Shuler explains vote against health care legislation

In a lengthy statement issued today, Rep. Heath Shuler explains why he cast his vote against the sweeping health-care reform legislation passed last night.

In the statement, Shuler praises some of the bill’s restrictions on insurance companies, but asserts that it doesn’t do enough. He adds that he believes the legislation will increase costs, and that he favors a more incremental approach, leading him to vote against the bill.

Shuler was one of 35 Democrats, including two others from North Carolina’s delegation, to join all Republican representatives in voting against the bill, which passed 219-212.

The full announcement is below.

— David Forbes, staff writer

——————————————————————————————————

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by a narrow margin.  The bill, H.R. 3590, is expected to be signed into law by the President at which point the reconciliation package will be sent to the Senate for consideration.  If the Senate passes the reconciliation passage by a simple majority with no changes, it will be presented to the President for consideration.

Since the commencement of the health care debate, many of you have shared your views with me.  I have received tens of thousands of letters, phone calls and emails from you and I have met with countless others, including patients, doctors, hospital administrators, home health providers, free clinic workers, children, nurses, economists and small business owners.  Through this process it has become clear to me that the majority of you are supportive of health care reform, but you do not think that this bill is the right solution.

I voted against the bill because I felt that we could do better. Now that it has passed and will become law, I look forward to working with my colleagues to address specific areas that need improvement.  I assure you that I will continue to work as hard as I can to fix our nation’s health care system in a fiscally responsible and compassionate way.

Certain aspects of this bill are beneficial and necessary.  I support eliminating the authority insurance companies currently have to cancel coverage when an individual falls ill or to exclude altogether those with preexisting conditions.  I also support the measure that allows young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.

While I support some provisions, I am concerned about how other parts of this bill will affect families, small businesses and our economy.  One of the most significant cost savings of this legislation is a colossal $500 billion in cuts to Medicare, which millions of seniors across the country and 147,000 seniors in Western North Carolina rely upon for their health care coverage. If there is a half-a-trillion dollars worth of savings to be found in Medicare, we should utilize it to stabilize this already insolvent program rather than to create a new entitlement that will certainly face the same sustainability challenges.  I cannot in good conscience vote to expand current entitlements or create new ones without ensuring that the proper mechanisms are in place to meet our current obligations of $38 trillion in Medicare benefits over the next 75 years.

This legislation also places a sizable burden on our small businesses through mandates that will require small businesses to purchase health insurance for their employees or face fines of up to $2,000 per employee.  Furthermore, much of the $500 billion in new taxes created to pay for this bill will be put on the backs of our nation’s already-struggling small business owners.

This bill should have done more to rein in the insurance industry.  It does not do enough to prevent rate hikes and permits insurance companies to evade competition through the same anti-trust exemptions that they enjoy today.  Additionally, because the legislation guarantees that millions more consumers will have to buy insurance, we are literally pumping money into the very companies that have helped create the problems we are trying to solve, while getting little in return.

To truly reduce our spending on health care we must target reform toward the root cause of the skyrocketing costs.  This legislation fails to address the reality of what creates cost – sickness.  This legislation does not do enough to promote accountable care, the idea that health care providers should be rewarded for keeping patients healthy and out of the doctor’s office.  This bill fails to address the way that we provide health care in this country; it merely adds more people to a broken, inefficient, and wasteful system.

In Washington, this debate has become more about winning or losing a political battle than promoting sound and effective policy.  Last year, a number of Republican lawmakers made their intentions clear with the statement, “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”  I find this politically motivated, obstructionist position offensive and detrimental to America’s future.  I also believe that the Democrats would have been better served by enacting common-sense incremental change rather than pushing through a huge bill that mushroomed into something flawed and unwieldy.  The belief that we have a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate encapsulates why I am a Democrat, however it’s time that we start working together and put America above our political party affiliations.

This was a very difficult decision, but in the end I could not support this legislation as it currently is written. I evaluated all available information, listened to the people of Western North Carolina, and prayed about this vote.  I know that many of you disagree with my decision, but I did what I believe was right for Western North Carolina and our country.  As your Congressman, you can always be confident in my unwavering commitment to our community and this great nation.  I remain committed to finding solutions to our broken system and will continue to do so for as long as I represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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50 thoughts on “Shuler explains vote against health care legislation

  1. susan

    Shuler can not, even now, be honest!!! He needs to return to Tennessee. His vote does NOT reflect this district! It reflects insurance companies, prescription drug companies, and Republicans who care nothing for this country or it’people.
    Our family possesses 7 Democratic votes that Shuler will no longer receive. Our family actively worked for change in this country, giving our free time to support and work for Pres. Obama, Gov. Perdue, and Keith Shuler. WE will now work against Mr. Shuler, whoever we have to support or work for!!! We may as well have a Republican in his House seat. I am a patriot! I am a Christian. Shuler fails to adequately meet any real descriptive as either. America’s Patriots were heroes who risked all to do what was right and good for this country!! Jesus gave his all for the “least of these”, all people, all needy, all children, all of mankind!

  2. RED

    Sounds pretty common sensical to me, but that never bothered the Democratic Party. All there care about is the misguided belief that when they get to heaven that God will forgive them all their many sins, just because they are liberals; sorry doesn’t work that way.

  3. sdrawkcabcn

    HeShu is going to change parties befor November. Oh wait he has already. Where else can you spit in the face of your constituents, after you have prayed on it? Nice paycheck for a couple of years, now go and run your boat dock, Heath.

  4. wareagle82

    susan,
    you do realize the bulk of this district is red counties surrounding a blue Buncombe? And that Shuler is from one of those red counties? Not to mention that his name is Heath, not Keith?

    This country already does for its least – it’s called Medicaid in govt terminology and charity care by hospitals. Ask Mission how much free care it doles our ever year.

    If you are true to your word in working against Shuler, that means you’ll be voting Repub, which sounds a bit farfetched given your poorly-hidden animosity toward the GOP. Gosh, that dastardly Heath. How dare he think of the cost of this bill, a millstone if ever there was such a thing. And how dare he think of his small business constituents, those in the blue as well as red counties.

    Evidently he did not get the memo regarding undying fealty to The One and Princess Nancy; or maybe they had enough votes and cut him loose so that he can win re-election and return to carry another day. Anyway, Jesus would ask and try to persuade those with to help those without; he would not enlist the police power of govt to confiscate their money.

  5. Betty Cloer Wallace

    “I am at the very least glad to see the Congressman stick by his word, something rarely, if ever seen these days!”

    Well, yes, but we only heard about “his word” day before yesterday, which is what devious politicos do–not reveal their intention until the very last minute in an attempt to fake out their opposition.

    ‘Tis an old, old trick and not something to admire.

    It fact, it’s an old football quarterback jock trick…. but….. health care is real life for millions of people, not a game.

    And Shuler trying to explain and justify his vote now is more than a day late and a dollar short–it’s dead seed on fallow ground.

  6. nokarlmarx

    Nov. 4th 2008 & March 22, 2010 ” Two days that will live in Infamy ” … “Americas Chickens Came Home To Roost ” courtesy of Comrade Obama & his Democratic Socialists in Congress . Good-bye to capitalism,the free market,, & the Constitution of the U.S.

  7. Jeremy M

    I live in Buncombe County and he represented my interests. Please remember, there are other people who live in this county other than you and your immediate like-minded friends.

    I feel the same about health care as what he wrote above. It’s horrifically broken, and this bill had some good parts to it; but it’s not the answer. I believe our tax money could have been better utilized truly reforming the health care industry and not just passing a bill which was principally for the Democratic Party’s ego’s sake.

  8. Bert

    “One of the most significant cost savings of this legislation is a colossal $500 billion in cuts to Medicare, which millions of seniors across the country and 147,000 seniors in Western North Carolina rely upon for their health care coverage.”

    You’re not going to solve that without raising taxes, Heath. Americans want low taxes and all these entitlements, and they can’t have both.

  9. Ken Hanke

    Jesus was a healer, Red. And he did not turn people down for pre-existing conditions

    I was just glad to get the inner scoop on just how heaven works from Red. He must have been there for a weekend and read the notice on the back of the door to his room.

  10. Paul -V-

    Heh. I see Reddit linked to this story with the perfect headline:

    Christianist Congressman Shuler (D-NC) prayed to God, then voted against healthcare bill.

  11. Nancy McPherson

    I am very disappointed in Shuler’s vote. It certainly is not reflective of the opinion of the Democrats that voted him into office. I am not sure I can vote for him again. I certainly will not campaign for him the way I did the last time.

  12. JWTJr

    “You’re not going to solve that without raising taxes, Heath. Americans want low taxes and all these entitlements, and they can’t have both.”

    The problem with this line of thinking is that the medicare recipients who are getting shafted paid into this program their entire lives and now they are getting robbed so that folks who haven’t paid a penny can get it for free. They’d be getting more of what they paid for, without raising taxes, if it weren’t for this bill. Lots of middle and lower class retirees will suffer.

    You can’t blame Medicare recipients who will now pay more for not liking that part of this bill.

  13. Piffy!

    [b]Good-bye to capitalism,the free market,, & the Constitution of the U.S. [/b]

    No, “NoKARLMARX” a mild health care bill is not “Good-bye to Capitalism”, in fact it embraces many aspects of ‘capitalism’. In addition, America has never been an entirely ‘capitalist’ or ‘free-market’ nation or economy, and certainly hasn’t even closely resembled those things in practice any time in recent history.

    The remarks about the Constitution are even less based in reality, and considering Bush called it “just a piece of paper” over five years ago, I’d say the sentiment is more than a little late.

    It’s exactly this sort of factually lacking hubris that helps does not advance a helpful, reasonable discussion whatsoever. We have the media to blame for this dumbing down of complex issues with sound bites and idiotic, substance-less catch-phrases like “Communism”.

    I can think of many aspects that I like and dislike about the recent health care bill, but to make such asinine criticisms and allusions to Karl Marx is beyond wrong. It is fundamentally misinformed, to the degree of absurdity. If the source wasn’t so sincere, it would be considered satire by anyone aware of how our economy and government actually works in reality (as opposed to the Faux Right’s bizarre fantasy world)

  14. Piffy!

    EDIT: It’s exactly this sort of factually lacking hubris that does not advance a helpful…

  15. “This legislation fails to address the reality of what creates cost – sickness. This legislation does not do enough to promote accountable care, the idea that health care providers should be rewarded for keeping patients healthy and out of the doctor’s office.”

    How bizarre.

    Heath Shuler thinks congress should pass a law that makes people stop getting sick. How do they do that? What do they make illegal, sugar, soda, red meat, stress, environmental pollutants, genetics, alcohol, cigarettes, excess carbohydrates, TV and comfy sofas, what? Is that even something conservatives think government should be involved in?

    Or maybe this ( “the idea that health care providers should be rewarded for keeping patients healthy” ) is code for punishing doctors with too many sick patients. Now that is a brilliant way to induce more people to practice medicine.

    How bizarre.

    The bottom line is if you read closely, Heath Shuler has not offered a single solution to an admitted major problem for most middle class Americans.

  16. Dave

    The Health Care bill was unconstitutional. The Health Care stocks soared today which tells me all I need to know who benefits from the bill. You Dems that were for this bill are fools and are oblivious to the fact you are giving up your constitutional rights and will have your taxes raised greatly. I’m from the government and I’m here to help…ya right!

  17. Piffy!

    “We have the media to blame for this dumbing down of complex issues with sound bites and idiotic, substance-less catch-phrases like “Communism”.”

    We have the media to blame because instead of taking these popular memes head on (like calling Obama Communist or a Marxist or a Nazi), so many in the media seem afraid to offend the historically inaccurate sensibilities of the idiots who repeat them. So they talk around the issue of accuracy, while still trying to give this voice a ‘space’ to air their fundamentally incorrect opinions.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion around the watering hole. But the media has a responsibility to point out the difference between hubris and reality. Otherwise, they become the de-facto mouthpiece for active mis-information.

  18. Dave

    Besides, he was most likely “allowed” to vote against it since Pelosi did not need his vote that way he saved some face in his voting area…

  19. “I also believe that the Democrats would have been better served by enacting common-sense incremental change rather than pushing through a huge bill that mushroomed into something flawed and unwieldy. The belief that we have a moral obligation to help those who are less fortunate encapsulates why I am a Democrat…” -Rep Shuler

    I think what was passed was an incremental change and it doesn’t go far enough. Single payer anyone? Medicare for all! I really appreciate Rep Shuler explaining the reasoning behind his vote but his no vote makes it hard for me to support him in the future. I also believe we have a moral obligation to help the less fortunate and that is the step this bill takes. It certainly isn’t perfect but a no vote indicates to me that Rep Shuler thinks this bill is worse than doing nothing despite the portions he does like. I think this bill is better than nothing. Time will tell.

  20. contentpersephone

    I don’t care what lame justification he tries to give now, Shuler is clearly bought and paid for.

    He’ll not get my vote again.

  21. PatD

    I think everyone knows that this bill is not what it should be. That it is seriously flawed.

    But to vote against it is ridiculous. If this had been lost, it would have been a setback for who knows how many decades to come?
    It would have been totally demoralizing and that, we do not need at this moment.

    At least now we have a starting point, a small step in the right direction.

  22. firelady

    For a man with the platinum version of a government-run healthcare plan, his “concerns” and points about the HCR bill are disingenuous, at best. DINO. Appalled that a representative is basically a sock puppet for the health insurance industry- talking points are almost verbatim. Except for the praying part.

  23. limabeancounter

    I am praying that Heath Shuler will win the Orange Bowl next season.

  24. Jeff Hersk

    When is this guy up for re-election? Where can I buy my “Anybody but Shuler” bumper sticker for the Democratic primary?

  25. Carolinanative

    I applaude Heath Shuler for not caving into party pressure. He voted his beliefs, too bad others in the party just followed like sheep to slauter. I am a registered Republican, but I would voted for Heath Shuler because I believe he is a man of principle. This health reform bill is a disaster and everyone will soon feel the pain from this huge mess! Nothing was done to reign in the costs. The health insurance industry is the only ones who will benefit from this bill.

  26. Betty Cloer Wallace

    “I did what I believe was right for Western North Carolina and our country.

    When did so many of our elected officials begin representing themselves instead of representing the will of THE PEOPLE?

    Too bad that tar-and-feathering is no longer an acceptable practice.

    Ultimately, though, we deserve the kind of government we get when we do not encourage and ensure more good candidates.

  27. Austin

    “Good-bye to capitalism,the free market,, & the Constitution of the U.S.”

    I’m reading a history of the rise of the Nazi party right now. It makes the above comment sound like the ramblings of an insane person. The drama of those days was a million times whatever you think ‘Comrade Obama’ is capable of stirring up. Goodbye to nothing. Life goes on.
    On another note, can someone with more financial sense than myself explain (in concrete terms, not insane rhetoric) to me how this bill can at the same time break the country financially, yet offer 123 billion in deficit reductions over the next ten years, followed by 1.5 trillion over the next ten. What (where) are these numbers Republicans keep alluding to? What is this other information that I can’t seem to find? If you respond, please don’t mention the 200 billion doctor reimbursement, I already am aware of this issue and that it requires fixing.

  28. bamboozled1

    I will never vote for Mr. Shuler again.

    “Too bad that tar-and-feathering is no longer an acceptable practice.” go back to Tennessee!

  29. barrett

    “This bill should have done more to rein in the insurance industry. It does not do enough to prevent rate hikes and permits insurance companies to evade competition through the same anti-trust exemptions that they enjoy today. Additionally, because the legislation guarantees that millions more consumers will have to buy insurance, we are literally pumping money into the very companies that have helped create the problems we are trying to solve, while getting little in return.”

    he is dead on correct in his statement. however what should be done now since we have 4 years until this goes into effect is to refine this bill so it properly deals with these healthmongering insurance companies.

  30. wareagle82

    “On another note, can someone with more financial sense than myself explain (in concrete terms, not insane rhetoric) to me how this bill can at the same time break the country financially, yet offer 123 billion in deficit reductions over the next ten years, followed by 1.5 trillion over the next ten.”

    I don’t claim to be a financial wizard but I know a few things:

    –the figures of deficit reduction were based on information provided the CBO using the best possible outlooks which may or may not mirror reality. The CBO’s job is to calculate based on that input.
    –have govt’s financial projections on any program ever married up to reality? Look at what Medicare/Medicaid were supposed to cost vs. what they actually cost.
    –you cannot discount the cuts in Medicare, escpecially when coupled with the coming increase in enrollment as boomers retire without some factoring in some impact. There is simply no way to exclude that from the caluculus.
    –likewise, you cannot extend coverage to the folks who will fall under Medicaid without increased expenditures.

    On a different note, let’s say the numbers are accurate – 123 billion over ten years comes to 12.3-bil a year. The actual deficit is trillions. Looking toward the next ten years; deficit reduction claims would be more credible if govt had a history of living up to them, but no entitlement program – and that is what this will be – has done that. SS has lived on borrowed money for decades; the two Meds are in the red. Why would this effort be different?

  31. kanda

    Heath Shuler is a true patriot in the sense of our forefathers. He stood up against the special interests and voted the way the overwhelming majority of his constutuents wanted him to. It takes courage to buck the Obama machine. Heath lived up to our expectation and voted the way WNC wanted. He is a true representative of the people. I am proud of Heath for not falling for the pressure Nancy Pelosi put on him to switch to yes. Heath Shuler is my representative. I am very proud of him. I support him now and I will support him in November when he wins re-election.

  32. Kanda

    SSwareagle82 wrote, “SS has lived on borrowed money for decades”

    The truth is the Federal government has borrowed the money in the social security trust fund. The US Government owes 2.5 trillion with a T to the social security trust. Now it is time to start paying back what is owed. The current “SS crisis” was caused by the government taking our money. This is what is going to happen with all the taxes and fines collected as a result of the new health insurance laws. Wait until the people begin to be impacted in the pocketbook by this new law. The only winner in this deal is the federal government. I hope the states are successful in turning back the insurance mandate on the citizens. I feel as if both my liberty and freedom as well as my pursuit of happiness is in peril by the new law.

  33. JWTJr

    “On another note, can someone with more financial sense than myself explain (in concrete terms, not insane rhetoric) to me how this bill can at the same time break the country financially, yet offer 123 billion in deficit reductions over the next ten years, followed by 1.5 trillion over the next ten.”

    2 things about this. First, the CBO did NOT make a 20 year projection on the deficit. That stat was made up. Second, nobody with any experience in business believes any financial projection that stretches out past 3 to 5 years. Even then, 5 years is a serious WAG.

    Tell me a time when the Gov’t projections were even close that far out? They drop the ball over and over on Medicare and Medicaid projections. And not by overstating them either.

    I’m for health care reform, but refuse to drink the coolaid on those projections. Also, this bill does not have any cost containment mechanisms in it. That will be handled by appointees. No elected legislator has the stones. I hope this thing doesn’t break us.

  34. PatD

    “He stood up against the special interests and voted the way the overwhelming majority of his constituents wanted him to” and “He is a true representative of the people”

    Anyone making a statement like that needs to get his/her head checked.
    What exactly is that “the people”?
    Unless of course, you consider yourself “the people” which would not surprise me at all.

    The rhetoric spewed this last year, and still today, is just unbelievable. blablabla is what I hear.

    Reality is, the system was, and still is, in dire need for repair. But at least we got away from the status quo.

    Not sure where it all will end but it can’t be worse than it was. Well, perhaps it can. Take one look at the nastiness on the right.

  35. hopper

    I am proud of Mr. Shuler and his decision to stand up for what he believes in. Unlike many of his fellow democratic representatives, he didn’t cave in to the pressure. His decision did represent what many Western North Carolinians believe in.

  36. kanda

    PatD,

    Do not worry The truth will be coming out in the next few days weeks and months. The bill as signed is horrible and the reconciliation bill is only a slight improvement. You can look for this to be corrected next year and in 2012 with we get a more conservative congress and president. You will be shocked when you realize the freedom that has been lost with this bill.

  37. PatD

    The only thing I worry about kanda is people like you. 8 years under a total idiot, the country in ruins and still you people keep repeating the same old BS.

  38. Kanda

    PatD,

    Come now don’t get your panties all in a wad because of your dislike for the previous administration. They have been out of power for over a year now. You chosen one has had plenty of time to bring about hope and change. The only hope I have seen is Obama hopes we don’t notice he has not done much of what he promised. He is expanding the war. Gitmo is open. Terrorists are treated like common criminals. The new administration is giving us more of the same only worse. Think about it.

  39. Dionysis

    “He stood up against the special interests”

    Stood up against a wall with a basket in hand to catch all of the cash thrown his way by the health insurance industry, you mean.

    “Rep. Heath Schuler (D-Waynesville) raised more from the healthcare/insurance sector in the 2008 election cycle than any other NC Democrat in the House ”

    http://www.insurancereformwatch.org/opposition/contributions.shtml

    Looks like they got their money’s worth out of him.

  40. Uncle Charley

    He is dead on correct in his statement. however what should be done now since we have 4 years until this goes into effect is to refine this bill so it properly deals with these healthmongering insurance companies.

    Amen. All of Mr. Shuler’s points of contention were spot on. Frankly, I’m also surprised that there’s been little mention whatsoever from either side concerning the current state of malpractice insurance and its impact on the cost of medical treatment in the country since Obama’s state of the union in September. It was a good idea to bring it up at the time to bridge a gap between the two parties, and it was a good idea before that when the GOP made it the cornerstone of their own thoughts on health care reform (not the only good idea, but a sizable one nonetheless).

    But I digress. What we have here in the bill that recently passed is far from perfect, much in the same way that a giant slab of concrete is not a perfect home. It is a strong foundation, upon which much else can be placed and expected to remain aloft. If Mr. Shuler would like my angry, green, Christian, coldly-reasonable vote in the coming months, he still has time to get it by making sure something comes of his objections. I’m not saying I have faith it’ll happen, but with so many people ready to start up another civil war, I have to make lemonade where I can, right?

    Which brings me to my more conservative neighbors. If any of you have stuck with this line of comments up to now and read this far, I ask you–without sarcasm or guile–what, in your opinions, are the freedoms lost if this legislation remains effectively similar on a long-term basis? I understand the Constitution makes clear statements against taxing people just for being here, but under the circumstances most taxes could be construed as violating such rules. To avoid income tax altogether, one would have to subsist with no means, which on a country-wide scale is impossible. And yet, whether you believe for better or worse, they continue, that the many mechanisms historically demanded by our society may remain in motion.

    Now with all that kindly, even handed talk out of the way, here’s my hateful bit for everyone pissed about losing what they paid into medicare:

    On behalf of all my peers who won’t even remember how to spell Social Security in 40 years (much less draw it) cry us a river, and thank your lucky stars you had an income to withdraw from. Now if you’ll excuse me, my friends and I are off to continue competing with our fathers for work.

  41. kanda

    Dionysis, Those “progressive” democrats in the house who voted yes might as well put “for Sale” signs around their neck. Did you notice how health insurance stocks have risen since passage? Those “progressive” democrats are like br’ar Rabbit except this isn’t a briar patch. The “progressive” democrats have been talking about “evil” health insurance companies. They then came up with a progressive idea. Let’s force all the people to buy health insurance from those same “evil” health insurance companies…… who’da thunk it. Duh!

  42. kanda

    Uncle Charley, unitl you wrote “On behalf of all my peers who won’t even remember how to spell Social Security in 40 years (much less draw it) cry us a river” I was 90% in agreement with what you wrote.

    From my perspective the money the progressives are taking from both Social Security and Medicare is tantamount to theft. Unfortunately to them they are alienating retirees. Retirees vote. They vote in big numbers. They will remember this for a long time. Your generation is winning the employment competition because you work cheap for almost no benefits. Think of how you will feel when the government nationalizes your retirement investments then puts you on a means test to get everything. It’ll happen no doubt and when it does, well…cry me a river.

  43. Uncle Charley

    From my perspective the money the progressives are taking from both Social Security and Medicare is tantamount to theft.

    Yep. But such is life, and to my knowledge liquid assets weren’t one of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

    Retirees vote. They vote in big numbers.
    So do active members of the military and we throw them into meat grinders. “They knew what they were signing up for,” you might rightfully say. By the same token, anyone who’s made it long enough in this country to draw retirement of any kind had time to see the patterns leading to this moment. I see the patterns that will end with me having little or nothing to pull from in 40 years. I’m staying here and paying into the system anyway, ’cause my work keeps me out of trouble and is rewarding in and of itself. If it helps out those less fortunate than myself, so much the better. Are some of those “less fortunate” just exploiting charity? Certainly. But they’re not my problem. I am. They’ll get what they have coming when someone much bigger than I decides, and not a second before. I know there are those older and wiser than myself who feel the same way. Sure wish somebody would put a microphone in front of their face.

    Your generation is winning the employment competition because you work cheap for almost no benefits.

    True. At least we’ve moved out though, right? But wait…I’ve heard this argument before…. You’re not going to have us deported, are you?

    In all seriousness though, the gradual degradation of our expectations from employers is really the only thing that’s made our generation worth a damn. After years of getting whatever we wanted without even asking politely for it, we left school to find that our existence was quickly getting spartan. It’s chiseling us into something useful for a change. Can anyone really be mad at that?

    Think of how you will feel when the government nationalizes your retirement investments…

    In a way, that just happened. A significant portion of the funds needed for the comfortable passage of the bill we’re discussing now comes from taxes garnished off of “unearned income,” which is to say investments. As far as I can tell, 401k’s are not exempt from this. I’m still not terribly disquieted by this, as it means those taking the most significant hit won’t be schmoes like me, but those living off daddy’s money.

    In the end, those attentive enough to see the need for math in their lives will come out on top, so I see no real change.

    …then puts you on a means test to get everything. It’ll happen no doubt…

    If it’s doubtless, then why try to convince me? Have I displayed some lack of rationale during this short exchange? If so, I implore you to point it out. How else will is anyone to learn?

    Before you do, however, I’d appreciate an answer to the question I posed earlier: what are our lost freedoms? If you assertion that each will be subjected to “a means test to get everything” was it, so be it, but I want further proof of what you call doubtless to occur. I ask for this once more without sarcasm. I understand that you, Kanda, are not the only one of your opinion. You’re not crazy, you just disagree with me and that’s all right. If you don’t get explicit as to why, though, how is our exchange of ideas to come to any moderation?

  44. Herbert Hayes

    Congressman Shuler,
    THANK YOU FOR VOTING NO ON HEALTHCARE!! I know that it took some courage and strength from on high to stand up for the American People. The country is not lost and things will change. I sent the speaker an e-mail and told her how I felt. As I told her, everyone around this area that I have talked to thinks the bill was wrong. I believe God will prevail in this and my support and vote will stay with you.

  45. kanda

    Uncle Charley,

    One lost freedom is the freedom to choose whether or not you can afford healthcare. Another lost freedom is the freedom of having the federal government place mandates upon individual citizens. I am not talking about taxing people. I am talking about punishing people either financially soon or eventually with imprisonment. Financial freedom, and personal freedom, are being usurped by this law. However well intentioned you and those who support the law may be it places addtional power in the hands of the bureaucrats. Do you trust them to do the right thing with your life? Is this the health reform we want and need?

    Some may not understand the impact of losing a little freedom here and there. Have you in your lifetime ever known the government to return any power to the people after the people gave it away? I know of no country in the world where that has happened even in the USA. I feel that this will all add up over time. Some folks don’t mind. Some folks are not so certain. One day we may not be free in the sense our constitution intended because some people traded freedom for a lie, others trafed freedom for security. The flame of freedom is flickering IMHO. Will your generation be the one to watch the flame go out…forever?

  46. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Yes, we have many economic choices and freedoms.

    We have the freedom to choose whether to pay $2.49 for a bell pepper, or eat chickweed. We have the freedom to pay $300 for annual health care for our pets, or let them get heartworm. We have the freedom to pay $3.49 for a gallon of milk, or drink wild-root tea. We have the freedom to shop at the mall, or the thrift store. We have the freedom to drive a gasoline-powered automobile, or ride a bike, or a skateboard, or walk. We have the freedom to provide medical care for our families, or let them do without.

    Meanwhile, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has the freedom to pay their executives outstanding compensation—or to provide health care for the thousands of people in North Carolina who cannot afford it.

    Here is a summary of the earnings of the top layer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina executives for 2009—and the next layer of upper-management did almost as well.

    CEO Robert J. Greczyn Jr.: $913,846 salary and $3,133,332 bonus?

    President & COO James B. Wilson: $561,462 salary and $1,237,921 bonus?

    CAO & Gen Counsel Maureen K. O’Connor: $493,269 salary and $815,717 bonus

    Total compensation package for CEO Greczyn for 2009 was $4.08 million. For ?2008 he collected $3.99 million. For 2007 he was paid $3.23 million.

    http://www.mountainx.com/blogwire/2010/2009_compensation_paid_to_nc_blue_cross_blue_shield_execs

    Doesn’t it just make you proud that we have the freedom to support our insurance company executives in North Carolina at this golden level?

    And that’s only one company. BCBS of NC is actually thrifty with their executive compensation compared with many other insurance companies in NC and nationwide.

  47. Piffy!

    [b]The flame of freedom is flickering IMHO. Will your generation be the one to watch the flame go out…forever? [/b]

    Moron.

  48. kanda

    Moron.

    pff ??

    Mar 26, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    PFF, Why did you call yourself such an offensive term?

    Take my advice and refrain from using personal attacks (even against yourself). It shows quite a low intellect for someone with such a big ego.

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