17
   

"O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous!"

 
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 08:50 pm
Voltaire wrote:
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.


 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 09:19 pm
@ebrown p,
We are not gonna get health care reform because retarded Americans believe all the **** that the Limbo and Demint crowd is spieling.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 09:47 pm
@farmerman,
Cheer up Farmerman. We are going to get health care because about 28% of Americans buy the **** that Limbaugh et al are peddling. Thats not enough to stop more than half of us who want health care (or the rest of Americans who don't realize they care yet).

The real problem is not Limbaugh (who is irrelevant outside of the 28% of Americans who are wackos)-- it is the Blue Dog "centrists" (several of whom happen to represent Pennsylvania). I hope you have let your representatives know how you feel about the issue.

America is smart enough to have elected Obama. America is smart enough to see the idiocy that is modern conservatism.

These tea bagging, Astroturf, protesters are doing a great job.
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 10:00 pm
this is the same kind of crap they did in the 2000 election. "let us in! let us in!".

0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 03:43 am
@ebrown p,
Quote:
Cheer up Farmerman. We are going to get health care because about 28% of Americans buy the **** that Limbaugh et al are peddling. Thats not enough to stop more than half of us who want health care (or the rest of Americans who don't realize they care yet).

I think youll findd that the numbers are higher than 28%, and they are eroding further.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 05:42 am
@ebrown p,
er, ebrown. What did the crazies say?
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 06:42 am
Voltaire - not your average guy.

It looks uncertain as to what shape reform will eventually take. Clearly, the big push is against the "public option". Per a recent WP piece, the corporate institutions which will be negatively effected are putting something like $1.4 million per day into lobbying efforts but that probably doesn't tell the full tale. There's a full scale public propaganda initiative evident as well with support from a broader set of interests.

From the perspective of movement ideologues (eg Kristol) a successful effort on Obama's part re healthcare insurance will almost certainly wreck havoc on future Republican electoral chances. It will also do serious damage to a (the?) central premise of modern US conservativism - that government can only produce inefficiencies and problems, never solutions. There is surely not a single hour of Fox programming or conservative talk radio where disparagement of government as a beneficial institution doesn't appear. That Medicare is a government-run institution is a fact which these people will never mention for the obvious reasons.

Nor will they mention the rather obvious if almost never-mentioned fact that in all other industrialized countries which have had some version of a government-run system, no political party has seriously advanced a platform position to overturn their present systems and move back to an American-style arrangement. They wouldn't get an inch electorally and they all know it.

This fight seems pivotal to me. It's hard to imagine a future situation arising where progressives have a better opportunity than right now to get this through. And I think that if it doesn't happen we'll have to draw the depressing conclusion that the American system has become so corrupted by corporate money (and by purposefully established propaganda institutions working to strengthen the sway of corporate interests) that it will perhaps never get this done and will continue to move in the direction of oligarchy and class divisions and broad human suffering.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 06:58 am
@Letty,
They boo and hiss.... and they chant "Just Say NO!" a lot. That's pretty much it, except for the lady with the Bible.

I think "Just say NO!" sums up their position on health care pretty well.
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 10:39 am
@ebrown p,
er, that still says nothing about what they are sayin NO to, ebrown.

Tell me if this is accurate, if you will.

http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/2009/07/09/obama-will-repeal-medicare/
Thomas
 
  5  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 10:51 am
@ebrown p,
As usual, I disagree with ebrown p, and would like to share a different prayer. It asks for the very opposite of Voltaire's, and comes from John Stuart Mill's Essay on Coleridge:

John Stuart Mill wrote:
Lord, enlighten thou our enemies, sharpen their wits, give acuteness to their perceptions, and consecutiveness and clearness to their reasoning powers: we are in danger from their folly, not from their wisdom; their weakness is what fills us with apprehension, not their strength.

Man I like John Stuart Mill!
JPB
 
  4  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 11:04 am
@Letty,
There's a lot of hyperbole in that article, Miss Letty.

First, Obama doesn't have a health care plan. He has an idea that he's turned over to congress to mold into a plan. His idea is that all Americans should have access to health care, that those who don't have access to private insurance should have a public option available and that it should be subsidized for those of limited means, that we need to reduce the overall costs of healthcare, and that we need to look at end-of-life decision making since upwards of 35% of all health dollars spent in this country are spent during the last year of life.

I endorse his idea. I don't yet endorse any plan that has come out of committee because they don't address many of the issues in the idea. Discussing end-of-life options isn't easy, nor is it politically expedient, so most of the plans coming out of congress have only dealt with the uninsured. The problem with adding coverage without looking at reducing spending on health care is that is add $$$ into a system that we already don't have $$$ to support. It's a very difficult situation and what we're getting so far is dribs and drabs of the politically easy part and look how hard it is to discuss only that!!! Imagine when committees start working on reducing overall costs (vs making them budget neutral over 10 years) and end-of-life options. I'm sure it will get mired down in mud.

My problem with demanding that medicare be left alone is that we have no way to pay for it. That, and as baby boomers begin to become eligible for medicare this year the numbers of medicare eligible individuals is going to skyrocket. There's nothing to do but to have the difficult conversations required and figure out the best way to proceed.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 11:06 am
@Letty,
Letty wrote:

er, that still says nothing about what they are sayin NO to, ebrown.

Tell me if this is accurate, if you will.

http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/2009/07/09/obama-will-repeal-medicare/


I do not know if this helps, Letty, a Florida newspaper published this response to Dick Morris in last Sunday's edition:
Quote:
Why object to access to public health-insurance?
(By Thomas Tryon, Sarasota Herald-Tribune , August 2, 2009)

Dick Morris said with a smirk or a sly grin -- or maybe it was both -- the other night on TV that voters over 65 are now leading the opposition to President Obama's health-care proposals.

Citing a recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll, Morris said that senior-citizen opponents now outnumber proponents of the plans proposed by the president and Democrats in Congress. Plus, Morris said on Bill O'Reilly's show, seniors similarly oppose the creation of a "government-run insurance plan to compete with private plans" and think the president's proposal will cost them money.

The irony wasn't lost on Morris, who was an adviser to then-President Clinton before joining the Fox empire. Morris wrote on his Web site, "Oddly, for a population that now gets its health services through government-run Medicare, they would rather be in a privately run system than one managed by the government ..."

Yes, it's odd -- and that's putting it kindly -- for a substantial segment of seniors who benefit from taxpayer-supported Medicare to oppose, in principle, offering all Americans access to a public health-insurance plan.

Still, I doubt Morris' conclusion that seniors prefer a "privately run system" over Medicare.

A recent Pew Research Center poll did find that a smaller percentage (29) of seniors said they "generally favored" the Obama/House Democrats' plan, compared to 38 percent of the total population.

Yet the Pew polls actually found that seniors were worried about the Obama/congressional plan because they feared that it would shift money from Medicare to a plan available to the general public.

Solid majorities of Americans have consistently recognized the importance of Medicare: According to Kaiser Health Tracking Poll in April, 53 percent of Americans believed that Medicare was "very important" to them or their families; 77 percent said the program was very important to the nation.

It's understandable that Medicare beneficiaries would be concerned that much of the "savings" identified by Congress would be achieved by a net, $200 billion decrease in reimbursements to providers. Obama and proponents of health-care reform contend that billions of dollars can be saved in the public and private sectors by using information-sharing technology and treating patients with best practices. I believe them.

Unfortunately, the president and others haven't clearly identified how such savings will be achieved and it appears -- from the outside, at least -- that future Medicare benefits will be at risk because of reductions in reimbursements to providers. That failure may not amount to political malpractice but it's close.

There's another reason to doubt the claim that seniors would prefer "a privately run system" over a "government-run plan." Medicare is actually a public-private system.

Medicare is financed by an amalgam of personal-income and corporate taxes, as well as by beneficiary premiums. Fee schedules are established by the federal government, with congressional approval, and Medicare officials authorize procedures that qualify for reimbursement. Claims are paid through the Medicare trust fund but are commonly processed by private companies and, in the vast majority of cases, the health care itself is provided by the private sector.

In a lot of ways, many private health-care plans are similar to Medicare -- especially those offered by "self-insured" employers. Employees in government and the private sector are commonly provided health-care coverage that utilizes the same principles as Medicare.

Specifically, private plans -- whether offered through an employer or purchased in the marketplace -- generally set the price the insurer will pay physicians and others for specific procedures and services. Many, if not most, private plans pay for some treatments but not others -- usually based on their efficacy and costs. When the insurance is provided as part of a job, the employer often determines the levels of benefit; the insurance company makes those determinations in market-based plans.

Health insurance -- whether accessed through the government or the private sector -- has limits set by someone other than the policy-holder. Call this rationing, call it cost-containment, call it whatever you want but don't deny that policies have limits.

Critics of universal health care are correct when they say that it's no panacea. The Medicare trust fund could be insolvent by 2017, when baby boomers are retiring, unless significant changes are made, and the Medicare payroll tax rate for individuals has more than tripled since the bulk of today's retirees were at the peak of their wage-earning years.

But costs have escalated in the private sector as well. Unless coverage is provided by employers, it is expensive or difficult to access, especially for those with pre-existing conditions. The burden of providing uncompensated care falls largely on honorable physicians and public hospitals; Medicaid, the plan for low-income Americans, is severely stressed.

I really, really like my employer-provided health-care insurance; it has provided me with access to life-saving medicine and kept me out of the poor house. Hard as it is sometimes, I don't wish to begrudge other Americans, regardless of their age, access to coverage half as good -- even if that requires the expansion of public plan. I hope that Medicare recipients, whose benefits are underwritten by today's workers, will take the same view.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 11:27 am
@Letty,
Letty... they are saying No to anything that comes from Obama.

The article you linked to is fear-mongering propaganda. It is not accurate.

- There is no plan to repeal Medicare. In fact, Medicare is being offered as an example.

- Canada is better than the US in the important broad categories. They have a longer life expectancy and a lower infant mortality rate. They do this while spending far less. The majority of Canadians are happy with their system and the great majority of them would oppose the US system.

- This article is simply wrong. In 2000 in the US there are 220 deaths from heart disease per 100,000 people. In Canada there were 216 per 100,000.

- That they are talking to us about Canada in the first place is silly. Although in my view, mimicking the Canadian system (with its better results and far lower cost) would be a great idea.... doing so is not even on the table.

But the real issue here, Letty, is that the status quo is simply not sustainable-- not for seniors-- not for anyone else. We have a failed system where even people with insurance are falling through the cracks. In addition-- we have costs that are rising at a rate that is far greater than our incomes (or GDP).

The conservatives are saying No to anything... It is clear that we have to fix the failed health care system in spite of them.

Don't let them scare you Letty, this is something we have to do for the good of the country.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 11:31 am
JPB, I worded that poorly. I have already observed that it's Obama's proposal and congress has the final say. A determined president, however, can sway that vote.

Wandel, Thank you. That is a good article. I just hope that we're not looking at government ownership of everything. I realize that Thoreau's observation that I am a majority of one is a little antiquated, but it certainly did motivate many people to adhere to passive resistance.

ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 11:38 am
@Letty,
What is the fear with government run programs? In certain cases, public services, work far better than private alternatives-- particularly in cases where public need is more important than profits.

The police and fire departments work pretty well.
Public education has unquestionably served us well as it fueled our economic success over the last century.
NASA, public health programs (immunizations) and public funding for science have had great benefits.

... And Medicare. Don't you find it ironic that you fear losing Medicare at the same time you fear government run programs?

DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 11:43 am
the morris article in a nutshell;

Quote:
"It’s time for the elderly to wake up before it is too late!"

"In our new book, Catastrophe, we explain"


sales pitch. nothing more, nothing less. i doubt it will be the last from this unique cast of characters.


0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 11:48 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown, dear. I pay a fortune for medigap, and you have misread what I said. When any government owns EVERYTHING, we are deprived of our personal choices. Isn't that what democracy it all about?
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 12:06 pm
@Letty,
Quote:
When any government owns EVERYTHING...


No one is talking about the government "owning EVERYTHING"... except for the people who are trying to scare us out of fixing our health care system. This is an irrational argument out of fear.

My point is that there are some things that work better when the government runs them. I gave several examples including education, fire departments and NASA-- you could add many more to this list-- Interstate highways and the Coast Guard for example.

Every developed country, except for the US, has government run health care. These countries have comparable results to the US at a fraction of the cost.

Among developed countries, there is no move whatsoever to move to the American profit-based system. There is no even a credible political party outside the US that thinks that our costly, inefficient system is the way to go.

What we are going to get is a hybrid... public/private system that will be a big step in the right direction. But in a sane political system, we would end up with a well-run single payer system.
DontTreadOnMe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 12:06 pm
@Letty,
Letty wrote:

..I pay a fortune for medigap...


would it be bad if you paid less? at least for me, that is the whole point. something has to force regulation on the insurance companies. they have proven that they are not capable, or willing to do that themselves.

don't know about you, but i really hate being suckered.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 01:40 pm
Ok... this is going to be a ramble. Random thoughts on government/ health care etc......
I'm a Canadian. I live in B.C. My husband works for a large American company. He routinely works with health care and the safety law in both countries.
I have traveled to many countries and invariably... health concerns present themselves. So I have some first hand knowledge of how other foreign systems work.
When I watch the nightly news or pick up a newspaper and I see the perennial American health care crisis splashed across the pages, when I hear bloated personalities scream about the dreaded Canadian socialists who live above you, when I hear people can't afford cancer medicine or are penniless because they've had a baby I can't help wondering if, what if.....
the American's had a paradigm shift in thinking, what if instead of thinking in how much your taxes were going to COST YOU, if you were forced to look after your penniless neighbour and thought about how much it would SAVE YOU, if services were consolidated and everyone had proper care.
It's not a question of socialism, it's good business. If for example, you run a business and you're bleeding cash, you consolidate departments, get rid of the fat. You don't run multiple office pools doing the same thing or warehouses that carry the same goods. You don't duplicate store fronts on the same block.

It comes down to -
What do you think good government is? Or what do you think a government's duty is?

Broadly, I think a government should have a few areas of focus, mostly aimed at the protection and care of it's people and the land we inhabit. Not necessarily government ownership but the funding, planning and management of our country.
laws of the land - courts, police, jails, army,
land - infrastructure - roads, parks, water, air,
healthcare - insurance, hospitals,
education - schools, standardized curriculum,
Again I said broadly, but it should be a fundamental right of every citizen to have equal access to good health care. I would add dental care but I don't want to throw the ball off track.

A centralized health care system cuts down on the waste of duplication and frees funds to be used in a more specialized manner. Instead of 5 hospitals in one city with a few heart surgeons you can build a hospital that focuses on the heart, with all the expertise, state of the art equipment and research in one building while another can dedicated it self to cancer. Patient care is better because of a central filing system, buying in bulk and transferring from a central warehouse.... etc...
(I realize that this is a pipe dream when it comes to the US, being that most of your hospitals are privately owned and all, but there must be a better system that hospitals based on class or a cheque book.)

Now, saying all that, what about the terrible line ups in Socialist Canada...the waiting room doldrums, the months spent waiting for a procedure... It does happen, but it happens everywhere. It's happening in cities across the United States right now, it true, even though it's never really broadcast. Sadly this will not change with a government backed health care plan, but the upside is, nobody would lose a house or go broke because they couldn't afford an $18,000 broken arm and X-ray.
These are the monthy healthcare rates in BC, each province is different, but close. A drug and dental plan is about the same.
$54 for one person
$96 for a family of two
$108 for a family of three or more.
Most companies that offer health care as an enticement either pay half or all the bill for both plans. If you can't afford the fees, there is a sliding scale based on income. Regardless, I believe this is still cheaper than most plans in the US and no one can be denied care regardless of the status of their account.

It costs us all more when people can't afford good health care. A rise in crime, homeless, mentally ill on the streets or god forbid driving down them.
Ask what the government can do for you. Dammit.





 

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