Health Care Reaction


I didn’t hear the news until about 11:00.  I had just come out out of a meeting…got my car from the garage and was headed back into New Jersey from Manhattan.  I had an hour drive in front of me.  Here are the thoughts that went through my mind…

How could John Roberts side with the liberals?  The individual mandate is so clearly unconstitutional – even to a layperson – how could it be?

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

Later this afternoon, it’s going to come out that Roberts was coerced.  A Secret Service agent overheard Obama and Axelrod discussing the Roberts blackmail.  He managed to get them on tape discussing it.  Later this afternoon, the whole story will come out, Roberts will issue his REAL opinion, and Obama and Axelrod will be taken away in handcuffs.

When my son is my age, will he be able to call the doctor and go see him?

How can I protect myself from the government?  Isn’t there some way I can hide from them?


I remember when I was in sales.  Most months, management would offer spiffs for the sale of certain products.  So I, and all the rest of he sales team, would immediately set about scheming on how to sell the stuff that would make us the most money.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

There was a story a couple years ago about a school system that took away hamburgers, pizza, chicken nuggets and all the good stuff.  A bunch of liberal nuts created a menu of quinoa, bean salad, and a bunch of other crap that nobody wants to eat.  It took about 3 weeks for a thriving black market food exchange to develop.  The kids were buying and selling smuggled cheeseburgers and pizza.  Are wonder if there are doctors who will just treat us for cash under the table?

Is it really gone?  Is the country gone?  If the government can make us buy health insurance, what else can they make us buy?

How come so many people think this is about health care?  To me it’s not about health care at all.  How can two people see things so completely differently?

Conundrum:  Obama says that people shouldn’t have to pay the medical bills for those who don’t have coverage, therefore everyone must have it.  But the people who are forced to buy it are being forced to pay for health care for others, since the new insurance purchasers are need to fund Obamacare.

What the hell is wrong with John Roberts?

They could tell us what to buy.  When to buy it.  What type to buy.  How many to buy.  How often to buy.  And if we don’t cooperate, they can take our property.  How is that not tyranny?

Can’t we do something?

How can one person – ONE person – someone who is unelected and unaccountable, decide the fate of the Republic?

Buy this or pay a fine!  That is now a tax.  Huh?

I think the only way to beat this is to make so much money, none of this matters.  Maybe this is good for some people?  If I can make say, $1 Million a year, will I really give a damn?  I suppose if I make that much, the government will confiscate the majority of it, but I’ll still do okay right?

I don’t think I have any faith in so-called conservatives in Congress.  Even if we get Romney, and filibuster-proof House and Senate, will they repeal this thing?  Will they really?

What CAN”T the government make you do?  I mean, if they can make you buy health insurance, why stop there?  How is it different than anything else?

Maybe this will be the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I bet this is going to fire up the Tea Party in a way that nobody could anticipate.  I wonder if Obama just sealed his fate for November, by inflaming us like this?

I wish Obama would put his god damned chin down.  I mean, who does that?  All kidding about God complexes aside, who holds poses like that?

I was worried before, now more than ever.  I really think the country as we know it is over.  We’re no longer the land of the free.

My emotions are strange.  I don’t feel anger or anything like that.  I’m genuinely sad.  I think the USA has been changed in a way that can’t be undone.

Will my kids be okay?

What can I do to protect my kids from the government?

All we can do is try to fix this with Congress.  It’s all we can even hope for.  So, I guess I’ll do my part.  I’m going to Tweet, Facebook, write letters, make phone calls, blog, heckle politicians, recruit friends, organize Tea Parties.  I am going to do everything in my legal power to vote every leftist out of office this November.  I will work tirelessly to this end.

I think this is the day America died.  So first, I’ll be sad for a day.

Share

Comments

  1. @Dan – I think it’s great that you chime in on the debate. Our countries have a bond that is quite strong, and I am always interested in your opinions.

    I can only offer perceptions, since i really don’t know much about your health laws….so really, this is only a perception.

    It seems that in the UK, everybody has healthcare. That much is evident. I have read many accounts of long waits and sub-standard care. But I have also read that care is readily available for those who can pay directly. My perception, then, is that there is universal health care but only the wealthy get high quality and timely care, while others are subjected to long waits, denial of coverage, etc. I’ve also read that this varies greatly depending on where in the country you happen to live.

    So – I would be most interested to hear your reality. Also your opinion about what we should do here in the USA…

    Best,

  2. @ex0du5 – Yes, the outrage is real. What amazes me is that you’re willing to twist reality to such a degree to champion your own subjugation.

    Government says, “You must buy this.”

    I say, “No.”

    Government says, “Then I’ll tax you!”

    So it’s taxing people for inactivity. You don’t see how that opens the door for the government to coerce you to do anything it wants?

  3. @Jason – we’ve covered the car insurance comparison, or lack thereof, ad nauseum. 1) Car insurance is mandated by States, as is their right under the 10th Amendment. 2) You are free to not drive.

    There is no analogy, as much as I’m sure you’d like there to be.

  4. @Cromunist – There is no way in hell I am going to be supporting my kids until they are 26. While they will still be “my kids” they will most certainly not be “kids.”

    Any grown person who needs to rely on Mommy and Daddy until they are 26 is quite pathetic really.

  5. The only way to get control of health insurance (and health care) costs in the United States is via universal coverage. To have universal coverage you have to have one of two things: (i) single payer or (ii) an individual mandate. Otherwise people will wait until they get sick to get medical care and shift the cost of it onto the rest of society. The individual mandate, first proposed by The Heritage Foundation during the Clinton-era healthcare reform effort, is (or was, anyway) more palatable to conservatives than single payer. So we will for the moment disregard the latter.

    Ergo, if you are against the individual mandate, you are against universal coverage. If you are against universal coverage, you are against bringing down the cost curve of health care and health insurance, and continuing the current, broken system, unique in the developed world, in which Americans pay multiples more per capita than any other society for results that, at the median if not in aeries of the very well-off, are mediocre or worse.

  6. @ David – I see your point. I would take issue with “the only way to get control of health care costs…” is one of your two options.

    My opinion is that there are many other ways to do this, the don’t require any increase in federal power and don’t cost taxpayers any money.

    How about allowing health insurance companies to compete across State lines and tort reform for starters?

  7. Michael says:

    Thanks Harry,
    I was not attempting to compare Obamacare to “Washingtoncare” on a strictly apples to apples basis. Yesterdays SCOTUS decision really takes the word mandate out of the equation and instead replaces it by referring to the penalty for not carrying insurance as a tax. Congress clearly has that authority as Roberts points out (whether it’s a good idea or not, he also rightly refrains from making this distinction…that’s not his job). Much of the conservative outrage I’ve read leading in to yesterdays decision has been about federal vs. state mandates and that this was somehow an ‘unprecedented’ federal overreach and furthermore that there was some type of broad general consensus against purchase mandates (and specifically medical insurance mandates) among the framers. I was merely making the observation that, while admittedly not an exact perfect comparison with today’s Obamacare, the idea of federally enforced purchase mandates among the founding fathers is not as far in the weeds as it’s being made out by many of our current hostile right wing commentariat (not you though, Harry, I can tell you’re a reasonable and thoughtful guy). As we now all know, yesterdays Roberts decision renders the mandate a moot point. Cheers and thanks again for allowing me on your forum.

  8. @Michael – thank you! Your point is well taken. Of course, I believe it is quite a power grab, but we’ll agree to disagree.

    I had lunch today with a business associate and we were discussing this. He was surprised to hear me say that my opposition is based on enumerated powers; that to me it was not about health care, per se. This represents a big challenge for us. Opposing sides are often arguing about completely separate issues.

    Anyway, I hope you come back to my blog often and chime in. One of the things I like most about writing here is the debate. And I love the word “commentariat.”

    Best,

  9. The ACA is a very modest reform compared to what we actually needed. People should be complaining that it doesn’t do nearly enough, not that the Supreme Court’s decision represents “the day America died”. But I realize it doesn’t square with the right’s wild West, every man for himself, pull yourself up by your bootstraps even if you don’t have any boots, draw your concealed weapon and shoot down your antagonist view of how our country is supposed to work. And believe me, I know how it feels to have the country taken in a direction I don’t like; I felt that way every day from 2001 through 2008. So for cryin’ out loud, get a grip.

  10. I don’t think people understand what PPACA is about. I think they’re letting the GOP spin cause knee-jerk reactions. It was broken down into very easily understandable terms here: http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/vqory/supreme_court_upholds_affordable_health_care_act/c56sc5m but for those that would rather not read through the comments, one poster pointed out: “The biggest thing opponents of the bill have against it is the mandate. They claim that it forces people to buy insurance, and forcing people to buy something is unconstitutional. Personally, I take the opposite view, as it’s not telling people to buy a specific thing, just to have a specific type of thing, just like a part of the money we pay in taxes pays for the police and firemen who protect us, this would have us paying to ensure doctors can treat us for illness and injury.”

  11. @D – I read the post you linked to. It is a fine summary. As I read down the list, I said this:

    - Spends more tax payer money
    - Spends more tax payer money
    - Spends more tax payer money
    - New cost to businesses
    - Increases insurance premiums
    - Increases bureaucracy
    - new tax on business
    - Increases premiums
    - Increases premiums
    - Price fixing hurts business
    - Spends more taxpayer money
    - Increases burden on business

    And on and on and on…

    Virtually every provision that the author presented was either a new tax, a new expense for businesses in general, or something that will make insurance premiums go up (or run the companies out of business, since price controls are there too).

    Be that as it may, your view of how the new tax works twists and squirms to find a way to justify your own subjugation, like many of the commenters here.

  12. Michael says:

    Harry, Agree to disagree. Agreed. Health care reform in a country of over 300,000,000 is a messy business and there are no easy solutions. Somebody’s got to grab some power, so to speak. If we continue sitting on our hands and accepting the status quo, a lot of hard working Americans will continue to lose everything they’ve worked hard their entire lives for merely because they’ve fallen through the cracks. Contrary to popular current right wing opinion, not everybody who doesn’t have coverage is a lazy pot-smoking socialist. It happens to hard-working god-fearing law-abiding church-goers as well as unsavory losers with no work ethic or moral compass. This is merely a first step and we’re bound to have setbacks, but it is important to take a step and for both sides to work at improving implementation and efficiency rather then for republicans to just take their ball and go home and try to dismantle the whole thing because they’re sore losers and don’t want that Kenyan-Marxist in the White House to get any positive credit. CBO still does predict huge budget reductions in the deficit over the next 8 years (another debate, I’m sure). I hope you come around to looking it this way at some point but I’m not holding my breath. I don’t expect anyone to agree with every position I take, I just don’t appreciate angry red-faced Tea Party Patriots calling me an America-hating pinko apologist every time there’s a debate. Uh oh…customer…gotta go.

  13. Stick around Michael! Maybe I’ll change your mind… :-)

  14. Stentor says:

    Harry, you’ve got to quit smoking that skunkweed, it’s making you paranoid. Either that or you got some really good stuff, because you are high, high, high if you ever think that Obama & Axelrod would be taken away in handcuffs. They didn’t even ever do that to Darth Cheney & The Smirking Chimp, and those two deserved to be frog-marched to prison much more than anything Obama or Axelrod has ever done. Keep keepin’ it real for the conservatives!

  15. Rick Gambrell says:

    Congress has enacted a mandate in the past. In the Second Militia Act of 1792, the government conscripted every “free able-bodied white male citizen” between 18 and 24 into a local militia overseen by the State, and required them to arm themselves. If necessary, they had to purchase. at their own expense “a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack.”

  16. Patrick Henry says:

    We must defeat Obama and every democrat who voted for this law. The country isn’t lost yet, but it stands at the brink. It would be better to dissolve the union and balkanize the country than to give Obama another term without electoral consequences. He is a master dissembler, and in denying that the mandate is tax during the passage debates, he is either a liar or a fool.

  17. ScottLawrence says:

    It’s a fascinating mess. Roberts is a smart guy, who appeared to switch his position at the last minute to agree with what is obviously a liberal opinion. Did he do so because he wanted to show his court was not “political”? Of course, choosing a position to prove this point is still political, by definition. But that’s not the really interesting part. The fact that he changed the statute is the truly messy bit. judges rewrite statutes now? Oh, Pandora’s box is wide open. What an ugly mess this will cause. The Supreme court may be dealing with this mess for years.

  18. @Rick Gambrell – that is a good try, but misses the mark. Congress has specific powers to compel gun ownership in this context; it is an enumerated power:

    The Act to which you refer required all able bodied men between 18-45 years old to enroll in the militia, get a gun and ammunition, and train. The Constitution specifically provides for this, it is an enumerated power:

    Article I, Sec. 8, clause 16:

    “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

  19. Enough of This says:

    It would surprise no one–not even liberals–to discover certain chicago thugs threatened to kill Roberts’ entire family. After all, a trillion-dollar dictatorship is at stake.

    The Threat Theory makes perfect sense. When a layperson has a
    better grasp of the Constitution than a Supreme Court Justice’ (the
    non-affirmative action ones) it’s time to call bullsh1t shenanigans.

  20. @Enough of This – My comments about blackmail were a parody of a Vince Flynn novel. So, I don’t think there were shenanigans like that.

    I do, however, think that Roberts was thinking about this in unconventional terms. Something – some thought, conversation, something – compelled him to change the legislation so he could rule for it. I suspect we’ll never know.

    Of course, there is always the possibility that Roberts is not the originalist we all thought him to be. Ockham’s Razor and all that – the simplest solution is usually correct….

  21. Have you read John Carey’s post at Sentry Journal. In it, he makes a compelling case that Justice Roberts isn’t so far off the mark with this ruling. I’ll be honest, I have questions about why he redefined the mandate and then ruled in favor of it, but there may be more to this than meets the eye.

    To those who have commented and believe Harry is off base with some of his questions, I challenge you this. When has a government program, any government program, ever do anything except grow out of its original intent. It doesn’t matter if it is a program proposed by Democrats or Republicans, they always get bigger and bigger, and more out of control.

    The Affordable Care Act will do all of those things, plus make it harder for businesses, both small and large, to operate. The man I work for told me straight up that if it came down to him having to provide health care insurance, or paying the penalty, ie. tax, he would have to let at least 4 people go, just to be able to afford the costs.

    Stop and think about this for a moment. That is just one business. Consider the fact that many others may have to do the same thing. This will result in higher unemployment and will do nothing to really reform the health care system in this country. Do you really believe that is a good thing?

  22. @Harry – Insurance companies already compete across state lines. I work in Oregon, my company is based in Pennsylvania, our health insurance is out of Michigan. That doesn’t even get into national or nearly national companies like United Health Care or Kaiser Permanente.

    My frustration with the ACA is that it’s insurance reform, not health care reform. It doesn’t do anything to control the costs of health care, that could only be done if the government forced all insurance and medical companies to be non profit (the way Kaiser is) or if the government directly took control of insurance and health care the way the right wing is afraid “Obamacare” does but does not.

  23. @Jordan – Controlling costs IS the problem with the health care system. If the government didn’t try to tax and control every aspect of health care, and allowed the market to function, we’d have many fewer problems.

    For example, take veterinary care. My big, dumb hound dog recently ate a lightbulb, an actual incandescent lightbulb. I took him to emergency veterinary care. He spent two days and one night in the ER facility. He had an IV, various meds to help his GI tract, 3 set of x-rays to scan for pieces of glass, and a weeks worth of post ingestion pills. The entire think cost me about $1,000.00.

    A veterinary MRI is a tiny fraction of a human MRI.

    Why?

    Because a human MRI center has to employ an entire staff just to handle paper filing for Medicare, Medicaid, and various Insurance companies. If the paperwork is not filed properly, the doc doesn’t get paid. Then there is malpractice insurance the doc must pay. The overhead for a health care facility is massive. On top of all that medicare and medicaid often reimburse only partially what the doctor is owed.

    Controlling health care costs means reducing the regulatory and compliance burden on doctors and health care facilities.

    Another example is HIPAA. Great intention, but it cost doctors huge amounts of money in compliance.

    Getting the government out of industry will help drive costs down, not adding on layers of regulation and price controls.

  24. Do you realise your post has gone viral? Another of those “wacky Americans” stories.

    Just to set your mind at rest, your son will probably still be able to visit a doctor of his choice. Every other civilised country has some form of universal healthcare. Mostly it works fine – no death panels where I live. It also has the effect of keeping downward pressure on medical bills. In five years time you’ll be trying to remember what all the fuss was about.

    As for Roberts, even though your country is awash with guns and gun nuts, I think it unlikely he’s been heavied and will be denouncing Obama anytime soon. But you keep on fantasising. It’s just so funny.

    Love the blog. It’s better than Colbert. I’ll definitely be back.

  25. @Dandy – I know! It’s so funny to me that my blog has gone viral in liberal circles. I’ve said it before…I guess I should be flattered.

    Truth be told, I don’t mind liberals coming on here and commenting. I engage with those who are civil and ignore those who are foul-mouthed and hateful. I mostly enjoy real debate.

    It seems like what got so many leftists fired up is my (sillY) rumination about Roberts being part of some blackmail scheme. I thought that it would be quite apparently tongue-in-cheek, but evidently, liberals take these things literally. My guess is that they know exactly what it was, but are so blackened by ideology they (leftists) will latch on to anything they think makes the opposition look bad.

    Be that as it may, the debate for me is not so much about health care as it is about the reach and power of government. That is the context in which I ponder the future of my kids. What makes the USA exceptional is that we codified in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution that we derive our natural rights from God, and that the government serves at the will of the people. This decision is one of several that tend to reverse that codification. When the government can compel you to enter purchase contracts with other private entities, and confiscate your property if you do not comply, it is quite a departure from a free Republic.

  26. sidfaiwu says:

    Perspective. That is what’s lacking from this. I can understand disappointment, sadness, or anger, “I think this is the day America died”? Calm yourself, Hyperbole. You and your children will be just fine.

  27. Cleve E. Littlefield says:

    Your making a “tempest in a teapot” over this decision. It was OK idea with Republicans until Obama got it passed and then you flipfloped on the subject. The day “Freedom” died in America was the day ‘Citizens United” passed, not “Obamacare”. When the Wealthy can throw unlimited, secret money at our elections and politicians without any transparency, then we no longer have a free country. The 1% rule!

  28. @Cleve – A common misconception amongst liberals is that conservative = republican. Regardless, I’m not sure who you mean it was “OK” with. Did you not witness the Town Hall meetings and Tea Parties of 2009 and 2010? What do you think they were all about? Spending and Obamacare!

    Another item that leftists seem to have trouble with is this notion of 1%. People are constantly moving in ad out of income brackets. There is not a single amount of money from which each person gets a static amount. The 1% of this year is always different from the 1% of next year, and last.

  29. Agreed, Cleve…Tea Partiers here, listen up: Your country is still intact; no one’s going to force you to buy broccoli, take away your guns, or raise your taxes above 39%. You’ll wake up, the sun will shine, your kids will go to school, and America will be the same…EXCEPT: The goddam freeloaders who refused to buy health insurance will no longer be subsidized by you and me. And that’s because of Obama and Pelosi, who stole the idea from The Heritage Foundation, that bastion of free-market, libertarian thought. The Heritage Foundation first put forth the idea of the individual mandate back in the early ’90′s, and now your candidate, Romney, is the SECOND office-holder to run for president based on his record of instituting an individual mandate.

    Besides, ladies and gentleman, you do realize that the government ALREADY forces you buy something you might not want: insurance against poverty in old age. It’s call Social Security. Do you want to take that away, too?

  30. @Vinson – if the only difference will be freeloaders, why didn’t they just make people who go to an emergency room pay for it? Seems simple. If that’s the only problem, and the only affected area by Obamacare, why have a 2000 page bill to handle that simple problem?

    This business of the Heritage Foundation is absurd. The fact is that Obama, Pelosi and Reid crafted this bill.
    What came out of some think tank is completely beside the point, though based on the quantity of leftists citing the same irrelevant fact, it is c;early a talking point, ineffectual as it is.

    Romneycare…another canard. The fact is that what happens in Massachusetts stays in Massachusetts, just as it should, according to the Constitution. You want socialized, single payer health care? Fine – do it in a State. Nanny states like New York and California are going broke.

    What amazes me is the length liberals will go to excusing and embracing their own servitude. That the government can make you buy anything it wants you to have, and punish you if you don’t comply, seems to completely escape the lot of you.

    Of course, as statists, I guess that type of servitude is all just fine. Which brings us to the current disagreement… you and the rest of leftists want to be subjugated, while I and the rest f the conservatives and libertarians do not.

  31. Impeach John Roberts! Let Obama appoint a new CJ !!

  32. Enough of This says:

    @Enough of This – My comments about blackmail were a parody of a Vince Flynn novel. So, I don’t think there were shenanigans like that.

    @ Harry — Rule nothing out. Reality is stranger than fiction. I don’t know how it would be proven that Roberts was threatened unless Roberts himself spoke out, but the theory fits too well. Roberts has two grandchildren. It would be truly terrifying for any of us if this “POTUS” or his goons warned that no police or government agency–FBI, Secret Service, CIA, Post Office–could save your family from having an “accident”. Recall back in February, Justice Breyer was mugged at machete-point at his Caribbean home, then had his Georgetown residence robbed. “Accidents happen”.

    If Roberts was threatened and sold us out to save his hide then he’s a coward: far better Americans than he accept the risk of death, some at all times.

    Jugears McMarx’s entire foul legacy rested on this decision. The Threat Theory is right up there with the theory that LBJ had JFK killed so he could continue Vietnam. Bob Costas/Kagan helped write the law yet refused to recuse herself . Could taxocrats’ moral bankruptcy be made any clearer? Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Remember we now have a thugverment that can force you to buy a product and if you don’t, you will be fined the equivalent cost. What’s to stop the federal mafia next week from ordering you to buy a house, or pay the equivalent down payment as a fine?

    Here’s one the moonbats never thought of: how is government going to fine-tax the 30 million uninsured who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for health insurance in the first place? Nothing has changed. The average American will still be paying the freeloaders’ and illegals’ bills, along with huge, new tax hikes.

    2012: It’s Romney or revolution.

  33. Hey, Harry!

    I’m really sorry that you feel subjugated. I and the majority of Americans certainly don’t. I don’t feel subjugated when I’m drinking clean water because our government regulates it. I don’t feel subjugated when I get on an airplane and feel safe because our government regulates that industry. And I definitely don’t feel subjugated when I get on my highway and know it’s pretty safe to drive on because our government regulates it. As for Romneycare being a canard, I’m not sure why you say that, except that you obviously don’t feel much connection to your fellow American on the other side of the country. I suppose you’d also be ok to just let the states that host our most precious National Parks do as they see fit, as well. Can’t afford the upkeep of Yellowstone? Screw the rest of the country! We’re gonna turn it into expensive condos ’cause we can under the Constitution.

    I for one don’t want to live in a country where my fellow American who happens to live in another state couldn’t care less about my state, or me his.

    In any event, I hope you can overcome your anger and start to feel the wonderful uniqueness of this country where all Americans are equal and deserve high quality roads, water, air safety, and health care. Because those are just four of the many things that bond this country together.

    Here are a few others, as told by “Joe Republican”:

    Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and fresh because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

    With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it too.

    He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girlie-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

    In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

    Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

    He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor. Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards.

    Joe’s employer pays the same standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

    It is noon and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

    Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below- market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

    Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by the Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big- government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.

    He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father has Medicare, lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine- drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

    Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”

  34. Vinson, the story about Joe is one of government dependence. That is an awful existence.

    I also think that it is a mistake to think that as Americans, we’re all equal. We’re not. Some people are smarter, some are dummer :-); some work hard, some do not; some are ambitious, some less so; some people are samaritans, some could not care less about others.

    But through all these differences, we do have one similarity. It is not equality, rather it is liberty. One of the things that makes us exceptional is that our Constitution guarantees us equal opportunity. It does not, however, give us equal outcomes.

  35. Hi Enough of This –

    I agree with you on a couple of points. FIrst, I agree that it is folly to think the 30 million who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay before, will somehow magically starting paying now. To add to your point, their contributions are needed to pay for the rest of the program, so now they (the current deadbeats) will be relied upon to subsidize the rest!

    I also agree with your “slippery slope” analysis. I wrote a satire yesterday about this. I like it because it is so believable! You can read not here: http://www.toberight.com/2012/06/obamacare-ruling-fosters-new-legislative-action/

    Lastly, I agree that Romney must be elected. I think the Roberts decision was an unmitigated disaster and I don’t understand it. Be that as it may, he left us with an opportunity to overturn the entire thing with a simple majority in the senate.

    The other conspiracy theories…. well…. I suppose I accept that it is a possibility – a remote one. The only reason I’ll go that far is because the ruling seems so out of character for Roberts. But in the wake of the immigration ruling, I am thinking that it is likely that Roberts is simply not an originalist.

  36. Harry,

    Well, as an American, I feel connected to the 22% of children and 25% of adults in Texas who don’t have health insurance, even though I live in New York. You’re welcome to feel separated from your fellow American, but I sure don’t. That’s what makes our country great – we stick up for each other. But feel free to feel separate from your fellow American in a different state. It’s a free country…:)

    I for one don’t want to live in this separate world you so eagerly embrace. And as for feeling government oppression because your water is clean and your roads safe, well, I really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    What I AM happy about is that those freeloaders who decide not to get insurance even though they can afford it are now being forced to pay. And that’s a conservative solution to this problem, whether you want to admit it or not (since I can tell your issue is not with this bill but the fact that the Democrats passed it). Or if, you are a Libertarian, you’d rather dismantle the entire social safety net and most of the government for that matter, in which case we really have nothing else to talk about since it’s never going to happen. That’s the thing: most Libertarians are going to live an unhappy life forever because most Americans support their government services, even if they’re unwilling to pay for them with taxes.

  37. Vinson – clean water and safe roads are fine.

    The difference between our ideology is that to me, sticking up for each other does not mean the government taking half of my earning to distribute it for all manner of ill conceived projects. A safety net is just fine.

    For example, I have a friend who makes a decent living in the tech industry. But his boy was born with a heart condition and has been in and out of the hospital many times. Sometimes, the child’s post surgical stay has been 4-5 weeks. There is no way a family of even moderate means can afford that.

    My point is that there are plenty of cases where we need an honest safety net. The circumstance I describe above is a great example – we should provide a safety net for them.

    BUT….

    There is no reason we need half the crap that the government spend (wastes) money on. From turtle tunnels to $900 hammers, we’re tapped out.

    This bill is a massive government power grab that give extraordinary power to the State over the individual.

    You can now be told what to buy. If you don’t, you will be punished.

    I don’t know why this is okay with you, but it seems to be. My impression is that I won’t convince you otherwise… but this is the crux of the matter: You find it acceptable for the government to compel you to buy something, I don’t.

  38. Well, Harry, I’m glad we agree on something: $900 hammers are an awful waste of money! lol…

    See, we can agree on what to keep and what to cut. What we must discard are these sweeping pronouncements: “Government is bad. It’s too big. And it needs to be dismantled.” Rhetoric like that is easy and cheap. What’s not easy is to go line-by-line and say “yes or no” to this and that. Sure, everyone want Smaller Government, Lower Taxes. Everyone — left, right, center. But the devil is in the details and that’s why we have national debates on this. The health care issue is resolved, and the country has spoken: two years of debate; 1 1/2 years of court cases leading up to the Supremes; now six months of a Presidential debate and vote in November. This is called Democracy, and you might not like being on the losing side, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Trust me, there have been plenty of issues that my side has lost. You suck it up, live with it, try to change it, then move on. But this is how our messy Democracy works. Unfortunately, our government is also influenced (i.e. bought-and-sold) by big monied interests (i.e. Corporations), which is why the left and the right need to join forces to change our Constitution:

    http://www.getmoneyout.com

    As for the government forcing me to buy something, they do it ALL the time –> from car insurance to social security & medicare to taxing me when I fly on a plane. In fact, I think that the Supremes got it wrong when it comes to the Commerce Clause: they aren’t forcing you to buy insurance, the government is merely forcing you to pay your fair share. Fine, don’t buy health insurance –> you’re free not to! You won’t go to jail; there’s no other penalty except a tax that goes into a coffer to help pay your cost when you go to the emergency room. I don’t see why you don’t have a problem with that…especially when it’s a conservative solution to this problem of freeloaders!

    I can go on and on where the government forces me to buy something: how ’bout property taxes? A large portion of that goes to buying public education vis a vis our school system. If I don’t have kids, why do I have to pitch in for that? Because it’s the cost of living in this free and grand nation –> we’re all in this together, no matter how much you want to pick and choose.

    Lastly — Defense: what if I don’t want to be forced to contribute to an army that invades another country? Tough –> it’s the cost of living in this great country. You don’t hear me squealing and crying about my taxes going to something I don’t support. There are plenty of things I’m forced to “buy” that I don’t want. Same with you. That’s how it goes. Feel lucky that we were born into this country – no fault of ours – and celebrate it. Stop complaining, suck it up, and move onto the next issue while you’re on this planet for such a short amount of time.

    Cheers!

  39. The Republicans STILL have no plans to help insure the 30 million Americans who don’t have any insurance. Sheesh:

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/07/mcconnell-coverage-for-30-million-uninsured-not-the-issue.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

  40. I’ll keep it brief….

    “Sure, everyone want Smaller Government, Lower Taxes. Everyone — left, right, center.”

    I don’t think that is the case. Vinson, you seem like someone who I could probably sit down with, go line by line, and cut half of the crap government does. I really bet we could.

    What I see is a Congress and a President who are hell bent on spending us into oblivion. This year’s deficit is a projected $1.3 Trillion.

    Read through these pages, you’ll see I hammer GWB and R’s in Congress too.

    The added $5 Trillion in debt was, in my opinion, a complete and utter waste. I’ll get liberals on here saying that it saved us. Whatever – there is no proof of that at all.

    This is the only case I know of where the government taxes you for NOT doing something. Care insurance is state run.

    I think Social Security is an abomination and yes, I think it should be eliminated. I have a few articles here that explain why… But I realize it is unrealistic – the statists have successfully made it part of the foundation of society. Never mind it is a broken program, nearly beyond fixing.

    Last – I may go point for point on this post with you tomorrow…today I’m just spent. But I’ll tell you this… you are a model for many on your team. I have never – NEVER – banned a user or trashed a comment on this blog in the 5 years I have been writing. On this post alone since Thursday, I banned 2 commenters and trashed about 10 comments. The unadulterated hatred, the foul mouthed, disgusting vitriol was unlike anything I have seen.

    So, thank you for the good debate – swing back tomorrow and we’ll go a few more rounds!

    Best,

  41. Hey Harry…
    Yeah, the vitriol on both sides is a total waste of time, imho. Debate the hell out of something, vote, then move on. Take your lumps and deal with the next one. But for god’s sake, let’s all get together and change the Constitution so that we can get the money out of Washington. It’s the only way to REALLY get our representatives to vote our interests. It works on both sides, and just to show you that I’m open-minded, my senator – Schumer (D) – has sunk on many occasions the attempt to get rid of the “Carried Interest” rule. That rule for all you libs and conserves is this:

    I’m a hedge-fun guy, and I now manage $1 billion of my clients’ money. I pay myself 2% of that billion PLUS I take 20% of the profits. So far so good. The problem lies in the taxes that the government levies. They aren’t too high — they are too low! You see, the 2% is taxed at ordinary income, which is normal – it’s his salary. The 20% profit that he makes by gambling his clients’ money? It’s taxed at the Long-Term Capital Gains rate – 15% – as if he were investing his own money, holding it for a year, then taking profits. We can argue as to whether that 15% is too high or too low (WAY too low, imho), but why does the government tax him at the same rate it would if he were investing/gambling his own money? It’s not his money! I’ve had at it with Schumer’s office on this loop-hole that he doesn’t fight to eliminate and that costs us fellow tax payers some $6-8 billion in lost revenue. But guess where the majority of these hedge-fund guys work? Wall Street New York City, of course. And guess how much money they give Schumer? You got it…

    This is where Occupy Wall Street and The Tea Party meet: http://www.getmoneyout.com

    Sign the petition!

  42. Thomas Franklin says:

    You are pathetically insane by any measure of history or judgment. My god. Coercion? Do you realize what kind of ammunition this gives the left wing? Obviously it was a disappointing result, and who knows what the SC politics are, or why Roberts went the way he did–I mean, who predicted Souter, either. But this is pathetic–just stupid stuff. I’m sorry I visited. Good luck in the wormhole of your mind.

  43. Thomas Franklin says:

    PS, I will be interested to see if you print my prior comment.

  44. Tommy boy, I’m not afraid of your silly comment.

    Here’s the punch line…. YOU are pathetically insane by any measure of history or judgment, in that you didn’t seem to pick up on “…like a Vince Flynn novel…”

    I’ve been laughing all the way to the back link bank because you dumb ass leftists don’t know the difference between tongue in cheek, analysis and hard news.

    Hahahahhahaha! I got like 100 new links to help boost my blog rankings in Google listings….all because you libs are such fools.

    I can’t wait to write a really good satire…. You commies from the leftward land of silliness will wet your pants again, and give me another boost in the search engines…

  45. Murphy Was An Optimist says:

    Harry,
    The insurance mandate is the bugaboo of today for the “Conservatives” (I prefer to call them radical reactionaries, but nomenclature isn’t so important to me). “Oh my god, they’re stealing our freedom by making us pay for insurance! America is dying!”
    Before that, it was the big, bad illegal immigrants and before that (and to this day) it was the “tax and spend” liberals.

    Where is your oh so righteous indignation about allowing corporations to buy and sell politicians and political favors? Government corruption (AKA “lobbying”) is a much bigger problem than any of the above.

    What about our insane Intellectual Property regime? No issues there huh? Lobbying groups pressing to make home videos with a pop song playing in the background and posted on the Internet a *criminal* offense? Copyrights that last for the owner’s lifetime *plus* seventy years? It’s an abomination.

    Even better, why aren’t you screaming bloody murder when the government places equipment in key Internet access points and copies every email, every web site and every internet posting they can, both *inside* and outside the country? That the government can tap our phone as will without any warrant or justification. That our government can indefinitely detain or even kill its own citizens without charge or reason?

    Where is your outrage that the government consistently erodes our privacy and by extension, our free speech rights? These are not partisan issues. Nor are they anything new. A dyed-in-the-wool conservative, Dwight Eisenhower warned us about the government, the military and industry grabbing for power, money and influence more than fifty years ago. We ignored him, and the government, military and corporations (mostly the military and corporations) got fat on *our* money.

    These days, they don’t even try to hide it. The Patriot Act, the enormous private sector feeding at the military and intelligence troughs, the Citizens’ United decision to name just a few. Doesn’t anyone read Santayana anymore?

    Sure, we need to cut the waste out of government. We need to make the US a country “of, by, and for the people” once again. That means equal opportunity for all, including making “one man, one vote” a reality.

    That means getting the sewer of money out of our political system. Sadly, those who have the power to change the system are themselves in thrall to the monied interests who care only for their bottom lines and bank accounts and not about the welfare of the country as a whole. Until we get the money out of politics, we will remain on oujr current path to self-destruction.

    We can argue about the right way to create, manage and maintain our social safety net, our healthcare system, immigration, education, our crumbling infrastructure, and so many other critical issues. In fact, we should argue about those issues.

    But when those who are tasked with making our country work (both republicans and democrats) are so beholden to folks who could care less if we all starved to death while choking on polluted air and water, as long as they get theirs, no honest debate can take place.

    You say you want our country to thrive, you say you don’t want to see the land of my birth to decay and die. I say, put your money where your mouth is. Speak out against untrammeled corporate power! Rail against the shredding of our constitution by power hungry technocrats! Call on any who will listen to raise up their voices against corruption, corporate/government collusion and laws designed to silence dissent! We need to clean house before we can redecorate, Harry. Or do you just want to tear it all down and dance on the rubble?

    What say you?

  46. Mack The Fork says:

    So how did this conspiracy theory work out for you. You should run as President Of Dumbfuckistan with that kind of material.

  47. Hey Mack, you dumb-ass commie. You clearly have a problem figuring out what is news, what is commentary, and what is tongue in cheek. Context clues something you missed in 4th grade?

    Worse, all you leftist assholes seem to have the same deficiency. No wonder you’ve screwed up every public policy position you’ve ever taken.

    Have a blast cheering for your own subjugation.

    What a freakin idiot.

    Don’t come back.