Third Party & Independents Archives

What Physicians Know

I had a long conversation with my favorite physician, who has operated on me twice successfully. He is an incredibly kind person without an ounce of greed or pretense. Like other physicians I have spoken to, he spoke eloquently about the terrible times he consistently has with private health insurance companies.

While he praises Medicare for its simplicity and certainty, he has absolutely nothing positive to say about private insurers. They take up huge amounts of time of him and his staff, trying in every possible way to deny services to their customers (his patients) and also to pay as little as possible to him. His endless struggles with the insurance companies make his life miserable. Meanwhile all he cares about is giving his patients the very best care and not making them suffer because of their insurance carriers.

Like so many of us he sees the need for major reforms of our health care system, but remains pessimistic about what Congress and President Obama will eventually deliver. He is incredulous at how executives of private insurers make vast amounts of money while making physicians and their patients suffer endless annoyances and negative impacts on health care. And they get away with making people pay more and more money for worse and worse insurance.

He also has many stories about patients that do not take medications for long term chronic conditions because they cannot afford prescriptions. He gives out as many samples that he can get, is angry that people in other nations pay much less for brand name drugs, and feels terrible for his patients because the US health care system has let them down.

What would be the ideal solution to the current health care mess? My doctor believes that opening up Medicare to everyone would be wonderful, and the system could be opened up immediately. I totally agree. There is no sound reason for Congress to protect the private health insurance industry. But of course they always have and always will because it is the source of huge amounts of money for political campaigns.

While no one should be forced into Medicare, just making it available to all who want it would be fair. If private colleges compete with public ones, and private for profit hospitals compete with nonprofit ones, why shouldn’t health insurance companies be put in a similar position?

Corruption blocks true and necessary health care reform. Remember that the next time you vote.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at November 1, 2009 2:00 PM
Comments
Comment #290126

Good post, outlines what a professional in the medical industry feels. Did your Doctor talk about his malpractice insurance or did he mention if he was willing to take on more patients? Or if he felt insurance companies were just bad to deal with in his state or in all states?

Posted by: Edge at November 1, 2009 3:22 PM
Comment #290127

Joel:

Good post. Leaves out some things, like the number of doctors who limit the number of medicare patients they will see due to the lower payment schedule (if they accept them at all). Just one of the problems with increasing medicare coverage.

Having worked in the medical field most of my adult life, the majority of that dealing with filing insurance and collecting patient payments, I can certainly agree with your doctor, as did most of the doctors I worked for.

It also doesn’t address the current medicare fraud levels and prevention of future fraud if medicare were to be open for more folks.

I think there is a lot of detail missing in this idea.

There have been posts (can’t remember where) that insurance company profits are not as high as people think, but those thoughts don’t take into account the extraordinary amounts paid to executives and the extra money that goes to the processors who handle the claims that result in denial and resubmission. It is all such a waste.

Whoever invented the idea of HMOs and PPOs and the like should be shot at sunrise. I have personally seen those policies reward physicians for not making referrals, and the extra visits necessary with the primary care doctor to get a referral and the personnel to keep track of referrals and their expirations dates boggles the mind. One of my jobs was to make sure that each appointment was still covered under the referral, either number of visits and/or expiration date. A holy mess right from the beginning.

Certainly if doctors’ offices could cut down on the personnel intensive submission of claims, there could be a major savings there, and and therefore an increase in the amount of money that became profit for the doctor. More people on medicare might make that part a reality.

Still, there is much detail that would need to be worked out.

Posted by: womanmarine at November 1, 2009 3:37 PM
Comment #290128

Well stated Joel, but I see no reason that we should continue down Socialism trail. I firmly believe that adhering to the Constitution is a good thing; the smaller the government the better, that people do not have a right to healthcare, that we should work to become less dependent on government, etc. Why? History has shown us that government by democracy will fail within a couple of hundred years. Soon as people learn to vote their pocket books the government responds by turning to socialism which then leads to anarchy or something worse. A government by democracy leads to demagogy and corruption, which is what we have today. Just like the government has got their hooks into the auto industry, some financials, labor unions, taxpayers, etc. by providing government run healthcare they will get their hooks in to the unhealthy, us at some point in time. We need to hold up the Republic, down with too much democracy and keep government out of our lives and pocket books.
I’m not carrying the flag for Republic Sentry Party here in looking for a solution to the healthcare problem. Just stating my personal view on this social issue. Lou Dobbs hosted a full show on healthcare last week and I liked what I heard. A three doctor panel suggested that we need to re-establish the doctor patient relationship by having the doctor address the patients’ problem and recommend treatment. We need more general practitioners, many of whom have left the field for more lucrative specialty medicine, and establish the family doctor – patient relationship. Recommended free or subsidized training for general practitioners, standardize codes for all medical related goods and services to support electronic billing. Data base patient medical history and related records. They noted a surprisingly high cost associated with bookkeeping. Also, track a patient’s lifestyle. When a diagnostic number breaks threshold the patient is expected to respond or be subject to a higher treatment cost. (I believe I heard that, sounds good to me anyway) But, they did suggest on carrying through with preventative medicine to prevent future catastrophes. And, they had some other good stuff I can’t recall.
But, they put insurance, and money, outside the relationship. I would suggest repealing the antitrust law exemption put in place for insurance companies in the 40’s. Busting up large insurance outfits and let them compete nationwide with each other. While financial statements show that insurance companies are profitable by about 2% I think of ENRON, Anderson and Madoff. Many insurance exec’s are taking home several millions yearly, one close to $26M I do believe. There are plenty of things that could, and should be done to improve and correct the corrupt situation put upon the taxpayer regarding healthcare, but following suite with the same failed policies and turning healthcare service over to the federal government is wrong, for a myriad of reasons, IMO.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 1, 2009 3:58 PM
Comment #290132

marinewoman:

In answer to your question abot HMO’s, it was 1973 and Nixon signed th law that was passed by a democratic congress. Investments and trial lawyers brought it down:

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-History-of-HMO-Plans&id=2113007

Posted by: propitiation at November 1, 2009 4:30 PM
Comment #290136

Our future:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hXU0uU_ZvG8tTA742kgJyUferdSQ

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 1, 2009 8:18 PM
Comment #290139

I heard on the news today that Canadians were crossing into America to get flu shots. If our government can’t provide flu shots after knowing the H1N1 was coming for the past 2 years, how can we expect the government to provide healthcare for us?

I am a single mother with 3 kids and I don’t mind saying President Obama and the government are scaring me to death. I don’t think he is going to give the American people what he promised. I voted for him, but I am really worried and so are the other women in my support group.

Posted by: Kathy at November 1, 2009 9:49 PM
Comment #290141

Don’t worry kathy, I’m sure BHO will meet his promises. In fact he is providing h1n1 shots for the enemies of america at Gitmo:

http://www.wibw.com/nationalnews/headlines/67784717.html

Posted by: dembs at November 1, 2009 10:03 PM
Comment #290144


Props told us “Investments and trial lawyers brought it down:” referring to HMO’s.

From props link:
“What led to the increase of denied claims? It wasn’t a result of the claims themselves; it was a result of bad investments by the insurance companies.”

Yet it was not bad decisions and greed by the insurance companies themselves, after all it was their decision to invest in (of all things) real estate, but investments and trial lawyers, nice twist there props. At least you didn’t blame Obama and his plan to socialize America yet.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 1, 2009 11:37 PM
Comment #290145

“current medicare fraud levels and prevention of future fraud if medicare were to be open for more folks.” It might actually help for a while, since they would be getting people more likely to pay attention to what the doctor was billing to medicare. As the system continued though, people would go back to letting the doctors get away with whatever they want to bill. Elderly people used to pay more attention, but now they’re just worried about getting what they need. Not enough doctors get arrested every year, not enough lawyers get disbarred, because they have protection from groups that pay protection money to the politicians.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 2, 2009 12:19 AM
Comment #290154

Medicare fraud is something like $60B yearly and the law recovers about $4B. Wouldn’t expect an healthcare option plan to be any different. Also, the patient should receive a detailed, itemized bill for each visit. That would nok down fraud considerably. Perhaps the most cost effective thing we could do is bust up the large insurers and let them compete nationwide.
I see where CIT bank is going into bankruptcy. They received $2.4B in bailout. They serve about 90M people, mostly through consumer loans. Supposedly, the loans will continue through bankruptcy. Not a hint of busting them up and letting competition flourish in a capitalist way. Nope, some other big bank will scope them up and minimize competition. The big government way ya know.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 2, 2009 9:43 AM
Comment #290155

Roy Ellis-
Ironically enough, there are some people on your end of the spectrum who would actually accuse you of being short on the matter of free market, since you’re advocating busting a bank up.

That, after all, is the Government interfering in the market. We used to tolerate a modicum of govenrment interference in the financial system, in order to keep capitalism from getting into self-destructive tendencies that it was sometimes prone to.

I think the first thought should be, what do we need to accomplish here? The consideration of what school of thought we indulge should be a secondary concern. If it takes a brief flirtation with socialism to get our capitalist system back on track, we shouldn’t get all huffy about it. If it takes a temporary increase in deficit spending to ensure that the economy gets better, that’s what we should do.

And if it takes raising taxes on those who can afford to pay more in order to bring our deficit under control, we shouldn’t balk at that. After all, they benefited profoundly from the system as it slid into dysfunction. The policies that lost Americans jobs, that kept wages stagnant, that kept Americans addicted to perpetual debt, and which handed them tax refunds in the thousands even millions helped make those top few percent more obnoxiously wealthy in comparison to the average American, than at any point since just before the Great Depression.

America is a consumer economy. To function, that means, the Middle Class has to maintain a certain level of spending. We cannot continue a financial configuration for our economy that keeps on expecting the average American to spend more from less.

But the laws of the land are keyed to them doing just that.

At the heart of this is this notion: that we can somehow ensure the greater good by making government attend to the priorities of the richer and more powerful. We stopped being so aggressive about anti-trust provision to please those people. That’s why the Banks continually consolidated until they were too big.

We also stopped regulating the companies, such that insurance couldn’t own finance, finance couldn’t own brokerages, and so on and so forth. That’s why a break down in the housing finance sector also hit the corporate finance sector, and also hit the the consumer banking sector as well. The firewalls that existed before Glass Steagall was repeal no longer exist.

We made it easier for the companies to do dodgy accounting. That’s why the credit and finance companies could count terrible risks as sure-fire profits.

We made it easier for companies to prey on consumers. That’s why it was easier for them to get people into the loans who had no earthly means of repaying them.

So on, and so forth. It isn’t big government that’s the problem, it’ bad government, complicit government, government that’s taking the side of those with power, to make things worse for those without it.

What you have to realize is that the Right Wing has taken America’s natural populism, and turned it by various degrees towards an elitist agenda. You will never get free of that if you don’t recognize that the policies and terms you use all lead towards somebody being able to do something to you that they’d not be able to get away with if the very government you have been taught to reject were in the way.

Your question should be this: whose government is it, by rights, yours or theirs? And if it is yours, why accept the premise that the government is a something else, instead of a means you can employ to your ends? Why accept a paradigm that leaves the government an institution of elite overlords, left in the hands of the corporations?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 2, 2009 10:47 AM
Comment #290156

The main reason for the Canadian shortage of vaccines…

Is also the same reason for America’s shortage.

That is, the vaccine makers have fallen short of their targets. This isn’t a case of a broadly available healthcare system providing too much healthcare to too many people. This is a case of companies making this vaccine experiencing production delays.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 2, 2009 10:59 AM
Comment #290159

A dentist who is a friend of the family has spoken many times of how he has to overcharge insurrence companies just in order to break even for his costs since they doctors scrape and beg for every penny.

By the way, if this post goes through I’d love to know why I’ve been trying for 5 days to post in my own article on 3 different computers and haven’t been able to.

Posted by: mike falino at November 2, 2009 12:15 PM
Comment #290161


“Why accept a paradigm that leaves the government an institution of elite overlords, left in the hands of corporations?”

One has to realize that the core constituency of the Democratic party is no longer blue-collar workers. The core is now white-collar yuppie liberals who like their etrades, love the idea of double digit returns, justify those returns by claiming to be great humanitarians on behalf of their Central American and Chinese coolies while they workout the financing for their quarter acre, $675,000 beach front building site.

Posted by: jlw at November 2, 2009 12:24 PM
Comment #290162

jlw-
Again, the question: why accept that paradigm?

There’s no good reason to accept that kind of learned helplessness.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 2, 2009 1:08 PM
Comment #290163


Stephen, I don’t accept the paradigm. That is why I abandoned the Democratic Party and why I voted for Nader rather than Obama.

Allowing the American people the option of buying into Medicare and cracking down on the fraud is far superior to any of the proposals being offered by the Democrats.

Posted by: jlw at November 2, 2009 1:46 PM
Comment #290164

jlw-
Forgive me for asking this, but what substantive change in the situation does voting Nader grant?

It’s not merely about ideas, it’s about results. Private or Public, I don’t care, but I just don’t see results coming from the Private sector that leads me to believe that they will moderate their own behavior.

That’s when Government should intervene: when private industry shows no capacity to compromise the profit motive to do what it should do as a corporation set in our society, with our values.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 2, 2009 2:07 PM
Comment #290169


Stephen, my voting for Nader provided no substantive change to the situation. Your voting for Obama provided no substantive change to the situation. In that, we are equal but for different reasons. There is no way in hell that Congress would have helped Nader combat the statis quo. Despite occasional progressive rhetoric, Obama has, by his actions, signalled his willingness to accommodate the statis quo.

Stephen, what part of this statement don’t you understand? Any President that willfully refuses to uphold all the laws of this country is an Unconstitutional President and deserves nothing less than removal from office.

Posted by: jlw at November 2, 2009 3:07 PM
Comment #290170

jlw, so well said! 30 years of government against the people. A lot of us are done with it. We don’t won’t to hear nuthin of demreps. Not interested in big U.S. conglomerates run by Chinese/British/Sudanese exec’s etc. Bust up the big ones and create thousands of new jobs and ‘mad dog’ competition between them. We know what needs to be done to restore the Republic. In so doing we will restore some modicum of santity in capitalism.
Just be patient Stephen.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 2, 2009 3:45 PM
Comment #290190

I find it somewhat humorous that those citing socialism and following the Constitution are the ones advocating for the continued oligopoly of the insurance industry. By opposing a public option, one is voting for the status quo. Fearing a new government agency or program may be understandable, and fearing inefficiency may be reasonable. But what are the options? No healthcare? The continued abuse by a industry known for screwing you over?

I have yet to hear a lucid argument that dealing with the fraud, and monopolistic activity of a huge industry is socialism or unconstitutional. Using these words to raise the specter of evil things seems mostly, to me, the height of ignorant argument. Will someone please explain why medical costs have risen faster than any other cost over the last 40 years? Has the advancement really been that great? Is it the electronics? Why has every other electronic instrument become cheaper? Are we surviving that much longer than the sixties? Does the medicine really work? Or is it monopoly run amok?

There was reason to make the railroads a monopoly in their inception. In due time it became a problem. Teddy Roosevelt even saw that.

How dumb does one have to be to not see the problem here?

Posted by: gergle at November 3, 2009 9:36 AM
Comment #290200

” I’d love to know why I’ve been trying for 5 days to post in my own article on 3 different computers and haven’t been able to. “

Ask the DRRemer. AFAIK, you name must be triggering something. If it goes unresolved, you can email me at iryhousen@yahoo.com, your comments are valuable and it would be a shame to lose them becuase of a glitch.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 3, 2009 1:29 PM
Comment #290203

Sounds like my response went over your head gergle. More tautology: bust up the big un’s and make little un’s. Mandate they compete nation wide. Restore the doctor-patient relationship and cut out the insurance company in calling the shots for treatments. Plus others mentioned in my response. More tautology yet: keep the government out of our lives. Downsize DC. Smaller is better, etc.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 3, 2009 3:06 PM
Comment #290209

Gergle, read you a coupla more times. I think you know you are wishing for the stars. I think you know we can’t have any legislation come out of this government that is of, by and for the people. It has to first go through the filter of the Corpocracy, resembling something like dogs working on a piece of meat. Then the leftovers get passed on to the public in some form of legislation hardly recognizable relative to its intended purpose. In order for the kind of legislation you want to become the norm some things have to happen first. Reform of government through a 3rd party with a different political attitude, pushing a reform agenda. Corporate Personhood and Money is Free Speech law must be abolished. Then campaign finance reform can take place leading to clean elections without the influence of money. At that point the politicians will turn their attention to the public and we will begin to get real legislation designed of, by and for the people. We should be ready to do this by 2012 if we put out minds and hands to it. Otherwise, status quo, forever and ever, IMO.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 3, 2009 4:32 PM
Comment #290219

Roy,

With all due respect, how is a third party going to get around the influence of money?

Money is what makes the world go around, but what needs to happen is a movement from people to support the activity of this president to oppose the healthcare industry. What is happening instead is people opposing anything, which plays into the hands of the oligarchs. Large power against a large power is what works. There frankly is not an iota of support for a third party around. That is ideological dream which may have some distant merit, but I’ll be long dead and dust before that moon rises.

Posted by: gergle at November 3, 2009 10:32 PM
Comment #290234

Gergle, I see no sense in trying to solve political issues by ping ponging between the two parties. History should make that clear to anyone. Just ad lib on NJ for a minute. Corzine and Goldman Sacs. The new Governor, Chris ……, prosecuted 130 cases brought against government officials during his tenure as Attorney General. Getting elected is like a license to steal. The attitude is ‘if that’s the way the game is played, I’m going to get mine’. We need a 3rd party with a different political attitude that can save us from ourselves. A Party pushing a reform agenda that can restore the Republic, put a government in place that will respect our sovereign nation and reflect the Constitution in its actions. A Party founded in rules that are locked down and can’t easily be changed to prevent undue ifluence from any quarter. A Party where the members serve as oversight for elected/appointed govt leaders, rejecting them if they fail to support the Party agenda. You can’t remove the influence of money from politics until a reform movement is carried out. We must abolish Corporate Personhood and Money is Free Speech in order to clean up campaign finance and conduct elections without the money influence. May not be accomplished in my lifetime but what about our grand kids? Shouldn’t we leave our future generation with something better than a developing 3rd world country? Education, healthcare, unemployment, retirement plans, energy policy, - all in the tank. Why? The government has worked to line us up to compete with the cheapest labor markets in the world. Before your next pay raise we are going to have to upwardly mobilize a billion Chinese and about as many Indians. Are you up to it gergle?

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 4, 2009 12:43 PM
Comment #290235
With all due respect, how is a third party going to get around the influence of money?

Some 3rd parties *cough*libertarian*cough* has not only been rejecting large donations from corporations for decades, but also rejecting public funding as well. In fact, they have been fighting the idea of power being invested to strongly in one place which leads to money being used for influincing that power to begin with.

Of course, that’s the real issue, isn’t it? It’s the power that is coveted, people just want to obtain that power without having to pay for it. It never occurs to them that being able to wield that kind of power is the REAL problem, it’s just the money that’s the issue…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 4, 2009 1:27 PM
Comment #290238

Pressure from the electorate is what’s necessary to undermine the dominance of special interests. There are no magic solutions to the problem of government corruption. We must concentrate power to run a complex society, and concentrated power is always abuseable power.

The framers created a system that takes the form of a strange loop- a information theory phenomenon also known as a tangled hierarchy. In short, it’s a hierarchy where you suddenly find the lower parts of the hierarchy determining the shape of the higher parts.

Which describes a Democratic Republic very well. The critical thing about our rights in such a country is how they allow us to maintain both robust government power and robust government accountability at the same time. We don’t have to settle for a weak government to remain a free people, a chaotic society for a just one.

I find the fearmongering over government to be somewhere between odd and alarming, and believe that it takes many quick, effective, and timely solutions off the table, to deal with a threat to freedom which probably isn’t there, so long as we keep an informed, active, vigilant electorate.

No matter what you got, big government or small, there’s little to be gained from having an unwatched government.

jlw-
Well, for starters, the votes of folks like me got Obama elected, and their are plenty of unheralded consequences of that which folks who are keen on maintaining the myth of equal obnoxiousness among the party. The way he’s opened up bills to scrutiny, the progress he’s made on healthcare reform, the likelihood that some kind of Climate change legislation will pass, the fact that something is happening on Gitmo at all, that folks are getting transferred out of there…

So on and so forth. I pay attention to what’s actually happening.

I am not going to act as if Obama is simply doing nothing with a clear field to do whatever he wants. Anybody who has paid the slightest attention to things knows that there is a significant roadblock for anything that remotely smacks of liberalism in the Senate. The Republican Party is literally fighting the Obama Agenda with everything it’s got.

But despite all that, we are in a better position than we would have been if Obama hadn’t been elected. Mediocre results is not an excuse to go back to those whose policies had catastrophic results.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2009 2:35 PM
Comment #290241

To simplify, but sticking with Truth, it comes down to this: would the vast majority of Americans be better off with access to Medicare OR to keep the status quo with private insurance companies controlling most of the market? For many decades I had employer provided private health insurance and for the past five years I have had Medicare. Medicare has been infinitely better than ANY of the various private insurance plans I had (including HMO and PPO types). I also have private supplemental Medicare insurance. I have NEVER encountered any physician, including virtually every type of specialist, that did not take Medicare. I have had no paperwork under Medicare, nor have I spent even one dollar of my own cash. And let me emphasize I had to deal with a heart attack and considerable coronary care and various other medical problems. Of course there is Medicare fraud, and that should and must be fixed, but even then Medicare has been far more efficient than private insurance. Those on the right who love to speak of freedom of choice should support giving Americans the choice of private health insurance or Medicare. Finally, in a number of conversations with physicians they universally have nothing positive to say about private insurers, and repeatedly make the point that even if they seem to get higher rates than from Medicare, they are illusory because they must spend huge administration costs dealing with the private insurers. In most medical offices there are signs telling patients that some private plans are not being accepted, but in every one I have been to Medicare is accepted.

Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at November 4, 2009 3:22 PM
Comment #290242

Let me add that I also voted for Nader and feel very good that I never succumbed to the clever bullshit from Obama who I always believed was just another lying politician serving the two-party plutocracy and, hence, the corporate and private rich and powerful. An amazing amount of reliable survey data show the nation ready to support a third party/independent presidential candidate. Could such a person be free of all the corrupting money? THINK BLOOMBERG!!!!!

Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at November 4, 2009 3:29 PM
Comment #290243
We must concentrate power to run a complex society.

Why? You make this statement as a ‘fact’ but it just an opinion that you have and bases your political views. I challenge it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 4, 2009 3:34 PM
Comment #290244
No matter what you got, big government or small, there’s little to be gained from having an unwatched government.

Who is suggesting an ‘unwatched’ government?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 4, 2009 3:35 PM
Comment #290257

“the myth of equal obnoxiousness”

Nice phrasing, but they don’t have to be equally obnoxious to be equally useless. Look at what just happened. People keep turning from one half of the duopoly to the other, a choice of cancer or heart disease. We deserve more and better choices. One side promotes populist paranoia, the other claims to know how to do everything but keeps doing everything the same way. They both have agendas that are not in our interests. 3rd, 4th and no party candidates need to be billionaires or have brand names to compete with the corporate sponsorship of the duopoly.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 4, 2009 5:56 PM
Comment #290263

Try to slide it in this way Orealy. Instead of spending big bucks to buy your way in try offering the people something different that will encourage them to join and support a reform effort. Bloomburg spent something like a million to buy the mayorship of NYC. The Mayorship of NY could be won by a lot less if someone ran on an agenda or platform that the people really wanted. The guy that won the Board of Supvrs in my Co. spent approx $100 on his campaign. He ran on something the people wanted, no growth or sprawl in this agricultural community. The Republic Sentry Party offers a real reform agenda, performs oversight for members elected or appointed to govt positions of leadership, operates from rules that can’t be co-opted or easily changed. I believe that if you offer the public something for their vote they will support your cause. To do otherwise is, like you say, just another Party like the 50 or so Parties floundering around now and going no where quick. Sure it will take some contributions to run a strong program, but nothing like the duopoly spends to buy their way in.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 4, 2009 7:43 PM
Comment #290266

I think Bloomberg spent over 80 million to get elected in NYC. The county assessor here (Cook, IL) spent more than a million on his campaign last time. Republic Sentry sounds like a cross between a home security system and a militia. In a suburban town, many races are non-partisan, and you still get people that have some agenda that they didn’t bother to tell anyone about before the election. We’re already having commercials for next years primary elections here.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 4, 2009 8:11 PM
Comment #290275

Republic Sentry addresses the hidden agenda thing by having their members provide oversight for their elected officials. If officials fail to support the Party agenda they are subject to rejection from the Party. If an official wants to go against the Party agenda he/she first needs to address Party members as to his reasoning, then decid which way to go.
Just like this Obama thing. He offered change but now some are saying its not the change they wanted or expected. Couldn’t get away with that in Republic Sentry. What would you recommend in holding politicians accountable for their actions?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 4, 2009 10:26 PM
Comment #290286

Rhinehold,

While that’s a wonderful virtue, what requires it to continue? The fact is the Libertarians have no access to power, I doubt many large contributors are knocking at the door.

I’m currently reading a history of Texas. It’s the same old story, moneyed interests vying for power and remuneration wrapped in the cloak of liberty and “freedom”.

Frankly, the only chance an electorate has is to choose the powerful interest that is most likely to benefit them.

Posted by: gergle at November 5, 2009 11:09 AM
Comment #290288


We must concentrate power, both economic and political to control a complex society.

Posted by: jlw at November 5, 2009 11:28 AM
Comment #290289


Great fortunes cannot be amassed without the economic and political power to control the masses.

Posted by: jlw at November 5, 2009 11:33 AM
Comment #290301

Rhinehold-
It’s pretty simple: instead of having everybody make the laws and everybody enforce them, we elect people to legislate, and elect and hire people to enforce them.

We concentrate our power in their hands. Not necessarily because we must, but because organized societies function better that way.

Yet, of course, concentration of power invites its abuse. There are two ways of dealing with that: diffuse power, and accept the consequences, or force accountability, and keep the elected officials under constant pressure.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2009 3:54 PM
Comment #290311

I think the preferred way to deal with concentrated power is by keeping it clean and responsive to the people. Keep it clean by reform measures carried out through a 3rd party with a different political attitude. And, implement and enforce accountability through Party oversight of elected/appointed officials. Reject from the Party those who fail to support the Party’s agenda. Once reform measures are carried out and the influence of money is killed off politicians will then turn to the Party constituents for blessing and guidance rather than the power players, thus keeping it clean and focused. Appreciate info on a better mousetrap.

FLASH FLASH - Wash Post Front Page Headline for Today - “Virginia Republicans PLEDGE to Steer Toward Center” You gotta luv that! Ping! Pong!

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 5, 2009 7:36 PM
Comment #290313

“What would you recommend in holding politicians accountable for their actions?”
Make political parties illegal and remove as many lawyers from the bar every year as are admitted to it, for starters. BHO will most likely make another appointment to the SCOTUS next year. He should appoint someone who doesn’t think that corporations are persons and money is speech.

An interesting story from the health front today was that the army now considers 35% of those between the ages of 17-24 as unfit for military recruitment due to poor health, mostly because of weight problems. They didn’t get that weight by themselves. Corporations and the government helped.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 5, 2009 7:50 PM
Comment #290315
We concentrate our power in their hands. Not necessarily because we must, but because organized societies function better that way.

Again, you SAY that, but where is the proof? In fact, history tells us a much different story…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 5, 2009 7:53 PM
Comment #290329

Rhinehold,

Again, you SAY that, but where is the proof? In fact, history tells us a much different story…

ummm, perhaps this is just semantics, but what history are you talking about?…my history books agree with Stephen.

Posted by: gergle at November 6, 2009 3:23 AM
Comment #290340

I’ll bite. How does getting rid of parties and long tenured lawyers lead to holding politicians accountable for their actions? I can’t get my head around the idea of BHO appointing a SCJ who would go against the Corpocracy. That would be hieracy and suicidal for the demreps. Rhinehold, please be reminded the corporations have the concentrated power (money), the people do not. Peter Morici, U. Md, says the real unemployment number is 20%. I think people will look to a 3rd party to reform government and will be willing to support the abolishment of corporate personhood and money is free speech. At that point in time politicians will start looking to their constituents rather than the corpocracy.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 6, 2009 10:30 AM
Comment #290342

Ohrealy,

They didn’t get that weight by themselves.


Umm yeah, food was forced down their mouths and they were put on leashes to prevent them exercising.

I’m 52 and slightly overweight, but I don’t blame anyone but me.

Posted by: gergle at November 6, 2009 11:15 AM
Comment #290347

“food was forced down their mouths and they were put on leashes to prevent them exercising”

You’re right! The leash is electronic, but what’s going in their mouths isn’t food, it’s advertising.

“getting rid of parties and long tenured lawyers “

No political party will ever represent any individual’s range of views on different subjects.
The Rplcns play word games, the Dmcrts play heroes and villains. Newer parties play variations or combinations of the same tired stuff.

Lawyers prop up the system, the corporations, and whoever can get them the most money. If you don’t like getting rid of tenured lawyers, then my alternative proposal would be to close most law schools. They might start out idealistic, but end up serving and protecting moneyed interests.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 6, 2009 11:59 AM
Comment #290368

ohrealy, I see no solution in that. I’m going to stick with a 3rd party with a different political attitude.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 6, 2009 6:08 PM
Comment #290913

Medicare would work if the person receiving the health care turned in their own purchase orders. Not the doctors or insurance companies.

Medical insurance should taken out of the market.
There is no lose in this as they can insure other speculations in the acts of nature or incidence to make up for it.

Health should not be subject to speculation or gambling. We have been designed to live in smaller communities.


As people have been forced to live in closer proximity and in large numbers, we have been confronted with more complex health issues. This will continue and it will be in mostly in part up to our immune systems to manage it. This is the purpose of our sustainable package, our bodies. But we also will die from living closer together more frequently if environmental qualities are not focused on.

One of these is food. We have common ingredients in food that challenge the bodies ability to recognize what we eat as food and also it’s ability to respond to extreme quantities in the form of sugars and salts that you would not find in nature only occasionally in any concentrations outside of salt beds and bee hives. But we find them in our processed foods daily.

I have watched our people get fatter over the years and appear unhealthy before their times. It is unsettling to see people in their late twenties and early thirties begin to fit into appearances of people in their mid to late forties. It just looks mighty unnatural. I am saddened by it and alarmed.

Their lack of health will only feed this unjust treadmill of health-care we now have. The property loss due to people in unable to pay will increase much like it does when people experience loss from war. This is a kind of war being propagated to acquire lost resources and personal wealth at a reduced market price.

The suffering is not an issue. This point is to me curious. If it was an issue much more would have been done sooner to avert it.

There has to be an incentive by some to make sure this continues. Business by it’s vary nature is conspiratorial and some what predatory.

For those who can pay their medical tests and drugs, will only increase with every possible test that can be applied or prescription without consideration for their recovery. This is true. Especially if your close to death.

They are a cash cow for claims. The body will have to deal with these chemical invasions and the psyche with the lack of peace from no sense of control over our fate.

Political parties:

The two primary parties we have now in this country on the ballot, really imho, and I have believed this for sometime do not represent the best interests of the majority of people in this country first, nor do they respect the behavioral foundations laid down by the founding fathers for the institutions they manifest, which if adhered to would accomplish avoidance of much discord, unnecessary criticisms and personal costs.

The people who are on this forum are real in the sense they came from a fertilized egg and are natural.

Most of what is being discussed here is unnatural or imaginary and only is functional because we choose to go along with it by willful choice or by fear.

Remember this if we are all gone today, these entities which we find both helpful and oppressive will dissipate immediately, because they do not exist in nature.

They need us more than we need them because they are not sustainable by themselves, and we people are the life and we have to remember this no matter how impressive and insignificant our imaginary involvements make us feel.

We have had many configurations of these imaginary involvements in human history and they are all gone now. We tell children not to believe in Santa Claus after a while and why because we expect they will find out that Santa is not real but how come we go on believing that our other imaginary beliefs are anymore real than Santa?

You all are real here and I believe in you no matter what your opinions. Your the real thing.

Each one of us is important to all of us, to humanity.

If hands were gloves, we would all be left handed.

Posted by: Pat McKown at November 17, 2009 4:00 AM
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