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Bush Vetoes Child Health Bill - Ditched 10 Million Kids

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Gooey_GUI, 4 Oct 2007.

  1. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    Absolutly. The only part I would disagree with is that money should go 70% to public transit to give people an alternative to driving and 30% to research into alternative fuels. It's going to take bothe carrot and stick to encourage people to make more responsible choices about transportion. The problem with things as they are now is that in most areas there is no reasonable alternative to driving. Using higher gas taxes to pay for alternative transportation discourages people from driving while at the same time finances alternatives to driving.

    The problem there is twofold. In the first case figure $200 per month per person for individual health insurance. You have to make a pretty large chunk of change to have an extra $600-800 a month to pay for health insurance for your family. 2-3 times the poverty level doesn't seem unreasonable. The other problem is that even if people can afford individual private insurance, it's the biggest legal scam in America these days. The insurance companies take your money and then use it to avoid actually paying claims. It's a good idea to avoid any company that makes more money by not helping the customer. One advantage to government subsidized insurance is that it gives the people a recourse if they get screwed by the insurance company. If the govrnment is paying for it then the government should have an interest in seeing that the people get the car they are paying for.

    Capitolism has it's place (as much as it pains me to say that), but meeting essential needs is not one of them. We don't expect people to pay individually foir fire protection, we don't demand that citizens pay for the part of the street in front of their house or the schools that their rugrats attend. So it should be with health care.

    If this country had any sense at all we would put the entire health insurance industry out of business and move rapidly towards a socialized system like the rest of the industrialized world has. Until we accept that the good of everyone is in all of our best interests, it's hard to see how we have any chance as a society.
     
  2. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    The war in Iraq gets mentioned (ad nauseum) because it is an insane waste of money that, contrary to your opinion, does not benefit everyone. Iraq never posed a military or terrorist threat (Osama did, but interestingly he is still footloose and fancy-free). Prices of fuel have skyrocketed since the invasion (which was partly the purpose of the whole exercise --it's a long story here, but April Glaspie did confide in Saddam --when he was still our friend-- that the US oil companies would like to see an increase in oil prices. It is a matter of record). The invasion of Iraq benefited Haliburton et al., but certainly not people like you or me.

    In this regard it is best to see the Bush elections as corporate business (and I mean, big business, think Bilderberg scale) doing a corporate take-over of the US to use its resources to perform a hostile take-over and asset stripping of Iraq. Read Paul Bremer's 100 orders and you'll get the picture (Afghanistan too, by the way. No assets, but big-ass oil and gas pipelines that need to stay secure).

    But I digress. Let's not get caught in stories here. The invasion of Iraq was neither justified, necessary nor beneficial for us. Health care on the other hand ticks all of these boxes.

    Given that in the UK I pay the equivalent of $7,56 for a gallon of fuel (that's right: 72% tax), perhaps you are asking the wrong person. But my response has been to drive a very economical, low-pollution turbo Diesel car, which does 40mpg urban, 60mpg motorway. It will even run on used cooking oil. I rather pay more for my fuel and/or drive less, than wage a war in Iraq for oil. My car is boxy and not very powerful, but at least it does not run on blood.

    Thanks. :D

    I don't think so. First, let's not get carried away by the idea that Capitalism is great. Capitalism works (for a given value of "works") because it basically appeals to the human instinct for self-preservation and psychological incentive principles. It is great if you are good at looking after yourself and have marketable talents. If you are Mr. Learning Disabled living in a residential home, it is a crap system. Then, Communism may be more your cup of tea. Communism appeals to human tribal instincts and therefore works very well too --in a group up to 150 members. After that you start to lose track of who takes out of the communal pool more than they put in, and the system collapses (what the USSR and China practice is not Communism, by the way, but Totalitarianism with Communist veneer. The West is heading for totalitarianism with Capitalist veneer). But there are plenty of small communities, even in the US (think: the Amish) who function well along what really are rather Communist principles.

    Now health care is an odd thing. Like food, we all need it to live, essentially; as consumers we cannot choose not to buy if we don't like the price. Moreover, consumer choice is difficult to exercise --most of us are not medics. Health care services on the other hand want to make a profit, but they need to remain accessible to everyone. They can't price things at the optimal profit/sales curve, because everybody has to be able to buy. So either you get a multi-tier health care, with the very basic stuff at the bottom, and the nice private health care at the top, or, if you would like people to have roughly equal access, some governmental control seems inevitable.

    That is where the rub is: equality. Capitalism is based on the fundamental assumption that you get what you work for, so Capitalism works for people like you and me: relatively bright, talented, well-educated, well-earning and healthy. But some people work very hard and still end up relatively dumb, untalented, uneducated, poor and unhealthy (think of Mr. Zapeta) and this is not necessarily all their fault. Now pay attention (007), because here's the punchline.

    Karl Marx called religion an "opiate for the masses". He was referring to the idea that people will put up with crap in their lives if they believe that they will get their reward in heaven. Because God is just, see? And if you are particularly wretched, well, you must have done something to piss God off, right? You must have deserved it somehow. This is a nice little cognitive defense that some people maintain against the cold hard reality of the universe: bad stuff can happen to good people (no reason why, it just does). Because life is basically callous and unfair and we are at the mercy of its random whims. With this defensive belief, the poor can look forward to heaven, the particularly wretched can feel that they are being punished for some sin (hey, it's an internal locus of control, at least), and the particularly well-off can stop feeling guilty for their privileges and for not sharing these with the poor, because it must all be God's plan (Children internalise guilt for their abuse in a similar manner, by the way: "if my parents treat me this way, I must have deserved it somehow").

    Capitalism works the same way. "You get what you work for, therefore if you end up with nothing you just didn't work hard enough". Handouts destroy the incentive to work, etc. The responsibility for your wellbeing is your own personal concern, nothing to do with me, guv. It's an absolution of responsibility for your fellow human being. Which works well when you're the one on top, but as John Donne said (Meditation XVII), one day, the bell tolls for us:

    "As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

    I work with cancer patients. Some of them worked very hard, but can't now. They live of sickness and incapacity benefits paid for by (amongst others) my taxes. I even had an illegal immigrant on my caseload once (landed on a Saturday, started working on a Sunday); imagine the consternation in the health Trust when she needed health care for cervical cancer. "What is going to pay for all this?". I tell you what: my taxes. I do NOT pay up to 40% of my salary in taxes so some asshole PM can finance jumping into a bloody, immoral, illegal war with Bush et. al for the greater glory of some oil companies so they can charge me even more for the fuel that I put in my boxy Skoda which is all I can afford to drive. I pay taxes so people can have the cancer treatment they need, when they need it, regardless of whether they are relatively well off or some poor illegal immigrant with a history of abuse and exploitation stretching back to toddlerhood.

    That's how I look at the war in Iraq, Capitalism, my taxes and health care.
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2007
  3. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    My comment was pertinent to the quote's final paragraph;
    The American health system is largely funded through insurance - rather inefficient? That's two groups out to take a profit. But the system's not even effective;
    It seems a large fraction of the American population would strongly disagree with you. Private health care is there in every country on Earth for the well-off; the less well-off need the security of a National Health Service, and in this day and age it's a sign of civilisation, not socialism, that the less well-off are cared for in sickness and in health. We've done extreme capitalism, got the t-shirt, back in Victorian times.
     
  4. Gooey_GUI

    Gooey_GUI Wanted: Red Shirts

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    Not to detract from the "thread", but this is about children's health care and not families. Many families may or may not need help covering their health expenses, but the neediest children should be exempt from financial woes. They shouldn't be shut out because their parents make $X dollars a year. and they owe more than they make because of outstanding medical bills.

    Don't even get me started about the medical industry sucking people's wealth dry as they are on the last stages of death.
     
  5. Monkeyboy

    Monkeyboy Member

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    capitalism would work fine if people and corps didn't game the system. socialism/communism would work fine, if people and corps didn't game the system. in a perfect theroretical environment, any and all systems of economics and politics work great, but in real life none work as well as intended.
    i think it's irresponsible to spend all this money in the occupation of a sovereign nation while our own nation suffers through a lack of affordable healthcare, a crumbling infrastructure (bridges), and increasing debt (debt clock).
    not bringing the current state of unrest in iraq into this: they are fighting over funding that helps many people who actually need it, yet blithely subsidize large agribusinesses (such as monsanto) with billions of dollars of funding. i imagine if the cut government handouts to those who don't need it (i.e.: large corporations of any sort), then maybe they could give more back to the people and the nation.
     
  6. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    In comparison with the UK, "The wealthiest 1 per cent owned approximately 20% of the UK's marketable wealth in 2003. In contrast, the bottom 50% shared only 7% of total wealth."

    So "one of the richest countries in the world" doesn't really apply to 1 in 2 Americans; the bottom half of the UK's earners are far better off than their bottom-half cousins across the pond.

    Go on, spread the wealth, it doesn't hurt the better-off, but it might "diminish the conflicts arising from the unequal distribution of wealth". This is the Katrina mentality again, a reluctance to help the less well off, the second-class citizens.
     
    Last edited: 10 Oct 2007
  7. BUFF

    BUFF New Member

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    Actually, even then there were more than a few enlightened magnates who provided for their workers' wellfare.
     
  8. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    But the point is magnates like Sir Titus Salt and George Cadbury were breaking away from the status quo; and it was strictly for their own workers, there was no national system.
    That still left a good many people not covered until after WW2.
    Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country" had it too one-sided - the cannon-fodder are entitled to support (and support for their children) other than cheap words.
     
  9. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    I had a thought about this watching SiCKO last month. I wonder if the reason Britan has universal health care and the US doesn't is how much more you suffered during WWII. Adversity tends to lead to solidarity and the countries that were directly attacked in the war or occupied generally have much stronger social systems in place. Despite they hype, the US was really only attacked once, and the war was never as immediate here as it was in Britan or France where being killed was less of an abstraction. Perhaps if the war had been more immediate and the suffering greater we wouldn't be wondering how we ended up as the only modern nation that lets it's citizens die because treating them isn't cost effective.
     
  10. knuck

    knuck Hate your face

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    ... followed by an endless debate about how he sucks and how he ruined everything

    I am not defending him, hell I don't even know if he does a good job or not. All I know is it gets annoying to see everyone argue on this subject over and over
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Actually I wonder whether it is cultural. About a century ago the US still was essentially a colonial wilderness under frontier law, while most other countries had an established society under traditional rule of law that had existed for perhaps a millennium.

    This had its drawbacks and advantages. The advantage was that the US could start from scratch, designing a constitution based on democratic and humanistic ideals, unencumbered by feudal or monarchic traditions with all its inherent class differences and inequalities. The drawback is that many of its frontier law attitudes persist today, like the right to bear arms, being ready to defend your own patch, and the myth of independence and self-sufficiency, thriving and surviving by your own hard work and defending your homestead with your own shotgun. Hardly conducive to fostering a sense of community togetherness.

    The US was also for a long time not really one nation under God, but a collection of squabbling States each composed of many different nationalities. The national identity and pride of being an "American" was secondary to your familial and ancestral pride and identity for a long time. Still is. It is not until you are faced with a common enemy that you bind together; in Europe we had to do that continuously.
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    You know, everyone had dropped the subject until you brought it back up.
     
  13. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    The problem's still there, ignoring a problem rarely makes it go away.

    In this case, the USA have a so-called democracy where the President can veto the wishes of a government majority. Seems undemocratic?

    The Queen may be our (and your) head of state, but she can't do that here any more than she can in Canada; our House of Lords can only delay certain types of bill, and not ones like this that concern taxation and public funds. Blair could persuade his governing party to do as he wanted, but he didn't have the right to take the decisions regardless.
     
  14. dr_bowtie

    dr_bowtie New Member

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    I really cant stand politics for this reason....you read what they want you to read...wether it was good or bad in real terms... Unless you know 100% what was on the actual bill you wont really know why it got cancelled...

    Slime ball politics play a big part of this...sure you have a bill to help children health benefits and then congress or whoever put additional "Pork" in it....meaning other stipulations that may pass....

    For instance they may have put in it that it also goes into effect that gas tax raises 25% or they get a payraise of 55% or Seniors get a health care cut of 35%...any of those is bad for you and why should 1 bill pass that has 3 or more bad things on it...

    bad thing is you dont here of the bad stuff in a bill but the President takes the fall if he kills it...I am sure he wouldnt have killed it on just the childrens health care alone...

    The only good that comes out of Politics is the amount of money they take from us and put in their pockets...from their standpoint...and it sucks to high heaven for us...

    I am not for any government that pays their government workers more than local police, firefighters and teachers....these people do the actual work and polititions dont do much at all...and make 4 times the money of the people who can actually save your life...:)
     
    Last edited: 11 Oct 2007
  15. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    Erm... in a democracy the workings of parliament are open. A free press comments on legislation being debated (from all angles if you look at a variety of sources), the actual words spoken in debate are on TV and posted on the internet next day if you need a reality check.

    As the Guardian columnist says,
    However, the lardy-arsed slob is the most common reason for voter ignorance.
     
  16. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    @cpemma- I think he mean President and not press,
    @dr_bowtie- that's why we all try to use full words in English or highlight any abbreviations
     
  17. dr_bowtie

    dr_bowtie New Member

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    yep and fixed....I dont believe all I see as published on TV or the news...it's all slanted angles...

    If you believe all that you'll always be inside the box...not debating anything as I dispise politics for that reason...
     
    Last edited: 11 Oct 2007
  18. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I think cpemma knew that.

    Basically dr_bowtie is saying: "You can't judge why the Presisent did what he did because you can't really understand the complicated reasons why".

    cpemma is saying: "You can if you bother to read the press, which in a democracy reports on a transparent Parliament."
     
  19. knuck

    knuck Hate your face

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    wait, what ? I 'upped' a topic about 30 minutes after the last reply and I brought the subject back up ?

    Did you even read what I said ? I didn't take position and I didn't criticize anyone. All I said is it gets annoying/irritating to see everyone fight over this subject.

    I don't like debates where two (or more) distinct groups don't share the same opinions (at all) and don't get along. I just wish everyone would along... but meh...

    /confused

    EDIT: I gave the thread a better read and I understand your point. You were talking about the health care problem and now bush anymore. Got it

    sorry about that ;)
     
  20. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    The more important point is how any President can justify over-ruling Congress on a money bill. Bills affecting national security, he may be party to top-secret knowledge and have information that would sway Congress if made public. Bills that he believes are unconstitutional, he can delay for legal investigation (as German Presidents have done in every single case of their veto being used). But how does he know best on this issue? Or stem cell research funding? They're just a personal viewpoint. :confused:

    I'm not just knocking Bush jr here, he's used his veto less than most other presidents, far less than his dad. The system just seems weird in a 'democracy' and misused on this occasion.
     

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