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Health care and freedom

"Today is the death of freedom as a cause for celebration," Rep. Marsha Blackburn just said as she opened the House Republicans' argument against the health-care bill. Her stem-winder was quick and clean. This bill, she argued, will make Americas less free.

There is a tendency to think this sort of inane hyperbole an innovation of our polarized age. But it isn't. When Medicare was being considered, the American Medical Association hired Ronald Reagan to record a record housewives could play for their friends. It was called Operation: Coffee Cup, and you can listen to it in the clip atop this post, or read the text here.

Reagan was a more graceful speaker than Blackburn, but his point was much the same. Kill the bill. "If you don’t do this and if I don’t do it," he said, "one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

Well, the bill passed. And moments ago, Rep. Paul Ryan was on the floor of the House, bellowing against Democrats who would dare propose "across-the-board cuts to Medicare." This is breathless opportunism from Ryan -- he has proposed far deeper across-the-board cuts to Medicare, and is making arguments against the Democrats' bill that would be far more potent and accurate if aimed at his own -- but leave that aside for a moment. The GOP's embrace of the program that Ronald Reagan fought, and that Newt Gingrich sought to let "whither on the vine," is based on the lived experience seniors have had with the bill: It has made them more, rather than less, free.

Blackburn's introduction aside, people do not "celebrate" the freedom to not be able to afford lifesaving medical care. They don't want the freedom to weigh whether to pay rent or take their feverish child to the emergency room. They don't like the freedom to lose their job and then be told by insurers that they're ineligible for coverage because they were born with a heart arrhythmia.

When faced with the passage of programs that would deliver people from these awful circumstances, the Republicans adopt a very narrow and cruel definition of the word "freedom." But when faced with the existence of programs like Medicare, and the recognition that their constituents depend on those programs to live lives free of unnecessary fear and illness, they abandon their earlier beliefs, forget their dire warnings and, when convenient, defend these government protections aggressively. There's nothing much to be done about that. It is, after all, a free country. But Americans should feel free to ignore these discredited hysterics.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 21, 2010; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

We are no longer slaves to our jobs, in order to keep insurance. We are no longer slaves to pre-existing conditions. My daughter doesn't have to rush from college to get a job with insurance, but has the freedom to do other things and stay on our insurance.

Posted by: AZProgressive | March 21, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Reagan was entirely correct. Four decades after Medicare passed, the government is facing a self-created health care crisis, just as Reagan and many others predicted.

And the government's solution (cheered on by dimwits like Klein) is to force people and businesses under threats of impoverishment and incarceration to comply with the bureaucracy's vision of what health care should be. Reagan called it exactly, and he especially called the demise of freedom.

Incidentally, Reagan used the "sunset years" line in speech after speech, across decades. Even Klein, maybe, could look it up. If he care a whit for freedom.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

--"We are no longer slaves to our jobs"--

Someone is now a slave to your health care.

You should be very proud.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein is trying to get a White House job that's all.

Posted by: JakeD2 | March 21, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, forceful post, Ez.

Posted by: tannerjufe | March 21, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

msoja,

You must be soooo pissed off with the hypocritical Republicans decrying this healthcare bill because it 'guts Medicare' then, right?

Or perhaps you are pleased as punch with this bill and congratulate the Democrats for 'gutting Medicare then, right?

Seeing as how you think Medicare is such an awful program, you must love the Dems and hate the Republicans for opposing this bill, right?

Thought so...

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Reagan twice.

Now that I've grown older and wiser and see how the Republican party is now based on greed and fear (mostly owing to Reagan and his worshippers), I often lament having made those votes.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 21, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

'msoja' I am sure events of last few days must be making you dizzying and making your brain not to work. Otherwise you would know how incoherent you are.

If Regan was right, then why is Paul Ryan defending Medicare?

Sometimes I wonder these GOP folks do not even understand the language they are using. Or may be so mad that they are totally incoherent.

Anyways 'msoja and JakeD2' keeping doing your comedy. We need few jokers around to celebrate the festivity this occasion warrants.

Posted by: umesh409 | March 21, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"They don't want the freedom to weigh whether to pay rent or take their feverish child to the emergency room."

Yes, they do. They don't hope for that situation. They don't hope for any of the terrible hypotheticals you throw out there, silly, shallow scare tactics that they are. But they do want the freedom to make these decisions themselves. To live their lives themselves, not tied to supporting an out of control government.

Silly children like you tell yourselves you're only doing this for everyone else's good. That you're smarter and know better. But Reagan was absolutely right. This is exactly what he said would happen. We are on the brink of creating yet another entitlement we can't afford, tying our people to taxes they don't want and can't afford, and yes, limiting all of our freedoms forever.

You can play semantic games with the word freedom, but you know perfectly well what we're talking about.

Posted by: kenobi1 | March 21, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"...when men were free."

Let's see... What percentage of the population is that?

For the Right, freedom -- like prosperity -- is a tasty pie for reserved for Republicans. The way they seem to see it, the more freedom and prosperity are made possible for Others, the less freedom "decent, hard-working" Real Americans will get to keep.

Posted by: texassideoats | March 21, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

kenobi1, then you too must be pissed off at Republicans for opposing this bill which they decry will 'gut Medicare', right? You must love the Democrats for having the courage to scale back Medicare benefits with this bill, right?

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

ezra

thank you for all of the immense work you have put into these many months.
do not be discouraged.
we live in a world in which there is evil,
and that cannot be changed.
but there is good, as well.
and you will always fight the good fight.
stay strong.
be encouraged,
victory is at hand!

Posted by: jkaren | March 21, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"people do not 'celebrate' the freedom to not be able to afford lifesaving medical care"

No. but as long as they manage to believe that they could afford it via the current system, they can celebrate their freedom to consider themselves superior. And isn't that really what they're all about?

Posted by: latts | March 21, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Posing this as a question of freedom suggests an even more fundamental issue, unnamed in all the rhetoric -- whether or not America itself is a true (personal) community to Americans. (We want to reserve our freedom to direct our charity to our own true community)

Some people choose to limit their own community to a select group.

But our nation has built a lot of history for its people now -- we have shed blood together to build this nation and defend her, we have struggled together to improve our nation and its laws...

This question of whether the nation is our true community is a profound question...

http://findingourdream.blogspot.com/

Posted by: HalHorvath | March 21, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't the GOPers say these things over and over again? They're never held accountable by the Media (or anyone else) for what they say.

It's not, "Yeah, you said the same thing last time round and you were completely wrong, so STFU" -- it's 'He said, She said' 24/7.

Posted by: leoklein | March 21, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree with jkaren

Whatever the outcome today, good job Ezra.

I am also pleased by Obama's re-emergence as a leader as of late. If health care fails, it wasn't his fault this time.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 21, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

--"You must be soooo pissed off with the hypocritical Republicans decrying this healthcare bill because it 'guts Medicare' then, right?"--

Absolutely. It's a shame that the bill doesn't gut Medicare. Medicare and Medicaid have always been disasters in the making (hence the "need" for health care "reform"), there is nothing else ever been possible with them, and "reform" just turns it all into a bigger disaster.

The people slavering for their free lunches are going to be sorely disappointed, and they're nothing but fools. The sad part is, the quality of health care will decline for everyone. That's socialism's unavoidable, unrelenting legacy.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

--"This question of whether the nation is our true community is a profound question..."--

It might seem profound to a chipmunk, Hal, but otherwise...

We are individuals. One cannot foster a community with threats of force and intimidation, as is being done under the name of health care reform. You, as an individual, might be able to head off to your doctor and smile and laugh and enjoy your "free" health care, but somewhere in the background, one of your fellow citizens is working with a gun pointed at his head.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

msoja, so how does it feel to have exactly ZERO representation in congress? Not one republican is willing to go on record and say that Medicare should be abolished. You have no one whatsoever that represents your position. None.

That must suck. I can understand why you'd be angry.

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Reagan was wrong.

Ryan is a liar, as is Blackburn, Bachmann, Cantor, Boehner Dreier, Issa, GinnyFox, and the remainder of that ilk.

Exactly what "freedoms" are these Bozos losing?

And what the whiskey tango foxtrot does this mean: "Today is the death of freedom as a cause for celebration," [Rep. Marsha Blackburn just said...]

What? No more Fourth of July? If we can't 'celebrate freedom' because it died today, apparently we won't be seeing Marsha Blackburn at the annual Independence Day picnic. Although, we're planning a HUGE celebration at the FEMA indoctrination and internment camp, complete with death panels, socialist wealth redistribution -- the aptly named "Wheel of Lose Your Fortune" -- loads of party games like "Who Can Pull the Plug on Grandma Fastest?," "Are You Smarter Than a Tea Partier?" and "Pop a 'Cap and Tax' On Yo' Homey". Later in the evening everyone will be looking forward to "Dancing With the Czars."

Posted by: jade_7243 | March 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

msoja, I'm familiar with the ideas and rhetoric of Alice Rosenbaum (Ayn Rand), as I had read all of her books (w/ the nonfiction) by age 15.

Now, I'd guess even you would agree that a tax/fine of 2.5% of income up to $700 (something like that) isn't precisely equivalent to a literal gun to your head, and that neither is even garnishments of income for back taxes.

Rather A is A (Rand), and a gun is literally a gun, and no less and no more.

So the word "gun" is rhetoric, and not substantive. But you do have a real issue aside from that.

The only real issue here is whether being fined for refusing to participate in an insurance scheme constitutes coercion (this is entirely separate from the question of community of choice).

And it isn't a simple one.

If you choose to drive an auto without insurance or large financial reserves for example, and are unable to pay for liability and then you collide (your fault) with a family in a sedan, sending them into $100,000 or more of medical bills, would we feel pleased that at least you hadn't been successfully "coerced" to buy auto insurance?

Responsibility for financial risk to others is unavoidably tied into the question of what-is-freedom.

Generally, thinkers recognize that freedoms entails responsibilities. (You are not free to steal or destroy what doesn't belong to you, etc., etc.)

Now, suppose I don't want to be responsible for your own Emergency Room/ICU charges if you choose to refuse to be financial responsible for yourself by buying health insurance.

Would you yourself say then that lacking proof of health insurance that you yourself personally should be turned away from the ER during a heart attack?

I think it is an interesting question, and I'm interested in your response.

Posted by: HalHorvath | March 21, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

My daughter doesn't have to rush from college to get a job with insurance, but has the freedom to do other things and stay on our insurance.

Posted by: AZProgressive | March 21, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse


You do realize that there's this law called COBRA that allows for dependent children who "age off" their parents plan to be covered for up to 36 months right?

Or is this just to try to get someone else to seemingly pay for this cost?

If there's hidden cost for the uninsured why is there no hidden cost for allowing dependents to be covered on parents plans to age 26?

How do liberals argue that point?

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 21, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

HalHorvath,

Is it OK for the government to tell you that when you buy your required car insurance that you need to have "X" amount of collision coverage, "X" amount of liability coverage as well as other requirements? Becuase that's what we're doing here. Its one thing to say they must be covered (and I agree with that) but its quite another to tell them exactly what's required to be covered and set a baseline where its assumed to be adequate coverage for all and also affordable for all (including the taxpayer).

Also what no one here talks about is that when you do that you have to set that benchmark (as of yet to be determined by the HHS Secretary.)

When you do that, you take benefits from some who have more liberal minded states (like my state of NJ for example) and decrease their costs OR you force others to more benefits and increase their costs because the money to pay for autism coverage for example doesn't come out of thin air.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 21, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

--"So the word "gun" is rhetoric, and not substantive."--

I refuse to pay the fines, too, Hal. You going to send someone around to confiscate my property in order to wring my fair share out of me?

--"Would you yourself say then that lacking proof of health insurance that you yourself personally should be turned away from the ER during a heart attack?"--

That's a purposely slanted question, Hal, as you ought to know. There are dozens of ways to pay health bills, and insurance is just one of them. However, if hospitals want to predicate the delivery of their services in such ways, I guess I won't bothering being driven to such places. And, of course, that's exactly the sort of criteria that's being put into place. No government-approved insurance? Sorry, Charley, but you haven't been sufficiently "patriotic" in terms of your collective responsibility. And besides, our non-ideological health care oversight committee has already blown the budget this year. Do come back in the first quarter.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

--"msoja, so how does it feel to have exactly ZERO representation in congress?"--

I suppose it feels like it felt to Paine, Jefferson, Revere, Henry, etc.

The government they sought to institute was meant to protect the rights of everyone, not just those who could muster a political majority. We are now back to square one, as far as I'm concerned. Anything is now possible, and the road runs straight down hill.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Klein: The GOP's embrace of the program that Ronald Reagan fought, and that Newt Gingrich sought to let "whither on the vine," is based on the lived experience seniors have had with the bill: It has made them more, rather than less, free.

Except that that so-called freedom was on someone else's dime, and therefore wasn't really "freedom", was it? And the dimes were fast running out. Yet, all that "reform" does is grab more people by the ankles to shake more dimes out of their pockets, and eventually that money, too, will dry up. And then, instead of having half a free market to fall back on, there will be nothing but government run health care, and all of it will be ripped with politics, graft, and incompetence.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

msoja, the truly sad thing for you? Not only do you have ZERO representation in Congress for your current views on Medicare... in a few years time you'll have ZERO representation in Congress for your current views on ObamaCare as it is going to become every bit as popular as Medicare.

It is going to be very entertaining to watch a decade from now how quickly Republicans start lamenting Democratic "scare" tactics when ads Democrats start putting up ads warning voters that Republicans want to take away their ObamaCare. Very entertaining indeed.

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Myrtle, it's understood that thievery is popular among thieves. That doesn't make it right. You are standing with thugs and thieves, and making a disgrace of yourself. I wouldn't trade places for anything.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

msoja, Your views are so alien to average everyday Americans that you have lost the common facility to communicate with your fellow citizens.

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

--"msoja, Your views are so alien to average everyday Americans that you have lost the common facility to communicate with your fellow citizens."--

I think you understand me very well. The problem is that you have no interest in respecting the rights of your fellow citizens, because they have something you want, and you're going to take it from them.

Like I said, I wouldn't trade places with you for anything.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

--"msoja, Your views are so alien to average everyday Americans that you have lost the common facility to communicate with your fellow citizens."--

Further, you might want to ponder exactly who it is you're insulting with that statement.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr -- "Is it OK for the government to tell you that when you buy your required car insurance that you need to have "X" amount of collision coverage, "X" amount of liability coverage as well as other requirements?"

Yes. We require drivers to be financially responsible for the financial risk they impose on other drivers. Essentially, drivers are thus paying their own way.

Of course, health care is different than auto driving, and the parallel to auto insurance requirements is for the particular piece of that financial risk imposed on others by being uninsured in a society that requires hospitals to treat everyone in ERs.

"Also what no one here talks about is that when you do that you have to set that benchmark (as of yet to be determined by the HHS Secretary.)"

I agree with this concern. I've advocated that there should be policies on the exchange that offer a kind of bare-bones catastrophic risk health insurance as one option for those that don't want insurance for such things as back pain, strep throat, etc. One proposal was the "young invincibles" plan, which was added to reform at one point. I don't know if it is still in there.

In any case, the best exchange standards are about transparency and clarity. This is precisely like your experience in any American grocery store: by law the food is labeled to show ingredients, and by law must have the ingredients the label claims. The exchanges are expected to do this in regard to policies. It is the most important regulation to my mind. For instance, I'm sure I'm in the top 2% of readers for deciphering health insurance policies, but....I'm sure I don't understand my own policy perfectly, in spite of a cumulative several hours of study. There's a reason I don't understand it perfectly -- because it was written to prevent me from perfectly knowing what will be covered, when, and to what extent (even though many pieces are clear, again by intention).


Posted by: HalHorvath | March 21, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

"Someone is now a slave to your health care."

msoja, the nation's #1 drama queen, is in rare form on the night that America's private health care system will be preserved and coverage will be broadened.

As always, he insults every African-American by describing himself as a "slave."

As always, he perceives a gun pointed to his head because the law will now require him to have health insurance, with subsidies available if needed to make it affordable, or face a token $700 fine.

As always, he rails against the constitutional process of elected representatives fulfilling the promises they made to the majority that elected them in our democratic tradition.

As always, he calls Ezra Klein a "dimwit," but spends all day reading EK's blog and spewing his anarchist tripe.

As always, msoja should move to a country without a functioning government, like Yemen or Somalia, so he can enjoy the "freedom" (i.e. greed and lawlessness) he so craves. The drama queen clearly hates America and its constitutional process.

Enjoy watching history and social progress being made tonight, drama queen msoja. Keep on posting!

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 21, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

msoja -- "I refuse to pay the fines, too, Hal. You going to send someone around to confiscate my property in order to wring my fair share out of me?"

That's a purposely slanted question, msoja, as you ought to know.... Ok, I won't dodge it like that. Let me paraphrase: Do I think tax garnishments are legitimate?

Yes, tax garnishments are legitimate when they are constitutional.

I'd like it if you could live in a world where you could roam free on the earth as you please without any necessity to participate in a mutual defense pact (a nation).

But we don't have a world like that.

Specifically we live in this world where there has been historically an abundance of warlords of various statures. Abundant. This lead to the creation of nation-states.

So we end up living in nations, and they end up having laws, to protect us against transgressions from other citizens.

Among these laws are various financial responsibility laws, where you cannot legally impose your financial risks onto other citizens (unless you work for a big bank or invest in a big bank, then you can rip everyone off. I've written extensively against this particular form of corruption.)

So, sure, if you are a multimillionaire, I and Texas, both, are quite satisfied for you to go without auto insurance.

Health insurance is a bit more complex, for specific reasons.

More than I can elaborate in 200 words here.

so:

http://findingourdream.blogspot.com/2009/09/what-is-health-insurance-health-care-is.html

Posted by: HalHorvath | March 21, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I don't understand my own policy perfectly, in spite of a cumulative several hours of study. There's a reason I don't understand it perfectly -- because it was written to prevent me from perfectly knowing what will be covered, when, and to what extent (even though many pieces are clear, again by intention).


Posted by: HalHorvath | March 21, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

This is completely ludicrous to me. An insurance policy is written in plain english. It is not in legislative language. Do you understand the healthcare bill and its language?

I understand that many others find issue with understanding healthcare policies so you're not in the minority. It is not devised as you surmise to confuse you but rather regulations are placed upon it (and now more regulations are being place there) that cause it to seem confusing to you.

If you look at healthcare certificate booklets some 10-20 years ago they were much smaller, much clearer. But when you pack more requirements for coverage not only do you automatically increase cost to the insurer(and then in turn the policyholder) you also increase the wording required to carry out the benefits of that policy.

We have no one to blame but ourselves.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 21, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr, since you've worked (work now?) in the industry, I bet you can decipher most or all of the twists and catches of average individual market policies.

That its challenging for me is an indictment against such language.

Here's why. It's possible to specify the same provisions in clearer language.

I can take sections I've fully deciphered and state them plainly.

For instance, my wife's policy specifically will cover lab work *if* it is done on the same day, and *if* it is billed at the same time in the same bill, but not usually otherwise, except for mamograms, which are covered up to 1 per year at standard intensity xrays, but only for routine screening (and not for diagnosis).

See, that's pretty clear, but it took about 20 minutes, and some actual results for me to be sure that's precisely how that part works on her policy.

I stated it clearly. The policy does not.

Posted by: HalHorvath | March 21, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

--"As always, he insults every African-American by describing himself as a 'slave.'"--

Yeah. That's the sort of quality argument one gets from thieves and thugs, these days.

Knuckleheads, dimwits, liars, thieves, and thugs now hold sway over a once great nation, and they will soon plunder it to its core, and "leave not a wrack behind".

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

btw, the above example is from the best policy available that my wife was able to qualify for on the individual market. That's in a large state, with a large market with several competitors.

It's not actually a problem for us, unless the unlikely happens. In other words, this is a policy, the best available, that has intentional holes, and none better is for sale to her.

Posted by: HalHorvath | March 21, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"Knuckleheads, dimwits, liars, thieves, and thugs now hold sway over a once great nation, and they will soon plunder it to its core, and "leave not a wrack behind"."

Yes, they apparently had more than 50% of the votes cast in 2008, so now they are getting their way. That's America, and I know it puts your panties in a twist.

You never disappoint, drama queen. Liars, thieves and thus everywhere applaud your extreme grief and professions of victimhood this night.

The still great nations of Yemen and Somalia await you. No elected reprentatives will plunder you there! Why are you still here cring your tears among all the American dimwits and thieves who are reducing the budget deficit and extending access to medical care?

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 21, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

The clock is ticking on the house vote for the Sentate bill.

I think this will all come into law, and won't be repealed, and won't really save the medical industry during the next 3 years from the deflation of the health care bubble (due to the recession combined with the end of the easy-money credit bubble).

The fallout from the health care cost bubble is only partly progressed, and plenty of financial drama for the health care industry in 2010-2013 is on the way. Mostly it will be quiet. For example, how many people know that new nurses (just out of nursing school) are now having a very hard time finding a job? Not many people know this. And this is even though nursing is part of the long-term need of the health care sector. The bubble is deflating quietly so far, but the deflation could get noisy.

Posted by: HalHorvath | March 21, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Hal, really, go commune with the chipmunks.

You write "mutual defense pact" while cheering on the plundering and assault taking place within the borders. Forming governments to defend against foreigners doesn't legitimize the pillaging of one internal faction by another. The whole *point* of the founding of the U.S. was in recognizing that each and every individual has the inherent right *and responsibility* to fend for him or her self, and specifically not to be held to arbitrary notions of respective action that *other* people held or hold. What you enunciate is ridiculous. It's madness. It's a return to pre-Enlightenment thinking. It's governance by whim, by fiat, by emotionalism, by fatuousness, by the mob. It's disgrace upon disgrace.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

--"Yes, they apparently had more than 50% of the votes cast in 2008, so now they are getting their way. That's America, and I know it puts your panties in a twist."--

Mob rule. I hope it serves you well.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

"Mob rule. I hope it serves you well."

Tonight the mob rule (that is democracy) certainly has served the citizenry of this great nation very well.

Yemen. Somalia. No dimwit democracy there. Why won't you leave the society you hate and escape this awful mob rule called the USA, drama queen?

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 21, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

msoja, It ain't mob rule. like I said, you have NO representation in Congress for your views. Your views are soooo far outside of ordinary thought that you and your like minded friends have absolutely ZERO representation in Congress. Were you more persuasive perhaps that would not be the case. Sucks to be you.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (ostensibly the closest thing you've got to someone who agrees with your views in Congress) just said this on the floor, "Can you go home and tell your senior citizens, that these cuts in Medicare will not limit their access to doctors or further weaken the program instead of strengthening it? No, you can not!"

And his speech was greeted with affirmations from the rest of the Republicans in the House. So there you go. You have ZERO representation in Congress. These Republicans purport to be defending the very program you call thievery.

So, you see, it isn't mob rule. It is the vast super majority of this country who believe in Medicare. What you call thievery. If you don't like it, I suggest that you are calling the vast super majority of your compatriots thieves.

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

msoja,

You lost. ObamaCare is now the law of the land. America: love it or leave it.

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

MyrtleParker,

yes. And Dems now own it, warts and all. When costs aren't contained (and costs will now absolutely rise especially in the time up until the exchanges open) Republicans will rightfully tell Dems "i told you so" and campaign to the American public that it was the Dems that raised their insurance premiums.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 21, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

--"msoja, It ain't mob rule. like I said, you have NO representation in Congress for your views."--

In a free country I wouldn't *need* representation in Congress.

Now all you animals can *hope* you have the representatives you need or want in the coming years. You've staked your health care to political whim. Good luck with that.

I will continue to rely upon myself until they come to take me away for not serving "the greater good" to their liking.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr, had the bill not passed costs would have continued to spiral out of control. Republicans will own that. They will also own there pledges of doom and the government coming to kill granny. They will own there pledges to repeal insurance company regulations. They will own there pledges to support and strengthen Medicare.

This bill we be popular within a decade. And Republicans will be running away from there opposition to it. Let's just watch and see shall we?

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

msoja, following your views to logical end it would seem you don't believe you've ever lived in a free country.

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me it's time to acknowledge the thoughtful, constructive role AMA has played in this health reform debate...

Posted by: BrendaCraine | March 21, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

"And Dems now own it, warts and all."

Including warts like the end of recission, lifetime and annual caps, exclusion based on pre-exisiting conditions, etc.

Is the cost containment enough? Probably not. But there is now a foundation, and subsequent legislation will refine and improve these reforms, as was the case with Social Security and Medicare. And (like those programs) the Dems will be very happy to "own" health care reform, and to point out for decades to come that not a single Republican voted for HCR.

Be careful what you wish for, Republicans, as David Frum has stated today, there is a "Waterloo" taking place today, but not for Obama and the Democrats.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 21, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Myrtle,

its actually "their".

I'll gladly watch and see. If you've watched the polls while Ezra has been keen to note its getting more popular it still is in general "unpopular". Pollster has Obama's approval on healthcare at 40.7% vs 52.1% against.

How will this bill be popular within a decade? Its costs are unsustainable. Even a liberal like Lawrence O'Donnell knows that. Don't take my word for it, look at MA as its example on a smaller scale. Most don't believe the cost containment features of the bill will do anything. CMS states that healthcare costs will rise and the taxes in this bill will continue to negatively affect unemployment years prior to the major benefits to this reform (the exchanges).

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 21, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

"In a free country I wouldn't *need* representation in Congress.

Now all you animals can *hope* you have the representatives you need or want in the coming years. You've staked your health care to political whim. Good luck with that.

I will continue to rely upon myself until they come to take me away for not serving "the greater good" to their liking."


The weeping from poor msoja is so painful to hear to us "animals." What a sad victim. Lots of drenched wadded Kleenex at his computer tonight.

Yemen and Somalia, sad little drama queen, those are your kind of "free country." Time to go. Or ... do you just love playing the victim of American democracy on EK's blog more than actually living your supposed values in the kind of societies you claim to respect?

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 21, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr, as you yourself know, the status quo was far worse at 'cost containment' and allowed recision, exclusion based on pre-existing conditions, etc. More HCR is in order to further control costs. Not arguing against that. But deeming this a failure because it didn't magically fix the entire problem is short sighted at best and deeply dishonest argument at worse.

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Patrick M,

I don't remember Republicans campaigning on the process of "CONTINUING" recisions? Will Dems campaign on hundreds of millions in new taxes that take effect prior to the exchanges opening and pre-ex ending for all?

Almost all conservative and republican voters are against this. Plus you have many from the far left who are so ticked off there's no public option or single payer that they'll stay away from the polls this November (the question will be how many).

The question isn't IF the Dems will lose votes on this but how many.

As i've said before I'm glad this passed but don't underestimate the political spin machine to follow.

The only hope left for the Dems to truly contain costs is if the excise tax pushback is struck down by the parlamentarian. I can only hope.


And exactly how was Social Security and Medicare strengthened? I know they say Medicare got a couple more years of life because of this but they both need substantial fixing.

Not to mention that we'll see a doc fix included soon. Its pathetic to think we'll have a fiscal commission later this year.

Its like an obese person having lap belt surgery but just before it they go on an eating binge.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 21, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Soggy the Randroid has turned into a parody of a parody. Shouldn't he be off to Galt's Gulch already?

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | March 21, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

--"had the bill not passed costs would have continued to spiral out of control."--

What do you think those costs are going to do now? Even dimwit Klein admits that this new "reform" doesn't do anything about costs. That's going to come later, you see, with magic. Political will! Have another drink of Kool-Aid, won't you?

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

"I don't remember Republicans campaigning on the process of "CONTINUING" recisions?"

Where have you been? They've been campaigning heavily for the STATUS QUO: continuing recisions. And not one of the alternative plans put forward by Republicans have included language to end the practice. And now they are campaigning to repeal this bill which will take us back to recisions. I'd say the've been working quite hard to ensure the practice of recisions is alive and well. Luckily, they've failed miserably.

Posted by: MyrtleParker | March 21, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Myrtle,

I didn't say it was a failure. The achievement it itself is historic. President Obama and Speaker Pelosi should be hailed for threading the needle as they did. As I've said before though I am unfortunately very confident (knowing the system as I do) that this will not contain costs. It is not short-sighted to point out the obvious sell-offs to Pharma in the form of the Eshoo amendment. The sell out to doctors in the doc fix. (ya I know it needed to be addressed anyway). The sell out to insurers in the watered down MLR.

The only people that will give anything for this is the taxpayer who will receive hundreds of millions in new taxes on services and insurance that will absolutely raise their premiums as well as senior citizens who will be forced due to cost increases to leave their Medicare Advantage plans. (btw I don't think they should have been subsidized lest you think I do).

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 21, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

"I don't remember Republicans campaigning on the process of "CONTINUING" recisions? Will Dems campaign on hundreds of millions in new taxes that take effect prior to the exchanges opening and pre-ex ending for all?"

The Republicans have (in effect) "campaigned" (for decades) on the status quo, which includes recission and every other aspect of the status quo which the public perceives as unfair. Tax increases on people earning $250k or more, etc., will not cost Democrats any votes.

On the other hand, most people know someone who has been denied (or been made to wait for) insurance because of pre-ex, or who has been quoted unaffordable premiums to self-insure, or who has been "enslaved" to an employer-provided policy...and the anecdotal power of the relief for every family that will come from these changes is huge.

My son in college has a girlfriend with diabetes whose chances to go to grad school depended on the ability of her parents to keep her on their policy. There will be countless stories of lives changed dramatically for the better because of this legislation.

We will need more legislation to better contain costs, and we will eventually get it. That fact that this reform is incomplete and imperfect does not negate the huge progress made tonight. In years to come, Democrats will benefit greatly from the fact that not a single Republican supported these changes, and that historically the Republicans have consistently stood in the way of HCR, and failed to advance their purported "ideas" whenever they had majorities.

Tonight was game-set-match for the Democrats, morally and politically.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 21, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

--"Soggy the Randroid has turned into a parody of a parody. Shouldn't he be off to Galt's Gulch already?"--

Galt's Gulch is a metaphor. (And if it were real, there's no reason it couldn't or wouldn't have Internet access.) The thing is, every time the looters manage to knock another chunk off the productive class, they succeed in driving them just slightly deeper into said Gulch.

I'll say this: You can forcefully take everything I have to satisfy the ostensible needs of the collective, but you will never be able to force me to actively work for you.

Posted by: msoja | March 21, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

"You can forcefully take everything I have to satisfy the ostensible needs of the collective, but you will never be able to force me to actively work for you."

Boo hoo.

That's right, drama queen. You can leave the USA rather than follow the laws enacted by your elected representatives.

Somalia! Yemen! What are you waiting for?

But you won't live your values of anarchy, because you prefer to accept the benefits of life in the America you claim to despise, and to tell the Internet that you feel like such a "slave" and weep about your victimhood on your constant home: Ezra Klein.

YOU are our very favorite sad little full-time weeping victim of the Constitution of the United States of America. Keep on dabbing your eyes, msoja, and making us laugh. Never EVER stop.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

--"My son in college has a girlfriend with diabetes whose chances to go to grad school depended on the ability of her parents to keep her on their policy. There will be countless stories of lives changed dramatically for the better because of this legislation."--

Everyone has problems, but you're willing to hire a government to go stick up your neighbors so your son's girlfriend can go to grad school. Yeah, it's only pennies a day when you spread it across the entire country, but when half the country has a similar sob story and a commiserating representative in the halls of power, it's a different thing.

So, how much did *you* offer to your son's girlfriend in terms of, you know, real charity?

Posted by: msoja | March 22, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

"So, how much did *you* offer to your son's girlfriend in terms of, you know, real charity?"

I don't see *her* (those asterisks really are SO special, drama queen) as someone who should be a "charity" case, weepy boy. My small business provides health care to my small crew of employees, because I think it is the right thing to do, and as a taxpayer and a business owner I don't mind a few more "pennies a day" to help extend coverage to the uninsured, and to help lower the deficit, Mr. "Slave With a Gun Pointed At His Head."

Keep on drenching the Kleenex with your tears and various other ejaculations. And keep on *not* telling us why you don't leave the USA and live in a country that is organized according to your purported preference for anarchy, favorite sad little hypocritical weepy person.

And please do not ever EVER stop posting.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

vb-- "...costs aren't contained (and costs will now absolutely rise especially in the time up until the exchanges open)"

yep, but this is also a moment (2010-2013) when that putative "insurance death spiral" is actually real and at work, too.

In general, some of the providers trying to make up falling volume (fewer and fewer patients with good insurance) by raising prices will...hit the wall.

And go splat.

Some bankrupt, others doing "cost-cutting" (read massive layoffs).

Result? Health care inflation while actual spending on health care *falls* some. The only way to avoid falling revenues for the sector (for 2010-2013) is a strong economic recovery.

Posted by: HalHorvath | March 22, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Is there some fine to pay if a person refuses to get health insurance? If that's true I will refuse to pay it, and I'll never vote for a Democrat again. I have a healthy lifestyle. I refuse to subsidize slobs who smoke, drink, eat junk food, and never exercise.

Posted by: Human-Ape | March 22, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

--"I don't see *her* [...] as someone who should be a "charity" case, weepy boy."--

And it's not charity when it's *forced* charity, right, thug boy?

What exactly do you call it, then?

Civil rights?

Posted by: msoja | March 22, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

--"Is there some fine to pay if a person refuses to get health insurance?"--

Are you kidding? In America? No, there's no fine. Americans are free to look after themselves. It's the principle upon which the country was founded. You could look it up.

Posted by: msoja | March 22, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

"And it's not charity when it's *forced* charity, right, thug boy?

What exactly do you call it, then?

Civil rights?"


I call it a sensible regulatory reform in the public interest, Mr. "Slave With a Gun Pointed At His Head."

That is why government exists, to protect the public interest. drama queen. But we know you hate America and its Constitutional government, oh weeping victim of the dimwits who somehow alway outsmart genius people like your victimized self.

Keep on drenching the Kleenex with your tears and various other ejaculations. And keep on *not* telling us why you don't leave the USA and live in a country that is organized according to your purported preference for anarchy, favorite sad little hypocritical weepy person.

And please do not ever EVER stop posting.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

"I have a healthy lifestyle. I refuse to subsidize slobs who smoke, drink, eat junk food, and never exercise."

It is hilarious that you (or anyone else) still argue that all illness arises from lifestyle choices.

Tell some 6 year old child with leukemia, or a young woman with ovarian cancer, that she is a "slob" whose cancer results from smoking or lack or exercise, and that her pre-existing condition should exclude her from health insurance.

These arguments are simply pathetic and idiotic. Anyone with any form of insurance joins a risk pool, because everyone in the pool is at risk. The risk of illness and disease is reduced with healthy habits (and such good habits are increased by better access to wellness and preventative care), but if you are so stupid to think that your healthy lifetsyle makes you (or anyone else) physically bullet-proof and immortal, you are mentally challenged.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

--"That is why government exists, to protect the public interest. drama queen. "--

What if it isn't exactly in the public's interest to get all socialist, moron? What if the short term bait dangled in front of people turns out to be long term disaster?

What's just now been irrevocably done is to forcibly place all our health care eggs into the government basket. Those eggs used to be scattered in a number of baskets, alá the ol' free market. Now, when one egg gets crushed, they all get crushed and America is an omelet short of breakfast. Or, at the very least, the *other* party attains power and decides to tweak the parameters to suit its constituency. Or tax revenues don't meet expectations (though really, how many times have you seen the word "unexpectedly" in the economic reports of the last year, hoo ha)? And who are you going to sue when your little "charity" case dies from neglect? Yourself? That will be your only recourse, and I hope you pursue it with all your means.

Posted by: msoja | March 22, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

--"I call it a sensible regulatory reform in the public interest, Mr. "Slave With a Gun Pointed At His Head.""--

Yours is the bland emotionless voice drifting out of the speakers of a propaganda movie.

Posted by: msoja | March 22, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

"What if it isn't exactly in the public's interest to get all socialist, moron? What if the short term bait dangled in front of people turns out to be long term disaster?"

There is nothing "socialist" in this bill weepy Rand-roid. If you were not the crying "moron" of the century, you would understand that the unregulated free market for health care has been an abject failure, and that this reform simply preserves and strengthens a private enterprise health market system that was on the brink of failure.

Had this effort failed, drama queen, we would have had single payer within a decade, because the current system was not sustainable without reform, oh weeping victim of the dimwits who somehow always outsmart genius people like your victimized self.

Keep on drenching the Kleenex with your tears and various other ejaculations. And keep on *not* telling us why you don't leave the USA and live in a country that is organized according to your purported preference for anarchy, favorite sad little hypocritical weepy person.

And please do not ever EVER stop posting.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

"Yours is the bland emotionless voice drifting out of the speakers of a propaganda movie."

Somalia and Yemen beckon you if you don't care for American progress and democracy, weepy drama queen. Voices there are less bland and far more to your liking. So.... gooh weeping victim of the dimwits who somehow always outsmart genius people like your victimized self.

Keep on drenching the Kleenex with your tears and various other ejaculations. And keep on *not* telling us why you don't leave the USA and live in a country that is organized according to your purported preference for anarchy, favorite sad little hypocritical weepy person.

And please do not ever EVER stop posting.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

--"Tonight the mob rule (that is democracy) certainly has served the citizenry of this great nation very well."--

That's sarcastic, but meant to be serious in its main import, and yet it invokes nothing but empty faith. The passage of a law *tonight* cannot have "served" anyone. The consequences will not be known for some time, and then will be unendlingly debated, as everyone chews over the bones of their own cannibalism, fighting over the quality of the carrots, and the paucity of same, thrown into the big stew pot. With the politicians demanding reform, yet again, from Washington, D.C.

Posted by: msoja | March 22, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

"That's sarcastic, but meant to be serious in its main import, and yet it invokes nothing but empty faith. The passage of a law *tonight* cannot have "served" anyone. The consequences will not be known for some time, and then will be unendlingly debated, as everyone chews over the bones of their own cannibalism, fighting over the quality of the carrots, and the paucity of same, thrown into the big stew pot. With the politicians demanding reform, yet again, from Washington, D.C."


Right. Bask in your own absurdity. Your Rand-cult arguments are stupid today and their stupidity will be amplified a hundred times over in the years ahead, oh weeping victim of the dimwits who somehow always outsmart genius people like your victimized self.

Keep on drenching the Kleenex with your tears and various other ejaculations. And keep on *not* telling us why you don't leave the USA and live in a country that is organized according to your purported preference for anarchy, favorite sad little hypocritical weepy person.

And please do not ever EVER stop posting.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Alas, unless the so-called "cost-controls" for this massive new government machine are tuned to the voices of angels, I do not doubt that the increasingly large bureaucracy will again fail to "fix" this grand new entitlement in the coming years. It will be forced to ration care as other countries have been forced to do in order to try to contain costs.(I.E. Canada and Britain).

Posted by: OfConservativeMind | March 22, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

"this massive new government machine are tuned to the voices of angels"


Right. Angels like Mitt Romney im Massachusetts, the Republican party in 1993, and Bob Dole right now.

This extremely Republican-influenced version of reform passed today is so tilted to the right that the greatest irony of today is that Republicans have refused the opportunity to share in the credit for the rescue of for-profit health care, before its inevitable collapse.

Health care obstruction to the Republicans in 2010 is like Civil Rights obstruction to the Republicans in 1964. Bask in the glow of the long term effects of being on the wrong side of history, fools.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

On the wrong side of history indeed. Patrick, you deftly dodge my insinuation that our new and shiny entitlement might fail like Canada and Britain have done before us to provide comprehensive health care... I defy you to argue that America is currently better suited to provide it, given our steadily increasing national debt and our weakening economy. Like the entitlements that came before it, it will only suffice to enable us to spend ourselves into an ever-smoking, ever-deepening hole.

Posted by: OfConservativeMind | March 22, 2010 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations USA!
Your government has just put a gun to the head of every productive American and will attempt to force us to watch as they enslave rape and pillage our children's economic future all the while feeding us an "entitlement" dish in the finest Pied Piper fashion. Now in a similar fiscally doomed European style, those who WILL NOT can have the same as those who will. WHEN ALL THAT WAS NEEDED WAS TO ASSIST THOSE WHO COULD NOT.

This is a power play by a wretched group of megalomaniacs who's only interest has been to control a greater portion of the economy for their own bastard purposes of skimming money off the top for themselves and doling out what is left to those who do little in exchange for their continued vote.

A different brand of wealth thieves are in control for now and the battle tactics for those who believe in the freedom to achieve their dreams without government confiscation and redistribution must now go on the offensive. Tonight, I have no desire to work my dreams because it will only be taken away for the next "Cadillacs for Crack Heads " program.

SHAME on this generation for their continued selfishness and refusal to take responsibility for the inept management of money and their unbelievable willingness to pretend they are doing this for future generations when much of the benefit will be exhausted now with the overwhelming majority of the costs pushed forward to shackle the next generation. Regardless of all of the wonderful benefits to citizens in this plan that few people disagreed with, there are few to no true savings in this plan only stealth tax increases and IRS enforced mandates and the PROMISE of future insolvency after we are dead and gone. I am truly thankful and proud of the conservatives and blue dog Democrats who held out to keep the full socialist style agenda planned from being implemented.

Start pimp smacking your children and grand kids now so when they get your big " screw you" gift they will be accustomed to it. I am so very sad for my children and my country and I know that this will FOREVER change my ambitions and who I am because after a lifetime of giving away too much of myself it seems that the selfish life now has so few downside consequences.

Posted by: yadabuster | March 22, 2010 3:55 AM | Report abuse

When our Federal Government has the power and the authority to forcefully compel us to purchase a good or service from a third party(and later, the government itself, when government policy forces the insurance institution to collapse), where does one draw the line on government authority?

Government involvement in commerce only drives up the price of goods and services, or drives private companies out of business because nobody can compete with a government that regulates the market in which it competes and act as its own piggy bank(through the taxpayer and deficit spending).

Posted by: OfConservativeMind | March 22, 2010 3:59 AM | Report abuse

"Like the entitlements that came before it, it will only suffice to enable us to spend ourselves into an ever-smoking, ever-deepening hole."

Fine. Also tell the voters you want to abolish Social Security and Medicare, rather than strenthen their solvency.

"A different brand of wealth thieves are in control for now and the battle tactics for those who believe in the freedom to achieve their dreams without government confiscation and redistribution must now go on the offensive. Tonight, I have no desire to work my dreams because it will only be taken away for the next "Cadillacs for Crack Heads " program."

This "confiscation and redistribution" argument (aimed at the seriously uninformed) just expired tonight.

Memo from the 'thieves' - Find a new thread on a new blog for your doomsday stupidity.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 4:12 AM | Report abuse

I think it would be better to eventually abolish Social Security and Medicare than to invest in their solvency because they were shell games at their inception(Obviously, these programs have made their mark. They are extremely popular, even though they are broken and broke(Social Security has been broke for decades, ever since a Democrat-controlled Congress moved what was a Social Security surplus into the general fund, and then spent it. Medicare is the top denier of medical claims in the entire industry, above any one private insurance company.)..Our Federal government, under its founding document and our first principles, was never intended to support such massive entitlements requiring large bureaucracies and draconian laws and regulations to ensure that they were enforced.This type of novel and experimental change through legislation was originally left to the States and their localities through the Tenth Amendment, but was claimed by the Federal government in the mid-1900s as a way for it to continue to grow in size and power. The masterminds of these entitlements knew that they would provide them political clout for years and years to come, and so it shall be.This is the mother of all entitlements, and because of governmental fiat cannot be escaped by anyone. This abrogates the liberty that our founders intended for us to have, by replacing that liberty with the security of the opium of entitlements.

Posted by: OfConservativeMind | March 22, 2010 4:38 AM | Report abuse

"I think it would be better to eventually abolish Social Security and Medicare than to invest in their solvency."

Great. Spread your message far and wide, destroy every shred of the safety net for elderly Americans. Take us back to Herbert Hoover. That's what the people want in 2010.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, Patrick. You deny nothing else I've said, because you have no defensible argument for these entitlements other than some safety net that has been in dire need of fixing, long before this newest entitlement that has been passed. I would advocate the abolishment of these programs/entitlements because the Federal government has no business doing this kind of thing anyway.

When the population was much smaller, in earlier times, people back then depended on one another personally much more than they do today. People had safety nets before these entitlements consisting of things like "family" and "community."

The Statist has worked to destroy these concepts, along with everything else vaguely American, including faith, to subjugate and deny us our liberties. The most radical elements of the Left are now in control of our government, and not at just the Federal level in many areas. Can you argue for the other agenda items of our dear beloved Statists with such enthusiasm? Their course is destruction; their novelty wears thin.

Benjamin Franklin warned future generations that once people realized they could vote themselves government favors, all was lost. I'm paraphrasing, but that is about the gist of it. I am an advocate of a limited central government, and a return to our founding principles. Only then, will we realize true liberty. This may sound antiquated, but look at where the big government road has gotten us! Massive debt following massive entitlements. Government regulations that weigh heavily upon what was once a free market. Government subjugation of the people to massive taxes to support programs the government was never originally designed to implement.

Posted by: OfConservativeMind | March 22, 2010 5:20 AM | Report abuse

To advocate for a form of Government that would completely deny change and reform is simply suicidal. To advocate for constant, near-irreversible change without true reform that further separates our country from its founding documents and first principles is more suicidal still.

Posted by: OfConservativeMind | March 22, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

"Government subjugation of the people to massive taxes to support programs the government was never originally designed to implement."

Earth to OfConservativeMind:

Doing nothng balloons government debt, due to the undeniable reality of the current inflationary spiral in health care costs. Enacting these reforms LOWERS the deficit.


"subjugation, massive taxes ... blah, blah. blah" - it is over, the bill has passed, and you can stop wasting your time on the fear-mongering now...nobody is listening, you can move on to fighting against jobs packages now.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 22, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

I concede the point that doing absolutely nothing in this situation will allow the inflationary spiral in health costs to rise. But this current "reform" does not target a few of the driving forces in our market that affect higher prices.

1. Trial lawyers-
2. Increased Government regulation-
3. The problem of illegal immigrants and their costs upon our system-

The argument that this reform lowers the deficit is madness. This legislation takes at least half a trillion dollars from Medicare and counts it twice: Once as a savings, and once as investment in this bill. This legislation also accounts for 300 million or so in Medicare savings by reducing reimbursements to Medicare providers by 20%, or the "Doc Fix," which will force many doctors to drop Medicare patients entirely because they are not making enough money.

This program has at least a trillion dollars in hidden costs not scored by the CBO because the CBO has to score what is presented to it. GIGO, or "garbage in, garbage out." If this program is supposed to lower the deficit, I'm not seeing it. All I currently see are costs that still increase for the next few years until these "exchanges" are in place, as well as many people losing jobs because companies cannot afford the governmental mandate, thus having to rely on other governmental subsidies. This will get worse before it gets any better.

Posted by: OfConservativeMind | March 22, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

This post by Ezra really highlights the difference between the two sides.

Ezra's view of "freedom" is to have the government take care of your worries. Then you are "free" of those concerns, and can move on to more interesting pursuits.

The right's view of freedom is for the government to leave them alone (including taxing them as little as possible). And yes, they understand that as a price for that freedom, some people will be significantly less well off.


Posted by: WEW72 | March 22, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I will *never* pay for this. Never.

You people are going to have to put me in prison.

I will only point out that I would never do this to *you*.

Posted by: wjbiii | March 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they should also show one of Reagans 'smoke Chesterfields' commercials.

Posted by: WDRussell | March 23, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

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