I wonder if the Republicans actually believe that repealing HCR is the right thing to do, if they are just automatically opposed to anything Obama does, or if they are merely trying to keep their increasingly fringe base energized.
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As just a regular guy and a conservative I am going to say that yes repealing HCR is the right thing to do because it’s a disaster. I’m not automatically opposed to everything he does, but after checking out each of his bills, looking at the history and the constitutional precedent and thinking about what is good and right for the majority of the country yeah everything Obama has done is bad and I’m opposed to it all. Ohh, yeah, also, the left and Obama’s main supporters are the fringe. The rest of us are just normal Americans.
Obama’s main supporters are the fringe? How can you call anything/anyone a “fringe” if they represent half the country?
As for HCR being a “disaster”, I’ve had several people tell me it is the reason my company’s medical insurance rates increased by 12% this year. Really? Because the past dozen years it’s increased annually anywhere from 10% to 25%, averaging over 15%. A 12% increase is actually a smaller increase than before HCR. So if HCR is responsible for the increase, are you telling me without it we would have had, miraculously, the first DECREASE in 12 years? Yeah right.
Guy – your argument is entirely illogical. You cannot claim that you are not automatically opposed to president’s policies and then conclude that you are opposed to all of Obama’s policies. At least not in the way you’ve structured your argument. Either you misspoke or you need to work your logic out.
The average America’s political feeling is center right, Obama is WAY left, and I am WAY right because I believe right vs. left IS right vs. wrong. Obama IS way out on the fringe. The reason he still has support of 44% of America is partly because of a strict leftist ideology of some people, partly ignorance among a bunch of people that still believe in hope and change and that the government is going to pay their bills and completely crazy.
Your numbers are very suspect. Do you know how to compound numbers? Let’s say that someone spent $10K on medical bills in 1998. If, like you say the average person’s medical bills went up 15%, then that person would be paying something like $53K today. Maybe not exact, that’s a rough number, but somewhere in there. That is just not what is happening. Try again.
Why? Everything he does has been bad. I look at it, think about it, and I disagree with everything he does.
Everything? Seriously? I don’t know any progressives who think Bush did everything wrong. He did good work combating AIDS in Africa.
Obama has far more support than the Republicans.
And health insurance did triple in cost over the last 10 years.
Anyone who thinks Obama is way left is deluded. If he was way left, he would have pushed for single payer (like the Clintons did). In fact, the current health care reform is very similar to what the Republicans proposed back during the Clinton administration. If Obama is to the right of the Clintons, and Clinton was a moderate democrat, then it is pretty ridiculous to call Obama “way left”.
Your last statement, that you disagree with everything Obama does, labels you as a troll.
Geesh – I take a leave of absence from my computer and all kinds of stuff happen.
@Guy – Sorry mate, but I’m having a very hard time following you. Appears you’re knee-jerking, not really reading, pondering, evaluating, deciding. As Iron Knee says, if Obama was way left, he’d have pushed for universal health care (not necessarily single payer, but that’s a minor point) like all those “way left” democracies in Europe. No, he’s way right of being way left.
At the same time, it’s nice to have you reading this blog and responding. There’s been many a time I’ve found points of view here that have helped me to better understand the country we live in and the political landscape. If you really do look at, think about, etc., I’m guessing you’ll find that your point of view will slowly swing toward a more open, thoughtful position. At least I hope so.
As for repealing HCR (it’s not Obamacare), it’s not going to happen. Personally, and I’ve said this a number of times on PI, I’m pretty convinced it didn’t go far enough in controlling big pharma and the health insurance industry. Because of that, I’m a little suspicious of its numbers.
I do think it is a major step forward, though. In order to guarantee to all our citizens life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we, as a country, need to insure that all have satisfactory access to health care. Right now we don’t.
LOL @ Don, I feel the same way, I have to work 3 24hr days and the whole country goes in an uproar.
@ Guy – I am probably the farthest right Dem you’ll find in this blog and I vigorously debate many issues I disagree with. I think we as a nation needed HCR and the bill we got is a start, but it is very flawed IMO. I think avg people have been dragged across the carpet too long by big insurance when it comes to being dropped for illness or a kid being excluded because they have asthma or some other condition. I absolutely do not like how the bill is funded, the mandate, or other “stuff” they stuck in there. It’s a start, but needs amending and fixing. All our HC costs are rising and I am for anything that could potentially bring down those costs AND that does not diminish the quality of care we have.
Iron Knee has played the Troll Card.
Now it’s up to Guy to defend his view by explicitly explaining *why* he disagrees with the HCR bill. Break it down, point by point. That’s the only way to figure out if the supports for an argument can withstand fact-checking.
My impression is that Guy is far from “normal” in a middle of the road political sense. He may appear “normal” in the middle of a bunch of teabaggers. I would also hazard a guess that he is opposed to who Obama IS more than what he does.
…..that’s just me.
@Guy – I agree with what others have said, regardless of your point of view please talk about specifics not generalities. Amd knee-jerk reactions are definitely trollish – some things are being done that are good, and some things are not, but let’s focus on facts and issues not wild exaggerations.
Also, I disagree with your assertion that the majority of Americans are “center-right”, this is an illusion that conservatives like to talk up. If you look at the specifics it’s quite apparent that the “majority” of Americans (and not an overwhelming majority, BTW) lean left on social issues (we should have Social Secuirty, we should have health care, poor people shouldn’t be starving to death in the streets) and lean right on financial and defense issues (government should be as small as possible, we should pay the lowest taxes possible, we shouldn’t have a $14T credit card balance).
On health care specifically, repealing the entirety of the bill is simply not going to happen. And there are definitely things in the bill that are VERY postive (insurance can’t cut people that are sick, you can get insurance with pre-existing conditions, insurance can’t deny coverage to children) just as there are things that are negative. What both sides should be focused on is modification to address specific issues, not grandiose gestures that are ultimately meaningless.
troll card. LOL. I actually hope that Guy sticks around and becomes a more thoughtful and thinking contributor. I was just having fun taking the advice of laughing at trollish behavior.
I stumbled upon this site the other day, so I am a noob here, but not in the debate at large in other places. I ignited a bit of a fire, it looks like. WOW.
The only thing that I agree with Obama on is marijuana. But he didn’t go far enough towards decriminalization, so on that field, I am farther left than him, but I agree that I am on the fringe on this topic. In terms of the economy, I disagree with everything he has done. Not just a knee jerk reaction, after analysis, my opinion is that it’s all bad.
Cash for Clunkers was bad
Stimulus was bad
Extension of unemployment benefits was bad
HCR was bad
Omnibus budget was bad
Suing AZ over SB1070 was bad
etc etc etc
Now, I am not going to sit here and write why each of those was bad, but I will say why I don’t like HCR.
First, I agree with Cuccinelli, Hudson and McCollum. The individual Mandate is unconstitutional. Never has any America had to purchase something just to be called a citizen. You wanna drive a car, you need to buy insurance. You wanna have a business, you need to buy insurance. But those are privileges. There is no precedent in history or the constitution that says you have to buy this, just because. Since Cuccinelli won in VA, my state, FL’s, AG McCollum is talking about doing the same thing. Let’s hope we get the same result!!
When has the Federal Government EVER been able to do anything better or more efficiently than the private sector? NEVER HAPPENS!! TVA? HA what a mess!
Obama promised us that health care rates would go down, but already many insurance companies are saying that rates are going up. So Sebelius took to finger wagging and warning the insurance companies that they better not raise their rates, or else. . . Part of what they are trying to do is to run insurance companies out of business so that those people are put on government health care. (Sebelius was cheered when she stated that.) Also, many companies are going to just drop their employees off the private insurance plan and pay the fine because they are going to find that way is cheaper. So, Iron Knee, I think he wanted Single Payer, in fact he has, in the past stated that he wants Single Payer, and this is his backward ass attempt to get it. And I believe he is left of Clinton. He sure spends more than Clinton did.
Reid likes to say that repealing HCR will add $200B+ to the deficit, but what they don’t like to talk about is the $700B+ that it’s going to cost to put this thing into action.
Ohh, did y’all hear, they tried to haul out the death panels again? Again last week Obama and Co were talking about the end of life discussions. Looks like Sarah was right about them. Old people are expensive to keep alive, and Obama and Sebelius want to redirect that money towards more youthful and healthful voters that will be around for a longer period of time to vote for Obama.
Basically, our healthcare system is excellent, but expensive. And it needs some fixing. If we could have HSA’s that would help. Being able to buy insurance across state lines would help. Tort reform would help. And for those people that don’t have a job or insurance, there is medicaid. It’s got problems, SO FIX THEM!! And leave the rest of us alone.
There are so many other problems that I have heard about this bill I could go on. A little over 8000 people have signed up for the preexisting conditions program. You’ve got Nancy saying “We’ve got to pass this bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” And Dingle saying “Read the Bill, why would I read the bill when it’s 1000 pages and it would take 2 lawyers 2 days to figure it all out?” Because, that’s your job, you jerk!!
@Jason Kay, it is good for those reasons, but the government is going about it wrong. Those people should have government medicaid as a backup to their private insurance. When the government is all there is, there is no backup. Though, I agree we will be unsuccessful in repealing HCR in it’s entirety, but I hope we still try.
@Madhatter, What is he? Are you going to bring up some stupid argument that I object to a black president because you can’t argue policy. Holy crap I would love to see someone like Thomas Sowell run for President. Maybe Tim Scott from SC will run in a few years. That would be AWESOME!! I don’t know much about Mr. Scott, but what I’ve seen shows me an awesome conservative. Then we can finally quit all this racist crap.
Oh, Madhatter, yeah, you are right, I am NOT middle of the road.
That was an essay, I know, sorry, but I’m up against a tough crowd here, and yes I am very opinionated. Basically, my belief is that government is too big already. There are too many taxes and regulations and many businesses find ways to get around those taxes and regulations, anyway. Lower taxes and regulations lead to more business and better prosperity. And if someone breaks a law, then they get persecuted. Yeah, there are problems with the system, so the system needs to be tweaked, not completely reworked.
Guy – if you truly feel that way then good for you! My experience (living in a very conservative county in the Midwest) is that many people on the far right were upset with Obama before he did anything – now why would that be?? Many people on the far right here still think he is not an American citizen and is a Muslim – now why would that be?? So sorry for transferring that baggage on to you if undeserved.
I think you’re wrong about the TVA. The TVA and CCC helped to pull my grandparents out of poverty and provided electricity and parks to many who wouldn’t have had it otherwise. What have you got against the TVA?
The last I heard we’re still a gov of the people, for the people, etc etc. So forget the big gov/small gov diversion. Let’s us the people regain control of fed gov and make it work for us instead of the rich and powerful….eh?
Guy, first you say: “Obama is WAY left, and I am WAY right because I believe right vs. left IS right vs. wrong.”
Then you say: “The only thing that I agree with Obama on is marijuana. But he didn’t go far enough towards decriminalization, so on that field, I am farther left than him.”
So, by your own impenetrable logic, you are further wrong than Obama on marijuana.
You sound like a nice young man who just fell out of Libertarianism 101. Unfortunately, often Libertarianism 101 comes with a lab course: “Feeling like you are using knowledge, logic, and data better than everyone else without really doing it.”
Objecting to the health care bill because “we have never done anything like this before” is absurd. To try to connect the dots to the legality of the bill is even further down the rabbit hole.
You say, “our health care system is excellent, but expensive.” What, precisely, is our health care system supposed to be doing? Providing good services at rates that few can afford? At least we can all die young knowing that the medicine and doctors we can’t afford are great, right?
Certainly it is expensive, just not sure it is excellent.
Guy – thanks for the essay, I appreciate that you took the time to put it all down. Apologies in advance that I am also a long winded type.
I do wonder, however, what leads you to believe to some of the points you made. When you start by saying you disagree with everything that the Obama administration has done on the economy, it sounds like something straight out of the Republican hymnal. While I also disagree with some of the actions taken by the Democrats in the last two years, I think we should keep the following things in mind:
ECONOMY: The financial system was falling apart and the jobless rate was skyrocketing when Obama won the election. Left unchanged we would certainly have ended up in a catastrophic position as bad as (or worse than) the Great Depression. In the two years under Obama, with ZERO help from the Republicans, the financial system has stabilized and many parts are growing again, and we’ve had more than 12 months of consecutive private sector job growth. GM has emerged from bankruptcy a far stronger company than when it filed and the auto sector as a whole is substantially better off, savings hundreds of thousands of direct jobs.
While we can argue about the amount and speed of growth the economy is growing, and we can certainly argue it could have been done better or faster, I think it’s an overreach to say that “everything Obama has done on the economy is bad.”
1) Cash for Clunkers was not bad – it did exactly what it was intended to do, and it definitely helped the auto industry in the short run and energy conservation in the long run. I think the same results could have been produced more cheaply, that the bureaucracy involved could have been much less, and that Obama missed a bet by limiting the incentive to American manufactured cars, but overall it was a successful program.
2) Extension of unemployment benefits is the single fastest way to boost the economy and preserve still existing jobs (the vast majority of economists on both sides of the aisle agree) in many industries. If you are only worried about financial results that would be enough to dsay it is “good”. It is also by far the most socially responsible way to try and give an economic boost (if you are concerned about the millions of people that would be homeless or starving without having the benefits) as opposed to, say, giving tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires which costs more than all the unemployment extensions combined.. Why would you think this is “bad”?
And don’t forget that Obama doesn’t write the bills or make all the decisions – the Congress does, so you really shouldn’t try and lay the blame for everything on the President.
In regards to HCR, the majority of the reform hasn’t even been implemented yet so it’s misleading at best to say “it’s failing.” This is especially true of insurance rates. Not only do rates rise every year (and this year’s increases are in line with, or slightly lower than, last year’s) but all the HCR changes that can cause rates to go up (can’t drop sick people, can’t deny children insurance, can’t dismiss people with pre-existing conditions) have all been implemented while all the things that should make the rate increases slow down (coverage of preventive care, the mandatory insurance requirement) are either not yet in place or will take a while to spin up.
Personally, I find the references to “death panels” offensive, misguided and unintelligent. Sarah Palin was not only wrong about that, anyone who seriously thinks that anything in HCR was aimed at creating “death panels” is simply fantasizing. Since you seem to believe it, I suggest you actually read what end of life counseling is about and stop tossing around emotionally charged fiction.
Your comment that “our health care system is excellent but expensive” is another bit of fantasy, unfortunately. The correct statement is “if you are rich enough you can get the best health care in the USA.” We are far behind most of the industrialized world in health care, and we spend much more to get what we do get – especially on pharmaceuticals.
You probably haven’t had a chance to read a lot of the historical posts about the HCR debate, but I think if you do you’ll see that several people here (myself included) and a majority of the voting public (something like 60%, pick your poll) don’t like the HCR bill that was passed. What you have to realize, however, is that a significant chunk of those (something like 27%, pick your poll) don’t think it went far ENOUGH and would have preferred a single payer system, or think (like I do) that the intention was right and need was there but the law as written is full of issues.
Bottom line, the HCR we got was over-priced and under-featured with a lot of room for improvement, but it’s not really clear if anything better can get through the Congress in one shot. With that said, I think we have to treat HCR like Massachusetts treated the Constitution (read “Miracle in Philadelphia” by Catherine Drinker Bowen if you are unfamiliar) and work to amend and repair rather than ignore or repeal.
I’ll add my 2 cents worth. On the issues Guy made I agree with some and disagree with others.
Stimulus was bad – I don’t really think Stimulus was bad, how this stimulus package was managed was bad. The money didn’t go where it was intended and so did not have the intended effect. I’ll chalk that up to Obama and his new cabinet’s inexperience.
Extension of unemployment benefits was bad – Extending benefits in a time of national crisis was not a bad idea, not paying for it and adding it to the credit card was bad. I also think that as soon as the economy shows sustained levels of growth in jobs and GDP the extended unemployment needs to go away.
Suing AZ over SB1070 was bad – I agree, the justice dept has better things to do with their time and money then sue states who want to help the fed gov do its job.
Omnibus budget was bad – well whats not to like about a pork filled spending package at a time when Americans are hurting? Politicians have to have a way to pay back constituents for big campaign contributions and votes don’t they? Don’t hate the players hate the game.
Cash for Clunkers was bad – awe come on we were all tired of seeing ducked taped old jalopies spewing thick clouds of black smoke at the stop light. I think it was a directed stimulus plan that actually worked. IMO far better then the 850 bill stimulus. At least the stimulus went straight to the people instead of the many state and local gov’s where the avg Joe never see’s a penny. IMO CFC was like a tax break. 2 thumbs up.
HCR was bad – (always save the best for last) this has been thoroughly debated here since its inception. It has good parts and bad. I don’t like how it was funded and that eventually it has to lead to a single payer type of system. But we don’t know exactly how that will look, so i’d need to see the ideas. No one, and I mean practically no one can argue that disallowing Ins companies to drop you because you get sick is bad. Or not allowing a kid, born with a medical problem, from going on their parents insurance is bad. I’d love to see those arguments.
So what I’m trying to say really is we need to raise specifics not generalizations when complaing. Here’s a good analogy: I’ve spent alot of years in the military, when a Soldier of mine complains they are taught (if complaining to me) to be specific. Becasue if they give me some garbage like “the Army sucks”, or “this base sucks” they will firstly get in the front leaning rest position (starting position to perform push-ups)and ask me how many. After they had expended their frustration they can then ask or complain about something specific, which I can attempt to remedy.
Now if they just let me do that in the civilian world….
Glad to see some good responses. I’m at work and I erad them, but I don’t have time to reply to all, but I will say; Oops! tenthirtytwo caught me out. I made a joke that then proved hypocritical. My bad, for that one I will apologize.
I believe marijuana should be legalized because I don’t think it’s all that harmful. And that goes along with my beliefs that the government needs to get out of our lives and leave us alone.
I love the idea of anyone who makes non-specific complaints having to do push ups. Even me.
mad hatter: Guy – if you truly feel that way then good for you!
Well, yeah. I actually don’t know very many racists. I only know of two for sure. I should also point out that it’s not just Obama that I don’t like, of course. It’s all of them; Reid, Pelosi, Dingle, Frank, Hoyer, Dean and the rest
mad hatter: . . .many people on the far right were upset with Obama before he did anything – now why would that be??
Maybe because they had done their research and saw how he voted in the Senate and they didn’t like what they saw.
mad hatter: Many people on the far right here still think he is not an American citizen and is a Muslim – now why would that be??
Now, that is a piece of crap argument, I agree. The man was born in Hawaii and is a citizen and a Baptist (I think.) Forget this birther crap. I believe in arguing the important points, and the important points to me are that his policies are destructive.
mad hatter: I think you’re wrong about the TVA. The TVA and CCC helped to pull my grandparents out of poverty and provided electricity and parks to many who wouldn’t have had it otherwise. What have you got against the TVA?
I never said the TVA didn’t do some good. My comments in that paragraph said something like the government can’t do anything as fast or as effective as the private sector. Pro-Government libs always like to talk about FDR and his CCC and WPA, but I don’t think they were very good at all. There were private companies (I know DuPont was one of them, there were others) that saw the need and wanted to build the TVA, but the government wouldn’t let them. Surely, the Tennessee Valley was in a bad way in the 20’s and something needed to be done. My point is that the government never saves money over the private sector.
mad hatter: The last I heard we’re still a gov of the people, for the people, etc etc. So forget the big gov/small gov diversion. Let’s us the people regain control of fed gov and make it work for us instead of the rich and powerful….eh?
Yeah, I like the idea of the people having control of the government, also. Of the people, for the people and by the people. That is what makes America great. I guess I also understand the frustration people have with big corporations and the government taking care of them. But that is called crony capitalism and conservatives are against that, also. Also, big corporations and rich people have done far less to harm me than big government ever has, or ever will.
Damn, I wish I could edit that last post. I had put Jason Ray’s posts in bold. and then went line by line responding. Now, it’s going to be hard for everyone to figure what is going on, whether it was Jason that wrote something, or me. Sorry.
[there, I fixed it for you. -iron knee]
Damn, again. Another edit. Not Jason, but MadHatter, whom I almost just called the madhater.
I do have specific arguments about why I don’t like Cash For Clunkers, unemployment benefits extension or the stimulus, and why those programs are bad for America as a whole. And maybe I will get to those arguments at some point, but we are talking about Health Care here. I responded to that cartoon of the elephants trying to repeal the banana (Which I loved that cartoon. This is gonna be tricky!!) I know I brought those other things up, but my point in bringing them up is that I don’t like anything Obama does. Especially HCR.
Now, TenthirtyTwo brought out the graph from columbia U with all the circles, but s/he forgot to tell us what the circles mean. What they are is the size of the circle represents the number of annual visits to the Dr. So, that, of course, means that the Norwegians don’t ever go to the doctor. They are so healthy that they don’t both with the quacks.
Now, the problem with this chart is two fold. First off, our system is very expensive because they keep on paying to keep grandma alive, even though she is no good to anybody, we just like having the old lady around. And she’s been many years since she got sick, and her medications are quite expensive, but she gets about pretty good. Point is, it is a fact that they are talking about these end of life discussions, what Sarah Palin called the death panels. I think it was Rahm Emmanuel (Boy, I hope Chicago lets him run for Mayor. Not sure how that’s legal, but for the good of the country, they can let that one slip through. Except good lord only knows what he would do to that city. Ohh the horror.) who talked about a graph that put a value on someone’s life based on their age. That’s just wrong. Anyways, our system is expensive because we keep people alive for a long time. Obama wants to stop that to save money.
Second problem is with our low life expectancy. I put a lot of that blame on the high crime in our country, all those fat bastards at McD’s and I would be willing to bet that we have more vehicle deaths per capita because so many of us drive all the time, everyday, everywhere. If you get Cancer and have the cash or insurance to pay for treatment, America is the place to be. We do have great health care.
Now, that brings up the next question, we all should have access to this fine treatment that the rich and powerful have. Well, we can all agree with that, just like we can all agree that being dropped by your insurance company because you got sick is really twisted. But I want to see a program that leaves well enough alone and fixes the problems that we have. Isn’t Medicaid supposed to be for poor people? Then how can there be people without insurance? Get them on Medicaid. Allow people to have HSAs or buy insurance across state lines. Get some tort reform, so doctors don’t have to pay that high ass insurance. Find ways to lower the rates of insurance and the rates of seeing the doctor.
We need to lower the cost of health care, we all agree on that, I’m just saying HCR is doing it wrong.
Tonight Ed Rendell (Gov. D. PA) was talking to Sean Hannity and he said something like, “You know Sean, I may disagree with you on some things, and you may disagree with me on some. But we both have the same goals. And I think you are a great American.” And I agree with that. We all want the same things, I just think Obama and the Democrats are doing it wrong.
Guy, my math is fine. I have a finance degree and a math teacher for a dad. If you take $200 and ad 15%, you get $230. If you add 15% to that you get $264. Considering that we have had to double our company’s medical insurance deductible, use increasing co-pays and double Rx co-pays, thereby reducing the actual benefit, the average increase in cost/benefit relative to the previous benefit, is over 15% per year.
Guy: to summarize:
– The circles on the graph represent number of doctor visits. You fail to make any sensible connection between this and the health care debate. What this actually shows is that among most countries we visit the Dr the least, pay by far the most, and don’t get anything great out of it.
– You claim that our health care is expensive because we pay to treat the elderly. The obvious counterpoint to this would be that the other countries don’t pay to treat the elderly. Like virtually everything else I’ve seen you post, you have given no evidence to support your statement.
– You claim that our low life expectancy is due to a variety of factors which (somehow) have nothing to do with our health care. Again, you give no evidence to support this statement.
Again I ask you, what is our health care system supposed to be doing? Please answer that question.