Click on the "You Tube" logo to view this 7+ minute video on a larger screen.

Thank you Kay Zwan of Wilmington and Rhonda Robinson of Durham for your participation and commitment.

Please share with others, if you like!


If ever there was a case

for eliminating the linkage between healthcare and having a job, that case is made here. Thanks for posting this ... I'm happy to have it on our front page this weekend.

Woodhouse keeps the lies a comin'

From the Americans for the Prosperous announcement of their continuing Bus Tour From Hell.

What he actually said:

“These proposals would change everything about health care as we know it. Instead of patients and doctors making decisions, it would be government bureaucrats,” said Woodhouse. “We’ve got to let lawmakers know that the American people simply don’t want a government takeover of their health care.”

What god wanted him to say:

“These proposals would change everything about health care as we know it. Instead of insurance companies making decisions, it would be doctors and patients," said Woodhouse, in a startling moment of honesty. “We’ve got to let lawmakers know that the American people simply don’t want a pay-to-play health care system.”

OFA efforts

Anything OFA can do to help is good but I wish they would emphasize public option. Are there any NC members of congress who are as outspoken for true health care reform as Bernie Sanders in Vermont?

I just wrote to thank him for his work. Who in NC can we thank?

The Democrats must get it together

and make this happen. This is making the Democratic party fall apart, and if we are to have a strong public option, we must pull together. Democrats are in control, but not if we branch out in different directions. It is hard to believe that Ted Kennedy fought for this his entire political career. It is time to make it happen....but I feel it will take the Democrats, blue or whatever color, pulling together. I have not seen any evidence that the Republicans will help. The GOP is hoping we will fall apart. We can not let that happen.

Kay Hagan's postion

I just wrote Bernie Sanders to thank him for his work in the Senate and I wrote Kay Hagan to ask her to please listen to senators like Sanders. Senator Hagan is intelligent but as a junior senator she needs support. She's being lobbied hard by BCBS of NC and if nobody writes to protest she will understandably conclude that nobody cares about the government option.

The DP county chairs can do a lot to mobilize support.

Mel Watt?

Mel Watt supports universal health insurance:

I believe we can get a final bill with a public option but it's going to take at least the same effort as it took in the months leading up to last year's election.

Heartbreaking, yes

but that still doesn't make the argument for government run health care. You could make a much longer YouTube video filled with people from all over America telling their stories of being denied coverage, or having to pay huge hospital bills, and it would be just as heartbreaking, but it still doesn't make health care a "right." To the readers of BlueNC I would pose the question, why look to a system of health care that hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried? Why is paying for medicine any different than paying for groceries, or clothes? If there was a bill before Congress right now proposing a universal food program, would that make food a "right" also?

I leave you on this Sunday morning with a quote from James Madison disapproving of Congress appropriating $15,000 to assist French refugees:

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."

That is why the democrats must be a voice for the voiceless

Your post reminds me why the democrats must continue to push for a strong public option. You may find the video heartbreaking, I find it an example of a problem that is going to keep getting worse, with more and more people falling in to this situation. You may resist change, but change has to happen.

We can not continue down this road of leaving more and more Americans with no health care coverage. If you listen to people who have lost their jobs and their insurance coverage, they feel voiceless, and they feel that no one is looking or listening.

I am glad that the Democrats are in control right now. Did you forget that?

The voiceless?

Who are these mythical voiceless you speak of? As you pointed out, Democrats control the House, Senate, and Executive at the moment, so obviously someone with a voice put them there.

As to your point about more and more Americans with no health care coverage, just because a statistic (40, 46, 47, or 50 million, whichever number the media is using today) is repeated ad nauseum doesn't make it true. And for the record, I am currently without health insurance and I am not in favor of a public option, so who is speaking up for me?

We are speaking for you

Because one of these days, when you find yourself lying on the ground with a two broken legs, a concussion, and a ruptured spleen from having tripped over a teabag and fallen down a flight of stairs, there will be emergency health care available to you with ER doctors ready to save your life. And all the rest of us ... that's right, all of us ... are paying for your high-risk choices.

Of course, if you want to personally fork over the $200,000 it will cost to get you back on the path to a functioning life, you're more than welcome to do so. You can even declare medical bankruptcy if you want, but you might have to give up your car and home and job and savings beforehand.

And if you'd prefer that we just leave you on the ground and let you become food for turkey buzzards, well that's okay with me. Just get it in writing so we don't have to deal with your mother or wife or boyfriend or whatever when they accuse the government of putting you through the death panel gauntlet.

After all, it is only about you.

We may see this more clearly after Wednesday

I think there will be a record number of people watching a president speak on Wednesday night and this may very well be his most important speech as president to date. There is just so much misinformation being presented by one side of the insurance reform/healthcare reform issue and a great deal of mixed and confusing information being presented by the other side. I believe we will see this a lot more clearly after Obama speaks to the nation Wednesday night. If we don't, I'm afraid it will be difficult to get most of what Obama wants done considering health care reform in America.

There will be pundits "for" and "against" after he speaks, of course, but he'll leave us with either a very clear vision of what he wants the healthcare bill to have in it or leave us still questioning it. After all, this bill really has not been solidified as yet and it is being amended and changed often and this is even BEFORE it gets out of any committee or hits the House floor for a vote. He has a great opportunity to get something for our country that is desperately needed by millions of people. I'm convinced he will do what he always does and that is to come through with an excellent, spot on speech.

My questions remain unanswered

James, I appreciate the concern over my hypothetical future injuries, but you're still avoiding my questions.

There is already emergency care available for me and every other injured person in this country regardless of whether they have insurance. How many episodes of Grey's Anatomy or Chicago Hope have you seen where a gun shot victim is brought into the hospital, doctors rushing to the gurney, only to be turned away after a hospital administrator comes in to alert the doctors that this person doesn't have insurance. You don't. Because it doesn't happen.

My choice to not have health insurance at the moment may be risky, but it's my choice. I am young, single, have no children, and am relatively healthy, so at the moment I think the benefits of not paying for health insurance outweigh the costs of having it. I don't recall every asking you, or anyone else, to pay my hospital bills if I ever get sick. And that's the crux of the opposition's argument. Why should taxpayer's be forced to subsidize health care? Why is health care any different than any other service? It's not.

Here's the problem, Logic

If you do have a disastrous accident, say you fell out of a tree trimming limbs, and broke your back. Yes, you could go to the hospital Emergency Room and yes, you would be treated. But, guess what. Someone will have to pay for that. It won't just be miraculously free somehow. People that DO have insurance will have their premiums raised to take care of you NOT having insurance (and of course, all the others that show up in the ER without insurance) and/or the costs of service go up significantly at the hospital so they can recoup their losses. And, I am sure you will want to say you will take care of that $200,000 bill at the hospital, but let's be serious here. This is why there needs to be some kind of reform. We are asking others to pay for people's health care that just cannot afford it. There are solutions. Is everything the president wants in his perferred bill the ultimate answer? I doubt it, but we, as a nation, have to do something. I think we need to take some time to get it right the first time, but I believe a lot of people like you do not understand the significance of this important issue to us all.

You make a case that an

You make a case that an emergency room will handle your ruptured spleen, broken legs and concussion. Unless you are independently wealthy, you will not be able to pay for that care. So who do you think WILL pay for it?

All the rest of us will, that's who will pay for it.

As the head of a household paying the maximum tax rate, I am personally already subsidizing your care by providing more than my fair share of your safety net. And the hard truth is, you don't have to buy insurance because society as a whole will step in to save your irresponsible ass.

If you're against subsidized health care, I would imagine you're against emergency rooms too? Please start carrying a card in your wallet that says you do not wish to have any medical care that you cannot personally pay for. Make that promise and then I'll take your free-market nonsense seriously.

Bravo, James

E X A C T L Y right. And, the truth is that many that are against having a public option or some kind of government-led health care choice believe as Logic believes. It is just ignorance and I hate to use that kind of language here but it just is. There just is no other way to look at it.

I'll give you this

You guys at BlueNC are great at responding in a timely manner. This is one blog where you can actually have a conversation about issues without waiting days for a response.

That being said... I think you may have misunderstood my argument. I don't have health insurance at the moment because I made the choice not to have it. Not because I'm irresponsible, not because I expect other members of society to pay for me, but again, because I'm young and relatively healthy. I've only been without health insurance for a few months now James, and dont' worry, I plan on getting it again very soon. Health insurance should be for catastrophic situations, not everyday maladies. One of the problems right now is government regulations requiring certain coverage be offered at certain deductible levels.

According to your last few posts, it seems we can at least agree that health insurance is needed for catastrophic injuries at the minimum. But past that, why should everyday health care be treated any differently than other services? And again, why would you prefer a government option when it's failed everywhere it's been tried?

A dangerous financial strategy

I don't have health insurance at the moment because I made the choice not to have it. Not because I'm irresponsible, not because I expect other members of society to pay for me, but again, because I'm young and relatively healthy.

I'm 54 years young and relatively healthy, too. In the next five minutes I might suffer a debilitating stroke. I can guarantee you that without health insurance, I would not be able to pay for even one day in ICU. Next week I might be diagnosed with some kind of cancer, and without health insurance I wouldn't be able to afford a single treatment or surgery.

I've only been without health insurance for a few months now James, and dont' worry, I plan on getting it again very soon.

I hope that during the interim you don't develop some condition that would prevent you from getting insurance coverage (the so-called "pre-existing condition").


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Services we pay for through taxes;

- Education (whether you have kids or not; note that in education we have a 'private' option, not a 'public' option)

- National Defense (whether you believe in the wars or not; although war waging is becoming increasingly 'privatized')

- Transportation infrastructure (whether you own car or not)

- Environmental protection (whether you want it protected or not)

- Public/population health (like flu shots, pandemic planning)

- Public safety (fire, various kinds of miscreants; note role of private insurance)

In this country health care is not on this list -- it is largely in the hands of private, for profit insurance companies excepting Medicare and VA. Our private model seems to not be working very well in terms of medical outcomes, yet it works very well for the insurance companies. That may be because their motivations are in the profits collected and shareholder happiness, not medical outcomes.


There cannot fail to be more kinds of things, as nature grows further disclosed. - Sir Francis Bacon


Do you mean failed as in the high levels of satisfaction with Medicare?

Zelizer references surveys showing high levels of satisfaction with Medicare, including one showing 70-percent satisfaction level among Medicare recipients, compared with only 51-percent satisfaction level with private insurance.

Or do you mean failed as in the 36 countries with government involvement in healthcare ranked higher than the US in terms of quality and value?

I am happy you like the response time, Logic

But, did you actually READ the responses by James and I? We were speaking to catastropic events that an uninsured person has when he/she goes to the ER and how that affects the cost of health care in our country.

This particular health care issue is not age-specific so your argument about your age and your good health is of no consequence.

This is a tough issue to discuss with people. Every time I talk about it with friends or with people that are friends of friends or just banter it around on blogs, I find that there are just so many Americans that just "don't get it". I think both the democratic party and the republican party are at fault here. The great masses in the U.S. have absolutely no idea the true specifics in this HR3200 bill. Neither side is being up front on it. I'm really hoping we will learn the true deal on Wednesday night when Obama speaks to a joint session of congress.

This was shown at Ken Lewis'

This was shown at Ken Lewis' hospitality suite at the Sanford-Hunt-Frye dinner and it was just as moving now as it was then. Great work!