House Says Yes to Healthcare Overhaul In 219-212 Vote

It’s like, jeez, it took you all night? With a 219-212 vote, the GOP doesn’t get to brand any one Democrat, up for re-election in November, as the single vote that put this bill that is going to RUIN AMERICA over the edge. The bill now heads to Obama’s desk, where he’ll be seen doing a happy dance. Oh, and there’s still this. [NYT]

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    Moi disagrees.
    I think that this bill gonna SAVE america. But then again – it might still take time

  • stt

    I have no faith in the American Government anymore and considering the spectacular failures of almost every administration in recent memory, it will probably make things worse or create new loophole nightmares.

    But at least it’s upbeat. It will do well in campaign speeches.

  • David

    I hope a Tea-bagger’s head implodes.

  • AB

    And we up the tempo on our march toward Rome.

  • Devon

    I’m off to invest in the insurance companies.

    30 million new customers being forced into their scam…They can’t lose.

  • jeffree

    *Gee* finally the USA offers healthcare 2 poor people & people who r unemployed or who work @ walmart or in @ gasstation!

    Now even *CUBA* will be jealous that we may take care of sick poor old people.

    I didnt think this could happen & i am proud proud proud. No its not perfect but this is a step in the right dirrection!!

  • Taylor Siluwé


    I hope ALL tea bagger heads explode – all over Michael Steele.

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    Great, now the IRS will be providing health care in America.

    “So this is how liberty dies…to thunderous applause”

  • james_cambridge

    @Taylor Siluwe: I second that motion! Wow, I’m so proud of the Democratic Party, which is a nice feeling to have for a change. The Democratic Party lost it’s balls back in the 60’s but looks like they found them again. I’m kinda a history nerd and I can see a straight line between my hero FDR and his reforms like Social Security and Unemployment Insurance back in the 1930’s, right down to LBJ’s Medicare, Medicaid & expansion of Social Security in the 1960’s, right down to Obama’s Health Care for all now…so proud of them all. Teabaggers, who populate even this site, can kiss my ass and move to hell where they belong. Fuck you all.

    I wonder if poor, jealous Hilary Clinton’s head is exploding all over her fat thighs as we speak?

  • Andrew B.

    It does not provide healthcare, it forces people to buy insurance or face a tax penalty. Having insurance is not the same as receiving care. Don’t equate the “intentions” with actual actions the bill mandates.

    Nobody envy’s Cuba’s system. The hospitals for whomever isn’t elite are filthy hell holes that typically short of cheap medicines like antibiotics . Nobody travels there for care like regular Canadians do to the U.S. often.

    As the massive economic consequences roll out in the next years and the quality of care declines to that of Britian I am reminded of a quotes’ “Mistakes of this magnitude are never innocent.”

    I would invest in India.

    This is not over.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Andrew B.:

    In the first place Cuba is only short of medicine because the U.S. has its foot on their throat, and they still manage to train doctors for nations around the world.

    And sorry, but Canadians tripping over the border for regular procedures is not as common as you make out. I have never done it, nor has anyone I know.

    When I want to go to the doctor, I just go, and frankly I cannot imagine the thought of having to worry about whether I could afford to pay or not. It is sheer barbarism, IMO.

    People up here were making the same ridiculous claims when universal health care was brought in here in the 60s.
    (well not as ridiculous as that “death panel” nonsense)

    It didn’t take too long for people to realize the sky was not going to fall, and I cannot imagine there are many people up here who would want to go back to paying out of pocket for such a basic human need as medical care.

  • J. Clarence

    @Ted B. (Charging Rhino): No the IRS won’t do that, but even if they did wouldn’t that be a good thing? Can you think of another federal agency any more thorough and non-partisan than the Internal Revenue Service?

    It’s not a perfect bill, but it’s a decent start. Republicans aren’t going to run against in the fall either. What will they say “As Republicans we want to repeal the prohibition against the insurance companies not covering because of pre-existing conditions” or “As Republicans we want you recent, and likely unemployed, college student not to be covered by your insurance.”

    At least now its done and a large part of it is over.

  • james_cambridge

    @ Andrew Bullshit who said: “Nobody travels there for care like regular Canadians do to the U.S. often.

    As the massive economic consequences roll out in the next years and the quality of care declines to that of Britian I am reminded of a quotes’ “Mistakes of this magnitude are never innocent.”

    More right-wing bullshit. The Canadians, British and especially the French enjoy much better health care than we do and the survival rate for their patients are HIGHER than ours…save your lies for your teabagger party rallies.

  • Hyhybt

    I thought I’d read yesterday that they’d modified it and it would have to go back to the Senate again?

  • delurker

    [email protected] i love witnessing the gay teabagger (wtf?) meltdown.

  • Andrew B.

    If Canadians don’t regularly go for care here then why do American doctors on the border advertise to Canadians about their services. If Canada’s system is so wonderful why did the Canadian Supreme court justice have to say “Access to a waiting list is not access to health care,” in the 2005 ruling. Perhaps things have changed in those years for the better but judging from the aggregate statistics still don’t paint an innovative dynamic market like we have, and may be vanishing, in the US. This might be the last decade where Canada’s and Britain’s wiser doctor emigrate to the US.

    Cuba does face the our embargo but they are still allowed to trade and does trade with the rest of the world and they still suck, it is their statist system. In my lifetime Venezuela went from being a prosperous latin state to now they are lucky if the power is on. It was by their own doing. History has plenty of examples of great nations being brought down by statism. Even nation had a decade depression when two statist administrations were elected in the late 20’s and then 30’s. We should not have continue down a path that ruins many others.

    No, the sky isn’t falling. We may not have a financial meltdown after this thing goes over budget like every entitlement before it has, but it will entrench mediocrity like most other nations are and that is a disaster. Like Bastiat I look at the unseen effects.

  • alejandro

    i’m sorry but im very happy with my canadian health care! yea it’s got its problems but fuck i dont have to worry bout getting sick. ever.

  • reason

    @Hyhybt: The Senate bill was passed in the house today with out modification and will become law with the presidents signature. There is a separate bill for modification of the law that the House passed and will not be able to be passed by the Senate until the first bill is enacted into law. The first bill was passed through normal procedures, the second bill is going to be attempted using the parliamentary measure budget reconciliation which requires 50 senators and the vice president as the tie breaker. If the second bill passes through reconciliation it will modify the first bill and will be law for 10 years after the presidents signs it. After 10 years elapse, the reconciliation changes will expire, if it is not renewed by congress the law will revert back to the first bill.

  • Chuck

    Simple take-home message, Dems care about Americans and GOP does not. Why do Republicans hate younger people??? Last generation they pulled the same scam tactics when Dems covered the elderly with Medicare.

    The bill does what everybody already says and thinks that Medicaid does. It is not to provide health care for the poor. The dirty secret about Medicaid has always been that it really only covers pregnant women. Americans have long been held hostage by dead end jobs in order to be healthy because of this.

    Dems did all this and paid for it too, something Republicans never do. Where were the mobs for Bush’s unfunded wars?!? Enron?!? Blackwater?!? No, the astroturf outrage was the same corporate funded group who stopped the Florida recount in Dade County to usher in the only appointed president in history. What a victory lap for conservatives those 8 years were…

    It is time for the word ‘conservative’ to take on the evil connotation that they have branded ‘liberal’ for the last 30 years. Conservative really means Americans get nothing but wars will be fought with their money to fund corporations gone amok.

  • reason

    @Andrew B.: There will be adequate subsidies that will aid the less fortunate in obtaining healthcare. The majority of economist agree that the cost of people with out health care that make emergency room visits far outstrips the cost of providing them with healthcare subsidies. As time elapses and access increase, the population will get healthier reducing the cost of care for preventable catastrophic illness. The only people that will be crying about the mandate are the ones that can afford health care but want to game the system, then have hardworking Americans foot their bill when they visit the emergency room. I would much rather pay for a subsidy for the poor that will cost me less in the long run, then foot the bill for greedy better off individuals trying to get richer on the backs of patriotic Americans. My brother, sister in law, and most doctors I know are happy for health care reform and insurance regulation because the main beneficiaries of the status quo are the insurance companies who have one hand in the patients pocket and the other hand in the doctors pocket. Then they send their greedy insurance specialist to tell the doctors what procedures they will pay for and which ones they will leave the doctors up the creek on. The industry is so broken that bureaucrats sitting around in suits are make far larger salaries then the people performing the surgeries and providing care.

  • james_cambridge

    @Chuck: Love ya. Brilliant rant!!

    “Dems did all this and paid for it too, something Republicans never do.”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  • OrchidIslander

    Wow! What a government! They had me at credit card reform. Add to that health care reform and a revamped, money-saving, education broadening student loan administration as well. A big plus – reforms that are projected to pay for themselves. One must have one’s head up their own ass to not realize that this president and Dems in general care about the middle segment of the American people. Can one honestly say that about Republicans?

  • truthteller


    It’s a gift to greedy pharma/insurance companies. Mark my words, we will be sorry.

    Now the poor people who will be forced to buy insurance, not healthcare, mind you, and since some won’t be able to afford it, the IRS will penalize them.

    I used to be a loyal Democrat, but no longer. I will contribute to throw them out of power next election.

  • ossurworld

    I’m starting to feel a little sick.

  • Kurt

    This victory is a more important win for gays than anything else on our agenda. Yay Nancy Pelosi!!

  • delurker

    Yeah. Nancy is cool. She wasn’t rattled by that naked himbo from Mass winning the Senate election and properly called it a fluke (which is surprising, because Dems tend to cower in fear at the first sign of trouble). She’s got balls.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Andrew B.:

    Why do they advertise? Because they want money and most of that trade involves electives and things like full-body MRI scans that do more to scare people than actually solve problems.
    Making money off people who are scared to death is an easy racket.

    If you want to talk about an actual booming business you should read up about Canadian companies which sell affordable drugs to people on your side of the border.

    And yes, there are wait times on SOME procedures, but that is not the same as having a significant percentage of your population with no access to health care at all.

    In the last year I have seen family members have a major heart bypass, eye surgery, set up for dialysis and treated for seizures and encephalitis. In none of those cases did they have to wait for anything, and the only thing we paid for out of pocket was one ambulance ride.
    Personally, I have never had to wait for anything.

    I have also had several friends turn down jobs in the U.S. when they found out how much they would be paying for health insurance. In one case a tenured university position was not worth the burden of that millstone.

    And there was great resistance to health care reform when it was first brought in in Saskatchewan. The doctors actually went on strike and many people were so fearful that they attacked the government for upsetting the status quo. Fortunately they held firm until people realized it was the right thing to do.

    Sorry Andrew. Your opinion is your opinion, but personally I think your health care system down there is a nightmare and I cannot imagine what it would be like to live under a system like that. Having to pay money or take out a mortgage to see a doctor is a moral outrage.

    Sure I think it is a drag that your new system keeps private insurance in place, but it is a big step in the right direction.

  • strumpetwindsock

    And Andrew,

    Do you really think it is a good thing to have a system where rich people can buy their way to the front of the line and those too poor and ill to get insurance are shut out?

    Triage should be done on the basis of need, not on the size of your pocketbook and how much you are going to cost insurers.

    Right now your system is designed to serve a bunch of bloodsuckers, not those who actually need medical treatment.

  • romeo

    The biggest set of balls in Washington – Nancy Pelosi. As for all the talking heads in the media that said this would never happen, I wish I could get a big salary for being WRONG all the time. Even guys like Gergen can’t get it right. I knew when the Dems finally got over their “we won’t lower ourselves” bullshit, that things would start to move.

    Most Americans will love this change. That’s what they voted for. It will effect many people I know, myself included. No way could I afford the COBRA payments when I was thrown out of work. All the hysterical bullshit on the repub side has just been utter disbelief that they really did lose in ’08. Did everyone notice that Boner’s (misspelling intentional) tan faded last night as he was foaming at the mouth? LOL Didn’t know a spray-on would do that!

    As for the contemptible asshole that yelled out “baby killer” at Stupac, he needs to be identified, and the dems need to go after him in his own district. Sift through his private life, do anything to get him thrown out of office, including humiliating his district itself for electing the likes of that.

    The repubs will go on ranting, especially with the next fight to regulate the financial industry, but they need to be slapped down. Most people have not forgotten that it was the repubs that got us into the current economic mess, not to mention the useless war in Irag. This is war!

  • Brown Gay Al

    Being gay means that you have to be a socialist. What a load of crock. The European welfare state is now at our doorsteps. Sharia lovers will soon follow.

  • delurker

    I don’t know what’s going to happen electorally in November. Maybe the Dems will be wiped out, maybe the teabaggers are overreaching and over playing their anger card. Who knows?

    But the president can scratch an agenda item off, Congress has an accomplishment, and the Democratic base will be more energized.

  • Oh-So-Very

    Oh fuck… Does anyone actually understand everything this bill does? Like completely understand the over 2700 pages of legalese? Not even the members of Congress know everything it does. They all only understand the little bit they wrote. There is so much shit in this bill no one is can understand it, let alone use it. This is a major fuck up.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    No. 30 · Oh-So-Very

    If no one can understand it, how are you so certain that its a “major fuck up”? I mean, by your own words, it could be a really great thing, too, right?

  • romeo

    Notice that in this thread and the other related one, there are all kinds of newbies showing up to plead the repub cause. They must REALLY be in a panic that they’d show up HERE! ;D

  • Oh-So-Very

    @Taylor Siluwé: It’s generally bad when something of such huge magnitude can’t be understood. It could be the greatest thing since sliced bread but I won’t hold my breath.

    btw I’m dem, doesn’t mean I can’t think this was a bad idea.

  • romeo

    oh-so-very: you must already have a good employer subsidized health plan. In which case, this won’t effect you. As for the cost, well, it has reasonable cost savings built in. In any case, I’d rather tax money go toward this than bailing out bankers, who REALLY have good health plans.

  • Oh-So-Very

    I don’t have health insurance, in fact I’m a cripple going to med school.

    I agree this is better than bailing out banks but better than “awful” isn’t much justification. I don’t have a problem with health care reform I have a problem with badly thought out, badly executed, unintelligible health care reform.

    They should have taken it slower, made it better as it stands it’s expensive and inefficient.

  • romeo

    @ Oh-so-very #35: “Slower” as in another 6 decades? And we don’t know how inefficient it will be until it goes into effect. As a “cripple going to med school” with no insurance, I’d say you should be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. This has been gone through with a fine toothed comb, with 200 repub amendments added. Incidentally, don’t they teach you in med school that the term “cripple” is pejorative, and certainly substandard usage.

  • Hyhybt

    @Oh-So-Very: True of every major bill, and most smaller ones. How is this different?

  • delurker

    Did anyone see Plouffe v. Rove on one of the Sunday talker shows? Rove was in full panic mode but tried to assure that this bill was poison for the Democrats. If Republicans are going to win everything in November, why the worry? Hmmmm.

  • reason

    @romeo: I second your comment.

  • Oh-So-Very

    @romeo: Not 6 decades but maybe take 3 years, just take a little more time, this bill has massive ramifications and they need to be careful. No one knows how far reaching the consequences will be so I feel it best to err on the side of safety.

    And as a cripple I’m all for saying cripple. Not in medical usage of course but in informal conversation. I’m not going to say person with disability because honestly I don’t care enough, I think being a cripple gives me the right to call myself a cripple anytime I want.

    @Hyhybt: Agreed, I’m not really happy with the political system as a whole atm.

  • romeo

    @ Oh-so-very: you may be perfectly sincere in your doubts, and you are entitled to your opinion. However, it is widely known that the repubs’ call for “going slower” was just to slow it down until November when they deluded themselves into thinking they would take back congress. After which bye-bye healthcare for another hundred years.

    We’ve taken long enough, HEALTHCARE NOW!!!

  • Taylor Siluwé

    Oh-so-very ….

    Yes, the bill is complicated. I don’t understand why they can’t be simpler, but thats for greater minds than mine.

    However, here’s a good rule of thumb for times when no matter how hard I try, the issue is still slightly above my head: If Palin, Hannity, Limbaugh and Rove are red-in-the-face AGAINST it and proclaiming the start of Armageddon, then I’m instantly all for it.

    I know its a lazy way to choose a position, but so far its been infallible. ;-)

  • Oh-So-Very

    I’d rather have a working health care system in couple of years than a rushed one that may be a clusterfuck. We don’t really know.

    The repugs were just stalling, they should have put that effort into helping people but they are evil asses.

    We definitely need better health care now but we can’t afford to screw this up.

  • Oh-So-Very

    @Taylor Siluwé: Lol, it’s a good enough reason to be for health care reform. This particular health care reform though is too watered down with compromise.

  • romeo

    Things can be added to it, as has been pointed out. And many dems intend to do that. But you have to start somewhere. Personally, I’m for a public option.

  • Oh-So-Very

    Personally I’m for entirely free health care. Every visit is free for the patient. Government just pays hospitals and doctors and everyone to do what they need to do.

  • romeo

    As we speak here, Poppy Harlow is explaining the finances of the bill on CNN. That name alone should make her a gay icon. LOL

  • strumpetwindsock

    If you wait for the perfect system you will wait forever and do nothing. This bill is a good thing, and my advice is to keep you eyes on the prize.

    For anyone who is interested, here is a link to some of what went on when universal coverage was first proposed here in Saskatchewan.

    After everyone saw how well it worked here there was actually no fight at all over instituting it in the rest of Canada.

    But the fight to bring it in in the first place had to be done in the face of strong public fear, and the death of a child. British and American doctors came to the province to help provide meidcal service and break the back of the doctors’ strike.

  • reason

    @Oh-So-Very: The changes can be done after the fact. After November changes to health care are going to be very difficult, if the bill was not passed now we would be facing the status quo for at least another decade. Max Baucus go it slow approach nearly derailed the whole process and put Obama’s entire presidency in peril. It would be nice to have honest through discussions educating the public on issues, but the political realities don’t allow that. The presidents instance to hand out carrots to a party who’s platform has switched to the status quo or regression is going to cost democrats seats this November. The health care system is going to be better, once the president signs the bill, than it was yesterday even with the growing pains it may face; it may not be perfect but at least it is in the pursuit of perfection.

  • Devon

    This is worse than doing nothing. The for-profit insurance companies are the problem, they’re the cancer in America’s health care industry. And all this bill does is force 30,000,000 new people(some of whom might not want-or need-health insurance) to start paying one of these vile insurance cartels for the privilege of being alive in America, or be treated like a criminal. I can hear the champagne bottles popping in the insurance company boardrooms right now.

    Ok, it makes sure people with pre-existing conditions can’t be turned away. Which is great and all, but it doesn’t contain anything to stop the insurance companies from charging those people whatever astronomical premiums they please. Big improvement there. Oh but remember, that doesn’t kick in until 2014. Just try not to die before then, k?

    There should be no profit to be made from keeping people alive. Abolishing the for-profit insurance scheme and establishing a single-payer system is the only true health care reform this country needs. But Obama, Rahmbo and the rest of his lackeys decided to throw that under the bus from the get-go in the spirit of worthless bi-partisanship, and strike a deal with the insurance companies to eliminate single payer, and keep even the most anemic public option imaginable off the table. It’s disgusting, and I for one will be staying home on election day.

  • reason

    I am for a public option to spur competition, but against single payer. With single payer I see a bloated ill functioning health care systems that has problems just as egregious as the ones that are here now. Why can’t we have a system where both private, public, for profit, and non profit are available and the citizens get to choose? I believe that will lead to the best health care for all.

  • Oh-So-Very

    I suppose, but that will take time. I just hope everything doesn’t fall to shit. I’m not entirely behind it but I’ll wait to see what happens.

  • Oh-So-Very

    hmmm…. #52 is directed to #49.

  • reason

    I am sure that the people out there with pre-exsisting conditions, think that they are better off with the new bill. Anything is better then leaving 30 million to die out there in dark corners of America, or show up in the emergency room with preventative catastrophic illness costing the taxpayers untold billions. The mandate is necessary because the uninsured infringe on the pocket books of others when they show up at the emergency room. People that can afford insurance will also game the system on the backs of poorer people without a mandate.

  • strumpetwindsock


    You are absolutely right; it galls me too, but it doesn’t matter if abolition of private insurance is a non-starter. It would never have passed.

    Get this done and establish that government CAN ensure that basic needs are taken care of.Then cut the cancer out of the system.

  • Hyhybt

    @reason: I’m sure the public option will be added in eventually. But it really can’t coexist stably with private insurance, and would eventually drive them out of business. And good riddance :)

  • reason

    lol, you don’t think it would force the private insurance companies to change their ways in order to survive. Greedy people are generally excellent at self preservation.

  • romeo

    @ Reason: but they were plenty scared about this bill passing, and spent a fortune on ads against it. Methinks they suspect that once the ball got rolling, they would have to shape up because more would be in the works. Well, now the ball is rolling.

  • Chitown Kev


    I agree in part but Obama’s laissez-faire attitude about it (letting the Congress work out the details) and not antipating the reaction of the opposition put this bill in peril too.

    When Obama truly began to become the public face of this reform, it got done.

    Not perfectly, of course.

  • reason

    @Chitown Kev: Your correct, but Obama is a very complex person. I think he wanted to have faith that government can work as it was intended to. That congress could do the work it was supposed to do with out executive interference adhering to a separations of power. I would call it naivete, but it is not, what he is doing is giving the system a chance to prove itself when it doesn’t he takes action. You notice he exhaustively worked to give the republicans a chance where most democratic administrations would have turned a blind eye. Some may not agree, but if we had done this in Iraq we could have saved thousands of innocent lives and nearly a trillion dollars. Give peace a chance, give government a chance, and give people a chance who knows one day we may be pleasantly surprised.

  • reason

    It is a methodical systematic approach to problem solving, in science that treats you well; I imagine in the world that approach will lead to many benefits.

  • Chitown Kev


    Oh, I understand that.

    In fact, that’s probably the the thing that I like best about Obama that he’s trying to restore the proper balance of seperation of powers as they were intended by the Constitution. I think that’s probably the most shocking (in a good way) thing about Obama as president.

    My criticism is that he was a little too exhaustive about; it became very clear the the Rethugs had no intention of working with him.

    Add to that, the the country has seemed to adapt to the expansion of executive power that really began under Reagan and expanded further under Clinton and Bush.

    Sometimes, you have to take the institution as it is.

  • romeo

    They just id’d the douche that yelled “baby killer.” It was a Texan of course. He’s saying now that he yelled, “IT’S a baby killer,” meaning the bill, not Stupak. I heard it and didn’t hear that “it’s a…” at all. A sound tech can easily get the truth. But notice that the media seems to be giving him a pass. Like I’ve said, the biggest bunch of conservative republicans are the news directors of our supposedly liberal media.

  • B

    No. 16 · Andrew B. wrote, “If Canadians don’t regularly go for care here then why do American doctors on the border advertise to Canadians about their services.”

    … because the American doctors want their business – and keep in mind that the Canadian health-care system is basically an insurance system. If you live in Windsor Ontario (population 216,473 in the city, excluding the surrounding area)) and there is a doctor in Detroit (population 912,062 in the city, excluding the surrounding area), all you have to do to see the doctor in Detroit is drive across a bridge.

    So what’s the issue? Would you criticize New Jersey’s medical facilities because a resident of Hoboken might hop a subway and visit a doctor in New York City?

  • reason

    @Chitown Kev: I to at times have been caught in the trap of executive power expansion to subjugate a dysfunctional congress, but I begin to see just how dangerous it all really is after surviving the W administration and studying the Reagan years. Like you said people have seemed to adapt and nearly demand an overzealous executive, thus pleasing sections of the country when one or the other group is in power not because of beneficial policies but for the high of damaging the other side. As time passes the younger generations including the one I came up in see this as normalcy, well it’s not, the state of congress is destroying the fabric of our representative democracy and harming generations of Americans. The Obama administration may need to take one for the team and try to right the wrongs pissing off both side like they did in the health care debate. Although they may want to adopt a more Clintonesque approach and tackle this problem incrementally.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    No. 62 · Chitown Kev

    Uh-huh — now maybe we can get Obama to work on that little separation of Church and State thingie ….

  • reason

    @romeo: Oh come on, I was forged in Texas, there is a lot of good people here. Less to do with Texas, and more to do with kindergartners in congress.

  • strumpetwindsock


    It’s not quite the same thing.

    If it is a procedure that you can get here in Canada then you have to pay for it yourself. It is only covered if the health region signs off on it.

    Andrew is right that it is going on. He is wrong though in implying that there is a flood of Canadians rushing across the border to get medical care.

  • james_cambridge

    For those who say this bill is worse than doing nothing…small steps folks. Small steps. This is a step to a single-payer system…it’s coming, whether it’s in 5 years or 15. No other Western nation thinks your HEALTH should be a for-profit enterprise and we too are getting there, slowly.

    Again I say thank god for the Democratic Party, which has atoned for it’s support for slavery and as a reactionary party in the 19th and early 20th century and become a beacon for hope and enlightenment in this very regressive country of ours. Let’s look at who’s been on the right side of history for the past 80 years….

    1) Social Security/Unemployment Insurance/Keynsian Economics-all shoved through by FDR and progressive Democrats while Republicans & Southern Democrats wailed that it was the end of freedom & America back in the 1930’s. Now, any attempt to mess with these programs is death, even in the South.

    2) Medicare/Medicaid shoved through a reluctant Congress dominated by backwards Southern Democrats in the 1960’s by LBJ while they and Republicans wailed that that it was the end of freedom & America, this time in the 1960’s. Try & touch these programs now and die a quick death at the ballot box.

    3) The Voting Rights Act of the 1960’s, shoved through a hateful, violent (in words & deeds) country & Congress by the great LBJ, again in the 1960’s while Southern Democrats & Republicans wailed that this, finally, was the end of freedom & America! Do I have to go on…’cause even thought y’all are probably bored, there are dozens more examples of progressive Democrats pushing through GOVERNMENT programs on a reluctant populace and Congress and being proven right, again and again, by history. This time is no different. The Republicans paid an electoral price every time the Dems shoved one of these programs through (The Republicans were the minority party from 1930 until 1994 because the American people became wedded to the Dems & their programs) and this time is no different and they know it, which is why they’re wailing that this too, is the end of freedom & America.

    Assholes. Say bye bye to political power for the next 60 years.

  • reason

    @strumpetwindsock: Does it have anything to do with access to health care, or just seeking more skilled doctors in a country where science has advanced the tools that our doctors have access to.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Taylor Siluwé:

    Ah, now we get to the worst thing about Obama as president.

    (But he wasn’t like this as state Senator or as US Senator, in spite of writings…)

    Personally, I don’t think the man is all that religious at all, he uses religion as a prop for his politics.

  • Oh-So-Very

    America is more technological advanced in medicine than Canada for sure.

  • Oh-So-Very

    blast “*technologically*”

  • reason

    Now were delving into another realm, just because someone is religious doesn’t mean they are bad people bent on destruction of others. It also doesn’t mean they are intent in shoving their religion down ones throat. I think faith is a important part of his life, he is more guarded about it know that some have made it their cause celebre.

  • Chitown Kev


    Well, the good thing about it is that the battle of power between the legislative and executive branches of government oscillates back and forth over time.

    (I think that this was one area where McCain and Obama agreed. After all, the whole idea of the “Question Time” format that Obama used to go to the offensive was McCain’s)

    The “mandate” of a President also has a lot to do with it.

  • reason

    What does a more skilled doctor or technological advancements have to do with a broken system with greedy insurance companies with one hand in the patients pocket and the other in the doctors pocket with the ultimate goal of bankrupting and enslaving both?

  • strumpetwindsock


    There is a lot of cutting-edge medicine in the U.S. but that is also the case in Canada and European nations.

    I know there are people waiting for things like hip replacements and cancer care who go over the border if they have the money, and legitimate cases of someone going to the Mayo Clinic (just as there are patients who go to any country where there are very specific experts).

    I have also heard of people who go to Mexico for elective procedures, transplants and treatments, so it isn’t all a matter of superior medicine.

    But that is not the case for everyone. I have had friends with cancer; not one has had to go elsewhere for treatment.

    And even with the millions left without coverage I am sure there are cases where the U.S. medical system falls short and leaves patients on a list.

    Andrew didn’t get into details, but if someone wants to look for horror stories in the Canadian health care system they certainly are there.
    The bottom line for me though is that when you look at overall coverage, I would rather have a system where people have to wait their turn for some things than one in which the wealthy get what they want and a significant portion of the poor and ill are shut out completely.

    And if you look at the numbers – how much our respective systems cost – health care is best delivered without private insurance.
    I can see that right here in Canada by comparing provinces there there is private auto insurance – the cost is triple, and many people can’t license their cars.
    If the insurers weren’t able to suck money out of the system they wouldn’t be there; they certainly aren’t doing it for our good.

  • reason

    @Chitown Kev: Clarify what you said I am not quiet sure of the “question time” you are referring to. I am not sure that power is oscillating or shifting. In my life time it seems to be shifting, but I have heard arguments on cable t.v. that congress has always been polarized but the citizens were not as aware without the 24 hour news cycle. I disagree a bit because now days I think the opposing sides not only dislike each others politics but hate each other personally making it very difficult to do the peoples business.

  • strumpetwindsock


    I don’t want to get into a pissing war, but do you have any hard evidence to back that up?

    If it is just the assumption that the U.S. is the most advanced country in the world, I agree that the U.S. is the main technological power on earth, but there are still a few things (like the Canadian discovery of insulin) that you did not come up with.

    And if the proof is in the putting, you might want to compare life expectancy in our two countries.

  • Chitown Kev

    “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union. God is in the mix.”

    No, you NOT insert your personal religious beliefs in a political realm and not expect to get called out on that.

    That’s coddling bigotry. Period.


    I mean, after the Brown election in Massachusetts when Obama utilized the “Question Time” forum that they use in the British Parliment.

    He cleaned the Republicans clock that day. And he built on that until this.

    Congress hasn’t always been AS polarized as it is now.

    For example, I have a cousin who is a very staunch Democrat yet she worked on the HIll for a republican for a number of years; the enviroment on the Hill was such that you could do that.

    She stated that all of that changed under Reagan; that Reagan’s presidency was also the time where the parties became more polarized (due, no doubt, to the influence of the religious right).

  • reason

    @strumpetwindsock: I agree with some parts of what you said, but I think if there is no competition for the public health care system other types of abuses will form. You are basically shunning competition and favoring the government that you like over private enterprise that you don’t. Trading one potential evil for another is not changing anything, you may love Obamacare & Hillacare but how would you like Wcare, Pailincare, or Ineptcare. I believe we need both competing to minimize abuses that would result or are present in one or both systems. I still fail to see the argument of more people in the pool being a problem, like you I believe one persons well being is not more important than another. The problem would not be more people in the system, but a failure in the education system that can produce more doctors. The majority of the people in this society have the potential to be doctors, the system fails some that want to be. The blame lies on education and less doctors not on more patients.

  • reason

    @strumpetwindsock: I don’t think anybody is discounting the abilities of people in different countries, with the right training, opportunity, and equipment anyone can be brilliant. I watched a video of an Indian doctor performing the first and revolutionary awake heart surgery changing the playing field for bad candidates that likely couldn’t recover from anesthesia. Discoveries are made all over the world even in third world countries, but with the advancements in America it is easier to do here. Life expectancy is not comparable because it has less to do about the skills of our doctors and more to do with our broken insurance industry. Some people seem to get the insurance industry and doctors confused, they are not the same and are often times at odds with each other.

  • Oh-So-Very

    @strumpetwindsock: I’m sure I could find it. But I don’t mean to put down other countries, I’m not negating the technological advances of other countries because medicinal technology is a collaboration everyone builds off everyone else.

    It’s not a matter of patriotism, or intelligence, it’s a matter of money, America has had the money for much more research of medical technology and so technology advanced.

  • strumpetwindsock


    Do I think there is abuse in every system? Of course.

    But it is not the same as a market monopoly if it is the state and not the doctors which sets the price.

    And the bottom line for me is that if there is a market then profit is always going to be part of the equation.

    In every system I see north of the border private markets are more expensive for the consumer than public ones. That goes for car and house insurance, utilities, liquor stores – everything. I hear what you are saying, but living in a country where we can see both systems in action, it is a pretty clear choice.

    Right here in Saskatchewan our public phone utility has no problem competing in an open market. So the idea that we are going to get ripped off without private competition doesn’t really have a foundation.

    And from what I can see, you guys are getting ripped off pretty good already. How much worse can it be?

  • B

    No. 68 · strumpetwindsock “@B: It’s not quite the same thing. If it is a procedure that you can get here in Canada then you have to pay for it yourself. It is only covered if the health region signs off on it.”

    … which would explain why some Canadians go to the U.S. for
    some medical care. If you need something highly specialized, you tend to find doctors who do that in areas with a large population so those doctors will have enough patients, and the U.S. population is much larger. It’s cheaper to pay a doctor in the U.S. for some specialized care than to have an equivalent specialist in Canada in a much smaller community where the specialist would be underutilized.

  • strumpetwindsock


    You know what I am jealous of?

    The system in Germany where six weeks of vacation is the norm for most workers, and people get spa visits as part of their coverage.

    I don’t mean to put down the U.S. Yours is a great country with a lot of ground-breaking ideas. But I think you shouldn’t be ashamed to look outside your borders a bit more.

  • reason

    @Chitown Kev: Yes, but is that belief a problem if he doesn’t use it to infringe on someones rights. He supports repeal of DOMA, if he keeps his religious beliefs out of politics I don’t see a problem. It is probably a good thing that he is making a concerted effort to keep his religion out of the public’s eye. One thing I am sure we can agree on is the Republicans forced his religion into the mix with all that Muslim crazy talk and radical Wright. Him putting his religion out their was the only way he could fight back smears the downside is he pissed of some people that don’t want to hear about religion period.

    I sort of get what you are saying with the oscillations, but I think that it applies to messaging between the Republican congress and the Democrat Administration not the equality of separations of power. The power of the Legislative Branch as a whole has been reduced overtime by political infighting with in its chambers, enabling a power grab by the Executive.

    That what I was thinking when watching the pundits, all the evidence points to this error as the most polarized at least in recent history.

  • Chitown Kev

    But he did use those beliefs to infringe on someone’s rights. Outside of the presidential election itself, the battke over Proposition 8 was probably the most visible issue in the 2008 election.

    And don’t give me the he was opposed to Prop 8 line; he didn’t say that as often as he stated his personal and religious opposition to marriage equality.

    On the oscillations, my cousin (and myself) worked on the Hill and there was not the acrimony that you talk about between a republican Administration and a Democratic Congress (for the most part).

    But you could see the breakdown of civility even in those days.

  • reason

    @strumpetwindsock: You have failed to understand my argument or I have failed to articulate it. To make a clarification doctors may set a price but that is not what they get paid. Looking at my brothers fee schedule the insurance companies are deciding what he is getting paid for a particular procedure, if he doesn’t like it there answer is to bad. If he doesn’t write something up exactly the way the government (with medicare) or private insurance wants he wont get paid or reimbursed as they call it. The insurance company can even show up and say well I don’t think you should have performed this test and choose not to pay for it. They also hit the doctors up with high malpractice insurance. The insurance companies are the ones screwing things up not the doctors.

    In the government system I am not saying you are going to get screwed financially or refused insurance due to pre-exsisting conditions and all of that other stuff that we hate. I am saying government will introduce its own problems albeit slow reimbursement rates leaving doctors in the lurch, or bloated inefficient wasteful behavior that the U.S. government is notorious for. Some doctors refuse to deal with medicare because it is to stressful. The U.S. government will certainly bring its own mess into the system. I have a highschool friend who’s mom is sitting in the federal pen right know for stealing millions from medicare for years on end. She just happened to be the few that got caught, there are others out there abusing the system, stealing taxpayer cash, that a slow bureaucracy has still failed to correct when they have know about loopholes for flagrant abuse for over a decade. Give the government single payer and you wont be able to fathom the disasters that pop-up. The government needs a motivator to keeps its own house in order and the private industry will provide that. Public and Private sectors can check each other providing better service as they scramble to get more customers. Both should be regulated by a external watchdog to ensure they are meeting minimum standards.

    Profit is not a bad thing it motivates people to work harder, monopolies turn that on their head because the company realizes they your at their beckon call no matter what they do. Lets not fall into the trap of giving the government or private industry a monopoly.

  • reason

    @Chitown Kev: Yep, maybe he could have been more forceful in saying that his personal religious beliefs were insignificant when it came to policy, and should not be used to deny others fundamental rights, but he had an election to win. Sometimes people fall short of their own morals and people should call them out respectfully of course. I think that action was an exception rather then the rule, an we should not dwell on the past, but move forward. Through this health care debate I believe most people should have a clearer vision of how this president operates. Instead of repeating actions of health care reform like berating the president and helping to make it more unpopular when he wants to tinker with olive branches, study, try to get the party of no on board, and be meticulous; instead we should help him get things done because now its clear this president does not quit.

  • Chitown Kev


    But when he and his adminsitration do these things repeatedly (the DOMA brief, Rick Warren, joking about the Iowa Supreme Court decision, Gibbs continuing flubs) lack of trust and cynicism set in. And Obama brought that on himself with his arrogance.

  • Chitown Kev


    I mean, it’s not a simple matter of “you people need over it.”

    Those are not the actions of a “fierce advocate”.

    And that “fierce advocate” stuff were words out of his own mouth.

  • strumpetwindsock


    Good. I hear you and recognize that is a concern in theory.

    The fact is I have never heard that as a complaint up here. Doctors and patients have lots of complaints, but I have NEVER heard that one.

    I should point out that our health system is administered by the provinces (our equivalent of your states) and that the federal government simply passes on our taxes to help fund it.

    You might be right about that cropping up as a problem, but I doubt it.

    By contrast, I remember about a decade ago that the teachers in Manitoba fought the government when the province wanted to force the right to strike back on them. They didn’t want to have such a volatile issue as education (or in this case, health care)

    It’s not that the teachers did not have a strong union, rather that when you put such a basic issue as health or education on the table, sometimes peoples’ brains go out the window.

    From a Canadian perspective, health is more of a human rights issue that should be guaranteed by the courts and taken out of the hands of the electorate, IMO.

    The voters can, after all, be notoriously fickle and stupid, no? I think we can agree on that.
    (I am half joking here, I should point out)

  • reason

    I am sure you haven’t heard a complaint up there and I am not that surprised, but we have different people down here, teapartiers, Sarah Paliners, and some politicians that are greedy to the nth degree, raiding the treasury at every turn to enrich already loaded defense contractors by paying 700 dollars for a toilet seat or packing there freezer full of cash received through bribery. Why would I expect any different when some of these guys were leading these abusive corporations before they got elected?

    You are completely correct, things have deteriorated so much that some people might turn down a life saving surgery if there party didn’t support it.

  • reason

    @Chitown Kev: Its a broken record, the Obama is arrogant is a republican talking point from the 08 general election. He is not advocating hard enough, the words of the health care naysayers. It has been 45 years and non stop efforts on health care, and some supporters are still angry that a president early in his second year wasn’t getting it done fast enough, and weakened him by hurting his poll numbers. If that energy was spent advocating for health care the noise of the tea party could have been blunted and the skittish blue dogs could have been brought on board earlier. The president would be rolling on with much more political capital. We can be our own worst enemy, lets not make the same mistakes as we did in health care reform. Is that to much to ask? I understand that these are passionate issues, but people are over-analyzing, holding on to every word from anyone in the administration, scouring it for meaning. A fist bump? It must be a terrorist signal. Typical white person? He has a deep seeded hatred for white people. They cling to guns and religion? He is a Muslim, arrogant professor that despises normal working class folks. That stuff gets annoying and is counterproductive, its expected from current republicans who want to take us back to the 1800s, but from this community its confusing.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Taylor Siluwé: No so in fallible after all.

    Using your logic many thoughtless people voted for Obama, Biden and Congressional Democrats for the same reason.

    There are horror stories about all of them. Biden, the Senator from Bank of America wrecked the bankruptcy laws just before the economy tanked. Congressional Democrats and Republicans time and time again demonstrate their racist islamophobia with their votes for war and mass murder of civilians from Palestine to Pakistan, and to enrich the looter class with money stolen from the Treasury with ‘bailouts’.

    Obama is the worst of them, a McCain in drag who who lies (mcuh)
    better. His health care plan is a giveaway to insurance companies; he’s a union buster and a lapdog for oil companies who want to continue the wars and occupations. He’s a racist who wants to exclude immigrant and imported workers from health care. His administration is openly hostile to us and constantly distances himself from the GLBT fight for equality.

    Democrats and their Republican cousins are “interested’ in their constituents only to the extent that we can be counted on to vote for them, securing their place at the trough in the DC pig sty. They’re in politics for the money and power to influence events for their patrons, who are the looter class. It’s all very Roman (in the time of the Republic) and was designed to be so by the framers of the Constitution, a class of American looters and smugglers who chafed under the prospect of paying taxes to the Brits and went to war to stop ‘taxation without representation’.

    The key question for us is how we relate to this. It’s a loser’s strategy to support one of the two parties of the looter class – to play by their rules. That’s the approach of LGBT Democrats and Republicans that has, after 40 plus years of activism, produced little of substance except, as Martha would say, a ‘generous plentitude’ of betrayals.

    his lame strategy always leads to submissively voting for the lesser evil and kowtowing to the politics of accommodationism and assimilationism.

    The better strategy is to approach elections for what they are – a sham to disguise the naked greed of the looter class. Elections and the ‘political process’ should be used use them to educate ourselves and others about strategies to end their rule. It consists of an emphasis on militant mass action around a program that raises totally reasonable demands which cannot be met without challenging the rule of the looter class.

    The ‘good news’ is that large numbers of LGBT folks, unionists and activists are beginning to dismiss Obama and the Democrats, as well as the more openly reactionary Republicans and look toward building political independence for the LGBT communities.

  • Bill Perdue

    Being gay means that you have to be a socialist. What a load of crock. The European welfare state is now at our doorsteps. >

    The route to a socialist society based on economic and political democracy and the routes to liberation and equality for working people, LGBT folks, African Americans, women, immigrant and imported workers and others will merge as the showdown with the looter class and their lapdogs and apologists gets closer.

    Sharia lovers will soon follow.</b There is no room for racist islamophobes in our movement. None at all.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Hyhybt: Too bad you don’t have a clue about politics so you could reply with a just to tiny bit of substance.

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