Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

J. Roberts

Recently, the Oneonta Daily Star published the following letter by J. Roberts.

“I am a 64-year-old grandmother of four who is in support of the public option to reform our broken health care system.

“I have worked in human services for many years and seen countless people suffering from lack of affordable health care. Those who do have coverage through their employment, are subject to the greed of health insurance companies who routinely reject claims for medical procedures, increase rates and refuse to provide coverage to people when they need it the most.

“Moreover, they deny coverage if you have a pre-existing condition.

“Wake up, America! It’s the insurance companies that are getting in the way between you and your doctor!

“Think about what is being proposed through the public option. Because it’s an option you alone choose!

“A recent study shows that one-half of the people filing bankruptcy do so as a result from expenses associated with a catastrophic illness. The same study also shows that more than 75 percent of those who ended up bankrupt were typical middle-class Americans who had health insurance through their employers.

“I’ve always tried to vote my conscience and keep an open mind regardless of party affiliation, but recently I lost respect for leaders in the Republican Party.

“It is despicable to see them continue to manipulate the airwaves with deliberate lies and distortions for selfish political gains, while neglecting the needs of the public.

“Please study this important issue. Understand that it’s about your life your health, your choice. Get the real facts, not the doctored-up lies cooked up by conservative groups.

“Understand the possibility that one day you or your loved ones may be struck by a serious illness. What if you lost your coverage? What would be your options if nothing gets done?

“This is a moral issue, people.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Plan

Although, Congress will make the final determination as to what will be in the healthcare reform plan, Obama has made it known, that he wants the following:

If You Have Health Insurance, Obama’s plan would:
* Ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.
* Limits premium discrimination based on gender and age.
* Prevents insurance companies from dropping coverage when people are sick and need it most.
* Caps out-of-pocket expenses so people don’t go broke when they get sick.
* Eliminates extra charges for preventive care like mammograms, flu shots and diabetes tests to improve health and save money.
* Protects Medicare for seniors.
* Eliminates the “donut-hole” gap in coverage for prescription drugs.

If You Don’t Have Insurance, the President's plan would:
* Creates a new insurance marketplace — the Exchange — that allows people without insurance and small businesses to compare plans and buy insurance at competitive prices.
* Provides new tax credits to help people buy insurance.
* Provides small businesses tax credits and affordable options for covering employees.
* Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured and those who can’t find affordable coverage with a real choice.
* Immediately offers new, low-cost coverage through a national “high risk” pool to protect people with preexisting conditions from financial ruin until the new Exchange is created.

For All Americans, Obama expects the plan would:
*Won’t add a dime to the deficit and is paid for upfront.
* Requires additional cuts if savings are not realized.
* Implements a number of delivery system reforms that begin to rein in health care costs and align incentives for hospitals, physicians, and others to improve quality.
* Creates an independent commission of doctors and medical experts to identify waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.
* Orders immediate medical malpractice reform projects that could help doctors focus on putting their patients first, not on practicing defensive medicine.
* Requires large employers to cover their employees and individuals who can afford it to buy insurance so everyone shares in the responsibility of reform.

Unfortunately, blue dog Democrats and the Senate Finance Committee could disrupt Obama’s plans.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dire Assessment

There will be 68,000 American troops in Afghanistan by the end of this year and General McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan is asking for more troops. However, not all Democrats are sold on the idea, because allegations of rampant corruption and election fraud are raising serious questions in Congress.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said, that there’s not a lot of support in Congress for an increase in troop level. The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin thinks more troops could hinder progress. He said: “The larger our own military footprint there, the more our enemies can seek to drive a wedge between us and the Afghan population, spreading the falsehood that we seek to dominate a Muslim nation.” 

A recent poll indicates, that 57% of the American oppose the situation in Afghanistan and 42 percent favor continuing the occupation. This year the cost of the war is already $60.2 billion, exceeding the financial cost of the Iraq war in 2009, for a total of $228.2 billion. And as more troops are sent to Afghanistan, the predictable result is an increase in U.S. and Afghan fatalities. This year has been the deadliest year for both Afghans and our troops. More than 183 Americans have been killed, and that’s already higher than 2008 the next highest year for U.S. fatalities.

The humanitarian crisis for Afghans has also worsened. In the first half of 2009 there were at least 1,013 civilian deaths, a third of which were caused by coalition forces, mostly the result of air strikes, leading to a decline in Afghan support for our troops. A recent poll found, that only 18% of Afghans supported an increase in American and NATO forces.

There’s a lot of Americans who think that we are headed down the same road the Soviet Union went down in Afghanistan. Many of us want to know, if we’re attempting to do nation building, or if victory will only be defined as wiping out al Qaeda in Afghanistan. 

Unquestionably, even if we succeeded in wiping out al Qaeda in Afghanistan, they’d still be plotting, planning, and trying to come up with ways to attack us here and throughout the western world. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Teabagger Pledge

Rob Greenburg has suggested, that teabaggers solemnly swear to uphold the principles of socialism-free society by strictly adhere to the following:

I will complain about the destruction of my 1st Amendment Rights, while foreswearing the time-honored principles of fairness, decency, and respect by screaming unintelligible platitudes regarding tyranny, Nazi-ism, and socialism at public town halls.

I will complain about my 2nd Amendment Rights, while I am duly being allowed to exercise those rights by legally brandishing unconcealed firearms in public.

Also, I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including, but not limited to the following: Social Security * Medicare/Medicaid * State Children’s Health Insurance Program * Police * Fire * Emergency Services * US Postal Service * Roads and Highways * US Railway System * Public Subways * Metro Systems * Public Bus * Light Rail Systems * Rest Areas on Highways * Sidewalks * All Government-Funded Local/State Projects * Public Water and Sewer Services * Public and State Universities and Colleges * Public Primary and Secondary Schools * Public Museums * Libraries * Parks and Beaches * Public Zoos * Unemployment Insurance * Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services * Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Clothing made from crops grown with or that contain inputs from government subsidies * If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will forego my VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care.

I pledge not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C. and never take my family, or my children on a tour of the following types of socialist locations, including but not limited to: * Smithsonian Museums *the Air and Space Museum or Museum of American History * The Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments * The government-operated Statue of Liberty * The Grand Canyon * The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials * The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery.

I will urge my Member of Congress to forego their government salary and government-provided healthcare.

I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their socialist employees. Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social Security checks. Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private health insurance until I die.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

McCain Sold Out

As pointed out yesterday, Frank Schaeffer wrote: “Crazy for God.” He claims, that it’s futile to attempt to move those captured in an evangelical subculture off their position. 

He insists: “You move past them.  Look, a village cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.  It’s as simple as that.  And we have to understand, we have a village idiot in this country, it’s called ‘Fundamentalist Christianity.’

“And until we move past these people. Let me add as a former lifelong Republican, until the Republican leadership has the guts to stand up and say it would be better not to have a Republican Party than have a party that caters to the village idiot, there’s going to be no end in sight.  The next thing they’ll do is accuse Obama of being the anti-Christ and then who knows what comes next on and on it goes.

“There is no end to this stuff.  Why?  Because this subculture has as its fundamentalist faith that they distrust facts per se. They believe the earth is only 6,000 years old with dinosaurs cavorting with human beings.  They think that whether it’s economic news or news from the Middle East, it all has to do with the end of time and Christ returns.  This is la-la land.

“And the Republican Party is totally enthralled to this subculture to the extent that there is no Republican Party. There is a fundamentalist subculture which has become a cult. It’s fed red meat by the pawns like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and other people who are just not terribly bright themselves and they are talking to even stupider people. That’s where we’re at.  That’s where all of this is coming from.

“And it’s becoming circular. It’s becoming a joke. Unfortunately, a dangerous joke because once in a while, one of these ‘looney tunes,’ as we see, brings guns to public meetings. Who knows what they do next. It’s a serious thing we all have to face, but the Democrats and sane Americans just have to move past these people, say: Wait on the hilltop until the end, the rest of us are going to get on with rebuilding our country.

“Look, in the year 2000, I worked for John McCain, to try to get him elected in the primaries instead of George Bush.  But in 2008, John McCain sold out by nominating Sarah Palin who comes directly from the heart of this movement and carries with her all that baggage. So, he sold out. I don’t see anybody on the Republican side, who has the moral standing to provide real leadership, or who will risk their position to do so.”

Friday, September 25, 2009

Crazy for God

In addition to racism, Obama must deal with a resentful evangelical subculture.

Frank Schaeffer grew up in the religious of the far right.  He’s the author of “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All or Almost All of It Back.”

Recently, he state on MSNBC: “I was a child when President Kennedy was assassinated, and my mother thought, because he died of a head wound, foretold in scripture of the anti-Christ he would be resurrected as the anti-Christ.  She thought this might be a possibility.

“So, those of us who come from the evangelical subculture have been weaned with our mother’s milk on a changing cast list of villains.  It might be Kennedy to one generation, Obama to the next.

“But I think the larger point this brings up is that the mainstream—not just media, but culture—doesn’t sufficiently take stock of the fact that within our culture, we have a subculture which is literally a fifth column of insanity, that is bred from birth through home school, Christian school, evangelical college, whatever, to reject facts as a matter of faith. And so, this substitute for authentic historic Christianity, and I may add as a little caveat here, I’m a church-going Christian, really brings up the question: Can Christianity be rescued from Christians? And that’s an open question.

“And when you see a bunch of people going around thinking that our president is the anti-Christ, you have to draw one of two conclusions.  Either these are racists looking for any excuse to level the next accusation or they’re beyond crazy?  And I think beyond crazy is a better explanation.

“And that evangelical subculture has rotted the brain of the United States of America and we have a big slice of our population waiting for Jesus to come back. They look forward to Armageddon.  Good news is bad news to them.

“When we talk about the “Left Behind” series of books that I talk about in my book “Crazy for God.” what we’re talking about is a group of people that are resentful because they’ve been left behind by modernity, by science, by education, by art, by literature.  The rest of us are getting on with our lives.  These people are standing on the hilltop waiting for the end.

“And this is a dangerous group of people to have as neighbors, and they’re our national neighbors. And this is the source of all of these insanities that we see leveled at the president. One way or another they go back to this little evangelical subculture. It’s a disaster.”

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Animosity Towards Obama

Jimmy Carter said: “I think an overwhelming portion of the intentionally demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American.”

The media has neglected to point out that Carter emphasized: “an overwhelming portion,” which eliminates the word “all.” Furthermore, he limited his claim to “the intentionally demonstrated animosity,” which also modifies the scope of his claim.

Based on the vivid memories of vile racism, that I witness on and off the Marine Corps bases at Parris Island and Camp Lejeune in the early 1950’s, I strongly agree with former President Carter, that racism unfortunately remains a reality throughout America, today.

Last November, Obama received only 10% of the white vote in Alabama, 11% of the white voter in Mississippi and 14 % of the white vote in Louisiana. The 136.2 million Americans, who voted represented a turnout of 63 % of eligible voters, which was the largest turnout, since the voting age was lowered to 18. Exit polls found Obama received only 43 % of the white vote, while 95% of African Americans, 66% of Latinos, and 61% of Asian Americans voted for Obama.
Voters ages 18 to 29 voted for Obama 66 % to 32 %, but only 45% of elderly, white voters voted for Obama.

The long struggle to defeat racism continues, but real change in our country will depend on minorities and younger voters. They must stay involved in the political process and continue to turn out in greater numbers for every election.

Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln and other Democrats from swing states would feel much more comfortable voting for a healthcare bill with a public option, if President Obama was on the ticket. Obama won in 2008, because young minorities turned out to vote the Democratic ticket.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Missile Funding

Recently, I received the following e-mail from Senator Gillibrand.

Dear Mr. O'Leary:
Thank you for writing to me about missile defense funding.  I share the concern about costly Cold War-era ballistic missile defense systems that have not provided the best protection from the threats of modern warfare.
Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in which they stated that they were unable to assess whether the current missile defense program was meeting its basic testing goals. With this uncertainty, I am not convinced that spending billions of dollars to continue this program is the best use of taxpayer dollars at this time.  I believe that money would be better spent on developing the tools that our military needs to successfully carry out the current mission in Afghanistan and protect the United States from the threats posed by international terrorism.  We should also focus on strengthening our defenses against cyberterrorism.
This summer, I voted in favor of the FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, which included several cuts to missile defense programs.  This legislation included terminations of the Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) program, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) program, and the Airborne Laser (ABL), each of which faced significant technological challenges.  I will continue to study this issue as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and support measures that provide our military with the tools that they need to effectively provide for the safety and security of the United States.
Thank you again for writing to express your concerns and I hope that you keep in touch with my office regarding future legislation and concerns you may have. For more information on this and other important issues, please visit my website at http://gillibrand.senate.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter. 

Sincerely yours,

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No Value

On MSNBC, Rep. Anthony Weiner asked Joe Scarborough: “Why do we get prescriptions from Walmart for so little money? They get that deal because they are so big, but who is bigger than Walmart? We are. So why don’t we get the same deal? It’s because, we let the insurance companies negotiate for us and they don’t have the incentive to get a bargain that we ourselves would.”

With the exception of Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, Rep. Weiner asked questions, that no other politician has asked. He argued: “What is an insurance company? They don’t do a single check-up. They don’t do a single exam, they don’t perform an operation. What is their value? What are they bringing to the deal?”

When confronted with unfettered and unregulated capitalism’s massive failures, conservative Republicans like Scarborough are left speechless. Free market capitalism was supposed to continually grow, but 12 months ago it crash under its own greed.

Medicare spends 4 % on overhead, while private insurers spend 30 %. Nevertheless, CNN’s Lou Dobbs insists, that in the past 30 years Medicare has been 35 % more expensive than all of the other private programs combined per patient. He is correct, but Medicare has been more expensive, because it treats elderly sick people and the greatest amounts of healthcare costs occur during the last two years of one’s life. Critical thinking goes a long way in exposing the deceitful propaganda Lou Dobbs has been peddling, while pretending to be an independent.

Medicare can do the same exact thing insurance companies do, but with less over head, no advertising, and it’s a system that seniors have confidence in. Medicare for all is more effective and economical. It’s already in place, people like it, and the private insurance industry would have a hard time talking people out of Medicare.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Insanity of War

Dr. Camillo “Mac” Bica was a Marine Corps Officer during the Vietnam War. He wrote: “And war has taught us that if those of us who know the insanity of war find solace in embracing the fantasy of glory and heroism and allow those blinded by greed, hatred, misunderstanding, and misguided patriotism, to again place our children on the battlefield unnecessarily, the very survival of our nation, perhaps, even of our species, may well be placed in jeopardy.”

According to counter terrorism expert Richard Clark, it’s rumored, that our commanders in Afghanistan want more troops, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is sitting on a request until later this year. Vice President Biden and National Security Advisor Jim Jones have expressed doubts about a further troop escalation.

Obama is facing a decision whether to increase our forces in Afghanistan above the 70,000 he has already authorized. The issue is not the number of troops, but whether we are pursuing a strategy that defines our goals and accommodates our means to accomplish them. If our goal is to deny al Qaeda a safe haven in which it can prepare and plan attacks, it might be possible to achieve that outcome with Special Forces, tactical aircraft, and drones based in and around the capital of Kabul.

Obama proposed: a counter-insurgency program, creation of a national government, a national army, a democratic process, and an economy, that is not based on narcotics. If our goal is foster a strong central government, then we’re foolishly pursuing something at odds with Afghan history. In fact, a classic counter-insurgency strategy is not feasible, because a strong Afghan national army would mean doubling the number of trained Afghan military personnel.

Obama should prepare a plan, that takes into consideration the threat to our security, prospects for success and a sustainable level of funding.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Anger is Justified

Treadwell’s Joel Canfield wrote: “There are a whole lot of sensible solutions to any current healthcare/insurance problems as espoused by conservatives and Republicans and level headed thinkers.” Level headed thinkers might wonder, where were those “sensible solution” during the Bush administration, when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.

Throughout rural America, there are nearly 50 million people, who face challenges in accessing health care. For decades, rural areas have had higher rates of poverty, mortality, no insurance, and limited access to a primary health care provider.

A public option is about providing Americans, with a choice between a private insurance program or a Medicare-type program. Furthermore it’s a mechanism designed to contain cost so that the private insurance companies can’t continue to raise rates, because they’ll have to compete with the Medicare-type program.

Presently, we’re spending close to $3 trillion a year on health care.  The private insurance companies make huge profits, and their CEOs receive millions of dollars in compensation packages. In 2008, the president and CEO of UnitedHealthcare hauled in a $9.4 million salary. The executive vice president pulled in $12.3 million, and the CFO took in $3.8 million.

We’re seeing a lot of anger and it’s justified, because Wall Street has plunged our country into a deep recession. It’s estimated, that 17 percent of the American work force are either unemployed or underemployed. 

Incredibly, right-wingers are not angry at the insurance companies that have been ripping them off.  They’re not angry at the drug companies, that have been charging them the highest rates in the industrialized world.  They’re not angry at the Wall Street charlatans, who made hundreds of millions of dollars and then through their greed and illegal behavior caused this deep recession.

Instead, of being angry at those, who caused the economic distress our country is presently experiencing, Republicans have succeeded in turning that anger against the Obama administration.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Why I threw the shoe."

Muntazer al-Zaidi is the Iraqi reporter who was freed this week after serving nine months in prison for throwing his shoe at President Bush at a press conference.  Reportedly, the following is an edited statement by Muntazer al-Zaidi, that was translated by McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Sahar Issa.

“I am no hero. I just acted as an Iraqi who witnessed the pain and bloodshed of too many innocents. I am free. But my country is still a prisoner of war. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: what compelled me to act is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.

“Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.

“We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ. This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.

“Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into funeral tents.

“I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.

“As soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies, while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.

“The opportunity came, and I took it. I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.

“I say to those who reproach me: do you know how many broken homes that shoe which I threw had entered? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.

“When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.

“If I have wronged journalism without intention, because of the professional embarrassment I caused the establishment, I apologise. All that I meant to do was express with a living conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day. The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism needs to speak out, then professionalism should be allied with it.

“I didn't do this so my name would enter history or for material gains. All I wanted was to defend my country.”

If you're displeases by this post, read the preamble to Mind and Destiny.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Less Government

Several years ago, at an $800/plate fund raiser Bush quipped: “This is an impressive crowd, the haves and the have-mores.  Some people call you, elite; I call you my base.”

Republicans continue to call for tax cuts and less government. However, the primary reasons we’ve become a debtor nation is Bush’s two unnecessary wars, and tax cuts for his base the “haves and the have-mores.” Republicans never call for cuts to our bloated Pentagon budget or oppose tax cuts for the wealthy, because they’re committed to being cheerleaders for greedy Wall Street elite. Driven by greed, dishonest special interest lobbyist have thwarted members of Congress from considering the common good.  

Rush Limbaugh wants Obama will fail, because he doesn’t believe in the common good. Neither does the entire Republican caucus of the House of Representatives. That is the reason every members voted against the President’s economic stimulus package, which would uses government to promote the common good, by restoring the economy for all of us.

Reducing taxes translates into squeezing the life out of government and could destroy our government completely. Many Republicans aren’t for less government. They’re for no government. They don’t believe in “the common good.” They don’t believe in shared sacrifice. The term “compassionate conservative” has become an amusing oxymoron.

Since, the common good isn’t a priority, we spends one-and-a-half times more per person on health care than any other country. Our businesses that compete internationally, such as our automakers have been at a huge disadvantage, because we don’t have Medicare for everyone.

Furthermore, those with health insurance are paying a hidden tax for those without it. It’s estimated to be about $1000 per year goes to pays for somebody else’s emergency room visits, and that includes undocumented workers.

Being opposed to the common good is not at all profitable.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bald-faced Lie

During President Obama’s speech to members of Congress and the American people, he said:  “Without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down. And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest, by over-charging small businesses who have no leverage, and by jacking up rates. Insurance executives don’t do this because they’re bad people.  They do it because it’s profitable.”

However, Sean Hannity, a Fox News anchor claimed: “When he (Obama) said tonight that insurance executives are bad people, it took me back, because it was so harsh and I think unfair, but it’s part of their polling.”

Either, Hannity has a hearing deficiency, comprehension problem, or he told a bald-faced lie, which is not at all surprising for Fox News anchors.

I find it very difficult to agree with Obama’s claim, that insurance company executives are not “bad people,” because it’s an over generalization. In my opinion some are “bad people,” which is to be expected, in an unregulated capitalist system.
Obama also claimed: “concern and regard for the plight of others is not a partisan feeling. It is not a Republican or a Democratic feeling. It, too, is part of the American character. Our ability to stand in other people’s shoes. A recognition that we are all in this together; that when fortune turns against one of us, others are there to lend a helping hand. A belief that in this country, hard work and responsibility should be rewarded by some measure of security and fair play; and an acknowledgment that sometimes government has to step in to help deliver on that promise.”

That is another over generalization, which I find difficult to accept, because without a single payer or a public option, healthcare reform will continue to be exceptionally profitable for the insurance companies. Some insurance executives have demonstrated, that they’re incapable of feeling empathy or compassion.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blaming Politicians

In 1941, Edward Dowling pointed out: “The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have democracy, second the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.” 

Recently, political writer Matt Taibbi wrote: “We have an urgent national emergency on the one hand, and on the other, a comfortable majority of ostensibly simpatico Democrats who were elected by an angry population, in large part, specifically to reform health care. When they all sat down in Washington to tackle the problem, it amounted to a referendum on whether or not we actually have a functioning government.”

The mandate for healthcare reform given to Obama has been dismissed by the Republican Party, who still have a great deal of influence in the Senate. Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina told an attack group that if they’re “able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”

A public option might not pass, because the votes simply aren’t there in the Senate. Some disappointed voters suspect, that they’ve been deceived and defrauded, by Obama and our representatives in Congress regarding health care reform. New York’s representatives in Congress have not been obstacles to change, but politically unsophisticated voters are suggesting, that they and Obama have been bought off by the health care lobbyist. Frustration, anger and suspicion has become a distraction from real issue. It’s a serious problem for the Democratic Party and of course Republicans enjoy seeing those disappointed voters like Matt Taibbi form circular firing squads, because it makes their job much easier.

It’s a delusion, that we have democracy, because our Senate was designed to protect the interests of the powerful. Instead of blaming Obama and our representatives in Washington, Mr. Taibbi might try educating his readers, who are very susceptible to “Road Rage”, i.e., fear mongering.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Why Bother"

Those that say: “why bother,” consider politics a spectator sport, and are shirking their responsibility to be actively involved in the political process.

American educator, Robert Maynard Hutchins predicted: “The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush.  It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.”

We expect Obama to succeed, but in order to get healthcare legislation, that includes a public option through Congress, he’ll need the votes of 60 Senators. Unfortunately, the number of Senate votes for a public option is estimated to be only 43.

Our Founding Fathers were aristocrats, who insisted on a Senate, that is an American version of the House of Lords. The Senate consists of two Senators from each state regardless of the enormous population disparity between the states. Today, America faces a healthcare crisis, and several Senators from states with populations about the same as Staten Island are undermining the process.

New York State has 8,624,000 registered voters, but our representatives in Congress may not be able to get a public option, because the healthcare industry has spent a lot of money influencing voters in Wyoming. Senator Mike Enzi, of Wyoming represents a mere 265,000 registers voters, which is slightly more than Staten Island’s 201,794 registered voters. Senator Enzi is a member of the “gang of six” on the Senate Finance Committee, and a vocal critic of a public option. Today’s aristocrats are without a doubt corporate CEO’s, and “Why bother” is a capitulation to corporate aristocrats.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass said it best: “A struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it maybe both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.”

Monday, September 14, 2009

Public Option

The word “public” produces opposition from Fox News, and the Wall Street Journal, because an effective and efficient public insurance option is what congressional Republicans and their corporate sponsors fear the most.

Ronald Reagan claim, that: “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” is completely false. Our government is the only institution that can protect the poor and the middle-class from the unrestrained greed of our capitalistic system.

A former insurance executive testified before Congress, that insurance companies are encouraged to find reasons to drop the seriously ill; because they’re rewarded for it. He describe it as “Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations.” The bottom line has become excessively profitable for private insurance companies, and is best described by the word “greed.”

The White House and most Democrats in Congress are not interested in a “government takeover” of healthcare, but they are interested in protecting their constituents from “Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations.”

Most Democrats recognize, that a public insurance option is essential to control healthcare costs and expand coverage, because private for profit insurers presently face little competition in most markets. In 34 states, 75% of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90% is controlled by just one company. Without competition, the price of insurance goes up and the quality goes down.

A public option would force them to lower costs and extend coverage, and also because a nationwide public option would have the authority to negotiate lower rates with drug companies and healthcare providers, thereby pushing private insurers to do the same.

Blue Dog Democrats in swing congressional districts and states, who are unable to articulate the obvious value of a public option to their constituents should consider changing their party affiliation.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Losing the Base

It’s become clear, that not a single Republican will vote for an effective healthcare reform bill. The majority of congressional Democrats and Obama recognize, that you can’t have real health care reform without giving the American people the choice between a public or a private option.

The majority of Democrats in House want a public option, because that’s what the American people want. The thinking of the old Democratic Party was, that if we were only a little more like the Republicans we’d be able to win. That is a fatal mistake, because the Democratic Party will lose its base and end up with people, who lack enthusiasm for a philosophy the party has embraced for over 60 years.

Trying to be more like Republicans is a hangover from the old days, when some Democrats eagerly voted to send our troops into Iraq, in order to demonstrate that they were strong on national defense. Others voted for Bush’s tax cuts to prove they weren’t tax and spend liberals. Democrats have got to stand for something instead of letting Republicans scare them into doing something stupid.

Prior to Obama’s speech to Congress and the American people, Nate Silver, of FiveThirtyEight.com fame, estimated that the number of solid Senate votes for a public option was 43. Recent polls show, that Obama’s speech to Congress unified Democrats, and now 85 percent of them approve of his handling of health care.

President Obama told Congress; here’s what we plan to do and how we plan to do it. He believes in bipartisanship, but being bipartisan is not worth having a lousy bill. Apparently, most congressional Republicans never had any intention of being bipartisan, from the very beginning.

Obama claimed: “concern and regard for the plight of others is not a partisan feeling. It is not a Republican or a Democratic feeling. It, too, is part of the American character. Our ability to stand in other people’s shoes. A recognition that we are all in this together; that when fortune turns against one of us, others are there to lend a helping hand. A belief that in this country, hard work and responsibility should be rewarded by some measure of security and fair play; and an acknowledgement that sometimes government has to step in to help deliver on that promise.”

Obviously, Obama hasn't read recent columns by Delaware County's ego-centric Republicans regarding healthcare reform, calling for less government involvement in delivering that promise.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Startling Contrast

We’ve repeatedly heard, that no one gives Bush credit for keeping us safe for eight years. Actually, Bush didn’t keep us safe for 8 months. Thirty-seven days before 9/11, the Associated Press reported: “President Bush seems to bolt from the White House every chance he gets. He begins a month-long vacation on his Texas ranch today, and by the time he returns he will have spent nearly two months of his presidency there.”

While Bush was on vacation in Texas, FBI agent John O’Neil repeatedly warned of the prospect of suicide hijackings.  According to the 9/11 Commission Report, CIA Director George Tenet was asked by Timothy Roemer, when he first found out about the report from the FBI’s Minnesota field office, that an Islamic male, had been taking lessons on how to fly a 747. Tenet replied that he was briefed about the case on Aug. 23 or 24, 2001.

Then Roemer asked Tenet if he mentioned this information to Bush at one of their frequent morning briefings. Tenet replied: “I was not in briefings at this time,” and “Bush was on vacation.” He added that he didn’t see the president at all in August 2001, because Bush was at his ranch in Texas. Tenet also admitted that he was “on leave,” for much of August.

On the other hand Obama has kept us safe for eight months, while repairing America’s sullied image around the world. It’s to our advantage to have good international relations, rather than threaten wars. Foreign affairs experts insist that Obama’s engagement with the Muslim world is under-appreciated. During his appearance in Turkey, Obama proclaimed: “American is not at war with Islam,” and that statement alone has dramatically change America’s image in the Muslim world.

Indeed a startling contrast.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Add Your Voice

A message from our President:

I just finished laying out my plan for health reform at a joint session of Congress. Now, I'm writing directly to you because what happens next is critical -- and I need your help.

Change this big will not happen because I ask for it. It can only come when the nation demands it. Congress knows where I stand. Now they need to hear from you.

Add your voice: Ask your representatives to support my plan for real health reform in 2009.

The heart of my plan is simple: bring stability and security to Americans who already have health insurance, guarantee affordable coverage for those who don't, and rein in the cost of health care.

Tonight, I offered a specific plan for how to make it happen. I incorporated the best ideas from Democrats and Republicans to create a plan that’s bold, practical, and represents the broad consensus of the American people.

We’ve come closer to real health reform in the last few months than we have in the last 60 years. But those who profit from the status quo -- and those who put partisan advantage above all else -- will fight us every inch of the way.

We do not seek that fight, but we will not shrink from it. The stakes are too high to let scare tactics cloud the debate, or to allow partisan bickering to block the path. Your voice, right now, is essential.

See my full plan and call on your representatives to support it:


Ours is not the first generation to understand the dire need for health reform. And I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Please, go to Obama’s website and add your voice to the petition. Everyone, who is concerned about the future of our country needs to at least do that. Jim

Thursday, September 10, 2009

U.K. and Canada

A Conservative newspaper wanted to make an example out of physicist Stephen Hawking, who is paralyzed. In an editorial, they sought to discredit the government-run British health care system, by writing: “People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.”

Hawking was born in the U.K. and has lived his entire life with health care from the National Health Service in Britain. The newspaper had to print a correction, because Hawking put out a statement praising the British national health system its high-quality treatment. He made it clear: “I wouldn't be here today without that health care system in England.”

It’s untrue, that taxes in Canada are much higher, because of national health care. The average after-tax income of Canadian workers is equal to about 82 percent of their gross pay, and in the U.S., that average is 81.9 percent.

Canada’s health care system isn’t a cumbersome bureaucracy. We have the most cumbersome bureaucratic health care system in the world. More than 31 percent of every dollar spent on our health care goes for paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, and profits. A single-payer system in Canada operates with a mere 1% overhead, because it’s not necessary to spend money on deciding who gets care and who doesn’t when everybody is covered.

Our uninsured and underinsured still get sick and eventually seek care. Many, who cannot afford care wait until advanced stages of an illness to see a doctor and then do so through emergency rooms, which costs much more than primary care services.

Most physicians in Canada are self-employed, and are not employees of the government nor are they accountable to the government. Doctors are accountable to their patients only. Claims are submitted to a single provincial health care plan for reimbursement, whereas in the U.S., claims are submitted to a multitude of insurance providers.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fact Check

AARP doesn’t want misinformation and fear-mongering to dominate this debate on healthcare reform. Contact AARP at (1-866-227-7449), with your questions or visit healthactionnow.org.

Without reform, health care costs will continue to skyrocket, putting unbearable strain on families, businesses, and state and federal government budgets. In the absence of health care reform it is projected that the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance will rise to about 72 million by 2040.

It’s a myth that reform will mean a “government takeover” of health care or lead to “rationing.” To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

Obama has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the upfront costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.

Reform would not encourage or require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.

The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans. Obama wants to expand coverage under the VA and extend care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded.

Reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.

Health insurance reform will not be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare “doughnut” hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

Reform will not force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. Actually, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Related Issues

Most members of the House and the Senate support real reform, that includes a public option. Unfortunately, the process has been bogged down in the Senate Finance Committee, where a handful of Senators seem to have been corrupted by campaign contributions from the healthcare industry.

Charles Grassley, the Finance Committee’s ranking Republican, received more than $2 million from the health and insurance sectors since 2003. Democratic Senator Max Baucus, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has collected $3.5 million from the health and insurance sector.

Obama’s vision of affordable healthcare for all Americans will come at a cost, but only in the short-run. Should we fail to reform our healthcare system in a way that genuinely reduces cost, trillions of dollars will be lost in economic growth and lower wages. Obama admitted: “I know people are cynical we can do this. I know there will be disagreements about how to proceed in the days ahead. But I also know that we cannot let this moment pass us by.”

A recent national survey estimated that of the 12.6 million non-elderly adults, who tried to purchase health insurance were discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill.

Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680. Today, Americans are paying more for health insurance, but get less coverage.

Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone.

From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell. An estimated 87 million one of every three Americans under the age of 65 were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Reason Why

A note, that I received said: “Thank you for your insightful comments on the proposed health plan.... I can’t help but wonder if so many people can be so wrong.”

The reason, “why so many people can be so wrong?”, is FEAR. It’s the same reason most Americans and our representatives in Congress were wrong about the invasion of Iraq. An invasion, that a Nobel Prize winning economist has estimated will eventually cost $3 trillion. An invasion, that according to the Pentagon 4,342 Americans have already been killed and 31,483 wounded.

Since the 1930’s, Democrats have worked to provide the American people with Social Security, and later Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately, some people are so gullible, that they’re ready to believe that Obama wants to destroy those programs. They believe what they want to believe by disregarding the facts, and rely on emotions instead of their ability to think critically.

The projected revenue for UnitedHealthcare in 2009 is $87 billions. Therefore, it’s not surprising to learn, that Rush Limbaugh and his Congressional allies don’t want reform. They want healthcare reform to fail, and they want Obama to fail. The Fox News-Republican strategy is to cause our government to fail, so that they can denounce the government for failing and insist: “See, we told you the government can’t do anything.”

It’s not surprising, that the amount of misinformation is significant, because the average executive for UnitedHealthcare is making $8 million a year. Those insurance industry executives have directed their lobbying firms in Washington to go all out in peddling FEAR. They’re shamelessly trying to scare people with false claims such as: “They’re trying to kill grandma,” “Socialism” and “They’re taking over your health care system.” These are the same charlatans, that have been claiming Obama wasn’t born in the United States. They’re playing on people’s fears, because the facts are not on their side.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Today's Aristocrats

Several years ago, Mickey Edwards the former chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee wrote: “since George W. Bush has become president...Congress - the branch that is most directly accountable to the people - had been nearly destroyed as a separate, independent, and equal institution. It seemed to many to have become a virtual rubber stamp for a president who himself seemed to have very little interest in maintaining even the slightest pretense of adherence to the Constitution’s system of separated powers.”

After, our representatives in the House and Senate reach agreement on a bill, it’s sent to the president to be sign into law. The Clinton’s made the mistake of putting healthcare legislation together behind closed doors and Congress promptly reminded the White House, that according to the Constitution it’s their responsibility to write legislation.

Obama isn’t making the same mistake the Clinton’s made and he’s adhering to the Constitution’s system of separation of powers. It’s a cumbersome process, but that’s the way our democracy is supposed to work, because the alternative is a dictatorship.

Our Founding Fathers were aristocrats, who insisted on a Senate, similar to England’s House of Lords. The Senate consists of two Senators from each state regardless of the enormous population disparity between our states. Today, America faces a healthcare crisis, and several Senators from states with populations about the same as Staten Island are determined to use the Constitution’s separation of powers to ensure that Obama fails.

New York has 8,624,000 registered voters, but the problem is that the healthcare CEO’s seem to have purchased enormous influence over a few Senators from sparsely populated states. Wyoming’s Senator Mike Enzi represents 265,000 voters, which is slightly more than Staten Island’s 201,794 registered voters. Today’s aristocrats are several Senators, who have a disproportionate influence over healthcare legislation.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Something for Nothing

Randy Rathie, a welder from Ekalaka, Montana asked President Obama, in a townhall meeting, how the government would pay to expand health insurance coverage to 46 million uninsured people.

Obama explained, that two-thirds of the cost of overhauling health care would come from eliminating waste and improving efficiency in our current system, which includes the government run Medicare and Medicaid programs for the elderly and impoverished. It’s estimated, that about $900 billion over 10 years could be saved, but the rest would have to come from new revenue.

If health care reform fails, Medicare and Medicaid risk going broke, state and federal budgets will be unsustainable, and then our government will have to make some very tough decisions, because there will be no good options.

Obama has called for reducing the amount of deductions that people making more than $250,000 a year can make on their income taxes. He said: “...just that change alone would raise enough to pay for health care reform.” That approach to paying for healthcare reform would meet his election campaign pledge to avoid any tax increase on people earning less than $250,000 a year.

Obama agreed with Randy Rathie, that some taxes would have to be raised. He believes people with more money, such as himself, ought to pay a heavier burden. He said: “We’ve got to get over this notion that we can have something for nothing. That’s how we got into this deficit and this debt in the first place.”

Those that are making more than $250,000 a year might consider a comment made in 2005, on CNN’s Lou Dobbs, by billionaire Warren Buffett: “The rich people are doing so well in this county, I mean we never had it so good... It’s class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn’t be.”

Friday, September 04, 2009

Reality Check

You can tell from the reaction of reform opponents that Democrats are doing something right, because special interests, who profit from the status quo are spreading lies. The last thing opponents of reform want is a positive, civil debate, because they know they’ll lose on the merits of that debate. The White House has launched an online resource that can help people learn the truth. It’s “Reality Check” which answers questions regarding the lies that have been circulating.

When, the Democratic Party wins the fight for health insurance reform, it will not only be a momentous accomplishment, but an indication, that it’s possible to defeat the angry politics of the past. Too many politicians are willing to lie for partisan gain, or engage in hateful rhetoric to score political points. We must stand up and fight for the truth with facts.

Let people know, that it’s a myth, that although the bill passed by the House Ways and Means Committee calls for electronic fund transfers, it’s referring to transfers from insurers to doctors and other providers. There is no provision to include patients in that system.

Let people know, that the House bill sets up a healthcare exchange, which is essentially a list of private insurers and one government plan, where people who do not have health insurance through their employer or some other source can shop for a plan. The government will require that participating plans not refuse people with preexisting conditions and offer at least minimum coverage, just as it does now with employer-provided insurance plans. The requirements will be floors, not ceilings, since our government will have no say in how generous private insurance can be.

Let people know, that the threat that medicare will give cancer patients over 70 only end-of-life counseling and not chemotherapy has zero basis in fact. The House bill does not use the word “ration.” Nor does it call for cost-effectiveness research, much less implementation of the idea that “it isn’t cost-effective to give a 90-year-old a hip replacement.”

Let people know, that the House bill doesn’t give anyone free health care. However, under a 1986 law illegals who can’t pay do get free emergency care. The House bill says: “individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States” will not be allowed to receive subsidies.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Richard Mulliken

On 8/27/09, the Oneonta Star published the following persuasive letter by Richard Mulliken of Jefferson, N.Y.

“I’d like to reassure Clayton Luce about government insurance. I have the good fortune to have the government Medicare insurance plan. Though I’m undergoing quite expensive treatment for cancer, the program is ideal. I have freedom to choose my doctors. The program has never rejected their treatment choices. Moreover, I can’t be dropped. I’ve never had a claim hassle with it. The only death counseling I have encountered is a dear friend on private insurance who was told she had to go home to die, as her benefits had run out.

“I wish all Americans had this kind of trouble-free, secure health insurance available to seniors. It’s the best insurance in America.

“In addition, the government plan is much cheaper. In spite of usual assumptions, in this case, it’s the private plans that are riddled with bureaucracy, not to mention advertising costs and a profit margin. Private insurance overhead runs about 30 percent, compared to 3 percent for Medicare. So as a taxpayer, I’m grateful for Medicare, too. If we were all on Medicare there are hundreds of billions in savings. The hidden tax paid by those insured at work (it comes out of your wages without even appearing on your W-2), would be significantly lowered too.

“Yes, covering the uninsured would cost taxpayers. I don’t begrudge this, since the thought of all those medical bankruptcies (50 percent of all bankruptcies), is horrifying. Ironically, while those in poverty have coverage, it’s the working poor whose lives are destroyed by our present system.

“To put the cost increase in perspective, at the maximum, extending insurance coverage costs less per year than the Iraq war. It is less than 10 percent of our basic (nonwar) military budget. This is a bargain financially and a moral necessity.”

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Internet fact checker, ( thecaptain38 ) responded to Stephen Fraser with quotes from the text of the proposed legislation. A few excerpts from his rebuttal follow:

Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that the Govt will audit books of all employers that self insure!!

“BOGUS – The text of the bill reads, ‘The Commissioner, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Labor Secretary of Labor, shall conduct a study of the large group insured and self-insured employer health care markets.’ There is no mention of audits.”

Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.

“BOGUS – The text of the bill reads: ‘IN GENERAL.—There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a panel of medical and other experts to be known as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.’ There is no mention of treatment procedures or policies.”

Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!

“BOGUS – Rationing could be defined as the controlled distribution of resources and goods or services.

“This section of the bill deals with cost sharing and co-payments and annual limitations. The text of the bill says: ‘The cost-sharing incurred under the essential benefits package with respect to an individual (or family) for a year does not exceed the applicable level specified in subparagraph.’ It is then defined as $5,000 per individual and $10,000 per family each year.

“The setting of co-payments and coverage limitations is a standard procedure for all medical health plans.”

Page 42 of HC Bill: The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have no choice!

“BOGUS – According to the text of the bill, the commissioner’s duties include the establishment and enforcement of ‘qualified health benefits plan standards.’ The list of his duties also includes the ‘establishment and operation of a Health Insurance Exchange’ and accountability. Nowhere does it limit choice of insurers, providers etc. etc.”

Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

“DOUBLE BOGUS – Section 152 is a discrimination clause that basically said that all health services ‘covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services.’ Citizenship is not mentioned.

“Section 246 on page 143 under the heading of ‘NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS’ said; ‘Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.’”

Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services. Example – Translation: illegal aliens.

“BOGUS AND ADDRESSED ABOVE – The text of the bill read, ‘CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY APPROPRIATE SERVICES AND COMMUNICATIONS.—The entity shall provide for culturally and linguistically appropriate communication and health services.’ Translations Services will be provided for those who do not speak English. Section 246 on page 143 under the heading of ‘NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS’ said, ‘Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.’ This means no benefits provided to illegal aliens.”

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Internet Crap

I received a 5 page letter, which had been copied off the internet. The return address sticker had a name and address, but the sender wrote nothing. Consequently, I didn’t have an indication of his opinion regarding the material. The sender received the following reply, because I assumed, that he was interested in my reaction.

Stephen E Fraser wrote the letter and had send it to Indiana Senator Bayh. It sites at least 51 page numbers, and numerous sections in what is referred to as “HC Bill.” I assume it refers to H.R. 3200, but Mr. Fraser never quotes a single sentence from that proposed legislation. Every reference sited is not a direct quote, and is followed by a short conclusion, that Fraser claims is the intent of the bill.

For example: (these quotation marks are mine) “Page 427 Lines 15-24: Govt mandates program for end of life. The Govt has a say in how you will die.”

This piece of internet deceit is an example of fear mongering directed at senior citizens like myself. Fortunately, I’m not so misinformed and gullible to believe that Senator Bayh or any other member of Congress would commit political suicide by voting for such a provision. If such legislation were to be signed into law the Supreme Court would immediately declare it unconstitutional.

House Minority Leader, John Boehner warned that Democrats: “may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law.” Historically, Republicans have been the party that protects powerful corporate interests. They opposed Social Security and Medicare, and when they were in control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency they did nothing to ameliorate the healthcare crises.

Actually, a section of legislation being considered would require Medicare to pay for “voluntary” counseling sessions to help seniors plan for end-of-life medical care, including designating a health care proxy, choosing a hospice and making decisions about life-sustaining treatment. It would not require doctors to counsel that their patients refuse medical intervention.

Apparently, John Boehner and Stephen Fraser have such a low opinion of senior citizens’ ability to think critically, that they would instigate such nonsense. The length of the letter itself brings to mind two saying, that I learned as a youth: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance; baffle them with bullshit,” and “Throw enough crap against the wall and some of it is bound to stick.”

On the internet ( thecaptain38 ) rebutted Steven Fraser’s deceitful letter by actually quoting from the text of the proposed legislation. Tomorrow, I’ll post excerpts from the captain’s rebuttal.