Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And life goes on

President Obama signed the health-care reform legislation into law yesterday, and today the sun came out as usual and the United States was not sucked into a huge black hole. To hear some people talk, you might have thought the country would have disappeared from the face of the Earth the moment Obama's pen touched paper. Is the health-care legislation perfect? Far from it. Is it better than doing nothing? Almost certainly. Is it better than what the Republicans were proposing? It has to be, because they really weren't proposing much of anything, other than to squawk “TORT REFORM" in unison at almost every turn. I believe I read somewhere that tort reform might actually cut health-care costs ... by 1 percent. Not really the big-picture answer. The past few days saw teabaggers using racial epithets against black lawmakers, another black lawmaker being spat upon, more teabaggers mocking a crippled man and a Republican congressman calling Rep. Bart Stupak a "baby killer." Stupak, some of you might recall, is staunchly anti-abortion but agreed to vote for the health-care bill based on Obama's pledge to reaffirm a ban on use of federal funds for abortions. The funniest comment came from Sen. John McCain, who, upset over the procedures used to pass the health-care bill, vowed that “there will be no cooperation for the rest of the year.” To quote Joe Biden, BIG #@$%^&! DEAL. There hasn't been any significant cooperation by Republicans since Obama took office. More and more, McCain is starting to sound like a nursing home resident miffed that his daily dose of Metamucil wasn't delivered fast enough. That said, I'm not overly impressed with the new law. I have my doubts that it will result in any real savings. The best that can probably be said for it is that it should provide coverage to more people and might - might - restrain increases in health-care costs. I'm also not thrilled about the mandate that people buy coverage, but mainly because I favored a system that would render that unnecessary. It's called single-payer. Essentially, you just extend Medicare to cover everybody in the country. Would it be expensive? Of course. But should it be a priority for a country of our wealth and power to make sure everyone has equal access to quality health care? I think so. I hear a lot of crying about government-mandated insurance. It's funny how many of those doing the crying never utter a peep about paying for government-mandated car insurance and government-mandated license plates for their vehicles. And the worst of this crowd were the senior citizens at the town hall meetings who shrieked, “Keep the gubmint outta my health care.” Never mind that their health care is provided through a government program. Those people, and the other ones mentioned above, make me think that death panels might actually be a good idea. The health-care bill might not be the greatest piece of legislation passed by an American Congress, but I have to admit it was enjoyable watching horse’s behinds like Mitch McConnell, Joe Wilson and John Boehner lose and cry like little girls.

On another topic that never gets old to me, there’s a new poll out about beliefs held by Republicans in our country. The national Harris poll finds that 57 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim, and 45 percent are still clinging to the stupid notion that the president was not born in this country and is ineligible to be our leader. That's nearly half of the Republicans polled who are ignoring facts and common sense in order to side with the "birthers." But here's the best part: Nearly one in four Republicans surveyed agree that Obama “may be the Antichrist.” I'm sorry, but that’s beyond dumb. It's imbecilic. Responsible Republican leaders should call a major news conference and denounce this lunacy. They should outline their policy differences with the president but make it clear that if someone believes Obama is a Kenyan Muslim who just might be the Antichrist, they’re not welcome in the Grand Old Party. But on the other hand, brain-dead sheep like those folks are pretty easily manipulated by lies and scare tactics, so they might come in handy this November.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was kind of surprised when I got up Monday morning and jack-booted thugs hadn't kicked in my door overnight and gulags hadn't been established...

--Brad Hundt

March 24, 2010 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I think both sides acted like idiots on this. I don't like this health care law. However...

I have stated several times on here that if someone can make a decent argument supporting an opinion I oppose, then I could be persuaded to change my mind. Well, when this first went through, I complained that it was government mandated and I didn't like being told what to do by my government. But then Brant pointed out car insurance and license plates.

Okay. I'll stop complaining about that. Good point. It doesn't make me like this law any more than it did, but at least I'll stop complaining about that aspect of it. I will say this: this whole thing showed too well all that is wrong with politics and politicians.

March 24, 2010 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

By the way, if you want an anti-christ: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

March 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I understand that no one is required to buy a car, thus no one is required to buy car insurance... however, one argument I hear from the right is that no one is denied care... if you get hit by a bus, some doctor in some hospital will try really hard to make you not dead.

In fact, I believe it is the law that life-saving medical care must be administered... It's NOT true that anyone who "needs health care" will receive it, nor will they receive the same level of care as a person who is insured. In fact, all that an ER is required to do is stabilize you... which could cost thousands of dollars... So, the government can require medical providers to provide service, but they can't require people to be financially responsible for that service? I mean, if you can't afford it, you'll get a subsidy to buy insurance... The plan is a comprehensive method of getting everyone insured... but it's unconstitutional? And yet it's A-OK to require medical providers to save someone's life, even if they have to pass that cost along to the rest of society?

Well, to hell with the constitution, then... do the logical and correct thing and to hell with staying ideologically true.

March 24, 2010 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

We need to keep in mind that there is a big difference between health "care" and health "coverage." Just because one has coverage doesn't necessarily mean he or she can afford or actually find care. It was tough enough to find a decent doctor who takes Medicare BEFORE this happened.

March 24, 2010 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

I don't think a lot of people are thrilled about this bill, PRIguy, but it definitely is better than the status quo. And I agree with Brant about wanting a single-payer system, but that will never happen in America. This bill is not ideal, but it's probably the best our government can do with checks put in place to force compromise.

Let's hope the insurance companies don't find endless loopholes like the banks did with last year's credit card bill.

March 24, 2010 at 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Antichrist? I vote for Karl Rove, king of dirty tricks and lies. And all the rest of the windbags on Fox News who never let truth get in the way of lies, spin & slander.

March 25, 2010 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous x anonymous said...

insurance companies wrote this bill!

bank bail outs,gm,obamacare,

that sounds like chavez!

only two groups don't have to take part in this obamacare. the people who voted on it and illegals. yet the illegals will still get care at our hospitals.

yet obama is going to push amnesty on us. cause for the dems to even to have a chance in the mid terms is to get the 20 million illegals on the rolls to vote! wait how many people will this new bill cover? 30 million? guess who might be the first 20!

I want everyone to make an apt to get an mri!!! I was in the car and rush was on... if anyone heard him yesterday, that was funny. I told my wife that obama care was law now so she should start looking for a boobie doctor!!!!! LOL FIRST thing that took place in the obamacare, Tanning BED FRICKING TAX!10% Uncle SAM WANTS 10% of Joe Bidens tan! Between Snookie and John Boehner our national debt will be paid off in a year! I gotta get me some of that Obama money!!! It's free!

March 25, 2010 at 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the license plates and car insurance. There is a difference here. The difference is that if you don't want to pay a high cost of insurance or registration fees, don't buy a car and use public transportation. With the health insurance they're making you buy it.

March 25, 2010 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Too bad distortions and "death panels" killed any shot of having a public transportation-type system installed in the health care.

I mean, does anyone else get the impression that mass transit would be filibustered if it were on the Senate floor today? I have to wonder if trolleys and buses would've become such an integral part of our lives if they were called the PUBLIC OPTION.

March 26, 2010 at 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was great interview on PBS radio this week during "Fresh Air" about how militias and other hate groups are growing by leaps and bounds. I think the poll about Republican beliefs was mentioned on this show.

Unfortunately, it's not just Republicans who believe damn near anything they see on the Internet or get in an e-mail. And it's not just "old people." Death panels. Taking "our guns" away when Obama has never said a word to that effect. The gun nuts are urging people to come to rallies armed. When talks show hosts and bloggers suggest that people throwing bricks through the window of someone's office or home is a valid form of protest, I fear for the future of this country.

I know this type of thing has been around for centuries in one form or another -- Hitler was quite successful in demonizing the Jews even without the Internet, and Pakistanis are anathema in England -- but it seems to me that never before -- certainly not in my lifetime -- has there been such unwillingness to cede a valid point to "the opposition," such a desire to thwart the progress of things, like the health care revisions, that although not perfect at least make some attempt to move forward after decades of our doing nothing.

What bothers me most is that it appears that we'll be forever locked in this hopeless political sparring match in which no voter has any patience and we change the course of the country every four years. You can bet that if Obama is defeated by a Republican in 2012, they'll attempt to undo everything he has done. If Obama is reelected, I guess we can look forward to four more years of whining, stalling and fearmongering.

It ain't pretty.

March 26, 2010 at 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Skeeter said...

MJ, I would love to see Amtrack transform into highspeed rails. I took Amtrack from OKC to Dallas once. It wasn't worth the trip! Could have got there faster by car and cheaper. I guess it was one of those things we do just to say I've done it.

This health care bill that passed should scare you. The debate was on about this bill and polls were taken. 63% of the people didn't want it!

Just remember, if you want a health care system like the people across the pond, we will get the taxes also. I figure thats when the looney left will wake up! Wait only the working class slaves in America pays taxes. So the looney left might never see a tax from this unless they tan

March 27, 2010 at 1:18 AM  
Blogger MJ said...


The reason that 63% of Americans disapproved of the bill is because 40% hated it and 23% of us -- including me -- wanted something more liberal. If you look at he polls now, a majority of Americans are happy this bill passed.

And we're already getting taxed on our current health plans. That payraise we were supposed to receive this year? Oh yeah, it went to the insurance company. Don't confuse socialized medicine taxes -- where we all pay into the system -- with increased premiums, because they're the same thing.

March 27, 2010 at 11:44 PM  
Anonymous skeeter said...

MJ, I want all liberals and welfare suckers to please take personal responsibility on thier health care. Pay for your own health care! MJ by the time your kids come home with thier firt paycheck how much do you think will be taken out? 25%? 35%? 50%? They didn't help Americans by this bill, they only took more money. Healthcare will be rationed! I won't argue this bill... I would rather let time tell. Check with me in 10 years.

March 28, 2010 at 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, with health care bill:

1. About 15 or 20 million paying customers added to patient roles of doctors.
2. About 20 or 30 million more people are now paying for perscription drugs.
3. No one who happpens to have a pre-existing condition can be turned down from being insured.
4. No one born female has to pay more to be insured.,
5. Insurance companies cannot force people who get sick off their roles by jacking up prices.
6. People have an option of being treated at any hospital and I won't have to pay the total cost if they are not insured.

Yep, there is a lot to hate about this bill.

BTW, those senile seniors who want gubmint out of their health care would be uninsured without medicare because insurance companies wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole when they retired.

March 28, 2010 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Grog said...

I think the thing that bothers me is the lack of responsibility. I was taught when I was a child that some day I was going to grow up and have to get a job. So I went to college and today I have a good job.

I know the jobs are very scarce in the country, especially in the Western PA area. But the fact remains that as you grow up in this country you should take responsibility for finding a way to make a living.

I don't mind helping people. But I get irritated when my efforts are partially in vain. All the hard work of going to college and finding a good job really didn't help me. If I'm feeding and providing heath care for ten other people who don't have jobs, that makes me mad. (Remember Sarah Palin and Joe the plumber telling about redistribution of wealth.)

If Obama created work camps, and those people who don't have jobs had to wake up at 6:30 in the morning and go to work, like I do, I could care less. But I don't think that it's fair that they don't have to really do anything to get money and free heath care, other than apply for benefits.

And back to responsibility, the same people who eat and drink themselves to death, are the same ones who take zero responsibility for their own healthy eating habits. So once again, as I'm off to work in the morning, these same people are cracking open a Bud, eating a tray of cinnamon buns, and smoking a cig. SO guess who's going to suffer with medical maladies? You guessed it, the unemployed slob who never applied themselves, sprawled across the couch with not a care in the world. It's not me who gets plenty of exercise and eats right, and goes to work 5 days a week.

Again, if someone needs help and is trying to make ends meet, and takes responsibility for themselves, I don't mind helping them. But it's the deadbeat, freeloaders that burn me up.

If you are going to force people to do something, instead of forcing them to buy health insurance, force them to be responsible for themselves by providing them a job. Force them to get up in the morning and go to work. It would sure help people feel better about themselves, and make me feel better paying for it.

March 29, 2010 at 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't legislate responsibility any more than you can legislate morality or common sense. We need seatbelt laws and now we need anti-cellphone laws because people are just plain too dumb to buckle up and stop talking while driving. It's too bad that the motorcycle lobby has succeeded in having helmet laws repealed. Sometimes the government does know what's best for us. Although I believe that the cost of insurance is the bigger problem, providing coverage for all Americans is a no brainer. It's embarrassing and shameful that we don't. This new law is an admittedly imperfect first step, and I wish those opposed to it would stop trying to tell everyone it will take us to socilalism and allow the terrorists to take over DC next year.

March 29, 2010 at 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Skeeter said...

Health care isn't a right! Because the other kids all got a cookie isn't a good stand on why you didn't get a cookie. Those other kids also pay high taxes.

Here is what they didn't tell you.

It will not cover the sick kids with pre existing conditions-

It will cut medicare in 2011

It will cut medicare for dialysis in 2012 -

It will cut even more medicare in 2013 -

So we have all these cuts + taxes and nobody gets on the roll till when? I hope that was the change you wanted!


March 29, 2010 at 10:25 PM  
Anonymous E's Evil TwIn said...

Why was the student loans in the health care bill? So NOW THE GOVT HAS THE POWER OVER WHO GOES TO COLLEGE?


What was done in the dark will be brought to the light..

March 30, 2010 at 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Democrats have never resorted to fear mongering, whining or any of the other things we're seeing now.

How many times have we heard that Republicans wanted to poison our water, starve old people or children, etc.

Child, please.

And we've never seen Democratic-backed union thugs out with guns, clubs, etc., at rallies.

Again, child please.

March 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right: healthcare isn't a right. It's a moral obligation for a country as wealthy as the US to take care of its citizens.

April 2, 2010 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

How does the government have control over who goes to college? The federal loans that I got for college were the EASIEST ones to obtain and have the LOWEST interest rates... I wish wish wish that they had done this 8 years ago...

April 3, 2010 at 12:48 PM  

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