Widespread panic (about our freedom)

Yesterday in Salisbury a band of about 30 protestors braved the humidity and threat of rain to send a message to Congressman Frank Kratovil – keep Obamacare and the government out of our lives!

The protestors began their impromptu march in the library parking lot and walked the two blocks to Congressman Frank Kratovil's Salisbury regional office.

The protestors eventually arrive at Congressman Frank Kratovil's Salisbury regional office.

Let me say straight away that I wouldn’t have recommended the noose and effigy of Frank Kratovil. The “no Kratovil in 2010” (as in the first photo below) would have been effective enough. And it’s not like the signs weren’t quite creative, like the ones in the second and third photos below.

The protestors are gathered in front of Congressman Frank Kratovil's Salisbury regional office. They had the occasional honk from Main Street traffic.

I didn't like the idea of one-sided 'I am AFP' signs but this woman took advantage to write her own message. We'll see if Frank Kratovil is rich like a lottery winner after his time in Congress is over.

More good signage. If you can't read the sign on the right it says 'Let we the people see the healthcare bill first. It's called TRANSPARENCY!'

Obviously those in the protest had concerns about Obamacare. Chief among the murmurs was coverage of illegal immigrants and the lack of tort reform while the rest of us lost our option to keep private health insurance. As one observer put it, private solutions can do a better job while another complained (correctly) that “small businesses don’t know what to do” because the federal situation is in such flux.

Eventually the group was greeted by Kevin Lawlor, who is the Communications Director for Congressman Kratovil.

Kevin Lawlor, Kratovil's Communications Director, emerges from the office to speak with the gathering.

Lawlor stressed that the Congressman was “not committed” yet on the Obamacare bill and that he has “a lot of questions and concerns” about it.

Kratovil mouthpiece Kevin Lawlor does his best to answer a slew of questions concerning the upcoming Obamacare vote as well as Frank's recent vote for cap and trade.

One criticism I would have about the organization of the protest is that the questioners strayed from topic. I think they perceived the flip-flop by Kratovil on cap-and-trade (many protestors noted Frank was originally leaning against it) as a sign of him being “Nancy Pelosi’s lap dog.” But Lawlor countered by saying a lot of people were for cap-and-trade too, and that the office averaged 500 to 600 calls a day in the heat of that debate. Moreover, Frank “doesn’t think cap-and-trade will fail”, according to Kevin.

Once the questioners got around to debating the merits of the healthcare reform bill, the remark by Lawlor that “people want to see some reform” was met by the retort that several states had tried and failed at being healthcare providers. Congressman Kratovil, noted Kevin, “supports the public option but not at the expense of private insurance” and countered that the extra taxes people were concerned about were already being paid when those uninsured can’t pay for their health care.

Lawlor also claimed that Kratovil is asking the same questions we are and “trying to change” the legislation to “make it better.”

But the sentiment among those in front of Frank’s office was one of skepticism. “Leave us alone, we’ll fix it ourselves!” cried one. Another in the crowd, which was made up primarily of seasoned citizens, asked why she was forced to give up her private insurance when she became eligible for Medicare. Kevin pledged that the Congressman “will not vote for a bill that makes people leave private insurance” and further stated that Kratovil is “doing his best to let people know why he votes the way he does.”

I found one question asked by a protester had an answer both troubling and disturbing. Since I know Frank’s office reads monoblogue, perhaps they can clarify this response.

When asked about the Constitutionality of the proposal, Lawlor responded that the Congressman “doesn’t necessarily think” this conforms to the Constitution. I guess I’d like to know where a lot of other items he’s voted for manage to conform to our founding documents.

Since I’m certain this isn’t going to be a one-shot deal, the suggestions I would make to the protestors would be to stay on topic better and designate one or two spokespeople to ask questions. Granted, this turned out to be a peaceful 45 minute dialogue but a lot of energy was wasted on items which weren’t really germaine – Frank can’t change his cap-and-trade vote (although he can vote against any version coming from a House-Senate conference.) Kevin noted that he’d addressed a similar protest in Bel Air last week and another is coming up.

Now a special treat for monoblogue readers.

A different rally occurred last Wednesday down on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. District 100 Delegate candidate Melody Scalley (a definite friend of monoblogue) sent along a few photos of the Eastern Shore Declare and Defend Rally down at the Eastern Shore Community College in Melfa and described it this way:

Excellent speakers from the Eastern Shore and East Coast! Many local Eastern Shore men and women spoke about their concerns for the Eastern Shore, Virginia and our Country. Speakers from across Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and even Washington DC came to our rally to express their concerns.

My sincere thanks to everyone who joined us for this event! We are all concerned about the direction that our Government is headed and the amount of Government spending underway.


Following the rally over 30 people enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant, prompting someone to say that we were bringing our own private business stimulus to the Eastern Shore!

She also sent along her own photos. I have to say that she’s done it very conveniently in a nice 640×480 format – thanks Melody!

A shot of the crowd looking toward the stage. Looks like a good turnout for a weeknight event.

Judging by the sign placement, I presume this is Virginia State Senator and AG candidate Bob Cuccinelli addressing the Eastern Shore Declare=

As you can tell, the digs weren't real fancy but the rhetoric was likely top-notch.

It’s worth pointing out that the Maryland part of the Eastern Shore was well represented by Andrew Langer of Campaign for Liberty and Pocomoke City mayor and General Assembly candidate Mike McDermott, along with other local and national speakers on a variety of conservative topics.

I’m also working with Melody on something that could be a first for monoblogue, so stay tuned for that.

Finally what can I say? I hope the title gets me some extra Google hits. But the mood among many freedom-loving Americans is one of panic, albeit a restrained panic thus far. It’s why these rallies have suddenly become big news as government tries to become a bigger force in our lives.

We may have gotten a late start but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight to the finish.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.

42 thoughts on “Widespread panic (about our freedom)”

  1. Who’s idiotic idea was it to hang Kratovil in effigy? That’s completely unacceptable and I am appalled that no one stopped the moron who did it from actually bringing it.

    I’m also disappointed that people seem to have focused on the non-issue of illegal immigration in this debate. I know that some people around here like to point to illegal immigrants as the source of all our problems, but they just aren’t a factor in this debate. Anyone with even cursory knowledge of the problem knows this, and if folks did spend a lot of time focusing on them when discussing the issue with Kratovil’s staff, then they simply made themselves look much less credible (as if the effigy didn’t do that already).

  2. I’m completely in agreement regarding the effigy. Unfortunately, it was there and certainly unavoidable – and given the anti-incumbent mood of the electorate those who honked as they drove by may have been reacting to that.

    I would not say illegals were a “focus” but one complaint among the group was the perception that they would have to give up their private health insurance and be forced to pay higher taxes for a government plan while illegals got off scot-free. Most of the commentary from the gathering centered on the ideas of having to eventually lose their private insurance for the “public option” and the government believing it had a solution when a better one would involve government exiting the stage.

  3. There are certainly some frightening things about this bill. I am trying to imagine how MY mother would feel about the caveats of end of life counseling and what might be written “between the lines” of pages 425 and beyond.

    As I look at these pictures I see not what I have seen at other protests on the news, wild eyed young people cruising the streets, throwing bottles and breaking windows.

    I see that the protesters were made up almost entirely of the elderly. These people are worried and they are not alone.

    I wonder what I would do if my mother were still alive, looking down the road that we all must walk someday, and see at the end of that road, someone from the government telling her about all the myriad ways in which she can choose to give herself a do not resuscitate order.

    What might I do if I were a young man who wished to exercise his right of free speech upon seeing his elderly mother, a strong and proud woman, who now and in this time, found herself to be frightened.

    Frightened not just by the ever encroaching arm of big government, but frightened by what the man she voted for might now do?

    Would I make a sign that many might not agree with?

    I know this…

    I loved my Mother very much, and if I saw her frightened, I think I would.

  4. This posting reminds me of the little old lady that was telling President Obama off about health care. It was obvious that she had been listening to conservative talk radio too much. She touted to the President, “I don’t want government run health care, I don’t want socialize medical…..and you better not touch my Medicare benefits!!! (Which is the government run social medical care which she felt was working just fine.)

    The extreme right wing like the “Birther” movement is hijacking my Republican Party. The Birther movement is based on the fantasy that Barack Obama isn’t a native born U.S. citizen, and is therefore ineligible for the presidency. The “Birthers” are perfectly willing to turn on other Republicans who don’t share their delusions. Of course this is not new to many of us moderate Republicans who did not march is lock step with Rush Limbaugh. Rush instantly attacked the moderate Republicans by reverting to the infantile name calling of “RINO” label.

    The rise of the Birther movement reveals a Republican Party that is in complete disarray, unable to deal with the most basic of realities. The Republican Party can’t work on policy and offer real alternatives because it can’t even grasp that Barack Obama is indeed the President of the United States.

  5. JT,

    How are the Birthers hijacking the GOP? I don’t know of any outside of a few extremists who endorse the views of those idiots. Even Ann Coulter, a woman whom I despise for her extremism, doesn’t want to be associated with them. Just because the media love to show freaks doesn’t mean the freaks are common.

  6. I am upset that people without even a basic knowledge of health care (you too Mr. Swartz) are the counterbalance to this debate. This includes the morons contacting the Congressmen that are highlighted on Little Joey’s site and quoted in this article.

    Republican hacks looking to score political points.

    Just scare tactics by people who will not be affected or by doctors and insurance companies that want to continue their incredible profits at the expense of many.

    I agree that the recent Democratic bills havent been great— but that is because they appear to be debating themselves. When your opposition will only say “no” there is no option of compromise. The Democrats are throwing up their best “middle of the road” plan and compromising enough to get the required votes. Its stupid.

    The true focus of this debate should be: how to lower medical costs and how to get everyone covered.

  7. Marc,
    Perhaps they are more common than you suspect–look at all of the comments on another local blog STILL believing the birther story! Look at the group of people who saw a guy with a congressman hung in effigy, and still marched down the street with him! If I see one more person quote page 425, I’m going to lose it! Do you really think these people have actually read page 425? And they think it is outrageous that a representative did not personally read a 1,000+ page bill? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess none of these people read a 1,000 page book in their lives.

  8. Go read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I have and it’s about 1200 pages as I recall. It would be a lot better reading material than the health care bill and to read and understand its meaning may be better for the country.

  9. And your “basic knowledge of health care” involves what? Are you a doctor? (Since you don’t use your real name we have no idea.)

    Contrary to your “party of no” description, there have been several ideas proposed by Republicans and others on how to lower medical costs. Among those are tort reform (which would lower the overhead costs for providers) and allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines (so people can pick and choose from a larger palette of insurance providers that may cover their needs better), and encouraging more fee-for-service. (My personal physician allows this, which makes me a better consumer.)

    On a personal level I don’t think coverage should be mandatory, just advisable. Obviously the Obama solution makes this practically impossible.

  10. idiot!,

    If you really think those of us in the health care debate like myself aren’t out there offering alternatives then I’d say you don’t have a basic knowledge of the health care debate. Your remark about insurance company profits also indicates a lack of knowledge since many insurance companies and hospitals are non-profit. Also, the insurance industry is strongly supporting many aspects of this “reform” as it would ensure them even more revenue. If you think the insurance industry wants nothing done in DC on this front, you’ve been reading too much Daily Kos.

    It’s also sad that you seem to think that those who disagree with you are either ignorant or paid off. Let’s stick with the issues instead of questioning the motives or intelligence of our opponents, shall we?


    I know nutjobs exist. Unfortunately in my circles I come across them all the time. However, those on the fringe are more likely to speak out and more likely to be noticed, especially by those on the opposite side of the political spectrum. I don’t believe the birthers or guys like the one who hung (hanged?) Kratovil in effigy are representative of our side of the debate, just like I don’t believe the people who were saying Sarah Palin’s kid was really her daughter’s child or who spread other idiotic rumors are representative of liberals.

    Unfortunately, many on either side of the political divide think the worst of their opponents and see the other side’s fringe groups as being representative of the mainstream. It just ain’t so, though. That’s an ignorant way to go through the world, no matter what your political philosophy is.

  11. Michael, I’m glad you read a 1,000 page book (too bad it was that one), but as you know I was not referring to you (unless you are a birther. You aren’t, are you?).
    On the health care issue, I think most of your suggestions are reasonable ones, except the last. If coverage is not mandatory, we will still be stuck with a large % of uninsured people in this country (for whatever reason). It is easy to say “well, let them be uninsured,” but we ALL ultimately pay for these people. Unless you want hospitals to refuse treatment to the uninsured. Sorry Aunt Milly, you’ll just have to suck up the pain from that broken hip! “Fee-for-service” is great for a check up, not great for chemotherapy or a car accident. We can sit here and do little, tiny changes that will help a specific person in a specific circumstance, or we can go for real reform.

  12. It’s funny you ask because I have a Patriot Post assignment re: the birthers that I just sent in. The way I look at the situation is to ask why the issue is being hidden unless there’s something there. Obviously the stakes are high since the Constitution says the President must be native-born.

    But in the long run whether Obama was born in Hawaii, Kenya, or Mars isn’t nearly as important as the damage he’s doing to Constitutional governance in a thousand other ways.

    I will agree that “fee for service” is important and appropriate for a checkup as opposed to an accident. But the idea behind insurance is supposed to be one where a covered loss is one that would be a large financial setback, not simply going to the emergency room for a cold. And it’s become common for states to add more and more mandates for coverage, making the average Chevrolet policy more and more Cadillac-like and pushing the price up.

    Yet I don’t think insurance should be mandatory…my contention is if you make it inexpensive enough to afford a policy which covers catastrophic losses only that would reduce the number of uninsured. It’s a policy I would be interested in because at the moment I’m one of those uninsured, but I don’t need much of what’s mandated for coverage.

    And what’s wrong with Atlas Shrugged? I thought it was an excellent, thought-provoking book and reflected well the nature of an oppressive, tyrannical government run for and by special interests.

  13. FF,

    Yes, some people will choose to go without insurance if it isn’t mandatory. As Massachusetts has shown, some people will choose to go without insurance if it is mandatory, too. An individual mandate may sound good in theory but it won’t work in practice. You can’t enforce it very well, you have to have exceptions for certain people (a religious exemption, for one), and you must provide subsidies so low-income people can afford this insurance that you mandate.

    And, of course, you have to define what “insurance” actually means. As we saw in Massachusetts, this was an opportunity for special interest groups and lawmakers to team up and require a bunch of services be covered in order for a policy to quality as “insurance” under the mandate. That increased the cost of insurance in that state and forced tens of thousands of people who already had insurance to buy more insurance in order to qualify as “insured.”

    All these problems to solve an issue that’s pretty insignificant in the health care debate. Uncompensated care is an extremely small proportion of our total health care spending. If you want to reduce the number of people who voluntarily choose to go without insurance you need to target those who do this. Disproportionately, the young and healthy are those who choose to go without insurance. If the government allows insurance companies to design policies that are attractive to this group (high deductibles, basic coverage, etc., in order to bring down cost) then you will see more of them buying it. But generally these people choose to go without and it’s a rational choice, because they don’t need health care.

  14. Mike,

    On the birther issue, what is “being hidden.” Enough proof has been provided that would satisfy any jury in the land. There really is no debate about whether Obama’s a citizen except among those who have a very tenuous connection to reality.

  15. No, Im not a doctor. And there you go showing your ignorance again, as most people in the medical profession (of which I am loosely for the time being and in which my girl is in big time) know that doctors are the last people you want to go to if you have having insurance coverage issues. They have no concept of the money side of medicine.

    Most of the proposals have been intended to sink reform. The multi-state plan will not work. There already are multi-state plans through Horizon. Unfortunately, employers are in a race to offer the stripped down plans that pay basically nothing- putting the financial burden on the workers. You give insurances the choice, they are going to offer the least coverage. Where is there benefit to offer great and cheap coverage? Just like auto insu, you either get a shitty barebones plan or you pay out the ass.

    The problem is that insurance companies are out to make money. And they know they cannot compete with a state plan that is not out to make money (and I think I read that Care has 3% overhead). We have a broken system that is expensive AND unfair.

    We need to get away from employer backed insurances for many reasons. (The Ted Kennedy TIME had a great short article mentioning this).

    The proposal for tort reform is the first idea I have seen on these blogs that makes any sense. Sure, lets give doctors a little more leeway…..but then lets not cover for them when they constantly fuck up- like the VA doctors making veterans sterile after common procedures. Lets not forget why doctors were getting sued in the first place. But I have no problem finding a common ground that protects everyone.

    But you see how compromises work? I give, you give, then you have to support. Why give to someone who is just going to hope that it fails? Who doesn’t have anything invested in its success?

    Old people are covered (despite Republican attempts to scare them). Rich people are covered. Poor people are covered. Who does that leave? Working class and middle class people who cannot afford – or are not offered- an affordable option THAT IS WORTH IT. You’ve got to pay hundreds a month and even then it isnt always enough in an emergency. The deductibles, copays, and coinsurances (all created by the insurance companies to shirk responsibility) can kill you if you aren’t lucky enough to have a great job that provides a great plan.

    And I used my name. idiot!

    And I mentioned that my girl is in health care. She actually had a portion of one class discussing health care where I read of this great solution from the best of my memory from a couple years ago:

    Some plans are pay as you go- Dr. says get MRI, you get it and its paid for. Surgery and tests are paid for as Dr. requests. The problem is some Drs. do not care about money and were ordering all these unnecessary tests.

    So then they came out with pooled money plans: The PT has an allotted amount per year (say $5000) that they can spend on their treatments. The catch comes that any money that a Dr. doesn’t spend for that PT (by ordering the cheaper tests, being more specific in targeting the problem) the Dr. gets a bonus. The downside of this is obvious- Drs. began to treat more towards the bonus and not towards the PT.

    Well, how about a hybrid. An individual has either plan, but the Dr. doesn’t know. He isnt hamstrung by a monetary cap or preoccupied with extra money for himself. He treats the PT.

    (So obviously the health care industry is improving if they are teaching it.)

    So there, Im bringing something to the table. That’s more than you can say for the naysayers hanging effigies (for wanting to give people healthcare?!?!) or the Party of No.

    And one more thing- how many of those protestors do you think do not have health insurance out there? Or have recently not had health insurance? Ironically, Id be willing to be that most of them have “socialized” coverage.

    Talk about personal responsibility all you want, but the working Americans should not have to worry about health care, and our system right now (and anything the Republicans have been proposing) will have them worrying. Seatbelts used to be a “personal responsibility” but we have evolved beyond that. But we all know how conservatives feel about evolution.

  16. Marc,
    Yeah, I learned about that not too long ago with Horizon pushing to become for-profit and I was shocked bc everything they do is about the bottom dollar- not about the patient’s wellbeing.

    but for real- My ass Horizon is non-profit, if anything they are “non-profit”. Anything can be “non-profit”, but that doesnt mean that they have the best interest of those they serve at heart.

    Havent read anything from you around here. Just Joey’s site having people complaining just to complain, talking about the elderly being put to death, and nonsense here from the rally about older people wanting to keep their own insurance??

    They can if they are still working. They can buy their own Insu but it is rediculously expensive bc insurance companies dont want them bc they cost too much. Or they can buy a personal secondary plan if the government isnt enough for them and they want better. Or they can apply for Caid to pick up balances if they are truly indigent.

    Its just ignorance of the intricities. I stand by my original statment – Hacks trying to score political points and complain about fiscal sanity 8 years too late and not caring about the working families of America having health coverage.

    Prove me wrong that you care (or that anyone out there does).

  17. “But in the long run whether Obama was born in Hawaii, Kenya, or Mars isn’t nearly as important as the damage he’s doing to Constitutional governance in a thousand other ways.”

    While I am at it. It is comments like this that have no weight from you, bc you cowardly hid these exact sentiments when Bush and Cheney were raping PERSONAL liberties (which are much more important than a couple of extra dollars in my pocket).

  18. I’m going to go WAY off topic here but please cite me some examples of Bush and Cheney “raping personal liberties.” If you’re referring to the PATRIOT Act I’ve said that it need not be permanent (as one example.)

  19. idiot! — I’ve written plenty on health care, just not for blogs. Here’s something I recently wrote: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.health12jul12,0,404965.story.

    I know what you are saying about how insurance works. It’s a problem that stems from the fact that we have a third-party (our employers) paying a fourth-party (insurance companies) to pay a second party (doctors) to give the first party (us) health care. We need to divorce health insurance from employment (and probably health care from health insurance) if we really want to clean up the system. Unfortunately, the system which has evolved today (and it really shouldn’t be called a “system,” since it’s actually a number of different health care systems) can’t easily be uprooted. Trying to graft more government control and increase third-party payment of health care services onto what we have is the last thing we need, though. It will only make our problems even worse.


    I know you didn’t ask me about the personal liberty bit, but I’ll gladly take a shot at it. How about President Bush asserting the doctrine that he has the power to name anyone he chooses as an enemy combatant whether a citizen or not, and can then jail that person indefinitely without trial or access to legal counsel. That’s a pretty radical doctrine that disregards a variety of civil liberties. The warrantless wiretapping, the escalation of the war on drugs and the war on obscenity, etc., that Bush pursued certainly made us less free.

    I may agree with idiot! about this, but I disagree that these personal liberties are different from our economic liberties. The freedom to buy and sell without government interference is the same as personal liberty. I wish more modern liberals would understand this. You can’t desire regulation of my economic conduct while still being consistent in opposing regulation of my personal conduct.

  20. And I agree with you, Marc, on much of what you’re saying – provided that a threat from without ceases to exist. This is why I didn’t mind the PATRIOT Act at the time but didn’t want it to be made permanent (much of what you cite stems from that act.)

    While the War on Drugs isn’t related to national security I’ve become less of a hawk on that as I used to be because the methods we have employed indeed have not worked. It’s another genie which was let out of the bottle and is really hard to place back inside. I think less emphasis needs to be placed on possession and more on trafficking.

  21. I know you’re not as pro-Bush as many folks, Mike, so I realize we agree on much more than we disagree on. However, whether permanent or temporary, the PATRIOT Act is a horrible piece of legislation. We aren’t the Roman Republic. We do not give one man dictatorial powers in order to quell a threat. Bush’s assertion that he can indefinitely detain anyone he wants without judicial review is something that should not be tolerated at any time.

    As far as the War on Drugs, earlier this decade Portugal decriminalized all drug possession and it seems to be working out quite well there. I think it’s easier to put the genie back in the bottle than you may think.

  22. “The way I look at the situation is to ask why the issue is being hidden unless there’s something there. Obviously the stakes are high since the Constitution says the President must be native-born.”

    Wow. I just lost a huge amount of respect for you. I cannot believe an intelligent person such as yourself can possibly continue to believe that the “issue is being hidden.” Prove to me that you are an American, Michael. Understand, of course, that any printed document you produce can be faked. Any testimony from individuals may be coerced. But prove it.

  23. Aaaaahhh…but I don’t have to prove it because the Constitution has no restriction on me. It doesn’t matter whether you or I are native-born because we’re simply citizens.

    The thing is there’s a lot of other records about Barack Obama/Barry Soetoro which are being hidden too – but that’s a topic for another day. When I do “Sunday Evening Reading” this week I’ll link to an interesting op-ed I found today (hopefully I remember to do so).

  24. I don’t doubt he was born in Hawaii, but why wouldn’t he bring that out to the public – along with a slew of other records? If Obama were a Republican you know the media would never let him go through a single day without the question or doing a Palin-like investigation.

    Just asking…but I don’t want this sidebar to detract from the main point that socialized health care would be a disaster!

  25. He has brought it out to the public: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html.

    Unfortunately this sidebar will continue to detract from the GOP’s message as long as mainstream conservatives continue to play footsie with the Birthers. They need to be denounced for the idiots that they are and told that the Republican Party doesn’t need them. Until Republicans stop indulging Birthers and the like, we’re going to have a serious credibility problem.

  26. A Fellow huh?

    I miss the days when I was far and away the smartest person reading/commenting on this blog. It may be getting too big for me. I remember when Little Joey had to borrow GA’s thesaurus just to figure out what was being discussed. Alas, I will still write stream of conscious replys and never proofread before hitting send.

    (However the continued debate on whether Obama is a citizen has heartened me as I have obviously not slid too far down the smart ladder.)

    The problems stem from the fact that we have a disorganized system (see TIME article). Insurance companies want to pay less, doctors don’t care about cost, and people cannot afford the plans. And the plans that people do pay $400-$600 a month for leave much to be desired. That’s what happens when cost for employers, insurance companies, and families is put before health.

    We need to focus on preventive care, lowering costs, and filtering out abuse (which is big with people that have Caid or *good plans- leaving the working people who are lucky enough to have plans scrambling to cover expenses incurred by vital healthcare).

    I didn’t learn about this later in life. I grew up with great insurance and great treatment. I received braces and zit creams. As a result I am incredibly handsome. Why should I be born into great healthcare where others have to go years between seeing doctors?

    The real debate which is still be hidden here (or explicitly stated by Michael): Should people and children be offered health care that is both preventative and reactive?

    Republicans do not think so. Democrats do. Until we all get on the same page, everything else is just a roadblock. Multistate plans will not work bc they will just offer the least they are allowed. There should be a bottom tier offered to everyone- an expanded Medicaid if not a more efficient Medicare-type program.

    Im reading an interesting book now from Sokolof about cognitive science and how Republican and Democrats brains work. Really makes you think about the frames being used. Im arguing empathy to working class families and the conservatives are arguing for personal responsibility. But at some point we (the smarter policy geeks of all political mindframes) need to realize we have a responsibility to help those that are less fortunate. Like seatbelts.

  27. Michael,

    Youre response is so hack (to the birthers and to the Bush Administration breaking the law – where they would regularly go to Atty’s with the solution and ask for the legal justification to back up the solution.) I liked you better when you were the geeky conservative policy wonk. You gearing up to run for office or something?

  28. Michael,
    Honestly, I cannot believe you are a birther. I really am shocked. “I don’t doubt he was born in Hawaii, but why wouldn’t he bring that out to the public – along with a slew of other records?” Complete lunacy, I am sorry to say. I really did think you were a smart guy. My God, he has brought out these documents over and over and over again, nd you loonies (I hate to include you in that group for the first time ever, but there is no other word for it) just deny that he brought them out, or just insist they must be faked. Michael, you are NOT a citizen of the United States! Prove it! You cannot just say you are one! And don’t show me a passport, a picture, a FRIGGIN’ BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT FROM 1961, a birth certificate, a driver’s license, or any of that, because apparently that is not enough proof to birthers. I am really, really disappointed to be honest with you.

  29. “We need to divorce health insurance from employment (and probably health care from health insurance) if we really want to clean up the system.”

    I won’t claim to know a lot about what is being proposed, so my words are my own feelings and frustrations. It would be great if health insurance wasn’t based off of employment. As is stands, we face a dilemma of my fiance needing more medical care than what we can afford. He works almost full time, but not quite, so he isn’t eligible for insurance at work. Nor is he eligible for any sort of state assistance because we don’t have a child. We most certainly can’t afford the almost $300/month for him to carry insurance ‘privately’.

    We are fortunate enough to have a Dr that does her best to work with us and our financial situation – only running tests that will give her multiple answers at once and allowing us to do payment plans with her office. But it would be so nice to be able to find him insurance that costs about what my insurance does through my work, just so that he could get the health care he needs.

  30. Michael, I changed Sentz’ post to include a link to your post. I saw that you called him out on it, and changed it for him because he’s camping right now and can’t do it himself. Sorry about that.

  31. Hey, everyone already has “Health Care” because they can walk into any Emergency Room and get treatment thanks to previous legislation already on the books.

    Health Insurance is another matter and if anyone thinks that the Omama/Palosi Plan will not destroy the existing Health Insurance System, where eventually everyone will be on the Goverment Plan, they have failed to look down the road far enough. As Insurance Companies are forced to raise rates as more and more people and Businesses choose the cheaper, non-competitive Govt. Option which is basically Socialized medicine just as Obama wants it to be. Can’t anyone see the Master Plan here to destroy our Democratic Society and install Socialism on the Sleeping masses before they know what is happening to them. The Dems are already proposing to take 50B from Medicare to help pay for this monstrosity and hope enough Elders Die due to the planned reduction in medical care, to cover this loss of funds.

    It ought to be called Death Care Benefit Plan because that is what the Dems are suggesting, coaching you every five years to the Benefits of Dieing rather than suffering because “They” choose to not fix Medicare and give you the care you need. This Medicare Deduction will be used to pay for the 40M that “They” say need Health Insurance. The real # is around 10M, excluding Illegals and their Illigal kids, not racial just the facts, and many of the 40M have just chosen to not sign up for available Health Care. WAKE UP AMERICA!

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