PoliticalPen

November 8, 2009

There will be a revolt – one way or another

Filed under: health care,Uncategorized — tommoriarty @ 1:27 am
Tags: ,

The house has passed the Democrat desired heath care take-over

Let me be very succinct on this issue – this is a theft of freedom. And there will be a revolt of one kind or another. The first line of resistance is the US Senate. If the Senate cannot prevent this debacle, then the next line of resistance would be the ballot box. If a new paradigm now reigns – a paradigm where a majority of people can expect to vote benefits to themselves at the expense of a minority of the people – then a revolt at the ballot box will fail.

But I believe there are enough people in the country who will feel this assault on their freedom so acutely that they will find other means of revolt. And these are the very people who form the bedrock of the economy, and have the resources to force a change.

I can’t predict how this revolt will self-organize or what specific events will transpire. But big things will happen.

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43 Comments »

  1. A theft of freedom?

    The bill has passed democratically, 220-215. Democracy, and therefore Freedom, has been upheld.

    Comment by The Anti-Social Socialist — November 8, 2009 @ 1:48 am | Reply

    • Dear Anti-Social Socialist,

      Thank you for your comment.

      A system of government and economics is unsustainable when a majority of people can expect to vote benefits to themselves at the expense of a minority of the people.

      At some point – soon I hope – this will become obvious.

      Best Regards,
      PoliticalPen

      Comment by tommoriarty — November 8, 2009 @ 1:58 am | Reply

    • I suppose this is the type of thinking that enables leaders of the most oppressive country on the planet to call it the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. I have little doubt that North Korea’s governing body passes all of its measures very democratically.

      There is, however, a massive distinction between how a bill passes and what a bill establishes. History has far too many examples of people democratically voting away, in installments, their own freedom.

      As Mr. Lincoln said, “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.” Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is a method of governing. Freedom, to me, is ultimately the ability for the individual to make decisions for him or herself. This bill reduces that ability. It takes decisions from the individual and moves them in the hands of government. That is a theft of freedom and, to me, highly, highly immoral.

      Comment by onthow — November 10, 2009 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  2. […] The stupid are revolting! “There will be a revolt, one way or another…” […]

    Pingback by The stupid are revolting! « The Anti-Social Socialist — November 8, 2009 @ 1:55 am | Reply

  3. Conservatives have been screaming about government healthcare takes overs since the healthcare reform debate began. I’ve read their arguments, as many as I could get my hands on, and I just can’t see it. It’s a theoretically self sustaining government offered lower cost health insurance program and a package of regulations to make sure that sick people are treated fairly by the insurance companies. That’s it. We’re one of the wealthiest nations on the planet with available access to some of the highest levels of medical technology on the planet and yet we’re behind so many of our peer nations in taking care of our citizen’s healthcare needs. The cost of medial care in this country is literally killing people. It’s a black mark on all of us. Conservatives trot out speeches about our nation’s pride and capability on a regular basis. It’s astounding to me that they wouldn’t want this situation correct as much as anyone. All I’ve read from the conservative opposition is how supposedly terrible these reform packages are but they point to canards like death panels (which even the saltiest conservatives have a hard time admitting actually exist when pressed) and socialized medicine (and seriously, this legislation isn’t even in the same zip code as a socialized medical program). They had 8 years to fix things in the way they’d like and did nothing and even now can’t offer an alternative to the Democratic driven plans that would appear to 1) make a dent in health care costs, and 2) cover more of our citizens.

    Conservatives can wail about government healthcare take overs all they like. I sincerely believe that there’s an honest desire to get more conservative input into healthcare reform (and other issues for that matter) but conservatives aren’t showing up. They’re spending more time organizing free form anxiety tea parties then they are producing serious ideas they can use to fight or shape the current healthcare legislation.

    Comment by chris — November 8, 2009 @ 7:30 am | Reply

    • How can you say conservatives are not showing up? We have been trying to get our voices heard for quite some time now. They wrote the bloody bill from behind closed doors. How can you say that we have not been offering alternatives if they are not even allowed in on the initial debate?
      “Free form anxiety tea parties” are the only thing that we can do to attempt to be heard. They won’t listen to us, so we are trying to make them hear us. There are many solutions that I can offer that would be better then this bill.
      Tort reform would be a very good start. It would limit the amount given due to accidents that doctors can easily make, thus, lowering the price of malpractice insurance, and then it would lower prices that doctors have to charge.
      Allow for state to state competition in the health insurance market. Create some price competition so the people can decide what insurance they want, and then allow them to get the most inexpensive insurance they can find with the coverage they want.
      Allow for information about patients be more easily transmitted through electronic transfer. This would allow for faster diagnosis, and would drastically reduce the amount of paperwork required to see a doctor. This would also reduce the price of a trip to the doctor’s office.
      You want some things that can be done, then just ask the people.

      Comment by Hotonis — November 8, 2009 @ 10:39 am | Reply

      • Behind closed doors? There were three(?) bills bouncing around committees in the senate for weeks. In particular the bill in the finance committee was there so long specifically because Grassly was trying to get Republican support. Opt in, opt out, and trigger clauses have been included or talked about in the various committee bills specifically to garner conservative support. These bills don’t resemble anything anything that the Democrats would have cooked up on their own in their own perfect world.

        I agree with you about improvements to electronic record keeping. Centralized health information for each of us that our various doctors could access with our permission would cut back on needless overlaps (repeat testing and so forth). The other two sound good on paper but don’t have any real world impact. The CBO scored the recent Republican alternative bill and it ended up worse on nearly every count (increased coverage, deficit reduction, lowering medical costs) than the Democratic lead bills that conservatives are screeching about.

        AT the end of all this, I think that it’s very disingenuous for conservatives to say they’ve been cut out of crafting the bill. Republicans are the minority now. They simply can’t expect to be authoring the foundation of such a far reaching bill but they’ve certainly had input that has changed its direction. If this is really an issue that’s important to conservatives they should have taken advantage of the 6 unobstructed years they had in congress when Bush was signing anything they sent to him.

        Comment by chris — November 8, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

  4. In a nutshell, there MUST be a revolt. I am not advocating violence or anything of the sort, but I am advocating for Americans to everything within the limits of the law to make sure this bill does not pass the Senate. This is MOST DEFINITLEY a THEFT of FREEDOM. Whenever the government grows, by definition, liberty shrinks.

    There was no real debate on the issue, save for a few measley hours. There was no five-day reviewal period for the American public, as promised by this President. There was no attempt to “fix” already existing government programs, like Medicare and Medicaid. There can be no real competition when the main competitor to private enterprise is an entity that can print its own money. This bill passed DESPITE the views of the American people.

    The passage of this bill is as distressing and heartbreaking as any I can remember. Americans must rise up and make sure this never reaches the President’s desk.

    It cannot!

    Comment by Andrew Roman — November 8, 2009 @ 8:05 am | Reply

  5. You are fully correct. Hopefully there will be a sufficient number of us who vow to protect the constitution from being eviscerated by the liberal progressives in Congress.

    Comment by rustyreturns — November 8, 2009 @ 8:47 am | Reply

  6. If there is to be a popular shift at the ballot box, it will be because the change is not ambitious enough to immediately benefit most people. There are two reason why a political revolt seems increasingly unlikely as a result of health reform.

    1. Broad based social reforms are almost always extremely popular. Social security is the third rail for a reason. The Conservatives in England are big advocates of the National Health System for a reason. Big government programs are popular the world round.

    2. The main group opposed to reform will be dead soon, replaced by the generation that supports reform the most. Maybe the Democrats could lose power in 2010/2012 (likely due to the economy, not health reform), but health reform will not be overturned in that time and the Democrats will make their return. The demographics favor Democrats for the next 40 years so the Republicans will have to become more liberal to compete consistently.

    Comment by Bondo — November 8, 2009 @ 8:58 am | Reply

    • Dear Bondo,

      Thank you for your comment.

      1. This broad based social reform is NOT popular, as this poll makes quite clear.

      2. The fewer and fewer people among the young that will carry this socialist system on their backs will oppose this change. But in a sense, you make my point. That is, the new political paradigm is to try to manipulate the system to aquire a bigger slice from a shrinking pie, rather than making the pie bigger. Sadly, it could take generations for people steeped in this type of system to overcome its debilitating effects.

      Best Regards
      PoliticalPen

      Comment by tommoriarty — November 8, 2009 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  7. Let me get this straight…

    Our last administration started 2 illegal wars, warrantless wiretapping, the banker bailout, authorized torture, set up “free speech zones”, etc. etc… and there was no revolt.

    Now, our government passes a health care reform bill and you want a revolution!?

    Are you [f…snipped by TM…g] serious? Do you realize how ridiculous this sounds? “Loss of freedom”? Are you [f…snipped by TM…g] kidding me? When your phone was being tapped (and it still is), you didn’t say anything. When our congress gave the banks 700 BILLION dollars (sounds like socialism to me!), you didn’t say anything. When our government invaded 2 sovereign countries without actually declaring war (as required by the constitution), you did nothing.

    But now… they try to help poor people by giving them health care, and you want to revolt!

    This country is doomed. Not just because of a corrupt government, but because we are being overrun by idiots.

    Comment to readers:

    ORLY submitted his comment with an email address I suspect is not his. A consequence of this is that if I (or you) click on the reply button to his comment, then an email message will be sent to somebody other than him (or her). ORLY, if I am wrong about this, let me know and I will retract this statement.

    Nevertheless, here is my reply to ORLY:

    Dear ORLY,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

    My phone has not been tapped and neither has yours.

    When our congress gave 700 BILLION dollars to the the banks, I spoke out against it.

    The habit of going to war without the proper declaration by congress started long before the Bush administration. The congress was wrong to not assert its authority on this issue. That being said, there was broad support for this move, among traditional liberals as well as conservatives.

    I don’t know you – you’re probably a decent guy. But I would be willing to bet that I give more of my wealth to help the poor than you do. I can back this up with receipts and tax returns. If liberals want to impress me with their altruism, then band together and take up this health care project on you own. Instead, you point your finger at somebody else and say “you must pay.” And far too many of you are not just saying “You must pay to help the poor” but in effect are saying “You must help everyone, especially me and the people in the demographic groups I have aligned myself with.”

    Is it even conceivable to you that the new system you are foisting upon us will do more harm than good. Your good intentions are not enough to justify taking away the free choice of millions of Americans

    Best Regards
    PoliticalPen

    Comment by ORLY? — November 8, 2009 @ 9:37 am | Reply

  8. Freedom has been upheld? by denying women the right to choose? and forcing everyone to get health insurance whether they want to or can afford to? Stop spouting political points of view and think about the real issues.

    Comment by catsden — November 8, 2009 @ 10:03 am | Reply

    • Dear Catsden,

      Please reread your own comment. You ask how freedom is denied. Then two sentences later you use the word “forcing” to describe the the health care bill” Somewhat ironic, don’t you think?

      Best Regards
      PoliticalPen

      Comment by tommoriarty — November 8, 2009 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  9. There will be a revolt. It is inevitable now, and imminent if the Health Care Bill passes the Senate.

    The government controls just about every aspect of our lives now. Are the American people truly satisfied with allowing the federal government to squander their rights and freedoms? I doubt it. America is finally waking up to the injustice that is the United States government.

    Comment by Leona Dawnfire — November 8, 2009 @ 10:20 am | Reply

  10. You’re idiots.

    Why, by definition, does liberty shrink if government grows? Exactly what rights of your are being compromised?
    The overwhelming majority of Americans support this bill, as any poll conducted in the last 9 months will tell you.

    If you want to revolt, go have fun. You and the 30% of this country that are still willing to call themselves conservative. Myself and the growing liberal majority will enjoy watching. While you’re doing that, we’re going to try to make this planet a better place.

    Comment by Robin — November 8, 2009 @ 10:30 am | Reply

    • Show me a poll conducted in the last 9 days that supports the bill written 9 days ago. This pole will have to consist solely of people who actually know what is in the bill. I guarantee that you will find no such poll. Especially not one consisting of the american people. I support health care reform, not this bill!
      (btw) I am reading the bill right now…

      Comment by Hotonis — November 8, 2009 @ 11:05 am | Reply

    • Dear Robin,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      You have made two explicit or implied assertions of fact:

      The firts is “The overwhelming majority of Americans support this bill, as any poll conducted in the last 9 months will tell you.” This is incorrect, at this Rassmussen poll, released just five days ago proves. Here a few quotes…

      “42% now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats”

      “Fifty-four percent (54%) now oppose the legislative effort”

      “Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the numbers is how stable they have been through months of debate”

      When you said “You and the 30% of this country that are still willing to call themselves conservative…” you implied that liberals out number the conservatives. Wrong again. This recent poll by the consistently liberal leaning Gallup, plainly proves you to be wrong. What do you say to the following graph…
      091107 gallup political ideology

      Finally, you ask “what rights of your are being compromised?” This is too obvious to even answer.

      Best Regards
      PoliticalPen

      Comment by tommoriarty — November 8, 2009 @ 11:24 am | Reply

  11. Comment to readers:

    ORLY submitted his comment with an email address I suspect is not his. A consequence of this is that if I (or you) click on the reply button to his comment, then an email message will be sent to somebody other than him (or her). ORLY, if I am wrong about this, let me know and I will retract this statement.

    Nevertheless, here is my reply to ORLY:

    Dear ORLY,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

    My phone has not been tapped and neither has yours.

    When our congress gave 700 BILLION dollars to the the banks, I spoke out against it.

    The habit of going to war without the proper declaration by congress started long before the Bush administration. The congress was wrong to not assert its authority on this issue. That being said, there was broad support for this move, among traditional liberals as well as conservatives.

    I don’t know you – you’re probably a decent guy. But I would be willing to bet that I give more of my wealth to help the poor than you do. I can back this up with receipts and tax returns. If liberals want to impress me with their altruism, then band together and take up this health care project on you own. Instead, you point your finger at somebody else and say “you must pay.” And far too many of you are not just saying “You must pay to help the poor” but in effect are saying “You must help everyone, especially me and the people in the demographic groups I have aligned myself with.”

    Is it even conceivable to you that the new system you are foisting upon us will do more harm than good. Your good intentions are not enough to justify taking away the free choice of millions of Americans

    Best Regards,
    PoliticalPen

    Comment by tommoriarty — November 8, 2009 @ 10:33 am | Reply

  12. The whole situation is very interesting and complex. I personally don’t trust a huge conglomerate that is exempt from antitrust regulations. That to me is simply a money-making machine out for only its own interests. You add some more conglomerates into that same industry with the same lack of restrictions and you have, basically, a money-minting industry, not a healthcare industry.

    I’m not a politician. I don’t know if this bill is perfect. In fact, I’m sure it’s not. Given our current situation, people without healthcare rush to the ER, can’t pay, and so the rest of the taxpaying society foots the bill. A much larger bill than what we’ll be paying now, most likely. So, if we’re going to be paying for it anyway, might as well lower the costs and have the money going to insurance rather than a ridiculously hefty ER bill.

    I also cannot see this being an assault on freedom. It’s taking away no one’s rights from the Constitution. You might believe that smaller government is the way to go. Fine. You can disagree and have a different plan of your own. But it serves no purpose to talk of revolt. It’s just trying to elicit a reaction, continue the fear-mongering, and still brings nothing of substance to the table. Don’t cry about not having a voice. Republicans had a voice for eight years; most of those years completely in control. They didn’t choose to tackle this problem – or many other problems that we now have to face today. That’s fine – no one is perfect.

    But to talk of revolt, to talk of socialism, it’s just more of the same pointless rhetoric that gets us nowhere. No one is going to revolt. No one is going to march in the streets. If no one could truly march against these extremely unpopular wars, I’m sure nothing but a loud (because our media confuses balance with accuracy) minority will try to cause some ruckus and it will amount to nothing. Because at the end of the day, people want health care. They want access to health care. And they want it to be affordable.

    Comment by Mason — November 8, 2009 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

    • Dear Mason,

      This is actually quite simple. This system is going to take control for personal decisions out of the hands of millions of people who want to keep that control. That is taking away our freedom.

      You have made a effort to sound reasonable in your comment. But it is simply not reasonable to deny that this is socialism. It is. I suspect that the future events will show you that this is not “pointless rhetoric.”

      The loud minority that you speak of is actually a, so far quiet, majority. Rassmussen makes this quite clear. And a salient point here is that this majority is made up of the people who are paying the freight.

      Best Regards
      PoliticalPen

      Comment by tommoriarty — November 8, 2009 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

      • You love to point to that one poll. And that’s fine. But a ridiculous majority did vote the Democrats into office on a huge campaign of health care reform.

        This isn’t socialism. What personal decisions are you going to be losing? Please tell me exactly what personal freedoms of yours are going to be stolen by the government if this bill gets signed into law? If your tax dollars going to a social program – Medicare, Social Security, unemployment – is socialism, than we’ve been a socialist state for quite some time. That’s not socialism, though, and just stop with it already. You can scare people who don’t know the difference between socialism and the hole in the ground, but give me a break. The government isn’t controlling the means of production. Health insurance doesn’t even produce anything! Except for profits for those CEOs as of late.

        It isn’t pointless – free speech is good – but it sure isn’t productive.

        Comment by Mason — November 8, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

  13. Seems to me the revolt came last year when the Democrats swept all three branches of government. What we’re hearing now are the angry, fearful, frustrated cries of the out-of-power minority focusing on whatever issue(s) will give them the most exposure.

    Despite what the media would have you believe, health care reform is not the most important thing going on in Washington. It is neither a panacea nor the end of the world, and what frightens me most are people who believe it is.

    Comment by PiedType — November 8, 2009 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

    • Dear Piedtype,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You are certainly right about the Democrat’s sweep last year. That is why I admit that this may not be able to be overcome from the ballot box. But the situation is seen as so heinous from the other side that steps beyond the ballot box may be taken.

      On the other hand, conservatives were warning that an Obama administration would be a socialist administration. This line of reasoning was deflected by the left with the usual tired claims of conservative hatred and racism. Enough middle-of-the-roaders bought the liberal argument and were already angry at Bush, so they voted Obama. Polls are showing that those middle-of-the-roaders are swinging back to the right.

      Please try to understand, PiedType, that government take-over of health care is far more personal than, say, a tax on tea. We do not want this system put in the hands of the government. We do not want to be saddled with paying for a Rube Goldberg arrangement. We don’t want our children saddled with never ending payments to a growing class of tax sinks. Worse yet, we don’t want our children to join the class of tax sinks because is offers the path of least resistance.

      Best Regards
      PoliticalPen

      Comment by tommoriarty — November 8, 2009 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

      • Even if this bill were not supported by the majority of Americans (I don’t put a lot of faith in polls and pollsters, particularly Rassmussen), it was written by our duly elected representatives. If we don’t like it, we vote ’em out next time around. It’s democracy in action, warts and all. The only steps “beyond the ballot box” are either the next ballot box or law suits. I’m sure we’ll see both.

        I’ve yet to see a specific example of what freedom(s) I’m going to lose as a result of this bill.

        Also, I’ve yet to see anyone explain how this bill represents a “government takeover” of health care. The government is not going to take over and operate every clinic and hospital in the country; the doctors are not suddenly going to become government employees overnight; the insurance and pharmaceutical companies are certainly not going to hand over their operations to the government and go into another line of work. So where is this takeover you speak of?

        Yes, I’m one of those middle-of-the-road voters you refer to, a registered independent. I didn’t “buy” the liberal arguments; I rejected what I felt was a dangerously flawed GOP ticket.

        I do share your opinion, though, that tort reform should have been a big part of any reform effort. Sadly, with so many lawyers in Congress, that’s never going to happen. And I agree a much easier solution to the insurance problem would have been to remove the antitrust exemption enjoyed by the health insurance companies and require them to compete with each other in a national market, just like any other business.

        Comment by PiedType — November 8, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

  14. Let’s be clear here:

    1) This was decided by democratic process with the majority of Americans supporting it.

    2) Claiming a mandatory requirement is a loss of freedom is ridiculous. There are countless requirements we must all do including paying taxes, attending school, obeying all laws and disposing of the dead.

    3) Your graph clearly shows that the liberals and moderates are the majority. The moderates have fled the Republicans and conservative movements in droves.

    4) If the taxes of those of us against the wars and subsequent killing are used to pay for them, why can’t your taxes be used to pay for something that supports healthcare and a better quality of life for all.

    5) Calling it a government takeover is Orwellian propaganda. There is no government takeover. Get over it.

    6) You need to take a deep breath and calm down. A few years from now you will see it no way affects your freedoms or has resulted in anything closely a Soviet style government and economy as so many of those gnashing their teeth and crying “revolt” have been fear conditioned to believe.

    Comment by mayhempix — November 8, 2009 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

    • Dear Mayhempix,

      thank you for your comments.

      1) “This was decided by democratic process with the majority of Americans supporting it.”

      I don’t remember seeing this health care bill on my ballot in 2008. Do you? I suspect there are a lot of people having buyers regret at this point.

      2) “There are countless requirements we must all do…”

      Your logic is very weak here. If the government tried to restrict my religious choices, would you claim that my protests were “ridiculous?”

      You can say “There are countless requirements we must all do…” as an argument to support any requirement. But it is an empty statement that does not make a particular requirement legitimate or reasonable.

      3) Your graph clearly shows that the liberals and moderates are the majority. The moderates have fled the Republicans and conservative movements in droves.”

      091107 gallup political ideology

      You have apparently decided to simply add the moderates to the liberals. I could just as easily add the moderates to the conservatives. Neither one of those approaches is fair – so I won’t do it.

      However, the following video, from GallupNews tells a very different story from the one you are telling…

      4) “If the taxes of those of us against the wars and subsequent killing…”

      Let me see if I follow your reasoning. You say it was unfair to be forced to pay for something that you do not support. Therefore it is OK to force somebody else to pay for something they do not support. In your mind. two wrongs do make a right. I suggest you discuss this line of reasoning with a kindergarten teacher.

      You also pre-suppose that this system will yield “a better quality of life for all.” This is a particularly dubious assumption.

      5) Calling it a government takeover is Orwellian propaganda.

      Have you actually read George Orwell? Do you remember in Orwell’s “Animal Farm” when the loyal workhorse, Boxer, is injured? The chief pig, Napoleon, tells him that he has called for a van to take Boxer to a Vet. Instead, Napoleon has the van take Boxer to the slaughterhouse.

      Your use of the word “Orwellian” is a delicious irony in this context, isn’t it?

      6) “You need to take a deep breath and calm down.”

      Thank you. That was good advice. I feel better now. Do you think you could point me to those “those gnashing their teeth and crying revolt?” I’d like to meet up with them.

      Best Regards
      PoliticalPen

      Comment by tommoriarty — November 8, 2009 @ 7:07 pm | Reply

  15. grammar police:

    … by A democratic process…
    … you will see it IN no way…

    Comment by mayhempix — November 8, 2009 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

  16. grammar police, second citation:

    …in anything CLOSE TO a Soviet style…

    Comment by mayhempix — November 8, 2009 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

  17. Thanks for your detailed response.

    1) “I don’t remember seeing this health care bill on my ballot in 2008.”

    You are being disingenuous at best. Elections are about goals and ideas, not the fine points of legislation. The Dem platform clearly stated that major healthcare reform was part of the agenda. To claim that because the bill’s details were not spelled out before the election is absurd. All bills, be they dominated by either party, are defined during the legislative process. This is how our system works and as a representative democracy, we expect our Senator and Congresspeople to follow through and work out the details during the process. Compromise and vote bartering is part of that process. For many who voted for Obama this bill does not go far enough. I for one support single-payer, however I am a pragmatist and see this bill as a good first step just like the first iteration of Medicare was.

    2) “Your logic is very weak here. If the government tried to restrict my religious choices, would you claim that my protests were “ridiculous?”

    First, your example has no merit as freedom to worship as one sees is enshrined in the Constitution. Second, just claiming my logic is weak does not make it so. I presented clear concrete irrefutable examples that you conveniently sidestepped. I would venture your logic is non-existant.

    3) “You have apparently decided to simply add the moderates to the liberals.”

    You have apparently decided to simply attribute something to me that I did not do. My point is that self-proclaimed conservatives are not a majority. The video does not show a meaningful shift in the category percentages themselves, only that some in a category claim to have gravitated to a more “conservative” place in the same position… whatever that means. In my experience many people have no idea what any of those terms really mean and often associate themselves to a group through a herd mentality or go with family or friends without much analysis. A strong case can be made that the reason only about 20% publicly identify as liberals is because of the extreme demonization of the term by the right and rightwing media as synonymous with socialist and communist, when nothing could be further from the truth. If direct questions were asked about beliefs and opinions on specific issues including human rights, live and let live, etc. I’m sure the outcome would be much different.

    4) “Let me see if I follow your reasoning…”

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt and ignore your silly kindergarten slight. You did not follow my reasoning because you had no intention of doing so. The point is that you have no logical basis to claim there is no precedent for your money being spent against your will by the federal government when it is done all of the time. We cannot allot the areas where our tax money goes to (although I would to see some sort of 50-50 system that allows us to do so in certain areas). If you want to make the case that you shouldn’t be forced to pay any money to a federal pool for expenditures that is a different issue. Also, it is just as valid to pre-suppose that this system will yield “a better quality of life for all” as it is to claim that will not be the case.

    5) “Have you actually read George Orwell?”

    Another slight I will let slide as it is becoming clearer you use them when you cannot address the actual point. I was referring to the term “Doublespeak” as presented in 1984.

    6) “Do you think you could point me to those “those gnashing their teeth and crying revolt?” I’d like to meet up with them.”

    The August townhall meetings were full them as well as any astroturf Teabagger protest. And of course my comment was metaphorically satirical and you knew that… at least I hope you did.

    Good luck with the blog.

    Comment by mayhempix — November 9, 2009 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

    • For the reader’s benefit:

      In order to put this comment by Mayhempix into context, be sure to read comment #14, above. Comment #14 is from Mayhempix, and the response to comment #14, is from me (PoliticalPen).

      I will let the readers judge for themselves.

      Best Regards,
      PoliticalPen

      Comment by tommoriarty — November 9, 2009 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  18. Political Pen-

    I understand your concerns with the financial ramifications of this bill. It is imperfect, as most bills are, and there is room for changes down the road- this is not the “end all” of healthcare reform. However, my biggest issue with your line of reasoning falls under your claims that this bill takes away liberties from Americans. I would go as far as to say that NOT passing this bill results in less liberties for the average citizen.

    You mention that you would, and should, be up in arms if the government told you what religion you were allowed to practice. I don’t think many rational Americans would disagree with you on that. However, I fail to see the relevance. Here are some more obvious examples to compare to healthcare: Police departments, fire departments, and public schools. You pay taxes to help upkeep these facilities. You receive their benefits directly or indirectly. Police protect you and everyone around you despite the fact that you might not have “needed” them directly via a robbery in your house or a direct threat to your life. Firefighters help you should you ever experience a fire in your home even if you have yet to have one. I assume you don’t complain of either of these things the government “forces” you to pay for through taxes.

    Public education is the most debatable of the three I mentioned, yet is also the most comparable to the healthcare debate we have now. For both education and the proposed healthcare, it is not required to participate in the government program. Public schools are available, but you could choose to participate in private schooling instead. Similarly, should this bill pass the senate, you would have the cheaper, government option for healthcare, or you can continue with what healthcare you already have. Just like with schooling you would be expected to choose some kind of healthcare. There is an argument that the government option will destroy all the private options because the government can simply print more money. If this is the case, why are there still private schools out there when it comes to education? The answer is that the cost is not the only factor that people consider when making these types of decisions. People may perceive private schools to be of a greater quality, or they may like the fact that they have smaller class sizes, etc. They are willing to pay a higher price for these things. In healthcare, the government option will not have the same sort of coverage that some more expensive private options may have. Furthermore, if so many people are opposed to the government option as you and your polls contend, then what is your concern with its ability to overtake all other options. If the vast majority does not desire to be a part of it, how could it possibly dominate the marketplace.

    Lastly, I disagree with you on a moral and philosophical point of view. Judging by your comments it seems that you find it to be morally irresponsible to pass the legislation as it currently is because of the slippery slope argument. I read your comments as follows, and please correct me if I am wrong: Essentially, if we allow this type of government involvement in something as personal as our own healthcare, that will be a free pass for the government to start getting involved in our personal lives elsewhere. This argument is flawed for many reasons. For starters, the government has a responsibility to protect its citizens. This is obviously true when looking at our military, our intelligence gathering agencies (CIA, FBI, etc), and our police force. I would argue that it should be true for our health as well. However, just like I don’t want a policeman to be able to come into my house for no good reason, I would not want the government to decide that I need to eat healthier foods, have them pass a law requiring daily exercise, or decide which doctors I can see. The bill being discussed does not allow for this sort of thing to happen. The government is not deciding what healthcare you must get, only that you must get some kind of healthcare. This is already the case when it comes to car insurance. It is also true when talking about education. It has been determined that every citizen has a right to an education up to a certain age. (I think its somewhere between 16-18, but I’m not sure.) This has been expanded to the point that you are not allowed to drop out of school before that age. How is healthcare less important to society than education, (public schooling/mandatory schooling to a certain age) and safety (police, firefighters, and military)?

    If you have issues with the semantics of this bill, fine. I do as well. But the point of the reform, as it should be, is not just to decrease costs, but to increase the access to healthcare and increase the fairness of obtaining insurance. Far too many hardworking Americans go bankrupt because of their insurance costs, or their lack of insurance entirely, under the current system. Tort reform, while it may decrease costs to some extent, is not the primary solution. Doctors generally agree that it is the insurance companies who cause them to not properly perform their duties as healthcare professionals, not a fear of getting sued. Furthermore, tort liability tends to increase the quality of doctors because of the consequences involved with performing poorly. The current system is motivated by greed, not the interests of the consumer because of the insurance companies. In other sectors of the economy this is less harmful, and often beneficial to the overall economy, but it deserves no such place in the healthcare industry. Could you imagine how the police and fire departments would operate if motivated by a profit? The police might only choose to protect those who could reward them with a higher tip, or if you and another person’s house both go up in flames at the same time, only the person with a higher bid would get the fire truck to their house first. That doesn’t make any sense in those situations and the only reason why it makes sense to anyone in the healthcare debate is because it is simply what they are used to. Furthermore, the reason why there are any opponents at all, is because most people have been lucky enough to not need the system because they have stayed healthy. It certainly is easier to say the healthcare system is fine when you haven’t lost your coverage at your job, or hit tough economic times and have had to drop your insurance because of the premiums. So, when you reference polling results I become a bit skeptical of the relevance of the people polled. Although they are certainly entitled to their opinions, they very easily could change if they found themselves looking to the healthcare system for help down the road.
    In sum, something needs to be done. The Republicans were in office for 6 years and had the presidency for 8. They did nothing to fix this problem and even their current proposals do not address all of the issues that are present. Until they present something that Democrats and Moderates can take seriously, I am going to be all for the current bill. If anything, it doesn’t do enough.

    Comment by Socrates — November 10, 2009 @ 11:54 am | Reply

    • Dear Socrates,

      You mentioned “I would go as far as to say that NOT passing this bill results in less liberties for the average citizen.” Apparently you and I have very different understandings of the word “liberty.”

      The very first definition at Dictionary.com is…
      “freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.”

      The third definition is…
      “freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.;

      Over at TheFreeDictionary.com they say…
      “The condition of being free from restriction or control.”

      And…
      “Freedom from unjust or undue governmental control.”

      You get the idea.

      The following is from the Wallstreet Journal online by Betsy Macaughey, former Lt. Governor of New York state, and currently the chairwoman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths.

      Emphasis has been added by me..

      The health bill that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing to a vote (H.R. 3962) is 1,990 pages. Here are some of the details you need to know.

      What the government will require you to do:

      • Sec. 202 (p. 91-92) of the bill requires you to enroll in a “qualified plan.” If you get your insurance at work, your employer will have a “grace period” to switch you to a “qualified plan,” meaning a plan designed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. If you buy your own insurance, there’s no grace period. You’ll have to enroll in a qualified plan as soon as any term in your contract changes, such as the co-pay, deductible or benefit.

      • Sec. 224 (p. 118) provides that 18 months after the bill becomes law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will decide what a “qualified plan” covers and how much you’ll be legally required to pay for it. That’s like a banker telling you to sign the loan agreement now, then filling in the interest rate and repayment terms 18 months later.

      On Nov. 2, the Congressional Budget Office estimated what the plans will likely cost. An individual earning $44,000 before taxes who purchases his own insurance will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17% of his pre-tax income. A family earning $102,100 a year before taxes will have to pay a $15,000 premium plus an estimated $5,300 out-of-pocket, for a $20,300 total, or 20% of its pre-tax income. Individuals and families earning less than these amounts will be eligible for subsidies paid directly to their insurer.

      • Sec. 303 (pp. 167-168) makes it clear that, although the “qualified plan” is not yet designed, it will be of the “one size fits all” variety. The bill claims to offer choice—basic, enhanced and premium levels—but the benefits are the same. Only the co-pays and deductibles differ. You will have to enroll in the same plan, whether the government is paying for it or you and your employer are footing the bill.

      • Sec. 59b (pp. 297-299) says that when you file your taxes, you must include proof that you are in a qualified plan. If not, you will be fined thousands of dollars. Illegal immigrants are exempt from this requirement.

      • Sec. 412 (p. 272) says that employers must provide a “qualified plan” for their employees and pay 72.5% of the cost, and a smaller share of family coverage, or incur an 8% payroll tax. Small businesses, with payrolls from $500,000 to $750,000, are fined less.

      You can read the rest to Ms. McCaughey’s article here.

      It is an outlandish trivialization to compare a government take-over of health care to my local firefighter service. The firefighters are paid for with taxes and/or bond issues in local districts that amount to a small fraction of a percent of people’s income. The firefighters do not intrude into my most personal medical and financial decisions.

      You sound like an interesting and thoughtful person. That is why I can’t tell if you are naïve or disingenuous in you say “should this bill pass the senate, you would have the cheaper, government option for healthcare, or you can continue with what healthcare you already have.” This government health care plan is a clear move to eliminate my private choices. The following video pretty much sums it up…

      I prefer to handle any problems I may have with the health care system with less government control. It is government policy that causes health care to be the only realm where advancing technology does to drive the cost down.

      I suggest you take steps to deal with your health without involving me. If you are altruistically concerned about others that do not have capability to take care of themselves, then I suggest you band together with like minded folks and help them out. It should not be the role of the government to make sure that everybody’s needs are always met. More people end up better off when they are free to do the best they can to meet their own needs.

      Best regards,
      PoliticalPen

      Comment by tommoriarty — November 10, 2009 @ 9:22 pm | Reply

      • Political Pen-

        I do not understand what opponents of this bill cannot comprehend about the word “option.” This bill provides for a government OPTION not a mandate. The only people that have to worry about mandates are the insurance companies…and it is about damn time. They will need to meet certain standards put forth by the government much like other industries have to meet standards. A good example is the auto industry. All auto companies are expected to meet safety standards. This does not mean that the government therefore owns the auto companies. The fact that the government bailed out the auto companies is an entirely unrelated and separate issue, so lets not even go that direction with this discussion. As for your video, it doesn’t matter what prominent Democrats would like down the road. We are discussing the bill that was passed in the House. It is a bill that is far from ideal for both Democrats and Republicans alike. This is the great (and often frustrating) thing about our representative democracy. It would not be politically viable to push for a single payer system, which is what you seem to consider this bill to be, no matter how badly Obama or Pelosi want it. Like it or not, they are good politicians to be in the positions of power they are and they are not going to force something that has no chance of getting passed in either the House or the Senate.

        Now let us look at a few of the quotes you have provided from the Wall Street Journal article:

        1) Sec. 202 (p. 91-92) of the bill requires you to enroll in a “qualified plan.”

        A qualified plan does not equal a government plan. It is putting forth new requirements for private insurance plans to make the healthcare system work more fairly and in the interest of the consumer. This includes the following which I obtained from the summary section of the actual bill itself on the Library of Congress website, thomas.loc.gov:

        “Establishes standards for qualified health benefits plans, including standards to: (1) prohibit any preexisting condition exclusions; (2) require guaranteed availability and renewability of health insurance coverage; (3) limit premium variances, except for reasons of age, area, or family enrollment; (4) prohibit discrimination based on health status factors; and (5) require parity for mental health benefits.”

        This is simply a way to start regulating an industry that has been under-regulated for too long. The author of the article you provided was in the Republican party for most of her time in office and has been shown to stretch the truth on the website factcheck.org in other past statements she has made regarding the healthcare debate. I am not saying that your source is completely inaccurate, but there certainly could be some biases when the author analyzed the meanings of the bill.

        2) On Nov. 2, the Congressional Budget Office estimated what the plans will likely cost. An individual earning $44,000 before taxes who purchases his own insurance will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17% of his pre-tax income. A family earning $102,100 a year before taxes will have to pay a $15,000 premium plus an estimated $5,300 out-of-pocket, for a $20,300 total, or 20% of its pre-tax income. Individuals and families earning less than these amounts will be eligible for subsidies paid directly to their insurer.

        According to the US Census Bureau, the median income in the US is $27,590 per year and $55,000 is the average. Under the current system, “The average employer-sponsored premium for a family of four costs close to $13,400 a year, and the employee foots about 27 percent of this cost.” (http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml) Also, “The average cost of a family policy offered by employers was $13,375 this year, up 5% from 2008, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust survey found. By comparison, wages rose 3% over that period, the study said. (http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2009-09-15-insurance-costs_N.htm)

        These stats show that costs now are too high. The public option would create a more affordable way to get insurance. Furthermore, it appears that the above statements in your source are outdated- here is what the finalized bill requires:

        How it is paid for: “$460 billion over the next decade from new income taxes on single people making more than $500,000 a year and couples making more than $1 million. The original House bill taxed individuals making $280,000 a year and couples making more than $350,000, but the threshold was increased in response to lawmakers’ concerns that the taxes would hit too many people and small businesses.” (http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/st_healthcareproposals_20090912.html)

        What are the penalties for not getting some kind of insurance for individuals?

        “Individuals must have insurance, enforced through a tax penalty of 2.5% of income. People can apply for hardship waivers if coverage is unaffordable.” (http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/st_healthcareproposals_20090912.html)

        For businesses?

        “Employers must provide insurance to their employees or pay a penalty of 8% of payroll…Small businesses — those with 10 or fewer workers — get tax credits to help them provide coverage.” (http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/st_healthcareproposals_20090912.html)

        3) Sec. 303 (pp. 167-168) makes it clear that, although the “qualified plan” is not yet designed, it will be of the “one size fits all” variety. The bill claims to offer choice—basic, enhanced and premium levels—but the benefits are the same. Only the co-pays and deductibles differ. You will have to enroll in the same plan, whether the government is paying for it or you and your employer are footing the bill.

        In this situation, the article is referring to the government option when it uses the term “qualified plan.” Again, you don’t have to do anything unless you choose to be a part of the government option. The only people who have to do something are the insurance companies. They have to meet the reasonable requirements that the government would be enforcing. This is governmental regulation NOT a government takeover of the healthcare industry.

        4) Sec. 59b (pp. 297-299) says that when you file your taxes, you must include proof that you are in a qualified plan. If not, you will be fined thousands of dollars. Illegal immigrants are exempt from this requirement.

        Illegal immigrants are exempt from this requirement because they do not pay taxes, and they do not receive the benefits of this bill. If you are concerned that they will be free riding on the public option, they already are under the current system. Instead of buying insurance, they are using emergency rooms every day at the tax payer’s expense.

        “[Under the bill that was just passed in the House] About 96% of legal residents under age 65 — compared with 83% now. About one-third of the remaining 18 million people under age 65 left uninsured would be illegal immigrants.” (http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/st_healthcareproposals_20090912.html)

        In fact, even citizens who cannot afford health insurance or are being denied because of unfair practices like denying people for “preexisting conditions” are using emergency rooms. One of the reasons we need reform is to allow for non-emergency health situations to go to regular physicians instead of clogging up our ER rooms. Another reason is that many expensive procedures that are needed to save a person’s life could have been avoided through preventive care that was denied by the insurance companies. This bill makes this less likely to happen as there will be more strict requirements on the insurance companies regarding denial of coverage issues.

        Lastly you state the following:

        “If you are altruistically concerned about others that do not have capability to take care of themselves, then I suggest you band together with like minded folks and help them out. It should not be the role of the government to make sure that everybody’s needs are always met. More people end up better off when they are free to do the best they can to meet their own needs”

        I would like to pretend that I am so unselfish that this is solely my desire to better the lives of others. Although that is certainly a factor, my main interest is the health of myself and the people I care about. Under the current system, there are too many ways that I could see myself in the next years as one of those people who “do not have capability to take care of themselves.” It is simply too easy for insurance companies to beat the system. They insure you just fine until a real emergency occurs…then they do everything they can to find some loophole in your medical history that allows them to drop your coverage. There needs to be increased regulation on this. I agree with your statement that the government shouldn’t have to make sure everybody’s needs are always met. However, I think healthcare is an exception that should be added to the list. As much as I love this country because of my freedom of speech provided to me by the Constitution and because of the many other freedoms guaranteed us by our government, I cannot enjoy them if I am dead, and neither can you. You say more people end up better off when they are free to do the best they can to meet their own needs. Unfortunately, the current system does not allow for this freedom. It would be wonderful if a group of people could overhaul the system on their own and claim smaller government. However, that simply is not practical. The system needs to be fixed and I do not, in any way, see how providing a cheaper government OPTION takes away the rights of a single citizen. You are part of a society. You are expected to die for this country and your fellow citizens should a draft be enacted. Why should you not be expected to pay slightly more in taxes to help prevent the deaths of those same citizens? How is this more severe than sacrificing your life?

        You claim I am the naïve one when referring to my knowledge of the bill. However, it is the opponents of this bill who are naïve. Whether you want to believe it or not, our healthcare system is broken, and it is so not simply because it is financially wasteful and inefficient; It is failing the American people. Too many bankruptcies are occurring as a direct result of its failures, there are unjust coverage denials, coverages being dropped by insurance companies to avoid costs on their end while benefiting from the healthy people they are covering, and taxes are being increased because of the unnecessary strain on the emergency room by people without coverage who were forced there as a last resort. In this day and age, to say one’s health is not a RIGHT in arguably the most advanced country in the world is absolutely mindboggling.

        Comment by Socrates — November 11, 2009 @ 10:04 am

      • Dear Socrates,

        Thank you for your extraordinarily verbose comment.

        I will keep my reply short and to the point.

        President Obama wants to eliminate private insurance. He thinks a single-payer plan is superior. If you don’t believe that, then view this video…

        Now, you may say “But PoliticalPen, that was years ago. Obama has refined his position since that time,” then I suggest you check out this video…

        This is very simple. I do not want you or Barack Obama interfering in my personal decisions. I do not want to be forced to pay for your health care – do it yourself. If you feel the need to pay for somebody else’s health care, then have at it. But don’t force me to join you.

        Best Regards
        PoliticalPen

        Comment by tommoriarty — November 11, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

      • Those people banded together is called the American society. While we do have certain personal freedoms, we also are part of the fabric of society. Given the current system, which I’m assuming you prefer since you oppose the current reform bill, my costs still involve you because when I go to the ER without health insurance, taxpayers (yourself included) end up footing the bill. You are banding together to help people out.

        Your quote: “More people end up better off when they are free to do the best they can to meet their own needs” is ridiculous, especially given the nature of health care. It’s fine and dandy when you have means to meet your needs. Unfortunately, millions and millions of Americans don’t. It must be nice being affluent and successful. Perhaps these uninsured Americans could reach that level of the American Dream themselves were they not encumbered by massive health debt that they acquired through the randomness of serious illness.

        Comment by Mason — November 11, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

      • Dear Mason,

        Thank you for your comment.

        You mentioned “Those people banded together are called American society.” This poll, only three days old, from the liberal leaning Gallup, would indicate that the American people have not banded together with a favorable opinion of government run heath care…
        091111 health care poll

        Those supporting government run health care have a debating advantage. They can say all kinds of compassionate things and appear to be kinder, better people. They simply are not forced to consider that their actions may make many people worse off while trapped an inferior system. But who cares – their perceived halos burn all the brighter.

        Best Regards,
        PoliticalPen

        Comment by tommoriarty — November 12, 2009 @ 12:11 am

      • Replied to the wrong post- see response 20

        Comment by Socrates — November 12, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

      • Thanks for another poll. I know where to come to for the latest numbers in graph form.

        Comment by Ryan Mason — November 19, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  19. I, for one, am a free man. As a free man, and under our Constitution, I can not be forced to purchase something I do not want. If they pass this into law, I swear to you this: I will not get Health Insurance, I will not pay the fine, and I will not go to jail for refusing to buy insurance or pay the fine. I will die before I am a slave who simply does as they are told.

    Anyone who attempts to use force to punish me for refusing to buy insurance or pay the fine will be met with force. Period.

    In all seriousness, that is my line in the sand. I will be dead before I lose my freedom to choose what I do not wish to purchase.

    Comment by Josh — November 10, 2009 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

    • Under the current system, everytime someone who does not have health insurance goes to the Emergency Room you are indirectly purchasing their recovery through your taxes. At least if insurance is required for everyone, that amount will drastically be reduced and you will directly receive a benefit from what you are buying, as opposed to now when you get nothing in return (save for the satisfaction that you helped someone in need, of course). Do you not count as a slave if you dont know where the chains are coming from?

      Comment by Socrates — November 11, 2009 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

      • Socrates, I think you are incorrect. The hospitals pass on the costs of those who cannot pay by raising prices on those who can afford to pay(or their insurance companies)… It is not covered by the taxpayer.

        As far as I know, any tax funds hospitals receive are through Medicare and Medicaid (unless it is a VA hospital). Therefore, your money is only paying for those who cannot afford it if you yourself use the services of the hospital.

        The issue is still valid. I won’t be purchasing health insurance if it is mandated. That is unconstitutional and I am a free man. If that means that I have to pay the cost of MY care out of pocket, so be it. If for some reason, I can’t afford to pay, I’d rather die on the street than be a serf by simply obeying an unconstitutional law blindly.

        …Not that any of that really matters. If this passes, I’ll be dying in a hail of gunfire as the I.R.S. tries to haul me off to prison for refusing to pay the fine for being uninsured…

        I won’t be subjugated by a tyrannical system or politician. You, nor anyone else can force me to buy a good or service. I’m free to my last breath. One way or another. I have made up my mind.

        Comment by Josh — November 11, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

  20. Political Pen-

    Let me be more concise this time around. Judging by your comments, it can be implied that you feel that one’s health is a privilege, not a right. It seems obvious that otherwise you would defend the right to healthcare for all much like you would a right to freedom of speech or religion. If some people have it and other people do not, it cannot be a “right” by definition. I would just like to see your justification for this view. Thanks

    Comment by Socrates — November 12, 2009 @ 11:51 am | Reply


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