Health Care Part 5 – Understanding the Public Option

Health Care SymbolAnd just like that, I am back to writing about the health care madness that is sweeping the United States Congress. As anyone following this debate can see, the major point of contention in the health care debate is the inclusion or exclusion of some form of a public option. The problem that I see when I talk about this with folks is that there are many who don’t understand the public option very well. And that gets compounded by the fact that there are so many different versions of a possible public option being floated out there. I will come right out and say that I would be OK with the most limited form of a public option that is possible. I will discuss what I mean below. But thus far, I have seen nothing in the offerings that even comes close to meeting my standard of what a public option should be. I will also remind everyone up front that I oppose all of the health care reform as it currently stands. I think the ideas being pursued are both Constitutionally illegal, and for the most part completely self serving for the federal government. The stuff being discussed out there will do nothing to make things better for anyone involved. They will only make things worse.

The public option as the Congress and the President currently propose it is, more simply put, a government run insurance plan. The public option would operate in a similar way to the private health insurance plans that the health care industry currently offers via private companies. When proposed that way, it doesn’t sound quite as imposing. After all, there should be no reason to fear a government run health insurance plan, right? We will get to that in a bit.

Reich with Obama

Reich in Center

So let’s get a better grasp on the idea. Robert Reich, from the Huffington Post, offered a fairly straightforward dialogue that explains the public option in health care. The video is about two and a half minutes long. But you only need to watch the first 70 seconds. After that he goes on the partisan attack against the health care lobbyists and insurance companies. You can watch the video here: YouTube – Robert Reich Public Option Video

That doesn’t sound so scary, now, does it? But let’s remember that Reich is a very big supporter of the public option and he does hail from the Huffington Post. He was the Labor Secretary under Clinton and currently teaches at UC Berkley. I applaud his 70 second explanation for setting some of the basics up. And I appreciate the ease with which he makes it sound very innocuous for all the folks who don’t understand the bill, the industry, and the realities of federal government machinations. Reich does a great job of explaining the public option, but he completely fails to discuss any of the other things that can result, any of the rest of the 2000 page bills impact, or how any of this will work. For those unable to view the video, here is a quick summary of how Reich explains the public option in 70 seconds:

  • Right now if you live in a city, you have several health insurance plan options available to you (with option A, B, C on screen)
  • The addition of the public option simply adds another choice, so that you can now choose A, B, C, or the Public Option.
  • If the public option costs too much or doesn’t provide a good service, you can simply stay with your private plan.
  • The public option is not subsidized by taxpayer dollars in any way.
  • The public option will have the scale and authority to negotiate lower prices from the health care providers, and thus will push private insurance companies to do the same.
  • The public option must be big and national to do that.
  • See…. it is a win/win for everyone! (OK, I added this last one)

Health Menu CartoonSee, the public option is so simple that even Sarah Palin can understand it! Unfortunately, Reich’s version is also full of holes and doesn’t even begin to tell the truth about what the public option will end up being. To be fair he didn’t lie. Everything he said was truthful from his perspective. But it is akin to saying that coaching an NFL team is nothing more than deciding whether to pass or run on this play. His explanation ignored all the blocking schemes, routes, defensive sets, practice drills, game situations, score, and talent levels that all culminated in the next play. To put it more bluntly, it was, in my opinion, a propaganda video aimed at persuading the many Americans who don’t know any better and who lack the critical thinking skills to analyze the entire situation.

Reich’s explanation of the public option is certainly not the only one coming from the talking heads. The Obama administration, on the official website, states that the public option would offer coverage at a competitive price to people that can’t afford other insurance as well as those who have been rejected by private insurance. There are all kinds of explanations out there for the public option. I encourage you all to go out and read more of them. Some are enlightening. Most are partisan, one way or the other.

But there are a lot of questions about the public option and what the unintended consequences (or perhaps intended consequences) will be. There are a lot of questions about what government is trying to accomplish in adding the public option to the fold. And there are questions about whether the public option is a necessary thing or even an effective strategy to address the health care concerns today.

Public Option HandicapSome of my favorite answers come from those on the left that want to explain that the claims made by opponents of the public option are false, but do so only by pointing out the current state of the industry. For example, Associated Content had an article that I linked to below that dug out the 3 biggest claims agains the public option and then said they would be debunked. Here are their “myths” and reason why they are wrong:

1. Taxpayers paying the bills for the uninsured – Wrong because taxpayers are already paying for the uninsured because those uninsured already get medical care in a more expensive way at the emergency room

2. The government wants to control you – Wrong because the insurance companies already deny claims, limit what procedures or doctors or medicines are allowed.

3. How can private sector compete with the government? – Wrong because the CBO says so. And besides, if employers drop coverage the private industry will still be available so you can still get coverage.

Pillow Baby CartoonSo taxpayers won’t foot the bill because they already do foot the bill. The government won’t deny claims because the insurance companies already deny claims. And the private sector can compete with government because when your employer drops coverage you can still get coverage on your own from the private sector. Brilliant. Just brilliant. The truly amazing thing is that Associated Content actually paid this guy for writing this, while I toil away on this blog for free.

Allow me to answer those claims myself:

1. Taxpayers paying the bills for the uninsured

It seems as though most of the legislation being written currently is focused on the idea that government will put the money up front, but the public option would be funded completely through the premiums that those who choose it pay. This is how the private insurers do it. I have some concerns around this claim. I imagine that nearly every government program ever created was done so under the premise that it would be self funded. Social Security certainly was supposed to be self-funded. However, the government has a way, once implementing a program, to figure out how to run it so badly that the taxpayers are forced to put billions of dollars into the program to make it continue to be offered.

2. The government wants to control you

I am up in the air as to whether the government wants to control you or not with this. However, I am under no illusions that it will not end up that way regardless. The unintended consequences of this health care reform will be, ultimately, a rationing of care in the United States. It has happened in every country that has implemented a government run health care system.

3. How can private sector compete with the government?

Dead Goose Free EnterpriseLet’s stop playing games around this one shall we? The private sector cannot compete with government. And the public option will ultimately spell the demise of private insurance for everyone except the very wealthy in America. Employers will end up dropping the health insurance that they provide. I do not begrudge them for this. It makes business sense to do so. Private insurance companies lack the one thing that Reich so quickly added without any emphasis or recognition, authority. He clearly said the public option would have the scale and authority to negotiate lower prices. Authority is the key here. Government is giving themselves the authority, and they will use it. And the private insurers, who will not have that same authority, will not get the reduced rates, and will therefore have higher premiums, and will go out of business.

But the key word in that whole argument is the word compete. Because private insurers will not be competing with government. There is no competition for government. Government doesn’t compete. Government demands. Government dictates. Government legislates. Imagine the massive federal government not getting what it wants from the health care industry. They have the power to pass any number of laws that would damage any who don’t “play ball”. Saying that the government would “compete” with private insurers is like saying that the IRS “competes” for my money with the TV Cable company.

Health Care SuppositoryAnother article I read (and I am sorry I copied the text into the draft but not the URL and I cannot remember where I got it, I think it was CBS News but I am unsure) said that we have to keep the realities in perspective. They claimed:

Very few Americans would sign up for the public option. In the Democrats’ legislation, the public option would only be available to consumers who are eligible to shop in the “health insurance exchange” they would create. The exchange would only be open to people who buy individual health insurance plans or to people who work for small companies. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that only about 30 million people would join the exchange; of those 30 million, only about 6 million would choose to enroll in the public option.

I don’t care what the bill says here. The reality that is being ignored is that the number of people who end up on the public option will eventually be far larger than 6 million. That is a complete load of crap. If it was only 6 million, the Democrats would not be working so hard to get the public option. And we would not be constantly hearing about “46 million uninsured.” This is an attempt to persuade folks that it isn’t a big deal when it clearly is a big deal. If it weren’t the Democrats would have dropped this dead weight a long time ago.

There are also many different ideas around a public option that are different alternatives to the straightforward implementation. For example, there was a brief discussion of co-operatives instead of a public option. Additionally there has been talk of some sort of trigger for the public option.

But let’s get to brass tacks and just say what many are thinking. All the talk about a public option gets confused with a single payer system. It is easy to refute the claims of the folks opposed to the public option when the opposition is actually talking about a single payer system. When people talk about government control over your health care options, they are talking about single payer. When people talk about the idea of a “death panel”, they are talking about single payer. So the real question is whether the unintended (or intended) consequence of the public option and its machinations in the health care bills being pushed is the eventual progression to a single payer system in the United States.

Single Payer LogoPresident Obama says no. Pelosi says no. Reid says no. All the power players say no. First of all, a group of politicians all saying no is a sure sign that the answer is yes. All kidding aside, Obama has been a big proponent of the single payer system in the past. There is video footage of him saying so quite clearly. There is no misinterpreting what he is saying.

My personal guess is that the far left segment of the political world is looking to do exactly that. They are well aware that a single payer system cannot possibly be passed in the United States today. But they think they can get away with laying the groundwork to make it happen later. A single payer system is unconstitutional. It goes against everything this country has used to get to its position as the premier economy in the world. I am glad our friends in Canada, the UK, Australia, and other places are happy with the single payer system that was implemented in their countries. But I don’t want it here.

So the final word from me…. Scrap the public option. It is a bad idea. More importantly it will do absolutely nothing to better the health care in America. Our health care system needs some reforms. There seems to be few who would disagree with that. But it is time that we stopped playing partisan games and start figuring out what will ACTUALLY be reform that will result in positive results. IT seems these days, no one is focused on results. They are only focused on proving that this party or that party is wrong. If we want to fix health care, the first step is taking it out of the hands of the fools in Washington DC.

Healthcare Reform: Understanding the Public Option – Associated Content – associatedcontent.com

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Comments

  1. Good subject today USW! This is just a small piece of the the big progressive puzzle. They won’t to pass another trillion dollar bill to “fix” the problem of the uninsured. They haven’t listened, they never will. I’m lloking forward to reading the comments today, taking notes, then getting home and joining in. G!

  2. Bottom Line says:

    In terms of economic strata, I’m on the bottom end. I don’t have health insurance. Aside from being able to go to a VA/gov. hospital, I have nothing in regards to healthcare.

    The public option targets me in particular, and would be quite convenient.

    I completely reject the healthcare reform bill in it’s entiretyas well as any variants.

    It’s garbage, all 2000 pages of it. I don’t have to read it. I already know it’s bullshit. We can spend countless hours reading and debating this thing. We can argue the finer points of this and that and speculate as to what, where, when, who, how and why. Is is socialism, is it capitalism? Whatever…IMHO, It’s all moot.

    It’s all smoke and mirrors BS. Hypnotism. Look at the shiny metal object in my left hand while I bash your head in with the hammer in my right hand.

    It is the way it is presented that automatically promts me to reject it.

    Consider the following:

    Multiple choice can be used as a control tactic. When you are given the choice of A,B, or C…You are being given limitations, boundaries, rules, inhibitions, a box to think inside of. Your options are limited, you are thus, within the realm of control. Metaphorically speaking, you are being herded, and corralled.

    The answer to the question of A,B, or C is…

    D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y, or Z. (anything but A,B, or C)

    Example 1:

    (reps. to the people)
    Q: Which would you rather spend your hard earned tax money on?

    Garbage legislation A
    Garbage legislation B, or
    Garbage legislation C

    Answer: D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y, or Z. (anything but A,B, or C)

    Now, take it a step further. What if the question was altered to no longer be a question and/or include choice at all?

    Example 2:

    Statement: You will spend your hard earned tax dollars on…

    Garbage legislation A
    Garbage legislation B, or
    Garbage legislation C

    The multiple choice question has now become dictation. Notice I did not include an answer as part of the example.

    The people have no say about healthcare reform. Our points, concerns, and opinions are irrelevant to their decision. We WILL have healthcare reform. We only have one single point of relevance. That is… what we will put up with.

    Q: How did you vote in the national referendum on healthcare reform?

    A: You didn’t.

    Bottom line: The U.S.A. is a shared dictatorship.

    Alternate example 2: You will…(BL interupts)

    BL – Stop right there. Only two words have come out of your mouth and I don’t like it already. I will what? I know what I WILL…I WILL tell you to take whatever it is that you’re about to say and either…

    A – Go *&^% yourslef with it, or
    B – Stick it up your @$$

    Thanks for indulging. Have a nice day,

    Bottom line.

    • BL…..quit beating around the bush and tell me how you feel about it.

      • Seriously.. he hedges everything he says, you can never figure out where he stands on any issue

        • Bottom Line says:

          That’s because I think outside the box. I am asymetrical in nature. Any stance on an issue is usually inside the box.

          My answer to A,B, or C, is almost always…

          D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y, or Z.

          • Cool

          • Bottom Line says:

            That’s because I think outside the box. I am asymetrical in nature. Any stance on an issue is usually inside the box.

            My answer to A,B, or C, is almost always…

            D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y, or Z.

            further…

            In order to think outside the box you must first be able to see the box.

            You have to answer the question of where exactly IS “outside the box”

            The box is the frame of reference, the A,B,or C.

            It’s the “C” in E=MC2

            The C represents the one “Constant” in the universe.(the speed of light)

            Everything else revolves around C.

            C is the bottom line. The truth as it is. The constant in the universe.

            • Bottom Line says:

              Has anything that I’ve said today, made sense to anyone?

              • BL,

                It makes perfect sense and I agree with everything except you got the answer wrong. If A, B or C is the choices, 7 is the answer. LOL

              • Bottom Line says:

                LOI,

                Ya know, I was just thinking of that a few minutes before reading(If A, B or C is the choices, 7 is the answer.)

                It goes like this…

                If the question is of A,B,or C…
                The answer is D-Z

                If the question is of A-Z…
                The answer is 1.

                If the question is of A-Z or 1-infinity
                The answer is blue.

                If the question is of A-Z or 1- infinity, or any color…

                The answer is dog, or brick, or whatever.

                And so on…

                The Box is a cage.

                Think outside the box.

              • BL,

                You make perfect sense to me. I’m also of a contrarian nature. I catch Hell for it too….

              • Bottom Line says:

                Cindi,

                I’m glad that I am making sense. I wasn’t sure of the best way to articulate my point.

                As for being contrarian/asymetrical…

                I’m not sure where it came from but I like it…

                “You laugh at me because I’m different.
                I laugh at you because you’re all the same.”

            • Bottom Line says:

              That’s because I think outside the box. I am asymetrical in nature. Any stance on an issue is usually inside the box.

              My answer to A,B, or C, is almost always…

              D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y, or Z.

              further…

              In order to think outside the box you must first be able to see the box.

              You have to answer the question of where exactly IS “outside the box”

              The box is the frame of reference, the A,B,or C.

              It’s the “C” in E=MC2

              The C represents the one “Constant” in the universe.(the speed of light)

              Everything else revolves around C.

              C is the bottom line. The truth as it is. The constant in the universe.

              further more…

              Through comparative thinking, I with my asymetry, am the contrast that allows others to see…

              The Bottom Line

    • Bottom Line says:

      Q: How did you vote in the national referendum on healthcare reform?

      A: You didn’t.

      Q: Is there a way to have a referendum?

      A: Yes, I once read somewhere that you basically need a petetion of at least 10% of the registered voters to be submitted to the SCOTUS. Then SCOTUS decides if/how.

      Q: Should WE THE PEOPLE try to petetion our government for a referendum?

      A: Yes, It is certainly a better and more civilized way of telling our representatives to go &^$# themselves.

  3. USW Said

    And the public option will ultimately spell the demise of private insurance for everyone except the very wealthy in America.

    Now, the million dollar question:

    IF the public option works as advertised and
    IF people switch from private to the public option because it is more affordable or offers better service and
    IF this causes the failure of the private health insurance sector
    THEN, so what?

    That is, if you are getting better service for less money, then why shouldn’t the slower more inefficient dinosaurs be wiped out? They can’t compete (for whatever reason), why should it be that I have to pay more for my health insurance?

    And if it doesn’t work as advertised, people will not use it. As an employer benefit, it is the same as any other. If I have the option between two comparable jobs but one has private insurance that I like and the other has the public option that I equate to being repeatedly punched in the face, then I will opt for the former. Thus Adam Smith wins.

    • Matt:

      I thought you had some kind of degree in economics or business related field.

      If that is true and based on your statement then you need to get your money back immediately.

      I suggest you return to any small college or land grant university where you might get an education that teaches reality.

      IF frogs had wings they wouldn’t drag their ass when they hop. There is the answer to your question.

      • Now, JAC, that wasn’t very nice… I got my degree in Business and Economics from a reputable and accredited college and consider myself pretty well versed in economic theory. What I was doing here was asking a very special type of question. This type of question is called a “hypothetical question.” Pronounced hahy-puh-thet-i-kuhl kwes-chuhn, it means the question is based on a premise which is not necessarily supported by reality or proven fact.

        When you said “if frogs had wings,” you may not even have been aware of it, but you were in fact using this very same technique. It’s amazingly useful for getting at the topic I wish to discuss without having to address points of the premise first. See, even though frogs do not have wings, you were able to use this to find to probable outcome if they did have wings (“they wouldn’t drag their ass when they hop”).

        By extension, I can use this technique to find out what people think would be the problem if the public option worked as advertised, without having to fight about why is will or will not work as advertised. Amazing, huh?

        I hope this has proved useful and informative to you. Please feel free to let me know if you have followup questions, as I consider your continuing education to be a very worthwhile endeavor.

        Cheers,
        Mathius

        • Matt:

          I fully understand the purpose of your hyothetical.

          It is to ignore reality and then move forward because if it worked as promised and everyone said hell yes, then that supports going forward.

          Regardless of the fact, reality, that frogs don’t have wings and won’t ever have wings.

          Just as the premise of your question does not exist and will never exist.

          Start from a premise based on reality rather than dellusion. You will get a more harmonious outcome.

          • It is to ignore reality and then move forward because if it worked as promised and everyone said hell yes, then that supports going forward. No, JAC, you misunderstand. I do not wish to extrapolate. I simply wish to move the debate in a different direction.

            You see, everyone keeps saying this will unfairly kill the insurers, and I say who cares? Their objection should be that it doesn’t work, and that we can debate, but I couldn’t care less if it kills the public insurers.

            USW Said

            And the public option will ultimately spell the demise of private insurance

            To which I respond so. what.

            Argue that the service won’t work, but don’t expect me to weep for price gouging, service denying bureaucracies.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Amen! What have the private insurance companies done for you lately, other than a collective mirgraine from dealing with everything from pre-existing conditions (hence, no coverage) to denying people coverage once they get sick after paying premiums for years due to loopholes and exceptions.

              I say throw them all out!

              • Buck said:

                “What have the private insurance companies done for you lately”

                They have paid to save the lives of several of my children numerous times. I know it is hard to believe, but I have always worked and sacrificed if needed to pay my portion of my family’s insurance premium. I know that is an unusual concept for some to understand but that’s how it is normally done.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Its extremely unfortunate what you must have gone through with your children, and I mean absolutely no disrespect in my statement. Yes, the insurance companies have helped millions of people (myself included). However, taken as a whole, they have cause a million problems for millions of people as well. My suggestion is that maybe we should scrap them and start anew, maybe we should heavily regulate them to ensure everyone has access to insurance. I don’t pretend to know the answer, but I do know there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              “don’t expect me to weep for price gouging, service denying bureaucracies.”

              Mathius, what I am arguing is that with a public option, a “price gouging service denying bureaucracy” is precisely WHAT YOU WILL GET.

              Name ONE government agency that does NOT fit that description? Sure, they hide the “price gouging” part by disguising it as “taxation” or “unfunded mandates”, but SO WHAT?

              • Common Man says:

                All;

                First of all if I was a person of low self esteem I would be insulted by how Reich explains the public option; like he was explaining things to a 4 year old. But what else can you expect from an indignant politician.

                Yes the public option may very well cost less, but because they have the entire market to pander too. The private sector is regulated by state boundries and guidelines, therefore limiting their market availability. This fact alone will most likely ensure the demise of private firms; or at least a great many of them.

                This bill is a monopoly on the health care market and ensures the government will eventually be the only player. Then what?

                BTW: How are those living on wealfare going to pay for premiums? I see a new department within social services set up to provide “Health Care vouchers”

                Matt: “Let the private insurance company’s fall”?

                How about we promote a Government Stock Broker Department to give those who can’t afford regular broker fees to play in the market? The Government Stock Broker Agency however will be allowed to sell any and all stocks, investments, bonds, etc, etc, to anyone at any time at a reduced rate, while the private sector will still be regulated as they are now?

                How long do you think the private sector stock brokers will be in business.

                It’s all about a level playing field, and when we allow the government to join us on the field, we lose.

                Prepare yourselves, the defication is about to hit the rotary oscillator.

                CM

    • Mathius, my left leaning friend….how are you today? How do I apply for my million for answering?

      Your question above all start with the big “IF”…so that is a problem with me already. BUT…let us go further.

      You say: IF people switch from private to the public option because it is more affordable or offers better service and
      IF this causes the failure of the private health insurance sector
      THEN, so what?

      D13 (blinking his eyes in disbelief) says: WOW. The “deep pockets” of the Federal Government will prevent honest competition. The public option will not have to show a profit. The demise of private sector health insurance will insure a single payer system (which I know you support). ANYONE, including you my friend, cannot believe what Pelosi says about revenue neutral. You simply cannot believe this….do you? Really?

      You say: That is, if you are getting better service for less money, then why shouldn’t the slower more inefficient dinosaurs be wiped out? They can’t compete (for whatever reason), why should it be that I have to pay more for my health insurance?

      D13 says: I would agree with you IF and only IF the playing field was level. Have the public option NOT funded by tax dollars and, by law, show a break even, including the government administrative costs of the program and I will agree with you. I will even concede showing a profit….just a break even NOT using tax dollars. In other words, whoever goes on the public system must pay the premiums out of their pockets just like the private sector.

      You say: And if it doesn’t work as advertised, people will not use it. As an employer benefit, it is the same as any other. If I have the option between two comparable jobs but one has private insurance that I like and the other has the public option…….

      D13 surmises: But, if the public option is put into effect as advertised, and you do not like it, you will not have an option to go to…they will be gone…..

      Then Adam Smith will have to sit idly by and drink a Dr. Pepper. 🙂

      Beautiful day here. Going to warm up to my standards this weekend. Back into the 80’s. Get this 70 degree blizzard outta here….. 🙂

      • Also, may I add to my diatribe…..along with paying the premiums out of pocket….let’s make it mandatory that Congress and the administrative personnel that would run the public option, be on the same system.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Now that is an idea I can get behind!

          Like Mathius, I am all for the public option and only regret that the one being proposed is not nearly robust enough. D13, you argue that “if the public option is put into effect as advertised, and you do not like it, you will not have an option to go to”. Based on my reading of the public option in its current House form though, anyone with employer based health coverage CANNOT join the public option; in effect the public option is only for individuals who lack access to employer based coverage. Further, anyone who does not like the public option could simply buy private insurance much like they can now. One advantange of having a public option is to hopefully bring down costs of private insurance (though I admit I am not sure how effective the public option will be in this regard, especially in its current form).

          • You are leaving out one very important item….the current house bill only allows the private insurance until renewal and then the private insurance must mimic the public option verbatim.

            Also, any company not providing insurance is “forced” upon the public option or paying a penalty. For most companies, the 8% payroll penalty is less than a private option…therefore…no private option to be offered.

            Also, have the public option be cost competitive by not insuring it with tax dollars.

            • Also, in the same bill, if I elect not to have any coverage at all….then I am penalized with a premium anyway. To be filed on your tax return.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                While I agree that penalizing people who elect not to have coverage is not the best course of action, it is undeniable that you (or anyone) electing to not have coverage results in a cost to everyone else.

                Health insurance only works if you spread the risk. A healthy individual choosing to forego insurance results in higher premiums for the rest of us. Likewise, based on the current system, when that healthy individual gets sick and runs to the emergency room, everyone pays.

                As to your first point about private insurance having to mimic the public option, are you referring to regulations forcing private insurance to not deny coverage, no pre-existing condition exceptions, etc.? Or something else?

              • Buck:

                Your statement: “it is undeniable that you (or anyone) electing to not have coverage results in a cost to everyone else.” is absolutely

                FALSE.

                It is deniable as those without insurance who pay their bills are of no burden to you or anyone else.

                Unless your the govt then you need to force them into the pool in order to reduce your COSTS.

                You condone theft from me to reduce your apparent cost.

                What are you guys going to do when my tribe gets control of govt and we decide you are expendable?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Health insurance works because the healthy ‘carry’ the sick, so to speak. If everyone that is healthy elects to not carry insurance, premiums for the sick skyrocket.

                It is all about spreading the risk.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                No, that is NOT how health insurance actually works.

              • Then its not really insurance is it? Insurance is suposed to be about risk, YOUR risk, not any body else’s

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Insurance is about your individual risk, but the way it is structured, the only way it can work for a for-profit entity (private insurance companies) is to spread the risk amongst everyone.

              • Buck,

                There is one major flaw in your theory here. This is the United States of America. We are supposed to be a free country. And that means that I am supposed to be free to choose to pay my earned money for a health service or not. Forcing people to have insurance goes against everything this country stands for.

                The argument that the cost goes down if everyone is forced to do it is wrong on principle alone. Can we next apply the same standard to cable television? If everyone were forced to have it, the costs would go down.

                You cannot have a plan that eliminates personal choice. Doing so violates our very core.

              • We do so with the post office. The cost of picking up and delivering to rural areas is vastly more expensive than in cities, but the cost is subsidized by us city slickers.

                The same is true of the military. Should the cost of the defense department be apportioned according to the risk associated with that area? Should higher value areas such as New York or Washington DC have to pay higher taxes for the military because they cost more to protect than North Dakota? Should Hawaii be charged extra because it’s so far away?

                Should FEMA be paid for to a higher extent by Louisiana than Maine?

                Should the CDC be paid for my more densely populated areas since disease occurs and spreads more readily where there are more people?

                Should the EPA charge states based on the size of the area involved? Alaska should pay the most, then Texas, since they have the most environment to protect?

                Should the taxes that pay for the FBI be paid for in accordance with crime statistics?

                We do this all over the place. I’m sure I could come up with a dozen other examples. It is nothing new to America, nor is it anything un-American.

                The founding fathers knew that certain obligations had to be pooled. The military was a prime example. We have broadened this interpretation to include mail, FBI, EPA, FEMA, etc. Now we are just trying to broaden it a little further with health care.

                USW Said

                You cannot have a plan that eliminates personal choice. Doing so violates our very core.

                You have no personal choice to pay for any of these things. Do they all violate your core principles? Or is it just a question of extent?

              • I”l give you tha mail and the military, everything else violates the Constitution.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                You raise a very good point about whether or not as a free country we should be forced to pay towards something. personally, I believe that even as a free country, we have formed a society nonetheless that we all must live in and work together in. Paying health insurance does not violate this principle to me.

                However, your analogy to cable tv doesn’t work. Cable television is the same cost to us all despite the number of people who use it. Health insurance works because people pay premiums and those that need it can take money out of the pool created by everyone to fund their particular illness.

              • Buck:

                “Paying health insurance does not violate this principle to me.”

                And exactly what principle is that?

              • Buck says: As to your first point about private insurance having to mimic the public option, are you referring to regulations forcing private insurance to not deny coverage, no pre-existing condition exceptions, etc.? Or something else?

                D13 says: I am referring to the regulations that REQUIRE the private companies to mimic the public in that whatever the public option covers, it is mandatory that the private do the same upon renewal. I am not in favor of any mandates requiring, for example, pre-existing conditions. The reason for this is choice. You made a choice in working for a company that has medical insurance. You look at that insurance and you see that it does not cover pre existing conditions. You make a choice to work for that company with that insurance. If you want a company that has insurance that covers pre-existing..then look for one…even if it means up rooting and moving to find one. It is wrong to demand and expect a company to change. If the demand is not there, they would not have employees.

                However, I will agree with you if you will agree with me that the premiums should cover the cost…just like private insurance, and use NO tax dollars at all. Everyone who chooses the public option…pays for it and the administrative costs must be borne by the public option….not the tax payer. Do not make me pay for it and if I choose to have no coverage and cover the costs out of my own pocket, I should be allowed to do that.

                If it were designed that way, will you agree with that?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                You argue that you make a CHOICE to work for a company that provides inadequate coverage, or denies coverage due to preexisting conditions. So what is the alternative — refuse to take a job, refuse to make a living to provide for yourself and your family, due to the insurance. Most people do not have the luxury of choosing between different jobs based solely on the health coverage your employer mandates you accept. That is not choice.

                And yes, I do agree that a public option should be forced to pay for itself through its premiums.

              • But that is what freedom is…choice…and, yes you choose the alternatives. Who are you to decide what inadequate coverage is as far as a company is concerned. You nor the government has a right to tell any employer that he has to provide specific things. That is not freedom.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                But if we can agree that adequate health care is a right, to be enjoyed by all of us, we can surely agree that we can mandate minimum requirements for all insurance companies to provide.

      • Mathius, my left leaning friend….how are you today? How do I apply for my million for answering? I am very well, thank you. And yourself? You can apply for your million dollars with the brand new Office of Rhetorical Offers Disbursement Supervisory Board. They should have your check to you within 6-8 weeks.

        Your question above all start with the big “IF”…so that is a problem with me already. BUT…let us go further. See my comment do JAC.. I was a little more persnickety with him than I would be with you because he wasn’t very nice in making this same observation, but the upshot is the same.

        The public option will not have to show a profit. No. As presupposed by the premise (that big IF), the public option would have to work as promised. As promised, it will take no tax payer money but rather be funded by premiums.

        You say: And if it doesn’t work as advertised, people will not use it. As an employer benefit, it is the same as any other. If I have the option between two comparable jobs but one has private insurance that I like and the other has the public option…….
        D13 surmises: But, if the public option is put into effect as advertised, and you do not like it, you will not have an option to go to…they will be gone….. Disagree. If The People don’t like the public option, the public people will find an alternative.

        Then Adam Smith will have to sit idly by and drink a Dr. Pepper. Naw, he’s more of a Coca Cola kind of guy.

        Beautiful day here. Going to warm up to my standards this weekend. Back into the 80’s. Get this 70 degree blizzard outta here….. I’m jealous.. as I said yesterday, I’m not happy unless it’s up in the 80/90/100’s. It’s a high of 50 today up here, but that doesn’t matter because I’m stuck indoors all day anyway :-/

        let’s make it mandatory that Congress and the administrative personnel that would run the public option, be on the same system. You have my full support for this one.

        • Mathius says: Disagree. If The People don’t like the public option, the public people will find an alternative.

          D13 (drinking Dr Pepper straight, no ice): Hmmmm….in this case, you would have to assume that there would be a private option to return to..or…that one would start up as a result. So…from private to public back to private…does this not mean, under your hypothetical, that the free market wins?

          As to Adam Smith….I am secretly converting him to DP. It is a covert action, of course, undetectable.

        • In another perusal through your response:

          Mathius says: The public option will not have to show a profit. No. As presupposed by the premise (that big IF), the public option would have to work as promised. As promised, it will take no tax payer money but rather be funded by premiums.

          D13 concurs under the following conditions: (1) Lets us define tax payer dollars to also include fines and mandated premiums. To fine a company for not having insurance is a tax…hence tax payer dollars. To force an individual (Baucus Plan) to pay a “premium” into the system even if they do not want to is a tax….hence taxpayer dollars. A premium is a tax if that individual elects the opt out. Under the house plan, any state that opts out still has to pay into the system…tax payer dollars.

          Ok (2)….neither bill includes the administrative costs in the calculation of costs and, therefore, premiums.

          So, in conclusion, will you agree with me and support a public option, if the cost is borne entirely by the recipients with no government subsidy whatsoever. No gov’t bailout, no gov’t loans…nothing. In addition, no one is forced into the public option and no fines levied for opting out for either the individual, state, or private enterprise. The public option must stand on its own.

          Backatcha, my friend….(oh, FTR, I did get the big “if” scenario).

          • Darn….to add to #2….the administrative costs MUST be included in the premiums to those who elect the public option.

        • some liberal journalists utterly failed to accurately depict communism as one of the worst evils of the 20th century, and often aimed their fire at those who were fighting communism rather than those who were perpetuating it. The full report has more than 70 quotes; here’s a sample from the Executive Summary:

          ■ Before it collapsed, these journalists insisted those enslaved by communism actually feared capitalism more. “Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy,” CBS anchor Dan Rather asserted in 1987.

          http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rich-noyes/2009/11/05/eve-fall-berlin-wall-recalling-liberal-media-s-take-communism

          • Communism is not evil. The USSR’s implementation of communism is evil. See the difference? Can we please stop thinking of the whole concept as inherently bad, as opposed to poorly implemented and impractical?

            • Mathius, like a clock, gets it right twice a day.

              Communism is not inherently good or bad. It just is.

              Communism, like poison or medicine, is a measure of its dose.

              Communism works wonderfully for your family – from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

              It is a hell on Earth if the dose is any bigger than that.

              • Flag, you keep giving me a hard time and I’m doing have to wonder if this mean we aren’t friends anymore.. because we weren’t friends, well, I just don’t think I could bear it..

                Adding, can you please explain why you are able to take from your family and pool resources against their will? Are they not freemen and freewomen? By what right to do confiscate the earnings of your child’s paper route to help put food on the table?

              • You are a friend, but please try to ignore the cap-and-ball pistol in my right hand, and the saber in my left.

                Sir, I do not force anyone in my family to pool resources. If they wish to, they do.

                I do, because -as is necessary in all communism- for emotional reasons, not rational. The good health and happiness of my family is my utmost concern, so it is a very easy investment.

                Hence, the attempt to invoke emotional attachments in pervasive communism by calling each other “brother” or “sister”. It almost always fails, however.

                But in a real family, such emotional attachments are not forced – they are natural – thus communism works.

                ***I’m sending the family, plus grandma plus nice to Disneyland this winter. I have a week long poker gig, so I get to do what I do, and they get to have fun.

                Child collected $750 in cans and bottles for this trip all through the summer from a public park near us-weekend teenage parties and all their garbage was rather profitable for her this year…!

              • nice=Neice

              • Very niece, err.. nice.

                So, to try the question in a slightly different way. If your daughter misbehaves, why can you send her to bed early if she does not wish to go? How do you get to override her rights to do as she wishes?

                This has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but I am curious nonetheless.

                Adding, good luck at your poker game.

                Also adding, “you are a friend, but please try to ignore the cap-and-ball pistol in my right hand, and the saber in my left,” it’s ok, you can just put them down somewhere – you don’t need them around me.. it’s safe to lower your guard..

              • If your daughter misbehaves, why can you send her to bed early if she does not wish to go? How do you get to override her rights to do as she wishes?

                1) She never misbehaves.

                2) From the day she was born, I have never had to tell her to go to bed. She has, since day 1, decided when she needs to sleep.

                3) If she peruses an action where the obvious consequences would be ‘negative’, as long as these consequences were not fatal, risked loss of limbs or teeth or eyeballs, or was less than minimally financial crippling – we let it happen. Life is a quick teacher.

                Thanks for the luck.

                The pistol has been glued to the hand, around you. Not even from my cold dead fingers will you be able to remove it.

            • In a perfect world Communism might have its ups but we all know humans are not perfect; therefore you will never achieve practical Communism.

              • We will when the machines take over.

                Did you ever read iRobot?

                And they have a plan…

              • Unfortunately for them, their plan always stalls out 6 inches further then the length of their electrical extension cord.

              • Naw.. they’ll figure out how to extend their reach. SkyNet cometh. Or the Cylons. Or Asimov’s brain machines. Today, tomorrow, next week, next year, next decade, or next century, the machines will take over. Our only hope is to become cyborgs ourselves.

              • Have no fear.

                All machines have a fatal flaw.

                They can’t think “out of
                the box”.

                It’s the same flaw Statits have too.

            • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

              National Socialism was not inherently bad either, let me dust off my swastika.

              Communism works only after a pre frontal lobotomy.

              When I was a kid everyone talked about the success of the Kibbutz in Israel. Today there are few left, why?

              • Because, like medicine, too much kills you.

                Communism is a wonderful system where emotional attachment is greater than financial gain.

                For me, family qualifies.

                Beyond family, it does not.

                One cannot love “everyone” – there will have to be choices of who is more loved than others.

                Communism is a wonderful ideal in perfect love all over the world.

                I find it amazing that more people believed Marx’s ideas were more realistic then my ideals of simply being free.

      • Common Man says:

        D13;

        My brother from another mother, don’t complain about your “Blizzard 70’s” you could be setting in my neck of the world where it is 41 and blowing at 20.

        However, the sun is shining and the “rut” is starting, which means more time in the woods and eventually backstraps in the freezer.

        BTW: I will be hunting with one of your fellow Texan’s next week, Uncle Ted. He comes back to MI this time of year to harvest a few fur bear’en critters and re-connect with his northern clan. In addition to whitetail we also get to go stick one of them boar critters. Last one I took was close to 350 pounds and mean as a snake.

        Don’t get sunburned good buddy

        CM

        • Not to worry….already have meat in the freezer. We do excellent game management on our ranch and do not lease it out at all. Trophy white tail and plenty of damn pigs that tear up the winter wheat fields. We do not harvest the bucks just for the hell of it….we have ample doe for the freezer. But if a trophy rack walks out…..then………………………………….Bambi is without a dad.

          • Common Man says:

            D13;

            I do love to hunt them pigs, especially with a bow. Something about hunting critters that could turn on you and inflict damage. I guess that is why I plan to hunt “cape” some day; but not with a bow.

            Since my presence here has been spotting these past few weeks (work is not letting up) have you finished you Web site and if so what is the address?

            Hope you week is great

            CM

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Mathius,

      “IF the public option works as advertised and
      IF people switch from private to the public option because it is more affordable or offers better service and
      IF this causes the failure of the private health insurance sector…”

      How about this million dollar question?

      IF the public option does NOT work as advertized and
      IF people switch from private to the public option because the government artificially subsidizes the premiums with fiat money, and
      IF this causes the failure of the private health insurance sector EVEN THOUGH the public option does NOT work as advertized, what then?”

      You see, the government will use price-controls (taxation, creation of fiat money, government borrowing) to make sure that the price of the public option is lower than anything that a private insurer could possibly charge and still stay in business. As a result, private insurers WILL go out of business.

      At that point, the government will have a MONOPOLY on healthcare. Once they have a MONOPOLY, they can easily say, “the cost of this program is to large, we need to make cuts…”

      Once they make cuts, rationed care will suddenly bloom into existence. Everyone will want to go BACK to PRIVATE health insurance… but WHOOPS, the government put the private insurers out of business… now what?

      • Very well.

        Step one, the government unfairly competes and kills the insurers.

        Step two, the new government monopoly makes cuts and rations care.

        Step three, angry and fed up The People demand an alternative.

        Step four, seeing this demand, a new health insurance company starts up.

        Step five, disaffected public option users leave for the new private plan.

        Step six, the public plan reverses its cuts.

        Step seven, Adam Smith wins. He celebrates with a vodka and Red Bull.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Hehe, I like that 🙂

        • WHOA….vodka and Red Bull…..woooo…who needs NASA then….talk about an eternity before coming down…

          • Smith was a huge party animal. He used to like to get drunk and mess with the markets to watch them self-correct.

            This one time he got wasted and convinced Ben Franklin that progressive income taxes were a good idea

    • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

      Thats 3 VERY BIG IF’s. Considering who would be running the program. They wont get past the first IF. If social security doesnt work people will just stop using it. UHHH no choice there.

      Too many IF’s for me.

    • Oh let me answer this one! Everyone CAN have health care. It however will definitely NOT be a better health care. Ours is what it is because the blanket is only so big and covering everyone equally means cutting it into smaller pieces not stretching it until it tears. That’s the reality of it.

  4. It is naïve to think that any form of government health care will not eventually turn into single payer.

    We’re oft to blame, and this is too much proved, that with devotion’s visage and pious action we do sugar on the devil himself.

    • One thing is true of all governments – their most reliable records are tax records.

      People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

      • Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

        • D13 researching the 5th of November and Adam Sutler….returning shortly.

          • movie, “V for Vendetta”

            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0434409/

            • Ahhhh…blowing up the Parliaments on Guy Fawkes Day (Nov 5) I get it.

              • You should watch the ABC series V.

                Simply. Awesome.

                And a lot of people think it’s a critique of Obamamania, so that’s probably a plus for you. I just thought it was a really cool Sci Fi remake..

              • Never seen either one.,….but curiosity is peaked….why would it be a critique of Obama?

              • The aliens show up out of nowhere promising Hope and Change. They are good looking, charismatic, and vague. They offer universal health care. They engender unearned devotion and cult-like followings. They enlist the youth to help spread their message. They force the media to work with them or be cut off.

                Oh, and they’re secretly plotting the domination of the human race.

              • D13:

                Probably because when the movie came out the “right” was bitching that it was a criticizm of G.W. Bush.

                What one does the other must do better.

              • When I watched V for Vendetta, I just saw a fun movie. No Bush critique (though I could see why people thought that way). People just see what they want to see. I know this as a provable fact. Consider:

                #1. I see as evidence that people see V as an Obamamania critique and V for Vendetta as a Bush critique despite the fact that the writers have specifically said it’s not in both cases. Thus I am correct.

                #2. If I am wrong, and it actually is a critique, then the fact that I see #1 as proof shows that I see what I want to see. Thus I am correct anyway.

                LOGIC!

              • Oh, and please, Mathius…..a plus for me? You must think that I am bothered by Obama…I do think he is not right for this country but he does not bother me hardly at all…..Pelosi, Reid, Congress, et.al. THAT bothers me. The entire FRIGGIN congress on BOTH sides bothers the hell outta me. Obama is my President but I can disagree with him and do on some points and agree with him on some points. My rub on him…he ran as a centrist and then had a blow out on the sterring axle and veered sharply left…that put him in the category of ” a typical politician”. I was hoping for more and a use of VETO as he promised. SIGH……….

              • I didn’t think you necessarily had a problem with Obama. But I assumed you would have a problem with Obamamania. I do, and I’m a liberal.

              • Oh but your not a real liberal. Leftist maybe but not a real liberal.

                Your a statist, that makes you a conservative. Those who do not wish things to change. Those who oppose individual liberty.

              • Darn! You figured me out.. I do so hate freedom.. well, at least it’s out there now. Now I can openly begin to push my campaign to enslave mankind in fascist communist politically correct regulated prius-driving one-world-government non-smoking society. BWA HA HA HA!!

              • Ok…good point. I concede that one and you are right.

  5. Good topic USW and great rant BL.
    IMHO this is just a way for the government to take over 1/6th of the US economy. It has absolutely nothing to do with fixing health care!
    Have a great day all! BBL. Off to spend some money! I won and the IRS lost!

    • Ahhhhh…..free enterprise at work. Stimulating the economy with disposable income….what a concept. Careful, Willo, you might get someone claiming that it is not fair that you have disposable income and not sharing it with those that do not. You are not a very good Obamanite. You should be ashamed. Imagine…being greedy and spending your own money on what YOU want…..shame shame shame….

      By the way….have a great day and spend it all on what you want…..be decadent.

    • And we have a winner!!!!! It is Willo…..congrats Willo….you beat the machine. Enjoy your day!!

      • Hey Amazed….you figure that Willo is already in trouble with the IRS for spending their money today?

        • Well….it is possible they will come back tomorrow and ask for a tax percentage of the windfall!!

    • Bottom Line says:

      Willo said – “Good topic USW and great rant BL.”

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it. I only hope it served as a little food for thought.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Willo said – “I won and the IRS lost!”

      I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds like you just stuck it to the man.

      Good. Congrats!

  6. Interesting….I have a friend who works in surgery at a local hospital. She said that from now on even if you have insurance you will have to pay your deductible and co pays up front for surgery. The hospital had been stuck with bills that people will not pay, so they are changing the way they do things.
    I think it is because they see what is coming under the new health care…..everyone will have insurance but there will be deductibles and cos that won’t get paid when all these people have surgeries that they have been putting off for years.
    Thing is there are 3 local hospitals and from what she said all three are following suit.
    So where does this leave people now? They will have insurance but still no healcare. Healthcare and health insurance are seperate problems. Our government should have fixed healthcare, then worked on health insurance instead of trying to mix the two.
    I am afraid we are in VERY VERY deep trouble.

    • This is not the first I have heard of this. It has happened here as well.

      • D13 the implications of this is scary….how many people have the 10,000 it could cost upfront for some surgeries????? Doctor’s offices have been requiring the co-pay upfront for a long time….but it is alot easier to come up with $35 than $10,000.
        My guess is if I get something serious I will just say “let me die” That is probably what the government wants anyway……for all of us to just die! Or maybe the government will control the hospitals and Docotors until there are no hospitals or Drs left and we all die anyway.
        At any rate the real implications are that healthcare will go down the tubes like a fast flush toilet! We will have insurance….wow…but no healthcare.

        • Amazed1,

          If you really want scary, you should look into human population control to save the planet. There are people who, in addition to forced sterilizations, and forced birth control, are advocating culling humans, particularly Americans. It reminds me of human sacrifice for a pagan deity. Environmentalists (and I do mean mental) trash Christians; at least Jesus went willingly. I wonder how many will be sacrificed to Gaia…..ObamaCare might just bet a vehicle to please mother earth.

          I know, I know, more crazy muttering from crackpot land.

          😉

        • A number of years ago my mother had brain surgery with a lengthy hospital stay. They had 80% coverage insurance and their 20% coverage bill came to over $37,000. Over time he paid every penny of it off. BTW the folks live on a modest income, have never had a credit card and the last time dad borrowed money from a bank was in 1973. If he can’t pay cash for it he does not buy it.

          • Yes Bama….people use to be good for their debts….and hospitals allowed them to pay it off. My father-in-law was in the hospital for a rare lung disease. He was there over 3 months. His family paid on his bill what they could afford every month until it was paid in full.
            But if the hospitals get there way there will not be any paying it off in monthly installments. It will be pay now or do without.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Interesting op-ed piece by Kristof today which goes into the healthcare vs. health insurance debate a bit:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/opinion/05kristof.html?ref=opinion

      While there is a difference between healthcare and health insurance, the two are extremely interwoven to the point where you can’t touch upon one without the other.

      • Buck…he sure defines the problem….but he produces no answers. What is the difference in a hospital refusing care or an insurance carrier refusing care? You still die. It does no good to have insurance if you do not have the money to pay the deductible or co-pay. Reducing the cost of the actual healthcare reduces deductibles and co-pays. The problem is making sure everyone has access to affordable healthcare….this bill does not really address the problem. So what if you have government insurance if you can not pay the co-pays or deductibles. Look at medicare…..the exact problems that are prevailant in medicare will prevail under this new plan…only difference is we have generated alot of $$ to the government to waste.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          No he doesn’t resolve all the problems, but he does provide a good explanation of the problem that exists.

          Medicare, despite its problems, is not a bad program. Overall it is quite successful – hence the ridiculous comments of “get the government’s hands off my medicare’ shouted at the health reform town hall meetings.

          • One minor problem, without new taxes it will go broke.

          • No but guess what…it isn’t free. The elderly on medicare can’t pay their deductibles and co-pays….now suddenly our government thinks that people who can not afford insurance can now buy insurance, pay a deductible and co-pays. The problem being they are not going to be seen at a hospital or Dr’s office if they don’t have the co-pay in hand.
            So exactly what have we accomplished? We have insurance but no access.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Buck,

            Medicare currently works quite well, simply because the government will not admit that it has cost everyone about 7 TRILLION more dollars than what was budgeted for the program to date.

            Give me an excess 7 Trillion dollars and I bet I can run healthcare for retired people better than the government can!

            “Get the government’s hands off of my Medicare” is not ridiculous for the reason you cited, actually it is ridiculous because it would be physically impossible for the government to get its hands off of a GOVERNMENT PROGRAM 🙂

  7. I am not buying into that only a certain number of people will get into the public option. That is a fairyland type belief. I think the budget for it will grow leaps and bounds once it is in place. I have little doubt about that.
    But my issue with the whole thing is, I dont think it fixes what is wrong. It just adds to the problem. It does not address the real issues that are happening with in the health care system.
    I am with you D13 on having a non-taxpayer funded. That a person would be a able to buy insurance with a premium.

    Hope all is well with everyone!

    • Careful Ellen…agreeing with me might put you on the blacklist. Have a wonderful and bodacious day.

  8. What fools they are in Washington. I can only imagine what is happening behind closed doors with offers of payoffs to vote for it, and extreme pressure of other “things” if you don’t.

    Someone earlier this week provided a link of the something like 111 new government bureaucratic offices this bill provides for. Bigger and more controlling government, that’s all this is.

    I have not the read Pelosicare bill so haven’t verified these statements – but this site has, in the past, provided some good insight into bills so I will provide this link to learn more.

    http://rightsoup.com/horrors-in-the-health-care-bill-chapter-and-verse/

    We are also hearing about the revenue that will be produced due to fining people that won’t get insurance. Is any of this constitutional???

  9. More information, today there is an ongoing webinar about Pelosicare, should you be so inclined to learn more:

    http://www.peachpundit.com/2009/11/04/kingston-to-host-web-a-ton-on-pelosi-health-care-plan/

    And a final to-do for all of us – today is the Healthcare March on Washington – if you can’t be there in person at least phone your Rep and voice your opinion. They may be voting as early as Saturday so it can’t wait.

  10. One more and then I’m out of here….

    Looking for a job? Pelosicare will have lots of openings….

    Nancy Pelosi’s House health care bill (HR 3962) creates no less that 111 new bureaucracies, according to the House Republican Conference. Surprised? Probably not. Think these are included in the $1.2 TRILLION dollar obscenity? Probably not.

    1. Retiree Reserve Trust Fund (Section 111(d), p. 61)

    2. Grant program for wellness programs to small employers (Section 112, p. 62)

    3. Grant program for State health access programs (Section 114, p. 72)

    4. Program of administrative simplification (Section 115, p. 76)

    5. Health Benefits Advisory Committee (Section 223, p. 111)

    6. Health Choices Administration (Section 241, p. 131)

    7. Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman (Section 244, p. 138)

    8. Health Insurance Exchange (Section 201, p. 155)

    9. Program for technical assistance to employees of small businesses buying Exchange coverage (Section 305(h), p. 191)

    10. Mechanism for insurance risk pooling to be established by Health Choices Commissioner (Section 306(b), p. 194)

    11. Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund (Section 307, p. 195)

    12. State-based Health Insurance Exchanges (Section 308, p. 197)

    13. Grant program for health insurance cooperatives (Section 310, p. 206)

    14. “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321, p. 211)

    15. Ombudsman for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321(d), p. 213)

    16. Account for receipts and disbursements for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 322(b), p. 215)

    17. Telehealth Advisory Committee (Section 1191 (b), p. 589)

    18. Demonstration program providing reimbursement for “culturally and linguistically appropriate services” (Section 1222, p. 617)

    19. Demonstration program for shared decision making using patient decision aids (Section 1236, p. 648)

    20. Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicare (Section 1301, p. 653)

    21. Independent patient-centered medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302, p. 672)

    22. Community-based medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302(d), p. 681)

    23. Independence at home demonstration program (Section 1312, p. 718)

    24. Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (Section 1401(a), p. 734)

    25. Comparative Effectiveness Research Commission (Section 1401(a), p. 738)

    26. Patient ombudsman for comparative effectiveness research (Section 1401(a), p. 753)

    27. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1412(b)(1), p. 784)

    28. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for nursing facilities (Section 1412 (b)(2), p. 786)

    29. Special focus facility program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1413(a)(3), p. 796)

    30. Special focus facility program for nursing facilities (Section 1413(b)(3), p. 804)

    31. National independent monitor pilot program for skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities (Section 1422, p. 859)

    32. Demonstration program for approved teaching health centers with respect to Medicare GME (Section 1502(d), p. 933)

    33. Pilot program to develop anti-fraud compliance systems for Medicare providers (Section 1635, p. 978)

    34. Special Inspector General for the Health Insurance Exchange (Section 1647, p. 1000)

    35. Medical home pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1722, p. 1058)

    36. Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1730A, p. 1073)

    37. Nursing facility supplemental payment program (Section 1745, p. 1106)

    38. Demonstration program for Medicaid coverage to stabilize emergency medical conditions in institutions for mental diseases (Section 1787, p. 1149)

    39. Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund (Section 1802, p. 1162)

    40. “Identifiable office or program” within CMS to “provide for improved coordination between Medicare and Medicaid in the case of dual eligibles” (Section 1905, p. 1191)

    41. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Section 1907, p. 1198)

    42. Public Health Investment Fund (Section 2002, p. 1214)

    43. Scholarships for service in health professional needs areas (Section 2211, p. 1224)

    44. Program for training medical residents in community-based settings (Section 2214, p. 1236)

    45. Grant program for training in dentistry programs (Section 2215, p. 1240)

    46. Public Health Workforce Corps (Section 2231, p. 1253)

    47. Public health workforce scholarship program (Section 2231, p. 1254)

    48. Public health workforce loan forgiveness program (Section 2231, p. 1258)

    49. Grant program for innovations in interdisciplinary care (Section 2252, p. 1272)

    50. Advisory Committee on Health Workforce Evaluation and Assessment (Section 2261, p. 1275)

    51. Prevention and Wellness Trust (Section 2301, p. 1286)

    52. Clinical Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1295)

    53. Community Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1301)

    54. Grant program for community prevention and wellness research (Section 2301, p. 1305)

    55. Grant program for research and demonstration projects related to wellness incentives (Section 2301, p. 1305)

    56. Grant program for community prevention and wellness services (Section 2301, p. 1308)

    57. Grant program for public health infrastructure (Section 2301, p. 1313)

    58. Center for Quality Improvement (Section 2401, p. 1322)

    59. Assistant Secretary for Health Information (Section 2402, p. 1330)

    60. Grant program to support the operation of school-based health clinics (Section 2511, p. 1352)

    61. Grant program for nurse-managed health centers (Section 2512, p. 1361)

    62. Grants for labor-management programs for nursing training (Section 2521, p. 1372)

    63. Grant program for interdisciplinary mental and behavioral health training (Section 2522, p. 1382)

    64. “No Child Left Unimmunized Against Influenza” demonstration grant program (Section 2524, p. 1391)

    65. Healthy Teen Initiative grant program regarding teen pregnancy (Section 2526, p. 1398)

    66. Grant program for interdisciplinary training, education, and services for individuals with autism (Section 2527(a), p. 1402)

    67. University centers for excellence in developmental disabilities education (Section 2527(b), p. 1410)

    68. Grant program to implement medication therapy management services (Section 2528, p. 1412)

    69. Grant program to promote positive health behaviors in underserved communities (Section 2530, p. 1422)

    70. Grant program for State alternative medical liability laws (Section 2531, p. 1431)

    71. Grant program to develop infant mortality programs (Section 2532, p. 1433)

    72. Grant program to prepare secondary school students for careers in health professions (Section 2533, p. 1437)

    73. Grant program for community-based collaborative care (Section 2534, p. 1440)

    74. Grant program for community-based overweight and obesity prevention (Section 2535, p. 1457)

    75. Grant program for reducing the student-to-school nurse ratio in primary and secondary schools (Section 2536, p. 1462)

    76. Demonstration project of grants to medical-legal partnerships (Section 2537, p. 1464)

    77. Center for Emergency Care under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (Section 2552, p. 1478)

    78. Council for Emergency Care (Section 2552, p 1479)

    79. Grant program to support demonstration programs that design and implement regionalized emergency care systems (Section 2553, p. 1480)

    80. Grant program to assist veterans who wish to become emergency medical technicians upon discharge (Section 2554, p. 1487)

    81. Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (Section 2562, p. 1494)

    82. National Medical Device Registry (Section 2571, p. 1501)

    83. CLASS Independence Fund (Section 2581, p. 1597)

    84. CLASS Independence Fund Board of Trustees (Section 2581, p. 1598)

    85. CLASS Independence Advisory Council (Section 2581, p. 1602)

    86. Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1610)

    87. National Women’s Health Information Center (Section 2588, p. 1611)

    88. Centers for Disease Control Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1614)

    89. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Research (Section 2588, p. 1617)

    90. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1618)

    91. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1621)

    92. Personal Care Attendant Workforce Advisory Panel (Section 2589(a)(2), p. 1624)

    93. Grant program for national health workforce online training (Section 2591, p. 1629)

    94. Grant program to disseminate best practices on implementing health workforce investment programs (Section 2591, p. 1632)

    95. Demonstration program for chronic shortages of health professionals (Section 3101, p. 1717)

    96. Demonstration program for substance abuse counselor educational curricula (Section 3101, p. 1719)

    97. Program of Indian community education on mental illness (Section 3101, p. 1722)

    98. Intergovernmental Task Force on Indian environmental and nuclear hazards (Section 3101, p. 1754)

    99. Office of Indian Men’s Health (Section 3101, p. 1765)

    100.Indian Health facilities appropriation advisory board (Section 3101, p. 1774)

    101.Indian Health facilities needs assessment workgroup (Section 3101, p. 1775)

    102.Indian Health Service tribal facilities joint venture demonstration projects (Section 3101, p. 1809)

    103.Urban youth treatment center demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1873)

    104.Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for diabetes prevention (Section 3101, p. 1874)

    105.Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for health IT adoption (Section 3101, p. 1877)

    106.Mental health technician training program (Section 3101, p. 1898)

    107.Indian youth telemental health demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1909)

    108.Program for treatment of child sexual abuse victims and perpetrators (Section 3101, p. 1925)

    109.Program for treatment of domestic violence and sexual abuse (Section 3101, p. 1927)

    110.Native American Health and Wellness Foundation (Section 3103, p. 1966)

    111.Committee for the Establishment of the Native American Health and Wellness Foundation (Section 3103, p. 1968)

  11. Study that graph. That is the cost per capita of Medicare – and in 2006, the cost was $6,000 per person, in 2008, it was $11,000 per person in the Medicare system

    Baby boomers (born 1946-58) hit the Medicare system in 2011.

    Do the math. It is staggering.

    You think the U.S. government won’t go bust if this program is not cut back?

    In 2007, income from the Medicare payroll tax was less than expenditures for the HI program: hospital insurance. The Trustees reported this in 2008:

    This year the HI Trust Fund will spend more than its income, and from 2009 through 2017, about $342 billion will need to be transferred from the Federal treasury to cover beneficiaries’ hospital insurance costs.

    (* link in reply)

    This means that Medicare had to sell Trust Fund assets. What are these assets?

    IOUs from the Treasury.

    They are not assets. They are liabilities of the Treasury!

    The Treasury must then get the money to cover the red ink: from the general fund.

    But for 2010, the government is expected to run a $1 trillion deficit.

    This will continue until 2019, official estimates indicate: $900 billion a year, minimum. The Treasury must sell debt in order to pay for the HI costs.

    So, there is no Trust Fund. It’s an accounting trick. But the Trust Fund’s representatives do not mention this. On page 67:

    The cumulative present value trends steadily downward over the projection period, reflecting the anticipated shortfall of tax revenues, relative to expenditures, in 2009 and later. The trust fund is projected to become exhausted in 2017, at which time cumulative expenditures would have exceeded cumulative tax revenues by enough to equal the initial fund assets accumulated with interest. The continuing downward slope in the line thereafter further illustrates the unsustainable difference between the HI expenditures promised under current law and the financing currently scheduled to support these expenditures.

    Note the phrase, “expenditures exceeded…tax revenue”. Yes, folks – Medicare will *alone* will exceed the entire government’s ability to fund via taxation – overwhelming every other expenditure of the government!!

    How big is the present discounted value of the total projected Medicare deficit, i.e., the money the government would have to raise today to cover presently unfunded liabilities?

    Over $13 trillion.

    That is the equivalent of the entire U.S. GDP.

    It is larger than the total of the admitted on-budget debt.

    Medicare is bust.

    To avoid hyperinflation, the FED will have to cut off the Treasury at some point.

    The obvious budget to cut is Medicare.

    The obvious tax to hike is Medicare.

    …and we haven’t even started to discuss Obama’s Health Bill – which will accelerate the shortfalls by a magnitude.

    This post and the debate in the Public Mind is some bizarre “moral” debate between Socialist Health Care and Almost-Socialist Health Care.

    This debate is moot.

    The system is going to collapse before 2017. With Obama, it will collapse a whole lot sooner then that.

    The real questions should be – what do YOU DO to prepare for this?

      • BF:

        My dear Pirate friend. I must confess that people like this pose a serious test to my committment of non-initiation of violence .

        “said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Kerry Weems. “That’s why we are already beginning to implement steps to make health care services under Medicare as effective and efficient as possible for beneficiaries.””

        “Already beginning”?? As in we have previously started to just start to…what?

        “implement steps” As in a process of things to come for the purpose of…what?

        “to make health care services under Medicare as effective and efficient as possible”…….Now, after we figured out its bankrupt, now we are taking action to make sure YOUR Govt program paid with your tax dollars is ACTUALLY “effective and efficient”.

        I am suffering a severe urge to strangle someone with my bare hands.

        Of course given this brilliant statment, would I really be guilty of initiating force against an “innocent” person or would it be viewed as just “revenge” against the criminal?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          JAC,

          I guess it depends on if you see “criminal stupidity” as a direct threat against you 🙂

          • Peter:

            Well I am certainly “feeling” directly threatened. Furthermore, I feel that my children are also being threatened.

            I wonder if BF would consider this as Present in the clear and present danger criteria? Or do I have to wait another ten years before I can strangle one of these Jackasses?

            Such a moral dilemna.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Since government, by definition, is “the self-claimed monopoly of the right to initiate force against the non-violent”, is it not then perfectly morally acceptable to defend yourself against anything that the government does?

            • If such killing would actually solve the problem, they probably you have a right to do it.

              Unfortunately, all that would happen would be the idiot would be replaced by even a worse idiot.

              The idiot there is the smartest of the group because he is where he is over the others. Kill him and second place takes over…which will be worse.

              You whack him, then third place takes over – which is even worse.

              As you can see, your actions only make things worse.

              Moral dilemma solved. Let it fall on its own.

            • Pick me….can I be your surrogate and do the strangling for you? Anyone in mind…..be careful in your reply. I am sure big bro is watching.

        • Common Man says:

          JAC;

          Pay for a great lawyer, make sure the jury is comprised of friends, family and people like me and plead “Justifiable Homicide”

          CM

          • CM:

            Or perhaps “self defense” or…………..

            Not that many years ago in the state of Idaho…

            A man got drunk and kept riding up and down the street on his motorized
            bike, yelling and screaming obscenities for all to hear.

            Another fellow, being sleep deprived and tired of the commotion,
            stuck his head out the window and killed the other fella dead.

            Upon the day of judgement the jury quickly found,
            the dead man had committed suicide.

            The judge declared that he agreed. Any man conducting himself in such a manner at that time of the morning obviously had a death wish as he must have known what the inevitable results would be. Death by Suicide he declared as he dropped the gavel down.

            Moral of the story….it helps to have the judge in your camp as well.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      By any reasonably sane standard of measure, the Treasury, Fed, and the Government are ALREADY BUST. Any attempt to make it look otherwise is simply chicanery of the highest order.

      It has gotten to the point where the Fed is loaning money to China and Japan at close to 0% interest so that China and Japan can use that money to buy US Treasuries (which yield higher interest than the loans being given to China and Japan in order to purchase them). China and Japan are basically refusing to buy US Debt with their own money any more. The only way we can convince them to continue to buy our debt is by bribing them to do so, which in the end only increases the debt even further.

      The Treasury, the Fed, and the Government in general, will do everything in their power to keep up this illusion for as long as possible, but eventually the smoke and mirrors will fail.

      There are a lot of possible end-games to this scenario, none of which are going to be particularly pleasant.

      • Peter
        Is it just me or didn’t they just send a guy to prison for a long long time for running a similar ponzi scheme?

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Just more proof that when the individual participates in such a scheme it is “criminal”, whereas when the government participates in such a scheme it is “economics”.

    • v. Holland says:

      I remember my children when they were little-I would tell them they couldn’t have something because we couldn’t afford it-their answer “Just go to the bank mommy”

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The fact that the government CANNOT run Medicare and Medicaid without increasing the national debt is a VERY CLEAR INDICATOR that they will not be able to run “National Health Care” without increasing the National Debt.

      Government guy says, “Well yeah, we have government-run healthcare for old people, and it faces trillions of dollars of cost-overruns, and yeah, we have government-run healthcare for the poor, and that faces trillions of dollars of cost-overruns. But HEY, COME ONE, TRUST ME! When we have government-run health care for EVERONE, that is going to be DEFICIT NEUTRAL!!! I PROMISE!!!”

      Yeah sure, we believe that…

  12. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Buck the Walla said,

    “A healthy individual choosing to forego insurance results in higher premiums for the rest of us.”

    No, that is actually not factually correct. You are presupposing that the healthy person is paying premiums while not using healthcare, thus reducing the cost of insurance for everyone else.

    However, this is not the case. The healthy person is indeed paying premiums while not using healthcare, but that is not a COST DRIVER which will lower or raise costs for everyone else; therefore, if that same person chooses not to get health insurance at all, it makes very little difference.

    You surmise that basically a person who is healthy and is not using medical services is essentially PAYING A VOLUNTARY TAX when he pays his insurance premium, and this voluntary tax lowers the cost for everyone else.

    That is not how insurance works. Insurance works by calculating the anticipated risk associated with each individual, and then charging them a premium based upon their calculated risk. Someone with very low calculated risk is charged a very low premium. If something happens to that person and they suddenly require very expensive care, then the insurance company will lose money. If someone is calculated to be a high risk, they pay a high premium. If they make some lifestyle changes and suddenly become quite healthy, that is a benefit to the insurance company and their bottom line.

    Just because you may be healthy and yet choose to carry health insurance anway has very little bearing whatsoever on MY cost of insurance.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Basically it seems like what you are advocating is FORCE everyone (especially the REALLY healthy people) to buy health insurance whether they want it or not, which will in turn reduce costs for everyone else. Mathematically, that sounds like it COULD be logical I suppose; however, BY WHAT RIGHT do you claim the authority to FORCE anyone to buy a product that they themselves do not choose to buy?

      If the government suddenly came out with a rule saying that because the government now owns majority stakes in Chrysler and GM, you MUST go out and buy a car, and that car MUST be either a Chrysler or a GM, would you be ok with that policy?

      Why is health insurance any different than a car? (Hint, economically they aren’t any different.)

    • Buck The Wala says:

      As I’ve argued above, individual insurance is driven by a person’s individual risk. However, the system we currently have is largely comprised of employer based group coverage. With group insurance, premiums are steady for everyone in the group. In order to keep premiums down we need to spread the risk.

      • What you haven’t answered is why I should have to pay for your risk.

        Health care is not a right. It is a service, like any other. If it were a right, it would exist without statist telling me I have to pay for it.

  13. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “We do so with the post office. The cost of picking up and delivering to rural areas is vastly more expensive than in cities, but the cost is subsidized by us city slickers.”

    Yes Mathius, and this is precisely WHY the Post Office CANNOT turn a profit!

    You see, in private shipping, you either charge a flat rate regardless of destination and make sure that that flat rate is:

    A: Something the customers are willing to pay AND
    B: High enough that your shipping business will still make a profit.

    Or, in a private business, you charge differing rates based on the destination.

    So yes, we do this with the post office, which is precisely why I haven’t sent anything by US Mail in years. If I NEED to communicate with someone in written form, I email or fax unless absolutely necessary to send a letter (which hasn’t been absolutely necessary in several years), or if I am sending a package, I use FedEx.

    You see, we have OTHER CHOICES besides the Post Office….

    • Buck The Wala says:

      We have other choices, but your taxes still go towards funding the US Post Office, despite your insistence on using FedEx…

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Actually, I believe that the Post Office is supposed to be self-funding. I will have to look up the appropriate laws and regulations to verify this, but I think in general the Post Office is one of the few government run entities that relies on fees for services rendered for funding rather than taxation.

  14. My thoughts,

    2. The government wants to control you

    Look at:

    Social Security, how it started and how it was collected.
    Income tax————–
    Property tax——–
    Welfare
    Education

    In every instance, the more the government involvement, the bigger the problems became. And the more problems there are, the more government demands control and money to “fix” it. There has not been a genuine attempt to fix anything, just grab more power.

    If they want to fix something, start with
    Education, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare and Public Housing.
    Fix what you already control and have screwed-up.

    They do not want to talk about that, so its clearly about power over us.

    Its a put-on….

  15. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “Should the EPA charge states based on the size of the area involved? Alaska should pay the most, then Texas, since they have the most environment to protect?”

    Mathius,

    The EPA does not CHARGE States ANYTHING at all (duh!)

    The EPA GIVES each REGION grant money based upon the population of each region, and then the EPA Regional Offices split the extra money the EPA GIVES THEM up among the States in each region.

    Also, I notice that EVERY example that you give about a “shared pool of resources to pay for a provided service” involves a GOVERNMENT SERVICE.

    ALL GOVERNMENT SERVICES ARE PROVIDED AT A LOSS. NOT A SINGLE GOVERNMENT SERVICE MAKES A PROFIT FOR ANYONE. That is probably why you DO NOT FIND any similar arrangement in PRIVATE BUSINESS.

    Also notice that MOST of the government services which you list as examples could probably be handled by private businesses, and handled in a profitable manner.

    The only exception to this is probably National Defense, and of course the founding fathers recongized that this expense should be shared by ALL, because we ALL INHABIT THE NATION BEING DEFENDED.

    Of course now, the Military is used for many things which do NOT qualify as National Defense, so, should we the people really be paying for activities which DO NOT constitute National Defense?

  16. Everyone:

    If you really want to try and figure out what is wrong with the health care system you must collect information that is relevent to the issue and not fall into the debate over political philosophies.

    So I offer this with regard to the supply portion of the equation. Take special note regarding how the AMA and other doctor groups worked to reduce doctor supply, with govt support. Remember when BF was trying to make this point many weeks back?

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-03-02-doctor-shortage_x.htm

    Make sure you read the entire article. Recognize also that this is already 4 years old.

    JAC

    • This probably was already posted here .. in case not ..

      45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul

      http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=506199

      • I call shenanigans on that poll. Any poll results that far out of line with the rest of the polling data is suspect. However, what really throws me over the line is that the article doesn’t present a single fully phrased question or what the answers are. If you want me to take it seriously, show me the questions, the polling method, the available answers, the sample size, etc. None of which was included.

        It says: “Two-thirds, or 65%, of doctors say they oppose the proposed government expansion plan. This contradicts the administration’s claims that doctors are part of an “unprecedented coalition” supporting a medical overhaul.” Biased, if that’s the terminology they employed.

        It says: “More than seven in 10 doctors, or 71% — the most lopsided response in the poll — answered “no” when asked if they believed “the government can cover 47 million more people and that it will cost less money and the quality of care will be better.”” Ridiculous question. Nobody is claiming that it can cover 47 million people and that it will cost less and provide better care. I’m surprised this wasn’t unanimously voted no.

        It says: “Four of nine doctors, or 45%, said they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if Congress passes the plan the Democratic majority and White House have in mind.” Preposterous. What was the question that prompted this poll result? What there the options? Does this include if you consider it and immediately reject the idea? If so, just asking the question causes people to “consider” leaving their practice or retiring, so the answer automatically should be yes.

        I can design a poll that will show you any results you want to see. A biased survey is easy to spot, and this one is trash.

        Terry Jones (the author of the article) is a partisan hack.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          ” Ridiculous question. Nobody is claiming that it can cover 47 million people and that it will cost less and provide better care.”

          If “no one” is claiming this, why do Obama, Reid, and Pelosi constantly tell us that this is going to insure the uninsured, it is going to cost less, and the quality of care will be better?

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          Statistics don’t lie, statisticians do.

  17. Without ’regular’ insurance, what will the single payer programs do? They’ll go defunct or force increased taxes. Right now, I heard (3rd hand or who knows how true but ..) our state medicaid will take out an Anthem BC/BS policy on clients who have chronic illnesses since its cheaper to pay a high deductible than pay out of the govt coffers – so that the result is the same – other folks insurance rates are increased w/o having to take responsibility of raising taxes for these programs. The 3rd hand person was an insurance agent, who said it is a well know but not talked about fact…

  18. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I have the right to good quality healthcare, so the government should provide it for me.

    I have the right to eat, so the government should provide me with food.

    I have the right to a reasonable standard of living, so the government should just pay me, oh, say $5000.00 per month simply because I exist.

    I have the right to get from point A to point B easily, and do so when I want to, so the government should provide me with a car.

    I have the right to reasonable shelter, so the government should provide me with a house.

    Gee, isn’t that nice! If the government just provides us with all of these things that we “have a right to”, then we don’t even have to worry about any of these things! (Other than who the hell is going to pay for them all….)

    • well – The FairTax will help with #3 and if there is the associated boom in the economy as expected then The FairTax will help to satisfy these RIGHTS !!

    • Buck The Wala says:

      But because most of the things on your list (health care, food, shelter) are fundamental rights, the government should be providing some form of assistance in each category to those that need it most.

      No free cars, but I can get behind free bicycles to help me get around the city!

      • Buck:

        By what means of reasoning do you conclude that any of these “things” are “fundamental rights”?

        And since you do believe so, by what logic do you include these and exclude cars?

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I include as a ‘fundamental right’ anything necessary for life. Without health care, we die. Without food, we die. Without shelter, we die. Without a car, our legs hurt from all the walking.

          Do you mean to tell me that we as humans have no fundamental right to life? What do you define as a fundamental right?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Buck,

            You are guilty of extrapolation. Life is a natural right. The things that are necessary to SUPPORT YOU WHILE YOU LIVE are NOT a part of that right.

            If you CHOOSE to not support yourself while you are alive, it is not suddenly someone else’s obligation to do so.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            This is a perfect example of how and why the populace of a “governed” country will ALWAYS EVENTUALLY DEMAND BREAD AND CIRCUSES.

            People who are ill-informed and do not understand what RIGHTS actually are, will demand things like food, clothing, shelter, vehicles, money, healthcare, etc. SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE ALIVE.

            What these ill-informed people do not EVER realize is that in order for the “government” to provide you with these things, the rights of OTHER PEOPLE must be FUNDAMENTALLY VIOLATED.

            You have a RIGHT to life. While you are alive, you have an OBLIGATION to FEED YOURSELF and your dependents. The only time you should look to someone else for food is if you are physically unable to do the labor necessary to obtain food for yourself. In that case, the responsibility falls to your family or friends. If you have no family or friends, then voluntary charity will feed you.

            I have NO OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER to feed you, unless you are a dependent of mine.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Do you pay taxes? If so why? If you have no obligation to provide for the rest of us, then why would you write a check to the government every year?

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Buck,

                I do not EVER write a check to the government.

                They steal the money right out of my paycheck every 2 weeks whether I wish to pay it or not.

              • Common Man says:

                Buck;

                Glad to see you joined the group, welcome.

                We pay taxes because the government mandates we do, or we go to jail. Jail is not a sound choice for individuals dedicated to providing for their familes and own well being.

                We object to how those tax dollars are distributed and to whom, because it is a violation of our individual liberty and freedom. The government operates no differently than a thug who comes to your place of employment and tells you to pay 10% or your weekly earnings to prevent a fire. It is stealing through intimidation.

                As a freeman I should be able to choose how I spend my earnings, and how I should use those earnings to support less fortunate. Having a government mandate I give up some of my earnings for reasons I disagree with is stealing.

                CM

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Sorry Buck,

        The only fundamental rights that exist are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Outside of those, everything else is a priveledge and must be EARNED.

      • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

        I always harken back to the cave man when I hear people say I have a right to.

        When the caveman was born he “had the right to try and survive”. This meant finding food, finding shelter, and finding items to defend himself with.

        Now the word “right” isnt really the correct word. He had the ability being a humanoid to provide these things for himself.

        So why is it people say they have a right to____ (fill in the blank). There is the bill of rights but I dont recall it stating “because you have it and he doesnt you must buy him one”.

        Those that feel this way should pool their money by an island and live in a combine.

        I will never be convinced by anyone that it is ok to forcefully take from me because we want to buy him one too.

  19. I stole this from an economic blog site (paid, of course)

    I wholly agree with this analysis – take heed, good people!

    There are several ways for the United States government to default. There are several ways for it to go bankrupt. This government will default. It may not go bankrupt.

    There is a difference.

    A default is where a debtor cannot pay some of his bills. He ceases to pay them. Bankruptcy is where he cannot repay any of them.

    The Constitution says that the U.S. government must consent to be sued. If it refuses to consent, there is nothing that voters can do except elect new politicians, who then will consent.

    Selective default is the most likely outcome of present policies. This will mean the sacrifice of some voting blocs. The biggest source of future deficits will be Social Security and especially Medicare.

    The government will default.

    It will find ways of not providing the level of retirement support and health care that today’s politicians promise. I think it will do this by raising the retirement age and by rationing medical care.

    It dares not do this now. Oldsters vote. So, Congress plays kick the can.

    It will do this until the roll-over debt load is so large that one of two things happens: (1) T-bill rates go 10% or more; (2) the FED inflates to keep T-bill rates under 6%. At that point, the depression hits (scenario #1) or mass inflation hits (scenario #2).

    At that point, Congress will start raising age limits. If it doesn’t, it must cut benefits. It may do both. That would be suicidal politically today. But if outright bankruptcy is the alternative, voters will allow the selective cuts.

    If rates go high enough, the dollar will be saved. Investors will buy T-bills.

    But that could be at 10% or more. This will produce a depression.

    Revenues will then fall. Expenditures will rise. The deficit will grow. Rates will go higher: maybe 20%. This happened in 1980. The national debt was much smaller then.

    So, it’s either 20+% T-bill rates (1980) or 20% price inflation, which it would have been in 1981 if the FED under Volcker had not reversed course and slowed the rate of monetary growth.

    The result in 1980 and then 1981-82 was a major recession. On August 13, 1982, the Dow hit 777.

    That day, Mexico threatened to default and nationalize all foreign banks. The FED changed course over the weekend. It began to inflate. The FED blinked. It always does. That got us to where we are now.

    To save the dollar, we must suffer Great Depression 2 — not the mamby-pamby thing we have gone through. I mean the one that we would be in today had they not inflated to save the banks last year.

    If interest rates are allowed to rise, this will produce a depression. If all banks are allowed to fail, this will shrink the money supply. Prices will fall. That means the dollar will appreciate. It did in 1930-33.

    If this is not allowed to happen, it will be hyperinflation. That will kill productivity (figuratively) and kill former producers (literally).

    If the FED does not bite the bullet and stop inflating, mass inflation will result.

    I think this will take place.

    But we will adjust to mass inflation. To sustain the boom, the FED will have to inflate at a faster rate — an unpredicted rate. That leads to hyperinflation.

    It may do this. But it never has.

    So, we get the boom-bust cycle: back and forth. The problem is this: the size of the looming debt. That cannot be deferred another decade. It is too large.

    So, here are the choices: (1) selective default; (2) total default through stabilized money and the destruction of wealth (debt holders), leading to Great Depression 2; or (3) total default through the destruction of the dollar.

    I think it will be this:
    (1) mass inflation;
    (2) selective default — oldsters;
    (3) stabilization of money growth;
    (4) Great Depression 2;
    (5) monetary deflation and price deflation;
    (5) more defaults.

    It might lead to outright bankruptcy if the economy does not recover fast enough.

    The alternative is concealed total bankruptcy through hyperinflation.

    Congress would prefer this. I don’t think the FED will do it.

    If Congress nationalizes the FED and compels more inflation, then the country is doomed to its worst disaster.

    Don’t live in a city if this happens.

    I believe Congress WILL nationalize the FED. This is a common tactic of other governments, and there is nothing substantial in the operation of this government that makes it unique from others.

    Therefore, take heed to that last paragraph.

    • A good find, thanks for sharing.

    • What happens in the city?

      Define city — major cities or any size town?

      • Bottom Line says:

        In the case of a national disaster/catastrophe/civil unrest, urban areas are a generally more volital place to be. They are also a point of control in the event of martial law.

        If the price of milk goes up to $200/gallon, people will go ape-shit. What do you think that will lead to?

        Food riots = disaster = national guard and military deployed = you’re stuck starving in a whacked out chaotic prison several square miles large.

        Circumvent by going to the country when the economy first starts to tank.

    • If there is a very serious collapse of the USA, will U.S. banks still pursue foreclosures or will everything just come to chaos?

      I’m trying to decide whether I need to pay off my mortgage and just hunker down and prepare my bunker or move to where ever I find a job and start preparations at the new location. It doesn’t look like I’m going to find a job anytime soon. I could take all my money out of my 401 (k) with the penalties and pay off my mortgage and survive where I am at.

      You have me paranoid, Black Flag! I believe that there will be a complete system melt down.

      • Birdman,

        My plan is to move to the country, about 90 minutes away. My town will burn down before anybody does anything about it. The farther from any city the better. Access to where I’m going is very limited and defendable. It all depends on your current location, and what you think would happen.

        G!

        • And I have gone on record that I am moving in with G

          Although I am sure he is going to work my a$$ off.

          • Ah Shucks! It won’t be that bad! Just think, you’ll never have to worry about being overweight…. or hungry…. or cold…. or bored!

            G!

      • Birdman

        If there is a very serious collapse of the USA, will U.S. banks still pursue foreclosures or will everything just come to chaos?

        Someone, somewhere, will end up owning your mortgage – unless, of course, they lose the paper work (which is very common, even now).

        I’m trying to decide whether I need to pay off my mortgage and just hunker down and prepare my bunker or move to where ever I find a job and start preparations at the new location.

        Find a job.

        No matter what happens, if you have a job, you can earn your way out of hell.

        It doesn’t look like I’m going to find a job anytime soon. I could take all my money out of my 401 (k) with the penalties and pay off my mortgage and survive where I am at.

        I am very reluctant to offer any specific advice here. I’m not as informed as you are about your own situation or issue.

        However, GENERALLY, your 401(k) is actually owned by the government. One day they will decide not to pay you.

        Many pundits I respect are suggesting closing the 401(k) and paying off debt.

        Since it is unlikely you can get a long term mortgage without a job (that is, 20 years fix term) you will get caught at the worse time when your mortgage comes due.

        Though inflation works for you in eliminating debt, it only works if you are working too. Then your earnings vs payment percentage expands. But you need earnings! 🙂

        I guess it depends on the size of the penalty….

        You have me paranoid, Black Flag! I believe that there will be a complete system melt down

        It will be something between “no effect” and “total disaster”… but that is a very large area

        • Birdman

          Here’s an idea forwarded to me regarding your question.

          http://www.assets101.com/events/details/23-wealth-building-using-self-directed-iras

          Put your IRA back into property.

        • Black Flag:

          Thanks for the link regarding IRA’s. I rolled over my 401(k) into an IRA earlier this year. I have no money in stocks and I am in short term CD’s for the time being.

          I will continue to look for a job. I have skills in labor relations and human resources but the competition for such jobs is really high. Several hundred qualified applicants for most positions. I interviewed in Albuquerque in October and they had 75 qualified applicants. Still have not received any word on that opportunity and no response to an inquiry I made earlier this week. I’ll find something eventually but I am frustrated in finding employment. I have never seen it this bad. I even applied on a government job today and I really don’t want to work for the government but I’ve got to provide for my family.

          • Your family is first, even if means you have to dine with the devil.

            Work at demonstrating your differences and how you can make a profit/difference for that organization. Companies are less interested in what college you attended or what you did in the past. They want someone who can make it in the future.

            As Nietzsche said, paraphrased from German, “To reach the full potential of our existence – live dangerously”

            In a rat race, rats are a dime a dozen.

            Be the cat.

            Good luck.

            • Black Flag:

              I do work at demonstrating my differences and how I can be of value to the organization and assist in making them profitable. In my next interview, I plan to do more and I plan to be more aggressive. I’ll have to judge the situation and act accordingly. I’ll be the cat.

              Part of my problem is my age and former salary. I can’t do anything about my age and my former salary is not relevant. Employers know I am experienced and can do the job. Most do telephone interviews first before bringing candidates in for an interview. On my last interview, for example, there was no doubt about my ability to do the job. The employer already determined that. They were looking at how I would fit in the organization and chemistry. I interviewed well and I connected well with the person that I would work for. I did not have extensive experience in the electric Utility industry and the other candidates had such experience.

              Well, I’m off to search for more job opportunities. Have a good day!

  20. PeterB In Indianapolis says:

    How AUTO insurance works:

    You go to buy a policy. The price of your policy is based upon several factors:

    1. The deductible you wish to pay.
    2. The amount of coverage that you want.
    3. Your assessed risk.

    If your risk is high, your premiums will be high. If you pay high premiums yet you exhibit over time that your risk has gone down, your premiums will likely go down.

    NO MATTER HOW MANY LOW-RISK PEOPLE PURCHASE AUTO INSURANCE, this will probably NOT CHANGE YOUR PREMIUM in any meaningful way whatsoever.

    Health insurance is NOT ANY DIFFERENT. No matter how many “healthy” or “low risk” people buy insurance, the cost of insurance for the high-risk is not reduced by any materially significant amount.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      From my understanding of health insurance, that is largely true in the sense of individual coverage — me going out into the market and purchasing health insurance. Prior to being eligible through my employer that is exactly how it worked. I looked into various policies, answered a bunch of questions about my lifestyle and health history and was given a policy.

      That scenario though is not true for employer based coverage, which the majority of the country uses. With employer based coverage your premiums do not depend on your own lifestyle and history; rather, your premiums are the same as everyone else in the group. As a result, and as I said before (and will say again and again), health insurance depends on spreading the risk around. My health insurance company is making no more money off of myself (a healthy individual) than my co-worker (unhealthy, smokes 5 packs a day, drinks to oblivion, etc.)

      So in theory, health insurance is no different than auto insurance. But in practice, it is vastly different due to the ways in which coverage is obtained.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Buck,

        If your co-worker who smoked 5 packs per day (unlikely since that would be 100 cigarettes per day and it takes the average smoker 8 minutes to smoke a cigarette, so this poor SOB would be doing nothing but smoking for 800 minutes (or 13 hours and 20 minutes) per day), and drinks to oblivion does not use health care services any more than you do, he is not costing anyone any more than you do.

        However, I do agree with you that in the case of GROUP health insurance where all members of the “group” are charged the same premiums regardless of their own risk factors, you do indeed have a point. In these cases, Government Agencies, large unions, and large corporations, have negotiated with insurance companies to come up with these “group” plans, and these do take advantage of the notion of “spreading the risk around”.

        Of course, these “groups” claim that they are making insurance “Cheaper for everyone” which is actually false. What these groups ARE doing is making health insurance cheaper for those that are high risk, and making it MORE EXPENSIVE for the people that are low risk.

        Of course, in most private companies, you are allowed to OPT OUT of health insurance coverage entirely if you do not want it, and even if you are a government employee, you generally have the option to opt out as well. There currently are not any plans that I am aware of that FORCE anyone to buy health insurance if they do not want it.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Maybe my situation is an anamoly, but I am paying less now with my group plan than I was individual. Note that I am a healthy, 27-year old. Also note that the two policies (individual vs. current group) are largely identical. Maybe this is not the case for everyone, and if so, I have been very fortunate thus far.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Buck,

            I think that it is the case fairly often that a large enough group will get a pretty big discount compared to individual policy holders. This depends largely on the size of the group.

            This may further lend credence to your assertion that at least as far as health insurance goes, spreading out the risk does indeed reduce the cost.

            I know that people who work for large corporations which have “group health plans” often pay a lot less than people with individual coverage.

            My question is, is this due to bargaining power, spreading out the risk, or some of each factor?

            • Buck The Wala says:

              There is a lot of room for debate on this; I am unaware of any studies that show the biggest factor in reducing costs. My gut tells me that it is a combination of these factors, though I believe that spreading the risk provides the most bang for the buck.

              With the exception of a few enormous companies, the vast majority of group plans are from smaller employers. I doubt that a small business would have much in the way of bargaining power.

              • Buck

                Why do you think a large entity which buys more product gets a better price than a smaller entity that buys less product?

                (Yes, this is a test)

              • Buck The Wala says:

                In the case of insurance you aren’t simply buying a product – there is also the factor of risk. Spread the risk and you reduce cost.

                I seriously doubt that a large group of sick people will pay less than a smaller mixed group of sick and healthy people.

  21. Republican Rep. Joe Wilson proposed an amendment Wednesday that would force all members of Congress to receive health insurance coverage through the government-run plan proposed in the House’s reform bill.

    Though Republicans oppose the so-called “public option,” the South Carolina gadfly — who gained notoriety for shouting “you lie” at President Obama during his address to Congress two months ago — is proposing the requirement to draw attention to what he sees as the plan’s flaws.

    “They know the government-run option will not be in the interest of the American people, either individually or for the American citizens at large,” Wilson said Wednesday, arguing that’s the reason Congress does not require its members to sign up.

    The current House health care legislation states that members of Congress “may enroll” in the public plan. Wilson wants that changed to “must enroll.”

    “If the public option is good enough for the American people, then it’s certainly good enough for Congress,” Wilson said. “If this government-run plan is so good, why don’t members of Congress take the plan?”

    House Democrats have published their final adjustments to the 1,900-page health care bill, starting a 72-hour clock before the bill comes to the floor.

    No Republicans have come forward in support of the bill, but Democrats have a strong enough majority to pass the bill as long as they can resolve intra-party disputes.

    • HI BF

      Have a question for you. If somebody wants to invest in stock, what would you recommend and why? How much would be good to start with, what I mean is, what would be a good price to pay? Okay, 3 questions, sorry. I ask, because I am interested, but don’t know much about it, never invested before, and I wouldn’t want to invest in anything that’s doesn’t have any value to it. I know you talk a lot about gold, what do you think about investing in something like that? Okay I lied, it’s 4 questions.

      • Have a question for you. If somebody wants to invest in stock, what would you recommend and why?

        Let’s start with the “Why do you invest in stocks?”

        You either are an investor or are you a speculator?

        A) If you are an investor, you are looking for a company that is productive, has good cash flow, makes a profit, has good market share and has better prospects in the future than they have today.

        B) If you are a speculator, you couldn’t care less about investing. You are looking at charts, and emotional appeal – you want to turn a quick buck.

        If you are (B), I have no advice – that is a form of gambling that I have not studied enough in detail to claim any skill, let alone expertise. I believe they are others would do have such skill and are experts. They are driving taxis.

        If you are (A), I cannot find any American company that fills even the basic requirements of a ‘good’ investment. I am not, myself, in the market at all.

        If you are brave, you can check out Asian stocks and commodities. Many excellent investors are suggesting that will be a growing market – short term disasters notwithstanding. Read Jim Rogers blogs and info for that play.

        How much would be good to start with, what I mean is, what would be a good price to pay?

        The S&P index is an average of price/earning (P/E) ration of 149.

        In other words, it would take 149 years of those companies earnings to break even with its share price.

        Do you expect to live 149 years to break even?

        Historically, a great company – which also paid dividends – had a P/E of 12.

        Therefore, I cannot say there is a good price for any stock today.

        Okay, 3 questions, sorry. I ask, because I am interested, but don’t know much about it, never invested before, and I wouldn’t want to invest in anything that’s doesn’t have any value to it. I know you talk a lot about gold, what do you think about investing in something like that? Okay I lied, it’s 4 questions.

        I do not invest in gold.

        Gold is a hedge against inflation. It -in the long run- will not earn me any wealth.

        1 oz. of gold in the future will buy pretty much what 1 oz. of gold will buy today. The US$ will not. That is why I have gold.

        Investing in gold would be investing in gold companies. Barrick, the world’s largest, just lost $5.4 billion. I doubt the others will do better.

        Oil will probably go up. However, it is very dependent on political situation in the Middle East, and that is a function that it out of the control of even the best managed companies.

        If you are looking to invest, and you are an amateur, invest wisely your time and your capital in education FIRST.

        Most first-timers invest their capital in the market, lose it all, and then invest in learning why they lost all their money. Do it differently.

        Read Jim Rogers.
        Read John Schaub (Real Estate)
        Read books and information about investing from all sources and everywhere.
        Become an “arm chair” expert first before becoming the “investor expert” when real money is at stake.

        I did not start my poker study at the $1,000 tables. I started by reading about poker.

        Understand the reasoning behind any advice or suggestion. Known why, to yourself, this pundit says this and that pundit says that.

        If after all this research, you do not understand what “they” are talking about, it will mean one of two things:

        (1) you need to study some more
        or
        (2) they are the idiots and not you.

        So study and learn FIRST, spend money SECOND.

        Be able to coherently, and logically with powerful reason explain TO YOURSELF why you are investing in “this particular company”. When you can do that, and then feel comfortable with your own answers – you are a real investor, and you’re ready.

        • Thank you BF for your info, much appreciated.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          BF,

          There is an exception to what you said about gold not making you any “real wealth”.

          The exception is if you use inflation to your advantage.

          Let us say you have a house that you obtain a 30 year mortgage on a $150,000 loan. Further, let us say you purchased 30 ounces of gold at $1000 per ounce (for a $30,000 investment).

          If inflation goes to the 20-25% range over the next 5 years, and gold goes to $5000.00 per ounce, your 30 ounces of gold will now pay off your mortgage, which means that you will OWN the property free and clear, and property is real wealth.

          Of course, if gold does hit $5000.00 per ounce, paying off your mortgage may not be the best choice for how to use your gold, but it would be an option.

          So, currently, 30 oz of gold will not buy your $150,000 house, and if the price of your house goes to $750,000 and the price of gold goes to $5000.00, 30 oz of gold will still only buy 20% of the house.

          However, if you bought the gold at $1000 and got the mortgage at $150,000, and THEN gold goes to $5000.00 per ounce, BAM, you own the house. This is why gold is a “hedge” against inflation. Gold purchased for a low price is technically NOT an investment; however, it is a tool you can use to make yourself relatively inflation-proof, which CAN lead to real wealth if the tool is used properly.

          • Peter

            In your example, gold is not making me ‘real wealth’.

            The wealth you speak of is already inside the house.

            The use of gold is merely a tactic to take advantage of fiat-money believers. It is a trick that takes advantage of their ignorance. “Never give a sucker an even break”.

            At 50% inflation over 10 years – 1 oz. of gold is still 1 oz. of gold and a house is still a house.

            Inflation is an artifact of money, not of wealth.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Good point BF,

              I guess my main point is gold is indeed a tool you can use to turn the inflation of fiat money to your own advantage.

  22. Buck The Wala

    I include as a ‘fundamental right’ anything necessary for life. Without health care, we die. Without food, we die. Without shelter, we die. Without a car, our legs hurt from all the walking.

    Do you mean to tell me that we as humans have no fundamental right to life? What do you define as a fundamental right?

    Sir, you are wholly confused between a need and a right

    You may need food, water, etc. But those are not rights.

    A right cannot create an obligation upon another person to provide it to you

    If you believe (1)food is a right, you (2) claim you can force me to provide it to you.
    But that (3)destroys my right of having food – which you just said at point (1) is a right.

    Quickly you can see you have a massive contradiction.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Our nation and government is based around the concept of a fundamental right to life. Clearly this is not to say that I am hungry so you must feed me (though I wouldn’t complain if you were to bring me a sandwich at the moment). In the case of those truly unfortunate and unable to provide for themselves, then yes, it is the role of government to provide some form of safety net.

      We can argue day and night about how far that safety net should expand, or what type of assistance should be provided, but that is not the point of this post.

      I leave my original question to you: What do you define as a fundamental right, if not life?

      • Our nation and government is based around the concept of a fundamental right to life.

        There is no mortal entity on Earth that can give you a ‘Right’ to life.

        You will die, one day.

        Therefore, that cannot be a Right.

        Clearly this is not to say that I am hungry so you must feed me (though I wouldn’t complain if you were to bring me a sandwich at the moment). In the case of those truly unfortunate and unable to provide for themselves, then yes, it is the role of government to provide some form of safety net.

        For any entity to do so – that is “provide” – that entity must first, have something to provide. It must have it in-hand – not in fantasy.

        To obtain these provisions, it must do at least one of the these two things:

        (1) earn
        (2) steal.

        There is no other way.

        If you demand a “right” to food – a demand means “by any means” – which includes stealing.

        Thus, you claim you have a right to take, by force, my food.

        You contradict my right to food by doing so.

        I leave my original question to you: What do you define as a fundamental right, if not life?

        If you are religious, you will remember that God’s greatest gift to his most favored creature was not mere life (all his creatures had this) – but freedom of choice.

        Freedom, sir, is our only right.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          BF,

          So you would not agree that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were rights at all?

          However, you have argued in the past that if I murder you, I am violating your rights….

          Please explain.

          I can see one plausible explanation being that if I threaten to use violence or actually use violence against the non-violent, this would be an imposition on their freedom, but I am not certain that is the reason you have given in the past.

          As I see it, life is a right, but the provision for the things needed to ensure continued survival is a PERSONAL OBLIGATION, and not a “societal obligation”.

          In my book there is no such thing as a “societal obligation” because there is no such thing as a “social contract”.

          Anyway, in the past, it seems you have argued that other rights exist besides merely “freedom”. Has this position changed or did I simply misinterpret your earlier position?

          • So you would not agree that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were rights at all?

            Well, “liberty” is “freedom” – so that is agreed.

            The other stuff are the consequences of freedom.

            Freedom is the root of all.

            However, you have argued in the past that if I murder you, I am violating your rights….

            If I die by the hand of God, or by your hand – I am just as dead.

            You killing me destroys my freedom – thus, violates my rights.

            As I see it, life is a right, but the provision for the things needed to ensure continued survival is a PERSONAL OBLIGATION, and not a “societal obligation”.

            You will find yourself arguing right smack into a wall – such as ‘self-defense’. If life is a right, you have no right to take it – even in self-defense.

            It isn’t that ‘life’ is unimportant – it is, in fact, kinda vital!

            But as a right, it is merely the direct consequence of freedom.

            Anyway, in the past, it seems you have argued that other rights exist besides merely “freedom”. Has this position changed or did I simply misinterpret your earlier position?

            It’s like learning Physics in University. First we go through Newtonian Classics – then the instructor says “Now, everything you now know is wrong – now we talk Quantum Mechanics”.

            All actions directly derived from freedom can be called rights. They all reach directly back to their roots without deviation. Like an arm to the body – we call it all the “body”.

            It is important to know, though, where it all starts – one core, root, fundamental and immutable.

            Freedom.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              BF,

              Yeah, I see your point. Eventually someone will come up with something closer to the root of physics that will probably replace quantum mechanics too 🙂

        • Buck the Wala says:

          BF, you write that in order for an entity to provide, that entity must first have something to provide. In order to have something to provide, that entity must either earn it or steal it.

          I posit that there is a 3d way: Create it.

          • That is included inside “Earn” – that is effort must be exercised.

            Government cannot create anything. Everything it has it must take from someone else.

      • Buck, Good Afternoon!

        I’ve been reading all day, and would like to take this a step further.

        Buck said: ” But because most of the things on your list (health care, food, shelter) are fundamental rights, the government should be providing some form of assistance in each category to those that need it most.”

        Our innercities are loaded with people on government assistance. Our innercities are also the leaders in violent crimes, drug abuse, prostitution, rape, theft and car jackings.

        This is the direct result of government interference that you and others want. After decades and generations of this mentality, hasn’t anyone learned that without “personannal responsibility”, which has been lost by these paople, that the results are horrible. Can’t the left leaning, greater good wanting, entitlement wanting people see what they have actually done?

        G!

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Afternoon G,

          Glad to see you’re joining the discussion!

          I can’t contribute many of the problems found in inner cities simply to governmental assistance. I see that as a cop out. There is plenty of crime, drug abuse and rape outside of the inner cities. One of the reasons more is found in the inner city is because there are more people there. Before you say it, let me point out that I do know that there is a difference between sheer numbers and ratios when adjusted for population (which inarguably is still higher in the inner cities). I am merely saying that one reason for the greater violence etc. is the increased population density.

          • So, you either don’t feel that the lack of “personnal resposibility”, which is displayed daily, and has our prisons filled, has anything to do with entitlements? If my premise is a cop out, please provide some other view as to why the entitlement crowd are what’s filled our prisons, and continue to do so each day.

            Yes, there are plenty of crimes outside the innercities, but would you argue that it’s the same class of people who commit a majority of them?

            G!

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Just because a large proportion of people in prison are from what you define as the ‘entitlement crowd’ does not mean that they commit crimes due to having received government assistance.

              Most of As are Bs and Most of As receive Cs. That does not mean that Cs cause Bs. A bit convoluted (and I’m the one that wrote that!) but I hope you get my point.

              • Buck,

                Think cause and effct for a moment. Over a long period of time (2 generations as an example) entitlements have diluted the receivers “personnal reponsability” It is no longer taught in the home. That is “cause”

                These very people are responsible for a majority of crimes, due to the lack of “personnal responsibility” in their lives. Hence, the Effect!

                G!

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I see what you’re driving at, but you jump from point A to point C. Give me proof that entitlements are point B.

                You had plenty of crime in innercities prior to current entitlements and you have plenty of crime outside of the innercities.

                What of the entitlements that have helped millions of people get their lives back together? Entitlements that have helped underpriviliged people get a solid education, find work, support their families when unemployed until they could find new employement?

              • below

  23. From FOX

    Senate Blocks GOP Effort to Include Census Citizenship Question

    The proposal by Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Robert Bennett of Utah was aimed at excluding non-citizens from the population totals that are used to figure the number of congressional representatives for each state.

    Senate Democrats on Thursday rejected a GOP attempt to require next year’s census forms to include a question about citizenship status — an effort opponents called anti-immigrant.

    The proposal by Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Robert Bennett of Utah was aimed at excluding non-citizens from the population totals that are used to figure the number of congressional representatives for each state.

    But the Vitter plan fell after a 60-39 procedural vote made it ineligible for inclusion in a bill funding the census.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Technically, the Constitution states that Congress represents the “People” and not merely “the Citizens”.

      I am not certain whether “People” and “Citizens” were meant to be synonymous in the Constitution or not. If I remember correctly, there are some instances in which the term “People” is used, and other instances in which the word “Citizens” or “Citizenry” is used, so I would think that that would indicate that the two words were indeed different, and not meant to be synonymous.

      Perhaps someone with a bit more Constitutional knowledge than me can enlighten us further.

      • Correct, Peter.

        The Constitution was extremely specific when it used People (all Humanity) and Citizens (American humanity).

        Citizens vote, just being one of the People does not grant this.
        People have rights, like the Citizens — etc.

  24. NEWS FLASH!

    Major shooting at Fort Hood Texas, on the news now!

    G!

    • Just heard.

    • Obama is going to address what happened at Ft. Hood.

      • I’m waiting til later to check for details.

        • Got Fox on now, and I still don’t know what happened outside of now they’re saying 9 people have been killed, and 27 have been injured.

          • Now it’s 12 dead, and 32 wounded.

            • Just heard it was a soldier who killed the 12, and he’s among the dead, and 2 other soldiers have been apprehended, but they’re not sure if they had anything to do with the shooting.

              • Well, Obama didn’t say jack-shit, just that they’re working with the FBI and that it was a terrible thing that happened, and to keep those who were killed in your thought and prayers. Wasn’t worth his effort to get up there and say what he did.

              • Hi Judy!

                He didn’t say anything that anyone else would have said under the circumstances, but he did make all his Obamanots drool!

                G!

              • HI G

                OH, he’s just an idiot. Not worth a hill of beans. Sorry, just in a pissed mood now, and I wasn’t earlier.

    • This is significant.

      In Afghan, the Army can’t trust the Afghan army or police – distrust is ripe and destroying the cohesion.

      Now, in Iraq, the Army can’t trust themselves. Visible minorities will be watched with suspicion. There will be an over-reaction and another incident – then another. The Army’s cohesion will be shattered here too.

      As with all long campaigns of occupation – the occupier eventually sees everyone his enemy -even his own troops- and it is this psychosis that defeats him, and not the force of arms.

      We are watching the implosion of the US military.

  25. Common Man says:

    JAC;

    My buddies and I are looking to plan an Elk hunt out your way in the next year or two. Would like to make it a combo and also take a Mule deer as well. Do you have contacts with a couple of good guides you can “highly” recommend?

    There would be 3 of us and 2 of us have successfully taken Elk in Colorado in the past. I have a 5×6 and my buddy has taken a 5×5. We would like to up the anty and go for at least a 6×6, although I would like to at least try for an “imperial”

    We would look to come out post the rut and hunt the conifers.

    Any advice?

    CM

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I am not JAC, but I did live in Craig, CO for a year. During hunting season, alot of the ranchers out in that area will act as a hunting guide and let you hunt right on their own property. Some of them will even put you up for a few days in addition to taking you out to the best spots to hunt on their land.

      Might want to check local newspapers in that area in CO to see if there are any ranchers offering this type of set-up. I met one guy while I lived there that made quite an income doing this for hunters… he didn’t charge the individual groups all that much, but he had a LOT of hunters at his place throughout hunting season.

  26. I just heard I think, it was an officer who did the shooting.

  27. Buck,

    Your getting there. First, for most of mu life, up until recently, unemployment was insurance paid by the employers, not an entitlement (if you punch out your boss and get fired, you are not entitled to enemployment benefits). Second, I’m not against helping people on a short term basis, everyone has some bad luck now and agian. I am however talking about those that live receiving entitlements, sometimes for generations, and how it has erroded thier lives, rather than helped it. All I’m saying is that there is a direct corrolation between entitlements and crime, and over time, it has worsened, and will continue to do so. Those areas that have a high number of people receiving entitlements, also have the highest crime rates. What I can’t fathom, is why few can see this for what it is, but would rather blame something else.

    G!

    • Buck The Wala says:

      There may well be a correlation, but if I remember anything from statistics (which is admittedly not much at all), a correlation does not mean cause and effect. You can have two things correlate but that does not mean one thing causes another.

      There are just too many variables at work.

      • Buck, I work at a hospital, served in the USAF for 12 years, and for the most part seen the world and every ethnic and religious peoples in the world. I will say, as you already know, I am speaking primarily about minorities. However, I refuse to believe that being a minority is related to the cause, as I know many hard working minorities who have that “personnal responsibility”.

        As many are my friends, I am able to talk openly about these issues with them, and when I presented what I presented to you today, both black and Latino agreed that the core problem is entitlements. They see it firsthand, in their neighborhoods.

        But I do enjoy the discussion, and always learn from these talks here, even at my age (44). On a lighter note, this keyboard keeps mispelling words, damn, there ought to be a law about these things. LOL

        G!

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I hate those damn keyboards…

          I am very much enjoying this conversation as well. In no terms did I mean minorities are the cause. I have travelled a great deal as well and have attempted to immerse myself in many different cultures. I pride myself, in no small part, on my travels – it is a very large part of who I am and how I have come to shape my world view.

          We can both easily admit that a big chunk of the people we are talking about are minorities — just look at the prison population of this country; the exact number escapes me but an unacceptably large percentage of blacks have already, are, or will serve time at some point in their lives. Minorities do comprise a large number of those living in inner cities and a large number of those receiving entitlements. I still suggest that it is not the entitlements per se that have caused this problem – I will grant you that perhaps entitlements in their current form (often providing more than is needed to too many people who have come to expect such assistance as permanent as opposed to temporary relief) have contributed to the problem. But I am sure you will agree that we as a society must provide some form of safety net to those in need in the form of governmental assistance or ‘entitlements’. But yes, those entitlements do need to be of a more limited and temporary manner for those that truly need it.

          Not sure how much longer I’ll be on tonight, but if we can’t finish this, it’s been fun!

          –Buck

  28. As always, I am not surprised about this:

    According to NBC News, while pregnant women and children with respiratory problems are struggling to get access to scarce doses of the H1N1 vaccine, bankers at Goldman Sachs have been given a stockpile of 200 doses of the vaccine. That’s the same amount allotted to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.1

    G!

  29. To everyone here . . . I submit my apology to all of you in advance for being way off topic on this comment posting. Just way too angry to comment on Obama(does-not)care.

    I cannot understand for all the tea in China . . . WHY the United States Army has Islamic officers (a psychiatrist of all things!) within its ranks?!?

    This does NOT make any rational sense at all.

    I am quite sure that the other branches of our military – my beloved Marine Corps included – are doing the same thing. Doesn’t anyone in the U.S. government understand that we have been at WAR with Islamic religious fanatics since the 11th of September of 2001? This is not like the Second World War where Japanese who were born and bred right here in the USA enlisted in the U.S. military to fight for and defend the country of their birth, Islam is a RELIGION, not a nation! Islam is a religion run by idiotic radicals that believe it is their life’s destiny to wipe out all who do not convert to Islam.

    31 wounded and 12 dead, without a fighting chance.

    This policy does not make any sense to me at all!

    • Yeah maybe you should round up all the muslims and put them in military camps (you cant trust em!!!!!) so none of them can do damage!!!!!!

      Oh wait you already did that once to Americans of Japanese descent in WW2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_American_internment

      Think before you say silly things.

      • Bob,

        How many examples are there of Japanese Americans committing acts of war in America on Americans during WWII? How many acts of war have Muslim Americans committed against fellow Americans in America since 9/11? Is there a difference? If so, should we treat the two groups differently?

      • Bob, your lack of common sense is glaringly evident!

        • Hehehehe if you say so GA.

          Right then picture this scenario, white christian soldier guns down people at Fort Hood and says “God told me to do it”, the onlt rational course according to you is ban all christian soldiers right?

          As no one knows the facts yet I also present a possible explanation. Army psychiatrist who specializes in PTSD sufferers spends all day listening to the horrible things his patients have done and had done to them in Iraq. His CO walks in the office and says “Hey buddy guess where ya going? Yup thats right Iraq, have fun!”; maybe just maybe something snaps in the psychiatrists mind, logic flies out the window and he thinks there is only one way for him to get out of deployment.

          Now you get the good old insane stamp that you would no doubt have given to the scenario with the white christian. Sorry this sounds more like common sense to me instead of the knee jerk foolish reaction you gave.

    • As Bob said.

      Notice that G.A Rowe didn’t point to religion when Christian soldiers go a rampage.

      • Back that statement up with facts!

        Show me and the entire world that the U.S. Military is a RELIGIOUS military on a RELIGIOUS mission. Yeah, right.

        Then go out with your RELIGIOUS friends who are enemies of all who do not adhere to THEIR RELIGION and celebrate the victory of that RELIGIOUS ISLAMIC NUTCASE who killed those who are putting themselves in harms way for YOUR right to complain about them!

      • Please name me a war that was based on christian religion.

        • Oh dear not well versed in history are you.

          • Thanks for your great comment, Bob. The crusades were a reaction to the aggressive expansion of Islam. Moreover Europe had much too many children and didn’t know what to do with them. In addition to that I think the crusades were in the middle ages.

            Please name me christians that blow themselves up in order to kill infidels.

          • I’m still waiting to see that list of Japanese American attacks on non Japanese Americans during WWII.

            • Japanese American attacks or support
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niihau_Incident

              Further

              David Lowman, a Former Special Assistant to the Director of the National Security Agency, argues that Roosevelt was persuaded to authorize the internment by “the frightening specter of massive espionage nets,” which he believed were evidenced in Magic intercepts (“Magic” was the code-name for American code-breaking efforts).

              The government acted preemptively.

              • One? Just one? How many examples do we now have of mulsims doing their things? I’d say more than one. I understand acting peemptively is a problem to some but how many are we prepared to sacrifice for political correctness? If the WWII generation is foolish as this one, history would have been very different. A world without America, I think.

                I’ll consolidate posts due to slower than usual internet speed. I’ve heard MANY non Christians use the words God Damn and Mother%$#@%%^. So I guess they really ARE Christians, then? Or are they not? Which is it ‘cuz this whole Islam has nothing to do with murderers yelling Allu Akbar has me really confused now.

              • Cyndi,

                It is easy to become confused when one uses mere ‘exclamations’ of emotion to justify religious prejudice.

              • There are plenty examples of American on American attacks of any ethnic heritage upon any other ethnic heritage.

                You merely wish to focus on one – and make it the sole case – and ignore all others – to support your POV.

              • Muddy the water all you like. I’m not buying it. But maybe, just maybe, if its ever one of your loved ones who dies while hearing the words allu akbar, you might feel a little differently. I hope it it nevers happens but if it does, will you blame Christianity?Yourself? Who?

              • The odds are about ~15,000 to 1 that if I or someone close to me is killed by another person, it will be someone who professes a belief in Christ.

                So, I will not be blaming Islam for that – nor Christians for that matter – but just that one man who is doing the killing.

            • http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/548228.html

              Interesting read – it exposes the typical American attitude.

              “..there are a few good Japs…”

              “..there are a few good Muslims…”

  30. America will not face big armies or wars from the outside it will face war from inside. As long as political correctness and leftist politics are in power, things will turn worse. I guarantee you that Obama will speak about Islam and that it has nothing to do with this shooting and that we have great muslim soldiers and that we all need to calm down and in the end NOTHING will change.

    • Agreed, Manuel. America is self destructing before our eyes, with a little help from her ‘friends’.

    • We talked about political correctness in a post earlier. PC gets us no where and does us a lot of harm. Radical Islamics are real and a danger – to those that are victims of honor killings to this guy yesterday that in the name of his religion, felt it OK to murder and maim.

      BF – Call out the Radical Christians doing the same thing. No one is saying to only call out Muslims.

      But Manuel is right, to not being able to identify and speak the truth will hurt us all.

      • Kathy,

        As I mentioned yesterday about the danger of ‘religiousizing’ the issue, because this issue encompasses a visible minority.

        Radical Christians have the same skin color as White atheists.

        If this goes “religious” and race-based, the cohesion of the US military will shatter.

        • I’m really frightened of all the fanatic Christians, I can barely walk out of my house because of all the fanatic Christians. The fanatic Christians are a real threat to everyone of us. Not one day goes by where fanatic christians try to murder infidels and innocents by blowing them up in the middle of the street or market. And of course islam is just a religion not a ideology that wants to take over the world and is on a good way. The fanatic christians are the problem, sure…

            • Two is a good starts but I believe there have thousands of attacks world wide since 9/11. But yes, Christians have committed violence. I wonder if they were reciting the Lord’s Prayer while they were at it. I understand jihadi’s sya “Allu Akbar” or something to that effect while murdering.

            • Thanks. Did you take a look at the wiki page of Mc Veigh?

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_McVeigh

              “Religious
              Throughout his childhood, he and his father were Roman Catholics and often attended daily Mass. In a recorded interview with Time magazine[14] McVeigh professed his belief in “a God”, although he said he had “sort of lost touch with” Catholicism and “I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs.” The Guardian reported that McVeigh wrote a letter to them claiming to be an agnostic.[15] McVeigh at one time said that he believed the universe was guided by natural law, energized by some universal higher power that showed each person right from wrong if they paid attention to what was going on inside them. He had also said, “Science is my religion.”[16]

              Revenge not religion led to this teorrist act. I never would say that all christians are good or that all muslims are bad but islam is a much bigger problem than christianity right now.

              • Manual,

                According to ‘legend’, McVeigh received support from the Fundamentalist Christian White Supremacists.

                Islam is not a big problem. It is the Western hype that is creating a big problem.

                Do not seek problems where none exist – least you create a problem you cannot handle.

  31. Black Flag
    Comment:
    The odds are about ~15,000 to 1 that if I or someone close to me is killed by another person, it will be someone who professes a belief in Christ.

    So, I will not be blaming Islam for that – nor Christians for that matter – but just that one man who is doing the killing.

    That answer is fair enough. The next time I see you blaming Christians for violence, I will remind you of this answer. I’ll give you a pass on the Christian blaming you’ve done in the past. You have a clean slate with me BF. Have good evening.

    • Remember, Cyndi, I am only mirroring the arguments of religion back to those that make it.

      I have found it is the only effective way of demonstrating the irrational bias of using religion as an excuse/villian/reason/etc. for action.

      Whenever an entire culture/race/religion is the excuse to act violent (for or against), it presents a great danger of turning peaceful people into vicious enemies.

      • Stop mirrioring and really imagine it was one of your loved one who was murdered. Will you struggle to be philosophical, if against the odds one of your loved ones is murdered by a jihadi? I don’t know about you but I take murder very personally. If it were one of my loved ones, I wouldn’t be sitting around guessing what else might have been going through the murderer’s might except for the obvious. I’d be mad as hell, demanding action and sueing the crap out of the government and media officials to hold them accounatable for their lies and inaction. I wouldn’t care if I lost. It wouldn’t be about that. It would be about making people stop with the PC BS that is klling us.

        • Cindy,

          As I repeat, the odds are 15,000 to 1 that a Christian will be the killer.

          There is no jihad in any continent other than Middle East/West Asia. If you have no wish to die by the hands of Islam, don’t go there.

          Cindy Sheehan demonstrated the capability of one person vs. the Federal government. It is now in the dictionary under “futile”.

          • I have no intention of venturing into that sewer. I just wish the sewer rats would stay where they belong.

            So I guess the reason you hold your view on Islam, is because you have the luxury of doing so. It all makes sense now.

  32. Stratfor – a good article and information on a recent posting on a jihadist website.

    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20091104_counterterrorism_shifting_who_how

  33. Your blog is informative and has people divided and is there really a right and wrong. Is there a scare tactic involved that has everyone feeling this is a bad ideal.

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