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Author: Subject: Liberals Complain Over Obama Health Care Plan Concession

Zen Peach





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  posted on 8/17/2009 at 05:54 PM
Now President Obama and the White House is floating trial balloons about getting rid of the public government-run option in the health care plans is floating around Congress, and this is pissing the liberals in congress off with some saying he'd lose 100 votes if he backs off of it. Which is it? I thought this was a key part of his plan, or what he thinks should be in other people's plans, is what I should say, as there is no Obama Health Care plan being considered right now. Wow. Leadership in the Golden Age!


quote:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_health_care_overhaul


Liberals complain over Obama concession

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent David Espo,


WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's weekend concession on a health care "government option" drew complaints from liberals and scarce interest from Republicans and other critics on Monday, a fresh sign of the daunting challenge in finding middle ground in an increasingly partisan political struggle.

The White House insisted there had been no shift in position, adding the president still favors a federal option for the sale of health insurance. "The bottom line is this: Nothing has changed," said a memo containing suggested answers for administration allies to use if asked about the issue.

But some supporters of health care overhaul sounded less than reassured.

"You really can't do health reform" without allowing the government to compete with private insurers, said Howard Dean, a former Democratic Party chairman. "Let's not say we're doing health reform without a public option," he added in a slap at the administration's latest move.

His remarks were echoed by lawmakers as well as AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, who said the option was the only way to force "real competition" on the insurance industry.

Obama and his top aides signaled retreat over the weekend on proposals for a provision under which consumers could choose from health insurance policies sold by the federal government as well as those marketed by private companies. "All I'm saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform," the president told a town hall-style audience in Grand Junction, Colo., on Saturday. "This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it."

The government option has emerged as one of the most contentious elements of legislation taking shape in Congress, with critics saying it is a step toward a federal takeover of health care and supporters arguing it is essential to create competition with private firms.

Proposals for creation of nonprofit co-operative ventures have emerged as an alternative, but so far, neither liberals nor conservatives have shown great interest.

Obama made his remarks as he struggled to regain momentum for a health care overhaul that has generated controversy among Democrats and near unanimous opposition among Republicans. Recent polls show a lessening of support, and the administration and its allies were thrown on the defensive earlier this month when angry protesters turned up at widely publicized town hall events held by Democratic lawmakers.

The bill faces numerous obstacles when lawmakers return to the Capitol after Labor Day.

In the House, where Democrats hold a 256-178 majority, passage of legislation will hinge on the ability of the administration and Democratic leaders to satisfy liberals who favor a robust government option and centrists who prefer the co-op approach.

Because they cannot realistically count on any Republican votes, the margin for error is reduced. At the same time, House leaders want to protect their rank-and-file centrists, who tend to come from swing districts, and whose victories in 2006 and 2008 helped give the party its large majority.

In a statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "There is strong support in the House for a public option," adding it is the best way "to lower costs, improve the quality of health care, ensure choice and expand coverage."

But the statement did not rule out legislation that lacks a government option.

There are similar Democratic divisions in the Senate, where the party controls 60 seats to 40 for the Republicans. A bipartisan group of six senators has been meeting for weeks on a possible compromise that would not include a government option. It is not clear whether they will be successful in reaching a final agreement.

While the president says he favors a bipartisan approach, he has also said it may ultimately be necessary for Democrats to produce a bill more to their own liking.

Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the Nevada lawmaker "supports a public option" because it could keep insurance companies in check. "But he also knows that 60 votes will be needed to get anything done. Senator Reid recognizes there are different proposals on the table that could accomplish this goal," the spokesman said, a clear reference to the co-op alternative.

The co-ops envisioned by some backers would be nonprofit, member-owned groups that would assemble networks of health care providers and negotiate payment rates with them. The government would provide up to $6 billion to get them started.

The history of health care co-ops in the U.S. is uneven. Many have failed because they were unable to compete effectively, or because tensions between doctors and consumer-oriented governing boards could not be resolved. But some, including one in Washington state, have operated successfully.

Dean made his remarks in interviews on NBC and CBS. He and Obama are not close, and the administration snubbed the former party chairman earlier this year when it did not invite him to be present when his successor was named.

"Leaving private insurance companies the job of controlling the costs of health care is like making a pyromaniac the fire chief," said Rep., Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y. Weiner is one of dozens of Democrats who favor creation of a so-called "single payer" approach under which the government would take over the health care system. For many of them, the government option represents a significant retreat.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, issued a statement that called the weekend administration statements deeply troubling. "The Congressional Black Caucus remains committed to ensuring that health reform is meaningful, and that means making sure that a public option is part of the package," she said.

The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, issued a statement that emphasized other complaints about Obama's proposals.

"While both political parties believe we need to reform our health care system, particularly in the areas of cost and access, Americans are rightly skeptical about the administration's approach to overhauling everyone's health care and about the more than $1 trillion price tag. Moreover, Americans are concerned about funding new government programs through massive cuts to Medicare and taxes on small business," he said

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/17/2009 at 06:42 PM
On the Job Training.

 

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  posted on 8/17/2009 at 07:42 PM
I simply don't understand why we need health insurance companies anyway. With a public funded program we could apply much more of each dollar toward quality healthcare. Get rid of the middle man, the money grab, the unneeded salaries and bonus that comes out of our paychecks anyway. Why would anyone want any of what they paid toward healthcare going to someone who has nothing to do with your treatment and care or support of those who do. The buck should stop at the Doctor.

 

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  posted on 8/17/2009 at 08:46 PM
quote:
I simply don't understand why we need health insurance companies anyway. With a public funded program we could apply much more of each dollar toward quality healthcare. Get rid of the middle man, the money grab, the unneeded salaries and bonus that comes out of our paychecks anyway. Why would anyone want any of what they paid toward healthcare going to someone who has nothing to do with your treatment and care or support of those who do. The buck should stop at the Doctor.


And the lawyers who sue them for egregious amounts of money. That's a lot of bucks to stop. Funny how a pack of lawyers don't want to change much in the way for how much lawyers can sue doctors.

The problem of a public funded program is that you may run out of money. I do not believe it is feasable from a monetary standpoint. The people in France right now are protesting because they see healthcare as a universal right. However, the government is now forcing them to pay co-pays. At some point, the public funded program becomes too bloated. There has to be some happy medium.

 

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  posted on 8/17/2009 at 09:47 PM
quote:
quote:
I simply don't understand why we need health insurance companies anyway. With a public funded program we could apply much more of each dollar toward quality healthcare. Get rid of the middle man, the money grab, the unneeded salaries and bonus that comes out of our paychecks anyway. Why would anyone want any of what they paid toward healthcare going to someone who has nothing to do with your treatment and care or support of those who do. The buck should stop at the Doctor.


And the lawyers who sue them for egregious amounts of money. That's a lot of bucks to stop. Funny how a pack of lawyers don't want to change much in the way for how much lawyers can sue doctors.

The problem of a public funded program is that you may run out of money. I do not believe it is feasable from a monetary standpoint. The people in France right now are protesting because they see healthcare as a universal right. However, the government is now forcing them to pay co-pays. At some point, the public funded program becomes too bloated. There has to be some happy medium.


What if someone is injured to the malpractice of a doctor? Should the injured person have no right of redress?

 

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  posted on 8/18/2009 at 12:17 AM
quote:
quote:
I simply don't understand why we need health insurance companies anyway. With a public funded program we could apply much more of each dollar toward quality healthcare. Get rid of the middle man, the money grab, the unneeded salaries and bonus that comes out of our paychecks anyway. Why would anyone want any of what they paid toward healthcare going to someone who has nothing to do with your treatment and care or support of those who do. The buck should stop at the Doctor.


Yer nuthin' but a damned socialist.


When it comes to healthcare....I just don't understand why we pay the insurance company and then when we show up to the doctors we need to pay more...what is up with that BS....I go to the doctors maybe once a year but I pay over 3,600 dollars a year for coverage. So my one visit cost me 3,600 plus a co pay fee....talk about a scam....

Health Insurance companies invest our money and make sure their profit margins are in order and will deny healthcare when profits are at risk.

With a public system we could make the same investments and not pay the unneeded salaries & bonuses. As far as malpractice I'm sure we could find a way to handle that.....Why do we need anyone to represent us to a doctor and why does a doctor need to split his pay with someone that doesn't support his direct treatment of people.

Basic questions....Where's the answer...Oh Yeah it's the American way for someone to make money off me and provide me with....Uh......"Nothing"...That's exactly what I pay a health Inurance company for....nothing...they do nothing in regards to healthcare....not one thing. I have no problem paying the doctor enough money that he can hire the needed support to treat people and keep his records and books and make a good living.....I have a big problem paying someone for....."NOTHING"

 

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  posted on 8/18/2009 at 04:51 AM
Perhaps David Goldhill has the right approach.

http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=XForum&am p;file=viewthread&tid=96627

 

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  posted on 8/18/2009 at 05:33 AM
Poor Eugene, must be breaking his heart, to see his "Great President" falling down on his Health Care Plan. Someone should tell Eugene that "lack of experience usually equals lack of leadership". Giving Congress "fuzzy details" to work with, is quaranteed to a produce weak legislation.

quote:
Where's Mr. Transformer?
By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's true that politics is the art of the possible, but it's also true that great leaders expand the scope of possibility. Barack Obama took office pledging to be a transformational president. The fate of a government-run public health insurance option will be an early test of his ability to end the way Washington's big-money, special-interest politics suffocates true reform.

(and Obama will fail, as big-money, special-interest are going to get the legislation that "THEY" want. Perhaps, if Obama would have served a full term or two as a U.S. Senator, he might have learned how to "shepherd" a bill through Congress. LBJ has president was a master of getting the legislation he wanted through Congress, and that was because he well experienced in the "ways of Congress". - sibwlkr)

Without that option, what Obama now calls "health insurance reform" still would be better than no reform at all. But frankly it's becoming hard to tell. So many genuine reforms have been taken off the table -- fully universal coverage, the ability to negotiate prices with the drug companies -- that expectations are ratcheted down almost daily.

Giving up the public option would send many of Obama's progressive supporters into apoplexy, yet the administration has sent clear signals that this is the path of less resistance it's prepared to take.

"The public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health-care reform. This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it," Obama said Saturday at a town hall in Grand Junction, Colo. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, told CNN that a public option is "not the essential element" of comprehensive reform.

But what is the "essential element"? Where, if anywhere, does Obama draw a line in the sand? For reform to be meaningful, there must be some components that a final package absolutely should include. What on Earth might they be?

Obama was wise to avoid the central mistake of Bill Clinton's failed attempt at health reform, which was to hand Congress a fully elaborated package and say "take it or leave it." Instead, Obama set broad -- and awfully fuzzy -- policy outlines and let Congress fill in the details. He has followed this strategy to a fault, allowing the effort to be hijacked by special-interest lobbies determined to thwart genuine reform.

The let-Congress-do-it approach meant that multiple bills would be written in committees on both sides of the Capitol, which gave the lobbyists for health insurance and drug companies a target-rich environment. They could nibble a little here, gnaw a little there, find the weak points and exploit them. Republicans could find opportunities for demagoguery -- the proposal to have Medicare pay for end-of-life counseling, for example, which was twisted into euthanizing the elderly and infirm. Opponents could write a script for chaos at town-hall meetings, designed to create the impression that Americans love their health-care system just the way it is.

Clearly, the White House feels itself on the defensive. But why?

Consider the political landscape. Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress. No matter how disciplined Republicans are in opposing any reforms -- even if Republican objections are accommodated -- they don't have the votes to kill a final bill.

If conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats are successful in nixing a public health insurance option and watering down other reforms, progressive voters have a right to ask why they went to such trouble to elect Democratic majorities and a Democratic president. But the Senate can still resort to a parliamentary maneuver that would require only 51 votes, rendering most objections irrelevant. Historical trends indicate that it's unlikely the Democrats will expand their majorities in 2010. Politically, therefore, there's not likely to be a better moment for health reform than right now.

It's also true, politically, that failure to get any health reform measure passed and signed would be a severe blow to Obama -- and a bad omen for the rest of his ambitious agenda to revolutionize U.S. policy on energy and education. It would be understandable if the White House decided that the important thing, at this point, was to get a "win" at all costs. Is this what the apparent retreat on the public option signals?

If so, that would be not only wrong but also -- even at this point -- unnecessary, or at least premature. What the president hasn't done is the obvious: Tell Congress and the American public, clearly and forcefully, what has to be done and why. Take control of the debate. Consult less and insist more. Remind the Blue Dogs who's president and who's not.

Giving up on the public option might be expedient. But we didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one



[Edited on 8/18/2009 by sibwlkr]

 

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  posted on 8/18/2009 at 10:22 AM
quote:
What if someone is injured to the malpractice of a doctor? Should the injured person have no right of redress?


Yes, there should be some right of redress, but put a cap on it. What is going on now is totally out of whack and the costs doctors pay for liability coverage is being passed onto us. There appears to be a general upwards trend in compensation. There should be some sort of cap on awards for damages.

I have a good friend whose brother is a lawyer who has been involved with several huge class action lawsuits. The one he was involved with regarding the tobacco companies, he took a fee home of $300 million!! That is insane. I understand it is hard to quantify the loss of a lung or the sanity of one's mind, but the awards just seem too arbitrary.

 

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  posted on 8/18/2009 at 12:56 PM
quote:
quote:
What if someone is injured to the malpractice of a doctor? Should the injured person have no right of redress?


Yes, there should be some right of redress, but put a cap on it. What is going on now is totally out of whack and the costs doctors pay for liability coverage is being passed onto us. There appears to be a general upwards trend in compensation. There should be some sort of cap on awards for damages.

I have a good friend whose brother is a lawyer who has been involved with several huge class action lawsuits. The one he was involved with regarding the tobacco companies, he took a fee home of $300 million!! That is insane. I understand it is hard to quantify the loss of a lung or the sanity of one's mind, but the awards just seem too arbitrary.


Wait a minute.....the awards are based on actual compensatory damages and punitive damages. Punitive damages have a legitimate purpose - to deter dangerous activities. Two examples.

The Ford Pinto - Ford execs made a conscious decision to not redesign the car despite the gas tank exploding in rear end collisions. I believe they considered the cost of defending/paying out on lawsuits to redesigning.

The infamouns McDonald's coffee scalding lawsuit. McDonalds determined that paper cups were cheaper than styrofoam, but foam inulates better. In order for the coffee to be served in cheaper paper, but remain at the optimum heat for drinking, after carrying to a seat or in the car, it had to be far hotter than anyone would ever drink it. Or, it could be brewed a more moderate temp, and kept warm longer in foam. McDonald's elected to serve scalding hot coffee, in cheaper cups. Hence the large verdict (albeit reduced) in the burning case.

Without punitive damages, companies can weigh the cost of lawsuits against redesign or pulling hazardous products. They can elect to just pay for hurting or killing us. Punitive damages change that equation in the consumer's favor.

Now, the lawyers getting rich off the process is an unfortunate side effect. And I'd agree, their fees should be capped. And, perhaps punitive damages shouldn't go to plaintiffs, maybe give them to charity etc.

 

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  posted on 8/18/2009 at 02:24 PM
quote:
Wait a minute.....the awards are based on actual compensatory damages and punitive damages. Punitive damages have a legitimate purpose - to deter dangerous activities.


Agreed, but there is also the purpose of expressing social outrage, which I think also factors into the settlements.
quote:
Punitive damages change that equation in the consumer's favor.



Again, I agree but to a degree. In the case of healthcare, it does not seem to be helping the consumer, it seems to be making costs higher. The public is generally footing the bill for tort claims. Plus, I am not sure that massive settlements are going to prevent a nurse or doctor from leaving an instrument in someone after surgery. There have probably been a ton of lawsuits for similar malpractice, but it still doesn't prevent accidents from happening again. At the end of the day there should be som recourse for patients, I just believe the settlements should be capped or like you said given to a charity.

By the way, great example of the Pinto, totally forgot about that car. Our 7th grade math and science teacher drove one of those. I remember always wondering if the car was going to explode. Some secrectly hoped for it, she was tough!!!


 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 01:39 PM
quote:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/26672.html


Under fire, President Obama shifts strategy


By MIKE ALLEN & JIM VANDEHEI | 9/2/09


Aides to President Barack Obama are putting the final touches on a new strategy to help Democrats recover from a brutal August recess by specifying what Obama wants to see in a compromise health care deal and directly confronting other trouble spots, West Wing officials tell POLITICO.


Obama is considering detailing his health-care demands in a major speech as soon as next week, when Congress returns from the August recess. And although House leaders have said their members will demand the inclusion of a public insurance option, Obama has no plans to insist on it himself, the officials said.


“We’re entering a new season,” senior adviser David Axelrod said in a telephone interview. “It’s time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done. We’re confident that we can do that. But obviously it is a different phase. We’re going to approach it in a different way. The president is going to be very active.”


Top officials privately concede the past six weeks have taken their toll on Obama's popularity. But the officials also see the new diminished expectations as an opportunity to prove their critics wrong by signing a health care law, showing progress in Afghanistan, and using this month's anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers to push for a crackdown on Wall Street.


On health care, Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one. The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.


“We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition,” an aide said. “There are lots of different ways to get there.”


The timing, format, venue and content of Obama's presentation are still being debated in the West Wing. Aides have discussed whether to stick to broad principles, or to send specific legislative language to Capitol Hill. Some hybrid is likely, the officials said.


“I’m not going to put a date on any of this,” Axelrod said. “But I think it’s fairly obvious that we’re not in the second inning. We’re not in the fourth inning. We’re in the eighth or ninth inning here, and so there’s not a lot of time to waste.”


Obama's specifics will include many of the principles he has spelled out before, and aides did not want to telegraph make-or-break demands. But Axelrod and others are making plain that Obama will assert himself more aggressively — a clear sign that the president will start dictating terms to Congress.


 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 02:38 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I simply don't understand why we need health insurance companies anyway. With a public funded program we could apply much more of each dollar toward quality healthcare. Get rid of the middle man, the money grab, the unneeded salaries and bonus that comes out of our paychecks anyway. Why would anyone want any of what they paid toward healthcare going to someone who has nothing to do with your treatment and care or support of those who do. The buck should stop at the Doctor.


And the lawyers who sue them for egregious amounts of money. That's a lot of bucks to stop. Funny how a pack of lawyers don't want to change much in the way for how much lawyers can sue doctors.

The problem of a public funded program is that you may run out of money. I do not believe it is feasable from a monetary standpoint. The people in France right now are protesting because they see healthcare as a universal right. However, the government is now forcing them to pay co-pays. At some point, the public funded program becomes too bloated. There has to be some happy medium.


What if someone is injured to the malpractice of a doctor? Should the injured person have no right of redress?
I believe bush set the ceiling for that at 750K.

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 02:41 PM
NO health care reform bill. The government does not need to be involved with
citizens healthcare choices. NO socialism, NO obamacare.

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 02:41 PM
The Insurance lobby and drug lobby have already gotten to Obama and co. sad to say!. they are financing his re-election.
 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 03:26 PM
quote:
The Insurance lobby and drug lobby have already gotten to Obama and co. sad to say!. they are financing his re-election.



So, if Obama disregards the public option, when do the protests start?? Or will the Left stay hypnotized and do nothing as they are on the war?? When does all of this kick in??

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 03:57 PM
Not surprising....Derek doesnt seem to understand the issues with regard to being completely against the war in Iraq and not having the same issues with the war in Afghanistan. Durrrrrrr

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 04:51 PM
quote:
Obama to address Congress regarding healthcare reform on 09.09.09.

Can't wait for the Obama=Satan comments in reference to the date.


I figure anyone who can get 666 out of 090909 will have to be standing on their heads talking out of their behind.

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 05:07 PM
quote:
As for the war, the Bush administration created a mess that's impossible to clean up. I would imagine all Americans can see that.


No they don't. Most understand that Obama was made Commander in Chief back in January, and according to the new polls, "most" Americans are noticing the lack of leadership. The Civil War was a mess for the North until they changed generals and gave the reins to Grant. It's called leadership. As Obama seems to be let off the hook as far as leadership goes so far, it just dawned on me that maybe that isn't a prerequisite for liberals. I'll have to think about this.......................

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 05:32 PM
A couple of thoughts...

Health insurance doesn't protect your health. It protects your wealth, or lack thereof, in the event of a health problem. I often wonder if we shouldn't just have catastrophic care for those really large financial impacts, and let regular maintenance of health be paid for on an as-needed basis by the individual.

Goldtop's comment from earlier in the thread sounds great on the surface...

quote:
With a public funded program we could apply much more of each dollar toward quality healthcare.
But if this was in fact true, then why and how are the current govt programs (medicare, medicaid, veteran's care, and native American care) all in serious trouble? They're all going broke, or deliver poor results to the customers, or both.

In reality, these bureaucracies waste as much or more than the costs spent for administration by the health insurance companies. In addition, they're open to political manipulation. And worst of all, they don't have the profit motive to keep some check on expenses. They have to do all the same things a health insurance company does in regard to administering a system, but never take responsibility for the final costs. Hence they're going broke.

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 06:03 PM
How many people contributing to the discussion about the over haul of health care have ever actually been uninsured?

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 06:05 PM
quote:
How many people contributing to the discussion about the over haul of health care have ever actually been uninsured?
or sick.

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 06:40 PM
quote:
How many people contributing to the discussion about the over haul of health care have ever actually been uninsured?
How many people screaming that silly belief that health care is a "right" actually contribute enough in taxes to cover their own expense? We can dance this tune all night and end up right where we are.

So far, Washington's efforts haven't been about "the overhaul of health care". What do the collective geniuses of Washington really know about taking care of the sick in a sustainable manner with taxpayer money? Not much if you look at the current programs.

Cut through their rhetorical fog, and it's been about Washington's control of the process. They're not proposing to really fix anything. Just change some portion of how and where the money flows. And surprise, surprise, their answer is to have more flow through their hands. Who woulda seen that coming?

 

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  posted on 9/2/2009 at 06:44 PM
How many people screaming that silly belief that health care is a "right" actually contribute enough in taxes to cover their own expense?

I guess that about sums it up for me. Kind of sad in a number of ways.

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 27533
(27822 all sites)
Registered: 2/18/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 9/2/2009 at 06:49 PM
quote:
quote:
How many people contributing to the discussion about the over haul of health care have ever actually been uninsured?
or sick.


I don't see how anyone who has been sick and uninsured could be saying some of the things about universal health care that have been written.

 

____________________
Sometimes we can't choose the music life gives us - but we damn sure can choose how we dance!


 
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