Health care legislation as Waterloo – Oliphant (and Benson)


Pat Oliphant on health care legislation as Obama's Waterloo, March 23, 2010

Pat Oliphant on health care legislation as Obama's Waterloo, March 23, 2010 - Washington Post

How’s that “make health care Obama’s Waterloo” working out for you, Sen. Demint?

Didn’t expect Obama to be Wellington at Waterloo, eh?

See Steve Benson’s take, below the fold.

Steve Benson on Republican and Waterloo on health care, Arizona Republic, March 24, 2010

Steve Benson on Republicans and Waterloo on health care, Arizona Republic, March 24, 2010

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33 Responses to Health care legislation as Waterloo – Oliphant (and Benson)

  1. Nick K says:

    And when you, Catherine, can show evidence that there is a significant amount of nuisance suits you’ll have a point.

    Until you do I’ll stick with a modified version of the adage: It’s better that 100 guilty people go free then 1 person be jailed unjustly.

    The modified version being: It’s better that there be 100 nuisance suits then 1 person be screwed over by a doctor and not get justice.

    But beyond that I really don’t care about malpractice insurance. I care about health insurance companies. I have bigger unethical fish to fry.

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  2. Nick, I just know from my own personal experience that the malpractice insurance companies competed for clients. When the rate went up for one, another offered a better rate, although not that much better. The rates are still high, that’s why doctors want some relief from the type of nuisance suits I’ve seen in the past decade. I can’t prove that the insurance companies wouldn’t keep the savings. I haven’t done the research. I’m just ranting. Or “venting,” which was one of the answers on Jeopardy today. I’ve enjoyed this interchange, and again I’m sorry about the attorney bashing. We bash doctors in my household, too.

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  3. Nick K says:

    And you can guarantee that person recieving said savings would pass those savings along to his customers?

    Ok..I’ll bite…how?

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  4. Nick, I was talking about malpractice premiums.

    I know hundreds of doctors, but few lawyers, so thanks for your input. Have a great weekend.

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  5. Nick K says:

    And training med students is also a cash cow for universities, Catherine. Should we get rid of doctors because of it?

    And I think companies should do their part to cooperate in cleaning up the blatantly unethical and immoral practices that more and more of them engage in. And yet they don’t…they fight such efforts with everything they got.

    Let me know when you get companies to do that then Ill help with the lawyers.

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  6. Nick K says:

    Catherine writes:
    You didn’t address the Howard Dean video. In a previous comment I quoted Ed’s estimate of 5 percent of malpractice costs adding to health care costs. These are not just insurance costs, but the costs to patients for additional tests. It’s just aggravagating to have nuisance suits being filed that get dismissed after years of expensive legal fees. Yes, costs would go down. Insurance companies do compete with each for clients.

    Oh really? Then explain why Wellpoint raised its premiums 60% in one year? Explain why United Health raised its preimums twice in two consecutive months?

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/15/business/la-fi-lazarus15-2010feb15

    They don’t compete now. They don’t have to compete. They’re immune from anti-trust laws. And if you think that if you give savings to the insurance companies and they would pass it along to the customers you are horribly naive.

    I didn’t address the Howard Dean video because its not evidence..it’s opinion. What I cited about malpractice lawsuits costing less then one percent of total health care costs is evidence..the claim comes from a study of such costs done during the last few years.

    Since tort reform won’t save sufficient money to actually lower costs the entire argument is DOA.

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  7. Surely, you’ve heard that law schools are cash cows for universities? Compared with training a doctor, training a lawyer is cheaper. I didn’t say it was cheap for law students — you are subsidizing other disciplines with your tuition. Training doctors requires expensive equipment, medical research, many doctorates teaching in a wide range of fields, such as microbiology and pharmacology, all of which require money for labs, equipment, lab assistants, research.

    Ambrose Bierce loved to ridicule the self-important. I apologise for being so nasty about lawyers. It was a cheap shot. Nevertheless, I think they should do their part in cooperating in streamlining the malpractice system so that patients who are harmed are best served.

    You didn’t address the Howard Dean video. In a previous comment I quoted Ed’s estimate of 5 percent of malpractice costs adding to health care costs. These are not just insurance costs, but the costs to patients for additional tests. It’s just aggravagating to have nuisance suits being filed that get dismissed after years of expensive legal fees. Yes, costs would go down. Insurance companies do compete with each for clients.

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  8. Nick K says:

    Catherine writes:
    “According to the American Bar Association, there were 1,128,729 resident and active attorneys in the United States in 2006 and 1,143,358 in 2007. A small percentage of the increase (actual number 352) is due to American Somoa and Guam being added to the survey in 2007.” Too damned many, in my opinion! Law schools are considered cash cows for universities. They don’t cost much to educate, not like a doctor or a scientist.

    And yet both Prosecutor’s offices and public defense attornies offices around the country are facing shortages of manpower and money. Which is forcing them to cut back. There aren’t enough judges around the country. You say there was 1.1 million attornies in this country in 2007? This country has a population of 300+ million. That is 1.1 attorney for every 272 people approximately. Would you like to try again?

    Its cheap for an university to train an attorney? Law school is cheap? You really think getting a 4 year degree then going to law school for another 3+ years is cheap? Hamline University, which is my alma mater, is one of the better law schools in the country. It’s not the best..it’s not Yale but it’s up there on the list. It’s tuition costs $33,000 a year. How do I know this? Well I just called and asked. So lets see. Tuition for that school to get a bachelors was $26,000 for the 2009-2010 school year. So a person who gets his/her four year degree then goes onto law school will end up having to pay $203,000. And it’s cheap? Tell me..what’s your definition of expensive? What? Going to hold a gun to people’s heads and force them to not be lawyers? To not go to law school?

    You want less lawyers? Then you’re going to have less justice. We’re already to the point where its basically only the rich can have good lawyers. And you want to tilt that balance even more in their favor? You want to tilt the balance even more in the favor of big companies? You want to tilt the balance even more in the favor of the health insurance companies?

    Oh and just to counteract your 1% bit. First off..the report regarding tort reform said it was less then 1%. It was around half a percent. Secondly..do you really think that if you lower the costs for the insurance companies they’re going to lower the costs for their customers? You quote Ambrose Bierce. I’m going to quote myself: Definition of “Naive”: Those who think that if health insurance companies, who make money by kicking people off insurance, are given savings through tort reform said companies will pass along those savings onto their customers rather then keep the extra money as profit for themselves.

    We spend more on our defense budget then the next 15 countries combined. Even if we cut the defense budget in half we’d still spend more then the next 8 countries combined. Our current defense budget is over $1 trillion dollars a year. Our health care budget is nowhere near that. Defense spending is our absolute biggest expense. So you want savings? Start there. Because sorry, I’m not willing to see that there is less justice in the country just because you don’t know what you’re talking about and have a silly hatred of lawyers.

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  9. Nick, I wasn’t asking for less regulation, I was asking for more regulation of attorneys. I’m asking for more intelligence in the judiciary, which is probably a laughable concept. Howard Dean says, in the video I supplied, that tort reform wasn’t pursued because trial lawyers are too powerful. (See Ambrose Bierce quote)

    “According to the American Bar Association, there were 1,128,729 resident and active attorneys in the United States in 2006 and 1,143,358 in 2007. A small percentage of the increase (actual number 352) is due to American Somoa and Guam being added to the survey in 2007.” Too damned many, in my opinion! Law schools are considered cash cows for universities. They don’t cost much to educate, not like a doctor or a scientist. I odn’t have the figures to back that up right now, but I’m sure they are out there.

    I love this quote! Ambrose Bierce’s satirical The Devil’s Dictionary (1911) that summarized the noun as: “LAWYER, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.”

    One percent of one trillion dollars in health care costs is ten billion, by the way. Not an insignificant amount.

    Thanks for letting me rant!

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  10. Nick K says:

    So, Chris, are you actually going to answer the question I asked?

    Or is expecting you to have the intellectual honesty or an rational human being too much to expect?

    Taking after Walter Peck are you?*

    *Oh, if you’re wondering who Walter Peck is…think Ghostbusters.

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  11. Nick K says:

    Chris, you can try answering the question now.

    That being why behavior by insurance companies like the behavior cited in that article be allowed?

    Oh and by the way..the second you say “It shouldn’t.” is the second you can answer this question:

    So what did the Republicans do to stop it?

    Because it’s not like that behavior started when the Democrats gained control of Congress and White House. It’s been going for quite a bit longer then that.

    Or would you like to admit that your party did nothing? Because if you do admit that then the next question is “So..why should we trust them to do something now?”

    Oh and then you can have fun explaining how come you and your fellow Republicans oppose Obama’s attempt at health care reform when quite a lot of the law enforces a lot of what Senator’s Grassley, Dole and Hatch proposed back in the 90′s.

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  12. Nick Kelsier says:

    Chris writes:
    Nick, nobody opposes health care reform. They oppose the government taking their hard-earned cash and giving it to people who haven’t earned it

    You mean as opposed to giving it to the health insurance companies who haven’t earned it?

    Oh and by the way…if you’re talking about the poor there choke on this. If someone doesn’t have health insurance their only resort is the emergency room. Emergency care is 5 times as expensive as normal care. And when they can’t pay that do you know who does? That’s right…you and me.

    So if you’re so worried about “giving your money to those who haven’t earned it” you’re already paying for it whether you like it or not. Just that the government making sure the people have health care means that we won’t be paying as much. Like I said..normal health care is cheaper by far then emergency care.

    Do you remember that little boy that was standing next to the President when he signed the bill? That boy’s mother lost her job because of a medical ailment that she had. When she lost her job she lost her health care. And she died. The ailment she had would have been treatable and not life threatening if she still have had health care.

    Have fun trying to tell me that she didn’t “earn” it.

    Have fun trying to tell me that those people named in that article I cited deserved to get their health care revoked.

    And Chris, despite whatever delusion you’re operating from..most people in this country who don’t have health care are either working or were laid off. So your claim that they didn’t “earn it” is nonsense.

    60% of all bankruptices in this country are because of the health insurance companies.

    Please don’t tell me your side was complaining about “paying for the health care of those who didn’t earn it.” Your side offered no alternatives. None. Your side didn’t want to fix the problems, your side didn’t even try. Your side wanted the status quo. Why? Because, Chris, whether you want to admit it or not your party doesn’t give a damn about you. All your party cares about is serving the companies that feed it money. If your side was so interested in fixing the problems in the health care system then pray tell why didn’t your party do anything? After all..it only had the Presidency and Congress for the same 6 years. Did it try working with President Clinton before that? No. Did it seek to punish the insurance companies for what they’re doing? Again..no.

    People are dying and this country can’t wait just because you and yours only give a damn about yourselves.

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  13. Ed Darrell says:

    Nick, nobody opposes health care reform. They oppose the government taking their hard-earned cash and giving it to people who haven’t earned it.

    That’s not entirely accurate. We’re not talking about the government taking hard-earned cash that isn’t already being taken by private insurance companies and redistributed by them. So, what we’re really talking about is equitable redistribution of hard-earned cash, to make sure it covers the care of the poor instead of just lining the pockets of the rich.

    That, ultimately, reduces the costs of health care. Every nation on Earth with universal coverage pays substantially less for equal care, or in the case of Canada and France, for superior care, than in the U.S.

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  14. Chris Graham says:

    Nick, nobody opposes health care reform. They oppose the government taking their hard-earned cash and giving it to people who haven’t earned it. Nobody opposes actual reform. That’s as ridiculous as someone who opposes the choice to kill their unborn baby in the name of convenience, and people just aren’t like that.

    Oh…oh, wait….

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  15. Nick Kelsier says:

    I won’t quote the entire article as it’s rather long but I’d like to see anyone who opposes health care reform attempt to explain why this sort of behavior on the part of health insurance companies should any longer be allowed. So here goes:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63L2LS20100422

    (Reuters) – One after another, shortly after a diagnosis of breast cancer, each of the women learned that her health insurance had been canceled. First there was Yenny Hsu, who lived and worked in Los Angeles. Later, Robin Beaton, a registered nurse from Texas. And then, most recently, there was Patricia Relling, a successful art gallery owner and interior designer from Louisville, Kentucky.

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  16. Ed Darrell says:

    Tort reform proposed by Republicans would limit damages, essentially, and make it more difficult for anyone to sue.

    How does that affect health care costs?

    In the examples you cited there was little outlay of money from anyone in health care — the expenses appeared to be borne by the legal system. So, if we take those cases, how would tort reform have any effect on health care costs?

    Check out Canada’s system. They didn’t reduce damage awards, though they rarely have huge ones now. Instead they gave everyone universal coverage, so that any injury is treated right away. If someone claims malpractice, they should have had it treated already. Careful records are kept. A panel of lawyers, mostly, with medical advice, rules on each case — valid claims go forward.

    Courts are free to overturn the ruling of the lawyers, but they rarely do.

    Greedy lawyers gaming the legal system don’t add significant costs to health care. In Texas we limited damages, so that a kid who had measles misdiagnosed (stupidly) now cannot get the care he needs — it passes the caps.

    Who saves money in that case? His care is now sent to Medicare and Medicaid — health costs balloon.

    Tort reform is for tort justice. Health cost control is a separate issue.

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  17. Nick Kelsier says:

    Catherine, George W Bush ordered a study done by the government when he was trying to push for tort reform.

    The study found that of all dollars spent on health care…malpractice lawsuits account for less then 1% of the total.

    So really…how much savings do you think that would actually bring? And who would be saving the money? Do you honestly think the insurance companies woul pass on such “savings” to their customers? You know…as opposed to keeping the extra “savings” as…wait for it…extra profit.

    If most health insurance companies had record profits last year and have had such profits in previous years then there is no feasible argument that they’re facing such “frivolous” expenses.

    As for your complaint about too much regulation..it was too little regulation that got us into this mess in the first place.

    If a company or an industry acts responsibly, ethically, morally and doesn’t act to screw over the people of the United States then I don’t want them to be overly regulated.

    But when an company or an industry acts irresponsibly, unethically, immorally and is responsible for 50,000 people dying every year and 60% of all bankrupticies in the country I want them regulated within an inch of their lives.

    There are consequences for poor behavior. Why should the health insurance industry get a free pass? Why should we trust them to fix the problems in the system when for at least the last 15 years they not only haven’t fixed the problems they’ve made them worse. After Clinton’s attempt to reform health care the insurance companies all promised they would fix their errors. And the Republicans sat there and said “We should trust them. The market will see that they do.”

    Guess what….they didn’t. They lied and either the Republicans lied too or the Republicans are the worlds most naive group of politicians.

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  18. “There’s no malpractice-suit reform in there.

    Most states, like Texas, have already done that, and found it doesn’t help. At most, malpractice contributes about 5% of total health costs. Reform won’t do much, and reform tends to favor large institutions who manage to injure individuals — malpractice doesn’t need reforming, and it won’t help much.”

    I disagree that malpractice lawyers don’t need to be reined in. Though this is anecdotal, all of the “malpractice” cases I know of among family and many friends in the medical profession were frivolous and dismissed after much expense.

    Here’s a recent case: A seriously ill woman dies a couple of days after surgery. A few people involved with her case were sued, but not the surgeon or the anesthesiologist who did her case, but the anesthesiologist who interviewed her for her patient history. The cause for the suit: That the interviewing anesthesiolgist didn’t ask whether the patient had sleep apnea. Yet, “sleep apnea” is listed right on her chart. She didn’t die from anything related to sleep apnea, either. The suit was filed one day before it would be too late to file, probably to keep the door open.

    A similar case happened when a patient had carpal tunnel, told the doctor she had it, it was in her medical chart, yet afterward she sued saying the anesthesia block gave her carpal tunnel. In the past, the insurance companies have settled these cases because it’s cheaper than taking it to trial, but in the carpal tunnel case, the insurance company refused to settle because it was so obviously already a pre-existing condition. Amazingly, shockingly and revoltingly, the case dragged on and on, as the plaintiffs attorneys tried to get some money. Finally, the insurance company gave the plaintiff $10,000 just make her go away, because the judges (also usually lawyers)let the case continue . It’s horrible that this was allowed. The case should have been dismissed at the beginning, but attorneys have no reason not to press since they get paid. It’s extortion.

    Here’s another case: A man beat up his father in an argument and caused internal bleeding. The father had surgery, but died three days later. In this case, the son sued to make it a medical malpractice case so that he would not be tried for manslaughter.

    This happens over and over. The medical profession is highly regulated and getting more so. It’s disgusting that there was no tort reform in this health bill.

    Howard Dean explains why here:

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  19. Ed Darrell says:

    Historians are just liberal elitist pricks who look back at history and form an opinion on it. They don’t look at history any more objectively than they look at the present day. “Historian” is just a title given to someone with a hobby in reading history books. And those historians are just using W. as a scapegoat; there was that one American president (I forget his name) who lasted one month in the presidency. He got nothing done in that one month, needless to say, so you would think any objective “historian” would call him the worst. But the “historians” obviously based their conclusion on Bush being the worse simply because they didn’t like him.

    You, George Bush and Ray Mummert — under attack by “smart people.”

    Alternatively, you could read the article (when it shows up in its completeness, tomorrow, I hope) and make substantive comments on it, instead of ranting on imagined responses.

    “A loophole or gap in a law is common, and not a sign of incompetence.” Oh, okay. I’d have to argue that incompetence is common, then. (Well, that goes without saying when it’s in regard to Congress.)

    Please show us the 2,000-page anything you put together with no typos. Congress does good work. Quit spitting on the flag and claiming it’s rain.

    “If insurance companies deprive coverage,…there will be litigation.” They wouldn’t be breaking any laws by denying coverage to anyone, because the law doesn’t say they can’t.

    Oh, but the law does say they can’t. They’re claiming that the law that bans their actions doesn’t take effect until later. On one hand you accuse Congress of incompetence for writing a report on the bill that says there is no loophole, and then on the other hand you claim it’s no violation of Congressional intent — that is, the law — to not follow the law. You need to sort out your thoughts, and unmuddle things.

    There will be litigation if the insurance companies deny coverage, and if insurance companies win, look for amendments. It’s a case of if a few are left out, we all pay through the nose. It should be fixed.

    I’m not saying they should deny coverage, of course, but looking at it objectively, they have that right. But I see you’ve jumped on the insurance-companies-are-evil bandwagon, even though they make only 3% profit.

    I said no such thing. There you go again, assuming things that are not in evidence. You noted, accurately, that Congressional intent was to leave no gaps. All I said was that if someone tries to avoid that law, there will be litigation.

    It’s Republicans who work evil, here, much more than insurance companies. And note that I didn’t say Republicans are evil — they just do the bidding of evil. There is hope, always.

    “Unless Sauron is more effective in mustering Republicans against an amendment than he was the first time around. It would be a heckuva fight, with pro-life Republicans publicly repudiating their stands in order to force children to suffer and die.” It wasn’t just Republicans who were against the health-care takeover; Republicans were, Democrats were, and Independents were.

    There was no takeover. We have no National Health Service as do Canada and Britain — both of which have health care systems that are more efficient, more effective, and much cheaper than ours.

    No Republican had the guts, sense, or patriotism to step forward and support the bill. They worked hard to earn the blame for what goes wrong, and they should get it in spades.

    And come on, guy, that’s a tad dramatic, “The Republicans want to force children to suffer and die!” Oh, okay.

    Not okay with me. It’s immoral, and the Republicans should be stopped if they try to enforce a kill-the-children rule.

    “…The provision Sen. Feinstein had proposed to fix the problem was stopped by Republican[s].” Republicans against have not once tried to stop reform,

    Not just once, but hundreds of times. They objected to consideration of the Feinstein bill, and they objected to allowing health care to proceed normally, preventing its being tacked on as a wholly germane and good amendment.

    Yes, Republicans worked hard to stop reform. Each and every one of them. Shame on each and every one of them.

    . . . and the Democrats who supported the health-care takeover have not once tried to initiate reform.

    Not once, but hundreds of times. At least annually since 1903.

    The new bill does nothing to reform anything. It doesn’t increase competition because it still prevents you from purchasing insurance across state lines.

    Why won’t Republicans allow that amendment? It seems like it would make sense.

    There’s no malpractice-suit reform in there.

    Most states, like Texas, have already done that, and found it doesn’t help. At most, malpractice contributes about 5% of total health costs. Reform won’t do much, and reform tends to favor large institutions who manage to injure individuals — malpractice doesn’t need reforming, and it won’t help much.

    Republicans offered numerous solutions while the Democrats literally locked themselves up behind closed doors to prevent the Republicans from having any part of the legislation.

    What country are you in? Here in the U.S., our President Obama made his first trip outside of the White House after inauguration to meet with Republicans on Capitol Hill to ask their cooperation and pledge his. They refused on the spot.

    Despite this, Democrats in the Senate held more than six months of negotiations with Republicans; my sources tell me it was quite tortured. Republicans refused to cooperate much, so the Dems took old Republican proposals and put them in, unless the Republicans said “no,” which they often did. Odd to see the Republicans repudiate what you now say would have helped the bill.

    In the end, Republicans just refused to do anything but object.

    The budget reconciliation process isn’t friendly to amendments. Here in the U.S., that was what Republican constipation of the legislative process led to.

    It was different in your country?

    So, yes, the Republicans should be proud that they tried to prevent socialism and offered up true reform.

    No one ever proposed socialism. Republicans should be ashamed they can’t tell socialism from republican democracy. Here, the Republicans just refused to do anything, let alone offer any move toward any different reform.

    “It will be interesting to see how recalcitrant industries fight improved health care. The important first step in reining in costs was to expand coverage.” Coverage was expanded to some 10 or 15 million people at the expense of freedom and at the expense of reducing the quality of the health care to everybody else. Yay.

    Who lost freedom? Not you. Don’t make stuff up.

    “Occasional wins by evil is not evidence that the war has been lost.” Good, this gives me some hope.

    Good, don’t abandon hope. But it would be nice if you’d stop fighting hope, too.

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  20. Nick Kelsier says:

    Oh and Chris, there are pictures of CHeney and Rumsfeld shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein and his cronies.

    Have fun choking because that rather shoots down any sense of superiority you get claiming making up stupid claims about Obama and Chavez.

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  21. Nick Kelsier says:

    Chris wrote:
    Bush was a humble person, a faithful husband, a dignified person in general.

    He was arrogant and egotistical.

    And as for “faithful husband” that has what to do with being President? No matter what you say he was one of our worst Presidents of all time.

    Bush authorized a fools war in Iraq that did no small part in nearly bankrupting this country. He attacked Iraq despite them having nothing to do with 9-11. He let Osama bin Laden get away and he did little to deal with Al Qaeda. He authorized torture. He sacrificed much of our moral standing with the rest of the world. And domestically he continously screwed over the middle class and the poor while kissing the asses of the rich.

    And you want to claim that Kennedy’s alleged affairs makes him a worse person then Bush? My..you do have a messed up sense of morality. Let me know when you want to bother to have an actual sense of morality. Because thinking that a person who cheated on his wife is worse morally then a person who ordered torture is just this side of being morally depraved.

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  22. Chris Graham says:

       Historians are just liberal elitist pricks who look back at history and form an opinion on it. They don’t look at history any more objectively than they look at the present day. “Historian” is just a title given to someone with a hobby in reading history books. And those historians are just using W. as a scapegoat; there was that one American president (I forget his name) who lasted one month in the presidency. He got nothing done in that one month, needless to say, so you would think any objective “historian” would call him the worst. But the “historians” obviously based their conclusion on Bush being the worse simply because they didn’t like him.

       “A loophole or gap in a law is common, and not a sign of incompetence.” Oh, okay. I’d have to argue that incompetence is common, then. (Well, that goes without saying when it’s in regard to Congress.)

       “If insurance companies deprive coverage,…there will be litigation.” They wouldn’t be breaking any laws by denying coverage to anyone, because the law doesn’t say they can’t. I’m not saying they should deny coverage, of course, but looking at it objectively, they have that right. But I see you’ve jumped on the insurance-companies-are-evil bandwagon, even though they make only 3% profit.

       “Unless Sauron is more effective in mustering Republicans against an amendment than he was the first time around. It would be a heckuva fight, with pro-life Republicans publicly repudiating their stands in order to force children to suffer and die.” It wasn’t just Republicans who were against the health-care takeover; Republicans were, Democrats were, and Independents were. And come on, guy, that’s a tad dramatic, “The Republicans want to force children to suffer and die!” Oh, okay.

       “…The provision Sen. Feinstein had proposed to fix the problem was stopped by Republican[s].” Republicans against have not once tried to stop reform, and the Democrats who supported the health-care takeover have not once tried to initiate reform. The new bill does nothing to reform anything. It doesn’t increase competition because it still prevents you from purchasing insurance across state lines. There’s no malpractice-suit reform in there. Republicans offered numerous solutions while the Democrats literally locked themselves up behind closed doors to prevent the Republicans from having any part of the legislation. So, yes, the Republicans should be proud that they tried to prevent socialism and offered up true reform.

       “It will be interesting to see how recalcitrant industries fight improved health care. The important first step in reining in costs was to expand coverage.” Coverage was expanded to some 10 or 15 million people at the expense of freedom and at the expense of reducing the quality of the health care to everybody else. Yay.

       “Occasional wins by evil is not evidence that the war has been lost.” Good, this gives me some hope.

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  23. Ed Darrell says:

    Bush was a humble person, a faithful husband, a dignified person in general.

    You’ve never met Bush, and you don’t know much about him, do you.

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  24. Ed Darrell says:

    Obama’s a weak rookie who likes to appease and pal around with dictators (he’s good friends with Chavez, and even Castro–former communist dictator of Cuba–approves of the way Obama is running America. Communists don’t approve of democracy, yet this communist approves of Obama’s job. Interesting, no?

    Good friends with Chavez? They’ve met once. Obama said Venezuela needs to get with the program, stand up for rule of law in the Americas. Chavez gave Obama a book.

    You imagine a lot that didn’t happen and isn’t realistic. Obama’s no closer to Chavez than Dick Cheney is, just wiser in handling the nut.

    Who cares what Castro says in an interview? Castro didn’t claim Obama’s anything other than a U.S. flag-waving patriot. I can’t find anything that suggests Castro approves of Obama’s policies, especially since Obama turned up the diplomatic heat on Chavez. What are you talking about?

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  25. Chris Graham says:

    And apparently I suck at HTML.

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  26. Chris Graham says:

    Nick Kelsier:

    “Anything Kennedy did as far as being a ‘disgusting human being’ pales to W.”

    Yes, because W. cheated on his wife with countless women and thought he could do whatever he wanted just because he was the president. Bush was a humble person, a faithful husband, a dignified person in general.

    “Least Kennedy didn’t start a fool’s war in a country that did nothing to deserve invaded.”

    Yes, because Saddam Hussein wasn’t a brutal dictator who killed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of his own people. The world is safer because that madman is dead. Because BUSH got rid of him. Hussein DID have WMDs (he used them against his own people, duh). The only thing Bush made a mistake at was warning Iraq that we were coming (the UN approved of the invasion, by the way, as did Congress). Because we warned Hussein (Saddam, not Obama), he was able to get the WMD over the border to Syria. We should have just gone in there with no warning. And we need to do the same to Iran, but Obama’s a weak rookie who likes to appease and pal around with dictators (he’s good friends with Chavez, and even Castro–former communist dictator of Cuba–approves of the way Obama is running America. Communists don’t approve of democracy, yet this communist approves of Obama’s job. Interesting, no?

    Yeah, poor terrorists, being “tortured,” boo-hoo. We made blood-thirsty psychopaths THINK they were drowning, oh man, so harsh, so, so evil! Poor terrorists!
    Now, I can’t WAIT for you to tell me how Bush “crashed the economy.” I can’t wait. Please tell me, seriously. Don’t hold back. Tell me what you think.

    You:

    “[Bush] screw[ed] the middle class and suck[ed] the dicks of the rich.”

    You mean like Obama is doing now? On both counts? Kinda like that? Why are liberals so anti-rich? People get rich because they earned it. They get rich because of hard work and ambition, most of the time. Other times they inherit it, sure, but the majority of the time, they earned it. Jealous? Then try harder like they did. Don’t steal from them to pay for your unambitious, whiny self.

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  27. Nick Kelsier says:

    Ed writes:
    It would be a heckuva fight, with pro-life Republicans publicly repudiating their stands in order to force children to suffer and die.

    Really think they’re going to have much of a problem doing that, Ed? It’s not like they’ve shown much concern for the health and life of children after they’ve been born so far….

    Claiming the Republicans are “pro-life” is like claiming that David Duke is pro-black.

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  28. [...] Health care legislation as Waterloo – Oliphant (and Benson … [...]

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  29. Ed Darrell says:

    Not liberals based on polls who said Bush was worst ever: Historians, based on their comparison with every other president. (It’s a Rolling Stone story, and their website is down this weekend for dramatic revisions.)

    A loophole or gap in a law is common, and not a sign of incompetence. It’s quite inventive of the insurance companies to claim to have found a way to deprive sick and injured children of coverage. I’m sure you read the article carefully. If insurance companies deprive coverage, contrary to the language of the conference report, there will be litigation. If by some fluke the insurance companies win that litigation, proving that Congress’s intent was not carried out in the language they passed, there will be amendments, unless Sauron is more effective in mustering Republicans against an amendment than he was the first time around. It would be a heckuva fight, with pro-life Republicans publicly repudiating their stands in order to force children to suffer and die.

    The new law has protections of consumers built in, to resolve and head off some of the problems you fear, according to the NYT article (by my old friend Robert Pear, who is among the best in covering these issues):

    Consumers will soon gain several other protections. By July 1, the health secretary must establish a Web site where people can identify “affordable health insurance coverage options.” The site is supposed to provide information about premiums, co-payments and the share of premium revenue that goes to administrative costs and profits, rather than medical care.

    In addition, within six months, health plans must have “an effective appeals process,” so consumers can challenge decisions on coverage and claims.

    Will insurance premiums rise? We were sure of it before, at about a 15% per year clip. Does the LA Times article say they will rise faster than that? It notes that the provision Sen. Feinstein had proposed to fix the problem was stopped by Republican’s obstreperousness (“Congressional rules” is what the article said). Republicans won’t be proud to trumpet this one, either, I’ll wager. We needed a good gross of Righty-Be-Gone to fix that problem (Why didn’t you note that it was the right that cause this problem? Are you ashamed of it, too?)

    It will be interesting to see how recalcitrant industries fight improved health care. The important first step in reining in costs was to expand coverage. A public option to compete with insurance companies might have provided a good, market mechanism to fight undue increases, but since the Republicans have not allowed that yet, we’ll probably have to go the regulatory route.

    Ironic that Republicans are driving increased regulation of private industry, no? Unprincipaled, unholy opposition to good government will create such problems, and every Republican should hang his or her head in shame.

    My God is not incompetent. Evil is not benign, though, and must be fought at every turn, at every moment. Occasional wins by evil is not evidence that the war has been lost.

    WordPress and HTML: Yeah, HTML is accepted at almost all WordPress powered blogs, and all WordPress hosted blogs that I have found. Good luck with your blog.

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  30. Nick Kelsier says:

    Anything Kennedy did as far as being a “disgusting human being” pales to W, Chris.

    Least Kennedy didnt start a fools war in a country that did nothing to deserve invaded. At least Kennedy didn’t authorize torture. And at least Kennedy didn’t crash the economy, screw the middle class and suck the dicks of the rich.

    Like

  31. Chris Graham says:

    I agree with you about Truman. He’s just about the only Democrat I like. He made unpopular decisions that saved millions of lives (and not only the lives of Americans). And aside from being a disgusting human being, Kennedy was not too bad a president. Remember when you liberals pointed to Bush’s approval ratings (and still do) and said, “See? He’s the worst president in history”? Yeah.

    Now, I’m glad you brought up this “no pre-existing conditions” thing. It was reported in the New York Times, one of Obama’s many personal fluffers, that while ObamaCare DOES prevent children from being DROPPED from coverage because of a discovered pre-existing condition, it does NOT prevent insurance companies from DENYING coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. That’s what happens when, in a mad rush to advance pure Marxism, you push through legislation before even taking time to proofread it, let alone read it at all. Remember what Pelosi said? “We have to pass the bill so you can see what’s in it.”

    And just for kicks, from the LA Times, one of the most liberal, in-the-can-for-Obama publications around, we find this:

    “Public outrage over double-digit rate hikes for health insurance may have helped push President Obama’s healthcare overhaul across the finish line, but the new law does NOT give regulators the power to block similar increases in the future.
    “And now, with some major companies already moving to boost premiums and others poised to follow suit, millions of Americans may feel an unexpected jolt in the pocketbook.
    “Although Democrats promised greater consumer protection, the overhaul does NOT give the federal government broad regulatory power to prevent increases.
    “‘It is a very big loophole in health reform,’ Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said. Feinstein and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) are pushing legislation to expand federal and state authority to prevent insurance companies from boosting rates excessively.”

    Your gods are completely incompetent.

    Also, from one decent human being to another, I just made my WordPress blog last night and am still unsure of a bunch of things, one of which is whether or not I can use basic HTML in comments like this. Do you happen to know? I didn’t want to try it and then have my comment end up looking like crap because HTML is NOT accepted. There’s no preview button, so I figured I shouldn’t risk it.

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  32. Ed Darrell says:

    Like Truman, sometimes you pay a public poll price for doing the right thing. Still have to do the right thing.

    Wait until the Republicans start campaigning on repeal of the “no pre-existing condition” clause. I can hardly wait.

    Like

  33. Chris Graham says:

    Meanwhile, his poll numbers keep falling….

    Like

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