Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

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John F
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Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by John F » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:13 am

This expresses my view of the "debate" so well that I have nothing to add.

Fear Strikes Out

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: March 21, 2010

The day before Sunday’s health care vote, President Obama gave an unscripted talk to House Democrats. Near the end, he spoke about why his party should pass reform: “Every once in a while a moment comes where you have a chance to vindicate all those best hopes that you had about yourself, about this country, where you have a chance to make good on those promises that you made ... And this is the time to make true on that promise. We are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true. We are not bound to succeed, but we are bound to let whatever light we have shine.”

And on the other side, here’s what Newt Gingrich, the Republican former speaker of the House — a man celebrated by many in his party as an intellectual leader — had to say: If Democrats pass health reform, “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” by passing civil rights legislation.

I’d argue that Mr. Gingrich is wrong about that: proposals to guarantee health insurance are often controversial before they go into effect — Ronald Reagan famously argued that Medicare would mean the end of American freedom — but always popular once enacted.

But that’s not the point I want to make today. Instead, I want you to consider the contrast: on one side, the closing argument was an appeal to our better angels, urging politicians to do what is right, even if it hurts their careers; on the other side, callous cynicism. Think about what it means to condemn health reform by comparing it to the Civil Rights Act. Who in modern America would say that L.B.J. did the wrong thing by pushing for racial equality? (Actually, we know who: the people at the Tea Party protest who hurled racial epithets at Democratic members of Congress on the eve of the vote.)

And that cynicism has been the hallmark of the whole campaign against reform.

Yes, a few conservative policy intellectuals, after making a show of thinking hard about the issues, claimed to be disturbed by reform’s fiscal implications (but were strangely unmoved by the clean bill of fiscal health from the Congressional Budget Office) or to want stronger action on costs (even though this reform does more to tackle health care costs than any previous legislation). For the most part, however, opponents of reform didn’t even pretend to engage with the reality either of the existing health care system or of the moderate, centrist plan — very close in outline to the reform Mitt Romney introduced in Massachusetts — that Democrats were proposing.

Instead, the emotional core of opposition to reform was blatant fear-mongering, unconstrained either by the facts or by any sense of decency.

It wasn’t just the death panel smear. It was racial hate-mongering, like a piece in Investor’s Business Daily declaring that health reform is “affirmative action on steroids, deciding everything from who becomes a doctor to who gets treatment on the basis of skin color.” It was wild claims about abortion funding. It was the insistence that there is something tyrannical about giving young working Americans the assurance that health care will be available when they need it, an assurance that older Americans have enjoyed ever since Lyndon Johnson — whom Mr. Gingrich considers a failed president — pushed Medicare through over the howls of conservatives.

And let’s be clear: the campaign of fear hasn’t been carried out by a radical fringe, unconnected to the Republican establishment. On the contrary, that establishment has been involved and approving all the way. Politicians like Sarah Palin — who was, let us remember, the G.O.P.’s vice-presidential candidate — eagerly spread the death panel lie, and supposedly reasonable, moderate politicians like Senator Chuck Grassley refused to say that it was untrue. On the eve of the big vote, Republican members of Congress warned that “freedom dies a little bit today” and accused Democrats of “totalitarian tactics,” which I believe means the process known as “voting.”

Without question, the campaign of fear was effective: health reform went from being highly popular to wide disapproval, although the numbers have been improving lately. But the question was, would it actually be enough to block reform?

And the answer is no. The Democrats have done it. The House has passed the Senate version of health reform, and an improved version will be achieved through reconciliation.

This is, of course, a political victory for President Obama, and a triumph for Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker. But it is also a victory for America’s soul. In the end, a vicious, unprincipled fear offensive failed to block reform. This time, fear struck out.
John Francis

Ricordanza
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Ricordanza » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:29 am

John, I agree with your assessment. Krugman's column is right on the mark.

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:26 am

Ricordanza wrote:John, I agree with your assessment. Krugman's column is right on the mark.
Amen.

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JackC
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by JackC » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:20 am

Obama and the Dems had over a year to sell this bill and with each Obama speech it became more and more unpopular. To lose a senate eat in Massachusetts to a Republican whose principal camopaign issue was to kill this bill ought to tell you where the people are on this bill.

People have many problems with this bill. They know from long experience that it will costs infinitely more that Obama and the Dems is saying. They know that Social Security doesn't work and is about to go broke, they know that Medicare is broke, and they know that this is just another entitlement program that is going to be expanded and expanded whenever the Dems feel they can buy a few votes. And at a higher higher level, people were saying way they don't trust government to solve this problem, and they don't want to give government more and more control over their lives.

Krugman is just making the same old liberal argument that people are just too stupid to know what is good for them. He is a lefty who doesn't give a rats *ss about what people think, only what he thinks is good for them. Others are more repectful of, and care about, what people in the country think. Pat Caddell, long time Dem pollster, describes this is as an irrational act of mass political suicide by the Dems. He calls is political "Jonestown". I sure hoope he is right.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/ ... _dems.html

No major piece of social legistation has even passed with out significant bipartisan support. This bill had no bipartisan support and in fact was opposed by a huge number of Dems. Many of those who eneded up voting in favor did so only because they were bribed or threatended into doing so.

This is issue is not dead. It's just starting. This bill is going to tear the country apart for years.

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Werner » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:28 am

The Republicans' actions in this whole affair may well define the future of the Republican Party - from genuine patriotism to oblivion.
Werner Isler

JackC
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by JackC » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:45 am

Werner wrote:The Republicans' actions in this whole affair may well define the future of the Republican Party - from genuine patriotism to oblivion.
Well there is already a lot of evidence on this. We have been having this debate for over a year and, although the Dems muscled this through, the Dems lost the debate. Most people did not want this bill.

So far the issue has brought the Republican party BACK from oblivion. It has been amazing.

It has been the greatest political gift imaginable, and it could well be a gift that keeps on giving.

I suspect it is the Dems actions in all of this that will define the future of the Democrat party. Its not a good sign that a very substanial number of Deemocrats voted against this bill and many of those who voted for it were either bribed or had enormous threats leveled against them.

Barry
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:13 am

When, in another generation, it's recognized without much doubt that this is another large step in the direction of our insolvency and decline as a country, those of us who are still around will be able to look back and know which party moved the one foot ahead of the other and which one tried to block it.

I won't speak for everyone who opposed the bill. But in my case, I am not opposed to eventually coming up with a plan to insure those who can't afford it. But in my opinion, the Democrats are putting the cart before the horse. The problem of runaway costs needed to be hit hard. THEN, it would be all the easier to expand coverage. In the mean time, some sort of smaller package for children could have been considered. What was actually done is the height of irresponsibility; and I hope the Democrats pay the price they deserve to pay in the fall.

And to Werner, there is nothing patriotic about adding yet another program to the ones that are already pushing us towards longterm insolvency as a country.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

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Donald Isler
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Donald Isler » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:22 am

A very good article.

The Republicans, in a bizarre way, seem to have been inspired by the words of FDR. They have nothing to offer but fear itself.
Donald Isler

Barry
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:29 am

Donald Isler wrote:A very good article.

The Republicans, in a bizarre way, seem to have been inspired by the words of FDR. They have nothing to offer but fear itself.
Guess what, Donald? Sometimes, there really IS something to fear. Ignoring it isn't a sign of wisdom or bravery. It's called stupidity.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

DavidRoss
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by DavidRoss » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:33 am

JackC wrote:
Werner wrote:The Republicans' actions in this whole affair may well define the future of the Republican Party - from genuine patriotism to oblivion.
Well there is already a lot of evidence on this. We have been having this debate for over a year and, although the Dems muscled this through, the Dems lot the debate. Most people did not want this bill.

So far the issue has brought the Republican party BACK from oblivion. It has been amazing.

It has been the greatest political gift imaginable, and it could well be a gift that keeps on giving.
There's no telling what will happen this Fall. The US electorate has the intellect and attention span of a Cocker Spaniel. It sure looks like political suicide for the Dems, and we can only hope so, for otherwise there seems little likelihood of stopping the juggernaut of destructive policies Obama and the liberals in Congress will unleash on the American people.

Unfortunately, even if the rascals are thown out en masse come elections this Fall, I'm not sure that will prove any more than the lesser of evils, for the Republicans lately have been piss-poor at real leadership. The first four years of the Bush administration were a wasted opportunity during which little of substance got done save the bi-partisan War on Terrorism--and that with tactics and strategy that were questionable at best, both internationally and domestically. The second four years, with a lame duck President pursuing a status quo agenda and the loss of majorities, first in the Senate, then in both houses, were even worse.

Broad recognition of the insanity of the bankrupt (and bankrupting!) policies of liberal Democrats may swell the ranks of Republican voters in November, but simple opposition to fiscal suicide is not an agenda for leadership. I do not see a charismatic leader emerging from the ranks of the true conservatives in the party. It seems more likely that a demagogue who confuses "Christian fundamentalism" with principled conservatism may arise and set the Republicans on the same path of destructive polarizing extremism that Obama & Pelosi are now pursuing so vigorously from the other side of the aisle.

Stay tuned.

edit: typo corrected
Last edited by DavidRoss on Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

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JackC
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by JackC » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:34 am

Donald Isler wrote:A very good article.

The Republicans, in a bizarre way, seem to have been inspired by the words of FDR. They have nothing to offer but fear itself.
Obama's deficit this year is 13% GNP. That is what it was at the peak of WWII when the nation was fighting for its survival. The only difference is that Obama 's deficits don't come down.

Everyone knows that Social Security (a "tiny" program when it was enacted) is on an unsustainable path, as is Medicare. Now Obama recklessly throws this on top of it all.

There are a bunch of morons out there in the country, ecouraged by Dems seeking their votes, who believe that all of these things can be paid for by simply "taxing the rich" .

Well the fact is that you could tax the rich at 100% and you still couldn't pay for all that is being promised. And taxes at such high rates have never down anything but kill the very economic growth that is needed to fund these entitlements. Frankly, it would be good if the Dems would have a little fear about where they are taking this country.

Sooner rather than later, these problems will have to be addressed. Because of the entitlement culture that has been created, when these problems finally come home, we may well be headed towards civil unrest.

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Barry » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:45 pm

If there is a counter piece that comes closest to expressing my views among those I've read, it's this one by George Will:

March 22, 2010
A Victory for Obama's Agenda of Spreading Dependency
By George Will

"And everybody praised the Duke,
Who this great fight did win."
"But what good came of it at last?"
Quoth little Peterkin.
"Why that I cannot tell," said he,
"But 'twas a famous victory."
-- Robert Southey
"The Battle of Blenheim"

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama hopes his famous health care victory will mark him as a transformative president. History, however, may judge it to have been his missed opportunity to be one.

Health care will not be seriously revisited for at least a generation, so the system's costliest defect -- untaxed employer-provided insurance, which entangles a high-inflation commodity, health care, with the wage system -- remains. Obama could not challenge this without adopting measures -- e.g., tax credits for individuals, enabling them to shop for their own insurance -- that empower individuals and therefore conflict with his party's agenda of spreading dependency.

On Sunday, as will happen every day for two decades, another 10,000 baby boomers became eligible for Social Security and Medicare. And Congress moved closer to piling a huge new middle-class entitlement onto the rickety structure of America's Ponzi welfare state. Congress has a one-word response to the demographic deluge and the scores of trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities: "More."

There will be subsidized health insurance for families of four earning up to $88,200 a year, a ceiling certain to be raised, repeatedly. The accounting legerdemain spun to make this seem affordable -- e.g., cuts (to Medicare) and taxes (on high-value insurance plans) that will never happen-- is Enronesque.

As America's teetering tower of unkeepable promises grows, so does the weight of government, in taxes and mandates that limit investments and discourage job creation. America's dynamism, and hence upward social mobility, will slow, as the economy becomes what the party of government wants it to be -- increasingly dependent on government-created demand.

Promoting dependency is the Democratic Party's vocation. It knows that almost all entitlements are forever, and those that are not -- e.g., the lifetime eligibility for welfare, repealed in 1996 -- are not for the middle class. Democrats believe, plausibly, that middle-class entitlements are instantly addictive and, because there is no known detoxification, that class, when facing future choices between trimming entitlements or increasing taxes, will choose the latter. The taxes will disproportionately burden high earners, thereby tightening the noose of society's dependency on government for investments and job-creation.

Politics in a democracy is transactional: Politicians seek votes by promising to do things for voters, who seek promises in exchange for their votes. Because logrolling is how legislative coalitions are cobbled together in a continental nation, the auction by which reluctant House Democrats were purchased has been disillusioning only to sentimentalists with illusions about society's stock of disinterestedness.

Besides, some of the transactions were almost gorgeous: Government policy having helped make water scarce in California's Central Valley, the party of expanding government secured two votes by increasing rations of the scarcity. Thus did one dependency lubricate legislation that establishes others.

The bill is a museum of hoary artifacts from liberalism's attic. The identity politics of quasi-quotas? The secretary of health and human services "in awarding grants and contracts under this section ... shall give preferences to entities that have a demonstrated record of ...training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds." And the bill creates an Advisory Council on Green, High-Performing Public School Facilities, and grants for "retrofitting necessary to increase the energy efficiency and water efficiency of public school facilities."

The public will now think the health care system is what Democrats want it to be. Dissatisfaction with it will intensify because increasingly complex systems are increasingly annoying. And because Democrats promised the implausible -- prompt and noticeable improvements in the system.

Forbidding insurance companies to deny coverage to persons because of pre-existing conditions, thereby making the risk pool more risky, will increase the cost of premiums. Public complaints will be smothered by more subsidies. So dependency will grow.

Seeking a silver lining? Now, perhaps, comes Thermidor.

That was the name of the month in the French Revolutionary calendar in which Robespierre fell. To historians, Thermidor denotes any era of waning political ardor. Congressional Democrats will not soon be herded into other self-wounding votes -- e.g., for a cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme as baroque as the health legislation. During the Democrats' health care monomania, the nation benefited from the benign neglect of the rest of their agenda. Now the nation may benefit from the exhaustion of their appetite for more political risk.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articl ... 04865.html

I fear we've taken a step in the direction of decline and away from what has made us so unique and great as a country for so long.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by living_stradivarius » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:14 pm

I'm no fan of the 2.3% excise tax on medical device sales. The least they should've done was base it on profit rather than raw sales. Or passed it on to junk food :P Well they did make it deductible in the end :-)
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by HoustonDavid » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:50 pm

I read Paul Krugman's column this morning with my breakfast coffee. Like most liberals, I was
overjoyed late last night when Nancy Pelosi banged that historic gavel and announced the
passage of our nation's version of universal health care, ready for President Obama's signature.
As Krugman so eloquently put it, all the Republicans have offered for more than a year, and as
a response to the bill's passage, has been an ongoing parade of fear mongering to stir up the
most base of their conservative followers, who were being led in a "Kill The Bill" chant on the
lawn of the Capitol by elected Republican Congress members on the rim of the dome holding
letters spelling out "Kill The Bill" and egging on the crowd.

That has been the sum of their contributions to the health care reform agenda since the
beginning, when the Republican leadership announced they would oppose every significant
piece of legislation proposed by the Democratic Congress and President Obama with "No" votes
without exception, regardless of the individual views of the Republican legislators. Voting "no",
in their considered opinion, was their way to eventually regain control of the Congress and
ensure President Obama was limited to one term. Hopefully, there is time for the nation's
voters to breath again, and realize that this legislation has not resulted in a takeover of the
healthcare system by the government, but given millions of Americans access to the healthcare
they deserve and need through insurance, hospitals, and physicians of their choice.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

DavidRoss
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by DavidRoss » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:25 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:As Krugman so eloquently put it, all the Republicans have offered for more than a year, and as
a response to the bill's passage, has been an ongoing parade of fear mongering to stir up the
most base of their conservative followers....

That has been the sum of their contributions to the health care reform agenda
How can you believe this bigoted nonsense? Not only in years past but in 2009 Republicans offered several measures aimed at improving health care delivery and lowering costs, some of which they've been trying to pass for years (i.e. medical liability reform). For instance:

The Small Business Health Fairness Act (HR 2607 introduced May 21, 2009)
The Medical Rights and Reform Act(HR 1086 introduced June 6, 2009)
The HEALTH Act (HR3970 introduced June 16, 2009)
The Improving Health Care for All Americans Act (HR3218 introduced July 14, 2009)
The Empowering Patients First Act(HR3400 introduced July 30, 2009)
The Castle wellness & prevention bill (HR3468 introduced July 31, 2009)
The Improved Employee Access to Health Insurance Act (HR3821 introduced October 15, 2009)
The Health Insurance Access for Young Workers and College Students Act (HR3887 introduced October 21, 2009)

Krugman may be eloquent, but he's a liar. All of those politicians and talking heads who make the same claim are liars. And the facts are so easily checked that when they tell such lies they are also telling you that they think you are so stupid that you will believe them, that you haven't the brains to check on the truth. And if they lie to you about one thing, they have proven they are liars with no honor or integrity and that nothing they tell you can be trusted.

edited for clarification and to correct a mistake
Last edited by DavidRoss on Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by dulcinea » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:56 am

Hell is full of good intentions or desires.
(Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, circa 1150)
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:19 am

If I am bigoted (and stupid, thanks so much), then I stand proudly today with some very
special people, whom Paul Begala credited in the much maligned (here at CMG) Huffington
Post yesterday:

Paul Begala

CNN political commentator
Posted: March 21, 2010 11:51 PM

I have been working for Democratic and progressive causes for 29 years, and I don't think I've ever been prouder than today. When David Obey swung that gavel -- the same gavel used to hammer home Medicare -- and struck it on that historic rostrum, it made a joyful noise unto the Lord. And I for one said Hallelujah.

There is no doubt the sweeping changes enacted today will create unforeseen problems -- that is the nature of reform. The one law Congress can never overturn is the Law of Unintended Consequences. But that's why our Founders challenged us to "form a more perfect Union," because true perfection is not possible this side of heaven. Instead, we work to improve, to make progress, to renew.

The merits of the health care law have been debated ad nauseum. I will not revisit them here. Rather, I want to take a moment to salute the raw courage of the women and men who made this possible.

Primus inter pares must be Nancy Pelosi. The House Speaker, so vilified by the right, so caricatured by the press, has etched her name in marble. She has accomplished what no other Speaker could -- not Uncle Joe Cannon, not Mister Sam Rayburn, not Tip or Newt nor any of her predecessors. Health care reform was dead after Scott Brown's remarkable Senate victory in Massachusetts. But Speaker Pelosi would not let it die. The greatest single reason this bill will become law is because of the sheer force of will, the remarkable political skill, and the legislative mastery of Nancy Pelosi. If there were a Mt. Rushmore for House Speakers, her pleasant grin and steely eyes would be on it.

Harry Reid, too, worked wonders. In order to overcome a Republican filibuster, Reid had to bat 1.000 -- corral all 58 Senate Democrats and two Independents. Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott called the job "herding cats." Harry Reid, through quiet consultation, respectful negotiation and rare grit pulled off a Christmas miracle, mustering 60 votes for health care reform on Christmas Eve.

Pelosi and Reid did all this in the teeth of naysayers and cheap-shot artists who were counseling caution and urging capitulation.

The so-called "Dean" of the Washington press corps, David Broder, told Politico that Reid was not in the same class as revered leaders like Mike Mansfield. "Maybe I have an idealized view of what a Senate leader ought to be," he said. "But I've seen the Senate when a leader could lift it to those heights...I wish it had that kind of leadership now."

In a sense, Broder's right. In 1968, Mansfield presided over a majority of 68 Democrats -- 68. And Senate Republicans included such giants of bipartisanship as Everett McKinley Dirksen, who played a crucial role in passing the Civil Rights Act. And yet even Mansfield could not pass universal health care. With just 58 senators of his party, Reid did what Mansfield could not do with 68 -- and he did it with a GOP dominated by implacable obstructionists who have used the filibuster more in two years than the GOP of Mansfield era did in decades.

To be sure, this is an enormous, historic victory for Pres. Obama. He refused to trim his sails, refused to cut and run, refused to cave in to the timid souls of the commentariat and the hatemongers of the kook right. His cool courage, his dogged determination, his fearless focus are now the stuff of history.

One cannot see this history unfold and not think of those who paved the way. John Dingell, the valiant congressman from Michigan, has been fighting for national health care for 54 years -- and his father before him sponsored national health care legislation in 1935. Speaker Pelosi and her Democrats stand tall today because they stand on the shoulders of Dingell and other giants.

In the Senate, Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats stand on the shoulders of Ted Kennedy. Teddy fought for national health care when Reagan was saying government would screw up a one-car parade. His energy, passion and compassion inspired several generations of Democrats.

And, of course, my old boss Bill Clinton. He was 50 minutes late for the Gridiron Dinner the night before the historic vote. For his tardiness he was privately and bitterly excoriated by a very famous journalist, but this time Clinton was necessarily detained: President Obama had him on the phone, asking for help on a last list of wavering Democrats. Clinton, of course, was happy to help. He, too, shed blood and political capital in the cause of health care reform. He confidently told the media elite: "I am proud to stick up for this President and his Administration. Let me tell you something: they are going to pass health care reform, ladies and gentlemen. Maybe not in my lifetime or Dick Cheney's, but, hopefully, by Easter." Pres. Obama, too, stands on the shoulders of Clinton, two Roosevelts, Truman and Carter, Kennedy and Johnson.

But amidst all this history there is still politics. Let's be realistic: Both history and the economy dictate Democratic losses in November. But passing health care will, I am sure, help mitigate the losses. First because the bill does real good for real people right away: a $500 down payment on the Donut Hole for seniors' medication, the right to carry your adult children on your health insurance until they turn 27, an end to annual caps and lifetime limits, an end to rescissions, a high-risk pool for those too young for Medicare and too middle-class for Medicaid. Second, the only way to disprove the false charges from the Republicans is to actually live under the new law. There will be no death panels. There is no government takeover.

The vast majority of Americans will continue to have the health care they like -- but the biggest difference is the insurance company will no longer be able to cancel it as they can now. Failure on health care would have depressed the Democratic vote and disgusted independents, who would have concluded Democrats can't run the government.

Let the Republicans campaign on repealing this. Why not campaign on repealing Medicare, too? They called that socialized medicine. Why aren't Scott Brown or Mitt Romney calling for repeal of the Massachusetts health care law (upon which this bill is based)?

Nothing succeeds like success. Or, as George S. Patton said to the 6th Armored Division of the Third Army in 1944: "Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser." Today the Republicans are losers, and the Democrats -- and every American who worries about getting sick and getting dumped by their insurance company -- are the winners.
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by JackC » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:47 am

To call this a great political achievement is absolutely absurd. Although he tried for over a year, Obama could not convince the American people that this was a good bill. CNN has a poll showing that about 60% of the people opposed the final bill. Moreover, in the course of pushing this bill, Obama and the Dems suffered stunning electoral defeats, most notably lossing a Senate seat in Mass to a Republican whose ran almost entirely on stopping the health care bill.

Obama and the Dems' success is due entirely to the fact that they had huge majorities in Congress and that they were willing to ignore the opposition of most people to this bill.
The bill could not pass today after the election of Scott Brown. It passed only because the House voted in favor of a bill they could not pass on its own, but were promised would be "fixed" by the Senate through a procedure that was not intended to be used in this way and has never been used for program of this size. It passed despite the opposition of many Democrats because of the groteque deal making and outright threats by the leadership to House members who did not tow the line.

The only think impressive about this "victory" is that Obama and Pelosi were so brazen in their use of their power to get the votes of many Dems who know they may be committing political suicide. They didn't convince a single Republican and didn't convince the American people.

People are hugely angry over this, and the Dems are going to pay the price for that. The only question is how big a price. In the meantime, Obama's credibility is shot. He did every underhanded thing he culd to get the Dems to pass this. He looks likes a mayor of Chicago. Moreover, he has destroyed whatever was left of the political fabric of this country. Some accomplishment by the "post partisan" president. :roll:

The Dems are shaking in the boots over the fallout from this. They ought to be.

Moreover, it is not at all clear that this bill will survive the many legal challenges it will face. Would anyone like to bet that a US District Court judge will soon rule that a law forcing you to buy something that you don't want, and making it a crime to fail to do so, is unconstitutional???

This is going straight to the Supreme Court. It involves compelling questions of individual liberty and the power of government, and there are already 4 votes against it. Moreover, unlike in many instancesm, the Suprme Court would be doing something hugely popular by striking it down.

So the Dems celebrating today should be cautious. All this may have done is to wildly energize Republicans, turned moderate and independents away from the Dems and there may be no bill after all.
Last edited by JackC on Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:52 am

JackC wrote: The only think impressive about this "victory" is that Obama and Pelosi were so brazen in their use of their power....
People are hugely angry over this, and the Dems are going to pay the price for that.
I will have such revenges on you both
That all the world shall -- I will do such things --
What they are yet I know not, but they shall be
The terrors of the earth!

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by karlhenning » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:02 am

JackC wrote:The only think impressive about this "victory" is that Obama and Pelosi were so brazen in their use of their power....
People are hugely angry over this, and the Dems are going to pay the price for that.
Well, just like Quentin Tarantino, you are welcome to your personal revenge fantasies, of course.

Here's an interesting opinion from former Bush speechwriter David Frum:

"Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

"It's hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they'll compensate for today's expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. But: (1) It's a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November -- by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs. (2) So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now. . . .

"A huge part of the blame for [the] disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves. At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama's Waterloo — just as healthcare was Clinton's in 1994. . . . This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none."
And:
Howard Kurtz wrote:At Politics Daily, David Corn say the law will be harder to demonize:

"It's often easier to frighten people — and that includes voters — about the unknown than the known. For a year, Obamacare, as the president's critics call it, has been a bogeyman for conservatives, who have bashed it as a 2,700-page Bolshevik plot that includes (at least according to Sarah Palin) death panels. They portrayed the complex bill as a looming threat to the nation, even when it was unclear what would be in the final version. The aim was to take advantage of the uncertainty and to exploit anxiety about change. Given the scope of the initiative, the opponents could zero in on what they thought would be the scariest aspects (real or hyped), thus defining the overall measure in the most dire terms. . . .

"In the meantime, there will be here-and-now results that can be judged. And those results are likely to be popular — helping seniors with prescription drug costs, helping young adults remain covered, helping consumers facing abusive insurance companies. Will Republicans find it effective to campaign on dumping all of this?"
Hmm . . . the politicians of fear-mongering, in the Party of "No" . . . .

Cheers,
~Karl
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Barry » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:52 am

karlhenning wrote:
JackC wrote:The only think impressive about this "victory" is that Obama and Pelosi were so brazen in their use of their power....
People are hugely angry over this, and the Dems are going to pay the price for that.
Well, just like Quentin Tarantino, you are welcome to your personal revenge fantasies, of course.

Here's an interesting opinion from former Bush speechwriter David Frum:

"Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

"It's hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they'll compensate for today's expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. ...
That's true in large part. Of course, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts weren't defeats for the GOP since many of them voted for it. But some of the economic packages that were designed to fight poverty have gone on to have precisely the shattering impact that some conservatives warned they would back when they were opposing them in the sixties. Just as it's no consolation to be right about that, it won't be if, as I fear, we slide towards second class status as a power under the weight of all of the entitlements that slowly and gradually crush our ability to do much else as a country.

I'm afraid merely winning back Congress in November, if that happens, wouldn't suffice to compensate for the longterm damage I fear has been done. I'm not feeling a hunger for revenge. I merely feel sad.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by DavidRoss » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:23 am

HoustonDavid wrote:If I am bigoted (and stupid, thanks so much), then I stand proudly today with some very special people, whom Paul Begala credited in the much maligned (here at CMG) Huffington Post yesterday
Begala's statements comprise nothing more than self-congratulatory and self-serving spin.

I did not say you were bigoted. I expressed surprise that you believed the bigoted falsehoods Krugman (and others) repeatedly use to mischaracterize those who object to the bill, the nature of their objections, and Congressional Republicans' efforts regarding health care reform. The claim that Republicans contributed nothing positive and did nothing but try to obstruct reform is a blatant lie, a huge whopper. Claims that Republicans and others who oppose the Democrats' bill do so out of nothing but devious political calculation and a perverse desire to see people suffer are not just lies but glaring examples of closed-minded prejudices that slander an entire class of persons with malicious stereotypes--in short: sheer, unadulterated, vicious bigotry.

I did not call you stupid, either. What I said is that Krugman and others like him regard their audience as stupid. They count on their audience being too dim and gullible to investigate the facts for themselves, thus have no fear of losing credibility when the audience discovers the blatant lies and malicious stereotypes these demagogues use to sway uninformed opinion. Again I am surprised that you are taken in by this, for you certainly don't appear stupid to me, but fully capable of the sort of fair-minded investigation that I expect any reasonable and competent person would undertake to inform himself about matters he regards as important to his own welfare and the welfare of his loved ones and others.

Now if you are the generally innocent and trusting sort whom I personally admire, and if the claims made by these demagogues sound consistent with principles you value, then in the absence of conflicting information you might have no reason to suspect they are lying and thus to investigate further. You now have that conflicting information, however. Those eight health care reform bills sponsored by Republicans in 2009 prove that the partisan Democrats' claim that Republicans offered nothing but obstruction is a big fat lie. Don't take my word for it. Look them up. Enter the bill numbers in the search box on the Open Congress website at http://www.opencongress.org/search, or search them on the Library of Congress website here: http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d111query.html .

See for yourself who is lying about Republican contributions to U.S. health policy. Ponder the obvious self-contradicting statements by partisan Democrats who say that "Republicans offered nothing but NO," yet who also say that "Republicans shouldn't object since we included many of their best ideas in this bill." Be scrupulous in your inquiries, and then ask yourself if Albert Einstein might have been onto something when he said, "Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either."
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:12 pm

Your careful use of guilt by association does not change the fact that if I believe bigoted
statements and stupid remarks, then (by association) I must be bigoted and stupid. How
else could I possibly interpret what you so carefully (and politically correctly) said, David?

I prefer to stand with my liberal associates and cheer a tremendous and historic improvement
in this country's health care system. We have at last joined the rest of the civilized (and much
of the uncivilized) world and given ourselves universal health care. The Republican approach you
so carefully documented would take roughly another milenium - one small bill at a time - to achieve
anything comparable.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:08 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:As Krugman so eloquently put it, all the Republicans have offered for more than a year, and as
a response to the bill's passage, has been an ongoing parade of fear mongering to stir up the
most base of their conservative followers, who were being led in a "Kill The Bill" chant on the
lawn of the Capitol by elected Republican Congress members on the rim of the dome holding
letters spelling out "Kill The Bill" and egging on the crowd.
Pure ignorant crap from Krugman, as usual, on at least 2 grounds:

1) The Dems have the majority. They could pass anything they wanted to. Why didn't they?

2) The Republican's "conservative followers" do not constitute 70% of the public that hates the bill. The significant opposition to the bill comes from independents who have been on the rampage against Obama & his policies since the middle of 09.

So here's your choices: 1) those wise, reasonable, mature, informed, sympathetic, compassionate, and thoughtful independents who put Obama in the White House in 08 have suddenly become raging fanatical dupes of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy; or 2) there's something horribly wrong with both the bill and the process. That's your choices. So which is it?

I reiterate: you libs need to upgrade your reading material from the comic books version of political lit to the serious liberal criticism.
Corlyss
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by JackC » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:31 pm

I, for one, hope that this turns out to be Obama/Pelosi's Pearl Harbor.

Yamamoto, after his triumphant initial blow, said that he feared that all that they had accomplished was to awaken a sleeping giant and fill it with a terrible resolve.

Most people, by landslide proportions, in this country did not want this bill to pass. Obama/Pelosi/Reid crammed it down their throats in a brazen and corrupt power play.

How many people in this country believe that their children will have brighter futures than we had??? The entitlement programs we already had in place were not sustainable without major change. Yet now Obama/Pelosi/Reid have added another one, the biggest of all, onto an the backs of our children.

We are solidly on the road to creating an unsustainable welfare state, a state of cradle to crave dependency on government. People know this, that is why even in this terrible economy, they were against this bill that for, over a year , Obama/Pelosi/Reid assured them was good for them and was going to help them. They want America to have a brighter future.

We do not know how prepared Americans are to fight for better future, or whether they have been worn down to the point of just accepting what is being done to the country. The initial anger over this is promising, but the elections in November will tell whether this country is finished, or whether it has a future. These are scary times, not because we cannot recover, but because we may chose the path of permanent decline.

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by karlhenning » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:38 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:So here's your choices: 1) those wise, reasonable, mature, informed, sympathetic, compassionate, and thoughtful independents who put Obama in the White House in 08 have suddenly become raging fanatical dupes of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy; or 2) there's something horribly wrong with both the bill and the process. That's your choices. So which is it?
There must be more choices yet, one of which must be that there are many more of the general public (yea, even among independents) who know of the bill only what the sound-bites say, than who understand the bill (which, of course, has been a 'work-in-progress', and therefore somewhat unclear all along). Now, since you have Democrats and Republicans with bullhorns telling their side of the story, but you don't have "Independent bullhorns," the independents get their idea of the bill from one or another tendentious view of the matter.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:49 pm

Let's hear from an highly respected and generally conservative opinion maker and columnist,
David Brooks:

The Democrats Rejoice
by DAVID BROOKS

Tne New York Times
Published: March 22, 2010

Parties come to embody causes. For the past 90 years or so, the Republican Party has, at its best, come to embody the cause of personal freedom and economic dynamism. For a similar period, the Democratic Party has, at its best, come to embody the cause of fairness and family security. Over the past century, they have built a welfare system, brick by brick, to guard against the injuries of fate.

If you grew up, as I did, with a Hubert Humphrey poster on your wall and a tradition of Democratic Party activism in your family, you recognize the Democratic DNA in the content of this bill and in the way it was passed. There was the inevitable fractiousness, the neuroticism, the petty logrolling, but also the basic concern for the vulnerable and the high idealism.

And there was also the faith in the grand liberal project. Democrats protected the unemployed starting with the New Deal, then the old, then the poor. Now, thanks to health care reform, millions of working families will go to bed at night knowing that they are not an illness away from financial ruin.

For apostates like me, watching this bill go through the meat grinder was like watching an old family reunion. One glimpse and you got the whole panoply of what you loved and found annoying about these people.

Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi were fit to play the leading roles. They both embody the two great wings of the party, the high-minded aspirations of the educated class and the machinelike toughness of the party apparatus. Obama and Pelosi both possess the political tenaciousness that you only get if you live for government and believe ruthlessly in its possibilities. They could have scaled back their aspirations at any time but they hung tough.

Members of the Obama-Pelosi team have spent the past year on a wandering, tortuous quest — enduring the exasperating pettiness of small-minded members, hostile public opinion, just criticism and gross misinformation, a swarm of cockeyed ideas and the erroneous predictions of people like me who thought the odds were against them. For sheer resilience, they deserve the honor of posterity.

Yet I confess, watching all this, I feel again why I’m no longer spiritually attached to the Democratic Party. The essence of America is energy — the vibrancy of the market, the mobility of the people and the disruptive creativity of the entrepreneurs. This vibrancy grew up accidentally, out of a cocktail of religious fervor and material abundance, but it was nurtured by choice. It was nurtured by our founders, who created national capital markets to disrupt the ossifying grip of the agricultural landholders. It was nurtured by 19th-century Republicans who built the railroads and the land-grant colleges to weave free markets across great distances. It was nurtured by Progressives who broke the stultifying grip of the trusts.

Today, America’s vigor is challenged on two fronts. First, the country is becoming geriatric. Other nations spend 10 percent or so of their G.D.P. on health care. We spend 17 percent and are predicted to soon spend 20 percent and then 25 percent. This legislation was supposed to end that asphyxiating growth, which will crowd out investments in innovation, education and everything else. It will not.

With the word security engraved on its heart, the Democratic Party is just not structured to cut spending that would enhance health and safety. The party nurtures; it does not say, “No more.”

The second biggest threat to America’s vibrancy is the exploding federal debt. Again, Democrats can utter the words of fiscal restraint, but they don’t feel the passion. This bill is full of gimmicks designed to get a good score from the Congressional Budget Office but not to really balance the budget. Democrats did enough to solve their political problem (not looking fiscally reckless) but not enough to solve the genuine problem.

Nobody knows how this bill will work out. It is an undertaking exponentially more complex than the Iraq war, for example. But to me, it feels like the end of something, not the beginning of something. It feels like the noble completion of the great liberal project to build a comprehensive welfare system.

The task ahead is to save this country from stagnation and fiscal ruin. We know what it will take. We will have to raise a consumption tax. We will have to preserve benefits for the poor and cut them for the middle and upper classes. We will have to invest more in innovation and human capital.

The Democratic Party, as it revealed of itself over the past year, does not seem to be up to that coming challenge (neither is the Republican Party). This country is in the position of a free-spending family careening toward bankruptcy that at the last moment announced that it was giving a gigantic new gift to charity. You admire the act of generosity, but you wish they had sold a few of the Mercedes to pay for it.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:58 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Pure ignorant crap from Krugman, as usual
There is a reason Paul Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics, and it
certainly wasn't for "pure ignorant crap". If you have equivalent credentials for your
opinions, I am not aware of them.

And BTW, Corlyss, why are you boxing us in to only two choices on this subject?
I rather think there are several points of view already iterrated that don't encompass
the two you want to restricted us to.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:38 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:Let's hear from an highly respected and generally conservative opinion maker and columnist,
David Brooks:

The Democrats Rejoice
by DAVID BROOKS

Tne New York Times
Published: March 22, 2010


Today, America’s vigor is challenged on two fronts. First, the country is becoming geriatric. Other nations spend 10 percent or so of their G.D.P. on health care. We spend 17 percent and are predicted to soon spend 20 percent and then 25 percent. This legislation was supposed to end that asphyxiating growth, which will crowd out investments in innovation, education and everything else. It will not.
I suggest the immediate formation of a bilateral commission to address the problem of too many old Americans. :roll:

Seriously, that's the first time I've ever heard that connected with percent GDP with the implications that it explains why the US is different from Europe, Japan, etc.

The second biggest threat to America’s vibrancy is the exploding federal debt. Again, Democrats can utter the words of fiscal restraint, but they don’t feel the passion. This bill is full of gimmicks designed to get a good score from the Congressional Budget Office but not to really balance the budget. Democrats did enough to solve their political problem (not looking fiscally reckless) but not enough to solve the genuine problem.
Although I am aware that both parties have agendas that tend to block deficit reduction, what do you think the chances are that it will not be the Republicans that stonewall this too for the duration of Obama's presidency? Meaning, in practical terms, that the Republicans won't budge an inch on a single tax increase even if the Democrats give ground on, say, Social Security. And then will do one of their attempted snow jobs to get the public to think it was the Dems who prolonged the deficit/debt crisis. Let's see how that one plays out.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:44 pm

Corlyss_D wrote: 1) The Dems have the majority. They could pass anything they wanted to. Why didn't they?
Uh, they did.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by RebLem » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:58 pm

Oh, this one is almost too easy.
Corlyss_D wrote:
HoustonDavid wrote:As Krugman so eloquently put it, all the Republicans have offered for more than a year, and as
a response to the bill's passage, has been an ongoing parade of fear mongering to stir up the
most base of their conservative followers, who were being led in a "Kill The Bill" chant on the
lawn of the Capitol by elected Republican Congress members on the rim of the dome holding
letters spelling out "Kill The Bill" and egging on the crowd.
Pure ignorant crap from Krugman, as usual, on at least 2 grounds:

1) The Dems have the majority. They could pass anything they wanted to. Why didn't they?
As you know, Mitch McConnell announced before Obama ever took office that their approach would be one of implacable opposition to everything Obama wanted to do, to vote NO on everything, regardless of the merits of the proposal. You may yell and scream about what I am about to say, but the fact is that no white president has ever been treated that way by the opposing party. If you object, find one who was.

As you know, but hope we have forgotten, it takes 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate. We are a group of intelligent people who love classical music, Corlyss. Don't talk to us as if we were a bunch of Rowdy Roddy Piper fans.
Corlyss wrote:2) The Republican's "conservative followers" do not constitute 70% of the public that hates the bill. The significant opposition to the bill comes from independents who have been on the rampage against Obama & his policies since the middle of 09.
70%? Maybe in Nibley, Utah. But, for the country as a whole, that's a total fiction--and that is putting it kindly. The average of all the polls, as RealClearPolitics reports, is that 39.7% favors it and 50.2% oppose it. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls ... -1130.html If you look a little deeper, you will find that 13% of the 50.2% that oppose it do so because they think it is too weak--that it doesn't go far enough. And I predict that no one who opposes the plan from its left is going to vote Republicant in November.
Corlyss wrote:So here's your choices: 1) those wise, reasonable, mature, informed, sympathetic, compassionate, and thoughtful independents who put Obama in the White House in 08 have suddenly become raging fanatical dupes of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy; or 2) there's something horribly wrong with both the bill and the process. That's your choices. So which is it?

I reiterate: you libs need to upgrade your reading material from the comic books version of political lit to the serious liberal criticism.
When we see people weeping at town halls saying, "We want our country back," what they are really saying is something like this: "Obama is the first president who was elected without a majority of white voters. We have not opposed all progress for blacks, but we have gotten used to the idea that before any advances can be made, a majority of white people have to be in favor of it. Now, for the first time, that is no longer true, and it scares us." The fact is that blacks and hispanics voted overwhelmingly for Obama, and that, together with about 48% or so of white voters, put him over the top. A majority of whtes voted against him, despite the fact that Obama was clearly the more intelligent of the two candidates, had the more experienced and abler running mate, and above all, had the steady temperament (McCain's stack-blowing temperament is legendary on Capitol Hill) needed to be president. Racism ain't dead, baby. It just got outvoted.

Oh, and one more thing. Among the people quoted in favor of the passage of this bill are David Broder, David Frum, Howard Kurtz, David Corn, and Paul Begala. I am not aware that any of them ever wrote a comic book. I eagerly away your bibliography of same.
Last edited by RebLem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Barry » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:59 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:Let's hear from an highly respected and generally conservative opinion maker and columnist,
David Brooks:

The Democrats Rejoice
by DAVID BROOKS

Tne New York Times
Published: March 22, 2010
...
Nice piece. I agree with much of it. I don't deny the good intentions of the Democrats. I simply think they aren't thinking through the longterm consequences of what they're doing. In their efforts to solve one problem that they see as being urgently in need of a compassionate solution, they're helping to add on to an ever increasing longterm problem that will lead to consequences down the road that will make the issue of people lacking health insurance seem small in comparison. We just can't keep growing the amount we spend on health care, along with the other entitlements we have. It's going to utterly break our back as a country eventually and leave us unable to fill the role we've played as the one true deterrent to the world's autocratic and dictatorial regimes since the end of WWII. The consequences, not only for the U.S., for for much of the rest of the world if what I fear comes to pass, are almost too catostrophic to contemplate. There is no other democratic country to take our place as we did when Britain could no longer fill the role. The type of "freedom" that many movement conservatives and tea-partiers talk about losing when they protest health care reform isn't the only kind of "freedom" that will be impacted. And it's the other kind that concerns me most of all.
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Barry » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:16 pm

RebLem wrote: When we see people weeping at town halls saying, "We want our country back," what they are really saying is something like this: "Obama is the first president who was elected without a majority of white voters. We have not opposed all progress for blacks, but we have gotten used to the idea that before any advances can be made, a majority of white people have to be in favor of it. Now, for the first time, that is no longer true, and it scares us." The fact is that blacks and hispanics voted overwhelmingly for Obama, and that, together with about 48% or so of white voters, put him over the top. A majority of whtes voted against him, despite the fact that Obama was clearly the more intelligent of the two candidates, had the more experienced and abler running mate, and above all, had the steady temperament (McCain's stack-blowing temperament is legendary on Capitol Hill) needed to be president. Racism ain't dead, baby. It just got outvoted.
Obama received a higher pecentage of the white vote than Kerry did in '04 by 48 to 41 percent. And Kerry's opponent was Bush!

Your analysis of the candidates is obviously colored by your bias and own deep-seeded reverse-racism. A more objective analysis that takes the candidates' experience (it's more than a tad absurd that you're willing to emphasize the experience of the running mates, but not that of the candidates themselves), history of taking unpopular stances that go against the grain of his party's orthodoxy when he thought it was in the best interest of the country, and a host of other items made McCain, if not clearly the more qualified candidate, at least worthy of the office. And I stand by my earlier assertion that if so many whites weren't so eager to feel good about voting for a black candidate in an effort to move race relations along in this country, that a candidate with Obama's lack of a track-record would have done decively worse. For every vote Obama lost because of his race, he gained at least one race-based vote from people who weren't entirely sold on him as a candidate, but who were willing to give him a chance as a sort of feel-good gesture.

I understand the desire of African-Americans to have a black president after all these years, but to take a shot at the racist motives for just barely over half of the white population who voted for McCain, most of whom would have voted for the Republican candidate, regardless of his opponent's race, while excusing the fact that almost all blacks voted for a candidate with vastly less experience than his opponent is telling ("telling" being the most polite word I can come up with at the moment). I can still remember a column that came out around election time by a black writer in which she made the same argument as Rob; that Obama only failed to win in a massive landslide because he is black and that no excuses are needed to answer the question of why almost all blacks were voting for Obama. After all, she said, he's such a perfect candidate, how could anyone not vote for him? Well excuse me, but this isn't a totalitarian state. We don't fall in lock step behind annointed ones like they do in Communist countries. I simply never have bought into the common notion from the left that only morons or racists could oppose Obama. That's not only obnoxious, but does a huge amount of damage to the country in terms of race relations and a backlash of bitterness that I'm sure still lingers in some quarters.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:34 pm

RebLem wrote:As you know, Mitch McConnell announced before Obama ever took office that their approach would be one of implacable opposition to everything Obama wanted to do, to vote NO on everything, regardless of the merits of the proposal.
Irrelevant, Rob. Dems have the majorities in both houses. They couldn't do it with their majorites. They can whine all they want to about Republicans' opposition, but most of us voters know that is a smoke-screen for the fact that they failed even with large majorities. Don't kid yourself 'cause you sure ain't kiddin' me.
the fact is that no white president has ever been treated that way by the opposing party. If you object, find one who was.
:lol: :roll: Usual racist crap from a Soldier of the Left. You had the majorities, you couldn't get it done with the majorities because 2008 was not a realignment election after all and the country still remains a center-right nation. You got a problem with the way things have turned out, beat up the Independents who have abandoned Obama in droves.
As you know, but hope we have forgotten, it takes 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate. We are a group of intelligent people who love classical music, Corlyss. Don't talk to us as if we were a bunch of Rowdy Roddy Piper fans.
You had the majorities AND 60 votes in the Senate until Feb 10. You still couldn't get it done.
Corlyss wrote:2) The Republican's "conservative followers" do not constitute 70% of the public that hates the bill. The significant opposition to the bill comes from independents who have been on the rampage against Obama & his policies since the middle of 09.
70%?
70% believe the bill will raise their costs of insurance. Who votes to raise their expenses in a recession with 18% effective unemployment? Think they love the bill?
Racism ain't dead, baby. It just got outvoted.
You're kiddin' yourself again. White independents put Obama in office; white independents will take him out of office. Minorities could never have put him into office and you know that as well as I. So you have to explain how white independents that likeed him so in 2008 have suddenly turned racists. It simply can't be done without ideological delusions.
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:41 pm

Barry wrote:I simply think they aren't thinking through the longterm consequences of what they're doing.
I think they know perfectly well what they are doing. HC was only one step in a direction the radicals in the party want to take nation. The next event on this particular trajectory is an admission in 2011 that the entitlements programs, most of which were highly bipartisan and all of which are much beloved by significant segments of the middle class, are going to destroy the country unless we enact a VAT, which is how the Europeans keep their fiscal noses just barely above the insolvency waterline. I've said for a while now that the real objective of all these programs they pursue with such zeal is a less prominent America economically and a more pliant America militarily and internationally. We won't be able to throw our weight around and embarrass so many nations with their own weakness and ineffectivity.
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Barry » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:44 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry wrote:I simply think they aren't thinking through the longterm consequences of what they're doing.
I think they know perfectly well what they are doing. HC was only one step in a direction the radicals in the party want to take nation. The next event on this particular trajectory is an admission in 2011 that the entitlements programs, most of which were highly bipartisan and all of which are much beloved by significant segments of the middle class, are going to destroy the country unless we enact a VAT, which is how the Europeans keep their fiscal noses just barely above the insolvency waterline. I've said for a while now that the real objective of all these programs they pursue with such zeal is a less prominent America economically and a more pliant America militarily and internationally. We won't be able to throw our weight around and embarrass so many nations with their own weakness and ineffectivity.
Whether the end result is intended or not, we agree on what it will be.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by DavidRoss » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:00 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:Your careful use of guilt by association does not change the fact that if I believe bigoted statements and stupid remarks, then (by association) I must be bigoted and stupid. How else could I possibly interpret what you so carefully (and politically correctly) said, David?

I prefer to stand with my liberal associates and cheer a tremendous and historic improvement in this country's health care system. We have at last joined the rest of the civilized (and much of the uncivilized) world and given ourselves universal health care. The Republican approach you so carefully documented would take roughly another milenium - one small bill at a time - to achieve anything comparable.
You can interpret it exactly as I stated it: Krugman's remarks betray willful, malicious bigotry that bears false witness against the Republicans and everyone else who opposed this bill (I don't believe for a minute that he doesn't know they are false), and since there is a clear public record showing just how false they are, he clearly is speaking to an audience he believes is so stupid that they won't make the minimal effort necessary to discover the truth.

I expressed surprise that you haven't bothered to critically examine the content of his remarks, for I had not regarded you as either a liberal bigot or stupid. If you wish to prove me wrong, however--as you now seem determined to do--then so be it.

If you read my first post, I'm sure you will see that I cited all of those health care reform bills introduced by Republicans merely as evidence that Krugman's claim that they never offered anything but opposition is sheer falsehood. It's a lie. Period. Which means that absolutely nothing he says can be trusted...including his supposedly professional analysis of the economic consequences of the bill. Yes, his credentials as an economist seem good, unfortunately his lack of integrity makes them meaningless.

Note also that I said nothing whatsoever about the merits of the Republican's approach versus the Democrats' mammoth package. Although I strongly agree with them that the real problem with health care in the U.S. is its astronomical cost, which is what limits access for so many, and which the Democrats' bill does NOTHING to control, I don't favor the Republicans' approach either--even though it appears like the lesser of evils. Thinking that if I object to the Democrats' bill then I must be a partisan Republican just illustrates the bigoted thinking all too common among the self-professed "liberals" here.

As I've said many times before, I favor a single-payer universal health insurance program with reasonable limits on services covered, much like Canada's system. I object to the Democrats' plan because it does not really reform anything about the present system, but only extends it, putting even more silicone teats on the sick bull of the same disastrously flawed mixed system that already costs nearly twice as much as Canada's system but delivers substantially less by many measures. What's more, by pushing this stinking pile of horse manure--and worse, by passing it--the Democrats have made sure that no REAL reform will take place for at least a generation, thereby also ensuring that that the special interests they really serve contrary to the public good will continue to be protected.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by karlhenning » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:11 pm

FWIW, I read today that:
In a USA Today/Gallup poll, 49 percent say it's a good thing that Congress passed the health bill and 40 percent disagree.
Taking that at face value, it does not necessarily contradict the assertion that a majority of Americans find problems in the bill.

But it would suggest that "[ dissatisfaction with the bill = mandate for repeal ]" is a minority notion.

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by JackC » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:20 pm

karlhenning wrote:FWIW, I read today that:
In a USA Today/Gallup poll, 49 percent say it's a good thing that Congress passed the health bill and 40 percent disagree.
Taking that at face value, it does not necessarily contradict the assertion that a majority of Americans find problems in the bill.

But it would suggest that "[ dissatisfaction with the bill = mandate for repeal ]" is a minority notion.

Cheers,
~Karl

Yep, the people actually supported this bill! That explains why Massachusetts just elected a Republican, whose principal issue was to defeat the health care bill, to fill Teddy Kennedy's senate seat.

It also explains why 34 Democrats in the house voted against it and a whole bunch of the others who voted yes had to be bribed, or threatened, in order to get then to drink the cool aid. :lol: :lol:

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by HoustonDavid » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:11 pm

DavidRoss wrote:As I've said many times before, I favor a single-payer universal health insurance program with reasonable limits on services covered, much like Canada's system. I object to the Democrats' plan because it does not really reform anything about the present system, but only extends it
I can't believe we agree on something regarding this issue, David. As a dual citizen of
the United States and Canada, and with relatives in Canada who are happy with their
health care system in general, I too would have preferred a single-payer system much
like the Canadian model. But it became quite obvious, early in the protracted debate,
that this model wouldn't fly, not even close, and never would in our lifetime. Why hang
your hat on the impossible dream?

The option they chose was to take a different approach, which they did, one that extended
much of our current system - at least for the next four years - to the uninsured millions,
and filled the cracks in the system that excluded patients with preexisting conditions, and
patients who became ill and were excluded from coverage. There were other changes, and
will be more in a few years, but we now have universal coverage for the first time in our history,
as does the great bulk of the rest of the world. This is a great step forward, if not perfect.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by DavidRoss » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:00 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:As I've said many times before, I favor a single-payer universal health insurance program with reasonable limits on services covered, much like Canada's system. I object to the Democrats' plan because it does not really reform anything about the present system, but only extends it
I can't believe we agree on something regarding this issue, David.
Why not?
HoustonDavid wrote:As a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, and with relatives in Canada who are happy with their health care system in general, I too would have preferred a single-payer system much like the Canadian model. But it became quite obvious, early in the protracted debate, that this model wouldn't fly, not even close, and never would in our lifetime. Why hang your hat on the impossible dream?
My Canadian ties have nothing to do with what is a practical and fiscally responsible decision. Instead of making the effort and taking the time to educate people and build consensus on the need and shape of REAL reform, Obama and his cronies foisted this ugly monstrosity on an unwilling citizenry who will pay an untenable price for it.
HoustonDavid wrote:The option they chose was to take a different approach, which they did, one that extended much of our current system - at least for the next four years - to the uninsured millions, and filled the cracks in the system that excluded patients with preexisting conditions, and patients who became ill and were excluded from coverage. There were other changes, and will be more in a few years, but we now have universal coverage for the first time in our history, as does the great bulk of the rest of the world. This is a great step forward, if not perfect.
No, it's a step backwards. We will not have universal coverage--expectations are that around 20 million will still be without. Costs will not be contained and may even rise faster than if nothing at all were done. And the program will accelerate the pace at which the entire entitlement house of cards comes crashing down around us. The whole thing is nuts.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by RebLem » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:29 pm

JackC wrote:Yep, the people actually supported this bill! That explains why Massachusetts just elected a Republican, whose principal issue was to defeat the health care bill, to fill Teddy Kennedy's senate seat.
Oh, get real, Jack. Brown was elected, as you know, but refuse to acknowledge, because a) Martha Coakley was an awful candidate who had no tast for campaigning in the cold, b) because they already have a health plan put in place under the leadership of a goper governor which bears a remarkable similarity to the Obama plan, and with which the people of Massachusetts, all the goper carping to the contrary notwithstanding, are happy by wide margins, and they figured "We've already got ours, why should we pay for anyone else's?" They forgot, momentarily, that they are Americans, too, and that they ought not to play "keep away."
Jack C wrote:]It also explains why 34 Democrats in the house voted against it and a whole bunch of the others who voted yes had to be bribed, or threatened, in order to get then to drink the cool [sic!] aid.
Oh, yeah, the people who voted against it were not bribed, were they, Jack? Get real. Tell the truth for once. Check the list of political donations made by health insurance companies and you will find what must seem to you like an amazing coincidence between the size of the donations by the insurance companies and the fact that their recipients did the insurance industry's bidding.

And I think you need to check on the definition of the word "bribe." A "bribe" is a payment or other valuable consideration, made in secret, to a legislator for his/her personal benefit, to vote a certain way. The Obama Administration bribed no one. They publicly offered help to various legislators' states or districts, not to line the pockets of the legislators themselves, as an inducement to vote for the plan. The fact that some of these inducements overreached has led a vigilant public to insist that they be rejected, and they have been. They are about to be repealed in the reconciliation package, and the votes for the bill will still stand. But they still weren't bribes. You need to be, at a minimum, more carefully attentive to the meaning of the words you use.

And, its Kool Aid, not cool aid.
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Guitarist » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:10 pm

JackC wrote:I, for one, hope that this turns out to be Obama/Pelosi's Pearl Harbor.
As opposed to it actually working and improving the state of health care in this country? What an enlightened soul. :roll:

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by JackC » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:17 pm

Guitarist wrote:
JackC wrote:I, for one, hope that this turns out to be Obama/Pelosi's Pearl Harbor.
As opposed to it actually working and improving the state of health care in this country? What an enlightened soul. :roll:
I guess you aren't bright enough, or care, to understand the point of the analogy, but did view it as providing an opportunity to take personal shot at me.

Well, I could explain it to you more carefully, but you wouldn't get it anyway, you dimwit.

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Guitarist » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:29 pm

JackC wrote:
Guitarist wrote:
JackC wrote:I, for one, hope that this turns out to be Obama/Pelosi's Pearl Harbor.
As opposed to it actually working and improving the state of health care in this country? What an enlightened soul. :roll:
I guess you aren't bright enough, or care, to understand the point of the analogy, but did view it as providing an opportunity to take personal shot at me.

Well, I could explain it to you more carefully, but you wouldn't get it anyway, you dimwit.
No, I saw it as an ass*ole comment that symbolizes the growing hatred in this country. The current mindset is truly frightening.

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by Barry » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:39 pm

Guitarist wrote:The current mindset is truly frightening.
I agree to an extent. Only I don't think it just started last year when Obama became president:

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Last edited by Barry on Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by JackC » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:39 pm

Guitarist wrote:
JackC wrote:
Guitarist wrote:
JackC wrote:I, for one, hope that this turns out to be Obama/Pelosi's Pearl Harbor.
As opposed to it actually working and improving the state of health care in this country? What an enlightened soul. :roll:
I guess you aren't bright enough, or care, to understand the point of the analogy, but did view it as providing an opportunity to take personal shot at me.

Well, I could explain it to you more carefully, but you wouldn't get it anyway, you dimwit.
No, I saw it as an ass*ole comment that symbolizes the growing hatred in this country. The current mindset is truly frightening.
Yep, people are angry, that's what happens when you pass major social legislation over the opposition of the substantial majority of the American people.

All you had to do is look at what the polls were saying, and the results in recent elections, most notably in Massachusetts, to see this anger building. Obama decided to ram this through anyway, using unprecedented, heavy handed legislative maneuvers.

He got his "trophy", and now we will see the carnage this effort will leave behind. He bears the responsibility for this increased anger.


And if you don't believe my statements about a substantial majority of Americans- take a look at this CBS poll (It probably won't make the evening news :lol: )

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162- ... 03544.html

A CBS News poll released Wednesday finds that nearly two in three Americans want Republicans in Congress to continue to challenge parts of the health care reform bill.

The poll finds that 62 percent want Congressional Republicans to keep challenging the bill, while 33 percent say they should not do so. Nearly nine in ten Republicans and two in three independents want the GOP to keep challenging. Even 41 percent of Democrats support continued challenges.

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by RebLem » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:54 pm

JackC wrote:
Guitarist wrote:
JackC wrote:I, for one, hope that this turns out to be Obama/Pelosi's Pearl Harbor.
As opposed to it actually working and improving the state of health care in this country? What an enlightened soul. :roll:
I guess you aren't bright enough, or care, to understand the point of the analogy, but did view it as providing an opportunity to take personal shot at me.

Well, I could explain it to you more carefully, but you wouldn't get it anyway, you dimwit.
When you are careless enough to suggest that people were bribed into drinking the cool aid, by which you meant Kool Aid, people are entitled to wonder about your care with language. Kool Aid was, of course, a reference to the Jonestown massacre, in which people consume Kool Aid laced with cyanide. How, exacly, does one bribe someone into committing suicide? Clearly, your analogy was, uhhhmm, inexact, to put it mildly. I think Guitarist suspected you were being your usual inexact self. How, exactly, are we to tell the difference when you are being serious?

And what evidence do you have that Sen. Brown's victory was based on anger at the Obama Administration? He ran a mostly positive campaign, and his opponent was one of the worst campaigners in recent history. Check out my response to your previous post, which, I note, you have not bothered to answer. Is that because you know I was right but are unwilling to admit it?
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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by JackC » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:00 pm

RebLem wrote:

And what evidence do you have that Sen. Brown's victory was based on anger at the Obama Administration? He ran a mostly positive campaign, and his opponent was one of the worst campaigners in recent history. Check out my response to your previous post, which, I note, you have not bothered to answer. Is that because you know I was right but are unwilling to admit it?
Remind me not to hire you as political consultant. Everyone who follows politics knows that it was virtually a miracle for a Republican to win Teddy Kennedy's s Senate seat. He was 20-30 points down in the polls before he started hammering that he would be the person to stop the healthcare bill.

Gee maybe that means that people in Massachusetts weren't too happy with Obama's healthcare bill. Just maybe. :lol:


Oh, and please look at the CBS poll I posted above which finds that nearly 2 out of 3 Americans want the Republicans to keep up their challenges to the healthcare that has just passed. Yep, you're right, Americans are really in love with this bill. :lol:

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Re: Health Care Reform: What We've Been Through

Post by karlhenning » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:27 pm

Guitarist wrote:
JackC wrote:I, for one, hope that this turns out to be Obama/Pelosi's Pearl Harbor.
As opposed to it actually working and improving the state of health care in this country? What an enlightened soul. :roll:
Consider the source: what did you expect?

Cheers,
~Karl
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