Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicaid!

21 03 2010

Oh, how original. A picture of Obama with a Hitler 'stache because he's a... socialist? Wait, I thought Hitler was a fascist? Wait what? Whatever, people will get the message that he SUCKS either way!

Sigh.  I am so tired of these idiotic posters, and I am so tired of this health care debate.   The GOP is just fear mongering and spreading lies about the bill to ensure that the rich stay rich and the poor die without health care coverage, the Dems are too weak to pass anything but a heavily watered-down bill that doesn’t do much anyway.  What a nightmare.

Here is why everyone should support health care reform: because everyone in this country deserves health care, and they don’t currently have it.  Period.

I find the argument that “oh, we don’t want to stand in longer lines, we don’t want you telling us what doctor to go to” so incredibly selfish.  The debate from the right side is just me, me, me.  I don’t want to change doctors, I don’t want to pay more taxes. The debate from the left side is Hey. We realize that this bill is far from perfect, but it’s one step toward providing coverage for the millions of people in this country who don’t have it.  Can we at least all get behind that?

The answer is no.

Ooh look, another clever sign. Not only is Obama similar to Hitler, but he's also a voodoo doctor, because, well, he's black. And everyone knows that Black People + Health Care = voodoo. Obviously.

I was interviewing a very nice 74-year-old farmer from rural Ohio this morning for an article I’m writing.  He lives in a toxic town where a number of coal-burning power plants are polluting his water and his air.  He’s had a horrible cough for about two years that won’t seem to let up, but he can’t afford health insurance, so he hasn’t been able to see a doctor once.  He’s pretty sure that he has developed some form of lung cancer, as the majority of his town has, but he just continues to work out in the fields all day, hacking up a lung because of the pollution that corporate America has imposed on him.  And the government can’t even help him with his medical costs?

This is just so unacceptable.  It has to change.  Conservatives, I don’t give a rat’s ass if you are bummed about the various ways you believe this health care bill will affect your current coverage.  Poor you, you have to switch dentists.  At least you can afford to take care of that tooth infection before it kills you, like it did this 12-year-old boy who couldn’t afford to go to the dentist.  I don’t give a rat’s ass if you are angry that the new bill covers abortions.  Would you prefer that more already-born babies die because their parents can’t afford their medical bills?

My colleague Sam Stein posted an article yesterday about health care protesters shouting “ni**er” and “fa**ot” at Democratic members of Congress during the health care debate.  Shocking?  No.  Surprising?  No.  Because these people are ignorant, they’re scared of what they don’t understand, and they will do and say anything to make sure that no one (especially a BLACK MAN! fan me!) steps in and changes the status quo.

For this reason, I am even more thrilled than I otherwise would have been to be able to say, in my most gloating-est of tones, THE FIRST STEP TOWARD HEALTH CARE REFORM JUST GOT PASSED IN THE HOUSE, BITCHES!!!!

That’s right, you “Tea Partiers” can all sulk home and take your dumb, racist, ignorant, fear mongering signs with you.  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.  Or do.

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24 responses

21 03 2010
graber

feisty. i like it.

21 03 2010
incog

Am linking to this in my gchat etc to express just how I feel about the subject. Thanks district rambler.

21 03 2010
bored at work

I am not opposed to health care reform, I wish that every person could have a health care plan, but I think it should have started with something broader, welfare reform. You and I come from the same town, and have seen all of the same things, the thing that chaps me about this is that I am not only going to be paying for the crack addicts food but now their health care?!? WTF. As stated previously, we know and grew up with the same people and in the same area, so we saw alot of people in need, but there is a difference between people in need and people miking it. Why not start with bills that weed out the people who sit on their asses all day, when they could be out working. Who cares if you lose some street cred’ because you work at McDonalds??? I’m just saying…

22 03 2010
CB

This is not about “crack addicts and people who sit on their asses all day”, because they already receive Medicaid. This reform is for working people who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford health insurance for their families.

22 03 2010
BS

Bored at work—

Do you really think that with all the problems facing the country today, we should start with welfare reform?

The unemployment rate in this country is somewhere between 10 and 20%.

That means one out of every 5 Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. If you think these people are ‘crack addicts’ that just want to be employed, you should rent a car and take a nice road trip around America and see the day to day struggle of most people.

$6/hr is enough money to support a family and provide her with healthcare. Last time I checked McDonalds does not give it’s employees health care.

I don’t have any kids, so why should I pay for other people’s children to go to school? Why don’t they get off their lazy asses, make enough money, and pay for their kids to go to private school?

Should ambulances start checking insurance cards at traffic accidents so we don’t accidentally pay for some crack addicts health care?

You should really take a look at your belief system and see if this is really a society that you want you or your kids to live in. If society giving a poor person enough food to not starve to death in the street really angers you, then where does that stop?

22 03 2010
districtramblings

right on, BS. well-said, and refreshing that you agree with me about something.

24 03 2010
BS

DR,

While I think we are in agreement on what kind of system we want to see in the US (single payer/medicare for all/ not for profit), I am not in favor of this health care bill.

I think while it provides marginal additional coverage over the next 10 years to some of the people currently uncovered, this bill strengthens private insurers and strengthens the for-profit system considerably.

If Democrats and progressive democrats thing this is valuable trade off, that’s fine (i don’t). What I resent is when these same people attack those that oppose it from the left as no better than the right.

Additionally, Progressives would do themselves well acknowledging honestly what are defeats and successes. When Obama campaigns on single payer, then proposes a public option, and ends up with a bill that is virtually what the Republicans proposed 20 years ago, we should acknowledge it as such.

If i want a sandwich, eating a piece of lettuce with mayonnaise smeared on it is not necessarily a step in the right direction.

22 03 2010
G

hopefully they’ll try to rush out the door all at once and crush themselves under the weight of their ignorance and idiocy.
Sometimes I’m happy to be out of the US–but sometimes I wish I were there to see the things going on that will irrevocably shape the future of my life in the United (though oft divided) States of America.

I loved the comments…keep it up, Beezle–you’re doing AMAZING things with this journalism and I’m so happy for you that you stuck it out and made this dream a reality.
(You rock!)

22 03 2010
Timur

very nice.

22 03 2010
Alex

Health care should obviously be a right for any tax payer in the richest country on earth. Saying that a lazy person shouldn’t be able to go to the doctor when they are sick is absurd. Should we not let firefighters not put out a fire in a “lazy person’s” household? Should we not let a “lazy person” drive on publicly funded streets? Do you think that a “lazy person” is equally, more, or less likely to get a job when s/he goes untreated for preventable medical problems?

I am all for rewarding people that work hard, but you can’t expect anybody to accomplish anything unless there is a reasonable minimal starting point everybody. This idea is already embedded in the American culture along with the notions of public schools, public roads, and every one of the constitutional amendments (most prominently the bill of rights). It is time that we join the rest of the industrialized world in developing this idea further.

22 03 2010
rockymtnhigh

The break down of cost of the $990 billion dollar HCR reform bill breaks down like this. Spread over the 308 million Americans of which 10% million can be considered unemployed or not working, that leaves 270 million folks that are considered “tax paying.” Assume that out of that 270 million tax paying individuals, the 30 million uninsured are still working and paying taxes. This means you still have 270 million people paying taxes into the HCR program.

A single tax payor would be responsible for paying $3666 over a 10 year period. Which means you would pay about $1 a day in taxes for guaranteed health care coverage with no denial and complete portability. No more denial for pre-existing conditions like getting tested for HIV, Lupus, MS, Down Syndrome.

What we are subsidizing are the WORKING poor and middle class who have be denied and are without insurance because of pre-existing conditions, or they can’t afford it, or they’ve maxed out their life-time benefits because of a catastrophic sickness, or Wal-Mart doesn’t give part-time employees coverage or you’re self-employed. Under this bill everyone has coverage.

What this also does is bring in 30 million people into the insurance pool and spreads the risk and cost across both the health (all those college students who don’t carry insurance and feel invincible until they get syphilis) and the sick (that farmer hacking up a lung in the field from coal dust).

The sad fact is the HCR bill that was passed was loaded with Republican ideas – exchanges anyone? And yet the Right’s intransigent behavior towards anything Obama or Progressive let them stand and do nothing. Because their principles of party are far more important than the future of the country

What I find I find more discouraging is why the Republicans and Tea-baggers hate America so much. Ask them why they hate America so much that they would deny all Americans adequate and affordable health care for women, minorities, the working poor and middle class, young and old people.

Ask them why if health care reform was such a big deal to the Right, where were they during the Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2 years when they could have enacted THEIR version of HCR? I’ll tell you why because for the Right, the time for Health Care Reform was never.

So if one of them says to you they don’t want the government in their lives tell them to move to Somalia. It’s a Libertarian’s dream. No government at all to get into the way of their Ayn Randian fantasies.

22 03 2010
graber

burn.

22 03 2010
CB

very good, RockyMountain.

23 03 2010
geof

Move to Somalia! Hahaha, good shot.

23 03 2010
katie

yes!! I love how Rush Limbaugh threatened to move if health care passed… where would you go, Rush? I assume he only speaks English; to do otherwise would be simply unpatriotic. So that leaves England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, probably some small islands I’m forgetting. I don’t think Rush would enjoy their health care systems any better than the moderate bill that just passed (although he’d probably stiff his new home in taxes). So Somalia is a great suggestion, rocky.

22 03 2010
Brett

There is no question there are some crazies out there on the right, as is showcased in the photos above. The same nutties are on the left as well. What bothers me is the assumption people make when someone is against this bill. Just because someone is against the bill does not mean they are against health care reform. Or against the “poor” having access to health care. Its a debate about the role of government in our lives. It is not the governments job to force coverage on individual citizens. It is not smart for gov’t to tax the hell out of businesses (thereby raising unemployment) to pay for this. The job of gov is to help drive down costs by allowing people to by coverage across state lines, import drugs from safe countries abroad and for small business to pool together to buy insurance as if they were a large company. If the costs drop, coverage expands and those millions who cant afford health insurance will slowly be able to. Dont get me wrong, there are few good things in the bill such as not allowing someone to be denied coverage due to pre-exisitng conditions. But most of the bill is a disaster that only props up another government bureaucracy that works on paper but absolutely fails in reality.

We all want the same thing but we have different ways to get there. I believe in the free markets. And based on the looks of social security and medicare, Im absolutely blown away that any logically thinking American could believe this bill is the right answer. We keep making the same mistakes over and over and down the road how we got into this mess. Maybe I’m wrong to expect better from my government….

Oh, apparently I also HATE America. We can agree to disagree, but inane comments like this just dont have a place in serious discourse.

23 03 2010
geof

I think RockyMtn is using the words of pundits and personalities of the Right when he talks about hating America. It’s sounds like rhetoric when your side uses it, feels like an accusation when the other side does.

23 03 2010
rockymtnhigh

Brett,

A few things addressing your points above. The rhetoric of the right has always been to accuse the Left of being communists, socialist, fascists, freedom-haters, etc. Anything left of Right is unAmerican. Wasn’t it the Right who said providing health care reform to 30 million uninsured Americans was Un-American, socialist and fascist? That providing HCR would mean “Death Panels” and pogroms for special needs children? Yet when I use it, it becomes inane?

The cognitive dissonance on the Right holds no bounds.

First you imply government is bad:
“It is not the governments job to force coverage on individual citizens. It is not smart for gov’t to tax the hell out of businesses (thereby raising unemployment) to pay for this.”

Ah yes…Any government that taxes for the common good is bad. In fact any tax is bad. We can’t raise taxes during expansion, we can’t raise taxes during recessions. No taxes ever. Yet the GOP never figures out how to pay the bills. They voted against pay-go, they passed the deficit funded Medicare drug act, they deficit funded two off-the-books wars for 8 years. And never once suggested a way to pay for anything except by cutting social services that 75% of Americans use or need access to. And the insurance mandate? Oh wait…there was that unfunded government mandate called No Child Left Behind. At least the insurance mandate is being paid for by the people benefiting from it.

Then you imply government is good:
“The job of gov is to help drive down costs by allowing people to by coverage across state lines, import drugs from safe countries abroad and for small business to pool together to buy insurance as if they were a large company. If the costs drop, coverage expands and those millions who cant afford health insurance will slowly be able to.”

So the government is supposed to not mandate insurance (which increases the insurable pools and spreads the costs) and yet regulate the interstate commerce of insurance by allowing cross-state coverage and let individuals pool together for lower rates? Either the government mandates or regulates but you want neither because any level of government involvement in HCR is implicitly bad.

The buying of insurance across state lines without a national standard of coverage would result in a race to the bottom on insurance quality. This bill sets a national standard and allows people to have complete portability. This bill sets up state exchanges for individuals to pool together. Is the objection to what the bill provides or because the Democrats wrote the bill with ideas that the GOP have been floating for years and suddenly decided were no good when Obama said ‘great idea’?

And you want to import drugs from other countries? Why do you want to subsidize other countries’ manufacturing? This bill negotiated lower drug rates with the U.S. manufacturers but not far enough. I would go further and have the bill incentivize generics (great way to save $) and perhaps spur manufacturing here and create jobs.

The argument from the Right against this bill is that it does too much, too soon, too fast. I disagree. The U.S. has been talking about “fixing” health care for 30+ years. When is a good time to start? Why slowly? This bill is phased in over ten years already so unless you think we need seven generations to give 30 million working Americans health insurance, explain why 10 years is too fast? The other argument made by the Right is that we can’t do reform without a perfect bill, but perfection doesn’t existing in the halls of Congress. Yet they insist that it is, but only if it’s a GOP bill. They live in the make-believe land of absolutes.

I don’t get the logic behind the Right’s arguments about starting over and reform slowly. Other than it being a reason to not do reform.

And now that’s it’s been signed into law…what will the GOP run on to get voters behind their striking down this reform? “I think it’s Un-American for all Americans to have access to insurance and I think insurance companies should be able to cancel and deny you coverage at any time” doesn’t sound like a persuasive argument to me.

23 03 2010
geof

Great points. I think that anytime the Left and the Right are treated as monolithic entities, it becomes very difficult to identify a coherent philosophy. Both are umbrella parties to an extent, although the Left more so. The right has fiscal conservatives, social conservatives , and these weird neo-cons, who want to rebuild the world in their image, but instead of doing it with USAID and NGOs, like many on the left, they want to use the military, and at any cost. Enter military-industrial complex, the jobs program for engineers and insane alpha males with high fear levels (read, they are afraid and want to react with violence, Glenn Beck might be one of them, with all his crying and yelling), which profits greatly from these wars. Capitalism, baby. Capitalists will make money wherever it can be found, and the government has a triple AAA rating and the power to tax. No better customer. Ironically, the right loves capitalism, yet fail to see (or worse, participate! i think maybe rambler wrote about this for HuffPo?) how the private interests enter the military, prisons, and healthcare systems in order to make massive profits at the expense of tax payers.

24 03 2010
OKinAK

I’m not sure if you are implying that the current health insurance represents some kind of “free market”. Where is the incentive for the insurance companies to control health care costs when they make 30% profit on the overall expenditures. That’s the reason my insurance company would not allow me to have both an umbilical hernia and a groin hernia fixed in one operation. It’s why they allow the pharmaceutical companies to charge $396 for a 40ml bottle of shampoo with a topical steroid that I can get in Canada for $8. “Free market” implies that I have a choice whether to use the service of one provider or go with a more cost effective choice. My insurance options are non-existant.

How do you make the insurance companies insure people with pre-existing conditions without forcing everyone in to the system?? Without that, I could just wait to get sick and then sign up. The “three legged stool” concept requires that the problem be addressed comprehensively. You seem to be implying that government involvement is bureaucracy and that the existing insurance system does not represent bureaucracy.

24 03 2010
OKinAK

My insurance premiums to cover my wife and one child went from $12,300 to $15,600 between 2008 to 2009. My employer pays $7500 per year on top of that for my coverage as an employee. Our insurance provider (Primera Blue Cross) has told us that our premiums are going to go up at least another 25% in July. That’s for $500 deductible/80% coverage. I guarantee that if the federal government sponsored a public option, I would pay less. If we went to single payer, I would bet I wouldn’t pay $22,000 in taxes for it. I would also bet that my taxes for health care would not increase 25% per year.

The republicans need to get their heads out of their asses. The only thing the republicans have accomplished is to drive up the debt with their anti-tax histeria. Just try to get one of them to tell you how much they would cut from the defense budget, medicare or medicaid to cut the deficit.

24 03 2010
BS

I have similar stories: I have great employer provided health insurance and i’ve had to pay about $3k out of pocket for a knee surgery this year. Additionally, the way the bureaucracy is operated, they will approve multiple knee surgeries, but cap the amount of physical therapy i can get per year (causing my knee not to heal properly and to need another surgery).

One of the weakest arguments that people opposing nationalization of industry have is dreaded ‘fear of govt bureaucracy’. Which bureaucracy do the people have more control of? The govt or the current private one?

I am finally happy that (like we see in posts above), there are finally increasing discussions in this country about the role of profit in our every day lives and what REAL democratic control means. I think that it needs to be extended: If we’re not comfortable with wellpoint controlling our health, then we shouldn’t be comfortable with monsanto controlling our food, Ford controlling our industry, AIG controlling our banking, etc.

24 03 2010
OKinAK

That’s why this health care bill had an amendment that pulled the college loan program out of the private financial sector. The 60 billion saved over the next ten years by having the government administer the program will be put into additional pell grants.

I can’t imagine how much money we are giving away by privatizing the war effort. What’s the point of privatization if it costs more? I guess you could call it a jobs/stimulus program but we could certainly do that more efficiently than by running it through Haliburton and Blackwater.

24 03 2010
Vjane

OKinAK – I hope you are getting your shampoo in Canada. For a while I was on a drug that I couldnt afford, because at the time I didnt have prescription insurance which I do now thru AARP. So I ordered it from Universal Drugstore in Winnieg, and it saved me 42%. They are very helpful and send it out right away. Toll free #866-456-2456. It may take some time before our new health care system gets going so in the mean time, to all of you on this blog who need medicine and cant afford it, get it in Canada.

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