What Will ObamaCare Look Like

Friday, March 5, AD 2010

[4 updates at the bottom of this post as of 8:08am CST]

If ObamaCare somehow passes through Congress and signed by President Obama, what can Americans look forward to?

Well the Republican Party’s very own potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney did just that as governor of Massachusetts, passing universal health coverage for the entire state.

The results are mixed at best, and scary at worst.

Here are some highlights from the op-ed titled Romneycare model a dud in the Boston Herald by Michael Graham where Massachusetts is “already glowing in the radioactive haze of Romneycare, aka “ObamaCare: The Beta Version.” [emphases mine]:

Shouldn’t Obama have been bragging yesterday about bringing the benefits of Bay State reform to all of America?

As we prepare to wander into this coming nuclear winter of hyper-partisan politics – one in which we’re almost certain to see widespread political fatalities among congressional Democrats – I have to ask: If bringing Massachusetts-style “universal coverage” to America is worth this terrible price, why doesn’t Obama at least mention us once in awhile?

Maybe he thinks of us as the Manhattan Project of medical insurance reform. Too top secret to discuss. More likely, it has something to do with the nightmare results of this government-run debacle. Here are a few “highlights” of the current status of the Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts:

It’s exploding the budget: Our “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget [imagine it in trillions for American tax-payers] for 2010. Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

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11 Responses to What Will ObamaCare Look Like

  • Clearly, the program only failed because it wasn’t properly funded. The rich need to pay their share to ensure everybody has access to health care. Your opposition to health care reform is really a manifestation of your deep-seeded hatred of the poor and fear of those who are not like you. It is shameful for you to use abortion as a smokescreen for your racism.

    //There. Just saved a few folks some time this morning.

  • Steve,

    That is a failure of imagination.

    All problems cannot be solved by throwing more money at it.

    Massachusetts is a model of what will happen to America.

  • Steve, you do deadpan humor better than I do it! You parodied the arguments of the Left to perfection. Well done!

  • Steve,

    I’m enjoying my sucker-pie right now.

    Good one!

    🙂

  • Yes, but Steve forgot to mention fascism. A fatal flaw in any real argument

  • I don;t know enough about Mass to comment.

    However, if public options are doomed to fail, how come they seem to do OK in Canada and Europe and have done for decades?

  • RuariJM,

    Canada and Europe have been subsidized by American military power for the past fifty years. If those ungrateful countries had to spend money on their own military, they wouldn’t have enough money for universal health care. The only our country could afford to ensure health care for all is to do what those countries do – gut our military spending and shut down the one trillion dollar budget.

    Yeah, right! Who else is going to stop Western Civilization from succumbing to the jihadists, if not the American military?

    // I jest. 🙂

  • “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget

    Thanks to greater-than-expected enrollment. It’s a good thing.

    Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

    So what’s an acceptable price tag? The VA budget is $57 billion. Is that too much?

    Besides, most of the $900 million was already being spent to reimburse hospitals for treating the uninsured. The shortfall is $100 million.

    The choice is between insuring the uninsured, reimbursing hospitals for treating the uninsured, making hospitals suffer the losses from treating the uninsured, or allowing hospitals to turn away the uninsured. Pick one.

    Average Massachusetts premiums are the highest in the nation and rising. We also spend 27 percent more on health care services, per capita, than the national average.

    It was probably already the highest before the reform. I do know for a fact that since the reform, the rate of increase has declined both compared to the past and compared to other states. This is consistent with the CBO report which predicts lower costs offset by higher premiums for more comprehensive plans (a net increase in premiums but a decrease in cost). The Massachusetts plan apparently lowered costs more than it increased the price of premiums.

    In Massachusetts, ObamaCare 1.0 is such a mess our governor is talking about imposing draconian price controls.

    The federal government will deal with a larger deficit the way it always does, borrowing. If the federal government was going to impose price controls, it would’ve done so already to save money on Medicare/Medicaid which dwarfs ObamaCare.

    uninsured Bay State residents has gone from around 6 percent to around 3 percent.

    That’s hundreds of thousands of people. That’s great news! A federal program will help millions!

    In conclusion, the Massachusetts plan doesn’t defy logic and works largely as it’s expected to work. Nobody expected it to be free.

    If you oppose ObamaCare, offer an alternative. The way I see it if you take out the public option and include the Stupak Amendment, you have an acceptable plan. Sure, HSA’s would be preferable but if that’s not an option, insurance is still better than nothing.

  • In all seriousness, the rich have no greater right to health care than the poor. The rich are rich not for their own sake, but for the sake of the poor. To those whom much is given, much will be expected.

    Now, having said that, I do not approve of national taxes and national health care schemes. State taxes and state health care schemes . . . I’d have to think about.

  • RuariJM,

    That would explain why the premiere of Newfoundland decided to have surgery in the US and not Canada.

    As well as many more Canadians crossing our border for superior and sorely needed doctors visits.

    Remember, dead patients don’t complain while waiting in line for a transplant.

    That’s why you don’t hear much of them complaining, but there are complaints and it is ugly.

  • I hope Republicans will run attractive candidates for every open House and Senate seat who promise to repeal it. If this Obama/Piglosi/Reid abomination can be crammed down our throats via the nuclear option, why can’t it be repealed via nuclear option once all the Marxist-Alinskyite dirt bags have been voted out of Congress this November? By the grace of God there will be enough of a conservative flip to override ObaMao’s veto.

Fiscal Health Care Reform: The Publics Option

Friday, December 11, AD 2009

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama continue to spend, spend, spend away money we don’t have.  With the public option now firmly established in the current Senate version of the health care bill, Election 2010 comes to mind.

Kick the bums out.

I love democracy.

(Biretta Tip: Glenn Foden of NewsBusters)

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13 Responses to Fiscal Health Care Reform: The Publics Option

  • Give me an alternative to Republicans, and I’ll happily comply. Let’s not forget that the borrow-and-spend mantra was begun by Mr Reagan, and continued by both Bushes, especially the last one.

    Lucky thing for the GOP that in our political system, you might be in last place, but you’re never more than one election from ascendancy.

  • Borrow and spend began with Reagan Todd only if Reagan’s name is spelled Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s Depression deficits, not including World War II, peaked at 5.4% of gdp. Obama’s deficit this year was 7.2% gdp. During Reagan and the first Bush the deficits averaged 4.3% gdp. Both parties have done a lousy job since the onset of the Great Depression of balancing tax receipts and spending, with the exception of Eisenhower and for a few of the Clinton years due to the dot.com bubble, and we are all going to be paying a high price for this for a very, very long time.

  • Running a deficit during a war of national mobilization, a banking crisis, or an economic depression is not unreasonable. During nearly all of Mr. Roosevelt’s tenure, the country was either producing below capacity (and had latent unemployment of such a level that public expenditure might actually be ‘stimulating’) or engaged in a war global in scope. Please note, the Roosevelt Administration did make a serious attempt to balance the federal budget in 1937.

    What has been troublesome has been the inability (since 1960) of the political class to balance the federal budget over the course of any one of the seven business cycles which have run their course since that time. We have had a few balanced budgets near business cycle peaks.

    It is not that difficult to manage. You have to fix your expenditure stream at where your revenue stream would be if the economy were producing at mean capacity. They do not do it because they just don’t feel like it.

  • Let’s not forget that the borrow-and-spend mantra was begun by Mr Reagan, and continued by both Bushes, especially the last one.

    Todd, you are of an age to recall that during a period of economic expansion lasting ten years and featuring improvements in real domestic product a mean of 4% per annum, the administration and Congress balanced the budget just once. Name the political party which had majorities in the upper and lower chamber of Congress during that entire period, and held the presidency for eight of those ten years.

  • When was the last time anyone heard of Congress raising our debt limit to aproximately 2 Trillion dollars. With our debt cost apprroaching 50% of our national income, and the new health bill
    and more stimulus spending to come..some thoughs..the
    government takes money from someone, it has none of its own, and giving money to others has to come from those who work for a living. When those who work for a living realize that if they didn’t and then the government would care for them, then what is their incentive to work and that is the begining of any nation to fail..the fact is that you can not mutiple wealth by spending it and dividing it.

  • I should have added that Medicare’s chief actuary states that Medicare under the proposed bill would spend 35.8 Trillion from 2010 to 2019. Wonder where the money is going to come from?

  • “Name the political party …”

    I would love to see national politics turned on its head, and some degree of sanity restored to foreign and economic policies.

    That either major party will effect that change is a vain hope. Given an alternative to an incompetent, lawless GOP, I’d prefer to hold my nose and take my chances with the current status quo. If nothing else, seeing the Republicans whine in defeat is more entertaining than the alternative.

    Seriously, I do think 2010 and 2012 will be an outlet for much anger if the job market doesn’t perk up. The feds borrowing money isn’t news; it’s been SOP for the last three decades. But unemployment is a crusher right now. The federal deficit? That’s just a useful tool for partisans. As of right now, it still means nothing, and either party is as much to blame as the other.

    Now let’s get back to Obama’s one-child policy.

  • I do not think it will be all that amusing if the U.S. Treasury suffers a failed bond sale. When the ratio of public debt to domestic product comes to exceed 0.9, the willingness of participants in the bond market to buy your scraps of paper diminishes considerably. And that won’t mean ‘nothing’.

    Quite a number of us have had occasion to assess what causes you to hold your nose.

    http://amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook/2005/11/settlement_in_s.html

  • Excellent research, Art. With the change in topic to Catholics behaving badly, I’ll accept your concession on my point that major party politics are bad news for economic good sense. I’m really curious about one point. Stocks are up forty-some percent and the Christmas bonuses for bankers are rolling through the economy. Just what is it that the GOP would have done differently? Mr Bush and the Fed starting the bailout to the tune of a third of a trillion last Fall. Would Mr McCain have ended all that?

    Now can we please get back to the secret Muslim/socialist takeover?

  • Stocks are up forty-some percent and the Christmas bonuses for bankers are rolling through the economy. Just what is it that the GOP would have done differently?

    I am not making any concessions, Todd.

    Counter-factual speculation is usually idle.

    Barney Frank was one of the obstacles to implementing debt-for-equity swaps to recapitalize the bulge bracket banks and in general casino bankers like Robert Rubin have more intimate relations with the elites of the Democratic Party; however, it is true that debt-for-equity swaps for these institutions and for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were also rejected for obscure reasons by Mr. Paulson and his camarilla.

    I have a suspicion a Republican Congress and Administration would have told the United Auto Workers to pound sand. They’d have had to accept a pre-packaged legislated re-organization or the corporations would have had to trudge through the standard proceedings of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, not to mention the ministrations of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. It would have been a good deal less sweet for General Motors’ legatees.

    As for the stimulus, by what accounts have appeared in the newspapers, it appears to have been an omnibus of programs Democratic members of Congress have had on their wish lists for some years. A Republican Congress and Administration would likely have preferred a legislated tax cut.

    There is quite a bit of dispute between economists as to the actual value of the multipliers associated with public expenditure in these circumstances, which is to say a dispute about the degree to which public spending crowds out private spending (one macroeconomist who has written on the subject has said recently that crowding out vitiates the effect of public spending so long as unemployment rates are below 12%). A suspension of payroll tax collections could have been implemented rapidly and would have dispensed a disproportionate share of its largesse to the segment of the population with the highest propensity to consumption, thus having the most impact toward the goal of maintaining aggregate demand. There was the anxiety that the demand for real balances was so intense last year that such would simply be added to people’s stock of cash reserves. The results of monetary policy innovation since then indicate that that concern was misplaced. I do not think the Republican caucus would have favored a payroll tax cut over an income tax cut.

    I think the Republicans, given a free hand, might have put the kibosh on scheduled increases in the minimum wage. The labor market would be in less parlous condition for a’ that.

    The Republicans likely would not have pissed away valuable time on a tar baby like Mr. Obama’s medical insurance proposal.

    I have no clue about what sort of mortgage modification plan might have been drawn up by a Republican Administration.

    So, we did not get debt-for-equity swaps, we got fleeced by the United Auto Workers, the Democratic Party got to do $787 bn in favors for their friends, we priced a good many low wage workers out of the market, we were saddled with a means-tested mortgage modification program that encouraged people to restrict their earnings, and we have had no action as yet on a revised architecture for the banking system or a general plan for working out underwater mortgages because Congress has wasted so much time debating a non-acute problem. It is possible that a Republican Congress and Administration could have done a worse job. It is also possible that I am Marie of Roumania.

  • “It is possible that a Republican Congress and Administration could have done a worse job. It is also possible that I am Marie of Roumania.”

    Ouch! Give it up Todd! You are batting way out of your league with Art. (When it comes to economics, so would I if I tangled with Art!)

  • No, president is can solve these problems. There is more going on behind the scene that we can’t see. Why don’t movie stars like Oprah and Jolie and many other people in the US try to help but stand and watch our country go down and stand before the camera with six kids from all around the world. Im sorry Oprah im black and I may just have to mail her. Why do people from out of the country get free education but not homeless vets? Or just homeless people?. And Obama is making it worse sending troops because he just gonna piss off those people and that’s the last thing we need here in America along with a race war. America is fake, why would anyone believe any presedent. Denmark, France are happy countries with healthcare but they pay a lot in taxes, not many people want to do that in America. America is not use to change. Change is easier for an eastern countries philosophy speaking.

  • “I am not making any concessions, Todd.”

    Then on the next thread we find ourselves conversing, I suggest you stick to your expertise, as Donald terms it, and set aside the desperate historical research.

White House Clueless on Health Care Protests

Monday, September 14, AD 2009

“A mob”

“Astroturf”

“Nazi’s”

President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are trying their hardest at imitating an ostrich sticking its head in the sand.  It continues still today.

When White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod was asked for his opinion concerning the large number of protesters that marched on Washington on Saturday, he replied:

“I don’t think it’s indicative of the nation’s mood . . . “You know, I don’t think we ought to be distracted by that. My message to them is, they’re wrong.”

After tens of hundreds of tea party and town hall protests, the Obama administration seems to purposely be ignoring what Americans demand, no more government intrusion and spending.

The tone deafness of this administration and their proxies is simply stunning.

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43 Responses to White House Clueless on Health Care Protests

  • One small correction, Tito, to an otherwise right-on post: “tens of hundreds” is also known by its more mathematical name, “thousands”! 😉

  • Unbelievable!

    Barack Obama in a few short months as president of “all the people” has assembled a group of unelected Czars who with the aid of the most liberal congress in history and an agenda to “fundamentally change” our country has taken over the banking and finance system (which is reported to be in worse shape now than before he fixed it), the major portion of our auto industry, is planning to control all elements of the energy production, and is demanding that one way or another government should take control of our health care system. All of this was carefully planned to take place without any input from the people and over any objections by the minority party in congress.

    Fortunately some of this Marxist blitzkrieg is still incomplete. The “people”, after witnessing the obvious socializing of America almost over night, voiced their objection to Obama’s polices and the actions of a hell bent congress to bankrupt the nation by allocating never before imagined enormous amounts of deficit spending to support Obama’s agenda.

    Citizens by the tens of thousands have gone to town hall meetings and marched on Washington to demand a halt to the destruction of our economy and the jobs which are at stake under Obama’s inept governance. He reads his ambiguous speeches from a script.
    Yet when the people read the fine print in his legislation and find it different from his script we are scary, ill informed, and obstructionist who are opposed to progress.

    They are frightened by a future that looms with higher taxes, out of control deficits, loss of private healthcare, potential skyrocketing energy costs, and pending inflation not to mention loss of basic freedoms granted under our constitution. They are aware seniors over seventy fear “cuts” in the availability of healthcare services and small businesses see increased costs which will cut payrolls. They hear that primary care doctors see the possibility of not being able to continue to serve patient volumes if reimbursements are lowered and surgeons and hospitals say without tort reform prices will continue to rise.
    All of this is tied directly to provision within the stealth “Obamacare” bill which the House of Representatives hurriedly proposed without even reading it.
    The future is frightening for families and the economy and the people know it!

    SO WHAT IS OBAMA’S RESPONSE TO THE PEOPLE?
    He says we are using SCARE TATICS in our opposition to his policies and agenda.
    Who’s scaring who?
    Unbelievable!! Mr. President that’s real AUDACITY.

  • Perhaps I am completely off-base, but if in 2012 there is a real chance of Obamolech being defeated, then I think he will declare some sort of national emergency and postpone the election indefinitely. He is so narcissist that he cannot conceive that the “peepul” don’t love him any longer. Liberalism is tyranny.

  • It seems to me that when he was confronted by protests, Richard Nixon said he was speaking for the silent majority. Many conservatives at the time agreed that the loud left-wing protests were not representative of the attitudes of the population as a whole.

    During the Iraq war, there were protests involving hundreds of thousands of people. Conservatives (of a certain kind, at least) argued in that case too that the protests were not representative of the population as a whole.

    In both cases, I would argue they were correctin rejecting the notion that people with the drive to get involved in protests were unrepresentative, and their concerns were not the only ones to be considered.

    Last year, the huge crowds Obama drew were dismissed by conservatives.

    Why should the “tea party” protests, which are as chaotic and divided (in terms of policy goals) as the anti-war protests of 2003 be considered authoritative and representative? Because you agree with their attitude toward the President?

  • “Why should the “tea party” protests, which are as chaotic and divided (in terms of policy goals) as the anti-war protests of 2003 be considered authoritative and representative? Because you agree with their attitude toward the President?”

    No, because they match what political prognosticators are seeing as a very rough year for the Democrats in the 2010 elections.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/09/14/of-tea-and-elections/

  • Zak, it’s true that one or a few big D.C. gatherings don’t necessarily reflect the mood of the entire country. But what about state and local gatherings? What if they keep growing over a period of years?

    The Iraq war protests of 2003 probably didn’t represent the mood of the people at that time. The “loud left-wing protests” of the Vietnam era, however, were another matter — they kept spreading. Campus unrest also was not confined only to places like Kent State and Berkeley.

    In the early chapters of Chuck Colson’s “Born Again,” when he recalls his years in the White House, he says that the wave of protests after the Cambodian incursion and Kent State in 1970 were intense enough to spark genuine fear — at least for a brief period — within the Nixon Administration that an all-out civil war or insurrection could be brewing. Perhaps Nixon’s assertion that he had a “silent majority” behind him was a little bit of whistling in the dark, so to speak?

    However, you are right in pointing out that conservatives can’t have it both ways — asserting that THEIR massive protest gatherings prove the country is on their side while liberals’ massive protests don’t prove anything.

  • Perhaps I am completely off-base, but if in 2012 there is a real chance of Obamolech being defeated, then I think he will declare some sort of national emergency and postpone the election indefinitely. He is so narcissist that he cannot conceive that the “peepul” don’t love him any longer. Liberalism is tyranny.

    Yes, I’m afraid that I think you are indeed completely off base.

    There’s virtually nothing about Obama that I like, but conservative fears that he will cancel elections are no more founded than liberal fears that George Bush would. Sorry, I just don’t see it. And I must admit, it really annoys me to see members of “my side” sounding unhinged in the way that I was so recently blasting the left for doing.

  • Perhaps I am completely off-base, but if in 2012 there is a real chance of Obamolech being defeated, then I think he will declare some sort of national emergency and postpone the election indefinitely.

    Um, what? If off-base is a baseball mataphor, then I’d say you’re across town on a train speeding away from the stadium. Get off the train. Put down Atlas Shrugged. Come back to sanity.

  • But there were plenty of pro-Hward Dean state and local gatherings in ’04 that signified nothing. Granted they weren’t as loud as tea party protests, and weren’t played up by Fox News, but I don’t think loudness is a good criterion for political importance. It is true, as Don says, that the Dems will probably do relatively poorly during the ’12 election – but except for ’02, the President’s party always loses seats in his first off-year elections. And the Republicans are just as (or more) unpopular and distrusted by independents.

  • Perhaps I am completely off-base, but if in 2012 there is a real chance of Obamolech being defeated, then I think he will declare some sort of national emergency and postpone the election indefinitely. He is so narcissist that he cannot conceive that the “peepul” don’t love him any longer. Liberalism is tyranny.

    As others have stated, I highly doubt this would happen and I don’t think we should discuss this as a likelihood…. however…. I have no doubt that the left believe they know what’s good for the people no matter how unpopular, and they will use whatever means possible to achieve their goals, stealing elections is definitely in their bailiwick.

    The possibility of such an act being successful increases as the constitution is allowed to be infringed, especially those elements which were designed to prevent such a usurpation. Efforts such as gun confiscation, internal security expansion, infringements on free speech all lead us down the path of dictatorship.

  • There’s virtually nothing about Obama that I like, but conservative fears that he will cancel elections are no more founded than liberal fears that George Bush would.

    I would agree with you. There is, however, an element within the academy and in and among pressure groups which simply does not regard the opposition as legitimate exponents within intellectual life or in the wider public square. At the intersection of this academic subculture and electoral politics is Bradford deLong, and Dr. deLong is (in his programmatic preferences) not at all eccentric within the Democratic Party and may be mildly to the right-of-center when compared to the total population of professors on liberal arts faculties. Look north to Canada and also to Sweden to see extensions of this mentality in practice, and recall that provisions of the federal and state Constitutions guaranteeing rights of speech and petition and assembly are interpreted by the same crews which say the 14th Amendment requires county clerks to issue marriage licenses to pairs of dudes.

  • And we have a mainstream NY Times liberal columnist talking about how in many ways the communist dictatorship in China is better than our own government.

    Certainly, there is a certain appreciation that elements of the left can have for authoritarianism when it’s their kind of authoritarianism. I just don’t see that ever translating into elections being canceled. Heck, we even had an election when we were in the middle of a civil war. Not having one is pretty much unimaginable to the American people. I can’t see such a thing ever happening.

  • Kevin in Texas,

    Thanks! I will correc that.

    Zak,

    You make an excellent point. I’ll need to chew on that for a while for another posting.

  • Why conservative protests are getting folks’ attention more than the liberal versions:
    Libs are always protesting. Cons hardly ever go in for big protests.

    Same way it’s a big deal in social circles when cons are rude about politics, but not when libs do it; it’s just not the style.

    I guess the best way of phrasing it would be that it’s a matter of different “cultures”– either the Con culture is changing, or there’s something really wrong. (or maybe both, really)

  • Question: Why are 99.9% (probably not an exaggeration) of the protesters white? This is DC! And I thought it wasn’t just Republicans, but a nice cross-section of America that’s mad.

  • …are you seriously trying to claim that Republicans can’t be black, Asian or anything else?

  • restrainedradical,

    I was there and about half a percent of the ‘protesters’ were black not to mention other non-white ethnicities. Several of the speakers were black too. Keep in mind that blacks are less than 12% of the total populaiton and over 95% have been brainwashed into thinking their political salvation is from the nice, stealthy racists on the LEFT!!!!

    Not to mention that over a third of the 50,000,000 murdered babies of the last 30 some years have been BLACK.

    You can hardly expect that a majority of the people at the pro-constitutional government rally would be black.

    As for us believers, we know that there is neither Jew nor Greek, nor black nor white — we are one in Christ.

    The racism canard is getting really old. I am not afraid that there is a half-black, half-white man in the White House, I am afraid that the white house is becoming RED — Commie RED!!!

  • over 95% have been brainwashed

    Those dumb black people. But why weren’t there more Hispanics and Asians? They’re 15% and 5% of the population respectively. Are they stupid too?

    You can hardly expect that a majority of the people at the pro-constitutional government rally would be black.

    I’d expect more than 0.5%.

    So far, American Knight offers the explanation that there were hardly any non-whites because most blacks are dumb. Any other explanations?

  • Nice try — it is clear that is not at all what I said. Additionally I did see quite a few Asians.

    Furthermore, I am not exactly a WASP myself. Heck, I wasn’t even born here. My parents, by the Grace of God moved us here before I was an adult and they came in through the front door.

    Stupid and groupthink are not necessarily the same thing. And before you go flying off the handle and tell me everyone at the pro-constitution rally is engaged in groupthink and blind followers of Glenn Beck; don’t confuse unity for our founding principles with groupthink.

    America is a Constitutional Republic based on Christian Law no matter if you like it or not. If it bothers you that real Americans (who happen to be mostly white but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the rest of us) are RESTORING the country to stop the current Zeitgiest that seeks to reform her into Nazi Germany or Red China or Soviet Russia you can leave.

    From what I understand our southern border is pretty open. I’ll buy your burro for you since y’all like to use other people’s money so much. 🙂

  • Guess we should take a page from the Dem’s book and make sure to move token folks of the right color and sex in for pictures….

    Or maybe borrow from MSNBC and crop out anything that doesn’t fit the story? (Say, like a black man packing a scary looking gun in the same area that Obama’s in?)

    Or, we can do like we have been, take pictures and not care what shade folks are or what shape their eyes are, and ignore race-baiters who want to insist that, somehow, the party that keeps getting about half of the support of the nation is made up of old, fat, male WASPS.

  • American Knight Says:
    don’t confuse unity for our founding principles with groupthink.

    But it’s OK to confuse unity against bigotry with groupthink? Oh wait. Only non-whites are brainwashed, right? Whites are “unified for our founding principles.” What is it that makes whites so enlightened?

    Foxfier says:
    Or, we can do like we have been, take pictures and not care what shade folks are or what shape their eyes are, and ignore race-baiters who want to insist that, somehow, the party that keeps getting about half of the support of the nation is made up of old, fat, male WASPS.

    Because you don’t care is exactly why you don’t get their votes (though if you’re a loyal Republican, you should care that too many Hispanics are entering the country). The party that keeps failing to capture non-white votes is made up overwhelmingly of white people. That’s a fact. McCain won the WASP vote.

  • But it’s OK to confuse unity against bigotry with groupthink?

    We can show unity with the founding fathers; all you can show is “you disagree with a politician whose father was black.”

    I won’t even dignify your garbage aimed at me with a response. Should I ever meet the strawman you’re fighting with, it might be an interesting visit.

    You want to keep insisting “you don’t agree with me that we should treat folks differently because of their race, then you’re a racist” — go for it. I’ve got enough faith in humanity that enough will see that BS for what it is.

  • I’m sorry, but not appearing to be a racist when I am in fact not one is somewhere next to what color socks I wear and what brand of toothpaste I buy on my “things I give a crap about” list.

    I don’t even think people like “reinstatedradical” can even coherently define racism anymore, or differentiate it from other things they don’t like. Racism is bad, policy x is bad, somehow they must be related, because “everyone knows” we still live in a racist society.

    All hail the never-ending march and triumph of reason!

  • Funny. I didn’t mention “racism” anywhere. Didn’t accuse any one of it. Talk about oversensitive! For the record, I oppose Obamacare, at least the public option part of it. I opposed the bailouts. My dislike of ACORN goes back more than a decade. I just asked an honest question. A question to which the only answer given so far has been that blacks are brainwashed. So if I were to dig for racism anywhere in this discussion, I’d have to say that American Knight’s comment was racist. Not the Republican party (to which I belong), not any policy or protest of policy, just American Knight’s comment.

    But this does bring up something interesting. Just my mentioning of a racial disparity, is dismissed as an unfounded accusation of racism. There is a reluctance on the Right to acknowledge even the existence of a racial disparity, and if acknowledged, there’s a tendency to ignore it, or worse, blame the race that makes them look bad as American Knight did.

  • “Question: Why are 99.9% (probably not an exaggeration) of the protesters white?”

    “So far, American Knight offers the explanation that there were hardly any non-whites because most blacks are dumb.”

    “But it’s OK to confuse unity against bigotry with groupthink?”

    “Because you don’t care is exactly why you don’t get their votes (though if you’re a loyal Republican, you should care that too many Hispanics are entering the country). The party that keeps failing to capture non-white votes is made up overwhelmingly of white people. That’s a fact. McCain won the WASP vote.”

    “There is a reluctance on the Right to acknowledge even the existence of a racial disparity, and if acknowledged, there’s a tendency to ignore it, or worse, blame the race that makes them look bad as American Knight did.”

    “Funny. I didn’t mention “racism” anywhere. Didn’t accuse any one of it.”

    Good one, restrained. Without actually using the word “racism”, you imply one commenter is a bigot, accuse another of not caring about nonwhite people, and insinuate that loyal Republicans fear Hispanic immigration. But you didn’t accuse anyone of racism.

    So you didn’t like American Knight’s assessment of why comparatively few black folks participated in the rally. Fair enough; brainwashing would be tough to quantify anyway. Perhaps you’d care to explain why it is that black voters support the Democratic Party (and supported Obama) at consistent rates of around 95% although the party offered no support to the antislaver movement in the 1800s, little to the civil rights movement before the ’60’s, and has consistently promoted policies that have resulted in the disproportionate abortion of black babies, damage to the black family, and urban decay.

    BTW, that the DC population didn’t turn out in droves is hardly surprising. These are the same folks who have repeatedly scuttled their own statehood attempts by maintaining crooked or incompetent local administrations that would have been ridden out on rails anyplace else, and who continue to keep convicted drug offender and do-nothing politico Marion Barry in government. My guess is a good segment of D.C. would continue to support Obama and his policies were he to declare himself President for Life, abolish private property right down to toothbrushes, and commence acquiring a harem of teenage girls.

  • Restrainedradical,

    white knight was merely alluding to the % of blacks who voted for Obama. A far greater rate than voted for any previous presidential candidate. His comment may have been inarticulate, but it was surely not meant to be racist as you have CLEARLY suggested.

    I do agree that we must convert minorities to vote their already conservative values.

    Raging Elephants is a Houston based effort to do just that, led by conservative minorities who recognize the devastation wrought on minorities by their democrat voting records.

  • Please let me clarify ‘brainwashed’. As some of you have cogently pointed out, it is bad wording. Forgive the speed at which I typed a response because I was incensed.

    I think it is very insulting to black people to state that there were no or very little black people at the pro-constitution rally. I think it is equally insulting to state that blacks, or anyone else, including us non-white naturalized citizens, can’t think for themselves.

    My ‘brainwashed’ comment was a reference to the cognitive dissonance among black voters. Most blacks are pro-family, pro-life, pro-school choice and pro-private property, yet as a block they vote for the exact opposite, which is what the nice, stealthy racists on the left promote. In addition to my mention that the general genocide of abortion is disgusting, it is also racist in that it has targeted black babies overwhelmingly. That is racist. The voting black population has been decimated by the horror of abortion. How can a party or ideological fellow travelers claim to empower blacks when they are the once eradicating the black population? That is racist and hypocritical.

    As other posters have pointed out, the policies of the Left (both the Donkeys and the Elephants) have been extremely damaging to black Americans. I stated that the voting blacks are ‘brainwashed’ because I can’t think of another reason that they would vote against their own interests consistently and malign the minority of blacks that support Constitutional government, personal responsibility and a general improvement for all Americans, which includes black Americans.

    I also think the right-thinking silent majority, who are not all Republicant’s, are waking up to this long march toward the end of the United States as we know it. That isn’t racist, that is patriotism. If Republicans want to attract so-called minorities then they need to return to true conservative principles and quit copying what the Democrats were 40 years ago and the Democrats need to stop copying the Politburo.

    Also, as I stated before, which was conveniently ignored, people of faith know that there is no Jew or Greek, no black and no white, we are one in Christ. We also should all be red, white and blue rather than red vs. blue and black vs. white.

    We can by UNITED, as in the United States (Commonwealths) of America on basic, fundamental American principles enshrined in the Declaration and the Constitution. And please don’t go trotting out the allowance for slavery and the three-fifths mistakes — they have been corrected because they were and are not compatible with liberty. America is the best, warts and all.

    PS – Matt, my moniker is AMERICAN Knight and although white knight has a certain appeal, given this topic it is probably very innaproriate. I am fairly confident the KKK would not have me as a member not only becuase of the color of my skin and texture of my hair but becuase I am also very Catholic and my status as knight is only due to Fr. McGivney 🙂

  • One thing that seems to be lost on Michael Sean Winters and others intimating that racism is a major motivator for these protesters is the fact that these same protesters are also quite angry with the quite fair-skinned congress.

    Just sayin’.

  • American Knight,

    deepest apology for the typo. Growing up in Canada the concept of “white knight” has nothing to do with racism or the KKK and so the transposition was not ill-intended.

    ps. I find it ironicly amusing that restrainedradical would imply you are racist against yourself…

  • Matt,

    No harm. I didn’t think you meant it that way; I was clarifying becuase some people tend to use any slip to latch on to in order to promote their illogical argument.

    You may be interested in knowing that I am currently suing myself for discrimination and I am hoping to enlist the help of ACORN becuase I will not put up with this blatant racism and hatred for an immigrant especially becuase he dared to enter through the front door and actually read the Constitution. These kind of people are dangerous, they may actually have an idea that liberty and rights come from God and are secured by the Constitution for everyone! Where would that leave community ‘prostitution’ organizers and trial lawyers? Not to mention who would actually watch NBC? This is frightening. I demand an investigation. Unfair. I am victimizing myself — do something about it you white people.

  • AK- *lol*

    …Am I the only one kinda sad that folks watch the video up top, and the first thing they do is try to count how many of what race are where?

    I wish I’d kept track of a picture that was making the rounds during the election– it was from one of the mainstream newspapers, and some folks made a stink because the lighting made Obama look no darker than an Italian with a slight tan. If he were wearing a hat with a nice shirt…are we sure someone would be able to guess his race in that video? Seems like a lot of sand to build an accusation on.

  • cminor says:
    Without actually using the word “racism”, you imply one commenter is a bigot, accuse another of not caring about nonwhite people, and insinuate that loyal Republicans fear Hispanic immigration. But you didn’t accuse anyone of racism.

    That 95% of blacks are brainwashed is a bigoted comment. I said that that was racist. I didn’t accuse anyone of not caring about nonwhite people. Foxfier admitted to not caring about race. Stephen Colbert mocks that sentiment with his line, “I don’t see race. I’ve been told I’m white.” It’s not racism. It’s ignoring that race issues exist. That’s why the GOP can’t win nonwhite votes. As for the loyal Republicans and xenophobia, “loyal Republicans” was not entirely accurate. I was talking about the Tom Tancredos and that large minority of the party that agrees with him.

    Perhaps you’d care to explain why it is that black voters support the Democratic Party (and supported Obama) at consistent rates of around 95% although the party offered no support to the antislaver movement in the 1800s, little to the civil rights movement before the ’60’s, and has consistently promoted policies that have resulted in the disproportionate abortion of black babies, damage to the black family, and urban decay.

    I’ll address that but I’d just like to let you know that those are very poor arguments that the Right would do well to drop. Seriously. It doesn’t convince anyone and only demonstrates how little the modern GOP has done for blacks. Blacks were Republican in the 1800’s and left the party entirely in the ’60’s. Parties change. Black babies are disproportionately aborted because more black women want to. They want abortion.

    Blacks vote Democrat because:
    1. They’re poorer than whites. Progressive taxation and social programs help them disproportionately. Most people vote according to their economic interests. Not “brainwashed.” Perfectly rational.
    2. They don’t trust Republicans. After the GOP picked up the segregationists in the 60’s, they lost the trust of blacks. The GOP did nothing to earn that trust back. Again, not “brainwashed.” Perfectly rational.

    But I’d like to hear your answer as to why blacks don’t vote Republican, if as you claim the Democratic party is so bad for them.

  • American Knight says:
    I think it is very insulting to black people to state that there were no or very little black people at the pro-constitution rally.

    It’s a fact. You said so yourself: “about half a percent.” Don’t be insulted by facts.

    I think it is equally insulting to state that blacks, or anyone else, including us non-white naturalized citizens, can’t think for themselves.

    Good to see you acknowledge that. But then you say…

    I stated that the voting blacks are ‘brainwashed’ because I can’t think of another reason that they would vote against their own interests consistently and malign the minority of blacks that support Constitutional government, personal responsibility and a general improvement for all Americans, which includes black Americans.

    So you’re standing firm? Most blacks are brainwashed? Unbelievable.

    Also, as I stated before, which was conveniently ignored, people of faith know that there is no Jew or Greek, no black and no white, we are one in Christ. We also should all be red, white and blue rather than red vs. blue and black vs. white.

    Using faith in Christ for an appeal to nationalism? How about this one? There should be no illegal immigrant vs. native. No child vs. parent. No rich vs. poor. No healthy vs. disabled. In Christ we are all of equal dignity but these earthly differences should matter when it comes to policy.

  • Big Tex says:
    One thing that seems to be lost on Michael Sean Winters and others intimating that racism is a major motivator for these protesters is the fact that these same protesters are also quite angry with the quite fair-skinned congress.

    The KKK didn’t like LBJ, therefore, the KKK cannot be racist.

  • Restrained:
    Way to dodge the question, dude. And no, I’m not going to be lured into venturing theories as I have little doubt that I’ll have been called a racist and a few other things by the time I’m done. You didn’t notice, by any chance, American Knight’s reference to his own racial background? I’m astonished you persist in attacking him.

    Incidentally, I think most black pro-lifers would take issue with your flip remark about black women and abortion. You’re unaware, I take it, that Planned Parenthood originated from the eugenics movement and strategically locates clinics in predominantly black neighborhoods to this day?
    http://www.lifeissues.org/connector/2005/Oct05_PPTargetsAA.htm

    I’m part Hispanic and can vouch for the fact that PP and other abortionists also advertise heavily in the secular Spanish-language press, so their commitment to “servicing” minorities is nothing if not broad-based. For some reason they seem to be less interested in ad campaigns targeting middle-class white women, unless they happen to be high school or college students.

  • Myapology; there was an answer down there at the bottom. But I’m sticking to my guns re the rest.

  • OTOH, it doesn’t really explain the persistence of Democratic voting into the black middle and upper classes.

  • This is getting tired. 0.005% of the country’s population was at DC on 912. 300,000,000 at 12% (approx black population)= 36million. black population factored by total of dc 912 population is 180,000. Since 95% of balcks are probably still against this movement then we can expect that 9,000 black Americans would be present at DC 912. I didn’t count, but I think the number is higher than that.

    In any event, it doesn’t really matter this whole discussion is a canard. Are some people racists? Yes. Are they all white? No. Is America as a country racist? No. Is the por-Constitution movement racist? No. Are some people in it racist? Probably.

    A minority of racists no matter if they are black, white, Kenyan, Korean or from Kansas do not make a racist movement.

    As for radical’s comment about using faith for nationalism. What do you think Jefferson (not an exemplary Christian and sadly using enlightenment language) meant when he wrote that our rights come from Nature’s God? This is a Christian nation. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t allow for other beleifs it means the principles are Christian — a fact, a stubborn, unavoidable fact.

    In your twisted attack on me you mixed behavior with constitution. A black man is a black man becuase God made him that way. An illegal alien is illegel becuase he chose to trespass. Not the same thing at all. We are not to be judged on our make-up but on our behavior and choices.

    I am finished with this discussion so like a typical antagonist, I am sure that radical will take the last word. I know I am right so I am done.

    God bless you all.

  • Margaret Sanger the big abortion pioneer lectured the Klan. By the way, Catholics have been targets of the KKK as well.

    http://www.blackgenocide.org (and the more rowdy dot com version give lots of facts)

    Martin Luther King a Republican.

    Republicans voted for desegregation in the 1960s. I’m not sure saying the Republicans picked up the Segregationists is an accurate statement with someone like Byrd a powerful democrat and he was in the Klan.

  • “Blacks were Republican in the 1800’s and left the party entirely in the ’60’s. Parties change. Black babies are disproportionately aborted because more black women want to. They want abortion.”

    Denzel Washington, Martin Luther King, Republicans.

    Desegregation Bills only passed because Republicans voted for those bills.

    The last sentence really is a joke, again http://www.blackgenocide.org

  • restrained radical,

    The KKK didn’t like LBJ, therefore, the KKK cannot be racist.
    I fail to see your point. In fact, you entirely missed mine. In these protests, the ire directed at President Obama is very much the same as that directed at the Congress. Why not take a look at the rhetoric from these protests and see for yourself what the nature of the ire actually is.

  • American Knight Says:
    Since 95% of balcks are probably still against this movement

    You say that in passing but that’s my point.

    In your twisted attack on me you mixed behavior with constitution. A black man is a black man becuase God made him that way. An illegal alien is illegel becuase he chose to trespass. Not the same thing at all. We are not to be judged on our make-up but on our behavior and choices.

    I also used the example of children and the disabled which you very conveniently ignore. Unless, you think one chooses to be a child or disabled.

    I know I am right so I am done.

    Bigotry is never right.

  • cminor says:
    OTOH, it doesn’t really explain the persistence of Democratic voting into the black middle and upper classes.

    The distrust of Republicans still applies plus:
    1. Many middle and upper income blacks grew up poorer. They have friends and family who are still poor.
    2. Solidarity within the black community. At the macro level it’s strong.

Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP

Wednesday, September 9, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this posting as of 3:03am CDT on AD 9-10-2009]

President Obama’s speech covered many topics, lets first layout our President’s plan:

I. Keep the health insurance you have now.

1.  Pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage.

2.  No spending caps set by insurance companies.

3.  No drop in coverage in the middle of an illness.

4.  Limit on out of pocket expense.

5.  Minimal requirements of coverage.

II. Public Option & Exchange

1.  When losing your job you have the Public Option if you can’t afford insurance.

2.  Insurance exchange markets will be required for insurance companies to participate in.

3.  Tax credits for small businesses.

4.  In theory this will not lead to a government take over.

Continue reading...

39 Responses to Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP

  • For me the oddest statement in the President’s speech was the claim that “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.” I’m not sure this can even by classified as a lie, as lying requires an intent to deceive, and I can’t imagine Obama thought anyone would believe him when he said this (so then why did he say it?)

  • I think President Obama actually believes that statement he said about not a single dime towards our deficits.

    So I’m not sure if he can be accused of saying a lie. But if it does happen, does it qualify as a lie after the fact?

  • This proposal doesn’t come off as “reform.” Rather, it comes off as more of what we currently have: tons of regulations that introduce more cost and curb competition.

  • It’s not clear that Obama could even hold true to his promise for the length of his speech. Nine paragraphs after making his “not one dime . . . Period” pledge, he says that his plan would cost $900 billion, and that “most” of this would be offset by cuts in existing health care programs. Perhaps by most he means $899,999,999,999.91? Or maybe he means his pledge literally. He won’t sign a bill if it adds exactly a dime to the deficit, but if it adds billions that’s okay.

  • For full disclosure, I am not an expert on how the Health Care industry works.

    With that said I do like the first portion of his speech that says pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage, no spending caps set by insurance companies will be allowed, coverage won’t be dropped in the middle of an illness, there will be a limit on out of pocket expense, and there will be minimal standards required in basic coverage.

    I’m not sure if this will make insurance costs go up, drive companies out of business, and eventually result in a single payer system over a period of time.

    But if this is possible without any of the above scenarios, I like it!

  • Tito, on another thread I was calling you out, takin it back now.
    Really! If we could fix the pre-existing condition and employer control thing in healthcare, who could argue?

  • Master C,

    I was busy typing up this posting when you left that message.

    I like the portion I outlined, but without the public option.

    If some regulations could be set up for the insurance industry without the public option then that would be ideal!

  • We need this change…YESTERDAY!

    Millions of Americans presently have no health care, others who do, when faced with an illness go bankrupt, and others find out that suddenly they don’t have any healthcare at all and still others are covered but face high costs.

    I’m 52 years old..and my job was outsourced 4 years ago.
    Thankfully I have family but I pay $450.67 per month and my Asthma inhaler costs…$211.00 OUT OF POCKET.

    Others are in worse shape.

    Any Catholic that cannot see the good in this isn’t Catholic!

  • P. Edward Murray,

    I certainly sympathize with the problems that you are facing.

    Though I have to say that just because some of us oppose certain points of President Obama’s speech doesn’t make us not Catholic.

    If you could explain why then we have a starting point, but just simply saying this doesn’t make it so.

    Also you can’t force others to pay for something they don’t want to pay for nor are required to pay for.

  • “Primary school taunting”?

    No, he just told the truth. Would that Palin and FOX NEWS would do the same.

  • Mr. Murray,

    I have no health care. I pray that my health does does fail. I haven’t had a full-time job in nearly a year. I do fear bankruptcy if I experience any health programs.

    That said, anyone who tries to get me health care on the backs of dead babies is not doing me any favors. I’d rather face financial ruin than see one more baby slaughtered.

    In Christ,
    Steve

  • Heather,

    Denying that there are End-of-Life-Decision panels, aka, Death Panels?

  • Steve,

    First, I know quite well where you are..I’ve been out of a job for 4 years…

    I thought I had finally found a good company to work for and was promoted a Team Leader at our Panasonic National Diagnostic Center. So I was part of the management team lowest level.

    One day I came in and learned that my entire office was to be sold. We were. And we were led to believe that we would just move to another location.

    That didn’t happen.

    At one point, we had 75 people working at our facility.

    All the remaining jobs were outsourced to Manila.

    I blame GWB and all Republicans..they didn’t give a care.
    To all of them…outsourcing is just another way of making more profit.

    And that is why I will never vote for another Republican as long as I live.

    The lie and cheat period. They only care about themselves and other rich …very rich people.

    As far as abortion is concerned you needn’t worry because this is what the president said…

    “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

    And to anyone else reading…

    We are living in a Depression…currently I have a brother & sister-in-law out of work. I have an Aunt & Uncle..both in their sixties…out of work and they are trying to start business.

    Millions of Americans are in the same boat as Steve and I and if you aren’t yout of work you should be counting your blessings because it isn’t over yet.

    Being unemployed for a long time is very hard but I’m also

  • I’m also caring for my 74 year old mother who has cancer and is still working and is partially disabled with a bad back so I must take her to work and back in a wheelchair.

    This is what George W Bush did.

    I know this is where Jesus wants me to be..to take care of my mother…something that many middle aged Americans face..caring for their elderly parents.

    We need this change and we need the jobs to come back.

    If this doesn’t happen then God help us because there is going to be a heck of a revolution!

    Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy!

  • Tito…

    Have you ever heard of

    “A living will”?

    Please don’t tell lies.

  • P. Edwards Murray,

    There will be abortion funding in the bill. You know better that the public option will offer coverage for abortion.

    This is your first warning. If you’re unable to keep your emotions in check and call me a lier one more time then you will be banned.

    You know there are End-of-Life Panels, aka, Death Panels, in one of the two congressional bills.

    I can tell you my sob story as well, but I’m not here to score cheap political points.

    If you really believe a revolution will occur if this bill doesn’t pass then you are beyond logic and reason.

    If this bill does go through, one thing is for certain, we’ll have an entirely new executive and legislative branch come 2012. That is change that I can believe in.

  • Personally having witnessed the outrageous statements at my former Parish…St. Ignatius of Antioch Yardley PA..statements made just after the election…that voting

    “The Economy” was wrong and that “Jesus would have something to say to me” I left that Parish in disgust.

    Picking up my mother from her weekly Adoration, I noticed some flyers saying that this health care would include abortion….

    Which it didn’t then and won’t now.

    I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.

    And some are really Catholic.

    I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to believe that being a Christian was more than abortion…

    Did not Jesus say “Feed my Sheep”? Did he not say that if a man has no “cloak” to give him yours? Did he not say to give your money to the poor?

    Do we not sing a song “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”?

    Yes we sing that song and Pope John Paul II talked about
    “A Consistent Ethic of Life”?

    So remember…

    Your vote is an action and actions speak louder than words.

    Is it better to vote for one who says they are pro life but clearly discounts everything else that Jesus has said?

    For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.

    One final note…

    When I left St. Ignatius I could hardly believe that any priest or deacon could have said such a thing. Clearly sometimes priests forget that they live by charity.

    The Deacon in question…his other job..is a

  • Tito,

    I will not remain here and will never bother you again.

    Say a Chaplet of Divine Mercy

  • P. Edward Murray,

    You are more than welcome to say your peace, but please say it in charity.

    It seems you are the one struggling with your Catholic identity vs. being a Democrat.

    As for me I am not a Republican nor do I vote a clean GOP ticket.

    I’ve donated all of my money to the local democratic party and have voted for many democrats, yet I vote as a Catholic, not as a republican nor democrat.

    The life of a human being, especially an innocent child, is the utmost important issue.

    If you feel that getting a free bottle of aspirin forcibly paid by someone else is more important than the life of an innocent child, then that is between you and God.

    I’ll put you and your family in my evening prayers.

  • Catholic Anarchist,

    Your disrespectful comments and vicious attack on the writers of this website will not be tolerated.

    It is comments like yours that the American people are fed up with the way you and your ilk demonize those that protest President Obama’s health care bill.

  • “He chastised those that would dare say the Public Option would eventually take over the Health Insurance Industry.”

    A Kool-Aid stand was set up in the lobby for those who have yet to see the light. Name ONE government program that has ever gotten smaller.

    Buehler…BUEHLER…ANYBODY ?

  • “Any Catholic that cannot see the good in [ObamaCare] isn’t Catholic!”

    “I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.”

    “For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.”

    Taken at face value, these comments add up to saying, essentially, that one must be a Democrat in order to be a “real” Catholic (never mind the Democrat-sponsored legalized murder of all those dead babies).

    “Any Catholic that cannot see the good in [ObamaCare] isn’t Catholic!”

    So, then, unless you support this particular version of health care reform, prepare yourself to be denied the Catholic funeral that that paragon of Catholic virtue Teddy Kennedy received.

    “I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.”

    Mightn’t there be an even greater number that proclaim themselves to be Catholic that are more Democrat than really Catholic? There’s a whole generation of Catholic Democrat politicians, for example, that ignore Church teaching on fundamental issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and marriage. It’s funny: I see very few pro-life Catholics who proclaim themselves members of the Republican Party as readily as this gentleman proclaims himself a Democrat. Tito’s not a Republican. I’m not a Republican. And even those who are self-proclaimed Republicans tend to be willing to vote against the party when it comes to a “pro-choice” candidate (witness Catholics Against Rudy). Sad that we don’t see that same commitment from Catholic Democrats.

    “I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to believe that being a Christian was more than abortion… Did not Jesus say “Feed my Sheep”? Did he not say that if a man has no “cloak” to give him yours? Did he not say to give your money to the poor? … Do we not sing a song “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”? … For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.”

    It’s ironic that whevever someone proclaims themselves to have a “consistent ethic of life”, it is almost ALWAYS the unborn who get short shrift, whose right to life is given a lower priority than whatever other policy issues happen to more closely coincide with that person’s own preferences. They proclaim a concern about “the least of these our brothers” without a hint of irony that they’re leaving out of the equation (or at least minimizing) the least of the least of these – the unborn.

    I agree that we should all have a consistent ethic of life. That universal access to health care – in whatever form it is delivered – is part of that consistent ethic. But as long as our culture accepts a legal regime that fails to recognize the inherent humanity in the least of the least of these our brothers, such a consistent ethic of life is impossible. And, quite frankly, a government that provides legal cover for the murder of the innocent is unfit to run anything remotely resembling health care.

    And besides, how dare anyone believe that their other policy priorities somehow take precedence over the very right to experience life that is endowed by the Creator upon the unborn? With apologies to Charles Dickens, it may be, that in the sight of Heaven, the millions of poor children in the womb have a higher priority in seeing the light of day than does someone in having the government pay for their “free” health care. So, yes, let’s have a consistent ethic of life, but let’s get our priorities straight about what that means, and stop using it as a tool for ignoring abortion in favor of a particular party’s big government agenda.

  • “It is comments like yours that the American people are fed up with the way you and your ilk demonize those that protest President Obama’s health care bill.”

    Tito. I know. You’re going to start thinking I’m singling you out. But…the reverse happens just as frequently and just as viciously. And at least on this blog, the latter tends to be quite tolerated.

    Jay,

    I agree. Catholic Democrats really do not live up to their vocation as Catholics. Many are cowards. Many use the “seamless garment” as cover for voting for pro-choice candidates without even resisting pro-abortion legislation while performing some sort of intellectual gymnastics to distract attention from such a reality. But really, we are told that they are really pro-life because they are reducing the number of abortions by expanding access and/or funding to it.

    But…I think concerns that “other issues” — and I’m not talking about everything else on the “progressive” agenda — are unfortunately neglected, or voting for pro-life Republican candidates, which some Catholics imply is mandatory (even you choose to try to opt to not vote for anyone at all over voting for a Democrat), might strike your conscience as endorsing a number of policies that you simply do not agree with and do not believe is good for our country.

    In a sense, there is a sentiment that I don’t totally endorse — but I am very sympathetic to — is that many left-leaning Catholics feel boxed in. It is practically non-negotiable that you support a party that you fundamentally do not agree with and whom we tend to be suspicious about in regard to their commitment to actually stopping the evil of abortion — and I’m not saying the Democrats are the solution. I’m not trying to draw failure of one side to excuse the other. I am merely saying, these concerns — valid or not — usually are dismissed or there is a legitimate sentiment that right-leaning Catholics either totally reject such considerations or really don’t care. Whether that’s true or not is one thing, but it can seem that way. I repeat: it can seem that way. I’m not sure.

    But to the plight of an orthodox pro-life Catholic Democrat, I am very sympathetic. Obviously, I am one. I did not vote for Obama, but if he were pro-life, I probably would have campaigned for him.

  • If Obama were pro-life (and I mean TRULY pro-life, not Harry Reid “pro-life”), I would probably vote for him, just to reward the Democrats for nominating a pro-lifer.

    If the Democrats ever wised up to the fact that being pro-life was actually a political benefit to them, then we could really do something to end abortion in this country, and Democrats would likely become a permanent majority.

  • Eric,

    I know you personally so don’t worry, your intentions are pure and I need someone like you (I have many) to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

    Your comments and critiques of me are appreciated and spiritually humbling.

    🙂

    …and yes, it does go both ways, though for the moment, in my humble opinion, the GOP, conservatives, independents, and moderates are getting more of it than the liberals and democrats.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Obama spent a rather long time last night composing what I believe will be remembered as the epitaph for ObamaCare. I have never seen a more inept performance by a President addressing a joint session of Congress. He is approaching lame duck status in his first year in office with his party in overwhelming control in both chambers of Congress. In the teeth of an economic and fiscal crisis of vast proportions there is effectively no one directing the ship of state. God help us.

  • Picking up my mother from her weekly Adoration, I noticed some flyers saying that this health care would include abortion….

    Which it didn’t then and won’t now.

    With respect, Mr. Murray, that’s simply not true. It did, and it does, as Michigan Representative (and Democrat) Bart Stupak recognizes.

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1918261,00.html

    But you are absolutely right that health care is a human right, and you should have coverage. I just wish the pro-abortion pols would stop jeopardizing the possibility of health care reform with their games.

  • I think there are flaws in Obama’s proposal, I would prefer that any public option only be state- or region-level co-ops, and I’m sceptical of its ability to control healthcare costs as long as most healthcare is fee-for-service. But overall, I think it has a lot of good in it. I wish some pro-life Republicans like Chris Smith would tell Obama that they’d vote for it if it includes the Stupak amendment. With around 20 pro-life Republicans in the house supporting it and the 20 Dems who wrote the letter on abortion and healthcare, that would be enough to pass it and give it some bipartisan credentials, which Obama wants, and it would protect life.

  • You’re right about that, Zak. If the Dem leadership would be willing to maintain the status quo of no federal funding for abortion by including the Stupak amendment, then health care reform would pass with bipartisan support and the blessing of the USCCB.

    I think it telling, however, that the administration that promised to find “common ground” on abortion is not even willing to maintain the Hyde Amendment status quo, despite its being the overwhelming majority view of the American people that tax dollars should not pay for abortions.

  • I think Zak is in the ballpark with the co-ops, but as a Catholic I would rather forget the state/regional level (implies government run) and take it a step further and suggest the the Catholic Church take the lead and reclaim the moral high ground by establish CATHOLIC Co-ops at the diocesan/parish level.

    There are the beginnings of such a move in the diocese of San Antonio TX by the Catholic Medical Association – see:

    http://www.cathmed.org/issues_resources/blog/new_guild_in_san_antonio_forming/

    Imagine a network of Catholic medical clinics around the country (and world) like the Tepeyac Family Center

    http://www.tepeyacfamilycenter.com/

    and Divine Mercy Pharmacy

    http://www.dmcpharm.com/

    Also – Catholic hospitals (like many colleges) need to reclaim their Catholic identity.

  • JB, I like that idea.

  • What these folks who keep talking about a consistent ethic of life don’t seem to get is this very simple concept:

    A consistent ethic of life begins with life.

  • Jb,

    a step further and suggest the the Catholic Church take the lead and reclaim the moral high ground by establish CATHOLIC Co-ops at the diocesan/parish level.

    A fantastic idea. Unfortunately the current regulatory environment (ie. massive government intrusion) makes such an idea very difficult to implement.

  • Matt,
    I don’t know if it would be hard for a diocese to set up a healthcare coop that Catholics could buy into except for government demands to cover certain things. The trouble I see is when the co-op refusedto pay for contraception and gets in trouble with the government like Belmont Abbey College. One fears the government might also eventually mandate that insurance plans participating in its exchanges cover abortion too.

  • Zak,

    agreed, but there’s a lot of other issues in the state level regulations as well regarding non-discrimination and covered procedures, etc.

  • Matt – what came to me as I read your response is to reaffirm what I said about reclaiming the high ground.

    The battle cry of the feminist movement all these years has essentially been “this is MY body” – (sounds vaguely familiar), The regulations (and health care “reform”) have been a steady march towards telling people of faith that “your body has to follow our rules” regarding contraception and abortion – especially when we’re paying the bills.

    Their “solutions” to every problem is always more and more of the same thing that got us into the problem in the first place, and things continue to get worse. It’s like a person that beats their head against the wall every day because it feels so good when they stop.

    I believe that places like the Teyeyac Family Clinic and DM Pharmacy were raised up by God to say to the world “we’re getting off this merry go round”, and the result speak for themselves.

    Many of the Dr’s across the nation that have stopped prescribing contraceptives and referring / performing for abortion have initially seen their practices suffer – only to come roaring back stronger than before.

    To me – the logical place to put these kinds of places is where the people are – in the diocese. That’s how the non-profit Catholic Hospitals got their start – we need to get back to our roots.

    God will do the work if he can just find a “few good men (and women)” to enlist. Now is the time to be bold – not timid. Remember the walls of Jericho !

  • Jay,

    I’m not sure if the absence of abortion would win the bill any new votes. As far as I can tell, people object for various other reasons. But you might be quite right.

    In regard to insurance, I’ve always thought the Knights of Columbus should offer health insurance. I think Catholics would buy it in swarms.

  • In regard to insurance, I’ve always thought the Knights of Columbus should offer health insurance. I think Catholics would buy it in swarms.

    Amen, brother knight.

    Though at this point they are probably effectively barred from it by the fact that you can’t offer health insurance across state lines. If that were removed, and voluntary associations could form pools in the same way as employers, I would think we could see a huge amount of positive change right there.

  • Eric, Darwin… I agree, the KofC seems like an excellent means of offering health insurance. As Darwin aptly noted, they are prevented from doing so by the regulations preventing insurance across state lines. Additionally, removing health insurance coverage as an employment benefit would serve to assist in this endeavor. Voluntary associations with interstate portability… sounds like a winner to me.

Obama Speech: Public Option Now

Wednesday, September 9, AD 2009

Obama speech

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 5:52am CDT on AD 9-9-2009]

News is emanating from the White House that President Obama’s monumental speech will push for the infamous public option.  It is well known that most Republicans will call this a deal breaker but at the same time liberal Democrats will say the opposite that no Health Care bill will get through if it doesn’t contain a public option.

Jonathan Weisman and Janet Adamy have reported in the Wall Street Journal that President Obama will be pushing for the public option.  It is also being reported that there will be penalties imposed to those that are not paying for Health Care, regardless of the reasons.

White House aides acknowledged they expect little Republican support if any.

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15 Responses to Obama Speech: Public Option Now

  • I think you misunderstand what “the public wants.”

    True recent polls say that they don’t think Obama is doing a good job of leading on the issue – he let democracy work, I guess that was his first problem in your eyes.

    However the TV shots of people who yell about losing their country are NOT THE MAJORITY.

    At the most negative level, the country is (as usual) about equally divide on the issue of the public option with about 10% undecided. Moreover after the initial poll, when people are given information about what the public option means, this goes to about 70% in favor of the public option. These polls were done in August by both Pew and a Time poll I believe.

    The tea parties DID make an impact on him, but he is not the president of just those people, he is also the president of the less vocal majority.

    I know these kinds of polls are never shown on FOX, they have their own polls and their reporting bias is pretty obvious.

    Yes, if we get a public option and it doesn’t work, the public will vote Obama out of office. That’s democracy. But that’s what conservatives thought about Social Security and the Clean Air and Water Acts and rural electrification and the same folks who protest any role of the federal government on health care are often the same ones who use those very same programs. Irony is a beach.

    BTW, the whining about the “cult of personality” was always dumb, but now its getting old. Reagan did it and conservatives have beatified him for it, so the current angst about Obama is hardly unbiased.

  • And if Obama loses in 2012, so be it. Hopefully he will have tried to do what he thought was right and not compromised just to hold on to power – but I doubt you would give him even that much credit.

  • You assume a lot MacGregor.

    I’m not a fan of Social Security and the clean air acts.

    Plus regardless if the public option “works” or not, it’ll stay there forever just as Social Security is here forever.

    Government always grows and never retracts.

    When people continue to raise their voice in town halls, tea party protests, and contacting their congressional reps, and Obama still refuses to listen, you’ll see the majority vote Obama and his colleagues out of office.

  • Obama believes in a cult of personality because he thinks he can persuade people of his point of view through a speech? Don’t you think that’s a little disingenuous? All leaders, religious and political, give speeches on subjects in attempts to persuade people of their opinions. Some of us might even argue that it’s a better approach than yelling loudly at town hall meetings or holding incoherent “tea parties.”

    And why would you oppose the clean air act (which is generally very popular, even if you oppose it)?

  • Yes, if we get a public option and it doesn’t work, the public will vote Obama out of office. That’s democracy.

    Actually the bill isn’t set to go into effect until after the 2012 elections. So even if it turns out to be a disaster people won’t get the chance to vote Obama out because of it.

    In terms of polling, support for health care reform tends to evaporate when you put a price tag on it.

  • “Yes, if we get a public option and it doesn’t work, the public will vote Obama out of office. That’s democracy.”

    Actually the bill isn’t set to go into effect until after the 2012 elections. So even if it turns out to be a disaster people won’t get the chance to vote Obama out because of it.

    All that is still beside the point. Political retribution is of no consequence. The reason to make sure things are done right in the first place is that the the consequences are great. Good policy will benefit society now and our posterity, bad policy has long lasting negative effects. I’m no fan of Obama, but I’d happily support anything he does that is good and give him due credit for it. I just don’t think what’s in the offering is good, and since there’s basically no going back (to something genuinely good or even the status quo), there’s good reason to oppose the entire bill.

  • It’s not a “cult of personality.” It’s called communication and trying to build a consensus, and it’s how politics is supposed to work. Too many ignorant and angry voices are spreading falsehoods about what is about to transpire, and it is the President’s JOB to get information out there and make this process as transparent as possible. He has spent months listening to the debates and the Republicans have NO proposal other than opposing any proposal he offers or any effort he makes to bring this country together – however large or small. It’s a sad, sad day when we have people protesting a message about working hard in school and taking responsibility for one’s future. Likewise, much of the opposition to health care reform remains sadly uninformed about the present system AND about the proposals at hand. Such a position does not build anything. It doesn’t even try to promote consensus. It doesn’t do anything at all to help the millions of people who are suffering because of our broken, inefficient, and corrupt system. It rests idly on the willingness of those who are comfortable with the current system to ignore the problem and look the other way. I’m disgusted by the “I have mine, who cares about everyone else” attitude so prevalent in these discussions. There are millions of Catholics, myself included, who support the President and this initiative.

  • He has spent months listening to the debates and the Republicans have NO proposal other than opposing any proposal he offers or any effort he makes to bring this country together –

    You people keep repeating this, but it’s manifestly untrue. In fact, it is an out and out LIE. Republicans – elected officials, commentators, and think tankers – have offered various alternative proposals, but the President and his minions have ignored them all and continue to act as though the other side doesn’t exist. That’s certainly their prerogative because they have the numbers to do so, but stop pretending that the President is interested in “dialogue” and compromise.

    Likewise, much of the opposition to health care reform remains sadly uninformed about the present system AND about the proposals at hand.

    Why do you presume that the people protesting the current plan are the ignorant ones? Are you fully aware of the full scope of what’s being proposed? Have you scanned every page of the proposed legislation? Somehow I doubt it.

    There are millions of Catholics, myself included, who support the President and this initiative.

    And there are millions more who oppose it. Deal with it.

  • Tracey,
    Please read this linked statement on Health Care Reform by Bishop Guglielmone: http://www.catholic-doc.org/BishopGuglielmone/Health%20Care%20memo.pdf

  • Also see this bishop’s less than approving letter on the plan:

    http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/2440/Archbishop’s-Column/

  • Credit to Jay Anderson on that find.

  • And PPH’s president criticizing US Bishops for their stance. This was probably covered a few weeks ago. http://www.lifenews.com/nat5375.html

  • Tito, you couldnt be helped by a public option?
    Obama is proposing we get to have and keep healthcare whether jobless or having a pre-existing condition. Also, if you want to keep the healthcare you have, you can. I fail to see the problem. Ill wager most of the folks posting here have socialized medicine already-medicare anyone? Paul, what are these competing plans? Im familiar with Max Baucus’, what else? The president has been more than fair on taking input from all sides. Wouldnt this be good for us?

  • Pingback: Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP « The American Catholic
  • Health care or not, I’m partisan to a president that can lower my taxes and fix what the housing market “greed” created… Just get the job market back up and avoid more scams…including “communism”

Obama Drops Public Option, Showdown With Pelosi Looms

Wednesday, September 2, AD 2009

Obama Pelosi

President Obama will be dropping the socialistic Public Option from his government-run health care plan.  This will certainly anger the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and make for some interesting showdowns with both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (emphasis mine).

“…Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers… …The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.”

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15 Responses to Obama Drops Public Option, Showdown With Pelosi Looms

  • Pingback: Dueling ObamaCare Videos! « The American Catholic
  • You do realize that:

    (i) the proposed public option is strictly limited to those without employer-based coverage, and is designed to compete with private options, and that it’s sole point is to keep costs down (it would be very easy just to subsidize people to purchase very expensive coverage)?

    (ii) about 40 percent (this is off the top of my head, but I think it’s right) of healthcare spending in the United States now originates with the government. Medicare, covering all seniors, is basically a Canada-style single payer system. The VHA, covering military veterans, goes even further and is basically a UK-style single-provider system. Overall, this means a larger public role than the systems in countries like Germany and France. Do you propose to abolish medicare?

  • Do you propose to abolish medicare?

    Git ‘r done.

  • (i) without employer based coverage

    Meaning what exactly – if your employer pays your coverage, or if it is offered, but you have to pay? E.g., employer covers the cost for the employee, but the employee has to pay out of pocket for spouse/dependent. Would the spouse/dependents qualify for the public option? If not, then they are really getting screwed.

  • MM — it’s wonderful that you finally, after so long, admit to the level of government spending in America, but you fail to follow the logic where it leads: if a single-payer system established in America would magically give us the cheapness and results of France (as you so commonly claim), then we should ALREADY see that Medicare covers everybody in America (not just the elderly), while spending less money to boot. The fact that Medicare does not even remotely do so betrays the vacuousness of your habitual refusal to consider all of the many reasons that American health is different from European countries, and why an American government program will with 100% certainty be incomparably more expensive than what is seen in France.

  • C Matt – if you have employer-based coverage, nothing changes. This was an issue during early negotation and it was decided to restrict to public option only to those out on their own and in small busineses.

    SB– I have never made such a magical claim, and you know it. But we do have a very good comparison — Medicare and private insurance. And we know that while costs are rising unsustainably in both, the rise is actually smaller in medicare. Of course, everybody focuses on the explicit cost on the public balance sheet (taxes), but not the implicit cost on household balance sheets (rising premia preventing wages from increasing).

    On why the cost per capita is twice as high in the United States, there is no simple answer. Part of it is insurance company profit-seeking and administrative– single payer is able to keep costs in check by simply efficiency gains — spreading risk over the greatest number of people and having a single administrative system. That’s an important part of it, but it’s not all of it. Like everyone else who follows this issue seriously, I was impressed by Atul Gawande’s little cost experiment. And here is the paradox — on one hand we have so many people left behind (47 million with no insurance, 25 million with insufficient insurance, widespread rationing by cost) and yet on the other hand we clearly have a lot of treatment that is not needed. And this happens in places where the income of a doctor or healthcare provider is tied directly to the quantity of treatments ordered. This is a classic market imperfection, as the healthcare provider is exploiting an information asymmetry in a way that maximizes his revenue. In places where doctors are paid a salary, or where income is pooled, you do not see these problems with ineffiency (the Mayo clinic is a good example here).

    So, there are really 2 issues — access and cost. Access is actually not that hard — dish dish out a lot of money to subsidy coverage at whatever cost demanded by private insurance companies. I think everybody would agree that this is unsustainable. We must also trim costs. The public option is a small step in that direction — though it is not neutered that I doubt it will do much good at this point. The big cost issues remain outstanding.

  • SB– I have never made such a magical claim, and you know it.

    No, I don’t know it. I can’t even count how many times you’ve made the claim that European countries with single-payer get better healthcare for less money. It’s clear that you’re trying to suggest that the US could replicate the same. If you’re not trying to suggest that, you should write more clearly.

    Anyway, if you read Gawande’s article, he points out that the incentives in the fee-for-service model are so overwhelming that the method of payment (government vs. private insurance) is pretty much irrelevant. That point seems right on to me.

  • MM,

    C Matt – if you have employer-based coverage, nothing changes. This was an issue during early negotation and it was decided to restrict to public option only to those out on their own and in small busineses.

    This is simply not true. Under all of the public option proposals, ANYONE (including illegal immigrants) can chose any plan in the HIE including the public option. Even if such a restriction were added nothing stops the employer from opting to drop it’s employees into the public option.

  • SB: ” can’t even count how many times you’ve made the claim that European countries with single-payer get better healthcare for less money.”

    Yes, I’ve made it a zillion times because it is A FACT. I have no doubt that a single-apyer system in the US would reduce costs and increase coverage, and be better aligned to the requirements of Catholic social teaching. Will it magically reduce costs from 15 percent of GDP to 8 percent of GDP? Of course not. Any anyway, this is all irrelevant, since clearly the great free market liberal masses would rather suffer and die from lack of care than flirt with “socialism”.

    Matt: You are flat out wrong on this one. Restricting the public option to those outside employer-based insurance is central to the proposals (I think that is silly, but anything stronger would clearly not pass muster with the ideological liberals that oppose healthcare reform). See a flow chart that makes this point succinctly: http://vox-nova.com/2009/08/19/9222/. And as for employers dropping coverage, there would be a big penalty for doing something like that.

  • Matt: No public option covers illegal immigrants. The congress and the president have already said they will not agree to any legislation that says this. The only way they get treatment is by going into emergency rooms where hospitals are morally obligated to give them care if the injury or sickness is serious.

    The part of this article that shows the lack of intellectual honesty with many conservative pundits, is that when President Obama proves that he is not a liberal ideologue, when he shows that he believes in bipartisan, pragmatic governance – no one commends him on it. They only talk about “show downs” and his political problems as if he failed. What hypocrisy!

    And Art Deco, what part of your post is in any way Catholic? I challenge you to get in front of any congregation in the country as say that.

    “Do you propose to abolish medicare?

    Git ‘r done.”

  • And Art Deco, what part of your post is in any way Catholic? I challenge you to get in front of any congregation in the country as say that.

    The parishs I attend congregate for the Divine Liturgy, not to listen to my opinions on anything. Minion can ask a rhetorical question. If he gets a serious answer, that’s a gift. Me stingy today.

    I have already bored the assembled with my suggestion of what a revised mode of financing medical care might look like, as a component of a reconstituted tax and welfare system. Of course, there were a mess of holes in the idea, but I am not in the insurance business and I was only ever the smallest fry in the world of hospital administration, so I cannot draw on any fund of knowledge to fill the holes. If you are interested, it is here somewhere.

  • I’d have far less problem with the public option if there was some mechanism to guarantee that the government would remain one competitor among several and not a slow-growing monopolist of the system. The government is no mere private competitor–it has pricing and contracting advantages unique to its role as the trustee of the public fisc. I am unaware of any such mechanisms in the plan(s) before Congress.

    And, in one of the plans before Congress, there is a penalty of up to 8% of payroll for employers who want to dump their coverage. I also believe it caps out the size of the employer which can take advantage of the option, but I’m much less clear on that.

    As I said in a previous thread, 8% of payroll may or may not be an incentive to drop coverage. Without knowing how health costs compare on average to payroll, I have no meaningful frame of reference.

  • Yes, I’ve made it a zillion times because it is A FACT. I have no doubt that a single-apyer system in the US would reduce costs and increase coverage, and be better aligned to the requirements of Catholic social teaching.

    A little more epistemic modesty might be in order, wouldn’t you think? In discussing any policy issue of any magnitude, 100% certainty amounts to overconfidence and bias. Has it never crossed your mind that the same forces that have caused Americans to spend so much more on health care — including via government spending, which isn’t subject to your canards about administrative costs or insurance company profits — may well continue to be in place? That this will cause Americans to overuse medicine in a single payer system to an even greater degree, thus causing overall costs to rise?

  • The real issue is liberal agenda. Get the liberals out of absolute power and see how many problems disappear. The american ppublic is already sending that message at the polls and it’s about time!
    Also; someone with the guts needs to take Obama into custody by citizen’s arrest for failure to prove he qualifies under the U.S. Constitution to hold office; since the justice system in this country is failing to do it’s duty. Every executive order Obama has signed is worthless and must not be recognized officially. Those he has placed in office are there illegally and must be removed. Those of you who are supporting Obama must realize you are supporting a usurper and probably illegal alien. Someone with authority must investigate fully all the hidden personal information which cannot be released to the public under court order. This has nothing to do with national security and everything to do with treason; which when prosecuted rightfully carries the death sentence during this time of war we currently are fighting.

A Public Option: the Left's Waterloo?

Wednesday, August 19, AD 2009

Blackadder has had a couple very interesting posts lately arguing that a public health insurance program wouldn’t sound the death-knell to private insurance companies (and hence competition for the consumer) which many have been arguing it would.

What I find interesting is the vehemence of the left regarding a public option… consider this quote from a WaPo story today:

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12 Responses to A Public Option: the Left's Waterloo?

  • One wonders how many of the people now loudly insisting that a public option is essential to health care reform had even heard of the idea a year ago.

  • Chris,

    At the same time, we find in the same article indications that the GOP’s strategy is yet again merely to try to take down ObamaCare without proposing a real alternative… Sen. Kyl from Arizona and Rep. Price from Georgia both offer comments critical of the co-op proposal, but offer nothing as an alternative strategy. Perhaps this is just the WaPo reporter leaving them out, but I have my doubts.

    You’re simply repeating the left’s talking point that the Republican’s don’t offer alternative reforms. The Republicans have offered numerous times reforms which have been defeated by Democrats at every turn.

    – tort reform!
    – allowing individuals to deduct their private health care premiums
    – allowing small businesses to pool across state lines to purchase health insurance for their employees

    John McCain’s health care proposal included eliminating the employer deduction in favor of an individual tax credit, this would eliminate the majority of “previous condition” issues because people would not lose their coverage if they lose their job.

    At the current time, due to Democrat majorities in both houses the Republicans can not bring any of these proposals to the floor, and the media is not cooperating in getting them out to the public.

  • Fair enough, Matt. I guess I’d like to see a more coordinated communications strategy on the part of the GOP, then, to get their word out. If the media isn’t cooperating… go around them. It’s not impossible.

  • Chris,

    Fair enough, Matt. I guess I’d like to see a more coordinated communications strategy on the part of the GOP, then, to get their word out. If the media isn’t cooperating… go around them. It’s not impossible.

    I agree, if we don’t figure out how to do this, we will fail, regardless of unfairness.

  • Obama appears to be stuck. He wants to jettison the public option portion of his health care plan out of (legitimate) concern that it could bring down the entire bill. It appears, however, that the more left-wing Democrats won’t vote for a bill without a public option.

    I’m not really in the business of helping Obama out. However, it might be interesting to see what sort of concessions he would be willing to make in order to garner Republican support for a public plan. Suppose, for example, that the health care bill kept a public option but was altered to include some or all of the reform items Matt mentioned above. Wouldn’t such a bill be preferable to the status quo?

  • BA,

    Wouldn’t such a bill be preferable to the status quo?

    I’d still be concerned by a lot of the other interventions in the existing bill. Also, it seems like the trade-off from a “public” option would be a “co-op” option, which is funded by the government and controlled by the government as a sort of trojan horse government option.

  • As a tangent. The “Death Panels” were supposed to be a figment of the right’s imagination. I wonder how that plays given this:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204683204574358590107981718.html

  • It’s certainly interesting to see how firmly the left has latched on to the fairly anemic public option in the current plan.

    I wonder if some of this is that the second half of the 20th century wasn’t exactly kind to collectivist-minded idealogues. The ideas of Smith turned out to be a lot better at creating liveable societies than those of Marx. But health care has, to many, remained the one area in which people can convince themselves “market bad, centralized planning good”. As such, having the government provide health care has an appeal to partisan Democrats out of proportion to the amount of good that a particular program is likely to do.

  • One thing that bothers me is that all the fuss over the public option has allowed the abortion provision in the bill to go unchallenged. As Catholics are we really more concerned about the economic implications of the bill vs its deadly intent to fund infanticide?

  • Fr. Charlie,

    I thunk you’re mistaken, the outrage over the government No private or blocked number calls please takeover is multifaceted and it include opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion, and coercive euthanasia. I don’t think there’s a shortage of vocal opposition to any of these aspects.

    All of these elements are a natural extension of the government takeover. Even if hey weren’t mentioned in the law they would become enshrined in practice. That’s part of the reason Catholics should oppose any government takeover.

  • er.. think.

  • I would like to think you are right Matt, but I don’t know. While the Ins. companies need some serious regulation, I am totally opposed to a govt. run health care system. But at the end of the day, I can live with almost anything except publically-funded abortion and euthanasia. The “death-panel” campaign may have protected us on the latter, but besides the US Bishops Conf, I hear almost nothing in the public debate about abortion. What I am saying is that some of the energy needs to go into exposing what this bill will do to the unborn.

ObamaCare Update

Tuesday, August 18, AD 2009

Government Health Care

[Update at the bottom as of 7:39 pm CST for 8-21-2009 AD]

President Obama’s Health Care push has suffered a couple of setbacks.  First they removed the end-of-life provision and Obama Joker Poster Artist Exposed As Liberal-Leaning Palestiniannow the President has removed the public option.

The Democrat and Liberal attempts at demonizing the American people having failed, President Obama could be beginning to understand that we don’t want socialized medicine.

Now come reports that the Obama Joker poster artist is a left-wing extremist, and a Dennis Kucinich supporter to boot.  Not the white, conservative, racist that the mainstream media was accusing the artist of being.

In other news CBS News has reported that the liberal-oriented A.A.R.P. has lost approximately 60,000 members since the video showing an A.A.R.P. representative belittling members at a town hall meeting.  The American Seniors Association has gained 5,000 new members, a rival organization to the A.A.R.P. and significantly less liberal.

CBS News reported that the A.A.R.P. response to the exodus of members as ‘with 40 million members that adds hundreds of thousands each month, losing 60 thousand is just a drop in the bucket.’

Update I:  I forgot to place the American Seniors Association weblink here.

Update II: The 60 Plus Association is experiencing a spike in members following A.A.R.P.’s endorsement of ObamaCare.

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2 Responses to ObamaCare Update

Government Health Care Means Rationed Health Care

Monday, August 17, AD 2009

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air for the above video which was produced by the Independence Institute.  As Barabara Wagner learned, the Oregon Health Plan would pay for her to kill herself but will not pay for Tarceva to fight her lung cancer.  But that’s just Oregon, maybe ObamaCare wouldn’t ration health care?

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17 Responses to Government Health Care Means Rationed Health Care

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  • While I admire Dr. Pollard for providing the necessary antibiotics out of pocket, this is a purely anecdotal example of the inefficiency of Medicaid. These same horror stories exist for private insurers, and many equally moving success stories for Medicaid also exist, yet somehow you conclude that a reformed health care system would result in more rationing of care. The story is touching, but it doesn’t support your conclusion in the slightest.

  • There’s a troublesome topic that hasn’t been discussed much which is that part of the bill that would give the government access to a person’s bank account. Consider this scenario: If a person, be he elderly or otherwise, goes to the ER for a life-threatening event and is subsequently denied coverage, would there exist the possibility that all assets of that person could be confiscated by the government in order to reimburse the health care providers for care rendered? There is a particularly evil man, George Soros, who contributes mightily to several humanitarian foundations that Zeke Emanuel also happens to author health care articles. A real stretch on my part perhaps, but I am reminded that Soros had no qualms with confiscating property belonging to those being led off to the death camps.

  • “The story is touching, but it doesn’t support your conclusion in the slightest.”

    Wrong on both counts. I find Dr. Pollard’s statements alarming rather than touching. His statements also indicate a clear intention to deny treatment by medicaid. If such attempts are made by a private insurer to do this, a consumer always has recourse to the courts and to not give their business to insurers with a poor track record of paying for treatment. When the government is the insurer, no such options are available for ill treated consumers.

  • Having legal recourse after an insurance company has denied coverage is virtually no recourse at all unless your emergency medical condition is courteous enough to wait up to several years while you pursue a (hopefully) favorable verdict. Private insurers are also largely immune to having their customers vote with their wallets, since most people can only feasibly afford the insurance their employer has chosen to offer. There seems to be some implication that the scenario encountered by Dr. Pollard can’t or doesn’t happen when private insurers are involved despite the fact that it can and does all the time.

  • djr,

    a reformed health care system would result in more rationing of care.

    Not a reformed health care system – a GOVERNMENT health care system.

    The difference with private insurers is that the coverage limits are written into the policy agreement, if the insurer does not abide by them, you have recourse to the government. If you’re on a government health care program, your recourse is “the hospice chute”.

  • djr,

    can you provide an example where a health insurance company has offered to kill it’s customer?

    Problems with enforcement in the current system do not get solved by throwing “the baby out with the bathwater”. The current system works for the overwhelming majority, the problems need to be fixed but that doesn’t mean it’s flawed in general.

    since most people can only feasibly afford the insurance their employer has chosen to offer.

    There’s a “change” we can all believe in right? Allow individuals to economically purchase a state approved plan for themselves? Wait…. the Republicans proposed this plan several times and the big “O” and all his cronies voted against it.

    ps. I’m unaware of any euthansia promotors at the top levels of private insurance companies…apparently you are, or you would see the difference.

  • “Having legal recourse after an insurance company has denied coverage is virtually no recourse at all unless your emergency medical condition is courteous enough to wait up to several years while you pursue a (hopefully) favorable verdict.”

    Actually verdicts in wrongful denial of coverage suits are frequently astronomical and many insurance companies will authorize treatment soon after receiving a letter from an attorney threatening such a suit. Having written several such letters that has been my experience.

    “Private insurers are also largely immune to having their customers vote with their wallets, since most people can only feasibly afford the insurance their employer has chosen to offer.”

    A consumer in moderate to good health can usually get an insurance policy for rather low rates, especially if he is willing to take on a high deductible for non-emergency care. I pay for my family’s insurance out of my own pocket and have done so for the past 23 years and have been able to get good rates with various insurers through careful shopping.

    “There seems to be some implication that the scenario encountered by Dr. Pollard can’t or doesn’t happen when private insurers are involved despite the fact that it can and does all the time.”

    No such implication was made by me. My point is that when the Government runs health care the consumer has no options to rationing and frequently shabby service.

  • Matt,

    Again, legal recourse is not particularly meaningful when (as in the ten day example given in the original article) you require treatment immediately. Granted, if your insurer is simply and blatantly in breech of the terms of your policy, you (or maybe your estate) will probably trounce them in a courtroom one day. But your insurer may also have conditions associated with your coverage that prevent you from getting the treatment you actually need within the timeframe you actually need it. Perhaps before agreeing to antibiotic treatment for your eye infection, you’re required to undergo some less expensive treatment that takes 10.1 days and fails. This is rationing of care, and it happens today in a perfectly legal manner without any help from the government.

    Regarding euthanasia, I’m not entirely sure where that is coming from or where it is going. I suppose I don’t know of any private insurance companies that offer to kill you (although there are many who would be happy to let you die), but I don’t think it has anything to do with whether or not health care is rationed to any greater or lesser extent under any of the proposed plans.

    Donald,

    I’ll defer to your expertise on the topic of wrongful denial of coverage, since it sounds like you have some experience there, but I think ‘wrongful’ is the operative word. Care doesn’t necessarily have to be wrongfully denied to be effectively rationed, it simply has to be limited to the point that it isn’t of any use to you at the time you need it. I can attest personally (anecdotally, I admit) to the hurdles and hoops private insurance will ask you to jump through before agreeing to a procedure or settling a claim. Given the right circumstances, that is every bit as much rationing as the situation described by Dr. Pollard.

    I’ve also had personal experience trying to secure affordable insurance without the help of an employer, and I’m honestly amazed to hear how successful you’ve been. The numbers I was quoted for a fairly modest plan (including eye care and dental, admittedly) were outrageously high, even in my mid-20s and with no pre-existing conditions. Maybe with enough time and agreeing to a high enough deductible, I could have found something acceptable, but there is just no comparison to the plan and pricing I’m able to get through my employer. I would have to be extremely angry and willing to sacrifice a huge amount of money to stick it to my current provider, and in the end, I don’t think they would miss me enough to really reflect on why they lost me as a customer. I think my situation is fairly common, and it effectively prevents me from taking my business elsewhere to any great effect.

    It may be true that government-run health care will lead to greater rationing and shabbier service, but I don’t think the article supports that argument at all. It just tells a story where adequate care wasn’t provided, and Medicaid happened to be the insurer involved. You could find a story just like this in any hospital in America where the insurer is a private company.

  • The prime problem drj with giving government a monopoly over health care, which is what the proposed House legislation would do, is just that. In a monopoly situation there is no incentive for the holder of the monopoly to provide good service. Dr. Pollard’s experience attests to what happens now in regard to Medicaid, a service provided to the poor who have no other alternative due to lack of funds. ObamaCare would put us all in that leaky boat.

  • I don’t disagree that a monopoly is terrible for consumers, and I would hate to see a government monopoly over health care. I’m not thoroughly convinced that any mechanism by which the government provides insurance necessarily leads to a government monopoly, either. But in either case, Dr. Pollard really only successfully makes the case that people without any options have no options, something that is true whether your health care comes from the government or from a private insurer. The rationing argument he makes doesn’t hold because it is in no way unique to Medicaid. Private insurance rations very clearly already and often in the exact same way, so it isn’t fair to assert that Medicaid is a leaky boat (in regard to rationing of care) and that private insurance is something different.

  • When private insurers are driven out of business drj, and that would clearly be the ultimate result of the House bill, only the government would be left as a monopoly. A multiplicity of private insurers today prevents such a monopoly. A single payer system is merely another way of saying government monopoly.

  • My folks have private insurance, have my entire life– it’s expensive, but ranches don’t offer insurance.

    Mom’s had breast cancer, two orthoscope knee operations, a knee replacement, some sort of operation on the joints of her thumb…. all with the pre-existing wear and tear of a high school track star.

    Dad has a lot of skin problems, an incorrectly healed wrist since he was in high school and a pretty solid history of stuff-spiked-through-his-foot.

    Both in their fifties, both with family histories of rather expensive medical problems.

    Private insurance hasn’t been *perfect,* but it’s been pretty dang good.

    It’s also telling that mom is the only one that we know in the valley who has had any of those surgeries and paid for them herself, and that dad’s medical massage therapist had to raise her rates (she previously had a “monthly member” style discount club for valley residents with medical problems) or she would have to stop seeing Medicaid/Medicare customers.

    From where I stand, it sure looks like the idiots who are proud and honorable enough to pay for their own dang insurance need some protection from the folks that won’t, and they sure don’t need something that a politician is promising will be as good as the Post Office!

  • djr,

    First of all, you haven’t responded to the objections about the character of government which clearly is an important element of this.

    I’m not thoroughly convinced that any mechanism by which the government provides insurance necessarily leads to a government monopoly

    we don’t need to convince you that it will absolutely happen. You support a massive expansion of government power, it is your side that must prove that it will absolutely not happen in order to justify it.

    people without any options have no options, something that is true whether your health care comes from the government or from a private insurer. The rationing argument he makes doesn’t hold because it is in no way unique to Medicaid. Private insurance rations very clearly already and often in the exact same way, so it isn’t fair to assert that Medicaid is a leaky boat (in regard to rationing of care) and that private insurance is something different.

    The problem you’re having is the “insufficient options” fallacy. The only options are not to leave the health insurance system as it is, or a “government option”. The fact is that numerous improvements to the current system do not involve the great risk that we’re concerned about but the democrats oppose them… tort reform, separating insurance from the employer, cross-state line competition… these things would solve the problem of rationing by giving people options. Appropriate oversight to ensure people get the procedures they need is important, and if it’s not happening then EACH STATE should work to resolve this as quickly as possible, there’s no need for federal infringement on this state level authority.

  • Matt,

    I guess I don’t fully understand what you mean by the ‘character of government’. Is this on the topic of euthanasia? If so, I honestly don’t give much credence to the argument that the government wants to euthanize old people, and I’m amazed and disappointed that the idea has gotten any traction. Compared to the ethics and character of private enterprise, which I think we can all admit is only interested in your health care to the extent that they can wrangle a profit from you as you try to afford it, I think it’s a wash at best.

    I don’t feel like I need to defend a massive government expansion because I’m not a proponent of government-run health care – that’s just something you’ve assumed because you see the entire issue as Us vs. Them and because my initial post was about how the content of this article doesn’t support its headline in any reasonable way. Still, it does seem clear to me that the government could be involved in health care to many different degrees, most of which don’t require the takeover that you assume would result. This should be evident by the fact that the government already is involved heavily with health care and has not thus far managed to take over the entire system.

    As for the insufficient options fallacy, you’re again assuming that I’m only interested in a government-provided solution. The argument I’m making is not for a government option, it’s against drawing bad conclusions from anecdotal accounts in an effort to convince people of something you hope they’ll believe without being offered any real evidence.

    As far as the other options you mentioned are concerned, I don’t disagree with any of them. I’m not a democrat or a republican, so I don’t find myself at odds with any political ideology for thinking that they’re good ideas. But they’re not incompatible with government intervention either, so I don’t consider it an either/or proposition. One thing the government can bring to the table that private industry can’t is a service driven by and focused on something other than quarterly profits, and I recognize that there might be a place for that somewhere in the health care industry.

    I don’t want to wander too far from the point, though. I haven’t seen any credible evidence that government care means rationing above and beyond the level we see today (especially if you treat being unable to afford or obtain insurance at all as rationing, which I think you can legitimately do), and you can’t simply tell a bad story about Medicaid, conclude that Medicaid is bad, and call that a meaningful argument.

  • Is this on the topic of euthanasia? If so, I honestly don’t give much credence to the argument that the government wants to euthanize old people, and I’m amazed and disappointed that the idea has gotten any traction.

    Well, when we have multiple examples of Gov’t healthcare doing exactly that, in this country…. What else are we supposed to think? “It can’t happen to me”?