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[cancer] Healthcare reform, and a question for my conservative friends - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-01-22 11:03
Subject: [cancer] Healthcare reform, and a question for my conservative friends
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, healthcare, personal, politics
Sitting here in the chemo chair, reading the political news about HCR. It's discouraging.

Republicans have provided blanket opposition to the healthcare reform effort from the get-go, with only the vaguest token proposals of their own, those being rhetorical roadblocks lacking in either detail or serious intent. Now, because of a single special election, Democrats have lost their nerve. The Senate is talking about taking the ban on pre-existing conditions limitations out of the bill. I'm not sure what the status is on lifetime coverage limitations.

To my conservative friends who believe the current system is "best in the world", and to the Democrats in Washington who have lost their spines, why do you think limits on pre-existing condition and lifetime coverage are a good idea? What is appropriate about putting people like me in a box that says, "go bankrupt, then die"? How does the vaunted free market solve my issues?

Please, tell me why this ok. Tell me why this is the "best in the world". Because when you oppose HCR without any decent alternatives, or when you chicken out on this process, you're telling me that it's too bad that I get to go broke, then croak.

Even if you honestly believe that market forces are the best way to dictate my fate, that it's too bad I'm one of the eggs that gets broken in making the omelet of market-based healthcare, sheer self interest should suggest that you might be in my position someday. What will you do then?

So tell me, why is this ok?

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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2010-01-22 19:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's okay with RepubliCons because they've been engaged in a systemic pogrom to destroy the middle class since 1980. And if some poor people go down, too, all the better as far as they are concerned. Leaves more Lebensraum for Mr. Pasty Whitebread.

Else, why would they be beholden to a "Crawl to the side of the road and die" health care plan?

In RepubliKanville everything is cream and roses. --As long as you've got the money to survive. And if you don't? Well, then, obviously you didn't work hard enough and didn't worship the Sky Wizard long enough to get that special "I'm better than everyone else" RepubliCon dispensation.
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Michael Curry: minifesto jefferson
User: mcurry
Date: 2010-01-22 19:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:minifesto jefferson
I think you've pretty much nailed it there. In their philosophy, if you didn't work hard enough to be one of the Masters of the Universe, or if you fell from that lofty perch, it's because of some moral failing on your part, so you deserve what you get.

It's a pretty sickening philosophy.
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Damon Kaswell
User: gooddamon
Date: 2010-01-22 19:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Best in the world."

I hate that lie, and it is a lie. Countries with universal health care have lower infant mortality rates and higher life expectancy. "Oh, but we've got better cancer survival rates!" is the pathetic response to those undeniable facts. And even that is a lie, because we count easily survivable cancers, such as melanomas that can be removed in out-patient surgery, in our cancer statistics. France, Great Britain, Sweden, Canada, and other countries with real health care systems do not.

Ours is not the worst in the world, but with what we're paying for it, it ought to be the best, and it isn't.
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Sue Burke
User: mount_oregano
Date: 2010-01-22 21:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Spain. You forgot Spain, where I live. Spaniards live longer and pay less.
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Damon Kaswell
User: gooddamon
Date: 2010-01-22 21:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Most of the first world lives longer and pays less. I am so very, very frustrated with my country right now.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2010-01-22 19:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Do you have any access to UK radio over there? BBC Radio 4 had the most fascinating programme on the intersection between the drug companies and the current US healthcare system this morning. There's a link on the BBC website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n8ss0
but I don't know if it will work in the US. Worth a listen if you can, however.
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Max Kaehn: Politics
User: slothman
Date: 2010-01-22 20:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Politics
It seems to me that the modern GOP leadership have degenerated into kleptocrats: extract as much value as possible, right now, without a thought for sustainability or long-term prosperity, because if you get all the wealth now, you’ll be sitting on top of a pile of it when everything goes to Hell in handbasket. (There are plenty of old-school Republicans out there who are quite sensible, but they’re utterly stifled by their current leaders, who, if they didn’t want to take credit for past successful Republicans, would denounce Abraham Lincoln as a bleeding-heart liberal [and use ugly racial epithets in private], Teddy Roosevelt as a hippie treehugger, Dwight Eisenhower as a socialist, and kick Ronald Reagan out of the party for raising taxes and signing a treaty banning torture.) It’s another facet of the Iron Law of Institutions: they would rather be sitting on top of a miserable heap than be somewhere in the middle of a prosperous one.
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Laurel Amberdine
User: amberdine
Date: 2010-01-22 20:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Haven't been a proper conservative or an actual Rebublican in a long time so I can't speak personally. From what certain frothing in-laws tell me 1) they want to keep thier money for their stuff and everyone else can just go get their own, and 2) they're old enough to be using or counting on Medicare.
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Laurel Amberdine: lightning
User: amberdine
Date: 2010-01-22 20:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:lightning
Please pardon typos. Hard to do this on an iPhone!
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Damon Kaswell
User: gooddamon
Date: 2010-01-22 21:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Gah! How can they simultaneously rail against government paying for health care, and use government-funded health care?!?
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User: mmegaera
Date: 2010-01-22 21:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Wright Park orchids
As my 85-year-old mother told me, quite earnestly, "but, honey, the current system works for me, why would I want them to change it?"

Never mind that her second daughter (my older sister) has been a type 1 brittle diabetic for forty years and can only get care by paying more than her mortgage monthly for California's high risk pool insurance. She claims to love my sister dearly. I can't see how she can claim to and still hold the opinion in the first paragraph at the same time.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a lot of it is sheer irrationality and a disconnect the size of Mt. Rushmore (a la those folks who kept chanting for the government to keep its hands off their Medicare). I don't think anything can be done about it, frankly.
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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2010-01-22 22:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Would you m ind if I printed out this post and snail-mailed it directly to Sen. Ben Nelson's Washington, D.C. office? With MY return address on it, of course, so he (or rather his faceless minions) can send me back a completely irrelevant, canned form letter about another subject entirely?
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shaolingrrl
User: shaolingrrl
Date: 2010-01-22 22:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I guess I'd better get busy and start crossing stuff off the list of things I want to do before I die, because if I get sick I won't be able to afford to keep myself alive.

And to answer your question, it's not okay.
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shelly_rae: Shelly Duvall
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-01-22 22:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Shelly Duvall
It's not ok. My brother has absolutely no health care yet is a hard working fisherman. He needs to have polyups removed but can't afford it--but if the polyups turn into cancer then, theoretically, he can get treated. Why not just pay for the prevention?

Other option is for me to put his treatment on my credit card but know what the number one reason for bankruptcy in the USA is? Yep, medical costs. Even people with health insurance ride the stretcher down that path.

Health care should not be a "market" it should be a right like police and fire departments, roads and schools.

I don't even want to start discussing my own medical costs but I will tell you that my 7 day hospital stay this summer cost more than $60,000. My life was saved with that care. What would have happened to me if I hadn't had an insurance card on me when they brought me in? I don't know, I was unconscious and alone.

What is my life worth?

Anon
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Johnny Eponymous
User: johnnyeponymous
Date: 2010-01-22 23:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
See, I'm a conservative who doesn't believe we have the best system in the world and I certainly don't think the current plan going through Congress is any good whatsoever. We need a single-payer public option for the amount of money we're putting out and that's not included. I've known too many people who have been through the health care systems in other countries and have terrible experiences. The American Insurance System is in need of much reform, including No Pre-Existing Conditions denial. Medical costs need to come down and there's nothing going on that'll really approach that problem.

I'm not against government spending, I just think spending has to have actual impact and without a public option, there's little real impact.

Chris
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Karen
User: klwilliams
Date: 2010-01-23 06:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They'll never be in your position, because they are rich and powerful and have powerful friends.
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Patrick Nielsen Hayden
User: pnh
Date: 2010-01-23 17:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The situation is certainly not okay, but I do want to point out that the people deciding that you're "one of the eggs that gets broken" aren't just Republicans and skittish "centrist" Democrats. It's also so-called "progressive" House members, like my own Representative (Nydia Velazquez, D-NY) who have declared they won't vote for the existing Senate bill because it doesn't contain a public option. This is particularly rich since almost all of them voted for the House version which contained the awful Stupak anti-abortion provisions.

Thanks to them, people like you and my friend baldanders are screwed.

As Jonathan Chait observed, it's like the 2000 recount all over again: triumphalist right-wingers, irresolute centrists, and a left wing determined to hand victory to the right in order to spite the center.
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