Sophomoric Debate on Health Care is Distressing

The national debate over the administration’s health care plan has spawned some strange occurrences.  Last week, for example, Rep. David Scott (D-GA) completely lost his cool when a medical doctor tried to ask him some legitimate questions at a town hall meeting.   At town hall meetings in other districts, it is the protestors, not the members of Congress who have behaved badly. 

Tempers are running high, but that should not be particularly surprising — after all, the administration is proposing to dramatically alter the manner in which health care has been delivered and paid for in America for many decades.  Putting the government firmly in the health care driver’s seat scares alot of Americans; and many of them feel they are not getting the answers and facts they deserve.

They’re certainly not going to get those answers and facts from two of the Democratic Party’s top leaders — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer from Maryland.  Both Pelosi and Hoyer are among the president’s top cheerleaders on Capitol Hill, championing the administration’s so-called “reform” legislation and criticizing Republicans for opposing it.  However, an opinion piece the two congressional leaders co-authored for Monday’s “USA TODAY” did nothing to shed light on the complexities of the pending legislation; but instead continued the simplistic, misleading level of discourse that has prevailed throughout the past weeks.

The thesis of the Pelosi-Hoyer article seems to be that because the issue of national health care coverage has been (in their analysis) a part of the “national agenda” for nearly 100 years — 1912 to be precise – it cannot be “derailed” by “un-American” opponents.  The authors’ reference to government-provided ”health coverage for all” being a part of Teddy Roosevelt’s third party presidential run in 1912, is historically dubious and seems a rather strange one to begin with, since his was a losing campaign.  To then lump the first Roosevelt together with former President Bill Clinton, is stranger still, since the government-run health care program pushed by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton during her husband’s first term, was one of the primary reasons his party lost control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. 

History lessons aside, Pelosi and Hoyer in their article then issue a list of slogans that are truly humorous in their naivete: 

  • The Democrat leaders claim the legislation will give people “more patient choice.”   Well, yeah, in the short run it will — the “choice” of having the government as a single-payor provider.
  • They claim it will bring “stability and peace of mind” to the middle class; perhaps in the same manner a certain serenity reportedly ascends over those facing inevitable death.
  • Pelosi and Hoyer then try and assuage Americans’ concerns over health care costs, by claiming their plan will “never drive Americans into bankruptcy.”  They fail to note, of course, that the multi-trillion dollar plan will drive America into bankruptcy.
  • The authors accurately state that the legislation includes a “public health insurance option,” but like many of President Obama’s supporters on this, they fail to make clear that the “option” they’re talking about is ”the government.”
  • In a statement that confirms the Bizarro World in which the Democratic leaders are operating in their unflinching endorsement of the President’s plan, they claim it will “bring competitive pressures to bear” on medical costs.  The “competitive pressures” of which they speak are, of course, government mandates, which are by definition never “competitive.” 
  • A final point proudly proclaimed by our two congressional professors, is that the legislation will “promot[e] preventive care,” as if this is a revolutionary concept not heretofore available to American citizens.  What now — or ever — is stopping Americans from seeking “preventive care” by getting regular check ups, mammograms or prostate cancer screeings?  Is government intervention the sole genesis of “preventive medicine?”

The fact that congressional leaders like Pelosi and Hoyer either themselves believe that Americans cannot now obtain preventive care if they choose, or that the American populace is so stupid it doesn’t realize such options are already available, speaks volumes about the level of debate being exercise by the proponents of this plan for the federal government to assume eventual control of health care in America.

59 comments Add your comment


August 12th, 2009
6:40 am

If you would like to help pressure Congress to pass single payer health care please join our voting bloc at:


August 12th, 2009
7:04 am

The Democrats at least are addressing the problem of how to deal with the out of control cost of healthcare. Paul Broun keeps chanting health savings account…free market. Do these idiots not realize that, as things stand now (and as a physician, Broun HAS to realize this) if you have a pre-existing condition, you cannot get insurance for any price. And health savings accounts are great if you can afford to put aside the money and, if God forbid, something happens, you will be able to pay the high deductible. Most young people in today’s world can’t do this. And it is illogical that, if you leave your employer that has a plan where the combined cost to the employer and employee might be $300 a month, you find out that, if you take out insurance on your on, the same coverage will cost you over $600 a month! This is insanity and a single-payer system will eliminate this bull%$@*!!! The Republicans cannot bring a valid, coherent idea to the table. And yet the vocal minority keeps disrupting valid discussion. I keep hearing the right wingnut radioheads spouting about how this is what the majority wants. To the contrary…this is not what the majority wants. This is why the Republicans overwhelmingly lost the last election. Deal with it.


August 12th, 2009
7:59 am

Texas has had a Death Panel since 1999 when our Republican Congress and Governor George W Bush passed the legislation and signed it into law. When they tell you or your family you aren’t worth wasting money to keep alive they have 10 days to appeal; if you fail to get an extension they will remove all life saving treatment. Age doesn’t matter; they have pulled life support from babies to Seniors.

Insurance Companies love it; it saves them Billions.


August 12th, 2009
7:59 am

It all seems very clear to me…We are already in a huge financial hole, at what point do we stop digging? And I have yet to hear a compelling arguement for a ‘Right to Healthcare’…did Obama come up with this by himself or is there some other philosophical giant in history that fronted this farce?


August 12th, 2009
8:15 am

I may believe the members of congress if they would include themselves in the same plan that all of us will be forced into.

Curious Observer

August 12th, 2009
8:23 am

I may believe the members of congress if they would include themselves in the same plan that all of us will be forced into.

I’m tired of reading this bull-crap. First, you won’t be forced into any plan. You can keep your employer-based plan if you want. Secondly, Congress chooses from the same federally sponsored plans that all federal employees choose from. Those plans include Blue Cross/Blue Shield, various United Healthcare plans, Aetna plans, Humana plans, HMOs, PPOs, etc. There is no one single plan covering members of Congress. Repeat: There is no single plan covering members of Congress.

If you’re going to use scare tactics, at least go for a wild one–e.g., death panels, etc. If your comment stems from ignorance, get educated.

Class of '98

August 12th, 2009
8:27 am

So DeborahinAthens, when Bush was president (because he WON elections), you never said a critical word about him, huh?

Dissent is patriotic, remember?


August 12th, 2009
8:33 am

Don’t Germany and Switzerland and Belgium and Sweden etc. have a combination of public and private health care delivery? I’ve read that top-notch health services are provided in these countries, in fact Americans travel to these countries for treatments unavailable here. Why can’t the US have something like other developed countries.


August 12th, 2009
8:35 am

So Bob, what’s you’re point? Where are your constructive recommendations to reforming a broken health care system? I recommend you read John Mackay’s opinion in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled “The Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare”. This piece offers real alternatives to this very complex problem. If you, Newt, Rush, Saxby, Sarah, and others would offer a cogent, thougthful, and truly meaningful alternative, please do so. Other than that your party line comments (I know you are Libertarian, but you mostly follow the Repub talking points) don’t do “squat” to contribute to meaningful, thoughtful, and beneficial reform. I would respectfully ask that you become part of the solution and not the problem.


August 12th, 2009
8:39 am

I have yet to hear of a case where a sick person walked into a hospital or Dr. office and was not treated. We already have a so called ‘Right’ to health CARE. Correct me if I’m wrong but we have many ‘rights’ in the Constitution. We have the right to free speech. We have the right to a trial by jury. We have the right to bear arms. But, just because we have a right to those things, does not mean that the Government will pay for a pulpit to speak, pay for a lawyer or give us a gun. It simply means that the Federal Government does not have the ability to interfere with those things. The Constitution also mentions something about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. If these things are a “right” as defined by the Constitution, then the Federal Government cannot interfere with these things. Granting the Federal Government the power to mandate your Health CARE/Insurance or what have you, stands on the brink of interfering with those things. It never ceases to amaze me that in this country, our citizens stand offended by having to pay their Dr. but have no problem blowing money on an HDTV, new car, bigger house. And it never ceases to amaze me that while we are shouting about our right to health CARE which we already have (it’s insurance we are talking about) we have the Homeless, we have the hungry, we have those who cannot afford clothing. Should the Federal Government start taking more tax dollars from you to make sure we have Universal Housing? or Universal Satiation or Universal CLothing? When will it stop? In my opinion, we should question whether we shold even be discussing the Federal Government doling out health INSURANCE in the first place. As a cancer patient, I completely understand probably better than you all, the issues with health INSURANCE. My health CARE has been top rate. And who is it that gets to decide when I should stop fighting for my life? Constitutionally, it can’t be the Federal Government. So, Obama can keep his public option. I’d rather fight it out with the insurance company. I’ve never successfully disputed a parking ticket but won a few battles with my insurance provider. Why the world would I want to fight city hall on something as important as my own treatment? And why would I want to hand over my fight to Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or anyone in this God awful administration? and why would anyone else? You may trust Obama with your life but for those of you who still seethe at the thought of Bush or someone like him, would you really want that administration calling the shots on a serious illness? There has been no detail regarding Pelosi’s plan. THere are several House bills that scare the crap out of me. Furthermore, didn’t our esteemed leader say “UPS and FEDEX are fine. It’s USPS that is always having problems (besides being broke). Did dear leader make our point that government run anything is a debacle? I think his teleprompter may have scored one for the skeptics. Sign on with Obama for health INSURANCE that stinks!


August 12th, 2009
8:39 am

Now that the debate is in full swing, we have the advent of magical powers for the liberals. David Scott (the arrogant, condescending congressman who is above answering questions from his constituents) knows where the people who drew attention to his Nazi-like behavior by painting a swastika on his sign actually live. Of course he does not know who they are. We don’t even know if it wasn’t Rep. Scott himself. But the congressman is sure they don’t live in his distric
Cynthia Tucker is dusting off her race baiting ways and knows what percentage of the people protesting Obama care are racists. It must be nice to be a leftie and have magical powers of knowing the unknowable. Tucker has never let facts get in the way of her anger.
Now the Democrat senator from Michigan says she can feel the earth warm as she flies in a jet. Dumbocrat is more to the point in her case.
Part of the leftie magic is that they always think they know best, they always know what the rest of us need and are prepared to give up or seize whatever freedom is needed to achieve their ends. Did you ever meet a bigger group of know it all’s in your life?

JF McNamara

August 12th, 2009
8:55 am

I’ve got an idea that would actually be useful since you want to enter the healthcare debate. How about taking the actual bill, breaking it into parts and having a series of discussion about the pros and cons of what it actually entails?

I read this space because I actually want to know how you analytically break political topics down and get an insiders view. Not ramblings about news articles.

Here’s the bill for those who want to read it.


August 12th, 2009
8:59 am

Plenty of constructive ideas have been offered from the right and from libertarians. People just don’t want to hear them. Eliminate the tax breaks that businesses get for providing health care, thus equalizing the cost of buying care on your own and through your employer. Then you’ll see the free market do it’s magic. There are some other adjustments that will have to be made regarding preexisting conditions, but this will make insurance cheaper for everyone in the long run, and health care better. The best part? It won’t bankrupt our country, or cause the sort of stagnation of innovation that Europe suffers due to their quasi-socialist economies.

The saddest part about the Dems plan is that they don’t really have a plan, they say something new and different about it every day. They are just searching for the right buzz phrase to get people on their side since their plan has no merit.

Jim Callihan

August 12th, 2009
9:00 am

Lies, deceit, “sleight-of-hand”, smoke and mirrors – all of it. Given the deeply personal nature of the issue, very few will be able to “leave the forest” and take a “30,000 feet view”. To do so, exposes the false premise the entire “reform bill” is founded upon – cost.

Interjection: Let’s just say that this really is the best and most cost effective plan the world has ever seen; placed in the hands of government control, what is it’s future? To reach any other conclusion than a bankrupt bureaucracy is to ignore the nation’s (or any, for that matter) entire history. Simply put? It’s a pipedream at best and a nightmare at worst.

But even more draconian than that, let us ask ourselves why cost have skyrocketed? In a word – LAWYERS. The very instigator of demise is getting a free-pass in this whole “reform bill”. Between the “Ambulance Chasers” going after “deep pockets” via extortion, runaway jury awards, fraud…and the insurance industry’s own attorneys who fight “tooth and nail” against legitimate claims – those fees drive cost up – WAY UP!

Throw in “laws” they use to control and gouge – none more malfeasant and “un-American” (”free-market principles” – another joke/ruse, all-together) are the barriers to “shopping across state lines” – WHAT???

But in this “reform bill”, guess which bunch of thieves stay in control? Very few in Congress have even dared breach the subject (Dr. Tom Price, for one) of “TORT Reform”.

On a personal note, my father, injured while on a training mission in Japan with the Air Force, was given a one-time, lump-sum, miniscule amount – as are ALL “armedd forces” members when injured while serving. The “awards” are CAPPED. Good enough for our military, good enough for all Americans, right? However, these same “unfortunate sons” (hat-tip to CCR) are then treated for the rest of their lives at the VA Hospital – my dad died at 49. My son’s future is much more promising; his hearing loss, suffered during an attack upon his patrol (1st Armored Division, 40th Engineering Co. in Baghdad) is far less threatening an injury. (John Edwards – NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE!)

This entire bill is crap and it’s supporters – fools…or far worse. We can do better – MUCH BETTER!



August 12th, 2009
9:00 am

Several points:

1. Our present healthcare system grants medical care to every CITIZEN & NON-CITIZEN who shows up at a hospital for treatment. Period.

2. We will have this system for the next 100 years unless it is changed.
Do you want to change it? If not, god bless you for your charity to all.

3. The USA will spend 2 trillion dollars on health care in 2009. If we make no changes, in 2017 that will be 3 trillion dollars at the present rate increase in medical costs.

I am in favor of keeping the present system with but a few changes.

Cut out treatment for non-citizens ( Senate Fin. bill does this).

Put the emphasis on wellness & prevention instead of treating a disease.
My insurance pays for weekly trips to a gym to work out & stay healthier. Apparently paying for trips to a gym is cheaper than paying for a triple by-pass.

Get under control the cost of Medicare & Medicaid for the 30 million baby boomers who are scheduled to retire in the next 30 years. Payroll tax deductions from your paycheck will triple in the next 20 years.
NO ONE is lifting a finger to address this issue, not Republicans & not Democrats.

Have you actually READ the healthcare bill?

August 12th, 2009
9:40 am

You are kidding, right? You actually think you get to keep your employee healthcare insurance? Wrong! Under the Obama Healthcare/Death Warrant bill, there will be ONE plan – The Government! And no, you won’t get to choose Blue Cross or anyone else, because a bureacrat in Washington will do it for you and it will be chosen by the insurance companies lobbying to be chosen. And who do you think will benefit when the lobbyists come in? The Bureacrats NOT the people.

I am 55, have been paying taxes all my life and have NEVER received any assistance from the government. Give Obamacare to the people who have been living on welfare all their lives and leave the rest of us alone.

[...] Bob Barr bemoans the sophomoric tone of the debate over health care. [...]


August 12th, 2009
9:47 am

If the Democrats have such a good health plan for America, why aren’t they on it? Why can’t we get the same coverage as our “representatives”?


August 12th, 2009
9:56 am

Only in the United States could we look at a system, our healthcare for example, that is far more expensive and much less efficient and call it the best in the world.

I am not saying that universal/single payer is the answer our prayers and has no faults, but when you compare costs, life expectancy, infant mortality and see that we spend more, get less, have a lower life expectancy than France, Canada, Norway, Sweden, etc and have a higher infant mortality rate than Cuba, hardly the bastion of the wealthy, it only makes sense to least consider the option. That is unless you are bought and paid for by the healthcare insurance industry and big Pharma.

You would think the GOP and Blue Dogs would worry about the burden our businesses must bear that puts them at a competitive disadvantage with foreign companies that don’t have to fund the healthcare of their employees, but I guess not. Maybe they’re all bankruptcy lawyers on the side.


August 12th, 2009
10:04 am

What I also find amusing is that alot of the people I see screaming about government healthcare are old enough to be on Medicare (government healthcare). These people are so ignorant, they don’t even realize they are already on government healthcare. What a joke.

And for those of you saying Congress should have the same healthcare they are proposing in the public option, that is their healthcare. They have the same healthcare as all federal employees. Again, morons yelling about something they don’t have a clue about.

The ignorance of the American people is an embarrassment to those of us who take the time to educate ourselves before speaking about a topic.


August 12th, 2009
10:35 am

Poor Songbird…Yes, our salaries were taxed from day one to cover the “government health care” – no choice…And to save time and money, why not expand the excellent “federal employees health plan” that tax payers are already paying for? You needn’t be embarrassed…just learn to look at both sides of the coin!

Mother Faulkner

August 12th, 2009
10:36 am

Jim Callihan,

Yes, that’s it–lawyers are the problem (Of course! Why didn’t I think of that!). Do you have any idea how detrimental it would be to the overall standard of care patients receive in this country if doctors weren’t held responsible for their preventable mistakes? If you ask most doctors, they will tell you they are in favor of the malpractice system because it takes care of the incompetant doctors who make it through school yet have no business taking care of actual patients.


August 12th, 2009
10:43 am

This article is complete trash and hilarious. You talk about how “sophomoric” the debate is and then just blame everything on the Democrats while not taking a second to point out that it’s the Republicans who are out spreading disinformation and inciting those morons to riot. Also to say that this is putting the government firmly in the driver’s seat is ludicrous. Health care as we know it is a market failure. Government intervention is ABSOLUTELY necessary to promote competition and a healthier health care market.

Boy Who Cried Wolf

August 12th, 2009
10:43 am

I just posted on another blog that AARP claims Prez lied when stating that it had endorsed his Health Care Plan at TH meeting yesterday, and all I got was crickets. Of course it was a left wing blog, so my bad for thinking there would be outrage for such a blatant act.

Boy Who Cried Wolf

August 12th, 2009
10:50 am

Of course the outrage would’ve been deafining had the shoe been on the other foot.


August 12th, 2009
10:59 am

Well folks ………..I wonder how many here are self employed and personally pay for their coverage ?

My experience is with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, they jack up your prices yearly whether you use the coverage or not !

Has anyone been there ? I think national health care is a good idea.

I know a family who is military retired, and get great coverage, at a very reasonable price, but they have to personally pay for it……. Why can’t all American’s get on the same Plan ?

Boy Who Cried Wolf

August 12th, 2009
11:07 am

Peter-not trying to sound like a smarta*s, but don’t prices on just about everything change. In some instances multiple times in a year’s time?


August 12th, 2009
11:12 am

I know a family who is military retired, and get great coverage, at a very reasonable price, but they have to personally pay for it……. Why can’t all American’s get on the same Plan?

Well, you could get on it–or its equivalent–if the big health insurance companies and their lackeys weren’t so heavily opposed to the idea. All the bills now wending their way through Congressional committees would allow non-federal employees to choose any of the 24 plans now available to federal employees. The military Tri-Care is just another version of these plans. The reason the retired military plan is so reasonably priced is that it’s partially subsidized by the federal government, just as the health plan provisions now being debated would be.

But you can bet that the big health care insurance companies and their executives, employees, and stockholders will fight the bills until the bitter end. Others opposed include those who are comfortably fitted with employer-sponsored plans. They want their own plans but are utterly opposed to providing coverage for those without insurance or the means to pay for it.

Boy Who Cried Wolf

August 12th, 2009
11:14 am

Peter-Me, I’ve maybe made 5 claims in thirty years as an adult,none of the serious matter. Should I be able to get a rebate on the thousands of dollars i’ve invested in my Health Care?


August 12th, 2009
11:21 am

Haha, some idiot mentioned that life expectancy is better in other countries, as if that has anyhting to do with healthcare. Get a clue, a lot more people die here from car accidents, urban crime, and bad lifestyle choices, and none of those have jack to do with the healthcare system. It’s a free country, and if I want to slowly kill myself with fast food, I have that right. And Cuba’s is just fine if you don’t mind spending your life in jail if you disagree with the bureaucrat making your decisions for you.


August 12th, 2009
11:23 am

Just wait till you are told your baby has to be murdered in it’s mama because it has down syndrome. You won’t even get the option to raise it, because it will cost too much. Sure, that won’t happen tomorrow, or in the near future, but you’re wearing blinders if you don’t think more government involvement in health care will lead to that.

And yeah, Obama straight out lied about the AARP… And a lot of other things.

Boy Who Cried Wolf

August 12th, 2009
11:27 am

Jimmy62-The left has been screamin about the dis-information being spewed by the right,but doe’nt give a DAM* that Obama does it on a daily basis! Example:AARP

Mother Faulkner

August 12th, 2009
11:51 am

It’s so obvious–the Democrats want to abort retarded babies so there will be less Republic voters in the future…


August 12th, 2009
12:06 pm

you lost your credibility by using “alot” as a word.

n o n c i t i z e n 2 0 0 9 at

August 12th, 2009
12:19 pm

Pelosi and Hoyer are giving the majority of Americans exactly what they want and need – misleading, simplistic, non-factual “facts” and slogans. Most Americans simply do not have enough sense or fortitude to objectively analyze complex issues and reach intelligent conclusions. After all, the vast majority of Americans support our idiotic, counter-productive “Sex Offender” laws. They don’t really need any facts.

Besides, if an intelligent person wants to understand health care and any pending legislation, would the person look to politicians for explanations and answers? Of course not, they would be a last choice. If politicians are your primary source of information, you are going to support health care “reform” that is just as moral, rational, and effective as our “Sex Offender” laws. Not so much.


August 12th, 2009
12:52 pm

Regulate the health insurance profits just like the utilities. I pay more and more and get less and less, that’s what I’m sick of. Insurance should pay the claims instead of claiming the Doctor’s charges are above “customary” charges. The only way to control costs is to control profits.

Is Ted Kennedy dead yet?

August 12th, 2009
1:03 pm

here are some excerpts from the Paglia column, found here:

“Obama’s healthcare horror

Heads should roll — beginning with Nancy Pelosi’s!”


“How is it possible that Democrats, through their own clumsiness and arrogance, have sabotaged healthcare reform yet again? Blaming obstructionist Republicans is nonsensical because Democrats control all three branches of government. It isn’t conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it’s the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan — it’s the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.”

Even Paglia is freaked out.

Is Ted Kennedy dead yet?

August 12th, 2009
1:10 pm

More from the Paglia column found here:

looks like her honeymoon with the kenyan is over.

“But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration’s outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable “casual conversations” to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it.”


“Of course, it didn’t help matters that, just when he needed maximum momentum on healthcare, Obama made the terrible gaffe of declaring that, even without his knowing the full facts, Cambridge, Mass., police had acted “stupidly” in arresting a friend of his, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Obama’s automatic identification with the pampered Harvard elite (wildly unpopular with most sensible people), as well as his insulting condescension toward an officer doing his often dangerous duty, did serious and perhaps irreparable damage to the president’s standing. The strained, prissy beer summit in the White House garden afterward didn’t help. Is that the Obama notion of hospitality? Another staff breakdown.”

libs are worse than al-qaeda

August 12th, 2009
1:34 pm

Jim Callihan

August 12th, 2009
1:49 pm

“Mother Faulkner” – I should have disclosed that NOT ALL lawyers are evil, greedy and corrupt; it is quite true, and a humble concession by me, that it is only “99% of them giving the rest a bad name”.

Sincerist apologies…

Jim Callihan

August 12th, 2009
1:56 pm

And…before lawyers were allowed to practice their withcraft in this nation (right from Paul Harvey’s “Rest of the Story”), confilcts were settled among the village elders. It worked fine until those that even Christ woe’d were turned loose to “practice” (a very applicable term with this bunch).

Give patients and providers a community-ran mediation board with binding powers – LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES!

That’s “a little hard to do” (pardon the use) given the GIANT OBSTACLE of posing a legal challenge from the patients position – dollars versus BILLIONS.


August 12th, 2009
2:02 pm

To the Republicans in the crowd the Democrats are evil and liars. To the Democrats in the crowd the Republicans are evil and liars. Looks like you cancel each other out. It’s the same child’s game “my dad’s bigger than your dad”.

Richard Quinn

August 12th, 2009
2:24 pm

The problem with what is going on now is that there is little reform and a great deal of adding more Americans to a flawed system. We are not making health care more affordable, we are making it more costly. For a real life example,m just look to Massachusetts. We truly need real reform in a manner that helps raise the quality of care and manage the costs. We also need to stop focusing on the insurance companies as the bad guys and focus on the drivers of cost.

For more of my comments based on 47 years in the employer health benefits profession, you may want to visit my Blog

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 12th, 2009
3:21 pm

Worrying about anything driving us into bankruptcy is sort of a moot point. We’re already bankrupt.

Pelosi is experiencing that moment that lots of elitists do when they are shown that the great unwashed out there is just as smart as they are.


August 12th, 2009
3:49 pm

What is sad about this debate, is that extremist on both sides have framed the terms. I am a conservative, and though I don’t think this bill should pass, I am fairly sure something will. Given that, I think we should focus on something we can afford.

Somehow costs have become almost invisable in the debate. To me this is the fundamental issue. We are about to put into place one of the largest entitlements in history, And very little is known about how we will pay for it. The most oft quoted reference to cost is that it will not raise the deficit. This tells me nothing. The CBO also says this is not the case and is sticking to their stories despite pressure from the Admin and Pelosi. This leaves revenue generation, [tax increases] as the only viable option.

This coupled with the fact that Medicare and Social Security could be bankrupt within ten years raises a lot of questions about where the money will come from.

If politicians could frame the debate in these terms they may get some support. Until then, I think they will have a hard time.

Curious Observer

August 12th, 2009
4:22 pm

If politicians could frame the debate in these terms they may get some support. Until then, I think they will have a hard time.

So long as an employee and an employer together are paying $13,000 per year plus co-pays and deductibles–yes, that’s the average cost–for a basic family group health insurance policy, we’re the ones who will be going broke. The doctors certainly aren’t getting that much, on average. Neither are the hospitals and the testing facilities. A large portion of that money goes for insurers’ administrative expenses and profits. And the cost of a policy keeps going up every year.

Until the few insurers are forced to compete for business, rather than play footsie with one another, the cost of medical care will never start going down. I would rather have some initial federal debt to start that competition than see medical coverage costs continue to spiral out of control.


August 12th, 2009
6:18 pm

When Obama was running for President, those of us familiar with Castro, Chavez, and the rest of the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America recognized Obama’s kinship with them. Obama’s campaign strategy — based on lies, manipulation, intimidation and fraud, with overwhelming support from a corrupt media — was almost identical to the strategies of the Marxist thugs. Even his slogans (CHANGE and YES CAN) were the same.

However, many of us believed Americans were too smart to be fooled as the most ignorant Venezuelans, Bolivians, Ecuadorians had been fooled. We were wrong. Many Americans had been dumbed down to the point that they were fooled with fairy tale promises of CHANGE to help to poor, to end corruption… to make everything better.

And now they are being fooled again and are ready to let a Chavez-like Obama take control of their health care system!

Fortunately, not all Americans have been dumbed down, as we can see in the town halls! Most Americans have not been dumbed down and prefer to be FREE.

Betty Ames

August 12th, 2009
6:29 pm

I want to hear just one of the elected officials tell us they will be on the same health care system they intend for us? Will they drop their hugh retirement plans they have endowed for themselves? They just gave themselves a nice raise in the last month or so… ms Obama takes junkets to other countries for lunch on our dime? What we have her are a bunch of mini dictators, who want to take our freedoms to set themselves up on throns they have built for themselves. we need a new party that follows the US Constitution.


August 12th, 2009
10:01 pm

The only Americans who support Obamacare are those who have been dumbed down and brainwashed as per the warnings of Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov.

In 1985, Bezmenov told us that our enemies were working hard at brainwashing us (dumbing us down) and would succeed if we did not defend our principles:

The dumbed down are obviously unable to understand that Obamacare will further contribute to “the American descent into Marxism,” which “is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple…”

Fortunately, as we can see in the town halls, most Americans have NOT been dumbed down and they will do whatever necessary to defend themselves, their children and grandchildren from the abomination of Obamacare.

just the facts

August 13th, 2009
9:38 am

Here is some food for thought: Japan has a universal government run healthcare coverage. I lived there for over a year and much of my family still does. It is not flawless but it seems to be working. Everyone is covered. Noone uses an emergency room for primary care – which in the U.S. costs all of us in taxes and is incredibly expensive and inefficient. Perhaps most importantly, Japan spends approximately one third per capita (let me repeat that – ONE THIRD PER CAPITA) compared to the United States. Yet the Japanese have one of the longest life expectancies in the world. Yes, I know there are cultural and genetic components to Japanese life expectancy, but if their government run healthcare system was truly atrocious (as is predicted by some in this debate whenever any government runs a healthcare system), I am sure their life expectancy would suffer. So there you have it – a healthcare system that is run by a government that does not result in total disaster as is predicted by the current naysayers. And last time I checked, Japan is far from being a “socialist” country. I lived there, its a great system and a great country. Before you start with your spurious personal attacks to undermine my credibility, don’t get me wrong, I love this country. But the argument that a government run healthcare system (much less the one which is currently being proposed, which is far from being goevrnment run) will be an unmitigated disaster, is hyperbole at best but more likely, disingenuous panic mongering.


August 13th, 2009
10:56 am

Mr Barr, You appear to me to be fueling the fire of misinformation and frustration. Rather than critisizing the Democrats, you can just go to the nonpartisan arbitor of Congressional legislation, respected by all sides, The Congresional Budget office for their evaluation of the various plans pending: I’m sure your readers(including me) would appreciate your evaluation of what the REAL proposals are, rather than to perpetualte partisan bickering. Everybody_ read the REAL story here:

gloom and doomer

August 13th, 2009
12:07 pm

Just the facts said on Aug 13th:

“But the argument that a government run healthcare system (much less the one which is currently being proposed, which is far from being goevrnment run) will be an unmitigated disaster, is hyperbole at best but more likely, disingenuous panic mongering.”

What is to be expected from an uninformed electorate and those who speak for them?

Having lived under a socialized medical system for a number of years, I found it very competent and fair. My share of my medical insurance payment was around $250 a month, but I never had to worry about filing bankruptcy because of a catastrophic medical condition were it to occur, and the insurance covered everything.

Now, let the chorus of “Well, move back there if it was so good” begin from those who have no higher political or issues consciousness.

shuck and jive

August 13th, 2009
1:59 pm

“Mr Barr, You appear to me to be fueling the fire of misinformation and frustration”

That would be Baghdad Bob Gibbs.

shuck and jive

August 13th, 2009
2:21 pm

Chris Broe

August 13th, 2009
3:28 pm

The sophomoric discussion continues….The crux of the Rx fix lies not in the K’s of text that put the z’s on congress, but rather it lies in the founding tyranny of our current contract law, which itself was born of and for the slave trade, and which now gives Rx patients all the rights once afforded slaves. The reform must come from the way we underwrite our legislation.

henny youngman

August 13th, 2009
3:32 pm

Democrats, realizing the success of the President’s “Cash For Clunkers” rebate program, have revamped a major portion of their National Health Care Plan.

President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Sen. Reed are expected to make this major announcement at a joint news conference later this week. I have obtained an advanced copy of the proposal which is named….

“CASH FOR CODGERS” and it works like this… Couples wishing to access health care funds in order to pay for the delivery of a child will be required to turn in one old person. The amount the government grants them will be fixed according to a sliding scale. Older and more prescription dependent codgers will garner the highest amounts.

Special “Bonuses” will be paid for those submitting codgers in targeted groups, such as smokers, alcohol drinkers, persons 10 pounds over their government prescribed weight, and any member of the Republican Party.

Smaller bonuses will be given for codgers who consume beef, soda, fried foods, potato chips, lattes, whole milk, dairy products, bacon, Brussel sprouts, or Girl Scout Cookies.

All codgers will be rendered totally useless via toxic injection. This will insure that they are not secretly resold or their body parts harvested to keep other codgers in repair.


August 13th, 2009
7:45 pm

Why can’t the dems fix Social Security with the 787 billion in stimulis before putting us in another hole. The feds don’t want the public option just like they don’t any part of Social Security, they have PERS because it is better than Social Security. It’s good enough for the public but not good enough for gov employees.


August 14th, 2009
7:25 am

We have a “right to health care” by default because no one will be denied medical care despite their economic situation. If you are poor and you need immediate health attention you will be taken to an emergency room, the most expensive health care there is. And because you are poor you will not be able to pay the enormous bill you pay and the hospital will pass along their lose to the bills of others who can pay. Morally if you think there is no right to health care you have to decide if a rich person who has a broken leg is more deserving of care than a poor person who has a broken leg.


August 14th, 2009
7:46 am

In many states malpractice insurance for Ob-Gyns can exceed $10,000 per month. In New York State, annual malpractice insurance for specialists can run in excess of $300,000.

Anyone who tries to claim that doctors approve of the current malpractice set-up or that medical lawsuits are not part of the run-up in costs is simply dishonest.

Like parents hoping their child will be the next NBA star or the Georgia Lottery will match all their numbers this week, there is a subset of the population that sees medical mistakes as their chance to financial success.

Should doctors who are reckless be financially punished? Yes. Should patients who have had their lives screwed up due to a doctor’s mistake be compensated? Yes. Is it logical that the more than half of all jury awards for malpractice exceed $1 million? If you answer yes, then I think you’re part of the problem…