Matthew Holt

Dumb and Dumber

I can’t say that I’ve been fantastically impressed by the Democrats’ choice of this year to go after health reform, or their explanation of what it is. And I understand that the only interest of the Republicans is to destroy any political win in the hope that they get a repeat of 1994…although it is just possible that despite their confidence the voters also remember the 2000–2008 period which will also precede the 2010 election.

However, the amount of crap emanating from the right about what’s in the health bills and the evidence of that by what’s showing up in the “tea parties” now invading Democrat congressional members’ town halls is quite extraordinary and does require at least some notice.

Exhibit A: An Ann Coulter lookalike (and former Mike Huckabee press secretary) called Alice Stewart has been on Fox News and it’s web site complaining about Democrats pointing out the fairly well documented fact that several Washington PR and lobbying companies are behind the disruption of the recent town halls. But as she points out, real people do show up to do the disrupting:

In a video released by the Democratic National Committee, they attribute town hall turnouts to “desperate Republicans and their well-funded allies” who are out to “destroy President Obama.”

Well-funded allies?

This forum included a soccer mom who was concerned about health care for her four children if her husband lost his job, a small business owner who would be unable to compete with a taxpayer-funded public option, and a grandmother who questioned why she would have to change the coverage she needs to pay for coverage someone else doesn’t want.

Hmmm. Let’s examine her use cases here.

The soccer mom concerned about health care for kids if her husband loses his job? She’s damn right to be concerned now, even with ARRA (passed with all of 2 Republican votes) paying for 765% of COBRA, especially with several states including California cutting back on S-CHIP. But her family absolutely likely to be better off under even the weeniest of the proposed Democratic bills, as they’d all extend coverage to newly unemployed workers.

The small business owner unable to compete with a taxpayer-funded public option. At the least this is dreadful English, but let’s assume that the small business owner isn’t running an insurance company! What’s the concern? That he or she would have to pay either a payroll tax or more income tax? Well I get that they may not like it, but they’d only be “unable to compete” if they were unfairly singled out for the tax. I’m pretty sure that’s not how taxes work outside of 15th century France. In my cursory understanding any new taxes would be lobbied on all “small business owners”. How changing a rule that impacts everybody equally would leave that small business owner “unable to compete” is a mystery that even a Fox pundit should make a better crack at explaining.

And finally a grandmother who questioned why she would have to change the coverage she needs to pay for coverage someone else doesn’t want. And here’s the evidence that no matter how many times Obama says “if you like your coverage you can keep it” that message is clearly not getting through. Apparently grannies on Medicare are going to have their coverage changed and the uninsured, who’ve been flooding the Obama web site with stories about the misery of their financial experience under the current system and how they want secure access to insurance, have been lying too.

Given the extremely limited changes in any bill being proposed, this kind of rhetoric is so dumb that it defies logic. So instead let’s turn to Exhibit B.

Exhibit B is an email I got from one of those public affairs firms in DC that clearly have nothing to do with any kind of orchestrated protests or attempts to disrupt the health care reform bills on anything other than their merits and/or just represent the grass roots.  And yes I’m sorry, I replied.

Here’s the exchange, slightly edited for length but keeping in the essential parts.

The White House has decided there is too much “disinformation” about health care reform floating around the Internet, and that they need to stop the “viral whisper campaign” of dissent. From the White House web site: “If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.”What exactly is “fishy?” According to RedState.com, “the term ‘disinformation’ is used by the White House as a catchall to describe any opposition to the President’s push for singlepayer, government-run health care.” That means the information you are putting out is “fishy” and should be reported to the federal government. Is anyone else troubled by this?-Lyndsi__________________________________Lyndsi Thomas / Account ExecutiveDavid All Group, LLC1212 New York Ave. NW, Suite 550Washington, DC 20005

Now whether or not you are troubled by Obama collecting opposition smears/developing a Nixon-style enemies list (select applicable version to suit your view), it’s worth looking at what Lyndsi thinks the bills are trying to do.  Apparently despite the complaints of every progressive in the Congress and all the single payer advocates shut out of the process this is a push for singlepayer, government-run health care. Here’s what I wrote back:

If you think even the House bill is single payer you are merely exposing your ignoranceMatthew Holt

This thought didn’t deter our brave young PR flack—She replied:

Hi Matthew,

I’m pretty sure I didn’t describe the House bill as single payer – I was referring to President Obama’s desire for a single payer system (which he said himself in 2003: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE&e).

It’s interesting that you chose that to comment on, though.
Lyndsi

And in my reply we get to the heart of the matter and the politics of it:

You called it the President’s push for single payer.There is no such push by him…you’re setting up a non-existent straw man.What the President wants and what’s in all the bills is a bigexpansion of private insurance.That may or not have its merits but try to be honest….

What Obama said while trying to get elected to the state senate (On YouTube he said health care was 14% of GDP which it hasn’t been since he’s been in the Senate) is irrelevant to any legislation that’s going to pass. This of course is why the private insurance industry is in general in favor of the current bills, as it will deliver them up to 50 million more customers. But that’s OK, why get all tangled up in reality when there’s an old YouTube clip about what Obama would like in his ideal world.

But don’t worry—Stalinism exists. It’s called the “public option”. By now Lyndsi has dropped the polite formalities and is on my style of brief emails:

How is the public option a “big expansion of private insurance”?

To which I replied the actual truth:

a) single payer is the abolition of private insurance. Would AHIP be signing on for that? No way–yet they’re in favorb) CBO says public option would include around 11 million Americans by 2019. There are 48 with no insurance–therefore universal care under this plan would add about another 30-35 million to private insurance rolls. Another reason why AHIP supports the plan in generalI’m not saying I like it; I’m saying that’s the political reality–not the fantasy of a Canadian style system with no private insurance that you claim is what reform means.

(And yes I await Lyndsi’s reply, not that I’m likely to get one). Either way, if you want to know where our current level of discourse on health care is, you need not look much further than these two examples.

CODA: By the way, if you care who the David All Group is, let me enlighten you. It’s “the nation’s first conservative Web 2.0 agency” and it’s customers include “Heritage Foundation, College Republican National Committee, & Senator Tom Coburn”. That’s about as grassroots as you can get, so long as you ignore the “diverse set of valued clients include blue chip companies, trade associations, nonprofits, political organizations and candidates.”

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18 replies »

  1. “I’m a Brazilian citizen, born in Brazil and have been living here since then, so the health reform won’t affect me in any way.”
    If you’re living here why won’t health reform (or not) affect you? Could it be that you have access to the government of Brazil “taking care” of you? I don’t know about the system in Brazil, but universal single-pay/government controlled heathcare works in most industrialized countries at half the cost here. If Brazilians don’t like how bureaucrats are handling healthcare can’t they vote to change the system?

  2. I’m a Brazilian citizen, born in Brazil and have been living here since then, so the health reform won’t affect me in any way.
    Even so there is something I’d like to share with you.
    We here have a large experience on government “taking care” of us and that’s exactly why I can tell: YOU DON’T WANT IT!
    Bureaucrats aren’t competent enough to deal with health issues and to be fair they shouldn’t be. If you are under attack you’ll want a soldier or a lawyer to take care of the problem? Some people are trained to act, others to postpone and bureaucrats are PhD on the latter.

  3. “By pushing for a strong public option, the private insurance market would collapse leading to essentially a single payer system.”
    Good! The reality is that costs will continue to rise out of control unless there is single-pay. Americans are going to have to accept some raw realitys about healthcare, one of them is costs can not be controlled with a dominate private insurance market and private for profit hospitalization – universal budgets are the only way to control costs, single-pay is the only way we’ll get there. That’s not to say drug companies, device makers, providers, won’t make a profit, it’s just that they won’t be able to determine their own profit levels and continue to squeeze blood from premium payers who are at the bottom of the feeding chain.

  4. Sam, what would be the, “for profit” counterpart for the DMV, post office and public radio?

  5. Jacksmith – working class:
    You say “for profit” with such contempt that it is apparent it is evil to make a profit and nonprofits and government are free from corruption.
    Tell you what, name one thing (just one) that currently exists that the government and non-profits do better than their “for-profit” counterparts. I’ll give you a clue of a couple of places not to look first: the DMV, post office, or public radio.

  6. If it applies to all businesses across the country then there is no inequality.
    My example not only doesn’t apply to all businesses across the country it ONLY applies to a small business that has an employee with an adult disabled child. Joe’s machine shop has one and pays a fortune in extra cost. Mike’s machine shop across the street doesn’t have a disabeled dependent and thus doesn’t pay anything.
    This also applies to Medicare Secondary Payor and Recovery laws, if Joe has an employee over age 65 he can get a bill from Medicare years later for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mike who has the exact same business might never get that bill from Medicare.
    Only a very small group of businesses are ever subject to these but when they are the dollars are large enough to force them to drop coverage or go bankrupt. These are always 100% out of the control of the business owner. There is nothing they can do to plan for or prevent these cases from happening. Let me correct that, the only thing they can do to protect themselves is not offer insurance, then they will never get burned. This is a LARGE reason why so many small businesses don’t offer insurance.
    ten lines, that would kill me. It takes me 10 lines to warm my brain up before I can even get to the point. Maybe maggie can refer me to a good editor for my blog commenting?

  7. Nate, we may have to limit you to ten lines….your meanderings are really getting beyond confusing..let me ask you one very simple question and see if you can answer it simply.
    If all small business owners have to pay a new tax, how does that mean their ability to compete is changed? Doesn’t that put them all on the same level playing field–which they’re not on today because some provide health benefits and some don’t.
    Or is your Ohio example only for some small businesses and not others?

  8. “Well I get that they may not like it, but they’d only be “unable to compete” if they were unfairly singled out for the tax. I’m pretty sure that’s not how taxes work outside of 15th century France. In my cursory understanding any new taxes would be lobbied on all “small business owners”. How changing a rule that impacts everybody equally would leave that small business owner “unable to compete” is a mystery that even a Fox pundit should make a better crack at explaining.”
    Can’t believe I forgot this, I think it was so obvious and such an illrefutable fact disproving your comment I was trying to be nice and not drop it on you.
    Ohio and a number of other states have passed laws saying private insured plans must cover disabeled dependents up to a certain age, was 29 then dropped to 28 in Ohio. I think some go up to 30. They did this becuase the public plans are unsustainable and can’t deliver the benefits they promised. They desperatly need to shift cost.
    What happens is the employer affected by this, that has one of these dependents enroll, is now paying for the cost of treating that dependent that would not otherwise be eligible for their plan. Their cost skyrockets as their insurance is now considerably more expensive then their competitor down the street. Not only does the small business owner singled out for this get screwed but so dothe other 20+ co-workers who see their cost go through the roof. They either suck it up and pay the tax or drop their insurance.
    Allow me to cut the legs off your argument so you don’t waste our time. If we had single payor this would not be solved. We already have single payor for the poor and it is unsustainable and can’t deliver the benefits it promised so it shofts cost to anyone it can find any way it can. Do you think when they sold Medicaid they told people or even knew they would be doing this?
    This is the problem with single payor, public plan, or any government health care, it almost always cost far more then they planned, they mismanage it, and it has ramifications no one envisioned.
    Medicare has done the same thing with Secondary Payor and recovery legislation, shifted hundreds of billions of cost onto private employers plans, bankrupted small business, and made a mess of everything around it.
    Every government ran system in the US today has cost shifting and taxes forced on unexpecting small business that are singled out unfairly. Try telling a small business owner he owes Medicare hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical claims 3-4 years old he never knew about. No one ever billed his company’s plan or even enformed him they where out there. If Medicare looks back in time and thinks you should have paid them though none of that matters, pay up or BK are your only options.
    So Matt how are you liking 15th century France???????

  9. Dumb and Dumber:
    This legislation, being so important to the country, should have been posted on the Internet, on Newspapers, on TV, et.al, and ad nauseum, in plain languaje and with all relevant topics underlined and highlighted!, by the Administration and by Congres.
    So, as to inform everyone and avoid confusion.
    But, perhaps that is or was the intention: create confusion, so as to acuse the protesters of being anti-progress.
    Has anyone tried to read the bill?
    Has anyone undertood the provisions on it?
    Why hasn’t the Media shown the Bill, or discuss it?

  10. “Biggest problem about the electorate in PA is that the near-elderly/elderly run things because they vote in large numbers especially in the primaries…”
    Could it be that those elderly in PA helped elect Obama?, but are reluctant to loose Medicare coverage?

  11. Matt,
    Why is it when you people on the left try to fact check and demean the right your brains shut off? All of you left leaning propagandist do it, it’s like a genetic precursor to liberalism.
    The ARRA subsidy is 65% not 75%.
    If you did any reading outside your far left echo chamber you would know freedom works is not involved like you claim.
    “as they’d all extend coverage to newly unemployed workers.”
    There is no coverage to extend if the employer stops offering it because Obamacare made it unaffordable. And who really wants to take their kid to government care like Medicaid, better then nothing but not by much. If the Dems would stop destroying the economy she wouldn’t need to worry about her husband’s job.
    “if they were unfairly singled out for the tax. I’m pretty sure that’s not how taxes work outside of 15th century France.”
    If I knew how I would welcome you to 15th century France in French. Billions of tax dollars go to Mortgage companies that made billions doing bad loans then these companies refuse to modify the loans of the tax payors that bailed them out. If your competition threatens to move out of town the city, county, and state will slash their taxes. If you got the juice you can live off government grants. If you live in NY, MA or CA you pay less in federal taxes then someone that lives in a responsible state with reasonable taxes. There is nothing fair about our tax code on any level.
    “no matter how many times Obama says “if you like your coverage you can keep it” that message is clearly not getting through.”
    Because it is an outright lie. I can only assume by making this comment you have not read the bill. Only one example is the requirement self funded plans get approval after 5 years, without this approval they are forced to cease operating. This alone proves you are wrong.
    “uninsured, who’ve been flooding the Obama web site with stories about the misery of their financial experience under the current system and how they want secure access to insurance,”
    Oh you mean the phony uninsured who are really Democrat interns who write fake letters?
    http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2009/07/31/news/politics/doc4a72b3ab184b3363282493.txt
    “Oakland County Commissioner Shelly Taub, a Republican, received a letter from a constituent who wrote a very sad letter regarding her lack of health care coverage. The letter writer was begging for help for her “sick child.” The Commissioner sprung into action. She did more than a little poking around. In fact, she scoured the entire County to locate the women. What she found didn’t quite match what the letter writer had told her.”
    “The woman who sent the letter explained to Taub that she had recently finished an internship with the Oakland County Democratic Party in Bingham Farms, Taub said. The woman said she and two other interns were given sample letters and told to modify them, change the return address and send them out, Taub said.”
    “There is no such push by him”
    So we should ignore what he said for years, ignore the political philosophy he subscribes to which has been pushing for single payor since 1906 and has introduced single payor bills like 50 different years since then and just trust him? Trust him like when he was going to take public financing? Trust him like when he said bills would be posted for 5 days online? Trust him like when he said no lobbyist? Matt you might be that gullible but no thanks I’ll stay skeptical.
    “CBO says public option would include around 11 million Americans by 2019.”
    “Similarly, budget projections that fail to take into account what will happen when Congress subsidizes something will also be off, sometimes badly. Medicare can provide many examples; the costs of a renal-dialysis benefit is one case. Congress added this benefit to Medicare in 1972, depending on forecasts that predicted program enrollment would level out at about 90,000 patients by 1995. By 2005, Medicare actuaries expect enrollment to exceed 400,000.”
    “CBO currently estimates that net Medicare spending for the Part D program
    will total $593 billion over the 2004-2013 period. That is an increase of
    $41 billion over the original $552 billion estimate of net Medicare spending
    for Part D (see attached table).”
    Well Matt if the CBO says so…..
    glass houses Matt glass houses

  12. Alicia, so if Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama, who would seem to have a little influence on the process are so dead set on single-payer, why haven’t they introduced it into legislation?
    Let’s debate all this stuff on its merits….or perhaps you’d rather how I discussed about how Republicans want to repeal Medicare? Presumably you’re all so terrified of single payer that that’s what you really want?

  13. interesting that the person you refer to as “dumber” never actually mentioned the health care bill in her email. It seems to me that she was referring to the true desire of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama for a single-payer system. Which is both obvious and relevant.
    Don’t you think you may have overreacted?

  14. LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY. (Thomas Paine)
    We have the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed world. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of healthcare means.
    I know that many of you are angry and frustrated that REPUBLICANS! In congress are dragging their feet and trying to block TRUE healthcare reform. What republicans want is just a taxpayer bailout of the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry, and the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry. A trillion dollar taxpayer funded private health insurance bailout is all you really get without a robust government-run public option available on day one. Co-OP’s ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION. They are a fraud being pushed by the GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry that is KILLING YOU!
    YOU CANT HAVE AN INSURANCE MANDATE WITHOUT A ROBUST PUBLIC OPTION. MANDATING PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE AS YOUR ONLY CHOICE WOULD BE A DISASTER AND UNETHICAL, CORRUPT, AND MORALLY REPUGNANT. AND PROBABLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS WELL.
    These industries have been slaughtering you and your loved ones like cattle for decades for profit. Including members of congress and their families. These REPUBLICANS are FOOLS!
    Republicans and their traitorous allies have been trying to make it look like it’s President Obama’s fault for the delays, and foot dragging. But I think you all know better than that. President Obama inherited one of the worst government catastrophes in American history from these REPUBLICANS! And President Obama has done a brilliant job of turning things around, and working his heart out for all of us.
    But Republicans think you are just a bunch of stupid, idiot, cash cows with short memories. Just like they did under the Bush administration when they helped Bush and Cheney rape America and the rest of the World.
    But you don’t have to put up with that. And this is what you can do. The Republicans below will be up for reelection on November 2, 2010. Just a little over 13 months from now. And many of you will be able to vote early. So pick some names and tell their voters that their representatives (by name) are obstructing TRUE healthcare reform. And are sellouts to the insurance and medical lobbyist.
    Ask them to contact their representatives and tell them that they are going to work to throw them out of office on November 2, 2010, if not before by impeachment, or recall elections. Doing this will give you something more to do to make things better in America. And it will make you feel better too.
    There are many resources on the internet that can help you find people to call and contact. For example, many social networking sites can be searched by state, city, or University. Be inventive and creative. I can think of many ways to do this. But be nice. These are your neighbors. And most will want to help.
    I know there are a few democrats that have been trying to obstruct TRUE healthcare reform too. But the main problem is the Bush Republicans. Removing them is the best thing tactically to do. On the other hand. If you can easily replace a democrat obstructionist with a supportive democrat, DO IT!
    You have been AMAZING!!! my people. Don’t loose heart. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy saving the World. 🙂
    God Bless You
    jacksmith — Working Class
    I REST MY CASE (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)
    Republican Senators up for re-election in 2010.
    * Richard Shelby of Alabama
    * Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
    * John McCain of Arizona
    * Mel Martinez of Florida
    * Johnny Isakson of Georgia
    * Mike Crapo of Idaho
    * Chuck Grassley of Iowa
    * Sam Brownback of Kansas
    * Jim Bunning of Kentucky
    * David Vitter of Louisiana
    * Kit Bond of Missouri
    * Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
    * Richard Burr of North Carolina
    * George Voinovich of Ohio
    * Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
    * Jim DeMint of South Carolina
    * John Thune of South Dakota
    * Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
    * Bob Bennett of Utah

  15. I have been puzzled from the start that supporters of H.R.3200 argue the cost will not be high. I understand the concept and personally think there is enough fat in Medicare/Medicaid fraud, and over use of tests, devices and procedures, to recover much of the cost. But it is irrational to suggest that a sixth of the population now uninsured, presumably going without proper health care, can be cared for, even modestly, at small cost.
    That said, the unknown number of forty-five million being tossed around cannot be accurate. I don’t know if it’s too large or too small, but I haven’t heard any mention of Medicaid or CHIP coverage that may overlap that population. And it is fair to say the group should include no one over sixty-five and should be heavy with healthy, mostly working, younger but uninsured people whose medical problems may not be as expensive as it might seem.
    As for the agitprop, I can’t recall a time of so much acrimonious and ignorant public conflict since the fight preceding the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I’m not embarrassed to say the majority was wrong then and it’s wrong now. We are confronting a tragic situation where a majority of citizens are opposing something that is not only beneficial to them but will eventually come to pass with or without their permission.
    It’s sad, really. The brainwashed mobs remind me of some families of aging parents. In most cases aging people have come to terms with their mortality. But a few, along with others of their immediate family, remain in denial of the inevitable. There are two choices: either make the decision yourself or it will be made on your behalf by someone else.

  16. Couple corrections:
    ARRA “paying for 75% of COBRA”
    It doens’t pay for 75%, it pays for 65%
    “How changing a rule that impacts everybody equally would leave that small business owner “unable to compete” is a mystery that even a Fox pundit should make a better crack at explaining.”
    I think the reference is that small employers would be mandated to pay for health care… that they can’t afford to offer now. They want to but this bill does little to address the long term cost of health care. Large employers (i.e. ERISA plans) aren’t subject to state mandated benefits and administer their plans themselves. By doing so, their cost of covering their employees is less.
    “You called it the President’s push for single payer.
    There is no such push by him…you’re setting up a non-existent straw man.”
    Though he hasn’t held that the public option is an absolute must, the President has repeated said in previous campaigns that he would prefer single payer. By pushing for a strong public option, the private insurance market would collapse leading to essentially a single payer system. Don’t believe me? Watch Barney Frank from last week.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3BS4C9el98&feature=related
    As for the 48 million uninsured that you reference…. take a look at the Census numbers on that. They are very revealing.
    http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p60-235.pdf
    Page 30 breaks it down.

  17. Matthew,
    A few weeks ago I was on my way to my job in health care and listened to an early morning AM radio show in SFLA by two conservative and born again hosts. Their comments on the health care astounded me when I heard them. One host proclaimed that under Obama care, you will be lucky to have health care and if you do, you will be taken care of by an Obama affirmative action educated person who will be of very low standards, but that is what Obama wants to do to you!
    So any mention of increasing health care professionals now means that they will all be sub par vermin who are only there because of Obama and affirmative action!
    Considering how many talented black and minority health professionals I have studied with, work with and now teach, I was shocked at this blatant racism.
    This occured around the same time that the GOP issued this flow chart of health care under Obama.
    http://docs.house.gov/gopleader/House-Democrats-Health-Plan.pdf
    The flow chart is supposed to show what will be in the way of you getting health care under Obama.
    -Why is the Office of Civil Rights and the Office of Minority Health part of what is keeping you from getting health care?
    -Notice how the health care provider on the right is dark skinned?
    -How come the “Consumer/Patient” who is having his health care denied and restricted by the people and offices on the chart is white?????
    Really, what sort of mind thinks up a wacky flow chart like this?
    Besides the racial overtones, how does increasing nurses deny health?
    How does community health offices deny health?
    I expect debate and questioning about financing health care, not some kiddie color non sense with the Klan adding some material. This flow chart reminds me of other GOP ads where the plight of a white voter is all because of minorities taking their job, taking their kid’s space at school and now delaying their health care.
    Soon after this the emails started to roll in from friends about how Obama is a Nazi who will be sending your grandma to death to save money.
    In every instance, the question about covering all Americans has been answered by “send them to charity”. The people who are not covered , but qualify for coverage are now morons, which I guess they mean includes children and infirmed.
    How did we get to this point where two AM radio brokered time fillers proclaim their Christianity and love for Jesus and , yet have no sense of decency over seeing 47 million Americans, {that is more then many entire countries population{ not have health insurance and seeing so many people end up bankrupt in our Nation?
    Went Jesus met the sick, he helped them, he did not build a collection agency or mock them . Jesus healed the sick, not recissions.

  18. The House bill is a pretty terrible bill with largely illusionary cost controls that will likely marginally expand access through deficit spending & additional taxes. I can see why many people oppose it and I am count myself as one of those people in its current form.
    I attended one of these local town halls meeting in my area by the local Congressman. There might have been 1-2 schills in the audience but it was astounding on two counts – just how elderly the crowd was and the utter ignorance & selfishness of the crowd.
    Most of the crowd were either on Medicare or very close to becoming Medicare eligible (say late 50s/early 60s). There were at least a dozen people meeting during the meeting who were shouting & providing running commentary through out the entire meeting. I was arguably the youngest person in the room out of a crowd of about 80-90 people.
    I can understand the apprehension around the healthcare reform bill especially if I didn’t know much about it. I also understand the concerns about deficit spending and the potential cost burden of the bill too.
    What I was disgusted to see though was that even after the bill was basically explained you still had people yelling out empty rheotoric about “gov’t-controlled healthcare” and some of the same people were yelling about the costs of Medicare & that it didn’t cover enough.
    So basically Medicare should cover more but we should be concerned about national deficit spending? Ugh.
    Biggest problem about the electorate in PA is that the near-elderly/elderly run things because they vote in large numbers especially in the primaries where almost no younger or working people vote. You really go against the elderly and you won’t even make it out of the primaries in most races.
    “No one ever went broke under-estimating the stupidity of the American Public” is a quote by H.L. Mencken. It should be affixed with a new ending “of the American public including themselves.”

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