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This Time It's Personal

Lorie Byrd has an excellent column up at Townhall. In it she writes that one of the main reasons why people are so concerned about this huge overhaul of health care is because unlike many other issues the government oversees, this one is deeply personal. Here's a portion:

President Obama's approval ratings have dropped significantly over the past few weeks, at the same time he is trying to push his brand of health care reform through Congress. Whether the drop is a result of recent economic news, or specifically tied to his health care agenda, it will impact how likely he is to get the plan he wants passed.

There are many possible reasons the president is experiencing a decline in his job performance approval rating, not the least of which is because many people now realize his policies have very personal implications.

At a recent neighborhood function a woman asked me what I thought of President Obama's health care proposals. I asked her what she thought. She told me she is a registered Democrat and most of the time she doesn't really think what politicians do affects Americans on a personal basis.

She said it is different when it comes to the issue of health care though. What the government does on that issue can affect Americans in the most personal way possible. Health care was the issue she based her vote on in 2008 and she voted for McCain. There were, no doubt, many other Americans who voted for Obama based on the same issue.

Read all of it.


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Comments (30)

Damn right it's personal... (Below threshold)

Damn right it's personal!

Cap & Tax will hit me in the pocket-book on a daily basis, but I can live through it!

the Stimulus Bill is gonna hit me and my kids hard over the next decade...but we can live through it!

But ObamaCare may actually KILL ME! (or prevent me getting the care I need...which is the same thing!).

So yeah...it's VERY personal!

It's difficult to really kn... (Below threshold)

It's difficult to really know what's going on with ObamaCare - but looking at the limitations....

My father would likely have gotten pallative care when he was having heart problems six years back - instead of a double-bypass. My mother - with her age and back problems, eight years back she would have likely been urged to consider ending her life.

This ain't an improvement. I don't care how you try to spin it.

Everything DC does is perso... (Below threshold)

Everything DC does is personal. some issues affect the pocketbook, others emotionally (i.e., abortion). The key is the extent to which the public is able to connect the dots from DC to themselves. With health care, it was pretty easy, cap and trade, less so, with S-CHIP, not at all.

The key for conservatives is to focus their efforts on helping voters connect the dots, to see how they will be negatively affected by pretty much everything the Democrats are trying to do.

Some more examples: Sotomayor is going to be confirmed because conservatives didn't connect the dots; ordinary voters have no clue that she'll rule in ways that negatively affect them. The stimulus passed because Obama convinced people it was necessary to save them from further trouble, while the conservatives were left with their thumbs in their mouths, with no coherent opposition to (1) stimulus in general and (2) the particulars of Obama's stimulus.

While I agree that most eve... (Below threshold)

While I agree that most everything legislated ends up with personal consequences, and we'd all like to educate our opponents to our own methods and basis of reasoning, there is little history to suggest that this effectively happens in society without great turmoil and often violence.

Even poor Gandhi and King found this out, in a very personal way. They had taken the high road, though some of the people they inspired did not and many of their opponents did not.

Usually the story goes: </p... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Usually the story goes:

"I'm a lifelong Democrat and both my parents were Democrats but some modest healthcare reform is where I draw the line . . ."

It's very personal. Wheneve... (Below threshold)

It's very personal. Whenever it's going really bad for some folks one of the things you may hear is 'at least I have my health'. With ObamaCare there clearly could come a point where a government appointed bureaucrat could say with a wry smirk 'you really don't have a choice in this, I have your health'.

Modest reform?Adri... (Below threshold)

Modest reform?

Adrian, I hope you never get into a 'modest' accident - you wouldn't survive being minced.

JLawson,Would anyo... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


Would anyone survive being minced?

Barney Frank minces all the... (Below threshold)

Barney Frank minces all the time and he survives just dandy.

Ookaaay. Healthcare is very personal up here in Canada too. I take it personally every time there is a nurse's strike.

Back when I was 21, working in an iron foundry, an 800lb piece of iron rolled over on my foot an smashed the bones. There just happened to be a nurse's strike at the time that lasted 2 months.

I took that very personally.

Hey Speller, nurses are not... (Below threshold)

Hey Speller, nurses are not allowed to strike as they're essential services--just like firefighters.

So you're a liar, which is par for the course when it comes to conservatives opining on the failings of our imperfect healthcare system.

I apologize. I lie so ofte... (Below threshold)

I apologize. I lie so often that I assume everyone lies all the time as well.

Speller was P3wned! <... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Speller was P3wned!

P3wned S2qred!

Hi-5! hper-B!!

Hyper, Nurses went on strik... (Below threshold)

Hyper, Nurses went on strike in Quebec November 2000. True it was illegal but that doesn't mean it did not happen. Are you going to apologise ?

High-five backatcha, Adrian... (Below threshold)

High-five backatcha, Adrian.

First of all, even if that was what he/she is referring to, am I supposed to apologize for his/her premier not issuing back-to-work legislation? Fucksakes, Rodney, be fair. In Quebec the police might go on strike; would that be the fault of "socialized" law enforcement? Remember, that's the province that doesn't have medevac helicopters available except to those who can afford them (i.e. Liam Neeson and/or his wife). "Socialized" medicine doesn't work in English Canada, let alone Korea, Japan, France, or England, the way it does in Quebec.

And I will not apologize to Speller, who is lying through his toothless face: the Quebec nurses walkout in 1999 lasted 3 weeks, and the strike in 2000 was shorter than that (few days?). So to say that they went on strike for two months is a lie. And, I would bet that he isn't from Quebec. The Quebecois love socialized medicine even more than us Anglos. They have socialized daycare, for sheep's sake.
notiz=Clean up your language hyperbolist.

So hard to just say " I was... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

So hard to just say " I was mistaken. ", I guess.

You're telling me, Les.... (Below threshold)

You're telling me, Les.

The irony...it burns.... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

The irony...it burns.

Hyper, you accused him of l... (Below threshold)

Hyper, you accused him of lying because nurses can't strike. They did strike, and they have struck several times in Canada with the longest one being 31 days that I could find. So you still owe Speller an apology.

Oh, back top work orders where given and ignored. Also just about all the major cities in Canada have had nurses go on strike.

Hyperbolist Watch wh... (Below threshold)

Watch who you broad brush calling a liar.

Rodney, they can't s... (Below threshold)

Rodney, they can't strike. If they do, and they actually walk off the job, it's because some gutless politician hasn't got the stomach to order them back to work. They have the same right to strike as the U.S. Army, which is to say, none whatsoever. That's not a problem with the system, but with leadership.

Now we know Speller is from Alberta. I am waiting for him to enlighten me as to 1) what strike he was referring to; and 2) why he didn't get treatment from a private clinic if the nurses were on strike. EMTs are not part of the same union as nurses and so he would have been driven to the closest private hospital IF an 800lb. piece of steel had in fact crushed his foot. I don't believe that he's telling the truth, and I don't think you do either but then I don't really expect that you care either way.

I apologize. When caught i... (Below threshold)

I apologize. When caught in a lie, I enjoy doubling down and continuing to call other people liars. Now, back to my missive to my Al Qaeda pen pal....

"Rodney, they can't strike.... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"Rodney, they can't strike. "

Apparently, do strike. So is your statement a 'lie' or just a mistake?

Speller, where was that ... (Below threshold)

Speller, where was that nurse's strike that lasted two months? You live in Alberta--has there ever been a strike there by nurses since healthcare was socialized? And if so, was it legal? And regardless of whether it was legal, why didn't you go to a private clinic in the province to get your crushed foot looked after?~25 hyperbolist

Yes, there have been a number of nurse's strikes since socialized healthcare was instituted.
At least 4 to my reckoning.

They are legal.
If they last for an extended period, Albertans start to demand that the provincial government legislate nurses as an essential service and take away their right to strike, but this never happens.


Because the government is afraid that the nurses will move to another province, causing a shortage in ours.

My foot wasn't crushed.
Several bones were fractured.
I didn't go to a clinic because they don't have the ability to do anything at clinics much beyond checkups and minor surgery like a biopsy.

The emergency wards of hospitals have people sitting in them for long hours when there isn't a strike and those who are obviously injured, ie bleeding all over the floor, get first care, as it should be, when there isn't a strike.

My wife and I are now wealthier so we keep a selection of hospital scrubs in our closet in case we do have an emergency.
We figure if we are wearing the scrubs when we arrive at the emergency the hospital staff will empathize more with us because we look like them in their uniform, thereby getting prompter attention.

Sorry, I didn't reply sooner.
I posted the above on the wrong thread.

Here is an interesting 33 second video clip:


Nurses do strike here in Al... (Below threshold)

Nurses do strike here in Alberta.


The one where my foot had been injured was, if I recall, in 1980, 2 years earlier than this link refers to.

More nurses and related hea... (Below threshold)

More nurses and related healthcare strikes in Alberta and other provinces.


Whoops wrong link at #25</p... (Below threshold)
Thanks for clarifying--that... (Below threshold)

Thanks for clarifying--that is news to me. So you weren't making it up, and I was wrong to suggest that you were.

Nurses are classified as essential services in Ontario and in Quebec, so any strike would be illegal and they could be forced back to work the same way firefighters or police would be. The likelihood of this happening is no different in a public or a private system so long as the nurses are unionized.

So I don't see this as a problem with socialized medicine, but with improper classification of healthcare professionals.

Alberta has private hospitals now so even if the problem were related to publicly funded healthcare, you would still have the option of going to a private institution and paying market price for a procedure if you feel like wait times are too long. The procedures cost much less than they do at private hospitals in the United States, according to my friend's father who is head of radiology at a hospital in Edmonton.

Alberta has private hosp... (Below threshold)

Alberta has private hospitals now.

No, Alberta does not have private hospitals now.
Alberta does have some private clinics now. But these clinics don't have beds or overnight stays.

I had knee surgery in 2006.
I'm a Calgarian but i had to drive to Canmore, a little under 1 hour drive, to get it.
My knee problem cropped up in 2004.

My doctor told me it would take 1 year to get an MRI, which it did-my appointment ended up being at 4:00am on New Years Day 2006, and although my doctor originally told me the surgery would put me on a 2-5 years waiting list he pulled some strings and got me on the fast track sports recovery que so I got the surgery at the end of June 2006.

Basically, from the time of the chronic injury to the surgery was 2 years.
I was lucky.

My doctor was originally against that que jumping route, he thought it was unethical, but he felt guilty for not prescribing me a proper pain reliever before going on vacation to South Africa.

I killed a lot of 40oz. bottles of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum during that period of my life.

The dirty little secret beh... (Below threshold)

The dirty little secret behind the ques for surgical procedures and diagnostic services like MRIs and CT Scans is that the provincial budgets project a fixed number of each procedures and services, and those budgets limit the number of procedures and services that will be paid for in a fiscal quarter.

When the provincial or federal governments budget more money for healthcare, ostensibly to shorten the waiting lists, the lion's share of the money ends up going for increases in the salaries and benefits of the unionized healthcare workers.

My mother is an RPN, Spelle... (Below threshold)

My mother is an RPN, Speller, and I some of the work I do is in health care policy, so I'm well aware of the budgetary bullshit that goes on; and I'm well aware of the ludicrous amount of control that RNs have in terms of dictating procedures and costs.

All of this is not to say, however, that any health care system with a robust public option would necessarily inflict the same headaches that we have to put up with.

It does suck that you had to wait that long for surgery. Seems that everyone in my dad's family (well, both parents, and 5 out of 9 siblings) have had to deal with cancer, and none of them have had to wait long enough that their lives were actually jeopardized. My dad waited a month for prostate surgery this past spring. And, very importantly, none of them had to pay an inordinate amount of money out of pocket for the world-class treatment they received.

You're undoubtedly familiar with the Romanow Report? We've known for, what, 5 years now (?) what needs to be done to improve wait times. Obviously Stephen Harper would rather play political football with health care funding than roll up his sleeves and fix what was not so long ago the best system in the world.






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