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I htink Arlen Specter got it right when he said after his contentious Town Hall meeting that there was a lot of anger out there.


Yes, there is


Maybe its time to have a collective national day of breath taking and everyone agree to start over,


yeah I know, I can dream but I am not so sure the anger being expressed is all health care driven. It's fallout from the Wall Street bail out, the Auto bail out and now redoing healthcare all at once. Can we go slow? is that too much to ask or are we doomed to arguments that pretty much come down to "my sides may suck, but not as much as yours"?

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No, it's more like "I got mine, don't take it away."



I'm sure there were plenty of police and Secret Service officers there, carrying guns as well. I'm guessing that didn't bother you. They carry because it is part of their job. Well, which is more important/ sacred to you - a job requirement or a right?

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I think you are correct that a lot of the anger is driven by the haste with which the government has thrown a great deal of money around. There is no reason for haste in dealing with health care. The haste is urged by Obama himself. Remember he wanted legislation on his desk for signature before the August recess. The only reason given for haste comes from a quote from Obama's chief of staff to the effect, "a crisis is too good a thing to waste." The democratic majorities in the congress and our president want to jam through their changes without a full airing because they themselves believe that most people really do not want what they are proposing.


I believe it was Lincoln who said, "You can fool some people all of the time, and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time." We are now at that point.

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"I'm sure there were plenty of police and Secret Service officers there, carrying guns as well. I'm guessing that didn't bother you. They carry because it is part of their job. Well, which is more important/ sacred to you - a job requirement or a right?"


Secret Service, nope, can't say I'm afraid of their guns, because I have some reasonable assurance about their stability. This guy, not so much. Especially given the level of ideologically motivated violence lately.


"But are you advocating the suspension of a Constitutional right as a condition of being allowed your right to petition your Government and to debate your elected official's actions?"


Is anyone going to say he can't own a gun if he wants to be in the same place as the president? I don't think so. However, last time I checked, yes, anyone who wants to be in the same vicinity as the President, has to leave the firearm elsewhere. Nice spin on the gotcha question, though.


Not interested in a debate of the 2nd amendment. Done here.

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Angry Bush protests you never heard about in the press:


When Bush visited Portland, Ore., in 2002 for a fundraiser, protesters stalked his motorcade, assailed his limousine and stoned a car containing his advisers. Chanting "Bush is a terrorist!", the demonstrators bullied passers-by, including gay softball players and a wheelchair-bound grandfather with multiple sclerosis.


One protester even brandished a sign that seemed to advocate Bush's assassination. The man held a large photo of Bush that had been doctored to show a gun barrel pressed against his temple.


"BUSH: WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE," read the placard, which had an X over the word "ALIVE."


Another poster showed Bush's face with the words: "F- YOU, MOTHERF-ER!"


A third sign urged motorists to "HONK IF YOU HATE BUSH." A fourth declared: "CHRISTIAN FASCISM," with a swastika in place of the letter S in each word.


Although reporters from numerous national news organizations were traveling with Bush and witnessed the protest, none reported that protesters were shrieking at Republican donors epithets like "Slut!" "Whore!" and "Fascists!"


Of course, we all know there is no bias in the press. Or violent liberals.

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Just curious. If these incidents were never reported in the press, how do you know about things that happened some three thousand miles from where you live?


I am sure that the protester who's sign implied a threat to the Bush received the same investigation that I hope the guy with the gun did. This is not about conservative and liberal, this is about protecting the POTUS no matter who he is.


My dad was a lifelong Republican (OK he did vote for Roosevelt once but it was his first election and he regretted it later) and an Army officer. The only time I ever saw him cry was November 22, 1963. My dad had not voted for Kennedy in 60 and would not have voted for him in 64. He didn't like Kennedy but that afternoon when I got home from school I found him crying in the living room.


The safety of the leader of our nation transcends politics.



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Ok, now that I'm not rushing out the door to pick up my son, I would like to clarify my last post.


Brent and scoutldr,


Nowhere, nowhere, have I advocated that this man's (or anyone's) second amendment rights should be abrogated. What I am saying is that there is a time and a place for displaying a firearm, and that this was not the wisest choice (yes, my word was stupid and I still stand behind that, too). There is a difference between the law and good judgement, and one does not replace the other.


Personally, I do not care for guns, even though I learned how to fire one and at one time was recruited for my college's pistol team. But I do not understand the need to own and brandish one. However, again, nowhere and never have I advocated for anyone to have theirs taken away. But according to Brent, that makes me "intolerant".


I have had a loaded gun pointed at me by someone with malicious intent. I have stared down the barrel of a loaded gun being held by someone whose mental stability I had very good reason to question. I have stepped in front of someone who was likewise having the same gun pointed at her to protect her, out of love. Let me add that at the time this happened, I was 10 years old. So no, I don't happen to like guns. When you've had a similar experience, gentlemen, get back to me, and we can talk.


scoutldr, furthermore, I do not appreciate the constitutional gotcha questions, just because I do not agree with you about gun laws. I made a call for a more peaceful, civil discourse (from all sides, notice nowhere did I say anything about ideology), and was attacked for it, and all but accused of all sorts of "unAmerican" things. Gee, no wonder we can't have a civilized debate in this country right now.


Brent, as I said before, my son gave up the "they did it first" excuse for bad behavior when he was 4. It is no more persuasive when coming from an adult. There are extremists on both sides of the spectrum, and both need to be reined in, not fomented on by misinformation and ad hominem tactics. Which will you do?

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OK, deep breaths...like OGE says.


Dan, your personal experience certainly helps us understand your views, and I can't say that I blame you. However, if the man were within the law, he has a right not to be harassed, regardless of how nervous it makes people. I think the Octomom is "stupid" and showed "bad judgement". But as far as I know she didn't violate any laws, and there's nothing I can do except watch my tax money transferred from my wallet to hers. If we don't agree with laws, then we work to change them. Not sure what all this has to do with the healthcare debate anyway.


I just heard on TV that 83% of Americans are satisfied with their healthcare. Why don't we focus on the other 17%, instead of making 100% unhappy. Focus on the waste and fraud. Cut Medicare? There's plenty that could be cut without affecting health outcomes. As the caregiver to an elder parent, I see it firsthand.



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From what I've seen on FoxNews, the protesters at these town halls are not interested in what the congressman answers. They are there to disrupt and shout. They are not seeking answers. That disqualifies them from the discussion.


Healthcare is a huge problem in America. It consumes more and more of our money, yet we slide further down the scale on delivered results. I haven't heard anything from the anti-Obama side that deals with this. Give us some concrete ideas and help solve the problem. Standing up screaming in a meeting with gun strapped to your leg is not the way. Come on folks, can't we all just get along?

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"However, if the man were within the law, he has a right not to be harassed, regardless of how nervous it makes people."


Respectfully, I disagree. Not when the presence of the gun is coupled with a sign that all but calls for blood. And not when it potentially jeopardizes the safety of the President (and yes, I feel that way about the safety of any President).


"I just heard on TV that 83% of Americans are satisfied with their healthcare. Why don't we focus on the other 17%, instead of making 100% unhappy."


I think I'd have to see the original numbers before I believe that. A June 2009 poll by CBS and the New York Times (http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/CBSPOLL_June09a_health_care.pdf) gave these numbers:


q50 Thinking about the country as a whole, are you generally satisfied or dissatisfied with the quality of health care in this country? Would you say you are very (satisfied/dissatisfied) or somewhat (satisfied/dissatisfied)?

Very satisfied 14%

Somewhat satisfied 34%

Somewhat dissatisfied 30%

Very dissatisfied 18%

DK/NA 4%


It seems awfully coincidental that "Very dissatisfied" is pretty close to that 17%, but "very satisfied" is only 14%. A common method of manipulating statistics is to lump together everything that *isn't* the result you don't want.


In that same poll, 47% of Americans were "very satisfied" with the quality of their personal healthcare, but that was the same percentage, interestingly enough, that were "very dissatisfied" with the cost of that same healthcare.


On the other hand, I found this question rather compelling:


q43 Which of the following three statements comes closest to expressing your overall view of the health care system in the United States? 1) On the whole, the healthcare system works pretty well and only minor changes are necessary to make it work better, 2) There are some good things in our health care system, but fundamental changes are needed, 3) Our healthcare system has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it.


Minor changes 13%

Fundamental changes 51%

Rebuild 34%

Don't know/No answer 2%


That seems like an awful lot of people that think the current system need to be overhauled to some degree.

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A repost of my post from the "astroturf" thread.


Okay; personal experience. When still insured through the company, large, well funded, (insurance run by the company itself through hired advisors). Refused period to pay for annual physicals, even though all the factors point to them if you are over 40 as major factors in catching possibly high cost procedures later; I also have heart and diabetes histories in the family, as well as prostate cancer. Also refused the blood test for prostate as unnecessary, even with the family history. Regularly refused to pay doctor billed fees as not within their averages. Live in SC, L.A. metro; averages based on Southwest, including middle of the desert where things are far less expensive. My doctor usually wrote them off, but a few times I was stuck with additional bills. This is in a plan that already had $2000 deductible just for me, and was 80/20.


Then I got downsized. Oh, no problem, you can go on COBRA; right. I was in the least expensive plan at the time. But that plan was only allowed for "active" employees. My cost immediately rose to double what I paid while employed (and I no longer had a job); they also raised the deductible by $500. The next year the cost went up another $60 to $80 a month (I am now partially employed; no one hires me because of my age over 55 and "too" qualified). Well, I hang on another year with the "great" options (what the hell, at least I have insurance, right?) Goes up again by almost $120 a month; deductible is raised again. Then, I get a letter telling me that the following year the cost will more than double, and the year after that triple. So in a little over 3 years; they downsize me at 54 1/2; then they take my really great plan, which costs me about $60 a month (I have been blessed with really good health, so barely had any claims; especially since they refuse to pay for preventive stuff), it will cost me about $900, and no dental even. I cannot afford it, as I have still been unable to find full time work in retail and am subbing. At 59, I finally am working enough to simply quit looking outside of subbing, though it is tight. So, I am uninsured, sort of. I am a vet, so I was able to get VA coverage; but as a lowest level vet, I still pay some, and any serious stuff will require traveling to L.A. at my expense, about 170 mile rt. Recently, they closed all the small clinics and combined them all in one; many vets now have to travel substantial distance to see the doctor in Oxnard; I am close enough it is not too bad, but still triple the distance I was going. Turned 65 this year; guess what. Letter comes a few months before telling me that if I want medicare I need to apply now; if I don't, I will have to wait a year, and the cost will rise. Okay, since VA is a bit iffy much of the time (works for me now, as I remain healthy for the most part), I am now paying $96 a month to make sure I have it later should my family history issues kick in.


Now, one more thing. What two things may be most common as we age? Teeth and eyes. Guess what is not covered by either VA or Medicare? I did not take proper care of my gums; thought good teeth was all that mattered. Got irreversible gum disease and just lost most of my teeth. Had to take out a loan, as none of it is covered by these "great" programs. Have been legally blind without corrective lenses since I was 12 or so. Very expensive lenses, and of course the routine older people tests for gloucoma and so on. Is it covered? Nope!


One more night mare I witnessed while still working. I had an employee insured by Kaiser through her husband. 3 years before she came to work for me, with a two year old in the house at the time, she lost one breast to cancer. She came to work one day really upset and said she needed more hours as they had to pay for some expensive tests out of pocket to see if she had another growth. She had found a lump in the "remaining" breast; but Kaiser said they could not get her in for 6-8 weeks. This to a woman that had already lost one breast to cancer, and gone through a year of chemo. Yes, a long time back now; but from what I have seen, the private suppliers have just gotten worse. I have an ASM and cub leader who has been diagnosed by multiple doctors with fibromylogia; but his employer refused to change his job location and type to one he could do, then fired him when he could not do it. They had options with which they could work, but according to "their" doctors, fibromylogia is not a true diagnosis and so he was simply malingering. SCE is the company; and they did something similar to my brother years ago after he gave them 25+ years of perfect attendance. He was diagnosed with diabetes, but because initially they did not prescribe insulin, he did not have it; and because he was on rotating shifts, they would not let him work a steady shift in order to stabilize his body clock. In both these cases with SCE, the union has been pretty much useless. At least my brother had enough time to get his full retirement; the ASM is in serious hurt right now and has a 9 1/2 year old son.


Point is; I am better off than a large percentage, yet look at the facts that have actually occurred with me, and with people I know. The system currently in force is broken, almost beyond repair. And that includes much of the already government run stuff. Something needs to happen. Are the current proposals the solution? Still too early to know; but before we throw it all out due to complete hysteria and misinformation, lets look at it without the input of industry paid pawns and without either rose glasses or blinders.


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Misinformation? I'll be nice and call this misinformation:


Obama claims AARP has endorsed the proposed healthcare plan. AARP responded, saying they haven't endorsed anything. So, maybe we should report him to the "White House Misinformation Bureau"?

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From the Rasmussen Report, an independent polling agency:


Favor single payer healthcare program: 32% for 57% against


51% fear Govt more than insurance companies


54% oppose more money for "Cash for Clunkers" (We the People lost)


54% favor middle class tax cuts over more healthcare spending


Only 35% say US is heading in the right direction


Of PA residents, 42% favor healthcare plan, 53% oppose


And in MASS, which has a mandatory health insurance law:


Only 26 percent of likely voters in Massachusetts believe health care reform has been a success and just 21 percent believe reform has made health care more affordable, according to newly released poll results," The State House News Service/Boston Herald reports. "The Rasmussen Reports poll of 500 likely Massachusetts voters, taken in April, also found only 10 percent said the quality of health care is getting better under the reform law rules here." "The poll was taken before talks stirred in Washington about a national health care reform push and before a wave of news in Massachusetts about difficulty affording the coverage expansions authorized under the 2006 reform law" (6/29).


THAT's why we're angry. Our representatives are NOT representing the will of the people.


(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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Brent, source, please?


Scoutldr, I'm not sure what "reform" in Mass they are talking about. There has been no "reform" that I have experienced other than to require that everyone have insurance or be penalized on their taxes. The system itself has not changed for me, or the vast majority of the privately insured in Mass.


"Only 35% say US is heading in the right direction"


I'm curious on a date for that. The number have changed dramatically even within the last few months, and it is hard to keep track. The latest polls I've seen, it was split about 50/50, and still on an upward slope. When you are climbing up from 24% at this same time last year, 35% is an improvement. Context is everything.


"Our representatives are NOT representing the will of the people."


Well, actually, it seems that the problem is that the government is not representing the will of a very loud minority of the people, those who feel they "lost" in the last election. It is interesting to look at polls when they show partisan split, because the numbers are so drastically different.

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