“Keep the Government Out of Health Care,” say old white people.

debt ceilingWe head into our second week of government shutdown, waiting to see if Tea Party Republicans are willing to blow up the entire economy with a government default.

Meanwhile . . .

Healthcare for the poor: 26 states refused to expand Medicaid, even though the federal government would fund it 100% for the first 3 years, 90% after that, and states could opt out if the additional 10% became unaffordable. Millions of the poorest people in the country are going to be denied health insurance. According to the New York Times, two-thirds of the country’s poor—uninsured blacks, single mothers, and half of uninsured low-wage workers live in those 26 states.

Immigration reform. Forgotten in the blare of the present crisis. California has the highest number of undocumented people in the country and we haven’t waited for Congress to act. Seventy-five percent of undocumented workers are in the workforce. They pay taxes, though they can’t receive benefits. Their children receive free K-12 public education, and in-state tuition for college. Families get healthcare through community clinics (They are not eligible for the new Affordable Healthcare). Recent laws allow them to apply for California drivers’ licenses and practice law if they pass the Bar Exam.

Environment, the biggest elephant in the room, ignored or denied by conservatives who claim to be acting for our children and grandchildren. Bill McKibben compares the way our government treats this issue to driving a car 100 mph toward a cliff and waiting until you’re a foot away to say, “OMG, it’s a cliff.”


I’m hoping Obama doesn’t give them the Keystone Pipeline in exchange for a debt ceiling.

My favorite quote of the week comes from Gail Collins’ column:

John Eidelson interviewed Rep. John Culberson of Texas, who waxed wrothful about the whole idea of government intervention into health care, calling Obamacare “a violation of our most sacred right as Americans to be left alone.” Eidelson asked, “What does that mean for Medicare, then?”

“What does that mean for Medicare?” Culberson demanded. “What does that have to do with anything?”


11 responses »

  1. Jean Ellen Forrister

    As you know, I live in NC which has become the worse state in the union. Rachel Maddow, the New York Times, and Doonesbury agree with me.

  2. I blame it entirely on ignorance. Two points:

    1. Most of these “old white people” get all of their news from organizations not known for their veracity.Their worldview (though sadly not their actual world) is so vastly different from that of progressives that it does seem like an alternate reality. They believe that their government, run by the illegitimate president who must’ve somehow stolen the election, is out to get them, to take away their rights, their guns, their religion etc.

    Right wing pundits, who are nothing more than entertainers from the point of view of actual journalists, get paid large sums to lead these folks astray because fear sells. Even those who have reached Congress are as clueless as caged parakeets (though perhaps this is being unfair to parakeets).

    On the bright side, most of them will be dead in twenty years; on the dark side, the planet will already be in a death spiral environmentally and we may be living in a failed state.

    2. However, recent research has shown that if you ask people to justify their radical beliefs, to explain why they feel the way they do, what events they imagine have brought the world to this state, the simple act of explaining their beliefs actually moderates them. Maybe we should just keep asking them, “Why?” This has got to be more productive than just assuming they’re idiots. Most of them are not; they are simply criminally misinformed.

    • If you will check your resources, “Old white people who will indeed be dead in twenty years” are in reality known to do their homework before beloviating. We have lived long enough to know better. Document your research.

      • I do not understand the protests of other “old white people” about government health care. Most of them are looking forward to the day when they will be eligible for it or are currently making full use of it. It’s called Medicare, and all the same arguments about the end of civilization as we know it and the destruction of our economy were raised before that form of government-managed health care was implemented.

        As an old white person myself, I am looking forward to my 65th birthday next year. But even before that, I am looking forward to the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, because although I am still working, I cannot afford any insurance, my co-pay for Medical is more than the amount of “spare” money I can generate in a year and I can’t even afford to buy my prescription meds. I’ll be lucky if I don’t blow a gasket before I am eligible for some sort of assistance health-wise.

        If you are healthy and do not participate in either Medicare or Medicare part B, and if you are wealthy enough to pay for private insurance, then lucky you. But as you age, neither of those things may always be so.

        If something bad happens, you may be glad that the government went into the health care business for the elderly back in 1966.

        And miracle of miracles, America did not immediately descend into a pinko commie Hell. In fact, we’re still arguing about what is the best way to run a country. And that’s called democracy. Yay!

        As for #1 above, you only have to watch Fox News for a half hour or Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity to see the evidence of what is said. In order to check if those things are true, check any fact-based news organization for easy refutations.

        For instance, a recent set of interviews on Hannity, with three couples purported to be about how disastrous Obamacare had been for them. The first, with a business owner, told about how he had had to fire people because of the law’s requirements. In fact, it turned out that he only had FOUR employees, and the law’s requirements don’t even kick in for “small” businesses until they have 50 employees. So, not actually true.

        I forget the story for the second couple, but it was also spurious. For the third couple, who complained that their insurance premiums were going to triple, it turns out that they hadn’t even looked into Obamacare, as a “matter of principle”, and in fact, there were several plans available through their state’s exchange that would save them up to 2/3 of what they were presently paying.

        This is just one example. There are dozens from Fox News that turn out to be literally tall tales.

        As for #2, here’s a link to an article that summarizes the study I mentioned: http://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2013/06/political-extremism-can-be-moderated-asking-people-simple-question

        Here’s a link to the actual research, published in Psychological Science:

  3. ‘“Keep the Government Out of Health Care,” say old white people.’ That’s obviously a racial statement, but apparently fine with race baiting liberals. The idea that government take over of a huge section of the economy will make it better is of course a joke. Will more IRS agents, more bureaucrats and less doctors make it better, more innovative? Highly unlikely, maybe less lawyers and more competition would have, but going against the lawyers and lobbyists would have been too hard for the lawyer in chief and the Dems when they were in control. The hypocrisy of the left is stunning.
    Speaking of old white people, when the protestant work ethic, and rugged individualism are overwhelmed by a bulging bureaucracy with little incentive to be efficient, and rampant cronyism and corruption rule, Dems will rue the day along with everyone else. A Godless government having everyone under it’s thumb will eventually crush the inalienable rights that we have long cherished. Of course, Biblically speaking, it was bound to happen. Wonder what form the mark will take? I hope and pray I’m not here to see it. In the meantime, enjoy your hypocrisy and bureaucracy Dems or should I say Dims?

    • This kind of thinking keeps me awake nights wondering about just how far trust in governance has fallen since my childhood? It is We, the people, after all who have the right and the ability (under normal circumstances) to select those who represent us. It appears that some are clueless about the awesome power we are privileged to wield, and become paranoid about others whose voices may appear stronger than ours. The democracy exists only in the balancing points between the poles. It was once the Tories and the Whigs; at another time in history it was the Blues and the Greys, later the Republicans and the Democrats. We may be entering a time when it will be the Tea Party and Occupy. That’s a definition of the democratic process. It is dynamic and must be reinvented by each generation. It will never stay fixed. It may rarely be perfect. For that you need a dictatorship. I suspect that the writer above and I represent the smallest form of that polarity, and much can be learned from one another. Perhaps one day we will meet.

  4. If it wasn’t so tragic it would make a great sit-com.

    • Maybe they’ll make one about it in ten years or twenty, Jewels. Unless we’ve all succumbed to the monster storms and the radiation and the lack of assault rifles and the cosmic rays beamed down from high flying planes that are turning our brains to pudding… oh, and health care! I’m just going to make sure I have plenty of tin foil for my hats.

  5. Prejudicial statement “Old White People” there are black people who oppose this confusing badly written law, that Obama wants as his legacy. Why are the Dems. so afraid to re-examine the law and form it into an understandable well written form of legislature? Why would the gov. force citizens to enroll? Lastly, all government officials should be covered by the same health care system the rest of the nation has. I think you would see significant changes then. From An Old White Woman

    • I totally agree with your statement that “all government officials should be covered by the same health care system the rest of the nation has”, Joan. Have you actually READ the Affordable Care Act? Congress WILL have to buy their insurance the same way the rest of us do, through health care exchanges. The difference for those who are wealthy, like all other wealthy people, is that they will be able to afford more expensive plans (for which they will have to pay a 40% excise tax in addition to their premiums). It’s not quite fair, but it’s better.

      Here’s information about that: http://obamacarefacts.com/congress-obamacare.php

      Here is the wikipedia article about the ACA:

      But if you think that wikipedia is a vast, left-wing conspiracy, here is the text of the law itself:

      Unless you have read it, how can you tell if it is NOT an “understandable well written form of legislature”? Or that it IS a “confusing badly written law”?

      Never take the word of politicians; they have ulterior motives. As do TV and radio pundits. Read it and decide for yourself. That’s what makes a meaningful democracy.



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