Why The Health Care Debate Is So Contentious

Even prior to the abortion issue being pointlessly dragged into the debate over health care reform the issue has been one of the most contentious debates I have ever seen in politics.

The question quickly becomes: Why?

I feel I have an answer, and it mirrors the matter of the abortion debate as well.

It is simple:

Both sides view the other as disingenuous and downright evil.

From the perspective of the anti-reformists all support for this bill is a disguised effort to destroy capitalism and / or expand the federal government to an unreasonable size.

From the perspective of the pro-reformists all rejection of this bill is a disguised effort to spread hatred, intolerance, racism and violence under the banner of a “tea party” and / or purely strategic politics of conservatives seeking to undermine all bills proposed under President Obama.

(There is, of course, a great deal more complexity at play here in both positions.)

In a situation where both groups view the other as “liars” there is no debate to be had. No discussion that will bare fruits. None.

The fear and lies surrounding this health bill entirely native to the rightwing has no bartering point from which to start from. There is no common ground to find with a person who lies about the record and rejects all evidence that does not compliment their existing preconceptions.

Throughout this year long national debate I have strived to pull the emotions out and put the facts in their place, but such actions only serve a purpose when there remains holdouts on both sides. In the course of this I have seen new levels of hostility directed at me personally more so then ever before in my experience.

I have never “unfriended” and “blocked” so many people in my entire ten-plus years on the Internet.

The incitement toward violence, the death threats, the partisan hate; all existed prior to the matter becoming national in the death threats against Democrats post-HCR. All of this existed in the venom directed at health reform advocates on a daily basis from individuals of a very low moral fiber and very poor understanding of democracy.

In matters discussing life and death, I’d rather not see so many and myself give in to fear; but it truly doesn’t surprise me in the least to see this country explode in mindless paranoia. Big changes equates to big fears, bad economy equates to paranoia on the rise.

In the solid matter of facts, this health bill is a net-positive for America.

But this issue will not lose any of it’s contentious nature no matter how many facts are interjected in the mass spreading of paranoid myths. For too many Americans it is simply easier to believe the worst, and the biased conservative media is sure to provide them endless piles of red meat.

Urban Institute Overviews The Public Option

Ezra Klein of The Washington Post has called this the “best overview of the public option” he has read so far, and I concur:

Getting to a Public Option that Contains Costs: Negotiations, Opt-Outs and Triggers

The debate over a public option has essentially become a debate over the size and role of government in the health care system. The central argument, as we see it, should be one of fiscal conservatism—that a public option should play a role in addressing the very serious problem of health care cost containment. The current debate between the left and the right on this issue is obscuring the fact that consolidation in both the insurance and provider markets is propelling a higher rate of growth in health care costs. The consolidation of power, particularly in provider markets, makes it extremely difficult for insurers to negotiate rates for their services and contributes to rapid growth in health care costs. A strong public option is one that ties provider rates in some way to Medicare rates (though set at likely higher levels), and that is open to any individual or firm regardless of firm size. It would thus provide countervailing power to providers and help control cost growth.

We argue that a strong version is necessary because there is little else in health reform that can be counted on to contribute significantly to cost containment in the short term. Capping tax-exempt employer contributions to health insurance has great support among many analysts (including us), but it faces considerable political opposition. Proposals such as comparative effectiveness research, new payment approaches, medical homes and accountable care organizations, all offer promise but could take years to provide savings. Thus, the use of a strong public option to reduce government subsidy costs and as a cost containment device should be an essential part of the health reform debate.

We recognize that there is opposition to a strong public option. Both the House and Senate proposals are considering relatively weak versions to make the public option more acceptable. Both proposals would have the public option negotiate rates with physicians and hospitals. We see two problems with this. One is that negotiating rates is not simple and it raises difficult implementation issues; for example, with whom would the government negotiate? Further, negotiations are most likely to be unsuccessful with providers who have substantial market power. Since this is at the heart of the cost problem, a strategy of negotiations seems unlikely to be effective, as has been affirmed by cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.

The Senate has proposed a public option with an opt-out provision. This has the advantage of recognizing regional diversity in political philosophy by allowing states to pass legislation to keep it from being offered in their states. A disadvantage of this proposal is that it would exclude many who would potentially benefit from a public option. The states likely to opt out are likely to be those with high shares of low-income people and many uninsured.

The other alternative is to establish a strong public option but not implement it unless a triggering event occurred. The goal would be to allow the private insurance system to prove that it can control costs with a new set of insurance rules and state exchanges. The triggering events could be the level of premiums exceeding a certain percentage of family incomes or the growth in health care spending exceeding certain benchmarks. Since the public option would only be triggered because of excessive costs, however measured, we assume that a relatively strong version of a public option would come into play.

We recognize that taking a strong public option off the table may be necessary to enact reform legislation. But this will mean, at a minimum, higher government subsidy costs by not permitting a payer with substantial market power to bring cost containment pressure on the system. The outcome is likely to be that costs will continue to spiral upward. In effect, the nation would be relying on the range of promising pilot approaches to cost containment that would take some time to be successful. If they are not, we may be left with increasingly regulatory approaches, such as rate setting or utilization controls that apply to all payers. This would mean much more government involvement than giving people a choice of a low-cost public option that would be required to compete with private insurers.

(Read entire paper in PDF)

Obama Health Care Reform

(Entire speech @ Open Salon)

This was an excellent Address on Health Care by President Obama. All significant issues were cogently addressed, but I found the president should have expounded further upon the specifics of the budget and the concept of “deficit neutrality.”

Perhaps it is my own failure in understanding but I do not fully understand this notion as it pertains to health care.

I also think this clear explanation was needed much closer to the onset of the national debate instead of at this point in time and also hopefully prior to the town hall debate setting, but I see the issue of Health Care Reform as being underlined and placed in the foreground.

Those who chose not to listen and refute every word Obama speaks will most likely continue to do so.

The issue of a ‘failure to sell‘ Health Care Reform and explain the proposal is put to rest, in my view.

Republican Obstructionism in Health Care Reform

I see these God-forsaken ads running on my blog about how people are supposed to “Stop Obama-care Now!” and I would like to metaphorically spit on this nonsense once and for all. Anyone attaching the misnomer of “socialized medicine” or using the phrase “Obama-care” at this stage has already labeled themselves as part of the partisan agenda weakening this country from within everyday.

I contend that if we witnessed these same bills moving through Congress proposed by Republicans instead of Democrats that many of the same harsh opponents of reform would flip-flop their stance entirely. Almost anyone questioned on their position in the media or otherwise states that they think there should be “some kind” of reform.

I am left to think that a vast majority of the resistance to the passage of these measures is simply playing politics on behalf of Republicans, in that if President Obama passes a successful humanitarian bill that enhances the lives of so many American families the political consequences to their party will be too severe to manage.

At least the televised and media punditry are motivated by this end, if noting else.

This Party of No” mentality is dangerous to us all. If anyone has a valid objection or concern by all means they should make themselves known. But when a person simply stands on the legs of right wing talking points and shaky numbers I tend to think they would be a strong advocate for “McCain-care” if the universe where all flipped upside down.

Sara Palin Quits Her Job

1.palin2

Former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, and soon to be former Governor of Alaska, Sara Palin has decided to walk away from her responsibilities as governor as well as her obligations to those who voted her into office.

Whatever her reasons may be she is electing to be extremely vague and elusive, leaving the speculation running wild. It’s possible the ethics probes are the reason. It’s possible she is fed up with political partisan bickering and propagandizing.

Whatever the reason the fact remains that this representative is walking away from her responsibilities and setting a terrible example to the nation in terms of governorship.

Pizzaman versus EricG

I have managed to make a profound impact upon a man with the screen name Pizzaman and before I ever got a chance to project my blather in this posting from Alan Colmes’ Liberaland, he was already name-dropping me. I don’t mind, a name-drop is a name drop and if someone reads my homepage I’m happy, but I would rather people at least comment directly on my blog if they are so invested in me specifically to use me as a reoccurring example. The way I see it if you have something to say to a man you say it to his face or in case of the internet you send him a notification of your comments. I send emails to all the conservative radio jocks and spinsters that I negatively comment on via blog. I also send emails to those that I might praise in one of my blogs. I would call such things being a ‘real person.’ Standing up for what you have to say rather than shouting out items and then fleeing the scene before any person involved in your comments might defend themselves.

I don’t believe in passing solely my opinion in this blog. If someone reads it and decides for themselves a conclusion other than my own, then so be it. I think this “Pizzaman” is so biased that his commentary that the commentary is useless in regards to liberals and ultimately to all politics. These fundamentalist ideologies are destructive. And most importantly they are anti-society.

Decide for yourself:

Kregg Reply:

Alan quotes: Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that the white firefighters “understandably attract this court’s sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them.”

K: No one was asking for a ‘vested right to promotion’ but simply a fair chance at one. To throw out the test results because the ‘right’ races didn’t score well denied those who DID score well the opportunity to advance.

 

Pizzaman Reply:
June 29th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Further to Kregg’s comments against Ginsberg:

Since when is required that an applicant for a job have a “vested” right to that job in order to have a valid discrimination claim? If a black and a white are competing for a job, NEITHER has a “VESTED” right to the job, but EACH has a valid discrimination claim IF the job is denied on grounds of race. What’s so hard abouit THAT? Why does it it take a genius to figure this out. Why can the conservative majority of the Supreme Court see this, but Ginsberg and her liberal colleagues not? Hmmmmm? Answer: Blinding, pathetic white guilt. EricG — care to respond? Did YOU ever violate God’s law against racial discrimination? I didn’t. And if not, why hold us BOTH accountable?

pizzaman

 

Do I violate God’ Law about … racial discrimination?

I know no such specific part of God’s Law. It’s against hate, not specifically ethnic hate but all hate.

Like right now I hate you. I hate you because you keep bringing me up in the course of making your points and I have never done such a thing to another internet user in all my life.

Maybe I should start. Using people on the internet as examples of racism and bigotry and hate for liberals. Why not?

We all violate the law against hate. We are human after all. But we must fight this within ourselves.

Just as a person who feels ’superior’ to others due to race should fight this urge within themselves to view themselves as superior.

Kind of like … the way how you view yourself as superior to liberals. Is that racism? Think about it. It’s not racism but do you think of liberals as your equal? Intellectually or as a person at least?

I doubt it. That’s why I have no respect for you as a man, your opinions aside.

You’re just one more vile dog out there causing harm to nation with partisanship taken to new heights.

Waste of time all true patriots. Seriously.

Grow up and be an American.

NEWSFLASH LIBERALAND!

Pizzaman is God!!!!

He knows all the transgressions under God’s Eyes because he is God and knows all the secrets of the universe and where exactly he is accountable for everything he ever did.

“And if not, why hold us BOTH accountable?”

We are all accountable. You are accountable before God for how much you hate your fellow Americans called ‘liberals’ and in the same I am held accountable for my hate against Americans called ‘conservatives.’

Next time you want to pick a internet fight with someone you might want to pick someone who is timid and will back off. You’ll be much happier ramming your nonsense and BS down their throat than you ever will dealing with me.

This is the web. You’re going to be more a coward than you would be to my face and I’m going to be more edgy here than I would be in person.

But in the end it’s best we don’t met. I don’t enjoy people who can’t be civil and respectful. I don’t think much of people like yourself, or rather people who present themselves as you have.

It’s a bunch of hollow ‘look me and my hatred and superior intellect’ while when you look around you don’t find people like myself who are outspoken, surely, but not involved with declaring myself ‘above’ others.

I’m right and you’re wrong. About ____. That’s true.

But I’m no better than you and vice versa.

This is America. Try to act like it. The burden falls to you as well as I. If you won’t do anything but be a partisan against liberals then you are a piece of carp American, same for me and cons.

It’s not a game. So don’t screw around.

 

———-

That exactly right, Alan. She not NOT being nominated to vote with the conservative majority. She SUPPOSED to be nominated for her intellectual ability to bring the CONSTITUTION — with the 14th Amendment, a color-blind, non-racist document, halelluliah! — to bear on hard legal issues. But IN FACT, Obama has nominated her precisely because of her penchant for giving preference to black or brown skin tone. Yes, appoint her . . . because she has the intellectual and legal qualifications, and under law, the President has that raw power. But be aware, and beware, of what Obama has appointed: Raw judicial power. And to hell with the Constitution. See Ricci v. New Haven. Funny, true conservatives who act in good faith usually lose out on the raw power decisions. And you EricG, are thinking, “Yeah, yeah.”

Pizzaman

(Somehow he knows my mind before I‘ve read enough about Ricci v. New Haven to feel informed enough to comment. Very strange.)

————-

Um Cara Reply:
June 29th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I think he has nominated her because she is an anti civil libertarian, nothing to do w/ ‘preference to black or brown skin tone’.

 

Pizzaman Reply:
June 29th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

You’re naive.

BlissfulConservative Reply:
June 29th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I’ll agree with your first sentence UM, but I think a lot of her decisions would be based on skin color/socioeconomics.

Course that is my opinion.

Pizzaman Reply:
June 29th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

blissfulconservative:

Stand up! “That is my opinion,” my deeply creviced arse. Sotomayor has made a career out of skin color and national origin. I’m an American who “happens to be” hispanic, and I’m fed up with the condescension. “La Raza” = “the race.” This is a collective admission of special need. Well, I don’t need — and I emphatically REJECT — any benefits conferred because of liberal white guilt. “This isn’t about you,” you Anglo, EricG–style liberals. And it’s not about you either, brown skinned hispanics or blacks. It’s about what WE are as a people, and about our founding, our BINDING documents. Get that? “BINDING,” in more sense than one. WE, as one, are BOUND by this document. Want to reject it? Fine, then go fight the civil war all over again.

pizzaman

(I‘m ‘Anglo-style’ now. I feel judged based on the color of my skin!)

OK. As of 4:37 p.m., on 6/29/09, the uncontested fact is that a firefighter (aka “fireman”) was denied a promotion simply because he outscored all minority competitors: black, hispanic, Asian, Venusian, Venetian, Malthusian, and Carpathian. The 14th Amendment says: “No State shall . . . . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws [on ground of race].” Why does the conservative majority have to engage in a death struggle to uphold this premise, which follows so naturally from the eralier premise that :We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .”? Is it that we no longer believe in “self-evident” truths? Or a Creator? God help us if that’s the case. What saved Jews under Hitler? Raw American power? Or adherence to the idea that, under God’s Natural Law, we are equal? EricG: Would you contend that we are ignorant regarding God’s wish concerning Jews in concentration camps? Or the tortured in Darfur? Has false pride so fogged your internal compass that drops of condensation obscure your needle? Think straight. God gave you a mind. I don’t mean to pick on EricG or be mean to him, but he has set himself up as the enemy of natural reason, which flows from God. If not from God,then from EricG and the like-minded who deny all constants, except those like “don’t racially discriminate” or “don’t screw the planet.” But even in asserting these constants, EricG (aka modern liberal man) acknowledges a source of authority and truth greater than himself. Who might this be?

pizzaman

EricG Reply:
June 29th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I see my name in there a lot.

You care to label yourself while your labeling me?

Are you a conservative? Are you a Christian?

How about an American?

Are you now, or have you ever associated with a communist?
“don’t mean to pick on EricG or be mean to him, but he has set himself up as the enemy of natural reason, which flows from God”

Well, your ‘good Christian’ self did just that and you will need to face up for what you’ve done.

The fact remains that we have freedom of religion in this country so whatever insane fundamentalism you are fitting yourself up for … you can’t touch me.

So chew on that for awhile. I have my views on God and Christ and you have yours and in the end you can’t tell me what to think or cause me any harm or stop me from spreading the TRUTH OF JESUS CHRIST in the face of your vicious lies designed to keep people in chains of misery and hate.

“EricG: Would you contend that we are ignorant regarding God’s wish concerning Jews in concentration camps?”

We didn’t go to war over the Jews in WWII.

I don’t see your point, at all. If we could know for certain exactly what “God’s wish” was at any given moment our lives would be infinitely easier.

If you want to accept all the words of the KJB as truth and solid then that’s your failing and not mine. You go right ahead worshiping Constantine and his apprentice.

“Think straight. God gave you a mind”

That’s not the problem. The problem is hate-monger and disgraces to humanity like yourself choose to promote idiocy and bigotry when others seek to fill the world with Christ’s love.

Glad to know you’re fighting me on this one.

Good to know I have people in my court.

“If not from God, then from EricG and the like-minded who deny all constant”

You are angering me by putting words in my mouth that I never said. Would you try not to lie so much about me? Please? It’s a simple request.

I never ‘denied all constants,’ show me where I did this.

Death is a constant. We all die. Time, gravity, etc.

I am trying not to degrade into name-calling and bitter comments but I’m not seeing a lot of Christian in anything you are saying. In fact I don’t even see any of God’s love in this very human posting of very biased views against me personally and liberals in general.

“acknowledges a source of authority and truth greater than himself. Who might this be?”

It’s God. It’s not my business to tell everyone else all the things of the world and everything I understand to be true. Supposedly we are supposed to learn things on our own without hand holding all the way through.

You all those who would attack someone for sharing a perspective on God other than fundamentalism are the ones who are ENEMIES OF REASON. The destroyers of Christ’s love in the streets and the followers of the hate-preachers who spread intolerance of gays and promote an end to religious freedom in the US.

Admit it. You hate this nation.

If it were another country you would never have to hear anything but the secularism of the state or the approved religion which sits just fine with you.

When you have to hear anything but your perfectly ARCANE and equally INSANE orthodoxy then you have to call some a ‘enemy of reason’ and ‘pick on them’ because it threatens everything you do to have people … question the idiocy of religion.

And yet pull away the greatest lessons. Thus making all the hate and BS you all drown yourselves in become nothing but a hollow shell which serves no purpose except to draw blood and feed Satan.

I will resist the swearing, and simply say:

Next time you want to pick on me come to my blog and say it to my face you coward.

Pizzaman = fascist pig

 –

Pizzaman = fascist pig

What Eric, no race card to follow.

– 

He is picking me out of the crowd and I can’t figure out why…

I retract that statement. I was pissed when typing that.

Are you going to retract some BS you posted?

Didn’t think so.

Typical conservative partisan-house unamerican bull from you guys … all day long.

 

Goliath Reply:
June 29th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

EricG

Take your meds please.. you’re really losing grasp on reality

 –

Whatever, you’re one more partisan loser who never once shown any respect to this nation or the liberals of the world.

You deserve all the anger and then some.

And all you conservatives are the ones losing your grip on reality.

I seem to remember debating if the recession even happened and if Bush was ever president or somethig like that the other day on here.

If anyone in America is living in a bubble of lies and falsehoods it would be the conservatives of America.

I shouldn’t care, that’s what my friends say.

they say you guys are fools who will never learn to be anything but fools.

I think more of you. But you don’t make it easy with the way you all treat me.

makes me think maybe I was wrong. Maybe you are all communist scum who deserve a bullet like some of my friends think…

 

wooo Eric, its not good to get that upset. Nothing personal here, but maybe you should stop listing to your friends talking about bullets.

They don’t believe in Christ or any of this side of my ‘bipartisan attempts’ so I can see where they are coming from, I guess.

But it’s insane. I’m the worst. I’ll be the first to say it. But I also see nothing to start with on the conservative side. No place I go send someone to hear a non-BS conservative perspective in politics.

People don’t believe something until they see it. If all you allow yourself to see is race and politics and religion you are missing the bigger picture.

But it’s all my opinion in the end. So I can state myself minus the name-calling and partisanship but who on the right will join me?

It’s a two-way street. When the other guy throws punches it’s hard to get anything done, it’s really that simple.

(There it is. Bickering about politics and my usual cry for sanity.)

Bill O’Reilly versus Joan Walsh

YouTube Video of The Debate

“This Tiller thing is bogus. And I think you know it‘s bogus. And if not I‘m gonna show you a sound byte that‘s gonna prove it to you.”

How many sound bytes do you have to show people to fix what they read in textbooks and newspapers?

If it’s in the Constitution, he has a sound byte for that. No need to read it yourself.

If it’s the truth of ideology that he claims to hold and only perverts and twists to his own ends, he has a sound byte for that. No need to speak to the people involved.

If he promotes domestic terrorism via lies about Americans and invasions of privacy in his ‘just crusade,’ he has a sound byte for that. No need to look at reality.

He has a sound byte ready for the day he starts getting right down to it and promoting violence against liberals and terrorism on the city of San Francisco. And another one ready as they fit him for an orange jumpsuit.

All of it to carefully explain away why he is not at fault, ever, and has nothing to do with anything except the so-called ‘truth.’ All it to make sure nobody in his audience ever actually reads anything except what he tells them to.

To me, this is proof of what I’ve always said about Bill O’Reilly:

This man cares nothing for facts and only for own personal set of biases.

 

The O’Reilly Tactic of Dirty Pool Debate revealed one of his trademark spin artist moves in the opening moments of this clip.

Bill’O brings up as a side-line, and states himself very quickly, in mentioning what Joan wrote on her website was “unconscionable” and then says he is going to “stick to it” by addressing the matter at hand.

This is classic Dirty Pool Debate. You slander your opponent and before they get a chance to respond then quickly you move to the ’real issue at hand.’ The whole point of Dirty Pool Debate is to demean the character of your opponent instead of argue the point with them.

Bill O’Reilly is a master at doing just this. Keeping the truth of a real debate away from his audience and helping them maintain narrow-minded thinking while feeling like they are ‘learning’ about politics, media and the nation.

Just screaming like an idiot into the camera and refusing the recognize the damage he does to society at large with this brand of partisan hate and untruthful propaganda on serious social issues in America.

Joan: “You crusaded against him.”

Bill: “You bet!”

Joan: “He had been shot twice already.”

Bill: “And I‘m sorry about that.”

Well if he was so sorry why didn’t he stop slandering and misusing his platform to spread lies about Americans that ultimately lead to domestic terrorism incidents?

Because that would have hurt his ratings. Oh, the precious ratings.

He should be sorry. He is the one with blood on his hands, after all.

What Bill O’Reilly does on television is wrong. It is a brutal set of lies and conjecture that provides no benefit to the nation whatsoever. FOX Broadcasting Studios should be ashamed to have their name attached to such a disreputable and dishonest man.

 

The need to scream over all that disagrees with your mentality is a clear example of partisanship and intolerance for the opinions of others.

The need to call everyone not aligned with you as “far left“is a clear example of a need to marginalize your opponent because you feel your own position is weak or lacking against theirs.

Considering conservatives are on the wrong side of history in every debate over social issues I can see why Bill O’Reilly is so threatened to use such shallow and childish tactics.

Joan is absolutely right about Bill O’Reilly being a vile man. A vile and lowly man who loves his ideologies more than he loves other humans.

He disrespects the nation and the intelligence of his audience with his so-called ‘facts’ and his so-called ‘reporting.’

Time and time again it is the true patriots who must stand up against the charlatans and propagandists who seek to destroy this nation in violence and ignorance.

Let our voices be heard, loud.

A domestic terrorist is in our amidst: Bill O’Reilly. A man who promotes vigilantism and misinformation that gets Americans killed.