Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

GOP legislator frets over 28 days without insurance -- but what about 30 million he'd leave uninsured?

By Ezra Klein

It's worth dwelling for a moment on the reaction of Rep. Andy Harris, an incoming legislator who staunchly opposes the new health-care law and ran promising its repeal, to news that he'd had to wait a month for his government-funded health-care benefits to kick in:

Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health-care policy would take effect Feb. 1 – 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.

“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. ... “Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide.

The point isn't that it's hypocritical to oppose health-care subsidies for poorer people or an individual mandate while simultaneously wanting every benefit your federal job gives you. Those positions can coexist. It's Harris's fear at being uninsured. But whatever else you think of the health-care law, it really does keep people from being uninsured. Yesterday, Aaron Carroll pulled together a graph looking at the number of uninsured under the status quo, the GOP's alternative health-care plan, and the Affordable Care Act. Harris presumably supports one of the first two options. But that means he's leaving a lot of people to wonder what to do without health care -- and for a lot longer than 28 days:

Uninsured-in-Plans-500x409.jpg

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wonkbook: DeMint wins major internal battle; unemployment benefits might expire for 2 mil; anti-reform congressman wants his gov-provided health care now
Next: Big Apple announcement today

Comments

"But that means he's leaving a lot of people to wonder what to do without health care -- and for a lot longer than 28 days"

And according to the chart, so are you. Four years, in fact.

Posted by: stonedone | November 16, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

The yellow bars now represent the "status quo." Perhaps you should re-describe the blue bars as the "status quo ante" or maybe BushClintonBushReaganCarterFordNixonCare.

Posted by: mjp8 | November 16, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

if all of the people who want health care repealed learned what it was like to live through a severe medical crisis for themselves or beloved famly members, without health care insurance, and access to protected medical care, they would be more compassionate and caring human beings.
every committed tea party person i know, is living a good life on social security and with good medical care and a firm safety net underneath them. the hypocrisy of it, is something to see, especially among older people, who know how much suffering and difficulty there is in the world.
where does this kind of blind and engrained selfishness come from?

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I guess he isn't eligible for COBRA? Was he in private practice and paying for insurance in his practice? Why can't he continue it?

It is common that insurance coverage begins on the first day of the month following employment. He finds himself in the same situation as thousands of Americans who change jobs.

Now he should ask what millions of Americans who cannot get insurance or cannot afford insurance are supposed to do.

It's too much to hope he'll gain any empathy. Republicans are missing the empathy gene.

Posted by: FauxReal | November 16, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to go crazy about this, because it is a funny and illuminating moment. But. There is a HUGE difference between workplace issues for people who work for the government, and the rights of the population as a whole. And I get kind of sick and tired of this stuff when the shoe is on the other foot. "Why should federal workers get a {401(k) plan/paid vacation/air conditioning}? I don't."

Why should federal workers get health care at all? Because working for the government and being a citizen are DIFFERENT THINGS. In particular, the waiting period for health insurance to kick in is a complete flipping joke. Never in life, before I entered public service, have I had to buy a bridge policy to cover me if I got sick two weeks into my new job. It's a crummy policy. End of story.

Posted by: ckbryant | November 16, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, you're starting to Glenn Beck yourself.

If "point isn't that it's hypocritical to oppose health-care subsidies for poorer people or an individual mandate while simultaneously wanting every benefit your federal job gives you" as you claim, then why bring in the anecdote at all?

The graph is your story. THe anecdote just comes off as snide. The anecdote plus the disclaimer comes off as hypocritical.

Posted by: blsdaniel | November 16, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Harris can't foot several weeks worth of health insurance? Isn't he getting a nice six figure salary courtesy of the taxpayers?

This is exactly why voting is pointless.

You have either a Democrat who supports Obamacare, or a Republican who, while opposing Obamacare for political reasons, clearly doesn't oppose the principles behind it. In truth, the Republican is often inclined to support similar legislation, provided it was introduced by a Republican.

Posted by: justin84 | November 16, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

--*if all of the people who want health care repealed learned what it was like to live through a severe medical crisis for themselves or beloved famly members, without health care insurance, and access to protected medical care, they would be more compassionate and caring human beings.*--

And "more compassionate and caring human beings" simply delight in using threats and coercion delivered via the state to force their fellows to comply with their tainted vision of things.

Got it.

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Health care is for people who work for it. Not for people who simply exist.

Posted by: krazen1211 | November 16, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I think it's unlikely the Congressman elect is afraid of being uninsured. Insurance is obviously available to him unless he has some preexisting condition. The Congressman-elect is afraid of the existing individual market for health insurance, which of course is the basis of his entire health care plan.

Posted by: windshouter | November 16, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

where does this kind of blind and engrained selfishness come from?

It came from the utter lack of economic growth present during this administration. Just ask Peter Orszag.

But that's what happens when you dump money in health care and education rather than invest it in commerce building activity.

Posted by: krazen1211 | November 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

jkaren:
"if all of the people who want health care repealed learned what it was like to live through a severe medical crisis....they would be more compassionate and caring human beings."

Once again, a liberal-progressive makes the illogical attempt to equate 'compassion' with supporting an ever-larger and increasingly-intrusive federal government. If you don't support progressives big-government proposals for every problem, you must not be as compassionate as they are.

Jkaren, I'll throw out a challenge to you that I've thrown out to other liberals on these boards, a challenge that so far has been met with silence, or with the usual reaction of factually-deficient leftists....name-calling. I can only assume that's because the facts usually don't line up with progressive talking points.

Google "charitable contributions conservatives vs liberals". Then Google "bleeding heart tightwads". Come back and tell us what you find.

All the studies, all the facts, prove that conservatives give more of both their money and time to charitable causes. The findings hold across all races (e.g., a conservative Hispanic gives more than a liberal Hispanic), income groups (e.g., a rich conservative gives more than a rich liberal), etc, etc.

Conservatives do believe in helping their fellow man. What they don't agree with is that FEDERAL government programs are the most efficient and effective means of delivering the help to where it's needed most.

So please, jkaren, do yourself a favor and disavow yourself of this lie of the left, that voting for more statists and imposing ever-larger government-control of everything in our lives somehow equates to 'compassion'.

At best, it makes you appear ignorant of the reality of who is staffing and funding many of the effective charities across our country (a couple I have family members involved with were already solving the problem of delivering health care to the uninsured, something Obama seems to think he's now doing for the first time).

At worst, it makes you appear arrogant and elitist to believe that you as a liberal are more compassionate toward the sick and poor than the average conservative.

Posted by: dbw1 | November 16, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

ANDY HARRIS. The incoming Republican freshman from Maryland’s Eastern Shore drew attention yesterday in a member benefits orientation session for demanding to known why his government-subsidized private sector health insurance wouldn’t become active until a month after he is sworn in. Rep.-elect Harris is an anesthesiologist who campaigned against “Obamacare.”

Hey harris, just as long as you get yours, right?
What a hypocritical Self-serving as***le.
If you are that worried about not having insurance, go buy some you cheap bum.
What a greedy selfish loser. His parents must be so proud.

Posted by: koneill8 | November 16, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I really expected that it would take him until at least January 3rd to start embarrassing my district.

Posted by: theamazingjex | November 16, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Not compassion but conditional cooperation. Fairness, in other words.

Posted by: harold3 | November 16, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I already knew that manly manly manly man msoja would paddle into this thread with his piddle. msoja is such a manly man, he removed his own appendix with a sharpened teaspoon and used a copy of The Fountainhead to soak up the blood.

"All the studies, all the facts, prove that conservatives give more of both their money and time to charitable causes."

Where "charitable cause" = "tax writeoff to registered non-profit for itemized deducters". Which, of course, isn't the same as actually being charitable. (See: Dick Cheney's tax returns.)

But we already know that dbw1 thinks the economy can be run with Quicken, so we should expect that kind of innumeracy.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 16, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"The point isn't that it's hypocritical to oppose health-care subsidies for poorer people or an individual mandate while simultaneously wanting every benefit your federal job gives..."

No, the point isn't Andy Harris' hypocrisy. The point is the Congressman's utter misanthropy.

Posted by: pneogy | November 16, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Even a cheapskate like me offers coverage from day one for employees. Bureaucracy sucks is the real story here.

Of course, I am sure his point was made as hyperbole as he has existing care that can be continued under the pre-ACA laws.

The real BS here is that we need insurance for basic health care. We need insurance for hugely expensive emergencies, not for day to day visits to the doctor.

The problem with ACA is not that it is helping poor people, it's that it is helping them by reinforcing the mechanisms that have led to our inflated cost structure!!

Posted by: staticvars | November 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

--*Not compassion but conditional cooperation. Fairness, in other words.*--

Delivered at the business end of the state's gun.

But that's good, "conditional cooperation".

You cooperate, or you'll be "conditioned" until you do cooperate.

Welcome to the thugocracy. It isn't going to end prettily.

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"he removed his own appendix with a sharpened teaspoon and used a copy of The Fountainhead to soak up the blood."

LOL. Literally.

Posted by: dollarwatcher | November 16, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

--*manly manly manly man msoja*--

Thanks, mousi, but the thing is, while the real tragedy is the one additional stake through the heart of Liberty (that fearful bogeyman to thugs and despots everywhere), the secondary little tragio-farce playing out is that collectivized healthcare (or collectivized anything) is a lowering of quality, and availability, to everyone, leading to an inevitable across the board failure. In your glee at running your rotten Robin Hood schtick on your fellows, you're shooting yourself and everyone else in the foot.

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"Jkaren, I'll throw out a challenge to you that I've thrown out to other liberals on these boards, a challenge that so far has been met with silence, or with the usual reaction of factually-deficient leftists....name-calling. I can only assume that's because the facts usually don't line up with progressive talking points.

Google "charitable contributions conservatives vs liberals". Then Google "bleeding heart tightwads". Come back and tell us what you find."

i volunteer in a faith-based rescue mission, that is one of the most amazing places in the united states.
i will right now, say that anyone that wants to make a holiday contribution to one of the most remarkable facilities in the united states should do so to the orange country rescue mission, in tustin, california.
the work that they do, for the last, the least and the lost, practicing and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, is a real inspiration.
but with all of the donations and contributions they receive, they CANNOT help everyone who is in desperate need in orange county, california.
the way i came to know about that shelter, was a call that i took from a young man, wife and his two children who were going to be out on the street, that afternoon.
i was desperate to help them to find something.
i called the ocrm and they had a long waiting list. so did everything other place in orange county. that is how i started to volunteer there.
private contributions, faith based shelters, privately funded charitable organizations CANNOT do the whole job.
they simply CANNOT.
this facility, as amazing as it is, cannot help hundreds of other suffering people, many who have landed in compromised and terrible circumstances, through no fault of their own.
the government cannot turn their back on the suffering people in this country. you cannot PRETEND that individual contributions to private charities can fix the whole problem.
that is ridiculous.
it is magical thinking, because you want to wear blinders on your eyes to the magnitude of suffering out there.
we are our brother's keeper, and in a country this large, it is the government that needs to help.
if you dont think so, it is a symptom of selfishness.....maybe you only want to help people that are christian, or jewish, or with autism....maybe there are people who are suffering who you dont think deserve your help.
well, it doesnt work that way.
we are all our brother's keepers.

so here is my challenge to all of you....whoever wrote these posts about the govt not needing to help....
DO YOU HAVE A ROOF OVER YOUR HEADS?
DO YOU HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE?
and if you do, then maybe you shouldnt be having this conversation.

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"that fearful bogeyman to thugs and despots everywhere"

Hilarious. Did you gut a racoon with your bare hands over the weekend and wear it as a hat when you paddle your toy boat, pretending to be a grand pioneer? Get thee to the gulch already.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 16, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What's the difference between having the government force insurance companies to extend health care coverage to people who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it, and having the government force banks to extend mortgages to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them?

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@jkaren and DBW1, this debate is not about being a liberal/progressive or conservative. It is not about compassion either, at its core anyway. It's about logistics. Do conservatives contribute more to charities, probably. Do Liberals tend to volunteer more, probably. Do the number of disaster relief, social, economic, political and health issues outnumber the charities and contirbutions to them severely, absolutely. So here's the real debate: Progressives/Liberals think the administration and funding is best centralized, while conservatives think it is best decentralized.

In my opinion, neither is perfect, though both sides argue as if thier side is. Centralized administration and funding means big government and taxes, decentralized administration and funding means people, problems and issues fall thru the cracks.

No single charity can fully address/correct the issue it was founded to fix, for multiple reasons. the most important of which is this: If I donate to a homeless shelter, I feel I've done my part, but how does that help an unemployed, ininsured cancer patient?

Government administration and funding means bureaucracy and taxes. The problem is that your taxes pay for the bureaucracy. For every billion the government ear-marks for a specific sub-budget like Obamacare, maybe half of that goes to the actual care of uninsured patients.

What's the solution you ask? Free Market Competition. Whoa Conservatives, you didn't get off that easy. Your task, set up a national charity, fund it with tax free donations, provide healthcare, to whomever needs it. Now scale that to 40 million people. If it can be funded and administered successfully, you win.

Wait a second liberals, you're not off the hook. Take all your government funded social services like healthcare, unemployment benefits, disaster relief, etc, and now treat them like a charity that has to compete for contributions. Reduce your administration costs, eliminate your bureaucracy, fix the systemic abuse problems, then, if you are still a viable social service, you may compare yourself to the alternatives and decide if you're the best solution.

The point is, do not dismiss your opposition's arguements out of hand. In most cases, an inadequate solution is better than no solution. Provide a better alternative before you poke holes in any position. I bet there is a bipartisan solution to this and many of our nation's ails. We're just too focused on our debate to spend time looking for the right answers.

Posted by: ARCHIE999 | November 16, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

From what I've seen of our current and past physician/Congressmen, they should not be allowed to fun for any public office.

Posted by: edismae | November 16, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"guess he isn't eligible for COBRA? Was he in private practice and paying for insurance in his practice? Why can't he continue it?"

He is leaving the State provided health insurance as a State Senator and going to the Federal provided health insurance.

Would it be ironic if Mr. Harris or one of his children got really sick between the gap in his State and Federal Government provided health care.

Posted by: congressional1 | November 16, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Rep Harris needs a hot fork stuck in his A##!!! while he and those other Republican idiots who would work to defeat legislation to stop healthcare reform for working class people and the poor He gets indignant when his government sponsored policy does not kick in as quickly as he would like!!!! Are we in the F***king twilight zone. I wonder why the GOP is not being punished for saying no to this and oher progressive legislation supported by the President and the Democrats.

Posted by: njournalg | November 16, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"The point is, do not dismiss your opposition's arguements out of hand."

the need for better-managed government is universally agreed upon, and lamented.
but there is no substitute for government intervention.
i am not arguing about who contributes more time or money....conservatives or republicans.... volunteerism and charitable giving is just a drop in the bucket, in a country of this size, anyway.
the point that i was trying to make, is that government cannot turn a blind eye to the need for medical care for its citizens.
it cannot be up to private charities, and individual giving, which is always subjective.....to solve this problem.
it is the responsibility of government to do this.

and it is easy to talk about your disdain for health care reform, when you are not the one who is ill, and uninsured.
and easy to talk about all of the "lazy and unemployed people" who dont want to work for a living, until you are laid off, after years of working conscientiously.
that was also my point.

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

sorry, in my comment, i meant" democrats or republicans."

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"privately funded charitable organizations CANNOT do the whole job.
they simply CANNOT."

Not when government controls 50% of the national income, of course not.

U.S. government spending, at all levels, is estimated to be about $6.4 trillion for 2010.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/

National income was $12.7 trillion for 2010Q2.

http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?SelectedTable=53&Freq=Qtr&FirstYear=2008&LastYear=2010

Note that if the government allocated perhaps $1 trillion to core activites (police, courts, military, interest on debt) and $5.4 trillion to pure redistribution, it could cut a $17,400 annual check to all Americans ($69,000+ to a family of four), including illegal immigrants.

Now consider that nearly 1/6 households are food insecure per today's wonkbook. Roughly 1/6 of Americans don't have health insurance (and tens of millions still won't after PPACA). Roughly 1 in 7 Americans are in poverty.

These problems aren't due to the government not having enough resources. The problem is funneling those resources through the government.

"you cannot PRETEND that individual contributions to private charities can fix the whole problem."

You can't pretend that it's ever been tried in a rich country. The last time Americans relied primarily on private charity we were poorer than modern China.

"we are our brother's keeper, and in a country this large, it is the government that needs to help."

Even a large country is nothing but a collection of individuals and communities. The Roman Empire was quite large too, and yet we don't see Jesus lobbying the Romans for empire-wide transfer payments.

The government has more resources than it needs to pull everyone out of poverty and still manages to fail.

Posted by: justin84 | November 16, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Representative Harris is a typical GOP hypocrite. Government-run health care is bad - except when it's HIS health care. Time for him to put his money where his mouth is and decline his federal health care coverage.

Posted by: posterchild90 | November 16, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Tea party's are for little girls with imaginary friends...

Posted by: WmLaney | November 16, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

pseudonymousinnc,

I'd advise you to address the substance of msoja's remarks - ad hominem is never convincing.

Msoja didn't make the case that health care was for wimps. His point was that as much as one might wish to alleviate person A's problem, it is illegitimate to confiscate person B's property to do so. As far as I can tell, that leaves you in the position of arguing theft is legitimate if expedient, or that in some cases taking another's property by force isn't actually theft.

Posted by: justin84 | November 16, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

" His point was that as much as one might wish to alleviate person A's problem, it is illegitimate to confiscate person B's property to do so"


this is how we stay human.

this is how we stay civilized.

when one among us is legitimately suffering,
we WANT to alleviate their suffering,
and our property is not confiscated.....
we give
for THE GREATER GOOD,
for the alleviation of suffering in our society,
so that there are not severely broken links
in our chain.
so that the whole of the society can stay intact,
and remain stronger than the individual parts.

this is what we do,
to stay human.
to cooperate.
to help the least, the last and the lost,
because it is our spiritual obligation.
because we live with compassion,
and we recognize,
than when there is extreme and unalleviated and genuine
suffering
in our midst,
it weakens and diminishes
every one of us.

by helping the least, the last and lost
among us,
is how you create
a strong and healthy society.
a civilized and compassionate place to live,
and raise a new generation.


Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

" His point was that as much as one might wish to alleviate person A's problem, it is illegitimate to confiscate person B's property to do so"


i am sorry,
but this is not a choice in a civilized society.
this is an OBLIGATION.
you have an obligation
to people in your midst who are suffering,
and the laws must protect
the least and the last and the lost,
because we cannot depend on the stability and goodness
and spirit
of individuals
to act decently and with right action.

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

" His point was that as much as one might wish to alleviate person A's problem, it is illegitimate to confiscate person B's property to do so"


the other day, i was in a house, where, (sorry to say) there was some wierd, horrific show on, about zombies, sick, dead, i dont know what.....marching around, trying to climb up into windows....
it was horrific.
i think it was called "the walking dead."
well, i dont know what this show is about.....but this is how i envision a world where people do not help one another.....
where each person becomes just for themselves.
where we lose our humanity, our conscience, our empathy.
this is the kind of world i think of....when i think of what you wrote...

"that as much as one might wish to alleviate person A's problem,"
there is no choice. there is a spiritual obligation to alleviate genuine suffering. it comes with being human.
you cannot turn your back for very long on suffering.
it will not work, not karmically.
you are responsible for others.
it happens as soon as child is born into the world....and it keeps on going, as long as we are alive.

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

--*you have an obligation to people in your midst who are suffering*--

And these people, suffering, etc., have a reciprocal obligation to me... how?

What are *their* obligations?

Or is your thug altruism a one way street?

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"In my opinion, neither is perfect, though both sides argue as if thier side is. Centralized administration and funding means big government and taxes, decentralized administration and funding means people, problems and issues fall thru the cracks."

ARCHIE999,

I don't think my solution is perfect. My belief is that many decentralized actors will know a lot more and thus be more effective than a centralized effort.

When considering the centralized approach, recall that plenty of people slip through the cracks now. Also, the expensive centralized welfare state necessarily crowds out decentralized charity.

"No single charity can fully address/correct the issue it was founded to fix, for multiple reasons."

Agreed, but thankfully there are thousands upon thousands of charities all working to tackle some specific problem.

"the most important of which is this: If I donate to a homeless shelter, I feel I've done my part, but how does that help an unemployed, ininsured cancer patient?"

While you may donate to a homeless shelter, others might donate to a charity hospital. However, under the centralized approach the uninsured guy might still lose out because Barney Frank wants an extra F-35 engine built in his district or Republicans cut funding for his health care.

The charitable solution, while not utopian, benefits from respecting several property and taking advantage of dispersed information.

"and it is easy to talk about your disdain for health care reform, when you are not the one who is ill, and uninsured."

JKaren, consider the following:

and it is easy to talk about your disdain for theft, when you are not the one who is poor and unemployed.

Would you consider it wrong for a homeless man without food to break into your house and clean out the contents of your pantry? Or rob you at gunpoint at an ATM so he can go buy food?

Posted by: justin84 | November 16, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"And these people, suffering, etc., have a reciprocal obligation to me... how?

What are *their* obligations?

Or is your thug altruism a one way street?

Posted by: msoja "


yes, of course, they have an obligation to you.
but in a world where you wont help them, and they wont help you, we all become walking zombies.
by having a healthier, safer, more protected society, you, in turn, will be healthier, safer and more protected.
in a society where everyone is out for themselves, you are at great risk.
because the time will come, and IT WILL COME,when one day, msoja, you will need the help, but in your vision of society, there will be no laws, no people, no-one to help you.
life is a cooperative thing.

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Would you consider it wrong for a homeless man without food to break into your house and clean out the contents of your pantry? Or rob you at gunpoint at an ATM so he can go buy food?"

no.
because i believe in LAWS to protect people.
i believe in welfare, and health care, and i believe in funding public schools and police and fire departments.
i believe in government .
in your world, i could pick up the phone and dial 911,
and they could say,
"sorry, we would like to alleviate your suffering, but go help yourself."

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"Would you consider it wrong for a homeless man without food to break into your house and clean out the contents of your pantry? Or rob you at gunpoint at an ATM so he can go buy food?"

if there are fewer government safety nets for poor and sick people, there would be a lot more of this, and our world would be much less safe than it is now.

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

--*the laws must protect the least and the last and the lost*--

What about protecting people against the predations of empty headed collectivists who mark their unselfishness in the number of crimes they're willing to commit under tattered banners of good intentions?

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Idealism (everyone getting healthcare) is hitting the hard wall of Reality (a nation with a -$2.7 Trillion deficit cannot afford to give everyone healthcare).

Public healthcare, even if affordable, is a disaster. It means waiting four hours in a crowded hallway filled with coughing tuberculoid indigent patients, then only to see a nurse (not even a P.A., surely not a doctor, and no way in h___ a specialist).

Government "anything" means waiting and getting mediocre service. Even if the medical personnel do their best, the limitations of cost and equipment will give you substandard service compared to what a private system could deliver.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | November 16, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"when one among us is legitimately suffering,
we WANT to alleviate their suffering,
and our property is not confiscated.....
we give
for THE GREATER GOOD,"


Sounds like Karl Marx.

Posted by: krazen1211 | November 16, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

--*we cannot depend on the stability and goodness and spirit of individuals to act decently and with right action*--

So, you are an avowed misanthrope. I've seen the accusation thrown at others, here, but you actually admit being one.

And in your mind, since people are deficient, it's okay to use government force to compel them to comply with whatever the prevailing notions of decency are between elections.

That's really pathetic.

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

--*yes, of course, they have an obligation to you.*--

You got one right. They have an obligation to not use force to avail themselves of my property as though it were theirs.

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

A Republican member of Congress shows himself to be a hypocrite. What a shock!!!!

I would bet that every person who posts here who is against the health care reform has health insurance. A great number of those people probably have GOVERNMENT PROVIDED health insurance: Medicare, Tricare, VA etc.

As long as they're covered and feel safe they don't give a damn about anyone else. When some family member is ill and has been unable to obtain health insurance, are they willing to pay for that person's care out of pocket? I think not. These posters would sing a different tune very quickly.

Posted by: colton | November 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This is pretty rich. Anti-health care Tea-bagger Congressman demands his tax-payer funded health insurance NOW!

Not entirely surprising.

Posted by: JPRS | November 16, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

This is pretty rich. Anti-health care Tea-bagger Congressman demands his tax-payer funded health insurance NOW!

Not entirely surprising.


Posted by: JPRS | November 16, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

////////////////////////////////////

Demanding a promised benefit that comes with a job is a world different than demanding healthcare without working or paying.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | November 16, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"So, you are an avowed misanthrope. I've seen the accusation thrown at others, here, but you actually admit being one.

"And in your mind, since people are deficient, it's okay to use government force to compel them to comply with whatever the prevailing notions of decency are between elections."


good heavens.


Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

RE: "The point isn't that it's hypocritical to oppose health-care subsidies for poorer people or an individual mandate while simultaneously wanting every benefit your federal job gives you."
===========================
I'll try not to lose any sleep if he gets sick in January.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | November 16, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"I'd advise you to address the substance of msoja's remarks - ad hominem is never convincing."

I'd advise you that based on your posting history here, you have little to say and use many words in saying it. Cant is never convincing.

On that point: msoja is no more than a chanter of slogans, a regurgitator of half-digested Randian abstractions who postures as a rugged individualist, and yet lacks the courage of his convictions.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 16, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

According to the web site WalMart Watch,

"the retail average [for full-time workers to receive medical benefits is] three months and the average waiting period for large firms (200 or more workers) of 1.5 months. [Wal-Mart 2006 Associate Benefits Book; The (Montreal) Gazette, 4/18/06; Employer Health Benefits 2005 Annual Survey, The Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust]"

If Andy Harris worked for Wal-Mart, he'd have to wait six months to be eligible for medical benefits.

Posted by: sensible | November 16, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Here is what should be done with ALL the reps in Washington since WE THE IDIOTS pay their health care.

Put them all on Obamacare. I am willing to pay for the basic Obamacare for them and if they want more for our money, they can pay for it and make it taxable income.

They work for us. We seem to forget that

Posted by: ieklein | November 16, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"Health care is for people who work for it. Not for people who simply exist."

This durable lie has to be challenged. The overwhelming majority of people who lack health insurance are working people and their children. The indigent, who do not work, are covered by Medicaid; seniors are covered by Medicare.

The health insurance market is overwhelmingly failing a huge percentage of American working people. To avoid dealing with that fact, you can indulge in the fantasy that it's just lazy people who aren't being covered, but you couldn't be more wrong. Just wait until your employer decides to stop your coverage, or until it runs out.

Posted by: Meridian1 | November 16, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"So, you are an avowed misanthrope."

this is a strange accusation to level, but i think it is important to clarify something, for the sake of this argument.
it is not misanthropic to know that people dont always act in accordance with their higher angels. one expects, in everyday life, that people can act out of selfish motives, jealousy, envy, anger, resentment, hurt......
it is not misanthropic to know that being and acting human, includes emotions and actions that are sometimes good and just, and other times, not.
that is why, our society needs laws that enforce right action, and social justice, even when individually, we may not have the capability or sense or peacefulness, to do it ourselves.
it is not misanthropic to know that people are capable of doing all sorts of things.
and that is why we need government services to keep all of us living in good health, safety and dignity.
a world where everyone makes up their own rules, and does whatever they feel like doing, ruthlessly exerting their selfishness and individuality at the cost of the well-being of others, will be a ruthless, selfish, fearful and ugly world.
not a world fit to raise children in.
in my opinion.

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

My question:

"Would you consider it wrong for a homeless man without food to break into your house and clean out the contents of your pantry? Or rob you at gunpoint at an ATM so he can go buy food?"

The response:

"no."

Well then. I don't need to read any further than that. I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: justin84 | November 16, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

--*msoja is no more than a chanter of slogans, a regurgitator of half-digested Randian abstractions who postures as a rugged individualist, and yet lacks the courage of his convictions.*--

Okay, I'll bite. What clever insight have you gleaned sneaking around my website that you'd like to share with your fellow collectivists? Or are you just blathering your usual?

And second: How does any of that have any bearing on whether or not it's okay to steal the fruits of the citizenry's labors in order to sell votes to politically favorable constituencies?

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

may he get a very painful case of hemmoroids within those uninsured 28 days and have a VERY uncomfortable time thinking about what a rank hypocrite he is.

Posted by: fendertweed | November 16, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"What clever insight have you gleaned sneaking around my website that you'd like to share with your fellow collectivists?"

Truth be told, the unknown lunatic who repeatedly spammed your celebrating the virtue of your own suburban pioneer fantasy (and Baconnaise) saved me that hassle.

"How does any of that have any bearing on whether or not it's okay to steal the fruits of the citizenry's labors in order to sell votes to politically favorable constituencies?"

Like I said: nothing but vacuous sloganeering. Grow the f'k up or get off the grid.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 16, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

justin84

sorry, that i had not deleted the word , "no," in that prior comment. it was connected to another thought that i had deleted, and it wasnt meant to be there. i didnt preview what i wrote.
the rest of the paragraph, relating to laws and services, which protect us, was what i meant to say.
yes, of course i think it is wrong for people to break into our homes, hurt us, or point guns at us..... but that is why i support safeguards in government for police, firefighters, paramedics....and safety nets for poor and sick people.


Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

pseudonymousinnc:
"Where 'charitable cause' = 'tax writeoff to registered non-profit for itemized deducters'. Which, of course, isn't the same as actually being charitable. (See: Dick Cheney's tax returns.)"

Fairly typical leftist response...trot out a talking point, instead of actually reading and responding to the facts.

I assume you didn't actually read the referenced article. Written by a self-avowed liberal, left-wing progressive New York Times columnist, "Bleeding Heart Tightwads" was a great insight into the hypocrisy of most 'compassionate' liberals. He, too, held some of the same dismissive views of conservative giving to charities that you share, but found that those views were shredded when he brought himself to put aside his pre-conceived notions and actually dig into the details of the various studies.

You've demonstrated pretty clearly before that you don't understand economic issues very well, so I wouldn't expect you to know this. But you can't claim 'tax writeoffs' for spending time at the soup kitchen or food bank. These studies show it's not just financial giving, but time spent as well.

And the liberal editorialist also felt compelled to acknowledge the baseless grounds for the argument that conservatives just give for the sake of tithing or being guilted into giving to their church...because if you consider the range of much of liberal's giving to 'charities', those dollars are lopsided towards art galleries, community theatres, ballet troups, etc....none of which has much to do with feeding the hungry and profiding health care to the poor.

Now, since you are a liberal I don't expect you to allow facts to get in the way of your talking points...you've made clear many times that you are unable to respond to any arguments with any facts when debating economics. But the least you could do is actually read the cited facts and articles before revealing your ignorance of economics.

Or, at least copy and paste something from moveon.org of HuffPo, the sorts of places you allow to do your thinking for you....

Posted by: dbw1 | November 16, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

jkaren:
"...there is no choice. there is a spiritual obligation to alleviate genuine suffering. it comes with being human."

I find myself torn...I actually sympathize with jkaren's reasoning for the need, but I absolutely disagree with jakaren's conclusion as to the solution required to address the need.

I actually agree that it's our obligation, specifically a spiritual obligation, to help alleviate genuine suffering. (for those of you not coming from a spirtitual point of view, I think you have to argue why there is any obligation at all to help others if there is no God, no after-life, no spiritual anything....it's all just survival of the fittest, right?)

What I disagree with is the notion that FEDERAL government is the solution, or even more generically I absolutely dimiss with passion the notion that only support for FEDERAL government intervention can fulfill the spiritual call to help our fellow man.

I feel sorry for jkaren that this individual has been brainwashed by left-wingers into believing that only FEDERAL government can provide solutions to our problems. Keep in mind, FEDERAL government is using OUR money to start with, so why can't we just keep that money in our pockets and then WE decide when to spend it, and on whom to spend it?

Conservatives believe that the people best suited to serve the needy in Orange County, California, are the resident of Orange County, California. Not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. Liberals are left to argue why it's just to take money from a woman in Vermont to pay bills for a man in Oregon.

That's the simple point, jkarne, and I truly hope you will open your vision and allow for the possibility that these problems can be solved without the creation or enlargement of another FEDERAL government bureaucracy.

Posted by: dbw1 | November 16, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

--*Truth be told, the unknown lunatic who repeatedly spammed your celebrating the virtue of your own suburban pioneer fantasy (and Baconnaise) saved me that hassle.*--

But you didn't answer the question, mousi, once again. You said of me, "lacks the courage of his convictions." I asked you to clarify, and you haven't. What's your problem? Are you stupid, or a troll?

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

"I feel sorry for jkaren that this individual has been brainwashed by left-wingers into believing that only FEDERAL government can provide solutions to our problems. Keep in mind, FEDERAL government is using OUR money to start with, so why can't we just keep that money in our pockets and then WE decide when to spend it, and on whom to spend it?"

dbw1:

i tried to explain that if people just keep the money in their pockets, and then they decide how to spend it, or who to spend it on, it simply does not work.
the money will not be distributed properly.
i know many jewish people who sadly, only give to jewish organizations. likewise, many christian people i know, are sending money to ministries in pakistan and missions in mexico...and i have iranian friends who send money to palestinian relief organizations.
people who suffer from certain diseases, send contributions to the organizations that assist people with those diseases.
you see, it is all discretionary.
it is fine that everyone makes their choices, but it is not done in a way that creates a safety net, that helps people across the board.
and then, there are many people who choose to give nothing at all.
i simply dont believe that this is any kind of substitute for the federal government stepping in with social safety nets....for health care, for welfare, for social security, for medicare, for police and firefighters and paramedics and public schools and money for the center for disease control and government grants for medical and scientific research.
it just isnt, in my opinion.

and i am not misanthropic, but i dont have expectations that all people care equally about their neighbors....that all people have empathy for people who they think are children of a lesser god.
that all people will part with their money to help their neighbors and feel a sense of responsibility to others.
also, the same people who run many charitable institutions, also sit on corporate boards, and are just the same as the people in washington. i dont believe that because an organization is faith-based, or "non-profit charity," that those in charge, will do the right thing.
look no further than the tragedy of the crystal cathedral.
a great institution that did wonderful work, through mismanagement of funds, is now in shambles.
or to trinity broadcasting.....or any number of behemoth, religious organizations, and what they have done with faith-based contributions, and what it has bought for those who are in charge.
i am not brainwashed.
in spite of everything, i think our government still is doing a good job, and we have a great deal to be thankful for. it is not perfect, and where there will be people, there will be hubris, arrogance and selfishness....but there will also be right action and goodness. and i still have great faith in our government, and there are many good people still working in it.

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

It is my fondest hope that Rep. Elect Harris will fall on the Capitol steps and break his neck before his health insurance kicks in.

Posted by: guesswhosue | November 16, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

--*the money will not be distributed properly.*--

One man's "properly" is another's "improperly".

Why should such considerations be subject to a vote by the herd?

The promise of a free country was that individuals would decide for themselves how to dispose of the assets that they were free to seek by their own lights. And that freedom led to wild successes.

But now troglodytes and misanthropes have raised their voices among us, sneering that people don't dispose of their assets "properly".

What effort will people expend if someone else is going to come along, steal the fruits of their efforts and decide arbitrarily the proper method of disposition of such assets? Why should great swaths of people not just sit back and wait for their share of redistributed goods? If health care is a right, available whether one works for it or not, why work for it?

Do you not see the destructive essence underlying your useless good intentions?

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"I asked you to clarify, and you haven't."

Oh, I have. You're good at repeating words, but clearly useless at understanding them.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 16, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"Now, since you are a liberal I don't expect you to allow facts to get in the way of your talking points..."

Yawn. Keep pretending that you can prognosticate on macroeconomics because you can use Quicken.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 16, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

--*You're good at repeating words, but clearly useless at understanding them.*--

Nonsense. You haven't said anything, mousi, that would require understanding. You're just all ad hom, but then, that's really all there can be in defense of your collectivist rot.

Posted by: msoja | November 16, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

"i tried to explain that if people just keep the money in their pockets, and then they decide how to spend it, or who to spend it on, it simply does not work.
the money will not be distributed properly."

But what does "distributed properly" actually mean? There is no way to objectively quantify it.

As an example, consider the following proposal. We zero out all government spending and taxing programs, and enact a 70% marginal tax rate to be levied on all income in the United States above $10,000. The majority of the proceeds will go towards providing a basic income, health services and education to poor Africans, South Asians and Latin Americans. Say that we intend to help the 2.5 billion poorest people on the planet.

Given the severe incentive effects of such a tax, we'll assume that U.S. national income declines from $12.8 trillion to $10 trillion, and this tax collects $7 trillion, of which $1 trillion is used for basic government functions in America. The remaining $6 trillion we redistribute to the poorest people on the planet.

That plan provides $2,400 for each of the 2.5 billion beneficiaries, or $9,600 for a family of four.

The poorest people on the Earth are currently living on something like $200-$300 a year. This redistribution of wealth will do a great deal to help their situation.

These people start off far worse than American beneficiaries of the welfare state - in fact, after the redistribution is over, they may well remain worse off in material terms than the beneficiaries of the American welfare state.

If we don't do this, no one else will. The poor countries don't have the resources. The Europeans and Japanese clearly have no appetite for it. These people will otherwise languish in poverty. Without our help, many of these people will know nothing but hunger - they live a short, miserable life and then expire.

Earlier, you mentioned "our society needs laws that enforce right action".

The totalitarian governments of the 20th century in Italy, Germany, Russia, China, Cambodia, North Korea, etc. all thought they were implementing laws to enforce what they would view as 'right action'. Mao didn't view himself as evil incarnate - he sincerely thought he was doing what was right for China.

These societies abandoned the notion of individual rights and relied upon the grand designs of their leaders. Now I know your aims are far more charitable than Stalin's, but abandoning the natural rights of mankind opens the door to these kinds of abuses by placing expedient outcomes above human rights, and not realizing that different people consider different outcomes expedient.

Posted by: justin84 | November 16, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

"Do you not see the destructive essence underlying your useless good intentions?"


no, i dont.


please dont refer to my good intentions, as being useless.
you dont need to offend or humiliate someone, in order to make a philosophical point.

"If health care is a right, available whether one works for it or not, why work for it?"

because i think most people want to work, and have dignity and productivity in their lives. most people want to feel that they are engaged, and take pride in earning things for themselves and others.
some people, even in families, work harder than others. not everything in life is equal. but living in a society, is a cooperative effort, and we are all connected and responsible for one another, like it or not.
that is my belief. i understand that you feel differently.
i can understand that you dont want to lift the boats of those who dont work as hard, or make an effort.....but many of the people who require extra help, are struggling because of misfortunes and difficult circumstances, and i have empathy for that.
dont you want to help people who are genuinely suffering, and need your help? dont you want to live in a society, where if you were one of those people, you would still receive help and care to survive?

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

"These societies abandoned the notion of individual rights and relied upon the grand designs of their leaders. Now I know your aims are far more charitable than Stalin's, but abandoning the natural rights of mankind opens the door to these kinds of abuses by placing expedient outcomes above human rights, and not realizing that different people consider different outcomes expedient."

i think there is a balance between "the natural rights of mankind," and grand designs of leaders like stalin.
i know that you and others, think that our health care reform is "stalinesque," but i dont.
i think we have a balance here, in our country.
and i believe that government has a responsibility to create a safety net for the last, the least and the lost. and as citizens, it is our responsibility to contribute to it.
that is my belief, and so i am glad that i live in the united states, where we have a safety net in place, and we all make that contribution.

when i call 911, i am thankful that we have a police force.
when a poor and sick person child needs help, i am thankful that president obama passed legislation that enables them to receive it. i am glad and thankful for all of the services that we have in the united states.
i am not so happy for some of the things that my taxes go to...but i am thankful for all of the good things that i and others do have here.
i dont know what the future holds, and really, neither does anyone else, despite all of the predictions....but i hope that the prospects for our future will be bright.
we need more kindness and good will for one another, and less selfishness and anger toward our neighbors. that i know, for sure.

Posted by: jkaren | November 16, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Pseudo simply enjoys pushing buttons.

As a certain representative from Massachusetts might put it, trying to have a conversation with him/her is like arguing with a dining room table.

Posted by: justin84 | November 16, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

"that's really all there can be in defense of your collectivist rot."

What a hilarious fraud you are, soggy: a parasitical moocher who postures as a master of self-reliance.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 16, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

"As a certain representative from Massachusetts might put it"

You didn't need to cite authority, justin84: experience tells us that you'd need fifteen paragraphs if it were in your own words.

In the meantime, the hypocrisy of the incoming representative -- a hypocrisy compounded by ignorance -- is the hallmark of mslogan. What moochers they are.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 16, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

"i know that you and others, think that our health care reform is "stalinesque," but i dont."

It's not that health care reform was stalinesque (it's not as if the previous system was much better from the libertarian perspective), but it continues to embed the notion that individual rights can be trampled on in pursuit of expedient outcomes.

"i think we have a balance here, in our country."

What guarantees that balance? On what basis do we protest a government that has gone too far?

"i believe that government has a responsibility to create a safety net for the last, the least and the lost. and as citizens, it is our responsibility to contribute to it."

The problem is the coercion. Those who disagree with your beliefs - either the safety net aspect, or the government operation of said safety net - are forced to contribute or face imprisonment/murder by the state.

I believe there is a moral responsibility to assist those down on their luck. I also believe there is a moral responsibility not to cheat on one's significant other but I wouldn't use state authority to punish someone who did.

That said, the last, least and lost largely don't live in America - you'll find most of them in the third world. How do you justify redistributing wealth to American families living on $15,000/yr in earned income, but not to African families living on $200/yr in earned income?

The loss of a government safety net does not mean the loss of a safety net period. There will be voluntary associations that form spontaneously to fill in the gaps. Recall that the government at all levels spends $6.4 trillion annually, and yet tens of millions of Americans remain poor.

"i am not so happy for some of the things that my taxes go to"

But that's the trade off. Not all of your money is going to what you deem the highest and best use. Some money that you'd prefer going to help a cancer patient is going to (accidentally) bomb a few innocent people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in Pakistan. Or help Barney Frank buy a few votes by building a second engine for the F-35 in his district (Frank would cancel the F-35 program if he could, but since it exists he's happy as long as the pork is local). Or towards Tobacco subsidies ($200MM in 2009). While the government pushes both ways on Tobacco and more strongly against, at best that money is clearly wasted. On the margin and considered on its own, those Tobacco subsidies are creating new cancer patients.

http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=00000&progcode=tobacco

"i can understand that you dont want to lift the boats of those who dont work as hard, or make an effort"

This actually doesn't bother me. I don't really get riled up watching the lazy benefit from assistance. As long as the assistance provider is doing so willingly, I don't see the problem.

It's not who does or does not deserve stolen goods, it's the stolen goods.

Posted by: justin84 | November 17, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

--*What a hilarious fraud you are, soggy: a parasitical moocher who postures as a master of self-reliance.*--

You're losing it, mousi. You're lying. LOL. I mean, what? You think I'm on food stamps or something? In which case, I'd be just one more deserving Democrat voter.

Collectivist think: All mixed up, wrapped in lies.

Posted by: msoja | November 17, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

The main problem is having insurance tied to employment. If it were personal (whether government-sponsored or private) it would not change when we change jobs.

The government already pays for our health insurance by the tax deductions businesses get for the expense of the premiums for their employees. If we switched that to some form of tax credit for buying our own insurance we could buy a policy that matched our family's needs, not just what a particular employer has to offer. I helped pick insurance plans for a company in Pennsylvania, and we were limited to 2 choices for all employees (and one was picked because it was best for the owner of the company but was too expensive for most everyone else). I had to balance the needs of the other 30 employees and pick just one plan as a "take it or leave it" option.


In addition, businesses could then use the cash they have been spending on insurance, plus all of the savings from not having to administer benefits for their employees, to concentrate on the business and hopefully become more profitable.

I have been subject to the uninsured mess -- my wife was in a car accident before we were married and her insurance ran out during her pregnancy. My insurance company would not cover her because she was already pregnant when my coverage started. Her "insurance" could not be continued because COBRA had run out and it was a union plan that did not have an individual continuation option. Even though we could have found money for a premium, we couldn't find a policy to cover us. This is why employer-based insurance coverage just doesn't work.

P.S. Under current law, not in force then, my insurance would have covered her because she had existing coverage. My argument against employer-based insurance still stands because of the choice of coverage issues I already described.

Posted by: delawarealan | November 17, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

"You didn't need to cite authority, justin84: experience tells us that you'd need fifteen paragraphs if it were in your own words."

Many things simply can't be adequately explained in a sentence. I note all of your short posts here are utterly devoid of content.

Anyway, I'm done making the effort. You just want to push buttons, that's great. Have at it.

Posted by: justin84 | November 17, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

--*The government already pays for our health insurance by the tax deductions businesses get for the expense of the premiums for their employees.*--

Not stealing from people does not mean you paid for the things those people buy with the money you didn't steal from them.

But that's the kind of thinking that progressivism has given us.

Posted by: msoja | November 17, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

"Many things simply can't be adequately explained in a sentence."

That's true. It doesn't make your many, many sentences less full of hot air.

"You think I'm on food stamps or something?"

You're a moocher. That you consider your mooching to be something else while offering up your tedious daily sloganeering makes you a fraud and a hypocrite as well, just like Rep-elect Harris. Grow up or get off the grid.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 17, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

--*You're a moocher. That you consider your mooching to be something else while offering up your tedious daily sloganeering makes you a fraud*--

So, if I refuse to, or even express displeasure with being forced to, contribute to the collective, I'm a moocher. Because the collective has claims on me.

It is not the collective that is mooching from me. It's me, being reluctant to have my property stolen from me, who is the moocher.

Nice.

Posted by: msoja | November 17, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Just for the record: mslogan's definition of "his property" is "everything he's mooched and now calls his."

This is why he's a fraud as well as a moocher.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | November 17, 2010 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Just out of curiosity, I went and looked at Mr. Harris' campaign site. It's filled with a lot of the expected drabble about cutting government spending, taxes, and regulation. What's curious, though, is the comparatively large section on what he wants to do for Chesapeake Bay -- goals that will depend on substantial government oversight at substantial cost.

Mr. Harris' apparent attitudes about publicly-funded healthcare seem to be only one facet of a large body of hypocrisy. How he maintains all these seemingly conflicting views without suffering cognitive dissonance might be a compelling question, were it not so evident that many other Americans aren't so different.

Which is the final answer to all these questions, because it's not the candidates or politicians who are called to answer so much as it is those who vote for them.

Posted by: sapphie | November 17, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

This is comparison is silly.

The government is his new employer. Conservatives are not railing against "government-funded" healthcare for the government's employees. Conservatives are railing against government-funded healthcare for everyone else.

If this intellectually dishonest and feeble attempt at a "gotcha" are the best the left have, keep it coming. LOL

Posted by: bobmoses | November 17, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

DBW1, one of the Koch brothers is a huge benefactor of the New York City ballet. Very generous of him, but how exactly does this gesture provide food, clothes, housing, employment, and medical care for a poor person?

"Charity" is quite an umbrella term. Before I applaud a study which purports to show that conservatives give more to charity than liberals, I want to know if that study includes support for the arts, and endowed chairs at Harvard, as charity.

Posted by: angelas1 | November 17, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Of course. This is typical. I wish this story was bigger news. I doubt that many Americans are even aware of this hypocrisy. GOP (Or the Greedy Old Party) isn't happy with people getting the kind of health coverage they think should be available only to the elite. Why should this clown get anything if he opposes the very type of program he is so concerned with benefiting from? Scr#w him!

Posted by: landonthegr8 | November 17, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere along the line, the use of the term Federal/Government worker has painted everyone who works for the Government or has served this country, with the same brush. So let's differentiate between Politicians and Government workers. The GS folks I know and work with, pay insurance premiums, just like the private sector folks, like myself do. So, don't make it sound like everyone who works,or has worked for the Federal or State, or Local Governments gets free insurance coverage. As for retired military like myself, to go to a military health facility, that I earned, is in itself a crap shoot at best for seeing the same Dr. two times in a row, and that is after waiting for deservidly, active military, then their dependents to be seen, then the retired members, and last of all the retired member's dependents to be seen. Don't get me started on Social Security Part A and Part B that costs me a hefty fee to get any benefit from it for me and my handicaped dependent. I'm still working, but believe me, what I pay for family coverage could support a third world country. When I retired as an E-7 from the Navy and went to my first private job, the norm was a 30 day delay before medical kicked in. There are still companies that delay Medical and Dental for at least one pay cycle. My point is that politicians have no right to gripe about a short break in coverage, it is after all, the real world.

Posted by: DPCUSNRET | November 17, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Andy Harris will retire from government with life time health and pension benefits, what a hoot.

Hey Boehner and McConnell!
"We Want Our Jobs Back! NOW"

Posted by: knjincvc | November 17, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Another reason to eliminate all health and pension benefits for retire politicians.

Hey Boehner and McConnell!
"We Want Our Jobs Back! NOW"

Posted by: knjincvc | November 17, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

what a &%$(*@ing hypocrite--and an ignorant one at that. An anesthesiologist without a clue how health insurance actually works in this country. Lovely.

Posted by: cbl55 | November 17, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Here is the "logic" of some of the outraged commenters on here, as well as Ezra.

Republican Congressman perturbed that his health insurance coverage for a job he has EARNED won't kick in right away.

Thus he will be uninsured.

Obamacare presumably (a big presumably) will make sure everyone is insured.

Congressman doesn't support Obamacare.

Therefore, Congressman is (a) hypocritical, because he wouldn't have this problem to complain about if we DID have Obamacare (uh, a huge leap, but let's go with it) and (b) Congressman is selfish and not thinking of poor uninsured souls out there because, if he did, he wouldn't be against Obamacare.

Now, if I have to explain to folks how incredibly shaky and silly this sort of logic is, then these folks all need to go back to school and start thinking anew.

Posted by: karl-keller | November 17, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bobmoses


This is comparison is silly.

The government is his new employer. Conservatives are not railing against "government-funded" healthcare for the government's employees. Conservatives are railing against government-funded healthcare for everyone else.

If this intellectually dishonest and feeble attempt at a "gotcha" are the best the left have, keep it coming. LOL

-------------------------------------------
bobmoses,
The joke is truly on you. LOL! Andy Harris is EXACTLY the image & caricture of the Nazis-Facist-Liberal-wealth redistributor the Tea Partiers were talking about! In fact, just read some of the right-wing postings in this forum. They are against goverment employees getting the kind of benefits the private sector wrokers aren't getting.

It is obvious you are not paying attention to the message your team is communicating or you are confused as to what the message is! Anyways, you really sound totally unimformed about your team's message! LOL right back at you!

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | November 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bobmoses


This is comparison is silly.

The government is his new employer. Conservatives are not railing against "government-funded" healthcare for the government's employees. Conservatives are railing against government-funded healthcare for everyone else.

If this intellectually dishonest and feeble attempt at a "gotcha" are the best the left have, keep it coming. LOL

-------------------------------------------
bobmoses,
The joke is truly on you. LOL! Andy Harris is EXACTLY the image & caricture of the Nazis-Facist-Liberal-wealth redistributor the Tea Partiers were talking about! In fact, just read some of the right-wing postings in this forum. They are against goverment employees getting the kind of benefits the private sector wrokers aren't getting.

It is obvious you are not paying attention to the message your team is communicating or you are confused as to what the message is! Anyways, you really sound totally unimformed about your team's message! LOL right back at you!

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | November 17, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Actually, he and his GOP brethren should turn down all such government largess and show us what they are made of by buying their own health insurance from the free market and unsubsidized.

Posted by: MTgrassland | November 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

It is about the sense of entitlement some Americans have to deny other Americans the benefits of citizenship that should accrue to all citizens. A properly run insurance plan that is supported by ALL citizens would have sufficient resources to provide health care for all. But that rubs the right-wing the wrong way as it benefits people they deem to be unworthy to the detriment of right wingers. For example, suppose the Federal government runs short of healh-care funds because some idiot Texan president decides to invade another country. Would Congress vote to ration health care? Probably, along net worth lines. Those sporting a large net worth get all the health care they need or want. Everybody else stops breathing.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | November 17, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

--*A properly run insurance plan that is supported by ALL citizens would have sufficient resources to provide health care for all.*--

Trouble is, you have to start pointing guns at people's heads in order to meet that "ALL citizens" requirement. And if you do that, you have to stop singing that quaint little song about the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

But maybe you like your governments dictatorial.

Posted by: msoja | November 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Actually, he and his GOP brethren should turn down all such government largess and show us what they are made of by buying their own health insurance from the free market and unsubsidized.
MTgrassland |
____________________________________________

See, this is the classic leftist/progressive argumentative tactic:

"If you were really serious about what you think should be done, you should do X, which I will define for you."

Again, once again, the incredible inability of the "progressive" mind to see the inherent logical gaps in its thinking is truly astonishing.

Posted by: karl-keller | November 17, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

To Real Texan 1

You mention the difference between demanding health care benefits associated with a job, and demanding health care without working or paying for it. You comparison does not account for the millions upon millions of working poor whose jobs do not provide health insurance, and whose wages would not pay for an individual policy. Are you going to suggest that they refuse to work for a company that does not provide benefits, and perhaps remain unemployed and needing other government benefits. Don't the conservatives value people working, doing whatever they can to provide for their family? Do the working poor just get left out in the cold?

Posted by: daubry | November 17, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

DBW1, I took your challenge. As I suspected, there was a strong correlation between between one describing himself as religious and charitable giving. The average giving was considerably less than a tithe. It makes one wonder how much of that giving is actually used for charitable purposes after administrative and building expenses. This concern really reduces the credibility of your contention that conservatives have more concern for the poor, particularly when the lowest giving is by secular conservatives.

Posted by: daubry | November 17, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to bet that he's covered? I'm sure he's made arrangements for health insurance. Let's not be calling his health insurance government health care either, it's employer provided health insurance, where he pays and the government pays.

Just another misleading commentary. The yellow, which supposedly represents Obamacare, is not correct. Massachusetts is still trying to get their coverage up.

Posted by: bflat879 | November 17, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: krazen1211
"Health care is for people who work for it. Not for people who simply exist."

Yeah, that's right, so if you lost your job and you or your wife or kid get sick - just die! Your a burden, no count, lazy, sloth on society.

Posted by: kparc1212 | November 18, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: krazen1211
"Health care is for people who work for it. Not for people who simply exist."

Yeah, that's right, so if you lost your job and you or your wife or kid get sick - just die! Your a burden, no count, lazy, sloth on society.

Posted by: kparc1212 | November 18, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

dbw1 wrote: "Conservatives do believe in helping their fellow man. What they don't agree with is that FEDERAL government programs are the most efficient and effective means of delivering the help to where it's needed most."

DBW1, this is a logical position, except that non-governmental efforts often DON'T deliver help where it's needed. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (what conservatives derogatorily call "ObamaCare") was enacted in response to decades of non-governmental neglect. The non-governmental agencies (i.e. free market) left millions of Americans without coverage.

This is a common pattern: non-government fails to provide a solution; government is drawn in to address the problem; conservatives wail that the problem can be more efficiently solved without the government.

Conservatives, the solution is simple: put your money where your mouth is. If you can solve these problems without the government, THEN DO IT. I'll even help you hold the government at bay if you are succeeding. But if you aren't succeeding then stop whining when the government steps in.

Posted by: egc52556 | November 18, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

--*The non-governmental agencies (i.e. free market) left millions of Americans without coverage.*--

That's rich, innit? A hundred years ago, no one had coverage. How did anyone survive? Maybe people didn't have bad things befall them then? Or maybe they just didn't think that it was the rest of "society's" duty to pick them up and daub on the ointments every time life dealt them a setback.

And that's what still hasn't changed. Life often is unfair. Life is still a struggle. Success is not assured. And every time someone comes around demanding that government fix their problems, the only way government can do that is by *taking* something from someone else, someone else who most likely worked very hard to acquire that resource, and who would have used it to further his own quality of life.

When I was a kid, people talked about learning the facts of life. I guess that that isn't done any more. One doesn't have to confront the vagaries of the beast anymore. One runs to the arms of the nanny state, and wallows in the fluffy batting of stolen goods.

Posted by: msoja | November 18, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

So he has to wait 28 days. He will also hit the roof when he finds that his new insurance will cover the pre-existing conditions for his chidlren, but not for his wife or him. That coverage won't start until the year after next year, courtesy of Obamacare.

Jeez, what a fool this Republican is. This is what happens when you get all your news from Rush Limbaugh.

The new congress will be a new Idiocracy. All slogans and no reality.

Posted by: LeeH1 | November 18, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"Conservatives, the solution is simple: put your money where your mouth is. If you can solve these problems without the government, THEN DO IT. I'll even help you hold the government at bay if you are succeeding. But if you aren't succeeding then stop whining when the government steps in."
egc52556
**************************************
Here's ANOTHER favorite argumentative tactic trotted out by the left.

Accuse the other side of believing in something they don't believe in.

I cannot believe how unsubtle and, yes, unintelligent, some of the lefties are.

Look, it's not about ONLY a government program vs not ANY government program. C'mon, you know that it is a false choice.

It is about THIS specific government program, an huge unwieldy 2700 page monster whose regulations have yet to be promulgated and which are almost assured to be costly, cumbersome, and job-killing.

I daresay most conservatives have no problem with social safety net programs, or programs that are efficient and useful. Watch Paul Ryan on Charlie Rose. However, I am against really STUPID programs like Obamacare. So much of it is really really dumb. And you guys know it.


Posted by: karl-keller | November 18, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company