Sonny Perdue goes to bat for health care protesters

Gov. Sonny Perdue was among three GOP governors who this afternoon defended protesters showing up at town hall meetings on health care hosted by members of Congress.

According to Politico.com, Perdue joined a conference call with Govs. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Linda Lingle of Hawaii, sponsored by the Republican Governors Association.

Said the governor of Georgia:

Perdue suggested that media coverage of some of the town halls has been overblown, saying what he has seen at the town halls is “democracy in action.”

“For some Democratic legislators to call it anti-democratic is just ludicrous,” said Perdue, seeming to allude to a column by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) published Monday in USA Today that called the protesters “un-American.”

“These are citizens who are very concerned,” said Perdue. “They just want answers to their questions.”

“To be excoriated for asking those questions is just beyond me,” he added.

On the other hand, the three governors weren’t willing to go as far as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who last week denounced the Democratic health care plan as “evil.” Palin said it would include a “death panel” that would decide the fate of disabled children — including her youngest son, Trig, who has Down syndrome.

“Gov. Palin can speak for herself,” Perdue is quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, in case you thought the hoopla over health care had peaked, this mass e-mailing just arrived from Erick Erickson at RedState.com, the conservative web site:

I need some help and I’m hoping one of you who gets this might be willing to engage for RedState.

Hank Johnson is having his townhall tonight. The meeting will be from 7:00 to 9:00 at Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston. You’ll want to get there by 6pm to make sure you get in.

If any of you can go, please go and take video. Post it to YouTube and send me a link.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

22 comments Add your comment

Bill White

August 10th, 2009
5:02 pm

I wish I could make the drive from Hattiesburg. I had a blast at the Tax Party. I love you, Atlanta and I do hope you get some good video from this. It will be great.

Sybil

August 10th, 2009
5:52 pm

Johnny- Isakson introduced legislation in Bill for seeking advance care planning from physicians that appears on page 425 of the House Democrats’ bill. Anyone care to explain this one ???? http://campaignsilo.firedoglake.com/2009/08/10/why-does-johnny-isakson-want-to-kill-sarah-palins-baby/

Road Scholar

August 10th, 2009
6:07 pm

Explanation? Stupid people not having realized the anguish that other family members have had when dealing with death! Why shouldn’t one get counseling to help them deal with their and their spouse/family issues?

Road Scholar

August 10th, 2009
6:08 pm

P.S. Welcome back Jim!

sam

August 10th, 2009
6:34 pm

What’s been happening at these town halls can hardly be characterized as “debate”. In fact, the protesters seem to be going out of their way to prevent an exchange of ideas. And sadly, the substance of their disagreement gets lost in all the screaming, so no one wins

tony316

August 10th, 2009
7:20 pm

my point is real simple. PPO & HMO have boards that decides your teatment and it is cost driven. the fact that each have major medical limited would further confuse them. your plan that you love so much will stop your life to cut cost. change your medication for something cheaper or deny you all together. read & get understanding.

Bill White

August 10th, 2009
7:42 pm

I’m thrilled Sonny spoke with Haley. They’re right as usual. Regular citizens fear for their country so they just want to show up to these meetings and be heard. Unfortunately, they’re being shut down. I wanted my aunt from near Brasstown to come to the meeting to speak. I’m not sure if she made it there, but if she does, I know she’ll have a bunch of friends there.

Anne

August 11th, 2009
12:26 am

Could it be things as this article which is troubling Americans. I have read the Lancet Journal and yes, Dr. Emanuel did write what is stated. Will our government be playing God if this health care reform passes. To appoint a man as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who has written such controversial articles should not be in any type of appointment on National Health Care. This is very troubling. This is why the gentleman was so upset when he faced his congressman concerning his son’s care.The son was in a wheel chair.

DEADLY DOCTORS
O ADVISERS WANT TO RATION CARE

* Read Comments
* Leave a Comment

By BETSY MCCAUGHEY
Emanuel: Believes in withholding care from elderly for greater good.
Emanuel: Believes in withholding care from elderly for greater good.

hide topics

July 24, 2009
Posted: 1:03 am
July 24, 2009

THE health bills coming out of Congress would put the de cisions about your care in the hands of presidential appointees. They’d decide what plans cover, how much leeway your doctor will have and what seniors get under Medicare.

Yet at least two of President Obama’s top health advisers should never be trusted with that power.

Start with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

Emanuel bluntly admits that the cuts will not be pain-free. “Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely ‘lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change,” he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008).

Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, “as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others” (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).

Yes, that’s what patients want their doctors to do. But Emanuel wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else.

Many doctors are horrified by this notion; they’ll tell you that a doctor’s job is to achieve social justice one patient at a time.

Emanuel, however, believes that “communitarianism” should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia” (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. ‘96).

Translation: Don’t give much care to a grandmother with Parkinson’s or a child with cerebral palsy.

He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years” (Lancet, Jan. 31).

The bills being rushed through Congress will be paid for largely by a $500 billion-plus cut in Medicare over 10 years. Knowing how unpopular the cuts will be, the president’s budget director, Peter Orszag, urged Congress this week to delegate its own authority over Medicare to a new, presidentially-appointed bureaucracy that wouldn’t be accountable to the public.

Since Medicare was founded in 1965, seniors’ lives have been transformed by new medical treatments such as angioplasty, bypass surgery and hip and knee replacements. These innovations allow the elderly to lead active lives. But Emanuel criticizes Americans for being too “enamored with technology” and is determined to reduce access to it.

Dr. David Blumenthal, another key Obama adviser, agrees. He recommends slowing medical innovation to control health spending.

Blumenthal has long advocated government health-spending controls, though he concedes they’re “associated with longer waits” and “reduced availability of new and expensive treatments and devices” (New England Journal of Medicine, March 8, 2001). But he calls it “debatable” whether the timely care Americans get is worth the cost. (Ask a cancer patient, and you’ll get a different answer. Delay lowers your chances of survival.)

Obama appointed Blumenthal as national coordinator of health-information technology, a job that involves making sure doctors obey electronically deivered guidelines about what care the government deems appropriate and cost effective.

In the April 9 New England Journal of Medicine, Blumenthal predicted that many doctors would resist “embedded clinical decision support” — a euphemism for computers telling doctors what to do.

Americans need to know what the president’s health advisers have in mind for them. Emanuel sees even basic amenities as luxuries and says Americans expect too much: “Hospital rooms in the United States offer more privacy . . . physicians’ offices are typically more conveniently located and have parking nearby and more attractive waiting rooms” (JAMA, June 18, 2008).

No one has leveled with the public about these dangerous views. Nor have most people heard about the arm-twisting, Chicago-style tactics being used to force support. In a Nov. 16, 2008, Health Care Watch column, Emanuel explained how business should be done: “Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda. If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration’s health-reform effort.”

Do we want a “reform” that empowers people like this to decide for us?

Betsy McCaughey is founder of the Committee to Reduce Infec tion Deaths and a former New York lieutenant governor.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

August 11th, 2009
12:49 am

Translation: “I read some article my grandmother sent me that was sent to her by my cousin larry, who works for 60+ which is a ground swell organization which happens to be funded by the Republican party and the insurance industry, but the email I got is something I can trust a lot more than the mainstream media which is liberally biased to cover Michael Jackson for two weeks.”

Jerry Douglas

August 11th, 2009
8:34 am

I wonder if Sonny would be as laid back if MoveOn.org started disrupting Republcian get-togethers.

The Snark

August 11th, 2009
8:38 am

Reminds me of the suits shouting and banging on the windows and doors down in Florida when the ballots were being counted in 2000. Just keep shouting so the “other side” can’t have its say. Then, when you’re criticized, play the victim and claim you’re being “shut down”!

Patrick Estelle

August 11th, 2009
9:04 am

To those who fear change in healthcare…let it be known that 1/5 of the US population has no heath care as of today. The responses I hear most often is ‘too bad, so sad’ let them get off their lazy behind and get a job. Well to reply; most all of these people work but have no affordable access to healthcare with premiums rapidly increasing. Let it be known that these people without healthcare go to emergency rooms for all of their health care concerns tying up actual emergencies, so the next time you fall and break your leg and are in severe pain, the reason you waited 3 hours to be seen is because this is the only option the ‘non insured’ have to go for their health care. Let it be known that when those that have good health care never pay retail prices; the doctors, the hospitals and the pharmacies negotiate discounts of 50-60 even 70% off of retail prices however the non insured pay full retail prices. Let it be known that since they are at the lower end of the income scale since they cannot afford insurance that when the bills come, they let those bills go unpaid so they can pay rent, put food on the table and clothes on their children and then they declare bankruptcy.

At this point, the hospital, the Doctor and the pharmacies don’t get paid causing them to raise their prices to cover these loses. If by this time anyone has a brain in their head and yes that is a big assumption here, you can see why this massive problem is flying out of control and is long overdue for a correction. To all of those that are so vocal that they will be denied those important and life saving treatments, nobody is going to take your current healthcare away from you. The government plan simply wants to bring everyone into ‘insured’ pool. If you notice it is the ill spirited; ill educated people who are running scared due to the ignorant speaking of those like Fox Noise and Rush Limbaugh; (those that want to see our President fail) perhaps they should go 1 year without healthcare and let’s see if they change their tune.

Right or Good

August 11th, 2009
11:52 am

This whole argument boils down to is healthcare a right or is it a good. It is a nice ideal that healthcare is a right because certainly we can all agree that we wish the best and that includes healthcare. But, to believe that ideal is to believe that anything that one NEEDS in life should be given to them as a right. This means that food, a roof and an education are also guaranteed along with healthcare. Now I ask, why would I go out and work or contribute to society if I have free food, a free home, a free education and free healthcare? I wouldn’t. I would sit at home and play video games while watching tv and drinking beer. This is me being completely honest people. I only work so that I can get the things I need and want but If I can have the things I NEED for free, I am not going to work 40 hour weeks just for a nicer whatever. They are called incentives for a reason because they influence you to action. The idea of not having things guaranteed means you have to go out, contribute and EARN them. Just my two cents

Everyone has CARE, not Insurance

August 11th, 2009
11:54 am

Patrick estelle, there is a BIG difference between health CARE and health INSURANCE. EVERYONE has health care but 46-47 million don’t have INSURANCE. A good portion of those people CHOOSE not to have it because they are healthy and a good portion are illegal and don’t pay taxes. Learn your facts

R[love]ution

August 11th, 2009
12:00 pm

Government is the problem, not the solution. The reason healthcare costs are escalating so fast is because of increased gov’t intervention since the 1970s. Democrats like to tell you we have a free market system as is but that isn’t true. We have some elements of that but Insurance and HMOs have completely distorted that with gov’t paperwork, regulations, etc. Ron Paul mentions a clinic in TN that refuses all gov’t payment plans and all insurance plans. You have to pay straight cash to be seen and you walk in the day you want to be seen (no appointment necessary). Routine maladies and checkups cost $35 dollars. $35!!! Compare that to your copay with insurance or your total bill next time you go to the doctor.

R[love]ution

August 11th, 2009
12:01 pm

Oh and I forgot to mention that the two areas of the economy with the highest inflation are healthcare and education. Notice that these two areas are also the sectors where government is involved the most. Join the R[love]ution!

Perimeter Progressive

August 11th, 2009
1:01 pm

So does Perdue support whomever painted the Swastika today at Scott’s office?

jim

August 11th, 2009
1:05 pm

R(love)ution.

We call your argument “false cause” fallacy. Because two things are associated, does not mean that they are causally related.

1. Could it be that government is involved in these things BECAUSE costs are so high?
2. If healthcare costs increase because of government involvement, why do countries that have more involvement actually have health care costs of half of those of the US?

If it is true that the government is involved in healthcare as a cause of costs increasing, this is only because current government involvement is the tail wagging the dog; i.e. insurance companies and big pharm have influence government policy in a way to shore up their profits.

Finally…Your facts about increased costs in education and healthcare are incorrect. The greatest increase in public sector spending has been in so-called “defense spending”.

R[love]ution

August 11th, 2009
2:14 pm

We are straddling a fence now between two systems so we have the worst of both worlds. You argument that other countries spend less is thus irrelevant because it does not address what I am calling for, getting government OUT of healthcare. There is no reason that we cannot achieve even lower costs than those same countries you cite as having relatively cheap healthcare.

Defense spending increases aren’t a result of inflation, btw, but I am against most funding there too. I am talking about a surgery costing more now than a surgery cost 30 years ago. Defense spending is up because we have MORE weapons, MORE soldiers and MORE wars, not terribly increased costs per weapon, etc. Yes, it costs more to outfit a soldier now than it did back then, but its constant with inflation if you take out the technology upgrades which isn’t technically inflation. A doctor checking your heartbeat with a stethoscope costs significantly more now than it did 30 years (even after adjusted for inflation) because of paperwork and the lack of price controls. When a 3rd party pays, you don’t have the incentive to shop around and find a cheap place and Doctors have no incentive to lower the price. Paperwork and regulations along with a lack of a reasonable malpractice lawsuit caps also contribute a lot.

And I find it funny you say I am committing a fallacy but you just do the same thing but without the facts. If you look at the historical data, you don’t see the costs escalate UNTIL government intervenes. Facts are stubborn things.

Cindy Sue Causey

August 11th, 2009
4:59 pm

Yes, sam.. People being physically beat up for expressing Free Speech tends to put a damper on fruitful discussions being had.

ZackPchuck

August 11th, 2009
6:05 pm

Sonny Purdue will defend anyone/anything IF there is a buck to be placed in his wallet. This man is among the ‘evil elite’ of governors, including Jimmy Carter, BillybobJoeFrankJimmyJim Harris, Barnes and of course, Miller.

Base

August 12th, 2009
2:53 pm

Sonny needs to concentrate on geting water ,transportation,budget and employment issues settled in Georgia and less time on other things.