published Sunday, September 13th, 2009


about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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rotinomsc said...

No eraser left and they haven't even sharpened their pencil yet. I love it.

I particularly like when they bring up how the non-partisan CBO says Obama's plan will increase the deficit, but conveniently ignore the same CBO when their 2004 and 2006 studies found that medical malpractice only makes up about 2% of US health spending. I thought tort reform was the silver dagger.

September 13, 2009 at 12:23 a.m.
rolando said...

And yet the Democrats literally own both houses of Congress. They can pass whatever they want without any input from the Right...and Dear Leader will sign it.

The Left is scared to death of passing something they cannot later blame the Right for after it blows up in their face. And they are doubly afraid of the voters' reaction...with good cause.

We will see what next year brings, what with one-third coming up for re-election.

September 13, 2009 at 1:53 a.m.
alprova said...

Clay, you have absolutely hit the nail on the head with this one. I bow to your wisdom and powers of observation.

Clearly, the Democrats have absolutely introduced the vast majority of the meaningful reform proposals that are on the table.

To date, only three Republican proposals have been offered to the public. I Googled them. Why have they not received more attention? Because they do nothing to reform health care.

The "Patients Choice Act of 2009", proposes overhauling Medicare and implementing tax reforms as a means for the poor to afford health care insurance. Setting the poor's already low tax assessments to zero doesn't really help them, does it?

The "Health Care Freedom Plan," promotes those idiotic medical spending accounts, where you 'use those dollars by the end of the year or forfeit them forever.' If any proposal was on the table to allow those dollars to be carried over from year to year, then I might be inclined to at least give this one a nod. MSA's are rip-offs and they always have been. They force people to estimate with preciseness and in advance, what they will spend during the year for medical expenses.

The "Empowering Patients First Act" proposes the cost of the plan will be completely offset through 'decreasing defensive medicine,' 'savings from health care efficiencies,' 'sifting out waste,' 'fraud and abuse,' plus an 'annual one-percent non defense discretionary spending step down.'

Does the word 'huh?' come to mind when you read that one?

None of the three propose to force insurers to play fair or to amend their pricing structures. They do not include any meaningful inclusion of those who live at or below poverty levels.

One specifically and absolutely exempts illegal aliens from any participation, so at least someone had the forethought to have that major priority base covered from the get-go.

Wake up Republicans!! Your heads are clouded with dollar signs. You're beholden to the medical sector and your reform proposals are nothing less than a joke. The sad thing is that no one is laughing.

Most of us are shaking our heads and wondering if we should mail you a box of erasers, so that your progress is not hindered any more that it already is.

Ooh...I like that idea. I'd probably wind up on one of those lists if I mailed a package to

September 13, 2009 at 2:05 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Single payer is best for America,but America doesn't always know what's best for America.

Divided we sputter along.

September 13, 2009 at 2:13 a.m.
JohnnyRingo said...

It's true, the Republicans can't be called lazy because they've been working hard to tear down every accomplishment so far. Take the "Cash For Clunkers" program. Though every industry analyst called it a success, they rewrote it as a failure from the 1st car that left the lot, to the 650,000th.

Obama goes to Europe? Erase that goodwill and label it a huge mistake because the French didn't burn him in effigy. When he put govt stress testers in the banks, they suddenly decided to repay the TARP money. The Republicans edited the result to say he's a dictator, and called him Stalin for interfering in the free market.

Obama took Bush's "emergency war spending" and put it on budget where it belongs, and they scribble in big spender.

When are the rewriters of history going to run out of eraser? Can't anyone tell by the handwriting that these are the same people who led the country to near ruin during the first part of this century?

September 13, 2009 at 2:36 a.m.
alprova said...

Joe Wilson, the Republican Party's new hero, has been working that mouth overtime;

"On these issues, I will not be muzzled, I will speak up and speak loudly against this risky plan."

"Supporters of the government takeover of health care, and the liberals who want to give health care to illegals, are using my opposition as an excuse to distract from the critical questions being raised about this poorly conceived plan."

Of course his apology to the President was 'genuine.' He's had all but one page of his personal web page disabled. He's begging for money too.

People are amazed that this man was able to bank a million dollars within 48 hours.

I'm more amazed that his former opponent, who has not even stated that he will make a run against him again, has banked the same amount in the same amount of time. And he didn't release a video either.

Wilson is like most of the rest of the Republicans. They're full of criticism, hate, and they are so easily refuted, but they have absolutely no solutions to offer America regarding this very important issue.

It's going to be a real pleasure to watch more of them lose their seats next year.

I absolutely had to laugh out loud when Wilson begged for cash. Now THAT'S entertainment.

September 13, 2009 at 2:53 a.m.
ricardo said...

Republican 2010 slogan: "I voted against health insurance reform. Vote for me". Tough sell in a state with very high unemployment and lots of uninsured folks.

September 13, 2009 at 7:04 a.m.
woody said...

Thanks Clay, that was one of the best early morning laughs I have experienced in quite some time. If this one doesn't win you something from the T.P.A. (Tennessee Press Association) next year then God didn't make little green apples.

"...Lead, follow, or get out of the way," it has been said. The trouble is most Conservatives don't know how to lead (especially by example), hate to follow and apparently won't get out of the way of some sort of progress.

That's it, in a nutshell.

Thank you for your time and attention, Woody

September 13, 2009 at 7:59 a.m.
moonpie said...

I think part of the genius of this cartoon that it will enable anyone to see what they want to see.

The Republicans could focus on the fact that the democrat eraser has not been used, either.

+++++++++++++++ I've been trying to understand the Republican position on this. Perhaps if I understood the position then I could persuade some of them that the old way is not the best way.

The more I listen to Republicans, the more it seems like there is a genuine fear of "socialism" (yet the vast majority don't campaign to get rid of other socialized programs), there is a fear of the unknown, there is a general sense that the American way is always the best (despite any evidence to the contrary) and there seems to be a real and vocal disdain for those who are less fortunate, or poor. Others seem to be against it for the fear that it will take money out of their pocket - these are generally people in the health care field including doctors and people who work for insurance companies.

There are real nightmares in every health care system in the world. The right will focus on the individuals who slip through the cracks in England, in France and Canada. The left will focus on the people who slip through in the American system. If you have a general belief that America is best, then you will likely tend to believe that fewer people slip through the cracks in the U.S.

Sadly, facts simply don't bear this out. In health care, we do some things better than other countries. It's true. However, promoting longer lives and protecting our citizens from bankruptcy and destituion are not among them.

Overall it's a curious position. Republicans seem to favor an inferior healthcare system for the benifit of private insurance companies. Yet they hold themselves up as defenders of America and the American way.

September 13, 2009 at 9:07 a.m.
ricardo said...

If Republicans are against a public option (government-run health care system), then why are they defending Medicare? Their entire argument against this issue is purely political calculation.

September 13, 2009 at 9:57 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Oooh, we just gotta stop rising health care costs. Why, they rose from "16 percent...of U.S. economy" Thursday to "around 17 percent of GDP" Friday (page 1 Th, Times editorial Fri).

A big new government program will cut costs? Neal Boortz said Saturday that every government health program has cost at least twice what was estimated. If not nine times as much. Business has the advantage over government here; whatever its flaws, a business has to pay its bills or go under. Good for the GOP that they won't sign a blank cheque. They sure signed their share under President Bush (and Bush and even Reagan).

Government health care in Oregon, according to a piece of conservative junk mail, refused to treat a lady's lung cancer, but offered to pay to kill her. ("Euthanize" is an opinion and a euphemism; "kill" is a material fact. Read Orwell's "Politics and the English Language.")

Sure, let medical savings accounts be carried over from year to year. If tort reform deals with 2% of the problem, which we might cut to 1%, do it--1% of 16% of the US economy is a fair chunk of dollars. Even though our President is a lawyer, and lawyers fund the Democrats, eh?

Any economist'll say you can cut price by increasing supply, and/or by decreasing demand. Covering more people would increase, not decrease, demand. More regulations are not likely to increase supply. Erase regulations!

September 13, 2009 at 10:03 a.m.
Lightnup said...

Where in the Constitution does it spell out the Government's responsibility (or even the right) to forcibly remove money from one class of citizens and redistribute it to another?

It's so easy to be compassionate and your brother's keeper when you've got unlimited access to somebody else's money with which to do it (as evidenced by Joe Biden's paltry annual charitable donations).

America was founded on individual responsibility, not forced nanny-state principles that all citizens will be protected against every possible vagary of life from cradle to grave. Illness? Don't worry, the govenment will pay for it. Offended? Don't worry, the Government will enforce political correctness at all costs. Dropped out of high school to hang with your pals and now can't get a decent job? Don't worry, the government will send you money every month. Didn't have the discipline to not get pregnant? Don't worry, the Government will send you money every month and will send you even more money each time you have another baby. Snuck into and living in this country illegally? Don't worry, you're automatically covered for medical problems, can get Social Security and any kids you download while here will automatically be American citizens entitled to tons of freebies paid for by other folks.

The ever benevolent Mommy & Daddy Federal Government will always provide for every unforeseen negative consequence of being a living human being. All you have to do is turn all power and freedoms over to said Federal Government and they will confiscate the fruits of other people's labor and initiative and redistribute that fruit to those who stand nicely in line with their hand out saying, "Thank you Mr. Government. If you could please take some more money from those that have it and then give it to me so I can get some more tattoos and a bigger TV, I'll be sure to vote for you next time around, too."

Who is John Galt?

September 13, 2009 at 10:19 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

Good one, Clay.

September 13, 2009 at 10:23 a.m.
Clara said...

Speaking from my own moral viewpoint...not being a Rep. or Dem.

On this blog, people have declared that health care is a privilege.

Health Care is a RIGHT!

We offer it to the imprisoned, thankfully, but the homeless and poor are denied equal care.

Health Care Reform is definitely a necessity but I don't see it being offered in a practical manner, only as a means of control of the extremely varied background of a population now consisting of mostly immigrants coming here since the early 1900's.

We exist, we love America, we were invited and welomed, perhaps only to be made use of by those preceding us, but we are here because of something better offered to our forebears than that which was being given at their homelands.

Those with money and/or power have controlled governments since humanity began, and the wisest of rulers made sure that their people were cared for.

Yes, there are people that partake of caring for others on their own, without real recompence, such as Doctors without Borders, Mother Teresa, Church organizations that try, through missionaries, but it doesn't help the majority.

I recall the post, here, that stated that government was FOR the people, BY the people, and not that government was for itself.

I'd like to think, that even at my age, if I am healthy I will be able to contribute somehow to the welfare of others.

Oh well, another ignorant post by me.

It hasn't been spell-checked either.

September 13, 2009 at 10:30 a.m.
InspectorBucket said...

Andrew writes:

'Read Orwell's "Politics and the English Language."'

Okay, Andrew. I think that your suggestion is a good idea. Orwell's essay is keen and timely.

"Politics and the English Language" (1946)

September 13, 2009 at 10:31 a.m.
Salsa said...

Now maybe they can write a new bill that someone in Congress has actually read. And make sure that anything that passes applies to members of Congress as well as the rest of us instead of exempting themselves as they usually do.

September 13, 2009 at 10:31 a.m.
ricardo said...

The health insurance lobby has become a very powerful force in shaping policy in this country. They are fighting back with everything in their arsenal to prevent the loss of billions of our hard earned dollars (both public and private). Their scam is about to unravel and they are scared to death.

September 13, 2009 at 10:45 a.m.
alprova said...

Andrew, you're drinking too much of the tainted KoolAid.

I'm an avid Boortz fan, when he is not fixated on issues that clearly threaten to take money out of his overstuffed pockets. He has a vested interest in taxation issues, because he is absolutely a top income earner, and therefore is unable to be anything less than biased when it comes to certain things.

Health care is not an expenditure that people can always control. When one gets seriously sick or injured, they need the care. It is as certain that everyone will need health care, as it is that everyone eventually dies. Any expectation that demand can be reduced is totally unrealistic. The medical sector has been VERY precise in controlling the supply of providers in order to keep profits up, up, and up, at rates that out-pace inflation and the wages of the average American -- four times in fact.

Barbara Wagner, the woman in Oregon who has become the latest darling of the Republicans to hold up as an example of "rationalized health care", and as someone who was denied treatment for cancer by the state's public insurance company, was initially dishonest about her situation, but no one to date has corrected the misinformation.

She was denied a NEW drug, prescribed by her Doctor -- a drug that retailed for $4,000 a month. Keep in mind that many proven, time tested, and approved drugs were offered to her, costing at least a $1,000 a month less. Private health insurers also reject new drug therapies every day of the week for the same reason. They are pushed by Physicians who receives kickbacks from drug suppliers when they are successfully prescribed.

This does not mean that older drugs are any less effective in treating the disease. Oregon's public policy was administered by a well known insurer, that used the same guidelines for their administration of the public plan, just as they do for those they sell to the public.

And for the record, the drug manufacturer is currently supplying the new drug free of charge to Barbara Wagner.

Also, Oregon is the only state (I'm rather sure) that has assisted suicide laws on the books, and this disclaimer and related information goes out on EVERY medically related decision letter dispensed to patients who reside in Oregon.

Lightenup, Section 8 of the Constitution states;

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

Welfare is defined in the Constitution as being;

"welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being."

September 13, 2009 at 11:15 a.m.

I think that is hilarious that you are implying that the Republicans are not putting forth any type of plan. Obama said in his own address, which I am sure not many of the idiot commenting here watched, that he was using precisely the plan that John McCain had set forth earlier in the pre-elections. we should have voted for the white guy?

Meanwhile Obama is still trying to push his Socialist agenda before his popularity retreats to the 40th percentile.

It's funny however, I was for the reforms he was setting forth in the Country address until the public option. Restrictions on insurance companies is great, but undermining the free market with inappropriate schemes of government take over is absurd.

September 13, 2009 at 12:17 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Lightenup sees things at extremes...either unfettered capitalism or a nanny state with total government control.Neither extreme will work,nor is any clear thinker proposing an extreme.

The debate is one of degree.We humans mostly live in and are dependant upon communities which require rules and guidelines (i.e. government).To argue that universal health care somehow is a renunciation of our social democracy (middle course) is illogical in the extreme.

My bet is that Lightenup relies on government in more ways than he/she can count.

September 13, 2009 at 12:48 p.m.
alprova said...

rebelliousnature, John McCain never proposed any "plan." He proposed ideas that would go into a plan, had he been elected.

The President adopted and borrowed the idea, and gave credit where credit was due. That's more than most politicians do.

It's funny that people think that polls are any measure of a man's worth. The one person who is not worried about those slanted polls is the man whom they are about. I find it very refreshing that he does not lick his finger, stick it out the window of the White House to see which way the wind is blowing.

Clearly, the "free market" is not working to control prices of anything related to health care, so the public option, which will pass, will force insurers to jump on board to compete for business and at the same time, force them to reign in the costs of the claims they pay out, or they will be forced out of business.

Like it or don''s the way it has to be, and it's long overdue.

September 13, 2009 at 2:55 p.m.
harrystatel said...

Bipartisanship according to socialists: Helping the robber to rob you.

September 13, 2009 at 3:12 p.m.
harrystatel said...

Bipartisanship: trading Hitler for Stalin

September 13, 2009 at 4:09 p.m.
Clara said...

Well done, Clay!

September 13, 2009 at 5:08 p.m.
Clara said...

Thank you,Inspector Bucket, for the Orwell URL.

September 13, 2009 at 5:13 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Hey, I know....let's bring back TennCare on a national level. You know, the Tennessee Democrats' "universal healthcare" plan that damn near bankrupted the state, almost led to a state sales tax and ended the careers of many state legislators.

Massive fraud and overly-generous benefits caused the TennCare rolls to explode, costs to skyrocket, hospitals to close. There was no managed care, doctors left the state at an alarming rate and most insurance companies stopped writing health insurance in Tennessee.

Yeah, that's the plan we want nationwide, don't we?

So, what was the state Democratic leadership's response to the increased cost burdens being carried by the Tennessee taxpayers? They proposed..gasp...a state income tax! Yes, really. And would have gotten away with it had it not been for a groundswell of pissed off state citizens. (Probably just astroturf, I'm sure the left said at the time.)

Another shining example of the unintended but predictable consequences of government believing that only they can solve the problems that they have created in the first place, no matter how well-intended they are.

September 13, 2009 at 5:27 p.m.
InspectorBucket said...

Anytime, Clara.

I find that Orwell's points cut quick and clean through most things passing these days as "informed debate."

September 13, 2009 at 6:55 p.m.
moonpie said...

Andrew writes: "Erase regulations!"

Which regulations Andrew?

Tobacco, alcohol, lead content, formaldehyde, asbestos use?

Are there really no good regulations?

What about predatory lending? Bait and switch?

Credit default swaps were an unregulated form of insurance which nearly caused a global economic meltdown and played a major role in today's glum economy.

Andrew, you need to be specific. Saying we need to Erase Regulations is like saying we need to get rid of Laws.

There may be some bad ones, but a blanked erasure is certainly foolish. What gives with this kind of sweeping statement?

September 13, 2009 at 7:28 p.m.
bigDaddy said...

I agree that Clay has nailed this one. However, the socialist on this page have failed to interpret the message correctly. The correct thing to observe is that the socialist party has used the large majority of their pencil and have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT MAKES SENSE!!

September 13, 2009 at 8:36 p.m.
Lightnup said...

As to Clay's cartoon, it's no surprise that the Republicans pencil has not been used since, despite the Community Organizer in Chief's ridiculous claim that his door is always open, the Democrats have not allowed the Republicans to have any input in crafting healthcare reform legislation and has repeatedly turned down requests from Republicans to meet and discuss their ideas.

Bipartisanship is impossible when the majority party locks the minority party out of participating.

September 13, 2009 at 8:44 p.m.
rolando said...

The over-sharpened, worn out pencil with the pristine eraser could as easily be labeled "Congress", the paper headed "Irresponsible Spending", and the eraser-less, unsharpened pencil labeled "Taxpayers". It would be equally, perhaps more, accurate than Clay's version. And just as might even be unifying instead of divisive...

September 13, 2009 at 8:52 p.m.
aces25 said...


Your definition of welfare is a bit off. Throughout the Constitution, the document clearly separates two groups, "people" and the "United States," where the first refer to all citizens under the federal government, and the second refers to the states as a single body (literally, states united under the federal government). Article 1, Section 8 particularly addresses the "United States" and not the people. Examples of addressing the "people" can be seen in several of the amendments to the Constitution.

The General Welfare clause is intended to protect the Union, that is, the states as a whole, using the means mentioned in that clause. It is not a justification for government programs that intervene directly on the US citizen that the state would otherwise be able to provide. Instead, the Constitution allows the states to perform these programs as they see fit while it serves as a watch dog. This ensures that neither the state nor the people belonging to it are wrongfully exploited, manipulated, abused, etc.

Using the direct definition as you stated is a play on semantics and is not in context.

September 13, 2009 at 10:37 p.m.
aces25 said...

BTW, I actually like the cartoon. Both Republicans and Democrats are not handling this issue well, which shows in the opposed uses of the pencil for each side. Much could be inferred beyond that, but I'll take it at face value.

September 13, 2009 at 10:38 p.m.
alprova said...

aces25, the definition of "welfare" that I posted is directly from the glossary that accompanies the United States Constitution, as can be viewed anywhere that it is posted in entirety, so calling it "my definition of welfare" is ludicrous. That particular glossary is derived from definitions contained in the American Heritage Dictionary.

Maybe I'm all wet, but what other entity(s) would have any opportunity, or need, to be addressed by any word contained in the Constitution, other than the PEOPLE of the United States? EVERY word in the Constitution, regardless of where it may be located within it, or added to it, pertains to the PEOPLE of the United States.

You offered..."the Constitution allows the states to perform these programs as they see fit while it serves as a watch dog. This ensures that neither the state nor the people belonging to it are wrongfully exploited, manipulated, abused, etc..."

Is there really a need for me to address that statement, or did you just make the case for me, that there is an absolute need for our Government to step in and alleviate the exploitation, manipulation, and abuse that currently plagues our system of health care?

Clearly, the states are not stepping up to the plate to take care of ALL of it's citizens in regard to this issue. Can anyone cite one State in this Union of ours that has taken all the steps necessary to assure that every one of it's citizens have not been exploited for profit potential by a medical care provider, or that all have not been manipulated for the same reason, or that all have not been abused by an insurer or a medical care provider?

The issue of health care reform may not currently be an issue that is of immediate importance to all. Clearly, most people in this country are not experiencing, or have yet faced, health care related issues that would cause them to adopt a sense of urgency. But far too many have, thus the reason that it has become an issue that is currently under review.

The immediate importance and urgency regarding this issue pertains to those who are unable to afford or obtain insurance at any price, to those who have been bankrupted by outrageous health care bills, to those who have been dumped by insurance companies, to those who have been fired by employers due to "excessive claims" by a family member, and to those who are simply too poor to be able to afford to spend what can sometimes be a week's pay, to seek health care.

The need for reforming health care is for the PEOPLE of these United States who have experienced, may experience, or will experience any of the above issues and many more that have been offered during any serious discussion of the need to reform our health care system. I don't know of anyone who can sit there and state with any certainty that it will never pertain to "me."

Life has a way of changing your entire world in the blink of an eye.

September 14, 2009 at 3:56 a.m.
woody said...

Lightnup writes, "Hey, I know....let's bring back TennCare on a national level. You know, the Tennessee Democrats' "universal healthcare" plan that damn near bankrupted the state, almost led to a state sales tax and ended the careers of many state legislators...."

You are right Lightnup, the Democrats (specifically former Governor Ned Ray McWherter) designed a program that would have been as good if not better than it's nationwide Medicare counterpart, had it not been for the following 'five word destructive force'.

Eight years of Don Sundquist. That's what killed Tenncare.


September 14, 2009 at 6:07 a.m.
aces25 said...


I was simply looking at the context in which the phrase "general welfare" was used. As far as I am aware, I don't believe the founding fathers included a glossary with the Constitution. I am not sure on that, however. There are several glossaries that can be found on the internet for the Constitution, but so far none I have found claim to be directly written in conjunction with the document.

The point I made was that it is up to the state to determine these programs as they see fit. If they do not supply programs the people want, then it is a failure on the part of residents to voice their demands to their representatives.

Government is a watch dog, not an overbearing parent that lives their lives through their kid. I believe a loss of that understanding today is why so many feel entitled to things they are not entitled to. Too many have lost the importance of hard work and discipline.


Major government health care programs have all ballooned in costs, passing the debt to us and future generations. Tenn Care failed because it was handled by politicians who are not health care experts. Similar non-experts are trying to pass a ~$1 trillion health care bill that would fundamentally change an entire industry that accounts for 1/6 of the GDP of the US.

Bottom line, you can see why many have concerns.

September 14, 2009 at 6:48 a.m.
trburrows said...

Good one Clay. More than the pencils I see the "chicken scratchin" on everything.

September 14, 2009 at 10:13 a.m.
Lightnup said...

Alprova wrote: "Can anyone cite one State in this Union of ours that has taken all the steps necessary to assure that every one of it's citizens have not been exploited for profit potential by a medical care provider, or that all have not been manipulated for the same reason, or that all have not been abused by an insurer or a medical care provider?"

Yes, Tennessee. And, as aces25 so aptly puts it, it failed because it was dreamed up and run by politicians who are not health care experts. Exactly what is going to happen again on a much grander scale if the Community Organizer in Chief gets his way.

TennCare was an abject failure that cost very much more than promised (as will Obama's), led to lower quality healthcare (as will Obama's) with fewer doctors available to treat suddenly larger numbers of patients (as will Obama's) and resulted in increased inefficiencies in the system and massive fraud (as will Obama's)that left the taxpayers once again footing the bill for Government's foolishness (as will Obama's).

Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it. The only small consolation this time is that we'll be able to say, "Told you so."

September 14, 2009 at 10:19 a.m.
moonpie said...

aces... "Too many have lost the importance of hard work and discipline."

Are you talking about the people who lose their insurance due to layoffs?

What about the people who have no medical coverage for a preexisting condition because they had to change jobs?

What about the people who became too sick to work, but were not poor enough to receive any kind of aid?

Are you taking about the 60% of people who file for bankruptcy which was triggered in large part by medical costs?

So while your statement is not without merit (universal coverage would insure people who don't and won't work) we are already bearing their medical costs in more ways than we can measure by following dollars in health care.

Why do we want a health care system that forces productive members of society into deprivation, bankruptcy and poverty? Why do we want a health care system which delivers a lower life expectancy at a higher cost? Why do we have more preventable deaths from lack of access to medical care than most other industrialized nations?

Why is the Republican Party acting as the lobbyist for the insurance industry?

Greed? Fear of change?

My 401k does invest in Health Insurance Companies. Traditionally, these companies have been some of the best performers in my portfolio.

I'm willing to take the hit for a better way.

I'm willing to pitch in for a better country.

September 14, 2009 at 10:34 a.m.
aces25 said...


I knew someone was going to counter with this argument. I am absolutely not talking about people in situations such as these. People like this do need help, but there has been no plan submitted by either side, democrat or republican, that makes fiscal sense.

Taking your perspective, I would be in complete agreement with you if so many problems did not already exist within current government health care programs. Medicare abuses are rampant, and as much as the government says they will take steps to fight it, there is no proof to show for it. Projections for the costs of the programs are far higher than ever planned, which appears to be a normal excuse for many politicians who spend too much of our tax dollars. Again, you are asking politicians to fix the health care system. Personally, I wouldn't ask a mechanic to perform surgery, but likewise, I wouldn't want a doctor to rebuild my transmission.

I am for increasing regulations that will limit the abuses that occur on the health care industry, from either people or health care companies alike. The roll of government is to be that watch dog to step in when necessary. I am not for government to have a financial stake in the health care industry by starting another program set up by the same system that brought the fiscal disasters seen in Medicare and Social Security.

September 14, 2009 at 11:07 a.m.
jackson_pe said...

As the national debate about health care spreads like a LA wild fire; the umemployment rates, business closings, foreclosures, bankruptcies and the national debt are spiraling out of control. Are we simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

September 14, 2009 at 11:30 a.m.

No genius, just tweets, twitters and droppings.

Right on Rolando. Tell it like it is. Like Joe did. Preach, brother, preach.

September 14, 2009 at 11:46 a.m.
MountainJoe said...

Clara, health care is a RIGHT in one sense only ... you have the right to take care of your own health. A right is something inherent in a person due to self-ownership. For example, you have the right to freedom of speech because you own your mouth. However, you do not have the right to force someone else to provide you with a megaphone and a soap box at their expense. Nor do you have the right to force anyone else (either directly, or by getting the government to apply the force) to provide medical care for you, or pay someone to provide such care.

Alprova, the "general welfare" clause is the most abused and misconstrued part of the Constitution. Liberals love to use it out of context in such a way that the federal government is justified in adopting just about any proposed program that is intended to promote "welfare" for some citizens at the expense of others. However, such claims fall completely apart if one does the historical research.

It is very clear that the Founders did NOT intend the "general welfare" clause to mean "anything Congress can dream up and the President is willing to sign." James Madison (who actually wrote most of the Constitution) said, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one." Madison also said, "With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." Thomas Jefferson backed this up by stating "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

The federal government is only authorized by the Constitution to do about twenty things (see Article I, Section 8) and those things must be done for the "general welfare" of the whole country, not the specific welfare of a few states or a subset of the population. Education, health care, bailing out investment firms and auto companies are among the host of things NOT found in Article I, Section 8 and are NOT the proper province of the federal government.

September 14, 2009 at 12:58 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Thank you MountainJoe! Seems there's a lot of common sense and little tolerance for "spin" in the mountains.

September 14, 2009 at 1:05 p.m.
moonpie said...

aces25, very good response. Thank you.

I think a single payer system would solve the problem that I'm talking about. Of course, you're right about the current plan: it does not contain that. I think we will get there one day, but I think it's going to be a painful process. Resistance to this kind of change is historically futile.

From your post, like many on the Right, it seems you have a great distrust in the government's ability to create something akin to the National Health Service or French public health insurance program.

I can understand that skepticism. (I once had to go to the Social Security office to get a new card.)

You say medicare abuses are rampant and this is a reason not to proceed to a national health plan.

You do realize that the vast majority of the fraud and abuse has been on the supply side of medical care, right? This means doctors, nursing facilities, medical supply companies.

Of course, it's likely that the vast majority of medical suppliers and providers do not abuse the system in meaningful ways.

No matter what system we devise, there will be abuse. I grant you that. The reason so many areas are so regulated is to combat abuses of the past.

But I ask myself and I'll ask you, rhetorically, which is worse: 1) someone being denied care that they desperately need because they can't afford it, or 2) someone who gets a pacemaker or a powerized wheelchair they might not need?

I think the former is far worse. In my opinion, anyone who agrees with THAT should be for a nationalized health care system.

Again, aces, I commend your civil discourse. You sir, are no, Joe Wilson!

September 14, 2009 at 2:06 p.m.
moonpie said...

Health care is not a right.

That is 100% true.

That is not even debatable.

Bringing the founding fathers into this current debate is a little spurious. The healthcare system has changed so much. Had they had the same institutions and systems in place, perhaps they would have made health care a right.

No one will ever know.

But it should be a right. More than that, it is a duty. It is a duty the Republican party is ignoring for the benefit of the insurance industry.

I think the way we treat the uninsured and uninsurable in this country is deplorable. Is this how we want Americans to treat each other?

I would not even treat Joe Wilson that way.

September 14, 2009 at 2:18 p.m.
aces25 said...


I try to stay as civil as possible when it comes to politics, unless there is someone blatantly lying or chooses to spin the debate so far to start making ridiculous inferences (like the "birthers" or whenever Howard Dean opens his mouth). You and I have differing opinions on the subject, but at least you try ground yourself in facts rather than partisan banter. I try to use the facts to the best of my ability to justify stances that I take.

On that note, a single-payer system is more discouraging than just a government run option. There are too many steps that are being missed that are less dramatic from a regulatory stance and a economic stance. And once the plan would be put in place, it would be fundamental change to the country for generations to come. Imagine what would happen now if it was proposed to eliminate Social Security because it was ruled that there were too many problems with the program (which is not too far fetched). Regardless of whatever system may replace it, people would revolt because they are now too dependent on the government to supply that program and too fearful that the one that would replace it would be less than what they are now dependent on. The goal of Social Security is honorable (albeit not Constitutional), but it is handled by men and women in our government that do not have a clue how to handle it with fiscal responsibility.

As I mentioned earlier, I still think this is the responsibility of the state and not of the government. Imagine if all 50 states took on the responsibility of their state health care system. Then there would be 50 different approaches, each with positive and negative outcomes. States then can amend their plans to match what best works for their residents because they can observe from 49 other cases. Now that is not necessarily the solution, but at least an idea that would not dramatically change the US to something it could not turn away from.

On a lighthearted note, take it easy on Joe Wilson. I think he should have held his outburst, but at least he stands for what he believes instead of the usual politician two-step. That is more than others can say right now in Congress. The majority of Wilson's constituents agree with him.

September 14, 2009 at 4:03 p.m.
moonpie said...

aces, I agree that states could take more control. I've been asking state reps like Andy Burke to look at what could be done on a local level. I must not have been the only one to ask him, because he did conduct a meeting. Sadly, I could not attend.

September 14, 2009 at 4:09 p.m.
rolando said...

One point never mentioned, so far as I know -- co-pay for any single-payer insurance system, aka ObamaCare [or whatever].

Medicare co-pay is at 20%; I can easily imagine whatever replaces or augments it going to 30-40, even 50 percent to meet ever-increasing costs. What's the end result of that? In two words, Death Panels. Alternatively, rationed care. Either or both by choice, of course, through a simple inability to pay the freight.

Anyone out there think the wealthy [by any measure] will ever be short of competent medical care? How about those on limited or fixed income? Think "real world" thoughts, not slogans.

September 14, 2009 at 8:06 p.m.
harrystatel said...

Andy Burke is as useful as nipples on a boar. He's a Jimmy Naifeh/Bredesen pawn. Don't expect him to do anything other than what the "Party" tells him to do. He's already referred to as "Little Crutchfield".

September 14, 2009 at 9:58 p.m.
una61 said...

The Obamacrats want Medicare for everybody and they have the votes to do it. So, DO IT! Paying for it? Well, ...... Of course, the unionized government workers are going to become more efficient to help pay for it. Yeah, sure, check with the Post Office. From our perspective the new Health Care Czar should have the name, "Ben Dover".

September 14, 2009 at 11:03 p.m.
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