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Why are there medical care reform links on patrick.net?

By someone else following x   2009 Aug 11, 7:48am 55,884 views   423 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    


My reply to a reader who called me an "Obama zombie" for supporting medical care reform that would save her ass along with the rest of us.

Hi Kerri,
it is off-topic, but I watched both my parents die last year, and I know for a fact that our insurance system sucks. My parents were bankrupted by the current system while they died, though Medicare did provide them good quality care. (They incurred big expenses before getting on Medicare, and even when on Medicare, drugs and other costs were beyond their ability to pay. Ultimately they had no money left, at which point Medicaid paid for my mother.)

I don't like excessive government, but Obama's plan is just to give the OPTION to carry government insurance to compete with the private bloated bureaucracy that is already worse than any government plan. Private insurers make more money if they deny you care and let you die. Talk to anyone who's been through a serious illness in the US, then compare that to anyone from the rest of the industrialized world. Hell, Americans fly to India to get treatment because that's better than dealing with our current system!

Obama's plan leaves all private doctors and hospitals private like before. Maybe it does partly socialize insurance, but police, firemen, elementary school teachers are all socialized and all work pretty well. Medical insurance could be like that. Right now, we pay more and get worse medical care per dollar than in any other industrialized country, because people protecting the insurance and drug companies poked the right nerve in your lizard brain.

Here's a perfectly true quote from some guy on my site:

"Asshole republicans don't even know what they're protesting against - a threat to their right to be anally raped by big insurance companies? Just puppets dancing around, with the good ole boys of the GOP pulling the strings, who are then off to pick up their big fat check from Blue Cross and Kaiser... You are being PLAYED, sucker."

Patrick

#politics

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384   justme   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 19, 2:33am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

OTS:

>>The one change I would make is to ban slavery. That was a HUGE mistake.

Coming from OTS, this sounded much to reasonable to be true. So I must question his motivation.
Don't leave us hanging, tell us why!

My guess: Without slavery there would be fewer Africans in the US, which is what YOU would like?

385   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 4:46am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Thanks for the reality check. I left my message on my congresswoman and senators websites. None of them responded and all of them ignored me and voted for the bailouts. Hope people remember that when it comes time for re-election.

386   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 5:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Our presidents, congresspeople, senators, soliders etc... all take this oath. (or simliar)

"will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; " ----soldier

"will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." ____president

The point is not to deify the writers of these important documents. But to acknowledge, as we do with every swearing in ceremony how these documents are the most important laws of our lands. It is great we can amend them (for example the 13th). But no where in them do we find they give power to the federal government to do many of the things it claims to have authority to do today. And health care is one of them. States if they so choose could provide health care to the general public, but the federal government has not been expressly given the right to regulate or guarantee health care therefore that responsibility is relegated to the states and citizens. The fact that the courts don't recognize and enforce this should be very disturbing. Especially to those who swore an oath to defend or uphold the constitution.

387   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 5:10am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Austinhousingbubble says

If health was a right under the constitution a lot of things would be different, you could argue that Budweiser, McDonalds and Camel are are unconstitutional IF health was a right. Health is not a right but freedom is. Including the freedom to be stupid and destroy your own health.

That stupidity you so loathe is vice - a major component of wealth generation in a country in desperate need of revenues. McDonalds and Philip Morris are MAJOR industries/contributors to our GDP in the non-durable goods sector! Careful where you tread. If people are buying up ciggys and burgers, it’s commerce, and good news for everybody.

Especially drug manufacturers, doctors and lawyers! Just not so much for whoever pays the health care bills.

388   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 5:12am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

So don't get me wrong. Use your liberty to support the economy, eat drink and be merry. Nothing makes me happier than you living the life you want to live. But just don't force me or any other taxpayer to foot the bill.

389   Austinhousingbubble   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 8:48am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Boiled down, the essence of your argument is thus:

Government health care in any form is unconstitutional and will nudge us that last inch from precipice to complete free fall toward Socialist ruination. BUT: It's okay, as long as you don't have to pay into it.

A very insular point of view, and a dubious one to try to stage an argument around.

390   Austinhousingbubble   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 9:19am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Sorry, just gotta stop you there, because you’re trying to rewrite history. It was actually more like 100 to 1, and many Congresspeople were getting as many as 200 to 1 phone calls against TARP. And we wrote a TON of stuff about it here on this message board. Many of us wrote to our representatives and pleaded with them not to vote for bailouts. I know I did. I’m really quite astounded that you do not remember any of this. Maybe you hadn’t joined yet? It pains me to be on the same side of an argument as 2nd Class Troll, but we need a reality check on this point.

Not out to revise history - merely reciting my memory of events, which is why I requested the source those numbers are from. I'm sorry, I just don't remember reading of mass dissent on that level. My real point was, there was not a thread on this site half a thousand deep with enraged commentary. There's a disproportionate amount of debate for the health care topic as opposed to the bailouts, PPIP, etc., and I simply find that telling.

Re TARP: Among the people I know, there was certainly a sense of both disbelief and disenfranchisement, but my recollection from the media coverage I followed was that there was an overall sense of uncertainty and even confusion among the public about what the ramifications of Too Big to Fail really were, the significance of the stress tests, and whether TARP was a loan that would be paid back with interest to the public, or a one time slush fund. I remember some backlash over the GM honcho's and their separate private jets, and some hissing over the first round of bonuses for AIG and GS, but not really for the concept of TARP itself. Kinda like the lack of backlash over Cash for Clunkers or the expanded FHA or any of the other boondoggles from the black lagoon.

391   Austinhousingbubble   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 9:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The point is not to deify the writers of these important documents. But to acknowledge, as we do with every swearing in ceremony how these documents are the most important laws of our lands. It is great we can amend them (for example the 13th). But no where in them do we find they give power to the federal government to do many of the things it claims to have authority to do today. And health care is one of them. States if they so choose could provide health care to the general public, but the federal government has not been expressly given the right to regulate or guarantee health care therefore that responsibility is relegated to the states and citizens. The fact that the courts don’t recognize and enforce this should be very disturbing. Especially to those who swore an oath to defend or uphold the constitution.

Let's get out of theory and into practice; do you think we should abolish Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, Champus Insurance (Military)? Will you yourself refuse these programs if they are still available to you at such a time when you might need them?

392   Austinhousingbubble   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 10:19am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Especially drug manufacturers, doctors and lawyers! Just not so much for whoever pays the health care bills.

One last gasp on this: you already pay your share, trust me - it just comes out of your back pocket instead of your front.

393   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 10:55am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Austinhousingbubble says

Boiled down, the essence of your argument is thus:
Government health care in any form is unconstitutional and will nudge us that last inch from precipice to complete free fall toward Socialist ruination. BUT: It’s okay, as long as you don’t have to pay into it.
A very insular point of view, and a dubious one to try to stage an argument around.

Sounds like you are having a nice conversation with yourself imagining it was me. Sorry to interrupt.

394   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 11:01am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Austinhousingbubble says

The point is not to deify the writers of these important documents. But to acknowledge, as we do with every swearing in ceremony how these documents are the most important laws of our lands. It is great we can amend them (for example the 13th). But no where in them do we find they give power to the federal government to do many of the things it claims to have authority to do today. And health care is one of them. States if they so choose could provide health care to the general public, but the federal government has not been expressly given the right to regulate or guarantee health care therefore that responsibility is relegated to the states and citizens. The fact that the courts don’t recognize and enforce this should be very disturbing. Especially to those who swore an oath to defend or uphold the constitution.

Let’s get out of theory and into practice; do you think we should abolish Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, Champus Insurance (Military)? Will you yourself refuse these programs if they are still available to you at such a time when you might need them?

End Medicare tax, FICA tax, keep the programs running for those who are already retired or close. Refund all taxes for everyone else. Pay for it by ending all foreign deployment of US military. Remove all licensing requirements for drugs and practice of medicine.

395   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Aug 19, 3:47pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

On the Sidelines says

The nature of government hasn’t changed much from 1787.

Are you fucking kidding me? When the constitution was ratified, we were more like the EU -- a bunch of independent states with some common interests. The federal government was a tiny entity, and we had no standing military. Not much changed -- really?

396   Austinhousingbubble   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 4:58pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

End Medicare tax, FICA tax, keep the programs running for those who are already retired or close. Refund all taxes for everyone else. Pay for it by ending all foreign deployment of US military. Remove all licensing requirements for drugs and practice of medicine.

Not a single question addressed, just some ten-cent clap-trap you've culled from the talking points of whatever idealogue you're currently worshiping. That you are able to take yourself seriously is remarkable.

397   Austinhousingbubble   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 5:04pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Sounds like you are having a nice conversation with yourself imagining it was me. Sorry to interrupt.

It is beyond the bounds of even my imagination to have had anything remotely resembling a conversation with you. I'd get better counterpoint from my big toe.

398   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 6:39pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Austinhousingbubble says

End Medicare tax, FICA tax, keep the programs running for those who are already retired or close. Refund all taxes for everyone else. Pay for it by ending all foreign deployment of US military. Remove all licensing requirements for drugs and practice of medicine.

Not a single question addressed, just some ten-cent clap-trap you’ve culled from the talking points of whatever idealogue you’re currently worshiping. That you are able to take yourself seriously is remarkable.

Those are some of my answers to your questions and our problems. If you can't understand them I can't help you.

399   Austinhousingbubble   ignore (1)   2009 Aug 19, 8:20pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Those are some of my answers to your questions and our problems. If you can’t understand them I can’t help you.

Try peddling your answers around some of the returned veterans and see how well it goes over with that bunch.

400   TechGromit   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 20, 2:01am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

(Qouted from Patrick)
The idea as I understand it is not a subsidy, just a national insurance plan that would be funded by ongoing contributions. Yes, some people would get more out of it than others, but insurance is like that now anyway.

Like Social Security? Don't get me wrong, I'm actaully for reform for health care. But if it turns out that the government will use the surplus from the government Health Care premium to fund there defict spending, (thru purchasing government bonds) I'm strongly against it. It just become another way to the government to aviod paying for today by mortgaging tommorrow.

401   Moneybags   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 20, 3:23pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The whole things turned into a circus!

402   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Aug 20, 4:25pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

2ndClassCitizen says

The point is not to deify the writers of these important documents. But to acknowledge, as we do with every swearing in ceremony how these documents are the most important laws of our lands. It is great we can amend them (for example the 13th). But no where in them do we find they give power to the federal government to do many of the things it claims to have authority to do today. And health care is one of them. States if they so choose could provide health care to the general public, but the federal government has not been expressly given the right to regulate or guarantee health care therefore that responsibility is relegated to the states and citizens. The fact that the courts don’t recognize and enforce this should be very disturbing. Especially to those who swore an oath to defend or uphold the constitution.

Your interpretation of the constitution is wrong. As the supreme court has ruled in numerous cases going all the way back to the 1800s, the 10th amendment did not override the Necessary and Proper clause. You have to either:

1. Accept that the Constitution is a horribly flawed document.
2. Accept the interpretations of the constitution given by the body designated by the constitution to make such judgements (which say that the federal government does have the power to do all of those things that you're claiming that they do not).

Personally, I'm all for a constitutional convention to resolve these issues. The US constitution is the oldest working constitution in the world, and there are plenty of countries that have constitutions that protect the people far better than ours.

Hell, we don't even have a constitutional right to privacy.

403   justme   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 21, 1:03am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

What Kevin said. We have to stop thinking that our constitution is infallible and divine.

>>Personally, I’m all for a constitutional convention to resolve these issues.

I agree, but I am afraid that the wingnuts would go hog wild at the meeting. Just don't convene the meeting in Artzona or any other state that permits "open carry " of guns.

404   justme   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 21, 1:24am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

OTS is spewing crap at every opportunity.

>>you people have undermined both the words and the intent of the Constitution at every opportunity.

"you people" my ass. It is not the people that has undermined the constitution. It is the corpo-fascist elites and their lackeys in Washington.

405   justme   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 21, 10:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

OTS,

>>Every time you cast a vote for bigger government, you are giving the “corpo-fascist elites” fresh opportunities to grab money and power.

Nobody was talking about creating a bigger government, we were talking about the elite running roughshod over the constitution. Now, that flaming strawman aside, I said before, and I will say it again:

If somebody is hurting your arm, the solution is not to amputate the arm but to make them STOP hurting the arm.

Right Wingnuts WANT to the government to be run badly, so that they can get completely rid of it (force you to amputate the arm). And after the government is gone, they will have completely free reign for corpo-fascism.

To quote Paul Krugman ( I think ) : Aren't you glad that the government now is run by people who do not hate government?

406   justme   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 22, 9:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

OTS, once again you try to pass off twisted analogies and completely falsified logic as actual intellect,. Case in point:

When corpo-fascists are ruining the government, you think that this is a reason to get rid of the government!
I would say it is reason to get rid of the corpo-fascists control of the government.

When "liberals are destroying the constitution" (which they are not, but everyone else please stay with me here for the sake of exposing the flawed logic), on the other hand, you think that is a reason *to get rid of the liberals*. By your own flawed logic, it *should* be a reason to get rid of the constitution (which incidentally is what Bush and Cheney kept busy doing during 2000-2008).

Is there no limit to the amount of self-serving and illogical tripe you can produce? Wait ,do not answer that...

407   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Aug 22, 10:54am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

On the Sidelines says

ee, this is a problem with you libs. You see a minor detail like the “necessary and proper” clause and you try to use it as a loophole to ram your agenda through, despite the fact that what you want is completely inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution.

So is having a standing military. Will you apply that same standard to the military that you apply to everything else? Would you refute that a standing military is essential in the modern world?

The constitution also explicitly outlines the creation of an actual government-owned business -- the Post Office. I find it amusing every time I see some rabid capitalist complaining about the Post Office while simultaneously talking about the "unconstitutional" nature of whatever it is that they dislike.

The constitution itself only outlined how the union would be governed -- nothing more. It did not deal with the size or the role of government. It's a very small document. The bill of rights weren't even included originally, and they had to be decided upon by (you guessed it) the government itself, once it was elected.

So, it's a 200+ year old document written by flawed men who had to make flawed compromises to get everyone to accept it. It reflected the reality of the late 1700s, which is far removed from the world today

408   justme   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 23, 3:20am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin,

Great examples.

OTS is all about situational principles and inconsistent "logic". He'll invoke one principle to support one argument, and then dispose of the same principle when it does not suit him. How very typical of Wingnut.

409   cashmonger   ignore (0)   2009 Aug 25, 5:16am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick,
I'm sorry to hear about your parents and understand your desire for health care reform. I own a small business and I am tired of paying over $15K a year to insure my family of 4. My premiums have increased roughly 20% year-over-year for each of the last 2 years. This is a bubble that will pop at some point, perhaps not soon enough. That said, I understand your anger and frustration and it is very likely you were upset when closing your memo, but your points 2 and 3 are blanket statements that I don't think even you believe:
1. Having lost the election.
2. Having lost the election to a black man.
3. Having lost the election to a black man who is ten times smarter than Bush.
Do you REALLY believe health care opponents and/or republicans in general are that racist? Dude, that paints a very broad brush over a very large segment of society. I'm going to look to your other posts for your better work/comments/opinions. I'm disappointed to read this because I was honestly hoping that having a black president would put the race issue to bed once and for all, but it appears that it would have to be a black republican president before people on the left (or non-right) can stop pulling out race cards.
I still have a super high opinion of you and what you are doing here with patrick.net. In fact, I'm pressing the donate button right now.
Peace and happy bubble popping to all, including health care!

410   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Aug 25, 4:12pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I think there's still plenty of Racism to go around. There are plenty of intelligent, legitimate opposition to single payer systems or a "public option", from non-racist, rational people.

There are also a bunch of dipshits who are "anti-reform". I can not fathom how any intelligent, rational person can look at the current system and say that it doesn't need to be reformed (with the exception of the people making obscene amounts of money from it).

Now the Birthers and crazy loons who are carrying nazi posters and the like are, for the most part, a bunch of racist white trash morons like OTS. Normally I'd just ignore those people, but that's hard to do when they're at every random public event (including music concerts and farmers markets) with obama hitler posters. These assholes are lucky that few people living today had to endure the horrors of nazi germany. 20 or 30 years ago, they'd be getting their asses kicked.

411   grefra   ignore (1)   2009 Sep 3, 12:23pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick,
Sorry to hear of you family health issues. I can sort of relate with a twist. A few years back my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Chemo, surgeries, hospitals and doctors followed the diagnosis for over a year before she died.

Both parents had medicare, and private Blue Cross and Blue Shield. When all was said and done it still cost my father over $40,000. Thank god he had the money or it would have been the obvious, bankruptcy.

I am not sure what the best way to go with the health care bill, but what we have now does not work.

Maybe a combination with options you mentioned in other threads.

412   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Sep 4, 10:20am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Tenpoundbass says

Racism is politically incorrect, there for racism has no political clout, there for racism is a moot point in modern politics, unless you are fear mongering to win constituents. Or B. you’re a Liberal and you’ve run out talking points, and you just can’t get the cretins to listen.

Racism is only politically incorrect in cities and on television. It's perfectly acceptable to be a racist in many areas of the country.

And just because something is politically incorrect does not mean it has no bearing on politics. There are plenty of people who are racists who will not vote for or support somebody just because they are not a member of a race that they are comfortable with.

413   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Sep 5, 5:00pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Tenpoundbass says

that works both ways, and our political system now is not a racist majority no matter what you say. SO by this very attribute it is impossible for a racist agenda in this country.

Majority, no -- but the ignorant racist vote is a very powerful one, and simple population numbers will show you that there are far more white racists than all minority groups combined. There were far more democrats who voted for McCain because they were racist than there were Republicans who voted for Obama because they were racist (considering that less than 10% of black voters are registered Republicans, that shouldn't be such a surprise).

In my experience, the vast majority of poor people are racists -- not because they're poor, but because they're uneducated and fear anything that is different from them.

Tenpoundbass says

I mean Ebonics is America’s official language for anyone under 30.

Amongst poor people in regions with large black populations, yeah, but otherwise that's a pretty ignorant claim. Do you even know anyone under 30?

Unecudated low class people are always going to appear as a hopeless mass -- they always have. Don't worry though, they won't be "running the show" -- they'll just be the idiots screaming at whatever my generation's equivalent of the town hall protests is. Things will still be run by the people who graduate from elite private universities and are guaranteed cushy VP jobs at their dad's company just in case some scandal keeps them from their political aspirations.

414   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Sep 7, 7:06pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Tenpoundbass says

Do you even know any white kids between the age 14 to 25?

4 siblings and dozens of cousins (and their friends), a large percentage of the people that I work with, my neighbors, various interns at work...yes, yes I do. I'm only barely outside of that age group myself.

The only ones who use "ebonics" are the really low class ones who live near Detroit and other places where they are heavily influenced by poor black people (and "ebonics" itself is just a derivative of the accents of the deep south, brought north by freed slaves and their descendants).

415   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Sep 15, 12:06pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

A response to Patrick's 10 points. My responses are in the paragraphs following the numbered paragraphs respectively.

Patrick wrote: What should be done?

1. There should be an option public health insurance which anyone can join upon paying the premium. It should cover preventive care 100% to encourage fixing small problems before they become big problems. It should cover catastropic illnesses to prevent medical bankruptcies. It should not cover optional non-preventive procedures.

Like abortion. Unless your state allows murder of infants. Did I miss something or did one of the states propose a "public health insurance option for its residents"? The last time I checked the Constitution gives that kind of power to the state government not the feds.

2. Everyone must be required to have some kind of medical insurance, public or private. At the same time, the cost of the required insurance must be strictly limited, or this requirement becomes a legal license for insurance companies to take everyone's money.

Everyone should have health insurance, a pair of shoes and full belly. And every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.

3. Insurance companies should never be allowed to drop coverage. If insurance companies can't drop you, they will have a bigger financial interest in your health, and you have more financial security.

I think it would be interesting if the state of California enacted this legislation. Either all the insurance companies would go out of business or people would flock back to California for the excellent insurance. Sounds like a win win! Did you contact your state legislatures about this idea?

4. The same price should be charged for the same service, regardless of who is paying. Currently, individuals without insurance may pay three times the amount that a doctor or hospital bills private insurance companies or Medicare for the same treatment. That discourages individuals from simply paying for routine medical care directly.

True, but this is irrelevant if we practice 8 and 9 of your points below. That would suffice.

5. Put limits on excessive malpractice awards. The current cost of health care is raised by malpractice insurance and unnecessary tests done by doctors afraid of malpractice lawsuits, so-called "defensive medicine".

I would go in a slightly different direction. Let health care providers require a contract with the patient as a binding agreement for service. Some health care providers would state in their contract they are insured up to a given figure and in the event of a malpractice claim the patient would be covered for damages up to that amount. Other health care providers would provide their services with the understanding that if a mistake is made there is no financial recourse for the patient. (Murder and other criminal assault charges would still apply if a jury finds violence was intended on the victim.) This system allows freedom of choice by everyone and dramatically limits the drains of the legal system without new regulations or requirements.

6. There should be no difference in insurance rates or coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

That sounds nice unless you are an insurer. Does a teenage boy have the same car insurance rate as a 40 year old married woman with a car load of kids? Wonder why? Regardless the ability to regulate insurance is granted to the state governments not the FEDS.

7. Allow a national insurance market, to encourage competition. Currently, insurance companies are licensed by state, and hate the idea of a national insurance market, because that would lower premiums.

Great idea, did you bring it up to your state representative? Your state would have a right according to the Constitution to make such rules.

8. Workers should be clearly notified of the complete cost of their coverage. Many employees think they are getting a better deal than they really are, because they see only a small deduction on their paycheck for insurance, while their employer may pay two or three times as much in addition to that for their coverage. Workers should see their total pay include all their employer-sponsored coverage costs, and then see that amount deducted from their pay. This would give workers a better idea of the true cost of coverage.

Good idea, why not get with a bunch of your friends and neighbors and lobby YOUR STATE to demand it? The Federal Government has no jurisdiction.

9. The price of treatment should be completely clear before treatment is given, except in emergencies. Even if the government or an insurance company is paying, everyone should know up front what they charges are, and sign off that they have seen them. This would do a lot to educate people on real and hidden costs. There should be no secrets in medical billing.

Price transparency is a great idea. States and citizens should demand it. Federal government has no jurisdiction.

10. Corporations need to be completely removed from Washington. Our health care, housing, and economic problems are all due mainly to corporations manipulating our government for their own profit at the expense of the citizens. Corporations should not be allowed to lobby. Corporations should not be considered legal human beings, because they are not actually human beings at all.

This is easier said than done with many implications. For example how would you prevent lobbying? Would you monitor every elected official 24/7? I agree with you in spirit. Just don't know how you can prevent the powers that be from forcing their will unless you actually follow the Constitution which says that virtually all powers are given to states and citizens. The Constitution is our only hope.

416   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Sep 15, 3:53pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

2ndClassCitizen says

The last time I checked the Constitution gives that kind of power to the state government not the feds.

The constitution neither gives nor restricts such power. What it does is reserve rights to the states, which means that states get to overrule federal authority. There really aren't any hard restrictions on what programs the feds may or may not create.

There's nothing to prevent the federal government from, say, creating a public insurer, so long as it didn't conflict with state law (which would automatically overrule it).

When it comes to health care, a conflict might exist under a situation like the following:

1. State X has a law that says that no insurer doing business in the state may pay for abortions.
2. The government program covers abortion (I'm not saying that any proposal actually does, but lets just pretend that it will for the sake of the discussion)
3. The state's laws would supercede what the federal program offered.

The only state that I'm aware of that might have a conflict with any federal legislation is MA, since the "exchange" Obama has proposed would duplicate that state's own effort. I suspect that MA will simply dismantle their program if the federal one goes into play.

417   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Sep 15, 6:20pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin,

I like the way you think. But I think you are mistaken about the Constitution. Things that ought not be forgotten have fallen out of memory. For example: What would Grover do?

http://mises.org/story/3627

But even if you do believe the FEDs can make big rules and programs, you are correct, the states have a right to override a Fed rule/program. It is already happening with Medical Marijuana. Good point!

418   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Sep 15, 9:38pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I'm definitely not mistaken about what the Constitution says, and the SCOTUS has held up those principals time and time again whenever states' rights cases have been brought before it. There is nothing that restricts the role of federal government -- only checks to ensure that states can always overrule it (except on specific issues like interstate commerce).

Now, there's nothing wrong with personally believing that the role of the federal government should be limited, but the constitution itself says very little about what the government's role actually will be. This is a good thing, since the role of government must change over time as society and science evolves.

A perfect example of such an issue is pollution. There is no market force to prevent pollution, and the only non-government activity that can contain it is an angry mob.

In most cases, you'd just want to leave this issue up to the states, right?

So what do you do when people in Ohio are dumping poison into the ohio river and causing the deaths of people and crops in Kentucky?

Kentucky can't really sanction trading with Ohio (it turns out that they DON'T have the right to do that, right there in the constitution). They don't have much recourse at all.

This wasn't an issue in the 1700s. Hell, it didn't really become an issue until the industrial revolution, and didn't reach a breaking point until the late 60s. Thank God for Richard Nixon, eh?

So, yeah, if you want to argue the merits of large active government vs. small government, feel free. There are plenty of legitimate arguments on either side of the argument. Just please don't make the claim that government must be small because the constitution says so.

419   homeowner_for ever_san jose   ignore (0)   2009 Sep 16, 5:14am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

So, yeah, if you want to argue the merits of large active government vs. small government, feel free. There are plenty of legitimate arguments on either side of the argument.

completely agree...how much govt is needed depends on the challenges at a given point of time and the need of the people. people who want the smallest possible govt ( no govt) should immigrate to somalia or some other third world country where there is no govt and its completely free market and free world :-)

The idiots who always scream about the govt taking away thier freedoms don't even realize that its the govt which makes thier freedoms possible thought law enforcement ( police), regulation, consumer protection, judicial system for fairness...etc

Remove the govt and whole system and you will see that we are no different than any third world country ( rememeber how people were looting left and right during katrina..is that what you want)

420   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Sep 16, 6:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin,

SCOTUS is not always right. Neither am I and neither are you. For many years everyone understood the US Congress could not spend money except on few specific circumstances. Did you read what Grover Cleveland wrote?

We already have laws that allow individuals, companies and states to sue others for damages such as those caused by pollution. If they were taken to court and forced to pay everyone would take notice.

Homeowner,

This is the country we have and I like it. Perhaps the people who like big government should try living in China? Or perhaps if you like bigger government why not make your state the big government state. Call your state representatives and get some big government bills like comprehensive health care for everyone and high minumum wage (hope your state doesn't go bankrupt and all the businesses leave for greener pastures in the meantime) Just don't force big government on the rest of us (especially if you are not a resident of my state).

421   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Sep 16, 6:13pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

2ndClassCitizen says

SCOTUS is not always right.

How so? The constitution says that they're the final word, so how are they not "right"? Just because you disagree with their rulings doesn't make their rulings less "right".

2ndClassCitizen says

For many years everyone understood the US Congress could not spend money except on few specific circumstances. Did you read what Grover Cleveland wrote?

Since day one the opinion was pretty firmly divided between those who wanted a strong, large federal government (i.e. federalists) and those who wanted the states to do more. There has never been a time in history where separation of powers wasn't a major concern.

The simple fact of the matter is that when everyone lived on self-sustaining farms, there wasn't much need for a government to do much of anything. Trying to compare what was necessary in Cleveland's time to what is necessary today is absurd.

2ndClassCitizen says

We already have laws that allow individuals, companies and states to sue others for damages such as those caused by pollution. If they were taken to court and forced to pay everyone would take notice.

Well, no, because that was exactly what was tried and it failed. Proving that some individual company is responsible for river pollution is damned near impossible, which makes winning a court case damned near impossible, and even if it did work all you would have is a reactive system, and reactive systems have been proven time and time again to not be effective deterrents.

2ndClassCitizen says

This is the country we have and I like it. Perhaps the people who like big government should try living in China?

The United States has had "big government" since well before you were born -- unless possibly if you're over 100 years of age. I like our country too, for the most part, but I also don't have an irrational attachment to it.

I'm all for letting people "choose" what kind of government they want by giving much more power to the states, but to do that you really need to break up the union. It's simply not possible for states to self-govern when they can't have their own military, their own currency, or the freedom to negotiate international treaties.

50 separate countries (that is "states", in the original sense of the term) sounds like a damned good idea, actually.

422   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2009 Sep 17, 11:02am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Kevin says

2ndClassCitizen says

SCOTUS is not always right.

How so? The constitution says that they’re the final word, so how are they not “right”? Just because you disagree with their rulings doesn’t make their rulings less “right”.

*Whether you or I agree with them is irrelevant. The Declaration of Independence stated it correctly that humans are given certain rights, and governments have no right to alienate them. The Constitution is an attempt to prevent government from alienating those rights. It may have failed to do that (or our ancestors failed to enforce it) but right is still right. SCOTUS is not the final authority. Declaration of Independence elegantly describes the fact that all rights are given to humans. It also says it is up to us to force government to NOT infringe on these rights.

Other than threats of violence or imprisonment for opposition of government, perhaps the biggest way governments alienate citizens rights is by forced taxation, forced spending (such as forcing people to buy insurance, smoke detectors or anything for that matter), and currency devaluation (inflation through printing money or lending money that doesn't exist). Our government and its authorized agent the FED are alienating our rights. Just because they have been doing it for over 100 years or SCOTUS says its OK does not make it right. Right is right regardless of who agrees or doesn't agree.

2ndClassCitizen says

For many years everyone understood the US Congress could not spend money except on few specific circumstances. Did you read what Grover Cleveland wrote?

Since day one the opinion was pretty firmly divided between those who wanted a strong, large federal government (i.e. federalists) and those who wanted the states to do more. There has never been a time in history where separation of powers wasn’t a major concern.
The simple fact of the matter is that when everyone lived on self-sustaining farms, there wasn’t much need for a government to do much of anything. Trying to compare what was necessary in Cleveland’s time to what is necessary today is absurd.

*What is absurd is trying to say that a more diversified economy must be taxed and controlled by a stronger central government. In fact it would stand to reason that a less diversified economy would be more vulnerable to deviant behaviors and people with scarce resources taking advantage of others. What is also absurd is the idea that in Grover Clevelands time "EVERYONE" lived on self-sustaining farms. Yeah right, New York city didnt exist. Fisherman didn't exist, railroads didn't exist, international trade didn't exist. Oh wait. IT DID! Grover was right then and if he were here now his position would be just a relevant today.
2ndClassCitizen says

We already have laws that allow individuals, companies and states to sue others for damages such as those caused by pollution. If they were taken to court and forced to pay everyone would take notice.

Well, no, because that was exactly what was tried and it failed. Proving that some individual company is responsible for river pollution is damned near impossible, which makes winning a court case damned near impossible, and even if it did work all you would have is a reactive system, and reactive systems have been proven time and time again to not be effective deterrents.

*I didn't know it failed. So if my neighbor spills diesel fuel in my back yard and all my trees die I can't sue for damages or go the nice route and work with him to go about restitution?

Reactive system? So instead we should ban the ownership of diesel so no one can spill it? Is that the kind of government you want? I'll take my chances with my neighbor, he is easier to work with than the government.

One of the biggest problems with big government is that if the government is corrupt or not working the best interest of the people there is no recourse for the citizens except revolution.
2ndClassCitizen says

This is the country we have and I like it. Perhaps the people who like big government should try living in China?

The United States has had “big government” since well before you were born — unless possibly if you’re over 100 years of age. I like our country too, for the most part, but I also don’t have an irrational attachment to it.
I’m all for letting people “choose” what kind of government they want by giving much more power to the states, but to do that you really need to break up the union. It’s simply not possible for states to self-govern when they can’t have their own military, their own currency, or the freedom to negotiate international treaties.
50 separate countries (that is “states”, in the original sense of the term) sounds like a damned good idea, actually.

423   Kevin   ignore (2)   2009 Sep 17, 5:57pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

2ndClassCitizen says

*Whether you or I agree with them is irrelevant. The Declaration of Independence stated it correctly that humans are given certain rights, and governments have no right to alienate them. The Constitution is an attempt to prevent government from alienating those rights. It may have failed to do that (or our ancestors failed to enforce it) but right is still right. SCOTUS is not the final authority. Declaration of Independence elegantly describes the fact that all rights are given to humans. It also says it is up to us to force government to NOT infringe on these rights.

So this is getting pretty esoteric. You're arguing for the moral "right" and I'm arguing for the legal. Yes, of course "the people" have the final say on anything (as they do in EVERY society -- history is full of revolutions), but that doesn't have anything to do with whether or not the federal government under our current constitution has the authority to create new programs.

2ndClassCitizen says

What is absurd is trying to say that a more diversified economy must be taxed and controlled by a stronger central government. In fact it would stand to reason that a less diversified economy would be more vulnerable to deviant behaviors and people with scarce resources taking advantage of others. What is also absurd is the idea that in Grover Clevelands time “EVERYONE” lived on self-sustaining farms. Yeah right, New York city didnt exist. Fisherman didn’t exist, railroads didn’t exist, international trade didn’t exist. Oh wait. IT DID! Grover was right then and if he were here now his position would be just a relevant today.

Not even close. Cleveland died in 1908 -- before we all had automobiles, before we had machine guns, before we had electricity in most of our homes (hell, in many places before we even had indoor plumbing), before women could vote. We only had 88M people living in this country and, while not "everyone" lived on farms, 65% of us did, whereas today less than 10% do.

You simply can not compare society today with society of 100+ years ago.

To use your own argument against you, all that matters is what's "right", not idealism. Things do change, and no human ideology has been right at all times in history.

2ndClassCitizen says

I didn’t know it failed. So if my neighbor spills diesel fuel in my back yard and all my trees die I can’t sue for damages or go the nice route and work with him to go about restitution?

Oh, your neighbor you could probably sue -- but good luck proving that it was the paper mill and not the coal mine that ruined your drinking water. Do you understand why the EPA was created? It wasn't because Nixon hated the free market.

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