As a companion to this post, I would like to put forth Alan Grayson, a first-term representative from Florida, as a candidate for Speaker of the House. On Wednesday Grayson said:

Now, the Democrats have a different plan. The Democrats say that if you have health insurance, we’re going to make it better. If you don’t have health insurance, we’re going to provide it to you. If you can’t afford health insurance, then we’ll help you to afford health insurance.

So, America gets to decide. Do you want the Democratic plan or do you want the Republican plan? Remember, the Republican plan: Don’t get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly.

Bravo! Well said.

The Republicans, for whom chutzpah is a way of life, are blubbering about this lack of civility. That looks pretty rich in the light of this montage, from yesterday’s Rahcel Maddow show:

REP. GINNY BROWN-WAITE ®, FLORIDA (July 21): Last week, Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America’s seniors:

Drop dead.

REP. STEVE KING ®, IOWA (July 15): They’re going to save money by rationing care, getting you in a long line. Places like Canada, United Kingdom and Europe, people die when they’re line.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT ®, TEXAS (July 15): One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine.

REP. PAUL BROWN ®, GEORGIA (July 10): This program of government option is being touted as being this panacea, the savior of allowing people to have quality health care, at an affordable price is going to kill people.

REP. VIRGINIA FOXX ®, NORTH CAROLINA: Republicans have a better solution that won’t put the government in charge of people’s health care and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government.

BROWN: A lot of people are going to die.

GOHMERT: I would hate to think that among five women, one of them is going to die because we go to socialized care.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA (July 27): The president’s advisor, Dr. Emanuel, says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled. So watch out if you’re disabled.

Looks like the civility ship has sailed.

We need a thousand more Democrats like Alan Grayson and Barney Frank. Instead we’re stuck largely with Blue Dogs and wimps.

Comments

  1. #1 Tony P
    October 1, 2009

    That’s ok, here in RI, Speaker of the House William Murphy announced that 2010 is his last year as speaker and possibly as elected representative.

    He has endorsed Rep. Gordon Fox of Providence for the Speaker’s seat.

    Fox is openly gay.

    Problem is while we’ve been trying to move marriage equality through in RI, we’ve gotten very little if any leadership on the part of Fox.

    I’ve now thrown down the gauntlet. I’ve advised the director of the Marriage Equality movement here that we need to target Fox and turn the heat on.

  2. #2 JasonTD
    October 1, 2009

    So, let me see if I am following your reasoning here. Alan Grayson makes a statement which amounts to ‘the other side is uncaring and evil’. You cheer that on, pointing out how several Republican have said similarly stupid things. Tu quoque much?

    As for Grayson’s description of the Democrats’ plan:

    “The Democrats say that if you have health insurance, we’re going to make it better. If you don’t have health insurance, we’re going to provide it to you. If you can’t afford health insurance, then we’ll help you to afford health insurance. “

    It sure sounds great when politicians promise the moon. But where exactly is all the money for these promises supposed to come from? My impression is that Democrats are just anxious to pass this while the getting is good, and worry about paying for it later. Once millions of people are relying on the extra spending, it will be really hard to cut back when it is clear that they understated the costs.

  3. #3 NewEnglandBob
    October 1, 2009

    Grayson certainly characterized the RepubliCANT plan correctly.

    So what is your plan JasonTD? Tell us how the RepubliCANTS can grow a set of balls and actually suggest something.

  4. #4 Eamon
    October 1, 2009

    REP. STEVE KING ®, IOWA (July 15): They’re going to save money by rationing care, getting you in a long line. Places like Canada, United Kingdom and Europe, people die when they’re line.

    Nice to know that Republicans don’t really feel the need to be nice or honest about allied nations. They dragged us into two wars, we have troops coming home in boxes – and what these tools are saying could be paraphrased as ‘they’re immoral nations`.

    Tossers.

  5. #5 Kevin (NYC)
    October 2, 2009

    the existing system costs us a lot of money.

    “just anxious to pass this while the getting is good, and worry about paying for it later. ”

    well if so it would be better spent than on tax cuts for the rich and the war in Iraq.

    but the public option will reduce over all costs, and what we need to do is PAY medical providers and squeeze insurance companies, and moderate drug companies profits.

    we as a people need to increase taxes on incomes over 500k, raise the estate tax back to 40% of anything over 5 million, and lift the ceiling on soc security and double the medicare tax.

    your savings in out of pocket medical will be 2-3 times the increased taxes.

  6. #6 valhar2000
    October 2, 2009

    your savings in out of pocket medical will be 2-3 times the increased taxes.

    Yes, that is the general idea.

    I have to say I did notice that Grayson was doing pretty much what the rethuglicans have been doing all along. It is good that there is at least one democrat who is willing to fight back rather than surrender to a group of people who are significantly less powerful than they are, but it is a bit hypocritical on his part. After all, there os plenty of evidence to suggest that modern republican politicians really are stupid and deluded enough to believe the garbage the spew, so they may really think that their way of (not) doing things will result in fewer deaths.

  7. #7 Matt Penfold
    October 2, 2009

    Rep Steve King said:

    Places like Canada, United Kingdom and Europe, people die when they’re line.

    Either the UK has moved overnight, or King is as bad at geography as he is at health policy.

  8. #8 JasonTD
    October 2, 2009

    NewEnglandBob,

    It is actually a commonly believed fiction that Republicans don’t have any alternatives. Let me know what you think of them after you’ve corrected your ignorance.

    Kevin (NYC),

    You mention paying medical providers, but did you know that much of the budget savings being counted on to pay for Democrats’ plan is coming from Medicare? And the only way to reduce Medicare spending without lowering benefits is to limit treatment or reduce payments to providers. Administration in Medicare is already rock bottom (hence the high rates of fraud), so there is no money to find there.

    You are also misinformed about the estate tax if you think it is a good idea to have it go ‘back’ to 40% of anything over 5 million. A quick google search confirmed what I remembered reading elsewhere. Bush and the Republicans pushed through a lowering of the estate tax with a repeal for next year, but it ‘sunsets’ after just one year, going back to the 2001 rate and exclusion (55% – 1 million). What do you think the odds are of Obama and the Democrats in Congress extending it?

    Raising the cap on Social Security doesn’t necessarily strike me as a bad idea. It will probably be necessary as the boomers retire. Doubling the Medicare tax sounds extreme though. But that brings up the major problem I have with the current health care reform efforts. The Democrats are completely ignoring the ticking budget bomb in Medicare. Their proposals are almost entirely geared toward increasing coverage of uninsured, rather than finding ways to actually reduce health care spending.

    Lastly before heading to school (as a teacher, not a student, I should say), I’m assuming that when you say, “your savings in out of pocket medical will be 2-3 times the increased taxes” that you are talking about people in the lower and middle classes saving more than they pay in extra taxes. Because I don’t see how that math would work otherwise.

  9. #9 Jud
    October 2, 2009

    Grayson is not Speaker because he is stupid enough to play to the public while giving the “other side” and that vanishing species, Republican moderates in the Senate, an excuse not to support health reform we desperately need. A health care system in a developed, wealthy nation that leaves poor people to sicken or die is immoral, full stop.

  10. #10 NJ
    October 2, 2009

    Their proposals are almost entirely geared toward increasing coverage of uninsured, rather than finding ways to actually reduce health care spending.

    Won’t covering the uninsured reduce their need to wait until medical problems are critical and thereby requiring fantastically expensive emergency room care? Won’t covering the uninsured reduce the need for the cost-shifting from patients who cannot pay to those who can? Won’t forcing insurance companies to compete and cover rather than engaging in profitable recission put more of the money into health care?

  11. #11 Eamon
    October 2, 2009

    Matt@7

    There’s a certain feeling in some parts of UK society that we are not European in the political integrationalist sense – so Steve King isn’t wrong on that, depending on your point of view.

  12. #12 omar
    October 2, 2009

    As a practicing physician, I must disagree with those who imagine that soaring healthcare costs will be reduced by insuring the uninsured. The math does not add up.
    The reason costs are so much higher than they are in other advanced countries is not primarily because of uninsured people showing up in emergency rooms, its because of system-wide waste and corruption (and not necessarily in that order). Corruption is also the reason single payer national healthcare is not even being discussed. The insurance companies, hospital corporations and big pharma own congress (democrats as well as republicans) and they will make sure any plan increases their already obscene profits. Unless we can find some way to reduce the corruption on Capitol hill (and in the White House, after all, the White House is handing out lollypops to insurance companies and pharma too) we are stuck with “reform” that MAY cover more people and prevent denials (the last would certainly be good in itself, the first is mostly a new way of taxing people that would make sense if insurance was affordable and rational, but as it stands, just means more money for insurers) but will absolutely NOT cut costs. “Costs” are ultimately money in someone’s pocket. Keep that in mind…

  13. #13 TGT
    October 2, 2009

    JasonTD,

    That question, and your comments are irresponsible and misleading. Yes, there technically are bills created by Republicans. No, they are not seen (even by other Republican congressmen) as anything useful. Also, the amendments mentioned in the question are horribly, horribly stupid, and geared toward delaying passage, not actually improving the bill.

  14. #14 Amar
    October 2, 2009

    this argument about not being able to pay for healthcare always bothers me. There are many government expenditures that cost a lot of money for which the only benefit we get is the betterment of society. Things like roads, the military, etc. are things that cost a lot but they benefit everyone, directly or indirectly. I don’t mind paying my taxes to fund the construction of roads and the military. I want to eliminate waste and corruption in the execution of those programs as well, but they still benefit the society as a whole.

    Also, why hasn’t corporate America been behind the public option? I’m sure they would want to get their health care costs off of their balance sheets.

  15. #15 Jud
    October 2, 2009

    Also, why hasn’t corporate America been behind the public option? I’m sure they would want to get their health care costs off of their balance sheets.

    Because that is not what any “public option” being discussed in America would do. It would not, contra the howls from certain quarters, “socialize” medicine in the USA, or create a one-payer system such as, for example, that in Canada. As proposed in the bills currently alive in Congress, it would be a public alternative competing with private plans, analogous to the way public Medicare Parts A and B (“Original Medicare”) compete with private Medicare Part C (a/k/a Medicare Advantage).

  16. #16 Michael
    October 3, 2009

    Jud@ #15: Actually, in Canada you have more like a 10-payer system, one for each province. But in each province you have a one-payer system.

    That’s one reason you can’t just collect a bunch of anecdotes from Canada, or even nation-wide statistics from Canada, and get anything useful from them. Quebec healthcare differs from Ontario healthcare, for example.

  17. #17 BaldApe
    October 3, 2009

    REP. LOUIE GOHMERT ®, TEXAS (July 15): One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine.

    Actually, Gomer, 5 in 5 have to die. Don’t believe me? How many people born before 1880 are still alive? Track record is pretty poor, don’t you think?

    Seriously, idiotic statements like this show how easily people can be swayed by obvious nonsense. It’s a meaningless statement which, like a Rorschach ink blot, means whatever you bring into it.

  18. #18 Troublesome Frog
    October 3, 2009

    One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine.

    What does this phrase even mean? How bad at quantitative analysis do you have to hear this claim and not say, “Huh?”

  19. #19 BaldApe
    October 5, 2009

    How bad at quantitative analysis do you have to hear this claim and not say, “Huh?”

    I used to love National Enquirer headlines that say “(whatever famous dead person) didn’t have to die.”

    Uh, yeah, sooner or later, they had to.

  20. #20 ml
    October 7, 2009

    i don’t understand the logic behind, “if everyone has health care, you’ll die waiting for procedures and doctors.”

    well shit, at least i’ll get the chance to go to the doctor instead of wasting away at home, unable to do anything because of massive medical costs. i’d rather have the possibility of getting better than certain death.

    apparently, certain death is the better option for republicans. cool.

  21. #21 Vlad the Impaler
    October 13, 2009

    Actually I prefer the Democrat Plan:

    1)Force sterilization to save the planet – put steriization pills in the water system to save the earth from “global warming” (even though there is no such thing).

    2) Kill off the elder citizens so that their religious influence is gone and so that we can teach the next generation all the benefits of marxist socialism and Lenninism.

    3) Population control up the wazoo. (someone really needed to knock that guy off that started the radical leftist fascist marxist filth of population control as wriiten by the marxists of the 1960s – the definitely derserve a painful and longsuffering death. )

    4) Take away choice of doctors and force people onto a politically controlled system where only liberals get healthcare. Ban homeopathic and herbal rememdies so that all conservatives will die and marxists will once again rule the world.

    Obamacare and the stupid global warming horseshit has one thing in common – population control!

    This health care plan is nothing but a cover for marxism and it should be abolished by the states. Individual states can choose to reject fascist marxism disguised as poltical clout to gain future votes to gain more power with.

    I Love the democrat party. I love how they steal from working Americans to pay a drunk whore’s healthcare benefits and call everyone a racist who doesn’t agree. Marxist fascism at it’s finest. I hope they crash the damned stock martet all to hell, the people violently rebel and we kick these bums out of our country and take it back. These freaks of nature deserve no less than to be mocked at. Just don;t tell Fox News I said so. They are in enough trouble with our tender president as it is.

    It’s not like a news organization to question a president now is it? HMMM. Didn’t Dirty Dan Rather get fired for taht one time? Isn’t MSLSD’s ratings at the bottom of the pile becuase they did nothing but bash Bush for eight years straight without breathing? HMMM! Asd the old saying goes, what goes around, comes around.

    Liberals just need to remember whatever they dish out, they must be able to take back becuase eventually their horse crap will come back to bite them in the ass.

    Better luck next time losers.

    Remember marxism is better than freedom. God don’t bless Ted the terdhead Kennedy. God bless America – while it’s still around.

    Come on God, you an do it. I know there has to be an asteroid near enough to strike Washington before this si voted on. All I ask is a little one. maybe just rain fire down on the marxists? Anything? Turn them to powerde or salt? There has to be justice for this treason against freedom. All I ask is for a little chaos, not much.

  22. #22 H.H.
    October 14, 2009

    Vlad, you have invented a boogeyman and then managed to frighten yourself with it. “Liberals” are doing none of those things, but it sure gives you a great excuse to go out and cause a “little chaos,” isn’t that right? Stupid and dangerous. What a great combination.

  23. #23 Vlad the Impaler
    October 14, 2009

    One more reason why Alan Grayson is nt speaker of the House … He is a blatant arrogant LIAR!

    Well, so is our current speaker. I guess that doesn’t matter after all.

    Why can’t George Soros be our president. After all he is the powert behind the worldwide socialism movement. That guy is more dangerous than Bin Laden ever dreamed of being.Between George Soros and the taliban, Soros is definitely more dangerous. We should be taking out fascist socialists instead of Taliban amatuers and wannabes. We must kill socialism at all costs. Crush this fascist marxism! Liberty through freedom. Freedom through common sense. Down with tyranny. Down with Soros and his anti-Christ one world government. Down with marxism and socialism.

    These fascists may win the world to marxism for now, but when Christ comes back with His army of invincible angels, socialism will die and freedom will ring again. Normal people will rejoice and marxists will burn. What a day of rejoicing that will be.

    Is George Soros the anti-Christ? Probably not, but his ideas ae as close to Satanic as they can possibly be. This guy is a threat to civilization and should be imprisoned for his crimes.

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