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The Biggest Threat to Obama's Health Care "Reform" - Reality - Page 36

post #1401 of 2360
Henry Waxman's War on Accounting:

Quote:
Here's the story: one of the provisions in the new health care law forces companies to treat the current subsidies for retiree health benefits as taxable income. This strikes me as dumb policy; there's not much point in giving someone a subsidy, and then taxing it back, unless you just like doing extra paperwork. And since the total cost of the subsidy, and any implied tax subsidy, is still less than we pay for an average Medicare Part D beneficiary, we may simply be encouraging companies to dump their retiree benefits and put everyone into Part D, costing us taxpayers extra money.

But this is neither here nor there, because Congress already did it. And now a bunch of companies with generous retiree drug benefits have announced that they are taking large charges to reflect the cost of the change in the tax law.

Henry Waxman thinks that's mean, and he's summoning the heads of those companies to Washington to explain themselves. It's not clear what they're supposed to explain. What they did is required by GAAP. And I've watched congressional hearings. There's no chance that four CEO's are going to explain the accounting code to the fine folks in Congress; explaining how to boil water would challenge the format.

Poor, poor Democrats. Someone's always picking on them. Now it is the corporate CEOs (which, I guess, are ok to be picked on (i.e., demonized) by liberals, Democrats and the administration in particular).


Quote:
Obviously, Waxman is incensed because this seems to put the lie to the promise that if you like your current plan, nothing will change. But this was never true. Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are basically going to see their generous benefits slashed, retiree drug benefits suddenly cost more and may now be discontinued, and ultimately, more than a few employers will almost certainly find it cheaper to shut down their plans. If Congress didn't want those things to happen, it should have passed a different law.

If Congress thinks that it made the right tradeoffs--or at least, justiiable choices--then our Congressmen should step up and accept responsibility for what they've done. At the very least, I think we can ask that they refrain from trying to force companies to join them in denying reality by threatening congressional investigation of any company who dares to notify investors that this thing is going to cost them money.

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post #1402 of 2360
Thread Starter 
Waxman will summon them and demand they tell him how nice his new clothes look while he is standing there naked.

Some things never change. It's like complaining about all those greedy banks that made all those bad loans that were made under pressure by the goverment and then sold off the GSE's. We bail them out and then the first words out of the mouths of Democrats afterward are about how the banks aren't making enough bad loans again.

It will be the same here. The plan will fail to achieve the desired result and the problem will always be some new person who is "greedy" instead of just being a bad plan/idea.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #1403 of 2360
I think John Scalzi once again nicely sums up the political climate in which we currently live.

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One of the moderately interesting things I’ve noticed about the rhetoric of those who have badgers in their pants about Obama and/or the Democrats in Congress and/or the new health care laws is how everything that happened or has happened during the passage of the health care bills into law has invariably meant doom for the Democrats, like so:

“Obama and the Democrats are trying to pass health care! That’ll cost them in November! No, wait! Now Scott Brown has been elected and health care reform is dead! That’ll cost them in November! No, wait! Now health care reform has passed and is the law of the land! Excellent! That will cost them in November!”

Now, on one hand I do admire the commitment to a single message, and wonder how far those who use it would be willing to exercise it (“The November election results are in and the Democrats didn’t lose a single seat in the House! Fantastic! That’s going to cost them for sure!”). On the other hand, if your response to everything is “that’s going to cost them in November,” at some point you should be willing to entertain the notion that other people may think your single note response to every political event bespeaks a certain lack of complexity in your thinking process.

Do the Democrats face the possibly of losses in the mid-term elections? Certainly they do, as typically does any majority party in mid-term elections; it’s a common enough occurrence that it’s notable when it doesn’t happen (for example, in 2002, or, for you Democrats out there, 1934). That being the case, it doesn’t take special prognostication skills to suggest the Democrats will likely lose seats come November. The question is whether, in the case of passing health care reform into law, it would cost them more than if they had failed to pass it (or if they had done nothing about health care at all).

My own personal expectation (as noted before) is that it’s far better for the Dem’s political fortunes to have passed it than not; people may argue the benefit of the health care reform now that it’s passed, but the fact is no one likes a loser (see: mid-terms, 1994). I’m willing to entertain arguments that the Democrats were better off not passing the bill, unlikely though I think that is, but the apparent enthusiasm for the “everything they do is equally and apocalyptically bad for them” argument is not one I find particularly compelling, or one that suggests to me that the person fronting it has much more than a mantra going for them.

Likewise at this point I find people hauling out the latest convenient-to-their argument poll about the popularity of health care reform and from that making predictions of the GOP retaking the Hill to be equally silly; it’s the end of March and the elections are in the beginning of November, and between now and then are seven full months. I certainly understand the desire of some folks to declare the results of the elections now, especially when they’ve called it for their side. But inasmuch as the demise of health care reform was also called, and that just two months ago, not seven, I’m sure most of you will understand when I say I’m personally going to wait a bit to call the 2010 elections. Seems the prudent thing to do.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #1404 of 2360
More reality ahead for ObamaCare, the U.S., deficits and the eventual tax hikes for the middle class (and possibly lower): "The Rich Can't Pay for ObamaCare":

Quote:
Add it up and the government is counting on squeezing an extra $1.2 trillion over 10 years from a tiny sliver of taxpayers who already pay more than half of all individual taxes.

It won't work. It never works.

Punitive tax rates on high-income individuals do not increase revenue. Successful people are not docile sheep just waiting to be shorn.


Quote:
In short, the evidence is clear that when marginal tax rates go up, the amount of reported incomes goes down. Economists call that "the elasticity of taxable income" (ETI), and measure it by examining income tax returns before and after marginal tax rates claimed a bigger slice of income reported to the IRS.

The evidence is surveyed in a May 2009 paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley, Joel Slemrod of the University of Michigan, and Seth Giertz of the University of Nebraska. They review a number of studies and find that "for an elasticity estimate of 0.5 . . . the fraction of tax revenue lost from behavioral responses would be 43.1%." That elasticity estimate of 0.5 would whittle the Obama team's hoped-for $1.2 trillion down to $671 billion. As the authors note, however, "there is much evidence to suggest that the ETI is higher for high-income individuals." The authors' illustrative use of a 0.5 figure is a perfectly reasonable approximation for most purposes, but not for tax hikes aimed at the very rich.

For incomes above $100,000, a 2008 study by MIT economist Jon Gruber and Mr. Saez found an ETI of 0.57. But for incomes above $350,000 (the top 1%), they estimated the ETI at 0.62. And for incomes above $500,000, Treasury Department economist Bradley Heim recently estimated the ETI at 1.2 which means higher tax rates on the super-rich yield less revenue than lower tax rates.

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In short, the belief that higher tax rates on the rich could eventually raise significant sums over the next decade is a dangerous delusion, because it means the already horrific estimates of long-term deficits are seriously understated. The cost of new health-insurance subsidies and Medicaid enrollees are projected to grow by at least 7% a year, which means the cost doubles every decade to $432 billion a year by 2029, $864 billion by 2039, and more than $1.72 trillion by 2049. If anyone thinks taxing the rich will cover any significant portion of such expenses, think again.

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post #1405 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

More reality ahead for ObamaCare, the U.S., deficits and the eventual tax hikes for the middle class (and possibly lower): "The Rich Can't Pay for ObamaCare":

Not a surprising take from Green Hornet's side kick.

Just kidding. It's Libertarian I know.
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #1406 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

How about the Heritage Foundation, who (like most other Republicans until recently) were proposing Romneycare/Obamacare, including an individual mandate as recently as 2003.

But who knows, with this activist conservative court we have now, it wouldn't surprise me if they did strike it down.

Quote:
My name is Stuart Butler. I am Vice President of Domestic and Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation.

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post #1407 of 2360
The thread includes "Reality" in the title. Yet so many posts deal with what could happen in the future. The future is not reality yet.

For everyone who believes that they can predict the future: join a psychic network.
Your crystal balls can be broken easily, be careful now.

"More reality ahead" ... yeah rite.
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post #1408 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

The thread includes "Reality" in the title. Yet so many posts deal with what could happen in the future. The future is not reality yet.

For everyone who believes that they can predict the future: join a psychic network.
Your crystal balls can be broken easily, be careful now.

"More reality ahead" ... yeah rite.

Indeed you are right. And this applies to use of the word "reform" to describe what ObamaCare has done. And the warnings about future prediction also apply to the glorious, positive and optimistic predictions of what proponents think ObamaCare will bring.

That said, some things are more easily predictable based on logic, reason, facts, evidence and historical experience.

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post #1409 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Indeed you are right. And this applies to use of the word "reform" to describe what ObamaCare has done. And the warnings about future prediction also apply to the glorious, positive and optimistic predictions of what proponents think ObamaCare will bring.

That said, some things are more easily predictable based on logic, reason, facts, evidence and historical experience.

You mean like a comparison to the popularity of Medicare and Social Security?
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post #1410 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

You mean like a comparison to the popularity of Medicare and Social Security?

I don't think anyone is really disputing the idea that these programs (ObamaCare) included won't be wildly popular with those who are net beneficiaries. People like to get stuff for free. Surprise.

To me the debate is around two things: a) whether the promises made and benefits claimed will actually ever materialize and b) whether the thing will be a net improvement overall...in the long term and for everyone or most people...including all factors. I'm guessing the answer will be no for both of those because, well, reality will get in the way of wishful thinking and good intentions.

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post #1411 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I don't think anyone is really disputing the idea that these programs (ObamaCare) included won't be wildly popular with those who are net beneficiaries. People like to get stuff for free. Surprise.

To me the debate is around two things: a) whether the promises made and benefits claimed will actually ever materialize and b) whether the thing will be a net improvement overall...in the long term and for everyone or most people...including all factors. I'm guessing the answer will be no for both of those because, well, reality will get in the way of wishful thinking and good intentions.

Or reality will show that you are completely wrong.

Yours an my statements are equally irrelevant. A discussion of how thing will turn out is a complete waste of time.
Tomorrow AlQaeda will explode a nuclear device in your anus.
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post #1412 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Or reality will show that you are completely wrong.

Possibly, but not probably.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Yours an my statements are equally irrelevant. A discussion of how thing will turn out is a complete waste of time.

Why do you think that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Tomorrow AlQaeda will explode a nuclear device in your anus.

Delightful.

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post #1413 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Possibly, but not probably.

Arrogance is for the uninformed.
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post #1414 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormhole View Post

Arrogance is for the uninformed.

Good to know. That helps. So now I know what Obama's problem is. Thanks.

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post #1415 of 2360
Barack Obama is so darn cute when he's being smug, condescending, dismissive and contradictory:

Quote:
Over the past year, "there has been plenty of fear-mongering and overheated rhetoric" about the health care law, Obama said. Now, "those same folks are still shouting about how the world will end because we passed this bill. ... They say it's the end of freedom as we know it."

"So after I signed the bill, I looked up to see if there were any asteroids headed our way. I looked at the ground to see if cracks had opened up in the earth. It turned out to be a pretty nice day. ... Nobody had pulled the plug on Granny. Nobody was being dragged away to be forced into some government plan."

Obama also dismissed polls showing the country's continued sharp divide on the issue.
"It's only been a week" since the bill was signed into law, he said. "Before we find out if people like health care reform, we should wait to see what happens when we actually put it into place. Just a thought."

Does he even know what he's saying or does he just read the words?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #1416 of 2360

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #1417 of 2360
Quote:
Over the past year, "there has been plenty of fear-mongering and overheated rhetoric" about the health care law, Obama said. Now, "those same folks are still shouting about how the world will end because we passed this bill. ... They say it's the end of freedom as we know it."

"So after I signed the bill, I looked up to see if there were any asteroids headed our way. I looked at the ground to see if cracks had opened up in the earth. It turned out to be a pretty nice day. ... Nobody had pulled the plug on Granny. Nobody was being dragged away to be forced into some government plan."

Obama also dismissed polls showing the country's continued sharp divide on the issue.
"It's only been a week" since the bill was signed into law, he said. "Before we find out if people like health care reform, we should wait to see what happens when we actually put it into place. Just a thought."



Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Barack Obama is so darn cute when he's being smug, condescending, dismissive and contradictory:



Does he even know what he's saying or does he just read the words?

Doesn't matter, the world ends December 21, 2012.
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #1418 of 2360

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #1419 of 2360
Bringing in the CNN timeline provided by tumptman in another thread, looking at just the first year, which of these items might actually lead to an increase in health insurance premiums or other negative unintended consequences?

Quote:
• Young adults will be able stay on their parents' insurance until their 26th birthday.

• Seniors will get a $250 rebate to help fill the "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug coverage, which falls between the $2,700 initial limit and when catastrophic coverage kicks in at $6,154.

• Insurers will be barred from imposing exclusions on children with pre-existing conditions. Pools will cover those with pre-existing health conditions until health care coverage exchanges are operational.

• Insurers will not be able to rescind policies to avoid paying medical bills when a person becomes ill.

• Lifetime limits on benefits and restrictive annual limits will be prohibited.

• New plans must provide coverage for preventive services without co-pays. All plans must comply by 2018.

• A temporary reinsurance program will help offset costs of coverage for companies that provide early retiree health benefits for those ages 55 to 64.

• New plans will be required to implement an appeals process for coverage determinations and claims.

• Adoption tax credit and assistance exclusion will increase by $1,000. The bill makes the credit refundable and extends it through 2011.

• A 10 percent tax will be imposed on amounts paid for indoor tanning services on or after July 1.

• Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering 35 percent of their health care premiums, increasing to 50 percent by 2014.

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post #1420 of 2360
And here's the silver bullet:

Quote:
Companies with 50 or more employees must offer coverage to employees or pay a $2,000 penalty per employee after their first 30 if at least one of their employees receives a tax credit. Waiting periods before insurance takes effect is limited to 90 days. Employers who offer coverage but whose employees receive tax credits will pay $3,000 for each worker receiving a tax credit.

And by "silver bullet" I mean the device that will kill off all private insurance plans.

This will help too:

Quote:
Insurers can no longer refuse to sell or renew policies because of an individual's health status. Health plans can no longer exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. Insurers can't charge higher rates because of heath status, gender or other factors.

The more I read this, the more I realize that this thing was clearly designed to kill off the health insurance industry and move toward a single-payer government insurance system.

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post #1421 of 2360

The NHS is a completely different system to the new American system. Completely, totally different. Paid for differently and run differently. Your comparison is not a good one. You've taken one very bad example from a system which consistently scores 10% - 20% higher in polls of satisfaction than the American system.

We love the NHS in Britain. For all its faults, most British people cannot understand what the fuss is about in America.
post #1422 of 2360

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #1423 of 2360

I'll hazard a quess that you kind of don't exactly like or approve of health care?

Did I get that right?
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #1424 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

I'll hazard a quess that you kind of don't exactly like or approve of health care?

Did I get that right?

Not at all. What makes you come to that conclusion?

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post #1425 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Not at all. What makes you come to that conclusion?

So you do like and approve of health care?
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #1426 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

So you do like and approve of health care?

Of course! What would make you think otherwise?!?! \

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post #1427 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Of course! What would make you think otherwise?!?! \

Wait for it....
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #1428 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Of course! What would make you think otherwise?!?! \

Just out of curiosity? Do you approve of any healthcare access at all to someone who can't afford it? And if so, how do you suggest that should work?
post #1429 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Just out of curiosity? Do you approve of any healthcare access at all to someone who can't afford it? And if so, how do you suggest that should work?

Since health care is not a right, nor is it expressly enumerated in the Constitution as the responsibility of the federal government, it falls upon the individual states, private industry and charity to render aid per the 10th Amendment.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #1430 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Since health care is not a right, nor is it expressly enumerated in the Constitution as the responsibility of the federal government, it falls upon the individual states, private industry and charity to render aid per the 10th Amendment.

Quote:
Since health care is not a right

Shouldn't it be? I mean the coonservatives here are always talking about what's right or doing the right thing. Isn't making sure our countrie's citizens are healthy even if ( especially ) they can't afford it? Wouldn't that be the right thing to do?
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post #1431 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

Shouldn't it be? I mean the coonservatives here are always talking about what's right or doing the right thing. Isn't making sure our countrie's citizens are healthy even if ( especially ) they can't afford it? Wouldn't that be the right thing to do?

Is there no Medicare, Medicaid, city, county, regional clinics? Everyone in the US has access to healthcare. Whether they take advantage of what is available is up to them. Being covered under a health insurance policy is certainly not a right, as there are already tax-payer funded public alternatives.
post #1432 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Just out of curiosity? Do you approve of any healthcare access at all to someone who can't afford it? And if so, how do you suggest that should work?

Not sure what you mean by "approve of" but to the rest of your questions:

First order of business is to put in place the mechanisms that will lower prices, increase quality and increase choice. This is chiefly accomplished through the market system.

Secondly, in the case of the remaining very small percentage of people still unable to afford to pay for health care I would expect private charitable contributions in all of its forms (e.g., doctors doing pro bono work, private charitable associations and cooperatives, etc.) to cover the rest. By the way, family assistance can and should be a part of that.

I don't believe, as many seem to, that this can only be achieved by government action.

I do believe, as many do not seem to, that many of the problems of the current health care system in the U.S. are caused by too much government rather than not enough.

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post #1433 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

Shouldn't it be? I mean the coonservatives here are always talking about what's right or doing the right thing. Isn't making sure our countrie's citizens are healthy even if ( especially ) they can't afford it? Wouldn't that be the right thing to do?

Legislating morality is not only dangerous, it is unconstitutional.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #1434 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

Shouldn't it be? I mean the coonservatives here are always talking about what's right or doing the right thing. Isn't making sure our countrie's citizens are healthy even if ( especially ) they can't afford it? Wouldn't that be the right thing to do?

First he's talking about health care as a right rather than what is right and wrong. These are different concepts. The issue of whether health care is a right isn't, I believe, something we can declare or simply claim, but rather something we discover, or determine. There are some fundamental problems with claiming that it is a right.

As for what is right or wrong to do: Is it right to help someone who is in need? Absolutely! Is it wrong to simply look the other way? Yes. However, these are moral decisions and choices that should and, in fact, must be made at an individual level. Morality leaves the room when coercion enters. That's what is being proposed here...coercion. Furthermore, on a more practical level, the "reforms" being proposed and planned are far less likely to achieve their stated goals and are, in fact, likely to achieve very much the opposite.

But I doubt you'll believe that.

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post #1435 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Legislating morality is not only dangerous, it is unconstitutional.

Which is why the vast majority of Republicans and Tea Partiers support national anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage legislation. Right.
post #1436 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Which is why the vast majority of Republicans and Tea Partiers support national anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage legislation. Right.

Checkmate.

 

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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #1437 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Checkmate.

Indeed.

post #1438 of 2360
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Which is why the vast majority of Republicans and Tea Partiers support national anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage legislation. Right.

Really? What orifice did you pull that one from?
post #1439 of 2360
tonton, prove it, please.

The Tea Party Movement is centered around lower taxes and smaller government, not abortion or gay marriage.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #1440 of 2360
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Which is why the vast majority of Republicans and Tea Partiers support national anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage legislation. Right.

Many folks, regardless of their own views, do not believe that the ends always justify the means. Using myself as an example, I've said I support gay marriage and have no issue with it being signed into law but do have a problem with it being established by case law, aka some judge or panel of judges simply mandating it.

So a person could be for state rights because they are a strong supporter of the 10th amendment. By the reasoning of yourself, this would make them pro-traditional marriage or pro-life, when all they may really believe is that the issues need not be FEDERALIZED.

This thread is the prime example of that. Many of the most popular provisions of the health care law won't really change many actions because they were already legislated at the state level. All the federal legislation did is federalize it and declare the states had no right to legislate the matter which is why so many of them are now suing the federal government.

Now on to the matter at hand, this article notes exactly how I believe the Obamacare legislation is going to play out come this November.


People who want their free goodies, sorry no goodies for you. Most people who believe they are getting a benefit, sorry that is pushed out years from now, possibly until pass the NEXT presidential election. The elections of 2010 can still be played out and again almost no one will have anything to lose in terms of benefits from the current legislation.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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