No, It's Not a Messaging Problem

The real trouble with ObamaCare

The White House says it has a "messaging" problem when it comes to health care reform—as in a "you're-not-buying-our-message" problem. And this week's news, to say the least, was no help.

You'll remember that one of the most common and potent rationales for passing reform was the claim that insurance companies routinely deny coverage to innocent Americans with pre-existing conditions.

ObamaCare features a $5 billion program designed to stem this profit-ridden epidemic. And to ensure vibrant participation—by both those legitimately in need and those who couldn't quite grasp the theory behind "insurance"—65 percent of premiums are subsidized by taxpayers.

But as The Wall Street Journal reported this week, even with generous inducements, since July only 8,000 people—rather than the White House's projected 375,000—have signed up for a national program that is theoretically going to add another 400,000 citizens in each upcoming year.

Perhaps advocates confused their own dismal view of American ingenuity with reality. But I'm not worried. If this administration excels at anything, it's giving away stuff. No messaging problem there. And the Department of Health and Human Services has promised to cut premiums by 20 percent more and enhance benefits to encourage enrollment.

In other words, we have another $5 billion relentlessly searching for a problem.

You'll also remember that President Barack Obama promised ObamaCare was going to immediately alleviate some of the pain of rising premiums for businesses. This week, we learned that 111 waivers had already been granted by the administration to those threatening to drop coverage for tens of thousands of employees they can no longer afford to cover. Others across the country, such as AARP (sweet schadenfreude) and Boeing, were forced to raise their premiums, in part because of ObamaCare.

Sixteen of the waivers, you won't be surprised to learn, were granted to union-based plans, which confirms that the sleaze-addled bill became a sleaze-addled law. Why, after all, should a few chosen companies be granted dispensation while others subsidize them?

The administration argues that these waivers are necessary only until reform takes effect in 2014, at which time workers will enjoy a wide range of approved options. Now, clearly anyone gullible enough to believe that a giant invasive regulatory scheme is going to spur competition and choice is already working for the administration. But even if we were to suspend our disbelief, how does any of that comport with the president's claim that we can all keep our insurance if we like it? (Answer: not well.)

Let's add this news to other iffy rationales for passage. Once we remove illegal immigrants, those who can afford insurance but choose not to buy, and those eligible for other government programs, that amazing 30 million to 50 million of "uninsured" becomes a more manageable 9 million.

Remember, despite the incessant complaints about our flawed system, once experts such as Dr. Scott Atlas at Stanford's Hoover Institution removed inputs that had nothing to do with care, the U.S. led the world in life expectancy and in almost every survival rate.

So even before we touch on cost, the long-term effects, rationing, the way the bill was passed, or the constitutionality of reform, the very justifications for passage suffer from a serious "messaging" problem.

Then again, when your messaging problem is really just an honesty problem, it's not going to get any easier.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

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  • Quiet Desperation||

    Good morning, Reason!

    Hey, Suki does it.

  • ||

    And if Suki jumped off a bridge ?

  • Old Mexican||

    Then it's bye-bye Suki.

  • Pedant||

    That depends on the bridge.

  • Old Mexican||

    Why? Can't I wave bye-bye to him as he falls no matter which bridge?

  • Realist||

    Not if it's a bridge too far!

  • Quiet Desperation||

    Uh, I'd watch? Sorry, mom.

  • ||

    That's right. They haven't come up with the correct set of lies to deceive us into believing this bill isn't and won't be an unmitigated disaster.

  • ||

    Nancy: You'll love it when you find out what's in it.

    Me: I've seen it and I hate it.

    Nancy: Then you're stupid.

  • 2cents||

    or maybe just evil!

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    I don't need to read this. Complaining about bad "messaging" when you've had the press corps fellating you since the 2004 Democratic convention is loser talk. It's like blaming the refs for a 2-14 record. Yeah, maybe a bad call cost you a game or two, but you don't sport that kind of record unless you stink on ice.

  • ||

    Did you even see that pass interference call that went against us in Week 3?

    Or the phantom "holding" call that negated a touchdown in Week 6?

    And how could they have missed what was an obvious clip on the other team's kickoff return for a TD in Week 10?

    If we get any of those calls, we're clearly a 10-6 team at least.

  • ||

    Obama is not bowl-eligible...

  • ||

    There is always the toilet bowl.

  • ||

    Until the EPA rules that toilets waste water and thus constitute a threat to human health. Back to the outhouse era for you.

    Except for political office-holders, who need to be especially clean down there while doing all the important functions of state, and whose small numbers will not result in much wasted water.

  • ||

    The local liberals who write letters to the editor have been hitting the theme that Obama's problems were caused by Republican intransigence. He tried, oh he tried, to work with the Repubs, but they frustrated him at every turn.

    So...the public doesn't understand Obama's monumental achievements due to his failure to communicate, while at the same time his failure to achieve is due to Republicans.

    Cognitive dissonance? No problem. Anyway you look at it, not his fault.

  • ||

    Democracy is hard!

  • Realist||

    When everybody can vote everybody loses.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The local liberals who write letters to the editor have been hitting the theme that Obama's problems were caused by Republican intransigence.

    And why wouldn't they--that's been the main complaint from His Clean And Articulate Elegantness, too.

    Considering the possibility that this is a failure of leadership and not presentation isn't even on the radar, because it doesn't allow the chance to do what Team Blue does best--bitch that Team Red isn't doing enough.

    The bottom line--leaders lead, posers whine about what the other guys are doing.

  • Realist||

    The problem with everything Obama does is it is done by a fucking idiot!

  • Jason||

    You damn well know that the only reason liberal problems fail is because of Republican wreckers and saboteurs.

  • Cecil||

    alt text - "Hey, Macarena!"

  • Tony||

    Remember, despite the incessant complaints about our flawed system, once experts such as Dr. Scott Atlas at Stanford's Hoover Institution removed inputs that had nothing to do with care, the U.S. led the world in life expectancy and in almost every survival rate.

    Ah, Dr. Scott Atlas. Of the Hoover Institution, statistical cherry picker extraordinaire.

    Tens of millions of people without access to healthcare is a problem.

  • Cecil||

    Everybody has 'access'. You just want it to be paid for by someone else.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Tens of millions of people without access to healthcare is a problem.

    In other news: Leftists like to equivocate.

    Tony, they HAVE access to healthcare. What they may not have is INSURANCE. It is NOT the same thing.

  • Tony||

    What do you mean? They can go to an emergency room and have their healthcare costs socialized that way, except it's more expensive because they didn't have preventive care? And that's better?

  • ||

    Tony is not bowl-eligible, either...

  • ||

    Arguing with you is like trying to nail Jello to a wall. With the banana inside.

  • Pip||

    You know what, dipshit. When MassCare went into effect, that claim was made as well, but last night on the PBS News Hour, we learned that after MassCare went into effect, Emergency Room visits went up 40%.

    I'll go fetch the clip from last night's show.

  • Pip||

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/video/

    14th video down. Watch it cunt. And NEVER spout that bullshit talking point AGAIN!

  • Tony||

    I am not defending MassCare, or Obamacare. The only system I'm defending thus far is a theoretical one.

  • Pip||

    Your theories are shit. Runny, stinky shit.

  • Pip||

    BTW, I'm chowing down on som awesome Indian food right now.

  • Zeke Hyle||

    "Socialized medicine will lower costs!"

    "But MassCare and ObamaCare are socialized medicine, and they pretty demonstrably raise costs."

    "But those aren't true socialized medicine!"

  • Pip||

    Here's another source:

    The number of people visiting hospital emergency rooms has climbed in Massachusetts, despite the enactment of nearly universal health insurance that some hoped would reduce expensive emergency department use.

    http://www.boston.com/news/loc.....w_in_mass/

  • ||

    In Tennessee it was already proven that it wasn't the uninsured that abused the emergency rooms, it was people who actually were covered by our state version of Medicaid - TennCare.

  • Tony||

    That's plausible, and if it's true, it makes my point stronger. The uninsured just dying early is even worse than ER abuse.'

  • "Tony"||

    "You logically dismantled my fallacious argument, but that just makes my argument stronger because fuck you!"

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    What do you mean? They can go to an emergency room and have their healthcare costs socialized that way, except it's more expensive because they didn't have preventive care? And that's better?

    I didn't say it was better. I merely pointed out your lie. That's all.

  • cynical||

    Better or worse, your comment about "access" was bullshit.

  • ||

    Yes Tony because socialized medicine is going to go a long ways towards keeping Americans from shooting each other or coming from ethnic groups with genetic predisposition towards diseases like diabetes.

    If your side would stop lying and being intentionally stupid, people might start listening to you. But of course if you did that, you might have to stop lying to yourselves and reexamine your views. And we wouldn't want that would we?

  • Tony||

    Yet again, the "America is shit" defense of the status quo.

    But you're right John as long as we pretend poor black people don't exist in this country, our stats might look relatively good.

  • Cecil||

    Why do you hate poor white people? Don't they also deserve to have their helth care paid for by someone else?

  • Tony||

    My premise is that every human being has a right to quality healthcare.

    That is no more arbitrary than saying they have a right to armed defense.

    And it's a hell of a lot more convincing than saying millionaires have a right to 5% more income in lieu of universal healthcare.

  • ||

    So you're going to start paying for my guns? Sweet!

  • Realist||

    I'd like some free guns also!

  • Cecil||

    No one has a right to someone else's paycheck, Tony you dipshit.

  • Tony||

    So what you're saying Cecil is there is no right to taxation. Or just no right to taxation to pay for programs you don't like, is that it?

  • Cecil||

    There's a right to taxation? People have rights, governments exercise powers. Are you for real? And also, ROADS!

  • Tony||

    People have rights, governments exercise powers.

    Blah blah blah. Whatever. Let's take this country. The constitution grants the federal government the power to tax. Is that different from a right to tax? Who the fuck cares? Do you believe that it should not have this power? Because that's what you seem to be implying with your 'paycheck' remark.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The government doesn't have rights Tony. It has powers. Powers derived from the people which the people may alter or remove.

    The People= Principal.

    The Government=Agent.

  • Mike M.||

    My premise is that every human being has a right to quality healthcare.

    Unless you're really old, and then your fate resides with the Death Panel.

  • sarcasmic||

    "My premise is that every human being has a right to quality healthcare.

    That is no more arbitrary than saying they have a right to armed defense."

    Do you understand the difference between positive rights and negative rights?

    Didn't think so.

    A positive right is a right that puts an obligation on someone else.
    For example your claim to a right to quality health care requires someone else be forced to pay for it.
    A positive right requires legislation and force to exist.

    A negative right requires only that others do nothing.
    For example my right to self defense requires no action from anyone else.
    A negative right exists in the absence of legislation and force.

    The only thing that positive and negative rights have in common is the word "right".
    Which, IMHO, is wrong.

  • Cecil||

    But, according to Tony, there's a right to taxation, which means the government can just confiscate as much of your paycheck as it desires in order to force you to pay for whatever Tony thinks is good, with no limitations.

  • Tony||

    sarcasmic,

    By armed self defense I was referring to that of the country, i.e., the armed forces. That's as much a positive right as healthcare, is it not? Or do you not believe we should have armed forces?

    I don't believe the distinction you make is very useful. All 'negative' rights require protection, and thus positive action.

  • sarcasmic||

    "All 'negative' rights require protection, and thus positive action."

    Protection from whom?

  • Tony||

    Protection from whom?

    Anyone who might violate them. How much are your private property rights worth if there are no cops?

  • sarcasmic||

    *deep breath*

    You said that negative rights need protection.
    I was not talking about property rights. You are attempting to dodge the question by changing the subject.

    From whom do rights such as the right to bear arms or the right to speak one's mind need protection?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    How much are your private property rights worth if there are no cops?

    Shorter Tony--"EVERYTHING WAS CHAOS BEFORE 1910! HOW DARE YOU ASK ME TO LIVE IN THE HOBBESIAN NIGHTMARE OF 1890S AMERICA!"

  • Realist||

    "Anyone who might violate them. How much are your private property rights worth if there are no cops?" Anybodies life who trys to take them!

  • Realist||

    should be tries....

  • sarcasmic||

    "By armed self defense I was referring to that of the country, i.e., the armed forces. That's as much a positive right as healthcare, is it not?"

    Not at all. A military for the purpose of defending the country is different from an individual carrying a weapon for self protection only on a matter of scale.
    That and it is a legitimate function of government specifically mentioned in the Constitution.

    The right to use the government to force other people to pay your hospital bill is not.

  • Tony||

    That and it is a legitimate function of government specifically mentioned in the Constitution.

    The right to use the government to force other people to pay your hospital bill is not.
    reply to this

    Not good enough. Forget the constitution. It's not a magical document. If you make the claim that positive rights that require money to establish (and armed defense takes a LOT of money) are illegitimate, then you have to be against defense. Don't hide behind the constitution. It's not a libertarian document.

    But if you insist... let's say Obamacare makes its way through the courts and is eventually found to be 100% constitutional. Is it okay then?

  • sarcasmic||

    "(and armed defense takes a LOT of money)"

    Wrong. Armed offense takes a LOT of money.
    We could effectively defend the country for a tiny fraction of what is spent on "defense".

    "let's say Obamacare makes its way through the courts and is eventually found to be 100% constitutional."

    "Found" to be constitutional?
    Don't you mean declared?

    80% of our federal government is in violation of the constitution, though the courts have declared it to be otherwise.

  • Tony||

    80% of our federal government is in violation of the constitution, though the courts have declared it to be otherwise.

    How is something constitutional or unconstitutional unless the courts have decided the issue? Am I supposed to take your word for it?

  • sarcasmic||

    How is something constitutional or unconstitutional unless the courts have decided the issue? Am I supposed to take your word for it?

    Tony - do you have a mind of your own? Do you know how to use it?

    The constitution is not a complex document. The language is very plain and easy to understand.

    For example the first amendment starts off with the words "Congress shall make no law".
    What does your mind tell you that those five words mean?

    Do they mean "Congress shall make any law it pleases"? That doesn't seem right.

    Do they mean "Congress shall make no law except under certain circumstances not listed and to be determined at a later date by the courts"? That's what the courts have said. That's also lawyerspeak for "Congress shall make any law it pleases".

    Hmmm...

    Do those five words mean "Congress shall make no law"? That is what my mind tells me.

    What does your mind tell you?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Forget the constitution.

    Thanks Tony. Give me your address and leave your door unlocked. I'm coming to take your shit since you have not right to be secure in your person, property, papers and other effects. I may also decide to beat you with an electrical cord while I'm there so if you would lie face down on the ground, that'd be great.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    So if a man (or wise Latina) in a black robe says its okay, then we should all shut up and roll with it?

    Dred Scott will be pleased to hear that.

  • Raymond||

    "Forget the constitution."
    That's all anyone needs to know about Tony.
    Like or not, friend-o (Antoine Chighur voice) you can't get rid of that document.

  • ||

    +1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

  • Pip||

    eat shit, Kroneborge. All of it.

  • ||

    @ pip

    stupid threaded comments, my +10000 was for this

    ""My premise is that every human being has a right to quality healthcare.

    That is no more arbitrary than saying they have a right to armed defense."

    Do you understand the difference between positive rights and negative rights?

    Didn't think so.

    A positive right is a right that puts an obligation on someone else.
    For example your claim to a right to quality health care requires someone else be forced to pay for it.
    A positive right requires legislation and force to exist.

    A negative right requires only that others do nothing.
    For example my right to self defense requires no action from anyone else.
    A negative right exists in the absence of legislation and force.

    The only thing that positive and negative rights have in common is the word "right".
    Which, IMHO, is wrong.
    "

  • sarcasmic||

    Thanks Krone!

  • Realist||

    Sarcasmic! Very good.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "My premise is that every human being has a right to quality healthcare."

    And your premise is wrong.

    That would be an affirmative right.

    And there is no such thing as affirmative rights.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    My premise is that every human being has a right to quality healthcare.

    Considering that in America, "healthcare" can only be provided by a licensed professional (i.e. doctor), are you going to get everyone their own doctor?

  • Matrix||

    The only RIGHTS you can have are something that are natural and cannot be given by some other entity. Free speech and religion... require no outside entity.

    you do not have the right to quality healthcare as if it will just magically appear. If someone is there to provide it, then you can acquire it just like acquiring food or any other commodity. Commodities =/= rights

  • Tony||

    Speech and religion I'll give you. What about the right not to be assaulted? Is that natural? You need to pay for police to secure it. So does no one have a right not to be assaulted?

  • sarcasmic||

    What about the right not to be assaulted? Is that natural? You need to pay for police to secure it.

    Police do not prevent crime. They investigate crime that has already occurred. The only way to secure the right to not be assaulted is to not create legislation designed to prevent people from defending themselves.

  • Tony||

    Police do not prevent crime. They investigate crime that has already occurred.

    They surely prevent crime just by being there. Humans don't tend to be noble creatures in a state of nature.

    The only way to secure the right to not be assaulted is to not create legislation designed to prevent people from defending themselves.

    I'm sure that's comforting to an infant.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    They surely prevent crime just by being there.

    Wrong. If someone has made up their mind to batter you, the only way the cops are going to "prevent" the crime is by directly interjecting themselves (which they have no legal obligation to do as the police do not owe a duty of protection to individuals).

    Humans don't tend to be noble creatures in a state of nature.

    Of course not, which is why self-defense naturally arises out of one's right to life, liberty and property. Despite the mechanisms set up in the interest of civil society, one's natural rights are only as secure as one's ability to defend those rights at the time in which they are violated.

  • Hooha||

    "What about the right not to be assaulted?"

    lol, you even try and turn negative rights into positive ones. As brutal as it sounds, there is no inherant birthright keeping people from attacking you. You DO, however, have the right to defend yourself should someone attempt to do so. As any sane person could tell you, the police have nothing to do with defending yourself.

    It's because of douchebags like you that people go to jail for attacking criminals.

  • Alpheus||

    No, you only need the right to keep and bear arms to secure your right not to be assaulted.

    When seconds count, the police are minutes away!

  • Teve Torbes||

    If you and a doctor are stranded on a desert isle, do you have a "right" to health care? Does the doctor have any say in the matter?

  • Tony||

    If you and a doctor are stranded on a desert isle, do you have a "right" to health care? Does the doctor have any say in the matter?

    That's not quite what I'd call the advanced civilization required in order to secure a right to healthcare.

  • "Tony"||

    "Well shit, my argument falls apart when you put it like that..."

  • ||

    No it is about having an honest conversation you fucking moron. You can't have that if you don't control the life expectancy statistics for things that have nothing to do with the health care system.

    You won't do that because when you do control for those factors, it turns out that the socialized medical systems of Europe look worse. If you want to have an honest conversation, deal with the facts instead of screaming racism. But if you could do that, you wouldn't be a liberal would you?

  • Tony||

    I agree with you John. As long as we take out all of the statistics that make our system look bad, our system would look better.

  • ||

    Jesus, its not the health care systems fault, or rich peoples fault, that certain people are genetically predetermined to a certain problem. So how is not including that being honest?

  • Tony||

    Well if you say we have more vehicular deaths than other countries, and it affects our statistics, that may not be related to our healthcare system, but I'm still gonna call for more government regulation of cars.

    I just don't buy this bullshit about how America is this shithole with massive problems, therefore our healthcare system is great. It's not great, comparatively, by a lot of measures, and pointless distractions about diabetes rates in minorities won't change that.

  • Brian R||

    But what you're actually saying is that we have more vehicular deaths, and therefore we need socialized ambulances. Which is ridiculous.

    Since we're dealing in hypotheticals, if Americans hypothetically liked to eat unhealthy foods, drink a lot, smoke, and sit around watching TV instead of exercising, what's your solution? Thus far it's been "socialized medicine", but would you instead like to regulate food, alcohol and TV?

  • Tony||

    if Americans hypothetically liked to eat unhealthy foods, drink a lot, smoke, and sit around watching TV instead of exercising, what's your solution?

    Hypothetically my solution would be for government researchers to figure out why these things are so, and policymakers to figure out whether it's a problem they have any business trying to solve, and if so what they can do about it.

    A policy doesn't have to reduce freedom. For example, in this hypothetical America, let's say there are hypothetical big fat subsidies for industries that stuff everyone with, let's say, mass-produced corn products. And perhaps indolence is encouraged by lax school athletic programs or an infrastructure based on cars rather than mass transit. These things are all choices government makes one way or the other, and policy can be made for these hypothetical problems.

  • ||

    It seems to me that the shit food subsidies and lax school athletic programs are problems of government doing too much. Maybe if they stopped the above policies, the problems would fix them selves. Good food would be readily available at good prices because it would not have to compete with subsidized food that can't fail. And with school choice, parents would have a choice to send their children to a school that teaches them the benefits of regular exercise. I don't think we need "government researchers" to figure this out. We already know this info. Its a matter of having the freedom to pursue it.

  • ||

    Our health care system is not great because of the massive problems, thats not the point thats being made. The point is that you can't use facts that have nothing to do with health care to try and say that health care is terrible. If somebody makes terrible decisions like smoking and gets cancer, thats not a problem with our health care system, thats a problem with life choices. If somebody is a shitty driver and gets in car accidents, thats not a health care issue, thats a poor decision issue. If we have more homicides than other places, thats not a health care issue, thats a crime issue.

  • Brian R||

    I know you're not this dumb. Well, I don't know it, but I strongly suspect it. Quit being intentionally stupid just to make a point.

  • Cecil||

    John, why do you waste your time? I learned some time ago that you can not move someone away from a position using facts and logic when they didn't use facts and logic to arrive at that position in the first place.

  • MNG||

    How in the world would this statement not apply to you as well? Are you going to be convinced by Tony's arguments any more than he by yours?

    Oh, I see, your arguments are good and correct and his are not. Of course he's just being stubborn then not to concede.

    Good grief.

  • Cecil||

    Or, maybe I noticed when John presented factual information that didn't support Tony's argument, Tony's response was basically "neener neener RACISM".

  • Tony||

    John basically said, in squishy language but nonetheless, that if we remove black people from the mix, our health statistics would look better. And I'm the racist? He wants to pretend black people don't exist!

  • Cecil||

    That's not what John said, and I never said you were a racist, you dishonest prick.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Basically Tony thinks that black people have no self control and just shoot each other all the time. Tony thinks black people are animals.

  • ||

    "in squishy language but nonetheless"

    which means you can take someone's actual words, and infer from them, other words and other meanings. No wonder I get so bored with you.

  • Tony||

    John knows perfectly well what he's talking about.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    What about rich black people, Tony? Can we pretend they don't exist?

  • Realist||

    Black people aren't poor because of me! Why do you want me to pay for someone elses problem???

  • Tony||

    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of quality healthcare . . . . .

  • Tony||

    ...and rainbows, and Unicorns!

  • Tony||

    Gay Unicorns!!!!!!

  • ||

    Are there any other kind?

    I'm pretty sure that's why they went extinct :P

  • sarcasmic||

    Along with the lickalotapuss and the megasoreass.

  • Barney The Frank||

    I love to ride Unicorns!

  • Unicorn||

    Yeah, it's a real treat for my neck muscles and I can't fucking see because of you ass cheeks covering my eyes, asshole.

  • Ivan||

    And ROADS!!!

  • Tony||

    Because happiness and not choking to death on your own vomit because you can't afford a private nurse to tip you over have nothing to do with each other.

  • "Tony"||

    "It's not FAIR that some people worked for resources which they then traded for the services of a health consultant, while others who spent every dime they ever stole on drugs and hookers choke on their own vomit!"

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    The PURSUIT of happiness is not happiness itself. Many people fail utterly at life pursuing happiness(myself for example) and that is no one's problem but their own.

  • ||

    And, of course, that means there are hundreds of millions of people with access to advanced medical services.

  • ||

    Not to suggest that millions of people having trouble getting care isn't a concern, but the percentages suggest refinement, not socialism. Open up the markets in insurance and medical services much more, and the costs will come down.

  • kinnath||

    I'm sure that Walmart and Target would put in a few cubicles in a heartbeat so that walk-in customers could consult a nurse practioner for a modest fee. This would handle about 80% of the traffic that goes into a typical family practice office.

    Everyone saves, except the AMA gets fucked in the ass.

  • ||

    I had heard that Walmart had considered doing exactly that sort of thing.

  • kinnath||

    I remember it being discussed. But it hasn't happened. I'm going to guess the reason is regulatory, not business case related.

  • ||

    Yeppers, that's how I remember it, too. The idea of Walmart providing low-cost medical services just horrifies some people. Better that we all end up with something even worse.

  • DLM||

    Better that we all end up with something even worse.

    That costs more.

  • Steve||

    In Ohio, this service is available in some grocery stores.

  • Leftist||

    But that's not FAIIRRRR! Either everyone should have it, or no one can!

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony,
    If two countries have the exact same health care system, but one country has high rates of homicide and vehicle accidents, then that country will have a lower average life expectancy that cannot honestly be blamed on the health care system.
    So to make the comparison an honest reflection of the facts, deaths by homicide and vehicle accidents should not be considered when comparing life expectancy for the purpose of comparing health care systems.
    Right?

    If not please explain.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    You're expecting Tony to argue using government documents and quantitative statistical analysis? He can't even do basic math.

    This is the same guy who argued that he had evidence that GDP had improved, challenged me to provide evidence that it had not (shifting the burden of proof, as is typical with him), then completely failed to deliver once the challenge was met.

    If Tony had been capable of delivering a fact-based, evidence-supported argument, we would have seen it a long time ago.

  • Tony||

    Ugh, fine, here.

  • Realist||

    "Tens of millions of people without access to healthcare is a problem." Not for me. Don't make your problem, my problem!

  • Dirk Diggler||

    I don't know this industry jargon, Y.P., M.P... have you heard the tapes? Have you even heard them?

  • Old Mexican||

    This week, we learned that 111 waivers had already been granted by the administration to those threatening to drop coverage for tens of thousands of employees they can no longer afford to cover.

    Thank you, Jesus! The Lord giveth...!

    Others across the country, such as AARP (sweet schadenfreude) and Boeing, were forced to raise their premiums, in part because of ObamaCare.

    Traitors! How dare you comply with the laws of economics???

  • ||

    I saw Anthony the Weiner (D-NY) on MSNBC this morning.
    He blamed Fox News.

  • Tony||

    Pull my string and out come the same fucking words, time after time after time after time after time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • Cecil||

    Seriously, is Tony a real person, or is someone just sockpuppeting the same idiotic leftist talking points to keep the commentary going?

  • ||

    keep the commentary going ?
    or be teeth achingly boring ?

  • ||

    Yes.

  • Realist||

    Yes.

  • Barney The Frank||

    Anthony and I are buds. I love the "weinner"! It's great in a bun.

  • ||

    Sixteen of the waivers, you won't be surprised to learn, were granted to union-based plans, which confirms that the sleaze-addled bill became a sleaze-addled law.

    16 out of 111 total waivers is only 14%.
    Union membership in the U.S. is about 9%.
    Union workers are insured at a 78% rate versus 51% rate for non-union workers.
    9 x 78/51 = 13.7%
    In other words, 14% of the insured workforce is made up of union worker plans.

    So, you're right, I'm not surprised.

  • ||

    "HR has determined that 40% of your sick days have been taken on Mondays and Fridays. What kind of fools do you think we are that we wouldn't notice this?!"

  • ||

    I don't know what that's from, but that's funny.

  • Tango Mike||

    I first saw that in a Dilbert cartoon a few years back.

  • ||

    took me a minute, but i got it.

  • Realist||

    Big fools!

  • ||

    Also, there's no explanation for how/why this is "sleazy."

    I don't like unions [as they currently exist], but I'm not sure it's fair to assume that 100% of every thing, person, or event related to them is sleazy. And whether or not its fair, it's certainly naive to believe that all readers would think that way.

    I do happen to like freedom of association quite a lot, and I think labor should have the right to extract what it can from whoever is paying for that labor (and vice versa), as a matter of contract law fundamental to a free market.

    The problem (of course) is that the government gets involved and grants union protections, or the union pays congressmen to pass them, or whatever. Which is sleazy insofar as the legislative process is sleazy.

    Ipso facto, ALL bills are sleazy, not just Obamacare. All presidents are sleazy, not just Obama. Ad infinitum.

  • Justin Lancaster||

    I have worked around and have been in a union in the construction industry. I'm sorry but they are the most conniving, cut throat, dirty mother fuckers that you have ever been around period.

  • Brian R||

    Neat math, but you're comparing number of plans to number of people. You would need to look at the number of people in those plans to make any meaningful conclusion. You didn't, so the fact that the numbers come out roughly equal is coincidence. Have you perchance studied numerology or the Bible Code?

  • The American People||

    "The White House (sic) says it has a "messaging" problem when it comes to health care reform"

    Thew Whitehouse does have a messaging problem. They just don't get the message we keep sending them.

  • Tony||

    Once we remove illegal immigrants, those who can afford insurance but choose not to buy, and those eligible for other government programs, that amazing 30 million to 50 million of "uninsured" becomes a more manageable 9 million.

    Even if these numbers are right, what's the upshot? I particularly like the "other government programs" part. We can't have more government programs, you see, because there are already some government programs. Well that's nice. And how do you suppose we "manage" the remaining 9 million? Not a government program, so... what?

    Bottom line: maintain the status quo, and attack every tiny change to it as a socialist bogeyman. That's what the health insurance industry--er freedom--requires of us.

  • DesigNate||

    Fuck the insurance industry. ObamaCare was a golden goose from the Whitehouse to the Industry. If you stopped drinking the Kool-Aid for a minute you'd realize that.

  • Tony||

    But they would have much preferred the prior status quo. One thing liberals have a hard time grasping is that Obama had to get buy-in from the insurance industry, otherwise any proposal would have been DOA as they would have funded a massive advertising campaign against it. (That campaign did eventually come, of course.) We got a fairly weak bill, a moderate change to the status quo, something the industry could tolerate. Yes. So why do you nuts treat it like a giant evil socialist takeover?

  • MNG||

    Cuz Giant Evil Socialist Takeovers sell more AM radio ad time Tony, duh!

  • Obi Wan||

    The stupid is strong with this one.

  • MNG||

    Again, I'm curious what is supposed to be so "stupid" about Tony's comment you respond to here. He made several points: 1. Obama tried to get industry buy-in to head off opposition from that industry which 2. would have killed any proposal and 3. as a result a modest change to the status quo was passed but 4. is being represented as some massive socialization scheme.

    These points may be incorrect, but stupid? You're just arguing like a middle-schooler now.

  • kinnath||

    The mandate for all people to buy insurance is both a massive gift to the insurance industry and a massive socialist takeover. I cannot actually imagine a worse outcome from the legislative process.

  • ||

    "I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit."
    --Han Solo

  • sarcasmic||

    The insurance industry would have preferred the status quo over making it a crime to not give them money?

    Wow! They must be some stupid!

  • Tony||

    Well, it's not technically a crime not to be insured, but I honestly get your point. I am not an Obamacare cheerleader. I hope you're not blaming the insurance mandate on liberals or socialists, though, cuz that's a Republican idea.

  • sarcasmic||

    Being a Republican idea doesn't make it suddenly stop being liberal or socialist.

  • Zeke Hyle||

    or stupid.

  • Pip||

    Eat shit cunt. The Republicans had nothing to do with this shit.

  • Tony||

    Up yours pigfucker. True, Republicans pretended that they hadn't once supported the individual mandate and opted instead for a scorched-earth strategy of calling anything Obama would come up with evil socialism that will kill granny. But that Republican idea of health reform is what we got, no thanks to the Republicans.

  • DLM||

    I hope you're not blaming the insurance mandate on liberals or socialists, though, cuz that's a Republican idea.

    1. I'd be interested to know if there is link to someplace credible to back this up.

    2. Who's idea it was initially is irrelevant in any case. What matter is who passed it.

  • Josef Stalin||

    Re: Tony,

    Well that's nice. And how do you suppose we "manage" the remaining 9 million?

    We used to send them to Siberia, comrade Tony.

  • Can A. Bull||

    Eat the poor and sick....but cook them properly.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Bottom line: maintain the status quo, and attack every tiny change to it as a socialist bogeyman.

    You prefer your bogeymen to be more along deregulatory lines, right?

  • MNG||

    I dunno, I can see the messaging argument if only because I imagine the majority of supporters, opponents and fence-sitters on Obamacare don't know wtf is involved. I think Obama's "messaging" problem is one of legislative strategy. When you pass large "comprehensive" reform "packages" it is very hard to sell and very easy to attack. You just troll through it until you find some aspect that taken apart seems bad, with every aspect you peel off another layer of support. And those peeled off can't be won back over because of some apect they like being cited because they will simply wonder why that aspect was not passed separately.

    Note that the architects of this failed strategy (Pelosi, Reid) are going to get their positions back! Now that's a WTF every one who leans Dem should ask...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I can see the messaging argument if only because I imagine the majority of supporters, opponents and fence-sitters on Obamacare don't know wtf is involved.

    Ya think???

    I think Obama's "messaging" problem is one of legislative strategy. When you pass large "comprehensive" reform "packages" it is very hard to sell and very easy to attack.

    Especially when only one side wants it so badly and wants the OTHER side to pay for it.

    You just troll through it until you find some aspect that taken apart seems bad, with every aspect you peel off another layer of support. And those peeled off can't be won back over because of some a[s]pect they like being cited because they will simply wonder why that aspect was not passed separately.

    Kind of like poking a dead cat with a stick, MNG... sooner or later you will puncture the skin, and then . . .

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I dunno, I can see the messaging argument if only because I imagine the majority of supporters, opponents and fence-sitters on Obamacare don't know wtf is involved.

    You mean we passed the bill but still don't know what's in it?

    Nancy Pelosi, report to the principal's office.

  • DLM||

    The larger and more complex a piece of legislation is, the more likely you are to be right when you identify it as a complete piece of crap.

  • MNG||

    There's a couple questions here. Some have to do with basic notions of what people deserve from one another. I don't think any recitation of "logic" and/or "facts" is or should move people in this area. Some people think taking anything from anyone to help another is immoral, and other people think it can be moral. What "fact" or "logic" is going to change this?

    Other questions, such as "what would lower health care costs" or "what would provide people with more and better coverage" are imo amenable to facts/logic, as long as people are clear in what they mean by certain terms. Of course then the problem is that since the world is a complex place there will be conflicting experts, data analysis and statistics.

    One thing I cannot stand though is when someone, especially someone who represents a clearly minority position, acts like everyone who disagrees with them is crazy, evil or arguing in bad faith. Such people just want to revel in their Gnostic minority I guess, a truly foolish stance in any democracy.

  • Cecil||

    "Some people think taking anything from anyone to help another is immoral, and other people think it can be moral. What "fact" or "logic" is going to change this?"

    Agreed - some people think initiating force against others is wrong, some are just fine with it.

  • MNG||

    Sigh, yes some people think there at times are worse outcomes than the initiation of force...

  • Cecil||

    Sigh, yes, some people are amoral idiots who have no respect for property rights or any other rights of individuals.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Some people think taking anything from anyone to help another is immoral, and other people think it can be moral [to take something that does not belong to them]. What "fact" or "logic" is going to change this?

    My two friends - Smith, and Wesson. They can change someone's perception of what they can "take" by force.

  • MNG||

    My goodness, does the King of Begging the Question Claims not see the question begging in his comment:

    "think it can be moral [to take something that does not belong to them]."

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    It was YOUR comment, MNG. YOU made it - I merely placed a clarification between the square quotes.

    See your comment? "Some people think taking anything from anyone to help another is immoral, and other people think it [meaning, taking anything from anyone] can be moral." Then YOU asked: "What 'fact' or 'logic' is going to change this?"

    My reply to you is: I have two friends who can change this perception about taking something.

    Why are YOU giving ME a hard time when it was YOUR comment all along? YOU made that comment, not I. By the way, "taking" does not mean "exchanging for" or "being given by the possessor voluntarily" - it MEANS "TAKING," as in "NABBING," "GRABBING," "SNATCHING." That's why I clarified your comment by saying [taking something that does NOT belong to them] as that is implied when saying "taking anything from anyone"

    And I am the one whose second language is English . . . sheesh.

  • Tony||

    Poodles = stealing. Ergo, poodles are bad.

    I've made an OM argument.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    My premise is that every human being has a right to quality healthcare.

    You mean for free. No refusal. Doctors are thereby slaves.

    That is no more arbitrary than saying they have a right to armed defense.

    BOTH assertions are arbitrary.

    And it's a hell of a lot more convincing than saying millionaires have a right to 5% more income in lieu of universal healthcare.

    But that 5% [of their income, I presume you mean] is already THEIRS. So you'r saying THEY don't have a right to what they already HAVE? Now, THAT'S arbitrary.

  • Tony||

    You mean for free. No refusal. Doctors are thereby slaves.

    From the modern Hippocratic Oath:

    "I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm."

    Doctors, by your definition, are slaves according to their own honor code.

    I simply think that universal access to adequate healthcare is a more moral (not to mention more efficient) system than healthcare access being wealth-dependent. If you were truly consistent in your worldview, you'd have to say that access to life-saving treatment should be totally a matter of whether you can pay for it. That the lives of people with money matter more than the loves of people without it. You can try to claim the moral high ground with this, but I'm not gonna let you keep it.

    BOTH assertions are arbitrary.

    The one thing you've ever said that I agree with, I think. There is no stone on which it is etched which government programs are righteous and which are evil. It's something people have to figure out for themselves. So I take it you feel the existence of the armed forces is a great affront to individual freedom?

    But that 5% [of their income, I presume you mean] is already THEIRS. So you'r saying THEY don't have a right to what they already HAVE? Now, THAT'S arbitrary.

    It's not theirs if by statute it belongs to the Treasury. But, again, you're someone who doesn't believe any taxes are justified (correct me if I'm wrong), so we're sort of at a fundamental philosophical impasse.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Doctors, by your definition, are slaves according to their own honor code.

    Ohhh, nice argument there, Tony. Medical doctors go through the trouble of learning a highly technical skill only to become slaves.

    By the way, you totally misrepresent (as always) what the oath means. It just means that one as a doctor will do no harm. That's it.

    "I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm."

    A "special obligation" does not mean "I am your slave," only that as a medical doctor you have a greater responsibility than as a non-doctor towards your fellow man. Not only are you wrong on that one, my friend, you're obscenely wrong, as the statement that YOU placed above is written in PLAIN ENGLISH, and nowhere does it say "I am thereby a slave."

    I simply think that universal access to adequate healthcare is a more moral (not to mention more efficient) system than healthcare access being wealth-dependent.

    It isn't more moral, as the actions to achieve "universal" healthcare are NOT moral. Health care is a scarce good, not a public (i.e. non-scarce) good, which means you would have to TAKE something from SOMEONE in order to GIVE IT to someone else. That cannot be moral.

    It's not theirs if by statute it belongs to the Treasury.

    Don't beg the question. Just because a "statute" says so does not MAKE it so. By "statute", blacks had less rights than whites, at one time. You're just employing a positivist ploy to justfy anything.

    wrong), so we're sort of at a fundamental philosophical impasse.

    No, were not. Relying on dishonesty and fallacy is not philosophy.

  • ||

    Universal access to health care is not more efficient, either.

  • Tony||

    You brought up the term "slave." I don't think doctors are slaves. And I don't think schoolchildren are either, even though they are forced to do a lot of work for no money. I think "slave" has a specific definition.

    Healthcare is a service and it's only as scarce as a society lets it be. Subsidizing it for people who can't afford it is, I believe, a more moral action than letting people hang onto every cent they get their grubby hands on. EVERYTHING government does requires some redistribution of wealth. But you are an anarchist, so the discussion, as I said, is moot.

    By "statute", blacks had less rights than whites, at one time.

    Yeah, and? Were blacks really free, and law just didn't recognize it? Or did non-free blacks really not give a crap about what rights they theoretically should have?

    You cannot live in a civilization and not pay taxes to support it. You live in a society that is governed, you live by its rules, including paying your share for upkeep. That money is no more yours than it is mine unless some commonly agreed-upon framework allows you to make that claim. That framework requires funding.

    If you don't want to pay taxes, find some unclaimed territory and stick a flag in it. Good luck finding some, and once you're there, good luck with plumbing.

  • ||

    I simply think that universal access to adequate healthcare is a more moral (not to mention more efficient) system than healthcare access being wealth-dependent. If you were truly consistent in your worldview, you'd have to say that access to life-saving treatment should be totally a matter of whether you can pay for it.

    It is, and always has been a function of wealth and power, no matter how you pretend it should not be so.

    Note that in both Soviet Russia and Cuba, who have "free universal health care", the nomenkatura have always secured preferred access for themselves. This is true in supposedly "democratic" countries like Canada, where the pols and the rich regularly get bumped to the front of the queue or go to the US for treatment.

    The 'universal access' to quality health care is a myth. It is a destructive myth because it creates incentives for corruption and discourages innovation. This will become especially evident when the health care administrators in the US start refusing to authorize treatments because they are "experimental" or "not cost effective", as regularly happens in Canada already. This will mean that only the rich or well-connected will get the treatments and that the availability of the new treatments will be curtailed as their regular and routine use has to wait approval through the bureaucratic process.

  • DLM||

    This will also mean less use of officially experimental or questionable procedures which will in turn slow down the progress in the development of more advanced procedures.

  • alan||

    FFS OM, why don't you send him a Michael Bolton ringtone instead if you are going to keep whispering sweet nothings in his ear?

  • ||

    It's quite clear that everyone on here is both too dumb, and too racist to get the wisdom of what Obama is trying to do.

    That's ok, eventually the chosen ones light will shine even here.

  • ||

    If you're trying to help our side, please stop.

  • Old Mexican||

    He's being facetious, jcalton... Turn on your sarcasm-o-tron...

  • ||

    ty OM, I thought I made it ovivous enough, perhaps I need to work on my snark.

  • waffles||

    Our side? I'm totally confused what side is our side. The point is the bill is unpopular and that you can't polish a turd. Even the most lefty-liberal among us can't argue that the bill is popular. That would be a lie.

  • ||

    The Mythbusters proved that you CAN polish a turd (provided the turd is from the right creature and thus of optimal consistency).

  • Hooha||

    Crap, first they actually make a lead balloon go over something, now this?! They must be stopped before they ruin ALL the metaphors!

  • ||

    I really wanted to like Obama. I think many of us felt that it would be a refreshing change to have someone in the White House who actually knew the English language and could put two sentences together without getting confused and who was not cavalier about sending people off to kill and die in order to secure his legacy as a great "war president" and who seemed to have some basic understanding of the concept of the rule of law and so on. While I disagreed fundamentally with Obama with respect to the joys of collectivism I had some hope with respect to his appreciation of civil liberties and abuse of federal authority. Turns out Obama is just as bad as Bush in the ways that matter and worse about many things. Bush was, in my opinion, a fairly terrifying guy. Obama is more terrifying precisely because he is brighter.

  • Pip||

    "I think many of us felt that it would be a refreshing change to have someone in the White House who actually knew the English language and could put two sentences together without getting confused"

    Jesus what a useless cunt.

  • Teleprompter of the US||

    "I think many of us felt that it would be a refreshing change to have someone in the White House who actually knew the English language and could put two sentences together without getting confused"

    Why thank you!

  • Matrix||

    Yeah, when they took that teleprompter away, you saw him fumbling all over his words. I had to laugh.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    In my fantasy, easily duped morons like you are disenfranchised.

  • ||

    [I think many of us felt that it would be a refreshing change to have someone in the White House who actually knew the English language and could put two sentences together without getting confused]

    And still others among us listened more carefully, heard meaningless Ross Perotish unspecifics, sniffed out his past associations, examined his lack of past life experience, ignored the idolization by the masses, and came to the conclusion he was an intellectual empty suit, a potentially dangerous empty suit, and have come to the point where we would welcome back a fumble mouthed Texan in a heartbeat.

  • Tony||

    The election is over. Your concern trolling services won't be needed again until 2012.

  • 2cents||

    and who didn't use run on sentences? And who knew how to make a paragraph?

  • ||

    thread jack, hopefully everyone has seen the new deficit proposal

    http://www.bipartisanpolicy.or.....-plan-solv

  • ||

    My premise is that every human being has a right to quality healthcare.

    I agree. No government should interfere in the pursuit of, or provision of, quality healthcare.

    I dunno, I can see the messaging argument if only because I imagine the majority of supporters, opponents and fence-sitters on Obamacare don't know wtf is involved.

    I think they know enough:

    Supporters: Know that this is giant scheme to get other people to pay for their healthcare.

    Opponents: Know that this is a massive expansion of government.

    Fencesitters: Know that nobody could possibly be so stupid as to do something like this, so there must be something somebody isn't telling them.

  • ||

    The problem is that the message did get out. And we should all thank Sara Palin for telling us what, up until last Sunday, was denied vehemently by the voices on the left. Thanks Pauly K. for finally admitting what's in the bill.

  • ||

    "once experts such as Dr. Scott Atlas at Stanford's Hoover Institution removed inputs that had nothing to do with care, the U.S. led the world in life expectancy and in almost every survival rate."

    Why don't we hear more republicans talking about this? This is one of the few things left for Americans to brag about.

  • ||

    me,

    the process of getting to the presidency ensures that those who get there will act in a manner indistinguishable from his fellows on big things and not much different in the little things.

  • Realist||

    Wow! This is fun, I wonder if we changed Tony's mind.

  • Cecil||

    You assume Tony has a mind. Not really much of a realist, are you?

  • ||

    Yeah. I keep asking myself "Why are you bothering to reply to Tony? You know he is not going to change." Sometimes, though, the urge to reply is too strong. And what's being a libertarian all about if you can't indulge your urges?

  • Glen||

    fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap...

  • Tony||

    No, I've got to hand it to the libertarians on this one. I just wanted SO badly for healthcare to be viable! It seems like, advanced as our civilization is, we should be able to help these people that need it SO much.

    But after months of having the flaws of every liberal argument on the issue carefully and painstakingly laid bare, and being provided with mountains of evidence in myriad forms suggesting that nationalized healthcare is not a viable program, you bastards have finally convinced me there's no saving the poor blacks.

  • Tony||

    Is sum, I hope those N-words die in the streets while they shine my boots for a nickel.

  • Shorter Tony||

    RAAACIIISTS!!!111!

  • J_L_B||

    While a country like the US has abundant resources, what happens to the right to healthcare in countries such as Namibia, Chad, or East Timor. The tax receipts of those countries will not yield the resources necessary to provide healthcare to all. Their right to healthcare is being violated, but by who exactly?

  • Tony||

    I don't believe in a meaningful distinction between a right and the enjoyment of a right. I believe that advanced countries should create a right to healthcare. And most such countries on planet earth have. It's just part of a continuum of an increasing number of rights civilized people have enjoyed, and it's not all that controversial outside of the U.S.

  • ||

    Imploding socialist houses of cards aren't all that unusual either.

  • Hooha||

    lol, that would make an AWESOME political cartoon! Obama, standing on the united states, carefully putting together a house of cards labeled "nationalized health care", with people visibly fleeing the implosion of similar constructs in Canada and Europe, all while he vehemently assures the people that they're just not getting "the message".

  • J_L_B||

    I believe that advanced countries should create a right to healthcare.

    If I assume advanced means wealthy, then the right to healthcare is only obtainable by those countries with ample resources to provide it. That standard is often declared unacceptable on an individual level, but is it perfectly acceptable on a national level?

  • Tony||

    Well it's just a fact of life that poor countries can't afford all of the services rich countries can. That's why I don't believe in stupid nonsense like natural rights. If you don't actually enjoy a right then what comfort is it for someone from an enlightenment-style democracy telling you that you have it?

  • ||

    And most such countries on planet earth have.

    Playing Tony's advocate for a moment - there are at least 190 countries on planet earth (up to 195 depending on whose list you like). Are you asserting that most (greater than half) have "created a right to health care." That's the most patently absurd thing I've read since last time you commented.

    Would you mind listing them?

    I think the all-inclusive list is:

    Afghanistan*, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq*, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the United Kingdom

    *Universal health coverage provided by United States war funding

    My list may be missing a few countries (Norway?), but is pretty well short of 95.

  • Tony||

    I said most advanced countries.

  • ||

    Hey, over 200 comments and no liberal with Doug Henning tights riding a unicorn have chimed espousing the virtues of Canadian public health.

    Congratulations!

    Even Tony refrained and Lord knows I was waiting for it to lace into him.

  • Steve Carlson||

    I ask Al Franken for a little honesty in his "messaging" about ObamaCare at http://bit.ly/czPjQk. He was interviewed at length by Al MacFarlane of Insight News in Minnesota. He claims Republicans cannot preserve any good parts of ObamaCare because expanded coverage of 31 million Americans allow the pharmaceutical and insurance companies to "kick in" more money to make these good changes possible. What's wrong with this message? A lot.

  • ||

    I'm just gonna wait until they try to prosecute me for not having government-mandated insurance. Every Conservative/Libertarian lawyer in Dallas will be pounding on my door wanting to defend me in court for free.

  • Dave Smith||

    The Obama care package has many pluses and minuses....like anything that becomes policy/law.....A question I have always had is what happens when it does take effect.....last time I checked an MRI went for around 3000.00 or so....prescription meds?...well lets just say I have a relative that dishes out 59.00 a pill for some sort of heart medication...200 pill minimum order... pharmaceutical and treatment costs will have to come down to some degree in order to make it somewhat economically feasible to the average citizen.....and what happens when the entire medical field falls under control of the government.....will they slash doctors salaries?...if so then the educational costs of becoming a doctor need to be adjusted because right now they stand pretty darned high...Prosecuting people for not having government mandated insurance is very unfair ....but no matter what the policy.... it will become much like the uninsured motorist thing...there will be people that break the law no matter what.....Obama will be forced into looking into minute details that even he and his cabinet overlooked....which will be good for the system

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