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August 28, 2007 10:58 PM UTC

24 to 27 million uninsured, not 47 million

  • 85 Comments
  • by: Another skeptic

All the talk about the need for socialized medicine is based on bad statistics.

My discussion is here:

http://www.plnewsfor…

Comments

85 thoughts on “24 to 27 million uninsured, not 47 million

  1. Look at this story to see relevant links:

    http://www.medicalne

    The number of US residents without health insurance may be overstated by as much as nine million people, according to two new analyses of census data, the… Los Angeles Times reports. The studies were commissioned by HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Michael O’Grady after four government surveys found the number of uninsured in 2003 ranged from 19 million in the Survey of Income and Program Participation to 45 million in the Current Population Survey. Both surveys are conducted by the Census Bureau, but the CPS is “relied on most widely,” the Times reports. One analysis by Actuarial Research Corporation estimated that nine million, or 20%, of the 45 million uninsured had health insurance coverage in 2003. The second analysis by the Urban Institute, based on data from 2001, estimates that four million of the 45 million uninsured had coverage. Both studies conclude that the CPS overestimated the number of uninsured because it undercounted the number of residents enrolled in Medicaid programs. Although it “remains unclear” why the numbers vary by so much, one hypothesis is that residents might answer “no” to health insurance questions to avoid follow-up questions on the “lengthy” survey or that residents do not want to say they receive public assistance, according to the Times. Revised estimates of the number of uninsured U.S. residents might not be available until 2006, O’Grady said. Both studies also found that the uninsured population is growing as more residents lose private coverage.

  2. “So, take 15.6 million Hispanics who are most likely illegal immigrants, and subtract from 47 million. Gives you about 32 to 35 million uninsured.”

    That has got to be one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard.

    1. Non citizens, legal or illegal, shouldn’t be counted as uninsured. Nor should the 11 million who are counted as uninsured even though they are eligible for Medicaid and Schip but haven’t enrolled.

      Why do you like the highly inflated number?

      1. Whether or not illegals should be counted is a different argument. I was saying it is ignorant that you count all Hispanics as illegal immigrants.

      2. Non citizens, legal or illegal, shouldn’t be counted as uninsured.

        You can make a case for illegals, but I really want to know why legal non citizens should be excluded from these counts. They work and pay taxes like any under- or uninsured American citizen. They’re legally eligible for the same services as Americans. So why don’t they count?

  3. this “study” is not conclusive, but rather a hypothetical of how respondents answered survied questions. This is a fluff piece.

    However, what’s real is the declining number of employers offering health insurance to their employees and the declining number of children insured by SCHIP.

    How American of you to leave your neighbor out on the curb becuase you’ve read something that says the numbers could be “if…”

    “We simply cannot stand by while tens of millions of our fellow citizens go without the necessities of life,” Edwards said today in an e-mailed statement. “We need truly universal health care and a national effort to eliminate poverty.”
    http://www.bloomberg

    1. What the proponents of universal health insurance won’t admit or face that putting today’s private insured people into government programs will reduce access to health care technology and services and force a big increase in taxes.

      As Hoover and Roosevelt learned, tax increases depress the economy. And as Coolidge, JFK, Reagan and Bush proved, tax cuts stimulate the economy.

      1. Let’s look at real life examples instead of your hypothetical situations that have absolutely no bearing on the debate, other than appeasing your own mind with relentless talking points.

        If you didn’t already know, the US already has the most expensive health care system in the world! http://dll.umaine.ed

        And all the while our healthcare system is ranked somewhere near Iran’s, our Western Allies have booming economy while offering Universal Health care and Education. http://www.who.int/e

        What is your real beef? That Dems will actually fix this country where Reaganism has failed, or that your too stubborn to admit when your wrong?

        Oh, and most people already know, those tax cuts, increase you like to rant about have little to know affect on the stimulation of the economy. Ask Greenspan about that.http://money.cnn.com

        So what part of your argument can you support, without a talking point? Or would you rather move to Iraq where the Cons have put into a Neo-Con paradise based upon the free-market that has completely failed?

  4. good point.  If it’s only 24 to 27 million then it isn’t really be a problem then – just the govt blowing things out of proportion again.  Whew.  I guess it all makes sense now, and I really feel foolish thinking illegals actually get sick like the rest of us. 

    We should quit screwing around with this stupid “health care” thing or whatever and get back to the real nuts and bolts problems with this country, like flag burning, gay marriage, and getting those bibles back in the schools !  We owe it to the voters !

      1. now I think I really am getting it.  The point of a society and a government is … well there is no point !  Everyone fend for yourselves ! 

        Fuck the old, fuck the poor, fuck the illegals, fuck the kids, we’re back to a “state of nature” ! That whole “civilization” thing was such bullshit anyway – I’m surprised it lasted that long.

        Gotta go now.  There is so much to do.  Need to go find a big cottonwood so I can make the biggest club and horde over my pile.  Then after that I need to make a good bearskin robe, and practice my grunting sounds.

        1. why I suggested he move to Iraq where the Neo-Cons have unleashed anarchy, the very type of paradise that all “free-marketeers” truly believe will provide for all.

  5. is that universal health care is un-obtainable.
    Not relistically anyways. This is not the perfect world and that is what we would need.

    I’m not the sharpest pencil in the drawer but I can foresee many, many problems if it is forced on us.
    The main one being abuse.
    I can picture millions upon millions of people that suddenly go to the doctor or hospital for a runny nose. For a sore elbow.
    For a sprained ankle.
    For a headache.
    For a hangover. Etc.
    This is my biggest fear.
    If I am correct, can you imagine what the costs will be to us all?
    Right now my health insurance is medium to high in price. I can not fathom what it would be if every single person in this country suddenly had complete legal encouraged access to the doc. And only the ones that have a job have to pay.

    Am I thinking wrong here?

    My wife has worked in the medical field all her life. But our insurance is through my work, not hers. She tells me stories everyday of how people try to weasel their way out of paying for their doctor visits. Multiply that by several million……….

    We all know just how well our government works. Like a snail in the sand. Add to that the overwhelmingly immense costs to pay for medical coverage for everybody in this country and our economy will collapse.

    There has to be a better way. I’m not against people seeing the doctor. I just don’t think it is right to punish the millions of Americans that now pay for their own coverage to help the ones that don’t make health insurance a priority in their lives.
    IMHO

    1. Have you ever heard of a Pharmacy? That’s where you go to cure a cold, a hangover and yes even a sprained ankle. You can’t be serious that your biggest health care fear is people going to a pharmacy for tylenol?

      Of coure, while opponents will conjur up “horror-stories” of long lines, and terrible care in Canada, I’d like to submit that things are far worse in NY, Chicago, Houston, LA, and even in the Denver hospitals where sick patients are kicked to the curb for not having insurance. I even had a friend diagnosed with cancer that was dropped from his insurance. THOSE ARE REAL PROBLEMS, not just some imaginary fears over tylenol.

      Yes, there is a better way of providing health care, and more efficiently, than our current sytem and our western allies have been doing it for years. And, with American ingenuity, we can do the same and probably better.

      You say let the “free market” decide. I say let Democracy work it’s course and let the American people decide how they want their health care system to work. If you choose to opt out of the Universal offer, so be it. But don’t kick my kid to the curb because of your selfishness.

      1. but the concept is still accurate.
        Imagine if health care was covered for everyone. You can’t set there and tell me that there would not be MASSIVE abuse to the system. I don’t believe that. I know that a vast majority of people would run to the doctor for every imagined ailment in the world. And who would pay for this?
        If I could “opt out” of this I would.
        But the way I understand it is that I would have to pay for your kid, myself, my family, and every person in this country whether I want to or not. (No offense to your family)
        That is what is wrong with this theory.
        The costs will be so great we will never be able to make it succeed. It will break this country all in the name of compassion.
        I don’t know the answer and actually don’t think there is a problem really. I am sure that taking this country one more step towards “socialism” is not the answer.

        Maybe those that want to help the less fortunate and the lazy get medical care for free can start up a pool and make their own insurance program. Get all the yucky yucks in Hollywood with mega bucks to pitch in. Along with the rich bleeding hearts like Edwards, Kerry, Clinton, etc to help. Then the rest of us can be left out of it and on our own.
        I’d even sign a contract saying I would never ask for outside help ever.

        1. Find me the facts on case scenario’s of MASSIVE abuse of the system in countries where this is already the policy. 

          I can sit here and tell you what I believe based upon facts, experiences, and case scenario’s as in the UK and France which provide for their countries needs.

          But what I cannot do is sit here and let you exxagerate the situation, or devaluate it by saying our health care crisis is not really a problem, and then to claim socilaized health care is not the answer, and you blame hypotheticals as the problem of the system. How pathetic.

          Take a serious look at the costs of benefits of comparable health systems and also take into account that while less educated and less health citizens, hurt the economy.

          1. any better than anyone else, but you are blind if you can not admit that there will be abuse.
            I can forsee massive abuse. You say no but you are more wishing than knowing.

            I say again there is no problem so why try to fix it?
            If people would prioritize instead of trying to make the government coddle them, we wouldn’t need these social programs. But since this country is going further and further down the path that Russia took, common sense and self reliance will soon be replaced by one gigantic federal entity. One that will supposedly take care of all our wants and needs.
            Until of course it runs out of money because the incentive for people to work hard to succeed is gone.
            Something scary movies could copy.

            1. I asked to give facts of any system that has experienced MASSIVE abuse as you have decried. England? Ireland? France? Do any of these countries experience MASSIVE abuse of their system that cripple’s their economy? NO.

              You say there is no problem, but what about those millions upon millions of Americans who have the problmes. I think they would have a different opinion.

              Just because you say, doesn’t make it so.

            2. You must be a Reagan Republican who still has nightmares of the “scary red hand” coming for you in the middle of the night. And to claim American is going down the same path that Russia took is absurd… we haven’t had a revolt yet!

              First, I wouldn’t give up Democracy for an Authoritarian regime (which is why I think we need to get rid of the Bushies as fast as possible). We the people need to take the government back from the corporatists. We the people need to participate and make decisions for how the market can provide for our democracy; not vice versa.

              I don’t want to live in a Hierarchal society, or under an authroriarain regime, but one where the American poeople decide. Providing basic health care for the people, is not Communist or Authoritarian, or any other -ism, but rather a part of basic human rights. If America is to be the city upon the hill, we must give the  rest of the world a good reason to look up the hill and want to join us.

              And our money will only run out when the Chinese cash their IOU’s that Bush gave them

            3. Gecko, I’m sure there would be some abuse. There is no good institution that exists that someone is not out there exploiting. That goes as much for things like tax write-offs as it does for welfare and Medicare.

              I don’t believe that people will just suddenly start going to the doctor for real minor ailments when a quick trip to the  King Soopers pharmacy will do. I understand that you were exaggerating to make your point, but I don’t see people who currently take care of minor ailments themselves would suddenly start going to the doctor just because it’s free. Even if it is, who wants to go to the inconvenience? How many people are that cheap?

              Bottom line is, will it be worse than the current system? It’s really hard to see how.

              1. Unless there is a very high deductable, plus quite high co-pays, I still can foresee rampant abuse.

                Think about this, imagine millions of people that have never had health insurance (either by their own lack of initiative or other reasons) suddenly are “given” free health care.
                IMHO the system would be literally flooded with patients. The only way to curb the abuse would be to make the co-pays/deductables very high.
                Then only when care is needed will it be used.
                Problem is that this scenerio means those of us with decent health care now will be screwed over due to no fault of our own.

                In short, I don’t think I should have to pay for everyone else’s care when I have already seen to it that my family is covered.

                1. is because poor people, who often see the less competent doctors who are more likely to work at clinics and public hospitals than more competent doctors who pursue high paying specialist careers, tend not to trust the medical profession. (I’m oversimplifying and don’t mean to disparage some very fine doctors, my father included, who chose to work in these institutions.)

                  My mom and sister both worked at Presbyterian Hospital which is on the edge of the Five Points neighborhood in Denver. My sister coded medical charts for insurance purposes and remarked to me that, in comparison to Porter Hospital (located in much more affluent South Denver, where she did the same job) the work was more interesting and challenging because many of the patients were suffering a variety of ailments because they waited until a true crisis to see the doctor. In comparison the more affluent patients at Porter, who got regular checkups, usually were suffering from one uncomplicated ailment.

                  I also worked alongside many high-school educated workers when I was still in the office. Some were of working class background, and one lady in particular expressed how much she hated the general hospital because she didn’t think they did a good job at healing people.

                  All this is anecdotal, of course, but it’s my impression of how poor people, the ones who are the bulk of the uninsured, generally view doctors. I think that universal health care would not change the quality of doctor they can access (they’ll still stick to what’s nearby) or their feelings about doctors, although it could be instrumental in a long-term change in their attitude.

  6. and my reading of the articles say that 47 million AMERICANS not Mexicans are w/out insurance.  I am so tired of selfishness being held out as some type of virtue.  That’s not virtue–“Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”  If we fail to take care of thsoe around us, we fail as a society. 

    1. by Medicaid and Medicare? 

      Purely anecdotal, but I know people who can afford health insurance but choose not to have it.  I wonder what percentage of the uninsured fit into this category?

      Any government program developed should have a healthy co-pay to avoid the problem of abuse to the system. (Not including those who qualify for Medicaid and Medicare) 

    1. I’d love to see just one of the GOP candidates try to explain why they are entitled to health care but some sick poor child is not. Would they just admit their world view and say they deserve it because of all the work they have done (isn’t that what they all think)? Social Darwinism or some crap like that? And they try to pretend that they have they are the party of moral values. I think if the Samaritan was laying on the side of the road, we know what these guys would do.

      1. Why should that be an entitlement?
        Like Laura said a few posts above, many people just plain choose not to buy health insurance. I know of several myself. Their cigarettes, booze, fancy cars, etc are more important.
        And the ones that really do need help have Medicare and Medicaid.
        Plus name one hospital that can legally refuse anyone medical help even if the person says they can’t pay………..

        Our system works just fine .
        If one wants insurance, one buys it.
        If one can’t afford insurance, grow a set and change your lifestyle so that you can have insurance.
        If you are too lazy to do that, our grand social programs network will still take care of you.

        Problem solved.

            1. Repug or uncompassionate.  If its the first, I apologize, because we all know how gentle Gecko is in his comments… totally uncalled for.  As to the second, well, I stand by that.

              1. to call Democrats “Dimocrat”, “Dumbocrat”, “DemoRAT”,etc…

                No, it is not appropriate and you are not being appropriate either.  Lead by example.

      2. is that people are entitled to health care.  They are not.  Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it state that anyone has a right to health care. 

        Now as a Christian I hate to see people without health care and I think it is our job as Christians to help these people through the church.  If a man was on the side of the road and needed help Jesus taught that it is our duty as Christian to help that person.  It is our job to help the needy. 

        I think this is one of the major differences between liberals and conservatives.  Conservatives typically believe that it is our duty, not the government’s, to help our neighbors while liberals believe that it is the duty of government to help those in need.  The issue I have with liberals on this subject is, if I want to help someone, I should do it without being forced.  I believe that if the government helps someone, they force me to give them my money (via taxes) and they then redistribute it to others. 

        A point of clarification, it was not the Samaritan who “fell among robbers” and was stripped and beaten.  The nationality of that man is not known, just says “a certain man.”  The Samaritan was the person who helped the man on the road. 

          1. I know that if you come to my church with a medical problem and needed help, they will take you to see a doctor.  If you need treatment and it is not too expensive the church will cover the cost.  If it is very expensive, they will set up fundraising events to pay for the costs. 

            Aristotle, will you address my point that nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it state that anyone has a right to health care.

              1. Instead of taking up the challenge and helping people yourself, as a liberal, you solve the problem by send all of the needy my church.  Next thing you will say is how compassionate you are being. 

        1. make sure lead paint is not in our children’s toys, protect coal miners, etc. 

          That’s why it’s a ‘living document’ and why there are provisions right there in the Constitution that say:

          “The Congress shall have the power to…provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States…”

          And…

          “To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.”

          To me the difference between conservatives and those of us with sense is that we believe that our modern government in fact has the power, and even obligation, to help care for the members of our great nation (provide for the general welfare) while conservatives seem to think government has no role other than to prohibit flag-burning, prohibit gay marriage, spy on Americans, and wage illegal wars. 

          1. repair levies, make sure lead paint is not in our children’s toys, protect coal miners, etc.  Those are state issues not covered by the federal constitution. 

            The fact is Constitution is not a living document, the founders never intended it as such and further, I would challenge you to find any founding document that says that the constitution is a “living document”. 

            As for your quote, you forget a very significant part of the Constitution, specifically, the tenth amendment which states that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.  So the federal government has its hands in a lot of things that are actually issues states should be dealing with. 

            “To me the difference between conservatives and those of us with sense” – again with the insults…

            You may “believe” that our modern government in fact has the power, and even obligation, to help care for the members of our great nation, but you are wrong.  As for the general welfare clause, it has been well established that in the Constitution the word “welfare” is used in the context of states and not persons.  In fact in a letter to Congress on March 3, 1817 vetoing a public works bill James Madison, father of the Constitution, laid out his argument against broad and sweeping powers.  Madison also stated, regarding an appropriations bill for French refugees, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constitutents.”

            I think your interpretation of the General Welfare Clause is wrong. 

            1. Jefferson spent federal money on roads and canals b/c he deemed it necessary, also on buying Louisiana b/c it was a good deal. None of this was authorized by the constitution, or withinthe powers of the executive, and Jefferson was the father of small government.
              When Madison led the penning of the constitution he was a strong believer in federal power, right along with Hamilton.  It was only after teaming with Jefferson that he switched to be a staunch Republican. In 1787 most of the US was relatively well off. Maybe not everybody was rich but they did not have the poverty their mother country had.  The federal institutions that were created back then were not authorized or mandated by the constitution either, National Bank, Customs, Coast Guard and more.  But these were deemed necessary for the well being and existence of the United States under implied powers.  If the state of our citizens’ health was piss poor, a national health service might have been formed back then as well.

              1. that infrastructure improvements and the doctrine of Manifest Destiny (at the time) of Jefferson were crucial to the growth of the United States and its economy.  I think that you can look to the commerce clause (Article I, Section 8, clause 3) for justification for the improvement of canals and to Article 1, section 8, clause 6 dealing with post roads to deal with construction of roads.  The Louisiana Purchase is a more difficult question as Jefferson was an anti-federalist who believed strongly in states rights.  You can argue that when Spain ceded rights to Louisiana to France, the French became a threat to the United States and there were fears of war and that was a justification to buy the land.  You can also argue that he got authority from the Article I, Section 8, Clause 18.  It is a tough call. 

                As for Madison, he believed in federal power, but a very limited power and his writings prove that out. 

                I feel that Customs is covered under Article 1, section 8, clause 6 (dealing with regulate commerce with foreign nations, the states and indian tribes) and the Coast Guard under Article 1, section 8, clause 12.  I think the national bank is unconstitutional. 

                I think the health care of the time (remeber Washington’s doctors killed him) was piss poor, but the founding fathers didn’t think that the government was responsible for people’s health. 

                1. As well as a Navy to defeat the Barbary pirates.  But he had spent 10 years bashing Adams and Hamilton when they tried to use the powers of the fed to do these things.

                  And as for the Louisiana Purchase, when Jeferson was elected in 1800 Adams had already diffused the potential war with France Napoleon only even sold that land and for so cheap because the French had been beaten to the east, were low on cash and resigned to not engaging the USA anymore.  It was simply opportunistic on Jeffersons part. Which is fine.  But it sets precedent for acting outside of the constitution

                  In my readings I have found that while Madison was not as harcore as Hamilton, the notion of federal power in him immediatley following the flimsy articles of confederation was strong and necessary.

                  And things like the cost guard, customs, national bank, roads and canals were skillfully willed into being in the federalist papers.  My point being that these two brilliant guys who helped conceive the constitution saw that it needed to be interpreted in order to best serve the needs of the people.

                   

                  1. But they were in a unique position to do so with Madison writing the document and Jefferson being so close to the person writing it.  They both understood the need for a strong federal government, but a very limited one.  Madison vetoed legislation for the national bank during his term and wrote many letters stating his opinion that the powers granted to the federal government by the constitution were to be limited, favoring the individual states. 

        2. My bad. The Samaritans were the group of people who were looked down upon by society at the time. Yet one of them had the compassion to help another while the elite passed him by. I’m sure Jesus would have been swayed by your argument about entitlement and government vs. individual help. Yeah right.

          1. If you disagree with me lay out your agrument because “I’m sure Jesus would have been swayed by your argument about entitlement and government vs. individual help. Yeah right.” isn’t an argument. 

            1. The reason no one is debating the “issue” is because it is a false issue and there is nothing to debate.

              You say:

              “Now as a Christian I hate to see people without health care and I think it is our job as Christians to help these people through the church.  If a man was on the side of the road and needed help Jesus taught that it is our duty as Christian to help that person.  It is our job to help the needy.”

              Then you explain why it is ok to avoid helping the needy. By the way, who does it hurt to give everyone health care? Certainly not people in poverty. Only potentially people that are well off. So you would sacrifice some to help the needy. Get it? Pretty simple. Nothing to debate.

              1. Just because you say it is a false issue doesn’t make it so. 

                First, when did I every say that it is okay not to help the needy?  The fact is I didn’t and you are lying about what I said. 

                As for your question, who does it hurt to give everyone health care?  It hurts our republican form of government because the government was never supposed to give everyone healthcare and if the founders wanted socialized medicine they would have put it in the constitution, but they didn’t even though there were many poor people in the founding era who could of used it. It hurts many of the people it is supposed to help because of poorer quality of care.  It creates more Orwellian control by the government over our lives.

                And to explain once more, since you did not understand the first time, I give to my church (and volunteer time) to help those in need.  Not because I am forced to by the government, but because I want to because of my faith. 

                If you think that everyone is entitled to healthcare, then pay for it yourself.  You shouldn’t force (via taxes) other citizens to pay for what you want. 

                Government is not the answer.  Pretty simple.

                1. That’s what Congress and the President (who proposes the budget) do – force everyone (via taxes) to pay for what someone else wants. Believe me, there is no person who doesn’t have any objection with any item in the budget. Whether it’s Welfare or abstinence teaching, Social Security or military weapons programs, we’re all paying for something we don’t like.

                  You might not believe government is the answer, which is your right. But if the majority of our elected Congress differs with you, and passes a law that’s signed by the President (not the current one, obviously, but maybe the next one) and creates this program, you have to go along with it. Neither the law nor the Constitution permit us to opt out of paying taxes because we don’t like everything our money is spent on.

                  Sorry to interject but I read your post and felt compelled to answer. And FWIW, I’m sorry for calling you a troll earlier. Your recent posts show that you are interested in engaging discussion, something trolls don’t care about.

                  1. And I will always obey the law when it comes to paying taxes.  I just don’t want to be forced to “give” my money to the needy via government.  I don’t think it is charity when someone is forced to “give” by taxation. 

                    The reality is that the federal government spends too much money (by both parties) and it needs to be trimmed back. 

                    1. If there’s universal health care (at least my vision of it, which may not match what any of the Dem candidates are proposing) then it wouldn’t be much different from the current system where you pay your insurance company and then make your claim when it’s time. The main difference is that the government, accountable to everyone, and not a for-profit corporation, accountable only to its shareholders, is in charge of it. And since everyone gets to use it I don’t see how it can be viewed as charity.

                      Of course if health care costs weren’t so high and continually climbing at twice the rate of inflation* this wouldn’t be an issue.

                      I do agree that the budget needs trimming, if not a major pruning. We probably don’t agree on where to make all the cuts, though… 🙂

                      * I don’t know exactly how much health care costs are outpacing inflation but I know it’s a significant margin.

                    2. I think I can visualize your version of what the health care system should/would be, but what about all the supposed millions upon millions of people that can’t or won’t pay their own way?
                      Who will cover the costs so they can see the doc?

                    3. I imagine that wealthier people would pay more, like they do with income taxes, and poor people would pay less. Essentially they’d pay more into it than they get out of it. That might seem unfair but in my version they wouldn’t pay so much that it would amount to a “soak the rich” scheme.

                      These things are very complicated. I don’t understand why health care costs are so high or why they outpace the rate of inflation so much. I likewise don’t understand why college tuition is on a similar runaway course – the athletes might get preferential treatment and (relatively speaking) luxurious living quarters but it’s not like they’re dining on caviar served on gold platters. (Just being snarky, but in my day at CU the football players might as well have been royalty.) I like simple plans but they seldom solve complex issues and I’m sure there are problems with my proposal. But that’s why I’m an ordinary citizen and not a politician.

                    4. the government is forcing people to pay taxes so they can redistribute them to others.  I feel that charity should be an act of sacrifice and selflessness and when it is forced it cannot be selfless. 

                      I think health care costs are outpacing inflation but by a significant margin and I think the reason is because of government mandates, government regualation, and government approval processes that make health care so costly. 

                    5. is because 
                      the government is forcing people to pay taxes so they can redistribute them to others.  I feel that charity should be an act of sacrifice and selflessness and when it is forced it cannot be selfless. 
                      I think health care costs are outpacing inflation but by a significant margin and I think the reason is because of government mandates, government regualation, and government approval processes that make health care so costly.

                       

                    6. Is it meant, like welfare programs, for the indigent or is it meant, like Social Security (kinda – that’s working Americans and their families), for all?

                2. “Government is not the answer.  Pretty simple.”
                  WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT!

                  I’m sick and tired of this Reagan straw man punchline of government is evil. We live in a democrat-republic which is run by WE the people. To simplify that complex idea for you, what you are basically saying is that “American’s are not the answer” and to take it further like Reaganites do, We the people are evil and to dumb or inept to solve our own problems.

                  Reagan was a corporatists who didn’t give two shits about the working class, the middle class or even the upper middle class. His base was the same as this Presidents base; the elites, which is why the declared war on the rest of us.

                  Your mantra may make for a good one-liner to zing at people, but it’s inheritly false and in all practibality dangerous when instilled as a political belief to be used against the very foundation you claim to be fighting for. You say government is not the answer. I say let We the People decide.

                  1. and I think every Republican would agree that government is necessary, on a limited basis.  We need government for defense, justice, and I will even grant infrastructure, but that is about it. 

                    As for your comment that you think Reaganites believe that people are evil and dumb or inept to solve our own problems, I think just the opposite as does any true conservative.  I further believe that the argument should be reversed and stated that liberals think the American public is too dumb and inept to solve their own problems and the government needs to step in and help them. 
                    “Reagan was a corporatists who didn’t give two shits about the working class, the middle class or even the upper middle class. His base was the same as this Presidents base; the elites, which is why the declared war on the rest of us.”  This is just emotion talking, where are your facts to back up this claim?
                    You say my mantra is “false and in all practibality (sic) dangerous” but you offer no proof.  Again you are speaking with emotion. 
                    Finally, you say “let We the People decide”.  Are you sure?  What if the people want slavery reinstituted?  Or the people wanted to kill every animal on the endangered species list?  Or the people wanted to seize your home for no reason at all. 

                    1. Yesterday, you said no to federal help with, say levies…

                      The strict-constructionist reading of the Constitution seems to give Congress the ability to regulate infrastructure in a 10×10 mile area (DC), and postal roads. 

                      What about the federal Interstate Highway system, the FHWA?

                      Should the feds help rebuild (or demand certain standards for) roads and bridges?  What about the Internet?  Should such REALLY be developed on the taxpayers’ dime? 

                      Where is the Executive given the right to claim (let alone unilaterally define) ‘Executive Privilege in the Constitution’? 

                      I see the ability to raise armies and such to provide for the common DEFENSE, but how is that allowing foreign intervention? Preemptive War? 

                      What about clean water and air, shouldn’t each state be able to destroy their air quality unimpeded if they choose?

                    2. By infrastructure I do mean roads. 

                      The reality is that if the federal government reduced taxes a considerable amount that would allow the state government to ask the people to pay for levies, parks, bike paths, whatever.  If you want to live in a state with those things, fine.  And if you want to live in a state with lower taxes but without those things that is fine too.  It is just that I do not believe that the federal government should do it. 

                      Where in the constitution does it talk about clean water and air.  If you allow the market to work those problems would work out (in most cases).  I do not object to some oversight on this issue, but limited.  After all, would you live in a state that polluted itself without thought of the consequences?  I know I wouldn’t. 

        3. “I think this is one of the major differences between liberals and conservatives.  Conservatives typically believe that it is our duty, not the government’s, to help our neighbors while liberals believe that it is the duty of government to help those in need.”

          Boudler, a super liberal community is a great example of people helping their neighbora just b/c it’s the right thing to do.

          1. First, I think if you ask most conservatives they feel a moral obligation to help those in need and it should be a personal choice not force on them by government.  Second,the 2000 Giving and Volunteering Survey showed that Conservative households in America donate 30% more money to charity each year than liberal households. Third, the 2001 America Gives Survey showed that conservatives give 18% more blood on an annual basis than liberals.  Finally, studies also showed that of the top 25 states where people give an above-average percentage of their income, all but one (Maryland) were red — conservative — states in the last presidential election. 

            I got my facts from a book called Who Really Cares, by Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks who has been a Democrat, Republican and is now an independent. 

            1. Although I do give to charities the only time I give blood is whenever I get a new tattoo.
              That said I will be giving blood this coming Saturday again.
              Do you suppose I will be accepted among the elite liberals that post on this liberal site?

              1. You know we accept you, at least most of us do…

                I gave blood regularly (every 8 weeks) when I was in Seattle – gave over 2 gallons while I was there. Unfortunately I haven’t found a groove in which to replicate that since I’ve been back. I don’t work in a place where the blood bank comes to take your blood like I did in Seattle. That makes it harder to do, and being a dad doesn’t help either… Not that that’s a reasonable excuse.

                1. I would be interested in knowing what percentage of charitable giving is done to churches, and if that giving is included as part of this study. For example, a mormon who tithes 10% (haners, help me out here, is that right?) of their yearly income as dictated by their religion, is that considered a charitable gift? Also, how much of the giving is directed at religious charities (which, in this instance, I consider seperate from a brick and mortar church).

                  1. Yes, giving to your church is considered to charity, that is why it is tax deductible. 

                    The research done shows that religious people (conservative and liberal) are more likely to give than non-religious people, giving 25% more than people who never go to church.  The research also showed that religious people where more likely to give and volunteer significantly more to explicitly nonreligious causes and charities.

                    Now, the book talks in averages and it does state that there are exceptions to every rule (non giving religious people and giving secularists).

                    1. So now that we have established that given to a religious institution is considered giving to a charity what if that amount was removed? How do the numbers shake out then?

                      Obviously, I have not read the book, and I am relying on you to post statistics out of the book with no link (something, on principle, I am loathe to do), is none of this information available online? My main concern is that this is not an apples to apples comparison. My hope is that the information is out there to insure that it is apples to apples.

                    2. I do remeber it saying that Christians give more to non religious groups than non Christians do, but I don’t know the statistics. 

                      You should pick up a copy: http://www.abebooks….

                      I is a good read and by no means portrays liberals as evil. 

            2. Is there anything to the fact that conservative people may have more wealth than liberals, across the board? Also, money is not the only way to help your neighbor.

              Also, like they say, give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he stops going to work, I mean, he can feed himself.

              I know you were not saying this exactly but why is the argument ‘conservatives are more charitable’ relevant? Providing healthcare for the general public is a powerful way to empower a citizen to fend for himself.  Most people who are bankrupted by healthcare costs did not do so becuase they did not prioritize well.  Cost are mucher higher than the average person means to pay.  The private healthcare industry has gone too far.  The disparity of wealth too great, and far, far, far, greater than it was during our founding era.  Further, and this maybe is another diary, I really have a hard time understanding the original text of the constitution argument, especially since it eas not adhered to immediatley following its creation.  Care to elaborate?

              1. Professor Arthur Brooks states that “families earned an average of 6 percent more per year than conservative families, and conservative families gave more than liberal families within every income class, from poor to middle class to rich.”

                As for volunteerism, professor Arthur Brooks states, that in “2003, the residents of the top five “Bush states” were 51 percent more likely to volunteer than those of the bottom five, and they volunteered an average of 12 percent more total hours each year. Residents of these Republican-leaning states volunteered more than twice as much for religious organizations, but also far more for secular causes. For example, they were more than twice as likely to volunteer to help the poor.”

                Providing healthcare for the general public is a powerful way to empower a citizen to fend for himself, but it is not constitutional for the federal government to provide it.  I have read the constitution and can find no place where it would be justified. 

                As for your comment, “Most people who are bankrupted by healthcare costs did not do so because they did not prioritize well.”  That may be true, but how can you justify penalizing the people who did plan well because some people do not?

                What facts do you have to back up you assertation that disparity of wealth is too great today and far greater compared to the founding era? 

                As for the constitutional argument, I think if you read what Madison, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams wrote about limited government you can see that they would not agree with the massive size of government generally and social programs specifically.  What certian situations are you refering to when it was not adheared to?

                1. And if those are the facts regarding charity, donations, and volunteerism, so be it.  I mean, I am not compelled to give that title to the liberals.

                  I care more about the human factor of who is sufffering because they dont have adequate health care, and for reasons beyond their control.

                  And I have to say, I take offense at the comment, why penalize people who did plan well.  That is so not the point.  There are hundreds of reasons why some people are poor and some are rich that have nothing to do with the individual and his or her overall output of effort.  Any person who is well off enough to pay for good health care that is bummed about shouldering the load a bit for his fellow man needs to experience what it is like to have to tend to a family member that is dying from something that could have been thwarted with a little preventative care.

                  Regarding the higher degree of disparity these days.  This is true for the simple fact that the US was operating as a colony, under the blanket of protection of the British Navy.  They did not have to worry about preservation and building an army, protecting their ports and commerce etc.  There was plenty of land and plenty of resources. Abject poverty like that which existed in then-London just had not arisen yet. I mean, the British were justified in taxing the US.

                  And lastly, someone who opposes federal health care needs also to oppose things like the patriot act and other constitutional infringements that are implented in the name of national security and the welfare and future livelyhood of our country b/c the lack of adequate healthcare for 40 million people is equal or a larger threat than terrorism. And how often does this happen?
                  Anyhow Foghorn, I appreciate the debate.

                  1. You are absolutely right that there are a multitude of reasons why some people are poor and some are rich.  I do disagree with your premise about nothing to do with the individual and his or her overall output of effort.  While there are many people in America who inherit wealth, the overwhelming majority of “wealthy’ people in the United States today earned their wealth by working hard for it. And for you to say that they should not be bummed about shouldering the load for his fellow man that is simply not your decision to make.  IF you want to help those that need help then use your money to do so, just like Bill Gates, Andrew Carnegie, Warren Buffett, Phil Anschutez, and so on.  They do it not because the government forced them to, but because they wanted to help those in need. 

                    I do oppose the Patriot Act because as Franklin once said “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
                    I appreciate the debate too.  It helps me know where you are coming from. 

  7. Country-Life expectancy-Per capita expenditure on health (USD) 

    Canada  80.5  2,669 
    France  79.5  2,981 
    Germany 80.0  3,204 
    Japan  82.5  2,662 
    Sweden  80.5  3,149 
    UK  79.5  2,428 
    USA  77.5  5,711 

  8. that debate on this thread strayed from the veracity of the numbers of uninsured being floated by various groups to one of whether there should or shouldn’t be a national health care system.

    One point I’d like to make is, whether it’s 24 million or 47 million people without insurance (and many more, no matter the figure, who aren’t properly insured), that’s still a huge number of people. 24 million is, what, about 8% of the population? That’s still a crisis level IMO, one that needs to be addressed, especially if the numbers are continuing to rise. Some kind of reform is necessary. Do we all agree on that, even if we disagree about how that should be implemented?

  9. U.S. Department of Education
    U.S. Department of Energy
    NASA
    National Hurricane Center
    Food and Drug Administration
    FCC
    FEC (I thought elections were up to the states)
    Bureau of Land Management
    US Forest Service
    National Park Service

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