July 30th, 2009

Health care reform, the polls, and you

A WSJ poll finds that more Americans are against Obamacare than are for it:

In mid-June, respondents were evenly divided when asked whether they thought Mr. Obama’s health plan was a good or bad idea. In the new poll, conducted July 24-27, 42% called it a bad idea while 36% said it was a good idea.

Among those with private insurance, the proportion calling the plan a bad idea rose to 47% from 37%.

Even the NY Times, in a separate poll, has noticed a decline in support. But the Times sees it, as it sees so many such things, as a PR problem for the administration rather than a problem with the health care bill itself. Here’s the lede:

President Obama’s ability to shape the debate on health care appears to be eroding as opponents aggressively portray his overhaul plan as a government takeover that could limit Americans’ ability to choose their doctors and course of treatment, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Ah, those evil and “aggressive” opponents, who portray the bill that way and make if hard for our earnest, hardworking, and meek President to “shape the debate” properly.

One of the problems is that health care reform is not only complex and lengthy, it’s a moving target. Is the bill being considered today the one that will be considered tomorrow? Who can wade through it and understand it? And are there any objective interpreters? And how about the intended consequences vs. the unintended ones?

President Obama and the Democrat leaders in Congress would like to tell the American people not to bother their pretty little heads about all this. Just trust us and all will be well, they say. But most Americans aren’t inclined to do that, especially after the perception of betrayal caused by the stimulus bill and its failure to revive the economy or even to be implemented as promoted.

In addition, health care reform is a bill of a very special nature. It’s hard to think of another subject that affects so many people, and on such a personal and even intimate level. There are the economic repercussions, and then there are also the physical effects on vital aspects of peoples’ lives: the ability to choose a doctor and get decent health care when you need it. And I sincerely hope that no amount of soothing words by the baritone voice of our current President insisting that “if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan” will be enough to convince them that it’s so.

The devil, as they say, is in the details. And, as this Politico piece points out, the details regarding the health care reform bill are murky, complex, and changing. But what the article doesn’t point out is the dearth of efforts to evaluate and explain them objectively, and the difficulty of knowing which analysis is spin and which is fair.

I have been searching my memory for a time when a party has tried to push through a bill of such major and potentially transformative importance to the day-to-day lives of the American people amidst so much opposition and doubt from the people. I can’t think of one; can you?

45 Responses to “Health care reform, the polls, and you”

  1. Mr. Frank Says:

    As complex as the health care bill may be, one thing is easy to understand. If you add tens of millions of clients and do not increase the number of doctors, nurses, and health care workers, you get rationing and long waiting times.

  2. DirtyJobsGUy Says:

    The botched stimulus bill also has fostered a healthy fear that only the politically connected will benefit. Which seems to be true as generous benefit packages for unions would be exempted. Had Obama simply mailed stimulus checks it at least would have shown that everyone would benefit. The complextity of the bill is also frightening. For most people, health insurance is a card you get at work. Only in the most complex illnesses are there more paper work issues. (this speaking as a father whose child had heart and eye surgery when a toddler and saw no paperwork at all!) The change Obama is promoting looks significantly less friendly than what we have today.

    The Dems see single payer health care as a symbol of a commutarian state much as Canada and the UK before. This symbolic value far exceeds the practical value. But Canada used this as a means to try to unite a fractured country (not really successful) and the UK Labor party used it to try to break the english class system (partially successful). The US is a united country with a minimal and fluid class structure so you have to sell a national health system on consumer benefits alone!

  3. Hong Says:

    I thought Porkulus was an example of unpopular legislation being rammed down the publics’ throat. Also you could count Cap and Trade, a costly and unnecessary tax on energy. This administration is determined to push through unpopular, untested ideas into law regardless of cost or criticism. The Democrats are on a spending binge and we seem helpless to stop it. Slow it down? Yes, but stop? I’m not optimistic.

  4. Mr. Frank Says:

    When you get more people in the wagon than pulling the wagon, democracy can get scary.

  5. Tim P Says:

    The Volstead Act a.k.a. Prohibition.
    Never have so few forced their morality on so many.

  6. Webutante Says:

    Can’t think of another time either, except prohibition. If, God forbid, this passes, then one of several things will happen: some states will invoke the 10th Amendment to negate or weaken it, some will threaten to secede, and like with prohibition, there will very quickly be a black market in high quality health care probably off- shore somewhere.

    Look, the US Postal Service is almost bankrupt, even as Obama tries to stiff FedEx into becoming an all unionized workforce, over Fred Smith’s dead body. Herding us all into some nationalized health system would be like saying there can no longer be such a things as private school education. If it happens there will be trouble for sure in this country beyond anything we can now imagine.

  7. Oh, bother Says:

    They keep raising the ante. The started with the so-called stimulus bill — that one they got, more’s the pity. So with an attitude of “worked once, should work again,” they went for cap-and-trade and at least got it through the House before we, the people caught up with them. But they think their cards are good, so they’ll throw in for Obamacare.

    They know that even with large majorities in both houses of Congress, they have only a limited amount of time to force these bills down our throats. If the stimulus bill turns out to stop the rest of the leftists’ grandiose plans, I suppose it will be worth it. Especially if we can figure out a way to stop the spending that’s been reserved for next year.

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Tim P and Webutante: Prohibition became unpopular, so much so that it was repealed in 1933. But initially it was popular. In fact, although the Volstead Act defined alcoholic beverages for the purposes of Prohibition, the act of Prohibition itself was not done by a simple act of Congress but by Congressional Amendment, a more difficult process that required state-by-state approval of three-fourths of the states. Prohibition grew in unpopularity later.

    See this for the history.

    And, by the way, Prohibition was part of a world-wide movement.

  9. Wandriaan Says:

    It seems to be all about power. You cannot defend these huge, drastic alterations based on reason alone, because everything is far to complex to be able to weigh the pros and cons in a solid way.
    One thing, though, is very clear. This is a massive expansion of government and government power, and, since government employees tend to vote Democrat, of the power of the Democrats.
    However, there is another thing very clear: in a society as the US healthcare is a vital part of the social fabric. When it collapses, the consequences will be nightmarish. Nobody knows how these huge alterations will work out, but to me it borders on insanity to take this kind of risks with the society as a whole.
    Nevertheless, Democrats do not care about that. Because, when there will be a nightmarish collapse, there will be even more arguments to expand government (and Democrat) control.
    Government power (and their control of it) seems to be the ultimate raison d’étre for these people. In addition, of course, to the destruction of all other forms of authority and power, such as the church, the family, private companies, that is: the power of other people…

  10. Artfldgr Says:

    I have been searching my memory for a time when a party has tried to push through a bill of such major and potentially transformative importance to the day-to-day lives of the American people amidst so much opposition and doubt from the people. I can’t think of one; can you?

    17th amendment to the constitution…

    The Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII) to the United States Constitution was passed by the Senate on June 12, 1911, the House of Representatives on May 13, 1912, and ratified by the states on April 8, 1913. The amendment supersedes Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, transferring Senator selection from each state’s legislature to popular election by the people of each state. It also provides a contingency provision enabling a state’s governor, if so authorized by his state’s legislature, to appoint a Senator in the event of a Senate vacancy until either a special or regular election to elect a new Senator is held.

    perhaps Glass Willis proposal leading to the federal reserve act signed into law on Dec 23 1913

    while at first the lesser of two evils compared to the money trust… it led to a huge mess over where banks would be, and other stuff including more than 200 changes…

    How about when FDR said no one was allowed to own gold privatly (except for jewelry) in 1933?

    and maybe one of the biggestis Aug 15 1971, when richard nixon ended bretton woods, and removed the formal links between world currencies and real commodities. since then there has not been a gold standard used anywhere in any major economy.

    on that day, the world went to fiat…
    ie. money that is intrinsically useless..

    I would also say that the 15th amendment to the constitution changed things a bit…

    and as the state makes sillier laws that lead to fines and punishements one should read the 13th amendments abolition of slavery. it has a loophole so to speak.

    and prohibition and its repeal was a biggie too. it completely changed our society and made not only drink but drugs widely available in a setting in which being there was a crime so the line was already crossed.

    and i sure do like the 14th which denies public office to anyone who has rebelled against the United States (kerry? and every socialist liberal violating the constition?)

    i guess those were a few… all of them the controversies of their time in many ways..

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: they were controversial, to be sure. But to get an amendment passed, there has to be a fair amount of popular support. Three-quarters of the states must approve, either by conventions or the state legislature.s I don’t think that Obama’s health care reform bill would come close to passing those tests.

    Nixon’s acting on the Bretton Woods thing didn’t require an Amendment or that sort of support. But when he announced it, it was apparently a very popular decision nevertheless.

    Obamacare is not popular. And Obama and Pelosi and Reid know it’s not. And yet they are determined to go through with it.

  12. Perfected democrat Says:

    The Democrats, who have morphed into nothing less than communists, ideologically and ethically, are opening the gates of hell in this country, and the world; But people are slowly coming around. The desire and need for freedom of authentic choice runs deep in American history and culture, and far deeper than the issue of choosing abortion. The betrayal of Honduras, Israel, Columbia, democracy movements all over the world, just to name a few examples, on top of this growing attempt to railroad thru murky legislation which can only be for the purpose of monopolizing power in the hands of the “party” (Democrats), only has recent and similar precedence in the history of the 20th century behind the Iron Curtain. When people see their loved ones dying early and young because Obamacare ends up being what it will predictably be, shoddy care for everyone but the “party”, then a very different crowd than has been alluded to in previous debates will rise with pithforks in hand. Democrats will rue the day that they so easily and eagerly betrayed the ideals that made America great, as dishonest, incompetent blowhards and shallow left-wing fools…

  13. sweets Says:

    Health care is a good idea but sixty percent American are against him… why ???????????

  14. Open Wide Says:

    Barney Frank lays out the strategy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3BS4C9el98

  15. Beverly Says:

    Wretchard says:

    Forbes and the Washington Post both describe the disastrous Massachusetts health care system — with which the Obama care models share similarities — and the post begins with a warning from the Commonwealth’s treasurer.

    “Some have asked, as national healthcare reform works its way through Congress, is there anything we can learn from the Massachusetts experiment? Yes, according to the state’s treasurer, interviewed today on CNBC: Whatever you do, don’t do what we did. In a blisteringly frank interview, treasurer Tim Cahill laid out some jaw-dropping stats, which eviscerated the plan and excited every conservative’s worst fears about government getting further into the health insurance business:

    – The program has so far cost 30 percent more than anticipated.
    – It already has a $9 billion shortfall projected over the next two years.
    – Costs have risen 41 percent since the program’s inception, well outpacing the rise in healthcare costs nationwide, which stands at 18 percent.
    – We thought this program would mean fewer people would go to hospitals, which is the highest cost any insurance plan has to pay. In fact, fewer people are not going to hospitals.
    – A Harvard study shows 60 percent of state residents are unhappy with the plan. The most unhappy? Those whom it should be helping the most — those making $25,000 to $50,000 per year.
    – To cut costs, the program is now having to kick out legal immigrants.”

    res ipsa loquitur

  16. Beverly Says:

    There’s a good post about all this at the Belmont Club tonight; q.v.

    It’s striking that Cahill, the Massachusetts State Treasurer, no less, is trying with all his force and firepower to spare our country from making the same disastrous mistakes Massachusetts has.

    “blisteringly frank,” “jaw-dropping stats,” “eviscerated.”

    Good for Forbes (expected) and the WashPo (not so much) for running the story. The WashPo is reliably Left, but at least they take a stab at being a newspaper. (Unlike the Old Gray Doxy.)

  17. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Of those who are reasonably familiar with the health care issue, none can honestly claim it will improve anything at all.
    The examples to the contrary are too common.
    The koolaid drinkers thinking of something for nothing and going mindlessly along with the demonizing of whoever needs to be demonized will think it’s dandy.
    Problem is when somebody finds out a loved one died because of the government program who need not have suffered if the thing had been left alone.
    In Britain they’re conditioned to accepting it with a couple of complaints and media exposure which accomplishes nothing. But, hell, in the UK, even self-defense is illegal.
    I dunno about trying it here.
    I know the powers that be won’t suffer from the change–they have that planned already. Just the rest of us. Not a problem for the powers that be.

  18. strcpy Says:

    Hmm, that answer is hard to say. We are in a unique time in our history. A congruence of two things – a two ideological system wherein there is a *major* difference (note this is not a two *party* system – which we also have) and where a fair amount of people are politically aware.

    We have had the ideological split before, but never before has there been both the level of access *and* level of interest we have today. There is a great deal of griping going on about things that just 10-15 years ago was not only status quo but but even was considered small potatoes. Many of the scandals, lies, jockeying for power, and a great deal of that process is *really* tame by those standards and the practitioners of it (especially those that have been around a long time) are frankly confused as to why things are going the way they are.

    It’s sorta like how I’m sure organized crime (or “The Mob”) felt in Las Vegas as they were arrested and outed from the casinos – why now? It is like some people who – shock and gasp – found out that people with names like “Jimmy the Hand” (wearing a 2000 dollar suit) were not your nice neighborly teamster only looking to unload your truck but were part of an organized crime syndicate – Wow, who would a thunk it!!!

    So on the one hand I agree, I can’t think of any bill more opposed that is being rammed through with all they have. Then again I can think of many that were worse on being rammed through without reading, without vetting, and *highly* opposed by those that read it and were not ra-ra-ra-lets-go-team supporters (as it stuck it to the other team right nicely).

    Indeed, for those that have been active in politics since at the latest the late 80′s and early 90′s. Do not get me wrong, I like that people have wokenup but I regret that it took 9/11 to do so. I shudder to think where we would be now without that awakening.

    I’ll leave one last example. those that think Palin was given a raw deal but Gengrich was given what he deserved go back and look what he was accused of and actually did (that is accused of many many ethic violations and did none). If you think she was railroaded just look at the Republican leadership then, how they are still viewed, and then wonder why few want to stick their necks out again. This was a long time coming and had 9/11 not happened then they would be getting these legislative efforts passed. Further note that Gengrich did the same thing she did and resign – which many many of us that have played politics for ages rant over, when everyone that is hammered resigns and they get their way no wonder they do it over and over and over and over. It has worked for decades, still works, and most likely will work for some time in the future.

  19. Perfected democrat Says:

    “So on the one hand I agree, I can’t think of any bill more opposed that is being rammed through with all they have. Then again I can think of many that were worse on being rammed through without reading, without vetting, and *highly* opposed by those that read it…”

    It should be considered criminal negligence and breach of professional contract for any legislator to vote straight party line without having done due diligence, at the very least, by reading the proposed legislation. Legislators may have a party affiliation, but once they are elected they are representing everyone in their constituancy, and there is a fiduciary duty and obligation which should make party affiliation mostly a moot point. What have we come to when this simple concept is glossed over so easily? This is behaviour reminiscent of iron curtain dictatorships, it’s outrageous.

  20. “Rep. Chris Van Hollen: Join Our Health Care Tele-Town Hall” and related posts « Howz My Host Says:

    [...] Health care reform, the polls, and you - neo-neocon [...]

  21. br549 Says:

    The mid terms are going to be interesting, especially if all this crap isn’t made law of the land before then. If Franken the litmus test can come out on top once enough car trunks are opened and forgotten ballots discovered – that end up mysteriously favoring the left’s candidate – there is no telling how much overload can be generated when almost everyone is up at once.
    As we have been discovering over time, complacency by the right and full cooperation by the mainstream media are necessary for us to have ended up where we are, and to continue to go where we are going.

    Take a look at the problems in Detroit. I am not talking about the automobile manufacturers. It’s a mess, and it is purposely left out of the main stream news. To know and understand what is going on up there, you have to live there, or know someone who does. All that can possibly do, is spread. Big cities are becoming (becoming? ha!) a cancer.

  22. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    I read somewhere (quite possibly in someone’s comment here) that when the National Health Service was launched in Great Britain, it was not a single payer system and there were promises it would never become one. Does anyone know if this is true?

    I ask because I really can’t imagine Americans putting up with the delays and rationing that are taken for granted by British subjects (and isn’t it interesting, to say the least, that they use that word, rather than citizen as we do . . . ) I wonder whether there was any resistance at first, or whether the problems emerged so late in the system’s history that nobody remembered anything else. I do see from Wikipedia that the NHS was launched as 3 services in 1948, a time when people there must have been utterly exhausted and ready to hope for something better than the recent past.

  23. BoB De Says:

    Medicare is a government program that works very well. Medicare would serve as an example where insurance companies (private) are being held to more competition and not impacting either the user nor his access to MD or services. Efficiency can be improved in the bureaucracy (record collection, availability) so Doctors can refer to your medical record to stop repeating the same tests other doctors have done. The medical doctors have changed the way they do business now if you haven’t noticed, the GP now does no problem solving he only sends you to a “specialist” to fix your problem and the does additional follow ups all adding to the fees he can charge. If the special interests who control the people’s congressmen would refrain from spreading false information and half truths it might bring about a collective attempt to find a better way.

  24. Tom Says:

    “Medicare is a government program that works very well.” You are joking or ignorant.

    It is a government monopoly that dictates terms, and is woefully sluggish at recognizing (and Paying something for) new treatments.

    As a modest but telling example, Mcare “recognizes” the need for fingerprick blood sugar checks in diabetics….but it will only pay for 2 test strips per day. It is not possible to adequately manage one’s diabetes with insulin short of 6-8 tests per day. The strips cost $1 each. Diabetic control correlates directly with absence of (often life-threatening) complications.

    Oh, and as a “public option”, try buying health coverage at age 65 from any other source….. does not exist, regardless of price.

    “stop repeating the same tests other doctors have done” merely shows how ignorant you are about medicine. A blood sugar determination is a “medical test” that must be repeated and repeated. There are many more. Tests also have false positives and false negatives, thus a repeat will often be essential before a therapy is selected.

    As a voter, you are a cabbage.

  25. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Bob DE is also unaware of how doctors practice. It is a myth that GPs do nothing but refer to specialists. My family practitioner handles most of my family’s medical needs. He refers some matters to appropriate specialists only when necessary. If Bob’s doctor does something different, why does Bob keep going back to him?

  26. J. L. Says:

    DirtyJobsGUy Says:

    “The Dems see single payer health care as a symbol of a commutarian state much as Canada and the UK before. This symbolic value far exceeds the practical value. But Canada used this as a means to try to unite a fractured country (not really successful) and the UK Labor party used it to try to break the english class system (partially successful). The US is a united country with a minimal and fluid class structure so you have to sell a national health system on consumer benefits alone!”

    This is very well stated. For some reason, the left in the U.S. has attached itself to a certain set of symbols, imagery, and concepts which are either outdated, were (and are) always erroneous, or were (and) are inapplicable to the situation in the United States. It is a testament to the insularity of these people that they continue their loyalty to these ideas (British and canadian style “single-payer” centralized health care being one of them) notwithstanding that they have long been proven inapplicable to the U.S.. Its as if they have greater loyalty to the theories found in a book (or in the latest issue of The Nation magazine), or in the airy ideals one may have gotten in a college study group, than to the reality “on the ground.”

    I’m not one to usually go so far as to link every lefty, or their ideas, to the worst of the left (i.e. Communism, et. al.). But I cant help but being reminded of the poem written by Bertolt Brecht in the wake of the 1953 riots in Communist East Germany, titled “The Solution”:


    After the uprising of the 17th June
    The Secretary of the Writers Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

  27. Artfldgr Says:

    Obamacare is not popular. And Obama and Pelosi and Reid know it’s not. And yet they are determined to go through with it.

    obamacare is unconstitutional also.

    in fact, given their oaths of office, and bill of rights its completey somethign that no one in the government should be supporting.

    has any one looked at the video i have posted where the young man gave a 2 minute constitutional lesson to a senator?

    i can post long text that people wont follow but i cant post the stills of a video.

    he even explains why the general welfare clause can not be used to argue for social support and what is socialism.

    in other words by putting it on the table this way, the constituational argument is a done deal by implications.

    they put an unconstitutional thing on the table, and we argue its goods and merits when first the argument should be whether such is even allowed on the table at all.

    its like having the discussino of whether its ok for the dog to sleep on the bedroom floor while avoiding the first argument of whether they are allowed in the house. win the bedroom argument you win and change the rules on the house.

    its a very child centered way to argue and because our parents tricked us this way and everything turned out ok, we ar primed to believe that when tricked this way, its ok.

    same with how they taught social justice. they said you cant have gum or some pleasure till eveyrone in the class has that pleasure (and you provide it). they give it no name but they enforce social justice.

    why is it not ok for them to partake of their own property when others dont have such property? we never noticed the polite etiquette of not eating in public and proper places for certain acts, into a social justice in practice. later, when you hit them with social justice arguments they resonate with how they created their framework when they were children in kindergarten (a german concept).

    meanwhile, they are the only generations in the history of man to get that kind of education that way. and we are FORCD to let them experiment on our children in attempts to change outcoems for them along the lines of what some few say they should be rather than maximize their whole abilities and potentials and be happy with fully developed people who while not equal in ability or aptitude, neverthe less share the fruits of such just because we are in the same society.

    chockolate was the drink of kings… in other coutnries like indonesia, its actually quite rare still (comparitively speaking).

    socialists say no one should live like that
    capitlaits say everyone should live like that, and so we all, even a begger on the street, can get the resources to have chockolate.

    a begger on the street has access to produce from the honduras. technology from asia… healthcare inventions from all the doctors. (i work for research hospital, no one gets sent away, thats an assumptive lie – what happens is good people make that decission for themselves and subject themselves to the restriction rather than accept the bill and the charity and so forth. for the ones that dont care, they rack up half million in ambulance calls and all kinds of crap).

    [edited for length by neo-neocon]

  28. Artfldgr Says:

    for those interested in a graphic look of where we are, maybe this might interest you.

    http://tinyurl.com/n9c6s7

    note that the US as of this election is no longer the free country she was, nor will she ever be again.

    no country has ever reversed this witout another pulling them out of the hole. and if we are in the hole, there is no way out. which is why the immigrants who have moved from such (and are older) are quite scared…

  29. Artfldgr Says:

    Medicare is a government program that works very well.

    obviously bob is not a person that uses medicare… nor did he know that the AMA said in the 30s that it would lead to socialism/communism eventually, and had no limit to it except the limit to all finance.

  30. Artfldgr Says:

    friederic bastiat had comments to the rampand socialism now everywhere present..

    Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.

    This is the seductive lure of socialism. – Bastiat

    and how about this?

    Dennis Kucinich held a forum during the GOP debate, during which he was asked about health care. The New York Times summarizes his response:

    One member of the audience of about 200 asked him why health care isn’t mandated by the Constitution.

    “Well, I just happen to have my copy of the Constitution with me,” Mr. Kucinich replied. He pulled it out from his pocket and read aloud the Preamble — emphasizing the line “promote the general welfare.” Health and welfare are almost synonymous, he said before detailing his plan to make the health care system not for profit. Every American would receive free medical and dental care under his plan.

    and above i explained how this is WRONG and completly unconstitutional… and is doubly so as the preamble to the constitution also grants no powers!!!

    [i am still wondering if anhyone has actually bothered to read and understand the constitution wihtin the framework of the time it was written?]

    “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”

    “We cannot but be astonished at the ease with which men resign themselves to ignorance about what is most important for them to know; and we may be certain that they are determined to remain invincibly ignorant if they once come to consider it as axiomatic that there are no absolute principles.”

    sometimes its like being marooned on an island with 500lbs of books (like in marabunta), and having read all of them, i have been rescued to be delivered home… and no one understands any more to the point that argument up and down the tree of related arguments is all over the place and pretending rationality through acting…

    Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim – when he defends himself – as a criminal.”

    “The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.”

    “And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works”

    Gentlemen (and ladies) as was said a long time ago, if we do not hang together in this great effort, we will surely hang apart….

  31. Webutante Says:

    Neo, I now understand your point….was a bit dense as to what it was at first.

  32. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    You all know my views by now; bailouts, the stimulus, health care reform, cap and trade, and the planned “educational reform” to come are all a means to an end, and that end is to reward friends and allies and starve and punish enemies, smash the capitalist system, diminish freedom and democracy, and usher in some form of dictatorship and collectivism. Whether officially categorized as Socialism, Fascism or Communism, it will be a system in which the State, through its control of housing –Fannie and Freddie combined now own something like 66% of all home mortgages, energy production and use, the auto industry, the health care industry and other sectors of the economy–will control every facet of our lives. The fact that far Left Rep. John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, recently mocked those Congressmen who said “read the bill” is proof, it seems to me, that I am correct—it doesn’t matter to those pushing these initiatives what they actually say, it is the control that they will give them; they will finagle or deal with the details later.

    Where, by the way, did these 10,000 pages of very complex legislation I mentioned above come from? From what I know of Congressional staffs and procedures, individual congressmen and even committees often do not have the manpower or expertise to draft lengthy, complex legislation and, so, such complex legislation is often drawn up by the parties that will be affected i.e. energy legislation is drawn up by the large legal staffs of trade organizations, big oil companies or electric utilities, legislation dealing with pharmaceuticals is often drawn up by the pharmaceutical companies. Proposed legislation is then handed to the congressman or committee who uses it as a framework, or they may just make a few cosmetic changes, and then introduce this as their legislation.

    My guess is that most of this legislation was drafted by a coalition of well funded far Left think tanks and organizations, in conjunction with their allies among major financial and business companies and interests, and that this pile of extraordinarily broad and complex legislation has been worked on for several years, so that it would be ready and waiting for an Obama on Inauguration day.

    P.S.–A few goodies unearthed from the health care reform legislation in these last few days include the provision for home visits to new mothers by government officials, who will instruct them in approved child rearing and educational practices, end of life counseling, provisions for demonstration project “medical homes” for the elderly and disabled, run by nurse practitioners and doctors assistants and not by doctors, that will practice “evidence based medicine” i.e. you will only be able to get medical care that the government decides is cost effective—can you say warehouse?, and the use of the “Quality Adjusted Life Years” method of computation in determining who is eligible for what health care procedures—i.e. if a person of your age has, on average, 20 years to go you may get the operation or procedure you need and want, if a person of your age has, on average, 5 years to go you a’int getting your operation or procedure.

  33. Thomass Says:

    Mrs Whatsit Says:

    “that when the National Health Service was launched in Great Britain, it was not a single payer system and there were promises it would never become one. Does anyone know if this is true?”

    I do not think that is correct. I think it was the opposite and like Canada. At first the government totally took over healthcare and put all doctors on the payroll. Over time, that was allowed to break down some and now there is some private options. Also, there is still some game playing by the NHS paper pushers to punish people who use private options.

  34. Thomass Says:

    BoB De Says:

    July 31st, 2009 at 8:38 am

    “Medicare is a government program that works very well. Medicare would serve as an example where insurance companies (private) are being held to more competition and not impacting either the user nor his access to MD or services. Efficiency can be improved in the bureaucracy (record collection, availability) so Doctors can refer to your medical record to stop repeating the same tests other doctors have done.”

    Medicare is a joke. It’s ‘efficient’ because it lacks oversight and is rife with fraud and because it underpays for certain services (which the private customers then help subside).

    A sort of variation on the ‘where will Canadians go’ if we have single payer government healthcare is ‘how will our current government healthcare work if we go all government’. There will not be any private ‘other people’s money’ to push the costs onto.

    Electronics records are a panacea. Most of us don’t have a lots of repetitive tests… most tests are not that expensive anyway… many tests should be redone every three months anyway depending on what you have… The only situations I can think of with expensive respective tests won’t stop… due to it being by design (your going into a million dollar procedure… like a transplant… and your current doctor wants to double check everything your other doctors checked before you ended up in their office)…

  35. Baklava Says:

    Neo: Sorry off topic:

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/24944.html

    This is so easy to understand…. why don’t legacy journalists get this or report it….

  36. Thomass Says:

    J. L. Says:

    “Its as if they have greater loyalty to the theories found in a book (or in the latest issue of The Nation magazine), or in the airy ideals one may have gotten in a college study group, than to the reality “on the ground.””

    I think part of the problem it appears in conflict (hence a theory vs result point) is you buy their arguments in favor on face value.

    The goal is not to help the poor. The goal is government control in order to push forced equality.

    We could just cover the remaining people who not have some time of coverage (extending it to middle class people who loose coverage).

    It’s just not the real goal.

    Part of the problem with 90% of the media being run by democrats is they tend to discount these arguments as silly. When 90% of people are on the same ‘side’ they can create social pressure / take all the air out of the room for other views. They think democrat proposals are pragmatic / common sense while criticism of the left are right wing parania / mccarthism. Sorta, the Obama going to Wrights church for years means nothing but that McCain speaking at a questionable preacher’s church once was a valid story.. kind of phenom. So, we can’t really discuss the Left’s goals.

  37. J. L. Says:

    Artfldgr Says:

    for those interested in a graphic look of where we are, maybe this might interest you.

    http://tinyurl.com/n9c6s7

    note that the US as of this election is no longer the free country she was, nor will she ever be again.

    As a form of anti-leftist “agit-prop,” it makes its point; but as an objective source of information, I have to take issue with the map.

    The map is practically awash with countries labelled either “Communist,” “Socialist,” “past-Communist,” or “Islamic.” The only countries left unlabeled are Botswana, Cameroon, Gabon, Togo, Benin, South Korea, and Papua New Guinea. The United States is lumped in as a “Communist” country, along with such countries as Japan, Germany, Brazil, Chile, Sweden, and Norway. Countries with a “Moderate to Strong Socialist influence” include Canada, France, the UK, and Argentina. Then there is the category listed as “Communist/Narco-communist Insurgency” which includes Mexico, Colombia, Peru (OK , so far!), Puerto Rico (??!!), Spain (??), Bangladesh, Greece (??) and the Philipines.

    So, apparently, according to the map, the US (along with Germany and Japan) is now more socialized than Canada, France, the UK, and Argentina. (Is the US now “Communist” just because Obama is in power? If so, wouldn’t conservative-led Germany, Canada, and France now be out of the Communist/Socialist orbit??)

    What concerns me about this is that words have meanings. Back in the 1960s, and still today among the left, there are those who label anything they disagree with “fascist.” But, “Fascism”, like “Communism,” has a specific meaning, as anyone who has experienced life (or read about life) in Nazi Germany, or Mussolini’s Italy could tell you. Merely being angry with the policies of (say) Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan, does not make the US “fascist.” During the ’60s, people used to march with placards that read “Nixon,” with the “x” in the shape of a swastika. The irony of this is that the very fact that these people were free to protest using those placards showed that American was clearly not a fascist country, notwithstanding occasionally erroneous (even authoritarian) policies of any given administration.

    My parents fled a real Communist dictatorship in Cuba, and from their experiences and my studies, I know what “Communism” really is. The fact that Obama (and Pelosi and Reid, and a large portion of today’s Democrats) is heavily influenced by Marxist and socialist ideas does not make this country Communist. For example, in truly Communist Cuba, one would not dare, as we do here, speak out in protest against the president and his party. (Although, as the experince of Chavez in Venezuela has shown, its important, even in a democratic republic, to be vigilant against abuses of power. We do neeed to be vigilant here in the US, too.)

    I oppose Obama, and I oppose the efforts to socialize the health care system that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid trio want to enact. I oppose a large chunk of their leftist agenda, beyond health care. But the way to successfully oppose them is by factually taking apart their agenda, an agenda that is largely out of sync with the needs of this society or its ideals.

    I dont think it helps our effort to ignore true differences between, say, a European social-democratic system (like, say, in Sweden), and that of an actual Communist dictatorship (as in present day Cuba, or in the former USSR). I don’t think the more economically socialized system of many European countries is good for the US, as I feel that the more free-market oriented system works better for such an individualistic society as ours, but neither do I think that that European model is equivalent to the brutal totalitarianism of Soviet Marxist-Leninism. There is a difference. There are many things I can say about Obama, a lot of them negative, but I’m not ready to turn him into a Castro, a Mao, or a Breznev just yet.

  38. Baklava Says:

    Off topic again:

    For those who say missile defense will never work… this is the 19th success after 23 firings.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1203370/Pictured-U-S-missile-defence-test-hailed-success-North-Korea-tensions-rise.html

  39. J. L. Says:

    Thomass Says:

    I think part of the problem it appears in conflict (hence a theory vs result point) is you buy their arguments in favor on face value.

    The goal is not to help the poor. The goal is government control in order to push forced equality.

    I dont know if we’re really in disagreement here. I fully accept that their agenda is that of “government control in order to push forced equality,” with, I would add, much “help the poor” rhetoric alongside. My contention is that even given that as their goal the excessively centralize version of “healthcare” that they propose works better in theory than in practice. A more practical approach, even one seeking power to enforce equality, would have been able to more critically review one’s assumptions about the nature of the U.S. economy and culture (and about the nature of people in general), and to have amended one’s assumptions based upon the factual observations.

    Actually, I think we could well be lucky that Obama-Pelosi-Reid are so “tone deaf,” as I think it will be the undoing of their project. Their idealized image of European social-democracy simply does not function as they think it will, and given that the US is such an individualistic society with a high level of fluidity between classes, the people are simply not buying it.

  40. Artfldgr Says:

    Bakalava,
    thanks for the link.. but i knew it woudl work.. why? because russians are not often moved by circumstances to be so open about their desires and such, unless they too knew it would work.

  41. Baklava Says:

    19th time !

  42. Baklava Says:

    Teaching Paul Krugman about Canadian Healthcare

    http://wizbangblog.com/content/2009/07/30/teaching-paul-krugman.php

    :)

  43. Baklava Says:

    Extreme blame 101

    http://wizbangblog.com/content/2009/07/30/michigans-disastrous-economy-isenglers-fault.php

  44. Thomass Says:

    J. L. Says:

    “My contention is that even given that as their goal the excessively centralize version of “healthcare” that they propose works better in theory than in practice.”

    Yeah, I think we do agree except I don’t believe they even think it ‘works better’ in theory. As working better is not the actual goal. Its just part of the rhetoric package.

  45. Vieux Charles Says:

    9.5%

    9.5% unemployment AFTER the President assured us that the Stimulus Bill was necessary to keep unemployment from going above 8%.

    Well, President Obama got his Stimulus Bill.

    And, we got 9.5% unemployment – and climbing.

    Is there any surprise? The American public voted for a man whose entire executive experience consisted of running the snack fund at the Harvard Law teacher’s lounge. A 22 year old Army sergeant has more leadership and executive experience.

    I’d like to see the President prove himself with something simple, like bringing the unemployment rate down to a more manageable rate BEFORE I sign on to something as signficant as an overhaul of our nation’s health care.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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