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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What is Really Going On With the Healthcare Protesters

We see it everywhere in the news: Protesters are showing up at townhall meetings about healthcare and are making spectacles of themselves. The left accuses the right of orchestrating the protests, the right declares that even the average person sees the flaws in the proposed system and the rioting is simply natural.

How can the "average person" see those flaws?

An article in CNNMoney.com, titled 5 Freedoms You'd Lose in Healthcare Reform, states "To be sure, it isn't easy to comb through their 2,000 pages of tortured legal language." If so, then how can the average Joe be showing up at the townhall meetings to protest all the problems in the proposal? Surely it's obvious that he's been given a translation... slanted, of course, from the viewpoint of the translator.

I don't believe that Obama's proposal is completely perfect, and the CNN article certainly highlights some of the flaws. But we are not dealing with rational people or rational arguments when we involve rhetoric.

I am tired of seeing Big Business paying off enough people to smother any true debate. And I'm not saying that the individual protestors are being paid to protest. Most of them are entirely unaware that they're being manipulated, even as they think their opponents are being manipulated.

But the people doing the manipulation (such as conservative talk show hosts) are being paid either directly or through the magic of influence peddling. And, sadly, they are working up those individuals who are enjoying their 15 minutes of fame. Don't believe it? Take a look at this highly transparent interview between Sean Hannity and Katy Abram.

Are these protestors any better than the average street Muslim in a third world country who gets worked up after a rousing Friday sermon by his local Imam? Yes, because they aren't being incited to mayhem and murder. But these "Average Joes" seem to be almost as pliable.

I am a conservative-leaning moderate who is opposed to some things on each side of the aisle. There is an article by Joel Kotkin that beautifully sums up my current viewpoint of the system, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Kotkin points out the flaws in both parties right now, and I wish it were mandatory reading for everyone on Capitol Hill.

Until we find a true party that represents the people, we are doomed.

Currently, we have none.

11 comments:

michelle said...

Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.

As for that 80% statistic you mentioned in another post regarding uninsured.My hospital's number of Inpatients with absolutely nothing for health coverage.

8 out of 123
8 out of 118
13 out of 188 (weekend)
7 out of 116
7 out of 130
6 out of 127

You know where my hospital is and it isn't pretty.

Anonymous said...

ER only patients with absolutely nothing for health ins coverage. Just one one

7 out of 47

Michelle

Ed Abbey said...

I get tired of hearing about these people standing up and protesting the healthcare plan using the same tired statements that any intelligent person knows aren't true. It's the same group of people that always seems to get on the evening news because I suspect the more intelligent people shy away from people with microphones. On the same hand, I for one would like to know more about what this healthcare is about instead of what Obama keeps telling me isn't about. When is someone going to wake up and start translating the very painful document full of legalese so that someone like me that falls in the upper middle of the intelligence spectrum (I think anyway) can understand what is in it or not in it for me. Until then, I am left with 'voting' on it based upon the past history of government run programs which has been absolutely dismal.

daveawayfromhome said...

"Are these protestors any better than the average street Muslim in a third world country who gets worked up after a rousing Friday sermon by his local Imam? Yes, because they aren't being incited to mayhem and murder."

Oh, yes they are, it's just been more subtle than "Death to the Infidel!!!" Also, dont forget, right after the election those who are now rousing the rabble made sure that the rabble was well armed by starting out with the lie that "Obama is gonna take yer guns n'ammo".
Remember, this is America where it always pays to cover your ass in case someone decides to sue you, so all their calls for death are careful couched for maximum deniability.

Also, @ Ed. Everybody always talks about how bad goverment programs are, but never really say which programs are the bad ones. I realize that there are many that could use improvement (in some cases, a lot of it), but which ones are "dismal" failures? The worst cases that I can think of all involve privatization, or have come in the last 30 years or so during our "government cant get it right" approach (a self-fulfilling prophecy if I ever heard one, especially when so many vote for the guys who run on a platform of "the government cant get it right"). Public Housing in the 60's? That was a fiasco, but it would have been the same fiasco had it been privatized.

As for the insurance debate (and so far I use that term purely in an ironic sense), why cant we just open enrollment to Medicare to anyone who wants to join? Old Folks seem to really like it, though they seem a tad confused about who runs it. Best part, perhaps? Filling the ranks with new folks, most of whom will probably be a lot healthier than the folks currently enrolled, but who will be paying the same premiums.

Ed Abbey said...

Dave:

-Internal Revenue Service (thousands of pages of legalese that nobody understands)
-Social Security (bankrupt when?)
-Some would say Medicare(have you seen the reports of all the elderly people that choose between eating and medication?)
-Department of Education (what place are we ranked in the world these days?
-Prohibition (alcohol is the source of all our problems)
-Iraq (today's college freshman doesn't know a time when we HAVEN'T been in Iraq)
-Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac
-FEMA (Just ask New Orleans)
-Farm Subsidies

These are just the ones off the top of my head. I'm sure there are lots more if I put my mind to it.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I think.....actually change that to KNOW, that many protesters are misinformed. They listen to drug addicts and people on the take by the insurance racket and take everything they hear as 100% true.

Which explains why some 75% of people who only watch Fox (and probably only listen to right wing radio shows) believe that there will be a "death board" that puts a price tag on your head.

Not to mention the people who think the Nazis were "socialist" when in fact they were fascist. This is why Hitler was allies with Benito Mussolini. Hitler HATED communists.

So people listen to those who are either on the take, or who stand to make a bundle of money spewing the crap they spew - and take it as the truth.

All other information, no matter where it comes from, is simply "liberal / socialist / communist lies".

It is sad really. Everyone has the internet. Anyone can fact check any number of things said on Fox or various radio programs. But nobody does. They just repeat whatever junk they have heard as the gospel.

If any real reform is shot down this time around it really is all over. We will simply be owned by big insurance. once you start to cost big insurance money - it will be time for you to croak. They will get this done by canceling your policy, which will then force you to a public plan.

And then all there is left to do is bankrupt the public plan - which I assure you is going on.

Remember when the Republican held congress voted to NOT allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices? You know like private insurance already does?

Now why would they do that? Why would they want the government plan to be forced to pat 3x or 4x (or more) to fill a prescription than what a private insurance company pays for exactly the same thing???

They do not want costs to go down. They want it to all blow up. And if you can not afford to pay - well then just die. They do not want a dime of their tax money to go anywhere near you.

daveawayfromhome said...

re:

-Internal Revenue Service: The mess to which you refer is due to decades tax exemptions. It is thoroughly ridiculous and desperately needs overhaul - but NOT to a flat tax. A simple sliding scale with a few deductions would do nicely. And imagine the lessening of paperwork if health-care were all government run - no more deductions because there'd be no more payments! Yay!

-Social Security: Is it really in trouble? Really? I mean, sure there's a bubble coming up with the Boomers, but that kind of thing shouldnt be unexpected (and wasnt). It probably couldve been dealt with had we not had a group of people running things for the last thirty years who hated social security and all things like it.
It probably also doesnt help that they've been robbing Peter to pay Paul for years in order to make up for all the tax cuts.
Are you familiar with the term "starve the beast"?

-Medicare
-Iraq
-FEMA
These are all perfect examples of how things go wrong when you put people in charge who think that they shouldnt be doing the job.
Of course Medicare is losing money, it's treated as a milk cow rather than a business (funny, since so many of our "leaders" gain office with the mantra "run government like a business").
Iraq is a perfect example of the stupidity of outsourcing and privatization, same with FEMA.

Education: I'll give you liberal stupidity on that front, combined with Republican connections to testing companies. Still, outsourcing wont make it better, except for the wealthy, who already have it better.

Prohibition: "Alchohol is the source of all our problems"? Prohibition caused more problems than it solved, didnt stop drinking, and left behind an organized crime apparatus that we're still fighting today.
The War On Drugs has done the exact same thing.
The funny thing about Republicans is that they themselves should have implemented a program to get rid of drugs that would use their own philosophy: Legalize it, then regulate it heavily, thereby (according to theory) crippling the business. Instead, it is one of the most unregulated businesses in the world, and thriving.

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac: cant say about these programs, since I know next to nothing about them. On the surface, though, they seem no more dangerous than the GI Bill did. I know they lost a lot of money, but did they actually perform any worse than the private mortgage market did?

Farm Subsidies: Are a total crock. Most of the money goes to large corporate farms rather than the small farmer they're supposedly created for. It's not so much a problem of government vs. private as it is good old fashioned corruption lost amidst a sea of much bigger issues.

Really, any government programs since the Reagan years have been tainted by either being run or funded by a dominant group of people who aproached running them with the attitude that it couldnt work, couple with the idea that they could ultimately choke off their funding ("Starve the Beast"). You can see the result of that philosophy right now in California.
The funny thing is, had Republicans been less focused on keeping their money and more on getting their money's worth, the country would be in a lot better shape.

I realize that this is a little disjointed, but I figured AI'd get to it before it became totally irrelevant (or outdated, rather).

Bryan said...

It's hard to fake true passion, Saur. And believe me I can usually tell the difference between a paid NWO shill and the real deal because of my studies on globalism. And you know I'm not a fan of Fox News. But true passion is exactly what I'm picking up in the heartland here in Oklahoma.

Some footage I took of one of our local town hall meetings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wuc1G05ejY&feature=channel_page

Besides, I know several of these people.

daveawayfromhome said...

Passion does not equal truth. Or even common sense.

Ed Abbey said...

Dave - So if we seem to be in general agreement that most of the programs I have listed are a mess, why would you expect government run healthcare to be any different?

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac created the whole grouping and buying of home loans to be sold as securities which are government then gave AAA ratings. This whole thing then caused banks to lend to more risky people because they could see the loans to someone else. Eventually as we all know, the housing market collapsed and was the beginning of our current economy status.

daveawayfromhome said...

Of course Fannie/Freddie bonds were AAA, they were backed by the US government. That doesnt mean the program was well run, it just means the bonds were pretty safe. And, yeah, it was run badly, as was the rest of the industry.

As for agreeing that the govt operations were a mess, that's true. What we dont agree on is why they were a mess.
You say that it's because governments cannot run anything well, I say it's because governments cannot run anything well when the people elected to run the government run on the platform that "governments cannot run anything well". It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Many of the programs that the government not only runs, but ought to run, are those that benefit all of the Nation as a whole, but either wouldnt be profitable for a private business to run and/or doing so wouldnt be cost effective for the Nation as a whole (image if the military was wholey farmed out to Blackwater, et al).
Also, while many govt programs are a mess, many are quite effective, even if you have to go back to before the rise of Reaganomics to find examples. Our Federal Interstate Highway System, for example, is still terrific, despite the ravages of tax-cut based neglect.
The post office, for all it's problems, delivers millions of pieces of mail everyday to everywhere in the nation, each at a price cheaper than a can of vending machine coca-cola. And try to imagine the U.S. without the Social Security or Medicare systems: where would all those old people go and what would they do when they got sick?