Close. So very close.

The tea bagger anti-health reform rally fell just short of its goal to surround the legislative building. If only these 50 people had really, really long arms.


Thanks, Adam

Too bad there weren't more Pinocchio's in attendance. With all the lies teh baggers tell, the could have stretched around the building a dozen times using their noses.

Thanks for posting

I couldn't size the video correctly.


It's nice to know that North Carolina Democrats aren't the only folks having problems with turn-out to pre-scheduled events this month.

This is not a NC problem, believe me

My cousin gave me this internet site to post on and saw this. Virginia is having problems getting turnouts from democrats these days. I am a chairman of a democratic unit and I think I will have problems getting my people involved in 2010 november. Working on it though but it is hard.

What do they want?


Freedom from health care--those pesky doctors, nurses, vaccinations, antibiotics, insulin, blood pressure medication, appendectomies, or whatever treatment that dang medical establishment might try to make available...

Behold the new constituents of the right to die movement.

Dan Besse

33 States are challenging the Democrats' Health Rationing Bill

John Hood notes:

"More and more states are joining the cause to question, obstruct, and repeal ObamaCare. The Washington Post reports that 33 states are in one way or another challenging the bill's individual mandate, with 20 states now expected to join the lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. My friend Clint Bolick at the Goldwater Institute in Arizona told the Post that there will be “a long, protracted war of attrition” against ObamaCare."

If you want to know what these folks are afraid of, take a peek at what Canadians have to endure:

The Canadian national gov't took over control of health care in 1968, so if the rot proceeds here at the same rate that it did there, we'll be in a similar mess by sometime around 2040 or 2050.

In the meantime, the first folks being clobbered by Democrat tax increases are unemployed & underemployed workers who have gotten desperate enough to have to tap their Health Savings Accounts to make ends meet. It's the Democrats' new tax on economic desperation. Effective of 1/1/2011, as one of the first provisions of ObamaCare to go into effect, we'll be hit with a doubling of the penalty from 10% to 20% (plus income tax) on non-exempt withdrawals from HSAs. This is a tax which will only be paid by by people in desperate economic straits (and to rub salt in the wound they also restricted what is exempt).

This is from the folks who cross-your-heart promised that "no family making less than $250,000 in income will see any form of tax increase."

I'm sure that everyone here will be shocked, shocked that Democrat politicians lie!


Please spare us

As Ronald Reagan advisor Bill Roper said last week: "It isn't a government takeover of health care. It isn't, it isn't, it isn't. I don't know how many times people have to say that."

And it's certainly creative, although not surprising, to interpret the HSA change as a middle class tax. It's merely increasing the penalty for non-medical withdrawals from an account that is given preferential tax treatment to help with medical expenses.

I'm so glad you chimed in

That bologna about HSA just made me sputter but I thought it needed to be challenged.

That's not correct, Adam.

Addressing your points in reverse order...


1. That 10% + income tax hit (soon to be 20% + income tax hit) It's not the penalty for non-medical withdrawals. It is the penalty for non-exempt withdrawals.

Until ObamaCare, those two terms were essentially equivalent, because pretty much all medical expenses were exempt. But, as I parenthetically noted, effective 1/1/2011 the Democrats have restricted it to exclude over-the-counter medications, such as Prilosec OTC.

You can't pretend that things like Prilosec OTC are not medical expenditures. As medications like Prilosec are changed from prescription status to non-prescription status, they don't become non-medications. Purchasing them is just as "medical" and just as necessary as when they were prescription-only.

What's more, the Democrats' doubling of the non-exempt withdrawal penalty is a tax increase designed to punish exactly one class of citizens: those who are so desperate for money that they have to tap their HSAs just to make ends meet, in spite of a 20% + income tax penalty.

This is Democratic compassion at its second-best: a tax hike which will only hit people who have come on extremely hard times. What's next, a special tax on cancer patients?


2. You are correct that this isn't a government takeover of health care. But it is a government takeover of control of health care.

Under this new law, as of 1/1/2015, "qualified" (gov't approved) insurance plans will be prohibited from contracting with health care suppliers who do not agree to abide by any and all regulations issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Here's a quote from the bill, as passed by Congress:

“Beginning on January 1, 2015, a qualified health plan may contract with... (B) a health care provider only if such provider implements such mechanisms to improve health care quality as the Secretary [of HHS] may by regulation require.”

The other piece of the takeover is mandatory insurance. The mandatory insurance requirement is designed to ensure that all health care customers will eventually have "qualified" insurance plans, which are required to include first-dollar coverage for routine check-ups. This will ensure that, to have a viable business, a health care provider must accept insurance. That, in turn, means that health care providers will have to agree to abide by any and all regulations issued by the Secretary of HHS.

The reason that the Secretary of HHS is to be given dictatorial control of American medicine is so that she can impose cost controls, i.e., rationing -- like they have in Canada.



Jumping the line is the fantasy of people

who think that their needs and wants ought to trump everyone else's but at no cost to themselves. The allure of privilege makes them blind to what is right and deaf to the voice of conscience that says that whatever rights we claim for ourselves we must extend to all and share in the cost.

For the people who are just glad that there is a line to get into now -- and belive me, this is a HUGE improvement from having NO access -- waiting for their rightful turn is not a difficult burden.

Those who think that they deserve better and faster medical treatment than their fellow citizens are to be encouraged to get out of the line and pay for the privilege of belonging to the medical equivalent of the country club crowd. It will only help the rest of us move forward a little more quickly.

However, there is to be no whining for those who make that choice. If you have the means to secure your own medical care, you ought to thank your God(ess) or your luck stars every single day and stop trying to deny others the right to have access to affordable health care.

In my opionion, the health care reform bill does not nearly go far enough, and in the years ahead we will work hard to make access to health care more just and inclusive so that no man, woman, or child can be denied neccessary medical treatment again because of their economic or social status.

By the way, if you ask Canadians if they would be willing to exchange their health care system with ours, you would be laughed out of their country.

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Resistance is Fertile

Having NO lines is better than fighting over who waits longest

In the long run, federal control of health care will reduce both the quality of medical care and the access to medical care for every American, rich and poor, just as it has for Canadians, except worse, because when American bureaucrats restrict expenditures on pricey new medical technologies they will slow the development of those new technologies to a far greater extent than when Canadian bureaucrats do so.

ObamaCare will kill many thousands of Americans, if it stands, just as Canada's system and the UK's system kill thousands of their citizens.

A couple of months ago I chatted with an expatriate Canadian (whose daughter I helped move) who told me that both of his parents would have lived longer had they been in the USA instead of Canada.

And it's no wonder; just look what Canadians put up with:

* Wait times in the public system depend on many factors that include, but are not limited to:

  • In which province you live
  • Whether you are an urban or rural resident
  • The urgency of your condition
  • Your age – many elderly patients are simply never going to get elective surgeries such as hip replacements

** Wait times for clients of Timely Medical Alternatives depend only on:

  • The urgency of your condition. As an example – we can arrange for cardiac consultations normally within one week. In emergencies, we can arrange for next-day consultations with the surgery/procedure to follow immediately.


Fortunately, my expatriate Canadian friend also told me that, though they got gov't controlled medicine in 1968, Canadian health care was still excellent through the 1970s. So it takes a while for the rot to set in. Perhaps you won't live long enough to suffer under it.

But what about your children? What if they get cancer?


Don't worry Dave

There is no plan to take away your precious convenience. This isn't about you and your wait times, you'll always be able to buy whatever care you want. The free market ain't going nowhere and the greeders will most assuredly find a way to give you your operation at the drop of a hat, just as long as you're willing to pay.

Or you can fly to India and get bypass surgery tomorrow for $2000 if you want. That's the beauty of competition.

Putting lies in boldface doesn't make them any truer.


I was going to post almost the exact same thing, but you said it better.

...Besides, Dave, you're repeating lies that were debunked more than a year ago. You're gonna have to come up with better ones if you want to re-ignite that discussion, but it is an election year so I'm sure the new lies are coming soon to a Republican politician near you.


What's with all the insults, guys?

So far in this thread, Syd & James have called me liar, brainless, tea-bagger.

James, I do not lie, and I do not appreciate name-calling and vulgar sexual insults. Any conservative behaving like that would have been banned from this board by now.

Facts are stubborn things, and the facts about what gov't control has done to health care in the rest of the English-speaking world should trouble you, if you care about your children's future. I've given you some of those facts to ponder, and they won't go away if you just bury your head in the sand and pretend they aren't true.


This is getting painful

The problem is that people like you think that what we have now in health care is a "free market" (or even something remotely close) and not a bunch of corporatist BS.

People like me?

Are you crazy? You have no idea what "people like me" think. For most of this year, I've worked 30+ hours a week across every sides of the health care industry, helping some of the biggest companies think through critical choices about the impacts of government intervention.

I know there's no such thing as a free market in reality, there probably hasn't been such a thing in a thousand years or more. And there won't be one again anytime soon.

Keep hoping for it though. That'll get 'er done.

Yes, people like you

When I see you post over and over again with false crap about a free market that doesn't exist, I feel entitled to make that claim.

I mean, what kind of reaction do you think I'd get if I came on here and made post after post talking about how minorities have all of the same rights as us so there shouldn't be such disparity in wages, unemployment, amount of people in prison, etc.? Do you think anyone on here would argue that I'm basing my assertion on a false premise? For some reason I'm guessing that someone would.

And feel free to make a separate thread, but what is your beef with the free market? It doesn't allocate resources efficiently? What?

My beef

I have never complained about free markets. They don't exist, so what's to complain about?

My beef is not with free markets, it's with free market extremists, and I suppose you're among them, who argue that "if only we had free markets ... that all would be well."

If only bullfrogs had wings.
If only teh baggers had brains.
If only it were not raining today in Maryland, I could go for a hike.

We agree on the fact that there is no free market. Case closed.

I take the next logical step and argue that this reality won't and can't change, not in the interconnected world we live in.

Free market extremists to hold up the strawman of Libertarian free market utopia as the magic answer to all human problems, as if it were a viable option that could actually happen. It is not a viable option. Indeed, it cannot exist unless you're ready to embrace complete isolationism, widespread death and destruction, and a return to feudalism.

A True Free Market Can Solve This

I have never complained about free markets. They don't exist, so what's to complain about?

Well now, there's a truly progressive idea; how about creating a true free market economy??? Oh, there I go again with my silly idealism. Sorry, sometimes I just can't help myself from providing real solutions to our problems instead of just engaging in the mindless finger-pointing. Excuse me while I go get myself another tall glass of Kool-Aid. I'll be fine.

Well since murder can't be totally eradicated...

...we may as well just institutionalize it and regulate how often it is allowed to occur! That is, after all, your thought process.

One doesn't need every single market to be free in order to start clearing up some of the messes that intervention has created. There are thousands - probably millions - of markets in the United States alone...many of which are completely independent of one another. We don't need 100% of them to be 100% free in order to see a massive improvement in our economic health.

It isn't nearly as black and white as you are making it out to be.

A neocon argument?

In a "true" free market economy, someone will have to suffer before the product is considered bad. Someone would have to die before a product is taken off the market. No thanks, the way the market system is now, with government oversight is good for me....thanks.

You basically just made the same argument that the neocons make for preemptive war.


I didn't realize that preemption was that difficult of a concept to understand.

You're advocating that the government step in to business practices before any harm is done. At least, that is the logical conclusion considering that you (wrongfully, in my opinion) say that the opposite would be disastrous. With that conclusion in mind, we should wipe Iran off the map because some cog in the government perceives them to be a threat to us. After all, we wouldn't want to actually WAIT until some actual ACTION warrants response, would we?

Whether or not you realize it, you're trying to create a world in which people (the government in this case) can foresee all effects before they occur.

BTW, I know it's not just here, but as a general comment on society today, anyone is basically considered a troll if their views don't fall in line with the majority. After I have been called a troll by the fundies who frequent FOX News message boards along with people from progressive boards such as this one, the statement kind of loses any real punch.

Gulf gusher

Imagine how much worse the world's oceans would be if the oil industry were free to do whatever the hell it wants.

2 year olds can figure out

if the stove is hot I better not put my hand on it. That doesn't mean that someone older and wiser shouldn't put child safety features in place and spare that child that pain and damage. Did we learn nothing as a nation letting 146 workers die in a fire locked into a virtual furnace because owners didn't want any woman to steal what she could fit in a pocketbook?

The fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City, which claimed the lives of 146 young immigrant workers, is one of the worst disasters since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. This incident has had great significance to this day because it highlights the inhumane working conditions to which industrial workers can be subjected. To many, its horrors epitomize the extremes of industrialism. The tragedy still dwells in the collective memory of the nation and of the international labor movement. The victims of the tragedy are still celebrated as martyrs at the hands of industrial greed.


I was speaking for the

There's a pretty free market at... doctor's office, in Apex. Check out his web site:

Of course, if we don't repeal or greatly revise this ObamaCare monstrosity then my doc's business model is going to become nonviable.


Keith Olbermann

Countdown just used this video. He even stole my comment -- a little citation would be nice.

I saw that

It's flattering that they used it but then again why doesn't MSNBC ask permission? (or pay you) I'm perturbed.

Because it's on YouTube

They are free to do as they please. Although posting the web address would be a nice courtesy.

And Dave

Cancer survival rates are a nearly worthless measure of outcomes. Mortality rate -- how many people die from cancer -- are pretty much the same for all developed countries. Except we pay a lot more and have less access.

Cancer survival statistics are massively skewed by lead time bias, among other problems.

Let's say we both get cancer today and we are both going to die on the same day five years from now. Now let's say you are diagnosed tomorrow and I'm diagnosed four years from now. That means you "survived" for five years while I "survived" only one year.

"Pretty much the same" = 1.9x the mortality rate

Adam, the reason that we do so much expensive cancer screening in the USA, compared to places like the UK, where gov't rations health care, is that early diagnosis and treatment saves lives, and improves outcomes in other ways even when eventual mortality is not at issue. It is simply not true that mortality rates are "pretty much the same for all developed countries."

Nor is it true that mortality rates are, in general, a better measure of cancer care efficacy than 5 year survival rates. Overall mortality rates are a grossly inadequate measure of cancer care efficacy. If all you count is eventual mortality, then you are giving zero value to longer lives and improved quality of life for patients whose cancer cannot be cured. The fact that a particular cancer case may be incurable does not mean it is untreatable or not worth treating. Good treatment can often give victims of incurable cancer years of good quality life which they would not otherwise have.

Now, it is true that for slowly progressing cancers, notably the most common form of prostate cancer, lead time bias means that simple 5 year survival statistics are an inadequate measure of cancer care efficacy. But that is not true for cancer in general. In general, early diagnosis is critical for treatment success.

Ultimately, every patient is going to die. If your only measure of treatment success or failure is eventual mortality, then you might as well not treat anything, ever, because your treatment has zero chance of being successful.

But even for slowly-progressing prostate cancer, there are huge differences in both 5 year survival rates and overall mortality from the disease, when you compare the USA with countries like the UK that have government rationing of health care.

This is a page I put together last year about this issue; I think you will find it instructive:

It is about the 2008 BBC report, "Huge gap in world cancer survival." A cursory reading of the BBC article would lead to the erroneous conclusion that prostate cancer is 6x more likely to be fatal in the UK than in the USA. But much of that gap is due to lead time bias. Actually, prostate cancer is only about twice as likely to be fatal in the UK, compared to the USA.

But that is still a very big difference in outcomes. It is absolutely wrong to say that the only difference between our care and theirs is that we pay more and have less access. The truth is that we pay more, and we have much more access, and we have much better outcomes.

Moreover, the extra money we pay for leading-edge treatments provides a lot of the funding for medical research, which benefits the whole world. If we ration care in the USA the way they do in Canada and the UK, it will do cumulatively severe damage to the quality of health care everywhere in the world.