Third Party & Independents Archives

The TEA Party Debate wasn't all bad

I think tonight’s TEA Party debate was an absolutely masterful 52-minute long group exchange of idea.

I can’t decide which my favorite moment was:

  • Perry refusing to answer the simple question of whether he still holds the same position today that he wrote in “his” book six months ago about Social Security.
  • Michele Bachmann saying that she’ll bring copies of the Declaratio­n of Independen­ce, the Constituti­on, *AND* the Bill of Rights to the White House.
  • Perry being “offended” by Bachmann’s gall to suggest he can be bought off for $5,000 when it was crystal clear to even Perry that he swung the door wide open to the question: “How much *CAN* you be bought off for?”
  • The rednecks in the audience booing Ron Paul for stating the CORE BELIEFS OF THE TEA PARTY about troop deployment­s and government spending.

Never saw an eight-ring circus before …

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at September 13, 2011 2:04 AM
Comments
Comment #329148
The rednecks in the audience booing Ron Paul for stating the CORE BELIEFS OF THE TEA PARTY about troop deployment­s and government spending.

Did you also notice how (just like in the previous debate where they cheered how many people Perry put to death in Texas) the Teapublican audience once again showed their ghoulish mindset by cheering Paul over the idea of letting a thirty year old man die simply because he has no health insurance?

Btw, I was also gobsmacked at the way Blitzer chose to word the question:

“A healthy young, 30-year-old man has a good job, makes a good living but decides, ‘You know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month on health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it.’ But something terrible happens, all the sudden he needs it. What’s going to happen if he goes into a coma? Who pays for that?”

Amazing. The vast majority of Americans with a ‘good job’ won’t take such risks since they can actually afford to buy the over-priced health insurance (from corporations that will often later choose to deny their claims). It’s people struggling who can’t afford to pay out $200 or $300 a month and still eat and keep a roof over their head who do this — because they really have no choice.

But no, Wolf wouldn’t dream of asking this batch of clowns whether or not it would be a good idea to let everyone buy into Medicare (the bigger the pool, the smaller the risk and lower the costs!). Paul naturally sided with chaotic inefficiency on behalf of Republican/Libertarian/Teapublican “free market” principles and blamed high health care costs on a “lack of competition.”

We’re not supposed to notice how all for-profit health care corporations have always acted as a cartel…

Posted by: Adrienne at September 13, 2011 12:05 PM
Comment #329150

“We’re not supposed to notice how all for-profit health care corporations have always acted as a cartel…”

We also aren’t supposed to forget about something called freedom of choice. Especially when it explains why Wolf asked and did not ask the questions he chose.

Posted by: kctim at September 13, 2011 12:22 PM
Comment #329153
freedom of choice.

Ah yes, the “freedom” to not be able to afford health care at all! Or the “choice” between which corporation you’ll pay exhorbitantly to for years, and when your sick and need the health care you paid so much for, to have your claim denied!

Posted by: Adrienne at September 13, 2011 12:40 PM
Comment #329164

Gotta love those extremes Adrienne. Especially when people pretend they are the norm and try to use them to support a weak point.

Fact is, all the people on the stage support freedom of choice, which is why Blitzer did not ask questions about forcing people to support medicare for all.

Posted by: kctim at September 13, 2011 2:38 PM
Comment #329173
Gotta love those extremes Adrienne.

Well, obviously you love all kinds of extremes, Tim. After all, these are your candidates and just like them, you’re not shy of spouting nonsense about “freedom of choice” in health care when over 50 million Americans don’t have any health insurance at all.
Did you know the Census report on poverty came out today? Yeah, it tells us that: “household incomes plummeted last year, while the number of people living in poverty rose sharply.”
America now has the highest number of poor people since the Census began tracking poverty 53 years ago, yet somehow everyone is supposed to take it seriously when teapublicans endlessly repeat that “freedom of choice” catchphrase.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 13, 2011 4:15 PM
Comment #329180

You are correct Adrienne, I am not shy to shout freedom of choice, ever. Probably because, unlike others, I actually believe in it.

Yes, it does suck that 50 million do not have health insurance. But I would be willing to bet that at least half of them have chosen not to have it or spend their money on luxuries instead.

That leaves us with 20-25 million who cannot afford it. I am not going to pretend that I care about them more than I do my own family. I am not going to promote forcing people to help the way I want. And I am not going to spend my time and money complaining how others will not give their time and money to government to do the hard work and sacrifice for me.
What I am going to do, is work my ass off so that I am not a burden on society.

Freedom of choice may be just a ‘catchphrase’ to some, but for me it is a right, and our rights a sacred. Especially in these times.

Posted by: kctim at September 13, 2011 5:20 PM
Comment #329182

Btw Tim, and just so you know, the state of Texas, where both Ron Paul and Rick Perry hail from have some very bad statistics that you may be unaware of, so allow me give you a few facts to chew on.

Such as the fact that one out of every four people living in the state has no health insurance whatsoever — the highest rate in the entire nation. And, this probably has a lot to do with the fact that Texas has more people who work for the minimum wage (which teapublicans want to do away with nationally) or less than the minimum wage, than any other state in the entire nation.
Additionally, almost one-third of all kids age 18 and under who live in the state of Texas right now live below the (federal) poverty line ($22,350 a year for a family of four). Only three other states have more children who live in poverty. The Texas Workforce Commission claims that 51 percent of Texas workers make less than $33,000 a year, and only 30 percent of all workers in the state make more than $50,000 a year. Texas is ranked 34th nationally when it comes to median household income figures.

Just some stuff to keep in mind whenever these people start crowing about what a great job they do for their state.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 13, 2011 5:25 PM
Comment #329185

You’re a military veteran aren’t you Tim? So since this “freedom of choice” regarding health care is so sacred to you, shall I assume this means that you don’t use the socialized VA health care system that was set up for people who served in our military?

Just curious.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 13, 2011 5:32 PM
Comment #329198

Adrienne writes…(from corporations that will often later choose to deny their claims).

Typical nonsense from a hard core liberal big government lover. What is your definition of “often”?

She is probably not even aware that Medicare occasionally disapproves medical procedures.

It is so sad to read comments from some who are so eaten up by greed and envy that they no longer can identify truth from their own hellish nightmares.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 13, 2011 6:48 PM
Comment #329200

Adrienne wrote, “America now has the highest number of poor people since the Census began tracking poverty 53 years ago…”

True statement. It’s incredible what the dems, lead by obama, have accomplished with their inept policies and socialist yearnings. I might add, this is the worst recovery since the Great Depression.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 13, 2011 6:54 PM
Comment #329203

RF:

Typical nonsense from a hard core liberal big government lover. What is your definition of “often?

Typical BS from a hard core rightwing reactionary who doesn’t care whether or not people are being made to suffer. These folks never follow the news, yet still like to act like they know what the hell they’re talking about.

Wendell Potter: Healthcare Exec Turns Whistleblower

http://www.pajamadeen.com/health/linda-peeno-famed-whistleblower-at-sicko-premiere
HMO Whisteblower Dr. Linda Peeno on the Subordination of Healthcare to a For-Profit System

HMO exec files whistle-blower suit
Delays in payment were deliberate, says fired United Healthcare official.

I could probably dig up more, but I think three links proves the point well enough. (Besides, you probably won’t even read them anyway.)

Posted by: Adrienne at September 13, 2011 7:07 PM
Comment #329210

It’s incredible what the dems GOP, lead by obama Boehner and Cantor, have accomplished with their inept obstructionist policies and socialist class warfare and oligarchic yearnings. I might add, this is the worst recovery since the Great Depression.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 13, 2011 7:37 PM
Comment #329213

Believe it or not, the downfall of the American health insurance system falls squarely on the shoulders of former President Richard M. Nixon.

In 1973, Nixon did a personal favor for his friend and campaign financier, Edgar Kaiser, then president and chairman of Kaiser-Permanente. Nixon signed into law, the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, in which medical insurance agencies, hospitals, clinics and even doctors, could begin functioning as for-profit business entities instead of the service organizations they were intended to be. And which insurance company got the first taste of federal subsidies to implement HMOA73 … *gasp* … why, it was Kaiser-Permanente! What are the odds?

It’s all right here to read for yourself.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at September 13, 2011 8:29 PM
Comment #329220

8 ring circus cracked me up. =)

For me, the most horrifying part of the debate was when some of the audience members agreed (loudly and with much applause) that they should let the hypothetical 30 year old die because he didn’t have health insurance.

Ron Paul said he wouldn’t turn him away.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at September 13, 2011 11:37 PM
Comment #329240

Adrienne provided links that, to her presumed astonishment, I read. Her original post included this unsubstantiated and unwarranted remark…(from corporations (health insurance providers) that will often later choose to deny their claims).

The Wendell Potter link does not give any information as to how “often” what Adrienne claims, happens.

The Linda Peeno link does not give any information as to how “often” what Adrienne claims, happens. It merely read like a hack promo for “Sicko”.

The link to the former HMO exec in Florida was not about patients, but rather, the insurance company defrauding doctors and hospitals out of payment.

An insurance policy is a contract. If the insurance company violates the contract, there are legal ways to obtain satisfaction in civil courts. If the violation rises to the criminal level, we have courts to address that.

Contracts are common in the lives of most Americans. We sign contracts all the time. Since contracts are legal documents one does expect some legal language to be employed. If one gets a good education, available to all in the United States if one studies and applies themselves, practices due dilligance (learned in getting an education), and relies upon themselves instead of nanny government to chew their meat, most people will be well informed at the signing of the contract.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 14, 2011 2:08 PM
Comment #329242

Not enough proof for you, huh RF?
Okay, I can keep posting articles on this topic until the cows come home because there are so many written about it. And the reason so much has been written is because people having their expensive health care coverage cancelled as soon as they get sick is a very widespread problem across America.

Insured, but Bankrupted by Health Crises

Blue Cross praised employees who dropped sick policyholders, lawmaker says
Workers received high marks on performance reviews after policies were rescinded, documents show. The health insurer denies the practice is a factor in evaluations.

Coverage”>http://www.callawyer.com/story.cfm?eid=899350&evid=1”>Coverage in Tatters
Working with private litigators, the L.A. City Attorney’s office goes to bat for people whose health insurance is wrongfully rescinded.

Largest U.S. Health Insurer Rewarded Employees That Cancelled Coverage Of Sick Patients — Consumer Watchdog Calls On Congress To Ban Bonuses For Canceling, Delaying Or Denying Medical Care

Posted by: Adrienne at September 14, 2011 2:52 PM
Comment #329243


The health insurance industry is exempt from antitrust laws.

71 percent of GOP voters agree that Obama is a socialist.

75 percent of GOP voters say don’t cut Social Security.

Pick 100 GOP voters at random and ask, What is it about Obama that makes him a socialists? I would love to see those results. Ask them, what government programs or policies are socialist?

Since the GOP says people who are not educated enough to be informed on the issues should not be allowed to vote, let’s find out how informed the GOP voters actually are.


Posted by: jlw at September 14, 2011 2:54 PM
Comment #329252

I choose just one of Adrienne’s links as in her previous links I found them to be absent of her claims.

Here’s a quote from that one link I visited…

“No one claims to know how often policies are canceled…”

Despite this comment in her own link, Adrienne claims that it happens “often”.

She also wrote…”…people having their expensive health care coverage cancelled as soon as they get sick is a very widespread problem across America.”

More unsubstantiated hogwash and liberal hyperbole. I appreciate all her work in finding these links, but I am just not interested in sifting through them all to prove her contention is unproven.

Should Adrienne wish to pursue this, I would just ask for a few quotes from reliable sources that provide real numbers to support her claim. Reliable sources are the operative words here.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 14, 2011 3:53 PM
Comment #329257

RF:

“No one claims to know how often policies are canceled…”
Despite this comment in her own link, Adrienne claims that it happens “often”.

Clearly it does happen often — when people are sick, they are routinely dumped and denied after paying out large sums of money to many health insurers.
I can see that there’s no use in continuing to argue with you over this fact though. I could keep going here posting articles indefinitely, but as usual, you on the right prefer to deny reality whenever it isn’t convenient and in accordance with your pro-corporate, “free market” political stance.
And of course if this ends up happening to you or one of your loved ones some day, you’ll suddenly be more willing to whistle another tune.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 14, 2011 4:19 PM
Comment #329259

Fair and valid question Adrienne.

“You’re a military veteran aren’t you Tim? So since this “freedom of choice” regarding health care is so sacred to you, shall I assume this means that you don’t use the socialized VA health care system that was set up for people who served in our military?”

Yes, I am a vet, as was my father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
No, I do not use the VA. Showing up at 6am for my grandfathers 30 minute appt. and not leaving until about 5pm is one reason. Other reasons are the lack of care he received while admitted; the lack of care we, his family, received; them telling him he was ok and sending him home way too early; and him dying at the VA after we had to rush him back a few days earlier.
Hurt alot, but not as much as the VA telling my father he was fine because they didn’t have the room or time to see him. That was right before he did the suicide by cop thing.
Those are my personal experiences and reasons for not using the VA.

I’m not so sure I would try to use the VA as an example of the greatness of socialized medicine. Aside from the quality of care and treatment, and the wait times, you also have to remember that vets have done something by serving their country for such a healthcare plan. Its part of the deal when they volunteer and, as in my case, there is still freedom of choice when it comes to using it or not.

Posted by: kctim at September 14, 2011 5:08 PM
Comment #329260

kctm…I was sadden to hear your story. You are correct, as a Veteran, we earned our benefits unlike the special interest groups that panhandle off the govt.

I visited my sister in Wisconsin in July. There is a Veteran’s home near her that has existed since shortly after WWI. These Veterans, who have placed their lives and bodies at risk for our country have now been told that they can no longer smoke anywhere in or on the property of this facility. Can you imagine how they must feel? This political correctness crap and the tyrants we have in many parts of government should be tarred and feathered.

Those on Social Security and Medicare also have a contract, of sorts, with the govt. However, I recall that during the debt ceiling oratory, the first benefit that obama threatened to suspend was Social Security payments. It was obama and his tyrannical supporters who also robbed Medicare of $500 billion to pay for starting up another govt. program that will be even worse than either SS or Medicare. When obama care runs into mountains of red ink, it too will be threatened to be suspended if the debt ceiling isn’t increased to support it. Of course, I fully expect the Supreme Court to throw this horrible Health Care Act out through the window so it can rest in the garbage can along with the rest of the trash.

One must recognize tyrants when they rear their ugly heads. They must be eliminated, and many will be in November 2012.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 14, 2011 5:39 PM
Comment #329266

Well kctim, it’s nice for you that if you ever can’t afford the high premium on other health insurance — say they decide to suddenly drop you when you’re sick — you’ll always have the VA system to fall back on if you find yourself in dire straits.
The vast majority of people in this country don’t have a socialized safety net to fall back on until they are old enough for Medicare. My husband and I certainly don’t — and we would love to be able to buy into Medicare if that option ever becomes available to us.

Btw, I think VA care must vary widely from place to place. My sister had a major operation at a VA hospital, and she got great care and had nothing but good things to say about her treatment.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 14, 2011 6:21 PM
Comment #329272

“…that will be even worse than either SS or Medicare.”

Royal Flush,

What exactly is your problem with SS or Medicare?

Posted by: Rich at September 14, 2011 7:47 PM
Comment #329275

Rich,
I suspect RF must be very comfortably well off. I think lots of people who post here on the right must be as well. They all seem to want for nothing, and continually deny that poor and middle class people actually rely on things like SS and Medicare, and/or have any actual problems — with health care, jobs, housing, you name it.

I grew up surrounded by wealthy clueless people just like this — immersed in a continual “let them eat cake” mindset that they inflict on anyone less wealthy than themselves. These types seem to believe that there must be something wrong with all of us since we rely on such things, and aren’t as secure and prosperous as they are.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 14, 2011 8:35 PM
Comment #329277

Adrienne,

I would actually like to know what he thinks the problems are with SS and Medicare. “Even worse than,..” What does that exactly mean?

SS is solvent and will remain solvent for a considerable period of time. Fixes that will address the demographic problem in the future are readily available without seriously impairing beneficiaries.

Medicare is one of the most efficiently run health insurance agencies in the world. It is the only insurer in the US to actually have any success in controlling health cost escalation, although it is also a victim of the flood of cost inflation sweeping the health care industry. Future projected deficits in Medicare have nothing to do with its design or management but are attributable to out of control cost inflation in health care delivery. That problem is common to all health insurers, private or public.

Posted by: Rich at September 14, 2011 9:21 PM
Comment #329278

Wrong Answer Adrienne I am on SS retirement and far from well off but do think SS and medicare and medicaid need reforming. Yes we have problems with HC but I do not think a government run plan is in our best interrest considering the problems with Medicaid and medicare. Jobs, government cannot create jobs, they can however create insentives to the private sector to create jobs. IMO government needs to stay out of our private lives and just be a temporary fix in times of need. Not the permanant fix that it was when welfare was the way to go for so many generations before Clinton did the 3years for life thing.

Posted by: KAP at September 14, 2011 9:44 PM
Comment #329282

KAP,
If the GOP wins the presidency and the Senate, and keeps the House they’re going to completely do away with SS and Medicare once and for all. The GOP has always wanted to this, and our incredibly crappy economy is going to be used as the excuse.
You know this, and so do I. Everyone knows this.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 14, 2011 9:58 PM
Comment #329284

Adrinne, I really don’t think so. If they do the cash cow is gone for the politicians.

Posted by: KAP at September 14, 2011 10:17 PM
Comment #329288

Uh, why is so bad if someone dies because they chose not to purchase health insurance; instead opting to buy something else instead?

If someone dies because they choose to drink too much alcohol, there’s not much outrage. Why is this hypothetical 30 year old guy any different?

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 14, 2011 11:26 PM
Comment #329289

KAP,
Can’t agree. I think SS and Medicare is to undergo death by a thousand cuts at the hands of the Teapublicans. Bit by bit, slice by slice, until it’s finally gone for good.

Warped,
Wow. Absolutely no human empathy for people who don’t (or can’t) buy health insurance, huh?
You know what I’d like to know? Why do people go unquestioningly along with the utterly inhumane concept of allowing behemoth health insurance corporations who are driven and motivated solely by profits to be given the decision of who can live and who can die? How on earth is that situation considered perfectly acceptable and the way things should be, while a cost-effective government health care system like Medicare that takes care of every single person somehow an outrage?

Posted by: Adrienne at September 14, 2011 11:46 PM
Comment #329292
Wow. Absolutely no human empathy for people who don’t (or can’t) buy health insurance, huh?

It’s not government’s job to be a humanitarian.

You know what I’d like to know? Why do people go unquestioningly along with the utterly inhumane concept of allowing behemoth health insurance corporations who are driven and motivated solely by profits to be given the decision of who can live and who can die? How on earth is that situation considered perfectly acceptable and the way things should be, while a cost-effective government health care system like Medicare that takes care of every single person somehow an outrage?

I don’t know. I support single-payer because its cheaper than a fully privatized system. Also, there are external benefits that I get if I make sure my neighbors are healthy. On the other hand, I don’t have sympathy (I don’t think empathy is the right word in this context) for people who shorten their own lives due to their own doing.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 15, 2011 12:17 AM
Comment #329293

Adrienne, It will be broke in about 30 years if something isn’t done. As far as someone who can afford to buy Health insurance and don’t I have no empathy for him. The person who can’t afford to buy Health insurance now that’s different. One question, Why is insurance say $1500. per month in N.Y. and $600. per month in Ohio for the exact same care? Don’t you think the state monopolies would be stopped if they were allowed to sell across state lines?

Posted by: KAP at September 15, 2011 12:25 AM
Comment #329298

“….It will be broke in about 30 years if something isn’t done.”

KAP,

It (SS) will still have revenues to cover 85% of its outlays. There are reasonable “fixes”, e.g., raising cap, means testing, etc., that will close that revenue gap caused by demographic changes in the work force. Medicare is another animal. It will be in trouble much sooner due to the high inflation in health care. Neither of these problems have anything to do with government’s management of the programs.

“One question, Why is insurance say $1500. per month in N.Y. and $600. per month in Ohio for the exact same care? Don’t you think the state monopolies would be stopped if they were allowed to sell across state lines?”

State monopolies for individual insurance regulation is an artifact of the absence of federal regulation which would preempt state regulation. That, by the way, is not the case with the majority of health insurance (employer group insurance) which is already regulated under federal law (ERISA, HIPAA, etc.). In order to get around this problem for “across state line” sale of individual insurance, Republican federal proposals have provided that the insurance regulation of the state in which the insurer is domiciled is deemed federal regulation controlling the contract and thus preempting control by the insured’s state.

The reason that an insurer in one state could offer the same coverage for an individual at a substantially lower rate than another state primarily has to do with whether a state requires “community rating.” It has nothing to do with increased competition, etc. In a community rating state, the insurer essentially must spread risk across the demographics of the total community and offer premiums based on that total risk pool. In non community rating states, the insurer can cherry pick the risk pools and offer premiums based on the risks associated with those selected pools. So, a young healthy person can be offered a substantially less costly premium by an insurer in a non community rating state. Of course, it should also be obvious that older, sicker individuals will have to pay a substantially higher premium in non community rated states. That is why conservative proposals for “across state line” sales include a caveat that states must develop “high risk” pools to accommodate those priced out of the market by non community rating. The insurers will obviously gravitate to the lowest regulated state. They will end up insuring the healthy and the young, while the states will have to pick up the cost of the older and sicker. Good deal for the insurance companies, not so good for the states, the old and the sick.

Posted by: Rich at September 15, 2011 8:38 AM
Comment #329302

Adrienne
“The vast majority of people in this country don’t have a socialized safety net to fall back on until they are old enough for Medicare”

The vast majority of people in this country had and have the same opportunity to enlist and serve in order to use the VA as I did.
Those who CHOOSE not to, should learn to budget and save in order to have health insurance. IF they want it.
Those who honestly cannot do either, maybe the people in this country could concentrate on helping our own instead of sending money to other parts of the world? Maybe those who pretend that they care, could actually start supporting what they ‘say’ instead of expecting everybody else to do it for them?
As far as those who choose not to be personally responsible because they expect others to pay for it for them? I have no sympathy for them and, IMO, they would change their tune if people stopped expressing false sympathy for them.

Posted by: kctim at September 15, 2011 11:12 AM
Comment #329306

Adrienne
Every single person does NOT want government to take care of them.
Every single person does NOT believe cost trumps rights.

The questions you should be asking are, why do those who ‘say’ they care, complain instead of help? Why do they expect everybody else to do it for them, when they themselves are not willing to make the sacrifice?

Posted by: kctim at September 15, 2011 12:59 PM
Comment #329308

“…that will be even worse than either SS or Medicare.”

Royal Flush,

What exactly is your problem with SS or Medicare?

Posted by: Rich at September 14, 2011

I followed that quote with this…”When obama care runs into mountains of red ink, it too will be threatened to be suspended if the debt ceiling isn’t increased to support it.”

The problem I have with SS and Medicare, while receiving benefits from both myself, is that these programs don’t pay for themselves. The unfunded liability is enormous. To start another huge entitlement program, such as obamacare, is simply a recipe for another financial black hole.

I am not calling for ending either SS or Medicare. However, they must be changed in ways to keep them financially sound or they will just implode and disappear.

Now seems to be the time to have a national discussion on how to save these programs. And, that discussion is finally taking place.

You failed to notice how easily a president can threaten to cut off the benefits of entitlement programs. When the debt limit discussions were going on it was the president who publicly stated that there may not be enough money to send out SS checks. This would be a purely arbitrary decision by a president. There were many ways to keep the government running without threatening to cease SS payments. Yet, that is what obama chose to scare Americans with.

Could a president not do the same, if faced with a debt limit crisis, with any other entitlement program? Entitlements contain no contractual guarantees. All are dependent upon revenue. Payments into these programs is simply not sufficient to keep them running without mountains of red ink which, at some point, must be paid, or the benefits reduced or eliminated.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2011 2:38 PM
Comment #329309

Warped:

It’s not government’s job to be a humanitarian.

What complete and utter nonsense!!! It is MOST DEFINITELY the job of American government to “promote the general Welfare” and concern itself with “Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness.” By it’s founding definition our government has ALWAYS been based upon humanitarian principles.

What you’re suggesting is that our government is based on Minarchist, or Anarcho-Capitalist principles, or perhaps the (sociopathic) selfishness of Objectivist principles. But this is totally incorrect.

Because American government was given a mandate to “promote the general welfare” our humanitarian government had to concern itself with providing services like water and it’s purification, and sanitation and things like sewers. That mandate is why the grain we eat isn’t still loaded with rat sh*t, and our meat isn’t laden with disease and/or worms. Our medicines aren’t chock full of harmful or poisonous chemicals. We outlawed child labor and our children must be educated. Our government directed tax dollars for research to produce things like the polio vaccine, and cures, treatments and vaccines for many other diseases. Indentured servitude was outlawed, and indeed, this nation fought an extremely bloody war in order to bring slavery to an end. Thus far, we haven’t yet seen dead bodies piling up in the street and left to rot — although this may end up being the case if our citizens keep preaching and trying to convince others that people who are sick and carrying disease deserve to receive no health care simply because they can’t afford the exhorbitant corporate price tag.

On the other hand, I don’t have sympathy (I don’t think empathy is the right word in this context) for people who shorten their own lives due to their own doing.

No sympathy, huh? And no human empathy for the plight of another person’s situation. I know this may be hard for you to imagine, but what if not buying health care is not due to their “own doing”? Can you not imagine a scenario where a guy with a “good job” as Wolf described, has to drop his high priced health care plan because he finds himself in need of that $200 or $300 a month to hire a caregiver for his Alzheimer’s stricken parent, or to help keep them in a nursing home?

Seriously, I often wonder what world of incredible luxury and/or bubble of total selfishness people must be living in when they speak so judgmentally and inhumanely about the health care issue. To me it is absolutely appalling, disturbing and disgusting.
And yet, how fortunate you all must be — you’ve obviously never once had to watch someone dying horrifically of something like cancer, while at the same time they lay there guilt-stricken and wracked with worry over the insane health care costs they’re leaving behind for their loved ones to pay.

PS. kctim, I direct all of the above to you too.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2011 2:58 PM
Comment #329312

Adrienne, that you and Mr. Daugherty and others completely misunderstand the “Welfare Clause” in our founding documents isn’t surprising. Liberals and progressives must interpret it incorrectly to support their desire for a greatly expanded welfare state.

The founders spoke and wrote of individual responsibility. The pursuit of happiness was never intended to imply that others should pay for that pursuit; only that others must not infringe upon, or deny that pursuit.

It is incorrect to say that someone has no compassion because they will not pay for another’s health care. Let’s suppose that a person needed an operation costing $100K and had no resources to pay for it. Under the liberal or progressive theory of the welfare clause, that person could go the the door of 100 neighbors and demand $1000 from each of them. If the demand is not met, are those neighbors selfish?

Under the liberal and progressive theory, since the scenario I proposed is impractical for an individual to exercise, they believe the government has the constitutional authority to act the same way on their behalf. That the government, by force, can go to those 100 neighbors and demand $1000 from each.

With Adrienne’s interpretation of the welfare clause, there is no end to what government must provide to those who need…at the expense of those who have.

One need not be blessed with great intellect to realize where such an interpretation will eventually lead.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2011 3:35 PM
Comment #329313

Adrienne

“It is MOST DEFINITELY the job of American government to “promote the general Welfare” and concern itself with “Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness.””

Promote the general welfare of the country, not provide for, nor dictate, how individuals run their own lives.
How can government be concerned with the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for one individual, but not another? In a free society founded on the principles of individual rights, it can’t. All it can do is attempt to ensure a level playing field and you can not do that by lowering the quality of life of one person in order to raise the quality of life for another.

You also have to respect the fact that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness differs from individual to individual. Not everybody believes govt should provide for their life or for their pursuit of happiness and they get real pissed when you take away liberty to do that for others. Money and emotions do not ever trump rights.

That is why the founding definition of our government has ALWAYS been based upon individual rights and freedoms, and that is why our Constitution places such limits on the power of government.

“No sympathy, huh? And no human empathy for the plight of another person’s situation”

IMO, you are not understanding Warpeds comment, which I read to mean about those who made a choice.
As for myself, it is up to me, not government, to decide if I care and should help or not. If I care about something, I am going to do what I can to help. I am not going to complain about how others do not care as I do, and try to get laws passed to force them to believe as I do.

“Seriously, I often wonder what world of incredible luxury and/or bubble of total selfishness people must be living in when they speak so judgmentally and inhumanely about the health care issue.”

I do not live in a bubble, nor do I believe 30 grand a year for a family of four can be considered some kind of incredible luxury. I am judgemental because I wasn’t raised to depend on govt to provide for me, but rather that it was my duty to not be an undue burden on my govt. I was also raised to cherish my rights, not others money.

“To me it is absolutely appalling, disturbing and disgusting.”

Does that justify taking away my rights and forcing me to believe as you do?

“And yet, how fortunate you all must be — you’ve obviously never once had to watch someone dying horrifically of something like cancer”

Actually, I have. And guess what, I didn’t wait for government to do things I thought should be done, I did them myself.
I have also seen someone die from a gunshot, but I’ll be damned if I start trying to take away that right for others.

Posted by: kctim at September 15, 2011 3:52 PM
Comment #329314

RF:

Adrienne, that you and Mr. Daugherty and others completely misunderstand the “Welfare Clause” in our founding documents isn’t surprising. Liberals and progressives must interpret it incorrectly to support their desire for a greatly expanded welfare state.

No, it’s you who doesn’t understand it. And yes, it most definitely does greatly expand the ability of Congress to address matters that relate to the general welfare at the federal level (as opposed to at the state level). This is made absolutely clear in the Constitution, even though you seem to disagree with that entire idea.

First of all, it seems obvious that you don’t even grasp the definition of the word Welfare, so let’s take a look at it:

wel·fare    noun 1. the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; well-being: to look after a child’s welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society.

Secondly, the word welfare appears twice in our Constitution.

As the word appears in the Preamble:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
And as the word appears in Article I, section 8:
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

Article I, section 8 of the Constitution gives our government the ability to collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises to not just promote, but PROVIDE for the general welfare of our people.
So, going back to the definition, can the government PROVIDE Good fortune? Or Happiness? No, it can’t do that. But it can however PROVIDE Health, Well-being, and Prosperity to the We the People.

The founders spoke and wrote of individual responsibility.

Well, some of the founders may well have preferred to word things in such a way, but that didn’t make it into the text our Constitution.

The pursuit of happiness was never intended to imply that others should pay for that pursuit; only that others must not infringe upon, or deny that pursuit.

This is funny! We’re not talking about “the pursuit of happiness” here, we’re talking about LIFE — which according to the Declaration must be viewed as an “inalienable right.”
If people want Life, they’ve got to have health care.

It is incorrect to say that someone has no compassion because they will not pay for another’s health care. Let’s suppose that a person needed an operation costing $100K and had no resources to pay for it. Under the liberal or progressive theory of the welfare clause, that person could go the the door of 100 neighbors and demand $1000 from each of them.

Of course that would be incorrect — because that makes no bloody sense whatsoever! No, what we need is a federally mandated health program that would apply to ALL, such as Medicare does for older Americans. Because this way, and as I said earlier: the bigger the pool, the smaller the risk and lower the costs!

If the demand is not met, are those neighbors selfish?

Whenever a country denies health care to it’s people — and most especially to it’s sick people — yeah it would have to be disgustingly selfish. Not to mention incredibly stupid, since allowing people to walk around ill can end up endangering the entire society.

To sum up: If We the People wish America to be a civil and healthy society, we are absolutely beholden to make sure that LIFE is both “promoted” and “provided” for, just as the Constitution mandated.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2011 5:00 PM
Comment #329315

Tim, see my reply to RF.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2011 5:04 PM
Comment #329317

Adrienne, it would be an exercise in futility for me to argue the welfare clause since you obviously have no idea what our founders were referring to when using the word “general” or “welfare”.

You can use all the current dictionary definitions you wish, but will not arrive at their meaning. After you have read a little more about our founders, what they wrote, what they said, beyond the founding documents, but in clarification of what they intended, you may wish to come back and we can discuss this from a constitutional viewpoint rather from your view of what you wish it meant.

As for my scenario about an individual demanding that their neighbors pay for their operation, you wrote…”Of course that would be incorrect — because that makes no bloody sense whatsoever.”

You’re right, and I should just close on that agreement. You neatly fell into my trap as I suspected you would. Just for your benefit, I will explain.

You find that the individual going door to door asking their neighbor to pay for what they need incorrect. Expanding it to the government going door to door demanding payment for someone else is just as incorrect. The only difference is who is doing the knocking and what force they are legally prepared to use to enforce their demand.

Off subject, but something I believe has been many times incorrectly used are the polls depicting the presidents falling numbers and then comparing them to congress. Liberals use this as some sort of balm to calm their fears.

Polls on the president involves a single individual. Polls on congress involves 565 individuals who make up the institution.

There is absolutely no way one can compare polling data on the two. One is an individual and the other is an institution.

I am wondering, has the president’s jobs bill been introduced in congress yet. Or, is he still demanding that congress pass something that doesn’t exist?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2011 5:31 PM
Comment #329320

Tell me, RF, just which one, and how many sessions of the drafting of the Constitution did you personally attend??? You act as though you can make some kind of personal attestation as to the concise meaning of the words used. You can look up all the meanings ever printed for the word welfare, and you couldn’t spin it enough to fit just your personal sense of it’s meaning.
Your ( and your buds in the pack with you on here ) are pitiful when talking about a portion of our society who, for whatever fate may have befallen them, are unable to provide for and protect their families from unpleasant or unavoidable circumstances. Yet you continue to espouse your “holier than thou” beliefs and your purity of life due to those beliefs. What a crock! You’re all just nothing but selfish, self-centered, narrow-minded and filled to the brim with hate. I just keep going back to a favorite saying……..what goes around comes around. Good luck…

Posted by: jane doe at September 15, 2011 6:56 PM
Comment #329324

The answer to your question is quite simple. I have read and absorbed what our founders themselves wrote and said about those documents. They go into great detail to explain their intentions.

It’s the typical liberal line that government is responsible if folks don’t succeed in their pursuit of happiness.

Please tell me why you believe that the government can knock on the door of its citizens to demand that they help their neighbor. Can I knock on your door Jane and demand that you buy a television or automobile for me? Which of our founders believed that the welfare clause meant that government should take from me to give to you?

I give freely to those organizations that help folks with food, clothing and shelter. I don’t need a government to force me to help my neighbor. Why do you?

I believe in giving what I can to those in need. I believe that those in need deserve my help. And…it isn’t any law that makes me believe that way. I give because I love my fellow human being. Try it sometime Jane. It is very rewarding.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2011 7:17 PM
Comment #329325

RF:

Adrienne, it would be an exercise in futility for me to argue the welfare clause since you obviously have no idea what our founders were referring to when using the word “general” or “welfare”.

Ha ha! That’s ridiculous. Whenever one plumbs beneath the surface, it’s easy to realize that teapublicans really don’t like or wish to follow the Constitution at all!
Just admit it RF. I’ve bested you here — because there is nothing in the Constitution that actually supports your political viewpoint on this subject.

You can use all the current dictionary definitions you wish, but will not arrive at their meaning. After you have read a little more about our founders, what they wrote, what they said, beyond the founding documents, but in clarification of what they intended, you may wish to come back and we can discuss this from a constitutional viewpoint rather from your view of what you wish it meant.

Hilarious! Listen my good man, I’m a very well-read scholar of the entire Enlightenment era, including what the founders wrote, so why don’t you go ahead lay out your side of this argument in depth? I’m quite certain I can keep up. Btw, the “intention” of the founders in their many and various writings may be all very well and good, yet as we all know that the Constitution itself is always the final word.

Still, just to indulge you, I’ll give a quote on the topic of the general welfare clause from one of the founders, here’s is what Jefferson had to say about it:

“The laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum [latin for: at one’s pleasure] for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.”

Thus, the government has the power, and taxes may be collected to provide for the general welfare, but this does not give Congress the right to collect taxes for whatever it pleases and then use the general welfare as a broad excuse. This describes that what they were talking about was the most basic of needs for the welfare of the people, (such as health care), but not various kinds of extravagances.

So for instance, Congress could not start collecting taxes in order to put parks all over in every state with the stated claim that walking in the park keeps people healthy. Instead, nice but not totally necessary things like parks would automatically be a state matter, not a federal one.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2011 7:27 PM
Comment #329326

This issue of whether a person should be allowed to die in the streets because he didn’t chose to purchase health insurance is a moot question. It ain’t happening, unless you want to repeal federal law requiring hospitals receiving federal funds (Medicare) to provide emergency stabilization services without regard to ability to pay. After that point, Medicaid will pick up the tab once his personal resources are exhausted.

So, the real question is how to better finance this mess. Not whether we should let him live or die. The personal choice issue is a red herring distracting discussion from the real issue.

Adrienne pointed out the simple actuarial fact regarding financing health care: “the bigger the pool, the smaller the risk and lower the costs.” Now, why that simple principal is so resisted by conservatives amazes me. A national pool has obvious advantages. A single payer or variant has obvious savings in administration and transaction related costs. It also has huge advantages in buying power. It just makes good business sense. Every other nation recognizes the financial advantages. No other nation is facing the deficit problems resulting from health care that this nation is facing. The citizens of every other nation sleep at night without the worry that they won’t have health insurance tomorrow or that they won’t be able to afford decent health care.

Posted by: Rich at September 15, 2011 7:34 PM
Comment #329330

“Our tenet ever was… that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated, and that, as it was never meant that they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money.” —Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1817.

“I hope our courts will never countenance the sweeping pretensions which have been set up under the words ‘general defence and public welfare.’ These words only express the motives which induced the Convention to give to the ordinary legislature certain specified powers which they enumerate, and which they thought might be trusted to the ordinary legislature, and not to give them the unspecified also; or why any specification? They could not be so awkward in language as to mean, as we say, ‘all and some.’ And should this construction prevail, all limits to the federal government are done away.” —Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1815.”

“This phrase,… by a mere grammatical quibble, has countenanced the General Government in a claim of universal power. For in the phrase, ‘to lay taxes, to pay the debts and provide for the general welfare,’ it is a mere question of syntax, whether the two last infinitives are governed by the first or are distinct and coordinate powers; a question unequivocally decided by the exact definition of powers immediately following.” —Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1817.

“Although the power to regulate commerce does not give a power to build piers, wharves, open ports, clear the beds of rivers, dig canals, build warehouses, build manufacturing machines, set up manufactories, cultivate the earth, to all of which the power would go if it went to the first, yet a power to provide and maintain a navy is a power to provide receptacles for it, and places to cover and preserve it.” —Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1802

“While we pursue, then, the construction of the Legislature, that the repairing and erecting lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and piers, is authorized as belonging to the regulation of commerce, we must take care not to go ahead of them and strain the meaning of the terms still further to the clearing out the channels of all the rivers, etc., of the United States. The removing a sunken vessel is not the repairing of a pier.” —Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1803

“[O]ur tenet ever was, and, indeed, it is almost the only landmark which now divides the federalists from the republicans, that Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was never meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money.” (Thomas Jefferson

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” (James Madison, Letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792 Madison 1865

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2011 8:15 PM
Comment #329332

Royal Flush,

Well, that’s only half the story isn’t it. The full story is that there was a real disagreement among the founding fathers as to whether the General Welfare clause was to be interpreted broadly or narrowly. George Washington sided with the Hamiltonian camp arguing for a broad interpretation. Ultimately, the Supreme Court has interpreted the Clause as a broad grant of power. “To date, the Hamiltonian view of the General Welfare Clause predominates in case law.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Welfare_clause

Posted by: Rich at September 15, 2011 8:31 PM
Comment #329334

Adrienne,

Using governmental authority to save the life of the 30 old man with poor decisions does not fit into the idea of general welfare. On the contrary, it is a very much a specific welfare. The only exception I can think of is if this man’s sickness were contagious enough to pose a risk to the general populace.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 15, 2011 8:52 PM
Comment #329336

Sorry about the sloppy HTML, I only meant to bold the word general.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 15, 2011 9:40 PM
Comment #329343

Rich,

You are spot-on (both posts). And yes, it really is only half the story, because the Supreme Court HAS made decisions regarding the general welfare clause.

In 1936 there was the case United States v. Butler. In this case Justice Owen Roberts with his opinion agreed with the Hamiltonian view, claiming that the taxing and spending clause of Article I, section 8 of the Constitution gave power to Congress to spend in areas in which it had not been granted regulatory control directly. The Court decided the power to tax and spend was limited to spending for matters affecting the national, not local, general welfare. And in Robert’s opinion, he claimed that the Supreme Court should always be the final arbiter over what constituted the national welfare. However, in this case the Court ended up striking it down on the grounds of the Tenth Amendment — so the court never did define what they considered to be in the national interest.

Following U.S. v. Butler, the Supreme Court soon rendered another decision which had the effect of altering that previous case. This was in 1937 with Helvering v. Davis. In this case, the court upheld old age benefits that came with the Social Security Act of 1935. Seeing as the hard times of the Great Depression absolutely demanded it (just as they do now), the court took a very broad view of the power of the federal government to tax and spend for the general welfare. With Helvering v. Davis, the Court made it perfectly clear that even though it was within Congress’s power to tax and spend under the general welfare clause, it should be strictly limited to national concerns (not local), and furthermore, that Congress definitely did have the ability and the power to determine exactly which spending should be considered as falling within the general welfare.

Warped,

Yes it does. Health care for people who don’t have any falls under “providing for the general welfare.” And not just due to the risk of widespread contagion. Because the sad and tragic fact is, when people are very sick and in pain they tend to self-medicate with whatever they can lay their hands on — and then go out and interact with the public, drive cars, work, etc. So, not taking care of sick people endangers the general population at large.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2011 11:43 PM
Comment #329344

RF,

Looking forward to when you’ll lay out your side of the “constitutional viewpoint” as you mentioned earlier. Hoping you don’t consider those quotes posted above to be your argument…?

Posted by: Adrienne at September 16, 2011 12:01 AM
Comment #329354
when people are very sick and in pain they tend to self-medicate with whatever they can lay their hands on — and then go out and interact with the public, drive cars, work, etc. So, not taking care of sick people endangers the general population at large.

What a lousy argument. Most “self-medication” is far more expensive than traditional health care; if someone is able to pay money to “self-medicate” than I’m certain they have enough to purchase their own health care.

In any case, it is very tenuous to declare that the externalized costs of a few druggies is greater than the costs of treating our 30 year old man.

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 16, 2011 7:31 AM
Comment #329358

Adrienne,

Warped already explained the difference between general vs specific welfare.

I do like that you put up the definition of welfare.

wel·fare    noun 1. the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; well-being: to look after a child’s welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society.

Preamble:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

In order to form a more perfect union, we must PROMOTE the general welfare OF THE UNION.

Article I, section 8:
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

Congress has the power to tax etc… in order to pay the debts and PROVIDE for the common defense and general welfare OF THE UNITED STATES.

So, going back to the definition, can the government PROVIDE Good fortune? Or Happiness? No, it can’t do that. But it can however PROVIDE Health, Well-being, and Prosperity to the UNITED STATES.

It very clearly lays out that it is the responsiblity of government to care for the needs of the country, not the desires of the individual.

“If people want Life, they’ve got to have health care.”

Not true at all. If people want life, their rights to live that life as they choose, cannot be infringed upon by others. Well, at least in a free society they do.

“what we need is a federally mandated health program that would apply to ALL”

So, what if someone does not wish to be a part of the ALL that you speak of? Do you disregard their rights and beliefs and use government to force them to live how you want them to live?

“as I said earlier: the bigger the pool, the smaller the risk and lower the costs!”

And, as I said before, it is about rights, not costs. Not everybody believes money trumps rights.

“To sum up: If We the People wish America to be a civil and healthy society, we are absolutely beholden to make sure that LIFE is both “promoted” and “provided” for, just as the Constitution mandated.”

Sorry Adrienne, but the founders and the majority of Americans today wish America to be, first and foremost, a free society and we are ‘absolutely beholden’ to protect that freedom.
It worked for some 150+ years and IMO, our slow morphing away from that is why this country is in the sad state it is now.

Posted by: kctim at September 16, 2011 10:06 AM
Comment #329361

Rich
Very well thought out post.

“Now, why that simple principal is so resisted by conservatives amazes me.”

I believe people resist government mandates for two reasons:
(1) they take away freedom of choice.
(2) they lead to more government control over the individual in order to keep costs down.

“No other nation is facing the deficit problems resulting from health care that this nation is facing.”

No other nation was founded on the rights of the individual and the people of other nations do not enjoy all of the freedoms we do. They expect their government to take care of them, while we expect our government to leave us alone.
Their countries are founded on dependency while ours was founded on freedom.

The citizens of every other nation sleep at night, just as government tells them to. They do not worry that they won’t have health insurance tomorrow or that they won’t be able to afford decent health care, but yet, many are dreaming of giving that up and coming to our nation.

Posted by: kctim at September 16, 2011 10:48 AM
Comment #329363

Tim, your argument about “rights” when we’re talking about sick people makes no bloody sense at all to me. Seriously, zero sense. Yet they are stated with an attitude that comes off as incredibly callous and cruel. And the thing about that is, I’m wondering why you would be so intent on completely denying health care to other people? I mean, you’ll always have the free socialized VA health care system that every tax payer gladly pays for military veterans, if worse comes to worse with your own health. So why do you have such a problem with the idea of people being able to buy into the Medicare system in order to get lower-priced health care?

Warped:

What a lousy argument. Most “self-medication” is far more expensive than traditional health care; if someone is able to pay money to “self-medicate” than I’m certain they have enough to purchase their own health care.

In any case, it is very tenuous to declare that the externalized costs of a few druggies is greater than the costs of treating our 30 year old man.

Truly Amazing. I think this response really points up the huge (and growing) gulf between the upper and lower classes in America. I guess you’re completely unaware of this Warped, but people who can’t afford the high premiums of health insurance have been buying up super cheap “no prescription needed” drugs online for many years now. Go google ‘cheap no prescription needed drugs online’ and see how many pages full of options you could choose from.

The fact is, people who can’t afford the high cost of health insurance can and do order practically any kind of drug they want and self-medicate. And btw, you may not realize this but your comments are making you sound like a total snob — using a word like “druggies” when what we’re actually talking about here is people who don’t have health care who are in chronic pain.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 16, 2011 12:25 PM
Comment #329364

Adrienne

That is why you argue against individual rights and I argue for them. I honestly cannot understand why you want others dictating who you must have emotions for, who you must care for and what you must support.
I find it offensive to believe it is ok to dictate what others must believe in and a very ungrateful attitude towards the founders.

“I’m wondering why you would be so intent on completely denying health care to other people?”

You know that is not true at all. I am not intent on denying health care to anybody. I am against infringing on the rights of one in order to pay for others. A person should not be forced not to help anybody no more than a person should be forced to help them.

As I said before, the majority of people have the opportunity to make the same choice I did. They too can choose to sign a contract in order to have access to the VA.
People have no problem with paying for vets because they believe their sacrifices warrant such treatment.
If you do not believe taking care of vets to be apart of the providing and supporting armies, then by all means try and change it.

“So why do you have such a problem with the idea of people being able to buy into the Medicare system in order to get lower-priced health care”

I’m not. I believe every person has the right to choose whatever plan they want or do not want. If you want Medicare for all to be Constitutional and have the support needed, then make it voluntary.
You can buy into medicare for all and support it, and I can choose my own plan and support it. You fund medicare for all and I fund only the plan I choose.
No making people pay for two plans if they want free choice and no increasing taxes on EVERYBODY in order to fund it.
You live with your choice and I will live with my choice.

Posted by: kctim at September 16, 2011 1:23 PM
Comment #329366

kctim:

Congress has the power to tax etc… in order to pay the debts and PROVIDE for the common defense and general welfare OF THE UNITED STATES.
It very clearly lays out that it is the responsiblity of government to care for the needs of the country, not the desires of the individual.

The founders were extremely articulate men, and they would never have used the term ‘general welfare’ within a sentence that began with ‘We The People’ in the Preamble if in reality they were talking about the nation’s infrastructure (although at that time, roads, bridges, canals and the like were often referred to as “public works”).
In fact, the word welfare has ALWAYS been used to refer to the well-being of people — so even if ‘promote the general welfare’ had been used in a grandiose yet basically meaningless sense in the Preamble, they had every opportunity with Article I, section 8 to spell out the fact that they were actually talking about providing for the infrastructure of the new nation.
It could have read:
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare Public Works of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

But that is clearly not what they meant. They were instead referring to the idea that the federal government would ‘provide for the Defense and general Welfare’ of ‘We the People.’

You’re claiming that if this term applies to people that must mean “the desires of the individual,” but they clearly meant ‘the general welfare’ of ‘We the People’ in a broad and collective sense. It’s similar to the motto that appears on the Great Seal: ‘E Pluribus Unum’ - ‘Out Of Many, One.’ Or in other words: We the People, from many states, joined in Union as a single nation.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 16, 2011 2:37 PM
Comment #329367

kctim made the argument well as to the meaning of the General Welfare of the United States.

I wonder why, if the general welfare clause applies to obamacare, it is being defended in the lawsuits under the commerce clause.

Adrienne asks kctim…”So why do you have such a problem with the idea of people being able to buy into the Medicare system in order to get lower-priced health care?”

Adrienne well knows, as do I being on Medicare, that the premiums being charged in payroll taxes and the premiums I pay as a beneficiary are not nearly sufficient to keep it in the black. Medicare is “lower-priced” primarily because it is not charging the premiums needed to sustain it.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2011 3:03 PM
Comment #329370

kctim:

That is why you argue against individual rights and I argue for them.

Libertarians don’t believe in the idea of “We the People” at all. That’s why they’re always pushing their Social Darwinism by using the phrase “individual rights.”

I honestly cannot understand why you want others dictating who you must have emotions for, who you must care for and what you must support.

Again, you don’t understand what I’m saying to you because with Libertarians, it’s always Every Man For Himself.

I find it offensive to believe it is ok to dictate what others must believe in and a very ungrateful attitude towards the founders.

Well, I find it offensive that you don’t understand or believe in the founders concept of ‘We the People.’ And that you feel you have a right to dictate your Every Man For Himself ideology and then erroneously claim it is patriotic and reflective of the Constitution, when it isn’t. Not at all.

I am not intent on denying health care to anybody.

Yes, you are. You wouldn’t be here railing against it if you weren’t.

I am against infringing on the rights of one in order to pay for others. A person should not be forced not to help anybody no more than a person should be forced to help them.

Classic Ayn Rand Objectivism. Humanitarianism and collectivity is for suckers. While Selfishness and Survival of the Richest is raised up as if this represents the height of morality.

As I said before, the majority of people have the opportunity to make the same choice I did. They too can choose to sign a contract in order to have access to the VA.

And to hell with everybody who didn’t make the same choice you did, right? Even if a person’s health would have never have allowed them to get into the military in the first place. You and the choices you made appear to be the only ones that actually matter.

People have no problem with paying for vets because they believe their sacrifices warrant such treatment.

Naturally.

If you do not believe taking care of vets to be apart of the providing and supporting armies, then by all means try and change it.

Of course I believe that we should take care of military veterans with our tax dollars! That’s why I said earlier that people gladly pay for the socialized VA system. But, unlike you I also believe in the idea that the U.S. should ‘provide for the general welfare’ of ‘We the People’ as the Constitution mandates.

I believe every person has the right to choose whatever plan they want or do not want. If you want Medicare for all to be Constitutional and have the support needed, then make it voluntary.

You can buy into medicare for all and support it, and I can choose my own plan and support it. You fund medicare for all and I fund only the plan I choose.
No making people pay for two plans if they want free choice and no increasing taxes on EVERYBODY in order to fund it.
You live with your choice and I will live with my choice.

At the moment there are 50 MILLION Americans who have no health insurance who would simply love to buy into the Medicare system if they could. If such a large pool of people could buy in, the costs could be drastically lowered. Unfortunately, it seems clear that Congress isn’t ever going to allow this — and that’s because too many politicians on the Right and Left have been completely bought off by the health insurance industry, so they turn a blind eye to people’s suffering.

RF,
Aren’t going to make your “constitutional” argument? Okay, whatever.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 16, 2011 3:59 PM
Comment #329373

RF,
Aren’t going to make your “constitutional” argument? Okay, whatever.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 16, 2011

Adrienne, I don’t believe I will continue the debate with someone who can’t understand the English language. To debate successfully you find it necessary to find new meanings to words written and uttered by our founders.

I will ask again, why is obamacare not being defended as meeting the meaning you find in the general welfare clause?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2011 4:30 PM
Comment #329374
Adrienne, I don’t believe I will continue the debate with someone who can’t understand the English language.To debate successfully you find it necessary to find new meanings to words written and uttered by our founders.

Ha ha! Wise move not continuing, RF. Because you never even said what YOU thought the founders meant when they used that term. And that’s because you’ve got nothing. Because there is no other meaning of the word ‘Welfare’ than the definition I already gave you.
If you were at all interested in debating this successfully it was actually up to YOU to provide PROOF that the founders meant that word to mean something other than it had ever meant before, and has never meant again since, the writing of the Constitution. So go ahead and be as snarky as you want, because clearly, you CAN’T provide that proof.

I will ask again, why is obamacare not being defended as meeting the meaning you find in the general welfare clause?

No idea, but then, I don’t know all the details. Seems to me as though it certainly could be defended it from the general welfare clause position — after all, Social Security was.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 16, 2011 4:58 PM
Comment #329375

Adrienne
I agree about the wisdom of the founders and IMO, they knew exactly what they were doing when they used ‘promote the general welfare’ with We the People in the Preamble and ‘provide the general welfare of the United States’ in Article 1, Section 8.

“In fact, the word welfare has ALWAYS been used to refer to the well-being of people”

That is not what the definition you provided says:

wel·fare    noun 1. the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; well-being: to look after a child’s welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society.

It clearly refers to a person, group or organization. If you believe the founders to be so articulate, why is it so hard to believe they were intentionally speaking of promoting for the people and providing for the government?

“they had every opportunity with Article I, section 8 to spell out the fact that they were actually talking about providing for the infrastructure of the new nation.

They did, that is why it says United States instead of the people.
Do you also believe provide common defence for the United States means it is governments job to provide an armed guard for each citizens door, OR does it mean it provides for the common defence of the nation?

“You’re claiming that if this term applies to people that must mean “the desires of the individual,” but they clearly meant ‘the general welfare’ of ‘We the People’ in a broad and collective sense.”

I believe the founders were very wise and that they knew exactly what they intended when they said promote for one and provide for the other.
You mention they could have been detailed and written public works, I say they could have been very specific about what they thought government should provide instead of limiting government the way they did.

Posted by: kctim at September 16, 2011 5:51 PM
Comment #329376

Of course you have “No idea”. Yet, you defend obamacare under the false premise that the welfare clause applies to it. The federal government doesn’t defend it with this clause, but rather, the commerce clause. I hope the Supreme Court throws obamacare into the trash can where it belongs with other unconstitutional attempts to diminish our freedom.

James Madison stated that the “general welfare” clause was not intended to give Congress an open hand “to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.” If by the “general welfare,” the Founding Fathers had meant any and all social, economic, or educational programs Congress wanted to create, there would have been no reason to list specific powers of Congress such as establishing courts and maintaining the armed forces. Those powers would simply have been included in one all-encompassing phrase, to “promote the general welfare.”

It is NOT the government’s business (constitutionally) to “help” individuals in financial difficulty.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2011 5:56 PM
Comment #329378

Adrienne
“At the moment there are 50 MILLION Americans who have no health insurance who would simply love to buy into the Medicare system if they could”

They would also love it it those who say they support would actually show support.
IF the 65 million who voted for the Obama in 2010 all wanted such a plan, why don’t they form a plan and use their own resources to fund it? Instead of expecting everybody else to be forced to fund it for them?

Especially if it really is about helping others.

Posted by: kctim at September 16, 2011 6:00 PM
Comment #329386

kctim:

It clearly refers to a person, group or organization.

Correct. The word welfare applies to PEOPLE. To a person, or a group of people, or an organization of people. In this case it refers to the organized ‘We the People’ of the United States of America.

If you believe the founders to be so articulate, why is it so hard to believe they were intentionally speaking of promoting for the people and providing for the government?

I do believe what they said. In the Preamble they said the job of the U.S. government was to PROMOTE the general welfare (the well-being of ‘We the People’). And in the first paragraph of Article I, section 8 they said Congress must PROVIDE for both the common defense (defense of the land and the People) and general welfare (well-being of the People) of the United States. And how those things were to be PROVIDED FOR was that Congress could lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises.
It’s all very clear.
The only problem that you and RF, and Warped seem to have is that Article I, section 8 fit the founders view, yet that doesn’t happen fit your own political view.

And you know, it’s very telling, because none of you would ever dream of making an issue about collecting taxes for common defense, but when it comes to the PEOPLE? Gasp! Horrors! Suddenly you despise that idea. Money for Killing? Fine and Dandy! Money for the Well-Being of People? NO! You’ll have none of that! When it comes to the general welfare, you think it should be every man for himself.

Horrible, mean-spirited view, IMO.

RF:

Of course you have “No idea”. Yet, you defend obamacare under the false premise that the welfare clause applies to it.

Yes, because the general welfare clause could definitely be applied to it. Just as it was applied to Social Security.

The federal government doesn’t defend it with this clause, but rather, the commerce clause.

I’m assuming there must be a good reason for that. Perhaps it’s because with a Supreme Court majority of Hard Right Activist judges they felt this was the strongest angle to take.

I hope the Supreme Court throws obamacare into the trash can where it belongs with other unconstitutional attempts to diminish our freedom.

What freedom does health care for each and every one of ‘We the People’ diminish?

James Madison stated that the “general welfare” clause was not intended to give Congress an open hand “to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.”

Right. Again, this gets back to what Jefferson said. It was about basic needs (like health care), not a bunch of extravagances (like parks in every neighborhood).

If by the “general welfare,” the Founding Fathers had meant any and all social, economic, or educational programs Congress wanted to create,

Not any and all. General Welfare obviously designates basic and fundamental needs of ‘We the People.’

there would have been no reason to list specific powers of Congress such as establishing courts and maintaining the armed forces. Those powers would simply have been included in one all-encompassing phrase, to “promote the general welfare.”

No, no, no. Each paragraph or sentence within section 8 has to do with a very specific power. The first paragraph in section 8 is about the ability to collect taxes, duties, etc. for the common defense and the general welfare (general well-being of ‘We the People’) of the United States.

It is NOT the government’s business (constitutionally) to “help” individuals in financial difficulty.

Correct. Article I, section 8 is not about helping individuals. It very clearly states that it is the business of the federal government to provide for the general welfare of We the People as a collective group.
Providing Medicare for all our citizens would fall directly into that category.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 16, 2011 7:37 PM
Comment #329388

Adrienne’s comment had me laughing out loud at her poor understanding and reading of our founding documents.

She wrote; “And you know, it’s very telling, because none of you would ever dream of making an issue about collecting taxes for common defense.”

Hmmm…that is one of the purposes clearly stated.

I should have just went with my intention in my post above and ended any conversation with Adrienne on this subject. One can not argue with a person who fails to comprehend words.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2011 8:00 PM
Comment #329389

“Medicare is “lower-priced” primarily because it is not charging the premiums needed to sustain it.”

Royal Flush,

Nonsense, and you should know it. Medicare is a pay-go system and charges lower premiums because it has the lowest administrative and transactional costs of all insurance providers. As a Medicare recipient, you should be aware of the simplicity of the billing and charging system. It is clear and straightforward for both the beneficiary and the provider.

Medicare is also a very large insurer and uses its market share to control costs. It is the only insurer that has been successful in controlling cost escalation.

The problems of Medicare have to do with the problem common to all insurers of health care: skyrocketing health care delivery inflation. Period.

Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2011 8:34 PM
Comment #329390

Royal Flush:

She wrote; “And you know, it’s very telling, because none of you would ever dream of making an issue about collecting taxes for common defense.”

Hmmm…that is one of the purposes clearly stated.

Yes, it is as clearly stated as collecting taxes to provide for the general welfare, but you don’t like that fact — so you’ve tried to claim that the word welfare suddenly has to have a whole new special meaning in the context of the Constitution.
It is ridiculous and laughable.

Obviously it is you who has poor understanding and reading, not just of the Constitution, but of words in general when you don’t happen to like what they actually mean.
You lost, RF.
Buh-bye.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 16, 2011 8:43 PM
Comment #329391

Royal Flush,

You keep quoting some founding fathers that agreed with your narrow interpretation of the Constitutional “General Welfare” clause and declare victory. However, there was an alternative broader interpretation adopted by others involved in the drafting and implementation of the Constitution. How about George Washington? Alexander Hamilton? How about the Supreme Court in decision after decision siding with the broader interpretation?

You may indeed be correct. But, it is not what the Constitutionally designated arbiter has concluded.

Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2011 9:01 PM
Comment #329394

Kctim,

First of all, thanks for the compliment.

When we are talking about Obamacare or the federalization of RomneyCare vs. Medicare, we are mixing apples and oranges. Medicare for all would be similar to SS funded by a tax on all workers to benefit the general welfare of all.

If the Congress had passed a Medicare for all bill with a revised payroll tax, there would be little Constitutional issue. SS has been declared constitutional under the power to tax for the General Welfare. In the pivotal Supreme Court cases, this is what the Supreme Court had to say about the controversy that is being debated in this thread: “Justice Cardozo wrote the opinions in Helvering vs. Davis and Steward Machine. After giving the 1788 dictionary the consideration he thought it deserved, he made clear the Court’s view on the scope of the government’s spending authority: “There have been statesman in our history who have stood for other views…We will not resurrect the contest. It is now settled by decision. The conception of the spending power advocated by Hamilton …has prevailed over that of Madison.” http://www.ssa.gov/history/court.html


Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2011 9:30 PM
Comment #329401

Excellent points all, very interesting discussion. What a double edged sword rights are. With rights as we all know comes responsibilities. Our founding fathers were a varied group and had many different views on how to run the country. What we know for sure is once they actually had to run the country they got rid of the founding documents (Articles of Confederation) and installed the Constitution as the guidelines for running the government.


IMHO people of almost all political perspectives want to defend our rights as individuals and as a nation. We just see these rights different.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 17, 2011 12:53 PM
Comment #329403

Rich,
Just wanted to say, lots of really good comments in this thread!
And that’s a great link you just put up — because there is some great language within Cardozo’s opinion from Helvering v. Davis. You really get the sense that he understood he was writing an opinion that this nation would revisit frequently in the future. Not just because it was written during one of the darkest moments in American history, but because there had always been conservative forces that wanted to deny that the general welfare clause actually meant that Congress had a mandated responsibility to act on behalf of the people in such a way.
That ruling is what makes it so absurd that folks on the right would even bother to try to claim that the general welfare clause isn’t about, and doesn’t apply to people; when the Supreme Court very clearly defined it as such, and at long last, acknowledged that mandate by entering it into settled law.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 17, 2011 1:35 PM
Comment #329405

j2t2 writes; “Excellent points all, very interesting discussion. What a double edged sword rights are. With rights as we all know comes responsibilities.”

Our Declaration of Independence says that Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are unalienable Rights with which we are endowed by our Creator.

The Rights referred to in the DOI cost the individual and nation nothing except the expense to defend them.

Entitlements are not Rights as defined in the DOI. They cost enormous sums of money to be granted, and are not “endowed”. Entitlements are “rights” only so long as some one is found to pay for them. Obama declared as much when he threatened to hold back Social Security checks during the debt limit discussions.

I wonder how the liberals are going to guarantee these entitlements as “rights” when the money is no longer available to pay for them. Can a bankrupt country honor entitlements?

Entitlements, if they are actually “rights” can not be ended or…even diminished. Can one end or diminish our creator endowed “rights” of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? These rights can be denied, but never ended as they do not originate with government, but rather, from our Creator.

Should Adrienne and her band of liberals and progressives ever use the word entitlement, rather than “rights”, perhaps they would not find such disagreement from others.

It is obvious that these liberal so-called “rights” emanated from the FDR mind and found constitutional after threats and congressional flim-flam were employed.

Nothing is ever settled in constitutional law. At any time any Supreme Court can decide what is, and isn’t, within the constitution.

The liberalism of the FDR times is fading and conservatism is rising quickly. I hope to see, within my lifetime, a return to the constitution. That…is the liberal and progressives greatest fear.

The link provided by Rich in the Cardozo case involving Social Security is interesting as it never uses the word “rights” for vindication of the decision.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 17, 2011 3:22 PM
Comment #329413

Royal if the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness are truly unalienable rights originating from our Creator then how come all people in all countries do not have these same rights? Did the Creator just come up with these rights in the late 1700’s whilst previously granting “divine rights” to kings and royalty only? It seems to me that putting the creator responsible for these rights, as our founding fathers did, was the wise thing to do but it seems it was because only kings had these rights previously. Which leads me to wonder why kings lost these rights if they were in fact divine rights?

It seems to me that Americans have these rights because our founding fathers declared these rights to be unalienable and they and others have defended them which is part of the responsibility I speak of.

It seems the creator doesn’t really care so much about rights if we have to defend them and if they apply to only some of the population.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 17, 2011 6:33 PM
Comment #329414

j2t2 is chasing his own tail here. I’ll go with our founders beliefs.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 17, 2011 6:45 PM
Comment #329418

Royal I haven’t said anything that disagree with our founders belief. It seems I have rattled your cage as I chase my tail however.

To think that our founding fathers wanted future generations to be restricted to the rights enumerated in the founding documents is wrong though Royal. It was a starting point not an end all or be all many conservatives seem to think the Constitution is.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 17, 2011 9:11 PM
Comment #329419

“It is obvious that these liberal so-called “rights” emanated from the FDR mind and found constitutional after threats and congressional flim-flam were employed.”

Royal Flush,

I don’t get where you think that liberals think that the misnamed “entitlements” are Constitutional “rights.”

They are legislative enactments under the tax and spending powers for the general welfare. Justice Cardoza never used the term “rights” for SS for a good reason. They are not rights under the Constitution. On that point, we agree. On that point, FDR agreed. However, that doesn’t make them unconstitutional nor does it negate the fact that they are fundamentally necessary requirements, along with education, in a modern industrial society.

Justice Cardoza, writing for the majority, was simply pointing out that taxation and spending for the General Welfare is a legitimate Constitutional exercise of the legislature and is not limited to the other specifically enumerated powers. His point in Helvering was that this broad interpretation was well settled prior to the enactment of SS and encompassed FDR’s SS legislation. That broad interpretation has only been reinforced by the Supreme Court in many subsequent decisions.

“The liberalism of the FDR times is fading and conservatism is rising quickly.”

Well, go for it. Try to dismantle SS and Medicare. My prediction is that you will find that the Tea Party will quickly gravitate to the liberal side of the aisle as such plans become more apparent. There is a reason that they are called the “third rail” of politics.

Posted by: Rich at September 17, 2011 9:34 PM
Comment #329427

“To think that our founding fathers wanted future generations to be restricted to the rights enumerated in the founding documents is wrong though Royal.”

Many are in fact, confusing “rights” with “entitlements”. If you are talking about laws, they too are different than “rights”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 18, 2011 2:09 PM
Comment #329445

“If you are talking about laws, they too are different than “rights”.

I have no idea what your point is. Nobody is claiming that SS and Medicare are Constitutional rights.

Posted by: Rich at September 18, 2011 9:04 PM
Comment #329457

Rich

“Medicare for all would be similar to SS funded by a tax on all workers to benefit the general welfare of all.”

Why do leftists believe it is they who gets to define what benefits everybody and what the general welfare of all is?
Millions of people such as myself believe keeping our individual rights benefits the people most and that the general welfare of all is dependent on that. How does taking away my freedom of choice and forcing me to lower my way of life in order to benefit the life of another, benefit me in any way? How can I work so as not to be a burden on society when society is doing everything it can so that I am a burden on society?

I am familiar with how social security was forced upon the people and how people fought against it just as they are ‘free’ health care for all today. It was a sad day for this country and its future when the court decided to make us a country of dependents.

I have no doubt that they will once again rule against the rights of the people and that ‘free’ health care for all will become law in the next 10-20 years. I used to think I would be long dead, thankfully, before such a disgrace would happen, but the rule by emotion instead of rights has went into express mode.

Posted by: kctim at September 19, 2011 10:19 AM
Comment #329461

Adrienne

The problem we have is that we do not see government as an all encompassing power that is responsible for every aspect of our individual lives. We understand the difference between general and detailed, promote and provide, and why the founders placed the limitations on government that they did.

We will just have to agree to disagree on whether government should control our lives or not.

“And you know, it’s very telling, because none of you would ever dream of making an issue about collecting taxes for common defense”

I bet we would if you applied the same logic to it as you do with general welfare and lobbied putting an armed guard at every doorway.
The only thing very telling is that providing for armies is clearly outlined in the Constitution, while controlling the day to day life of We the People is not.

“but when it comes to the PEOPLE? Gasp! Horrors! Suddenly you despise that idea. Money for Killing? Fine and Dandy! Money for the Well-Being of People? NO! You’ll have none of that!

Sorry, but I believe in rights, not emotions, so gasping does not affect me in the least. Less gasping and more helping would help alot more people than trying to force me to put emotions before rights, does.

“When it comes to the general welfare, you think it should be every man for himself.”

At least I am honest about it and am consistent in my views on rights. You will never catch me telling somebody that I care but it is somebody else’s duty to help them. And you will never catch me picking and choosing when one’s freedom of choice is allowed or not.

“Horrible, mean-spirited view, IMO”

You are entilted to your opinion. For me personally, I think denying people their rights, is horrible and mean-spirited.

Posted by: kctim at September 19, 2011 10:55 AM
Comment #329463

J2

“To think that our founding fathers wanted future generations to be restricted to the rights enumerated in the founding documents is wrong though Royal. It was a starting point not an end all or be all many conservatives seem to think the Constitution is”

I agree J2, and they gave us a way to change things. Tell me, do you think there would be so much objection and outrage IF we would just follow that process and make such mandates against individual freedoms, Constitutional Amendments? Why did leftists take the back door on social security? Why are they trying to do it again with universal government health care?
Why not let the people decide on if they wish to give up their rights or not?

Posted by: kctim at September 19, 2011 11:04 AM
Comment #329481

I have no idea what your point is. Nobody is claiming that SS and Medicare are Constitutional rights.

Posted by: Rich at September 18, 2011

Rich, when are rights not constitutional? When one speaks of rights, are they not always referring to those written into our founding documents? Entitlements…that’s another animal. Many on WB refer to these entitlements as “rights”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2011 4:17 PM
Comment #329495

“I am familiar with how social security was forced upon the people and how people fought against it just as they are ‘free’ health care for all today.”

Kctim,

Come on! Nobody is talking about free health care for all or free pensions. Medicare and SS are basically pay-go systems funded by payroll taxes. People don’t get it for free. You pay into the system to get it.

If people actually thought that SS was “forced” upon them against their will, they certainly have had the opportunity in the decades since its passage to repeal it. If people thought that Medicare was a reduction in their standard of health care and a bad deal, they would be petitioning for its repeal. But, that isn’t the case. There is overwhelming support for both SS and Medicare not simply by beneficiaries but by the general population.

Posted by: Rich at September 19, 2011 6:17 PM
Comment #329504

“Why did leftists take the back door on social security? Why are they trying to do it again with universal government health care?”

Kctim,

They didn’t take the back door. They enacted legislation which the Supreme Court found Constitutional. It isn’t a Constitutional right. The government has not become Constitutionally obligated to pay someone a pension just because they are a US citizen. If a sufficient number of legislators decided to scrap SS, they are free to do so.

With regard to universal health care, “leftists” are not trying to create some new “Constitutional” right. They are appealing to the common and business sense of Americans to recognize that single payer systems, hybrids of that concept or even direct government provision of health care is a more efficient and cost effective way of financing a health care system with equal or better quality for all Americans. Just look at what our overall long term deficit position would be if we adopted any one of the health care financing systems used by other developed nations. http://www.cepr.net/calculators/hc/hc-calculator.html

It is frequently assumed by conservatives that a universal health care financing system would involve too much federal control and dramatically reduce our freedom of choice and quality as to doctors, procedures, etc. But, that is not true. The Canadian system is a good example. The system is actually operated at the provincial level not at the federal level. It is a decentralized system allowing each province to tailor the system to the needs of its citizens and supplement the system with fees or local taxes. The actual delivery system is privately operated with full freedom of choice as to doctors, hospitals, etc. which, by the way, meet the same accreditation standards as US physicians and hospitals. The only real differences, from a delivery perspective, are that Canadians spend about half per capita on health care vs. the US and everybody is covered.


Posted by: Rich at September 19, 2011 7:10 PM
Comment #329507

Royal Flush,

Education is not a Constitutional right. But, publicly supported education has been long accepted by the citizens of the US as a universal need for all its citizens. Government support of education for all is not even questioned as a legitimate funding objective of government.

There are innumerable other examples of government expenditures on universal needs not found in the Constitution as “rights.” The fact that the provision of these services aren’t enumerated in the Constitution as “rights” does not make them illegitimate functions of government. There was a reason that the founding fathers authorized the legislature to tax and spend for the General Welfare. They wisely understood that they couldn’t foresee all needs of the citizenry in the future. That broad interpretation of the “General Welfare” clause has been confirmed in numerous Supreme Court decisions.

Posted by: Rich at September 19, 2011 7:45 PM
Comment #329529

Rich
“Come on! Nobody is talking about free health care for all or free pensions. Medicare and SS are basically pay-go systems funded by payroll taxes. People don’t get it for free. You pay into the system to get it”

I should have put quotes around “free,” as in people thinking it is “free” because they do not pay for it at the point of return.

Does a person have a choice on whether to pay into social security or medicare? No, they do not. It is forced compliance whether you love it or hate it.

And of course there is overwhelming support, people have been made dependent on them.

Posted by: kctim at September 20, 2011 9:12 AM
Comment #329538

Rich

Government must take away individual rights and force compliance in order for SS to work. Because of this, a favorable court was needed in order to usher in a new way of thinking that has now become the norm.
They took the back door because they knew the people might not vote to give up their rights. They took the back door because they took away the choice of the people.

Sorry Rich, but the leftists have already attempted to convince people that they are the only answer and they failed. Because of this, we now hear how health care is a right and that it is governments job to provide it for everybody.

The leftists appeal to only their own personal views of common and business sense, which are based on emotions, and with total disregard for differing views and beliefs.
They place the almighty dollar and personal feelings ahead of the rights of others. Their preaching of direct government only applies to the things THEY believe.

Millions of Americans do not believe costs trump rights, so claims of how much money could be saved by giving up those rights, are pointless.
The principles of our nations founding, our rights, our freedoms, our geography, and our success, make us unlike any other develeoped country and the quest to make us just like them will eventually be the downfall of our country.

Who controls what doctor a patient can see in Canada? Who controls what the doctor is paid? Who controls what the patients pay? Who controls who pays for health care? Who controls what procedures a patient is eligable for?

The answer to all of these is government. Yes, a person can “choose” which doctor they see, but the doctors to choose from are controlled by the government. With a private plan, one is able to actually choose the doctor, hospital and plan of THEIR choice.
The amount of what the doctor is paid is controlled by the entity who pays the bill. Not what the doctor believes his skills to be worth.
The amount the patient pays is also controlled by who pays the bills. The more expensive the program is, the higher the taxes are to pay for it. Taxes for these types of programs never go away or lower, they always rise, and once the people are dependent on the program, there is no choice to find a better plan.
Doctors who must keep costs low will determine what procedures and medications are ‘needed.’ Government controls costs.

Do the Canadian people have the choice on whether to contribute to the health care plan or not? Do they have the choice to use an outside doctor and NOT pay for health care twice? Do provinces have the choice to offer ‘health care for all’ or not offer it?

The answer to all of these is NO. They have no choice in whether they wish to pay for health care or not. They pay into the system and IF they wish to go outside for better health care, they must also pay for that. The vast majority of people cannot afford to pay for two health care plans.

The actual delivery system may be privately managed, but it is operated according to controls and rules that are set and paid for by the government.

Posted by: kctim at September 20, 2011 11:03 AM
Comment #329541

“The answer to all of these is government. Yes, a person can “choose” which doctor they see, but the doctors to choose from are controlled by the government. With a private plan, one is able to actually choose the doctor, hospital and plan of THEIR choice.”

Nonsense, kctim. The doctors aren’t controlled by the government anymore than they are in the US. Certainly, there are licensing and accreditation standards. But, the government doesn’t choose which doctors or hospitals are in the plan or not. They are all in the plan. That is in contrast to private plans which do control which doctors and hospitals a plan participant can choose.

Posted by: Rich at September 20, 2011 11:15 AM
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