Third Party & Independents Archives

Will Obama Have Veto Courage?

Odds are pretty good that after some tortuous meetings and awful compromises by House and Senate bigwigs whatever health reform law is passed by Congress will not be close to what most thoughtful people want. Especially not what progressives and liberals wanted from a Democrat controlled Congress. Will President Obama act with integrity?

Whatever goes to President Obama for his signature will probably do very little to curb the countless excesses by the health insurance industry and, therefore, do next to nothing to curb personal and national health spending. It will almost certainly impose some new taxes that ultimately will impact a large fraction of the population, possibly by taxes on health insurance benefits or through higher insurance premiums and/or copayments and deductibles, or even worse coverage. Even if there is some type of government option, which does not now seem likely, it would likely be constructed so cleverly that few would take advantage of it.

This and more deceptive actions will result because of the huge amount of money spent by the health insurance industry and its allies on both lobbying and countless ways of funneling money to members of Congress.

This much is now obvious. Even many Democrats, especially in the Senate, have been thoroughly corrupted by health industry money. Brain dead and callous Republicans, of course, have behaved as badly as they possibly could to protect their industry friends.

So it comes down to this: Considering his lackluster behavior during the reform debate, if the long awaited but disastrous health reform law reaches the White House will President Obama have the courage to veto it? Will his thirst for health care reform and unbounded desire for accomplishing what others have failed to do overwhelm the inescapable truth that next to meaningless reform is worse than no reform? Will he be brave enough to tell not just the millions that supported him to begin with but the whole population that Congress failed to do what justice demanded? Will he have the moral determination to tell the truth that corruption of Congress by industry wrecked the democratic process and failed to give Americans what they sorely need?

At this point I am betting that Obama will not have the courage to do any of this. No, I think Obama will behave like all the other lying politicians and claim victory and find all kinds of ways to eloquently describe how the stinking congressional action moves the nation in the right direction. He will look right into the camera and tell his fellow Americans that he has not given up the fight for all necessary health care reforms, but right now this is the best and most that can be done.

If my prediction is correct, then I can only hope that many, many Americans will see the ugly, disappointing truth and become committed to not reelect Obama to a second term, especially progressives and liberals and especially those that know in their hearts that real health care reform would have produced a single payer government insurance plan open to all Americans, like Medicare for everyone.

There should be a limit to what compromises are embraced when it comes to something as deeply personal and critical as health care. Health care reform really should be seen as the ultimate test for President Obama and whether he gives us the change we have been waiting for and what millions believed he would deliver. If genuine health care reform is not produced by Congress, then it should become crystal clear to even the most distracted, devoted and dumb Americans that our democracy is definitely delusional. That’s what President Obama should think about. A corporate-owned democracy is no democracy at all.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at October 2, 2009 9:21 AM
Comments
Comment #288805

“He will look right into the camera and tell his fellow Americans that he has not given up the fight for all necessary health care reforms, but right now this is the best and most that can be done.”

I just would never have bet, real money that President Obama would be at this point. I read this from the point of view of January 28th, 2009. And it just does not seem possible that with popular enthusiasm, control of Congress, the support of the people on healthcare reform, etc. that the country would be at this point. I would have bet money that this would fly through, run into very few obstacles, and would have been overtly liberal in its final form. I am shocked.


Posted by: Edge at October 2, 2009 11:15 AM
Comment #288808

Joel,
You’re not exactly going out on a limb with your predictions. Pretty safe bets.

Not sure what you think he could have done differently that might have achieved more - give a speech to joint session of congress every day?

Posted by: Schwamp at October 2, 2009 12:07 PM
Comment #288810

While a bad bill may end up being signed into law, and I will blame Obama and the Democrats, my most seething scorn will be reserved for Republicans, who were bought and paid for, and the sycophants who cheered them along.

My hope will be that this will engender a backlash, if this does come to pass. If Obama takes the inspiration of men like MLK and stands and fights…I will, come hell or high water, march on Washington, and I won’t need Fox news to market the event.

Posted by: gergle at October 2, 2009 12:22 PM
Comment #288813

Welcome to the real world Joel. That politicians of all stripes are bought and sold every single day by special interest groups is not new. You single out insurance companies but they are just one among many who adversely affect legislation.

And, such buying and selling of votes is not limited to corporate America. Consider all the private special interest groups in the country that work against our common interest.

Congress has become a giant ATM with full access by those holding the correct PIN.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 2, 2009 12:42 PM
Comment #288814

You can blame the health insurace companies, the Republicans, or the centrists in your own party all you want, but your real problem is that nearly 80% of the American public is perfectly happy with their health care coverage. Everybody wants reform, but not the particular reforms that the “progressives” want.

Just be sure that when you attack Congress, Obama, and the healthcare companies in your frustration, that what you really need to do is replace the American public with someone more pliable. Just deport everybody and start over.

Posted by: Paul at October 2, 2009 12:56 PM
Comment #288815

Your right Joel, Obama will sign whatever bill hits his desk. Then he’ll put pressure on Congress to pass the bill he really wants.
The problem is that none of the bills will really reform healthcare. Even the kind of bill he wants.
The best way to get true healthcare reform is to get both the government and insurance companies out of healthcare and let folks pay out of their pockets for their healthcare. Then you’ll see true reform.
When folks have to start paying for their own healthcare they’ll start paying more attention to cost and will start questioning procedures. This will lead to lower cost and the elemination of unnessary procedures.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 2, 2009 12:59 PM
Comment #288818

As far as not re-electing, lets see what the alternative is. I’m sure a lot of folks voted for Obama because McCain/Palin was a monumentally horrific disaster waiting to happen.

As for the veto? We’ll see. It looks like Obama is much weaker than everyone thought. There have been several opportunities for him to strong arm his opposition on numerous issues, or simply take a stronger stand for other issues, and he hasn’t. I’ll tell you one thing, if four years pass and nothing has even changed and he never even tried too hard to get that change, it will be an interesting election.

Posted by: Mike Falino at October 2, 2009 2:46 PM
Comment #288820

Obama wll not veto anything that comes his way. With 85% of americans satisfied with thier insurance, 83% of americans believe bills should be posted online to be read before voting, 51% of americans believe congress will vote for bills not read, and 56% of americans are against a health care bill; it stands to reason, there will be a price paid by dems at the voting booth. The price will start next month and will continue next year.

The sad thing is that Obama does not care about the democratic party. He don’t care about the consequences to a dem conntrolled congress. He only cares about his agenda. Congressman and senators will be considered collateral damage.

On a lighter note, has any of the MSM blamed the vote against Chicago on racism yet?

Posted by: beretta9 at October 2, 2009 3:27 PM
Comment #288821

I urge everyone to absorb this:

A New York Times/CBS News survey last week provided the best polling evidence in recent months that most people favor a public option that is a lot more “robust” than anything the Congress is offering, aside from straight-up single payer.

The poll once again confirms that something very much like single payer remains an idea whose time has come. After all these month’s of the Obama Administration’s attempts to shrivel into near nothingness the very concept of health care “reform,” and despite the mad howlings of Republicans about the evils of “socialized medicine,” two-thirds of the American people still support a Medicare-like government health care plan. Unlike some recent surveys, the language of the pollsters’ question was straightforward and unambiguous:

“Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government-administered health insurance plan like Medicare that would compete with private health insurance plans?”

That is the definition of a very “robust” public health care option. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they were in favor.

Posted by: Joel Hirschhorn at October 2, 2009 3:51 PM
Comment #288826

Joel-

From the same poll:

Do you understand the health care reforms under consideration? 59% say “confusing”

It’s easy to support a public option if you don’t know what it is. From the earlier poll (the question wasn’t asked this time) support drops about 20 points when you ask if you are willing to pay an extra $500/yr in taxes to support a public plan.

As to Obama, something will be passed, it will not be scored as budget neutral, and he will renig and sign it anyway. The administration will say that it was the Republican’s fault that they couldn’t get the reform they wanted, and when health care spending continues to rise that will be the GOP’s fault too.

Posted by: George at October 2, 2009 4:41 PM
Comment #288828

George,
An increase of only $500 a year would be a good deal, since the private insurers are already increasing rates by 10 - 30+ percent per year.

Gergle,
Agreed with most of your comment. Something will pass. It will be hailed as a victory, although I suspect the big winner will be, once again, the corporations. There is absolutely no question where the fault lies if this goes down the way it seems likely to happen: the fault belongs to the GOP and the Blue Dog Democrats. It is shameful that corporate interests so thoroughly control the GOP and the Blue Dogs, just shameful.

We are the ONLY western democracy without universal health care. Our system is ineffective. We rank at the bottom by virutally every measurement compared with other wealthy countries. Other democracies like Japan, Australia, and the countries of the EU already have effective systems. The models are available.

According to the recent Harvard study, 44,000 Americans die each year for lack of health insurance. Thousands and thousands of Americans go bankrupt.

Thank goodness Grayson stood up. It’s about time a Democrat in Congress said what needed to be said. He is unique, because unlike Republicans and Blue Dogs, he is not bought and paid for. He is a lawyer who came up through the ranks working for, of all people, Bork and then Scalia. He joined Ron Paul in demanding transparency from the Federal Reserve. And now he’s dropping bombshells on the Republicans for their craven lies and obstuctionism.

I like Obama. I respect his effort to reach across the aisle and create bipartisanship. Unfortunately, it failed, and he needs to recognize it. Otherwise…

Grayson in 2012.

Posted by: phx8 at October 2, 2009 5:24 PM
Comment #288831
I like Obama. I respect his effort to reach across the aisle and create bipartisanship. Unfortunately, it failed, and he needs to recognize it.

If we get a healthcare bill, it will have some but not all of the things that the different sides wanted. Hence, it will be a compromise. What will have failed is the attempt to ram something through that only one side wanted. How would the passage of such a bill have been a success of bipartisanship? Too many people seem to think that “bipartisanship” means getting everything you want while giving nothing in return, and that the failure of bipartisanship is due to the other side not being willing to get slapped around. I’m reminded of the joke about the kid who runs to his mommy and tells on his sister for hitting him back.

All of this trashing of health insurance companies is ridiculous. If the Democrats wanted and intended to abolish private health insurance companies and replace them with a single-payer system, then they should have just put such a proposal on the table. They didn’t because they knew that the public would rebel. So instead they invited the input of private insurance companies. And it’s not because health insurance companies “paid them off” (which is an absurd scurrilous charge with absolutely nothing to support it) but because the vast majority of Americans are insured through them and are quite happy to be.

You can’t invite the health insurance companies to the table, ask for their input, and then blame them for giving it. It almost seems that “progressive” Democrats would have been happy with nothing less than abolishing private health care insurance, forcing an unwilling public to change how they get coverage, and making everybody who didn’t want or want to pay such for a hair-brained scheme just shut up.

Posted by: Paul at October 2, 2009 6:57 PM
Comment #288833

Wait a minute, we are supposed to believe a NYT/CBS News survey is the most accurate polling we can find? I’m sure, they are in bed with Obama. I think I would rather trust Rasmussen.

Posted by: beretta9 at October 2, 2009 7:05 PM
Comment #288838

Paul,
The Democrats have given in on every issue surrounding health care. In return, they have received precisely nothing from the Republicans. No one in the GOP supports anything or will vote for anything they have supposedly been negotiating for. The intention is to deny and delay in the hopes of preventing action before another election.

44,000 people died because of their inability to health care, according to a Harvard study. Are you saying those people favor the current system? I suspect not. Health care insurers have increased prices by ridiculous rates over the past eight years. Are you saying anyone finds that satisfactory? Thousands and thousands of Americans declare bankruptcy because of the current system. Of course, you will not address these issues. No way.

What the polls that you refer to indicate is that Americans like their doctors and their hospitals, which is not the same as liking their insurers, the lack of insurance, the lack of portability, or the skyrocketing prices.

Max Baucus, Democratic Senator from Montana, has received over $2 million from the health care industry, over 25% of his total take. Polls from Montana show the citizens there oppose what he is doing. Come on. Seriously. You think he’s not in the pocket of the insurers?

The Japanese use private corporations under strict government control to provide universal health care industry by industry. They do a far, far better job with their system than Americans do with this one.

It’s unbelievable. This should not even be a controversial issue.

Posted by: phx8 at October 2, 2009 7:31 PM
Comment #288849

The finest example we have yet of people no longer able to place trust in their government. Many may prefer healthcare reform but are afraid to bite for it for several very rational reasons. Suppose the government passes a healthcare bill that subsidizes millions of now uninsured and illegals at the expense of the middle class. Suppose amnesty passes into law and brings several millions into the program within a short period of time. Suppose none of this will happen but a couple of years downstream the government will incrementely invoke coverage for some of the above.
People actually are asking for the bill to be published on the Internet because they have no trust in government to do the right thing. And, rightly so. IMO we are sorely in need of reform, brought forth through a new third party with a different political attitude.
Already, there is much talk of a Republican comeback. Does history teach us nothing? Does one rotten apple plus another rotten apple equal a golden banana? No, it just equals a 2X rotten apple.
Will the Republican’s change our trade policy? Will they smack down the WTO, IMF, NAFTA? Did the Rep’s not govern through most of the period of the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind?
IMO, a reform minded third party with a different political attitude is the ONLY answer to our problems offering a long term solution.

Otherwise, we have the free market absolutists we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at October 2, 2009 9:19 PM
Comment #288852

The more I see of Obama, the more I understand that he is a showman. He is attractive and a good speaker. Those are the traits that got him elected, but he has no real center, no convictions. Those are the traits he needs as president He will not stand up for health care reforms. He just doesn’t really care about it. He wants to play the president on TV. Really being the president is too much trouble.

He prefer to travel and put the prestige of his office behind a silly Olympic bid.

Posted by: Christine at October 2, 2009 9:37 PM
Comment #288859

Roy,
It’s a pretty compelling arguement, the arguement for a third party, given the fecklessness of the Democrats. I expect gross distortions and an almost compulsory motivation for Republicans to lie, distort, and misinform. The GOP needs to misrepresent, because what they actually represent is the interests of large corporations. Their dupes are the social conservatives, who imagine the moneyed interests of Big Oil and Big Pharma and the health insureres and Goldman Sachs will actually go along with whack job efforts to resurrect Terry Schiavo, cause with just a little TLC she’d be up and dancing in no time…

The Democratic Senators from the small states are little better.

It is up to the liberal Democrats to stand up, and for that, I’m thankful for a guy like Grayson. Is he over the top? Yes. And that is good. Because it is time to go over the top. It is time to take the offensive, and wield the legislative majority. If Obama won’t do it, then it’s up to guys like Grayson, congressmen and women who are social liberals and fiscal conservatives.

Because universal health care IS fiscally conservative.

IMF, WTO, and NAFTA need smacking down. Free trade is a sad joke. As if it actually had anything to do with ‘trade’! What it does have to do with is the outsourcing of jobs, in order to avoid environmental regulations and working wages in more developed countries.

When I was vacationing in Australia, I stayed in the same hotel as a lot of the top economic people. The place was crawling with armed security. There were guards on every floor.

To which I said: If you’re doing something that requires armed security, on the off chance that ordinary people found out about you are doing and showed up to protest and express disgust, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

Posted by: phx8 at October 2, 2009 10:29 PM
Comment #288868
44,000 people died because of their inability to health care, according to a Harvard study. Are you saying those people favor the current system?

Out of curiosity, I took a look at this study. It’s garbage. The “researchers” indulge in all sorts of political commentary about congress selling out to insurance companies, the need for single payer insurance, etc., which is a major breech of the custom of letting the results of a professionally run study speak for themselves. Something they can’t do, apparently, because their results don’t even come close to saying what they claim.

None of their data shows that 44,000 people died as a direct result of lacking health insurance. What they found is a higher mortality rate among people with no insurance than those with private health insurance. Oddly, they excluded from their results anybody getting Medicare or other public forms of health insurance—interesting, no? A clear-eyed interpretation of their results would actually suggest that having coverage through a private insurance company is the ideal situation, but ironically, they use their results to attack the very thing they say results in the lowest mortality rates!

As anybody who has ever taken a freshman logic course can tell you, correlation is not the same thing as causation. Correlating higher mortality rates with a lack of private health insurance leaves huge unanswered questions about your test samples. What OTHER factors correlate with being uninsured in the first place? Being chronically unemployed or uneducated? Having an unhealthy lifestyle or a propensity for high risk behaviors? This study chooses to focus on only one factor, the lack of private health insurance, and ignore everything else.

Posted by: Paul at October 2, 2009 11:48 PM
Comment #288875

Paul, you may have read the words, but CLEARLY do not understand the design requirements of the stated study.

The study was based on there being no difference in death rate amongst those who were insured by the private insurance industry (made up of both healthy and non-healthy individuals), and those without any insurance (both healthy and unhealthy between the ages of 17 and 64). Then others were excluded for failing to meet criteria necessary, such as completing the interview, incurring a physical exam, etc.

Now the OBVIOUS reason, and they state this quite clearly in the study, for not including government qualifying Medicare/Medicaid, and VA participants is because these populations are by definition, NOT HEALTHY, or they wouldn’t be receiving government benefits. In other words, they had to compare the mix of health and unhealthy uninsured person’s death rate with the mix of healthy and unhealthy insured person’s death rate, in order to compare apples and apples.

I could taking a statistics and probability course at your local junior college to assist you in better understanding design modalities for statistical research. This integrity of this study is very high. And extrapolation errors between NHAIN III and the National Death Index, were carefully and professionally minimized to the extent possible.

Stating the obvious that correlation does not prove causation, may evidence your having taken a course in logic, but, your critique of this study clearly reveals either not having taken a probability and statistics course, having flunked it if you did, or, disregarding what was learned in order to make a political argument appear more valid by misrepresenting the evidence of the other side.

But, I have to question whether you even took a logic course. Because you logic completely fails in alluding to the allegation that those without insurance (access to health care), can have no causational relationship with their higher mortality rate as compared to those with insurance, (access to health care, especially preventive health care). Simple logic dictates that those without access to health care will have a higher mortality rate than those with access to health care. Yet, you extend the premise that this logic may not be valid, and therefore the correlational research should be discounted. Which is an entirely illogical argument.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 3, 2009 2:29 AM
Comment #288887

David, I never even mentioned anything having to do with potential extrapolation errors—but you’re right that the number 44,000 is a projection using a statistical model that correlates several sets of numbers from various sources. Although not even one of these deaths is directly demonstrated (by this study) to have resulted from a lack of health coverage (which would require a different kind of study altogether), that does not mean —nor did I say—that we can conclude that there is “no causal relationship” between a higher mortality rate and a lack of health insurance. In fact, we can probably assume that there is. You’re using either-or reasoning and claiming that critics of this study have taken a position that they never actually took.

Now the OBVIOUS reason, and they state this quite clearly in the study, for not including government qualifying Medicare/Medicaid, and VA participants is because these populations are by definition, NOT HEALTHY, or they wouldn’t be receiving government benefits.

This is blatantly false. You do not have to be unhealthy to qualify for or be enrolled in Medicare/Medicaid or VA programs—and it is certainly not true “by definition.”

If you’re confining your statement to only those who “recieved benefits” through government programs, then that’s another story altogether. If the researchers were comparing apples to apples, then they’d need to also exlude those who received benefits through private health plans. But that’s not what they did.

Does receiving benefits through these public insurance plans probably mean that you’re unhealthy? Well, sure. But how would that be any different from those receiving benefits through private health plans? When claims are being filed on your behalf through any health plan, it’s a damn good indication that you have some kind of health problems. Now there’s a correlation that I think we can agree on. But so what?

Posted by: Paul at October 3, 2009 12:10 PM
Comment #288915

Joel,
Why I agree that President Obama will sign a Bill that will protect Americas’ Hospitals, Medical Facilities, and Rest Homes from the likes of me, I do believe that once the Baby Boomers realize that they are not going to be thrown away as their parents and grandparents were 30 years ago that Americans can start to have a real debate on what the Health and Medical Industry in America will look like in the 20th Century.

For just as America changed from a Family Doctor System to Specialized Medicine some 30 years ago. Looking out 30 years from now, what are “We the People” going to do with a Healthcare System geared to take care of the Baby Bommers when they are no longer a viable market? Can we say Medical Bubble gone bust?

To bad the Old Folks in the Public and Private Sector are more woried about the Goverenment and Society meeting their needs instead of helping the Children of the 21st Century figure out a Healthcare System that will still be around at the turn of the next century.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 4, 2009 8:24 AM
Comment #288933
The more I see of Obama, the more I understand that he is a showman. He is attractive and a good speaker. Those are the traits that got him elected, but he has no real center, no convictions. Those are the traits he needs as president He will not stand up for health care reforms. He just doesn’t really care about it. He wants to play the president on TV. Really being the president is too much trouble.

This is the image developed by right wing think tanks being fostered upon the weak minded completely independent of any supporting observations. One would have to ignore his numerous local speeches on health care, his speech to congress, and the fact that the idea is being pursued at all.


Posted by: Schwamp at October 5, 2009 10:00 AM
Comment #288938

Paul, your ignorance on this matter is monumentally demonstrable when you claim “You do not have to be unhealthy to qualify for or be enrolled in Medicare/Medicaid or VA programs—and it is certainly not true “by definition.”

You may want to research this. I am a veteran, under 65 and I am cannot buy an insurance policy with the Veteran’s Administration nor qualify for treatment if I have other means. Medicaid is for the indigent, who have paid into the system, which the majority of Americans have not since the majority are not employed and have not been employed and paying into the Medicare/Medicaid system. Remember that less than 140 million of the 330 million Americans in this country are employed. Ergo, the majority have not paid premiums into Medicare/Medicaid. While Medicaid does not necessarily require insurance premiums paid by the recipient, the recipient must be indigent to qualify.

Thank you however, for demonstrating how political talking points will trump empirical fact based knowledge and data by some partisans, however.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 5, 2009 11:46 AM
Comment #288939

Paul said: “If the researchers were comparing apples to apples, then they’d need to also exlude those who received benefits through private health plans. But that’s not what they did.”

Your comment’s ignorance of research design and rules governing the integrity of such design, is not surprising. The general public does not understand probability and statistics. But, most of the general public I venture would not protest sound design as you have, out of ignorance.

Your comment entirely ignores the relevant difference between entitlements based on health need creating a population of already sick receiving benefits, as opposed to subscribers of insurance policies which actuarialy require a larger healthy population paying premiums at any given point in time than sick people, in order to remain solvent as an insurance company.

And because your comment ignores this relevant difference, and reason for the exclusions in the research under discussion, your comment is quite literally ignorant of the relevance and requirement for such exclusions to measure apples to apples.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 5, 2009 11:53 AM
Comment #288941

David,
I know you enforce the watchblog rules but I would like to point out that it appears you are using a loop hole to skirt the intent of them.
The word ignorant is not normally associated with comments. It is normally associated with people.

Posted by: Schwamp at October 5, 2009 12:03 PM
Comment #288943

David, I assume you know the difference between the words “indigent” and “unhealthy”—don’t you? What you are saying makes absolutely zero sense. You wrote:

Paul, your ignorance on this matter is monumentally demonstrable when you claim “You do not have to be unhealthy to qualify for or be enrolled in Medicare/Medicaid or VA programs—and it is certainly not true “by definition.”

You may want to research this. I am a veteran, under 65 and I am cannot buy an insurance policy with the Veteran’s Administration nor qualify for treatment if I have other means. Medicaid is for the indigent, who have paid into the system, which the majority of Americans have not since the majority are not employed and have not been employed and paying into the Medicare/Medicaid system. Remember that less than 140 million of the 330 million Americans in this country are employed. Ergo, the majority have not paid premiums into Medicare/Medicaid. While Medicaid does not necessarily require insurance premiums paid by the recipient, the recipient must be indigent to qualify.

So as far as you’re concerned, I am “ignorant” because I do not think that “unhealthy” is a synonym for “indigent,” which it is not?

Apart from these questionable redefinitions of words, you’ve offered do defense of this study except for circular reasoning. You’re maintaining that because design rules are supposed to be put in place to ensure the integrity of a study, that this study must have them.

This is exactly like saying that nobody drives over the speed limit because it’s against the law. How could someone drive over the speed limit, after all, since there are laws forbidding it? Anyone who points out that speeding is actually very common on our highways is not “ignorant” of the laws against it OR ignorant for observing that speeding takes place despite the laws.

I have pointed out a major flaw in this study’s design rules which you seem to be only able to address by redefining words. This is a deeply flawed study, and one which was very likely corrupted by the fact that its lead researcher, Dr. Andrew Wilper, is an activist who lobbies for a single-payer health insurance plan and belongs to this this organization.

It is generally a good idea to regard with suspicion “studies” that are put together by those with a political agenda. Do you trust all of the studies put out by the tobacco industry simply because any study that presents itself as scientific research must have design rules in place and is therefore completely believable?

Posted by: Paul at October 5, 2009 2:09 PM
Comment #288964

Paul, thank you for supporting my claim regarding the ignorance of your comment. To qualify for VA or Medicaid, you must both be poor and have a health condition requiring care, ie. unhealthy condition. What is it about the English language that is such a hurdle that your comments can’t benefit from voluminous facts and data readily available to anyone with internet access?

Creating straw man arguments about my use of the 2 DIFFERENT terms, indigent and unhealthy, speaks for itself. If I thought they were synonymous, I would have had no need for two different words, now would I?

Careful the sides of the hole your comments dig don’t collapse about them.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 6, 2009 8:34 AM
Comment #288965

Schwamp, I defined the term. As defined, it applies without any violation of WB’s rules. First rule of logical debate, define your terms.

You can make the false argument that as the term is customarily used, I have exploited a loophole in rules. But, your argument is prima facia false, because I did define the word other than its common usage as a derogatory term describing a person, instead of their informational or educational position on a particular topic where established and shared information and knowledge are readily available.

The word ignorant is an adjective. It defines a noun. My use of the term in association with Comments, assures that my meaning cannot be confused, except by those ignorant of the English language and who have no proclivity to use and learn from a dictionary.

My management of this site is irrelevant to my usage of the word. In a world dominated by ignorance, I think it is a word that is not used nearly enough nor accurately enough.

In a specialized technological society, we are all ignorant of a great many specialized areas of knowledge. Someone in my family got news of coronary problems and cancer. To effectively support them, I acknowledged my ignorance on these topics, and hit the internet to educate myself. By acknowledging my ignorance on these topics, my ignorance became the foundation for my further education. Hence, my ignorance was a springboard for educational advancement, and a constructive tool, not a liability in any way.

There is no shame in ignorance, provided one acknowledges it, and acts accordingly, as opposed to acting on it, in place of knowledge or education.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 6, 2009 8:57 AM
Comment #288973

As is so often the case here, comments seem to move in a direction having little to do with the original article. My article focuses on what President Obama’s likely behavior will be, which in my view will indict him as just another lying, untrustworthy politician under the corrupting grip of corporate interests. The chief strategic tipoff that Obama was up to no good was that he left the health care reform effort totally to Congress, rather than presenting a draft bill from the White House. The cleverness was designed to avoid responsibility and creating nothing but uncertainty about what Obama really wanted and what he was willing to totally demand from Congress. In other words, Obama watchers should by now see a clear pattern: he consistently works hard at presenting lots of glib, even eloquent, rhetoric but NOT real, solid and impressive LEADERSHIP on public policy. He is a phony agent of change.

Posted by: Joel Hirschhorn at October 6, 2009 4:47 PM
Comment #289787

Joel said in complete contradiction to the design of the U.S. Constitution: “The chief strategic tipoff that Obama was up to no good was that he left the health care reform effort totally to Congress, rather than presenting a draft bill from the White House.”

The White House enforces and endorses law, Joel, the Congress drafts and passes. How is it you can overlook such fundamentals in your zealotry to critique the future actions of a president you obviously prejudge as unworthy despite public majority opinion to the contrary in the face of all that he has been handed to deal with which no president since FDR has had to?

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 26, 2009 4:13 PM
Comment #289788

BTW, Joel, the objective test for health care reform is not whether it accommodates most people’s vision of what it should look like, but, whether it expands universal coverage, drives current projected health care costs downward, creates incentives to the private sector to compete instead of acting like an oligopoly or monopoly, and ends heinous practices like pre-existing conditions and termination based on exceeding policy limits for necessary health care.

It is these objectives the public is really concerned about, not what means are taken to accomplish them or what appearances talking heads and pundits assign to the legislative language.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 26, 2009 4:17 PM
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