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"Keep the guvmint out of my medicare!": Insurance Lobby Organizes Elderly Hecklers

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Prestidigitweeze, 11 Aug 2009.

  1. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    It's not really fair to include the US Postal Service with that list, especially as the debate seems to center around a national service funded by tax contributions. The USPS receives no tax dollars - all funding is provided through its paid services. I suspect that one of the reasons the USPS has been losing money in recent years is the rapid growth of the internet.

    When I was a kid, we might have had this debate as pen pals, corresponding back and forth in hand-written letters, each one sent through the mail postage paid. A decade ago, it was routine for new college graduates to send resumes in the mail. Today, we're having this discussion on an internet forum, and other daily communications are done almost entirely by e-mail. Job hunting is done through websites, with little hard copy communication (aside from the occasional rejection letter - if it doesn't come in e-mail).

    The ironic part is the fact that the internet is largely born out of the Advanced Research Project Office, a US government body. It could be argued that a government agency, paid for by tax dollars, helped create what would eventually cause the downfall of another government agency, the latter not funded through taxes.

    Still, part of your argument hinges on the fact that health care is not explicitly part of the government's role. As evidence, you cite certain powers that the federal government should wield. Interestingly, Article I of the US Constitution grants Congress the authority to set up post offices and post roads. It seems that the founding fathers considered the Post Office a pretty important function for society, so much so that they wrote that function into the founding document.

    -monkey
     
  2. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    Good point and I don't implicitly lump the post office in with social programs that force you to contribute whether you use the service or not but you picked up on the my reasoning that it has grown and it is run by the government and it is broke. I think the government should handle letters, I consider it infrastructure but there are some interesting examples from the late 70's, early 80's where private companies wanted to compete and were taken to court. It's rediculous what the government will do to protect its interests at the expense of the taxpayer. For crying out loud, the post office and the mint advertise on TV..... WHY? But I digress. The bottom line is that today's government will twist regulation and law to benefit it's programs and harm the consumer and private enterprise. Congress can't even manage their own healthcare or THEIR CAFETERIA. It's not a matter of whether social medicine can work, I'm not arguing that. The UK model works, everyone seems satisfied. Our government cannot.
     
  3. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    I'm still wondering how we're going to pay for this healthcare program..
     
  4. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    With the money we will pull from medicare advantage which is nothing more than medicare for the insurance companies to sell. Same care as medicare, just at a price.
     
  5. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Ah well that clears things up, I seriously was concerned as to how we would be able to afford this given the current medicare program.
     
  6. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    Thats not true. Pharma spends far more money advertising its drugs to your 'free market' then it does on R&D. Are your best hospitals linked to Universities like a lot of ours are?
     
  7. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    oh but it is true my baboon friend :D who do you think does the r&d for new drugs, and has to get it passed by the fda.. companies like accredo sell drugs like traceleer to ph patients for over 5k a pop (30 day supply)- it's expensive because there aren't many patients that take it..

    in the uk, I'm sure a drug like traceleer (which came out less than 10 years back) would have never been developed.. and alot of ph patients would have died.. it used to be a death sentence just a few years back- these are the kind of things they can do with that money.. I don't know about how much they spend advertising but the end result is- they are developing the drugs that are saving people's lives- they see the carrot at the end of it all and get it done

    our universities, like standford are cutting edge in heart/lung transplants also.. the uk does come out with some meds once in a while that are pretty sweet, and you don't have a chicken choker like the fda to deal with.. but it's not at the same level as what we have here
     
  8. Boogle

    Boogle New Member

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    How do you know that? A good business thinks long-term. Here's the long-term benefits of something like the NHS to a pharma company:

    - If you develop a drug, every single person in the country with that problem will take it, indefinitely. Not just the ones with money - everyone. That's long-term revenue for the company.

    The advantage in the US:

    - The drug can be priced far, far over the odds.

    The amount of funding in advertising in a national health service will be significantly lower, that would surely make up for a large portion of the short-term shortfall. It'll also hopefully (optimist here) result in money going to R&D instead of advertising.

    There's a LOT of misinformation being spread about in the US, and a lot of short-sighted emotional pleas. I think my argument boils down to this:

    In the US if you can't afford your bills are you kicked to the curb without treatment?
    In the UK, are you ever kicked to the curb 'Get out of this hospital your insurance refused to pay up'?

    The UK life expectancy is higher than the US - does that make the US medical care really any better than the UK? I don't think so.

    What is far more of a concern - is how pharma companies prefer to provide treatments rather than cures. That's one reason why I think all medical care (including drug development) should be nationalised to remove the incentive to not cure people.
     
  9. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    I think you've been listening to the propaganda machine a bit too much. The point i'm making is the huge profits made by pharma is not channelled into R&D, its spent on advertising.
     
  10. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    I agree with you on that part 100%.. I always look at things from that point of view too.. I don't see cures being any sort of priority to the drug companies

    there's no denying we do have good r&d going on, and money is the incentive.. and baboon- it's the other way around.. if you lived here you'd see things differently.. if our healthcare was substandard I think it would have changed a long time ago- I can understand there's students, low income, retired, that can't get treatment because it's too expensive.. it wasn't too long ago I had no health coverage myself

    that's what needs to be focused on without pulling health coverage from employers.. I'm not sure exactly how you would go about reforming those issues, but a nhs where everyone is taxed to hell and people who want private coverage have to double pay isn't going to work here.. then you have the drug companies with no incentives (they become what gov does best- slow, eventually getting things done with money leaking out all sides).. imo it's backwards, just from what I've seen living here my entire life.. to tell you the truth, the people that seem like wackos are the ones wanting to push this through as a single payer system :eek:
     
  11. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    that's exactly what I'm saying.. a condition that affects few would never have any r&d money
     
  12. Prestidigitweeze

    Prestidigitweeze "Oblivion ha-ha" to you, too.

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    My apologies for not responding to this thread until now. I do hope my honorable colleague Mr. Dane will keep in mind that this is a forum to which people post when they can, not an obligatory public debate on which our reputations rest. Such is the nature of my participation in his thrilling game of gotcha.

    Now onto tedious business.

    Quoth Eddie Dane: “Be careful here. This IS the debate.”

    My ad-populum-flinging colleague begins by urging me to “be careful,” no doubt deeply concerned about my sense of dignity here at bit-tech. In doing so, he also strikes the aggressive posture for which our most patriotic Souf’ Cackalackians are known. This tends to fill the hearts of their political adversaries with trepidation. Local citizens also enjoy brandishing bumper stickers with slogans such as “I Pity Your Weakness” and “Made You Blink.” (They are also invariably blond(e), smoke pipes, wear eye patches and canter slightly as they walk.)

    My honorable friend then condescends to focus my attention on what he deems to be the substance (or, as he would put it, SUBSTANCE) of a debate I initiated (as well as the national debate) -- all while refraining from addressing the original subject of this thread. However, my point was not to impugn the sincerity of individual activists but to show their numbers to be pawns of insurance company lobbyists and republican heads, who have been exposed and quoted trying to prevent any debate at all from occurring between opposing sides (see links to articles above). Their goal is not to widen but silence all national debate, inclusive and otherwise. Elected republicans are currently in the minority and can’t use their usual filibuster strategy to stop democrats from appearing efficient, so absolute opposition and astroturfing comprise their current strategy.

    The pseudo-activism of big business health care is standard and gets pulled out whenever millionaires' fortunes risk the chance of not doubling. The same con was pulled here in New York during Elliot Spitzer's brief reign: He, then an intimidating former prosecutor, was about to go after inequities in hospital salaries and costs, when those on the highest level launched a false campaign against him to make it appear those on the lowest level were threatened. I first saw the ads not knowing who was behind them and thought, what true activist group representing poor healthcare workers has this kind of money to spend on prime time ad campaigns? And why do the speakers appear to be ordinary workers but offer no actual names, positions or cases to make the ads seem real? The answer came when I looked up the name of the advocacy group and found Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, behind it (and yes, that's my comment at the bottom of the page).

    The strategy behind the national disruptions is not to address health care but to (i) “stop democrats in their tracks” (repub heads) and leave things as they are (insurance lobbyists). (I do hope my colleague notices that, like most of the texts he’s fisked, certain of my previous sentences contain what we web-postin' people call “hyperlinks.”)

    Eddie Dane Ululated: “There might be some passionate people involved in this, but I thought you of all people here would be able to see what is going on. . . . . Look around the rooms at all of these meetings and they are full of regular working/retired people. . . . Just because I think it's wrong/inappropriate/counter-productive that some Code Pink protesters crash senate commitee meetings doesn't mean they don't have a point and to discount the argument over a few weird members (and don't get me wrong, there are some), is wholly short sided and shallow[.] . . . I'm not talking about the discussion here, I'm addressing the way Prestidigitweeze (and others) are catagorizing the people they see on TV and dismissing the entire argument. This discussion is completely civil[.] . . .”

    Here my pleasantly pest-free colleague’s strategy moves from aggressive posturing to personal attacks. My admirably manicured peer now refers to me as “you, of all people,” implying I’m a hypocrite without actually stating any reason for the charge. He also calls me “short-sided [sic],” “shallow” and “dismissive” for pointing out that the so-called activists of the right are being choreographed by people who want to stop, not further, all debate (thus condemning me based on his oversight: confusing the subject of my posts for the focus of his concerns). He also implies I’m intellectually lazy, since he accuses me and certain sinister “others” of basing our opinions on “the people [we] see on TV.”

    Your Honor, let the record show that I have neither owned nor watched a television for the past three months, nor would my eye-wateringly exfoliated opponent have any way of knowing who on this thread does and does not get their news from TV. While I happen to feel that content trumps medium, and that television is simply a vessel for content, we all know what Eddie Dane means by asserting I “get my opinions from TV.” He calls me dismissive, but who’s really acting that way -- me, for linking to stories exposing insurance companies manipulating activists on the right, or my impressively symmetrical colleague, for ignoring every piece of research offered and then asserting that his opponents are sucking their pseudo-news from the nipple of the great glass teat?

    And of course this is the context of a larger attack on the presumed attitude of the poster with whose argument he doesn’t agree. He then characterizes the demonstrators with whom he sides as "completely civil" without offering any proof of that assertion either, thus conjuring the "reasonable right, lunatic left" presentation of those sterling journalists at the New York Post.

    By resorting to veiled character attacks, my esteemed colleague is attempting to cast doubt on the integrity of bit-tech members who oppose him ideologically instead of arguing his points fairly. He does this by playing emotional j’accuse, making up rules of discourse to which he himself doesn’t adhere and then applying them after the fact -- all while demonstrating complete inattention to both the subject itself and the journalistic research that backs up the opposing view’s argument. Nowhere does he exhibit the slightest awareness that the legitimacy of the activists’ agenda has, in fact, been traced to the republican party’s agenda -- which involves silencing the debate of town hall participants -- or the funding, shape and guidance of the campaign to the insurance company lobbyists who set it up. If this were (or, as my breathtakingly average-heighted colleague would put it, WERE) the debate, then participants would let their voices be heard within the context of the town hall meeting itself, as other private citizens were trying to do before being outshouted.

    * * * *​

    For all I know, Mr. Dane is probably not a walking cliché. His evening diversions might not consist of shootin’ at varmints, gittin’ likker’d up and/or pledging his eternal obedience to the NRA. However, in one matter, he does undermine my sense of his individuality: Whenever he slanders the opposition by suggesting they're prissy anti-populist elitists, he resorts to the techniques of right-wing polemicists who focus on projected attitudes instead of actual issues. However reasonable he might be in real life, he sounds pointlessly confrontational when posting about bit-tech members in that way -- people who have given him no cause to presume to judge their motives, level of research, honesty or sincerity. To paraphrase one of his posts, as a self-professed populist, he, of all people, should know the difference between digging other people’s graves and preparing one for himself.
     
    Last edited: 18 Aug 2009
    Scirocco and Nexxo like this.
  13. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    Thanks for the kind words. Apology accepted.
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2009
  14. Mr Mario

    Mr Mario New Member

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    That is the beauty of the NHS, you guys can pay over the odds for developing new medicine, and it will eventually get sold to the NHS who make sure everyone can get it.
     
  15. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    I'm still laughing over the whole "death panel business". But why don't we just copy the NHS, it seems like it works out pretty well.
     
  16. Scirocco

    Scirocco Boobs, I have them, you lose.

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    We can't copy the NHS because all the right-wingers would revolt, since we'd then be a "socialist" country. <rolls eyes>
     
  17. Rkiver

    Rkiver Cybernetic Spine

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    Was linked to the following regarding this and someone comparing Obama to Hitler for the socialist side of the healthcare debacle in the US. If this is indicitive of the right wingers I am NEVER going to the US.

     
  18. Scirocco

    Scirocco Boobs, I have them, you lose.

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    Unfortunately, that is a lot of what has been going on around the country. Not only are there accusations of "socialism," but also comparisons of Obama to Hitler and Nazism in general. People have been showing up at some of the townhall meetings with firearms visible (legally). To further the implied threat, protesters have had signs and wear t-shirts with the famous quote from Thomas Jefferson, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." This is the same quote Timothy McVeigh (one of the Oklahoma City bombers) had on his t-shirt when he was arrested.

    Anyway, I applaud Barney Frank for his response to the protester.
     
  19. Rkiver

    Rkiver Cybernetic Spine

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    Thomas Jeffersons quote is quite correct, but about 4 years too late.....but then again those nuts sided with Bush and Co while the rest of the world just looked on in horror. Obama's healthcare does indeed have a socialistic leaning to it, as does the NHS (even Ireland has it ffs, just not as well done as the NHS), but socialistic healthcare doesn't mean a socialism based goverment. They need to get that through their overtly thick skulls.

    Also to make it clear I am aware that not all republicans are frothing mouth breathing idiots. However it does appear over this side of the pond that a lot are. Or at least make a hell of a lot more noise then those claiming to be democrats.
     
  20. Bungle

    Bungle Rainbow Warrior

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    I'm not that good with equations so please help me out here. From some of the rationale being splurted all over the US media:

    Socialism=Communism

    If the American army is built and run from a socialist style system. Then by definition:

    America has the biggest communist army in the world.

    Funny how you can use socialism to kill, but not to heal.

    No wonder more and more people are living their lives online. The world can be very confusing sometimes.
     

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