Come talk with us in person, Shuler

Congressman Heath Shuler's Aug. 5 newsletter announced, "In an effort to reach as many people throughout the district as possible, I will be holding tele-town hall meetings on August 13, 2009 and September 1, 2009." Yes, you read that right. On one of the most critical issues of our time — health-care reform — our representative to Congress will be speaking to an RSVP-only crowd on the telephone.

It's game time for health-care reform, and everyone I know and talk to is on fire to express their opinions. They're hurting. They're losing their homes and their jobs, and they can't afford to take their kids to the doctor when they are sick. And after the August recess, all Congressmen will be back in D.C. listening to lobbyists from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries — not to our voices.

But instead of having real, live, town-hall meetings in the counties he represents that are open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis, our democratically elected representative is more worried about the next election's opposition research team than about openly, publicly listening to what District 11's constituents need. …

I'm tired of Shuler's watered-down answers on health care. What does he actually stand for? Is he willing to fight for us or is he going to wait for someone else in D.C. to decide our fates? Is he afraid he might sound dumb on camera? Does he have somewhere more important to be or someone more important to talk to than the general public? Perhaps fundraising for the reportedly $1,000,000 he has already collected towards his next election run? Let the public hear from him this August in person in all the counties he represents.

— Mary Alice Lamb
Waynesville

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82 thoughts on “Come talk with us in person, Shuler

  1. travelah

    What in the world give you cause to think that the people in Shuler’s district support ObamaCare?

  2. Ken Hanke

    What in the world give you cause to think that the people in Shuler’s district support ObamaCare?

    Maybe because some of us do? Just a guess.

  3. Asheville Dweller

    People in this are do like hand outs. So they might be interested, but Maybe shuler is smart enough to know that maybe he knows that WNC is more then the city limits of Asheville.

  4. Partisan Hack

    And what, exactly, drivelha, is “ObamaCare”? Or do any of you actually read these things before you go making stuff up about them?

  5. Mister Blister

    There will be no healthcare reform. I’m sorry but American’s are just going to listen to Fox news and whatever bizarre lies they and their ilk choose to craft. “Who wants a horrible healthcare system like Canada, where healthcare is rationed… people wait for months to see a doctor?”

    These are just preposterous lies!

    I have been sick in Europe, they knew I was American (i.e., not paying taxes,) and saw me that day (ok, I waited an hour after walking in with no appointment). They saw me, gave me some medicine and didn’t charge me a dime. How noble and — gosh, Christian maybe — is that?

    HMO’s do whatever they can to avoid paying for expensive surgeries. People in other countries are taken care of. Here we just want to subsidize killing people, and pretend we’re Christian. And to all the people who say “terrorists, 9-11,” I say “what did Jesus say about what you are supposed to do when struck? Kill, kick-ass, and take-names? No. Turn the other cheek and stop the generations of violence. The last war that had any justification was WWII, but WWII never would have happened had we not so severely punished Germany after WWI.

    But I know, I know… just stick your hand in the Old Testament and say “Kill, kill, kill!”

    Jesus wept.

  6. travelah

    Ken, there are some that support it everywhere and a lot that don’t

  7. Ken Hanke

    This is not the first time that Shuler has ran away…

    Oh, don’t tell me this is that “Look, he saw my camera” video again?

  8. entopticon

    I agree with Mister Blister. It is downright bizarre to see people who claim to be Christians fighting universal healthcare. Christ commanded that you “Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.”

    He openly despised money, most famously overturning the money changer’s tables. He believed that money corrupted men. He stated that, “You cannot serve God and wealth.”

    He also said that it is harder for a rich person to get into heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle (Oxford scholars have shown that that was a proverbial expression meaning it’s impossible). He himself was a skilled laborer who quit working to bum change from strangers and talk philosophy with his friends all day.

    He sure as hell didn’t charge anybody for his healing powers. How very socialistic of him.

    Anyone who seriously thinks that Jesus wouldn’t have absolutely supported universal healthcare for all people, the poor and the rich alike, is absurdly delusional. No matter how you slice it, it is completely ludicrous to think that he would not be in absolute support of universal healthcare for all.

    To be a Christian means to strive to be Christlike. There is nothing remotely Christian about fighting against universal healthcare for all people, regardless of their economic status or preexisting conditions. The people fighting universal healthcare may be a lot of things, but they are certainly not Christians, no matter what they may call themselves.

  9. Asheville Dweller

    Once again Fox News, Fox News, Fox News . . . . . Blah blah blah.

    I don’t watch Fox like alot of people and I am against the reform, the Stimulus, and cash for clunkers.

  10. Asheville Dweller

    Ever thought of someone could be a Repub and not a christian or is that too outside the box for you?

    Or ever thought of a Liberal being against the Universal healthcare? OR is that too outside the box.

    The labeling has to stop, there is good points and bad points with this and the American people are getting hoodwinked into something that those in charge know nothing of whats in it. The little provision that congress is omitted from it? If its so great why don’t they take it? and wasn’t it supposed to be the SAME as what Politicians get???

    The fine print is not being read, and the country as a whole is being dragged down into this mess whether we like it or not.

    Great time to talk about universal health care huh? When we are broke, and this will put us Trillions of dollars in debt with China, Great move . . . .

    But go ahead and keep calling each other repub and Liberal R and D that all some know in these cases.

  11. travelah

    Actually, He stated the following:

    “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mt 6:24 AV)

    Mammon or mammonas refers to treasures or riches personified against God. The idea of one who hates Christianity trying to use Christ against those who are Christians is somewhat humorous. Nonetheless, the Governement is not begging from anybody nor are they attempting to borrow from us to pay for this scheme. The scriptural teachings you are wresting into oblivion refer to charity, the things belonging to God, rather than belonging to the domain of Government (or to Ceasar as Christ put it). Government was something to be tolerated and accepted rather than promoted as the answer to charitable pursuits.
    The issues opposed in this matter are not “universal care” but a socialist scheme that worsens the current condition and seeks to destroy a system that fuctions far more efficiently than that proposeed by the socialists. Rather than trash the foundation of our economic system in the false declaration of a crisis, it is far better to examine the problem and use the current systems to address the problems. Medicaid, Medicare and portability need to be addressed. Coverage for most people continues to be satisfactory and rather than trash what is working in a wholesale destruction, it is far more preferable to use what we have to address those problems.

    As for Christianity, you don’t have a clue but that is to be expected. It is the Gospel you need rather than further lessons of doctrine whether ecclesiastical or ecumenical.

  12. entopticon

    Actually travelah, the quote I provided was directly from the theology department at Oxford, so you can take it up with them if you like. Maybe your Fundamentalism for Dummies version is the one that’s flawed, but you will have to take that up with the publisher.

    As for knowing or not knowing anything about Christianity, you have made it clear that you know absolutely nothing about the message of Christ whatsoever if you think for one second that he would be against universal healthcare. Who would Jesus charge to relieve their suffering travelah?

    You are a warmongering apologist that argues for cutting aid for the needy to pay for tax cuts for the rich, trying to speak in the name of a pacifist beggar who commanded that we give to everyone in need. The millions of Americans who don’t have healthcare are certainly covered by the superlative, EVERYONE.

    By the way, there was no such thing as charities when Jesus commanded that we give to those in need. Unless you want to personally pay the medical bills of millions of uninsured Americans, the only way to make sure that they have the healthcare that they need is to institute universal healthcare, like any civilized nation.

    A lack of healthcare coverage is by far the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US, causing families who are already suffering to be completely devastated. There is absolutely nothing Christian about profit based healthcare.

    Reading the bible doesn’t make you a Christian travelah. The devil can quote scripture just fine. Fighting against violence and greed, and fighting to see that all people have healthcare would be a start.

    Jesus was the original bleeding heart liberal.

  13. entopticon

    Oh, and by the way, since Jesus wasn’t gainfully employed, along with the apostles, he is one of the many people who be denied healthcare under our shameful system. How ironic.

  14. travelah

    Christ haters trying to teach about Jesus …. how quaint.
    Jesus was one of those people who didn’t get sick but of course you would not understand that …

    In any event, I suspect that support for ObamaCare is slipping faster than the Obamunists anticipated. That is a good thing.

  15. entopticon

    “Christ haters”??? I no longer consider myself a Christian, because people like you have corrupted the religion into something that Christ would be absolutely ashamed of, but that certainly doesn’t make me a “Christ hater.”!!!

    Obamunists? Did someone drop you on your head, or you just normally that way?

    Christ was a bleeding-heart pacifist, who openly despised money. He didn’t overturn the money changers tables for the hell of it. Once he was enlightened, he dropped out of the work force, and never charged a dime for his healing services. Oh golly, I guess that makes him an Obamunist, travelah.

    Again, Christ and the vast majority of his friends and followers wouldn’t have been able to get healthcare under your shameful system! It is almost as sad as it is hilarious that in your completely twisted view of Christianity, Christ would put profit first, and fight against giving universal healthcare to millions and millions of innocent people who desperately need it.

    Jesus commanded that you give to everyone in need. Everyone is a superlative, so there are no exceptions. 47 million people are in need of healthcare, and many, many more are in need of a backup for affordable healthcare because even though they have insurance, they will not be covered for preexisting conditions, or their insurance companies will drop them when they are flagged for costing too much. Christ commanded that we do what we can to help those people. What we can do is give all people universal healthcare, which is the only Christian thing to do.

    Like you do so often, you are preaching directly against Christ’s core teachings, so you certainly have no business lecturing me about being a “Christ hater.”

  16. travelah

    I don’t think there was any health insurance or government nationalized health care plan in 30AD.

  17. entopticon

    No there wasn’t travelah. That’s my point, thank you very much. Jesus believed that people should take care of each other and he believed that it was completely unacceptable to be wealthy as long as there are poor people. That’s why you are full-blown delusional if you seriously think that Christ wouldn’t support universal healthcare for all people.

    It’s hard to even conceive of anything less Christian than fighting against universal healthcare. Then again, your convoluted rationalizations for slashing aid for the poor while cutting taxes for the richest of the rich would certainly be right up there with the most un-Christian beliefs imaginable.

  18. Matt Mercy

    I admittedly have not read the bill, nor do I necessarily beleive anything that the pundits, media or the administration are saying.

    All I know is that in his recently discovered book “Ecoscience”, Obama’s “Science Czar” talks about things like sterilizing people with chemical additives to drinking water and implanting girls with a device that obstructs preganancy…to be removed later if the government decides that her reproduction will benefit society.

    Sorry. Didn’t trust Bush and Cheney; talking about using race-specific soft-kill bioweapons. I Don’t trust these people either.

  19. Doobie Us

    [b]All I know is that in his recently discovered book “Ecoscience”, Obama’s “Science Czar” talks about things like sterilizing people with chemical additives to drinking water and implanting girls with a device that obstructs preganancy…to be removed later if the government decides that her reproduction will benefit society.[/b]

    Whattttt?!?!? can you provide some links?

  20. travelah

    I’m an advocate of cutting taxes for everybody …

    Doobie, you need to read up … Obama has some serious crackpots around him.

  21. Bjorn

    As long as Shuler & the rest of the “Blue-Cross-Dog_Democrats” continue feeding at the Insurance Company troughs, America won’t see Single Payer Health Care!

    If Shuler won’t support Single Payer then vote him out! He’s your employee NC & not an executive in DC for slimy greedy Insurance Co’s!

    FYI: special interest lobbying against Nat’l Health have spent a total of $133,271,660 in just three months.

    Source: http://www.truthout.org/080109Z?n

  22. Piffy!

    i just searched the interwebs for a half an hour trying to find a credible, non-partisan source for the story about Holdren’s book from over 30 years ago.

    It’s too bad, too. obviously there’s a good story in there, but it’s tough wading through the ‘communist’ and ‘nazi’ accusations to try and analyze the context of his very odd statements from a book written decades ago.

    I’ve read multiple publications that seem to think the term is Obama’s personal ode to Russia. Freaking Stupid. Bush had “czars” too.

  23. entopticon

    “Obama has some serious crackpots around him.”

    Talk about the supermassive black hole calling the kettle black.

  24. Dionysis

    The book ‘Ecoscience’ was mostly written by Paul Erlich, and came out in the mid 1970s. It was less a call to action than a sort of grab bag of wild ideas, including very radical ones. To suggest that these form the philosophy of the current science advisor or anyone else is absurd, unless you’re a devotee of whacky conspiracy theorist types like Alex Jones.

    But if that’s all you have…

  25. Matt Mercy

    Dionysis:

    Yes that’s all I have. Not enough, I guess.

    I realize you’re probably a good friend of Holdren’s and are offended at these assessments of “Ecoscience” and the fact that the book itself is being talked about. He’s probably reformed and has since renounced those views that he is associated with. Well he must have, because evil, genocidal people NEVER get into government.

  26. Dionysis

    “Dionysis:

    Yes that’s all I have. Not enough, I guess.

    I realize you’re probably a good friend of Holdren’s and are offended at these assessments of “Ecoscience” and the fact that the book itself is being talked about. He’s probably reformed and has since renounced those views that he is associated with. Well he must have, because evil, genocidal people NEVER get into government.”

    Good enough for what, exactly? To discredit the man, or to start some sort of targeting at yet another Obama pick? If something like this is the objective, then ‘no’, it’s not good enough.

    Since I know only what I read about Holdren, then I guess he’s at least as good of “friend” of mine as, oh say, Alex Jones is of yours.

    Who’s “talking about” the book? I read multiple news websites, watch several cable news shows per day but have (outside of here) to read or hear anything about this. If a handful of obscure conspiracy theorists are the ones “talking about” it, no surprise.

    Do evil, genocidal people make it into government? Let’s ask Dick Cheney for starters.

  27. Piffy!

    [b]I realize you’re probably a good friend of Holdren’s and are offended at these assessments of “Ecoscience” and the fact that the book itself is being talked about. He’s probably reformed and has since renounced those views that he is associated with. Well he must have, because evil, genocidal people NEVER get into government. [/b]

    Way to discredit yourself, “Matt”.

    I, too, was intrigued by the above posts about Holdren, until i actually researched it on my own, and very quickly came to the same conclusion Dionysys does above. There is nothing in those writings that any rational person could claim is evidence that it is shaping current foreign policy. It is just smoke and mirrors to go along with rumors of “Death Panels”. If there was even a modicum of truth behind your assertion, you wouldnt be forced to engage in such vague speculation.

    I used to respect a good portion of your posts, MAtt, because they, at times, seemed like rational conservative thought.

    but now I see you are just part of the Alex Jones crowd, spreading fear and disinformation in your attempts to ward of a non-existent “Socialism”.

    So the questions remains, do you really believe this conspiracy garbage? Or are you actively trying to muddy the water? Because Nobody with a functioning brain, capable of free, independent thought could ever come the bizarre, fearful conclusions your paranoid fantasy world whips up in the Dark.

  28. Piffy!

    Of course, im just a left-wing apologist, who is too blind to see that Obama intends to sterilize all white males, and then confiscate our women.

  29. Piffy!

    Anyone posting something from ‘infowars’ needs to seek counseling, STAT!

    Step away from the disinformation campaign, matt.

  30. Dionysis

    “just part of the Alex Jones crowd”

    This conspiracy rattling is also featured splashed all over WorldNetDaily’s website (the same crowd of geniuses that promoted the ‘Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate’ as a ‘smoking gun’). They also are describing the book as by ‘Holdren and Erlich’, although it was primarily written by Paul and Anne Erlich.

  31. BJorn

    The same people against Single Payer health care, coincidentally also believe Humans walked with the dinosaurs & the Earth is flat! It’s easy to spot these “Freaks” they’re always tripping over their tails & clubbing progress!

  32. JWTJr

    I’m in favor of insuring people who can’t afford it and not insuring those who can afford it and choose not to.

    However, thinking that the DMV or the IRS or any other branch of the USGovt running all of health care is the only solution seems a bit naive.

    The public option will be a low cost/high deductible plan. Just like Obama has stated. That still hammers the low income patient with big out of pocket. A poor solution.

    We need a scalpel, not a sledge hammer for this issue.

  33. entopticon

    Next thing you know, the government will start running the police department, the fire department, and heaven forbid, even the post office.

    The far right wing wants to fix the problem with a scalpel, when in actuality it requires a bulldozer at this point.

  34. JWTJr

    You can have the USPS run your health care if you want. I’ll pass thanks.

  35. JWTJr

    More on point with the article, its a shame that both the left and the right have resorted to Jerry Springer debate styles.

    On one hand, you almost feel sorry for the legislators in facing no win situations, but on the other … they ran for office and were elected … they need to face the music.

  36. entopticon

    Yeah, because the post office is just so inefficient. It’s not like they send billions of letters around the country for just a few cents with remarkable dependability… Oh wait, yeah, they do that.

    You can have a privatized police force if you want. It has worked out so well in Somalia after all. It’s a regular libertarian paradise over there.

    It’s funny how far right-wing politicians always run on a platform of how corrupt and inept government is, and then they spend all of their time in office trying to prove it.

  37. entopticon

    And Heath Shuler is no better. I will support any candidate running against him who supports universal healthcare, Democrat or Republican.

  38. JWTJr

    Its easy to run on the ineptness of Gov’t. Its a slam dunk. So when did the USPS stop being the joke the whole country makes about being over staffed and under worked? I missed that memo.

    Your police analogy is a distraction. I said nothing of it.

    Obama himself stated that FedEx and UPS don’t have problems .. the USPS has problems. If they were allowed to deliver regular mail, the USPS would be doomed.

  39. JWTJr

    Entopticon – do you define Universal Health Care as everyone having coverage or a single payor?

  40. entopticon

    Nam Vet/Cullen/JWTJr etc, etc, etc, the USPS is one of the most successfully run large scale bureaucracies on the planet. I guess you did miss the memo.

    I think a public option is a step in the right direction. Ultimately, a single payer system is the only sane option for a modern society.

  41. JWTJr

    Obama disagrees with you on the single payor system. You going against him the same as Shuler next election?

    Comparing one bureaucracy to another isn’t very impressive. Compare them to a private sector business and impress me. Oh, they are compared with Fedex and UPS all the time and pale in comparison. Fedex and UPS’s success is proof. If the USPS was so competitive, they wouldn’t be loosing most all their package business.

  42. entopticon

    Actually Cullen, he does agree that a single payer system would be best. He has openly said that. But he is a pragmatist, and recognizes that that wouldn’t be feasible at the legislative level at this time.

    Again, I hate to burst your bubble, but the police force is indeed socialized. And it certainly is amusing how you just make crap up to compensate for the fact that you have no legitimate argument. Fed Ex and UPS are both in trouble. The USPS will be just fine.

  43. JWTJr

    Who is cullen?

    He said last night that the single payor solution is not best. Was he lying in the past or now?

    The USPS will be fine because the are the only entity allowed to deliver mail. They are protected and can raise rates to compensate for their inefficiency without risk of a competitor doing better.

    Fedex and UPS kick the USPS’s butt in package delivery. Ask any business owner who regularly ships things. UPS and Fedex Ground rules the roost.

    Why do you keep bring up the police? I’ve never mentioned them. It is not a reasonable analogy.

  44. entopticon

    I already explained that, but I will try to explain it more slowly so that even you can understand. He has openly, publicly stated that if he could start from scratch, a single payer system would be best. Because of Republicans and Democrats like Heath Shuler that are deep in the pockets of the healthcare and insurance industries, the legislative realities dictate that a single payer program is not the best solution right now. A public option is a step in the right direction. Obama is an incrementalist, and rightly so.

    Why do you keep bringing up the post office? Because it is a socialized service, just as the police are. The police force is actually a more apt analogy, because as with policing, profit in healthcare is completely unethical, inefficient, and guarantees corruption. Privatized medicine is even more insane than a privatized police force or fire department.

    There are 36 countries on the planet who offer better healthcare for far less, and unlike us they cover all of their citizens. If they can do it, so can we. It’s not magic.

    I have no doubt in my mind that just like every other right-winger, if you suddenly developed a serious condition that caused your insurance company to flag your account and drop you, after you could never get insurance again and you lost your house, your folks’ house, your children’s college fund, and everything that you ever worked for, you would be singing a different tune. It wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve seen that sort of thing happen. Right wingers are all for greed until they are the ones getting the short end of the stick.

    More than 50% of all the bankruptcies in the US are because of healthcare costs. More than 80% of those bankruptcies are people who thought they were insured. Our current system is a complete embarrassment to the world.

  45. JWTJr

    I have no issues with insuring everyone. I have never said I did.

    Obama’s flip flop on single payor has to do with his comments on competition being a critical component to keeping costs down. How does a single payor compete with anything? Regardless of whether it was how everything started or the reform we are going for now. Its a flip flop. I for one am hoping he has seen the light and understands that a Gov’t monopoly is a bad idea.

    He has either changed his mind or he is lying and secretly thinks the competition rhetoric is just that … hot air to get something passed when his real intentions are different.

  46. entopticon

    Sorry, but I just don’t buy into that Ayn Rand rhetoric. Competition is a fundamental part of the current system. It will continue to be a fundamental part of the system if the current healthcare proposals are passed. That does not mean that it is fundamental to healthcare. It is not. if anything, it is fundamentally detrimental to healthcare. Many countries with far better healthcare for far less money than we spend have single payer systems. And seriously, that indignant “flip-flop” rhetoric coming from a right-winger is outright laughable.

  47. JWTJr

    The Ayn Rand reference is weak. If you’ve been a business owner, you know that you strive to do what you do better and cheaper to succeed. What’s wrong with better and cheaper? Do you want to strip away the prime driver for innovation?

  48. entopticon

    You really have to ask what is wrong with “cheaper” healthcare?!? Cheaper is rarely better, and profit is certainly not a healthy motivator for healthcare decisions. Health is.

    Profit guarantees corruption, inequality, and fraud in fields such as policing, fire prevention, and healthcare. Healthcare decisions need to be made on health criteria, not profit criteria. In a profit motivated healthcare system, the companies with the most unscrupulous practices will always put the rest out of business. The question of whether to save someone’s life or not should never be based on profit.

    As I mentioned, I have known extreme right-wingers who started singing a very different tune once it was their life savings that was wiped out. Any civilized nation has universal healthcare. And again, if you seriously think that Christ, a skilled laborer who quit working to hang out bumming spare change and talking philosophy with his friends all day, wouldn’t have been for universal healthcare for all people, rich and poor alike, you are out of your gourd. Christ and his disciples all wouldn’t have been eligible for healthcare under the Republican system.

  49. entopticon

    Oh, and I see that we can agree on one thing; Ayn Rand’s ridiculous laissez faire social Darwinism is definitely weak. Not sure why you were parroting it though.

    When it comes to the work of Ayn Rand, Dorothy Parker said it best… It should not be “tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

  50. JWTJr

    “Profit guarantees corruption, inequality, and fraud in fields such as policing, fire prevention, and healthcare. Healthcare decisions need to be made on health criteria, not profit criteria. In a profit motivated healthcare system, the companies with the most unscrupulous practices will always put the rest out of business. The question of whether to save someone’s life or not should never be based on profit.”

    How about this … less expensive instead of cheaper? Isn’t that the point … to reduce costs? As a consumer, I imagine you pass by the most costly and lowest quality items. The same concept applies to the 15% of the economy that develops the services and technology you benefit from when you need care. This just isn’t about the insurance companies. The complexity of the healthcare world is NOT the same as police and fire. It dwarfs them both.

    I don’t have your fascination with Ayn Rand you seem to. I’ve been a business owner and now work in health care and just know how it works out there.

  51. JWTJr

    Entopticon – your theory that product and service price/quality and consumer choice/demand and physician choice/demand are meaningless in health care is an interesting theory.

    If you actually worked in healthcare, you would see how off the mark it is. Those factors have gigantic impact on the care you receive. They drive down price and drive up quality. I see it every day.

  52. entopticon

    JWTJr, you can assume all you want, but the facts are the facts, and you are incontrovertibly wrong. We spend far more on healthcare than single payer countries, even though our healthcare is inferior. That completely obliterates your argument.

    And there are plenty of people in healthcare across the planet who are for a single payer system. In fact, most are, which destroys that argument as well.

    With my existing health conditions, if my insurer dumped me (wouldn’t be the first time) I wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever getting health insurance again unless there was a public option, so forgive me if it is impossible to take your argument seriously.

    France has the highest rated healthcare in the world. Right-wing extremist propaganda aside, their care is superior to ours and no one there EVER has to worry that they are going to go bankrupt, lose their house, and lose their parent’s house, only to die in the end because they ran out of money. Decisions are based on health, not by an insurance industry bureaucrat whose job it is to find ways to deny payment.

    Unlike me, they never, ever have to live in terror that they are going to lose their coverage or hit some arbitrary maximum. Unlike us, they save a fortune by catching conditions early because exorbitant copays don’t prevent people from catching conditions early on.

    And unlike us they save a fortune on healthcare costs because they don’t have to line the pockets of the robber barons of the healthcare industry with outrageous fortunes on top of the actual price of healthcare.

    You can keep arguing for a far more expensive, far less effective, and unethical system, even though there are 36 countries on Earth with higher healthcare ratings despite the fact that we have more money, where unlike here people don’t have to go bankrupt or die because they can’t afford treatment, but there is nothing that you could say that would ever make me take your argument seriously. This animation sums it up pretty well:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jng4TnKqy6A

  53. Eli Cohen

    As for Christianity, you don’t have a clue but that is to be expected. It is the Gospel you need rather than further lessons of doctrine whether ecclesiastical or ecumenical.

    Travelah, have you been talking to the angry old white man in the sky again? Maybe you should ask his son (jesus) what he would do? I talked jesus and he supports universal health care.

  54. Eli Cohen

    The Ayn Rand reference is weak. If you’ve been a business owner, you know that you strive to do what you do better and cheaper to succeed. What’s wrong with better and cheaper? Do you want to strip away the prime driver for innovation?

    Namvet,The biggest fear of the opponents of a government health care option is that it will be an unfair advantage over the insurance companies. (cheaper and better) What’s wrong with cheaper and better?

  55. JWTJr

    “With my existing health conditions, if my insurer dumped me (wouldn’t be the first time) I wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever getting health insurance again unless there was a public option, so forgive me if it is impossible to take your argument seriously.”

    I sympathize here. My best buddy has the same issue. However,the public option is not the tool that will solve this. Eliminating the pre-existing condition clause will … a different part of the bill. You will be able to buy coverage from a wide variety of places.

  56. JWTJr

    Eli – The fear people have about the public option undermining the insurance industry is all based on how the option is funded. Obama mentioned it specifically in his speech.

    If it is subsidized by the FedGov’t and not funded in a transparent way, then no one will know if its successful or not. Reid and Pelosi were for that approach and Obama thwarted them the other night. Many want a transparent funding mechanism so an actual comparison can be made.

    If the Gov’t can provide the same care for less than the insurance industry, then the answer is clear moving forward. Til then though, assuming the Gov’t can out perform the private sector is speculation. They haven’t done that anywhere else yet. That is why many are skeptical.

  57. entopticon

    “Til then though, assuming the Gov’t can out perform the private sector is speculation.”

    That’s complete nonsense. It’s just right-wing rhetoric with no basis in fact. Medicaire has done a far better job of controlling costs than private health insurers.

    I agree with you that the Republicans are completely wrong on the issue of preexisting conditions. The foremost healthcare policy analysis estimates that less than 3% of the people with preexisting conditions would be covered by high risk pools.

    For now, I am covered, at least until BCBS decides to find some loophole and drop me. If there is a public option, I won’t have to worry about getting dropped and I won’t have to worry about whether or not I would be one of the lucky few who could still get reasonable insurance.

  58. entopticon

    The real truth: Sick For Profit:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4TsaHmtgfA

    “The reason I left CIGNA was because towards the end of my career I was able to see how insurance companies maximize profits by denying claims, denying care essentially, and by dumping the sick. It’s all for the purpose of maximizing profits and enhancing shareholder value for Wall Street investors.

    Sometimes people will forget that they had acne at some point during the past and not disclose that. And then later on, the insurance company can use that as a reason to cancel their insurance. Another way that insurance companies maximize their profits is by denying coverage; denying a claim.”

    -Wendell Potter, former VP of Corporate Communications for CIGNA.

  59. JWTJr

    ““Til then though, assuming the Gov’t can out perform the private sector is speculation.”

    That’s complete nonsense. It’s just right-wing rhetoric with no basis in fact. Medicaire has done a far better job of controlling costs than private health insurers.”

    Name a couple of examples where the Gov’t went head to head with the private sector and won.

  60. entopticon

    “Contrary to popular perception, Medicare has done a better job controlling costs than private insurance, and that advantage has rapidly grown in the last 20 years or so,”
    — Jacob Hacker, co-director of the University of California-Berkeley School of Law Center on Health, Economic and Family Security.

  61. JWTJr

    Medicare denies more care than insurance. That’s how they control costs. Their bureaucracy is super rigid with no exceptions. So is Medicaid.

    Regarding the study …. At least most of them … over 90% … are smart enough to not want the Public Option only.

    I don’t have a huge problem with the Public Option if its funded transparently.

  62. entopticon

    Do you know that that is a completely bogus argument, or are you just unaware of it? Medicare does indeed deny more claims, because it only insures an elderly market. If private insurers had to provide coverage for an entirely elderly market, who didn’t have medicare to back them up, they would deny vastly more claims than medicare does.

    Regarding the study, spin it however you want; it does not change the fact that the vast majority of doctors want a public option.

    “I don’t have a huge problem with the Public Option if its funded transparently.”

    I am glad to see we are on the same page now :^)

  63. JWTJr

    “Do you know that that is a completely bogus argument, or are you just unaware of it? Medicare does indeed deny more claims, because it only insures an elderly market. If private insurers had to provide coverage for an entirely elderly market, who didn’t have medicare to back them up, they would deny vastly more claims than medicare does.”

    Medicare does not ‘Back up’ insurance companies. What do you mean there?

    Private insurer do provide coverage for some Medicare recipients … its called the Medicare Advantage Plan. Those insurers are on the hook for everything. No back up. They have to cover at least with Medicare does and more in many cases.

  64. entopticon

    “Medicare does not ‘Back up’ insurance companies. What do you mean there?”

    I mean that it is an indisputable fact that if private insurance had to comprehensively cover the elderly market, and the elderly did not have medicare available to them as a backup, private insurance would deny many more claims than medicare.

    It is a well known fact that the argument that Medicare denies more claims than private insurers is laughably dishonest, because it compares Medicare, which only covers the elderly, to private insurers, who cover everyone. And if it was the other way around, Medicare would actually be denying vastly fewer claims than private insurers.

    Yes, private insurers do provide coverage for many medicare recipients. Those recipients most certainly do have a backup for when some corporate bureaucrat drops their coverage because they forgot to dot an “i.” It’s called Medicare, which doesn’t turn people away or cook their books by dropping coverage for costly claims. The truth is, tstatistics don’t even account for the people who have their coverage dropped by private insurers, because then it is not considered a denied claim.

    If the astonishing number of people who have their policies cancelled because they got too expensive for the insurance companies (who will always find a loophole to get out of it) was factored in, the true number of people whose claims are denied already dwarfs medicare percentages. Unlike private insurance, medicare cannot drop sick clients to cook their books.

    Most bankruptcies in the US are because of healthcare costs, and more than 80% of those people believed they were insured.

  65. JWTJr

    Medicare does not back up insurers in any way. Read up on Medicare Advantage plans.

  66. entopticon

    That is utter nonsense. If an elderly person does not choose to use private insurance, they will always have Medicare as a backup.

  67. JWTJr

    Your definition of back up does not mean ‘reinsure’. Those are very different. I’m sure I cannot convince you otherwise. We will have to agree to disagree.

  68. JWTJr

    Medicare Advantage Plans CANNOT drop patients. It is 100% the patient’s decision whether to use straight Medicare or an MA plan. Thinking the MA plans dump expensive patients back onto Medicare is incorrect.

  69. entopticon

    No, my definition of backup was not referring to reinsurance, which is something that I am personally very familiar with (I come from a family of reinsurance brokers).

    Medicare Advantage plans are subsidized by the federal government. That is a fact, so your example is more than a bit silly. Medicare Advantage can only drop people for renal failure. They can change their plan each year, and if it no longer works for the elderly person, that person will ALWAYS have Medicare as a backup.

    My argument is incontrovertible. The statistics showing that Medicare denies slightly more claims than private insurers are well known to be a complete joke, because they compare that of private insurers who massively cook their statistics by dropping policies and primarily insure relatively young and healthy people, to medicare, which exclusively covers the elderly.

  70. JWTJr

    MA plans have to be subsidized .. by the money the patients have paid in over the years. You expect them to do it for free? The patient to start paying premiums again after they did their whole lives?

    The MA plan has to provide at least what Medicare does and normally offers more. That is how the plans change from year to year. They never offer less than medicare.

    MA plans don’t drop patients the way they currently can for commercial policies.

  71. entopticon

    You missed the point. Comparing Medicare Advantage, which is heavily subsidized by the federal government, to Medicare, as some kind of proof that the private market is more effective, is absolutely ludicrous. There is no way around that.

  72. JWTJr

    If you understood how MA Plans really worked, we could have a converstation.

    I guess we are done here.

  73. entopticon

    If you understood the basic tenets of logic, you would know that it is completely asinine to use a federally subsidized program as an example of how the private sector outperforms the public, so I guess we are.

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