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Against Radicalism

It was the speech he needed to give. Three months ago, absolutely, but better late -- a lot better late -- than never.

In speaking to Congress and the American people Wednesday night, President Obama made the case he needed to make -- to independents, to seniors, to the nation’s conscience. He made the case in part by stating what he wanted in the bill, at what cost, and how it would be paid for. He made clear that the bill broke about as much ideological ground as land-grant colleges and public universities did when they began to compete with private universities in the mid-19th century.

Obama’s is a moderate plan that seeks to mitigate what’s truly radical about America’s existing health system, what diminishes it when compared to those of other nations: the uniquely American financial pressures on health insurance companies to deny coverage. In his speech, Obama said:

As one former insurance executive testified before Congress, insurance companies are not only encouraged to find reasons to drop the seriously ill; they are rewarded for it. All of this is in service of meeting what this former executive called “Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations."
That’s what makes our current health-care system different. In no other nation do health insurers, private or public, feel compelled to meet the expectations of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, with their demands for profit no matter whose lives have to be sacrificed in the process. It’s not just that we’re the only nation with even a marginally advanced economy to lack universal health care; it’s that we’re the only nation where health care is marketized by the same geniuses who securitized home mortgages.

Which is why, in his peroration, Obama encased his argument in the decisions of past Congresses to abandon the absolute rule of laissez faire so that the nation could thrive and survive.

You see, our predecessors understood that government could not, and should not, solve every problem. They understood that there are instances when the gains in security from government action are not worth the added constraints on our freedom. But they also understood that the danger of too much government is matched by the perils of too little; that without the leavening hand of wise policy, markets can crash, monopolies can stifle competition, and the vulnerable can be exploited. And they knew that when any government measure, no matter how carefully crafted or beneficial, is subject to scorn; when any efforts to help people in need are attacked as un-American; when facts and reason are thrown overboard and only timidity passes for wisdom, and we can no longer even engage in a civil conversation with each other over the things that truly matter – that at that point we don’t merely lose our capacity to solve big challenges. We lose something essential about ourselves.


The nation’s decency is diminished, Obama argued, invoking the spirit of Ted Kennedy, under a capitalism as radical as that which today’s Republicans champion and which today’s Wall Street imposes. The president is not arguing for socialism; if anything, his program is closer to Europe’s Christian Democrats.

“We did not come here to fear the future,” Obama declared, though inciting fear of the future – our multiracial, mixed economy future – is the mission the Republican Party has taken as its own. “We came here to shape the future,” he concluded. Let’s hope.

By Harold Meyerson  | September 9, 2009; 10:29 PM ET
Categories:  Meyerson  | Tags:  Harold Meyerson  
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Comments

The little, plutocratic 'kings and queens' in Congress, can only hold power, elected power, locally. ... Thanks to the 'downsizing' of the country and the world, 'via' the internet, fear and hate will only forevermore reign near 'swamps' and 'deserts' of the human wasteland whose welcome sign reads, ... GOP.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | September 9, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Joe Wilson cross the line on the House Floor. If this happen during a "House debate" all work would have stopped and a democrat would demand that wilson's words be "taken down"
C-span: "Words Taken Down is the House rule used to discipline a member for using inappropriate words in debate.
After the words are "taken down" by the clerk and read back, the chair rules on their suitability.
If ruled inappropriate, the member may not speak again on the same day without House permission."

Wilson ought to be ban for from speaking on the house floor for the rest of the year. The decorum of the House should be respected at all times. This is not a town hall meeting. This is a joint session of congress. The folks from South Carolina that I know don't act this way.

This behavior by the republicans is appalling. Goofy Gomert waving a sign doing the President's speech was lower than low. This is not another country. THIS IS THE US STATES OF AMERICA, were most people try to teach their children to act civil. The republican minority leader must take full responsibilty for his party's action and ban his members from watching their other leaders like glen beck, rush limbaugh, fox news and the like until after the work is complete on healthcare.

Posted by: MILLER123 | September 10, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least Wilson's conduct answered the question as to why Republicans are not reining in the extreme fanatics who rely on lies, threats, and intimidations to stifle debate or discussion. It's because Republican politicians like Wilson are just as crude, rude, and ill-mannered.

This should put an end to the silly notion that the Republicans in Congress are somehow more civilized than their constituents shoving their way into town halls to shut them down, and showing up to greet the President carrying guns. They aren't. And they deserve no more respect than the shouting, screaming, ranting, raving mobs who shut down our democratic process over health care and tried to shut down our schools over a speech by a President they loathe more than they love their country. They may call themselves patriots; what they are doing is betraying the very ideals that made America great.

Posted by: windrider2 | September 10, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are obstreperous nincompoops. It should be no surprise that their elected leaders behave like the constituents who selected them.

Posted by: davestickler | September 10, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't recognize my country anymore. Where are the sane members of the loyal opposition?

Posted by: mjtraxler | September 10, 2009 4:00 AM | Report abuse

During the Presidents' speach a significant number of Republican members of Congress displayed a mentality identical to that of the ignorant goons who appeared at the so called "town hall" meetings for the sole purpose of disrupting them.

Posted by: WESHS49 | September 10, 2009 5:21 AM | Report abuse

By turning even a President's address to a joint session of Congress into just another taudry town hall forum, where speakers were shouted down, the Congressman from South Carolina (of course!) showed just how radical today's Republican Party had become and how much the organized Radical Right was behind all of those supposedly "spontaneous" disruptions we witnessed all summer long by people who we were told were just average, everyday Americans venting their natural anxiety about the President's programs.

The President rightly said that this debate is fundamentally about American character. So, on behalf of all us liberals, I say: "Thanks, Joe Wilson of South Carolina, for giving us this indelible moment that shows the true character of the Republican Party."

Posted by: TedFrier | September 10, 2009 6:11 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see what use is made of the startling video of the entire Republican delegation glumly sitting on their hands when the President said America must protect Medicare for the elderly.

Posted by: TedFrier | September 10, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Obama our worse fears realized, Punish our friends, cuddle our enemies, Punish responsibility and hard work, reward the corrupt, lazy and foolish. In other words the policies he and the majority of Democrats are pushing is the same socialist policies that have failed repeatedly around the world and here in States like Calif. and New York. Their ideal of a just society is not to lift the poor up but to bring all others down to their levels, sounds a lot the old Soviet Union, does it not? With the Democrat party replacing the Communist party!

Posted by: american1 | September 10, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

american1 wrote: "Democrats are pushing is the same socialist policies that have failed repeatedly around the world and here in States like Calif. and New York. Their ideal of a just society is not to lift the poor up but to bring all others down to their levels, sounds a lot the old Soviet Union, does it not? With the Democrat party replacing the Communist party!"


So the Democrats are pushing their socialist policies and leading the country to a Soviet style state. Do you even know the difference between socialism and communism? If so please expound on the two often opposing veiws of how society should be structured. You, like many recently, have decided to use words you obviously don't understand or just choose to use incorrectly. This has led to much of the dishonesty in the health care discussion and in the general public. I don't mind an honest and informed debate about the merits of government actions but for God sake please try to learn a little about the topic before you jump into the conversation. Communism indeed.............socialist, these are just buzz words that, especially in your usage, have no meaning at all.

Posted by: youngj1 | September 10, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Harold - your logic suggests that any healthcare insurance company that has a "deny payment = profit" formula should be absorbed or regulated by government? But, Harold, this tension is the essence of ALL insurance businesses, not just health - life, fire, property, casualty. We might ask why there is no equivalent push for nationalizing those businesses? It's precisely because we allow the marketplace to discipline rogue insurers, with customers leaving them in droves for more reputable providers. By the way - the same tension holds in almost any business or enterprise that has substantial short-term power over its customers, yet needs to guard long-term health. Think subscription businesses (cable TV, college tuition), or businesses with high short term switching barriers (maintenance contracts).

Please, Harold, if you believe that our nation is sufficiently wealthy that we should sacrifice economic growth in favor of some sense of fairness and more consistent application of health dollars...then just say so.

But don't insult everyone who works in private enterprise by assuming that they do not care about the long-term health of their business.

Or, are you in fact suggesting that after healthcare we need to regulate cable prices, tuition, car warranties???

Posted by: RussellGroves | September 10, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

This guy is a bald-faced liar. "it’s that we’re the only nation where health care is marketized by the same geniuses who securitized home mortgages." This is a complete lie; the operations of health insurance companies has nothing to do with mortgages or mortgage companies.

And this idea that we have a "market based" health care system is extremely dubious. The Federal government already controls about half of the health care payments in this country. Then the other half is the most regulated industry in the country. Seems to me with how much the government is involved in health care already, the claim that health care doesn't work because of the "free market" is laughable because there is no free market!

Get your facts straight, hack!

Posted by: octopi213 | September 10, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

As a card-carrying Independent, I do not stand on either side at this point. However, I'm smart enough to know that we need to change the current health care system for the good of the average citizen. The Republicans do not want to see this happen during this President's term. Thus, the agenda is do any and everything necessary to block a reasonable debate. The strangest thing is that the Republican voters that are distrupting things and talk so strongly against healthcare reform, have "NO IDEA" that they are only hurting themselves and their children's children. One last note: Have you noticed that the Stature of the U.S. Presidency has been lowered to that of an average citizen. It's a damn American Shame!

Posted by: bestowens | September 10, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Joe Wilson is being portrayed as a demon by the state media that salutes with a faithful: "Hail Obama" in each piece of news. Now Rep. Wilson would have been a hero if a) he had been a homosexual pimp dressed with pink clothes and b)the president was a republican.

Posted by: ym1282 | September 10, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Joe Wilson cross the line on the House Floor. If this happen during a "House debate" all work would have stopped and a democrat would demand that wilson's words be "taken down"
C-span: "Words Taken Down is the House rule used to discipline a member for using inappropriate words in debate.
After the words are "taken down" by the clerk and read back, the chair rules on their suitability.
If ruled inappropriate, the member may not speak again on the same day without House permission."

Wilson ought to be ban for from speaking on the house floor for the rest of the year. The decorum of the House should be respected at all times. This is not a town hall meeting. This is a joint session of congress. The folks from South Carolina that I know don't act this way.

This behavior by the republicans is appalling. Goofy Gomert waving a sign doing the President's speech was lower than low. This is not another country. THIS IS THE US STATES OF AMERICA, were most people try to teach their children to act civil. The republican minority leader must take full responsibilty for his party's action and ban his members from watching their other leaders like glen beck, rush limbaugh, fox news and the like until after the work is complete on healthcare.

Posted by: MILLER123 | September 10, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I noticed that some commentors actually believe that our current form of unrestrained capitalism is equitable. However, capitalism is not based in morality-look at the car companies. Look, it's not about begrudging anyone a dollar. Less than 10% of the population owns all the world's wealth, this includes the few corporate behemoth's that keep the wealth engine chugging along. Everyone is not cut out to be a business owner and the poor will be with us always. But there has to be a limit. Profit at the intentional expense of life is just wrong. The insurance companies have actively admitted to denying care and coverage to individuals just to save money and maybe you don't meet the age or income requirements to qualify for current government health care assistance. But that doesn't negate the fact that you still need a surgery or medicine. You may fall in the middle just like the 60% of working poor. Believe me, the wealthy aren't using your health insurance plans anyway.

Government has a place, it serves as leveling agent for a diverse population. Otherwise if we could all just do whatever we wanted, there would be pure anarchy and we'd be just like Libia. In order for everyone to be covered by what is essentially medicare, I think our current medical system needs to be streamlined, from procedures and protocols to prescriptions. Everyone should have access to the latest and most effective treatments without a lot of unnecssary fillers. Doctors should be on salaries and not procedure based payments, like commissions. I don't think we should rush this because auditing the system piece by piece will cut back on fraud, malpractice lawsuits, unnecessary public spending on the parts of the companies and the individual. We are already paying for it through our taxes and minimally increasing that tax based on realistic figures only makes sense. Europeans aren't getting things fro free. Almost half their income goes to taxes in some places, but their kids don't have to worry about college, health care, car insurance and even food in some cases. They saw a common cause--their own welfare. If we have to spend, then let's do it wisely. because we will certainly be paying for this war whether we like it or not.

Posted by: lidiworks1 | September 10, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I disagree that this speech should, or could, have been given months ago. The power of the speech's appeal to the better angels of our nature and to the traditions of civility that have sustained American democracy for two centuries would have been muted had we not endured the spectacle of this summer's disruptive town hall forums or the absurdity of a right wing protests for what they considered the subversiveness of the President of the United States wishing the nation's school children well as they started the new school year.

What we saw both from the President's appeal for civility and the South Carolina Congressman's refusal to give any is that Americas liberals who are now the true conservatives -- respecting the sacred rituals of our nation like joint sessions of Congress -- while it is the conservatives who are the radicals, wiping their dirty feet on our democratic traditions and institutions in the name of their own revolutionary utopian faith.

Posted by: TedFrier | September 10, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey "lidiworks1", thanks for the sane, reality based comments. You seem to realize that this whole thing is evolving well above our pay grades. We can only hope that when the dust settles, there is actually something in it for us, too.

Posted by: bestowens | September 10, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

O'Bama answered nothing that will reduce the fear, loathing and greed of the senior citizens.

Posted by: ravitchn | September 10, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Since Joe Wilson and many in the GOP are so opposed to a health care "public option" I think it best that the Grand Old, and I emphasize OLD, Party's elected members withdraw from the government health plan that they are now receiving and act responsibly by individually covering the cost of their health insurance. Perhaps the GOP should organize their own healthcare cooperative? Free markets forever. (This has been a public service announcement from socialists for a better America.)

Posted by: manray123 | September 10, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

where were all you proud american dems when you found out van jones is an avowed commie? now we know that there are a busload of commies in the administration. this is just the begining of outbursts.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | September 10, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"startling video of the entire Republican delegation glumly sitting on their hands when the President said America must protect Medicare for the elderly."

It made me want to make a campaign contribution -- to Republicans. I'm tired of subsidizing others' retirement. I'm paying for my health care, they can pay for theirs. If I could opt of out of social security and medicare I would. It's disgraceful how we've made people dependent on these government programs. if you want to means test them to provide for the poor, that's one thing, but that's not how they currently work.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | September 10, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse


No one should be forced to buy health insurance.

Posted by: caroljmcvey | September 10, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The President was civil and bi-partisan. Hardly. He doubled-down and swung Left.

Didn't he embrace the Republicans non-inclusion of illegal immigrants ? Yes but do we REALLY believe doctors and health providers will be empowered by a liberal Congress to check for ID ? Hey I have a bridge for you ! : )

Didn't the President embrace "tort reform" ? oops NOT.

Didn't the President ask his Democrat friends to specifically exclude abortion coverage ? oops NOT.

After all is said and done... the President lied. At least one person in the room spoke the truth.

Joe Wilson 2012

Posted by: pvilso24 | September 10, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

No person should be forced to subscribe to a particular health insurance plan, even if the government pays the cost of membership.

McCain once suggested giving the uninsured stipends to spend on a plan of their own choosing. McCain's idea allows for freedom and compassion while respecting the dignity of the individual. This approach would encourage competition and force health providers to compete for business.

Forcing the uninsured into a single plan risks creating an underclass of potential lab rats and organ donors for the more generously insured.

Posted by: caroljmcvey | September 10, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

No one should be forced to buy health insurance.

Posted by: caroljmcvey
-------------------------------------------------

Ok, but if you are going to roll the dice, stay out of my local emergency room unless you can pay in cash. The idea is: making PREVENTIVE care and regular check-ups affordable, fewer people will show up at the ER with advanced infections and other VERY expensive conditions.

Posted by: jayjordan | September 10, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

NoVaHockey says he/she is "tired of subsidizing others' retirement." A lot of retired people state they don't want to subsidize schools for other people's children. I don't want to subsidize wars or tax breaks for big oil but wasn't given a choice.

If you live on a deserted island than you can "subsidize" only what you want. But we are a country of 300 million and in a society different groups support each other. That's part of being a society. This health care debate is how to do it most effectively since our current system is broken.

It is very short sighted to ignore your neighbor's welfare since it will soon affect you. (Not to mention the moral issues.) Children in kindergaren are graded on "plays well with other." They learn the give and take of functioning within a diverse group. This summer we have heard from a lot of people who flunked kindergarten.

Posted by: donrus1 | September 10, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It may be time for the American taxpayers to decide how much government they want in their lives...and how much they are willing (and afford) to pay for. With the rising numbers of citizens (and others) seeking public support to exist, the decline in the average standard of living, and this growing expectation of government-provided entitlements, we are on a sure path to ruin. Can future generations sustain such debt? Don’t we feel an obligation to be socially and ethically responsible to our children and grand-children? Are we still living in a fantasy world or is it pathological denial? The American Dream is dead…we killed it.

Posted by: sero1 | September 10, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"It is very short sighted to ignore your neighbor's welfare since it will soon affect you. (Not to mention the moral issues.)"

Are we talking about goverment or charity? Or is there a difference anymore?


Posted by: NoVAHockey | September 10, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

First of all Obama's number of 46 million uninsured Americans includes 10 million illegal immigrants.

Secondly, his reference to the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was the oddest moment of the night and perhaps of his presidency. Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan, resulting in record numbers of dead American troops. He sounded like candidate Obama from 12 months ago instead of the president and commander in chief. He clearly has not taken ownership of those wars.

Posted by: alstl | September 10, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The 'conservatives' in our Country have lost their way. I believe their anarchist behavior and stated objectives pose a very real threat to our country and our way of life. The 'leaders' of the REPUBLICAN[?] party appear ready to carry their madness all the way to a violent overthrow of our "government of, by, and for the people".

We are watching as these REPUBLICANS[?] do all things possible to debase the foundation's of our democracy.
It does not signal a change in their goals, but a more obvious acting out of their scary intention to silence debate and bring about the disentigration of our government institutions. The only thing that has changed in this republican congregation is that it is meaner, and it's 'leaders' are more willing to risk being discovered. This congregation, having clearly shown it's intention's, will be much easier to identilfy with it's discordant behavior.

The time has come for the sincere and informed electorate, with their leaders, to stand and deliver. Time to stop turning the other cheek and send these pseudo 'patriots' back to their cave drawings. Reasoning has not worked, and the sooner we confront them in their pig sty the sooner we will achieve the work that needs to be done.

Posted by: OLDSCHOOL2 | September 10, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I seem to recall that in his speech last night Obama stated that no American citizen would be allowed to remain uninsured. Do I need a "big brother" hearing device or did the President actually say we would no longer have the right to refuse health plan participation, let alone treatment?

Posted by: caroljmcvey | September 10, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

That Wilson breached protocol should be no surprise after the green lighting of such behavior by then VP Cheney's F.U. to Senator Leahy.

Cheney is missed as well because the fear the Republicans used to rule for the last eight years is no longer easily dispensed with politically motivated terror alerts (see Tom Ridge's recent book).

So to keep fear alive and drive the wedge they lie and distort about implications of health care reform and throw out the boogie man of illegal immigrants. When it comes to fear you can always rely on xenophobia and racism to drive off an individuals "better angels".

What keeps Republicans—and Blue Dogs—up at night isn't that this plan is bad or won't work, it is that the plan is essentially sound and will work.

So President Obama's plan is not backing away from coverage for all, is a very centrist position and he made it clear he is committed to fiscal responsibility—this is definitely the Republican's worst nightmare.

Don't be surprised if the Republicans call on their lunatic fringe to unleash another pack of hell hounds from their kennel of pedigreed haters, liars and fear mongerers.

Posted by: teoc2 | September 10, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

>> "You see, our predecessors understood that government could not, and should not, solve every problem. They understood that there are instances when the gains in security from government action are not worth the added constraints on our freedom."

Interesting. I'll point out the obvious here, in that we are already deep into radicalism by way of 1) the transfer of monetary control to a central bank using fiat currency (usury); and 2) the forfiture of liberty inherent in Patriot Acts I, II, & III, whereby Congress was willing to trade freedoms for security. These would prove to be very foreboding choices according to our founders, who fought relentlessly against them. Our founders were the supreme (radical) libertarians who succeeded in formenting actions which broke our bonds to England. It's almost laughable that, at such a critical time in our history, Libertarians are now regarded as "radical" and have been relegated to "fringe" status. Why do we continue to wring our hands over various "fixes" for the symptoms of a sick republic, when we need a sea change of thought and action to cure the disease.

Posted by: billoright1776 | September 10, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama said the same old message. There is no plan yet to sell. There are too many unanswered questions. If there is so much waste and fraud PRESENTLY in the government system, why arent the president and congress focused on starting there ? This radical man, not leader, has increased the debt more than all presidents in history combined ! How can anyone take his words seriously ! He straight forward lies and misconstrues everything. His arrogance is nauseating and wilson was correct. The present available information on the non existant bill states there is NO limits on who can and who cant receive benefits. After all other than congress who enjoys the best health care for free ? Illegals who use the emergency room... Its a bold faced lie and last night this president showed his radical adgenda to bring this country down, one constitutional amendment at a time.

Posted by: livefreeordie2 | September 10, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama will win this fight much the way Ali beat George Foreman. By only offering a vague outline at first, he has lured the opposition into showing their hand. They have largely expended the sound and fury of "death panels" "socialism" "government takeover" "coverage for illegal aliens" etc. The opposition has spent their ammo, now comes the counterpunching.

This was a political application of the tactic of "rope-a-dope". Guess who the dopes are.

Posted by: JoeBewildered | September 10, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

What does the National Assciation of Manufacturers think? Would a national health care system (not necessarily a single payer) reduce costs for manufacturers? Nobody is talking about 50 states having insurance regulators with 50 different standards. This fractured system would not survive without the state parochial interests supported by local politicians. Electronic billing of a healthcare claim by a healthcare provider requires access to hundreds of insurers that require use of their proprietary systems. One standard, under HIPAA, one central billing system, and one federal regulation enforced by the states (no more state regulations). Force the insurers to operate under economies of scale the way manufacturers operate. Too small and weak? Too bad! Then when one is too big to fail, the government can take it over and we get a federal health insurer.

Posted by: Moderation | September 10, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I am an independent voter who has voted both republican and democrat. It will be along time before I consider voting for a republican candidate again.

Posted by: fcastello1 | September 10, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree that with those on the right who say no one should be forced to buy health insurance. However, I do believe that those who refuse to buy health insurance must (1) Pay in cash up front for every single health care visit and (2) have "DNR" (that's "do not resuscitate") tattooed across their forehead for those times when they are unconscious and unable to break out the wallet. That way the doctors/ambulance drivers will know that they shouldn't even bother.

Posted by: Left_of_the_Pyle | September 10, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

If there are any "intelligent" and "civil" Republicans left, they should stand up now, before their party is permanently tarred as a bunch of reactionary, uncouth nabobs( maybe the shoe fits ). The Democrats stand to win by default, which is a shame, because we need checks and balances. Grow up already Republicans!

Posted by: innis57 | September 10, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

How about digging in and give us some facts about the money being funneled to the legislators - especially committee chairs - on this issue, and by whom. Start with and make the links for us.

Posted by: ewa123 | September 10, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Dear Jay Jordan

"The healthy have no need of a physician." (J.C.)


If a person should choose to opt out of blood-letting and invasive finger-poking in favor of a ball game on his or her government-mandated check-up day--will the healthy patient be refused treatment when someone breaks his or her arm for failing to pay the government-mandated premiums?

Because I believe in a person's right to choose medical care, you stated, "stay away from MY LOCAL EMERGENCY ROOM." Do you OWN a hospital? If so, please post the address -- I will avoid it like the plague.

I'm afraid that if Florence Nightingale, Betsy Ross, Dr. Gupta, Dr. Phil, and Jesus Christ himself showed up at YOUR local emergency room you would shake down the healers for every last penny before you would risk being cured of your own silliness.

Posted by: caroljmcvey | September 10, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

You Huckabees name one, just one Democrat who jumped up in the House Chamber and shouted "You lie!" at Ronald Reagan, George the Dumber or his Father before him.

Until you can, shut up and be embarrassed Joe Wilson is the new face of your ever dwindling moron herd of Rovian propagandists.

Posted by: coloradodog | September 10, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Joe Wilson would have you believe he is a patriot. But with America at war and trying to project unity, strength and dignity to its adversaries as well as its allies, Wilson called the President a liar before a worldwide television audience. Wilson's position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee focuses on the Middle East and South Asia - an area where U.S. troops must project credibility and resolve if they are to defeat terrorism. Wilson's unsubstantiated attack on President Obama's character could needlessly undermine U.S. credibility and troop morale in the region, prolonging the war and costing the lives of U.S. soldiers.

Posted by: paintedpony | September 10, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Somebody said.....

"Didn't he embrace the Republicans non-inclusion of illegal immigrants ? Yes but do we REALLY believe doctors and health providers will be empowered by a liberal Congress to check for ID ? Hey I have a bridge for you ! : )"
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
....I'm a physician. It is not my FREAKIN' JOB to check the ID of a sick or dying human being before I treat them. What is it about you morally challenged imbeciles that doesn't get that?

Posted by: gloriousglo13 | September 10, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse


UNCLE SAM'S NEW SHAMPLAN HEALTHCARE


1. Pay up. If you are not yet sick, we'll make you sick, so you're certain to get a return on your investment.

2. Patients requiring breast enlargements will be offered a free lobotomy with all C and D cup enhancements. This option is available only for members of the transgendered showgirls and pole-dancers union.

3. All extremely outsized fatties will be shot in the tum-tum or the bum-bum. If the bullet can penetrate the flubber, such fatties will not be considered obese; and therefore will not be eligible for gastric bypass.

4. All fertility doctors who implant multiple embryos will be sold at auction to serve as house slaves to single moms and their children.

5. Rehab? Forget about it. All that Afghan poppy needs a market. This means free invisible helicopter rides and free Islami Salami after sundown during Ramadan.

6. All brain surgery will be performed as community service by high school seniors in AP biology classes.

7. Pilates, yoga, and kick-boxing classes will be conducted at every main traffic intersection on Fridays from 5-9. This will cut down on road rage and stimulate the organ doner market.

8,9,10. Any person who takes the above directives seriously should be given free priority treatment at any local psychiatric institute or hospital.


Posted by: caroljmcvey | September 10, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I am an independent and Obama definitely did not change my mind. His plan is so vague I do not understand it nor do I care. He claims that he wants to expand coverage and decrease costs. Both goals are nice but impossible to achieve together. The health care reform is going to become Obama's fall from grace if he continues to force us into accepting it.

Posted by: trumeau | September 11, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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