Thursday, March 25, 2010

To Your Health!

Just when you thought the Health Care Hulabaloo was on the wane, we’re finding out it’s still going strong.  When my friend Red Pen Mama published a post on why she supported the health care reform bill, she was astounded when it drew over 1500 hits.  Immediately wanting to cash in on some of that action support the cause of health care reform, I thought I’d put down a few thoughts.

The first thing I learned was that Red Pen Mama’s raised traffic was due to her blog being featured on WordPress’s homepage, so my attempt to raid some of that attention is for naught.  But that’s no slam on RPM… she did an amazing job responding to more than a hundred comments, wielding her red pen (and “delete” button) to keep the discourse civil.  She was, in fact, far more civil than I am prone to be.

There were a lot of arguments put forth in those comments and I’d like to address some of them now.

“The Health Care Reform bill (HCR) is too expensive.”
I completely disregard this argument, like I do with all the cost arguments put forth during the last year.  Where was all this concern for the budget when President Shrub and his cohorts were turning our surplus into a deficit due to tax cuts, a couple of wars and a massive prescription drug giveaway?  They’re only complaining now because it’s not their guy. 

W’s spending got us thousands of people killed, padded the bank accounts of the nation’s richest 2% and filled the coffers of the pharmaceutical industry.  All we’re getting with HCR is affordable coverage for everyone in the country and a brake on the insurance industry’s screwing us as aggressively as they have been accustomed..

“Health care will be rationed by bureaucrats.”
Health care is rationed by bureaucrats right now.  The difference is that the job of the current bureaucrats is to do everything in their power to find ways not to cover their customers.  Regardless of how effective it ends up being, the government will at least be advocating for us, and not the insurance industry profits.

“The bill went through too fast.”
Horseshit.  The issue was a campaign promise.  It’s been in front of Congress for the last year.  That is NOT too slow.  The mantra was “slow down” because that way, progress is easier to tie up with endless debate and superfluous amendments designed to torpedo the shebang.

By the way, how fast did the Republicans ram through that Terri Schiavo law?  I’ve waited on line at Burger King longer than it took for them to pass that law diving into a private family’s painful personal business.  But the Republicans are all about less government, right?

“Hey, there are sweetheart deals attached.”
Again, the hypocrisy is showing.  Every bill needs some horse-trading in order to get passed, including ones that went through the Republican-led Congress.  It’s unfortunate, but that’s what it takes to get anything done nowadays.  To bitch about that fact is to assume the American Public is too stupid to realize it.  The Republicans realize that if they’re the ones pointing the loudest fingers, no one notices the ones pointing back.

Oh, and crying about using the reconciliation process?  The Republicans did that too.  It’s the same old argument… when they use reconciliation; it’s a Constitutional right.  When their opponents do it, it a scandal foisted on the unsuspecting public.  Cry me a fuckin’ river.

“Republicans were shut out of the process.”
Um, no they weren’t.  They were in as much as they wanted to be, up until the point became obvious that no matter what was put in the bill, they were voting against it.  The Democrats made a number of concessions and incorporated some items favorable to Republicans, but it never got a single vote at any stage of passage.  That’s not a group that wants to participate in anything but sabotage.  There comes a time when one side has to wave their private parts at the other side, flip the bird and retreat to go it alone.

“It’s an affront to “Liberty” to force people to buy health insurance.”
Is it an affront to “Liberty” to force people to buy car insurance?  Of course not.  It’s a simple matter.  Without car insurance, if a driver gets in an accident, somebody else has to pay for it.  Without health insurance, if someone goes to the emergency room, someone else has to pay for it.  It’s the same thing… people take responsibility for themselves so others in society aren’t forced to pick up the tab.

Under the HCR, efforts are made to make that insurance affordable.  And don’t give me that argument about it being different because car insurance is a state requirement, not federal.  Yeah, like everyone is all inflamed about this bill because it’s the requirement is from the Fed and not the State. 

Bullshit.  Just another excuse pulled out because it sounds plausible.

Let me ask you something… How much “Liberty” was given away with the excesses of the Patriot act?  No court orders?  Unlimited wiretapping, electronic information gathering, surveillance of freakin’ library books

There are hundreds of examples of Patriot Act statutes being used for non-terrorist matters, including a convent full of nuns getting their assets frozen.   Nuns.  And people want to bitch about loss of liberty from buying their own goddamned health insurance?

That “Liberty” argument is as cracked as their bell.

The Wounded Right is just throwing shit at the wall and hoping some of it sticks.  Personally, I’m fluent in translating the Right Wing bullshit.  But as a public service, I’d like to provide this handy video guide to speaking “Republican.”

Coming soon to "Rosetta Stone"...

Note: sorry about the sizing.  I couldn't make it small enough to fit.  You can always double-click the video and watch it on You Tube.  But be sure to leave a comment first!


  1. Spot on, Bluz. Spot freaking on. I have nothing to add, which makes me speechless, which is AMAZING. You seriously took all the words right out of my mouth.


  2. I always said you were really perceptive, Cassie! And thank you. (deep sweeping bow)

  3. I want to send this to my mother and other relatives so badly, but I've already sent a "Please, sorry, I don't have time, inclination, or desire to discuss this" mass e-mail. It's good to have in my head, though.

    There is one problem that nobody seems to address. I'm one of the people at my work who administers benefits; this is getting difficult to keep up with. But there are people actively trying to make it difficult, and those people are not Democrats. It also doesn't seem to occur to some people that multiple revisions/votes, not to mention a huge multi-state federal lawsuit, cost tax dollars and lots of them!

  4. Hi Lilo:
    I found it helps to have a menu of counter-arguments close at hand. Perhaps this will help the next time you find yourself subjected to someone that is ultra "Libertycentric" or just that selfish that they can't bear the idea of someone else getting help.

  5. Bluz! You forgot that it's unconstitutional! Unless that's kind of included in the "liberty" point.

    I wanted to post something about how most of the people who worked on the bill were actually lawyers, and probably know a thing or two about constitutional law, but I never did get around to that.

    I'm toying with the idea of opening up comments again. See what happens. If I get slammed again, I'll close 'em. I don't like to fight with people!

    And for all the people who protest that "they don't want to pay for it": Hey, I didn't want to pay for two wars. But nobody asked me. Boo fricking hoo.

    Anyway, thanks again for your support. I think it's important that our voices are heard — if anyone can hear above the Right's screaming. :)

  6. Yes, yes, yes, I KNOW it doesn't make sense. But there's something strangely cathartic to just making stuff up, no matter how crazy and off-the-wall, to get a reaction.

    How often, in regular conversation, do you get to call somebody a "Nazi" or a "Fascist?" But you go to a Tea Party and you can scream it all you want--the louder the better--and people look at you like your some famous televangelist or politician!

    And you're not expected to make sense; in fact, the less sense you make the better. The people you're inciting don't want to think about what you're saying or appear to not know what you're talking about, they just want to yell.

    Counter arguments, logic, common sense have no place in this scenario. The important thing here is: "You're a _______ (Nazi, Commie, Socialist, baby killer, America-hater, Browns fan, etc.)and we're not!"

    It's probably good cardio for some of these old-timers, so, actually, it may keep them out of the health care system. Or, it may give them a heart attack and kill them, which would prevent them from having to go through the whole 'death panel' procedure. So, it works out either way....

  7. RPM:
    Gah! I forgot that point! I totally meant to address that.

    The whole “I don’t want to pay for that” argument is completely invalid. We all pay for shit we don’t like… it comes with the territory. Deal with it. No one group should have their narrow priorities promoted over others. I didn’t want to pay for the Iraq war, Blackwater defense contracts or abstinence classes and faith-based initiatives. But if I want my potholes filled, my house protected from crime or fire, my streets plowed and our country defended, I have to take the good with the bad.

    And you bring up another great point… all the self-proclaimed experts, who are probably people that slept through high school government class, all want to lecture on what’s constitutional. That’s kind of like all the fat guys in armchairs or pencil-neck geeks yelling at the TV because he didn’t like the last play the Steelers ran… Because they’re such experts, you see. Cuz they’re killer at Madden 2010. Same thing.

    Hey… they ought to come up with a Supreme Court Wii game!

  8. Dick:
    The name calling makes for better sound bytes.

    It’s like when they call Obama “too professorial.” Like that’s a bad thing…

    “You mean he’s like a guy that has more information than you and is trying to communicate that information?” I’ve had enough of the “likeable fool that you can have a beer with.” If that was presidential material, then we should have been voting for George Wendt for President.

    I blame Fox “News” and talk radio. The people are just following the examples they see and hear every day. A bunch of yutzes make some shit up, spout it on TV and there are zero consequences. Any following criticisms become just more evidence of the media’s liberal bias. You don’t have to actually know or be right about anything. Truth = Lies… Lies = Truth… it’s Bizarro World politics.

    As to your last point… in order to have a heart attack, you actually have to have a heart.

  9. *applause* *applause* *standing ovation* This was so well said I found myself nodding furiously through the whole post. Fantastic!

    Have a great weekend!

  10. Thanks, Raven.

    Hope you didn't strain your neck!

    You have a great weekend too...

  11. Great insight on the entire ordeal, bluz. People are ranting in reactionary ways to the BS of Right-wing extremists, rather than reading and learning the truth about this legislation. It is lazy and irresponsible behavior.

  12. You really articulated all your points well bluz. Very well! You should run for something. (Or maybe run from something!)

    The problem is a lot of people love to hear funny, out of context statements that get misconstrued as truth. The republicans are masters of that and they have their boys out doing their dirty work. A certain Marc Morano comes to mind. More like Mark Moronic.

    But people listen to them. It's disgusting.

    OK, I've got to go throw up.

  13. Cher and Guy:
    Like I commented to One-Eyed Dick; I blame Fox News. Ever since they showed up, (along with the emergence of conservative talk radio) it's lowered the bar of political discourse in the country. All one has to do is throw flames... doesn't matter if the material is accurate... and hordes of people without critical thinking skills lap it up and repeat it ad nauseum.

    I think the media ought to come out with a built-in fact checking buzzer. Whenever some clown gets up there spewing about socialism or death squads, a loud "FAIL" buzzer should sound. (I'd follow it with some "trap-door" action, but that might be asking too much.)

  14. Excellent post, Bluz. I'm always grateful to the politically-astute bloggers who write about current events, 'cause Lord knows I ain't one of 'em.

    I'm not sure how I feel about all this (healthcare reform, I mean), but I've enjoyed reading all the different viewpoints. In typical self-involved blogger fashion, though, my main question is, "When am I gonna get some prescription-drug coverage?!"


    Such is the life of the freelancer.

  15. B. Girl:
    Once fully implemented, I think the bill should help you tremendously. As a freelancer, you don’t have insurance provided and would have to obtain it on your own. Rates for doing so should be much better post-bill than, say, now.

    Who knows… couple years down the road, if things continue well with The Guy, you may need some natal care… Believe me, you wouldn’t want to pay that out of pocket.

  16. Well done Bro. I'm getting pummeled with e-mail from my Republican friend about this. What a mean-spirited group of whackaloons.

  17. Glad to help, Anonymous Sister of Bluzdude!

    Of course, it’s not like you’re friend is going to listen… (“Stop teabagging for a second and listen to this…”)

    But we Democrats have to start fighting back hard. They always expect us to wimp out on the fight, and unfortunately we too often do. But if we can’t fight for what we want now, when can we?

    Now is the time to get things done that benefit 98% of the country, instead of the 2% that benefited since 2001.

  18. I happened to check you out after seeing your comments on Bachelor Girl and just had to tell you about my weekend. I live in NYC but was visiting home in Ohio, and while I was out to dinner with my family, my very conservative dad of course brought up health care reform. It was clear that my younger sister, who leans left but doesn't really keep up on politics, didn't know much about it, so my dad started spewing everything from death panel talk to phrases like, "once you reach 75, you'll be considered invaluable and will be given an aspirin and told to deal with it if you have cancer".

    I just kept looking at him in disbelief and telling my sister, "That's not true. That's a lie. That's also a lie." I'm sure she wants to believe our dad isn't an idiot, though, so I imagine she must be really confused.

  19. Mundane:
    Thanks for visiting and commenting! I knew being blog-friends with Bachelor Girl would pay off one day!

    I’m glad I could help with getting you some ammunition to help set your sister straight. I can’t get over some of the things people actually believe about health care reform. (or anything, for that matter.)

    "once you reach 75, you'll be considered invaluable and will be given an aspirin and told to deal with it if you have cancer".

    Heck, that’s what the insurance companies are like right now! Old age is a “pre-existing condition.”


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