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Reality Check: The GOP’s Straw-Stuffing Health Care Repeal

| January 21, 2011

Your coverage or mine? (© FlaglerLive)

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam’s weekly commentaries are broadcast on WNZF on Fridays just after 9 a.m. Here’s this week’s.

Forty-four million Americans live in poverty. That’s more than ever in our entire history. 51 million Americans have no health insurance. That’s a record, too. And 15 million Americans are unemployed. That’s not only a record. It’s more than the 12 million unemployed Americans at the height of the depression. Yeah I get it, we have three times the population of 1932, but if that’s supposed to make the numbers look better, tell it to the unemployed.

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And for all that, what did our magnificently clueless Congress do Wednesday? It voted to repeal health care reform. Not because it had something better to propose. It doesn’t, and it won’t. Not because the repeal has any chance of actually amounting to anything more than a symbolic vote. The Senate and the president aren’t about to go along with amateur theater hour. But because the new Republican majority had a promise to keep, and gosh darn it, it kept it.

Talk about substance. Talk about courage. If this is what we have to look forward to with this congress for the next two years, it’s not only the poor, the uninsured and the unemployed who are in trouble. It’s every straw man from here to Anchorage and back, now that Congress wants to take their jobs. Then again if this is the best these new Republicans can do on the most important issue of the last two years, pack up your worries about 2012 right now and congratulate Obama for his second term. That battle is over.

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32 Responses for “Reality Check: The GOP’s Straw-Stuffing Health Care Repeal”

  1. Outsider says:

    I wonder if self-delusion is considered a treatable psychosis……

  2. Jack says:

    They waste time on this repeal, yet joblessness runs rampant. Typical conservatives falling in lockstep with idiocy.

  3. Dorothea says:

    I listened to most of the debate. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said it best when he stated that if he had a shot of alcohol for every lie the Republicans uttered during the debate, he would have to appoint a designated driver. Perhaps the biggest lie perpetrated by the Republicans is that they are doing what the American people want. In actuality, according to a recent poll, only 18% of the population want the new Healthcare law repealed.

  4. William says:

    I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

    The new congress sure seems to be composed of posers, as legislating the country’s way out of this festering shithole, created by failed right-wing policies, should prove difficult indeed.

    Act one, of course, consisted of the pledge that all future legislation not increase the deficit. Of course a specific exception had to be written for repealing the Affordable Care Act, as this would add in excess of $200 Billion to the deficit.
    Act two, then becomes this ridiculous vote, a dog and pony show on legislation that everyone knows is DOA. Rep Weiner had some sage advice for those inclined to drinking games. I might have added cautioning against the possibility of alcohol poisoning, nevertheless Boner got to use his new and improved gavel and all the symbolism attached thereto on this important milestone.
    Act three now becomes the re-visiting of the anti-abortion issue, in the unlikely event that the Stupak hysterics had not adequately addressed this particular straw man. But see America, we’re responding to your wishes (not).

    I just can’t wait for Issa’s investigations into terrorist fist-bumps to begin.

  5. Outsider says:

    Jack, after two years of the Democrats and President focusing on everything but job creation, why the sudden concern over a couple of days of debate? Since Pelosi insisted the healthcare bill had to be passed so we could find out what’s in it, why doesn’t Reid want to vote on it NOW THAT WE KNOW WHAT’S IN IT? Could it be that they don’t want to remind the voters of who STILL wants it now that we know? It’s political cowardness on Reid’s and others’ parts. More than a few people understand that the costs, both known and unknown are one major reason employers are reluctant to hire new employees. So you see, getting rid of this bill is the first step in creating jobs. In my view, that’s hardly a waste of time. Nice job, by the way, with the “new civility.” You made it through the entire first sentence without name calling. Quite impressive, in light of some of the other posts on this site.

  6. Dorothea says:

    William, just for the record and for those who believe the Republican liars on the House floor. President Obama had already signed an executive order forbidding the use of federal dollars for elective abortions.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Which is incidentally, Dorothea, quite unfortunate and expedient from our wind-tilting president. I’d rather he signed an executive order that forbade the use of federal funds for family-shredding missiles in a couple of elective wars we’re engaged in right now, though he’d upset the anti-abortionists even more: they tend to be the nation’s most enthusiastic war lovers. The Baptists and Catholics among them especially. Harkens back to that soul-saving blood-lust those two denominations have been so historically horny for. The trouble with abortion as they see it is that it reduces the inventory of fleshy canon fodder 18 years hence. They’d rather we praise the lord and pass the coat hanger. And the ammunition, of course.

  7. Dorothea says:

    Pierre, your comment brings to mind another egregious lie from the right wing of the House, that the healthcare law is a socialist program. It is not. It is healthcare insurance provided by the private sector. The truth is that a private insurer can still and, some policies do pay for elective abortions. However, personally, I would have preferred a single payer system and no executive order forbidding the use of federal moeny for elective abortions.

  8. Rick G says:

    Pierre you have hit my political pet peeve right on the button. It galls me to no end that those who proclaim to be “pro life” have no problem with pregnant women and children being blown into a red mist in some foreign land. And here in this country as soon as those fetuses are born they then want to make it extremely difficult for them to receive the proper health care and services any infant needs unless of course the parents have money to pay for it. The term “passionate conservative” is truly an oxymoron.

  9. William says:

    Dorothea, that was the reason for my Stupak comment. He and his C Street cronies held the bill hostage until Obama signed that XO which forbade what was already illegal. It was nothing but cynical poilitical gamesmanship.

    As to ACA itself, as a liberal I am in favor of universal health care, with the public option as an acceptable alternative. ACA as it stands is nothing more than a giveaway to the insurance industry, and does not come close to representing true health care reform. Baby steps we’re told.

  10. some guy says:

    WOW how the left gos nuts over this so called health care bill THEY passed and is now known not to be about health care but political power for the left

  11. William says:

    It’s ALL about political power. Which side the game is played on is irrelevant. The difference is that the left at least tries to pretend to give a shit about the plebes. The right has no compunction throwing anybody outside “the Club” under the bus. And then backing up.

  12. Dorothea says:

    William, there are regulations and rules that the insurance companies have to abide by. For instance, at least 80% of premiums must pay for healthcare, not profit and of course, they can’t throw policy holders under the bus and as you say, then back up because they become sick. I’m not that cynical about the healthcare act, certainly not as cynical as I am about lying Republican whores who want to repeal the act in order to buy the tea party so as not to get a tea party opponent in the 2012 primaries. I’m not sure what sort of power the Democrats get with healthcare, but I’m certainly not going “nuts” (to quote some guy) about it.

  13. Outsider says:

    Those family shredding missiles sure seem to be pretty good at finding those militants who set off those less discriminating family shredding car bombs in the middle of family markets. Those darn Catholics and Baptists are always blowing each other up like that……..oh….oh….never mind; it’s all so confusing.

  14. William says:

    The good news about the 2010 election are:

    1. The ranks of the Democrats was purged of a number of Blue Dogs. If the 2012 election can strengthen the progressive caucus, health care reform could possibly take a better form.

    2. It is only a matter of time before the Teabaggers in congress get into it with the establishment GOp. The spectacle should be quite entertaining, exploding heads and all.

    Legal Disclaimer:
    The phrase “exploding heads” is not intended to incite to violence. The author disavows responsibility for any heads actually exploding.

  15. NortonSmitty says:

    I hate this bill. The only thing that makes me support it at all is the fact that it gives all the Useful Idiots for the Corporatist power structure strokes whining about it.

    I remember when it was the Republican Solution to health care when Mitt Romney enacted it in Massachusetts in the ’90’s. The only reason they tried anything was because Hillary got the proles stirred up with her plan. Their salvation consisted of forcing everyone in the State to purchase health insurance policies from the same industry that ruined the system in the first place. But now that the Democrats adopted the same plan, it’s a Socialized Communist Government Takeover and a threat to the American Way of Life!

    I wouldn’t mind shitcanning the whole mess if only that maybe it would enable us to get a sensible Public Option like a Medicare buy-in to give the Blue Crossed boys some real competition for once. But O’Busha and Emmanual sold that down the river before the negotiations even started. Thanks a lot for the votes, but we aren’t going to actually fight for what we promised on the campaign trail, we;re realists here! When they had some actual power.

    Maybe it’s true, People actually do get the kind of Government they deserve. If that’s true, we are the biggest wussies in the world.

  16. some guy says:

    I totally agree with (William) that the left tries to pretend to care about us.

  17. Jim R. says:

    Yes, and the Government gets the kind of people it wants, docile, passive, uninformed and happy in their servitude.
    The job of the political class and the media is to keep them that way.

  18. Merrill says:

    The best the Republicans, our Representative John Mica prominent among them, can do is promise never to pass a bill that increases the deficit without passing another bill that offsets that increase! Then, the first bill they pass, repeal of the Health Care Reform Bill, evaluated by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to add (through this repeal) $260,000,000,000 to the deficit over the next ten years, goes through with not a single mention about offsetting this deficit-increasing “repeal health care reform” bill!

    Yes, the first thing they do is tell lies and the second thing they do is bask in the adoration showered on them by those gullible and naive Tea Party members!

    Tea Party members: The country cannot bear to have such liars and deficit builders in our Congress! If you are to remain true to your creed, you’ve got to start now to Beat the Boehner Bums and throw them out and bring some common sense to our government spending!

  19. some guy says:

    This NEW bill if it was to pass and it will not would not “add to the deficet” it just would not TAX for 10 years and pay out fot 6 years. thats how the liberals do math. The “health care” law the LIBERALS passed was less to do with better or less costly care for us and ALL to do with MORE government in our life.

  20. Dorothea says:

    Some guy, there’s an old saying that you have the right to your own opinions, but to your own facts. In fact, the non-partisan Office of Budget and Management did the math, not liberals or any other political entity. But if you want to ascribe your own motives to what “liberals” enacted, that’s your opinion. Fortunately, the great majority of the American people disagree with you. What “NEW” bill would you be speaking of? The new Republican majority in the House has failed to bring up one single bill this year, other than repeal of the healthcare act.

  21. Dorothea says:

    Correction on my quote.

    “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts”

  22. Outsider says:

    Dorothea, I would remind you that the Republicans have been in power for less time than the typical Obama family Hawaiian vacation.

  23. Dorothea says:

    Outsider, I would remind you that there are more pressing problems for the unemployed and underemployed American workers than a politically motivated bill that has no chance of passing into law.

  24. some guy says:

    Dorothea yes thats the one im am saying the repeal Of the so called “health care” bill/law that will not get us better care or lower our cost of care or national debt.Yup thats the one that I am for a bill that would make DC look into how to make health INS more affordable to all with out adding to Government and our debt.

  25. Dorothea says:

    Some guy, check the facts. According to the nonpartisan Office of Budget and Management the healthcare act will reduce the deficit. It’s likely that the 20% of Floridians who are uninsured will welcome getting coverage. I will welcome not having my healthcare costs being driven up because I’m paying the bills of the uninsured who get treatment and can’t pay. As for the so-called government bureaucracy, you must be joking. Have you ever dealt with the private insurance bureaucracy? That is no joke.

  26. BW says:

    The one thing I do not agree with in terms of the Health Care Law is the requirement to have insurance. The rest I agree with. But the bigger question I have in regards to health care and how it always goes back to insurance . . . why do we need insurance to get treated? Why do we discount treatment for those who have insurance and charge more to those who don’t? Why not just treat everyone for the same price?

  27. some guy says:

    Yes i know that the CBO has said that with the so called “health care” that the congress and Pres. Obama ran though would reduce the deficet. BUT thatis with number given it by the same people who made the law. It is not an independent varification it is just what the makers of the plan want you and I to see. Name one FED Government program that did not run way over the estimate for it. I also do not want to pay higher Ins bills OR TAXES to pay for people who should pay for them self. The whole system of INSURENCE needs to change not having Government take over for it.

  28. William says:

    Seems our friend some guy has been watching waaaaaaaay too much Fox “News”, considering his recital of all the debunked right-wing talking points regarding health care. Yet, I agree that the Insurance system requires change. Not gonna happen though, gotta have obscene profits for the investor class, and the poor execs can’t be expected to drive around in a raggedy 2 year old S-class Benz.

    For this reason alone, I would rather have government administered health care, rather than for profit private sector plans. Doesn’t it bother anybody that we pay more for health care than any other industrialized country, yet receive the least value for our money? What about the fact that health care for the uninsured amounts to an invisible tax on all of us. Who do you suppose pays for those emergency room visits, providing medical care for up to 5 times the cost of a doctor’s office visit? The heath care fairy? Spare me the “I don’t want to pay for others” argument, if you pay taxes, you are,and have been, doing just that.

    The free market won’t fix the health insurance mess, it goes against their vested interests. Republicans won’t fix it because those vested interests are their major campaign contributors (yes, the dems too).

    Willful ignorance won’t fix anything either.

  29. Outsider says:

    Well, being that we’re going to be taxed for ten years to pay for six years of benefits, how will that deficit -reducing promise regarding Obamacare work out in the second ten years? Noone from the administration is disputing this fact, which I take as tacit admission the program cannot sustain itself without massive tax increases or massive reductions in services. This whole healthcare crisis was created by the left in the first place; they are the ones who had the great idea that noone could be denied services at the hospital emergency room. Why would anyone feel obligated to work for their healthcare when they can just walk into the ER anytime they please and demand to be treated for their stuffy nose? And this whole “40 million Americans lack health insurance” is a load of malarkey. Sure, they may not have health insurance, but they certainly receive healthCARE anytime they want it.

  30. Dorothea says:

    Outsider, I’m imagining a Flagler County that denies healthcare to those that can’t pay. We could create the Outsider/Typhoid Mary Internment Camp for those with communicable and/or terminal diseases. We could provide these sick individauls with the ability to end their lives should they opt not to suffer in pain any longer. Instead of lining up on the streets of Palm Coast protesting a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, these same folks could provide free voluntary service to administer to the interned, untreated patients since these patients too have a right to life, as long as they can pay. Don’t forget the widows and orphans of those left to die. We would have to provide for them somehow. Oops, they can’t pay either. A much simpler solution to the problem is to make sure that every American has a healthcare policy or posts a $5 million dollar bond to cover their expenses in the event that they become sick.

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