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Health care screamers


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Fear has always been a potent motivator in American politics.

Fear of Communists lurking under the bed, fear of Liberals re-distributing our hard-earned money to welfare queens, fear of hippies undermining our kids' morals with their drugs and free love.

The Bush Administration was particularly adept at wielding the fear weapon: Remember how they used the climate after 9/11 to start wars and pass a raft of questionable legislation?

Fear of the unknown is a particularly useful tool. It’s what people can’t get their mind around that they find most terrifying, and what makes them most easily manipulated.

In the health care debate, the president and his people have fallen down on the job by failing to articulate what all Americans, the haves as well as the have-nots, have to gain from reform. By creating a vacuum of information, they’ve allowed special interests to define for the nation what change may mean in their own scary and self-serving way.

Like a herd of cattle, people can be spooked into stampeding if you manage to generate around them a fog of anxiety about an unknown peril; in this case, a fear of what they may lose, even though what they may now have is a lousy deal. The problem with a stampede is that once it begins, it’s difficult to control.

The stampede could go over a cliff, and then what would you have? Nobody left who can afford to buy your insurance, or your pharmaceuticals, or whatever else you may be peddling. Be very careful what you wish for.


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Comments

Perehaps the reason for the vaccum of information is that Obama's real agenda has little to do with healthcare for all.

He is content to allow Congress to create whatever Plan they want, as long as it can be sold to the majority. What the Plan contains is secondary to extended government control over another major slice of the economy.

Marxism is the goal, to be attained Alinsky style. Ignore this at your peril.


The American Medical Association states health care fraud accounts for as much as 10% of overall health spending
http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/08/03/g ...

I know, everything is fine, change is bad. it's all "liberal crap".


What is the point Chan? If people are upset with their elected officials you think venting at a town meeting is inappropriate.

In case you don't live in the real world, be informed that people are very frightened and upset about the political destruction of their wealth and perceived security. The ability to change your government is the American way. Docile, obedient citizens are seen manly in totalitarian societies.

...the president and his people have fallen down on the job by failing to articulate what all Americans, the haves as well as the have-nots, have to gain from reform.

No, they have articulated exactly that. The problem is that, for once, the American people know their leaders are lying.

Like a herd of cattle, people can be spooked into stampeding if you manage to generate around them a fog of anxiety about an unknown peril

You mean like swine flu, global warming, and the bankruptcy of Goldman Sachs. Our leaders in Washington have always governed by keeping the populace terrorized by one bogey man or other. What will happen when people realize they are being manipulated by that little man behind the curtain?


Lolly --

The rude (and even dangerous) loud-mouths at the town hall meetings are being manipulated by insurance companies and their lobbyists.

Who has the most to lose if there is reform? Insurance companies! Don't forget; they already make "death panel" decisions and ration care. For profit.


Hi Gaez,

The rude (and even dangerous) loud-mouths at the town hall meetings are being manipulated by insurance companies and their lobbyists.

I do not deny that large corporations and their lobbyists effectively control the federal and state governments. Also, be aware I do not consider myself to be either a conservative or a republican.

This is not a reason to suppress free speech. These people may be rude, but give me a break with dangerous. The democrats are trying to make anyone who opposes Obama appear to be either a manipulated stooge or a terrorist.

There was also a great deal of opposition to FDR's New Deal policies. This was effectively ended by WWII when FDR critics were branded traitors.

By demonizing people who criticize its policies, the Obama administration is attempting to consolidate and increase its power over the American people.

Insurance companies! Don't forget; they already make "death panel" decisions and ration care. For profit.

When an insurance company denies coverage you still have options. You can change insurance companies or you can pay privately. This option does not exist in Canada, and thousands of Canadians come to this country for medical care. I suppose if Obamacare becomes a reality we will all have to go the the Dominican Republic for good medical care.

You seem to think profit is a bad thing. It is a good thing. Profit is the mechanism whereby producers can evaluate whether they are doing a good job and acting efficiently.

If a company fails to show a profit, it means it has not utilized resources in the most efficient manner. Because government does not show a profit (even thought the Post Office makes believe it goes through the motions)it can never operate in an efficient manner.


Okay ... what exactly have they explained? Not very much on either side. Is there a clear explanation about why Obama thinks this thing is tied to improving the economy? Eliminating waste? Is that the focus? How? By guaranteeing everyone is insured? Why? Lay it out in writing with bullet points for all of us to see. I have my own ideas, but I haven't seen either side address them. It just seems to me like the politicians think they now have the ball in their court and have little time to act. Where are they going if they do a good job? Even the people I voted for are alienating me.


The elected officials look like fools at these town hall meetings because they repeat the same tired lines Obama tells them too and they can't answer the people's questions because they have not read the bill. The people have and we want answers.

Elected officials are "hired" to do a job and part of that job is to READ THE BILL BEFORE YOU VOTE ON IT! If I did my job the way our senators and congressmen did I'd be fired in a week.

If this health care is so good then every elected official that votes for it should be mandated to use it. Until then, I'll continue to question their motives and vote them out the next time around.


Who will decide if your loved one is worth living? Obama says he would pay out of his pocket but you won't be able to! The Obama's great idea to save money on healt care is to let the weak die off.

Obama Says Grandmother’s Hip Replacement Raises Cost Questions

By Hans Nichols

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said his grandmother’s hip-replacement surgery during the final weeks of her life made him wonder whether expensive procedures for the terminally ill reflect a “sustainable model” for health care.

The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had a hip replaced after she was diagnosed with cancer, Obama said in an interview with the New York Times magazine that was published today. Dunham, who lived in Honolulu, died at the age of 86 on Nov. 2, 2008, two days before her grandson’s election victory.

“I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost,” Obama said in the interview. “I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother.”

Obama said “you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill.

“That’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues,” he said in the April 14 interview. “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health- care bill out here.”

(Full text of the article can be read at the URL)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aGrKbfWkzTqc


Hey Lolly:

"This is not a reason to suppress free speech. These people may be rude, but give me a break with dangerous."

What I think "Geez" meant by the use of the word "dangerous" and what you evidently missed is the fact that fist-fights have erupted at these town hall meetings, and in two documented (video on youtube from CNN) cases, it was those speaking AGAINST health care reform that threw the first punches-- unprovoked.

"When an insurance company denies coverage you still have options. You can change insurance companies or you can pay privately. "

That is completely false. First off-- when you're denied coverage for a particular case, I don't know of an insurance company that will take you with the pre-existing coverage unless its group coverage, and in that case you must change jobs and sometimes work through a waiting period for the new policy-- and even then you may not get the coverage you seek. And on the second point-- people pay for insurance because they CAN'T pay privately. Which brings us back to "Geez" original point: it is the insurance company making the "death panel" decisions these days-- not you. In fact, most insurance companies do not outline all of their coverages in an easy-to-understand and standardized way. Like this consumers could "shop around" In fact, the truth is they market themselves in a manner far from it.

"This option does not exist in Canada, and thousands of Canadians come to this country for medical care."

Another patently false statement. I'm standing next to a Canadian AS I TYPE THIS. The truth is you can elect private payment in Canada. The truth is you CAN buy additional insurance coverages in Canada-- for far less than you pay here.


Hey Lolly:

"You seem to think profit is a bad thing."

Profit is a good thing. EXCESS profit is a VERY bad thing. In the history of our country, any service that has been deemed utility has been subject to regulation-- why then should health care be any different? It is utility in that it is a necessity of functional society. So like Telecomms, Electric, Water and Banking-- it should be subject to regulation and price control. When people are dying because profit must be preserved, that IS a very bad thing. At the very least, all insurance companies should be required to operate as not for profit with salary caps on all employees-- and no consulting allowed.


"If a company fails to show a profit, it means it has not utilized resources in the most efficient manner. Because government does not show a profit (even thought the Post Office makes believe it goes through the motions)it can never operate in an efficient manner."

Government doesn't show a profit? Really? What else would you call a budget surplus? You know...that thing that Clinton was able to pull off back before Bush plundered the treasury?

Seriously-- it sounds as though you have a vested interest in the status quo and your post smacks of precisely the misinformation that the ignorant masses are rallying around.


Pointman870:

And your point is what? That rationing of care doesn't happen today? That it doesn't need to increase? I COMPLETELY agree with Obama's view in that situation. To replace the hip of someone who's terminally ill is A WASTE. I wonder if there isn't some little girl somewhere, not even able to get a head start in life because she can't get care that she needs-- because someone who is dying is getting it instead.

The truth is, nobody wants THEIR care rationed-- only somebody else's. But until everyone gets a grip on the fact that they some day their clock WILL run out-- true balance in society will never be achieved!


...those speaking AGAINST health care reform that threw the first punches-- unprovoked.

Well, that's certainly good enough reason to suspend the First Amendment.

That is completely false.

No, it's not completely false. I will agree with you that the present system is terrible. But, that is not a reason to make it worse.

Another patently false statement. ... you can elect private payment in Canada.

I was not aware of that. Until quite recently private medical practice was illegal in Canada. It's only within the last five years or so that, because of intense dissatisfaction with increased suffering and death caused by the single payer system, a private option is now permitted.

However, it appears that as resources have been shifted from the public sector to the private sector, the public health care is getting even worse. No surprise there; central planning never works!


EXCESS profit is a VERY bad thing.

I am so impressed you are smart enough to know exactly how much profit constitutes an excess.

Entrepreneurs take huge risks with their own assets. When they are successful they expect to reap huge rewards. If those rewards are made small (for example by government regulation or taxation) entrepreneurs will no longer take those risks.

The result is economic stagnation. It's not a coincidence that most of the innovation these days is coming out of Asia.

any service that has been deemed utility has been subject to regulation

Utility monopoly is not a good thing. Have you noticed how telephone long distance rates plummeted after AT&T lost their monopoly. We would be much better off with a free market in all utilities, gas, electric, cable, garbage, etc.

What else would you call a budget surplus?

A government budget surplus occurs when stolen goods (taxes) are greater than expenditures. In Clinton's case, it was more a matter of fraudulent accounting than a true budget surplus.

Profit only occur when wealth is created by the production of goods (or services). Since government produces nothing (it only steals what other produce) government can never show a profit.

it sounds as though you have a vested interest in the status quo

There is very little in our present society that is worth saving. Our educational establishment has made sure most of us are incapable of critical thought.

We live in a society where we are taught we are free at the same time we are taught to be good slaves to our government (good citizenship).

If I had the power I would weaken government considerably. I would eliminate public education, the income tax, the FDA, patents, Social Security, welfare, and all government involvement in medical care. I would bring all our troops home from overseas. I would eliminate the FED and fractional reserve banking. Gold would be money.

I am not a big fan of large corporations. Most of them would quickly be broke without government intervention. In their place, we would see new innovations and a productive growing economy. We would once again become a wealthy and free society.

I realize that will be only a dream as long as most people look to government for assistance. But, without dreams, what do we have?



I see the American people like someone suffering from battered spouse sydrome. They are in a relationship with someone who abuses them, they irrationally justify the abuse, and when someone comes in who tries to help, they make them the enemy. They chase after the a**hole, and put down the good one.


I see the American people like someone suffering from battered spouse sydrome. They are in a relationship with someone who abuses them, they irrationally justify the abuse...

Exactly. The American people are being abused by their government. Just like a battered spouse, the American people make excuses for their government and are afraid to leave for freedom.


YES, TO HEALTH CARE REFORM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PRESEDENT OBAMA IS AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE A GREAT PRESIDENT. PEOPLE NEED TO OPEN THEIR EYES AND GET OUT OF THE FOG THE REPUBLICANS HAVE YOU IN. THEY ARE ALL ABOUT ME AND THE HELL WITH THY NEIGHBOR BUT YET THEY ARE CHRISTIANS. IT'S THE PARTY OF HATE AND LIES. DON'T BE FOOLED AGAIN. WE WERE LIED TO FOR 8 LONG LONG YEARS. THIS IS OUR MOMENT IN HISTORY TO DO THE RIGHT THING. DON'T BLOW IT BECAUSE THE REPUBLICANS ARE MAKING YOU FEAR LIKE THEY DID WITH THE LIES ABOUT THE WAR. REMEMBER YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Whoa need insurance, you're yelling. Obama's sudden drop in popularity is not related to the inept republicans. Rather, blame it on incompetent handling of the financial crisis and his attempt to foist a socialist health care plan on Americans who weren't quite as stupid as they appeared.

I don't disagree that Bush lied us into the Iraq war. How has Obama changed that policy? We are never getting out of Iraq, and now we are preparing for a major escalation into Afghanistan.

While the rest of the world is enjoying increased freedom, you cheer as America follows the path of the old Soviet Union into chronic poverty, despair, and war.


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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