Matthew Holt

Morons like us

I still read the articles every day that Google and the rest of my searches spit into my inbox. But as the sausage gets made I despair for the country. Not so long ago the NY Times met the Rush Limbaugh fan who decries the government takeover of health care, even though his wife ran up $68,000 in care while she had breast cancer and no insurance. Somehow because his local hospital let him off the charges, he thinks that the system was OK, and drove for an hour to shout at a Democrat who wanted to change it! (Of course the taxpayer absorbed the costs).

Yesterday NPR reported about the Sacramento man who loves his current health insurance. He’s had six or seven surgeries in the past five years—in other words he would be completely uninsurable if he lost his job (post-COBRA). He even sort of understands that.

“I mean you hear horror stories about people who have insurance and then all the sudden get denied coverage down the line because they may have had a pre-existing condition,” Koenig says. He, too, worries that he’s one step away from being dropped from his plan or losing his job and not being able to afford coverage…..And that’s why Koenig is on board with parts of the big push to change the health care system.

And like about half of other Americans, he’s actually been uninsured.

In the early nineties he was laid off and went without insurance for several months. He says it was an uncertain time and he sympathizes with the millions of Americans who don’t have coverage — or could be dropped at any time

So what does he think?

he says the focus should be on regulating the insurance industry and not a government take-over, which he believes President Obama is pushing for.

Let’s quickly review here.

Obama/Baucus/HR3200 all basically keep employer-based insurance as is with a bit of expansion, keep Medicaid as is with some expansion to suck up a few of the uninsured poor, and change the regulations in the insurance market to prevent (some of) the problems the Sacramento man understands. Oh, and they sort of put in place a backstop public plan (well HR 3200 does anyway) which people could buy into if there wasn’t a private plan they liked.

So does this sound like “regulating the insurance industry” or is it “a government take-over”.

I hesitate to remind the Sacramento man that a government takeover means the communists collectivizing your farm and stealing your pigs, and shipping you off to Siberia. What Obama/Baucus/HR3200 is proposing is minor reform of the insurance market.

And yet, somehow that message cannot get itself into the thick skulls of people who those reforms would actually help.

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27 replies »

  1. Of all of the comments about health care coverage one of the many proposals which are being (probably in all of them) is this “DEMAND” that everyone pay for health insurance regardless of personal choice or desire.
    One of the many examples being used to illustrate this is the everyone has to buy car insurance.
    WELL, THIS IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL.
    I DO NOT HAVE TO PURCHASE A CAR AND THEREFORE DO NOT REQUIRE CAR INSURANCE UNLESS I OWN AND OPERATE A CAR.
    I DO NOT HAVE THE SAME CHOICE WITH REGARDS MY BODY .
    ( UNLESS THERE IS SOMETHING I AM MISSING)
    IF THIS OR ANY GOVERNMENT DEMANDS THAT WE ALL PAY HEALTH INSURANCE THEN THEY SHOULD BY RIGHTS PROVIDE COVERAGE THAT IS AFFORDABLE AND EFFECTIVE .
    IT IS OUTRAGEOUS THAT THIS OR ANY GOVERNMENT SHOULD PLACE SUCH A CLEAR VIOLATION OF PERSONAL RIGHTS BEFORE THE POPULATION AS A DEMAND FOR EXCERISING OUR GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO LIFE
    NOWHERE IN ANY OF THESE REDUNDANT PROPOSALS (AGAIN UNLESS I AM MISTAKEN) IS THERE ANY FINANCIAL REWARDS FOR THOSE OF US WHO (CLEARLY SEEING THE CORRUPTION AND INEPTITUDE OF THIS SO CALLED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM)CHOOSE HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES AND USE THIS DEBACLE OF A HEALTH CARE SYSTEM ONLY AS A LAST RESORT.
    HEALTHCARE IS HEATHCARE AND SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH MEDICAL INTERVENTION, DRUG SUPPORT OF HOSPITAL CARE WHICH IS MEARLY A PART OF AN OVERALL SYSTEM.
    WE THE PEOPLE ARE ONCE AGAIN BEING SOLD DOWN THE RIVER TO AN INDUSTRY(AND YES IT IS AN INDUSTRY, BUSINESS WHAT EVER IT WISHES TO BE CALLED) BY THE VERY PEOPLE WHO ARE THERE TO PROVIDE AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD TO ALL.
    THE ISSUES AS I SEE IT,WITH THIS CURRENT SYSTEM (AND THEY ARE LEGION)IS LACK OF CHOICE, RUNAWAY AND OUTLANDISH COSTS, MONOPOLY OF INSURANCE CHOICES AND A CLEAR MOTIVE TO PLACE PROFITS ABOVE HEALTH CARE.
    AS USUAL THIS IS A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS THAT NO ONE WILL HEED TILL TOO LATE.
    OUR PERSONAL RIGHTS ARE BEING COMPROMISED AGAIN AND WE ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION.
    REMEMBER 2008-2009 ANY STILL GOT A 401K?
    DO NOT GO BACK TO SLEEP

  2. Jerry,
    I just got back from your blog. Loved the Dangerfield clip. But it shows the problem with healthcare spending; everyone in the clip, with the exception of the lady whom I did not know, is dead. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It just shows you don’t live forever. Hopefully a person’s healthcare debt will not live forever and will not be anyone else’s debt forever either.

  3. Jerry that was your smartest post to date. Keep to the shorter jokes you would only appear half the idiot you are.

  4. Government out of its boundaries is ALWAYS bad.
    Morons like you are pimping for the great Obamanation, which will, when it has reached its goals of destruction of Consitutional America, cast you aside with the rest of us. And you won’t have a clue. But you can believe in the change.

  5. You are clueless Phillip, can’t even apply basic math, listen and learn…
    “There is therefore the debate that do they take more out of the system than they put in.”
    There is no debate. 99.9% of their income, what they take out, is earned in US wages. From that they send billions out of the country in remittance, this right away means they contribute less then they take in.
    Further studies have shown illegal immigrants know to claim 5-6 dependents so they have minimal to no withholding shooting a huge whole in your argument 50-60% contribute. It has also been shown that some file to claim dependent tax credits meaning they are again taking out more then they contribute. See recent Acorn videos if you want details on how to use non American dependents living in another country to claim tax credits.
    What do they put into the healthcare system? Insurance for those under 65 and not poor is paid by private insurance premiums or charity care which is also mostly borne by private insurance. Illegals contribute very little to this, far less then they consume in care.
    “There was just never a real separation between illegal and legal immigrants in the past.”
    What was the immigration reform under Regan? The immigration reform in the 50s? How exactly are you defining the word past because there has been a very clear separation going back decades if not a century.
    “They have always been blamed”
    How have they been blamed if they were never separated in the past? Come on fool you contradict yourself in the same paragraph, talk about senseless rants.
    “doing many of the back-breaking work that no one else will do, for very little pay.”
    The jobs wouldn’t pay very little if illegal people weren’t accepting those low wages. American poor are harmed by illegal’s driving wages down. How can the left make this argument and demand a living wage at the same time? Stop distorting the labor market by protecting illegal immigration and you won’t need these protections.
    “You should be blaming the people and companies that hire them.”
    Don’t blame the drug user it is the dealers fault. Don’t blame the gang banger it is society’s fault, Don’t plan Roman Polansky it is the girls fault. Liberals never tier of passing the blame do you?
    No study shows illegals paying as much in taxes as legal citizens. They are missing almost the entire upper income quadrant.
    “They pay into social security every year, billions, and will ultimately receive no benefit from that.”
    Unless Democrats get their way and award then SS benefits like they have proposed in the past.
    “Immigrants tend to be young and healthy.”
    And have lots of babies, those aren’t free. Illegals have a much higher incidence of prenatal birth, defects and mortality.
    “some studies have show that immigrants healthcare expenses are less than half of 1% of the $2.5 trillion dollars”
    Some studies show the earth is flat, Unicorns are real, and Phillip has a brain, they also are all grossly incorrect.

  6. I can’t wait until that evil insurance industry is reformed. Then Washington can claim victory while we still suffer from a high cost system. Those expanding waistlines and high stress levels can’t possibly have anything to do with our problems. Sounds like fun!

  7. Brittancus,
    I could not read your lame immigrant rant, but let me make a few comments about illegal immigrants and healthcare.
    There have always been illegal immigrants in the U.S. There was just never a real separation between illegal and legal immigrants in the past. They have always been blamed by those who some how think they have been cheated or are being cheated or are just plain racist or are losers themselves and need someone to blame for their own failures. The Scots, the Irish, the Chinese, and now the hispanics have been the targets.
    There are many studies done and it is not entirely clear that illegal immigrants are in fact a drain on the U.S. and its economy. For the most part illegal immigrants come to the U.S. for economic reasons, to work. They contribute to the country, doing many of the back-breaking work that no one else will do, for very little pay.
    If you want to blame anyone for illegal immigrants, it is completely mis-placed to blame the illegal immigrants themselves. You should be blaming the people and companies that hire them. Illegals are invited to this country by the employers. Without the jobs they would not come here.
    Illegals pay taxes. In fact, some studies have show that as many as 50-60% of illegal immigrants file taxes like you and me, and, in fact, pay just as much taxes as everyone else. They pay into social security every year, billions, and will ultimately receive no benefit from that. Even for those 40-50% of illegal immigrants who do not pay income taxes and do not file their taxes, they pay sales taxes. Illegal immigrants put a lot of money/taxes into the system. There is therefore the debate that do they take more out of the system than they put in. Hard to say. I would say as far as healthcare goes it is close. Many immigrants do not use healthcare much. Immigrants tend to be young and healthy. Sure we can all point to specific examples where illegal immigrants are putting pressure on hospitals, but for the 11 million illegal immigrants, most of them go no where near hospitals and healthcare in this country. I suspect there are even those illegal immigrants that actually buy health insurance or get employer health insurance, particularly the ones who have been here a long time.
    As far as immigration being a drain on the healthcare system (they put in to the system so much small drain then you think), some studies have show that immigrants healthcare expenses are less than half of 1% of the $2.5 trillion dollars spend on healthcare every year. There are far bigger fish to fry than illegal immigrants in trying to get a control of the costs.
    So with representing so little of the actual cost of healthcare in this country why is illegal immigration even part of the discussion with healthcare reform? Simple answer is because it is a strategy for those who oppose healthcare reform to try and tie the hot button issue of illegal immigration to healthcare. It is a complete farse.

  8. Geeze – I can’t believe someone who has chewed up so much healthcare would go public with that. He must have something on his employer.
    Employers, moreoften small ones, have been known to go through claims and single out people who are running their premiums up. Then they’ll pressure you to go onto your spouse’s plan or maybe seek disability.
    I certainly wouldn’t be advertising this. He should ask what the COBRA amount would be if he got laid off. That’s put him in for a coronary for certain!

  9. “in other words he would be completely uninsurable if he lost his job (post-COBRA).”
    Getting closer Matt, your only half way dishonest, you once again forgot about HIPAA, you would think as many times as I bust your balls on this you would remember. Then again uninsurable does sound so much worse then, would only be able to purchase expensive insurance.
    “Obama/Baucus/HR3200 all basically keep employer-based insurance as is with a bit of expansion,”
    Incorrect million of people will immediately lose their employer insurance the day the law becomes effective. Followed by the elimination of most small self funded plans in 5 years when they are required to have government approval to exist. If your one of the 10s of millions effected by this bill you should be scared. Your going from great private insurance to Medicaid 2.0
    Next you have the cost inflation, by doing away with pre-existing and weak enforcement of mandated coverage you will have people pay a small fine or duck under the system until they need care at which time they will purchase a policy the insurance companies are required to sell them. Once they are healthy they will drop back off making insurance unaffordable for those who honestly pay their premium each month and justifying another round of government reform. See immigration reform if you want a model of how that will play out.
    Philip the only thing weaker then your logic is your argument. Because the government regulates fishing well we should automatically trust them with healthcare. Making that argument you can’t display a thicker skull. An intelligent person would look at the governments past efforts to manage healthcare. We have;
    1. Medicare trillions in the hole, never delivered what it promised, and rampant with fraud and waste
    2. Medicaid the worse healthcare in the country, also rampant with fraud and waste
    3. VA pockets of success with craters of failure
    4. Indian Health Services, criminal program worse then Medicaid
    Being for healthcare reform doesn’t mean they have to be for your version of reform, there are far better versions and ideas for reform that those of us not suffering from a thick skull are behind. And no people are not for the public option when given the facts on what the public option would look like as proposed. Again a dishonest argument from someone suffering thickskulldom.
    Shub when Obama declared they shouldn’t be illegal any longer and should all be given legal status. Quick easy way to claim you won’t cover illegals, just make them all legal.

  10. Our government panders to the 20 to 30 plus (?) illegal immigrants allowing them free subsidies from taxpayers in the US. California–a Sanctuary State has one of the worst records that currently languish under the immense burden of near bankruptcy, instead of –ATTRACTING–ICE to illegal business operations. Certain legislators in Sacramento, led by Gilbert Cedillo-D has authored a lame brain resolution condemning any interference in immigration enforcement. Congressman Brian Bilbray-R Calif. reminds Sen. Cedillo that this resolution breaks the laws of the Constitution. “He should look up the separation of powers section and this resolution is nothing more than political posturing.” Cedillo urges President Obama to declare an immediate moratorium on immigration policies and practices until a comprehensive reform of immigration is enacted. The resolution states ” The State of California values all of its residents, whether they be citizens, legal residents, or undocumented immigrants, and strives to enable all residents to work and live free from discrimination, exploitation, and repressive federal immigration enforcement.” This man certainly has no love for the legal American worker and should be immediately discarded from office as his words are a form of treachery to the jobless people hurting. Why wouldn’t certain legislators want health care for foreign labor, because they have an over abundance of illegal immigrant families to financially support? Our own government is so absorbed in protecting every other countries border? They remain unconcerned to our poor replica border fence that should have been a two-tier periphery, with border patrol surveillance lanes in between, as originally planned by Rep. Duncan Hunter. Every time a good enforcement plan is written, it’s methodically cut to pieces by pro-illegal worker politicians and open border fanatics. Though we spend billions on our armed forces in foreign lands, the rich countries in Europe just forward token troops and little money: while our nation is literary falling apart at the seams–or its rivets?
    Any moment now I expect to hear of yet another collapsing ailing city bridge, deteriorating waterworks, the underground pipes and eroding highway. Our cities are already exhibiting inward decay, but years of neglect by the very people who’s supposed to protect us do nothing? I have reiterated watch “The Crumbling of America” on the History (International) channel in the next few weeks and learn? This is where your tax dollars should be going? We must not allow the Administration as in previous times keep sending our precious tax dollars to other countries. These politicians are deaf, dumb and intentionally blind to the rigors our industrial nation is going through. Not just Democrats, but the Republicans have had their sticky fingers in the bad apple–SPECIAL INTEREST–barrel, where money is plentiful. It’s like they are intentionally trying to turn our magnificent country into a third world nation, while making other cheap labor countries, on an even par with our sovereign society as US wages tumble? Then Again the Council of Foreign Relations have been amplifying its agenda of free movement of cheap labor through North America for years?
    Most of these other lands have been at each others throats for centuries, so why do we expect any metamorphism into something any different? Only change can come from within, not by our nation expending billions of dollars, American lives? We must build our own borders fences, tall and strong and meant to keep out drug dealers, criminal aliens, terrorists and the never ending tracks of illegal aliens. Our politician’s noses are involved in too much foreign policy, while our aging infrastructure implodes. Trillions of dollars are spirited out the country, while we gain little in return. Washington–MUST–start giving back to the jobless American worker by placing a 5 year moratorium on all immigration, even legal? The next politicians should deliver us from any new sinister path to citizenship or better referred to as BLANKET AMNESTY? Follow the “Rule of Law” and not twist it into something else for their own convenience, as it will come back to haunt them at the voting booth. Unless ACORN steps-in with another fed contract and handles sign-ups for the ballot box? In that case will still see absentee ballots for the deceased people, pets and anybody who has learned that you need no government picture ID to sign on to vote.
    The 1986 immigration reform bill dismally failed last time and all we inherited was 5 million illegal immigrants that still keep on coming with their impoverished hands out. Anti-Illegal immigrant forces are growing in numbers to stop another travesty. They acknowledge it could end up costing billions, perhaps even trillions of dollars. Nationwide we have seen the advent of closing hospitals and emergency rooms that have been submerged everyday by swarms by penniless foreigners and their families. Yes! We need health care reform. Americans are dying, going bankrupt , falling under the spell of debt collectors. The special interest lobbyists are causing mass hysteria by lying to the people. Many insurance companies are under this bombardment in television, radio and mass media. Their Status quo wants no change to their profits or high flying CEO’s making millions of dollars. on patients backs? I want health care reform, for the sake of my step daughter who died of Cancer, because the insurers said it was a pre-existing condition and they couldn’t continue to insure her?
    It has become an enigma–THAT THE EMPLOYERS WHO HIRE THEM-LEAVE THE MAJORITY OF SICK PEOPLE ON THE STEPS OF EMERGENCY ROOMS. SO THAT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY ENDS THERE? THEY DRIVE AWAY WITH A CLEAR CONSCIOUS? THEN IS LEFT FOR THE TAXPAYERS CHECK BOOK TO PAY THE BILL? THOSE EMPLOYERS SHOULD BE HUNTED DOWN AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERY CENT. We have already been warned by the census bureau of overpopulation in the not too distant future. WE now have a very unique deterrent called E-Verify, that is a part of the SAVE ACT and our lawmakers should stop procrastinating and make it permanent for every worker? Washington knows their walking on quicksand, if the try to under fund or spirit away E-Verify this time around? The corrupting influences from the special interest lobby, have failed to induce many lawmakers to table E-Verify. In our future it could have many other uses other than extracting unauthorized labor from the workplace. Once fully installed it could check state drivers license applicants, insurance, school and higher education registrations and hospital admittances.
    Americans have been unknowingly paying taxes to underwrite subsidies for the illegal population for decades. This is the biggest draw to American jobs, because the employers who hire them are sentient that taxpayers will foot the bills for education, health food stamps, housing and other government benefit consignments that even as citizens are denied. Keep the phone calls coming at 202-224-3121 LOOK FOR ANSWERS AT NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH & OVERPOPULATION AT CAPSWEB? These websites can identity politicians who actually work for the American people and others whose immigration grading level is unsatisfactory to stay in office? Have you heard about any large ICE raids lately? ICE got the order to cease and desist from the motley Democratic leadership. They are also using their influence to either weaken the federal training program 287 G that gives local police federal right to hold for questioning suspicious individual’s immigration status and to rescind the no-match-letter capability in determining a person’s right to work?

  11. Tim, Dave, others…
    This blog is the gold standard for solid information about health care issues. The blogmaster is open-minded to a fault and if a contributor allows frustration at terminal ignorance to boil over occasionally the reasons are not hard to discover.
    I have seen civility fail as often as insult over the last year of discussions and extreme name-calling no longer bothers me. If that’s a problem, then do your homework elsewhere. I, for one, am here for the duration.
    Meantime, all this “government takeover” nonsense is getting on my nerves. Every time I hear a Medicaid or Social Security beneficiary use that language all I do now is shake my head sadly, roll my eyes and move on to something else.
    Regarding insurance, it is a carefully crafted profit-driven scheme to play risks in a manner that guarantees bottom-line profits for shareholders. That means covering a great many claims to make customers feel good, but carefully guarding against surprises and capping the most costly claims, i.e. the ones most in need of coverage.
    The sweetest insurance deals of all seem to be TPA’s. The burden of claims falls on the client and the third party administrator gets the service override. And the shrewdest of them are able to shift costs elsewhere (workers comp, liability, others) for claims that can be shifted accordingly.
    Morons like us? You bet.

  12. These arguments are specious. Anyone wanting to know the real truth needs to read HR 3200…it’s all there..reads like the IRS tax code,,very punitive, legalistic language. Whether any of this stuff will become law in HR 3200 as it stands should be highly doubtful….Our contry not only needs more cortex, but spinal cord….as well.

  13. Matt,
    The answer to why so many have such a distorted view is clear: they aren’t given the information they need, and they don’t seek out that information.
    The right wing media doesn’t describe any of the details of the bills unless they want to whip people up into a righteous frenzy about it. They do not see their job as to inform, but to agitate (and retain viewers/readers/listerners through emotional tactics).
    The mainstream media hardly ever describes the functional details of the bills, unless it is to report that there is a “problem” with one of the provisions, which means that someone on the right or left disagrees with it. But the focus of the reporting is on the disagreement itself, not the functional details of the bill or how they would work in context.
    The left wing media (mostly in the blogosphere) also mostly doesn’t go into the details of how the bills’ components work. Instead, there is an overwhelming focus on one or two parts (e.g., public option) again with a focus on the political battle, and sometimes wild claims are made about the causes and effects involved. I have a lot more sympathy with the left than right wing media and think it does a better job of reporting the facts. But there is still a lot of emotional nonsense written.
    There are relatively few places where you can get in-depth coverage of the mechanics of the bills, how much money they can be expected to save/cost, how they will achieve their results, and how they will impact people’s lives. In part that’s because not very many people want to read about these things. In part that’s also because of the decline of the traditional newsmedia and their business model (subsidized news depts that could afford to give people straight news even if their eyeballs would have been drawn away by salacious trifles).
    Blogs like this are partially picking up the slack for highly specialized news, but what is still lacking is good generalist news that distills real information into digestible bite-size pieces in a responsible, non-sensational way, and manages to capture public attention. But for that last bit, a cultural change is required.
    To sum up with a neurological metaphor: Our culture needs more cortex, less amygdala.

  14. Tom @ 5:20:08 –
    I’ve read the CBO analysis of HR3200 (http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10464/hr3200.pdf)and the only reference it makes to unauthorized immigrants is to say that under that proposal they estimate that in 2019, half of the 17 million residents who’ll still be uninsured unauthorized immigrants – i.e. about 8 million uninsured unauthorized immigrants. Separately the CBO has said that in their baseline estimate, assuming no reform, there will be in 2019 about 8 million uninsured unauthorized immigrants (http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/106xx/doc10619/09-22-GrassleyLtr.pdf).
    Last i checked, 8 million minus 8 million equals zero, which is the number of unauthorized immigrants CBO expects to gain coverage under HR3200. You can disagree with their estimates, but you can’t cite their estimates to make your case. Sorry.

  15. “We want to make your lives better, and you are a bunch of thick-skulled morons for not agreeing.”
    Sure, that usually works. That’s a new spirit of healing in the country, right there.
    Here’s a clue: when the people you are talking to seem resistant to your content, though it seems reasonable to you, it may be that they are morons, but it may be that they just don’t trust you. Distrust of your perceived proclivities trumps the content of your sentences — always, for every subject, in every conversation. Your grandmothers could have told you this, but if you need it dressed up, Aristotle might say ethos precedes logos, and no amount of pathos will bridge the gap.
    You could just yell “evil conservatives” a little louder and see if that works.

  16. I’m with Matt on this one.
    When people do and say moronic things, and when they act pig-headed and thick-skulled, well, I think it’s essential to describe them accurately.

  17. Shub,
    Most of these polls are wacky, as it depends on how you ask the question. Here is an example.
    One survey finds that 55 percent of Americans support the public option, while another says 79 percent favor one — but also notes that only 37 percent people surveyed actually knew what “public option” meant?
    I fail to believe that 87% of the people are happy with the cost of their healthcare. I fail to believe that if people know that Americans pay twice as much per capita for their healthcare than every other western company they would be happy. And I fail to believe the is 87% of Americans would be happy to know that healthcare takes up 17% of GDP and makes this country uncompetitive. It is part of the reason for outsourcing the the manufacturing base of this country and the reason foreign companies often choose Canada over the U.S in locating their N. American plants and offices.

  18. Shub,
    Any reform that actually saved the $800 Billion in waste would be viewed as a government takeover. There is no getting those savings without reform.
    Illegal aliens still get treated in our hospitals because when a patient is in an emergency, hospitals have to treat them regardless of their ability to pay and immigration status is not to be considered at that time. That means hospitals treat them, that means hospitals have to be compensated for that somehow.
    Maybe if you ever get beaten and robbed on the street and lose your identification and are taken to the hospital unconscious, they’ll see you don’t have proof of citizenship on you and just not treat you because they think you might be here illegally? What do you say?
    The rest of your questions don’t really make sense. What would politicians “be a part of”? 87% of people are happy with their current situation, in a nation with 15% uninsured and another 15% underinsured? When was that poll taken, 1986?

  19. Tom,
    You define government “take-over” very loosely. By your definition the government should then be defined as controlling everything in society, as almost everything in life is regulated by the government at some level.
    Don’t forget the government is us. The people.
    I would also say that it is about time the government should “take-over” healthcare. The private insures have not proven themselves capable of running the system fairly, economically, or even competently.
    What again do private health insurance companies actually do? What exact value do they add to the system? Insurance companies are actually suppose to mitigate risk, but all they do is drop the risk and take a big margin out of the system.
    I would rather have the healthcare system controlled by government bureaucrats than corporate bureaucrats. As taxpayers and voters at least we can control the government buraucrats, whereas we cannot control the corporate bureaucrats. We can always vote out the politicians, change what is and is not working, and get rid of the government bureaucrats. And it has been proven that government bureaucrats around the world do a pretty good job at running healthcare systems.

  20. Thanks Matt,
    Providing BASIC health care to ALL of its citizens is an obligation of any nation that professes to be moral or civil.
    (Just like providing BASIC public education)
    I don’t get the resistance?
    Dr. Rick Lippin
    Soutthampton,Pa

  21. If there are truly $800 billion in savings ready to be plucked, why doesn’t the government just get the savings first, then make the changes?
    If it is to be national, why do all the bills call for 50 more exchanges, or co-ops, or whatever name they are using to be set up?
    If it does not cover illegal aliens, why do they include the cost for covering them?
    When did the definition of ‘illegal’ change?
    If the politicians are to reflect the views of the people, and 87% of the people (according to polls) are content, why do they propose something for the 13%?
    Bottom line, if it is as good as they say, why do the politicians refuse to be a part of it?

  22. Dave,
    Not sure what mortgages have to do with healthcare? If you are trying to makes some kind of point about responsibility or irresponsibilty, I do not think the two issues even equate.
    Nothing wrong with pointing at the hypocrisy, and using strong language to do it, as it is absolutely at the center of this debate. If you can call it a debate.

  23. From your comments, obviously you have not read the bill. It is government takeover, plain and simple.
    All the provisions are tied to the Internal Revenue Tax code. Penalties are paid into the General Fund. If you read the CBO report on bill 3200 – it does include illegal aliens. If you choose not to buy a plan, you pay an excise tax on your level of income – on your annual tax return.
    How can you explain that if the government demands that all citizens and non-citizens alike must be covered or pay penalties it is not government takeover?

  24. The use of words and phrases like “morons” and “thick skulls” is always effective at making your point. Please note the sarcasm. I occasionally read this blog in hopes of learning more about the debate. This post is a typical rant that can be found on a thousand different blogs. Nice work marginalizing your own argument. I’m sure your two examples of “thick skulled morons” accurately depicts all of those with points of view that contradict your own.
    If you want to compare lowest common denominators then we can drag up the youtube video of the girl stating that she doesn’t have to worry about paying her mortgage anymore.

  25. Mat,
    I suspect that your two examples are typical of many of the people out there protesting. Two reasons for this: (1) after 30 years since Reagan they have been programmed like robots that government is always bad; and (2) they have been subject to a multi-tens of millions dollar campaign over the last 3 months that lies to them and says that any kind of healthcare reform is a government take-over. It has not only been the lobbies that have been behind this, but the Republican leadership has follow Frank Luntz talking points, who is likely paid by the lobbyists. Although I suspect the Republicans are really just following their marching orders from the lobbyists. It is hard to fathom that healthcare reform will likely get not one single vote from the Republicans even though in many states the majority of their constituents are for healthcare reform and actually the public option. The phrase “government take-over” was clearly polled or came from focus groups, so that is the phrase that is being used to scare the American people.
    It is pretty hard to break through the thick skull of people who think government is bad no matter what, yet their daily lives are continually made better by government and the hypocrisy of their thinking is constantly on display.
    The rest of the planet just laughs at Americans. We are just wasting so much time and energy on this stupid debate, while the European, Chinese and Indians just pass us by.
    I don’t know anyone who should be happy with healthcare in this country, even if they have the best coverage, especially when you compare it with the experience in other countries.

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