Old Watch wallpaper – Freedom and Health Care Reform

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Old Watch wallpaper

 

I Don’t Want Health Care If Just Anyone Can Have It

As a concerned citizen, I must voice my adamant disapproval of the “universal health care” proposals we’ve been hearing so much about. I don’t have any gripes with expanding and improving health coverage, per se. It’s the “universal” part that irks me. Providing health care for all would completely undermine the whole idea of health care. If every last one of the 40 million uninsured bozos in this country is going to get access to the vast, virtually unnavigable system of medical care we chosen few now enjoy, then I no longer even want it.

When hospital administrators see me flash my Blue Cross card, it means something. It tells the world, “Hey, look at me: I pay increasingly high monthly premiums, submit to annual exams, and claim any health-related expenditures over seven percent of my yearly income on my taxes, and you can’t.” But when this bill passes, they’ll be handing out insurance cards willy-nilly, and nobody will be able to tell the difference between someone who’s had health coverage for 20 years and someone whose boss was compelled by law to provide it to all full-time employees.

Then again, maybe they’ll offer some sort of special Platinum Plus medical card. But I can’t count on that.

Health care is all about exclusivity, pure and simple. It’s for a group of like-minded people bonded by the dream of only having to contribute a portion of their weekly wages to ensure unfettered access to a number of licensed health care professionals. If we change all that, health care will be about as elite as a public restroom, open to any yokel who waltzes into an emergency room and can legally establish California residency.

If we let the government get away with this the next thing you know they will be making us buy car insurance, stopping at red lights, only have guinea fowl in land zoned for agriculture, make men wear pants at work, force us to eat half pound cheese burgers smothered in mayonnaise, let the disabled have the best parking and have honest reasons for going to war. Freedom is not dead, but it is hooked up to life support at a Canadian hospital because its cheaper there.

Being able to buy affordable healthcare is something like Stalin or Mao would have done. For parents to be able to put their children on their health insurance coverage until age 26 is just like the Bataan Death March. If anyone has a preexisting condition that is the universe telling you it is time to go broke or die, or both. So giving people with preexisting conditions health insurance is messing with the universe and exactly the kind of thing Mussolini would do. Freedom means suffering and dying to decrease the surplus population.

The 10 Most Hilariously Unhinged Right-Wing Reactions to the Obamacare Ruling

When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker beat back a recall effort, we learned that conservatives aren’t exactly gracious in victory. On Thursday, when Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Supreme Court’s moderate bloc to uphold ObamaCare. we discovered that the Right is nothing less than unhinged in defeat.

The remarkable thing about the heated debates about the law over the last three years is just how modest these reforms really are, especially when one considers how screwed up our healthcare system was to begin with.

The reality is that there is no “government takeover” underway. Some lower-middle-class families are going to get some subsidies to buy insurance, maybe ten million or so more poor people will be eligible for Medicaid. Insurers will get some new regulations that are popular even among Republicans.

And with Thursday’s ruling, the government can no longer mandate that you carry insurance, it can only levy a small tax on those who don’t. The real-world impact of that? Only an estimated 1 percent of the population will face the tax – a tax that maxes out at 1 percent — and it may not even be enforceable!

[  ]…1. Totally Not Exaggerating!

Baby-faced Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro offers a coolly dispassionate analysis of yesterday’s ruling…

benshapiro @benshapiro

This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration.

3. Health Insurance Is So Much Worse Than the Murder of 3,000 People

It’s a good thing Mike Pence is a reasonable conservative.

In a closed door House GOP meeting Thursday, Indiana congressman and gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence likened the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Democratic health care law to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to several sources present.

He immediately apologized.

10. Or Is He?

Unlike most constitutional experts, some conservative bloggers thought that the law was so obviously unconstitutional that something fishy must be going on…

Someone got to Roberts. I bet they got to him and told him he has to vote this way or members of his family – kids, wife, parents, whoever – were going to be killed.

Later this afternoon, it’s going to come out that Roberts was coerced. … the whole story will come out, Roberts will issue his REAL opinion, and Obama and Axelrod will be taken away in handcuffs.

Hey, one can always hope!

If conservatives want to start some kind of camping to impeach Chief Justice Roberts I’ll be happy to join. Though I do think they are being ungrateful  ankle-biters. Roberts and the other worshipers of Plutocracy, with the Citizens United decision, gave a few dozen billionaires the right to buy elections. A conservative wet dream come true. Republicans are like trick or treaters whose bundle of candy can never be big enough.

Republican states – those with a conservative majority legislature and a Republican governor, or some combination of those things that would make it impossible to implement any Medicaid changes, did win something yesterday. The right to be as evil as they want to be just for spite, On Medicaid, Republicans Explore New Moral Depths by Paul Waldman

As the lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act worked their way up to the Supreme Court, I always found the challenge to the expansion of Medicaid to be the strangest part. Quick context: the program provides insurance for poor people, splitting the cost between the federal government and the states. But the current rules say that each state gets to set its own eligibility standards, which meant that if you live in a state run by Democrats and you’re poor, you can get Medicaid, but if you live in a state run by Republicans, you have to be desperately poor to get Medicaid. For instance, in Mississippi, a family of four has to have a yearly gross income below a princely $9,828 to qualify. Because if a family is living high on the hog with their $10,000 a year, they aren’t really poor, right?

Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act fixed this, by changing Medicaid so that everyone with up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($30,657 for a family of four) would qualify. And to make things easier on the states, the bill provided that the federal government would pick up almost all of the tab. The federal government pays 100 percent of the cost of paying for the new enrollees through 2016, 95 percent in 2017, 94 percent in 2018, 93 percent in 2019, and 90 percent from then on. In other words, the federal government is saying to states, “Here’s a bunch of free money to insure a whole lot of your citizens, which will make them healthier and more productive.” And almost every state run by Republicans replied, “How dare you do such a thing to us! It’s unconstitutional! We’re suing!”

And unfortunately, the Supreme Court gave them the right to turn down the money, so each state gets to decide whether it wants to accept the expansion. The irony is that this change in Medicaid is much, much more valuable to the states that have been the stingiest with Medicaid up until now. Massachusetts, for instance, already sets Medicaid eligibility at 133 percent of the poverty level, so they get no new money. It’s the Republican states with Scroogian eligibility who will get the most benefit, insuring millions of their citizens at little cost. But they’re the ones who don’t want it.

It’s pretty obvious that many Republicans wish there was no such thing as Medicaid at all. But if they have to tolerate poor people getting health care, they want to make sure as few of those poor people get it as possible. Because after all, if you can take your kids to the doctor whenever they get sick, how are you going to learn that being poor proves how sinful you are?

When this all comes down in 2014, the Republican governors and legislators who choose to opt out of the Medicaid expansion shouldn’t be allowed to claim that it’s a budgetary issue, because it isn’t—it’s free money, as far as their state budgets are concerned. They’re already trying. Here’s Phil Bryant, the governor of Mississippi, saying that the state doesn’t have the money to cover the estimated 330,000 people in the state who would get insurance paid for by the federal government. Here are Republican officials in Florida, where around a million people could get coverage under the Medicaid expansion, pleased as punch that the Court gave them the opportunity to say “No coverage for you!” to those poor Floridians.

So these Republican officials will be saying to their own citizens, “The federal government is offering to give you free health insurance, but we won’t let you have it. Your health is less important than us making a statement about how much we hate the welfare state and how much we hate Barack Obama and everything he touches.” They believe that it’s better for a person to have no insurance at all than to get insurance from the government. That position is morally vile enough in the abstract, but when they’re actually confronted with a choice to make about whether to allow their citizens to have health insurance, some of them are going to say no. I struggle to find words to describe how despicable and cruel that is.

Let’s put on our tricorne hats and try to imagine what The Founders would have done. We could go by the example of Pennsylvania Hospital. It was founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin “to care for the sick-poor and insane who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia.” Lieutenant Governor James Hamilton, who Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney would have hated, signed the charter for the hospital into law. Funding came from private donations and from taxes.

As a southern I have to abject a little to the sweeping title of this article, but readers will see that she is talking about regressive southerns. Not everyone is the south is a regressive, any more than everyone from the north or north-west is an enlightened progressive.  Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America

As described by Colin Woodard in American Nations: The Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, the elites of the Deep South are descended mainly from the owners of sugar, rum and cotton plantations from Barbados — the younger sons of the British nobility who’d farmed up the Caribbean islands, and then came ashore to the southern coasts seeking more land. Woodward described the culture they created in the crescent stretching from Charleston, SC around to New Orleans this way:

It was a near-carbon copy of the West Indian slave state these Barbadians had left behind, a place notorious even then for its inhumanity….From the outset, Deep Southern culture was based on radical disparities in wealth and power, with a tiny elite commanding total obedience and enforcing it with state-sponsored terror. Its expansionist ambitions would put it on a collision course with its Yankee rivals, triggering military, social, and political conflicts that continue to plague the United States to this day.

David Hackett Fischer, whose Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways In America informs both Lind’s and Woodard’s work, described just how deeply undemocratic the Southern aristocracy was, and still is. He documents how these elites have always feared and opposed universal literacy, public schools and libraries, and a free press. (Lind adds that they have historically been profoundly anti-technology as well, far preferring solutions that involve finding more serfs and throwing them at a problem whenever possible. Why buy a bulldozer when 150 convicts on a chain gang can grade your road instead?) Unlike the Puritan elites, who wore their wealth modestly and dedicated themselves to the common good, Southern elites sank their money into ostentatious homes and clothing and the pursuit of pleasure — including lavish parties, games of fortune, predatory sexual conquests, and blood sports involving ritualized animal abuse spectacles.

But perhaps the most destructive piece of the Southern elites’ worldview is the extremely anti-democratic way it defined the very idea of liberty.

Generally liberals and progressives want to maximize personal freedom while also balancing it with responsibility to the community. If your conservative neighbor – who shouts FREEDOM out his window at sunrise everyday wants to keep a big heap of animal waste near your property line. Waste that stinks, draws rodents and insect pests, and leaches into and contaminates  your ground water. Well that is how conservative think freedom works. They have the mental outlook of kids with behavioral disorders. They want something and throw a temper tantrum if they don’t get it. Weight the consequences or ramifications of their behavior on others? That is what they call tyranny. They wanted an invasion of Iraq. What’s a few lies about WMD or getting some people killed. They wanted it and those that would deny them their latest desire are commies, Nazis and terrorists sympathizers. It was the adult version of the scene in the TV show where the parents says no to the $150 sneakers and the kid yells I hate you and storms off. It is a scene played over and over again in how conservatives perceive and frame public policy.

Today in history: On June 29, 1776: The Virginia state constitution is adopted. $15 bill from that year

Virginia, 15 Dollars, 1776

The American colonies (or states, as they now began calling themselves) issued currency of their own to pay war expenses and keep local economies afloat. Issues from Virginia featured an armored Amazon brandishing a sword. She stands above and on the prone body of a dead male ruler, whose crown has fallen on the ground. The motto could not be more plain: SIC SEMPER TYRANNUS (Be it ever thus to tyrants). This vivid image still adorns the Virginia state flag.

Unlike most Revolutionary War currency, this note was printed on only one side. And the paper for its printing left something to be desired. It looks as if this note were forcibly torn in two. But whether it was torn deliberately or by accident, someone pinned it back together — crudely but effectively.

The denomination is given as “fifteen Spanish milled dollars.” Those coins were the famous “pieces of eight,” now minted by machinery (“milled”) in Mexico City and elsewhere. They were the monies of choice when coins were available, and Americans liked them so much that they eventually based their own United States dollar on the Spanish-American prototype.

 

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