Politics

My Body, Their Choice

Turning health care over to the government inevitably limits individual freedom.

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"My body, my choice" has long been a rallying cry for abortion-rights advocates on the left, many of whom have recently been vocal supporters of the Democratic health care reform agenda. But as abortion advocates are now discovering, abortion rights aren't as easily compatible with health care reform as they might have once thought. Turns out the more government gets involved in health care, the more difficult it becomes to truly retain choices about one's body.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) first scheduled the vote on health care reform, it remained unclear whether she had enough support to pass the bill. Even amongst Democrats, there were still concerns, arguably the most important of which was whether or not the bill would allow federal money to fund abortions. At the last minute, Pelosi, working with Catholic bishops and pro-life Democrats, allowed a vote on an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).

The text of the three-page amendment was straightforward: "No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act…may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion." The amendment allowed exceptions for medical emergencies that put a woman at risk of death, and maintained that nothing in the amendment's language would prohibit a non-federal entity—whether a person or a state or local government—from purchasing supplemental coverage for abortions, provided that any such purchase isn't made using federal subsidies.

The amendment passed, and may have been the deciding factor in House passage of the bill. But now the amendment is causing trouble for Democrats in the Senate. And indeed, many liberals who support both health care reform and abortion rights now find themselves in a quandary, supporting health care reform while decrying an amendment that was likely the key to its passage.

That's because, given the scope of congressional health care reform proposals, the relatively straightforward prohibition on using federal funds to pay for abortions could have far-reaching consequences.

Most analyses of the amendment agree that the most significant effects will be in the individual insurance market. Under the reform bills now being considered, anyone who did get health insurance through his or her provider would be required to purchase it from an exchange—a government-managed marketplace of highly regulated insurers. The vast majority—an estimated 86 percent—of those who purchase their insurance this way would receive government subsidies, and thus would be barred from spending that money on any plan that covers abortion. These individuals could still purchase a separate abortion rider with their own funds, but the requirement that this be an additional (and unsubsidized) step almost certainly means that fewer individuals will end up with abortion coverage than would have otherwise.

Outside the exchange, there's some debate about whether the amendment would technically bar abortion coverage from some private, employer-provided insurance plans, though it appears less than likely. At The New Republic, Jeffrey Rosen writes that Stupak's amendment "wouldn't immediately impinge on the roughly 60 million women ages 18-64 who presently get health insurance through their jobs or their spouses' jobs." And Brian Buetler, a Talking Points Memo reporter who has written about the Stupak amendment, says that "the least-impacted women will be those whose employers (or whose spouses' employers) provide them insurance," but also notes that "over time, the reform packages under consideration allow ever larger employers to participate in the exchange."

Still, although it's not clear what the limits of Stupak's reach might be, some of the stronger warnings about its effects are clearly mistaken. At The American Prospect, for example, Ann Friedman wrote that "Stupak would actually prevent employer-based plans—ones that are not supported by your tax dollars—from covering abortion." But the analysis she links to argues that employer-provided plans could be affected because they are touched by federal funds used to pay for reinsurance and small-business wellness programs—in other words, that they would be barred from offering abortion coverage because they make use of those pesky taxpayer dollars.

For pro-choice, pro-reform liberals, this is exactly the problem: On the one hand, they support a massive expansion of government funding and bureaucratic control into nearly every corner of the health care system. On the other hand, they're incensed that the government would make rules about how that funding can be used.

It's grimly ironic: After spending much of the year ridiculing opponents of health care reform for insisting that reform would put government in between doctors and patients, they're now up in arms that government has gotten involved in decisions they believe should only be made by women and their doctors.

But if the history of bureaucracy teaches us anything, it's that what the government funds is what the government controls. Or, to put it another way: When the government gets involved in making everyone's health care decisions, it may be your body, but it won't be your choice.

Peter Suderman is an associate editor at Reason magazine.

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196 responses to “My Body, Their Choice

  1. Gee, maybe it’s not a great idea to leave decisions of what to pay for or not pay for in the hands of politicians!

    -jcr

  2. Gee, maybe it’s not a great idea to leave decisions of what to pay for or not pay for in the hands of politicians!

    -jcr

  3. Ok, why is having abortions, paid by a third party (insurance, the Gun-varmin-ent) a woman’s “right”? Why is the debate even relevant – the Cosntitution does not give authorization to Congress to fund abortions, just as it does not give it to fund ice cream consumption or bicycles.

  4. I guess I have said this before here, but even if there are laws saying no federal money for abortions and no federal money for health care for illegal immigrants, officials at some level will figure out a way to make sure these two Democratic constituencies (women and immigrants) get all the federal money for all the stuff they want.

  5. Please forgive the length, but another example of how state medicine will violate civil liberties:

    With socialized education consolidated, medicine is the next area where the Anti-Religious Left will turn, especially with the focus on the issue that will follow Michael Moore’s pro-socialization Sicko (more praise for the French!) and the race for 2008. A microcosm of what’s to come can be found in New York State’s 2002 passage of the “Women’s Wellness Act.” As the Rev. William Murphy, bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, explained in a 2/14/02 Newsday op-ed:

    As written, this bill maintains that government shall decide what constitutes religion and what does not, what is Catholic and what is not. What this bill will require is that the Catholic Church and other religious bodies pay for employee insurance coverage that they believe is morally impermissible.

    This insistence that religious bodies must compromise their beliefs is, or should be, especially chilling for all Americans who believe religious freedom is part of our American heritage….

    We cannot … accept that in our hospitals and clinics there is to be mandatory insurance coverage for contraception, including methods and devices that cause abortion. These contradict our faith, and they force us either to break the law or deny the teaching of our church. This denial of our right to offer health care in accordance with our faith is a violation of our right to religious freedom according to the First Amendment.

    Amen. But how would this legislation be seen from the perspective of the “liberal” perversion of the First Amendment? Eight days later, Newsday printed this letter:

    The Rev. William Murphy charges that the state Senate’s Women’s Wellness Act interferes with the freedom of religion.

    But this misrepresents the bill, which simply requires that employers include contraception and other essential women’s health care services in their comprehensive health plans….

    In fact, the bill restores the separation of church and state in the insurance market. It has become common practice for employers and insurance companies that claim a religious affiliation to deny insurance coverage for basic health care services on religious grounds, even when most of their customers and employees are not of the faith. When a religious institution hires and serves the public primarily, it should play by the public rules. Employees of many faiths who work for religious charities, for example, and serve the public should not have their employers’ religion dictate their health benefits.

    The Senate bill properly respects free exercise of religion. It also recognizes that the Constitution will not tolerate the state’s establishment of religion — a principle Murphy fails to appreciate.

    Observe what is necessary to bring a minimum of coherence to the argument: an equivocation between “the public primarily” — the private citizens who work for or patronize these private institutions — and “the public rules” — the dictates that government wants to force upon these private parties. The “bill restores the separation of church and state in the insurance market” only in the sense that when the “State” invades that market, the “Church” must go — state imperialism in practice. Observe also the real motive: the dubious insulation of employees from what Leftism labels the “economic power” of employers. In practical terms, prospective employees who don’t like the benefits package offered by a religious employer will flock to his secular competitors — something that millions of people do every day. (Conversely, there are many religious “customers and employees” who very much want a company that reflects their values — something that “progressives” have no problem understanding when it involves their values.) Finally, observe the fundamental principle: Socialist imperatives supersede civil liberties — d?j? vu encore une fois.

    Oh, who wrote it? Donna Lieberman. And? The editor’s note says that she “is executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union” — officially. Unofficially, she’s just another mole of the Anti-Religious Left.

  6. The feminists screaming for universal coverage and “hands off my body” are a delicious cognitive dissonance for me.

    Maybe there’s a downside to intrusive government? Nah, it won’t sink in.

  7. There doesn’t seem to be any language in the text to allow for abortions in the case of a non-viable fetus. So, a pregnant woman would ultimately be forced to carry a pregnancy to term, and deliver a fetus that won’t live for more than an hour or two?

    Yeah, so what else is new? The Democrats come up with an idea that they think is “good”, and the Republicans try to fuck it up any way they can.
    “If we can’t have our way, we’ll shit all over your little parade.”

    But Democrats are guilty of the same. This is why our government never gets anything right.

  8. “My body, my choice” has long been a rallying cry for abortion-rights advocates on the left

    Not to threadjack much but this is why the left can always be counted on to vocally support drug legalization, prostitution legalization, deregulating cigarettes, eliminating the minimum wage and allowing a market for organ sales. With a motto like “my body my choice” they would never advocate that the government involve itself in what people eat.

    1. “[T]he left can always be counted on to vocally support … deregulating cigarettes, eliminating the minimum wage and allowing a market for organ sales.”

      Laughable. The left is all about more regulation, especially of cigarettes and medicine (e.g. organ sales). It baffles the mind that you think the left supports, and “vocally”, the elimination of the minimum wage. But, hey, I gets that’s one of the pleasures of being a lefty- you never have to deal with reality that the left vigorously attacks cigarettes, wants to jack the minimum wage to an economic killing level, and wants to control how you use your body, including the selling of your own body parts.

      1. Uh, do you happen to know anything about a literary device known as sarcasm?

        1. Exactly.

  9. The sign in the photo says “Keep you LAWS off MY body.” Single-issue pseudo-libertarianism at its finest.

    As I said before… Everyone is a libertarian for themselves, I’m just fine with extending the courtesy to everyone else.

    1. I would argue that “libertarianism for me but not for thee” is what makes you a Republican or a Democrat.

      1. Nah, there are plenty of Green and Constitution party members who don’t believe in liberty.

        1. Hmph, Green Party, ’nuff said…

  10. On most topics libertarians can trot out the usual scare tactics about government and get away with it since it’s just rhetoric. On healthcare, there’s the inconvenient fact that in all those countries with socialized medicine citizens are decidedly more free with respect to healthcare than they are here. That of course depends on defining freedom in a meaningful way rather than the narrow and woefully incomplete definition of ‘freedom from government.’

    1. I’d shit in your mouth again, but alas, at the moment I am empty.

    2. I don’t buy it. For instance, many countries with socialized healthcare limit what reproductive choices (fertility treatments) you make by virtue of their cost to the government. One could argue that they’re free to travel elsewhere in the world or pay out-of-pocket themselves, but doesn’t that put us right back to where we started?

      1. This doesn’t make any sense. Sure if there’s a limit to the procedures you get under a government plan you can always pay out-of-pocket. But that’s what you want for everyone, right? That’s freedom isn’t it, doing what you want with your money?

        I’m talking about the freedom not to die from health problems because you can’t afford treatment.

        1. How’s spoofing Tony? Even he’s not that stupid.

          1. “Who’s” Leave my sexlexia out of this.

          2. No URRRRR stoopid!

            Have you ever made a post with any actual content?

            1. Overplayed your hand, spoofer.

        2. freedom not to die from health problems because you can’t afford treatment?

          so forcing others to pay for your problem is the answer?

    3. Tony, we are on the exact same wavelength – much of the problem around these parts is libertarian’s utterly idiotic and narrow definition of freedom.

      Having lived in Europe, Japan and the US, it is patently obvious that we are less free here. We have fewer choices of which doctor we can see, are forced to worry consistently about losing our coverage, and forced to spend far more than everyone else, leaving us less money to enjoy on our other freedoms.

      All to save a couple percent on our tax bills…

      What morons.

      1. In the UK, you get your routine medical care at the neighborhood “surgery.” You can’t be seen by a doctor at the wrong location. Hospitalization is also based on neighborhood. Not much choice there.

      2. Having lived in Europe, Japan and the US, it is patently obvious that we are less free here. We have fewer choices of which doctor we can see, are forced to worry consistently about losing our coverage, and forced to spend far more than everyone else, leaving us less money to enjoy on our other freedoms.

        Having lived in Europe and the US, I can see you are sadly deluded.

    4. That of course depends on defining freedom in a meaningful way rather than the narrow and woefully incomplete definition of ‘freedom from government.’

      No, that depends on switching or dropping contexts from the meaning of words – a sloppy and/or dishonest rhetorical tactic of you lefties.

  11. “My body, my choice” has long been a rallying cry for abortion-rights advocates on the left”

    Which, they apparently believe, also includes the “right” to send somebody else the bill to pay for their choice.

    1. “Free abortion on demand” is what the really radical ones used to say. I haven’t heard that one in a long time.

  12. They will find a way to fund abortions, after all it is the poor, uninsured women that really NEED to abort in the liberals worldview. Most miss the fact that liberalism is just a prettied up form of racism, a variant on Kipling’s White Man’s Burden. We have to make the decisions for those trash because they are too stupid to exercise their own choice and make up their own minds. The gov’t has to do everything for them, including pay for higher education because they are too poor and ignorant to get in without the massah’s help. Ain’t we good slave owners?
    And this all applies to health care because Washington will a good master and take of its property i.e. we the people. Just make sure you agree with the doctor they pick. Forget a second opinion, why should they pay for another one?

    1. I always thought liberal policies encouraged poor people to have children. EIC, Welfare, Medicaid, all encourage poor people to have children, and to not work, or have more children. Most liberals I know would rather have people use proper contraception to avoid an unwanted pregnancy in the first place.

      1. A liberal tends to have an elitist worldview, in which almost everyone except himself is “stupid” and unfit to make decisions. Thus, any government decision, even the wrong one, is superior to whichever one the stupid person would have made. This also means that if someone can’t work and has too many kids, that’s not their fault, it was the failure of “society” to properly take over their lives and make decisions for them.

        While the social programs you mention do indeed have counterproductive effects, liberals tend to ignore them when they congratulate themselves.

  13. ‘Not to threadjack much but . . . drug legalization, prostitution legalization, deregulating cigarettes . . . minimum wage . . . organ sales. . .’

    Hey, stop threadjacking and return to the discussion!

    1. (I should have used the ? symbol)

  14. On healthcare, there’s the inconvenient fact that in all those countries with socialized medicine citizens are decidedly more free with respect to healthcare than they are here.

    Try again, doofus. Most of western Europe’s socialist-medicine paradises have tighter restrictions on abortion than the U.S. To say nothing of countries like Spain and Ireland that ban it entirely.

    1. And really, if you can’t see a problem with forcing people to pay for something they consider inescapably immoral, I don’t know what else to tell you.

      1. So we should also take blood transfusions out of all health insurance plans because those are inescapably immoral to Jehovah’s Witness and we can’t force them to pay for it. And all medical treatment in general because that is inescapably immoral to Christian Scientists and we can’t force them to pay for it. Just because someone believes in fairy tales doesn’t mean they get a free pass.

        1. Confusing the issue. If a Jehovah’s Witness has zero risk of demanding a blood transfusion, they shouldn’t have to insure against that risk. I fail to see the problem with not forcing them to pay for it against their will. But then, I don’t believe in mandatory benefits anyway.

        2. I think you missed the point.
          If we leave these options in the private sector then people are free to look for a healthcare plan where their money paid in will only fund what they agree with.
          Nobody here has proposed making exclusions for particular individuals in the government’s healthcare plan.
          They’ve been arguing that none of us need to pay into it–for several reasons–and the moral implications of forcing someone to pay for what they consider to be immoral is just a prime example.

    2. Interesting.

      Spain is very liberal on the issue of gay rights but not on reproductive rights.

      1. It’s quite simple really: 2 gay men or 2 gay women can’t reproduce.

  15. Individuals make investment decisions for financial reasons. Governments make investment decisions for political reasons.

    Individuals make health care decisions for medical reasons. Governments make health care decisions for political reasons.

    The government simply cannot know what’s best for you.

    Why is this so hard for so many to understand?

    1. I don’t see what’s wrong with government making decisions for political reasons, if by political you mean “what the people want.” Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?

      1. Not when “what people want” is to rob their neighbors.

        1. Blah blah blah… Taxes aren’t the same thing as theft, no matter how many times you say it. If you believe that then take it up with the constitution, which gives Congress the power to tax in order to provide for the general welfare. Says so in plain English. So either you’re an anarchist who doesn’t believe in taxes or you’re a hypocrite who just doesn’t believe in taxes for programs you don’t like.

          1. Yes, the Congress as the power to tax. When those taxes violate an individual’s rights or will be put towards Congressional actions that require Congress to exercise powers not given to it, those taxes become what we call “unconstitutional.”

            You have to read the whole thing to find out who done it, you can’t just pick and choose.

            I bet you don’t have a family Tony. Neither do I, yet. But I know that when I do, I want to give my kids and my family the best that I can give them – education, opportunities, etc.

            If I can’t do that, because the government is levying taxes on me right and left, I’m going to be violently upset about it.

            I really don’t like the idea of some scumbag, pork barrel politician saying “we need to build this bridge to no where”, “create these jobs in non-existent congressional districts”, etc – and we need to your money to do it.

            If my tax dollars go to that kind of bullshit, and it keeps my kids from going to a better school, playing a musical instrument, a better roof from over their heads, from going to camp, etc, I’m not going to be a very happy voter.

            If someone did that to me in person, I’d fucking kill them in the street. So what gives the government the “right” to do such things, just because they call it a “tax”?

            1. In other words, programs you don’t like are paid for by theft, whereas programs you’re okay with are paid for by constitutionally acceptable taxes.

              1. If I don’t “like” a program, it’s usually because it’s political waste, inefficient, unconstitutional, or usually all of the above.

                It isn’t my personal opinion that matters. It’s what powers are given to the Congress.

                Redistribution of wealth is not power granted to the Congress in the Constitution

                1. Actually it is, explicitly.

                  1. Please tell me where it says “we can take your money, and give it this guy over here”

                    1. 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

                      All taxes are redistributive. That’s the point.

                    2. Haven’t read Lysander Spooner much have you?

                    3. The common defence is the only explicitly stated use of taxes besides paying of debt. We certainly all benefit from being protected from foreign enemies.

                      If you’re going to use this argument, it’s empty without first proving that public option/nationalized/Government sponsored (pick a word) healthcare is indeed for the general welfare.

                      On a personal level, I know that I will not benefit. Truly, the only people known to benefit from the bill will be the 50 million people supposedly without insurance, and that’s just speculation.

                      Even all 50-60 million without the insurance did benefit from the tax levied on the people, then it’s certainly no majority and therefore can not be considered “general.”

                      And that’s without going into all the arguments about what government involvement in an industry actually does to the industry.

          2. If the General Welfare Clause was meant to be that broad, then they wouldn’t have even bothered writing a Constitution because it pretty much invalidates the whole fucking thing.

            1. Well there’s been lively debate on the subject since the Washington administration. Take it up with the courts.

              1. ya and then politicians found out they could disregard it, and everyone lived happily ever after.

        2. Agreed Jordan.

          If 99 people out of 100 want to take everything I have, I could be like Tony and politely bend over and smile as the gang rape ensues. Or I could say that as an individual I have rights, and the constitution protects them.

      2. Because the citizens aren’t the property of the government. Or were you sympathetic to the Nazi torturers who were “just following orders”?

      3. if by political you mean “what the people want.”

        If you really believe this is how government works, you are an even bigger fool than I’d believed was possible.

      4. Yes, Tony, let’s all just vote on what kind of healthcare other people should get.

        Because living in a society that’s liek one giant episode of “Survivor” would be So AWESOME.

      5. I don’t see what’s wrong with government making decisions for political reasons, if by political you mean “what the people want.” Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?

        You don’t see anything wrong with the government making medical decisions for political reasons? What if the government decided not to treat AIDS patients, because people think it’s a gay disease and it wouldn’t be politically popular? For that matter, substitute any other minority of any kind that might be unpopular – you want government making medical decisions about them based on politics? Thought you said you aren’t a fascist?

  16. and maintained that nothing in the amendment’s language would prohibit a non-federal entity?whether a person or a state or local government?from purchasing supplemental coverage for abortions, provided that any such purchase isn’t made using federal subsidies.

    Sounds like a good business opportunity to me.

  17. Sweet fuck. The irony is fucking killing me. Killing me.

    morninggloria
    03:52 PM
    Direct democracy doesn’t work.

    mordicai
    03:51 PM
    Democracy– it is supposed to work where a majority of people are allowed to tyrannize the minority, right?

    04:05 PM
    Blodwynn
    @mordicai: Majority rule cannot infringe upon minority rights.

    Strangely, our piece of shit trolls haven’t gone over there and told them to stfu and pay their taxes. Curious.

  18. I don’t see what’s wrong with government making decisions for political reasons, if by political you mean “what the people want.” Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?

    “What people want” is a very poor metric to justify congress doing “anything”. And I know you know that, Tony.

    1. It’s better than the usual, which is “what the people giving you money want.”

      1. Tony, by that logic the Confederacy would have been complete justified in institutionalizing slavery.

        Just because a majority of the people want it, doesn’t make it right.

        1. That’s why there are provisions for minority rights.

          1. The individual is the smallest minority and fucking dipshit.

            1. that’s “you fucking dipshit”

              I need to work on my delivery.

            2. Well, individuals have rights, as well as minorities, as well as majorities.

              1. Wrong. Only individuals have rights, as term is generally understood. What majority or minority “rights” are you be thinking of?

              2. Since individuals constitute both minorities and majorities, what’s the point in minorities or majorities having “rights?”

                Also, you’re saying that a group’s “rights” change with the number of people in the group. This makes no sense.

                And my argument still trumps yours since the individual is the smallest minority, and your argument was that “what the people want” should drive every decisions with the exception of violating minority rights, of which individual is included.

              3. Since individuals constitute both minorities and majorities, what’s the point in minorities or majorities having “rights?”

                Also, you’re saying that a group’s “rights” change with the number of people in the group. This makes no sense.

                And my argument still trumps yours since the individual is the smallest minority, and your argument was that “what the people want” should drive every decisions with the exception of violating minority rights, of which individual is included.

                1. Also, you’re saying that a group’s “rights” change with the number of people in the group. This makes no sense.

                  Excellent point.
                  I can’t see how assigning rights based on majority vote could ever be a just system. it would mean that just get more rights just because you happen to be in the dominant faction. Morally abhorrent.

      2. ? I fail to detect much of a difference.

        1. +1, James

        2. It’s pretty circular. Bribing people with their own money and all…

  19. Most analyses of the amendment agree that the most significant effects will be in the individual insurance market.

    Actually, several analyses agree that the most significant effects will be expanding Medicaid eligibility up to 133% of the poverty line. But perhaps that’s a difference in number, not kind, and so not as “significant.”

    1. Thacker,

      Thanks for that link, but I was referring to the effects of the Stupak language (“Most analyses of the amendment”), not the effects of the entire reform bill.

  20. Under the current system, corporate-driven profits determine what happens to my body. If it’s expensive, they will choose profit. How is that better?

    The health care bill provides an ADDITIONAL choice. Don’t choose the public OPTION if you don’t want it. Stick with corporate insurance, no one is attempting to stop you from doing that.

    1. The bill also requires health insurance companies to offer policies to anyone at the same price.

      Some people are healthier than others, some require more care than others, etc.

      HIC will be forced to distribute the cost across all their clients, making the cost of health insurance higher for EVERYONE.

      Furthermore, another person’s lifestyle choices will affect how much many comes out of my wallet.

      Then there’s the issue about the requirements for companies to provide employees with insurance plans.

      If the bill said “if you want the public option, then pay for it” and money didn’t come from anywhere else, then public option would be bankrupt within a week because there would be no fucking money. In order for the public option to be viable, money has to be taken from the haves and given to the have nots.

      It’s not a separate pool of money.

    2. It’s not an OPTION if you’re FORCED to pay for it.

    3. Under the current system, corporate-driven profits determine what happens to my body. If it’s expensive, they will choose profit. How is that better?

      You’re partially correct, but not for the reasons you think. The reason you’re tied down in the system we have now isn’t because of lack of government interference, it’s because of it.

      The government limits you on what kind and where you get insurance. Because of the New Deal, your insurance options are tied to your employer, you can’t buy insurance from out of state., etc.

      Welcome to the board.

      1. Ahh, the quintessential libertarian argument: Any problem anywhere is clearly the fault of the nearest government program.

        1. You can’t refute a point with smugness.

    4. Yes, welcome to the board. Have you met Tony?

      Hopefully with all the money we just raised we can afford a better troll.

      1. It seems the trolls have been stimulated enough already.

      2. Oh is this Reason’s charity week for capitalist ?bermenschen?

        1. I was under the impression that every week was.

          Say, you aren’t from around here, are you?

  21. …especially when this blog post should have been titled, “My body, Their pocketbook”

  22. Re: Tony,
    […] in all those countries with socialized medicine[,] citizens are decidedly more free with respect to healthcare than they are here.

    This is a rather counterintuitive argument, considering the much touted evils of monopolies. How can a person be more free when his options are limited to ONE, than a person that has several options, even if the case was that the other options were more expensive?

    If the government was the sole provider of shoes, in this country, and these were cheaper than those supplied by private manufacturers in other countries, would you, Tony, still say that the consumer here had more freedom when it came to shoes than people in other countries?

    Are you sure you are not conflating the concept of “affordable” with the concept of “freedom” (even if the case were true that socialized medicine was more “affordable”?

    1. Sorry, that is “even if the case WAS true…”

      1. You were right the first time.

    2. Yeah, I’m not talking about the freedom of people who can afford their own healthcare to choose between plans. Trust me, Congress isn’t about to obliterate the health insurance industry. I’m talking about the freedom that comes with having access to healthcare regardless of wealth.

      1. You do not have a right to healthcare. Neither do you have a right to shelter, food, or clothing.

        What other right do you have to pay for? You don’t pay for the right to free speech, religion, etc.

        Healthcare is a service. Wealthy people have more “access” to healthcare the same way they have “access” to bigger houses, buying more food, or shopping at Saks instead of Wal-mart.

        1. Nobody’s advocating redistributing resources to provide for universal access to luxuries, just basic needs.

          1. That’s not actually true, considering that the state mandates the most “effective” (and usually expensive) treatment be available to everyone in Medicare, and covered by most insurance plans.

            In particular, if someone died because he only had access to basic 60’s era medical treatment instead of modern MRIs which rich people can afford, I am certain you would freak out.

            Making medical care equal necessarily means that everyone be given the latest and greatest.
            There aren’t many (if any) expensive new treatments that aren’t at least marginally mroe effective.

            1. Just because something is modern and expensive doesn’t make it a luxury. If you need a modern MRI to survive that makes it a need rather than a luxury.

              (This is assuming you need it; there are certainly concerns about overuse of expensive procedures… maybe the profit motive can solve that one!)

              1. For certain, if you have a third party paying the price-tag, no questions asked (or questions asked, but arms twisted by the state), people are going to overuse expensive procedures.

                And how do you decide whether you “need” an MRI anyway? If you need a cure for cancer and it doesn’t yet exist, is the universe violating your rights?

                Usually, it’s the doctor who decides, and the patient follows, right? But the doctor has a financial interest in selling the procedure. So if the patient isn’t the one doing the payment … why should the patient say no?

              2. Also, the whole limited resources thing dictates that on some level somewhere, resources are going to rationed.

                The question really comes down to who do you want rationing things. The government will have a pool of money dedicated to healthcare. If they don’t deem your “need” for an MRI as important, then you won’t get it.

                Versus, if I were paying for the MRI myself out of my own pocket, I (in cooperation with my doctor) would be making the decision.

                If you say that even with the government plan, I could still pay for the MRI out of my own pocket if I wanted to, then why is the government there in the first place. There’s simply no benefit added, and it almost always makes things drastically worse.

              3. And Canada has done such a great job providing MRIs to its subjects. That’s why they didn’t get their first one until 15 years after they were commonly available in the evil USA.

          2. I believe that any 3rd grade social studies text book will tell that the basic needs are food, shelter, and clothing.

            All of which you still have to pay for and all of which are not yet redistributed by the government on the scale the healthcare will be should the bill pass.

            And you still didn’t prove that healthcare was a right.

      2. Re: Tony,

        I’m talking about the freedom that comes with having access to healthcare regardless of wealth.

        You did not answer my question – instead, you simply continue conflating affordability with freedom. How can a person be more free faced with only ONE option (the State) compared to several, even if the several were more expensive?

        The other problem I see is that you do not account for the hidden cost reflected in the effectiveness of the product (i.e. the quality). A shoddy product is still pretty useless even if free.

        1. I consider affordability an aspect of one kind of freedom. If you can afford something, you are free to buy it. If you can’t afford something, you are enslaved to your poverty.

          Government is not the nexus that radiates all the unfreedom to the world. Any government that remotely resembles something like that is abhorrent to anyone on this board. But government CAN have policies that enhance individual freedom–freedom as something more than just the freedom to keep anything you happen to get your grubby hands on–i.e. the entire moral philosophy of a 4 year old. If government does manage to do something that increases your freedom, you won’t even be tainted by government freedom killing cooties.

          1. You are again assuming that no rationing would occur in a government subsidized system, that everyone would be given unlimited access to the best healthcare services available.

            But what happens when the government starts deciding not to pay for (say) abortion?

            How is the individual more free in a system where there is a single payer, and that payer declines to pay?

            Let me remind you that in a true single-payer system, there ARE NO private alternatives. If the state says “no”, you are out of luck.

            1. Why are we talking about your strawman system that contains absolutely no private alternatives?

              1. Because there is a REASON why private alternatives are generally banned in a government run system.

                If private doctors are allowed to take patients, they can offer people a jump to the front of a waiting list, or a superior service to what is offered by the government. That automatically creates a two tiered system, where wealthier people have access to faster or better care. You HAVE to ban private care to make access to healthcare equal.

                1. And, I should add, even then, it still won’t be equal, because the government will fund things based on political expediency.

                  And even if the system WORKS at it’s best, it’s still one giant episode of survivor.

                  IMO, there is no net gain in justice or moral advantage to a system where your options are determined by majority vote, over a system where they are determined by individual ability to pay.

          2. You seem to be confusing freedom with power. We’d all probably rather you didn’t.

          3. yes and mandating citizens to donate kidneys, blood, and bone marrow would greatly increase freedom

          4. “I consider affordability an aspect of one kind of freedom. If you can afford something, you are free to buy it. If you can’t afford something, you are enslaved to your poverty. ”

            This is the root of the issue right here.

            Let’s stop playing around and just come out and say “affordability” means that you want more money.

            You do not have a right a wealth. Just because someone has more money than you do, doesn’t mean they are more free.

            You are free to the opportunity to obtain wealth, that doesn’t mean you’ll get it.

            Maybe you should have chosen a different major in college, and then you’d be more “free.”

            Just because you fuck up your life and you end up with a cardboard sign on the side of the road, doesn’t mean you can blame it on society for “keeping you down” and demand that those people who did make something of themselves pay you.

      3. Trust me, Congress isn’t about to obliterate the health insurance industry.

        That is exactly what they are about to do, if the health care bill becomes law.

        1. Maybe I can get behind this bill then.

  23. Yeah, and here’s my favorite… years ago– like back in the nineties– I was listening to some woman caution against ‘club cards’ in supermarkets because the government could then acquire that data and use it to to set policy around the food we buy, down to the individual consumer level. “Gee, Mr. Franklin, the Public Health commission sees that you’ve been buying a lot of Ice Cream and Potato chips… we’re going to start limiting your healthcare access until you get your consumption habits under control”.

    At the time, I thought she was an extremist…

    1. Nothing can open up someone’s eyes to the possibilities more than reading political debates, speeches, and transcripts from decades ago, to see exactly what was pooh-poohed at the time, and how far we’ve come since. Not just in this country – the entire European Union, for instance, was founded and advanced under the conscious lie, sold to the rubes, that it was never intended to be a political union.

  24. Re: Tony,

    Blah blah blah… Taxes aren’t the same thing as theft, no matter how many times you say it.

    This is a rather bold conclusion, considering the compulsory nature of taxes.

    If you believe that then take it up with the [C]onstitution, which gives Congress the power to tax in order to provide for the general welfare.

    The 16th Amendmnent only gives power to Congress to tax, but does not specify it is mandated to provide for the general welfare THROUGH taxation. You are just conflating the two.

    Says so in plain English. So either you’re an anarchist who doesn’t believe in taxes or you’re a hypocrite who just doesn’t believe in taxes for programs you don’t like.

    Well, I am an anarchist – I have no qualms about saying it. You should stop beating around the bush and simply come out to say that you are a big governent fascist.

    1. Not talking about the 16th amendment. Try Article I, Section 8, Clause 1.

      I’m glad you admit to being an anarchist. It’s at least a consistent position. I’m not a fascist at all. More of a liberal/socialist. There’s a difference!

      1. Re: Tony,
        Try Article I, Section 8, Clause 1.
        The Sec 8 of Article 1 only allows Congress to levy taxes and tariffs on the States and on imports, not on income or property. This is why the 16th Amendment was ratified. Second, the General Welfare provision does not mean to SUPPLY welfare, but to create the institutions (like courts and prisons) that promote the general welfare of the people.

        I’m not a fascist at all. More of a liberal/socialist. There’s a difference!

        Is there, really?

        1. I there, really?

          No, not in actual practice.

          1. Only in the actual mind of a person incapable of figuring out the definitions of words in the Internet age.

            1. One doesn’t have to be “figuring out the definitions” in this “Internet age” – they’ve already been figured out a long time ago – go look ’em up. Both fascism and socialism involve dictatorial, centralized control of the economy, society, and politics of a country. Whether it is the tyrany of a dictator claiming to represent the state or the tyrany of an elite few claiming to represent the “public interest,” it is still tyrany. In actual practice, in actual reality – as opposed to what passes for your mind – they result in diminished liberty for people.

        2. All taxes are redistributive. And I only see a distinction without a difference in regard to your claim about the general welfare clause. In other words you’re saying that taxes are okay if they’re collected for the things you feel government should do, whereas taxes collected to pay for things you feel government shouldn’t do are evil theft.

          1. I reckon he’s thinking, not feeling. Perhaps you should try it sometime…

          2. Of course, one the authors of the Constitution explicitly rejects your interpretation of Article I, Section 8:

            “If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare,
            and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare,
            they may take the care of religion into their own hands;
            they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish
            and pay them out of their public treasury;
            they may take into their own hands the education of children,
            establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union;
            they may assume the provision of the poor;
            they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads;
            in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation
            down to the most minute object of police,
            would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power
            of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for,
            it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature
            of the limited Government established by the people of America.”

      2. I’m not a fascist at all. More of a liberal/socialist. There’s a difference!

        Not much of one…

      3. I’d call a “liberal/socialist” a contradiction in terms, not to mention an affront to grammar. To each his own though.

  25. Science, Sucralose, you find shit that I wouldn’t believe without the (amazingly working) links. They were arguing that paying for abortion was cheaper than providing welfare in a thread about “Universal Medicine”!

    Lets spend a gazillion dollars but make sure and spend a few more on abortion because of all the money it will save!

  26. This is just the tip of the iceberg – every constituency that is for/against some medical procedure will be lobbying to ensure that plans that recieve federal funds are required/prohibited from funding it.

    After abortion, look forward to similar debates over gender reassignment surgery, homeopathy, procedures that exist at the border of reconstructive and cosmetic, faith healing, “lifestyle” drugs, fertility treatments that discard embryos, vaccines, various strains of psychotherapy, acupuncture, any treatments that are derived from embryonic stem cells, and countless others. Look forward to manditory funding for quackery and bans on funds for controversial procedures that work.

    The NHS already spends millions of pounds a year on homeopathy and may not cover IVF if it will be used with a surrogate.

    1. Re: MattXIV,

      every constituency that is for/against some medical procedure will be lobbying to ensure that plans that recieve federal funds are required/prohibited from funding it.

      Totally correct – after all, we’re talking about an auction on stolen goods (i.e. our tax money, even if Tony deludes himself into believing that taxation is not thievery.)

    2. Oh, Matt, you have just seen the tip of the iceberg. Didn’t you read the article about growing mouses penises? I have a right to have my body look like I have always felt it should be, as an octopeni. My wife won’t be too happy.

      1. Going through life with a Cthulu-penis is highly questionable, Marshall.

        1. No, no, not “penis”, penis”es” as in having the doctors grow me a few. Seven to be exact.

          Why are you discriminating against me? As a young man I recognized that something was missing. Over the years I realized that I was supposed to have been born with eight penises. What are you some kind of Cthulu-penisophobe?

          1. I suppose not. Besides, 8 penises would be a world record, I’m sure. 15 minutes of infamy!

            1. If he ever got a hardon, he’d be brain dead before he could get his rocks off.

    3. I had an epiphany on “homeopathy/acupuncture”. As two things which don’t fucking work, they’re cheap. If I’m going to pay for your healthcare, send everyone into acupuncture and homeopathy and let them “feel like their ‘wellbeing’ has increased”. I’d rather pay $20 for that worthless chiropractor visit, than $3,500 for a real fucking doctor.

      That’s why some insurance companies started paying for acupuncture. Their philosophy was “Uhh, yeah, sure we’ll cover your acupuncture, here’s $15, now quit bothering me, kid…”

      1. The NHS funds an entire “homeopathic” hospital in London. Fuck I hate certain types of English people …

    4. Hey, I want one of Tony’s fucking kidneys. I have a “right” to health care and I need a kidney transplant. He only needs one kidney – I want the other one, damn it.

      A friend of mine is blind. He has a “right” to healthy vision. I want one of Tony’s goddamned eyes for him. Tony doesn’t need two eyes – he should have to give up one so that someone else can see.

      1. Tony’s ma and grandma are old and have lived long enough. They should have to give up their hearts and other organs to young people who need transplants. Young people have right to live, too.

        1. Watch your step for the slippery slope fallacy someone deposited.

          1. Just taking your premises to their logical conclusions, shit-for-brains.

  27. And can we all please note that the Public Option(tm) is not an untried, never before seen concept with no data to back up its performance. Several states have such a system, and costs are spiraling out of control faster than before. Something I (and many others) predicted would happen but were accused of ‘not making any sense’.

    More than 40,000 Washington residents are likely to be stripped of their state-subsidized health insurance ? one of the largest group casualties in the state’s new austerity budget.

    Administrators of the state’s Basic Health Plan, which sells deeply discounted health coverage to the working poor, said Friday they would stop processing applications after May 4 as they brace for a 43 percent drop in funding between 2009 and 2011. The move will save $255 million.

    In addition, some 18,000 people on a waiting list for Basic Health coverage likely won’t land an open slot anytime soon ? if ever.

  28. And my favorite article on Mass. public insurance:

    “We have done a remarkable job signing up people for insurance,” said Senate President Therese Murray, a Plymouth Democrat. “I don’t think anyone wants to go backward on that.”[“signing up” = “access”.
    “Access” != “healthcare” -paul]

    […]
    “We’ve said from the beginning that the basic problem with the reform is that if you don’t restructure the system, it becomes rapidly unaffordable and the commitment to cover people begins to fade,” said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and a founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates for a government-run health system like Canada’s. “We’re seeing that begin to happen.”
    […]
    “Expanding coverage is easy compared to controlling healthcare costs,” said Nancy Turnbull, a Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector board member and associate dean at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Nobody has to give much up to expand coverage, but in controlling cost there will always be losers.”[Once again, “expanding coverage” = “access” and again, “Access” != “Healthcare” -paul]

    http://www.boston.com/news/loc…..te/?page=1

  29. Tony, claiming that the General Welfare clause gives Congress the power to redistribute wealth, gets it completely ass-backwards, as usual.

    (1) The General Welfare clause is not an enumerated power. It is a limitation on the power to tax, that is, Congress can only impose taxes to pay for things that benefit the general welfare.

    (2) Redistribution does not benefit the general welfare. It benefits only a limited class of people at the expense of others. That is not general welfare. The Founders are quite clear on this.

    1. The commerce clause is supposed to be a limit to government power, too. See how that worked out?

    2. Yes, and some dishonest sophist will come along and make the argument that redistribution does benefit the general welfare because it makes everyone more “equal.”

  30. Yes, the possible choice to pay slightly more for my insurance for my whole life in exchange for free abortions, rather than simply paying for them out of pocket, is yet another amazingly powerful “choice” that will have to be sacrificied to get this bill pass. Woe is me!

    I say “possible”, because most of us don’t have a meaningful choice of plans anyway.

  31. Does anyone get the feeling that we are about to start hearing one or two followed by more and more liberals discussing the horrors of abortion and how we need to make birth control free so we can finally do away with legal abortions? Watch for it. Liberals becoming conservatives, conservatives becoming liberals anything to get more power, and libertarians still saying “what the fuck are all you idiots talking about?”

  32. Yeah, it’s really too bad that the libertarians just don’t get it.

    If they did, they’d part of the cluster fuck too. Just like everybody else.

  33. If the General Welfare Clause was meant to be that broad, then they wouldn’t have even bothered writing a Constitution because it pretty much invalidates the whole fucking thing.

    Well there’s been lively debate on the subject since the Washington administration. Take it up with the courts.

    The preamble is a beautiful, poetic statement of vision and purpose, but it is not even close to a grant of powers. All that happens in the the first three articles.

    Note the difference of formulation between “…in order to…do ordain and establish this Constitution…” and “The Congress shall have power to…”. The difference is stark and unmistakable.

    Unless you’re being intentionally disingenuous.

    1. No, just more aware of the contents of the constitution than you. Nobody’s talking about the preamble, rather the component ‘general welfare’ clause of Article I, Section 8, Clause 1.

      1. see relevant Federalist Papers.

        intent is clear

  34. WHAT IS THE SOLUTION FOR THE PROBLEM OF AFFORDABILITY, PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS AND LIFETIME CAPS (OTHER THAN THE PUBLIC OPTION)?

  35. Mary,
    If your definition of “solution” requires that everybody has access to as much as they want there is no solution. Not even a “public option” can or will do what you want.

    This is a fact and is inescapable without vast changes in the technological regime we live in. For the foreseeable future there is and will be fewer resources available for medical care than there is demand for it.

    You can’t wish that away.

    1. I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE WANT BUT WHAT THEY NEED. I AM TALKING ABOUT PROCEDURES THAT ARE LIFESAVING.

      1. Please do so sensibly or do so somewhere else.

  36. Mary,

    1. Stop shouting.

    2. Define “lifesaving” and explain why you think the demand for it doesn’t exceed the available capacity to provide it.

    1. She can’t hear you. Why do you think she’s shouting. She’s trying to tell you something dammit!

      1. EBENEEZER,

        FOUR GHOSTS WILL VISIT YOU. THE EXTRA WILL BITCH SLAP FOR YOUR LAST COMMENT.

        1. I’m so very utterly terrified……

    2. EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy,

      I WOULD THINK THAT YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE WHEN INQUIRE ABOUT DEMAND VS CAPACITY BUT WE ALL DO HAVE ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE THAT EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE INSURANCE IS NOT AT FAULT. THE LIBERTARIAN POINT OF VIEW SEEMS TO BE EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF AND FEEL FREE TO DIE . PRIVATE INSURANCE IS BASED ON THE POOL METHOD AND THEREFORE ARE YOU NOT ASKING OTHERS TO SHARE THE EXPENSE? THE ONLY INSURANCE THAT I KNOW TO BE TRULY LIBERTARIAN IS THE HSA POLICY THAT I HAVE. BTW, IS IT LIBERTARIAN TO TELL PEOPLE HOW TO TYPE?

      1. First off, few here would agree that there is a single “libertarian” point of view on just about any subject; moreover, there is nothing about most brands of libertarianism that prevents individuals from cooperating freely with each other. As you point out, private insurance is generally based on “asking others to share the expense” [or, perhaps more accurately, the risk] — the salient point being that it is the matter of “asking” rather than forcing others to share risks and expenses that distinguishes private plans from public ones.

        Not clear what finding fault has to do exactly with demand vs. capacity. Please explain — and preferably not in all caps.

        1. WE DO HAVE LIMITED RESOURCES FOR CERTAIN ASPECTS OF MEDICAL CARE BUT WHEN DEMAND VS CAPACITY IS DEBATED “WE CAN’T HELP EVERYBODY” IS AKIN TO WE DON’T WANT TO HELP ANYONE. IT IS PALATABLE NOT TO HELP OTHERS IF WE DEHUMANIZE THEM WITH THE PLETHORA OF SYNONYMS FOR WELFARE CHEATS. I AM INTERESTED IN LIBERTARIAN VIEWS ON THE UNINSURED (WHO HAVE LOST INSURANCE OR WERE NOT QUALIFIED). PRIVATE INSURANCE IS A % GAME AND INDIVIDUALS “COOPERATING FREELY” ONLY LAST AS LONG AS YOU STAY WITHIN THE FORMULA.

          1. How do you figure any of that?

            Saying one can’t help someone is hardly the same thing as saying one won’t.

            Nor does refusing to help others require “dehumanizing” them in any way.

            I reckon that there are almost as many libertarian (or do you mean “Libertarian”?) views on the uninsured as there are libertarians. What about those views interests you?

            What do you mean by “% game” and “stay within the formula”?

            For the last time, please drop the all caps or be ignored.

            1. So you are saying that libertarian views would include some hc plan for all but not through government?
              Please recommend a comprehensive book that explains the libertarian philosophy. HC companies are not in the business of making sure people can associate freely but to make a certain profit (60% gross profit /40% pay out approx.) I am not against business making a profit but health care is not a widget. Large type is my equivalent to cutting the Gordian knot.

              1. More or less.

                Most libertarians would probably be rather leery of any “healthcare plan” (and social engineering plans in general) that went beyond letting the free market alone. It is impossible to predict precisely how things would turn out (with healthcare or any other industry) were the free market left to sort things out on its own, but both history and theory tend to show that the less the government interferes (with some possible exceptions), the better for all.

                Lest you take this for a defense of the current state of affairs though, most (if not all) libertarians would not recognize the current “healthcare system” as a free market, largely due to pervasive government interference. So please don’t take the way things are now as a sign of how things would be in a truly free market.

                The bottom line is that, given demand for some good (medical care in this case), individuals in a free market will find ways of meeting it, to the extent humanly possible.

                As for books on libertarianism, it shouldn’t be too hard to find some, though you may have a harder time finding a truly comprehensive one, because it is unlikely one exists. Much as with any other school of thought, libertarians by no means see eye to eye with each other on everything, as can be seen just by looking at some of the comments on here. Start with one you find engaging and go from there.

  37. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the obvious link to other public health issues such as smoking, guns, obesity, etc.

    Once any personal choice of yours imposes a cost on the public (by socializing medicine), then the government can use the cost to the public as a justification to regulate that choice. That makes any health-affecting choice potentially regulatable. A VAST field of potential new government intervention in people’s private lives.

    The abortion amenendment is not only a reminder of that, but a warning of all the other potential politicizations of fundign and rationing decisions that will get made. The Democrats have effectively, from day one, just told people that what gets funded in a government run health care system will be determined entirely by political expediency, and not medical necessity.

    1. Yeah we could fear the next Brave New World of government rationing, or we could fear the slimy capitalistic current world in which your individual choices, and even individual accidents, have vast impacts on the cost of your future medical care.

      1. What do you think is more “just”?

        A system where the individual is responsible for his own choices, and the consequences thereof?

        Or a system where everyone is responsible for the consequences of everyone else’s choices, is therefore allowed to control them?

        What do you think is more “free”?

        1. I fail to see how the dichotomy is relevant to the real world in any way.

          1. It’s an exact analogy for the difference between private medicine and socialized medicine.

            In a truly private system, everyone’s insurance rates would be individualized. Everyone would pay their own insurance premiums and/or their own healthcare expenses directly. The burden of their personal choices would be on them alone.

            In a socialized system, everything the individual does that causes his health care costs to rise imposes that cost on everyone else. Consequently his personal choices will need to be controlled for the benefit of society.

            1. You seem to have the patience of a proverbial saint. Most of us gave up on this little boy a long time ago and just give him a back handed slap once in a while in passing.

          2. That’s funny. I was thinking the same thing about the false dichotomy posed in your question.

      2. …world in which your individual choices, and even individual accidents, have vast impacts on the cost of your future medical care.

        Why in hell shouldn’t they – they’re your choices! Because it might limit your “freedom”? That’s your whole dirty little deal, right there in a nutshell – you want to do as you please, but you don’t want to bear any negative consequences for your actions. You want everyone else to bear them for you. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

  38. Anonymity bot, slay Pingback!

  39. I’m afraid Pingback is a cat.

    1. What, like a lolcat?

      1. Like a 9 lives cat.

  40. Tony, I fail to see how we live in a slimy capitalistic world. Though, I would agree with the slimy part.

  41. “I consider affordability an aspect of one kind of freedom. If you can afford something, you are free to buy it. If you can’t afford something, you are enslaved to your poverty.”

    This is really the heart of the issue. It’s also why people like Tony should be considered thieves.

    Tony’s right, in a way. If you can’t afford something, you’re not really free to purchase it. So the money has to come from somewhere to end your slavery, why not forcibly, through tyranny of a majority, take it from your next door neighbor?

    Exactly how much money do you want to have before you consider yourself truly free? Do you want a porsche, and a jet, and an ice cream cone, and one of everything in every color?

    1. Actually, what Tony wants is for the waters to part when he commands it. Never mind how – it’s everyone else’s duty to make it happen for him.

    2. As pointed out above, Tony, knowingly or not, seems to be confusing freedom with power.

    3. You’re exaggerating the common benefits I favor, but I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that if taxes are theft, then you can’t morally accept any tax, and therefore you are an anarchist.

  42. The problem I have this this abortion funding circus is this:

    It’s diverting attention away from the fact that we shouldn’t have UHC at all!

    The Republicans aren’t even trying to stop this thing, they’re just trying to get it so abortions aren’t covered. What a load of hogwash. What happened to the idea that government doesn’t have the Constitutional Authority to pass this kind of legislation? Where did “enumerated powers” go in this debate? WTF?

    Just one big distraction to gin up partisan anger while keeping people focused away from the removal of their Constitutional Liberties.

  43. While I’m a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That’s how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don’t like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they’re good reasons), one reason I didn’t see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn’t defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

  44. While I’m a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That’s how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don’t like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they’re good reasons), one reason I didn’t see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn’t defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

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  51. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on.

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