ireland, and Hungary." Notably, Canada and Britain are not among those.

iwogisdead and Garandfan ar... (Below threshold)
Hank:

iwogisdead and Garandfan are correct if I'm reading page 16 section 102 correctly.

If you now get your plan through work, your employer has a five-year "grace period" to switch you into a qualified plan. If you buy your own insurance, you'll have less time.

And as soon as anything changes in your contract -- such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year -- you'll have to move into a qualified plan instead

Here's the section:

SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE.

(a) Grandfathered Health Insurance Coverage Defined- Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term `grandfathered health insurance coverage' means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:

(1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT-

(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.

(B) DEPENDENT COVERAGE PERMITTED- Subparagraph (A) shall not affect the subsequent enrollment of a dependent of an individual who is covered as of such first day.

(2) LIMITATION ON CHANGES IN TERMS OR CONDITIONS- Subject to paragraph (3) and except as required by law, the issuer does not change any of its terms or conditions, including benefits and cost-sharing, from those in effect as of the day before the first day of Y1.

(3) RESTRICTIONS ON PREMIUM INCREASES- The issuer cannot vary the percentage increase in the premium for a risk group of enrollees in specific grandfathered health insurance coverage without changing the premium for all enrollees in the same risk group at the same rate, as specified by the Commissioner.

(b) Grace Period for Current Employment-based Health Plans-

(1) GRACE PERIOD-

(A) IN GENERAL- The Commissioner shall establish a grace period whereby, for plan years beginning after the end of the 5-year period beginning with Y1, an employment-based health plan in operation as of the day before the first day of Y1 must meet the same requirements as apply to a qualified health benefits plan under section 101, including the essential benefit package requirement under section 121.

(B) EXCEPTION FOR LIMITED BENEFITS PLANS- Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to an employment-based health plan in which the coverage consists only of one or more of the following:

(i) Any coverage described in section 3001(a)(1)(B)(ii)(IV) of division B of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

(ii) Excepted benefits (as defined in section 733(c) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), including coverage under a specified disease or illness policy described in paragraph (3)(A) of such section.

(iii) Such other limited benefits as the Commissioner may specify.

In no case shall an employment-based health plan in which the coverage consists only of one or more of the coverage or benefits described in clauses (i) through (iii) be treated as acceptable coverage under this division

(2) TRANSITIONAL TREATMENT AS ACCEPTABLE COVERAGE- During the grace period specified in paragraph (1)(A), an employment-based health plan that is described in such paragraph shall be treated as acceptable coverage under this division.

(c) Limitation on Individual Health Insurance Coverage-

(1) IN GENERAL- Individual health insurance coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-participating health benefits plan.

(2) SEPARATE, EXCEPTED COVERAGE PERMITTED- Excepted benefits (as defined in section 2791(c) of the Public Health Service Act) are not included within the definition of health insurance coverage. Nothing in paragraph (1) shall prevent the offering, other than through the Health Insurance Exchange, of excepted benefits so long as it is offered and priced separately from health insurance coverage

"The bill does not abolish ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

"The bill does not abolish private insurers per se." Thank you iwogisdead. Of course, that's not what GarandFan said. So, now we're arguing about what hypothetically might happen, not what's in the bill.

You folks think that a government-run health plan will be awful. If that's true, then in a market where private insurers are able to offer a better product for the price, those private carriers will thrive. If the government-run plan is inferior, it will have no chance of monopolizing the health care market, and will simply serve as a backstop to those who have nothing now. For those without insurance, inferior health care is better than no health care. That's simple economics, really.

hyperbolist: "So I make ... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist: "So I make a typo and get criticized for it?"

Well...when you accuse someone of spreading "false inforamtion", and contained in your sentence is a false spelling of "information", the irony is just too rich to pass up!

JimHow will "those... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Jim

How will "those private carriers thrive"
if there's a limitation on new enrollment?
Section 102, 1(A).

Oh, section 102 is a hobbyh... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Oh, section 102 is a hobbyhorse of Fox News (especially Hannity and Beck).

Section 102 only prevents individuals from receiving "grandfathered health insurance coverage" (i.e., insurance that does not satisfy the affordability and reliability criteria laid out later in the bill). Even under this provision, if someone has health insurance now, and they like it, they can keep it. This does not affect them. If they do not have health insurance, they then can take advantage of the health-care exchange program, wherein they may choose between private and public plans. That is all 102 does. It does not abolish private plans. HR 3200 still allows individuals to choose private plans.

Hank, see post 51. There w... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Hank, see post 51. There will be no limitation.

But, Jim, my question all a... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

But, Jim, my question all along has been, why should it be done this way? If the goal is to provide insurance for the "uninsured," why doesn't the bill simply do that? If the goal is to provide some more "fair" way for insurance to administer healthcare, why doesn't the bill simply do that?

The private insurers will never be able to offer a better product for the price, because the government option is subsidized. And there won't be any way to offer any better type of coverage, because the coverage offered is going to be strictly regulated. I'll guess that private insurance will be a thing of the past within 2 years of passage of this pile of crap.

GarandFan, you have a probl... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

GarandFan, you have a problem with people who enjoy universal coverage comparing their system to yours because they haven't tried the American private system; and yet you compare your system to theirs, not having tried publicly funded healthcare. Frig, man.

As for people flying to Thailand for surgery: is that your actual response? They went because they couldn't find any good witches/warlocks in the United States to brew them up some tiger penis tonic? If that's what you want to tell yourself...

And the marsh mouse crap? Friiiiiig, man! Do better!

#42: iwog: it does ask about confidence in the system. The U.S. ranks sixth last on that measure. Suggestion for new GOP talking point: WE! BEAT! SLOVAKIA!!!!

It should be added that this data is based on telephone and/or face-to-face interviewing, which is of a far higher quality than online survey data.

@#49: fair enough, I wouldn... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

@#49: fair enough, I wouldn't have passed that up either if I were you. As they say, "The ironing is delicious."

JimIt reads differ... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Jim

It reads differently to me.
Does it not say that any changes to your present health care will cause your present insurance to become voided?

(2) LIMITATION ON CHANGES IN TERMS OR CONDITIONS- Subject to paragraph (3) and except as required by law, the issuer does not change any of its terms or conditions, including benefits and cost-sharing, from those in effect as of the day before the first day of Y1.

Not sure about others, but in my small company, we've had co-pay increase changes, deductible changes etc almost every year in an effort to keep premiums down.


You're right, my bad. I mis... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

You're right, my bad. I misread the Gallup article. Disregard my post # 42 please.

iwogisdead: As important a... (Below threshold)
Jim:

iwogisdead: As important as it is, the bill is long, and it's complicated, and it's difficult to understand -- and frankly, it's boring. Unfortunately, that's the nature of the legislative process these days. The bills under consideration try to do two things: (1) insure the uninsured, and (2) cut the overall cost of health care even for those who now have it. Whether this could be accomplished in a simpler bill, I don't know.

You raise a legitimate question: "The private insurers will never be able to offer a better product for the price, because the government option is subsidized. And there won't be any way to offer any better type of coverage, because the coverage offered is going to be strictly regulated." There are two answers to this. First, if critics are correct, the government-option will be inferior to what insurance carriers offer now. If that is true, and folks have the option of continuing to pay for more expensive (but better) private insurance, then the government option will not threaten the private option. The only way the government option will be able to push private insurers out of the way is if the government offers a product that is as good as -- or better -- than the private options. But if that were the case (which I cannot envision), then what's wrong with allowing people to enroll in a program that is cheaper and just as good -- or better -- than the private option. At the end of the day, as I see it, public health care will serve an option of last resort for those who now have nothing. Overall, that's a good thing -- certainly compared to what they have not (nothing).

Second, nothing in the bill affects -- or is intended to affect -- the quality of care that private carriers offer. It would be senseless for Congress to do that. Just like government, though, private companies -- especially those with captive audiences -- have a lot of fat that can be cut. That's what the bill is intended to address.

Hey now, would somebody ple... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Hey now, would somebody please accuse someone else of being worse than Hitler before this thread devolves into a civil exchange of ideas?!

"The bill does not abolish ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The bill does not abolish private insurers per se." Thank you iwogisdead. Of course, that's not what GarandFan said. So, now we're arguing about what hypothetically might happen, not what's in the bill.

You folks think that a government-run health plan will be awful. If that's true, then in a market where private insurers are able to offer a better product for the price, those private carriers will thrive. If the government-run plan is inferior, it will have no chance of monopolizing the health care market, and will simply serve as a backstop to those who have nothing now. For those without insurance, inferior health care is better than no health care. That's simple economics, really.


So Jim, how are private insurers going to "thrive" when the government sets the benchmark as to what is acceptable coverage? And why could they not raise that benchmark each year? After all, those private insurers are competing with Uncle Sugar's coverage.

And please don't say "Trust them".

GarandFan: Nothing in the ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

GarandFan: Nothing in the bill -- repeat nothing -- authorizes the Government to lower "benchmarks" so that private insurers are mandated to provide coverage that is inferior to what they currently offer.

Stand back and think about what you're suggesting. Why would the executive and legislative branches support any law intended to reduce the quality of health care overall? What's in it for them, other than a sure route to electoral defeat? Or why would the Government mandate that private insurers offer health care that is no better than what the Government offers? It's not in the bill, it would make no sense, and it would surely foment a backlash from the public.

You may be suspicious, but to be constructive, suspicion should be tethered to some factual basis. Otherwise, it's nothing more than paranoia.

My concern is not that the ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

My concern is not that the government will lower the standards of coverage but will raise them. By keeping them at a certain level, the government guarantees that private insurers cannot compete with the premiums offered by the government option.

Why would any business offe... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Why would any business offer a private insurance plan, when the Government will supply a free plan? I can't wait for Obamacare!! Say goodbye to the free world and welcome to Socialism!!!

GarandFan: You ask, why th... (Below threshold)
Jim:

GarandFan: You ask, why the Government wouldn't just "raise" benchmarks vis-à-vis private insurers, presumably for the sole purpose of effectively abolishing them. Why would Government do that? And if that's the President's or Congress' intent, why wouldn't they just do that by legislative fiat now, and avoid any confusion and uncertain, unpopular and drawn-out litigation later? Any regulation of the insurance industry is going to be subject to the Administrative Procedures Act, public notice and comment, and potentially litigation in courts. If Government wants to effectively abolish private carriers, the language of the current bills do not support that (in fact, quite the contrary). In fact, the legislative history -- in addition to the language of the bills -- would defeat any attempt to abolish private carriers by some kind of regulatory contrivance. You're just positing a far fetched and implausible scenario.

Jeff, you ask: "Why would ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Jeff, you ask: "Why would any business offer a private insurance plan, when the Government will supply a free plan? I can't wait for Obamacare!! Say goodbye to the free world and welcome to Socialism!!!"

1. The Government plan would not be free.

2. If private firms can convince the public that they offer a superior product at a competitive price -- even if it's more than the public option -- they will offer it.

3. This is no more "socialism" than Medicare, social security, and other programs that are popular, even among conservatives.

4. What's with this irrational fear of "socialism?" True socialism does not exist. If you've ever traveled to a mixed economy, you'll find they're quite nice, clean, healthy, productive, efficient and filled with lovely people (go to Sweden, Norway, and a handful of other European countries). And, yes, they are "free" as well. "Socialist" countries are where Americans vacation.

Another concern I have is t... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Another concern I have is that the government option will be competing against the private insurers not just for patients, but for doctors as well. As long as private insurers exist, they will pay doctors higher fees to be sure that the doctors will take the insurers' patients. The government option will be forced to pay the doctors these higher fees as well, or the doctors will simply refuse to take government option patients.

The problem is that the government option has the means to eliminate this competition for doctors by underselling the private insurers' premiums with its own subsidized premiums and/or by making it more lucrative for employers to eliminate insurance provided to employees. This will put private insurance out of business.

Once private insurance is eliminated, we'll have single payer, the government option can set doctors' fees wherever it wants, and then we have a very big problem. What's to stop this from happening?

And, Hyper has a point--this place has become boring, so, Jim, you're a Nazi.

The way I read Section 102,... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

The way I read Section 102, it also says that if I change jobs, I can't be enrolled in the private plan there. So I end up with the "government option" without choice then too.

We need to bury this pile of horse manure deep, before it kills us all.

iwogisdead: Today, the sam... (Below threshold)
Jim:

iwogisdead: Today, the same physicians who serve privately insured patients also serve Medicaid and Medicare patients. Physicians can serve more than one type of patient without constraint. It works now, so why wouldn't it work later?

Mycroft: I believe you are... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Mycroft: I believe you are misreading section 102. But, assuming you're right, does that mean that as long as we modify or eliminate section 102, you'll support the plan?

There are doctors who refus... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

There are doctors who refuse to take Medicare and Tri-Care because of the pay rates. The cost of the government option will be astronomical and there will be enormous pressure on the government option to drive down costs by reducing doctors' fees. The government will be motivated to do this by eliminating private insurance.

What's with this irratio... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

What's with this irrational fear of "socialism?"

Here's my irrational fear. Right now we have the best and brightest people in the world working in the US medical system and coming up through medical training. They do it for the money and they are well paid. When we have single payer, the government will reduce costs by limiting the incomes of the doctors. The doctors will quit, the good students will go into something much less demanding than medicine, their places will be filled by less bright individuals, the standards will be lowered, and the next thing you know, the Three Stooges will be in charge of the OR.

Plus, under single payer, there will be no more profit-driven research into new medicines and devices, and we'll be stuck in 2009 medicine for decades to come.

iwogisdead: That is just n... (Below threshold)
Jim:

iwogisdead: That is just not happening in Europe. Europe continues to churn out well-qualified physicians, their R&D rates are high, and they're home to some of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world. What's more, the average life expectancy in Europe is higher than in the U.S. That's not consistent with low quality health care or the Three Stooges in charge of the OR -- quire the contrary. In any event, the bills under consideration would not abolish private market incentives for doctors or medical technology firms.

the bills under consider... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

the bills under consideration would not abolish private market incentives for doctors or medical technology firms.

I've laid out in detail how I believe this bill could and probably will lead to a single payer system. HR 3200 is far more complicated and complex than what is needed to merely cover the "uninsured" or to improve fairness in the current healthcare system. Thus, there must be some further motivation beheind it. Obama and several of his followers/advisors have said that they want to make ours a single payer system. I believe that's the goal and the ultimate outcome of this legislation.

Jim the goverment plan will... (Below threshold)
jeff:

Jim the goverment plan will not be free?? Well who is going to pay for it? If most of the people who don't have health insurance don't have jobs, then are already on social programs, that we the working middles class people are already paying for. So where the money gone to come from? True it won't be "true solcialism" but it's a step in that direction. The Democrates want to keep people poor, so they can keep giving everything for free just get some votes!! You want health insurance get a job!!!

"Your argument is one ag... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Your argument is one against any form of taxation..."

I said no such thing. I said that government is usurping the role of the individual in charity. I distinctly remember only recently the powers that be wanted to cut back charitable deductions. You think that's not just another means to discourage individual charity?

But go ahead and by all means if you actually trust this morass of a bill and the good intentions of the likes of those who are writing this bill, and taking into consideration all the aborrent things they've said in the past and all the lies they've told and all the money they've wasted, squandered and stolen - be my guest. I will continue to fight against it because it's crap, it's too controlling and it bears all the hallmarks of failure at a great cost.

I mean here you are touting all the wonderful things about this bill and you have more than once yourself alluded to who you would like to exclude from coverage to benefit you. Such a bleeding heart you are.

Oyster: My arguments for "... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Oyster: My arguments for "exclusions" were tongue-in-cheek. Sorry you missed it. I believe in universal coverage. But my tongue-in-cheek arguments to end Medicaid and Social Security because they represent the socialization of America are necessary under a true conservative paradigm. And the exclusion for the overweight and obese -- that too should be legitimate in a free market. Can you explain whey they would not be? I'm just taking your argument -- one I reject -- to its logical result.

Now, you suggest that I take "into consideration all the aborrent things they've said in the past and all the lies they've told and all the money they've wasted, squandered and stolen - be my guest." Are you referring to the Republicans in Congress, President Bush and VP Cheney when they lied about Iraq, lied about WMDs, lied about the costs of the war, sent children to fight their misguided war, touted conservative economics and then engaged in massive deficit spending before we even faced the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression? Is that the mendacity you're referring to? Because if it is, I do take that into account. Where, by the way, were you and all these supposed lovers honesty when Bush and Cheney lied and subverted the Constitution? Silent, I'm sure.

The lesson here is clear. Past generations were asked to make sacrifices for the common good. My ancestors were asked to fight in a Civil War, and they did. They were asked to fight in World War I and II, and they did. Now, we're asked to make a relatively small sacrifice to help the less fortunate among us, and the focus on the Right is on solely on self. And these are presumably the most religious in our society. What a crock.

Final point: your charity, and that of the rest of the country (yes, including mine) hasn't done squat to help tens of millions of the uninsured, some of who die needlessly because they cannot afford medical treatment. So, I'm glad charity makes you feel better about yourself, but it's not working.

Jeff: Who'll pay? You, an... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Jeff: Who'll pay? You, and me, and everyone on this blog, and the insurance companies, and the subscribers. Need insurance, get a job? That's your solution? Most of the uninsured have jobs, that don't offer health insurance. It's quite common. A little self-sacrifice man. That's the cost of living in a civil society.

A little self-sacrifice man... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

A little self-sacrifice man. That's the cost of living in a civil society.

Jim that is why I pay taxes! So people can sit home and collect welfare!! that's my self-sacrifice!! LOL If I have to sacrifice alittle so someelse can have something, is that not socialism?

If I lose my job and can't pay for my government health care are they going to take it away from me and leave me uninsured?

I don't want the government to own or run ANYTHING!! They have proven in the past they don't know how!!

Well, Jeff, if you're consi... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Well, Jeff, if you're consistent and really believe that you "don't want government to own or run ANYTHING," then that's admirable. But you better move to a remote, rural corner of this planet because every time you step outside on a sidewalk, drive on a street, solicit help from a police officer, drink tap water or just take a shit in your house, your benefiting from SOMETHING run by government.

And I guess you didn't listen, but most of the uninsured aren't sitting at home collecting welfare. Anyway, where do you get this antiquated vision of the poor sitting around just collecting welfare? Did you fall asleep in 1974 and just wake up?

Now, we're asked to make... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Now, we're asked to make a relatively small sacrifice to help the less fortunate among us, and the focus on the Right is on solely on self.

No. This bill is not about making some small sacrifice. This bill does not ask for financial contributions to cover poor people (which, Obama says, we're making anyway). The bill is about trashing a health system which is the best and most innovative in the world. Why?

The free enterprise system on this continent has given us medical advances which were unfathomable 100 or 50 or even 25 years ago. And there's more on the horizon. Instead of allowing that system to continue to flourish, this bill will tear the system down.

Jim, you Nazi, your heart is in the right place, but socialism (which you seem to like) is slavery. This bill will spread misery and will leave us stuck in the mud as far as medical advancements. It will take generations to dig out of it.

No Jim I was only 4 years o... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

No Jim I was only 4 years old in 1974! I understand that the government has it's hand in everything, even my shit!! LOL I am a Republican, as you probably can tell, but I am tired of ALL politicians!! The ALL try and tell me what to do, what is best for me. Well they ALL don't know anything!! We as Democrates and Republican keep voting party line and put the same garbage back in office time after time!! and well I am sick of it!! the government just keeps wasting our money!! spending like there is no tomorrow!! I am not against help the less fortunate, but they need to be willing to help themselves too!! I know the health care system is broke and needs to be fixed but Universal health care is not the answer!! Honestly I don't know what the answer is but WE THE PEOPLE can sure do a much better job then the government!! All that we are asking is for Obama not to push something down our throats that the American people don't want.

I don't think name calling ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

I don't think name calling is appropiate!! Jim is not a nazi!! He is just exercising his right as an American!! See this is what I am talking about, let the people decide what is best not the government!! We elect them and we should be telling them what WE want. VOTE ALL THOSE BLOOD SUCKING SCUM BAGS OUT OF OFFICE!!

iwodisdead: Well, thanks, ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

iwodisdead: Well, thanks, I think. At least you've conceded that I'm a goodhearted Nazi. I reiterate my earlier point: There is innovation aplenty in Europe and Candada; high R&D spending and room for some of the largest and most advanced pharmaceutical companies in the world. I just can't fathom the argument -- repeated over and over like a mindless mantra that the U.S., somehow, will be unable to achieve what Europe and Canada have achieved so painlessly. Again, look at outcomes in Europe and Canada -- generally, they are better than the U.S.

And no, I'm not afraid of modern-day "socialism" (which is really just capitalism mixed with social democracy). I've traveled enough all over the world to realize it is not the bogeyman many Americans believe it is.

Finally, if the goal of the plan is not to cover the uninsured, then what is the point? You really believe the President and Democrats simply want to constrain innovation? Why would even liberals -- or socialists -- desire that?

if the goal of the plan ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

if the goal of the plan is not to cover the uninsured, then what is the point?

That's what I've been saying. We've missed whether or not we should "cover the uninsured" because fricking HR3200 is such a monster that we're trying to figure out what the hell it's all about. There are much easier ways to "cover the uninsured" if that's what we're going to do. How about a simple plan covering poor people and/or people stuck in an uninsurable or "insurance exhausted" situation? Why didn't Obama give us something simple like that to debate? What is the point? Maybe to take over a huge segment of the economy.

You really believe the President and Democrats simply want to constrain innovation? Why would even liberals -- or socialists -- desire that?

I do not believe that. But I do believe they have any idea where innovation comes from.

Look, there's a philosophy here--free enterprise guarantees we have the best medical personnel in the world right here. There's no way of comparing innovation from other parts of the world with ours, but I still bet on ours. Why do the hard, hard work to practice medicine or find a new medicine? Profit, that's why!!

Under single payer, prices will be controlled, and we'll lose the brilliance that free enterprise gives us.

By the way, I have a picture of you saluting Hitler's portrait, so be careful.

I understand that severl ye... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

I understand that severl years ago the government took over the Mustang Ranch in Nevada due to non payment of income tax or something like that. Then, the Mustang Ranch went broke. If the government can't run a whore house, how can anyone expect them to run a health care system for EVERYONE?
Just asking a sensible question.
Madalyn
PS - Jeff - You and a few others here are my heros. Keep up the good fight.

If that story is true, Made... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

If that story is true, Madelyn, I would guess that the government intentionally shuttered the doors so they could get out of that business.

But, like so much of what you conservatives use as "arguments" this story about the Mustang Ranch being taken over by the government is just BS - an "urban legend"...

Email example contributed by Delaney T., Dec. 16, 2008:

The Mustang Ranch and $750 billion bail-out

Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it.

They failed and it closed. Now, we are trusting the economy of our country and 850+ Billion Dollars to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze.

Now if that don't make you nervous, what does???

-----

Comments: Though the intent of this missive is humorous and it makes a worthy point -- namely, mixing government and business can create more problems than it solves -- it rests on a factual error. In reality, the federal government did not attempt to operate Mustang Ranch after it was seized in a bankruptcy proceeding in September 1990.

It's true that the feds had planned on keeping the business going until the brothel could be sold at auction (a scheme that became the butt of numerous jokes on late-night TV), but a U.S. judge refused to allow the bankruptcy trustee to assume the Ranch's business license. Instead, the IRS foreclosed on the property and auctioned it off a few months later.

Though various sources persist in claiming that the IRS itself ran the brothel in the interim, the available evidence suggests otherwise. Just two weeks after the government took possession of Mustang Ranch, county commissioners banned prostitution there, saying they were tired of the "circus" surrounding the case. The ban remained in place until the business reopened in December 1990 under "new" ownership (unbeknownst to officials at the time, the original owner, Joe Conforte, had repurchased the Ranch under an assumed name).

So, while it's accurate enough to say that the federal government "owned" Mustang Ranch for approximately three months in 1990, the claim that government officials tried to run the brothel and failed appears to be unfounded.

And that's a perfect example of the "health care debate" going on today. Lies spread by emails and by ill-meaning bloggers get picked up and passed on as truths, when in reality it's just more made up crap spread around by innocent folks Madalyn, but also spread around by conservative operatives who try to scare the public with stories like this one.

There are lots of lies being spread around by conservatives on the issue of health care, just like there were lies during the campaign about Obama being a Muslim, etc. etc.

These liars seek to pray on the innocent. It's un-American, just like Pelosi said.

Vic

Or... they want to be th... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Or... they want to be there. My experience with unions tells me that the latter is much more likely. The union asks for people to attend, people sign up and volunteer - nobody is paid - nobody is coerced.

So, the union ORGANISED it? Organised...hm...organised mob.

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Did you trust Bush to de... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Did you trust Bush to defend you, Rick? Do you trust the armed forces? The fire department? Do you not trust any teachers? Any cops?

Who has the better track record?

1. Fire department: yes
2. Cops: yes
3. Teachers: no, with a few exceptions
4. Armed forces: yes
5. Congress: FUCK no.

Now, I take it you're a ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Now, I take it you're a fan of the free market. Me too! So, can we agree on these free market solutions to reform health care?

Step one: TORT REFORM and CAPS (like in CA) on damages awarded.

Until that is done, all this "reform" will do is offer a larger pool of money for the lawyers.

I noticed that NO ONE has yet talked about tort reform in all of this health-care business.

Wonder why? What percentage of Congress is made up of lawyers?

My wife was a grocery check... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

My wife was a grocery checker and she had to join a union after she was hired.

We'd heard stories about unions leaning on their employees so we were a little apprehensive, but our concerns turned out to be totally unfounded.

The union was VERY supportive of our family, and there was absolutely none of this "coercion, organized mob" bullcrap.

And yes, the unions did make 'suggestions' during elections as to which candidates were the most 'union and family friendly' but there was no force involved, no effort to MAKE union members do ANYTHING political.

I read these made-up stories about unions doing this or that and I just shake my head in disbelief.

What has America come to when everyday working folks just trying to help their family survive, like my dear wife who is now disabled by a stroke, are made out to be like villains and evil people? It breaks my heart that Americans can hate their fellow Americans so much, and so often it stems from misinformation or outright lies.

It's un-American.

iwogisdead: As important... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

iwogisdead: As important as it is, the bill is long, and it's complicated, and it's difficult to understand -- and frankly, it's boring.

And now we get to the heart of the matter.
You are right: it's LONG, COMPLICATED, DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND.

No wonder the Congress hasn't read it. With a 1000+ page bill that hardly anyone in Congress has bothered to read, it would be pretty easy to slip in stuff that should never be in it in the first place.

Which is why we get stupid porkbarrel earmarks in non-budget bills.

There is no reason for such giant bills like this. Targeted improvements in the health-care system, requiring far fewer pages would have been the better option, and probably would have caused less opposition.

But the Democrats, as they often do when they are in total power, have overreached yet again.

So where the money gone ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

So where the money gone to come from?

(Dons the Carnac cap)

VAT. On top of your normal income tax.

Everybody pays.

1. The Government plan w... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

1. The Government plan would not be free.

But would be far cheaper than any other plan. And for a business already pressed to cut costs and let go of workers (or not hire) because of mounting taxes, guess which option they will go with?

And when business switch over to the government plan, the government has effectively priced all other coverage out of the market.

ObamaCare, the DeBeers of the health care industry.

The lesson here is clear... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

The lesson here is clear. Past generations were asked to make sacrifices for the common good. My ancestors were asked to fight in a Civil War, and they did. They were asked to fight in World War I and II, and they did. Now, we're asked to make a relatively small sacrifice to help the less fortunate among us, and the focus on the Right is on solely on self. And these are presumably the most religious in our society. What a crock.

Indeed: What a crock. Your argument, that is.

Are you seriously trying to compare WW I and II to a fucking takeover of the healthcare system? If we are going to use this spurious argument, then fine...it IS a civil war. A war between those who want government to control every facet of our lives, and those who still believe in individual choices, and personal responsibility.

And for your touting of Europe...listen, mate, I've LIVED and EXPERIECED NHS in the UK. It's a fucking nightmare mess! Sure, they are churning out doctors there...the best ones get educated someplace else, though. What sort of R&D has been coming out of the UK lately?

You know what sort of people make up the majority of the NHS? It isn't doctors, or techs or nurses...it's ADMINISTRATORS!

Talk about too many chefs in the kitchen. You thought the bureaucracy was bad now...

If the government can't ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

If the government can't run a whore house, how can anyone expect them to run a health care system for EVERYONE?

Not a good argument...after all, Congress seems to be fucking people over just fine.

Jim, Where are your ... (Below threshold)

Jim,
Where are your verifiable sources of where
the U.S. sent our children to war.
I suspect if you called any serviceman or
servicewoman a child, you might be wearing
your teeth in your stomach. Oh and what a
disingenuous insult against our service people.

And your last sentence about charity is very
telling.

Maggie -For Jim an... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Maggie -

For Jim and his ilk, it's not about truth. It's not about reality. It's about making themselves happy by doing something they consider to be worthwhile.

They believe this is necessary. It doesn't matter what we might believe - the need they feel to do what makes them feel good (pushing this change) overrides everything else, ESPECIALLY if someone's against them, because it proves just how RIGHT they are in pursuing this!

So you get all sorts of wierd-ass arguments, emotional appeals and pretty much complete denials of reality. They WANT this, so they'll spin any justification at all to advance the agenda. It's not about what's best for ALL, it's about what's best for THEM.

But somehow, I think that if they were to get it, they'd be bitching in short order about the flaws in it. Especially the cost - because there's no way in hell we can afford this.

Lawson. Amen.... (Below threshold)

Lawson.
Amen.
Have you noticed too, there's no room for
compassion, the right to life no matter who
you are, and the actual meaning of medicine
which is saving lives not taking them.
They are most disgraceful. And they tell on
themselves every time they open their cold
heartless mouths.

Rick, how is ProgressOhio's... (Below threshold)

Rick, how is ProgressOhio's email astroturfing? Please explain. An Ohio organization, located in Columbus, staffed entirely by people who were born and raised in Ohio (as a matter of fact all but one were born in Columbus) sending an email to its central Ohio members, to ask them to come out to a Columbus event to support their Senator, with whom they agree on the specific issue that is to be the topic of the event, is not astroturfing. It's called being organized. You are really, really confused about the word. Maybe you (and lots of other folks here) should find out what the word means before you start throwing it around.

GarandFan post #38 - You ar... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

GarandFan post #38 - You are correct as usual. It was the crushed apricot pit cure that Mexico was touting. I know because my father-in-law went down for "treatments". Needless to say, he died, but would have anyway. The cancer had spread all thru his body. As far as going to foreign countries for surgeries, it is mostly cosmetic. Mostly poor and middle class women (and some men) are going for facelifts, breast enhancement, liposuction, etc. because it is cheaper, and most insurance companies won't pay for elective surgery. Unfortunately, in some cases it turns out to be a fatal mistake.
Madalyn

To all of you defending the... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

To all of you defending the healthcare plan that the messiah is touting: Regarding whether or not there will be competition with private insurance companies. Where I used to live if you were going to have a yard/garage sale, you had to go down and pay for a $25 permit. The reason being was because all the non-profit second hand stores were complaining the yard/garage sales were taking all their business. Is that going to be the same with healthcare? Because no one would want the government run one, the government charges you for using private insurance, thereby forcing the private companies out of business?
Just asking
Madalyn

SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CH... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE.

7
(a) Grandfathered Health Insurance Coverage Defined- Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term 'grandfathered health insurance coverage' means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

(1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT-CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

71
(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

(B) DEPENDENT COVERAGE PERMITTED- Subparagraph (A) shall not affect the subsequent enrollment of a dependent of an individual who is covered as of such first day.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

6
(2) LIMITATION ON CHANGES IN TERMS OR CONDITIONS- Subject to paragraph (3) and except as required by law, the issuer does not change any of its terms or conditions, including benefits and cost-sharing, from those in effect as of the day before the first day of Y1.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

7
(3) RESTRICTIONS ON PREMIUM INCREASES- The issuer cannot vary the percentage increase in the premium for a risk group of enrollees in specific grandfathered health insurance coverage without changing the premium for all enrollees in the same risk group at the same rate, as specified by the Commissioner.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

(b) Grace Period for Current Employment-based Health Plans-CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

(1) GRACE PERIOD-CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

7
(A) IN GENERAL- The Commissioner shall establish a grace period whereby, for plan years beginning after the end of the 5-year period beginning with Y1, an employment-based health plan in operation as of the day before the first day of Y1 must meet the same requirements as apply to a qualified health benefits plan under section 101, including the essential benefit package requirement under section 121.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

(B) EXCEPTION FOR LIMITED BENEFITS PLANS- Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to an employment-based health plan in which the coverage consists only of one or more of the following:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

3
(i) Any coverage described in section 3001(a)(1)(B)(ii)(IV) of division B of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

2
(ii) Excepted benefits (as defined in section 733(c) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), including coverage under a specified disease or illness policy described in paragraph (3)(A) of such section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

3
(iii) Such other limited benefits as the Commissioner may specify.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

13
In no case shall an employment-based health plan in which the coverage consists only of one or more of the coverage or benefits described in clauses (i) through (iii) be treated as acceptable coverage under this divisionCommentsClose CommentsPermalink

(2) TRANSITIONAL TREATMENT AS ACCEPTABLE COVERAGE- During the grace period specified in paragraph (1)(A), an employment-based health plan that is described in such paragraph shall be treated as acceptable coverage under this division.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

(c) Limitation on Individual Health Insurance Coverage-CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

19
(1) IN GENERAL- Individual health insurance coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-participating health benefits plan.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

6
(2) SEPARATE, EXCEPTED COVERAGE PERMITTED- Excepted benefits (as defined in section 2791(c) of the Public Health Service Act) are not included within the definition of health insurance coverage. Nothing in paragraph (1) shall prevent the offering, other than through the Health Insurance Exchange, of excepted benefits so long as it is offered and priced separately from health insurance coverage.




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