White Coat Underground

Health care reform—democracy in action

It’s hard to imagine the that the hyperbolic rhetoric that characterized the health care reform debate could get any worse (death panels, etc.). But it will. Representative John Boehner (Asshat-OH) started it of last night with what amounted to a call for the overthrow of our democracy.

“Today we stand here amidst the wreckage of what was once the respect and honor that this House was held in by our fellow citizens.

“And we all know why it is so.

“We have failed to listen to America.

“And we have failed to reflect the will of our constituents.

“And when we fail to reflect that will – we fail ourselves and we fail our country.

[...]

My colleagues, this is the People’s House.

“When we came here, we each swore an oath to uphold and abide by the Constitution as representatives of the people.

“But the process here is broken.

“The institution is broken.

“And as a result, this bill is not what the American people need, nor what our constituents want.

“Americans are out there are making sacrifices and struggling to build a better future for their kids.

[...]

“And they are angry. They are angry that no matter how they engage in this debate, this body moves forward against their will.

“Shame on us.

“Shame on this body.

“Shame on each and every one of you who substitutes your will and your desires above those of your fellow countrymen.

[...]

“If we pass this bill, there will be no turning back. It will be the last straw for the American people.

“And In a democracy, you can only ignore the will of the people for so long and get away with it.

“And if we defy the will of our fellow citizens and pass this bill, we are going to be held to account by those who have placed us in their trust.

“We will have shattered those bonds of trust.

I’m sure if asked he will say that “being held to account” means being voted out of office. And that’s fair. If, as Boehner says, our representatives ignored the will or their constituents, then they will probably lose their seats. My own rep voted exactly as I would have instructed him: “Yea.” This will earn him my future vote. The true subversion is Beohner’s claim that his opinion is the majority opinion, and that those have fought for health care reform have subverted democracy.

I have news for Boehner. His party lost the last election. They may win the next one, but this one they lost. That means they are in the minority, a word seemingly unfamiliar to him. What “minority” means is that he represents the smaller part of the American public. He cannot rightly claim to represent me or anyone else outside the 8th district of Ohio or the House republican delegation, a delegation that is currently in the minority.

This is how democracy works: if the voters like what you’re doing, they vote for you. If they don’t, you’re out. Continuing calls for subverting the will of the people as expressed in last night’s vote are immoral and antidemocratic.

Comments

  1. #1 becca
    March 22, 2010

    Nah, he’s right. I mean, he’s an asshat, but he has a point. The polls aren’t ambiguous- Americans didn’t want THIS bill. That’s because this bill sucks. Also, because healthcare is chock-full of wedge issues, so any bill that can get even the slimmest majority of representatives to back it is going to be so full of illogical compromises as to make it impossible for any thinking person to feel great about every aspect.

  2. #2 PalMD
    March 22, 2010

    polling is much less clear cut. people will say they are against this bill, but then affirm support for all of its features when listed individually.

  3. #3 Patrick
    March 22, 2010

    He’s just upset about the 10% tax on fake baking in UV tanning beds.

  4. #4 JohnV
    March 22, 2010

    haha had to read this twice before I noticed his political affiliation.

  5. #5 jane
    March 22, 2010

    This bill does suck (and that is my opinion as someone who donated two weeks’ pay to the Obama campaign, ergo, not a teabagger). Who really believes that if millions of people cannot afford health care, you can solve that by ordering them to buy health insurance – at, apparently, whatever profit margins the corporations choose? I look forward to this administration also ending homelessness (by requiring everyone to rent an apartment) and hunger (by making it illegal not to purchase 3 meals per day).

    The reason that those situations aren’t comparable is that there’s a difference between getting health INSURANCE and actually getting health CARE. Indeed, your average working-class policy leaves the customer with so many co-pays, deductibles, and so forth that someone who has spent all his disposable income on that policy may not then be able to afford medical treatment if he actually does get sick – whereas if he had not bought that insurance, he would have had enough money in the bank to pay out of pocket for modest amounts of care, even taking into account the gigantic overcharges of cash-paying patients.

  6. #6 Xox
    March 22, 2010

    and that is my opinion as someone who donated two weeks’ pay to the Obama campaign, ergo, not a teabagger

    No, just a sucker.

  7. #7 Greg
    March 22, 2010

    The true subversion is Beohner’s claim that his opinion is the majority opinion

    Yes, it is the majority opinion, as far as we can trust the polls. The majority of Americans do not want this “health care reform”. The majority in the Congress and the majority of Americans are disconnected for one fundamental reason: in 2008 people voted AGAINST Bush and Republicans. Against the unnecessary, unjust and costly war in Iraq. Against the undermining of the constitutional rights by the Patriot Act. So, Democrats got the majority in the Congress, and extrapolated this into a mandate to re-shape America according to their ideology. The democratic mandate does not reach that far, and I think we will have another proof in November (I am so certain of this because I remember what happened in Massachusetts, where the Senate election was essentially a referendum on Obamacare).

  8. #8 natural cynic
    March 22, 2010

    I remember what happened in Massachusetts, where the Senate election was essentially a referendum on Obamacare

    Uh, no.
    It was more of a sham. It was just as much the fault of Coakley’s incompetent campaigning, being suckered by “just a guy who drives a truck” [for his daughter's equestrian events], inability of voters to separate the issues that they were for [what was in Obamacare] from Obamacare: just as most Americans liked what was in the bill while not liking the bill etc.
    So, what do you want to do? Start all over again and “get it right” with single payer universal health care? I would prefer that, but the chances in getting anything better than what we have now, in this political climate, is close to zero.

  9. #9 Bill
    March 22, 2010

    It appears Boehner uses spray-on bronzer, not an actual tanning bed (he’s orange instead of brown)

    My concern is I don’t see any real cost containment for health care.

    Pulling in 30+ million of the sickest patients (formerly uninsured who delayed care) will not be cheap, so expect private health insurers to boost premiums to pay for that.

  10. #10 D. C. Sessions
    March 22, 2010

    Pulling in 30+ million of the sickest patients (formerly uninsured who delayed care) will not be cheap, so expect private health insurers to boost premiums to pay for that.

    I highlighted the only part that really matters. Change any of the the rest and the important seven words stay the same.

  11. #11 Ab Nihilo
    March 22, 2010

    Boner is permanently cheapening the rhetorical language he’s using. One of the reasons people voted for Obama was that he promised to reform health care, the main source of disappointment in his administration is that he chickened out on health care reform, in the face of a mass of racist, critically misinformed lumpen-proletariat, and the slimy, corporate-owned, professional liars who control them. Now that the shattered remains of what was once a great bill look like they just might creep through, bettering, by whatever miniscule increment, the lives of millions of sick people, who would otherwise be left to die because some CEO’s yacht is more important than human life, the Republicans are acting like there are going to be tanks rolling through the streets at any moment, blaring the Internationale on loudspeakers, rounding up good, white Christians to send to the re-education camps.

    I hope that this results in their downfall. I hope their insane rhetoric destroys any remaining shred of credibility they may have once held, so that they become unelectable.

  12. #12 Karl Withakay
    March 22, 2010

    I know this is long (and will probably get held up for moderation), but if you’ve never read this before, it is well worth reading. In my opinion, it should be required reading for every high school student or even possibly citizen of the United States.

    “Mr. President

    I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French lady, who in a dispute with her sister, said “I don’t know how it happens, Sister but I meet with no body but myself, that’s always in the right – Il nay a que moi qui a toujours raison.”

    In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other. I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of us in returning to our Constituents were to report the objections he has had to it, and endeavor to gain partisans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects & great advantages resulting naturally in our favor among foreign Nations as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength & efficiency of any Government in procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends, on opinion, on the general opinion of the goodness of the Government, as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for our own sakes as a part of the people, and for the sake of posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this Constitution (if approved by Congress & confirmed by the Conventions) wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future thoughts & endeavors to the means of having it well administered.

    On the whole, Sir, I can not help expressing a wish that every member of the Convention who may still have objections to it, would with me, on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility, and to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.”

    ——————————————————-
    -The words of Benjamin Franklin (too weak to present to the assembled crowd on his own), spoken by James Wilson prior to the signing of the final draft of the US Constitution on Monday, September 17, 1787, the last day of the long and grueling Constitutional Convention.

    I have always considered this to be one of the finest speeches in the history of American Democracy.

  13. #13 Matthew Platte
    March 22, 2010

    …this bill is not what the American people need, nor what our constituents want

    Right. There was some mumbling about 60+ percent approval for single-payer but perhaps that was just satire. Shrug. I wasn’t paying much attention after Obama announced his pre-election agreement with Big Insurance. Oh, yeah, you’re right: he didn’t say anything about that deal in public, so maybe there wasn’t such a deal. How would *I* know, anyway? There must be a less conspiratorial reason why Obama said single-payer wasn’t on the table so very long ago. Whatever.

    As for couching the “premium increases” in future tense, haven’t you, commenter(s) been reading the news lately?

  14. #14 Greg
    March 22, 2010

    “in this political climate

    Precisely. “This political climate” is such that people (including myself) just do not want this reform. I do not want any “single payer”, I do not want more taxes and less freedom to decide how I want to live. Bush deprived us of many political liberties, and now Mr. Obama (while not even thinking about restoring these political liberties) wants to deprive us of economic freedom as well. Well, he should remember that he was elected mainly BECAUSE HE WASN’T BUSH, not because people (i.e. the majority) want him to convert US into a socialist state, with the accompanying poverty and serfdom.

  15. #15 BaldApe
    March 22, 2010

    I’m not at all sure the Republicans are going to win the next one. In fact, I suspect and hope that they are digging their own political grave.

    They are still trying to fight against some of the most wildly popular government programs ever. (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,….) Now that the Democrats are on their way to becoming actual vertebrates, I hope they will have to deal with facts rather than hysteria.

  16. #16 Greg
    March 22, 2010

    The Republicans… There is no such single entity, I think. Remember the bank bailout issue? It was about as unpopular as this health care bill, and it exposed a rift between the Republican leadership in the Congress (as corrupt as the Democrats, and working amiably together with them to feed the Wall Street with money taken from Main Street) and the rank-and-file Republicans, who more or less adhered to the principles of fairness and fiscal responsibility. It took a lot of arm-twisting to have the bailout passed. I definitely hope that this leadership will feel the heat in November, together with their Democrat friends.

  17. #17 Karl Withakay
    March 22, 2010

    The great thing about American Democracy is that if this turns out to be that bad &/or wildly unpopular, it can be repealed later. It isn’t a constitutional amendment, it’s just regular (albeit VERY LARGE)act passed by congress.

    Of course, it would probably take a super-majority in the US Senate to repeal (or significantly amend)it. (This bill would not have passed if there had not been a super majority in the Senate at the time it passed the Senate; reconciliation only works if you already have passed a version in the Senate.)

    Prohibition was repealed, and it was a constitutional amendment, and constitutional amendments take substantially more effort to repeal.

    There will be much said by all sides in the following days, but only time will really tell how well it works. The same could have been said about doing nothing.

  18. #18 Greg
    March 22, 2010

    Karl: It is very hard to repeal an entitlement program. Many people know that they were ripped off, but most just want to get something back from the system, so they are not interested in any revolutionary changes. So, it will be critical to repeal this bill before 2014 (unless, of course, the courts declare it unconstitutional and moot).

  19. #19 D. C. Sessions
    March 22, 2010

    The beauty of being in opposition is that no matter what happens, it would always have been better if people had done it your way instead of the way they actually did.

    Reality can’t possibly compete with fantasy. At some point in most people’s lives, they accept that and take responsibility for doing the best they can even knowing in advance that it won’t all be puppies and rainbows.

  20. #20 BikeMonkey
    March 22, 2010

    The Conservatives, no matter their guise, have been wrong as wrong can be on every major issue the US has faced. They were the Tories in colonial days and they’ve yet to do anything good since. As the man said- you *lost* the election. For Gregsack’s sake stop whining about the EndofGodandCountry already, you are embarrassing yourselves.

  21. #21 DLC
    March 22, 2010

    Government is like evolution, in that most of the time you don’t get the perfect, you get what works. Except with government, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes the problem isn’t as bad as the fix. See “Patriot Act” for details.

  22. #22 SurgPA
    March 22, 2010

    I am frequently amused at people who assert knowledge of the “meaning” of an election or of “the wishes of the majority.” People on both side of nearly every contentious issue claim to be in “The Silent Majority.” Even the best political pollsters have margins of error and avoid bold precise statements, because they know the data doesn’t support such statements, yet proponents of both sides have no such hesitancy. I will freely admit when (as during the early part of Bush’s war-on-an-abstract-concept, aka “war on terror” aka Iraq war)I am clearly in the minority. As Pal pointed out, public opinion on the bill is highly dependent on how the question is framed, and this makes it very difficult to declare “knowledge” of the public’s collective opinion.

    I would conjecture, (although I don’t know) that fear-of-unknown/fear-of-change is a significant motivator for many in the public who identify as opponents of this bill. The complexity of health care and a health care system the size of ours is overwhelming, even for those who work in it and are well-versed. I suspect many of the lay-public feel they don’t fully understand it, but they know how they are doing right now. As expensive as insurance and care is now, they fear that it could get worse (a fear reinforced by nationally-organized opposition.) Fear is a primal (is reptilian the right word?) emotion that motivates powerfully and affects cognition and rational decision-making, causing people to focus preferentially on potential catastrophe. Thus, when faced with specific components they feel able to understand, they respond more positively than they do when faced with bill in it’s complex entirety (painted as scary by some influential members of the fair-and-balanced press.)

    Simply opinion, no data to support it (although multiple studies document the fear influence on decision-making.)

  23. #23 Karl Withakay
    March 22, 2010

    @19 & 21
    Very well said, DC.

    I wonder if Greg @18 actually read my Ben Franklin quote and understood which direction I actually (reservedly) lean on this topic.

  24. #24 Robbie St. James
    March 22, 2010

    Mr Palmd, that may be how democracy works, but you are forgetting that bribes are not part of the constitution and neither is forcing private citizens to purchase a product. Whta if tomorrow all the democrats wrote bill that said you had to go out and buy a Rolls Royce wether you need one or not or wether you could afforsd one or not. If you do not comply the IRS will fine you. This is the healthcare mandate and I hope that during reconciliation, it goes back to the House and fails. Actually I hope we can act like a democracy and repeal this bill when the conservatives take over. It is unconstitutional. Anyway I would like to say a word of thanks to all those that made this bill possible:

    thank you note to all those who made the Healthcare bill possible :

    http://robhood.us/weblog.php

  25. #25 A
    March 22, 2010

    Republicans lost this one, and they know it. But they need to keep up the noise about repealing it, so as to continue to get the insurance companies’ reelection contributions, and cushy jobs with insurance companies after retirement from Congress.
    Th practical work of trying to gut it will now be done by lobbying and lawsuits about the implementation rules.
    The US Chamber of Commerce also announced they’ll work on that, not repeal. We can still get screwed there.

  26. #26 A
    March 22, 2010

    Actually, in revision of my comment above, the Republicans did win it in the sense, that the health care reform is actually Romneycare (none of this ‘leftist’ stuff like single-payer, public option is included, after all).
    But they didn’t like it when proposed by Obama/Democrats.
    And it does look like a victory for the Democrats.

    And for the rest of the world, we welcome this progress in the U.S.; 127 years after health insurance was introduced by Bismark, the ‘Iron Chancellor’ in Prussian-dominated Germany. (And at that time the aristocrats were against it, too.)

  27. #27 becca
    March 22, 2010

    “polling is much less clear cut. people will say they are against this bill, but then affirm support for all of its features when listed individually.”
    Or they can be like me, and say they are for the bill, but then pretty much *not* support each feature individually.
    Public option? Nope.
    Negotiating costs for prescription drugs? Nope.
    More effective women’s health and support of choice? NOPE.
    Le sigh.
    That said, I’m mad as hell at Greg and Robbie St. James. DUDES! Playing devil’s advocate is only any fun if you get to be the most demonic. I do NOT appreciate having you trolls turd all over this thread, thereby preventing me from attention whoring in my traditional contrary fashion. I do NOT appreciate it at all. You may remove yourselves.

  28. #28 Robbie St. James
    March 22, 2010

    Oh, and the death panels are real. Just ask anyone in England. A single payer marxism healthcare system always has a death panel. To conserve costs elderly people with cancer or some other horrible disease is viewed as too expensive to treat versus a younger healthier person. Euthanasia is encouraged. This is a death panel. The NHS in Englad are dictators and are death panel experts. We do not need this tyranny here in the land of the former free.

    People think the public option is dead but it is far from dead. They can still sneak through a back door loophole at any time. This administration is the most dangerous administration ever. He is too dangerous to be given power.

  29. #29 B
    March 22, 2010

    “Republicans lost this one, and they know it. But they need to keep up the noise about repealing it, so as to continue to get the insurance companies’ reelection contributions, and cushy jobs with insurance companies after retirement from Congress.”

    ————–

    Fixed it:

    Democraps will lose the next one, and they know it. But they need to keep up the noise about “healthcare” for everyone , so as to continue to get the nationalist socialist labor union’ reelection contributions, and cushy jobs with crooked trial lawyers associations after retirement from Congress.

  30. #30 Robbie St. James
    March 22, 2010

    Oh well. I don;t know what I am so upset about. After all, this will only lead to tyranny which will lead to a one world government which will lead to the final war which will lead to jesus and his army of immortal angels coming back and wiping the evils of socialism off the face of the earth forver. Actually the democraps might have done us all a big favor. Maybe Christ and His army will come soon and end nonsense. There will be no socialists when Christ comes back. Enjoy it while you can, you’ll need your healthcare to tend to the burns you’ll receive in hell while I sit back and say I told tyou so and offer you hot pocket and cup of coffee. No those will not be banned in heaven.Neither will freedom, capitalism, and individual sovereignty and private land ownership. man, liberals must hate heaven.

  31. The Anthropologist family (4 mostly healthy people under age 40) pays (directly, out-of-pocket) > $10K/year in premiums, deductibles, co-pay, etc for basic health insurance. This does not include vision or dental, which we just pay in full at the time of the exams, adding an additional ~$1.2K to the overall cost. Nearly two years ago, we paid an additional ~$5k for expenses related to the uncomplicated birth of a Little Anthropologist.

    We are not (even close to) wealthy. This represents a significant percentage of our income. If we’re going to part with it regardless, I guess I’d rather see that money go toward covering everyone and bringing health outcomes in our country above the levels of developing countries.

  32. #32 Pareidolius
    March 23, 2010

    I’d call Poe on Robbie but he’s probably “real”. It’s just that the god-drunk whackaloons of our great Teabagger Nation are totally indistinguishable from parody, and in the end, it’s really not all that funny . . . because they vote.

  33. #33 TheDissenter
    March 23, 2010

    I am so puzzled why so many are puzzled about what to do about health care as it seems so obvious to me. If you paid health insurance through your income taxes from cradle to grave, then you wouldn’t see it so you wouldn’t miss it, and in return you get mostly free, life-long health care. If universal, single payer health/preventative care was done right, it would largely pay for itself by creating a much healthier population in need of far less medical intervention, increasing productivity, fewer sick days, etc, and freeing up resources for R&D and real drug research, education and other necessities, not just continual ED pill advertisements over and over and over.

    That’s the beauty of a good medical system, the costs will drop dramatically the more successful it is, rather than the current system where costs only go up and the population gets sicker. Engineers call this a positive feedback loop. I wish we had more engineers in health care.

  34. #34 leigh
    March 23, 2010

    TheDissenter @33:

    long term thinking is not admissible. look at the state of things in the USA. plug the holes in the dam, but don’t you dare redesign and rebuild, because the short term consequences are oh so inconvenient. and major restructuring is to be feared and rebelled against.

    oh, and now that we ran out of real materials we need some fingers to plug the holes in the dam please, step right up.

  35. #35 El Picador
    March 23, 2010

    Robbie, you dumbass, we already have death panels. It’s called too poor / underinsured for the best care. Nice try though. Well, actually it wasn’t but I’m trying to be nice

  36. #36 Nomad
    March 23, 2010

    Okay, this death panel thing.. something needs to be said about that. I know the less pig ignorant among you already know the situation, but.. this just galls me.

    My grandmother has already attended a “death panel”. Or at least something more or less similar to the real provision that started the whole death panel story.

    It’s very simple. She was asked her wishes regarding the extent of medical care she wished used to prolong her life. Did she want to be resuscitated if her heart stopped, for example. I believe the term “extraordinary means” was brought up.

    The thing that galls me about this is that I kind of see the way these people think. The opponents to health care reform, I mean. To allow someone to choose to not have certain medical procedures performed on them even if it could mean the end of their life is wrong, apparently if they have access to it they should be forced to receive it. But to allow someone to not have access to such procedures even if they want them is fine. Sure, they’ll die, but that’s fine because it’s their own fault. Exactly how it’s their own fault that the health care situation in this country is deeply flawed is never really explained, but…

    This is a monstrous outlook. To allow someone to die with dignity as a matter of their free will is bad. To force someone to die in poverty from a preventable disease is good.

    Dissenter, it’s more or less as Leigh said. This country is in the midst of a massive wave of anti intellectualism. For an expert to lay out a future looking plan in an attempt to improve something is seen as elitist and threatening to people’s freedoms. The only acceptable solution to almost anything is to allow big business to do whatever it wants because capitalism always picks the most efficient path.

    Yes, they think that despite our health care situation.

  37. #37 Pommer
    March 23, 2010

    Yeah, where do I sign-up to get one of them (cushy, I’m sure) Death Panel jobs?
    Do we get neat hooded robes and stuff?
    Do we actually get to pull the plug.

  38. #38 BB
    March 23, 2010

    Every Canadian I know (and I know plenty) LOVES the Canadian health care system. Every UK-er I know LOVES the UK system. The Spanish scientist in the office next to me goes off the rails screaming about how lousy it is in America with no single-payer coverage for his kids- he’s sending them back to Spain for the summer so they can get some routine care for free.
    In some states you have to buy unemployment and disability insurance (in the rest, it’s paid by payroll taxes). Why is this any different?

  39. #39 JohnV
    March 23, 2010

    “Well, he should remember that he was elected mainly BECAUSE HE WASN’T BUSH, not because people (i.e. the majority) want him to convert US into a socialist state”

    Quick question greg, prior to the inauguration of president Obama, was the USA a 100% pure capitalist state?

  40. #40 Coriolis
    March 23, 2010

    It helps to look at the poll numbers in at least a little detail, not just take whatever the pundits are screaming at face value. This is a PDF of the CNN poll right before HCR was passed:

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/22/rel5a.pdf

    And indeed you see at the top that 59% oppose, 39% favor. But then you look below to the second question and find that 39% favor, 43% oppose because it’s too liberal, and 13% oppose because it’s not liberal enough (5% are no opinion). So in fact the people who think this bill is going too far are a 43% minority of Americans, and PalMD is quite right.

    Although it’s not like you’re going to hear even supposedly liberal CNN explain their own poll like that.

  41. #41 Vicki
    March 23, 2010

    Robbie–

    Have you ever even been to the United Kingdom? Or talked to actual British people about their health care? My British friends are horrified when they hear about Americans who become bankrupt because they get sick.

    My stepfather was English. I say “was” because he died two weeks ago. At home, after a long illness, with such care as is medically possible for his disease. Mostly that was palliative care, and support for my mother so he could stay at home. When my stepfather became too ill to go to the doctor, she came to him. Straightforwardly, before or after office hours, she would stop in, see him, and prescribe medication to make his days easier.

    Socialized medicine means doctors make house calls when appropriate, including for 83-year-old men with dementia.

  42. #42 Kathy
    March 23, 2010

    I have type 1 diabetes. I did not “cause” my condition–I was a perfectly healthy kid when diagnosed–and there is nothing I can eat/not eat to make it go away. I depend on insulin injections to stay alive. You will not meet many people with type 1 diabetes who are not doing all they possibly can to stay healthy. For us, it is literally a matter of life and death.

    All my life, I have had to worry about having health insurance through an employer or, at worst, the catastrophic plan provided by my state for people who are “uninsurable”. I have lost track of how many times the word diabetes has branded me a loser, a failure, a non-entity, all because of insurance company rules. I have been in near-perfect control for over 15 years, by the grace of God and a dedicated physician. Without insurance, I would never have kept my eyes, my kidneys, my feet or my life even half that long. Without prescription drug coverage I would be without insulin–and that would end it right there.

    For the first time in my life I may actually be able to realize my full potential and pursue the life, liberty and happiness that was promised to me, because this bill will end the discrimination imposed by the insurance industry on people like me. To be stamped as “not viable” by a faceless entity–one with more power than any government, and without legal recourse–is a terrifying experience. For some of us this bill, and the debate surrounding it, is far more than an academic exercise with little consequence to our immediate health and well-being. It is a lifesaver.

  43. #43 becca
    March 23, 2010

    “You will not meet many people with type 1 diabetes who are not doing all they possibly can to stay healthy. For us, it is literally a matter of life and death.”
    My first boyfriend had type 1 diabetes, and he sure as heck didn’t do everything he possibly could to stay healthy. He was constantly making unhealthy choices- like getting fired from a very “healthy” job at UPS due to absentism. He was always blowing off work to do crazy things like looking after his four younger sisters (and making sure the one who was suicidally depressed wouldn’t be alone). Then he’d do incredibly stupid things like not buy insulin, rather than watch the rest of his family struggle with the lack of insufficient food that week.

    So you see, people like him are totally why this single payer socialistic demonic nonsense would be the death of this great country.

  44. #44 science-based humanist
    March 23, 2010

    My skeptical alert starts buzzing when I hear that the “polls indicate such and this.” Whether poll results are at all meaningful depends on so much that is not obvious from the reporting of those results – who was asked, what they were asked, how large a sample size, etc, etc. If you have an appetite for “interpreting” polls, I highly recommend this website: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/.

    Even if one could determine the “majority will,” it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the US system of government to say that our elected representatives are supposed to mechanically translate that will into policy. We have a “representative democracy” whereby we elect people whose judgment-to-make-the-right-decision-all-relevant-facts-considered we trust. We could have a “direct democracy” but that’s not what we have.

  45. #45 science-based humanist
    March 23, 2010

    My skeptical alert starts buzzing when I hear that the “polls indicate such and this.” Whether poll results are at all meaningful depends on so much that is not obvious from the reporting of those results – who was asked, what they were asked, how large a sample size, etc, etc. If you have an appetite for “interpreting” polls, I highly recommend this website: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/.

    Even if one could determine the “majority will,” it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the US system of government that our elected representatives are supposed to mechanically translate that will into policy. We have a “representative democracy” whereby we elect people whose judgment we trust to make the right decision all relevant facts considered. We could have a “direct democracy” but that’s not what we have.

  46. #46 themann1086
    March 23, 2010

    USA Today: Opinions turn favorable on health care plan. Just like most people predicted it would once it passed.

  47. #47 Paul
    March 23, 2010

    Well, he should remember that he was elected mainly BECAUSE HE WASN’T BUSH, not because people (i.e. the majority) want him to convert US into a socialist state, with the accompanying poverty and serfdom.

    Capitalism brreds more poverty than socialism. Really. Please point out a socialist country with “poverty and serfdom”. Most of them rank higher than the US in happiness and health outcomes.

    Euthanasia is encouraged.

    Euthanasia is illegal in England, you xenophobic twit, and people are actually fighting for the right to assisted suicide. It’s probably not worth mentioning that they have better health outcomes at less than half the cost of the US system.

  48. #48 Kathy
    March 23, 2010

    “You will not meet many people with type 1 diabetes who are not doing all they possibly can to stay healthy. For us, it is literally a matter of life and death.”
    My first boyfriend had type 1 diabetes, and he sure as heck didn’t do everything he possibly could to stay healthy. He was constantly making unhealthy choices- like getting fired from a very “healthy” job at UPS due to absentism. He was always blowing off work to do crazy things like looking after his four younger sisters (and making sure the one who was suicidally depressed wouldn’t be alone). Then he’d do incredibly stupid things like not buy insulin, rather than watch the rest of his family struggle with the lack of insufficient food that week.

    So you see, people like him are totally why this single payer socialistic demonic nonsense would be the death of this great country.

    Posted by: becca

    Um, not sure what your point was in bringing up a completely unrelated, isolated anecdote. It seems this person did at least one healthy thing, he appears to have gotten away from your toxicity.

  49. #49 Larry Waybright
    March 23, 2010

    I just got back from Mars. Haven’t been home since I was here to vote for Obama for so many reasons. Prime among them was his promise to tackle health care reform. I believe that in this USA of ours, winning the election means you received the majority of votes and in this case even all the necessary electoral college votes. I don’t need no stinkin’ polls. That is why I blew back in the 36 million miles from Mars to vote last fall.
    We won, we rule. You know, like this time it is our turn to let you red pencil necks suffer the “tyranny of the majority”. May God let it be at least an eight year rule or longer. It will take a very long time to even begin to fix what the GOP/Bush did to our country.
    Gotta board my ship to where at least a lack of O2 in the atmosphere helps explain why people sometimes don’t make sense.

  50. #50 Robbie St. James
    March 23, 2010

    There is a cure for your 83 year old man with dementia. if you were in America, you would have known that. Your NHS rationing body failed to tell you becuase it cost them less money to let the old man die rather than treat him. In the HS eyes, he was not worth treating. In America he would have been treated. Now, whose system works better? At least in America our government doesn’t let its citizens die if to save the government money. Well, now they do as of 12:00 today. population control – here we come. When you get old and need a major operation and the NHS turns you down, who will you turn to? America is no longer there for you. Remember we just adopted your system today. Looks like you will be SOL. By the way, now that we have adopted marxism, i wonder just where all the Canadians will go to get their operations. I think i may be going to Venezuala for mine. Chavez is crazy, but he isn’t is crazy as that evil winch Pelosi and her slave boy toy Obama.

    LIke the Tea Party sign read yesterday :

    “Will someone please give Obama a blowjob so we can impeach him?” Where is a young hot white chick into black rich marxist lawyer politicians when you need one?

  51. #51 Greta
    March 23, 2010

    This so called reform will hopefully send the democratic party out into the weeds for a generation or two. It is not the health farce alone, but the growing accumulation of left wing nutjobs that seem to be in control of the democratic party. The majority of people do not want this mess of a healthcare deal that those nutjobs and Obama assembled. The bill should have included tort reform in a very meaningful way. It should not have played fast and loose with the numbers saying you can cut $500 billion from medicare and not make any cuts in services. It should not have had 10 years of taxes and 6 years or less of benefits to make the numbers work. Everyone knows this thing is going to bankrupt the country. No government program has ever worked effectively, has not continually increased in taxes, and is sustainable. Government causes problems, it never fixes them. The states are suing over the medicaid increases at a time when they are going broke. If they lose, they will be forced to have Obamacare tax increases and they will be labeled as such which means Obama promise to not raise taxes on anyone under 250K a year is broken. That is what made the American people livid and the democratic party will pay a huge price for a very long time.

  52. #52 Robbie St. James
    March 23, 2010

    Hey Greta I think you would love this:

    http://robhood.us/weblog.php

    Greta if your insurance premium goes up one penney this year, simply send the bill to the Democratic national Party. They are the ones that promised “affordable” healthcare. Since their blood is on this marxist bill, them them pay for your insurance premium hikes. They are good marxist socialists, they should enjoy paying others’ bills.

    Socialism is misery spread equally.

    I wish some of these lambrain asses would read the constitution at least onece in their pathetic life. They could also learn a lesson from a great man by the name of Winston Churchill. I have a feeling they would rather lsiten to karl marx or his inspiration – Satan.

    Quite frankly put, maybe these 219 traitors will get stranded in Oman and can’t ever get back and the people of Oman make sex slaves out of them. Never mind. barney Frank would like that and pelosi would like to hear that whip crack a little too much. Oh well, maybe we can send them on a cruise to antartica with just enough fuel to get there and not enough to turn around and go back and we make sure that there are plenty of hungry rabid penquins and polar bears around to take care of business. I suppose they would die of thirst in Antarctica since global warming has turned it into a humid hot desert wasteland. I forgot that Al Gore said on his internet that Polar bears were extinct and antarctica was expected to get to over 400 degree this summer. Oh well, we could still send the traitors there anyway.

  53. #53 alilz
    March 23, 2010

    Robbie — there are cures for SOME types of Dementia but if Vicki’s step father has the same type of age related dementia that my grandmother does then there is no cure!

    She’s had this for 6 years now maybe longer. She barely remembers her children. My mother and her siblings have taken my grandmother off a lot of her medications and she has a DNR.

    Also I have to say that two years ago my 34 year old cousin died of what was probably a preventable heart attack. He had no health insurance, even though he worked full time in the field he was in (a job he loved and was passionate about and that helped people) he was considered a contract worker by almost every employer he had. He had to get insurance on his own. Except he had Pre existing conditions and was uninsurable.

    He went to the doctor when he could save up the money for appointments. He died and he almost assuredly didn’t have to.

    And he’s not the only who has died because they can’t AFFORD basic health care.

    Unfortunately good people like my cousin had to die and racist homophobic jerks are still alive!

  54. #54 alilz
    March 23, 2010

    In my anger I made a mistake.

    I meant to say racist xenophobic jerks.

  55. #55 Robbie St. James
    March 23, 2010

    Have you tried chelation therapy? Most dementia is a result of a budlup of toxins over time. Mostly aluminum and other deadly toxins the environMENTALists are pushing on us all. Chelation followed by Ginko, Phosphadytlserine and a few other similar products would significantly help.

    In other news:

    Well done Obama voters. he did in one year what the Soveits failed to do in 50. Thanks alot. Now I’ll have to move to Mexico to see a doctor.

    “You cannot legislate the poor into equality by legislating the wealthy out of freedom and you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it”

  56. #56 PalMD
    March 23, 2010

    Great. RSJ has totally jumped the shark.

    RSJ is also Dr. Smart is also HBS. If he persists in his idiocy i may consider publishing his email and IP. This type of sockpuppetry is unwelcome.

  57. #57 alilz
    March 23, 2010

    My grandmother does not have heavy metal poisoning. She’s actually been tested for this because my aunt (who has been her main caretaker) got sucked in by several sCAM artists trying to convince her that my grandmother would be fine if she spent a lot of money on unproven and ineffective treatments and herbal supplements.

    My family relies on science based medicine.

  58. #58 alilz
    March 23, 2010

    Why do you have to go to Mexico for treatment? If you have insurance pretty much nothing is going to change.

  59. #59 Robbie St. James
    March 23, 2010

    Okay, science based person. I’ll rely on what has worked for the last 6000 years of human history. Most of the drugs out there is killing people. I plan to get completely off of mine next month. I will go for my annual routine physical and talk with my doctor about getting off of Celexa and getting on 5-HTP or somthing similar that just as effective and costs significantly less. Bye big pharma, hello effective medicine.

    I would have to go to mexico becuase that’s where all the good doctors will be after Obamacare takes full effect. They would make more money down there. Now, that’s sad. Besides, I would have more freedom in Mexico. No FDA to tell me what to do. Of course there are the drug wars, so I guess I’ll have eto take all of my guns with me and my bulletproof vest and probably a person bodyguard to back me up in the firefights, but at least I’ll get to see a doctor the same day I go into the office. Ask Massachusetts how Kennedycare is working there -It is broke. people have to wait in lines. It is more expensive than ever. Yep, universal healthcare really worked in massachusetts. I can’t wait for the rest of America to follow. I heard one man talking this morning about having to wait 42 days to see a doctor in Massachusetts. My thinking: Your state is smaller than my driveway. Go to another state that is free and see a doctor there. Come to Mississippi where we are still a free state, until 12:00 today, but we’ll soon fix that. No union thugs, no socialism, no gay bullies forcing you to accept their perversion as normal, none of this leftist nonsense. It’s a great place to live, if we could get rid of the illegal aliens stealing our fruit and taking up our emergency rooms at night. I hope to God Obama wasn’t counting illegal aliens as his inaccurate count of 30 million people being uninsured. If that’s the case, make me an illegal alien and give me my rights. I want medicare, medicade, food stamps, a free education, free housing, a new playstation 3, free healthcare, and I want working people to pay it for me while I sit at home on my butt and sell drugs to white whores. That’s exactly what is happening here. If we could vaporize this siutation, we would have it made.

    Since America is now a socialist nation, where will all the canadians go for healthcare?

    I am no sockpuppet. I am a pupsocket.

    I should have known PALMD would have threatened me after I started mentioning cures that costs him and his big pharma allies money. That what the moden leftist does. Preach free speech, but as soon as someone they hate speaks they must be silenced – especially on healing the sick. Didn’t Jesus call on us to heal the sick? He did’nt specify whether to use the Holy Spirit, modern drugs, or medicinal plants. I choose to of the three. You guess which two. Oh, and anyone who says Jesus was a socialist is a blasphemous lying pig. He encouraged individual free men to give to the poor and needy out of their own heart and devotion to the call of Christ. He did not say for the disciples to pull swords, force the people to give up their money to the government and let the crooked politicians decide who gets what. He was the sinless son of God, not a satanic socialist. Whe He comes again with His vast immortal army of angels weilding flaming swords, we’ll see who wins this argument over healthcare and the incremental criminalization of the church. I hope the leftists have flame retardent suits and nice big healthcare plan. They’ll need plenty of burn coverage. Obamacare will not cover brimstone burns.

    PALMD what is your IP address?
    Bye.

    Oh and for the record, 80% of all cancers could be significantly cut if people would take Vitamin D supplements or stop using sunblock to go to the mailbox. A little sun never hurt anyone. I bet Big pharma censors that fact.

  60. #60 becca
    March 23, 2010

    Kathy- Sorry, that was totally meant in jest/sarcastically. He was a good guy in a crazy situation. And yeah, he is better off without me, although I think he misses the joking :-P

    Also- I can haz sockpuppet populashun control, plz?
    Can Robbie haz cure 4 demensha 2??? Needz it bad!

  61. #61 Kelly
    March 24, 2010

    RSJ
    Are you kidding? “Goodbye big pharma, hello effective medicine” Seriously? So, you trust “big supplement’ and you think they are not about $?
    Check out some businesses that produce nutritional supplements:
    http://www.pharmaceutical-business-review.com/companies/industry/vitamins_and_minerals/
    you will notice some familiar names. Still trust supplement companies more than pharmaceutical companies? (hint – sometimes they are the same thing!)
    Those that are smaller companies can often be traced to one or a few health professionals that created and are selling their own formulations. Why don’t people see the conflict of interest there, but they are quick to see CoI from pharmaceutical companies?

  62. #62 DJ
    March 24, 2010

    RSJ,
    Mexico has universal health care: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care#Mexico

    That’s ok, don’t let reality intrude into your apocalyptic fantasies.

  63. #63 Vicki
    March 24, 2010

    RSJ–

    What exactly is the cure for frontal-temporal lobe dementia? What medications, surgery, or other treatment should my stepfather have been getting?

  64. #64 Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
    March 24, 2010

    “Poll: Most Want GOP to Keep Fighting on Health Bill”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20001117-503544.html

    “A CBS News poll released Wednesday finds that nearly two in three Americans want Republicans in Congress to continue to challenge parts of the health care reform bill.”

  65. #65 El Picador
    March 25, 2010

    Gee, I wonder why those 41% of Dems want the GOP to keep fighting the lost cause? hmm? Perhaps so they continue to demonstrate what obstructionist, poor losers on the wrong side of history they are, yet again?

  66. #66 Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
    March 25, 2010

    Perhaps because this “reforms” sucks, and it is a too blatant theft perpetrated by the weird alliance of Leftist ideologues with insurance companies?

  67. #67 redplanet
    March 27, 2010

    Kelly – a great big hug from big pharma to you for schilling for them! Look, sweetie, here’s the dif: PATENTS. Get it? If not, have someone explain it to you.

    If you want freedom from your position as lapdog, go to google scholar and spend some time researching basic research on oh,my god, those horrid, awful things like (gasp) the role of B vitamins and heart health, CoQ10 and cancer, lutein and eyes, C and stem cells (yes, just published in Cell Stem Cell Journal, Feb 2010). Or how about cancer and low dose naltrexone? (look at the stats for terminal – 60 percent reversal for those MD’s using it)

    You are confusing the research from drug companies (they do it themselves) to the research from basic science (supplement companies do not do their own research). Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

  68. #68 Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
    March 27, 2010

    The final nail in the coffin:

    “55% Favor Repeal of Health Care Bill”
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/march_2010/55_favor_repeal_of_health_care_bill

    Democracy in action indeed…

  69. #69 death panel member
    March 27, 2010

    How on earth did RSJ, VRWC, and RP simultaneously slip their restraints and sneak off to the computers? Back to bed, folks, and take the damn zyprexa, or else it’s IM e-meds for all!

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