Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The essential quality of a free economy is that it cannot be planned. It leaves the solution of problems to the inspiration of the individuals in the untrammeled population. When something approaching a free economy has existed, it has always worked better than the schemes of any planners.”     Thomas H. Barber

August 10, 2009

If This Be Un-American, Make The Most Of It

by Doug Mataconis

In what I can only call an extraordinarily disturbing Op-Ed in today’s USA Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer leveled an attack against those who are protesting the Democrats’ efforts to “reform” the health care system:

However, it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue. These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted “Just say no!” drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion.

These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.

Pelosi and Hoyer — or, to put it more accurately, the staffer who wrote this drivel for Pelosi and Hoyer go on to claim that Americans strongly support health insurance reform, and more specifically support the plan currently being debated in Congress. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the protests themselves weren’t an indication of this, then all one has to do is look at the polls which show that, at best, the public is deeply divided when it comes to the specifics of HR 3200, that most Americans like the health insurance they have now, most do not agree with Pelosi’s recent characterization of insurance companies as “villains, and that a majority believes middle-class tax cuts are more important than health care reform.

The argument that there is a “consensus” on health care reform in general, or on the merits of HR 3200 specifically, is just a bald-faced lie.

Even worse then getting the facts wrong, though, is the fact that Pelosi and Hoyer have decided to characterize those who disagree with them as “un-American.” They and their supporters will, no doubt, claim that the label is only meant to apply to those who have been disruptive, however it’s worth noting that they never managed to find it necessary to say the same thing when the disruptive tactics were coming from the left, as demonstrated by this Pelosi town hall from January 2006:

Dozens of heckling, sign-toting anti-war protesters tried to take center stage at the congresswomen’s town hall forum on national security — calling for an immediate de-funding of the Iraq war and impeachment proceedings against President George Bush.

(…)

Pelosi never summoned help from police or security. She negotiated with the hecklers and at times even thanked the protesters for their advocacy and enthusiasm.

“It’s always exciting,” she told reporters after the meeting. “This is democracy in action. I’m energized by it, frankly.”

So, a town hall filled with disruptive Code Pink demonstrators is “democracy in action,” but a town hall filled with opponents of ObamaCare is Un-American. Or at least that’s how the calculus works in Nancy Pelosi’s universe.

Glenn Reynolds put it best in a piece yesterday in the Washington Examiner:

Funny how fast the worm — or maybe it’s the pitchfork — has turned. Now that we’re seeing genuine expressions of populist discontent, not put together by establishment packagers on behalf of an Officially Sanctioned Aggrieved Group, we’re suddenly hearing complaints of “mob rule” and demands for civility.

Civility is fine, but those who demand it should show it. The Obama administration — and its corps of willing supporters in the press and the punditry — has set the tone, and they are now in a poor position to complain.

Whether they like it or not — and the evidence increasingly tends toward “not” — President Obama and his handlers need to accept that this is a free country, one where expressions of popular discontent take place outside the electoral process, and always have. (Remember
Martin Luther King?)

What historians like Gordon Wood and Pauline Maier call “out-of-doors political activity” is an old American tradition, and in the past things have been far more “boisterous” than they are today.

Rather than demonizing today’s protesters, perhaps they might want to reflect on how flimflams and thuggishness have managed to squander Obama’s political capital in a few short months, and ponder what they might do to regain the trust of the millions of Americans who are no longer inclined to give the Obama administration the benefit of the doubt.

I’ve been critical over the past week of some of the more sensational of the town hall protesters tactics (see here and here specifically). I’ve denounced those like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and the folks at Americans for Prosperity who have decided that the way to fight HR 3200 is to lie about it. However, the fact that I think their tactics are wrong, or counter-productive, doesn’t mean they’re un-American, or that they should be compared to Nazis, or that they’re racist.

There’s a phrase that comes to mind, and it’s one that we should all be familiar with:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Hoyer should be ashamed of themselves for calling the exercise of a precious Constitutional right “Un-American.”

C/P: Below The Beltway

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186 Comments

  1. [...] C/P: The Liberty Papers [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » If This Be Un-American, Make The Most Of It — August 10, 2009 @ 4:20 am
  2. My wife has worked for years at a liarge healthcare company so I’m privy to a lot of what goes on behind closed doors at these companies. The simple truth is these companies most important function is to make money period. They have employees whose job it is to look for ways to deny your claim, this saves them money. The less they pay in claims the more money they make. It’s easy to understand, this is a calitalistic approach to healthcare and in my opinion it is wrong. Healthcare needs to be changed to a system that is more concerned with peoples good care than profit for it’s investors. It works in France and in Canada and in England. Before you knock the systems these countires have ask someone or better yet go there yourself and see with your own eyes how well it works. Don’t beleive those who would tell you stories of long waiting times for MRI’s and such, these are lies meant to scare us into leaving healthcare as it is in its present form. A win for wall street to be sure.

    Comment by Greg — August 10, 2009 @ 4:59 am
  3. For 15 years my family and myself lived in Japan and participated in their market-based Japanese single payer healthcare system. While their system isn’t perfect, it is preferable to ours in many ways. Recently I saw a quote by R. Limbaugh who stated that no one leaves the USA for healthcare. He is wrong: my wife is Japanese and we have decided to leave the USA because healthcare costs are simply out of control.

    Comment by Ash — August 10, 2009 @ 5:11 am
  4. To say that the English, French or Canadian systems work as well as ours is ludicrous on its face.

    Nobody is saying that the current system does not need to be reformed. But in spite of its glitches and obvious defects which need to be addressed, most Americans do NOT want “single payer” because we HAVE seen what a debacle it turned into, in places like England, and are pissed off at Obama and Company’s repeated dodges, sidesteps and flat out lies in this regard.

    If this was really about “the facts” as her royal highness Nancy claims, then there would be detailed explanations and analyses of this 1000 page monstrosity being published, and reasoned and open debate being conducted it……instead of a headlong RUSH to enact it BEFORE people (including our own elected representatives) even had a chance to READ the damn thing – let alone discuss it.

    They already crammed through the trillion dollar “stimulus” with NO public debate or before anyone could dissect it or even READ it. Hey motherfuckers in Congress and in the White House. STOP it. STOP DOING THAT. Right fucking NOW!

    And yeah, that “evil” profit motive is in play with private insurers. So what? I’ll still take my chances on getting first class treatment by going through a private insurer, than have a Federal bureaucrat – answerable to NOBODY, making my medical decisions.

    I want every politician to answer THESE questions before casting a vote on this bill:

    Isn’t this plan too expensive for a country that is already beyond broke;
    How can the federal government be capable of handling the responsibility of an industry that makes up 15% of our economy – medicare is an absolute financial mess now;
    How can you claim that the Public Option is not a backdoor route to a Single Payer health care plan – which the MAJORITY of your constituents (at least those who actually pay taxes) do NOT want;
    Does not providing universal healthcare without shooting costs through the roof mean rationing of care – if not, why not, and explain yourself with real and not bogus data;
    Why is this plan, if it’s so good, not going to be required for ALL federal employees?

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 6:00 am
  5. If anyone has a question as to what side in the healthcare reform debate has more organized backing, just look at the signs they hold. Those backing the Obama proposal normally bring pre-printed signs, while the protesters with concerns have handwritten, homemade posters. In America, both sides of the question have a right to speak out. The Pelosi/Hoyer statement attacking their opponents as un-American is more than disturbing, it is an affront to free speech. Yet, it is reflective also of the “Chicago way” employed by top administration leaders. We can only hope for a more open and honest discussion. Any attempt to shut down opposition will result in a growing revolt.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 6:02 am
  6. Yes, health care costs are out of control. I believe this is a result of government interference in the market. I do not believe that more government interference is the way to solve the problem.

    I found a great article about this here: http://mises.org/story/3613

    It’s a little long, but it reviews what some of the problems are, their causes and some real workable solutions via a controlled return to the free market. Well worth the read.

    Comment by John222 — August 10, 2009 @ 6:08 am
  7. SouthernJames, you and millions of other Americans don’t know what a single payer system healthcare system is: in Japan I enjoyed a market-based single payer system (80% of the hospitals and clinics are privately owned in Japan, a percentage higher than in the USA) and there were no “Federal bureaucrats” making healthcare decisions. My doctors did that. Oh, and costs were quite reasonable as well. No one, and I mean no one, in Japan would trade their system for ours. Is there system perfect? Hardly. It often lacks the plush amenities of ours, yet it is preferable.

    Comment by Ash — August 10, 2009 @ 6:13 am
  8. @southernjames It’s proven that these countries have better care than ours by the simple fact of statistics. Many of them have higher life expectancy rates, better infant mortality rates, less rates of obesity among just a few things. If their systems are so horrible then please explain the better rates of care.

    Comment by Vast — August 10, 2009 @ 7:02 am
  9. I can’t speak for the quality of care in Japan, but I understand that taxes are rather high. U.S. corporate taxes are high, but still second to Japan.

    The Doctor’s aren’t making very much money, and some seek additional sources of revenue, such as charging for parking, vending machines.

    I also understand that most of the hospitals in Japan are running at a deficit as they aren’t charging enough to balance the books.

    Comment by John222 — August 10, 2009 @ 7:35 am
  10. Higher life expectancy rates, infant mortality rates, and obesity (!!) statistics can be, and are, skewed by vastly differing demographics.

    The unemployment rate in Cuba is lower than ours, too. Which means jack.

    We have the fattest people in the world (including the fattest poor people) due to our culture of fried foods, fast foods, relentless consumption of soft drinks, and junk food – and that has absolutely zero to do with whether I can get arthro surgery to get my bad knee scoped and cleaned this year, by the best trained physicians in the world – and somebody I CHOSE from the docs on my insurance plan; – or whether I get put on a 2 year waiting list before getting a doc a governmnent bureaucrat assigns to me – or denied it altogether, and given a little blue pain pill instead.

    While still being highly taxed for the “privilege” of being “fully covered” just the same.

    As for Ash and JapanCare – when Congress or the White House introduces a plan which is identical in every way (including no doubt, tort reform to the extent of having VERY strict limits on allowing malpractice suits – assuming such suits are allowed at all, in Japan), AND which also will encompass ALL federal employees within it too – AND which allows for a period of debate, discussion, evaluation, and study, before it is voted on — you be sure to let me know, okay?

    Until then, do not try to push this bullshit crap sandwich of a bill upon me – and try to cite JAPAN’s system in support of it. Give me a fucking break. Japan’s system is not what the Union thugs with their pre-made communitity organized Acorn signs are shouting out in favor of.

    Just ran across this one this morning. Gee what a surprising article!

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2009/08/03/exclusive-fury-after-hospital-sends-heart-attack-mum-home-to-die-86908-21567473/

    My friends and family in England assure me that their national system is a living nightmare of a clusterfuck.

    This one is kind of amusing too.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204908604574334282143887974.html

    Do not even TRY to attempt an argument in favor of this piece of shit bill, unless and until you can first answer my four questions posed at the end of my post above. Answer them.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 7:36 am
  11. southernjames, why don’t you back up your talk with facts? Those other countries DO have much better healthcare systems than America’s. Americas life expectancy has dropped to 26th in the world. I’m sorry to say that America just isn’t number one in that respect. Nobody gets anything done by swearing or yelling and screaming. I can see your angry but keep it in persective. It’s not an end of the world kind of topic. I’ve traveled a lot and have personal experience with the healthcare system in France and England. You should take time to find out what it’s like over there and not trust what the opponents of heathcare change are trying to sell you. Take the profit out of healthcare, why do we need to make money from it? By the way the Medicare mess has an overhead of 2% of its budget and the average insurance company has an overhead that averages around 20% of its budget. Now who’s wasting money? Medicare doesn’t pay it’s CEO’s tens of millions of dollars every year or fly it’s corproate officers in private jets to Bermuda for those golf junkets/ meetings. Where do you think that money comes from? It isn’t going to pay for anyones treatments. Trust me when I say thes people are paid to find ways to DENY YOUR CLAIMS!!!

    Comment by Greg — August 10, 2009 @ 7:43 am
  12. you know what southernjames, do me a favor and ignor my comments. I don’t want to be responsible for pushing you over the edge today. Your mind is made up and thats cool by me. Great to live in a country that respects others right to free speech huh?

    Comment by Greg — August 10, 2009 @ 7:49 am
  13. Quoting from the Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org), a think tank that has offered a comprehensive, thoughtful analysis of the health care issue…

    On one side, there are those who believe that centralizing power in Washington is the best approach to achieve serious and long-lasting health care reform. Their policy prescriptions call for federalizing and heavily regulating health insurance. Proposals for a new public health plan and a federal health insurance exchange, as well as an individual mandate to purchase a government-approved package of benefits, clarify their intent: Washington control over health care financing and delivery.

    The result, regardless of stated intentions to the contrary, is that the Congress would ultimately be in charge of health care decisions. It would result in a massive one-size-fits-all government system, and it would depend on flawed financing schemes, new mandates, and higher taxes to pay for it.

    On the other side, there are those who believe that individuals and families should be the key decision-makers in health care and that they should control the flow of health care dollars in a reformed system. They are concerned that a centralized system of federal decision-making would:

    * Diminish individuals’ control over their personal health care decisions;
    * Directly undermine state autonomy and authority in health policy, undercutting both innovation and experimentation to expand coverage and deliver quality care, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens;
    * Generate and perpetuate unsustainable federal spending; and
    * Ultimately, in the face of serious budget crises, lead to government rationing of care and services.

    This is the decision we face. Many of us would ask – when has our government ever made anything less expensive, more efficient or more effective than the private sector? Yes, there are problems to work out, but a socialization of 1/6 of the American economy is folly. We can do MUCH better than that. If the Left will slow down and consider truly market-based alternatives (including tort reform), we can find a plan that is good – and healthy – for all Americans.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 7:51 am
  14. SouthernJames,

    You wrote, “As for Ash and JapanCare – when Congress or the White House introduces a plan which is identical in every way (including no doubt, tort reform to the extent of having VERY strict limits on allowing malpractice suits – assuming such suits are allowed at all, in Japan), AND which also will encompass ALL federal employees within it too – AND which allows for a period of debate, discussion, evaluation, and study, before it is voted on — you be sure to let me know, okay?”

    I look forward to the day when our country can have a healthcare system as good as the one found in Japan … or Taiwan, or even Israel. In the mid 1990s Taiwan looked the world over for what worked in healthcare and what did not and created a system from scratch; Israel did something similar though went with a more expensive system than single payer (that is subsidized by the US taxpayer through our generous contributions to that country) at about the same time. Sadly we don’t live in a society that would allow the lawmakers of this country to do what Taiwan did and create a system that works for US from scratch as the Medical Industrial Complex simply won’t allow it. Instead we have to be satisfied with whatever scrap is thrown our way which is why I am supporting the president on this even though it is far from what I would like to have. Maybe the Israeli lobby can get us the healthcare system we deserve ….

    Comment by Ash — August 10, 2009 @ 7:56 am
  15. Hey guys, I’m not going to tell anyone what to comment about but the post wasn’t about merits of single-payer health care.

    It was about two politicians calling people who disagree with them “Un American”

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — August 10, 2009 @ 7:58 am
  16. Statistics about life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. are useless unless you know the methodology behind them and how the data was collected.

    For instance if a baby is born alive in the US and dies a few minutes after birth it’s counted as a live birth and would affect the overall life expectancy. In some countries if a baby is born alive and dies shortly therafter they don’t count it for life expectancy.

    When it comes to infant mortality there are more babies born in the US that might not survive anywhere else. Whereas in another country they might not try to deliver a child that was very premature. If the child dies before it’s born then it doesn’t affect the infant mortality rate because it wasn’t a live birth. If the same child is delivered early in the US maybe there’s only a 1 in 3 chance that they’ll survive, but those that don’t will raise the infant mortality rate.

    The US has the best doctors and healthcare in the world. It may not be cheap but if you something rare, or something complicated your chances of surving are better in the US than anywhere else. The treatment for my father’s disease costs a third of a million dollars a year. He is covered by normal health insurance my mom has from working for a phone company for 20-30 years. I don’t think he would get this same treatment anywhere else in the world, and if he didn’t get it he would be paralyzed by now.

    Comment by Michael — August 10, 2009 @ 8:04 am
  17. As a child I lived in England. And got “free” socialized dental care. Which messed up my mouth and several years later, back in the US, I had to have several (improperly inserted) fillings yanked out, re-drilled, and replaced. But golly gee, at least it was “free.”!!

    More recently (last year) my brother was in France on business and broke his leg (very badly -compound in several places) and needed surgery before his company could fly him back to the states. Guess where they had him go? To a PRIVATE hospital in Paris, called something like “American Hospital” which hardly ANY of the populace is aware even exists. And it is not for Americans – it is just called that. It is for wealthy people from Europe who can afford the $$ to opt out of the socialist single payer system, the rest of the peasants are stuck with. Yes indeed, he got “Cadillac”, American-style care there, once they got him in. After spending three days in a socialist hospital hell-hole.

    Never fear – people like Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama will still get the best medical care available to mankind, no matter what passes.

    Greg, I’m sorry your spouse has had such a bad experience working for an insurance company. But you don’t think a federal employee, under a tight budget and a strict set of regs, is going to try to find a way to DENY a claim? Come on.

    And ONE of the things that has millions of us pissed off, are these arguments people like you are making in favor of Single Payer, when your lying snake politicians pushing this bill are DENYING that it is, or will lead to a, single payer system.

    Instead of rushing through another multi-billion dollar bill – WITHOUT debate or discussion – how about a little openness and HONESTY for the very first time since January 20th?

    America’s lower life expectancy is again, caused by all sorts of things other than more Americans dying in the streets because they didn’t have the money for an appendectomy, verus in Sweden, where it is automatically “free.” How about factors such as our having 20 million illegals (probably around 19.5 million more than whoever is in second place) who are at the lowest end of the socio-economic ladder – which impacts health statistics. How about the higher rate of heart-attacks we have for men over the age of 40, due to our crappy but uniquely cultural American diet of soft drinks and high fat foods? You think that just might impact the statistics on life expectancy TOO, in addition to little Susi dying on the operating table becuase Doctor Greedy Surgeon was out in the hall waiting for his fat check from Blue Cross?

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 8:08 am
  18. The issue with what is going on at these meetings is that the people going to them who are screaming and shouting are not going there with the intention of asking questions or letting their congressman hear their concerns. They simply there to be disruptive and to drown out the voice of anyone who doesn’t agree with their view or get their 15 seconds of fame when their video gets used by Fox News or Glen Beck.

    It’s one thing to disagree with politicians and want to express your concerns and views in a civil manner. It’s a completely different thing to go to these meetings with the intention of just being disruptive to the heart of our democratic process.

    Comment by Vast — August 10, 2009 @ 8:10 am
  19. One reason Americans may have a lower life expectancy than some other nations – is that many of us make very stupid decisions. Obesity is rampant, smoking kills scores each year. We eat unhealthy foods and do not maintain a level of physical fitness. Frankly, we amuse ourselves to death sitting on the couch – with a snack in one hand and a remote in the other hand.

    However, although these decisions are foolish, I will fight for an individual’s right to make them. A central issue here is freedom. If the government seizure of the health care industry is allowed to happen, a seizure of our liberties is also likely to follow. Opening the door to government intervention in matters related to our health will open the door to the government regulating (taxing, denying, shaming) us for what we eat and how we live. Who really wants Washington (even with the divine Obama) to make those decisions for us?

    I look at liberty like that teeter totter back in grade school. If we give the government control, its weight and influence grows – and freedoms diminish. It wasn’t fun to be high in the air – with a big kid on the other end. He could get off at any time. He had complete control. The same is true with personal freedoms and government interventions. There is always a trade-off. While I do not oppose a very limited government role, I am on-guard for every expansion. More government = less freedom. It’s time to be vigilant. The future is now.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 8:13 am
  20. They sure are un-American Conservative efforts to pre-dispose the American public, fire them up against the Democrat government and health care reform agenda and send them out “into the streets” NOT to ask genuine questions at the town hall meetings, or god forbid they should actually read the proposed Bill, NO the call-to-action is to FIGHT “Government thugs” and “socialized medecine”!!

    How can Republican Rep, McConnel look America in the eye and pretend otherwise…the proof is all over the web. Here’s just a small example :

    “…a large scale, widely promoted and unified stance against this dangerous healthcare legislation (describing the Recess Rally). Michelle Malkin has joined the coalition along with Smart Girl Politics, American Liberty Alliance, American Majority, the Sam Adams Alliance, Americans for Limited Government, Freedom Works, and RedState.com…Now is the time for all good tea party activists to get out on the streets and tell Washington to keep its grubby hands off health care…These Government thugs think they can slip socialism into America. We think it’s time to prove them wrong.” http://www.americanlibertyalliance.com

    “CALLING ALL AMERICANS: JOIN THE AUGUST RECESS RALLY. PROTEST!
    It’s time to grab a sign and raise your voice against this monstrosity that Barack Obama and his liberal allies want to shove down America’s collective throat….Tell Congress to keep its dirty paws off our healthcare system, and tell President Obama that you don’t want a future with socialized healthcare.”
    http://www.amerpundit.com

    Comment by Annemarie — August 10, 2009 @ 8:15 am
  21. If the US Health Care system is so great can someone please explain to me why Nataline Sarkisyan had to die?

    http://cbs2.com/local/nataline.sarkisyan.CIGNA.2.615167.html

    Comment by Vast — August 10, 2009 @ 8:23 am
  22. Screaming and shouting? Disruptive? No, that is FRUSTRATION, the result of having a tone-deaf political machine trying to rush a massive change into law while rejecting the legitimate concerns and contributions of the other half of the country.

    I never cease to be amazed at the intolerance of liberals. They are all for free speech, until it is in disagreement with their own opinions. Disruptive? So were the patriots in revolutionary Boston. The concern is the same: no taxation without representation.

    With a “Congress Gone Wild” with spending, to fail to speak up is un-American. I am for calm, rational conversation whenever possible – and shouting when necessary. This Congress has already approved a deficit four times as large than any other in history. Obama has ALREADY spent more than all other US Presidents combined. This is insane, our currency is about to plummet. Don’t we know we could collapse as a nation, or at least as a world power? Is $1.6 trillion more spending on health care really worth the cost? China already has a grip on our throat. Wake up, America. Enough is enough.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 8:32 am
  23. Annemarie, how is an attempt to predispose the public to an opinion un-American?

    Both those quotes describe rising up to protest. Can you quote where they incite violence?

    Disagreement and protests – even loud protests – are not the same things as treason and violence.

    Comment by Akston — August 10, 2009 @ 8:34 am
  24. @Ole

    So it’s ok for a group of people to shout down and threaten someone who is attending these meetings simply because they stand up and ask why their congressman isn’t supporting a single-payer system?

    Who is it that is trying to drown out the voice of those that don’t agree with them?

    As a liberal I’m all for people airing their grievances at town hall meetings as long as it’s civil and respectful and that everyone gets a chance to speak.

    If a congressman can’t answer a simple question about the legislation that they are trying to pass, yelling and screaming at them isn’t going to solve anything. Voting them out of office will.

    Comment by Vast — August 10, 2009 @ 8:41 am
  25. [...] being relevant to the process at all. If there’s a sin in Pelosi’s argument, it lies in its inconsistency, nothing [...]

    Pingback by Examining Pelosi’s USA Today Editorial: When Is Dissent “un-American”? « Submitted to a Candid World — August 10, 2009 @ 8:45 am
  26. Free speech should be respected and not be met with violence. According to reports I have seen, the only person injured so far in these town hall protests was a conservative African American in St. Louis. He was roughed up by Union thugs (or so their shirts proclaimed) for expressing his opinion by selling/providing buttons at the event. Oh, and for being a conservative black person. That is a narrative that has long been forbidden and punished by the Left.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 8:47 am
  27. Doug,

    It looks like you’ve inspired some very American debate right here. Posters are actually demonstrating your point in microcosm.

    What is UN-American is to have government attempt to stifle this very debate, as you mentioned in your quote from the First Amendment.

    Something the Constitution doesn’t and can’t really address is how to limit hypocrisy in the stances of public officials. Well, except maybe in the sections of Article 1 which deal with how often those posts are up for reelection.

    Comment by Akston — August 10, 2009 @ 8:49 am
  28. “It’s one thing to disagree with politicians and want to express your concerns and views in a civil manner. It’s a completely different thing to go to these meetings with the intention of just being disruptive to the heart of our democratic process.”

    Point out to me ONE post on any site that you ever made, taking the EXACT same position regarding the anti-war protests during the Bush years, or in response to leftists shouting down conservative guest speakers on college campuses. Leftists aren’t so fond of noisy chanting, protests when they aren’t the ones making the noise, are they.

    “They simply there to be disruptive and to drown out the voice of anyone who doesn’t agree with their view or get their 15 seconds of fame when their video gets used by Fox News or Glen Beck.” According to CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the Obama-propaganda ministry media. Nice DNC/Obama talking point.

    It is called taking a stand against Congress, who wants to AGAIN, without reading it, without allowing discussion or debate, and without listening to its consituants, attempting to RAM through a bill, which will forever alter 1/6 of our entire economy.

    “If the US Health Care system is so great can someone please explain to me why Nataline Sarkisyan had to die?” Nobody is saying it does not have problems or that it does not need substantial changes. Your comment is not an argument in SUPPORT of this craptacular bill. Just another misdirection ploy. You leftists are so transparent; unlike our president.

    “I look forward to the day when we can have Japanese Healthcare. But since that will never happen, I’ll support this piece of shit crap sandwich, even though it is nothing at all like JapanCare.” Nice logic there.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 8:49 am
  29. Greg,

    I am originally from England. Much of my family lives there still. I can tell you, both first hand and from the experiences of my family, that the NHS system there most assuredly does not work anywhere near so well as the current system here.

    Here are a couple of recent examples (among many I can relate, but brevity, etc.):

    1) My father had to wait five months to see an opthalmologist to have confirmed an optometrist’s suspicion of Glaucoma. His vision deteriorated markedly over that waiting period.

    2) My aunt had to wait over a year for a hip replacement operation – and had to travel across the country to the hospital where the operation was performed.

    Meanwhile, the NHS itself is bragging about their effort to reduce the maximum waiting period down to FOUR MONTHS!

    http://www.18weeks.nhs.uk/Content.aspx?path=/What-is-18-weeks/About-the-programme

    It is clear that they are not meeting even that awful goal.

    Here, every time I’ve needed to see a doctor, I have not had to wait more than TWO DAYS.

    Comment by Hank — August 10, 2009 @ 8:50 am
  30. Yes – and the only violence so far has been from the Leftist PLANTS sent to St. Louis, to CONFRONT the town hall protesters. With their PRE-MADE mass-produced signs.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 8:52 am
  31. Vast-
    No, it is not okay for either side to shout down the other for asking legitimate questions at these assemblies. But yes, it is good when there is a vigorous and spirited debate. It is expected that a member of congress will come home to explain and defend his/her view of legislation – whatever side that may be. But, why have the town hall if that view cannot be challenged? Why are Democrats so upset and reactionary at the blowback to their actions?

    My concern is that the Democrat majority has become so accustomed to shutting down the opposition while in Washington that it is expected and reflexive when they meet with their constituents. I am concerned that the tone of discussion in Washington is so partisan that each party seems to be talking past each other.

    Unfortunately, under Obama’s socialist approach and due in part to his recently inflammatory rhetoric, it has grown even worse in recent months.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 9:01 am
  32. Thank you Hank.

    But beware of the leftists shifting the goalposts or changing direction in response – and after having claimed that systems like the British NHS are as good or better than ours, in support of passage of a similar system here; they will now state that what the Progressives are pushing for here, really isn’t like the Brit NHS, anyway!! Ta Da!

    Or change the subject altogether to discussing the terribly boorish behavior being exhibited by people who are opposed to having this craptacular piece of legislation crammed down our throats “before the August recess.” Rush rush rush it through! Before the Rubes wake up! Only Mother Sheehan and the noble ladies of Code Pink, and anti-globalists, etc., can make noise – THEIR causes are noble, you see – so they get to do things like throw animal blood on people, chant slogans with their mass-produced signs, shut down traffic, shout down conservative speakers, carry signs proclaiming Bush is Hitler, etc., etc.

    Or perhaps they’ll just lie and falsely claim that people opposed to this bill don’t want ANY changes at all to our healthcare system. Common dodge of the Liar in Chief on all sorts of issues – “some people,” (never identified of course) think we should do nothing.” I expect that to be read from his teleprompter any day now.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 9:08 am
  33. @southernjames

    So the death threats that Congressman Brian Baird received were from leftest plants?

    Comment by Vast — August 10, 2009 @ 9:08 am
  34. @Ole

    Attempting to shut down opposing views is a trademark of both Dems and Republicans, yet we keep voting them back into office.

    Comment by Vast — August 10, 2009 @ 9:10 am
  35. And just to clarify for those that like to generalize, just because I’m liberal doesn’t mean that I support the health care reform bills we have seen so far or that I’m in favor of government run health care.

    Comment by Vast — August 10, 2009 @ 9:17 am
  36. “So the death threats that Congressman Brian Baird received were from leftest plants?”

    Did I say that? Can you read? The only ACTUAL VIOLENCE so far…..” Learn to read. It will take you far.

    After he (politely and respectfully – snort) referred to protesters as a “lynch mob” somebody faxed him a picture showing the Joker Obama, with a hammer and sickle drawn on it with the words “death to Marxists.” That was his “death threat.” So right out of “profiles in courage” he promptly cancels all town hall meetings. Then a REPUBLICAN county chairwoman offered to host a town hall for him in her livingroom and said “I’ll be your bodyguard.”

    But yes, I do apologize from the very bottom of my heart that there are indeed, some wackos, in addition to civilized citizens, who oppose Obama’s policies. I am truly truly sorry that those opposed to Obama’s policies are not all, 100% pure and saintly – like all of those on the left are. We’ll try our very best to live up to the high standards for decorum you’ve established for public discourse these past 8 years.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 9:21 am
  37. Vast-
    We will eventually learn whether the “death threat” against Congressman Baird was real or not. It would not be difficult to send off a phony threat to discredit the opposition. The beating of the black conservative WAS real, and carried out by an organized group of union thugs.

    Whatever the case, let’s just recognize that there are bad actor lone rangers on both sides who are impossible to fully control – but we hope and pray that there will be no further violence.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 9:23 am
  38. “And just to clarify for those that like to generalize, just because I’m liberal doesn’t mean that I support the health care reform bills we have seen so far or that I’m in favor of government run health care.”

    Then can we all assume that you will email, call or write your elected Dem representative and urge him or her to vote against this bill?

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 9:24 am
  39. Akston,

    The coalition of Conservative politician, activists and lobbyists behind Recess Rally(some of whom I mentioned)describe the proposed health care reform as “dangerous” “socialized medecine” “a monstrosity”? Never making one single intelligent fact-supported critique, never explaining or debating elements of the proposals, just using ugly, fighting words…calling the US President a Nazi, a Fascist, Mafia, a lunatic… and telling people what to think before they get to the town halls. Even telling them what to write on their protest signs and how to behave in meetings so the Democrats can’t present their case…so that the tenor at the meetings is angry and the risk of violence high. This is un-American.

    Then Republican politicians tell the media that the people who came to protest were expressing their own feelings and nobody had instructed them on anything! Nancy Pelosi is right.

    On http://www.ashevilleteaparty.wordpress.com – nice ideas for provocative Recess Rally Signs:
    I can’t afford everyone else’s health care.
    Don’t ration my care.
    Free Health Care Will Cost You Your Freedom
    Socialized Medicine – The cure for death from old age
    Government Run Health Hare – like asking the Mafia to fight crime
    Government Run Health Care – letting the lunatics run the asylum
    Government health care = Fascism in a white smock.
    Government – Get your hands off my health care.
    You Think You Feel Sick Now, Just Wait Until You Get the Bill

    The Right Principles, Robert McGuffe on how to disrupt the meetings: “pack the hall… spread out” to make the numbers seem more significant, “rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation…yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early…. to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda…stand up and shout and sit right back down.”

    “AMERICA RISE UP! LET’S TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK..The current administration and congress has intensified the attacks on the foundation of America…if this legislation is passed, the private industry and small businesses of America will face certain death in the very near future…mass rallies will represent a strong statement that we’ve been pushed to the edge and simply cannot be pushed any further.” ww.captKarlblogvists.com/Wisconsin-recess-rally

    Comment by Annemarie — August 10, 2009 @ 9:24 am
  40. @southernjames

    I have written many emails to my representatives about the health care reform bills.

    Comment by Vast — August 10, 2009 @ 9:27 am
  41. Akston,

    I have shown, the Conservative coalition of health industry lobbyist-funded activist groups are not interested in debate or discussion, that is why they pre-condition voter thinking before they get to the meetings with lurid anti-reform claims, issue instructions on how to behave to disrupt the meetings and shout throughout the Representative’s presentation (they even disrespectfully drowned out Health Secretary Kathleen Sibellius, so she couldn’t be heard), tell people what provocative slogans to write on their hand-made signs (then say to the media..”See, these are just ordinary people, they have homemade signs, not official printed ones”), and they incite their followers with emotive calls-to-action like “Rise up America…take our country back” “health legislation that is death to American small businesses.”

    Why? Because the health industry lobbyists represent the high profit-based companies who are ripping off the American people and causing the US economy to falter and they want to maintian the status quo. Keep their public misinformed, incite them to rise up against their government, frighten them with words like socialism and fascism, let them loose and call in the cameras and call it “grass roots reaction”.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 10, 2009 @ 9:35 am
  42. Those signs are pretty damn mild compared to what was carried at every single anti-war rally during the Bush years.

    You leftists can dish it out, but you can’t take it. Tough shit. Cry me a river. You set the rules for public debate these past 8 years. Not us.

    Also, stop lying about the signs by saying that they (unlike the anti-war signs directed squarely at Bush) are calling Obama any of those names. You contradict yourself in your own post.

    And again – if a leftist group organizes folks and gives advise – it is perfectly acceptable “grass roots,” “community organizing.” But when a conservative group does it – it is tainted “astroturfing.” Screw that and screw your double standard.

    The Protestors are the ones being called Nazi’s by our own elected officials, like Nancy Pelosi. THAT, combined with Union Thugs being sent in for confrontation, is what ramping up the angry and the risk of violence.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 9:35 am
  43. “I have written many emails to my representatives about the health care reform bills.”

    Which of course did not answer my question.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 9:37 am
  44. Annemarie-
    Please refer to the analysis above that I quoted from the Heritage Foundation, or better yet visit their website, for a summary of the constructive points being made by conservatives in this debate. This goes far beyond the misrepresentation that conservatives want to do nothing. The need for reform is clear. We simply have great concerns with the Obama/Pelosi plan.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 9:41 am
  45. Annemarie,

    I don’t see how anything you quoted is anything but strong wording and organization. These are tactics steeped in the American tradition of free expression.

    If you can show me where an actual incitement to violence immediately precipitated such violence, I’ll join you in condemning it.

    Until then, the only “Un-American” thing I’m seeing is a rejection of the free speech codified as the very first amendment to the U. S. Constitution.

    Comment by Akston — August 10, 2009 @ 9:48 am
  46. “We simply have great concerns with the Obama/Pelosi plan.”

    Yes. And we’ve SEEN what happens when we just lay back and close our eyes and take it – with what happened with the (non-read, non-debated, non-discussed) trillion dollar “stimulus” bill in January. And without the town halls and the “noise” being generated, the exact same thing was going to happen with THIS bill.

    Solemn and reasoned debate over various options, and the pros and cons of choices can only occur when our elected officials are NOT hell bent on ramming something through as a fait accompli BEFORE there is any chance for debate. Which clearly has been the intent (AGAIN) here.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 9:51 am
  47. Interesting, with so many countries who have various healthcare systems serving their respective populations (all US allies) from Israel to Australia, to Taiwan to New Zealand to Japan, why are healthcare horror stories only presented to the American public from the Big Three: Canada, UK and France? Why is there no greater knowledge of world healthcare and how it works? How did the American Industrial Medical Complex get so powerful? Why and how has the American public been conditioned over the decades to respond like a rabid dog to any proposed changes in our healthcare system while the rest of the world laughs at us? Why do Americans believe that single payer equals nationalized healthcare and “Federal bureaucrats” calling the shots?

    Comment by Ash — August 10, 2009 @ 10:02 am
  48. These protest are Teabagging Part Two and nothing else ….

    Comment by Ash — August 10, 2009 @ 10:03 am
  49. Annemarie-
    In this environment, perhaps conservatives are beginning to see ourselves as the new radicals. Organizing is no longer just for fans of Saul Alinsky, Obama, etc.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 10:05 am
  50. Ash,

    I suspect it is in part due to many proponents of a national health care system here using the UK and Canada as examples (I’ve seen France being used as an example only recently).

    In my case, I counter proponents who use the UK example by referring to my own poor UK health care experience – and the NHS’ own documents.

    Comment by Hank — August 10, 2009 @ 10:14 am
  51. “Why and how has the American public been conditioned over the decades to respond like a rabid dog….” Only free market independants, liberarians and conservatives are responding like rabid dogs. Gosh don’t paint the whole populace with your rabid dog description. Everyone who pays no federal income tax, or is a “progressive” and/or worships King Obama for other reasons, is more than willing to support any freebies Pelosi and Frank and Dodd are willing to take from the productive, in order to give to them.

    When a congressional panel is set up to analyze and discuss the various systems around the world instead of concocting a 1000 page bill the members of congress who support it, haven’t even read, and do not WANT any debate over – let me know…..Mr. Obfuscate and Dodge the Issue (yet again).

    “…..to any proposed changes in our healthcare system.” Not to “any” proposed changes, Mr. misrepresent your opponent’s position, just like your Liar in Chief does. But THIS proposed change? Yep. Guilty as charged. Humana must have me brainwashed. A couple of years ago it was Halliburton.

    “…while the rest of the world laughs at us?” You must not have gotten the memo. The rest of the world LOVES us now that Evil BushHitler is gone, and The One is in office. But I’ll be sure to lose some sleep tonight over whether their are Brits sitting in their Pubs, “laughing” at our resistance to nationalized healthcare.

    “Why do Americans believe that single payer equals nationalized healthcare and “Federal bureaucrats” calling the shots?” Ask Hank. He’ll explain it for you.

    “These protest are Teabagging Part Two and nothing else.” “Teabagging” – the ad hominem name leftists use when you haters can’t actually win the debate. Namecalling is ALWAYS your last refuge. But hey, if all that “teabagging” scares enough blue dogs and RINOs into running away from this bill – which will mean YOU LOST – call us whatever you want.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 10:22 am
  52. Is it just barely conceivably possible that people with evil motives can find their way into government just as easily as businesses?

    The concept of an American Industrial Medical Complex is that of a partnership between business and government. Is it possible that the problem lies more with businesses being allowed to lobby the coercive force of government to pursue those business’ interests, rather than the business merely existing to offer a voluntary services at a profit?

    Bad business models, including the fraudulent and the consumer-hostile die out as a freer market allows consumer choice. Unless, that is, those businesses have “partnered” with government to resist the correction.

    All companies offer services for profit. Some are simply “more equal” than others in America’s current “mixed” economy Animal Farm.

    Comment by Akston — August 10, 2009 @ 10:34 am
  53. SouthernJames, you still seem believe that a single payer system equals nationalized healthcare when there are single payer systems in the world that ARE market-based and have a higher percentage of privately owned healthcare facilities than the USA. You see S. James, I have a visa in my passport that entitles me to return to Japan and participate in their healthcare system and plan to do so in the future. Why? It isn’t because I receive inferior care here but rather I don’t like paying many times what it’s actually worth. I had high hopes for healthcare reform in this country but it is clear that all we will get, at best, is a few crumbs thrown our way ….

    Comment by Ash — August 10, 2009 @ 10:41 am
  54. “There are single payer systems in the world that ARE market-based and have a higher percentage of privately owned healthcare facilities than the USA.”

    But what you REFUSE to acknowledge or address, is that this debate is NOT about an analysis of the pros and cons (and potential workability in our vastly different culture) and various aspects of Japan’s system.

    So stop changing the subject and falsely pretending it is. We are not debating about whether we should adopt Israel’s or Japan’s health care system. Again, and for the FINAL time, when a congressional committee has been set up to study those systems, LET ME KNOW.

    THIS debate is about:

    a) Congress and this President, attempting, yet again, to rush through what will be a massive overhaul of our nation’s health care system, via a 1000 page bill the representatives did not read and digest, and which they did not carefully explain and discuss – among themselves and with their constituents – but to the contrary – 180 degrees to the contrary as a matter of fact, have wanted to squelch debate on, and get it passed on a rush-rush-rush basis – -just like the stimulus bill. And,

    b) The aspects of the bill itself. Here is ONE doctor’s opinion of it:

    http://docisinblog.com/

    If this is so good – why the rush?

    And again – and I just can not get an answer to this question from one single liberal, not to mention from one single politician: If THIS reform bill is so good for America and Americans — and AGAIN I’m talking about THIS bill and not JapanCare (do I need to repeat it again?) since it is THIS bill on the table — why is there not a provision that ALL federal employees and elected federal officials will be subject to it?

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 11:19 am
  55. SouthernJames, had you acknowledged and responded to all my post you would see that I am not advocating the Japanese healthcare system but have in fact admitted that the president’s proposal is inferior … I called it a “crumb” I believe…. but let me spell it out again in more detail: I know the bill isn’t perfect — but it be the largest step in the right direction on health care in our lifetimes. Easily. It would at least move us in the direction of having a reasonable system in this country and in holding down health-care costs.

    And the stakes are incredibly high. If health insurance reform doesn’t pass early this fall, Barack Obama — a thoroughly decent guy who actually does stand a chance at dramatically helping this country — will be terribly weakened. It could lead to the Republicans making big gains in the 2010 election and Obama not being able to get any more major initiatives through Congress.

    August may turn out to be the make or break month for health insurance reform. Congress is taking a break, and many senators and representatives will hold hearings to gauge public opinion or to try to make their side look good. The insurance industry and right wing — the “birthers,” and the “deathers,” and the dittoheads, etc. — are organized and highly motivated. They will be out in force. But a good showing of ordinary Americans who are capable of rationally understanding this issue stands a chance at making it clear that change needs to happen.

    Comment by Ash — August 10, 2009 @ 11:26 am
  56. “…..a thoroughly decent guy who actually does stand a chance at dramatically helping this country….”

    Uh, to say we have a ahh….a different perspective and opinion of this president would probably qualify as the understatement of the year.

    Let’s leave it at that.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 11:56 am
  57. There you go again commenting on only selected portions of my posts …. this is it for healthcare reform in this country and you and those like you know this. Sure, I want a better bill because I know what healthcare can be like and I would like that for my own country as well but I also know that The Powers That Be will not let that happen in this country at this time so I will support the president and his “crumb.”

    Comment by Ash — August 10, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
  58. You may be one of the few people in America who, with a straight face, can refer to this revolutionary altering of the relationship between the private sector and the federal government, as a mere “crumb.” As if this is something minor and not immensely major.

    And the portion I responded to, is all I needed to respond to, because well – your description of your opinion of the president — his personality, and his motives – that says it all. He can propose whatever damn thing he wants, and you’re going to support it. So really, in your world, who cares WHAT the bill says, right? Dear Leader is trying to “help” us all and is just looking out for all of our best interests.!!

    And Liberals always bitterly blame the “powers that be” if they don’t get what they want. Always the victims. Unless those “powers” happen to support what you want. Then it is a noble and courageous undertaking.

    No worries though – the leftist community organizers are determined to come through to save the day. Just read that the SEIU union has sent out a memo to their goon squad members:

    “It is critical that our members with real, personal stories about the need for access to quality, affordable care come out in strong numbers to drown out their voices.”

    “To drown out their voices.” It’s the leftist way. The Chicago way. Free speech for me and not for thee, says the Left. Maybe they’ll bust a few more heads too, like they did in St. Louis, while they’re at it – if they can’t shout down the “dittoheads” and “drown out” their voices.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 12:39 pm
  59. @Doug, yes the original post was about the people protesting the proposed “fix” for health care or health insurance. Pelosi and Hoyer should be ashamed for calling them un-American, it is not only our right but our duty as Americans.

    That being said, this post has morphed into a debate about the current health care bill. It is apparent that few if any have read the article I linked to in a previous comment. I can’t really blame them, it is rather long. Perhaps another post addressing this topic and requesting alternative solutions to the problem is in order.

    @Ash, this isn’t it. This is the greatest country in the world, if only we can keep the looters and collectivists from taking over. Taking the “crumb” will be like letting the camel stick his nose in the tent, the next thing you know the whole camel is there. Government interference in the free market is why we are where we are, what makes you think that more government interference will help at all? From licensing to malpractice suits, we allowed them to put us where we are.

    Go ahead and pass the bill, all I ask is they pass a co- bill allowing for medical care/insurance completely free from from government interference/regulation.

    Comment by John222 — August 10, 2009 @ 12:56 pm
  60. Ash,

    I like what I have now – much more so than that which I had under a national health care system.

    I am not a member of “the powers that be”. So please forgive me if I disagree with you when you say that this bill (in any of its current forms) is a step in the right direction – greatest, easily or otherwise.

    Indeed, there is an existing example by which the U.S. government can be measured when it comes to providing health care – the VHA. Do some simple research on how well they do. The Walter Reed Army Medical Center is a good start.

    Comment by Hank — August 10, 2009 @ 1:04 pm
  61. southernjames – Kudos to you for your posts today. You’ve made important points, and they have been stronger as the day has gone on.

    I appreciate being joined by others who can clarify that those of us who are concerned by the Obama/Pelosi health care bill are much more than naysayers and shouters. We are people who want the best for all people in our nation, yet are deeply skeptical that a socialist approach will deliver anywhere near what the Obama rhetoric is promising.

    Socialism, not free markets, is a failed system throughout the world. It has never produced broad prosperity – anywhere. A free market economy has made this nation the most prosperous (and generous) nation in world history.

    The problem with our economy is not free markets, but that it has become too entangled with government initiatives already. The core of the economic collapse last fall was the bursting of the housing bubble – which itself was inflated by bad government policy that sought to extend home ownership to people who can’t afford the homes they buy. Granted, that bad first step was magnified by corrupt profiteering as bad mortgages were packaged together by greedy speculating investors. The end result was that we all lost. So, government intrusion into the housing (and banking) markets turned loose the worst elements in our capitalist system. The markets were not allowed to work – until they almost did not work at all.

    Why all this about housing and the larger crisis? Because it is a cautionary tale for a government that seems hell-bent on seizure of the health care industry, which is 1/6 of our economy. I cannot conceive of a more dangerous, ill-advised course than this. Let’s fix the cost containment side of health care (focusing on tort reform, wellness and interstate competition), but let’s not use this crisis (ala R. Emmanuel) as an excuse to trash the best system in the world and allow government to pick our doctors and dictate our activities – which is to take away our freedoms. Not on my watch. Wake up, America – the future is now.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 1:37 pm
  62. “I cannot conceive of a more dangerous, ill-advised course than this. Let’s fix the cost containment side of health care (focusing on tort reform, wellness and interstate competition),…”

    Amen, Ole.

    Comment by southernjames — August 10, 2009 @ 2:30 pm
  63. There was a time in this country when an employee who had a pre-existing condition was trapped in the job that provided health insurance as he would be denied coverage through any future employer. That changed. There was a time in this country when an employee who lost his job automatically lost all healthcare coverage as there was no COBRA. That changed. Yet some of the worst of health insurance nightmares are still with us and the free market won’t change that.

    Ole you are a fool if you believe that a single-payer system means bureaucrats picking your doctors. In Japan I had access to every doctor in the country. Do I have that sort of access here?

    Comment by Ash — August 10, 2009 @ 2:59 pm
  64. Ash, it seems to me what you like about Japan’s healthcare system is that someone else is paying for your healthcare and what you don’t like about Americas system is that you have to pay for your own as well as others (poor, elderly, etc.) healthcare.

    Ash there was also a time in this country when most health insurance wasn’t tied to your job, but the gov’t made sure that would no longer be the case many years ago. Without the gov’t ensuring that most peoples insurance would be tied to their employment your above references never would have been a problem as losing a job or changing a job would not have caused either of your scenarios.

    What difference does it make who owns the hospitals. The difference is in who pulls the monetary strings. In many countries it is the gov’t, in our country it is mainly the gov’t and insurance companies with just a little from individuals. What most people who have a problem with the current plans being mulled in Congress would like to see is not more gov’t control or even insurance company control but more being directed by individuals such as through high deductible insurance plans along with HSA’s. they want reform just not the kind the Obama and his followers are talking about.

    One thing I just don’t understand is in Obama’s plan to pay for this so-called healthcare reform he touts a whole bunch of savings from Medicare. First, if there is so much waste in Medicare why are we trying to pass something similar to Medicare and not expecting the same kind of waste just on a much bigger scale, and second why not just wring all that waste out of Medicare now prior to any healthcare bill and pay down the debt. What are they waiting for if they already know that there is all kinds of waste that can be found in Medicare. Did this just all of a sudden appear this year when they are trying to get a healthcare bill passed or did they just overlook it for many years since it was a gov’t program and only bring it up now since they need to find a way to pay for the bill.

    More gov’t control is not the answer. The gov’t had a sizable control of our housing market through fannie and freddie, monetary policy, as well as through many regulations and look what that got us. Now they have taken even more control over not only the housing market but of our entire banking industry and we somehow expect that to go well. Now the powers to be want to take over the healthcare industry as well as the energy industry and for some reason some expect that to go better then any other time the gov’t has put its nose into things it shouldn’t. Our public education system is a shining example of what a nationalized healthcare system will look like. Costs skyrocketing, quality deteriorating, no innovation, very little control from an individuals perspective, and a sense of entitlement from the powers involved.

    Comment by TerryP — August 10, 2009 @ 6:30 pm
  65. Ash- Well, I don’t know if I’m a “fool” as you claim or not, but I don’t think I’d turn to you for clarification of anything. For the record, while a government-run system MAY not mean that the government chooses our doctors for us, it almost certainly means that it would limit our doctors/treatment options for us. As for the name-calling, I guess I should expect that from a frustrated Leftist. It must be very hard for many of you to realize that the “glow of Obama in the Greek temple in Denver” is behind us, and that people are now awake. I’ve put a lot of words out there today, and don’t believe I called anyone a name. Sir, it is unnecessary and counter-productive.

    As far as Japan goes, as has been said numerous times already today, please focus on the legislation under consideration HERE in the U.S. – rather than a Japanese system that probably bears no resemblance to what Obama/Pelosi are trying to quickly shove down our throats. Ahh!!! If Japan has such a good plan, perhaps someone is already taking a look at it. I would still be opposed, because I am against any further unnecessary and costly government intrusion in our lives. A government option HERE will inevitably lead to a single payer system. That is the ultimate goal of top Democrat leaders, including Obama. They have told us as much in plain English.

    As I stated above, there is always a trade-off. More government = less freedom. We can’t have it both ways. I choose freedom and personal responsibility. We can still do something for those slipping through the cracks – without destroying the best quality system in the world for everyone else.

    Comment by Ole — August 10, 2009 @ 6:55 pm
  66. [...] read Doug Mataconis’ post at the Liberty Papers the other day, discussing a USAToday Op-Ed in which Pelosi and Hoyer accuse basically any opponent [...]

    Pingback by no third solution » Blog Archive » Is it “Un-American” to Disagree with Nancy Pelosi? — August 11, 2009 @ 1:57 pm
  67. I don’t consider hate or stupid speech un-American and I didn’t like what The Speaker said. I did write my congressman, requesting that he recommend she resign as Speaker.

    Maybe the other commenters should do that same, if you have not done so.

    Comment by VRB — August 11, 2009 @ 2:48 pm
  68. There was a time in this country when an employee who lost his job automatically lost all healthcare coverage as there was no COBRA. That changed. Yet some of the worst of health insurance nightmares are still with us and the free market won’t change that.

    Ash, three questions for you:

    1. Who picked the insurer that an employee would be covered by when they take advantage of COBRA?

    2. How many people balk when they have to pay the full price of their insurance under COBRA?

    3. What entity causes employer-provided insurance to be the most rational option for most people?

    If you can answer those questions and still maintain that our current situation represents a failure of the free market, you will have proven yourself to be incapable of honest debate. Care to prove me right?

    Comment by Quincy — August 11, 2009 @ 4:47 pm
  69. VRB –

    Thanks for the most rational suggestion in this long and overheated comment thread!

    Comment by Quincy — August 11, 2009 @ 4:48 pm
  70. Well Quincy, I can’t speak for everyone but I am on COBRA ( I was laid off this year but can speak for myself: 1) My former employer picked the insurer 2) I don’t know how many people balk at paying COBRA. I have no choice to pay as I have a pre-existing condition and would be denied insurance were I to try to purchase it myself. 3) Employer-provided insurance is the only option for me with a pre-existing condition.

    You seem to have missed the point that changes in our health insurance system such as COBRA have been mandated by the Federal goverment to help the worker and are not a result of the free market.

    Comment by Ken E — August 11, 2009 @ 5:58 pm
  71. Ken E –

    Have you heard of rhetorical questions? COBRA is a policy of the Federal Government designed to protect workers from another policy of the Federal Government. Instead of eliminating bad policy #1, the Congress implements bad policy #2 and calls it all better.

    We can’t have an honest debate about health care until we admit that the massive amounts of government intervention already in place make any discussion of a free market absurd. I mean, seriously, who in their right mind would deliberately craft a system where someone lost their health insurance when they lost their job? Mix bad FDR policy with employers who drew a line in the sand, add several spoonfuls of incompetent Congresses, and you’ve got employer-provided health care as the norm. It’s been all Washington that took us down this path. Admitting it is the start to an honest debate.

    Comment by Quincy — August 11, 2009 @ 7:20 pm
  72. With a pre-existing condition and COBRA that has recently gone up in cost while health coverage has declined I am not interested in rhetorical questions.

    Indeed, who in their right mind would craft a system where someone who loses their job loses their health coverage? Who would craft a system that locks out those with pre-existing conditions? Who would craft a system that locks out millions of low and middle-class Americans who simply can’t afford health insurance?

    The answer I found is in the book “Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis—And the People Who Paid the Price” which gives an 80 year history of repeated market failure, with each successive reform serving at best as temporary respite from the previous problem. Capitalism can’t deliver decent health care yet the US government could have stopped the workplace for becoming responsible for health insurance in the 1940s.

    I recently saw where Sarah Palin called “socialized medicine” “evil”. Hmmm … that would mean that most of America’s allies are evil as well, at least the one’s that are not dictatorships.

    I would welcome an honest debate but I do not see it ever happening in this country. Other countries (American allies) have created healthcare systems as recently as the 1990′s. These countries operate in a context where this can happen. Our country does not.

    Comment by Ken E — August 11, 2009 @ 7:52 pm
  73. “I would welcome an honest debate but I do not see it ever happening in this country.”

    I agree.

    Because for every bit of ‘disinformation’ or ‘misinformation’ that comes from opponents of single payer, or of this bill – comes equal amounts of the same in return. Truly honest debate would include honestly debating and examining the DISADVANTAGES of a system such as, i.e., Britains, or what is contained in this Bill, when comparing it to our current system – such as wait times, and availabilty of services, and rationing of care – or comparing the actual real costs to citizens (when higher tax rates are factored in) of a nationalized system as compared to our current system.

    It is not honest debate to point out all of the very obvious flaws in our current system – and then say….”So, we need to pass THIS bill. Now.”

    Lay it all on the table. What do we gain; what do we give up. How much is it REALLY going to cost, and why are politicians lying to us when they say something will save money when their own CBO contradicts them. Who is right and who is lying to us?

    And lets go over the Bill point by point too. For example, why are there things like “diversity requirements” and other Nanny-state social engineering aspects inserted in this bill? Are those clauses necessary? Maybe they are. Make the argument.

    How can costs be contained in the absence of tort reform? How can costs to tax payers in countries having nationalized care be compared to ours, when their tort system is completely different?

    Can health care costs in other westernized countries having nationalized care be compared to ours, when those countries have few if any illegal, non-income tax paying (from which public plans are financed) immigrants – who put a drain and exact a cost on our health care resourses (you been in an ER lately?) — and we have 20 million?

    The prospect of honest debate is really torpedoed when our elected officials (of both parties) have shown themselves to be being dishonest liars, whose underlying motives cannot be trusted. It only increases the distrust when they try to rush something through without any debate or public consumption. That is a contributing source of the anger and frustation seen at town halls.

    Politicians who campaign on being post-partisan” and make promises such as saying that bills will be available to be read and debated by everyone for a five days online, prior to be voted on – but then ram through a trillion dollar bill with NO review, debate, or without it having been read at all, or being provided online for one minute, before it gets voted on……Politicians who promise that health care reform will be openly debated and discussed on C-Span – then turn around and (BUT FOR the town hall noisemakers?) would have rammed through a 1000 page bill none of them had even READ, let alone vetted, debated, or discussed with their constituents. A politician who promises that there is no goal for single payer, even though he’s caught on tape in 2003 CLEARLY advocating it. Politicians, who, when challenged, essentially instruct doubters and questioners to just…STFU.

    And politicians, going to the point of Doug’s original post on this subject – DEMONIZING citizens for going to public meetings of their public SERVANTS (not “RULERS”…buy a clue and learn the difference) and for shouting stuff like “READ THE BILL.” Exercising their first amendment rights to yell at their congressmen – because, well, NOT yelling at them obviously isn’t working is it? And who are then called a “mob” and “nazis” for exercising their 1st Amendment rights.

    Politicians who now, as of yesterday – when they have a “town hall”….for a Q&A session, when they want to call upon a “random” little girl, who naturally asks a softball question….turns out, the girl is just another PLANT.

    Kabuki Theatre, instead of real honest debate.

    Comment by southernjames — August 12, 2009 @ 5:14 am
  74. Ken E –

    Your case of this being a failure of capitalism is full of holes. First off, the earliest event referenced in your source, if I remember correctly, is the FDR-employer showdown that resulted in the tax code distortion that favored employer-provided insurance, meaning every other failed reform attempted was operating under a severely-perverse set of incentives *caused by the Federal Government*.

    You say,

    Capitalism can’t deliver decent health care yet the US government could have stopped the workplace for becoming responsible for health insurance in the 1940s.

    But, again, you don’t cite a source that backs up that assertion because it doesn’t look at the markets’ attempt to provide health care until after the *Federal Government* started majorly interfering. In fact, the Federal Government couldn’t stop the workplace from becoming responsible for health care because it was the driving force *causing* it.

    That being said, why can’t you get insured against maladies completely unrelated to your pre-existing condition? It’s not the market, either. It’s governments, state and federal, that insist that insurance contain coverage for damn near everything, so a cancer survivor can’t get covered for a broken arm or someone with arthritis can’t get covered for Alzheimer’s.

    Advocates of government-controlled medicine (whatever euphemism they turn to this week), including Jonathan Cohn, continually turn a blind eye to disastrous effects and tragedies caused by governments at all levels in our current system, assuming that every single minute flaw is somehow the fault of the free market because we have some of the trappings of a market system. It’s a position that’s dishonest to extreme when held by people who should know better, like Cohn and economist Paul Krugman, and ignorant when held by people who parrot the so-called experts who espouse these lies.

    How can people have an honest debate on health care when one side deliberately distorts reality so grossly?

    Comment by Quincy — August 12, 2009 @ 7:32 pm
  75. Current tax incentives which keep health insurance tied to employment was not a market failure, it was a market adaptation.

    As WWII came to a close, employers were hamstrung in competing for employees by Washington’s wage freezes. They adapted by offering fringe benefits like health insurance. This became codified as tax incentives and health insurance companies adapted by selling to employers, not patients.

    Then, as employees became further divorced from true costs by both the tax subsidies and employer benefit subsidies, insurance became insulation. Employees began to use employer insurance for all health expenses, even expected expenses. The cost was subsidized, so why not use it for everything? Again, a rational market adaptation.

    When patients are insulated from real costs, it’s easier for costs to rise without feedback. So they do. Another market adaptation.

    These changes only distorted the market with unintended consequences – as federal incursions into markets inevitably do. The market didn’t fail at all.

    Comment by Akston — August 12, 2009 @ 8:25 pm
  76. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it is my understanding that the proposed health care reform is not based on converting the current US system into the UK model, and that this notion has already been debunked by many, including the AMA and American Academy of Family Physicians?

    Hence, why waste time discussing it?

    My understanding also is that if we don’t do something about fiscal reform of the health care system urgently (and this has been the recommendation of the Trustees of Medicare/Medicaid each year for the last 4 or 5 years, which has fallen on deaf ears) our children and grandchildren will have NO health care and the US economy will be on its heals, Medicare/Medicaid bankrupt.

    For example, GW Bush introduced Medicare D Rx (or was it B) in 2003, estimated to cost $350+ billion through 2013. So far, it’s cost over $700 billion and over next 50-70 years will is estimated to add $8.7 billion to Medicare/Medicaid’s unfunded liability. One of the issues of this Rx program was its open-ended entitlement design, which favored the drug companies and insurance companies. They could make an additional $2 billion in annual profits while US taxpayers were stuck with unplanned additional overhead.

    Medicare lost $600 billion from unresolved fraud over the last decade, and insufficient effort put into a resolution.

    Obama has attacked both these issues – launching in May the most aggressive fraud-busting initiative yet adopted; and beginning negotiations with PhHARMA to close the open-ended Rx program and other imprement cost-cutting moves, while not reducing quality.

    Presumably his fraud-busting initiative carries some investment spending. Will this proactive cost-cutting measure be spun back to us as “Obama’s spendthrift ways….don’t let Obama bankrupt our country”..just as his proactive and intelligent approach to negotiations with PhHARMA (after all we can’t go cold turkey on drugs) is being spun back as..”Obama’s secret negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry”?

    The 500lb gorilla in the room has a headache. The US health care system is fiscally dysfunctional and a serious threat to the US economy. Obama inherited it that way, he didn’t make it that way.
    Why then is the opposition attacking HIM because, wisely, he wants to start fixing it?

    Why are we debating the virtues of the UK vs US systems instead of how to fix the very real fiscal issues of the US system, while retaining the quality performance and end benefits of the US system? Which, I believe, is what our current US President is trying to make us do. Oh, by the way, for “our current Us President”, please read Nazi, Joker, Devil, Murderer, Death Demon, Death Panelist, Socialist, Communist, Foreign, Not-a-real-American,et al…because that’s what the Town Hall Protesters and their websites call the man.

    AMERICA! Have we lost our minds, as well as our souls?

    Comment by Annemarie — August 13, 2009 @ 10:49 am
  77. Correction to my entry – - Medicare D Rx will add $8.7 TRILLION to Medicare unfunded liability, NOT
    $8.7 Billion.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 13, 2009 @ 10:55 am
  78. Annemarie: The market for health care is not now, nor has been for quite some, time free. The supply of providers has been limited since the first license to practice was issued. You are right that Obama did not cause the problem, but the proposed “fix” will only serve to make the situation worse. Supply will continue to be restricted while demand will continue to increase. This adds up to higher prices. The whole system is so screwed up from the various regulations and market adaptations, there seems to be little hope of truly fixing anything any time soon. A truly free market, free from government interference offers the best hope for providing the greatest amount of health care for the lowest cost.

    Comment by John222 — August 13, 2009 @ 11:21 am
  79. As far as the the numbers go, it might as well be monopoly money. (It is, if you think about it)

    Comment by John222 — August 13, 2009 @ 11:46 am
  80. Annemarie,

    Have you asked yourself how these grossly-over-budget federal programs with insufficient oversight became that way? And why one would assume new federal programs intended to correct these problems would somehow magically be better?

    Perhaps there is insufficient feedback in economic programs implemented by the federal government. Perhaps government is the wrong vehicle to provide goods and services. Perhaps a market economy where prices are forced downward by true provider competition, consumer demand, freer entry, and bankruptcy for failure would have better oversight and budget control?

    The answer for bad results from failed government programs may not logically be more government programs.

    Comment by Akston — August 13, 2009 @ 12:13 pm
  81. Akston – -

    I just explained how $135,000,000,000 of unnecessary expense fell upon Medicare/Medicaid over last decade, before President Obama took over, and why.

    Now, you explain to me precisely what you’re talking about re over-budgetd federal prgrams that Obama is responsible for because, remember, he’s the one in power now that agrees with you about the fiscal distress and irresponsibility he has inherited.

    And include in that explanation what the Democrats are responsible for, too.

    And actually answer my questions as well.

    Thank you,
    Annemarie

    Comment by Annemarie — August 13, 2009 @ 12:32 pm
  82. John 222 – - We have free market right now. Free market disallowed the removal of my second breast in a cancer-mandated mastectomy. The biopsy showed very early carconoma. I still had to sell a family heirloom in orde to pay 50% of all costs + my portion of the other 50% – - oncologist, cancer & plastic surgeons (I had 14hrs surgery, 7 days’ hospital.

    In America, free market is not consumer-focussed. And free market health care has so far crippled the US economy. So what’s going to change now, unless regulation mandates change that would disallow someone like me being screwed? I should add, before my breast cancer I had amazing health and never been in a hospital except for delivering 3 US citizens. I was also the owner of a small business, paying the health insurance each year for over 55 employees..hundreds of thousands of dollars. And look where it got me when I needed it? No-bluddy where.

    So, explain to me..how is the health care free market going to correct the problesm it’s created, because, like the banks, it’s self profit-driven and not consumer-centric, except in order to determine and satisfy consumer buying trends to make more money.

    I’ve worked with the pharmaceutical industry. They would rip off and deceive their own granny (since grannies are topical) inordermto make a buck of profit.

    I’m waiting – - who’s going to police the free market, what “mea culpa’s” are going to come forward to demo why we need correction vs. government overview, and what do you suggest they WILL do that is sufficient to resolve the fiscal issues of health care? I’d love to know your advice.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 13, 2009 @ 12:48 pm
  83. Annemarie,

    Perhaps you saw a reference to President Obama or Democrats in my post that I mistakenly included.

    I agree that government should target and try to reduce fraud. From my perspective, that’s part of the primary role for government: responding to initiated force and fraud. Any efforts in this direction have my support.

    I’m asking whether the only way to fix bad government programs is with more government programs. Is less government involvement in voluntary markets even a consideration? Is it possible that government is simply the wrong tool for the problem? Is possible that applying more of a bad solution won’t equal a good result?

    Could you help me out and point me to which questions you’d like answered?

    Comment by Akston — August 13, 2009 @ 12:55 pm
  84. Annmarie,

    I’m sorry that you are a victim of the current system. It was not the free market that disalowed you particular procedure, it was the provider of your health care benefits who is hamstrung by current regulations and the agreement you made. Any procedure you want done can be done at this time, the question is who will pay for it, you me or all of us. Further, should I have to pay for your particular problem? Should the rest of the country? Should you be able to purchase an insurance plan that will?

    The bigger question is why is health care so expensive? Could it be because our government restricts supply and encourages an increase in demand?

    If you really believe we have a free market, you are sadly mistaken, I suggest you do some research in to what a free market really is.

    Comment by John222 — August 13, 2009 @ 1:18 pm
  85. John 222

    First, thank you for your expression. Let me say, I worked so hard to build my company while raising three kids, and I was so proud when I reached the siz to be able to offer health insurance, then overjoyed to offer it to all 55 employees. BY the last year we operated (I got really screwed by a client), I was paying about $4,000 per employee and I requested a 5% contribution. That was a heavy load vor any small company to bear and would kill one today.

    But I disagree. Obama plan would not allow an insurance company to play footsie with my health costs and decide its strategic goal. The goal would be delineated.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 13, 2009 @ 2:03 pm
  86. Annmarie,

    You said ” Obama plan would not allow an insurance company to play footsie with my health costs and decide its strategic goal. The goal would be delineated.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by that. The insurance company is in business to make a profit, otherwise why bother. They do what they do according to the constraints placed upon them by the government. If not for those restrictions, numerous companies would be available to sell you insurance based upon your risk as a client. The more stuff they are required to cover you for, the higher the price. The point is, in a free market, the insurance company would only sell you insurance for what you desire to be covered against. You would be able to cover some or all of your possible liability. If the market had not been so twisted, the costs would never have been allowed to get so high in a free market.

    So, where do we go from here? More government regulation, mandates, and interference which has been shown to increase cost and reduce availability, or less government regulation, fewer mandates, increasing the supply and reducing the demand, which we know will reduce the price and increase availability?

    TANSTAAFL! You get what you pay for, and ultimately, you pay for what you get, even if you defer the cost to future generations.

    Comment by John222 — August 13, 2009 @ 2:48 pm
  87. Johnsean 222 –
    Remind me later to ask you what TANSTAAFL means. Im actualy British and haven’t met that before, but it may be my ignorance.

    I’ve kept asking the questions above, looking for specific answers. Will you answers my questions above please?

    Comment by Annemarie — August 13, 2009 @ 3:33 pm
  88. AnnMarie,

    I would like to answer your questions, if I could tell what they were. Your statements/questions are somewhat contradictory.

    You ask: “So what’s going to change now, unless regulation mandates change that would disallow someone like me being screwed?

    It’s the regulation that insures you get screwed. That’s the way it was designed. We have system that says you are only allowed to make a profit if you stay within these parameters. So they do, and you as well as others get hosed. If you don’t want the doctors or insurance companies to make a profit, you remove their incentive to do what they do. Would you make them slaves? I sure don’t want to go get health care from someone in chains, do you?

    All the money you spent on health insurance did not go to pay for your or your employees needs, it went to pay for the needs of the rest of the collective you contributed to according to the rules and regs you agreed to, knowingly or not.

    I also don’t understand why any changes to the current system are urgent. Basic math skills will easily show that government health care/insurance is doomed from the beginning. Now, when the end is near, it’s an emergency?

    You bring up Obama and Democrats a lot, I’m not sure why. They don’t really come into the equation until recently and only because they wantvto take direct actions that will make the whole situation so much worse and harder to escape.

    The free market polices itself. Businesses that provide good value for their cost succeed, if not, they fail and cease to exist. If you don’t force other people to pay for what you need, prices will adjust to what the market will bear.

    TANSTAAFL= There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

    Comment by John222 — August 13, 2009 @ 4:22 pm
  89. Annemarie,

    Is your question something like: “If the American Federal government doesn’t enact the AAHCA bill, H.R. 3200, what should they do instead?”

    I hesitate to put words in your mouth, but I can try to answer that one. My short answer is:

    Repeal existing laws which: limit the supply of health care insurance and providers, encourage insulation of patients from actual costs, and encourage insurers to sell to employers rather than patients due to tax incentives.

    Failing that, to quote the Hippocratic Oath, they should “Do no harm.” I see H.R. 3200 as quite harmful.

    Southernjames posted this link to a Wall Street Journal op ed written by the Co-Founder and CEO of Whole Foods in another thread here. I think that article’s author had some suggestions I’d support in answer to the question I assumed above.

    If this was not your question, please feel free to give it another go. I’ll be happy to try to answer from my point of view.

    Comment by Akston — August 13, 2009 @ 5:06 pm
  90. Annemarie –

    TANSTAAFL = There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TANSTAAFL

    Wikipedia has a good and generally accurate article that will give you some background on the phrase.

    As for your personal situation, you do have my sympathy, but unless this occurred before 1943, your problem was *not* caused by free market health care.

    You say,

    In America, free market is not consumer-focussed.

    It sure as **** is. The car I drive that has precisely the features I want, the laptop I’m typing on, the hotel I’m currently staying at on a business trip, the upgraded BlackBerry I just bought, all those are part of a consumer-focused free market.

    If you were to say instead that the health care market is not consumer-focused in America, I would have no choice but to agree with you. The laws of the Federal and State government have ensured that it’s regulator-focused and employer-focused, not consumer focused.

    You ask a good question,

    I’m waiting – – who’s going to police the free market[?]

    In a free market with sufficient choices, consumers have leverage to counter that wielded by sellers. This is why monopolies are regarded as bad. In the decidedly-unfree health care market, consumers (patients) have no leverage against the seller because the seller (doctor) is selling to a third party (insurer) that’s selling to a fourth party (employer) that has only a minimal interest in keeping the consumer happy.

    This results in many things, two of the more interesting being a massive rise in prices because patients have an incentive to keep consuming until they feel satisfied and the abuse of the courts as an avenue for patients to try and exert some control over a system that they have no control over. The people screaming for tort reform as a solution don’t realize until consumers control their care, the rash of lawsuits will continue.

    When you say this,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it is my understanding that the proposed health care reform is not based on converting the current US system into the UK model, and that this notion has already been debunked by many, including the AMA and American Academy of Family Physicians?

    You are both correct and incorrect at the same time. In terms of design, the bills in front of Congress will not create a UK model, as they continue to keep the trappings of a free market while introducing a “public option”. However, in terms of effect, it is perfectly reasonable project a very UK-like system evolving from the reforms now before Congress.

    As has been demonstrated by several scholars and analysts, including those from the Lewin Group and the Cato Institute, the current health reform bills before Congress would allow a public option to offer prices 40% lower than a private insurer could to break even. The projection that those who say these laws are hurtling us towards government-controlled medicine are making is that this tremendous competitive advantage will drive private insurers out of the market. While it may not do so completely, to reach a UK-like level of dysfunction it would have to simply make private health insurance so expensive only the wealthy could justify the paying the price. This is, again, perfectly logical given the starting point.

    “Why then is the opposition attacking HIM because, wisely, he wants to start fixing it?”

    Probably, because while he claims he wants to fix it, the proposals put forth by Obama and the Democrats only further cement the worst aspects of our health care system. Every employer will be required to pay for health insurance or pay a fine under these plans. Every person will be required to carry health insurance or pay a fine under these plans. When you lose a job, you’ll be forced to choose between expensive private insurance under COBRA or the artificially-cheap “public option”.

    I challenge anyone to find one single thing in any of the proposed reform that gives people more control over their own health care.

    Comment by Quincy — August 13, 2009 @ 5:57 pm
  91. Annemarie,

    TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch – is an acronym popularized by Robert Heinlein. It means that for something of value received, someone somewhere must pay.

    With regard to your questions, your premises are incorrect.

    First, it is most definitely not a free market WRT health insurance. Government regulation distorts heavily. Two examples off the top of my head:

    a) company subsidized premiums are not taxed but privately paid premiums are post tax (1).

    b) HSA deductible maxima are set by federal mandate (I’ll leave you to swim the sea of government regulation given in the reference) (2).

    There are myriad state and federal mandates on medical insurance (not to mention the medical system itself). A little research will show quickly just how much.

    Second, “free market health care” has most certainly NOT crippled the US economy. Per capita GDP (PPP) here outstrips nearly every other nation on Earth – including most of Europe (excluding oil-rich Norway and financial haven Luxembourg)(3).

    Current US economic woes are in no small part due to government-encouraged over-extension of mortgage lending (and the subsequent efforts of the lenders to mitigate the risk) (4).

    Examples of government failure are legion and obvious. Indeed, since we are discussing health care, I refer you to the quality of care given by the government-run VHA. Search the web, talk to veterans and read the newspapers. The information is everywhere.

    (1): http://www.nahu.org/meetings/capitol/2009/Hill%20Packet/exclusion.pdf
    (2): http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa/technical-guidance/
    (3): http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GDP_PPP.pdf AND http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/POP.pdf
    (4):http://www.aei.org/article/29047

    Comment by Hank — August 13, 2009 @ 6:43 pm
  92. Anne Marie,

    I strongly encourage you to read an essay I posted here almost a year ago. It discusses Medical Care under a free market:

    Is Free Market Medicine Heartless.

    The major portion of the post concerns how the price of medical services is set in both a free market and under the heavily government regulated system the U.S. endures now. You will note that according to that analysis, prices are high because:
    1) The government rigidly limits supply thanks to regulatory capture of medical boards by the AMA. Actually the AMA proposed restrictive licensing as a way of keeping prices high so we can’t really call it capture.

    2) The government encourages overconsumption of medical services via subsidies.

    I encourage you to read the article.

    Comment by tarran — August 13, 2009 @ 7:54 pm
  93. Annemarie,

    “insurance company to play footsie with my health costs and decide its strategic goal”

    The goal of any company should be to give the most service for the lowest cost even for insurance companies. In a free market if they don’t do that they will go out of bussiness.

    If that is not their goal its because the market has been distorted. In our medical system the distortions are purely made by regulation over the last 100 years or more. Each successive round of “fixing the problem” instead of peeling back poor prior policy has instead added another layer. Now we have a health care onion where the outer layers are rotten.

    But instead of peeling back those rotten layers and setting the market free the Senate and the House propose adding on additional layers that do nothing to change the goals of insurance companies to the best service for the lowest price.

    I think that our common goal is the best service for the lowest price. That’s why I want a truley free market with open competition. Another layer of legislation to provide competition will only add additional unintended consequences and further gaming of the system.

    We need to peel back all the regulation so that the free market, not pseudo-free, will give us the best service for the lowest cost.

    May you stay healthy,

    Norm

    Comment by Norm — August 14, 2009 @ 12:20 am
  94. Tarran,

    I downloaded your very thorough article and will read this evening with great interest.

    Thankyou for bringing to my attention.

    Annemarie

    Comment by Annemarie — August 14, 2009 @ 6:10 am
  95. Libertypapers Friends,

    I revisited the origins of our thread. Pelosi’s criticism of the town hall protesters and their organizers for drowning out the attempts of Democrat Representatives trying to discuss the contents of HR3200 and take questions.

    Since then the protesters actions at the town halls have escalated. You’ve seen the foul-worded posters and images of Obama as an evil demagogue, reminiscent of Hitler, Stalin, Joker etc. You’ve heard shouts of government takeover, communism, socialism, death panels, euthanasia. Talking death, threats to Obama’s life have increased by 40%, he gets 40 threats a day…I bet 99.9% are from extreme right-wing groups.

    So do these shout-outs about HR3200 represent the free thinking of the various individuals who voice them? Is the sentiment of a brain-washed individual his free thought?

    I will pass no judgment, but ask you to review the evil revision of HR3200 below by the Liberty Counsel, a participating activist group in the Tea Parties and Recess Rally anti-health reform movement.

    This has been circulated as talking points throughout the right-wing anti-reform movement and passed on to the people. You’ll find in this document the words expressed by protesters at Town Hall meetings…they’ve been told that these foul revisions represent what Obama really means in each of the sections….DEATH, MANDATED end of life urging, government controlling how you live your life, telling doctors how to treat you…?? You’ll find in the annotated revisions of Section 1233 where Sarah Palin, Betsy McCaughey and Senator Grassley got their inspiration for essentially calling Obama a murderer, and how they found justification for frightening the little old ladies of America.

    Do you call this kind of cloaked subversive manipulation of public thought “AMERICAN”? I don’t. I wasn’t born an American, I was born British but I became an American and I am a prouder American than many. But this kind of behavior doesn’t make me proud to be an American, it both disgusts and frightens me. I think more of Chile, Iran, Russia when I see what thought manipulation has gone on here, not of the freedom that the American Constitution is supposed to represent.

    Shame on you, Republicans and Right-wing covert thought-manipulators. Are you such cowards that you have to do this under cover of a “spontaneous grassroots expression of disapproval”. Such cowards that in every TV interview the likes of Freedomworks, Tea Party Patriots, Let Freedom Ring, Americans for Prosperity, etc., deny their involvement in any organized effort while distributing hate-filled ant-Obama messages and revolting distortions of HR3200 to incite the kind of mob reactions we’ve seen on TV.

    Is it “AMERICAN” to incite your people on these websites and blogs to be talking about “striking Obama dead”, as Rachel Maddow exposed last night? No, it’s actually treason and if any of these riled up individuals did actually act on that call-to-action…there would be blood on the hands of all those who have been party, including the leaders of the Republican party like Rep Boehner and Senator Grassley who have perpetuated the lies below as truth.

    Read the below. I welcome your comments.

    Obama Administration’s Health Care Plan
    HR 3200 currently under consideration in the House of Representatives

    Reviewed, revised and adapted on July 29, 2009, by Liberty Counsel from the original authored by Peter Fleckenstein and posted on FreeRepublic.com and his blog, http://blog.flecksoflife.com/.

    Sec. 113, Pg. 21-22 of the Health Care (HC) Bill MANDATES a government audit of the books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self-insure in order to “ensure that the law does not provide incentives for small and mid-size employers to self-insure”!
    Sec. 122, Pg. 29, Lines 4-16 – YOUR HEALTH CARE WILL BE RATIONED!
    Sec. 123, Pg. 30 – THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE deciding what treatments and benefits you get.
    Sec. 142, Pg. 42 – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your benefits for you. You have no choice!
    Sec. 152, Pg. 50-51 – HC will be provided to ALL NON-US citizens.
    Sec. 163, Pg. 58-59 beginning at line 5 – Government will have real-time access to individual’s finances & a National ID health care card will be issued!
    Sec. 163, Pg. 59, Lines 21-24 – Government will have direct access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
    Sec. 164, Pg. 65 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations (ACORN).
    Sec. 201, Pg. 72, Lines 8-14 – Government is creating an HC Exchange to bring private plans under government control.
    Sec. 203, Pg. 84 – Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private Health Care plans in the exchange.
    Sec. 203, Pg. 85, Line 7 – Specifications of benefit levels for plans means that the government will define your HC plan and has the ability to ration your health care!
    Sec. 205, Pg. 95, Lines 8-18 – The government will use groups (i.e., ACORN & AmeriCorps) to “inform and educate” (sign up) individuals for government plan.
    Sec. 205, Pg. 102, Lines 12-18 – Medicaid-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No freedom to choose.
    Sec. 223, Pg. 124, Lines 24-25 – No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No “administrative of judicial review” against a government monopoly.
    Sec. 225, Pg. 127, Lines 1-16 – Doctors – the government will tell YOU what you can make. “The Secretary shall provide for the annual participation of physicians under the public health insurance option, for which payment may be made for services furnished during the year.”
    Sec. 312, Pg. 145, Lines 15-17 – Employers MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan.
    Sec. 313, Pg. 149, Lines 16-23 – ANY employer with payroll $400,000 and above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll.
    Sec. 313, Pg. 150, Lines 9-13 – Businesses with payroll between $251,000 and $400,000 who do not provide public option pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.
    Sec. 401.59B, Pg. 167, Lines 18-23 – ANY individual who does not have acceptable care, according to government, will be taxed 2.5% of income.
    Sec. 59B, Pg. 170, Line 1 – Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay for their health care.)
    Sec. 431, Pg. 195, Lines 1-3 – Officers and employees of HC Administration (government) will have access to ALL Americans’ financial and personal records.
    Sec. 441, Pg. 203, Lines 14-15 – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.” Yes, it says that.
    Sec. 1121, Pg. 239, Lines 14-24 – The government will limit and reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income and poor are the ones affected.
    Sec. 1121, Pg. 241, Lines 6-8 – Doctors, it does not matter what specialty you have; you’ll all be paid the same. “Service categories established under this paragraph shall apply without regard to the specialty of the physician furnishing the service.”
    Sec. 1122, Pg. 253, Lines 10-23 – The government “validates work relative value units” (sets value of doctor’s time), professional judgment, methods etc. (defining the value of humans).
    Sec. 1131, Pg. 265 – Government mandates and controls productivity for private HC industries. “Incorporating Productivity Improvements into Market Basket Updates that Do Not Already Incorporate Such Improvements.”
    Sec. 1141, Pg. 268 – The government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.
    Sec. 1145, Pg. 272 – Treatment of certain cancer hospitals: Cancer patients and their treatment are open to rationing!
    Sec. 1151, Pg. 280 – The government will penalize hospitals for what government deems preventable readmissions (incentives for hospital to not treat and release).
    Sec. 1151, Pg. 298, Lines 9-11 – Doctors, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission and the government will penalize you for that action.
    Sec. 1156, Pg. 317, Lines 13-20 – “PROHIBITION on physician ownership or Investment.” Government tells doctors what/how much they can own.
    Sec. 1156, Pg. 317-318, Lines 21-25, 1-3 – “PROHIBITION on Expansion of Facility Capacity.” The government will mandate that hospitals cannot expand (“number of operating rooms or beds”).
    Sec. 1156, Pg. 321, Lines 2-13 – Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required.
    Sec. 1162, Pg. 335-339, Lines 16-25 – The government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures. Rationing.
    Sec. 1162, Pg. 341, Lines 3-9 – The government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans (Part B), HMOs, etc. This will force people into a government plan. “The Secretary may determine not to identify a Medicare Advantage plan if the Secretary has identified deficiencies in the plan’s compliance with rules for such plans under this part.”
    Sec. 1177, Pg. 354 – Government will RESTRICT enrollment of special needs people! “Extension of Authority of Special Needs Plans to Restrict Enrollment.”
    Sec. 1191, Pg. 379 – Government creates more bureaucracy – “Telehealth Advisory Committee.” HC by phone or the Internet – dial 1 for your health care advice?
    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 4-12 – Government mandates Advance (Death) Care Planning consultation. Think Senior Citizens and end of life. END-OF-LIFE COUNSELING. SOME IN THE ADMINISTRATION HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED RATIONING HEALTH CARE FOR THE ELDERLY.
    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 17-19 – Government WILL instruct and consult regarding living wills and durable powers of attorney. Mandatory end-of-life planning!
    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425-426, Lines 22-25, 1-3 – Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
    Sec. 1233, Pg. 427, Lines 15-24 – Government mandates program for orders for life-sustaining treatment (i.e. end of life). The government has a say in how your life ends.
    Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 1-9 – An “advanced care planning consult” will be used as patient’s health deteriorates.
    Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 10-12 – “Advanced Care Consultation” may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans – from the government.
    Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 13-25 – The government will specify which Doctors (professional authority under state law includes Nurse Practitioners or Physician’s Assistants) can write an end-of-life order.
    Sec. 1233, Pg. 430, Lines 11-15 – The government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life, according to preset methods (not individually decided).
    Sec. 1302, Pg. 468, Lines 16-21 – “Community-Based Home Medical Services means a nonprofit community-based or state-based organization.”
    Sec. 1302, Pg. 472, Lines 14-17 – PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATION: One monthly payment to a community-based organization. Like ACORN?
    Sec. 1308, Pg. 489 – The government will cover Marriage and Family therapy. This will involve government control of your marriage.
    Sec. 1308, Pg. 494-498 – The government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating and rationing those services.
    Sec. 1401, Pg. 502 – Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research Established. Big Brother is watching how your treatment works.
    Sec. 1401, Pg. 503, Lines 13-19 – The government will build registries and data networks from YOUR electronic medical records. “The Center may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this section.”
    Sec. 1401, Pg. 503, Lines 21-25 – The government may secure data directly from any department or agency of the US, including your data.
    Sec. 1401, Pg. 503, Lines 21-25 – The “Center” will collect data both “published and unpublished” (that means public & your private information).
    Sec. 1401, Pg. 506, Lines 19-21 – An “Appointed Clinical Perspective Advisory Panel” will advise The Center and recommend policies that would allow for public access of data.
    Sec. 1401, Pg. 518, Lines 21-25 – The Commission will have input from HC consumer representatives.
    Sec. 1411, Pg. 524, Lines 18-22 – Establishes the “Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund.” More taxes for ALL.
    Sec. 1441, Pg. 621, Lines 20-25 – The government will define “NEW Quality” measures in HC. Since when does government know about quality?
    Sec. 1442, Pg. 622, Lines 2-9 – To pay for the Quality Standards, government will transfer money from “qualified entities” (government Trust Funds) to other government Trust Funds. More Taxes.
    Sec. 1442, Pg. 624, Lines 19-23 – Qualified Entities: “The Secretary shall ensure that the entity is a public, nonprofit or academic institution with technical expertise in the area of health quality measurement.”
    Sec. 1442, Pg. 623, Lines 5-10 – “Quality” measures shall be designed to assess outcomes and functional status of patients.
    Sec. 1442, Pg. 623, Lines 15-17 – “Quality” measures shall be designed to profile you, including race, age, gender, place of residence, etc.
    Sec. 1443, Pg. 628 – The government will give “Multi-Stake Holders” pre-rulemaking input into selection of “quality” measures.
    Sec. 1443, Pg. 630-31, Lines 9-24, 1-9 – Those Multi-Stake Holder groups include unions and groups like ACORN deciding what constitutes quality.
    Sec. 1444, Pg. 632, Lines 14-25 – The government may implement any “Quality measure” of HC services that bureaucrats see fit.
    Sec. 1444, Pg. 632-333, Lines 14-25, 1-9 – The Secretary may issue nonendorsed “Quality Measures” for physician and dialysis services.
    Sec. 1251 (beginning), Pg. 634 to 652 – “Physician Payments Sunshine Provision” – government wants to shine sunlight on Doctors but not government. “Reports on financial relationships between manufacturers and distributors . . . and between physicians and other health care entities.”
    Sec. 1501 (beginning), Pg. 659-670 – Doctors in Residency – government will tell you where your residency will be, thus where you’ll live.
    Sec. 1503 (beginning), Pg. 675-685 – Government will regulate hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs, including teaching hospitals.
    Sec. 1601 (beginning), Pg. 685-699 – Increased funding to fight waste, fraud, and abuse. (Like the government with an $18 million website?)
    Sec. 1619, Pg. 700-703 – If your part of HC plan isn’t in the government’s HC Exchange but you qualify for federal aid, you don’t have to pay.
    Sec. 1128G, Pg. 704-708 – If the Secretary determines there is a “significant risk of fraudulent activity,” on HC provider or supplier, the government can do a background check.
    Sec. 1632, Pg. 710, Lines 8-14 – The Secretary has broad powers to deny HC providers and suppliers admittance into HC Exchange. Your doctor could be thrown out of business.
    Sec. 1637, Pg. 718-719 – ANY Doctor who orders durable medical equipment or home medical services is REQUIRED to be enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare.
    Sec. 1639, Pg. 721 – Government MANDATES that Doctors must have face-to-face with patient to certify patient for home health services.
    Sec. 1639, Pg. 723-24, Lines 23-25, 1-5 – The same government certifications will apply to Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s health plan: Your kids).
    Sec. 1640, Pg. 723, Lines 16-22 – The government reserves right to apply face-to-face certification for patient to ANY other HC service.
    Sec. 1651, Pg. 734, Lines 16-25 – Proposes, for law enforcement sake, that the Secretary of HHS will give Attorney General access to ALL medical data.
    Sec. 1701 (beginning), Pg. 739-756 – The government sets guidelines for subsidizing the uninsured (and you have to pay for them).
    Sec. 1704, Pg. 756-761 – The government will shift burden of payments to Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) to states (your taxes).
    Sec. 1711, Pg. 764 – The government will require preventative services – including vaccinations (no choice).
    Sec. 1713, Pg. 768 – Government-determined Nurse Home Visitation Services (Hello union paybacks).
    Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 3-5 – Nurse Home Visit Services – Service #1: “Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.” Compulsory ABORTIONS?
    Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 11-14 – Nurse Home Visit Services include determinations of economic self-sufficiency, employment advancement and school-readiness.
    Sec. 1714, Pg. 769 – Federal government mandates eligibility for State Family Planning Services. Abortion and government control intertwined.
    Sec. 1733, Pg. 788-798 – Government will set and mandate drug prices, therefore controlling which drugs are brought to market. (Goodbye innovation and private research.)
    Sec. 1744, Pg. 796-799 – Establishes PAYMENTS for graduate medical education. The government will now control your doctor’s education.
    Sec.1751, Pg. 800 – The government will decide which Health Care conditions will be paid. Say “RATION!”
    Sec. 1759, Pg. 809 – Billing Agents, clearinghouses, or other alternate payees are required to register. The government takes over private payment systems too.
    Sec. 1801, Pg. 819-823 – The Government will identify individuals “likely to be ineligible” for subsidies. Will access all personal financial information.
    Sec. 1802, Pg. 823-828 – Government sets up Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund. Another bottomless tax pit.
    Sec. 4375, Pg. 828-832, Lines 12-16 – Government will impose a fee on ALL private health insurance plans, including self-insured, to pay for Trust Fund!
    Sec. 4377, Pg. 835, Lines 11-13 – Fees imposed by government for Trust Fund shall be treated as if they were taxes.
    Sec. 440, Pg. 837-839 – The government will design and implement Home Visitation Program for families with young kids and families that are expecting children.
    Sec. 1904, Pg. 843-844 – This Home Visitation Program includes the government coming into your house and teaching/telling you how to parent!
    Sec. 2002, Pg. 858 – The government will establish a Public Health Fund at a cost of $88,800,000,000 (That’s Billions).
    Sec. 2201, Pg. 864 – The government will MANDATE the establishment of a National Health Service Corps.
    o Sec. 2201 – “Fulfillment of Obligated Service Requirement”

    o Sec. 2201, Pg. 864-875 – The NHS Corps is a program where Doctors perform mandatory HC for 2 years for partial loan repayment.
    Sec. 2212, Pg. 875-891 – The government takes over the education of Medical students and Doctors through education and loans.
    Sec. 340L, Pg. 897 – The government will establish a Public Health Workforce Corps to ensure an adequate supply of public health professionals.
    Sec. 340L, Pg. 897 – The Public Health Workforce Corps shall consist of civilian employees of the United States as Secretary deems necessary.
    Sec. 340L, Pg. 897 – The Public Health Workforce Corps shall consist of officers of Regular and Reserve Corps of Service.
    Sec. 340M, Pg. 899 – The Public Health Workforce Corps includes veterinarians. Will animals have heath care too?
    Sec. 2233, Pg. 909 – The government will develop, build and run Public Health Training Centers.
    Sec. 2241, Pg. 912-913 – Government starts a HC affirmative action program under the guise of diversity scholarships.
    Sec. 2251, Pg. 915 – Government MANDATES cultural and linguistic competency training for HC professionals.
    Sec. 3111, Pg. 931 – The government will establish a Preventative and Wellness Trust fund, with initial cost of $30,800,000,000 (Billions more).
    Sec. 3121, Pg. 934, Lines 21-22 – Government will identify specific goals and objectives for prevention and wellness activities. More control of your life.
    Sec. 3121, Pg. 935, Lines 1-2 – The government will develop “Healthy People & National Public Health Performance Standards.” They will tell us what to eat?
    Sec. 3131, Pg. 942, Lines 22-25 – “Task Force on Community Preventive Services.” More government? Under the Offices of Surgeon General, Public Health Services, Minority Health and Women’s Health.
    Sec. 3141, Pg. 949-979 – BIG GOVERNMENT core public health infrastructure includes workforce capacity, lab systems, health information systems, etc.
    Sec. 2511, Pg. 992 – Government will establish school-based “health” clinics. Your children will be indoctrinated and your grandchildren may be aborted!
    Sec. 399Z-1, Pg. 993 – School-Based Health Clinics will be integrated into the school environment. More government brainwashing in school.
    Sec. 2521, Pg. 1000 – The government will establish a National Medical Device Registry. Will you be tracked?

    Liberty Counsel · Post Office Box 540774, Orlando, FL 32854 · (800) 671-1776 · ©Copyright 1995-2009

    Comment by Annemarie — August 14, 2009 @ 7:30 am
  96. Annemarie, Gore Vidal was correct when he called Americans “hicks” as America is an extremely isolated society, geographically and culturally; very little from the outside world really gets in. The mindset of the mass of Americans is generally closed with the pretense of openness; the world at large is viewed with suspicion. Americans from birth are conditioned to believe that they are the greatest people of all time inhabiting the greatest nation of all time and so resist any contradiction that this may not be entirely so, that there may be areas that could use improvement or transformation. And if there is an area that is agreed upon as needing improvement the fault always lies in the government, or the “enemy,” domestic or foreign, never the people and their belief systems. On the other hand, Americans are a people who can, better than anyone else, speak and act from possibility. Putting men on the moon is a fine 20th century example. Yet those Americans who speak from a place of pure possibility often find life hard at best and dead at worst. I find it heartening that the demographic called the “Cultural Creative” (other terms are also used but this one is the most readily recognizable so I will use it) in the USA is now 50 million strong and if you include the “Cultural Creative” with the “Moderns” who sympathize with them the number comes close to 100 million in this country. In Western Europe the percentage of the population who falls in his demographic is higher. So the “Culture Wars” in America are a reality but not in the way that the popular media (I am looking at you Fox News) presents it as: imagine a spectrum of consciousness that corresponds with an American demographic – imagine a Blue Level, above that an Orange Level above that Green Level (there are other levels above and below these but their numbers are so small it is irrelevant to this discussion). The culturally conservative Republican probably falls in the Blue Level. As do the “Traditionalists,” believers in “Law and Order, God and Guns”. George W Bush is solidly at this level. Their worldview is largely ethnocentric/egocentric. The Orange Level are the “Moderns” which is all about Reason and Science, Individualism, Achievement and the Free Market as God. This is about 50% of the American population. The Orange level is about 300 years old and was born out of the Western Englightenment. The Green Level the youngest,, just 30-40 years old and is the home of the modern Liberal, freedom of expression, concern with the have- nots, Civil Rights, feminism and HEALTH CARE REFORM. The generation of the 1960′s was the first Green generation. This model is not claiming that one level is superior to another. Not at all. Conservatism, whether in the USA or India is the glue that holds everything together. Take conservatism away totally and you have what happened in Russia when the glue called Communism was undone – instead of the Free Trade and Capitalism saving the day, thugs took over. Or present-day Iraq after Saddam Hussein was outed – mayhem, lawlessness and violence are what took Conservatism’s place. The problem with Conservatism is that it has its own particular pathology that needs to be balanced by other levels. Same with the “Moderns,” the Orange Level – you get a society where Science, Logic and Reason are expected to solve all problems. Except they don’t. Nor does the Free Market. The Green Level has its own pathology as well: intolerance and political correctness. Each level thinks that it is the highest stage of consciousness. Untrue. None of these stages is Integral. The Integral Level sits above the Green Level. That is what is exciting about the “Cultural Creatives” – they trend more toward the Integral Level, are post-modern and pluralistic and represent a healthy transformation from modern to post modern, rational to pluralistic. Narcissism, however, is their pathology. It has also been called “Boomeritis.” What is the point of all this in regard to health care reform? Health care reform is simply a part of a much large movement in consciousness much like slavery only became outlawed around the world after the Industrial Age began which was itself part of the Western Enlightenment and the Orange “Modern” Level. Most every society had some form of slavery before the Industrial Age. How long did this country argue over slavery after the rest of the Western World abolished it? Well, here we are arguing over health care reform long decades after other democracies got the ball rolling. Not to worry. Transformation cannot be avoided. It is often painful however. As I mentioned, there is a significant portion of the Orange Level that sympathizes with SOME aspects of the Green Level. I think that it is this demographic that voted for Obama – the Cultural Creatives and their Modern Orange allies. It is this same demographic that sympathizes with HEALTH CARE REFORM. But how long will this alliance between the Cultural Creatives and their allies last? Who can say? Recently some research has put light onto the so-called Moral Majority and their allies. It seems their numbers were never as high as they claimed as this demographic is solidly in the Blue Level who are probably no more than 25% of the population of the USA. That is why I am suspicious of the Tea Baggers and the trouble-makers at the Health Care Reform Town Hall Meetings – they are simply highly organized and vocal but small in number. Yet fear is on their side and fear is an effective ally, as Hitler wrote. Maybe they will sway the Modern Orange Level to their side ….

    Comment by Aussie — August 14, 2009 @ 9:22 am
  97. At least we hicks know to break long rants into paragraphs, in order to make them remotely readable. :)

    As long as we’re engaged in simplistic and moronic stereotyping, is it true that Aussies are just a bunch of illiterate ex-cockney (hence the holdover London street gutter accent) convict spawn?

    Oy, Bonzer treatment of them Abbo’s there, Sheila. Still shootin ‘em for fun? Or is ya lookin on ‘em as at least partly ‘uman yet?

    Why doncha jus go ‘ave another Fostahs laaagah, and pop a bit ‘o Strine Rules football on the telly, and let us be to ‘ave our own walkabout over this health care business, Sheila.

    Comment by southernjames — August 14, 2009 @ 9:41 am
  98. Excuse me SouthernJames, but what does your comment have to do with Cultural Creatives and Health Care Reform? American business is falling over themselves to cater to this demographic and all you can give is a predictable knee-jerk reaction?

    Comment by Aussie — August 14, 2009 @ 9:50 am
  99. Aussie,

    That analysis is off track:
    1) The anti-slavery movement actually is a Enlightenment movement. Ditto the civil rights movement. In the U.S. for example, there were two factions supporting black civil rights. The classical liberals and the socialist-class consciousness crowd. Guess which faction came to dominate and wrote the other out of the history books?

    2) Moreover, you fail to recognize that the so called Greens are really people advocateing Liberal Ends (which are what the Oranges support) via Blue means. A passage of Rothbard’s Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty lays it out succinctly:

    By their Tory blindness toward the Irish drive for national independence, and especially for peasant property against feudal oppression, the British Liberals (including Spencer) symbolized their effective abandonment of genuine liberalism, which had been virtually born in a struggle against the feudal land system. Only in the United States, the great home of radical liberalism (where feudalism had never been able to take root outside the South), did natural rights and higher-law theory, and consequent radical liberal movements, continue in prominence until the mid-nineteenth century. In their different ways, the Jacksonian and Abolitionist movements were the last powerful radical libertarian movements in American life

    Thus, with liberalism abandoned from within, there was no longer a party of hope in the Western world, no longer a “Left” movement to lead a struggle against the state and against the unbreached remainder of the Old Order. Into this gap, into this void created by the drying up of radical liberalism, there stepped a new movement: socialism. Libertarians of the present day are accustomed to think of socialism as the polar opposite of the libertarian creed. But this is a grave mistake, responsible for a severe ideological disorientation of libertarians in the present world. As we have seen, conservatism was the polar opposite of liberty; and socialism, while to the “left” of conservatism, was essentially a confused, middle-of-the-road movement. It was, and still is, middle-of-the-road because it tries to achieve liberal ends by the use of conservative means.

    In short, Russell Kirk, who claims that socialism was the heir of classical liberalism, and Ronald Hamowy, who sees socialism as the heir of conservatism, are both right; for the question is on what aspect of this confused centrist movement we happen to be focusing. Socialism, like liberalism and against conservatism, accepted the industrial system and the liberal goals of freedom, reason, mobility, progress, higher living standards for the masses, and an end to theocracy and war; but it tried to achieve these ends by the use of incompatible, conservative means: statism, central planning, communitarianism, etc. Or rather, to be more precise, there were from the beginning two different strands within socialism: one was the right-wing, authoritarian strand, from Saint-Simon down, which glorified statism, hierarchy, and collectivism and which was thus a projection of conservatism trying to accept and dominate the new industrial civilization. The other was the left-wing, relatively libertarian strand, exemplified in their different ways by Marx and Bakunin, revolutionary and far more interested in achieving the libertarian goals of liberalism and socialism; but especially the smashing of the state apparatus to achieve the “withering away of the State” and the “end of the exploitation of man by man.” Interestingly enough, the very Marxian phrase, the “replacement of the government by men by the administration of things,” can be traced, by a circuitous route, from the great French radical laissez-faire liberals of the early nineteenth century, Charles Comte (no relation to Auguste Comte) and Charles Dunoyer.

    Which brings us to this execrable bill, which places the healing arts under the control of an organization that has most of the guns and has little fear of ever having its crimes prosecuted. We who – broadly speaking – fall into the so called “Classical Liberal” camp recognize that this monstrosity does not free people. Rather it constrains them heavily, taxes them, forbids them, orders them, and punishes them, all in the name of freeing them from want. Rather than people being free to implement new ideas or to act upon their personal insights in order to improve how the healing arts are applied to the people who need them, it hems them in. It will act as a reactionary, conservative system slowing down change and innovation. In short, this is a retrogade motion.

    Comment by tarran — August 14, 2009 @ 10:02 am
  100. I’ll answer your question with a question back at you.

    What does your insulting and stereotypical and flat out asinine cultural “categories” into which you (or some dipshit left-wing, ooops, I mean “enlightend” socialogy professor you must admire) have pigeon-holed Americans, have to do with the need for health care reform and a debate as to how best to acheive it, in this Country?

    Other that to support and validate your pre-conceived and set in stone 100% subjective and emotion-based conclusions as to why some people support and why some are opposed to THIS particular bill (and NOT to reform in general) and also opposed to the MANNER in which it has been presented and pushed.

    And no, sorry to burst your ignorant bubble, but big business is in bed with the ADMINISTRATION and not with the “tea baggers” on this issue. The big health insurers and big pharma are in the process of either being extorted or doing the extorting, over who the winners and loser are going to be over the final version of whatever clusterfuck of a boondoggle that gets rammed down our throats.

    Comment by southernjames — August 14, 2009 @ 10:04 am
  101. Thank you for your intelligent reply Tarran. If you did not pick up that I agree with you that the anti-slavery movement came out of the Enlightenment I will say it again: it did. I disagree however about the Civil Rights Movement; it is post-modern, post-rational and pluralistic as is feminism and environmentalism. Did the Civil Rights Movement get support from the Modern Orange Level? Most certainly. Do “Moderns” support feminism and environmentalism? Many do.

    I will get back to you shortly with the rest.

    Comment by Aussie — August 14, 2009 @ 10:09 am
  102. Southernjames, I specialize in marketing. This is what I love about doing business in America: business here doesn’t take a rigid stance but rather looks at what is and acts. In this case, American business looks at the Cultural Crreatives and says collectively, “I want a piece of that!” Getting that piece is what I do. You might say it is my business sir.

    Comment by Aussie — August 14, 2009 @ 10:12 am
  103. Annmarie,

    Did you actually read those sections of the bill you posted? Do you really believe that 1000 page monstrosity will actually help to drive down the cost and increase the quality and availbility of health care?

    Yes, it is true you can find despicable behavior exhibited by some of the opponents of this bill. That is unfortunate. They would be more successful making their points in a more civil manner.

    Many of the opponents do not disagree that reform is needed, they simply disagree with this particular solution which will only serve to make the problem much worse.

    I hope you have read tarran’s essay, it was very well done and may help shed some light on the subject for you.

    It is also true that some of the supporters of the bill have exhibited despicable behavior. You mention death threats that Obama has received, I wonder if you have any idea how many death threats some of our previous Presidents have received? I’m quite sure Bush received far more, and is probably still getting them. Not to mention actual attempts at assasination when Reagan was President.

    Freedom of speech is an important part of our culture here in America. It exists not to protect popular speech (which needs no protection), but rather unpopular speech.

    For Nancy Pelosi or any other public figure to refer to those who voice their concerns or opposition as being un-American, is shameful to say the least. They are in fact being distinctly American.

    Comment by John222 — August 14, 2009 @ 10:16 am
  104. John222

    Do you really believe the vulgar, foul Liberty Counsel distortions of HR3200 are merely “uncivil”?

    Comment by Annemarie — August 14, 2009 @ 10:29 am
  105. Aussie – long long ago, I lived for a year in Melbourne. I developed a love for a beer called Carleton. Never seen it in the States. The folks from NSW drank something called Tooheys, I think and as I recall – and guys from both provinces looked down on each other’s taste in beer.

    So I really don’t believe you still shoot Abbos for fun. And I did indeed enjoy watching Ozzie Rules Football.

    Even if I am one of those ignorant toothless hicks who clings to guns and religion, so loathed by the enlightened elites – our betters.

    And AnnaMarie – I suggest you expand your horizons and try looking at news sources OTHER than those who have an underlying pro-Obama agenda. Better yet – actually GO to the next townhall or tea party that is organized near you. Go on. Do it.

    And walk up to people holding their “read the bill” and “hands off my healtcare” signs and engage them. If there really IS somebody who is acting like the typical anti-war leftist acted for 8 years, and has a sign showing the president with a gun to his head – take a photo of it for us.

    And then report back to us whether there was REALLY all that hate and vitriol and threats of violence and planted paid subversives, etc., etc., as CNN/NBC/CBS is telling you there are, at these events. Unless you want to stay in denial and continue to be told what to think, how to think, and when to think it, by the major networks and CNN and MSNBC

    Comment by southernjames — August 14, 2009 @ 10:32 am
  106. Tarran,

    “Moreover, you fail to recognize that the so called Greens are really people advocateing Liberal Ends (which are what the Oranges support) via Blue means”

    ” via Blue means.” I love that. Still pressed for time and no time to write I will say that the roots of all levels go back in time much further than the time in which any particular level existed. Certainly there were individuals in the 19th century who would be put on the Green Level today but in the 19th century there was no Green Level or Green Stage of Development, only isolated individuals who manifested that particular state of consciousness or who were at that state of development.

    This particular piece of health care reform being discussed may or may not be a “retrograde motion” but health care reform in general certainly is not, no more than the civil rights movement or feminism was a healthy transformation from one stage to another.

    Comment by Aussie — August 14, 2009 @ 10:48 am
  107. “Do you really believe the vulgar, foul Liberty Counsel distortions of HR3200 are merely “uncivil”?”

    I read your post, followed the link and even went to the Liberty Counsel web page. I didn’t see anything I would describe as vulgar, maybe I missed it, I did not delve very deep.

    Perhaps you could refer to some specific distortions, vulgar or otherwise. All those sections and page numbers are from the actual bill, do you disagree with the one line summaries of some or all of them? I confess to not having read the entire bill, but I have read 200 pages or so.

    Comment by John222 — August 14, 2009 @ 11:16 am
  108. Southernjames

    I did already. On Long Island. It scared the b’jesus out of me. And then when I found Liberty Counsel’s primer on how to lie and distort the content of HR3200…I couldn’t breathe for a minute. Because then I knew where all the shouts had found their content, or rather, who had manipulated the content of the shouts.

    My lens may be narrower than yours, but it is not clouded.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 14, 2009 @ 11:16 am
  109. I tried to go to “Liberty Counsel” to try to find the “primer on how to lie and distort the content of HR3200,” to see for myself.

    Is this the site of its home page, or do I have the wrong organization/site?

    http://lc.org/

    Please provide the Link. I want to see this “primer.”

    And have you read any of the specific sections of the Bill immediately preceding the “vulgar” comment descriptions which follows? If so, which ones. Please reprint a few sections in full, followed by the comment/interpretation of it, that you find so vulgar and foul.

    And what town hall event and when did you go to one, which so terrified you? I googled Long Island Town Hall and it came up with a protest event and some video involving a representative named Tim Bishop. Was that it?

    Comment by southernjames — August 14, 2009 @ 11:44 am
  110. I disagree however about the Civil Rights Movement; it is post-modern, post-rational and pluralistic as is feminism and environmentalism

    Well, sir, you are very wrong. Guys like Lysander Spooner are pretty much written out of the history books. They did a hell of a lot to advance the lot of blacks, much of which was undone by the rise of the Progressive movement, which got its strength from white (and very racist) trade unions.

    Honestly, if your simplistic system combining Whigish historicism and Marxist class works for you, great. However, it has about as much to do with reality as does Aristotlean Physics, another system which oversimplifies things to the point where its predictions and descriptions are only useful for a small range of phenomena.

    Comment by tarran — August 14, 2009 @ 11:46 am
  111. Actually Tarran the “simplistic system” I use in marketing is Spiral Dynamics by Beck and Cowan along with the Integral Model (including AQAL) by Ken Wilber. Hardly simplistic, (try reading “Sex, Ecology, Spiritualiy” by Wilber … and AQAL is useful in every part of life.

    Comment by Aussie — August 14, 2009 @ 11:54 am
  112. Dude, having googled it an read some summaries of it, I recognize Spiral Dynamics because I’ve seen it before. It’s just 19th century historicism with a new type of lipstick plastered on – what’s the latest fad? of yeah the mineral based stuff.

    Incidentally, if public health systems were really representative of a higher level of development, the government wouldn’t have to provide it – people would do it on their own. There would be no need to threaten people with jail for providing certain business services or not ponying up certain contributions to the system. Violence is violence, even when executed by a cop you don’t know. And a system that requires daily violence to merely exist is not enlightened – it’s merely thuggery, no matter how good the PR department is.

    Comment by tarran — August 14, 2009 @ 12:19 pm
  113. Tarran,

    If you know of a model that includes States of Consciousness, Stages or Levels of Development, Lines of Development, Integral Psyhcographics, Types, Pathologies, Consciousness, Interiors and Exteriors, Needs, Aesthetics, Spirituality, Values, Self-Identity, Cognition, Morals and Emotions other than the Integral Model that actually works please don’t keep it a secret from humanity any longer! A lot of us could really use it right now. The Integral Model was built on the work of groundbreaking 20th century research from Maslow to Robert Keagan to Jane Loveinger, Clare Graves and many, many others. The distinctions found in The Integral Model simply didn’t exist in the 19th century. Don’t embarrass yourself any further writing about something you know only through your friend Google and his cousin Wikipedia.

    To not look at what is going on in America without some kind of comprehensive map (I don’t care which one you use) that includes previously ignored dimensions such as consciousness and stages of development is short-sighted.

    Love ‘em or hate ‘em the Cultural Creatives have to be reckoned with. American business has embraced this fact. Even American politics is slowly, very slowly coming to recognize this as well. And the Culture Wars represent conflict between three widespread levels. Karl Rove seems to understand this as well but I don’t think Bush did at all.

    If you look at the positive aspects of the 1960′s that represented healthy plualism and post-modernism they all required government actions: civil rights, feminism and environmentalism. Why should health care reform not require government action? Has there been any health care reform in the world that didn’t require government action?

    Comment by Aussie — August 14, 2009 @ 4:00 pm
  114. Annemarie,

    TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch – is an acronym popularized by Robert Heinlein. It means that for something of value received, someone somewhere must pay.

    With regard to your questions, your premises are incorrect.

    First, it is most definitely not a free market WRT health insurance. Government regulation distorts heavily. Two examples off the top of my head:

    a) company subsidized premiums are not taxed but privately paid premiums are post tax (1).

    b) HSA deductible maxima are set by federal mandate (I’ll leave you to swim the sea of government regulation given in the reference) (2).

    There are myriad state and federal mandates on medical insurance (not to mention the medical system itself). A little research will show quickly just how much.

    Second, “free market health care” has most certainly NOT crippled the US economy. Per capita GDP (PPP) here outstrips nearly every other nation on Earth – including most of Europe (excluding oil-rich Norway and financial haven Luxembourg)(3).

    Current US economic woes are in no small part due to government-encouraged over-extension of mortgage lending (and the subsequent efforts of the lenders to mitigate the risk) (4).

    Examples of government failure are legion and obvious. Indeed, since we are discussing health care, I refer you to the quality of care given by the government-run VHA. Search the web, talk to veterans and read the newspapers. The information is everywhere.

    (1): http://www.nahu.org/meetings/capitol/2009/Hill%20Packet/exclusion.pdf
    (2): http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa/technical-guidance/
    (3): http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GDP_PPP.pdf AND http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/POP.pdf
    (4): http://www.aei.org/article/29047

    Comment by Hank — August 14, 2009 @ 4:31 pm
  115. Annemarie –

    There is a big difference between the overheated rhetoric of the sort you posted and the reasoned, factual critiques of both our current health care system and the version provided by Obama and the Democrats the contributors here have provided.

    The latter is absolutely not “hateful” or “unpatriotic”, but the duty of a citizen when confronted with such affronts to liberty as HR3200, which will reduce choice, increase dependence on Washington, bloat the national debt, and not fix one bloody thing.

    As far as misleading statements and subversion of thought, supporters of bill have actually been worse than the opponents. Even the most heated opponent of the bill has not tried to tell people green is red, up is down, or two plus two is five. What do I mean by this? Take, for example, a statement made every day by Obama and his followers:

    First of all, if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.

    There is nothing literally false about this. The government will not use the force of law to get people into the “public option”. That said, his statement cannot possibly be true in the real world.

    For you to be able to keep the plan you like, you had to be the one to have picked it in the first place. Most employers contract with an insurance company or two to provide coverage for its employees. This contract, and the policies under it, are usually of a limited term. Once that term comes to an end, the employer can change companies. Meaning, under HR3200, if it’s cheaper for a company to pay the fine and force its employees into the public option you *will* lose the health care you like.

    This is one of the more frivolous examples, but there are more serious ones, like the left continually arguing that the free market is causing the ills in health care. It hasn’t. It couldn’t have. The health care market is not free and has not been free for over 65 years. The federal government has been the driving force behind health care procurement decisions for over six decades. That’s reality. Yet those on the left try to change reality by insisting that we have freewheeling, profiteering insurers screwing consumers in some sort of laissez faire nightmare.

    Two plus two is five. Green is red. Rain is dry. The health care market is free. Each as gross a distortion of reality as the next. Talk about subversive.

    Comment by Quincy — August 14, 2009 @ 4:49 pm
  116. Aussie –

    I would argue that the one positive thing that came out of the sixties was the concept that people should be free to succeed on their own merits, not because they have certain skin colors, body parts, or social connections.

    Feminism, when it aligned with this, was a positive force. It has since ceased to be so as it evolved from being pro-woman to anti-man. Environmentalism, at best, is a mixed bag. It has done a lot to prevent people from harming each other through pollution, but it has also become a vehicle through which the power hungry can exert their will over others.

    But let’s look at some of the other things that came out of the sixties. Slums, housing projects, welfare, economic stagnation, the ruination of cities and the creation of a new type of untermensch whose defining characteristic was his utter dependence on government. If you examine the health care bills currently before our Congress, you will find that they align far more with these disasters than the things you cited as positives.

    The good of the 1960s required government actions, true, but surprisingly often these were to counter other government actions. Perhaps the most distilled case of this is at Little Rock High School in 1957. On September 19th, the Arkansas National Guard was keeping black students out of the school. On September 25th, the 101st Airborne was escorting them into the school.

    Like the good things of the 1960s, health care requires government action to counter other government action. Instead of reinforcing employer-provided health care, true reform will seek to discourage it in favor of individually-acquired health care. Instead of centralizing decisions, true reform will put them closer to the patients.

    I won’t say the free market will solve all problems, but I will say it is fundamental to any efficient economic system. No other system so fluid transmits information about abundance and scarcity from those who have it to those who need it, a fact that has been borne out time and again in human history.

    The Communist economic system in Russia, where people who didn’t have knowledge of abundance and scarcity had to decide where to allocate resources, was inherently self-extinguishing. Talk to many Russians who lived in that era, and you will find that the people made sure they had what they needed through the (illicit) free market. They traded things they had excess of for things they needed. Information flowed despite the dictates of the economic planners. While Communism took the glory, it was free market that kept the people fed and clothed during the reign of the USSR.

    Comment by Quincy — August 14, 2009 @ 5:19 pm
  117. Sigh,

    Aussie, you may not realize it, but the earliest Envronmental movement in the U.S. was a quiet one in the 1820′s, based on classical liberal notions of property rights.

    As industrialization took hold, people near factories started suing factory owners over the pollution showing up in their property.

    These successful lawsuits started an industry that included smokestack emission control, which while crude by our standards, showed great promise.

    Then in the 1830′s, the U.S. court system declared that people’s right to enjoy their property was less important than the social utility of factories, and that the rights of individuals needed to take a back seat to the needs of society.

    Same phenomenon occured with civil rights, both for blacks and for women.

    I’m sorry, but the notion that somehow people discovered the ideas that pollution is bad and that discrimination is intolerable only in the 20th centruy is poppycock.

    And, yes, I’m sure your social theories are quite intricate and complex in their entirety, much like Aristotle’s description of the universe. That intricacy, though, does not make up for the fact that in the end the heart of the system is the poor approximation and fundamentally flawed description of society that is historicism.

    Nor do I agree with the notion that government action was required to undo the harms of government action. Simply lifting Jim Crow laws would have done wonders – after all, the laws were passed to prevent the commerce and social relations that sprung up between members of different races when they were left to their own devices.

    In the 1960′s people who had grown up in a culture that had an incoherent conception of human rights and a history of violent social engineering by government decided to use these violent and illiberal means in an attempt to right some of the wrongs that was being perpetrated by government. If this is more enlightened than the quaint Enlightenment notions of negative rights and liberty, then the Committee of Public Safety and its guillotines were the epitome of civilization in the 18th century.

    Please note, I am not saying which social or emotional or economic class should dominate the others. What I am saying is that society is becomes more civilized when the violence is minimized, and every action the state takes, being an action of violence, gets in the way of this process.

    Thus when you tell me not to discount the creative classes, you are barking up the wrong tree. I neither discount them nor promote them. I just want them, like everyone else, to be left alone so that they are free to do what they want to do – so long as they aren’t injuring or harming other people.

    Comment by tarran — August 14, 2009 @ 7:33 pm
  118. For me, it boils down to this:

    I don’t want to be forced to pay for someone else’s health care. I want no-one to be forced to pay for mine.

    I want to live with the consequences of my decisions. I want everyone else to do so as well.

    In general, I don’t want to be forced to provide a service to anyone. I want no-one to be forced to work for me.

    Any form of national health care requires that someone somewhere is forced to pay or provide a service. No.

    Comment by Hank — August 15, 2009 @ 5:50 am
  119. I do not want to be lectured from on high from hypocrite democrats about ‘civility,’ unless every single one who does so, forwards to me a copy of a letter or blog post where they preached civility and asked their fellow leftists to stop THIS sort of activity during the prior administration.

    Let’s not forget….

    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=612

    Unless you spoke out against the over-the-top stuff that was directed at the last guy — which this current stuff – then you have zero credibility. ZERO. And your hypocrite leader in this faux bleating, is Nancy Pelosi.

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 8:01 am
  120. meant to say…which this current stuff does not even begin to compare to…

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 8:02 am
  121. Two wrongs don’t make a right, Mr Southern James. ;)

    With that having been said, the protesters, whether D or R, have a common cause: they are being forced to fund and support a government that does things they don’t want it to do.

    Perhaps the Republicans would have more credibility if they had respected the wishes of those who didn’t want to pay for the Iraq war…

    And yes, the fact that many of the protesters were also using outrageous tactics to get government to do things that taxpayers didn’t like is not lost to me.

    Comment by tarran — August 15, 2009 @ 8:20 am
  122. Southernjames -

    I first found the document here, http://www.southernstudies.org/2009/08/the-far-right-religious-group-behind-the-outrageous-health-care-reform-lies.html,
    on Facing South, the Institute for Southern Stdies, in an article entitled, “Far-right religious group behind “death panels” myth linked to other health reform distortions’.

    The article reads:

    When reporters asked former Alaska Gov. and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin where she got the misinformation she posted to her Facebook page about the health care reform bill creating a “death panel” to promote euthanizing the elderly and people with disabilities, her spokesperson pointed to the section in the House Democrats’ legislation that begins on page 425.

    If Palin or her staff had actually read the bill, they would have realized this section simply promotes advance care planning, which in fact puts the power to make decisions about end-of-life care in the hands of individuals — not government panels.

    So where did Palin get that bad information? It appears she pulled it from a set of talking points that has been making its way around the internet in recent weeks — talking points assembled by the Liberty Counsel, a far-right religious group that’s part of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University empire based in Lynchburg, Va.

    You can follow the link they give to the page on Liberty Counsel’s site.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 8:33 am
  123. Naturally, since your source of news and analysis consists of the pro-Obama echo chambers, you probably missed Palin’s follow-up, copied below. Perhaps she and her staff DO do a bit more reading than just taking talking points from a conservative foundation.

    Oh, as an aside, but to illustrate as yet ANOTHER example of the egregious two-faced hypocrisy of your side of the political aisle – I see that, just like protest marches – “talking points” regarding a candidate or an idea or a program, are only legitimate if it is a Leftist making them. President Charlatan, who is in constant 24/7 campaign mode six months into his presidency, is the all time Poster Child for spouting nothing but “talking points.”

    Anyway, here is Palin:

    “The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” [2] With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.

    Section 1233 authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five years, and more often “if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual … or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility… or a hospice program.” [3] During those consultations, practitioners must explain “the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice,” and the government benefits available to pay for such services. [4]

    Now put this in context. These consultations are authorized whenever a Medicare recipient’s health changes significantly or when they enter a nursing home, and they are part of a bill whose stated purpose is “to reduce the growth in health care spending.” [5] Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care? As Charles Lane notes in the Washington Post, Section 1233 “addresses compassionate goals in disconcerting proximity to fiscal ones…. If it’s all about obviating suffering, emotional or physical, what’s it doing in a measure to “bend the curve” on health-care costs?” [6]

    As Lane also points out:

    Though not mandatory, as some on the right have claimed, the consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren’t quite “purely voluntary,” as Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) asserts. To me, “purely voluntary” means “not unless the patient requests one.” Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive — money — to do so. Indeed, that’s an incentive to insist.

    Patients may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority. Once they’re in the meeting, the bill does permit “formulation” of a plug-pulling order right then and there. So when Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) denies that Section 1233 would “place senior citizens in situations where they feel pressured to sign end-of-life directives that they would not otherwise sign,” I don’t think he’s being realistic. [7]

    Even columnist Eugene Robinson, a self-described “true believer” who “will almost certainly support” “whatever reform package finally emerges”, agrees that “If the government says it has to control health-care costs and then offers to pay doctors to give advice about hospice care, citizens are not delusional to conclude that the goal is to reduce end-of-life spending.” [8]

    So are these usually friendly pundits wrong? Is this all just a “rumor” to be “disposed of”, as President Obama says? Not according to Democratic New York State Senator Ruben Diaz, Chairman of the New York State Senate Aging Committee, who writes:

    Section 1233 of House Resolution 3200 puts our senior citizens on a slippery slope and may diminish respect for the inherent dignity of each of their lives…. It is egregious to consider that any senior citizen … should be placed in a situation where he or she would feel pressured to save the government money by dying a little sooner than he or she otherwise would, be required to be counseled about the supposed benefits of killing oneself, or be encouraged to sign any end of life directives that they would not otherwise sign. [9]

    Of course, it’s not just this one provision that presents a problem. My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens….An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” [10] Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.” [11]

    President Obama can try to gloss over the effects of government authorized end-of-life consultations, but the views of one of his top health care advisors are clear enough. It’s all just more evidence that the Democratic legislative proposals will lead to health care rationing, and more evidence that the top-down plans of government bureaucrats will never result in real health care reform.

    - Sarah Palin.

    Don’t accuse our side of refusing to engage in sober – just because the MSM, 90% of which YOUR side controls – pretends it isn’t happening.

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 8:52 am
  124. missed a word again – sober debate.

    And Tarran – it is not a situation of two wrongs making or not making a right. And what have you been smoking if you think the anti-war protests were about “funding” issues. Just as the anti-health reform bill is not about “funding” issues.

    My point was that if you click on that link, you will see HEINOUS signs that DO NOT EXIST in the current protests. Those sorts of signs (“Bush is Hitler”) were wrong. And I will condemn any protesters who carry similar signs to the Town Hall meetings. But with VERY few exceptions, it is not happening. The media and democratic demagogues like Pelosi lie and SAY it is happening. And have outlets like USA Today in which to make their false accusations.

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 9:00 am
  125. Southernjames -

    Here’s the specific page on Liberty Counsel’s site, with their “interpretation” of HR3200:

    http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=19319

    SECTION 1233 of HR3200 deals with Advance Planning for End-of-life care. It should be noted that 50 US States already have laws re Advance Planning and have for over a decade – - this is not a new ghoulish invention of what is referred to as “Obamacare”.

    It should also be noted that Section 1233 actually expands funding for GW Bush’s 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Part D plan provision, as follows, which the majority of Republicans voted for in 2003:

    “The covered services are: evaluating the beneficiary’s need for pain and symptom management, including the individual’s need for hospice care; counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the beneficiary regarding advanced care planning.”

    These same Republicans are now calling “Advanced Care Planning”…Death Panels..and frightening old people that it means they’ll be left suffering in hospital beds with no care, and Sarah Palin is proudly proclaiming that her Tweet single-handedly put an end to this provision in the Bill.

    Perversity, thine name is Republican absurdity and politics before service to your voters…

    You wanted specific examples of how Liberty Counsel’s version differed from the actual Bill. Here, for example, is 1233.

    First – - from LIBERTY COUNSEL’s talking points and directives to the anti-reform protesters. Note the liberal use of words like Death, Mandates, Mandatory End of life Planning, Rationing. an government ORDER for End-of-Life Planning, and on and on

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 4-12 – Government mandates Advance (Death) Care Planning consultation. Think Senior Citizens and end of life. END-OF-LIFE COUNSELING. SOME IN THE ADMINISTRATION HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED RATIONING HEALTH CARE FOR THE ELDERLY.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 17-19 – Government WILL instruct and consult regarding living wills and durable powers of attorney. Mandatory end-of-life planning!

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425-426, Lines 22-25, 1-3 – Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 427, Lines 15-24 – Government mandates program for orders for life-sustaining treatment (i.e. end of life). The government has a say in how your life ends.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 1-9 – An “advanced care planning consult” will be used as patient’s health deteriorates.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 10-12 – “Advanced Care Consultation” may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans – from the government.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 13-25 – The government will specify which Doctors (professional authority under state law includes Nurse Practitioners or Physician’s Assistants) can write an end-of-life order.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 430, Lines 11-15 – The government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life, according to preset methods (not individually decided).

    NEXT, THE BILL ITSELF – HR3200. You will not find in the real thing any of the language or evidence of the suggestiveness you saw in Liberty Counsel’s version, which was only created to incite anger towards President Obama and foment anti-reform sentiment among the August protest movement.

    SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION.

    (a) Medicare-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Section 1861 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x) is amended–

    (A) in subsection (s)(2)–

    (i) by striking `and’ at the end of subparagraph (DD);

    (ii) by adding `and’ at the end of subparagraph (EE); and

    (iii) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

    `(FF) advance care planning consultation (as defined in subsection (hhh)(1));’; and

    (B) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    `Advance Care Planning Consultation

    `(hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term `advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following:

    `(A) An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to.

    `(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses.

    `(C) An explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.

    `(D) The provision by the practitioner of a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning, including the national toll-free hotline, the advance care planning clearinghouses, and State legal service organizations (including those funded through the Older Americans Act of 1965).

    `(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.

    `(F)(i) Subject to clause (ii), an explanation of orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar orders, which shall include–

    `(I) the reasons why the development of such an order is beneficial to the individual and the individual’s family and the reasons why such an order should be updated periodically as the health of the individual changes;

    `(II) the information needed for an individual or legal surrogate to make informed decisions regarding the completion of such an order; and

    `(III) the identification of resources that an individual may use to determine the requirements of the State in which such individual resides so that the treatment wishes of that individual will be carried out if the individual is unable to communicate those wishes, including requirements regarding the designation of a surrogate decisionmaker (also known as a health care proxy).

    `(ii) The Secretary shall limit the requirement for explanations under clause (i) to consultations furnished in a State–

    `(I) in which all legal barriers have been addressed for enabling orders for life sustaining treatment to constitute a set of medical orders respected across all care settings; and

    `(II) that has in effect a program for orders for life sustaining treatment described in clause (iii).

    `(iii) A program for orders for life sustaining treatment for a States described in this clause is a program that–

    `(I) ensures such orders are standardized and uniquely identifiable throughout the State;

    `(II) distributes or makes accessible such orders to physicians and other health professionals that (acting within the scope of the professional’s authority under State law) may sign orders for life sustaining treatment;

    `(III) provides training for health care professionals across the continuum of care about the goals and use of orders for life sustaining treatment; and

    `(IV) is guided by a coalition of stakeholders includes representatives from emergency medical services, emergency department physicians or nurses, state long-term care association, state medical association, state surveyors, agency responsible for senior services, state department of health, state hospital association, home health association, state bar association, and state hospice association.

    `(2) A practitioner described in this paragraph is–

    `(A) a physician (as defined in subsection (r)(1)); and

    `(B) a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant who has the authority under State law to sign orders for life sustaining treatments.

    `(3)(A) An initial preventive physical examination under subsection (WW), including any related discussion during such examination, shall not be considered an advance care planning consultation for purposes of applying the 5-year limitation under paragraph (1).

    `(B) An advance care planning consultation with respect to an individual may be conducted more frequently than provided under paragraph (1) if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual, including diagnosis of a chronic, progressive, life-limiting disease, a life-threatening or terminal diagnosis or life-threatening injury, or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility (as defined by the Secretary), or a hospice program.

    `(4) A consultation under this subsection may include the formulation of an order regarding life sustaining treatment or a similar order.

    `(5)(A) For purposes of this section, the term `order regarding life sustaining treatment’ means, with respect to an individual, an actionable medical order relating to the treatment of that individual that–

    `(i) is signed and dated by a physician (as defined in subsection (r)(1)) or another health care professional (as specified by the Secretary and who is acting within the scope of the professional’s authority under State law in signing such an order, including a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) and is in a form that permits it to stay with the individual and be followed by health care professionals and providers across the continuum of care;

    `(ii) effectively communicates the individual’s preferences regarding life sustaining treatment, including an indication of the treatment and care desired by the individual;

    `(iii) is uniquely identifiable and standardized within a given locality, region, or State (as identified by the Secretary); and

    `(iv) may incorporate any advance directive (as defined in section 1866(f)(3)) if executed by the individual.

    `(B) The level of treatment indicated under subparagraph (A)(ii) may range from an indication for full treatment to an indication to limit some or all or specified interventions. Such indicated levels of treatment may include indications respecting, among other items–

    `(i) the intensity of medical intervention if the patient is pulse less, apneic, or has serious cardiac or pulmonary problems;

    `(ii) the individual’s desire regarding transfer to a hospital or remaining at the current care setting;

    `(iii) the use of antibiotics; and

    `(iv) the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.’.

    (2) PAYMENT- Section 1848(j)(3) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4(j)(3)) is amended by inserting `(2)(FF),’ after `(2)(EE),’.

    (3) FREQUENCY LIMITATION- Section 1862(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395y(a)) is amended–

    (A) in paragraph (1)–

    (i) in subparagraph (N), by striking `and’ at the end;

    (ii) in subparagraph (O) by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting `, and’; and

    (iii) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

    `(P) in the case of advance care planning consultations (as defined in section 1861(hhh)(1)), which are performed more frequently than is covered under such section;’; and

    (B) in paragraph (7), by striking `or (K)’ and inserting `(K), or (P)’.

    (4) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this subsection shall apply to consultations furnished on or after January 1, 2011.

    (b) Expansion of Physician Quality Reporting Initiative for End of Life Care-

    (1) Physician’S QUALITY REPORTING INITIATIVE- Section 1848(k)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4(k)(2)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

    `(3) Physician’S QUALITY REPORTING INITIATIVE-

    `(A) IN GENERAL- For purposes of reporting data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished during 2011 and any subsequent year, to the extent that measures are available, the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment.

    `(B) PROPOSED SET OF MEASURES- The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register proposed quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that the Secretary determines are described in subparagraph (A) and would be appropriate for eligible professionals to use to submit data to the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide for a period of public comment on such set of measures before finalizing such proposed measures.’.

    (c) Inclusion of Information in Medicare & You Handbook-

    (1) MEDICARE & YOU HANDBOOK-

    (A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall update the online version of the Medicare & You Handbook to include the following:

    (i) An explanation of advance care planning and advance directives, including–

    (I) living wills;

    (II) durable power of attorney;

    (III) orders of life-sustaining treatment; and

    (IV) health care proxies.

    (ii) A description of Federal and State resources available to assist individuals and their families with advance care planning and advance directives, including–

    (I) available State legal service organizations to assist individuals with advance care planning, including those organizations that receive funding pursuant to the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 93001 et seq.);

    (II) website links or addresses for State-specific advance directive forms; and

    (III) any additional information, as determined by the Secretary.

    (B) UPDATE OF PAPER AND SUBSEQUENT VERSIONS- The Secretary shall include the information described in subparagraph (A) in all paper and electronic versions of the Medicare & You Handbook that are published on or after the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 9:07 am
  126. Hank -

    Health care reform is not only about universal coverage and you paying for everybody else’s insurance.

    It’s about reforming the system and correcting the fiscal issues – - like the open-ended entitlement-based Medicare Part D Rx, which favors profits for the drug manufacturers and for which TAX PAYERS LIKE YOU ARE PAYING THE OVERHEAD FOR.

    Don’t you get it? You’re paying for the current uninsured who go to the ER, you’re paying for GWB’s disastrous Medicare Part D Rx, you’re paying for the $60 billion of annual losses from Medicare fraud that nobody did anything about for the last decade….and all the rest of the dysfunctional elements of our current system which needs to be cleaned up.

    You are being infantilized by the anti-reform arguments being fed to you…..about “I don’t want to be paying for the 47 million uninsured”.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 9:16 am
  127. Southernjames – -

    I have nothing against “talking points”.

    Talking points are a necessary tool of communications today.

    On the other hand, I am strongly against talking points which are lies and distortions of an original document, and I am even more against them when they are used to foment an uprising among honest American people who don’t realize that they are lies and trust in their truth.

    How absurd is it, that the Conservative anti-reform town hall protesters are out there shouting out “death to Obama” slogans because of his supposed Advance Care Planning “death panels”, when they are already law in their states and were endorsed in 2003 by G W Bush and the Republican Party?

    You can thank “talking points” for that little bit of health care politics irony.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 9:25 am
  128. Anne Marie,

    If the democrats were serious about lowering health care costs, all they would have to do is rewrite state madical licensure laws to allow more people to practice medicine.

    The moment Obama struck his deal with the AMA, I knew that the fix was in. The AMA was formed by doctors seeking to keep medical care expensive, they wrote the book on lobbying to restrict supply, and their campaign to ban social clubs from providing medical care is studied by lobbyists to this day.

    Hank is right. This program is goign to do nothing to contain costs. Rather it is the institution of a Mussolini style of cartelization of the medical and insurance industries. Incidentally, I am not invoking Mussolini lightly – Obama looks to FDR as a guide, and much of FDR’s policies were ripped off from Mussolini. In the 1930′s, FDR, Churchill, Hitler and Mussolini had quite a love-fest for each other (at least according to the admiring letters they sent to each other).

    DO NOT WANT.

    Comment by tarran — August 15, 2009 @ 9:27 am
  129. Another of Liberty Counsel’s “talking points” vs the truth, Section 1145 re cancer patients.
    You may have seen on Fox News the outrage expressed by US citizens suffering from cancer about Obamacare’s intent to make them suffer with rationing of care & treatment.

    Where did that come from?

    LIBERTY COUNSEL TALKING POINTS
    Sec. 1145, Pg. 272 – Treatment of certain cancer hospitals: Cancer patients and their treatment are open to rationing!

    THE ACTUAL HR3200 BILL
    SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS, which is not about rationing, but reviewing status of cancer treatments in case aditional funding is required.

    Section 1833(t) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395l(t)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    `(18) AUTHORIZATION OF ADJUSTMENT FOR CANCER HOSPITALS-

    `(A) STUDY- The Secretary shall conduct a study to determine if, under the system under this subsection, costs incurred by hospitals described in section 1886(d)(1)(B)(v) with respect to ambulatory payment classification groups exceed those costs incurred by other hospitals furnishing services under this subsection (as determined appropriate by the Secretary).

    `(B) AUTHORIZATION OF ADJUSTMENT- Insofar as the Secretary determines under subparagraph (A) that costs incurred by hospitals described in section 1886(d)(1)(B)(v) exceed those costs incurred by other hospitals furnishing services under this subsection, the Secretary shall provide for an appropriate adjustment under paragraph (2)(E) to reflect those higher costs effective for services furnished on or after January 1, 2011.’.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 9:38 am
  130. Show me the link to any youtube video of a townhall where protesters are chanting “Death to Obama.” This I’ve got to see.

    Or is that just another example of the sort of underhanded lying hyperbole your Obamedia is dishing out in order to continue its relentless non-stop smear campaign against the protesters?

    And state legislatures who pass stupid measures can be voted out a hell of a lot easier than once an IRS-type federal agency is overseeing national healthcare.

    Oh, and point me to a link that shows “death panels” existing in states. Or are you using the same sort of descriptive exaggeration that you claim is absurd when used by conservatives?

    And you have yet to reproduce an entire section of the bill that contains a subsequent “vulgar” comment – and give us YOUR analysis – like Sarah Palin did.

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 9:51 am
  131. RATIONING…..a word on the lips of every town hall protester. Obama wants to ration their health care, ration treatment for the elderly, and as above, cancer patients.

    It’s east to just tell people what they have to fear in the current reform – - if you asked them to actually read the bill, then ask questions of their Representatives, you couldn’t hide the truth.

    LIBERTY COUNSEL TALKING POINT FOR SECTION 122
    Sec. 122, Pg. 29, Lines 4-16 – YOUR HEALTH CARE WILL BE RATIONED!

    THE HR3200 BILL, SECTION 122
    SEC. 122. ESSENTIAL BENEFITS PACKAGE DEFINED.

    (a) In General- In this division, the term `essential benefits package’ means health benefits coverage, consistent with standards adopted under section 124 to ensure the provision of quality health care and financial security, that–

    (1) provides payment for the items and services described in subsection (b) in accordance with generally accepted standards of medical or other appropriate clinical or professional practice;

    (2) limits cost-sharing for such covered health care items and services in accordance with such benefit standards, consistent with subsection (c);

    (3) does not impose any annual or lifetime limit on the coverage of covered health care items and services;

    (4) complies with section 115(a) (relating to network adequacy); and

    (5) is equivalent, as certified by Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to the average prevailing employer-sponsored coverage.

    (b) Minimum Services To Be Covered- The items and services described in this subsection are the following:

    (1) Hospitalization.

    (2) Outpatient hospital and outpatient clinic services, including emergency department services.

    (3) Professional services of physicians and other health professionals.

    (4) Such services, equipment, and supplies incident to the services of a physician’s or a health professional’s delivery of care in institutional settings, physician offices, patients’ homes or place of residence, or other settings, as appropriate.

    (5) Prescription drugs.

    (6) Rehabilitative and habilitative services.

    (7) Mental health and substance use disorder services.

    (8) Preventive services, including those services recommended with a grade of A or B by the Task Force on Clinical Preventive Services and those vaccines recommended for use by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    (9) Maternity care.

    (10) Well baby and well child care and oral health, vision, and hearing services, equipment, and supplies at least for children under 21 years of age.

    (c) Requirements Relating to Cost-sharing and Minimum Actuarial Value-

    (1) NO COST-SHARING FOR PREVENTIVE SERVICES- There shall be no cost-sharing under the essential benefits package for preventive items and services (as specified under the benefit standards), including well baby and well child care.

    (2) ANNUAL LIMITATION-

    (A) ANNUAL LIMITATION- The cost-sharing incurred under the essential benefits package with respect to an individual (or family) for a year does not exceed the applicable level specified in subparagraph (B).

    (B) APPLICABLE LEVEL- The applicable level specified in this subparagraph for Y1 is $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family. Such levels shall be increased (rounded to the nearest $100) for each subsequent year by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (United States city average) applicable to such year.

    (C) USE OF COPAYMENTS- In establishing cost-sharing levels for basic, enhanced, and premium plans under this subsection, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent possible, use only copayments and not coinsurance.

    (3) MINIMUM ACTUARIAL VALUE-

    (A) IN GENERAL- The cost-sharing under the essential benefits package shall be designed to provide a level of coverage that is designed to provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to approximately 70 percent of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the reference benefits package described in subparagraph (B).

    (B) REFERENCE BENEFITS PACKAGE DESCRIBED- The reference benefits package described in this subparagraph is the essential benefits package if there were no cost-sharing imposed.

    Here’s a beauty from the Liberty Counsel, where thy imply that HR3200 is going to specifically benefit ACORN and the unions!! Feeding into the “Socialist” allegation.

    LIBERTY COUNSEL ON SECTION 164
    Sec. 164, Pg. 65 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in UNIONS & community organizations (ACORN). If any of you find a reference to ACORN in this section of HR3200, I’ll send you $100!

    HR3200 BILL, SECTION 164
    SEC. 164. REINSURANCE PROGRAM FOR RETIREES.

    (a) Establishment-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish a temporary reinsurance program (in this section referred to as the `reinsurance program’) to provide reimbursement to assist participating employment-based plans with the cost of providing health benefits to retirees and to eligible spouses, surviving spouses and dependents of such retirees.

    (2) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this section:

    (A) The term `eligible employment-based plan’ means a group health benefits plan that–

    (i) is maintained by one or more employers, former employers or employee associations, or a voluntary employees’ beneficiary association, or a committee or board of individuals appointed to administer such plan, and

    (ii) provides health benefits to retirees.

    (B) The term `health benefits’ means medical, surgical, hospital, prescription drug, and such other benefits as shall be determined by the Secretary, whether self-funded or delivered through the purchase of insurance or otherwise.

    (C) The term `participating employment-based plan’ means an eligible employment-based plan that is participating in the reinsurance program.

    (D) The term `retiree’ means, with respect to a participating employment-benefit plan, an individual who–

    (i) is 55 years of age or older;

    (ii) is not eligible for coverage under title XVIII of the Social Security Act; and

    (iii) is not an active employee of an employer maintaining the plan or of any employer that makes or has made substantial contributions to fund such plan.

    (E) The term `Secretary’ means Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    (b) Participation- To be eligible to participate in the reinsurance program, an eligible employment-based plan shall submit to the Secretary an application for participation in the program, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary shall require.

    (c) Payment-

    (1) SUBMISSION OF CLAIMS-

    (A) IN GENERAL- Under the reinsurance program, a participating employment-based plan shall submit claims for reimbursement to the Secretary which shall contain documentation of the actual costs of the items and services for which each claim is being submitted.

    (B) BASIS FOR CLAIMS- Each claim submitted under subparagraph (A) shall be based on the actual amount expended by the participating employment-based plan involved within the plan year for the appropriate employment based health benefits provided to a retiree or to the spouse, surviving spouse, or dependent of a retiree. In determining the amount of any claim for purposes of this subsection, the participating employment-based plan shall take into account any negotiated price concessions (such as discounts, direct or indirect subsidies, rebates, and direct or indirect remunerations) obtained by such plan with respect to such health benefits. For purposes of calculating the amount of any claim, the costs paid by the retiree or by the spouse, surviving spouse, or dependent of the retiree in the form of deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance shall be included along with the amounts paid by the participating employment-based plan.

    (2) PROGRAM PAYMENTS AND LIMIT- If the Secretary determines that a participating employment-based plan has submitted a valid claim under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall reimburse such plan for 80 percent of that portion of the costs attributable to such claim that exceeds $15,000, but is less than $90,000. Such amounts shall be adjusted each year based on the percentage increase in the medical care component of the Consumer Price Index (rounded to the nearest multiple of $1,000) for the year involved.

    (3) USE OF PAYMENTS- Amounts paid to a participating employment-based plan under this subsection shall be used to lower the costs borne directly by the participants and beneficiaries for health benefits provided under such plan in the form of premiums, co-payments, deductibles, co-insurance, or other out-of-pocket costs. Such payments shall not be used to reduce the costs of an employer maintaining the participating employment-based plan. The Secretary shall develop a mechanism to monitor the appropriate use of such payments by such plans.

    (4) APPEALS AND PROGRAM PROTECTIONS- The Secretary shall establish–

    (A) an appeals process to permit participating employment-based plans to appeal a determination of the Secretary with respect to claims submitted under this section; and

    (B) procedures to protect against fraud, waste, and abuse under the program.

    (5) AUDITS- The Secretary shall conduct annual audits of claims data submitted by participating employment-based plans under this section to ensure that they are in compliance with the requirements of this section.

    (d) Retiree Reserve Trust Fund-

    (1) ESTABLISHMENT-

    (A) IN GENERAL- There is established in the Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the `Retiree Reserve Trust Fund’ (referred to in this section as the `Trust Fund’), that shall consist of such amounts as may be appropriated or credited to the Trust Fund as provided for in this subsection to enable the Secretary to carry out the reinsurance program. Such amounts shall remain available until expended.

    (B) FUNDING- There are hereby appropriated to the Trust Fund, out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, an amount requested by the Secretary as necessary to carry out this section, except that the total of all such amounts requested shall not exceed $10,000,000,000.

    (C) APPROPRIATIONS FROM THE TRUST FUND-

    (i) IN GENERAL- Amounts in the Trust Fund are appropriated to provide funding to carry out the reinsurance program and shall be used to carry out such program.

    (ii) BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS- Amounts appropriated under clause (i), and outlays flowing from such appropriations, shall not be taken into account for purposes of any budget enforcement procedures including allocations under section 302(a) and (b) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act and budget resolutions for fiscal years during which appropriations are made from the Trust Fund.

    (iii) LIMITATION TO AVAILABLE FUNDS- The Secretary has the authority to stop taking applications for participation in the program or take such other steps in reducing expenditures under the reinsurance program in order to ensure that expenditures under the reinsurance program do not exceed the funds available under this subsection.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 9:58 am
  132. Here is a law professor’s analysis on one aspect of this bill. Hey, the more we look at this Bill, it just gets better and better!!

    “IRS The New Health Care Enforcer:

    Under both the House and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee bills released to the public, the Internal Revenue Service will play a key role in monitoring and enforcing health care mandates against individual taxpayers. Yet the introduction of the IRS into the health care system has received scant attention.

    The Senate bill imposes a new requirement that all persons who provide health care coverage to others must file a return with the IRS listing the names, addresses, social security numbers, and the coverage period for each person, and “such other information as the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] may prescribe.” (Section 161(b) starting at page 107). The bill does not limit what information the Secretary may request, so it is conceivable and likely that information as to the nature of the coverage, the family members included, and other details will be reported to the IRS.

    The House bill contains similar provisions in section 401(b) (at pp. 175-176). The following information must be reported by the person providing health coverage:

    (A) the name, address, and TIN of the primary insured and the name of each other individual obtaining coverage under the policy, (B) the period for which each such individual was provided with the coverage referred to in subsection (a), and (C) such other information as the Secretary may require.

    This information is to be provided to the IRS for good reason. The House bill provides for a tax on people who do not have acceptable coverage at “any time” during the tax year. House bill section 401 provides for a new section 59B (at pp. 167-168) of the Internal Revenue Code:

    (a) TAX IMPOSED.—In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of—
    (1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over
    (2) the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer.

    The Senate version is similar, although the tax is called a “shared responsibility payment” not a tax. Section 161 (at pp. 103-104) words new section 59B of the IRC to require lack of coverage for a month (subject to certain exemptions) before the tax kicks in, and does not specify a specific percentage, but instead, directs that annually the Secretary shall seek to establish the minimum practicable amount that can accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage (as so defined).

    The reporting requirements can only be understood in this tax context. In order to know which taxpayers to tax, the IRS needs to know which taxpayers do not have coverage received from someone else (normally, an employer).

    These reporting provisions would allow the IRS to cross-check income tax returns and health coverage filings, and withhold tax refunds or utilize other collection methods for persons who do not have coverage unless they can prove they have acceptable coverage from some other source. This is similar to the cross-checking the IRS does on income reported separately by the person making the payment and the taxpayer receiving the payment. But for the first time the IRS is not checking for income to tax, but for lack of health coverage.

    These provisions should have people interested in privacy greatly concerned. While income information already is reported to the IRS, the IRS traditionally has not received personal health care information about individuals.

    The IRS involved in health care monitoring and enforcement. Somehow, I doubt that most supporters of Democratic health care restructuring concepts will like this detail.”

    Hey – maybe somebody like that idiot Caribou Barbie can boil this down into a one sentence talking point like “The efficiency of the DMV and the compassion of the IRS” we unwashed ignorant rubes,can put on a sign – and if we yell and holler loud enough, maybe we can get THIS aspect yanked too – just like the Senate Finance Committee has apparently yanked the “advance care planning consultations” from the bill.

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 10:06 am
  133. I apologize for the length of these, but I think it was Southernjames that asked me to show specific comparisons between Liberty Counsel’s talking points and the actual HR3200, in order to substantiate my statement that LC’s talking points were provocative untruths. Unfortunattely, the Bill sections are long.

    These three interpretations about Government intrusion on Medicare/Medicaid promoted by Liberty Counsel could be responsible for those poster signs and angry shouts of “OBAMA – KEEP YOUR GODDAMN GOVERNMENT HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE”. Heretofore, we’ve read this as the protesters don’t understand that the government runs Medicare/Medicaid, but when you see what they are being falsely fed by the Recess Rally organizers in these talking points about government plans to invade and change the currentMedicare/Medicaid system (which just about everybody says runs well)their fearful expressions make more sense. Needless to say, these three statements are sheer fabrication.

    LIBERTY COUNSEL TALKING POINTS
    Sec. 205, Pg. 102, Lines 12-18 – MEDICAID-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in MEDICAID. No freedom to choose

    Sec. 1121, Pg. 239, Lines 14-24 – The GOVERNMENT WILL LIMIT AND REDUCE PHYSICIAN SERVICES FOR MEDICAID. Seniors, low income and poor are the ones affected.

    Sec. 1162, Pg. 341, Lines 3-9 – The GOVERNMENT HAS AUTHORITY TO DISQUALIFY MEDICARE Advantage Plans (Part B), HMOs, etc. This will force people into a government plan. “The Secretary may determine not to identify a Medicare Advantage plan if the Secretary has identified deficiencies in the plan’s compliance with rules for such plans under this part.”

    HR3200 BILL, SECTION 1121
    SEC. 1121. SUSTAINABLE GROWTH RATE REFORM.
    (a) Transitional Update for 2010- Section 1848(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4(d)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    `(10) UPDATE FOR 2010- The update to the single conversion factor established in paragraph (1)(C) for 2010 shall be the percentage increase in the MEI (as defined in section 1842(i)(3)) for that year.’.

    (b) Rebasing SGR Using 2009; Limitation on Cumulative Adjustment Period- Section 1848(d)(4) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4(d)(4)) is amended–

    (1) in subparagraph (B), by striking `subparagraph (D)’ and inserting `subparagraphs (D) and (G)’; and

    (2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

    `(G) REBASING USING 2009 FOR FUTURE UPDATE ADJUSTMENTS- In determining the update adjustment factor under subparagraph (B) for 2011 and subsequent years–

    `(i) the allowed expenditures for 2009 shall be equal to the amount of the actual expenditures for physicians’ services during 2009; and

    `(ii) the reference in subparagraph (B)(ii)(I) to `April 1, 1996′ shall be treated as a reference to `January 1, 2009 (or, if later, the first day of the fifth year before the year involved)’.’.

    (c) Limitation on Physicians’ Services Included in Target Growth Rate Computation to Services Covered Under Physician Fee Schedule- Effective for services furnished on or after January 1, 2009, section 1848(f)(4)(A) of such Act is amended striking `(such as clinical’ and all that follows through `in a physician’s office’ and inserting `for which payment under this part is made under the fee schedule under this section, for services for practitioners described in section 1842(b)(18)(C) on a basis related to such fee schedule, or for services described in section 1861(p) (other than such services when furnished in the facility of a provider of services)’.

    (d) Establishment of Separate Target Growth Rates for Categories of Services-

    (1) ESTABLISHMENT OF SERVICE CATEGORIES- Subsection (j) of section 1848 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    `(5) SERVICE CATEGORIES- For services furnished on or after January 1, 2009, each of the following categories of physicians’ services (as defined in paragraph (3)) shall be treated as a separate `service category’:

    `(A) Evaluation and management services that are procedure codes (for services covered under this title) for–

    `(i) services in the category designated Evaluation and Management in the Health Care Common Procedure Coding System (established by the Secretary under subsection (c)(5) as of December 31, 2009, and as subsequently modified by the Secretary); and

    `(ii) preventive services (as defined in section 1861(iii)) for which payment is made under this section.

    `(B) All other services not described in subparagraph (A).

    Service categories established under this paragraph shall apply without regard to the specialty of the physician furnishing the service.’.

    (2) ESTABLISHMENT OF SEPARATE CONVERSION FACTORS FOR EACH SERVICE CATEGORY- Subsection (d)(1) of section 1848 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4) is amended–

    (A) in subparagraph (A)–

    (i) by designating the sentence beginning `The conversion factor’ as clause (i) with the heading `APPLICATION OF SINGLE CONVERSION FACTOR- ‘ and with appropriate indentation;

    (ii) by striking `The conversion factor’ and inserting `Subject to clause (ii), the conversion factor’; and

    (iii) by adding at the end the following new clause:

    `(ii) APPLICATION OF MULTIPLE CONVERSION FACTORS BEGINNING WITH 2011-

    `(I) IN GENERAL- In applying clause (i) for years beginning with 2011, separate conversion factors shall be established for each service category of physicians’ services (as defined in subsection (j)(5)) and any reference in this section to a conversion factor for such years shall be deemed to be a reference to the conversion factor for each of such categories.

    `(II) INITIAL CONVERSION FACTORS- Such factors for 2011 shall be based upon the single conversion factor for the previous year multiplied by the update established under paragraph (11) for such category for 2011.

    `(III) UPDATING OF CONVERSION FACTORS- Such factor for a service category for a subsequent year shall be based upon the conversion factor for such category for the previous year and adjusted by the update established for such category under paragraph (11) for the year involved.’; and

    (B) in subparagraph (D), by striking `other physicians’ services’ and inserting `for physicians’ services described in the service category described in subsection (j)(5)(B)’.

    (3) ESTABLISHING UPDATES FOR CONVERSION FACTORS FOR SERVICE CATEGORIES- Section 1848(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4(d)), as amended by subsection (a), is amended–

    (A) in paragraph (4)(C)(iii), by striking `The allowed’ and inserting `Subject to paragraph (11)(B), the allowed’; and

    (B) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    `(11) UPDATES FOR SERVICE CATEGORIES BEGINNING WITH 2011-

    `(A) IN GENERAL- In applying paragraph (4) for a year beginning with 2011, the following rules apply:

    `(i) APPLICATION OF SEPARATE UPDATE ADJUSTMENTS FOR EACH SERVICE CATEGORY- Pursuant to paragraph (1)(A)(ii)(I), the update shall be made to the conversion factor for each service category (as defined in subsection (j)(5)) based upon an update adjustment factor for the respective category and year and the update adjustment factor shall be computed, for a year, separately for each service category.

    `(ii) COMPUTATION OF ALLOWED AND ACTUAL EXPENDITURES BASED ON SERVICE CATEGORIES- In computing the prior year adjustment component and the cumulative adjustment component under clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (4)(B), the following rules apply:

    `(I) APPLICATION BASED ON SERVICE CATEGORIES- The allowed expenditures and actual expenditures shall be the allowed and actual expenditures for the service category, as determined under subparagraph (B).

    `(II) APPLICATION OF CATEGORY SPECIFIC TARGET GROWTH RATE- The growth rate applied under clause (ii)(II) of such paragraph shall be the target growth rate for the service category involved under subsection (f)(5).

    `(B) DETERMINATION OF ALLOWED EXPENDITURES- In applying paragraph (4) for a year beginning with 2010, notwithstanding subparagraph (C)(iii) of such paragraph, the allowed expenditures for a service category for a year is an amount computed by the Secretary as follows:

    `(i) FOR 2010- For 2010:

    `(I) TOTAL 2009 ACTUAL EXPENDITURES FOR ALL SERVICES INCLUDED IN SGR COMPUTATION FOR EACH SERVICE CATEGORY- Compute total actual expenditures for physicians’ services (as defined in subsection (f)(4)(A)) for 2009 for each service category.

    `(II) INCREASE BY GROWTH RATE TO OBTAIN 2010 ALLOWED EXPENDITURES FOR SERVICE CATEGORY- Compute allowed expenditures for the service category for 2010 by increasing the allowed expenditures for the service category for 2009 computed under subclause (I) by the target growth rate for such service category under subsection (f) for 2010.

    `(ii) FOR SUBSEQUENT YEARS- For a subsequent year, take the amount of allowed expenditures for such category for the preceding year (under clause (i) or this clause) and increase it by the target growth rate determined under subsection (f) for such category and year.’.

    (4) APPLICATION OF SEPARATE TARGET GROWTH RATES FOR EACH CATEGORY-

    (A) IN GENERAL- Section 1848(f) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4(f)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    `(5) APPLICATION OF SEPARATE TARGET GROWTH RATES FOR EACH SERVICE CATEGORY BEGINNING WITH 2010- The target growth rate for a year beginning with 2010 shall be computed and applied separately under this subsection for each service category (as defined in subsection (j)(5)) and shall be computed using the same method for computing the target growth rate except that the factor described in paragraph (2)(C) for–

    `(A) the service category described in subsection (j)(5)(A) shall be increased by 0.02; and

    `(B) the service category described in subsection (j)(5)(B) shall be increased by 0.01.’.

    (B) USE OF TARGET GROWTH RATES- Section 1848 of such Act is further amended–

    (i) in subsection (d)–

    (I) in paragraph (1)(E)(ii), by inserting `or target’ after `sustainable’; and

    (II) in paragraph (4)(B)(ii)(II), by inserting `or target’ after `sustainable’; and

    (ii) in the heading of subsection (f), by inserting `and Target Growth Rate’ after `Sustainable Growth Rate’;

    (iii) in subsection (f)(1)–

    (I) by striking `and’ at the end of subparagraph (A);

    (II) in subparagraph (B), by inserting `before 2010′ after `each succeeding year’ and by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and’; and

    (III) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

    `(C) November 1 of each succeeding year the target growth rate for such succeeding year and each of the 2 preceding years.’; and

    (iv) in subsection (f)(2), in the matter before subparagraph (A), by inserting after `beginning with 2000′ the following: `and ending with 2009′.

    (e) Application to Accountable Care Organization Pilot Program- In applying the target growth rate under subsections (d) and (f) of section 1848 of the Social Security Act to services furnished by a practitioner to beneficiaries who are attributable to an accountable care organization under the pilot program provided under section 1866D of such Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall develop, not later than January 1, 2012, for application beginning with 2012, a method that–

    (1) allows each such organization to have its own expenditure targets and updates for such practitioners, with respect to beneficiaries who are attributable to that organization, that are consistent with the methodologies described in such subsection (f); and

    (2) provides that the target growth rate applicable to other physicians shall not apply to such physicians to the extent that the physicians’ services are furnished through the accountable care organization.

    In applying paragraph (1), the Secretary of Health and Human Services may apply the difference in the update under such paragraph on a claim-by-claim or lump sum basis and such a payment shall be taken into account under the pilot program.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 10:21 am
  134. Time for a laugh!!! Or, as the French would call it, a “jaundiced laugh” because it’s not funny, it’s very sad.

    Liberty Counsel has Big Brother Government event controlling Americans’ marriages in their interpretation of Section 1308…could this be where that lady protester’s tearfully anguished statement to Senator Arlin Spector came from, “I don’t believe this is just health care. This is about the systematic dismantling of this country. … I don’t want this country turning into Russia, turning into a socialized country. What are you going to do to restore this country back to what our founders created, according to the Constitution?”

    At the time, I couldn’t fathom where all these ideas about the evil and destructive content and intent of HR3200 could possibly be coming from.
    Until I found the anti-reform activists’ talking points….

    LIBERTY COUNSEL TALKING POINT
    Sec. 1308, Pg. 489 – The government will cover Marriage and Family therapy. This will involve GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF YOUR MARRIAGE.

    HR3200 BILL, SECTION 1308
    SEC. 1308. COVERAGE OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST SERVICES AND MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR SERVICES.

    (a) Coverage of Marriage and Family Therapist Services-

    (1) COVERAGE OF SERVICES- Section 1861(s)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(s)(2)), as amended by section 1235, is amended–

    (A) in subparagraph (EE), by striking `and’ at the end;

    (B) in subparagraph (FF), by adding `and’ at the end; and

    (C) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

    `(GG) marriage and family therapist services (as defined in subsection (jjj));’.

    (2) DEFINITION- Section 1861 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x), as amended by sections 1235 and 1305, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    `Marriage and Family Therapist Services

    `(jjj)(1) The term `marriage and family therapist services’ means services performed by a marriage and family therapist (as defined in paragraph (2)) for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses, which the marriage and family therapist is legally authorized to perform under State law (or the State regulatory mechanism provided by State law) of the State in which such services are performed, as would otherwise be covered if furnished by a physician or as incident to a physician’s professional service, but only if no facility or other provider charges or is paid any amounts with respect to the furnishing of such services.

    `(2) The term `marriage and family therapist’ means an individual who–

    `(A) possesses a master’s or doctoral degree which qualifies for licensure or certification as a marriage and family therapist pursuant to State law;

    `(B) after obtaining such degree has performed at least 2 years of clinical supervised experience in marriage and family therapy; and

    `(C) is licensed or certified as a marriage and family therapist in the State in which marriage and family therapist services are performed.’.

    (3) PROVISION FOR PAYMENT UNDER PART B- Section 1832(a)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395k(a)(2)(B)) is amended by adding at the end the following new clause:

    `(v) marriage and family therapist services;’.

    (4) AMOUNT OF PAYMENT-

    (A) IN GENERAL- Section 1833(a)(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395l(a)(1)) is amended–

    (i) by striking `and’ before `(W)’; and

    (ii) by inserting before the semicolon at the end the following: `, and (X) with respect to marriage and family therapist services under section 1861(s)(2)(GG), the amounts paid shall be 80 percent of the lesser of the actual charge for the services or 75 percent of the amount determined for payment of a psychologist under clause (L)’.

    (B) DEVELOPMENT OF CRITERIA WITH RESPECT TO CONSULTATION WITH A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL- The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, taking into consideration concerns for patient confidentiality, develop criteria with respect to payment for marriage and family therapist services for which payment may be made directly to the marriage and family therapist under part B of title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395j et seq.) under which such a therapist must agree to consult with a patient’s attending or primary care physician or nurse practitioner in accordance with such criteria.

    (5) EXCLUSION OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST SERVICES FROM SKILLED NURSING FACILITY PROSPECTIVE PAYMENT SYSTEM- Section 1888(e)(2)(A)(ii) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395yy(e)(2)(A)(ii)), as amended by section 1307(a), is amended by inserting `marriage and family therapist services (as defined in subsection (jjj)(1)),’ after `clinical social worker services,’.

    (6) COVERAGE OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST SERVICES PROVIDED IN RURAL HEALTH CLINICS AND FEDERALLY QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTERS- Section 1861(aa)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(aa)(1)(B)) is amended by striking `or by a clinical social worker (as defined in subsection (hh)(1)),’ and inserting `, by a clinical social worker (as defined in subsection (hh)(1)), or by a marriage and family therapist (as defined in subsection (jjj)(2)),’.

    (7) INCLUSION OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS AS PRACTITIONERS FOR ASSIGNMENT OF CLAIMS- Section 1842(b)(18)(C) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395u(b)(18)(C)) is amended by adding at the end the following new clause:

    `(vii) A marriage and family therapist (as defined in section 1861(jjj)(2)).

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 10:35 am
  135. Here’s where “I don’t want to pay for the uninsured” is coming from;

    LIBERTY COUNSEL TALKING POINT
    Sec. 1701 (beginning), Pg. 739-756 – The government sets guidelines for SUBSIDIZING THE UNINSURED (AND YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM).

    The next one I find particularly evil…to frighten special needs individuals and their families. This was taken up in Betsy McCaughey’s “OBAMA HEALTH CARE WILL KILL YOU…”, Op-ed, and was the falsehood that enraged Mike Sosa’s outburst at the Tampa Town Hall he attendeds with his special needs son in a wheelchair. Sosa, who was eventually removed by the police, admitted he had been “all riled up” by an article by Betsy McCaughey and was worried about getting care for his son. Well, that article was based on Liberty Counsel’s lies, along with a few of her own.

    LIBERTY COUNSEL TALKING POINT
    Sec. 1177, Pg. 354 – GOVERNMENT WILL RESTRICT ENROLLMENT OF SPECIAL NEEDS PEOPLE! “Extension of Authority of Special Needs Plans to Restrict Enrollment.”

    HR3200 BILL, SECTION 1177
    SEC. 1177. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY OF SPECIAL NEEDS PLANS TO RESTRICT ENROLLMENT.

    (a) In General- Section 1859(f)(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-28(f)(1)) is amended by striking `January 1, 2011′ and inserting `January 1, 2013 (or January 1, 2016, in the case of a plan described in section 1177(b)(1) of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009)’.

    (b) Grandfathering of Certain Plans-

    (1) PLANS DESCRIBED- For purposes of section 1859(f)(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-28(f)(1)), a plan described in this paragraph is a plan that had a contract with a State that had a State program to operate an integrated Medicaid-Medicare program that had been approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as of January 1, 2004.

    (2) ANALYSIS; REPORT- The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide, through a contract with an independent health services evaluation organization, for an analysis of the plans described in paragraph (1) with regard to the impact of such plans on cost, quality of care, patient satisfaction, and other subjects as specified by the Secretary. Not later than December 31, 2011, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on such analysis and shall include in such report such recommendations with regard to the treatment of such plans as the Secretary deems appropriate.

    To support the notion of Communist Big Brother Government monitoring and controlling your every move, Liberty Counsel put a spin on Section 1442, that the Government would be intrusively collecting data about US citizens in order to profile everyone. Whereas what they referred to was one of nine patient-centered and population-based measures to be studied, in this case – the necessary assessment of health disparities including those associated with individual race, ethnicity, age, gender, place of residence or language;:

    LIBERTY COUNSEL TALKING POINT
    Sec. 1442, Pg. 623, Lines 15-17 – “Quality” measures shall be designed to profile you, including race, age, gender, place of residence, etc.

    HR3200 BILL, SECTION 1442
    …DEVELOPMENT OF NEW QUALITY MEASURES
    `(b) Determination of Areas Where Quality Measures Are Required- Consistent with the national priorities established under this part and with the programs administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and in consultation with other relevant Federal agencies, the Secretary shall determine areas in which quality measures for assessing health care services in the United States are needed.

    `(c) Development of Quality Measures-

    `(1) PATIENT-CENTERED AND POPULATION-BASED MEASURES- Quality measures developed under agreements under subsection (a) shall be designed-
    `(A) to assess outcomes and functional status of patients;
    `(B) to assess the continuity and coordination of care and care transitions for patients across providers and health care settings, including end of life care;
    `(C) to assess patient experience and patient engagement;
    `(D) to assess the safety, effectiveness, and timeliness of care;
    `(E) to assess health disparities including those associated with individual race, ethnicity, age, gender, place of residence or language;
    `(F) to assess the efficiency and resource use in the provision of care;
    `(G) to the extent feasible, to be collected as part of health information technologies supporting better delivery of health care services;
    `(H) to be available free of charge to users for the use of such measures; and
    `(I) to assess delivery of health care services to individuals regardless of age.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 11:10 am
  136. Annemarie,

    When you aren’t swamping with large scale cut ‘n pastes, you are fond of using false premises for your questions and making unsubstantiated assertions. To wit:

    - “We have free market right now.”

    - “…free market health care has so far crippled the US economy.”

    - “Here’s where “I don’t want to pay for the uninsured” is coming from;”

    First, “Health care” (or, more appropriately here, health insurance) is far from operating in a free market. Examples of government interference are legion (e.g. (1) and (2)).

    Second, the U.S. economy is most certainly not crippled (3). Further, the woes it is currently experiencing are not caused by “health care” (let alone the “free market”). They are caused in no small part by government intervention in housing finance (4).

    Third, my desire not to be forced to pay into any particular insurance scheme (government, single payer or otherwise) is derived neither from any web site nor any organization’s so-called talking points. It is derived from my inherent desire to govern the expenditure of the money I earn as I see fit.

    I know better than you, the government and anyone else how best to use the fruits of my labour. If you wish to pay for others’ health insurance, you are free to do so. But if you attempt to use the police power of government to force me to contribute according to your desires, expect me to oppose you.

    Note: the following references are not prefixed with the usual URL preamble, for there appears to be a spam filter on this web site that would otherwise trap this post. Apologies in advance if my attempt to circumvent such is frowned upon by the webmaster.

    (1): http://www.nahu.org/meetings/capitol/2009/Hill%20Packet/exclusion.pdf
    (2): http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa/technical-guidance/
    (3): siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GDP_PPP.pdf AND siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/POP.pdf
    (4): http://www.aei.org/article/29047

    Comment by Hank — August 15, 2009 @ 12:11 pm
  137. Hmm, the web site auto-filled my stripped URLs. Nevermind. :-)

    Comment by Hank — August 15, 2009 @ 12:12 pm
  138. Annemarie,

    Honestly, you are torpedoing your own cause. Because every section of the bill you dig up describes a mechanism to control people’s lives coupled with an intentions statement as to why that mechanism is being put in place.

    I am going to let you in on a secret: legislative intent is irrelevant to the administration of law. At some point, some bureaucrat or officer is going to face a problem – either his office is spending too much money, or his staff are working too many hours, or perhaps they are some evil fuck who get into office who has a positive idea for social engineering, such as making it more difficult for people to divorce. And at that point, these mechanism are in place to fuck people over.

    The proponents of the income tax assured us that it would only apply to the ultra rich and wouldn’t have government dictating how we spend our money. They were wrong.

    The proponents of medical licensure assured us that it would ensure high quality care without restricting patient access. They were wrong.

    The opponents of Social Security assured us that it would not crowd out traditional retirement plans.

    The proponents of the Patriot Act assured us that it would not be used against conventional crimes or to monitor political opponents of the government.

    The proponents of anti-drug laws assured us that they would be targetted only at blacks and Mexicans (although to be fair to Comstock – may he freeze in the lowest bolgia of hell – they do mostly target blacks and Mexicans and are very effective in accomplishing their racist goals).

    The proponents of the Civil Rights Act assured us that employers would still be alllowed to screen potential employees. That didn’t even last two years.

    No matter how well intentioned the guys writing the laws are, mechanisms for tyranny will eventually be used for tyranny. Yes, Liberty University, being operated by Fallwell, has a crummy law school (although they do have a pretty good economist in the Econ dept). Yes, they resort to fearmongering.

    BTW, You might want to reread the first few paragraphs of my essay on Free Market medicine. It explains why there *has* to be rationing – unless, of course, the government decides to tax or inflate the economy into the ground. Tomorrow, Congressman Markey could write a law promising to provide every mand woman and child on Earth with a gold asteroid if he wanted to – Reality wouldn’t permit him to accomplish his stated aims, no matter how much he pointed to the paper and claimed that in a year everyone would have a lifetime supply of gold and that people claiming otherwise were just lying about his bill.

    Comment by tarran — August 15, 2009 @ 12:12 pm
  139. When they can’t deliver the gold, they can always blame those greedy celestial bodies and their gravitational fields for withholding those gold asteroids which are rightfully ours — the law says so.

    Comment by John222 — August 15, 2009 @ 12:36 pm
  140. “No matter how well intentioned the guys writing the laws are….”

    And how much worse is it, if the guys writing the laws are NOT well-intentioned.

    The little old lady who got scared over the “talking point” concerning marriage meddling may not have a clue as to what the section you then pasted immediately following means…..and neither do you.

    The only way to dissect all the legalize gobbledygook is to spend time looking up the sections of the social security act which are amended by this section, and then look further to see how the social security act sections have been applied and interpreted. And in the context of the rest of this act’s sections. And in the context of the regulatory/enforcement provisions applicable to the act, which will be adopted by regulatory agencies and which will NEVER see the light of day. Have you ever seen the Federal Register?

    Let me ask you. Back in the good old halcyon days (for you) of Bush bashing – if you ever ran across a little old lady with a sign that said “No Blood for Oil,” or “Bush Died, Thousands Lied,” to express her opposition to the very CONCEPT ITSELF of the USA invading Iraq – did you hold her up to the highest of standards in terms of examining her to make certain she had read and understood the entire 2003 Authorization of Force resolution passed by Congress?

    Didn’t think so.

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 12:47 pm
  141. Annmarie,

    It seems to me that you would like to see some sort of reform and your comments indicate support for HR3200. I am just curious if you have actually considered any free market solutions.

    As tarran said above, once the mechanisms are in place the decisions will be left to the administrators. It has been said “the devil is in the details”. Many parts of the bill may sound beneficial to some on paper, but no details of how specific parts will be administered are included.

    Where you see a kindly government representative patiently explaining things to an elderly person, others see an armed thug “suggesting” what the wisest course of action might be for a person of advanced years who is no longer a productive member of society.

    Comment by John222 — August 15, 2009 @ 1:01 pm
  142. ON GROUP SUSPICION OF GOVERNMENT CONTROL: ROLE OF KEY COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES & TALKING POINT FALSEHOODS IN FOMENTING GRASSROOTS ANGER & ANTI-GOVERNMENT SENTIMENT IN ORDER TO DERAIL HEALTH REFORM.

    All those hand held, hand-made anti-government signs at those contentious Town Hall meetings..tragic evidence of a government gone wrong. Images of frustrated US citizens crafting expressions of their anti health reform convictions around the kitchen table, with crayons and cardboard. Widespread loss of faith in Obama Administration’s policies, even before the effects of his policies could be felt? Thousands of US citizens rising up as one to express their individual distrust of government and rejection of Obamacare reform?

    Or, an example of how the core strategy of a well-organized, well-funded national anti-reform campaign is the exploitation of targetted key messaging to replicate the mood & imagery of ‘grassroots’spontaneity.

    To understand one of the ways in which widespread ‘grasroots’ anti-government sentiment was dimensionalized for MSM, as prrof of what people were thinking, a visit to this Asheville, N.C., Recess Rally/Tea Party site provides insight. The site offers “Recess Rally Sign Ideas” for those hand-made signs, and is a virtual braintrust of anti-government slogans which, when executed on lots of signs and posters as though people had thought of them themselves, should achieve the desired communication of a grassroots protest. http://ashevilleteaparty.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/recess-rally-sign-ideas/

    Here are some of the slogan ideas for signs and posters which they provide:

    Government Run Health Care – Raise Suffering To A Higher Level
    Socialized Medicine – The cure for death from old age
    Socialized Medicine – The duty to die for the greater good
    Government Run Health Care – Trusting government to solve the problems they created
    Government Run Health Hare – like asking the Mafia to fight crime
    Government Run Health Care – letting the lunatics run the asylum
    The impersonal hand of government can never replace the personal hand of a physician
    Government knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing
    Government health care = Fascism in a white smock.
    No government run health care
    No socialized medicine
    Government – Get your hands off my health care.
    I can control my health care dollar better than government.
    Government and Big Insurance – We Tried it Your Way, It Didn’t work!
    Medicare – 84 trillion reasons to say no to government health care
    Oxymoron: Efficient Government Medicine
    Want Government Medicine? Move to Canada.
    Electronic Medical Records Threaten My Privacy!
    Stop Government Take Over of Health Care
    Stop Socialized Medicine
    State Governors – Please Stop the Take Over of America
    Has Anyone in Congress Read the Constitution?
    Free Health Care Will Cost You Your Freedom
    Government is not the Health Care Solution. It’s the Health Care Problem.
    Throw Socialized Medicine Out & Throw Congress Out Too
    Fix Medicaid Before You Worry About Nationalized Health Care
    If You Believe in the Constitution, Why Would You Support Socialized Medicine?
    Too Much Government – Too Little Freedom
    Get the Federal Government Out of Health Care

    SIGNS & SLOGANS – 3-DIMENSIONAL, CAMERA-READY EXPRESSIONS OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT & ANTI-REFORM TALKING POINTS, PROVIDED COURTESY OF LIBERTY COUNSEL

    How do anti-reform activists justify disseminating slogans with such extreme, even ugly, anti-government sentiments, claiming they represent American public opinion? And how do they whip up such extreme anti-health reform fears and anti-government negativity in the first place?

    Enter the instigative, inflammative, provocative mischaracterization and distortion of HR3200 by the Liberty Counsel. Now widely promoted by the organizers of the August anti-reform protest as “truths”, the official “talking points” for which have been systematically used to stir up anger and resentment for their totally bogus, willfully falsified version of Obama’s health reform.

    I already took you through some of the Liberty Counsel’s bogus versions of HR3200 vs the reality of the actual House version sections. Now, let me show you how Liberty Counsel’s talking points have incited fear, anger and distrust by falsely portraying Obama’s administration and reform initiative as some sort of evil, Rissian-style Big Brother government force that wants to infiltrate, control and takeover not just health care, but so many aspects of your lives.

    The Town Hall questions about “government takeover of health care”, “government suppression of individual rights and freedom”, “destroying the fabric of American life” is coming from this.

    Sec. 123, Pg. 30 – THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE DECIDING YOUR TREATMENTS AND BENEFITS
    Sec. 142, Pg. 42 – The Health Choices Commissioner WILL CHOOSE YOUR HEALTH BENEFITS FOR YOU. YOU HAVE NO CHOICE!

    Sec. 205, Pg. 102, Lines 12-18 – Medicaid-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. NO FREEDOM TO CHOOSE.

    Sec. 225, Pg. 127, Lines 1-16 – Doctors – the GOVERNENT WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU CAN MAKE.

    Sec. 1141, Pg. 268 – The GOVERNMENT REGULATES RENTAL AND PURCHASE OF POWER-DRIVEN WHEELCHAIRS.

    Sec. 1156, Pg. 317, Lines 13-20 – “PROHIBITION on physician ownership or Investment.” GOVERNMENT TELLS DOCTORS WHAT/HOW MUCH THEY CAN OWN

    Sec. 1156, Pg. 317-318, Lines 21-25, 1-3 – “PROHIBITION on Expansion of Facility Capacity.” GOVERNMENT WILL MANDATE THAT HOSPITALS CANNOT EXPAND(“number of operating rooms or beds”).

    Sec. 1162, Pg. 335-339, Lines 16-25 – GOVERNMENT MANDATES RATIONING

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 4-12 – GOVERNEMENT MANDATES ADVANCE (DEATH) CARE PLANNING

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 427, Lines 15-24 GOVERNMENT HAS A SAY IN HOW YOUR LIFE ENDS

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 430, Lines 11-15 – The GOVERNEMENT WILL DECIDE WHAT LEVEL OF TREATMENT YOU WILL HAVE AT THE END OF YOUR LIFE

    Sec. 1308, Pg. 489 – THIS WILL INVOLVE GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF YOUR MARRIAGE

    Sec. 1401, Pg. 502 – Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research Established. BIF BROTHER IS WATCHING HOW YOUR TREATMENT WORKS.

    Sec. 1733, Pg. 788-798 – Government will set and mandate drug prices, therefore GOVERNMENT WILL CONTROL WHICH DRUGS ARE BROUGHT TO MARKET (GOODBYE INNOVATION AND PRIVATE RESEARCH).

    Sec. 1744, Pg. 796-799 – GOVERNMENT WILL NOW CONTROL YOUR DOCTOR’S EDUCATION

    Sec. 1904, Pg. 843-844 – This Home Visitation Program includes the GOVERNMENT COMING INTO YOUR HOME AND TELLING YOU HOW TO PARENT!

    Sec. 3121, Pg. 934, Lines 21-22 – Government will identify specific goals and objectives for prevention and wellness activities. MORE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

    Sec. 3121, Pg. 935, Lines 1-2 – The government will develop “Healthy People & National Public Health Performance Standards.” GOVERNMENT WILL TELL US WHAT TO EAT?

    Sec. 2511, Pg. 992 – Government will establish school-based “health” clinics. YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE INDOCTRINATED AND YOUR GRANDCHILDREN MAY BE ABORTED

    Sec. 399Z-1, Pg. 993 – School-Based Health Clinics will be integrated into the school environment. MORE GOVERNMENT BRAINWASHING IN SCHOOL.

    Sec. 2521, Pg. 1000 – The government will establish a National Medical Device Registry. WILL YOU BE TRACKED?

    Southernjames – you can’t accuse me or anyone else of inventing this stuff – I gave you the link to the document on Liberty Counsel’s site, the distorted HR3200 is there for all to see, and I’ve given you the link to the Recess Rally campaign ideas for slogans for signage, which are directly linked to how HR3200 has been falsely positioned by Liberty Counsel’s deviant version.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 2:07 pm
  143. Annmarie,

    I agree with most of those slogans you posted, although I may have worded some differently. I had never heard of the Liberty Counsel until you mentioned them.

    Our country was founded by people with an innate distrust and fear of government. They attempted to form a limited government controlled by various checks and balances.

    We now have a massive behemoth that continues to grow and expand its control, power, and influence to global levels. This was not the intention of the founder.

    Can you point to a single government program that has been successful?

    Comment by John222 — August 15, 2009 @ 2:47 pm
  144. Southernjames – -

    You wanted proof that Advance Planning for End-of-Life Care had been instituted by 50 US states, and was not purely an invention of Obamacare.

    I refer you to “Is the Government Going to Euthanize your Grandmother? An Interview With Sen. Johnny Isakson” by Ezra Klein in the Washington Post:

    Senator Isakson,a Republican senator from Georgia, is one of the foremost advocates of expanding Medicare end-of-life planning coverage. He co-sponsored 2007′s Medicare End-of-Life Planning Act and proposed an amendment similar to the House bill’s Section 1233 during the Senate HELP Committee’s mark-up of its health care bill.

    Senator Isakson states: “In the health-care debate mark-up, one of the things I talked about was that the most money spent on anyone is spent usually in the last 60 days of life and that’s because an individual is not in a capacity to make decisions for themselves. So rather than getting into a situation where the government makes those decisions, if everyone had an end-of-life directive or what we call in Georgia “durable power of attorney,” you could instruct at a time of sound mind and body what you want to happen in an event where you were in difficult circumstances where you’re unable to make those decisions.”

    “This has been an issue for 35 years. All 50 states now have either durable powers of attorney or end-of-life directives and it’s to protect children or a spouse from being put into a situation where they have to make a terrible decision as well as physicians from being put into a position where they have to practice defensive medicine because of the trial lawyers. It’s just better for an individual to be able to clearly delineate what they want done in various sets of circumstances at the end of their life.”

    When asked “How did this become a question of euthanasia?”

    Isakson responded: “I have no idea. I understand — and you have to check this out — I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin’s web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts.”
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/08/is_the_government_going_to_eut.html

    May I also refer you to “The Truth About End of Life Care” by Representative Earl D. Blumenauer, (d-Oregon) co-author of Section 1233 of HR3200, along with Rep. Charles Boustany, (R-La). Link provided below the text, if you go the site, there is also a link to an excellent myth vs fact page:

    The Truth About End of Life Care
    Thursday, 30 July 2009

    I want to correct some grave mischaracterizations of the health care reform legislation, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act (H.R. 3200). Anti-health reform groups are misconstruing a provision of the legislation, which enjoys broad support in Congress, to provide coverage under Medicare for people to talk to their doctor about their wishes and care preferences at the end of life.

    Such groups claim that advance care planning consultations include “euthanasia” and are “mandatory every five years.” These claims are blatantly false. Accusations that physicians would be required to “recommend a method for death” are as offensive as they are untrue.
    I have been working on a bipartisan basis to ensure that patient wishes are known and respected. The provision included in H.R. 3200 simply allows Medicare to pay for a conversation between patients and their doctors if the patient wishes to speak about his or her preferences and values. This benefit would be purely voluntary, and patients do not need to have this consultation with their doctor if they do not wish to do so. The new Medicare benefit would allow doctors to be compensated for these conversations every five years, and more frequently if a patient has a life-limiting illness or health status changes.

    Without these discussions, families often are not confronted with these difficult decisions until emergency situations arise, leaving spouses, sons, daughters and grandchildren unprepared because they do not know their loved ones’ preferences. As a result, families are left struggling to make decisions in the midst of turmoil. These are deeply personal decisions and they do not need to happen in crisis.

    Doctors, nurses, and patient advocacy groups have supported our bipartisan effort to improve the quality of care for individuals facing their last chapter of life. I hope you will recognize the urgent need for improved communication around advance care planning, recognize the false claims against this provision, and support our efforts.

    Sincerely,
    Earl Blumenauer
    Member of Congress

    Section 1233 is endorsed by: AARP, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine,
    American College of Physicians, American Hospice Foundation,
    Center to Advance Palliative Care, Consumers Union, Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association, Medicare Rights Center,
    National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, National Palliative Care Research Center, Providence Health and Services, and Supportive Care Coalition
    http://blumenauer.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1531&Itemid=175

    May I also refer you to “Oh, THOSE Death Panels!”.
    Time Magazine’s blog, Swampland, points out last evening that 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators voted in favor of Advance Planning for End-of-Life Care in the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill.

    “You would think that if Republicans wanted to totally mischaracterize a health care provision and demagogue it like nobody’s business, they would at least pick something that the vast majority of them hadn’t already voted for just a few years earlier. Because that’s not just shameless, it’s stupid.”

    “Let’s go to the bill text, shall we? “The covered services are: evaluating the beneficiary’s need for pain and symptom management, including the individual’s need for hospice care; counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the beneficiary regarding advanced care planning.” The only difference between the 2003 provision and the infamous Section 1233 that threatens the very future and moral sanctity of the Republic is that the first applied only to terminally ill patients. Section 1233 would expand funding so that people could voluntarily receive counseling before they become terminally ill.”

    “So either Republicans were for death panels in 2003 before turning against them now–or they’re lying about end-of-life counseling in order to frighten the bejeezus out of their fellow citizens and defeat health reform by any means necessary. Which is it, Mr. Grassley” Timehttp://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/08/13/oh-those-death-panels

    Re another rather shocking GOP hypocrisy that’s been busted open now….. on April 16th 2008, in a proclamation announcing “Healthcare Decisions Day,” Gov Sarah Palin Palin urged public facilities to provide better information about advance directives for end-of-life care, and made it clear that it is critical for seniors to be informed of such options:

    WHEREAS, Healthcare Decisions Day is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions, related to end of life care and medical decision-making whenever patients are unable to speak for themselves and to encourage the specific use of advance directives to communicate these important healthcare decisions.

    Tut, tut, Sarah, you do make us dizzy with the things you’re for, then you’re not, then you are again…but did you really have to get carried away this time with “Obama’s Death Panels”? Make’s you look kind of stupid now, doesn’t it?
    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/13/palin-deathpanel-flipflop/

    And if you want to be really informed, this paper, ‘Advance Planning For End-of-Life Care”, U.S. Dept of Health & Human services, by Nina Garas, M.D. Emory University School of Medicine, and Steven Z. Pantilat, M.D. University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, is an excellent comprehensive article on Advance Care Planning
    http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/ptsafety/chap49.htm

    Now, Southernjames, anything else I can get you on the topic of Section 1233 Advance Care Planning, Death Panels, et al, or have I covered everything?

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 3:06 pm
  145. John222

    Medicare & Medicaid (Current Administration not responsible for the fiscal laxity of last Administration which has piled on over $9 trillion of unfunded liability)

    Social Security

    Veterans Administration

    US Military

    SCHIP

    CDC

    FAA

    FDIC

    NASA

    Since you agree with the slogans, can offer some background, data and evidence in support of these slogans?

    Government Run Health Care – Raise Suffering To A Higher Level

    Socialized Medicine – The cure for death from old age

    Government health care = Fascism in a white smock.

    Electronic Medical Records Threaten My Privacy!

    I can control my health care dollar better than government.

    Government and Big Insurance – We Tried it Your Way, It Didn’t work!

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 3:24 pm
  146. John222

    “Where you see a kindly government representative patiently explaining things to an elderly person, others see an armed thug “suggesting” what the wisest course of action might be for a person of advanced years who is no longer a productive member of society.’

    Could you comment as to why 204 GOP House Members and 42 GOP Senators in 2003, then one GOP Governor in 2008, saw “kindly government representatives” helping the elderly plan for best end-of-life care decisions, then in 2009 saw “those same kindly representatives turn into thugs, deadly doctors and death panelists”?

    And can you explain why why Americans should trust anything further that the likes of Rep Boehner, Rep McCotter, Senator Grassley, Rep Cantor, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh say in criticism of current health care reform initiatives and what advice you can offer re how they can know if Republican leadership is being truthful to the country, or just telling big whoppers in a convincing manner?

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 3:40 pm
  147. I had to see a doctor in the USA once while on “vacation”, for a mild ear infection. I spent hours waiting (even though it was really quiet, not like in ER on TV). After a bit of poking, a ear syringe, prescription and a visit to the chemist came the bill was just over $600 (this was in the late 90’s too). In the UK, 10 mins at the docs and £7.10 for the drugs.

    Comment by Dombat — August 15, 2009 @ 3:42 pm
  148. Dombat,

    Just so you know, the bill is the result of government regulations.

    1) There is a shortage of doctors thanks to the AMA’s control of livcensure boards.

    2) Prices are increased as a result of direct government subsidies (MAdicare & Medicaid) and by the overconsumption encouraged by third party medical insurance.

    3) Bills that are not paid can be written off as losses, reducing the hospital/doctors tax liability.

    Remove these government interventions, and the price of doctor visits (and wait times too) would plummet.

    Comment by tarran — August 15, 2009 @ 3:48 pm
  149. AneeMarie,

    Speaking for myself, I don’t trust any member of Congress, Democrat or Republican. How many Democrats opposed George Bush’s wars, and then supported them when Obama continued or expanded them?

    How many of them decried Bush’s attacks on civil liberties, and supported them when Obama continued them?

    You may not realize it, but fore the most part, Obama is actually a third term for Bush. Just because he appends a D to his name as opposed to an R, all the R’s suddenly oppose what they supported and all the D’s support what they formerly opposed.

    And they’ve got you frantically working on their behalf spending hours on the Internet trying to help them increase their power, prestige and wealth.

    It’s kind of pathetic how they’ve got you tricked by their posturing into helping them forge the chains they use to bind you. ;)

    Comment by tarran — August 15, 2009 @ 3:53 pm
  150. Tarran -

    Tell me what free market buddy, GW Bush, did to control or even manage health care costs during his 8 years? What were his successes and failures?

    If you’re for the free market, are you against a public option as an alternative choice for the American puiblic?

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 3:54 pm
  151. Annemarie,

    If you can cite to left wing blog sites “thinkprogress” to make your argument in favor of this bill, is it okay with you if I cite to conservative sites which oppose it?

    Like this one, written by a doctor. But one of those heinous and hateful Christian doctors. So he must be a “racist” or a “homophobe” or something:

    http://docisinblog.com/

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 3:55 pm
  152. Old dodge. But…but..but…BUSH WAS WORSE!!

    Puleeze.

    Bringing up Bush when you can’t defend Barry O., is lame. And transparent.

    Bush sucked. In many ways.

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 3:57 pm
  153. AnneMarie,

    George Bush was not a free marketeer. He presided over the largest, most interventionis government in U.S. history. He tried to nationalize the securities industry twice – the so-called social security privatization, the bailouts of last year – he expanded Federal control over medicine, education, accounting, telecom among other things…

    Nor is he my buddy, friend.

    Comment by tarran — August 15, 2009 @ 4:04 pm
  154. Hey Dombat,

    1. The leftist dissemblers keep telling us this new Obama Plan isn’t like your NHS. So why are we discussing your NHS. Unless we are being lied to, and the ‘public option’ IS modeled on your plan?

    2. Sorry about your $600 bucks, but if you get cancer instead of an ear infection, maybe you’re better off over here, mate:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1560849/UK-cancer-survival-rate-lowest-in-Europe.html

    Comment by southernjames — August 15, 2009 @ 4:04 pm
  155. hank

    You’re naive – health care costs and system dysfunction are inextricably linked to the long-term issues affecting the health of the US economy.

    Skyrocketing health care costs have made U.S. employers non-competitive in the global marketplace. We have massive offshoring to India, China, Russia, Phillipines and Mexico, etc., because U.S. businesses can no longer remain cost-competitive in the global marketplace due to the burdensome health care costs associated with employees. As a result, millions of US jobs have been lost and US manufacturing is practicly non-existent.

    A few reasons why US health care cost twice as much as anywhere else in the world?
    - Monopoly-controlled drug market & high price fixing (one of the biggest cons of the American people…thanks to free market…many drugs marked up 10,000%, Americans prevented from accessing lower cost Rx drugs from Canada)
    -Burdensome bureacracy in dire-need of efficient streamlining, more time is spent pushing paper by by millions of health care employees than giving care
    -Lack of price regulation for health insurance companies
    -A sickness-oriented system that is geared to rewarding quantity of care & treatment, not quality
    -An overall industry structure that thrives on disease-driven profits instead of disease prevention (even side effects of Rx drugs generate more health issues & disgnostic costs)
    -Malpractice which forces doctors to pay huge malpractice insurance then pass on the cost to patients & encourages wasteful spending on unnecessary & costly treatments and diagnostics
    -Duplication of costly diagnostics, treatments & Rx

    The US economy is being held hostage to a dysfunctional health care system that mostly benefits the pharmaceutical and insurance companies and drains US resources and taxpayer revenue.

    Ballooning government spending on health care is a major reason why Washington is running an enormous budget deficit, since federal outlays are roughly one quarter of the whole federal budget.As a percentage of GDP, our businesses spend roughly 70 percent more on health care than competitors in other developed nations, yet we hardly receive 70 percent more in real value. Health care costs also distort the efficient allocation of labor, and therefore the potential of economic growth and increases in wages.

    Plus if current trends continue, 30% to 40% of all new jobs created over the next 25 years will be in health care. That’s lunacy and it’s not a sound blueprint for a well-functioning economy. The US neeed to get the health care behometh under control, relieve the irratioal high health insurance cost burden on US corporations and start investing in a renewed US industry.

    Among others, Obama’s health reform strategy is geared to fiscal and system improvements and efficiencies, reduction of costly bureacracy, waste and duplication, smart use of technology to streamline systems, reduce paperwork & improve quality of care (HIT & CER), reduce RX drug costs and close loopholes & entitlement programs that favor PHARMA, switch focus to disease prevention, lower cost of insurance, eliminate insurance company tyranny ( pre-existing conditions, etc.)etc. while extending coverage to all.

    It will take time. Why it is urgently needed to get started now.

    I’m sorry, Hank. Leaving the health care industry correction to the free market is not only more of the same and allowing the lopsided status quo to continue to impede the growth of the US economy, it would be like giving the keys to the hen coup to the wolves.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 5:06 pm
  156. Annemarie –

    Remember what I said about being faithful to the document but distorting current reality with certain statements? You’ve apparently been brainwashed by this kind of subversive technique.

    Myth: Our choices today are between a free market which is failing us and government-controlled medicine.

    Fact: The federal government has been the primary driver of health care provisioning decisions for 65 years.

    It is the antithesis of a free market for the government to exert so much force in an economic sector that the very definition of a rational decision changes. Yet you are convinced that the free market is the source of all our ills. The left has convinced you that two plus two is five and you are now blind to reality.

    If you’re for the free market, are you against a public option as an alternative choice for the American puiblic?

    In favoring a free market, I favor an alternative not available to the American people today. Free market reforms would in fact be a far more fundamental and beneficial change than the reinforcement of the status quo Obama is calling “change”.

    Comment by Quincy — August 15, 2009 @ 5:18 pm
  157. Southernjames,

    I like the kitty photos in your one doctor’s docisinblog.

    However, Obamacare reform has the support of one 450,000 American family doctors represented in American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians,
    American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Student Association, American Osteopathic Association, Doctors for America, National Physicians Alliance. As well as the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, AARP, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American College of Physicians, American Hospice Foundation, Center to Advance Palliative Care, Consumers Union, Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association, Medicare Rights Center,
    National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, National Palliative Care Research Center, Providence Health and Services, and Supportive Care Coalition, The Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare, Doctors Council/SEIU Healthcare, The National Doctors Alliance/SEIU Healthcare, The National Physicians Alliance, The Student National Medical Association.

    I wish you goodnight and good luck.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 15, 2009 @ 5:22 pm
  158. AnnMarie, thought I should respond to an earlier post

    Medicare and Medicaid: Bankrupt and unfunded programs that have only served to artificially increase the demand for medical services because the people receiving benefits don’t know and in many cases don’t care what various tests and procedures will cost because someone else will pay for it.

    Social Security : This is the program where they take my money by force, hold it without interest and give me a vague promise that they will dole it out to me when they decide I am old enough to collect but only if I live that long, or my money is absorbed. Black males should be opponents of that one, talk about discriminatory – also bankrupt, because rather than saving my money for me, they spent it and then some

    US Military : I’ll give you that one, the government truly excels in the use of force

    Veterans Administration: Might better ask a vet about that one.

    SCHIP: Expansion of existing entitlement programs that will only serve to increase demand yet again

    CDC : Not sure, but weren’t they responsible for outlawing DDT, resulting in more deaths from malaria? Also, I think I heard recently they want treat obesity as a disease.

    FAA: Their job is to restrict the number and availability of qualified pilots and various flight related personel, thus driving up the cost of air transport

    FDIC: Exists to prevent runs on banks using Federal Reserve fiat money. Came into existing just prior to private ownership of gold being OUTLAWED in the U.S. Backed by the government’s promised to forcibly take a portion of the earnings of it’s citizens.

    NASA: Developed some really cool, hugely expensive things. Again, primarily funded by force; successful – by what measure?

    I asked for successful government programs, many of these are agencies of the government – not quite the same.

    Government Run Health Care – Raise Suffering To A Higher Level
    Again, licensing laws reduce the availability(supply) of medical practitioners, then demand is subsidized causing an abnormal increase in demand. This serves to raise prices and reduce availability for all –increasing suffering

    Socialized Medicine – The cure for death from old age
    The free market provides the best way to allocate resources from where they are to where they are needed. HR3200 promises care for all without increasing costs, this will require rationing—who do you suppose will be rationed out, the productive tax paying ones or the ones who are a bigger drain on the system?

    Government health care = Fascism in a white smock.
    Not really accurate, seems to be used as an epithet, but not out of the realm either –see definition of Fascism

    Electronic Medical Records Threaten My Privacy!
    This actually does concern me. A database controlled by bureaucrats, which will no doubt include genetic information including DNA samples. Who knows what future developments genetic research may bring – I really don’t want to go there

    I can control my health care dollar better than government.
    Of course I can. The bureaucracy alone eats half of it before it gets to where they decide it should go.

    Government and Big Insurance – We Tried it Your Way, It Didn’t work!
    I think that one is obvious. But just in case: insurance companies are what they are and do what they do in order to make a profit according to the rules and regulations the government has bound them by. Prices are hugely distorted by restricted supply and subsidized demand. How about we let the insurance companies freely compete against each other for our business as individuals?

    As for the “kindly government representatives”, any representative of the state is essentially an armed thug, whether you see the gun or not. They can and frequently do use direct and blatant force to achieve their goals. As for Republicans and for that matter Democrats changing their tune depending on who is in power or which way the wind is blowing what else is new? Some honesty from our elected officials would be a welcome change, whatever their party affiliation.

    In many ways I have more respect for Democrats as far as their official position, they are pretty straightforward about wanting more government control and entitlement. Republicans claim to want less government and more freedom and yet the size and scope of our government doubled under the last administration.

    Wow, Annmarie, I just read your most recent comments. You have a really distorted picture of what has caused many of the problems in our marketplace.

    Comment by John222 — August 15, 2009 @ 5:52 pm
  159. Annemarie,

    If you believe this proposed government system will result in “fiscal and system improvements and efficiencies, reduction of costly bureacracy, waste and duplication, smart use of technology to streamline systems, reduce paperwork & improve quality of care” (seemingly ad infinitum), then you are the naive one.

    Name a government program that is not inefficient, bureaucratic, wasteful, bloated and is not buried under paperwork.

    As I have suggested before, if you want to see now how the U.S. government runs a health care system, look at the VHA. Ask some veterans what they think of it. Look up Walter Reed. Look up unsterilized colonoscopy.

    Further, again you use false pretense. For example:

    - “Skyrocketing health care costs have made U.S. employers non-competitive in the global marketplace.”

    - “Leaving the health care industry correction to the free market is not only more of the same…”

    - “Obamacare reform has the support of one 450,000 American family doctors represented in American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, (etc., etc., etc.)”

    First, U.S. per capita productivity is among the best in the world. Where there is any lack of competitiveness, look first to the relatively high levels of regulation and corporate taxation (compared to some East Asian countries, for example).

    Second, the health care industry here does NOT operate in a free market. Existing government regulation causes much of the current woe (see prior provided links).

    Third, claiming that 450,000 doctors support the government takeover because some society leadership says so is nonsense. Having had some experience with similar societies and bodies, I know for a fact that such leadership regularly makes assertions that are NOT representative of the rank and file.

    I wish people like you would show the common courtesy of leaving others to make their own decisions. That you think it’s acceptable for me to be forced, against my will, into a scheme such as is being discussed here is illuminating.

    Indeed, your copious cutting ‘n pasting, obvious quoting from some sort of prepared text (dare I say “talking points”?), irrational prose and repeated use of non sequitur adds yet more light to your nature.

    Comment by Hank — August 15, 2009 @ 8:12 pm
  160. The most depressing thing about this debate is how many Republican and Democratic supporters think that Bush was a free market guy. That’s about as accurate as calling Andrea Dworkin a nymphomaniac.

    I’m starting to think that Patri Friedman is right…

    Comment by tarran — August 15, 2009 @ 8:51 pm
  161. tarran,

    Thanks for that link, definite food for thought.

    Comment by John222 — August 15, 2009 @ 10:31 pm
  162. Wow Annemarie – what an impressive list of organizations you got – from some pro-Obama left wing web site, no doubt.

    But let’s think for ourselves and dig a little deeper, shall we? Like picking just one of those organizations, the AMA:

    “In December 2008 the AMA had 236,153 members, of whom 20% were students and 13% residents; thus about 157,000 were practicing physicians — about 17% of some 900,000 eligible practitioners, compared with 22% in 2004. … in a recent online survey, 75% of some 4000 respondents said they were not AMA members; 89% said they did not believe the AMA speaks for them; 91% said the AMA does not accurately reflect their opinion as physicians…..and more than 85% of its $282 million annual revenue comes from sources other than membership dues.”

    So the AMA – a political organization – supporting this Bill (assuming that it even does, as opposed to just being yet another lie from this Chicago-politics administration) — does not impress me much.

    And the SEIU – isn’t that the Union that has been sending astro-turfed goons out to “drown out” (THEIR words, not mine) town hall protesters and to commit other acts of intimidation (like physically attacking a conservative black man in St. Louis – did YOUR sources for news even mention that story?)?

    And yes I see that you clicked on the link long enough to sneer at it. Did you also actually take to the time to READ a countering viewpoint?

    As your mind is tightly and firmly closed, I am not going to engage you anymore. My guess is that you are also firmly convinced that the “debate is over” when it comes to the global warming hoax, too.

    So I will wish you a good evening, in return. And good luck.

    Comment by southernjames — August 16, 2009 @ 9:47 am
  163. Direct to you…from that famous leftist website, my friends at the American Academy of Family Physicians

    July 30, 2009
    Dear Senator:
    Today 450,000 physicians and medical students stand together in strong support of health care
    reform.
    We want you — Congress — and the Administration, and the American people to know that we
    believe, in the best interest of our patients and this nation, we must pass strong and effective
    health care reform in 2009. Americans need affordable choices, and stable coverage. Not passing
    health reform will result in continued rising costs, poorer quality of care, and more people
    uninsured.
    Everyday, we are on the frontlines of health care, and know that we must ensure everyone in our
    communities, including working people, parents and children, all have a real choice of plans and
    doctors, affordable care, and access to necessary medical services. Health care reform will help
    physicians provide better care for their patients, throughout the nation.
    Some people believe that patients are better off in today’s disorganized insurance market. We
    believe that the health care our patients receive will be better within a reformed system. As
    physicians and future physicians, we stand in firm support of the patient-centered changes being
    outlined in Congress. We are confident that the reforms being proposed will allow us to provide
    better quality care to our patients, while preserving patient choice of plan and doctor.
    Continuation of the status quo is a steep pathway to growing cost of and decreased access to
    quality health care for all Americans. Our patients cannot wait another year, another term, another
    day. We must take advantage of this historic opportunity for change and enact meaningful
    comprehensive health care reform.
    Sincerely,
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    American College of Physicians
    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Medical Student Association
    American Osteopathic Association
    Doctors for America
    National Physicians Alliance

    450,000 Doctors Demand: ‘Heal Health Care Now’
    Video featured at HealHealthCareNow.org; Letters sent to all U.S. Senators
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Contact:
    Amanda Holt
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5223
    aholt@aafp.org

    LEAWOOD, Kan. – America’s front-line family doctors want you to know what they think about the current dysfunctional health care system and the benefits that could be realized from a system built on primary care.

    Today marks the launch of “Heal Health Care Now.” This Web-based initiative (HealHealthCareNow.org) consists of several elements, including a provocative video of family doctors speaking in support of the health system reform legislation Congress is debating currently. The video culminates with a call to action encouraging viewers to let their legislators know they stand behind nearly half a million doctors to support reform. The Web site also provides a quick and easy tool that encourages viewers to contact their legislators directly.

    Also today, organizations representing 450,000 doctors signed and delivered a joint letter indicating their support of health care reform to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his colleagues in the U.S. Senate. The American Academy of Family Physicians along with the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Medical Student Association, Doctors for America and the National Physicians Alliance signed the letter which reads in part, “We are confident that the reforms being proposed will allow us to provide better quality care to our patients, while preserving patient choice of plan and doctor.”

    Two national nonpartisan health care organizations — the AAFP and the Herndon Alliance — developed the online “Heal Health Care Now” initiative in a strategic effort to counter some of the most potent anti-reform arguments with the most trusted spokespersons — front-line family doctors. The AAFP represents more than 94,000 family physicians and medical students. The Herndon Alliance is a nationwide coalition of more than 200 minority, faith, labor, advocacy, business, and health-care provider organizations, including the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the AARP, the Mayo Clinic and Families USA.

    Brave New Films produced and distributed the video in which health care providers discuss “real-world” and all-too-common examples of the barriers they encounter as they try to provide the best possible care to their patients.

    In the current system, more than 14,000 American families lose their health insurance everyday and 56 million do not have access to a primary care physician. Fifty percent of bankruptcy filings are due in part to astronomical medical expenses.

    This is the result of a catastrophically fragmented system that provides incentives for sick care instead of prevention. The system is in dire need of reform — reform to save lives, to save families and to save money for both patients and the American health care system.

    “If the status quo persists without change, what we’ll see are several things: People will not have affordable health care. People will not have access to the health care system. They will live sicker; they will die younger,” said Ted Epperly, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a practicing physician in Boise, Idaho.

    Many of the providers featured in the video express anger toward a system that limits the time they can spend with patients and rewards them for the quantity — not quality — of the care they provide.

    “I spend 40 percent of my time away from my patients doing paperwork and getting prior authorizations,” said Jim King, MD, a family physician in Selmer, Tenn. “We need to start taking the barriers that are between me and my patients away.”

    “Medicine now has…has been shifted and it’s really more about insurance companies and rules that aren’t fair. It’s no longer about the patient and the doctor,” said Lori Heim, MD, a family physician in Vass, N.C.

    The doctors describe how health care reform will improve the care they can give to their patients: increasing quality, affordability and access of care; ensuring choice of doctor and health plan; and bringing insurance companies back in line with what is best for patients.

    “The health care reform being considered by Congress will make the care doctors provide better for their patients,” Epperly said. “We’ll start to see the health of the nation improve. We’ll start to see the health of individuals and families improve in a very positive way.”

    “I don’t see anywhere that we’re talking about limiting or rationing care. If anything, we’re trying to open it [the system] up so that people get the preventive health care they’re not getting now,” said Jeff Luther, MD, a family physician in Long Beach, Calif.

    For more information, visit http://www.healhealthcarenow.org.

    # # #

    Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents more than 94,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

    Nearly one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 208 million office visits each year – nearly 83 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty.

    In the increasingly fragmented world of health care where many medical specialties limit their practice to a particular organ, disease, age or sex, family physicians are dedicated to treating the whole person across the full spectrum of ages. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 16, 2009 @ 10:31 am
  164. “Death to Obama” sign at Cardin town hall on healthcare investigated by Secret Service
    August 16, 1:07

    In the spirit of healthy and vigorous and honest debate, a conservative opponent of healthcare reform at Ben Cardin’s town hall meeting, held up a sign that said “Death to Obama”. The sign also read, “Death to Michelle and her two stupid kids”.

    The man was detained by the sheriff’s office who then turned him over to the Secret Service.

    Needless to say the Secret Service didn’t find it amusing and the man is under investigation. It is a federal crime to even make threats against the life of the President but it remains to be seen whether he posed any real threat to the president or is just a Glenn Beck fan.

    But it does show how Republicans and conservatives have turned the issue of health care reform into both a personal and an ideological battle that has nothing to do with health care but the same old battles and scars conservatives have been carrying since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Or maybe even the Civil War.

    And it shows the depth of their stupidity, their ideology and their inability to mount a cogent argument in their favor and so all they can do is resort to the mob mentality they are famous for.

    The man with the sign is just a not so extreme example of what has been seen at other town halls, some with people holding posters depicting Obama as Hitler and making their typically incoherent argument about healthcare reform being socialism.

    But its really the same old grievances on display. It’s Republican vs. Democrat, conservative vs. liberal, and in some cases division of race at the lower IQ levels, as evidenced by the man who tore up the poster of Rosa Parks at Clair McCaskills town hall.

    And at the center of it is the public option, supported by Democrats and liberals, vilified by conservatives who see it as just another government program that doesn’t go their way and the kind of change conservatives have stood in the way of for 75 years.

    As the man said at South Carolina Representative Bob Inglis’ town hall “keep your government hands off my Medicare”.

    Comment by Annemarie — August 16, 2009 @ 1:00 pm
  165. And it shows the depth of their stupidity, their ideology and their inability to mount a cogent argument in their favor and so all they can do is resort to the mob mentality they are famous for.

    Annemarie, you’ve proven yourself to be quite immune to any sort of cogent argument put forward that is out of line with your worldview, so what difference does it really make?

    Why you keep overloading the comment section of a site which has not once engaged in the sort of behavior you’re decrying is quite the mystery to me. All I can conclude is that you are such an advocate of the Obama reforms that cogent, reality-based arguments as to why they are a terrible idea must sound exactly like racist death threats.

    I won’t stop you if you wish to keep embarrassing yourself here, but I must say you’ve caricatured yourself and the average ObamaCare zealot quite nicely.

    Comment by Quincy — August 16, 2009 @ 1:16 pm
  166. In the spirit of healthy and vigorous and honest debate”….oh that is a load of HORSESHIT, and you know it. You damn well know that it was a fringe, lone and VERY rare instance of a wacko and NOT representative of the GOP or conservative viewpoint. But you have to be sarcastic and downright mean, don’t you – I suppose being a unhappy and bitter leftist, you can’t help yourself. I pity you. It must be a miserable life.

    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=612

    I posted that earlier. LOOK at the photos. DO it. And then tell me whether you EVER condemned THAT sort of activity from YOUR side of the aisle as it was happening. Because in spite of the media that YOU watch (CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC) totally ignoring that short of shit, it happened constantly…..and it was not the rare long wacko with the hate-sign, like at the town halls – but MOBS of them. HUNDREDS at a time.

    “And it shows the depth of their stupidity, their ideology and their inability to mount a cogent argument in their favor and so all they can do is resort to the MOB mentality they are FAMOUS for.”

    PROJECT MUCH?

    The chairman of Whole Foods attempted honest and open debate. Your political soul-mates didn’t care for it much.

    Comment by southernjames — August 16, 2009 @ 1:53 pm
  167. Oh Gee – my oh my, what a surprise.

    http://theblogprof.blogspot.com/2009/08/busted-obama-as-hitler-poster-was.html

    I bet the guy with the “keep your government hands off my medicare” was a leftist plant too.

    There are no depths too low for the Left to sink, in their craven quest for power.

    Comment by southernjames — August 16, 2009 @ 2:17 pm
  168. In 2012, 61% of the Millennials will be eligible to vote and they will compose 24% of the electorate. In 2016 they could constitute 30% of all eligible voters and in 2020 as much as 36%. The Millennials are not the Tea Baggers. Nor are they angry Town Hall protesters. They neither watch Fox News nor listen to talk radio. When they see problems, they want to work on solutions. They have a more try-and -see mentality. They’re more collective. Obama won 66% of voters 18-29 and the Republicans are not tapped into this demographic at all.

    Still, it is unknown which political party will benefit from the coming realignment but the Republicans are running their mouths like it is 1999. As is R. Limbaugh whose average listener is in his mid-60s and FOX News, whose average viewer is almost that old.

    What does this have to do with health care reform? Whatever happens with Obama’s proposal doesn’t matter in the short-run because this debate is just beginning.

    Comment by Aussie — August 16, 2009 @ 3:23 pm
  169. Unwittingly, or otherwise, Annemarie is the master of the non sequitur. Further, she repeatedly swamps the page with vast copies from other documents (perhaps violating copyright in the process). I dare say she is engaged in an attempt to drown out opposing argument by “shouting”. :-)

    There is beauty in a board such as this. Any reasonable person reading through the posts here can differentiate quickly between those who argue from positions of logic and those who are merely emotional echo chambers.

    Regardless, rational discourse with her seems to be elusive. Therefore, I believe my further “feeding of the troll” won’t reveal new truth, but simply create more noise. The history is here for all to read.

    Comment by Hank — August 16, 2009 @ 3:37 pm
  170. Aussie,

    Here is a little history lesson for you, my foreign friend, who is oblivious to American political history.

    The Dems have been the party of the “hip” youngsters, since the 1960′s. Yet the Pubs manage to capture the WH and sometimes even the Congress, their fair share of times. So I’m not all that worried about the “millenials.” When they start paying taxes, raising families, buying homes, etc., a lot of them will turn from the dark side of the Force to the light. Just like those before them.

    And I’m calling bullshit on your claims that Fox News watchers are late 50s and early 60′s. Source, please.

    Comment by southernjames — August 16, 2009 @ 5:53 pm
  171. SouthernJames, as I mentioned before, I do this as a living – I (and others like me) must produce results … or we are out of a job. Right now I am working in online media (in the States) and assure you that the Millennials are nothing like the generation that came out of the 1960′s.

    I know from experience that not only do you not read posts carefully, cannot understand jargon, and need careful paragraphing so I am accomodating you every way I can. I also understand that you are a man who appreciates good beer so you can’t be all bad ….

    The Millennials aren’t just a generation that has stopped reading newspapers; they are a generation that has never read them. They are the online hoards that are more and more having the final word.

    I stated very clearly that it is not known which political party will benefit from the coming realignment but the Republicans are playing catch-up to the Democrats in reaching out to this generation.

    Don’t believe me that both FOX News and R. Limbaugh share the same aging demographic: I am sure the numbers are out there somewhere hidden in the jetsam and flotsam of the internet. My company spends a lot of money subscribing to a rating service and I have seen the numbers. In the case of radio, especially talk radio, it is all about revenue, not politics and advertising revenue on radio is drying up just like print.

    Comment by Aussie — August 16, 2009 @ 7:50 pm
  172. Southernjames is correct… And Winston Churchill once said it something like this,

    “If you are not a liberal at the age of 20 you have no heart, if you are not a conservative by the age of 40 you have no brain.”

    Jolly good summary, chap!

    Comment by Ole — August 16, 2009 @ 7:58 pm
  173. I think one can also differentiate between the self-congratulatory and pompous…vs the humbler but more iconoclastic, adventuring spirit!

    I wasn’t trying to “drown you out”, raise my voice or knock you off your wheelchairs….just sent two items one or other of you had requested; a proof of Death to Obama shouts at a Town hall meeting and then responding to sarcastic quizzing re the 450,000 doctors, challenging the number, presumably thinking I’d added it myself..so I very kindly sent you the letters from the doctor chaps lui-memes at AAFP. Wish I hadn’t bothered.

    I’m sorry you don’t stoop to cut & paste. Think of it as intellectual collage…

    Must run. Working on a script. Got to consult my list of favorite non-sequiturs.

    Flotsam comes before jetsam. Sounds gauche other way round.

    I love good beer, but prefer white burgundy
    Salut
    AMC

    Comment by Annemarie — August 16, 2009 @ 11:18 pm
  174. Aussie,

    In spite of my gul-durn batteries going dead in both my electric wheelchair and in my hearing aide just as I’m about to crank up the old Vitriola for a rousing dose of “Right Wing Hate Radio” immediately following the Jack Benny Show, I am not completely unfamiliar with Millenials – the 18-29 year-olds who “voted 66%” for The One.

    In fact I have a bit of intimate and personalized experienced with that demographic. My son is 22. A defining moment in his life for he and all of his friends was 9-11. More so than people like you could ever imagine, unless you TOO have spent a LOT of personal time, like I have, with young people like that. As opposed to reading “studies” by policy wonks.

    My secretaries who I spend 8 hours a day with are aged 24 and 29. One of them (the 29 year-old) is Jamaican-American. She is completely apolitical – but voted for the first time ever in 2008 – and (literally) almost fainted with rapture when Obama won. Didn’t get a damn thing done all day (grumble, mutter under my breath) – but in sharp contrast to the stereotypes about conservatives RELIGIOUSLY held by the AnneMaries of the world – I was compassionate about it – and very happy for her. (She did not even see me shit my own pants — pretty damn deft, I must say).

    My junior associate colleague,who I spend 10-11 hours a day with, and who I’ve trained since she started with me at age 25 is now 31. She transformed from being a Clinton Dem in the 90′s to being a “moderate” Republican who could not stand Kerry – and who became politically active for the first time in her life in 2008 – by volunteering for the Guliani campaign in Florida. And then almost literally held her nose to vote for Grumpy Gramps in the general.

    And I have five neices and nephews in that demographic. So I do occasionally emerge from my rocking chair perched in front of Glen Beck, (nice and close so that I can slobber and drool at his wingnut talking points right onto the screen) – and engage the young whippersnappers.

    IMO? Getting that 66% figure down to 50-50% is not that daunting a challenge. It drops by 10% right off the bat, if not more, when you remove the “hip” and “coolness” factor affiliated with voting for the urbane, seemingly very intelligent, smooth talking, young guy with a cool, hip and good-looking wife, who was going to make HISTORY(!!!) by being “the first black president”….and who, as luck for him would have it — is opposed by Grouchy Old Grandpa who holds NO appeal to young folks. And reminds them of the neighbor down the street who used to turn off all his lights on Halloween so that he wouldn’t be bothered by them when they went trick-or-treating, and would yell “get off my lawn,” when they’d play ball.

    66%? I’m surprised it wasn’t even bigger.

    But pendulums (pendula?) swing. This one shall swing back again too.

    Comment by southernjames — August 17, 2009 @ 3:47 am
  175. Apologies for the duplicate posts earlier in the thread. Upon initial submission, nothing appeared.
    A day later, I re-submitted the same article – again without it appearing.

    Now both are there. I suspect someone must have reviewed the submissions first, given the number of URLs.

    Comment by Hank — August 17, 2009 @ 7:16 am
  176. No, Ole, it was Briand that said, “The man who is not a socialist at 20 has no heart, but if he is still a socialist at 40 he has no head.” Churchill borrowed it, anglicized it and now it is treated as if Moses had received it on a tablet of stone …

    And SouthernJames, thank you for sharing with me the all the young people in your life but why assume that I don’t know any? Or that I am as old as you (God forbid!)?

    But I am not speaking of socialists, conservatives or liberals. The Millennials are part of a larger movement that is bigger than who votes for who.

    I am tempted to give you an example that will make Tarran’s d*** hard about 50 million Americans many who are Boomers but also the Xers and Ys who seem about ready to “pop” in a way that will give us the next cultural revolution but will leave it at this.

    BTW, does Viagra really work?

    Comment by Aussie — August 17, 2009 @ 7:33 am
  177. Aussie,

    I shared with you my own personal experience with Millenials, to illustrate that I am not as completely ignorant about this demographic, as I believe you think I am.

    I make no assumptions about who you know and don’t know – but if you are a foreign national working here — but whose family, relatives, and friends all live on the other side of the globe 20,000 miles away, I doubt if there are all that many American millenials you intimately, as opposed to casually, know.

    And forgive me if I misunderstood that your points were NOT about who is going to vote which way, but instead is about “a larger movement” or a “cultural revolution.”

    I guess I read too much into your statements such as:

    “… the Republicans are playing catch-up to the Democrats in reaching out to this generation.”

    And “Obama won 66% of voters 18-29 and the Republicans are not tapped into this demographic at all.”

    THAT is what I was responding to. I, for one, am not throwing the panic switch on that issue. Because I am old enough to have seen history repeat itself a number of times.

    Instead, I am suggesting that it is perhaps wishful thinking on your part, that their may be no way for the GOP to capture its fair share of this demographic over time. The death of conservatism, and pronouncements over how “out of touch” it is with the young, etc., is proclaimed every other election cycle or so. Mostly by liberal journalists and academics, hoping against hope, that it is finally true.

    Every new young generation that comes along wants to be cool, “hip” and new. I recall (I was only a kid then) the absolute swooning by American youth over Bobby Kennedy. Those folks are now in their 60s’ – and watch Fox News and listen to Rush, and attend Tea Parties.

    Obama HIMSELF and how HE was packaged, was the appeal – and not his left of center policies which he disguised as centrist (like all leftist politicians must do, in order to win elections). Politicians with that sort of charisma and packaging and breathless MSM support, do not come along every cycle. In spite of that, and in spite of the immensely unpopular outgoing president, and in spite if the immensely UNappealing opponent he faced, he STILL only managed to get 53% of the vote. And would probably get 48-50% if the election were re-held today.

    Don’t know about Viagra. I’m waiting until the public option gets passed, and then I can all I want, for “Free.” :)

    I do know that since all I can ever find from your country is Fosters, I have to go Irish instead, and drink Harps.

    Comment by southernjames — August 17, 2009 @ 8:27 am
  178. Hank, your first post was directed into our moderation queue due to the number of URL’s. I have not been very regular when it comes to checking that queue. Sorry I was so slow in approving it.

    Comment by tarran — August 17, 2009 @ 10:08 am
  179. Tarran,

    Understood. I suspected it was a spam filtering procedure for exactly the reasons you state.

    Comment by Hank — August 17, 2009 @ 11:20 am
  180. Annmarie,

    Iconoclastic, adventurous–really??

    I had you pegged for a fervent zealot. Have you read tarran’s latest post?

    Dr’s from the AMA? They have a vested interest in keeping prices high. That’s why the AMA exists.

    You mentioned the FAA earlier, do you realize that the Wright Brothers would not be allowed to fly today; and if someone who was allowed flew their plane would have to plaster “EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT” all over it? That’s great way to drum up business. But of course they don’t know what they are doing and the FAA has to approve their equipment before we can allow them to take flight.

    Cutting and pasting is a great way to share what other people think or wrote. Has it occured to you that anyone might be interested in what YOU think as an individual, being an iconoclast? Intellectual collage — must be NewSpeak. I never got my dictionary. I didn’t think that was possible.

    Jetsam always comes before flotsam, you have throw it over the side before it washes up.

    I’m sure Ellsworth Toohey will approve of your latest script. Don’t worry.

    As for your choice in beverage, you say you love beer, so there is still hope, but I can’t be the only one who finds your choice in wine humerous. White burgundy? I know why it is named such, but it does appear to be a contradiction.

    Myself, I prefer a good Scotch Ale, but will settle for a decent lager.

    Everyone else, I should know better, but the gators aren’t hungry since it’s ok to feast on the pythons now. We Florida boys have to take our entertainment where we can get it.

    Comment by John222 — August 17, 2009 @ 3:19 pm
  181. SouthernJames,

    10 years ago I flew into Christchurch, NZ to meet a friend who was camping with his family on the South Island. Later that night we were at a pub somewhere on our way to Picton. I stood at the bar looking at the beer tap; there were only two choices, neither of which I was familiar with. I stood there considering and noticed an odd looking guy next to me trying to catch my eye. I looked at him and he nodded to one of the beers as if there was no other choice and so I got that one. Later I learned that the beer of choice was the one made on the South Island. The other, of course, was made on the North Island. When I told the man I was on my way to Wellington (on the North Island) the only thing he said was ,”You don’t want to go there.”

    I believe Tom Delay’s decision to appear on Dancing With the Stars is a strategic move by the Republican Party to capture the demographic they missed out on during the last election. Expect to see Newt getting out his dancing shoes as well soon.

    Comment by Aussie — August 18, 2009 @ 4:54 am
  182. Aussie,

    Ah, my culturally impaired friend – you may jaunt all over our fair land doing your Ozzie business thing – but you have much to learn, much to learn, my Down Under compadre.

    The demographic that watches DWTS (as my spouse, a DWTS devotee calls it) already consists primarily of housewives aged 35-55, who like to swoon over sexy male bodies, while pretending to be interested in the dancing. Alas, and woe is me, I know of what I speak. I am stuck in front of DWTS each season – the remote kept far away from my grasp. My spouse, her sisters, my sisters, the neighbor ladies – et cetera – the world stops for them. You can catch a glimpse of a cross-section of these women….where? At the next Tea Party event near you, that’s where. Those 45 year old suburban white women with their “Read the Bill” signs? All DWTS fanatics.

    All Tom Delay and his twinkle toes will do is LOCK up the demographic that watches DWTS. By having him on, they’re preaching to the choir – feeding red meat to their core audience, so to speak. Having suffered through 3 seasons of this, he’ll be gone by week 3 anyway. Old non-athletic guys never last long. The gals in the t.v. audience will all be rooting for Donny Osmond anyway, who I have been informed is going to be on this year.

    I spent a week in NZ once. Much prettier than Victoria, Aus – but that is just me being subjective. Nothing but Eucalyptus trees everywhere takes getting used to.

    Comment by southernjames — August 18, 2009 @ 5:49 am
  183. John,

    I’ve read that those pythons are really messing up our Everglades ecosystem. And spreading like wildfire – and unlike other snakes, can view humans as “prey” once they get big enough.

    If I see a big 16 footer near my house, way too big to kill with a rake – and it starts making a move towards me — do I go for the 12 gauge, or the .357? I’m thinking shot gun and then if I miss real bad I can still use it as a club. At least the Gators are mostly scared of us.

    I’m getting to be an Ale guy too. Ever try Boddingtons? Went to a Fins pre-season game last night and paid $8 for a glass of flat Budweiser. Ugh. And sat in the rain. Not a white wine vendor in sight! No wonder the elite and effete Annemaries of the world think we’re just a bunch of dumb rubes. Lordy Lordy, the truth shore do hurt sometaahms.! Gotta run, don’t wanna miss Jerry Springer.

    Comment by southernjames — August 18, 2009 @ 6:03 am
  184. James,

    Pythons are a problem, but not one you are likely to encounter. They have no natural predators here, but gators will eat pretty much anything that moves.

    As for the .357 or 12 gauge, I guess it depends on your aim and what you want to do with the carcass. They don’t move very fast, so you’ll have time for a couple of shots if you need them.

    Boddingtons isn’t bad, I think I remember Castle Eden being pretty good to. In that area, almost every town has a brewery, each geared to the local palate (or vice-versa?). Just about anything beats Budweiser, you must have been very thirsty.

    Comment by John222 — August 18, 2009 @ 6:42 am
  185. SouthernJames, I know I posted this earlier but I don’t see it …

    LOL. Yes, I know the demographic of Dancing With The Star and was using it as an example of the failed efforts of the Republicans to capture an important demographic…. the sad thing is that some Republican strategist is surely behind DeLay’s calculated appearance.

    Comment by Aussie — August 18, 2009 @ 8:11 am
  186. Based on the vitriolic reaction from the Left (which includes the current leadership in the House and Senate, the vast majority of MSM outlets, the WH, and the 30% or so of the populace who will remain blind Obama supporters no matter what happens), to a milder and far more polite form of public protesting that we ever saw during the Bush years when the topic of protest was the war or globalization; and to the polite suggestions on reform posed by the Whole Foods CEO – the concept that “honest and open debate” might actually be welcomed by them is questionable.

    Nevertheless, if anyone who is in favor of what is contained in that 1000 page bill still has an open rather than shut mind, he or she should be able to read and digest some thoughtful commentary and insights, and remain open to alternate viewpoints:

    Here is one I ran across. A rather long read, but interesting:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200909/health-care

    Comment by southernjames — August 19, 2009 @ 4:26 am

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