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Republicans blast health bill

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The health care bill has taken many years to get to this point. The republicans have fought it all the way from the beginning. But the democrats may finally have the votes. I hope it gets a pass. < :-)

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"the democrats may finally have the votes"

Heck, they've got the majority, they should be able to pass this debacle even if every single irrelevant Rupublican votes against it, right?

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I can hope. <:-)

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"$1.5 trillion over a decade"

That's it, no more foreign aid, or liberating any more countries, we're going to need every penny we borrow for this debacle.

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Officially, the Congressional Budget Office said the measure would reduce deficits by $130 billion over the next decade with probable small reductions in the 10 years that follow.

In the future sarge, you may want to actually read the article.

Taka

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Sarge

That's it, no more foreign aid, or liberating any more countries, we're going to need every penny we borrow for this debacle.

I've advocated to get our butts back home and deal with our own country.

I'd like to see lots of aid cut and that money brought back to the people that paid it in.

You could even have tax cuts and a robust health care system if we brought home $Billions given to countries for their militaries.

But alas... < :-)

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Taka313: In the future sarge, you may want to actually read the article." And in the future, you may want to consult with an actual economist. You're welcomed to come to our office anytime, there are dozens here and Tokyo is not too far away from you.. If you think for one second, this is going to bring costs down, reduce the deficit, which mind you there are still a lot of things to spend on and any future spenditures, and if your health care costs are going to get cheaper, you really need to stay on the base and retire there as the only ones who may really benefit out of this are government workers and people like me who can make cash off of it.

I really hope you are not one of those that have place all fault on the insurance companies who abided by state regulations which has led to much of the misinformation.

aday: how much of this bill did you actually read the 2000+ page bill? this one got me: "I'd like to see lots of aid cut and that money brought back to the people that paid it in." No, you are a follower. The dems can become another republican party and you'd still follow them. That is just the type of person you are.

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The dems can become another republican party and you'd still follow them. That is just the type of person you are.

Sad, but based on his posting history, I'd have to agree. Myself, in many areas I'm conservative, in some I'm not. In this case however, conservative or liberal, this bill is just a horrendous debacle. Some states like Louisiana getting bonuses because their Senator is waffling on the issue, others like Nevada getting huge bonuses because Harry Reid is concerned about his re-election bid. Hopefully, the voters in his home state will find him something else to do next year, along with so many of his compatriots who seem to feel this is a good idea.

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Any way you look at it, the USA needs better healthcare and if the Repubs are against it then they should be coming up with an alternative idea to present. After all the Dems need all the help they can get.

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"the Congressional Budget Office said the measure would reduce deficts by $130 billion"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

"the USA needs better healthcare"

How about limiting lawsuits against doctors and hospitals?

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Sarge,

" . . . or liberating any more countries, we're going to need every penny we borrow for this debacle."

And YET . . . Nary a peep from you or other so-called conservatives when the U.S. was, ahem, "liberating" Iraq and Afghanistan with finances procurred almost entirely from lenders like Japan and China. Crippling tax debt created in other countries is fine, but a tax debt incurred from trying to raise the quality of life for fellow Americans isn't?

Seriously, what precisely is the lynchpin for you that would compel you to prefer spending trillions of dollars to improve other nations over your own? Seriously, please answer that for me.

Either your priorities are entirely out of whack, or you aren't being completely honest in your reasons for opposing a comprehensive health care system for Americans. I'm inclined to think it's the latter, because the former makes as little sense as the goodies provisions included in the bill to entice reluctant Democrats.

I'm as pissed about the pork barrel spending, too. Again, it makes little sense beyond being simple bribes.

But after every single Republican aneurysm in response to a health care bill offered by Democrats, I’m always left with the same lingering question: Where is the Republican equivalent of a comprehensive health care bill?

From the get-go, it has been nothing but avoidance, denial, and resistance from Republicans. Their version, which has yet to actually materialize, BTW, hinges on -- and this is the part I love -- tort reform. For there to be any meaningful reform, torm reform seems to be the single most pressing issue facing Americans today. Right.

And so we go round and round.

So again, can you explain in all honesty what your priorities actually are here, against the backdrop of crippling debt we've incurred in other nations around the world? And if so inclined, could you (or anyone here, Molenir, Skip, et al) possibly explain what the priority of Republicans is, or rather should be, if not to see American tax dollars spent on Americans? Because I’m at a loss to see it amid all the hypocrisy.

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Something must be done. If molenir is correct then Health care is being corrupted in the hands of politicians. At 1000 USD a month for health care now many just take their chances. A real problem here is individual rights vs the common good. Should people be able to opt out of paying into the health system? When they get sick who would want to refuse them treatment? Would you refuse treatment because of their individual choices? I do not think so in the name of humanity. This only increases cost for everyone. If everyone contributed then the cost would be cheaper for all. One cannot get blood from a stone so that government would have to pick up the tab for the people who have no work. I am all for a fair bill. Something has to be passed and the details figured out. Unjust provisions must be tagged and removed but let us get the ball rolling.

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Tort reform sarge would have to be targeted. Get that once the bill is passed.

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It is all a crock. The biggest health issue in North America is that the population is fundamentally unhealthy. Health care costs have been rising faster than inflation for years because people are just plain getting fatter and eating unhealthy food. There is a direct correlation between the consistent increasing levels of obesity over the past few decades and increasing health costs.

It is quite simple, want cheaper health care; get off your fat butt!!!

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The Republicans will blast anything in hopes for relevance. Importance to the people, patriotism; these things mean nothing to them now. Now its only politics. They will do this over and over. What have they got to lose?

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moliner: "Myself, in many areas I'm conservative, in some I'm not. In this case however, conservative or liberal" Ok, so we are in the same boat. , this bill is just a horrendous debacle. Some states like Louisiana getting bonuses because their Senator is waffling on the issue, others like Nevada getting huge bonuses because Harry Reid is concerned about his re-election bid." That's it in a nut shell

Hopefully, the voters in his home state will find him something else to do next year" Everyone I know from there, and its a fair amount, agree with you. "along with so many of his compatriots who seem to feel this is a good idea." I will surprised if it doesn't.

Repubs are against it then they should be coming up with an alternative idea to present." Even if they came up with a better idea, its a closed door session if you haven't heard, they are being blocked out. Some here cheer, I am worried. Also, why should they come up with a better one? Why not start allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines? Why not work on malpractice insurance (the biggest factor in our costs)? Why not let it go to states that need it and vote for it? Why throw it down our throats? I've paid for my care and even in Japan, I am still up to date. The people who work for me in the states have a decent care package (because I am forced) but it prevents me from bring on new people at the moment.

I still have yet to see this bill and I am sure Aday has not either. He's just a cheer leader, a groupie and that is scary in today's political arena. lastly, "It is all a crock. The biggest health issue in North America is that the population is fundamentally unhealthy. Health care costs have been rising faster than inflation for years because people are just plain getting fatter and eating unhealthy food. There is a direct correlation between the consistent increasing levels of obesity over the past few decades and increasing health costs. It is quite simple, want cheaper health care; get off your fat butt!!!" Post of the day for this topic!

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Proxy,

I couldn't agree more.

Taka

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When presented with a fact he doesn't want to acknowledge, sarge's reply was this:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Well played, sarge. Well played.

Taka

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The right wingers are terrified because if the health care measures do succeed, Republicans will be so discredited they won't occupy the White House or hold a Congressional majority for the next quarter century. They probably won't anyway, considering the born-again, reactionary dingbats they've been offering to voters as potential presidential candidates in 2012.

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The biggest health issue in North America is that the population is fundamentally unhealthy. Health care costs have been rising faster than inflation for years because people are just plain getting fatter and eating unhealthy food.

True,very true.

But even with our current habits, the critical care mindset - "I'll wait til it's really urgent and let the doc fix it" - and the millions of illegal aliens burdening our health care system we still see longer life spans and the highest cancer survival rates in the world, even when the presence of the aforementioned illegals is allowed to skewer statistics.

Any bill running to 2000 plus pages - with no tort reform - and wide enough in scope to impact literally every area of your life is not about providing better care and improving quality of life, it is a power grab authored by a bunch of treasonous crooks masquerading as a political party.

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Skipthesong:" And in the future, you may want to consult with an actual economist. You're welcomed to come to our office anytime..."

Didn't know you were an economist! That why the economy tanked so badly? :) haha.

Seriously though, and I'm surprised to be saying this, I agree with bushlover: "Any way you look at it, the USA needs better healthcare and if the Repubs are against it then they should be coming up with an alternative idea to present. After all the Dems need all the help they can get."

He has bang on; if the REpublicans spent even a millionth of the time they spend simply whining on trying to solve something they might not lose elections so badly. Instead all they can come up with are buzz-words that the ignorant masses pick up and use as though the words were going out of style.

It doesn't matter whether the plan is good or bad, the Republicans are going to rail against it simply because it's a Democratic initiative. Hell, when it saves the lives of someone they know they'll STILL say it's evil and 'Socialist', or something like that.

sarge: "How about limiting lawsuits against doctors and hospitals?"

While it's a COMPLETELY off-topic remark in terms of the question posed to you, I agree that TYPES of litigation need to be limited. However, if a doctor/hospital slips up they still need to be held accountable.

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Wow skipthesong. You're really upset tonight. Maybe something in this health care bill:

http://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/patient-protection-affordable-care-act.pdf

will help you feel better.

You need to calm down. < :-)

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Beelzubub: "The right wingers are terrified because if the health care measures do succeed, Republicans will be so discredited..."

No kidding. What's more, it's utterly amazing how GOP supporters simply believe in the outright lies. Cuts to elderly programs?! They'll actually be INCLUDED more than they were previously (ie. now). And lest we forget about those elderly not even covered. How are those that are not covered becoming covered by a health plan 'cutting their programs'? Amazing... simply amazing.

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smith and aday: you got me all wrong. I've already been clear, if this goes through, I'll figure out a way to make cash in on it by getting back into the med biz. My issue is that many who want this are not getting what they want and those who are in need of it won't either. How can you applaud for something you have no idea what is to come down?

smith: nice sarcasism, but if you've got economists working near you, let's hear them, but for those that sit near me, I'll listen to them before I listen to the so called experts here on JT. I don't mean to offend you, but almost all their predictions have come true.

Aday: my question was clear, did you or did you not read the bill? This goes for Smith as well. We all know there is going to be something someone won't like or like. Break it down for us. Until then, I don't need to read no news, especially US, orgs who are either with the repubs or with the dems. Again, I'll listen to those I know who are being paid to predict things and who are getting paid big time for it. Lastly, I can afford whatever amount they are going to throw at us, but I have said time and time again, with my wife being a doc and myself being in the health care business in the past, as well as actually was once one such person providing the health care (medic/paramedic/nurse US Army and VA), I believe I know more of what is to come then many of you here. You blasted some people's words such as rationing, when in fact it happens here and it happens with the military, and the government sector on the bases in Japan, which FYI, if you are reading this, it is much cheaper even with out insurance to go to a Japanese hospital or dentist than what you have there now and will be much less once this bill passes, so if you can get out of your mandatory insurance by a US insurer, do it and use the Japanese facilities.

ending: smith nor aday have been able to prove me wrong. In the end, when I have no issue affording the increased fees and you don't you will not be allowed to gripe about it! You have made yourselves moot!

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If this bill does not include mandatory weight lose, smoking cessation, zero tolerance on drinking, mandatory exercise and increase costs on meat products, we will know that everything is a scam!

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Good points there, skipthesong. You can at least defend your argument. Your opponents don't seem interested in trying to do the same.

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"No other developed country lacks a comprehensive medical program for its people. " "Reporter: what do you think about western civilization? Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea."

I think the Gandhi quote puts this in perspective. Read up on Gandhi. Or see the movie.

All of the vitriol and recrimination and fear and hate surrounding this bill comes down to health for real people on one hand vs. what amounts to a few haircuts and shoeshines on the other. I know what Gandhi would say. The people who can rail against better health programs for poor people while paying a thousand dollars for football tickets are not even on the same planet as the rest of us. He would say that there is no ideology, no justification for making things so hard on others just for a little convenience for ourselves. Believing that other Americans are are acting in such poor faith that you call them criminals and thieves. It is not civilized. The Americans are their own oppressors even though they have plenty to share. Madness!

Compared to what India confronted, survived, and eventually conquered, this bill is nothing. Nothing. Americans should be ashamed of themselves. Pass the bill and move on.

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Pass the bill and move on." Ok and fine, now would you mind informing everyone on what is in the bill..... so far, it doesn't even touch the real issue so to speak.

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skipthesong you have me all wrong. I know there will be areas I don't agree with. But it helps so many, I can turn my attention away from those areas.

I'm fortunate, I'm retired and as long as I pay my portion, I'll always have health care. I worked 37 years to get that benefit. My brother hasn't been that fortunate. I want this bill to cover him and others in his position.

Yeah, I know there are people who sit on their ass and refuse to buy health insurance who will benefit without effort. But to cover the other millions who can't afford health insurance or who are refused coverage, I'll accept this bill.

If you benefit skipthesong, so be it. That's life.

So skipthesong, I'll accept the good with the bad to cover the masses. We taxed people who smoke and drink for years to help pay health care. Now we'll tax everybody to pay for health insurance for those who can't get it. Now those people who can't get coverage will.

So I've though very hard about this. I'm for it. < :-)

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Taka313: "When presented with a fact he doesn't want to acknowledge, sarge's reply was this: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

That wasn't a fact, Taka313, that was a joke that the Democrat-controlled Congressional Budget Office made. If you believe that this boondoggle is going to reduce the deficit, I can't help you.

Me: "How about limiting lawsuits against doctors and hospitals?"

smithinjapan: "While it's a COMPLETELY off-topic remark"

Really? smithinjapan, are you feeling OK?

Moderator: All readers, please stop sniping at each other and focus your comments on the topic.

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If the Senate passes this boondoggle, the Democrats will own it.

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I just heard from my retired counterparts that this cutback will also affect TRICARE insurance. So now us veterans are going to suck wind and pay a much higher fee for health care. WTF! just sweep us under the rug.

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This is a health care program that not 1 politician wants for theirself, however it is good enough for the populace, but still not 100% covered. This program is also unconstitutional. Seems to me that this is another Government lead Ponzi-scheme.

If we didn't give free coverage to all the illegals, uninsured, lawyers I bet our rates would drop 50%. -And when did medicare become the top act in health insurance coverage? -Try finding a Dr that even accepts medicare.

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dasyhard,

I just heard from my retired counterparts that this cutback will also affect TRICARE insurance. So now us veterans are going to suck wind and pay a much higher fee for health care. WTF! just sweep us under the rug.

That one is a myth, no doubt put out by real right wing radical opponents who are trying to engage in fear-mongering to derail this. Tri-Care in both the Senate's and House's version is protected and classified as a U.S Government Sanctioned health care care plan and if you are covered under it you will satisfy their requirement for having health care coverage and will not be sanctioned or penalized with any tax increase currently now in the Senate bill, the excise tax if you don't have coverage by a Government approved provider is currently 750 dollars per family per year in the Senate plan.

So a person such as you and I are good. However this is not fear-mongering but a fact as it stands now. I'm sure you have many friends who work here in Japan not associated with the U.S Government but here in Japan working in the private sector. Most of my friends that I know are in the Teaching field here in Japan.

They are about to get screwed by this legislation. The Senate version as it stands now will not accept Japanese health insurance or for that matter any American living overseas and enrolled in their respective countries health care plans as U.S Sanctioned insurance. They will be forced to either enroll in a domestic plan to avoid this tax, in effect forced to buy a policy they can't use or pay this excise tax. If they don't pay the tax then they will be liable to fines by the I.R.S and even the possibility of Jail time.

I highly recommend that if you have friends here in Japan that work in the private sector that you pass on to them this link. It is from a non-partisan, non-bias volunteer organization dedicated to helping all Americans that live abroad. They also include a sample letter to send to their respective state senators so hopefully to fix this gross injustice before it becomes law. It is ironic overseas people who actually are doing the right thing by having coverage and taking care of themselves and their families (which this bill was suppose to do for all Americans who have coverage in the first place, ensure they can keep their coverage and not be taxed) are either going to cough some free windfall profits to an insurance company back in the states, for a policy they can't even use or get stuck paying a tax and getting screwed by their own Government.

Here is the link and the letter please pass this along and not the rumor Tri-care is going to be affected by this.

Very respectfully

Sailwind

http://www.aca.ch/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=327&Itemid=2

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Sailwind: Thank you and I really appreciate your comforting feedback. Now I can enjoy the holidays without worries. By the way, I'm in Hawaii, not Japan. I will cut/paste your post and send it to my counterpart. Have a super weekend.

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52% of voters say they're opposed to Obama on health care, only 40% support his party's plan.

This is why they rammed it through the House at midnight on a weekend and will probably repeat that act of cowardice in the Senate.

Shameful.

How did these crooks and their supporters come to hate their own nation so thoroughly?

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Sailwind - Thanks for the heads-up, but I don't care what the Democrats pass - I will not pay into health insurance I will never use. I already pay for health insurance here. The U.S. government can sue me. Or they can ask the Japanese police to arrest me and extradite me to the States for trial on refusal to pay into health insurance I don't need if they want to waste even more money.

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I find it amazing that conservatives said nothing when the GOP wantonly rubber-stamped hugely expensive Iraq war spending bills under the previous administraton that will ultimately inflate government debt by around $2 trillion, and yet when a healthcare bill is put before them that will benefit Americans, they start lathering at the mouth and try their utmost to block it.

Yet again I'm left wondering - just whose side are GOP/conservatives on??

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Repubs are against it then they should be coming up with an alternative idea to present.

Actually they came out with a plan about a month ago, and were of course, completely ignored. They are after all irrelevant in this.

The right wingers are terrified because if the health care measures do succeed, Republicans will be so discredited they won't occupy the White House or hold a Congressional majority for the next quarter century. They probably won't anyway, considering the born-again, reactionary dingbats they've been offering to voters as potential presidential candidates in 2012.

Actually the opposite is in fact true. Thats part of the reason the Dems are having trouble coming up with enough votes, despite having complete control of congress. Thats why they are loading so much pork into this, targeting states of their vulnerable members. They pass this, and the people already unhappy under Obama, are going to outright revolt. Republicans are already talking about picking up 40 seats in the house next year, with this passed, they'll probably regain control of the house, and pick up at least 4 seats in the Senate.

This is a health care program that not 1 politician wants for theirself, however it is good enough for the populace, but still not 100% covered. This program is also unconstitutional.

True on both points. Republicans tried to amend the bill so that Congress would be covered under this scheme, the effort was soundly defeated. Likewise there are serious questions about the constitutionality of this bill. When asked what part of the constitution allows this, Pelosi seemed almost shocked that anyone would dare ask the question. Just brushed it aside as being not worth considering. Rather amusing when you consider her oath to uphold and defend the constitution.

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It's going to get nasty when the Democrats pass this bill and Americans are hit with the stark reality that not a single member of the supposedly all-American GOP to support it.

President Obama's second term is looking more likely by the day. :-)

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It's going to get nasty when the Democrats pass this bill and Americans are hit with the stark reality that the Democrats own it.

President Obama's popularity is steadily declining...

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Sarge, it's really easy to tell when you don't have an opinion of your own when you just tweak someone else's post.

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It's going to get nasty when the Democrats pass this bill and Americans are hit with the stark reality that not a single member of the supposedly all-American GOP to support it.

Whats going to be even worse, is that when they pass this, and then try to pass the Cap and Tax as well, that both houses of congress are going to revert to Republicans. This vote is pretty much going to seal the fate of Dirty Harry, and quite a few other Dems as well.

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Taxes will start immediately but the Dems socialized health plan does not kick in until four years later. Yeah, they really thought this plan out well. So in the second decade, is the system going to shut down for four years so taxes can be collected to pay for the next six years? How can anyone believe that this huge government program will actually reduce the deficit? No government social program ever cost less than it is projected to when it was enacted. Do people really believe that Congress will cut $500 billion from Medicaid? When the time comes to cut, Congress never gets the nerve to actually do it. The best current example is the annual "Doc Fix". What good is a nationalized health care system that is bankrupted on the day it is created?

The US government is already committing fiscal suicide without this huge government program. This is absolute insanity! It is estimated that the U.S. government already has over $50 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next 70 years. Any funds that could have been raised to pay for these costs will be soaked up by government run health care. The government has taken peoples earnings throughout their lives to pay for Social Security, but what will happen when the money runs out? The people pushing for government programs now are just plane selfish and care nothing about the lives of future generations that will be saddled with huge debt and underfunded social programs. The government is going to get much larger and taxes will go up to supposedly pay for this increased spending all the while the annual debt will continue to be in excess of a trillion dollars each year over the next ten years.

The final insult is that anyone who doesn't want to be involved with this travesty will be fined and ultimately imprisoned. The Dems just can't stand letting people control their own destiny.

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Such careful interest in every little bit of the bill! Amateur interpretation and conjecture! Criticism and inquisition!

Where were all of you Republicans when America needed protection from being railroaded on WMDs, the Patriot Act, and all of the rest of that multi-trillion dollar military-industrial orgy of the last 8 years?

Oh, it is a good act, and you really play the "think of the children" role well. When it comes right down to it, you won't spend a dime to save lives, but you will spend trillions to snuff them out. Forgive me if I question your sincerity and see partisanry and vitriol instead.

Pass the bill and move on, America.

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Where were all of you Republicans when America needed protection from being railroaded on WMDs, the Patriot Act, and all of the rest of that multi-trillion dollar military-industrial orgy of the last 8 years?

And where were you when the President and congress passed a massive useless spendulus bill, vastly inflating the deficit, then followed that up by passing the biggest tax increase in history, followed by nationalizing 1/4th of the US economy, and then adopted a cap and tax system to cripple the US economy. As you say, its a good act, forgive me if like you, I see nothing more then partisanship and vitriol on your part.

I'm really hoping that 2 years from now, when the Dems are out of power, that the Republicans have the stomach to force a repeal of this monstrosity being foisted on the American people.

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"How can anyone believe that this huge government program will actually reduce the deficit?"

Ask Taka313.

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Molenir: "Actually they came out with a plan about a month ago, and were of course, completely ignored. They are after all irrelevant in this."

So go ahead and fill us in. What was this genius plan.... I mean, aside from being against the current proposals?

Sushi: "President Obama's second term is looking more likely by the day. :-)"

Indeed it is. The GOP are not 'all-American' in any respect whatsoever. They are all-themselves, and themselves only. They haven't changed one iota since the last election where they were slaughtered.

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Here're some highlights for the Republican healthcare plan that some here have been touting:

"Unlike the Democrats' strategy of trying to provide near-universal coverage and force other major changes to the insurance system, the Republican approach is an incremental one that would do far less to reduce the ranks of the uninsured. It would instead give priority to controlling healthcare costs."

The different goals and effects of the GOP bill are reflected in a preliminary analysis released Wednesday evening by the Congressional Budget Office, which put the bill's 10-year price tag at $61 billion. That is far less than the $1 trillion estimate for the Democratic bill that House leaders plan to bring to the floor as soon as this weekend.

But the CBO analysis also concluded that under the GOP plan, 52 million nonelderly Americans would have no insurance in 2019 -- even more than the 50 million in 2010. By comparison, the House Democratic bill would reduce the number of nonelderly Americans without coverage to around 18 million over the next decade."

"The GOP bill is an amalgam of market-oriented measures that would limit medical malpractice lawsuits, expand the use of tax-sheltered medical savings accounts, let people shop for insurance outside of their own states, and make it easier for small businesses and hard-to-insure people to get coverage. The ideas reflect conservatives' suspicion of sweeping new programs, federal spending and additional regulation."

No real efforts to address the primary issue, namely extending healthcare to more Americans. And the ever-present obsession with tort reform to protect the wealthiest Americans. Wonderful alternative, yes.

Go, GOP!

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And the ever-present obsession with tort reform to protect the wealthiest Americans. Wonderful alternative, yes.

Well saving 41 billion on getting 13 billion back in added revenue sounds like a pretty darn good start to me.

And the CBO found that the Republican provision to reform medical malpractice liability would result in $41 billion in savings and increase revenues by $13 billion by reducing the cost of private health insurance plans.

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LFRagain,

Texas has been praised for their efforts in tort reform. On the other hand, they rank 46th in the nation in health care and 25% of Texans don't have health insurance.

So yeah, tort reform in Texas has done a bang up job.

Taka

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No real efforts to address the primary issue, namely extending healthcare to more Americans. And the ever-present obsession with tort reform to protect the wealthiest Americans. Wonderful alternative, yes.

Hmm, the wealthies Americans? No, you mean to reduce costs to everyone. Its not hard to figure this stuff out, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand. Doctor gets sued, his insurance premiums go up, he raises rates on his patients to cover the cost, patients pay more. Pretty simple, now lets look at the reverse. Tort reform passes. Malpractice premiums drop, doctors slowly lower their rates, doctor visits cost less, and even people without insurance can occasionally afford to visit doctors. More people are covered by health insurance due to lower costs.

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molenir,

Um...no. I just checked RealClearPolitics.com.

Secondly, I checked national health care statistics. Are you familiar with "Google?"

Taka

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molenir,

So, is tort reform the reason Texas is ranked 46th in health care?

So is tort reform responsible for them improving to 46th from 48th in 2007 or do I need to look that up for you too?

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Charts-and-Maps/State-Scorecard-2009.aspx

Taka

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lol, Taka, did you just look at the rankings, or did you bother to look at what they mean? Texas, with one of the highest numbers of illegals, has almost 70% coverage in their adult population. Over 80% coverage for children. Sure, pretty horrible any way you look at it right. Seriously there are so many other factors that go into this, that Tort reform isn't even an issue. Besides, I thought this was about coverage, if you look at it as just a matter of coverage for citizens, Texas is doing pretty damn good. So heh, try again. Regarding the polls, you want competing links...

Obama drops below 50% http://www.gallup.com/Home.aspx

Obama Hits Record Low in Poll http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/obama_zogby_poll_health/2009/08/20/250566.html

Add in news of the backroom deals, like with the recent Louisiana purchase, where Dem senator was bribed into adding her support, and the American public is getting a real bad taste in their mouth over this issue. Apart from that, I note you didn't dispute the facts I outlined about Tort reform.

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Ah, so you ignore everything I wrote in the above post, and choose something minor to snipe at. Guess that means I win eh. 70% coverage, when you take out the illegals translates to about 86% coverage. That pretty much puts them at or near the top. But again, guess that doesn't matter to you, its all about the number, 46th... Also you conveniently ignore the fact that they are measuring so many other things as well, not just how many people are covered. Go back and actually look at what makes up their numbers. Texas definitely has some areas they need to improve on, but considering the number of illegals who ought not to be covered any way, insurance coverage isn't really one of them.

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If this Bill passes, no one will win, except a few bureaucrats. Certainly not the American people who are going to be the biggest losers if this monstrosity passes. Not insurance companies which will be either taken over by the government or go out of business. I guess perhaps those who are so wedded to the ideals of socialism might win, though of course as citizens they'll end up paying for it as well.

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This article is improperly titled. Most people in the U.S. oppose this bill. Democratic politicians and the poverty class support support the bill. If passed, it will be the worst case of fraud since Obama's stimulus project...

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Oh, wait. Unless you don't actually HAVE an argument and are just parroting what you read in a blog somewhere? Oh, my. The inability to think for oneself must be terrifying in its blandness.

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Molenir,

I'll say if no one else will. Taka's provided links supporting his claim that healthcare in Texas is a mess despite successes in torn reform. You provided what you called "competing links" that talked about Obama's populatiry. How the two are even remotely related is beyond me, and probably beyond Taka as well. So, unless you can provide links and info that supports your claim that Texas' low ranking are a result of being a state "with one of the highest numbers of illegals,"

You do know that it's a fairly accurate guage of bulls#it being shoveled when someone relies on vague phrases like "one of the highest" when presenting data? How about a link explaining just how many illegals there are in Texas and how much of an impact on the health care system they're having? How about a link illustrating that 70% of Taxas adults are covered by heathcare and 80% of children are too? How about a link explaining how Taka's links demonstrating Texas' 46th-place ranking in national heathcare quality put's Texas "at or near the top." And while you're at it, how about an explanation of the fuzzy math you used to reach that conclusion?

In the meantime, my post about the lack of Republican alternatives for a comprehensive healthcare reform bill isn't meant to strictly point out the evils of tort reform. It's to point out that at the exclusion of any and all other possible compromises that might lead to meaningful healthcare reform that will benefit the greatest number of Americans, Republicans remain beholden to and obsessed with tort reform, a measure that again, will only benefit the wealthy corporations that lobby incensantly for its implementation. In other words, Republicans seem not to actually be concerned about improving healthcare for all Americans as much as they seem determined to protect their constituency's money. Therein lies the flaw in their "alternative" bills.

If they were able to couch tort reform suggestions into a bill that ALSO seeks to extend healthcare to Americans who currently can't afford it -- or what mtimjones glibbly calls the "poverty class" (inexplicable that the richest nation on earth would even have one, but alas . . .), then perhaps their efforts at presenting an alternative plan might be taken more seriously. But their proposals don't. Tort reform is all they are pushing. And that's not going to help 40 million uninsured Americans anytime soon.

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Republicans remain beholden to and obsessed with tort reform, a measure that again, will only benefit the wealthy corporations that lobby incensantly for its implementation.

How about a link that supports that conclusion? How does Tort reform benefit wealthy corporations? It lowers their insurance premiums so they can afford to cover their employees and 'gasp' and maybe be actually to hire a few more due to the fact they can afford them now?

You don't think cutting out the bloated fat in our healthcare system should not be the very first place we start? Once we get the lawyers out of our Doctors waiting rooms then we can get the work on doing what Doctors are suppose to do treat patients not worry about lawsuits and then go about the best way to provide affordable insurance for all. Your supporting a health care reform plan that ensures lawyers will always have a cut right off the top, and your supporting a healthcare reform plan that if passed will institutionalize them into the very bloody mess they help to create in the first place.

You have also completely ignored the fact that since you live and Japan and use the healthcare system here your going to get hit with an excise tax to pay for this boondoogle back in the states and I don't know about you but if I was going to get hit with a 750 dollar tax to pay for services I can't even use I'd call that punitive punishment myself.

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@taka313

So, is tort reform the reason Texas is ranked 46th in health care?

How do the 1.7 million illegal aliens in Texas (second only to California's 2.9 million) skewer your cherry-pickings?

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Sailwind,

I absolutely agree that cutting healthcare costs is an important part of the formula to successful healthcare reform. But I do not believe it is something that should be done first and foremost. Tort reform -- reasonable tort reform, BTW -- can be done in conjunction with other steps.

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victimcrat,

Following your half-baked logic, if Texas' 46th place ranking is skewered by 1.7 million ilegal aliens, then does California's 31st place ranking in the same poll with 2.9 million illegal aliens mean that more illegals is better for healthcare systems?

Care to try again?

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@LFRagain

Following your half-baked logic, if Texas' 46th place ranking is skewered by 1.7 million ilegal aliens, then does California's 31st place ranking in the same poll with 2.9 million illegal aliens mean that more illegals is better for healthcare systems?

You infer a bit much there. I asked for some estimate about how the illegal alien population skewers stats and rankings. I believe the Commonweathfund organization providing the stats and rankings leans left and includes illegals in its surveys.

I think anyone genuinely interested in better health care for American citizens would be able to come here with a picture of how much better health care could be in Texas and California,not to mention elsewhere, if the effect of millions of illegals abusing the system is factored in. Like tort reform it needs addressing.

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victimcrat,

I'm only going off of your suggestion that the Commonweathfund's study is inaccurate because of its supposed inclusion of illegal aliens in the final calculations.

"I believe the Commonweathfund organization providing the stats and rankings leans left and includes illegals in its surveys."

Regardless of how you believe Commonweathfund came to its conclusions and whether or not illegals were included in the calculations, it's fair to assume that even if they were included in the calculations, they were counted in both the Texas and the California numbers. That seems like a reasonable assumption.

If we can agree on that, then it also seems fairly clear that the data shows that California with almost twice the number of illegal aliens still ranks higher in healthcare quality than Texas with nearly half the number of illegals. Which makes your claim of dishonest data manipulation untrue -- or at the very least, unprovable.

Unless you suspect that Commonweathfund purposely chose to skew the data by including illegals in Texas' calculations and not in California's, in order to produce either a more negative picture of Texas or a more positive one of California? Left or right, I find that highly unlikely.

If you want to talk about the effect illegals have on the healthcare system, then you must also be willing to acknowledge that illegals use the healthcare system with about the same frequency or less than uninsured Americans, or more specifically, only when it’s an emergency. And unlike uninsured Americans, illegals are even less inclined to use the system, even in cases of emergency, due to the risks involved in being discovered as an undocumented alien.

No, I’m not saying that risk stops all of them from visiting hospital emergency rooms, even in cases of dire emergency, but it most certainly stops many of them.

Even if they do use the system, their numbers don’t compare to the U.S. Census-confirmed over 40 million Americans -- more than twice even the highest estimate of the number of illegal aliens currently in the U.S. -- without healthcare who would have a far greater impact on the cost of healthcare through possible use of emergency treatment than the fraction of illegal aliens who might be using the same services.

Want to take a bite out of healthcare costs? Provided basic preventative healthcare to all Americans, thus catching minor illnesses before they become major ones, thereby minimizing the need for those too-little-too-late-too-expensive emergency room visits that are costing hospitals millions of dollars every year and pushing the costs of basic healthcare higher.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

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LFRAgain - I'll say if no one else will. Taka's provided links supporting his claim that healthcare in Texas is a mess despite successes in torn reform. You provided what you called "competing links" that talked about Obama's populatiry. How the two are even remotely related is beyond me, and probably beyond Taka as well

Wow, you're apparently not very good at reading. Go back up and read what I wrote, and what Taka wrote, I'm sure it will become clear. He at least had no problem understanding what I was referencing. For the reading impaired, I was responding to both of Takas posts above. One in which he talked about Texas and Tort reform, please go ahead and go back up to see my responses to that, and also Taka took exception to the statement that Obamas poll numbers are falling. I then provided links to several polls one showing Obama at 45%, another at 50%. Checking it today, he is now down to 48% in the second poll.

Getting back to the previous topic, and how you're complaining that I'm not giving you the numbers. Just follow the link Taka provided, and look at the numbers. Thats what I did. According to the data provided on that site, 70% of adults, and 80% of children in Texas are covered by health care. When you take into account the high number of illegals living in Texas, that is an amazing figure.

In the meantime, my post about the lack of Republican alternatives for a comprehensive healthcare reform bill isn't meant to strictly point out the evils of tort reform.

When I saw you had written this, I have to seriously question if you bothered to read anything in this thread. Republicans have proposed MANY alternatives, including their own plan, one that would actually cut costs, unlike what the Dems are planning to do.

I already previously posted quite a bit about Tort Reform and how you would have to be an idiot not to immediately see the benefits to it. Well, and idiot or a Democrat, though sometimes its hard to tell the difference.

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Molenir,

Wow. Apparently you aren't very good at constructing a coherent paragraph, choosing instead to bounce all over the canvas, thus causing what was simply a misunderstanding. My apologies for not recognizing earlier your attention deficit approach to discussion.

Regardless, if the best effort you can make to sum up your position involves calling anyone who disagrees with you an idiot, then it's really no wonder this bill passage has been an uphill battle. It's hard to work with that kind of arrogance, regardless of what the bill contains.

And no, Republicans have not offered "many" solutions. They've stuck to the same guns they always have: "Without tort reform, there's no deal." Denial is not a river in Egypt.

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Wow. Apparently you aren't very good at constructing a coherent paragraph, choosing instead to bounce all over the canvas, thus causing what was simply a misunderstanding. My apologies for not recognizing earlier your attention deficit approach to discussion.

Ah, glad to help you figure things out. It really wasn't that hard to understand the discussion, if you had merely taken the time to read the previous posts. Instead you chose to jump in and accuse me of not providing appropriate links. Now your response is to criticize me for incoherence, rather then acknowledging your previous error. I do admit my response could have been a bit better constructed. It was late, and I was writing in a hurry. I do note however that you didn't choose to address the issues Taka and I were discussing, which you previously took exception to.

And no, Republicans have not offered "many" solutions. They've stuck to the same guns they always have: "Without tort reform, there's no deal." Denial is not a river in Egypt.

Again, why not actually take the time to read the plan that Republicans put forward, rather then just making these blanket statements. I guess thats just too much trouble. Too much reading. I understand. Suffice it to say, that unlike the Democrats plan, the plan they put forward would actually lower health care costs, without the government takeover. They include some of the Democrats ideas as well, but since I suspect nothing I say would convince you, I don't see the point in elaborating. As you said, Denial is not a river in Egypt.

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Molenir,

" . . . why not actually take the time to read the plan that Republicans"

Since we're on the subject of not reading the thread, you might want to heed your own advice. I did read up on the Republican plan and posted my impression of it at 01:33 PM JST - 22nd November with an L.A. Times synopsis of what the Republican proposal entailed and what the Congressional Budget Office found after crunching its numbers. Yes, it’s cheaper. Way cheaper.

But what do we get for the savings? In short, the Republican plan goes out of its way to avoid anything even remotely suggesting society take care of its own, and only seeks to address lowering costs incrementally over the next 10 years in ways that don't significantly ensure that 40 million uninsured Americans will have access to affordable healthcare. It also manages to knock a few senior citizens off the Medicare rolls.

I'll repost this part again:

"The GOP bill is an amalgam of market-oriented measures that would limit medical malpractice lawsuits, expand the use of tax-sheltered medical savings accounts, let people shop for insurance outside of their own states, and make it easier for small businesses and hard-to-insure people to get coverage. The ideas reflect conservatives' suspicion of sweeping new programs, federal spending and additional regulation."

As to this supposed inclusion of Democrat ideas, including rooting out waste in Medicare, I just can't help but notice the one glaring omission from all of the Republican plans: Universal Healthcare. Hmm . . .

Yet each plan does include a veritable cookie-cutter presentation of the core Republican campaign trail platform from the past 30 years: Lower taxes, health insurance savings accounts, and -- surprise, surprise -- caps on malpractice lawsuits. That one is in every single Republican proposal laid out since heathcare reform was put on the table. But, as you so eloqently put it, "since I suspect nothing I say would convince you, I don't see the point in elaborating."

And you wonder why no one takes the Republican proposals seriously? The Republicans themselves clearly don't, so why should anyone else?

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LFRAgain - I'm impressed. You actually took the time to read the Republican proposal, or at least the synopsis of what they proposed. When you posted your comment, did you consider what I said about it. That it included some Democratic ideas, and cut costs, without the government takeover of health care. So you're right, no Universal Health Care. Merely the same great health care system we've had for years, that produces innovation, and new technology, but with lower costs, allowing more people to have access to insurance. Unlike the Democrats plan, it won't result in sky high bills to the US taxpayer, it won't result in the creation of a huge new bureaucracy, nor in rationed care, as there aren't enough doctors to suddenly meet demand. No it won't mean everyone suddenly has coverage, but then, neither does the Dems plan. No, what the Republicans proposed was a good idea. In fact its the best idea put forward. Rather sad that the Dems just decided to ignore it, because of the source.

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Those "republicans" have ruined the USA. It'll never be the same again.

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Molenir: How come the republicans didn't have a "plan" before. Why now, suddenly??

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Molenir: How come the republicans didn't have a "plan" before. Why now, suddenly??

Define suddenly, they came out with this months ago. And its standard procedure for parties, when bills are up for debate, to put competing ideas up, in order to get their own ideas included in the debate, and possibly adopted. When Dems are in control, Republicans put up competing plans, when Republicans were in control, the Dems did the same thing. Every major policy debate that happens before congress, has a competing plan. Sometimes ideas from those plans actually get adopted into the bill. Other times, when 1 party has complete control, those ideas get ignored as is whats happening now.

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Molenir,

"Rather sad that the Dems just decided to ignore it, because of the source."

That's an inaccurate assessment. Dems have largely ignored the proposals because they see them as perpetuating "the same great health care system we've had for years," a health system that has been, by most accounts, failing America -- unless you're well-insured.

And even then, the best-insured are still paying for the failures of the current system via taxes that cover the costs of the emergency care that public hospitals are legally required to provide to the uninsured. It's a vicious cycle.

In the meantime, this "great" healthcare system of ours essentially reserves access to innovation and new technologies to the "Haves," while maitaining an insurmountable barrier to the "Have nots," and no market reforms, tax rebates, or "insurance savings accounts" are ever going to address the fundamental problem of Americans who have no money to begin with for savings of any sort, much less the health-insurance account variety.

Republicans might be heartened to know that many uninsured Americans already have a healthcare savings account of sorts, although it might might not be immediately recognizable. We all know it better as the cookie jar in the kitchen or the coffee can under the bed. That's how uninsured Americans have been preparing themselves for unexpected illnesses for far too long. And it has to stop.

As long as affordable health care is out of the reach of the poorest Americans, no measure put forth by Republicans or Democrats will ever erase the massive costs incurred by allowing the "Have Nots" to stew in illnesses that, while once easily and cheaply treatable, inevitably balloon into unmanageable problems requiring expensive emergency care.

There's nothing great or laudable about a system that allows this situation to persist in the wealthiest nation on the planet.

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That's an inaccurate assessment. Dems have largely ignored the proposals because they see them as perpetuating "the same great health care system we've had for years," a health system that has been, by most accounts, failing America -- unless you're well-insured.

No, lets be honest here. I said they were being ignored because of the source. This is frankly, not true. There is an element of that, and it was easier to write, then to put throw out the real reason. The real reason that they're not including tort reform, is that the Democrats are in the pocket of the Trial lawyers. They are like the unions, big money for the Democrats, and they don't want to alienate the trial lawyers.

The rest of what you said is really what the debate is all about. Whether or not its better to let some people do without, in order that more people have better health care. Its really an ethical and moral dilemma, as no one wants to say, no, you can't have good health care because you're too poor. The Republican plan would open it up to more people, bringing down costs, allowing more people to be covered. The Democratic plan ramps up the costs, relying on debt, and the wealthy to make up the difference. In its current form, it also means the government is seizing control of 1/5th the US economy, and trying to do it at a time when there is more debt then there has ever been, and the economy is in the worst shape its been in 80 years. No, ethical and moral dilemma aside, the plain truth of the matter is, that we simply cannot afford it.

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"The real reason that they're not including tort reform, is that the Democrats are in the pocket of the Trial lawyers."

But that too, is presumption. If we wanted to go tit-for-tat, then I could just as easily say that the real reason Republicans oppose government oversight of the insurance industry is because they are in the pockets of insurance the insurance companies. I'm pretty sure you hold your opinion on this with as much conviction as I do mine, but ultimately, both are unprovable.

I think you've nailed down precisely why this has been such a thorny issue for so many people. It tweaks everyone's moral center, Republican and Democrat alike, and forces us to think about some rather unpleasant realities and uncomfortable choices.

I can't disagree with you that the cost of the Democrat plan is high. But by the same token, I can't wrap my brain around how Republicans can flatly refuse to spend public funds on a measure that will help real Americans both now and in the future, yet don't bat an eye at pouring billions of dollars into Iraq and Afghanistan. Somehow, Republicans would have me believe that helping foreign nations takes precedent over making sure our own house is in order, something that makes very little sense.

While we are indeed in the midst of one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression, I have to ask, if we don’t address the healthcare problems in this country now, then when exactly? When the economy gets better? When we recover from our financial loses in the Middle East?

During the Clinton Administration, the world economy was as robust as it’s ever been, with the United States enjoying unparalleled budget surpluses. And yet, even under those ideal circumstances, Republicans still vigorously opposed universal healthcare proposals. As Republicans would tell us today, their opposition is primarily about money. But historically, that hasn’t been exactly true. When money wasn’t even an issue, Republican threw up virtually the exact same arguments against Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan -- minus the money part -- including complaints about excessive government involvement in the healthcare industry, the elimination of personal healthcare choices, and yes, accusations of Socialism. In the end, it all still comes back around to issues entirely unrelated to money -- and I'd like to see some honesty about this.

In truth, I’d really like to see Republicans drop their wailing about “saddling our children with crippling debt” altogether. That ship already sailed the minute we set foot in Iraq in 2001 to wage a war funded for the first time ever, mind you, with borrowed funds. Universal Healthcare is an expense that is infinitely more justifiable than the Iraq War ever was or will be.

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n truth, I’d really like to see Republicans drop their wailing about “saddling our children with crippling debt” altogether. That ship already sailed the minute we set foot in Iraq in 2001 to wage a war funded for the first time ever, mind you, with borrowed funds. Universal Healthcare is an expense that is infinitely more justifiable than the Iraq War ever was or will be.

and don't forget the 1 trillion dollar unfunded Medicare drug benefit, brought to you by Dick "deficits don't matter" Cheney and company.

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