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The W - Current Events & Politics - 6 people arrested at a town hall meeting in St Louis
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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.01
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/laworder/story/0470FEB3219207458625760B001142AC?OpenDocument

This is becoming more and more of a regular event in the past few days. Supporters and those who oppose heathcare reform coming to blows.

Personally, I think that what the government is trying to do is too far reaching, and is needless. I think overall health care INSURANCE reform would fix everything.

Opinions?
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lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.39
How many of these people are paid GOP supporters and just zealots? The country needs something done with heath costs. My dad got done with prostate cancer treatment and the hospital bill was $92,000.00 for staying two nights, IV and I think the surgery. That doesn't even cover the doctor's bill. He has great insurance through my Mom, but he if he didn't he would face death or bankruptcy that is the point we are at in this country.

The real problem is that the GOP has been in charge of the White House for 20 out of the last 30 years. They have done nothing and requested very little while insurance and health cost rise. Now, that there maybe something coming down the pike, they are sending out these martyrs to stop it. There is no real conservative answer for this other then let the market run rampant. I know people will scream the Democrats have done nothing either which they are correct, but they have at least tried to do something now and in 1992. I do think its wise for Obama to do it now, because I don't see him losing the House since the GOP guys are dropping like flies .
CRZ
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.42
    Originally posted by lotjx
    How many of these people are paid GOP supporters and just zealots?
I'll bet there are more "zealots" than "paid GOP supporters." What do you have against freedom of speech?

After reading the story, I believe I can safely say the police acted stupidly.

(If it turns out I'm wrong, they're welcome to come over to my place for a beer.)



Alex
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Since: 24.2.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.21
There's freedom of speech, and there's shouting down people trying to express an opinion contrary to yours. There are people who are so hooked on the misinformation out there that they're disrupting any useful discourse by screaming about "socialism".
lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.39
I have nothing against freedom of speech. They should be allowed to voice their opinion, but lets not kid ourselves some of these people are paid troublemakers. This is the only way for the GOP to win on this issue is to cause chaos instead actually discussing solutions. If the GOP wins in 2010 some seats, because of this its because the Democrats handed it to them. Yet, I get the feeling the GOP will once again over play their hand on this and the Blue Dogs will not see too much in the way of help from the DNC if this continues any longer.
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.73
I read several stories on this and other town hall meetings. It's pretty safe to say I am one of those right wing radicals. I give to my party and belong to both the Heritage Foundation and subscribe to the Standard. I get a few emails from Michael Steele and others. The entire thing I have gotten about Town Hall meetings was Steele telling us that congress was going on recess and we should try and express our feelings on Health care to our congressperson during the recess. Nothing organized. and once again, if anyone was getting that stuff, I think I would be. Nothing from Bill Krystol, nothing from anyone else

Now, I did get a copy of this:

The principal battleground in the campaign will be town hall meetings and other gatherings with members of Congress in their home districts, We want your help to organize major union participation to counter the right-wing "Tea-Party Patriots" who will try to disrupt those meetings, as they've been trying to do to meetings for the last month

This was from the fitter's union I used to belong to.






We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift

TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.17
    Originally posted by CRZ
    What do you have against freedom of speech?


Uh, what in that story says they were arrested for exercising their freedom of speech? At least one person was charged with assault. The story uses phrases like this one:

Kenneth Gladney, 38, a conservative activist from St. Louis, said he was attacked by some of those arrested as he handed out yellow flags with "Don't tread on me" printed on them. He spoke to the Post-Dispatch from the emergency room at St. John's Mercy Medical Center, where he said he was awaiting treatment for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face. Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack.


The story really could use more in the way of details - there's a video there, but I can't watch it on my Internet connection - so maybe it wasn't as unruly and violent as it sounds, but the story doesn't paint the picture of peaceful petitioners. But I think I might be misunderstanding you.

The most serious affront to freedom of speech appears to be, to me, the arrest of the reporter, but - shock! - the story doesn't tell us shit about what he was doing, so we can't really fairly assess his arrest.

The story also lists the six arrests by charge, and says one person was arrested for resisting arrest. That doesn't make any sense to me - how can someone be arrested only for resisting arrest? Shouldn't there have been something else to arrest them for first? Again, no elaboration from the Post-Dispatch. What shitty reporting.

Anyway, from the story:

One of those arrested was Brian Matthews, 34, of St. Louis city, who works as a rehabber and previously worked on a campaign for a Texas statehouse candidate.

"I feel like it was a bull rush," Matthews said. "It all came from behind."

Matthews said he had been inside the forum because he is in favor of a public option for health care. He had attended with a friend, a 51-year-old woman. After it was over, they were walking outside and had a run-in with a man who was trying to videotape them. Matthews said that man from from the GOP. They reported the man to a police officer, who seemed uninterested, Matthews said.

As the pair walked to their car, they saw a man on the street who looks like he had been assaulted. Police surrounded him.

"My friend took pictures," Matthews said, "and an officer told her not to. She contested that."

Matthews said he and his friend walked away, arm in arm. The officer followed them, and Matthews friend exchanged words with the officer, Matthews said.

"I can't tell you how many police officers charged us from behind," Matthews said. "I was pushed to the ground by one. I was pushed into the back of somebody who was walking away."

Matthews said he was told he was arrested for interference. His friend was maced "after she was subdued by the police," Matthews said. She vomited on the side of the road, then later vomited more in the police car, he said.


I think the only thing that is made clear from this story, assuming the story is accurate, is that the police were out of line. But who knows; this story really doesn't tell me much besides people were arrested and other people might have been maced by police.

It sounds like both "sides" (the Tea Party Coalition and "Democrats," as the story puts it) were acting like fucking idiots and should be ashamed over their childish behavior, but I'm sure they're not. They took a legitimate discussion on a medical issue and turned it into a stupid, petty and apparently violent political squabble.

The story also says this:

The protesters insist they're part of a ground-level movement that represents real frustration with government spending and growth.


Really? Hijacking a town hall meeting to discuss aging is how you combat high government spending? How stupid is that? Any person who voted for Bush, Clinton, Bush, et al, has given up any right they ever had to complain about high government spending - unless of course they denounce those prior votes.

    Originally posted by Alex
    There's freedom of speech, and there's shouting down people trying to express an opinion contrary to yours. There are people who are so hooked on the misinformation out there that they're disrupting any useful discourse by screaming about "socialism".


Which group are you talking about here? Because the guy speaking from the emergency room where he was being treated for wounds suffered in an "attack" was described in the story as a "conservative activist." Of course, story doesn't offer much of a description regarding what he was doing. It wouldn't shock me to learn that "he handed out yellow flags with 'Don't tread on me" printed on them'" doesn't really tell the whole story.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 9.8.09 0936)
wmatistic
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Since: 2.2.04
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
Yes, the GOP is pushing this "grass roots" movement hard, but it's clear that it's in large part just a show to get on TV and make people think it's something bigger. In fact I saw just a couple days ago a woman at one of these things take the mic and state she was just a regular mom from down the street, hadn't been with any party in years. Then they found out the next day she's a die hard Republican that worked on multiple camgaigns last year.

I do believe some of these people really just don't agree with the plan. But I also believe they are being stirred up by people like Rush and Beck and it's making things way worse.

And pushing me further and further away from their party with every day.

TheOldMan
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Since: 13.2.03
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
You don't think Rush/Beck/Hannity/WSJ/Drudge/AP/etc. organize dissent?? And that's not even counting fear-mongering conservative columnists, Republican politicians - or the Healthcare Insurance industry lobbyists who are spending millions of dollars to spread FUD and whip up opposition.

And so we get the sort of debate where a proposal originally from Republican Senator Johnny Isakson to provide end-of-life (living will) counseling ... somehow gets twisted into "This bill may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia" (Minority Leader John Boehner). And the media eagerly jots down the talking points, and plays up the conflict.. without ever getting around to boring details like "reporting".

None of the reform opponents here seem willing to address Alex's point - the difference between debate and disruption.

It's one thing to ask your representative a tough question at one of these town halls, but much of the 'protest' has involved people continually shouting, refusing to let the discussion happen at all. What, mob rule is okay if you're a Republican? I can't believe thinking conservatives would approve of these tactics.

(Anyone?)



Peter The Hegemon
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Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
    Originally posted by TheOldMan

    And so we get the sort of debate where a proposal originally from Republican Senator Johnny Isakson to provide end-of-life (living will) counseling ... somehow gets twisted into "This bill may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia" (Minority Leader John Boehner). And the media eagerly jots down the talking points, and plays up the conflict.. without ever getting around to boring details like "reporting".


And here is where the concerted Republican strategy to repeat the phrase "liberal media" until people believe it pays off. They can now say the most ridiculous, outrageous things, and the press feels an obligation to treat it "fairly". So Sarah Palin writes her screed about how she doesn't want to have to face an Obama "death panel" to justify her medical need. Now, does anyone believe that there is anything she could point to that even slightly justifies believing that anyone is proposing such a thing? But nonetheless the story is "Sarah Palin is worries about 'death panels'" rather than "Sarah Palin makes outrageous false accusation" because the media is running scared. I'm half-expecting next to see a story that says "Unemployment for the month of August was 9.2. Democrats claimed that this was lower than the July rate of 9.4, but Republicans argued it was higher. The controversy has left Americans uncertain as to the true state of the economy...."
DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.35
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    I read several stories on this and other town hall meetings. It's pretty safe to say I am one of those right wing radicals. I give to my party and belong to both the Heritage Foundation and subscribe to the Standard. I get a few emails from Michael Steele and others. The entire thing I have gotten about Town Hall meetings was Steele telling us that congress was going on recess and we should try and express our feelings on Health care to our congressperson during the recess. Nothing organized. and once again, if anyone was getting that stuff, I think I would be. Nothing from Bill Krystol, nothing from anyone else




Not really. I am pretty safe in thinking you would be able to express your concerns without resorting to the tactics being used. And I imagine you could point to more concrete facts for your argument than shouting, fear mongering and threatening a person's safety.

One more point. Both sides need to understand that with freedom of speech comes the responsibility for what is said and a respect for your opponents viewpoint.

(edited by DrDirt on 9.8.09 0832)


Perception is reality
Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
I find it extremely humorous that the people that decided a "community organizer" was even remotely qualified to be President are offended that conservative citizens are.....organizing their communities in opposition to this boneheaded idea.

More importantly, nobody is mentioning how Organizing for America (the old Obama for America outfit) is astroturfing supporters into town hall meetings, or about the SEIU confrontation in Tampa.

Look, there are morons doing dumb things on both side of the issue. But the disingenuousness of those who think that those who oppose this risky health care scheme are all "paid organizers" when more than half the country opposes Obamacare amazes me.

Besides.....for eight years I was reminded every day that "dissent was the highest form of patriotism."


(edited by Grimis on 9.8.09 1015)
wmatistic
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Since: 2.2.04
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by Grimis
    I find it extremely humorous that the people that decided a "community organizer" was even remotely qualified to be President are offended that conservative citizens are.....organizing their communities in opposition to this boneheaded idea.

    More importantly, nobody is mentioning how Organizing for America (the old Obama for America outfit) is astroturfing supporters into town hall meetings, or about the SEIU confrontation in Tampa.

    Look, there are morons doing dumb things on both side of the issue. But the disingenuousness of those who think that those who oppose this risky health care scheme are all "paid organizers" when more than half the country opposes Obamacare amazes me.

    Besides.....for eight years I was reminded every day that "dissent was the highest form of patriotism."


    (edited by Grimis on 9.8.09 1015)


You know I watch Fox News from time to time to see what they are saying and you just basically parroted every talking point guys like Beck had from last week.

No one said they were ALL paid. But we have facts that show some are party members showing up under false pretenses to create a show(Fox failed to mention it). We have memos being circulated by some groups telling people to go and make a scene, rather than debate(Fox yet again failed to report on it). So cry as you might that this is all "grass roots" and such, it's clearly not.

And yes, I'm sure Dems have employed such tactics in the past. Wasn't OK with that, not OK with this.

Polls also show the majority of Americans want health care reform. But rather than have a debate about it, the conservatives want a shouting match with "tyranny" and "socialist" screams.
StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.01
All the hyperbole about "grandma is going to die" doesn't bother me, the thing that bothers me is the cost, pure and simple. Its too fucking expensive, and it's not government's place to even consider doing this.

And, 'a majority' of people don't want healthcare reform.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204313604574330442429438938.html

Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.49
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Its too fucking expensive, and it's not government's place to even consider doing this.


I had a friend who contracted Cushing's after having a shoulder surgery (surgery performed while she was a student and insured by the school). She was also diabetic, and, when she lost her insurance, she ended up owing a ton of money to our main local health care provider (Samsung Clinic) due to unnecessary ambulance calls people would make every time she passed out. Because of the money she owed, she couldn't get her Cushing's diagnosed for well over a year.

She finally got a job with insurance and was 12 hours away from FINALLY getting her Cushing's treated when she had a diabetic attack and died. She was 30 years old.

This wasn't someone trying to work the system. She was from a middle class family that was desperately trying to get her treatment. I'll never, ever forget the sobs of her step-mother at the funeral. We live in a country that can piss away money on all sorts of things, but can't find the moral compass to ensure the lives of its own citizens.

Anytime anyone tells me it's "too fucking expensive" or "it's not the government's place", I think about Melissa and wonder when these people will get their fucking priorities straight.




Who likes the little little duckies in the pond? I do, I do, I do, a chicka-quack quack.
Peter The Hegemon
Lap cheong








Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
    Originally posted by Grimis

    Look, there are morons doing dumb things on both side of the issue. But the disingenuousness of those who think that those who oppose this risky health care scheme are all "paid organizers" when more than half the country opposes Obamacare amazes me.



Be amazed no more. Latest polls show 50% in favor, 45% opposed. And that's with many people believing these absurd claims about "death panels" and whatnot.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/05/health.care.poll/

    Originally posted by Grimis

    Besides.....for eight years I was reminded every day that "dissent was the highest form of patriotism."


    (edited by Grimis on 9.8.09 1015)


Dissent is patriotic. Shouting down the other side is not. For that matter, lying is not. You were reminded that "dissent was the highest form of patriotism" when the Dixie Chicks were blacklisted for saying that they were ashamed of the President. Now many of the people who were aghast that they could say something so unpatriotic are calling the current President a Nazi, a racist, and a fraud. And, of course, the media made a much bigger story of the Dixie Chicks. Again, though, that isn't even what we're really complaining about--what's upsetting is the people who come out and disrupt the town hall meetings. Protest away, but let the speakers speak.

And for those who say it's too expensive: The cost is likely to go up in pretty much the same way if we do nothing.
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.64
No one wants to do nothing.

I think we on the right side have stated our case pretty clearly:

1st and foremost: tort reform - stop allowing lawyers to sue for zillions for a botched hangnail operation. Cap it somewhere and malpractice insurance will drop significantly.

My wife, who is a pharmacist, pays more than 8,000 a year in Malpractice insurance. You think that isn't reflected in the cost of drugs? She has to have a 100 million policy.

2nd, let's have health plans and health insurance. Insurance is about risk assessment. I have health insurance and I assess my risk by having a fairly high deductible (1000) and relatively low premiums. I also have a health care plan that includes prepaid doctor visits and a co-pay for other visits and a certain amount for dentist. No vision.

3rd - have catastrophic care for those who can't afford other care. Of course, we have that already. It's called Medicaid.

Look, my main thing is, I can't name even one government program that I can think of that works worth a crap. Why would we think health care would be better? I qualify, as a Veteran with a service connected disability, to go to the VA hospital - but I never would. Those hospitals suck, mostly because they are run by the government. And that's nothing new, they always have.



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift

Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Leroy
      Originally posted by StaggerLee
      Its too fucking expensive, and it's not government's place to even consider doing this.


    I had a friend who contracted Cushing's after having a shoulder surgery (surgery performed while she was a student and insured by the school). She was also diabetic, and, when she lost her insurance, she ended up owing a ton of money to our main local health care provider (Samsung Clinic) due to unnecessary ambulance calls people would make every time she passed out. Because of the money she owed, she couldn't get her Cushing's diagnosed for well over a year.

    She finally got a job with insurance and was 12 hours away from FINALLY getting her Cushing's treated when she had a diabetic attack and died. She was 30 years old.

    This wasn't someone trying to work the system. She was from a middle class family that was desperately trying to get her treatment. I'll never, ever forget the sobs of her step-mother at the funeral. We live in a country that can piss away money on all sorts of things, but can't find the moral compass to ensure the lives of its own citizens.

    Anytime anyone tells me it's "too fucking expensive" or "it's not the government's place", I think about Melissa and wonder when these people will get their fucking priorities straight.



And I'm hoping to not end up like your friend Melissa. I've mentioned before that I have Type II diabetes. I now have kidney damage, a thyroid that has shut down, and hypertension. I had to find a free clinic run by a Nurse Practitioner to get medical care after 2 ER visits in July because of my condition. This new clinic is run by the county and it is primary setup to help poor Latinos in the area, which is why it has a Spanish name and everything in the office is in Spanish. It is paid for my tax dollars and a small co-pay. I get my meds for free because of my lack-of-income and the fact that I can't hold down a job because I can't stay awake for more than 12 hours with this bum enlarged thyroid. I'm ALWAYS tired and exhausted. If my county of almost a million people according to Wikipedia (950,680 to be exact) can do something like this on a small scale, why can't we on a big scale?

My nurse told me "I hope we can salvage your kidneys, but first we have to make sure you don't die from a stroke or heart attack before we have to worry about them failing." That was a pretty big wake up call. I wish I got it two years ago. Oh yeah, no insurance company wanted me and I was stuck paying $300 a visit (plus $150 a month for meds) to a few Drs before I had to make a choice: Do I eat this month, or see the Dr?

I don't have health insurance because no one will insure me. I get rejected for various reasons but they all spell out "We don't want to waste money on you because it would piss off our stockholders by actually paying out for the care that our members are trying to get." Insurance companies are always there when the bill is due, but if you need a claim paid, they're nowhere to be found.

That's why this is the government's place to get involved. Imagine a health care plan that would actually help people get the help they need and not worried if their stockholder will be upset with the next quarterly report.

I might have to get dialysis or have my thyroid removed in the future and I'm dreading it. Not because of the procedures but because I'd probably have to sell my house to afford it and/or declare bankruptcy.

Could you imagine if the Post Office and all package carriers were run like an insurance company? Rejecting certain letters and/or packages because of the costs involved and how they don't think accepting it would help their bottom line? So you go from company to company asking "Why won't you ship my package?"

Imagine that, but instead of packages it's "Why won't you help be get better?" That's been my life the last two years. I finally found that clinic where Spanish is everyone's first language and I have a hard time asking questions because English isn't their strong suit. That's the life I have to live until I can get a job that will offer me high priced health care that will dump me as soon as they get the chance.

I still don't see why we can't have a Canadian/British/French style of medical care. All Dr's are government employees and as such are paid by the government. Everyone above the poverty line is taxed to pay into the fund for all this, the more you make the more you pay (with allowances for dependents). Office visits are the same. The poorest get free visits/meds, the richest pay more for their co-pay.

I know it's complicated now because of the economy is in the shitter, but imagine if the government can find $2 billion in a week for more cash for clunkers, I'm sure they can for a health care plan if they really wanted to.

(edited by Zeruel on 9.8.09 1545)


-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --

-- July 2009 Ordained Reverend --
Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.49
    Originally posted by AWArulz

    1st and foremost: tort reform - stop allowing lawyers to sue for zillions for a botched hangnail operation. Cap it somewhere and malpractice insurance will drop significantly.


Malpractice accounts for 1% of current health care costs. States that have enacted tort reform, like Texas, have actually seen health care costs increase rather than decrease.

    Originally posted by AWArulz
    Look, my main thing is, I can't name even one government program that I can think of that works worth a crap.


Do/did your kids go to private school? Do you drive on private roads? You were a cop - was your department all screwed up? How about your local fire department? My local DMV, while not exactly a providing a pleasant experience, tends to do a pretty decent job.

Government run programs start to suck when the expectation is that they should function like private corporations. Insurance companies profit by not paying out - and, when it comes to people's health, I don't want profit to determine the type of care people receive. I don't think it is morally right, and I don't believe it leads to proper care.

As Zeruel's experience so unfortunately illustrates, the people who don't have health insurance and yet need medical attention are the one's who pay the highest price. The reality is that his condition, under proper care, is probably manageable. But he won't make the insurance companies money, so it's not in their "interests" to make sure he gets that care.



Who likes the little little duckies in the pond? I do, I do, I do, a chicka-quack quack.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29

Fantastic, but the poll is of adults and not likely voters, making the poll statistically meaningless.


    Originally posted by Peter The Hegemon
    Now many of the people who were aghast that they could say something so unpatriotic are calling the current President a Nazi, a racist, and a fraud.

And all of those things being said about Obama aren't half as bad as the things that were said about Bush.

My point here is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. If people were insanely disrespectful to Bush, the same people cannot complaining about people being insanely disrespectful to Obama. And frankly, those who are complaining about the "mistreatment" of the President are frankly just trying to distract the public away from what Obamacare will actually do to America's health care system.

    Originally posted by Leroy
    Anytime anyone tells me it's "too fucking expensive" or "it's not the government's place", I think about Melissa and wonder when these people will get their fucking priorities straight.

I think that it's a terrible story. But government run care or single-payer coverage as Obamacare would provide us would not solve this problem one bit. In fact, the problem will be exacerbated by senseless rules and needless bureaucracy. It may have take twice as long for her disease to be diagnosed due to the rationing of care.

Like I said, it's a horrible story and I am sorry that you lost your friend so young; I have lost many a friend and a family members to diseases like this. But all the government care in the world would not have stopped this. And at the end of the day, it's still too expensive and still not the government's place.
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