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White House appears ready to drop 'public option' on health care

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This is just to placte the republicans and insurance companies. < :-)

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So an individual could start their own (private or family) Co-oP and run it like a perpetual health IRA. -That maybe better than insurance for the healthy.

Now we just need to trim the fat off this 1800 page health bill --> get it down to 10 pages or so. -So people (like Obama) will actually read it.

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Bowing to Republican pressure and an uneasy public

It's a representative government, you see. President Obama wishes it wasn't.

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maybe if the people pushing this and wanting this would actually read what it is, and if maybe someone would actually come up with a concrete plan, maybe they would have something to push. If scare tactics are working, Obama's admin has only itself to blame for any failures.

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In contrast to the GOP, which if they had their way, would, as the last 8 years have proven, simply rubber-stamped any piece of paper placed in front of them, now we are seeing some real debate.

It's democracy and frank bipartisan debate, something that went AWOL during the GWB years.

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lunchmeat - "It's a representative government, you see. President Obama wishes it wasn't."

Lunchmeat knows very well that is a nonsensical statement only made to inflame other readers. Lunchmeat also knows very well the president is at least engaging the GOP on this one, which, as Lunchmeat also knows, is far, far more than Bush ever did with the Democrats.

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Obama saw the writing on the wall when even the founder of Whole Market wrote an Op-Ed advocating against ObamaCare.

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It's democracy and frank bipartisan debate, something that went AWOL during the GWB years.

SushiSake3, great spin you are giving. I seem to remember that the current Speaker of the House said that those who were questioning the bill would nothing more than right wing fringes and un-American.

Protest were present all during the last Administration. Especially about the current war and other issues. Many on the left led rallies against the Administration, but I guess the difference in this case is that those who were speaking loud were doing so because there were legitimate issues at stake and their voices were not getting heard and it would greatly affect them. I guess the left when "W" was in office putting out people like Code Pink and the other really radical haters are not representative of the rest of the nation.

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From outside it just seems that too many Americans are addicted to the current system to allow any change. Just like other addictions, their despite the fact that they know that the current system is bad for them and doing them terrible harm, it's the reality they know, and they're too scared of coming off it, even if they would actually be better with something else.

Just watch when someone throws out a word like socialised, and many start screaming and tearing their hair. Socialised is not a word that's ever used to describe the health service in Britain (except maybe Americans!) The vast majority of people in Britain, though they whinge and moan and bash the NHS, would never in their worst nightmares opt for a system like the US one.

I think Obama has sensibly realised it's impossible to have rational commonsense debate with the aforesaid US system junkies, and is trying to give people what they think they want.

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From outside it just seems that too many Americans are addicted to the current system to allow any change." That maybe so, but if you look at the US governemnt over the last 30 years and all its mistakes and mishandlling everything, you can not expect people to have faith in them especially when it comes to their health. What people like myself are used to is the fact that competition has created much of the advanced medicine we have, not government. We have watched the gov completely fumble medicaid/medicare, WICC, and a few other state run health systems. Not one to date has worked.

I don't think its fair to compare. The UK gov, the Canadian gov, have not been known to screw up their socialized programs.

What I would like instead is reform on how insurance is sold and administered, not killed off.

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REAGAN in 1961: Now back in 1927 an American socialist, Norman Thomas, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism. But he said under the name of liberalism the American people will adopt every fragment of the socialist program. One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can't afford it.

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"Bowing to Republican pressure and an uneasy public"

Never give up! Never surrender!

"government-run insurance program"

No thanks.

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I could care less about the definitions of communist/socialist/capitalist what care about it a corrupt government (amazing, we have successfully wiped out several fatal diseases and vaccinated viruses yet we have yet to vaccinate the government from corruption) having the authority on what service I can and can't get. To give you another example, do you know that in several countries, getting a second opinion is not always given and that includes Japan. If you ask for a second opinion, the second doctor will consult with the first doctor and you won't know if he was wrong or not, at least not guaranteed. also, in a nationalized system, if a doctor makes a mistake, your claim is very low compared to the US.

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a country with the world’s costliest system.

Amazing how nobody seems to care about that. I'm sure the USA's Chinese bankers have noticed though, and also noticed that nothing is being done about it.

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Looks like the only people who're for Obamacare are the ones who'll not be forced to participate in it.

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so the republican right-wing crackpots win...the worst possible news

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More Reagan in 1961: But let's also look from the other side, at the freedom the doctor loses. A doctor would be reluctant to say this. Well, like you, I am only a patient, so I can say it in his behalf. The doctor begins to lose freedoms; it's like telling a lie, and one leads to another. First you decide that the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government. But then the doctors aren't equally divided geographically, so a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him you can't live in that town, they already have enough doctors. You have to go some place else. And from here it is only a short step to dictating where he will go. This is a freedom that I wonder whether any of us have the right to take from any human being.

Hmmm... That provision was part and parcel of Hillary Care, assigning doctors regionally, assigning them geographically. It went so far in Hillary's health care bill as to assign what specialty they would learn.

Who knows what's best for you?

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as the crow flies: From outside it just seems that too many Americans are addicted to the current system to allow any change. Just like other addictions, their despite the fact that they know that the current system is bad for them and doing them terrible harm, it's the reality they know, and they're too scared of coming off it, even if they would actually be better with something else.

That's probably typical of the average misinformed foreigner about anything American. This particular topic happens to be health care.

Obama has an uphill battle. Something like 85% of Americans have health care coverage through insurance or government programs. Of the 15% that don't, a certain portion of them simply choose not to. When I was in my early 20s I didn't have health insurance because, well, I was in my early 20s and didn't think about such things. That means we're dealing with a percentage that is probably less than 10% that aren't covered and can't get coverage.

What Obama has to do is convince the 90% or so that have insurnace that the entire system should be changed so we can protect the last 10%. For some it will be easy because even tho they have coverage they're exposed to the flaws in the system such as preexisting conditions and switching employers. But that still leaves a massive majority who are getting good care and can afford it. Obama has to convince this majority that his program will be better for them in the long run.

For example, I'm a guy in my 30s with no health problems. If I lived in the US my premiums would probably be about $150 a month, or $1,800 a year. And the care would be good. No waiting lists. No walking into hospitals where doctors have no knowledge of my medical history. I have absolutely no desire to go to a foriegn country to seek out better treatment when I'm in the US. And the premium I pay per year is probably less than what my taxes would be to cover everyone.

So what Obama has to do is convince people like me that he's going to provide at least the same level of care. That's what a majority of people are worried about. Costs are getting higher every year and history has shown that things run by the government are less efficient than the private sector can provide. It's natural skeptcism. It's natural to wonder if they care you are happy with will be better or worse in a government system.

Personally, I'm willing to go along with it since I want universal care. I think the overall quality will decline but it's something I'm willing to trade off to not have to worry about any of the insurance company loopholes in the future. But one thing thast Obama or no government on earth has been able to handle is the rising cost. That's the problem that needs to be fixed, in my opinion.

Now you can go about your day being just a little more informed about the US. I won't bill you for my time.

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superlib: I liked your post. I too, after getting out of the Army, and even though I worked for a hospital (the VA) I chose not to buy insurance for the same reason as you - still in shape, don't smoke, exercise regularly, damn good looking.. what would I need with insurance?

you pretty much hit it with having to convince the other 90% and even in one debate, he says "I don't know how I can afford care for 40Million people" or something to that effect. Well, there are another 300 Million that aren't being spoken for.

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I chose not to buy insurance for the same reason as you - still in shape, don't smoke, exercise regularly, damn good looking.. what would I need with insurance?

Yes, you CHOSE. That's called liberty.

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So you guys without insurance willingly risk financial ruin if something goes awry with your health? What's there to protect you?

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The people who refuse insurance are like drivers who drive without insurance. They think accidents happen to the other guy and basically want society to pay for their mistakes.

They are leeches on society and drive healthcare costs up for real americans who take responsibility and citizenship seriously.

Not surprising at all its these people who are fighting a program that will help them. Its like those angry retired people on medicare protesting universal care at the town halls, they are fighting against their own interests.

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Believe it or not buddha4brains but ya they do willingly risk financial ruin. It's estimated that out of the 45 million who don't have health insurance atleast 20 million of them can actually afford health insurance but choose not to.

Another problem is with the 45 million number. Lets say you only go one day out of the entire year without health insurance, your included as one without health insurance for the entire year.

The irony here zurcronium is that it is required by law that drivers have car insurance in order to drive in the US. Their behavior does help drive up health care costs but what also drives up healthcare costs are those malpractice lawsuits that really have no merit and so what is needed is tort reform which is absent in the democrat draft that has the public option but is present in the republican draft, the republican draft though of course does not have a government run public option.

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The people who refuse [health] insurance are like drivers who drive without [collision] insurance.

No comparison. Apples 'n oranges.

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So you guys without insurance willingly risk financial ruin if something goes awry with your health? What's there to protect you?

From what I'VE seen, hopefully, not (YOU) the government.

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So you guys without insurance willingly risk financial ruin if something goes awry with your health? What's there to protect you?

Speaking for myself (I was uninsured for about ten years up until 07) I just didn't feel like paying for something I never used aside from my two physicals and my two dentist visits a year. I ended up banking all of what I would be spending so even if I did have a health emergency I could cover it myself. I used common sense and kept myself physically fit and fiscally sound, but hay I was uninsured on my terms and thats all that matters to me.

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The foreigners still don't get it. I was talking about people in their early 20s, like recent college grads. I didn't have health insurance back then. I'm in my 30s and I do now. There's a time when you basically go off of your family coverage but at that point you've never really dealt with it before so you don't really think about it. Your Mom bugs you for a couple of years and you finally sit down and figure out what you're supposed to do.

Zurc, we've seen the Canadian system, and we all know that people with money come to the US. Why? Because the care is better. Americans are worried that our system will have reduced standards of care, and it probably will. Some Canadians get on a plane and come to the US and pay for care when they have it right there in their own country for free. That should tell you something about government run health care, and it should tell you that Americans should be concerned about a possible decline in overall performance of our system. That's the reality facing a lot more Americans than the uninsured and under insured. Now do you see what it's such a battle?

As a Canadian you should be more worried about where Canadians will go for good medical care if the US does adopt a national system.

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Dropping the "public option" means this is nothing more than a mandate for coverage (See also grand taxpayer handout to big pharma, hospital groups and insurers why do you think they support this sham?). There will be no more competition or cost control than there is now (hint: almost none). The last company I worked for in the Sates went shopping for insurance one year and the HR director had to submit what they were paying for premiums to other companies to quote on coverage. Doesn't that sound a little rigged to any of you? The point is reform has to be either a public plan or regulation of insurance premiums and we won't see either.

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On this topic I agree with usaexpat. He's correct on this. This dropping of the public option don't change anything then. It still leaves insurance companies to ram us with their increases for losses in other areas that have nothing to do with insurance. Right now they are ramming the cost of their investment losses onto insurance clients.

I'm disappointed in Obama talking about dropping this option. My retired pay increases 3.5%. My insurance rates go up 15%. I'm getting screwed by another Wall Street company to keep up the status quo of their business. < :-)

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Dont know why the US doesnt opt for a public health system, for all its faults the NHS in the UK has managed to continually improve UK life expectancy, you cant say that for the US system. There is excellence in the US system but not for everyone and for a country with egalitarian ideals thats a shame.

Wonder what SuperLib would have done in his twenties if in a moments loss of concentration he'd crashed his motorbike, or stepped in front of a bus? I have no doubt he would have received emergency treatment but what about afterward and at what cost? Unthinkable in the UK.

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Why do thousands of US citizens go to Mexico, Cuba or Thailand for medical treatment? If the US's medical treatment is so good and great than why do they?

Canadians aren't the only ones who travel for medical treatment. < :-)

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I'm disappointed to see that the democrats will be bowing down to the insurance lobbiest if the public option is removed. We've seen how the free market works. It goes up exponentially. We see it going up and up while our care and service goes down and down.

I'm watching these town hall meetings with Barack Obama talking about health care and whatever the issue is. I'm seeing 100s and in some cases 1000s of protesters, some even carrying AR-15s in Arizona. Why? When george bush was president he never saw a protester. he never had marchers or decenters at events that he was at. The protesters were corrindaned (sp) off in fenced areas or parks miles away.

I'm glad that we have a president who doesn't hide from his opponents. < :-)

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This is great news for democracy. The American people have spoken at town hall meetings, and nullified the campaign promises of the Obamatocracy. Obama is finished.

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UpTheHammers: Nice post son. In A country with free health care,w e don't need to worry. It's called civilisation, maybe America will catch up one day. Free healthcare is beautifull. Go for it Obama, son, don't settle for less.

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I'm disappointed to see that the democrats will be bowing down to the insurance lobbiest if the public option is removed. We've seen how the free market works. It goes up exponentially. We see it going up and up while our care and service goes down and down.

Not the insurance company lobbyists, but the American people who are getting more and more angry over this attempt to ram socialism down Americas throat. If you want to see how well the government can run health care, look how well they've managed medicare. Its bankrupt.

When george bush was president he never saw a protester. he never had marchers or decenters at events that he was at. The protesters were corrindaned (sp) off in fenced areas or parks miles away.

You're joking right? You must have not been watching the past 6 years. Bush faced more protesters than any other President since Hoover. You've heard the name Cindy Sheehan right. The idiot who camped out in front of Bush's ranch.

I'm glad that we have a president who doesn't hide from his opponents. < :-)

Yep, he certainly doesn't hide from his opponents. Just brings in little girls whose parents totally support him, to ask specific targetted questions. Yeah, thats certainly not hiding. :-)

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Zurc, we've seen the Canadian system, and we all know that people with money come to the US. Why?

Living in Canada, and now being a SOX compliance consultant, working with primarily with oil and gas companies, I have yet to meet anyone "with money" who went to the states for medical care. I do know people who have gone to Cuba because you get a vacation well getting medical care. As well like I've said previously I know people(including myself) who have turned jobs in the states for fear of needing medical attention.

As a Canadian you should be more worried about where Canadians will go for good medical care if the US does adopt a national system.

Considering that Canadian's have a longer life expectancy and our health care currently costs 10% of our GDP not 16% of our GDP, why worry?

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I understand that today there are more protesters for Obama's health care plan. But even in a state where weapons are allowed to be carried openly, they shouldn't be allowed at presidential events. The Secret Service has enough idiots who want to harm any president, but to have people with a weapon there just makes their job harder. < :-)

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Considering that Canadian's have a longer life expectancy

And America has some of the highest survival rates in the world in terms of invasive surgery and the U.S paves the way in terms of new and experimental medical treatment from the first coronary bypass surgery to modern day prosthetics. Our medicine is at the forefront because it is profit driven, because companies are motivated by a competative market to outsell and outperform every other drug company. The same goes for hospitals and private clinics and if we start with nationalization of health insurance the next logical step is taking control of such private institutions eventually leading to complete govenrment control of the health industry and if they handle it anywhere near as well as amtrak or the post office we get to look forward to health care that is slow, inefficient, and overly expensive in the long run.

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The insurance companies cut a deal with Obama.

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dontpanic: Wonder what SuperLib would have done in his twenties if in a moments loss of concentration he'd crashed his motorbike

Car insurance in the US comes with medical treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident.

My point was that there are people who are young and stupid and make stupid decisions. I wasn't advocating that people not have insurance, I was just saying that a portion or the uninsured are people who are young and just don't think about it. I'm sure I could lecture you about the binge drinking problem of British youth and what that does to your health but I wouldn't expect an answer beyond "stupid kids."

A friend of mine did have a medical problem in his early 20s without insurance. He had to set up an interest free payment plan to make payments for the medical care. It was a bad situation for him, but he's a lawyer now (for insurance companies, no less), and he makes quite a bit of money. Ask him where he stands on the issue now. Over his lifetime he'll probably pay more in taxes and will get reduced care compared with the one time injury he got when he was in his 20s. Over the long run he'd pay a lot more and his soon-to-be-born daughter would expect the same.

The US system has flaws just like ever country's health care system has flaws, but it's not a slam dunk case of getting universal care. Someone said it was just an issue of being stubborn so I tried to explain how complicated the issue can be. It's not about being stupid or being stubborn, there is a very, very large chunk of the population that will probably see reduced quality at a higher price.

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I have yet to meet anyone "with money" who went to the states for medical care.

Please allow me to introduce you.

According to a September 14, 2007, article from CTV News, Canadian Liberal MP Belinda Stronach went to the United States for breast cancer surgery in June 2007. Stronach's spokesperson Greg MacEachern was quoted in the article saying that the US was the best place to have this type of surgery done. Stronach paid for the surgery out of her own pocket.[47] Prior to this incident, Stronach had stated in an interview that she was against two-tiered health care.[48]

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Americans are divvy whenit comes to arguing. Life expectancy and survival rates are lower in USA than Europe, and that's for them that can afford it.

US health is rationed if you aint rich. A disgrace for the worlds richest country.

Give me the good old NHS anyday. Why is POst office , army and teachers alright to be paid for by governmenbt , but not health. How thick can you get?

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Liberal MP Belinda Stronach

I wouldn't say an MP is by any means wealthy, besides a single case is hardly a cross section of where Canadians go for health care. It is the same type of cherry picking that Micheal Moore uses for his video's.

Now on to things called facts;

Life expectancy. Canadians live longer than Americans. According to the OECD, life expectancy in the United States is 77.8 years. A Canadian can expect to more than two years longer (80.4 years).

The United States as a nation spends a higher portion of its wealth on health care. In 2007, Canada spent 10% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. The United States spend 15.3% of its GDP on health care, according to the OECD.

Read more: http://americanaffairs.suite101.com/article.cfm/health_care_in_united_states_canada#ixzz0OUq8KNJG

Consider me confused but if I can live two years longer and health care is significantly cheaper, how is the American system better?

Maybe the survival rate for cancer patients is higher in the states but it's apparent by the average life expectancy, which countries have better and cheaper health care in General.

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At events, bush protesters were shuttled and arrested if they refused to leave. george bush never saw a protester at any of his speaking engagements, except from the shoe thrower in Iraq.

Sorry, is totally not true. Go back and look again. If you are saying he never had anyone stand up and heckle him, even thats not true. Happened multiple times. And he drove by the signs every single time.

But even in a state where weapons are allowed to be carried openly, they shouldn't be allowed at presidential events. The Secret Service has enough idiots who want to harm any president, but to have people with a weapon there just makes their job harder. < :-)

Guess you didn't hear the latest on this. The guy you're referencing was a Dem and a supporter of Obama. Not sure if he was one of the many bussed in by Dems for the event from LA, but there were a heck of a lot of them, as the Dems tried to pack the event.

I wouldn't say an MP is by any means wealthy, besides a single case is hardly a cross section of where Canadians go for health care. It is the same type of cherry picking that Micheal Moore uses for his video's.

Come now. You should know better then this. Many, many Canadians come to the US for their health care, not just the occasional MP.

As Superlib said. The US system has flaws. No one is saying differently. However opting for socialized medicine is not the answer. The cure would be worse then the disease in that case. Now if you want to start talking about tort reform, then yes, I'm all in favor of that. If you are serious about health care reform, the place to start is with tort reform, and yet Dems aren't willing to even discuss it. Says a lot about what they're really interested in.

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SuperLib - "there is a very, very large chunk of the population that will probably see reduced quality at a higher price"

If you mean those that can afford the best insurance and the best of care, they could still do that with a public healthcare system by continuing to pay for a private scheme. Yes it would cost them a bit more, but if they can afford it why not?

As for the binge drinking kids in the UK, I couldnt say much more than 'stupid kids' could I? Except that Im proud of the fact that when they end up in hospital after a fight, or when theyve ruined their livers, they can get great care and possibly an opportunity to turn things round.

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Well, I'm not too surprised.In fact I predicted this would be the case, what with sarah palin the quitter flying around the country in her private helicopter and TERRORIZING people at town hall meetings and spouting off about "death panels".

Tis sad, really, that the richest nation in the world can't afford health care for close to 60 million people.Said people are going to remember this, and the repubs will AGAIN take a shellacking at the polls in 2012.

Anyways, my friends, this is NOT a defeat for Obama,as the few remaining bush supporters here are trying to make it out to be.

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I don't care whether any of them were rep or dem. These weapons weren't needed at a presidential event. < :-)

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@TokyoRoughGuy--It's not Americans that have spoken, it is people who are brainwashed by Palin and her ilk to believe that National health care means Death Squads and old people not getting their meds. They don't know what they are talking about and they are going to end up getting everyone shot in the foot.

Really though I just love the protestors and their hypocrisy--they are against health care but sure do love their government funded and run social security, medicare/medicaid, unemployment and the like.

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I don't care whether any of them were rep or dem. These weapons weren't needed at a presidential event. < :-)

While I certainly agree with the sentiments you're expressing. Arizona is an open carry state. Meaning people have the right to carry firearms out in the open. Even outside a political rally. Don't even need a permit. However I read quite a statement from the Secret Service, saying that obviously someone carrying a gun wouldn't be allowed into the actual event. And of course you can't bring guns onto a school campus or into a government facility. Likewise private companies have the right to restrict entrance to anyone who is armed. So while you have the right to carry your gun, there are limits.

Anyone ever read Cryptonomicon?

If you mean those that can afford the best insurance and the best of care, they could still do that with a public healthcare system by continuing to pay for a private scheme. Yes it would cost them a bit more, but if they can afford it why not?

You must not know much about history. If there is a public scheme, within just a few years, there won't be a private one any more. Happened just that way in Canada.

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Good Jorb: Life expectancy. Canadians live longer than Americans. According to the OECD, life expectancy in the United States is 77.8 years. A Canadian can expect to more than two years longer (80.4 years).

And a Japanese person can expect to leave nearly 2 years longer than a Canadian. I guess that means their health care system is better? A person in the US can expect to live longer than the average person from Denmark. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Denmark have universal coverage? I don't think your data supports the point you're making.

NeilWarnock: US health is rationed if you aint rich.

Wow, then I guess 85% of Americans are rich. Congrats to us.

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You must not know much about history. If there is a public scheme, within just a few years, there won't be a private one any more.

And the problem with that is....

I've never seen anyone explain what value private insurance companies add to the system of paying for health care. Each insurance company skims FAR more out of the system and leaves many more people uncovered at the time when they need health coverage most.

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molenir - "You must not know much about history. If there is a public scheme, within just a few years, there won't be a private one any more. Happened just that way in Canada"

I'll admit I dont know much about the way health care works in Canada, but I do know a bit about how it works in the UK. Since 1948 there has been both an excellent public system and a thriving private system there.

I guess the private system collapsed in Canada after failing to offer something the public system couldnt.

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