The Revolt Has Begun!

If you’re wondering why the Obama Administration and Democratically-controlled Congress was in a mad clamour to pass a health care before the August recess this is the reason why – to avoid the mad clamour of their constituents at home. Here are a few clips from around the country of the citizens beginning to revolt. (Actually the revolt began back on April 15th.)

***Update***
Here is a recent clip from the protest at Harry Mitchell’s office courtesy of the Arizona Republican Party (Thanks Matt!)

For months, I have been hearing the anger growing louder and louder. If you think these citizens are angry, it’s just beginning.

Now a clip from a recent town hall that I organized on behalf of The Americans for Prosperity Foundation. This event took place in North Phoenix between legislative districts 6, 7 & 8. Present at the meeting were State Representative Sam Crump and State Senator Jack Harper. Tom Jenney spoke as did Lee Vliet and Byron Schlomach. This event was NOT a congressional town hall meeting. Members of Americans for Prosperity were invited as were members of the public. The meeting was conducted in a very civilized manner and although attendees were angry and got a little loud, there were no fistacuffs nor threats of violence. However, the following clip shows members of the Progressive Democrats challenging factual information and personal information of one of the speakers in an attempt to persuade attendees using an emotional appeal. We later learned that these folks are involved with LD-15 Democratic leadership.


Comments

  1. I am curious if readers find the clips shown as representing those that are against the current health care reform proposals in a positive light or not. Since these protests have been organized by FreedomWorks and/or AFP, I wonder if people feel that those groups are doing a good job of informing the participants of facts?

    The last video show seems a little out of place. The women is claiming that she is a data analyst by profession and that the numbers being discussed are incorrect. It is not clear what the “emotional appeal” being made here is, and it is a shame that we don’t see the rest of her argument so we can judge for ourselves whether her criticisms are correct or not. In comparison to what we see in the other videos, this person is attempting to make a factual argument regarding claims being made by opponents. Are we to be disturbed that a democrat went to a meeting and tried to correct data she found incorrect instead of just shouting “Just say NO!” or demanding that “stay out of my healthcare” until, of course, one becomes the age to qualify for Medicare.

  2. kralmajales says

    Todd says: “Since these protests have been organized by FreedomWorks and/or AFP, I wonder if people feel that those groups are doing a good job of informing the participants of facts?”

    Todd,

    I wonder how many know that they are acting as shills for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Their anger is clearly misplaced and very poorly informed. Most make far less than any tax increase, many are on Medicaid for gods sake, and in the end, most will be far worse off than anything that the GOP is offering…which is more of the same.

    Last, this is the kind of anger that splits parties…and creates political realignments. Don’t look to close at your own movement DSW, you miss other dynamics that might just sweep this movement into a vocal but longterm minority force.

    The economy is slowly getting better…might be humming about the time this anger reaches any real election.

  3. kralmajales,
    Yes, what is even more interesting is that if the US did in fact go to a single payer system, which is completely not really being discussed but seems to be the scarecrow being set up, they would likely see their wages go up as employers and they would not be contributing to health insurance plans and the overall cost of care would go down.

  4. New Handle says

    Look, the cost of the latest high-tech care will never go down. The cost of low-tech care will follow the cost model of computers and cell phones and landscapers and hot dog vendors.

    It is getting more and more expensive to live more and more days past the end of your “natural” life. You get what you pay for. And be happy with the bargain. Why on earth would you ask me to pay for it?

  5. It is clear that these are organized attempts to shut down debate. The special interests that these people are tools of have no interest in dialogue or contributing to a solution to what is a real problem.

    If they succeed in blocking any kind of legislation – many of us, on the left as well as the right – have problems with parts of the suggested plans (there is no cohesive plan as of now, but competing proposals, all of which are open to changes) – the problems in our health care system will remain, the solutions put off to another year just as stopping any debate in 1993 and 1994 produced even higher costs, more uninsured, and greater problems.

    It’s unfortunate, but health care – one-sixth of our economy, far more than in any other industrialized nation – is a highly complex issue and problem not amenable to simplistic solutions and far beyond the ability of uneducated people such as those who post at Sonoran Alliance and their ilk to comprehend or even to discuss intelligently.

    Two-year-olds readily say “No!” to everything. That is the mentality we normal Americans are dealing with when we have to put up with these kinds of people.

  6. Matt – great job. Love seeing seniors on Medicare complaining about keeping government out of our health care.

  7. Todd n’ Kral:

    Government health care has been in effect in Britain for over half a century and in Canada for the past decade and a half.

    Yet I don’t hear you guys sounding off on the superiority of these health care systems!

    Why the silence?

  8. Speaking loudly makes you neither right – nor wrong.

    Likewise, making blanket statements about the intellect of another group is not a very intelligent thing to do, Mr. Grayson.

    Finally, I take issue with the contention that a simplistic answer cannot solve difficult or even complex problems. Indeed, simplicity often serves us well – I cite the Constitution, as a whole. The complete sentence, “No,” is also elegant in its simplicity and is powerful – I cite Life.

  9. Carlist
    Canada has a superior system. the BHS has some real problems. I would also look at the best of the French system or something that is not even a single payer like the Netherlands. There are many examples of universal systems out there that all have lower costs with as good as or better outcomes as the US system.

  10. BTW, this is somewhat of a red herring since no proposal coming out of Congress or going to have any resemblance to either the Canadian or British system.

  11. All I can say is if these gatherings are organized, it’s about friggin time! Those taxpayers paying into the system better get organized against the ACORN thugs who would suck the life and money out of this country!

  12. kralmajales says

    Carlist,

    Respectfully, I agree with Todd. First, this healthcare plan is no where near that of Canada or Britain…yet you all are opposing it anyway. The costs for the new system are going to, at best, be on those who buy boutique plans (the most expensive) and those are quite often the richest of Americans.

    As for what I am advocating for? Absolutely, I would like a system more like that of Canada or France or the like…frankly…I would just be ok with a public insurance option to go along with the private system so that those uninsured can get it.

    And why shouldn’t those without insurance have a chance to be insured by a public plan? Because you don’t want to pay for it. My guess is that you don’t make $250K…so you wont be paying for it anyway.

    Last, America just isn’t number one in this anymore or even close. We are NOT the best…we have slipped.

    You argument that we are the best…just like most opposed to anything but this failed system…is based on mistruth.

  13. Kral says, “And why shouldn’t those without insurance have a chance to be insured by a public plan? Because you don’t want to pay for it. My guess is that you don’t make $250K…so you wont be paying for it anyway.”

    Let’s go slowly –

    1.”Those without insurance” are not one group. This is a fact that you are over looking and it needs to be addressed and not overlooked and dismisssed. Now who’s being simplistic?

    2.”A chance to be insured” – are you talking about being insured or provided healthcare? – this is not the same thing. This also deserves scrutiny and discussion.

    3.”Because you don’t want to pay for it?” – Why not ask, “Because you don’t want me to take your money and give it to whomever I want?” If the answer was, “No,” to either, shouldn’t that be enough in a free country? If it’s not, are we free?

    4. “My guess is that you don’t make $250K” – Don’t trust your guessing. This is not a way to spend trillions of dollars.

    5.”so you wont be paying for it anyway.” – The fact is that in our economy, when one takes from another, the consequences resonate throughout the entire economy. That is a fact.

  14. kralmajales says

    Here is a link to just how greatour system isn’t and just how great America is NOT in healthcare.

    This, by the way, is from a foundation (non-profit) established by UnitedHealth Group. Not some liberal group but an insurance company.

    Please read this link before you argue that our healthcare system is so superior to those in Europe and Canada.

    http://www.americashealthrankings.org/2008/othernations.html

  15. What if people don’t need any other fact than we don’t want government run healthcare?

  16. kralmajales says

    My response to your points Travis:

    Let’s go slowly –

    1.”Those without insurance” are not one group. This is a fact that you are over looking and it needs to be addressed and not overlooked and dismisssed. Now who’s being simplistic?

    Response: Of course it is not one group, but it is darn clear that we have millions…soem say 15 million or more without insurance. Yes, some are college students but many are those without jobs. I did not even get into the fact that many don’t receive coverage because they are denied care by insurance that they do have. There is no question its broken…and that other countries lead us in results.

    2.”A chance to be insured” – are you talking about being insured or provided healthcare? – this is not the same thing. This also deserves scrutiny and discussion.

    3.”Because you don’t want to pay for it?” – Why not ask, “Because you don’t want me to take your money and give it to whomever I want?” If the answer was, “No,” to either, shouldn’t that be enough in a free country? If it’s not, are we free?

    Response:

    Talk about simplistic. “In a free country my money shouldn’t be given to another” places you in fantasy land. Your money, in this free country, went to the war in Iraq, pays for medicare, cops…a lot of things you like and don’t like I am sure. I think this program is right, fair, will improve America and give MORE Americans that freedom you so flippantly throw around. Those without insurance or who can’t afford it, or who are denied, may have the same freedom to live that you and I do….who have insurance.

    4. “My guess is that you don’t make $250K” – Don’t trust your guessing. This is not a way to spend trillions of dollars.

    It is absolutely the way to spend out tax revenues. It is cheaper than wars by far and will do more to save businesses money, and employees money, than any system we have now. My insurance is going up again this year, is yours? I bet it is. If I were an employer, my costs out of my business are far more to me than what this program might do for me and others…not to mention the ethics of it again.

    5.”so you wont be paying for it anyway.” – The fact is that in our economy, when one takes from another, the consequences resonate throughout the entire economy. That is a fact

    Ha! When one takes from another…again… you dont live in a liberatarian state…in fact…there isn’t one in this world and if there was, I bet you wouldn’t want to live in it anyway (I will spare you why). The world we live in has taxes, has spending that benefits society. This program will benefit millions and will likely make us more competitive globally with countries where their industries and businesses dont have to shell out for this at all (although this plan is NOT that kind of plan either).

  17. kralmajales says

    Travis…be smart. This is NOT government run healthcare. It is NOT. You all can lie to each other, to yourselves, but don’t lie to America.

    And, if it were, shouldn’t you make a real case with real facts as to why our system is better than one that is even partially govt. provided?

    Again, medicare ain’t perfect, fed insurance ain’t either, but it is way better than the alternative.

    And..if anyone on here is on Medicare, folks WE pay your freakin care. Let the market try to cover you…you won’t be able to afford it. Who would insure you when you are 80, 70, even 60…and at what cost. MARKETS FAIL…

  18. OK, then if it’s not government run healthcare, then we’re done talking. Private healthcare is fine with me. I’m glad we cleared that up. I’m so smart. That didn’t take me long. I just needed you to tell me what to think.

  19. James Davidson says

    Liberals (and you know who you are):

    1. Are you advocating that we in the United States cut the amount that we spend on health care in the last year of a person’s life to what Canada spends, or Britain spends, or France spends? If so, please say so. If no, tell us how you are going to “bend the curve” down for Medicare?

    2. Is the “public option” going to be subsidized in any way by tax money, now or ever? If yes, explain how that will not over time drive private insurance out of business over time, as Congressman Barney Frank admitted and as President Obama admitted to the SEIU when he was candidate Obama? If no, then I’m all for it, because it is doomed to failure and will expose now and forever the defects in a government-run system.

    3. Life expectancy is higher in Japan by four years than in the U.S. But Japan has the highest life expectancy of any industrialized country. Why?

  20. James – France spends half per capita of what the US spends and they are healthier and come out better on almost every measure of outcomes. Unfortunately, the proposals being considered now have nothing in common with the French health care system so maybe we should also argue about the Argentinian, Greek and Turkish health care while we are arguing about systems that aren’t even being proposed.

    I think the plan taking shape with the public option might very well be a dud because I still don’t believe that as it will actually be run that it will lower costs. The health care lobby just is too powerful and will be able to pressure Congress to gut any attempts to seriously bring costs down. I think liberals are making a mistake putting so much emphasis on a plan which will likely just subsidize insurance and drug companies. This is why so much is focused on killing the public option but not getting rid of the mandates, which should be more upsetting to people in many respects.

  21. James Davidson says

    Todd,

    Fair points, but we are not writing on a clean slate. That’s why I posed my three questions. I often hear Britain spends such and such less than the U.S. as a percentage of GDP, Canada spends such and such less, France spends such and such less, etc., and they all have better outcomes and longer life expectancies.

    To make sense of the comparison, it behooves us to ask why the U.S. spends more of its GDP than other countries, which is why I posed my first question. It seems to me that the big cost in the U.S. system, as compared to systems in other industrial countries, is what the U.S. spends in the last year of a person’s life. My bet is that it is quite a bit more than what other advanced countries spend. I invite the liberals on this blog to tell me whether I am right or wrong. If I am right, and I think I am, the only way to significantly “bend the curve” down is to cut off Grandma or Grandpa and just let them die. Is that what we really want? I don’t. Neither the administration nor Congress has been upfront about this.

    I will grant you that other countries probably spend their health care dollars more wisely in the earlier years when prevention may be furthered, and we should study and emulate them. That is why I posed my third question.

    As for the public option, liberals should be honest that it really is a stalking horse to get to single payer. If it is subsidized, it clearly is a stalking horse and eventually will drive private insurance out of business. If it is not subsidized, it will flop out of the box. So which is it, subsidized or not?

    Congressman Frank let the cat out of the bag. President Obama is caught on video doing the same thing, though his spokesperson is now asking us to disbelieve our own ears and eyes.

  22. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyVEXzpwM6c

    AZ gets their congressmen too.

  23. kralmajales says

    The logic of end of life doesn’t hold James. No one is advocating cutting off grandpa and grandma and letting them die.

    In fact, we are somewhere in the 20s or 30s in life expectancy.

    Folks in Europe live longer…and have lower cost.

    The logic doesn’t hold.

    It the way we price and use what is not even a market to do so.

  24. James Davidson says

    Kral,

    You didn’t answer the questions. If you did, you would see why the logic does hold.

    The overall life expectancy in most European countries is slightly greater than that of the United States. The question is why? The next question is what are life expectancies when one comes down with the life-ending disease?

    The United States concentrates an enormous amount of resources to fight the life ending disease, far more than the European countries or Japan. If you are going to “bend the curve down” as Obama wants to do, you are going to have to cut off Grandma and Grandpa in fighting the final battle. Face it. That’s what the Europeans and Japanese do.

    Let’s emulate the Europeans and Japanese in healthier living so that the final disease comes later in life. That’s how they get a few more years of life on evarage. Let’s not emulate them in cutting back what we spend on Grandma and Grandpa when they get really sick.

    Finally, I haven’t heard a thing on whether the public option will be subsidized (a stalking horse) or not subsidized (a sure flop.)

  25. In answer to Kral:”It is absolutely the way to spend out tax revenues. It is cheaper than wars by far and will do more to save businesses money, and employees money, than any system we have now. My insurance is going up again this year, is yours? I bet it is. If I were an employer, my costs out of my business are far more to me than what this program might do for me and others…not to mention the ethics of it again.”

    1.Interesting that everytime liberals talk to conservatives the answer is, “What about war?” Off topic.

    2.Your bet is wrong on my insurance. My family and I haven’t been insured for over 10 years. We simply pay out of pocket. Makes your head spin, huh?

    3. All your imaging yourself being an employer doesn’t compete with the fact that I’m an employer of 1-5 employees – that is until the government took my entire business away and gave it to someone else. Hopefully, I will be able to recover and the Democrats will not find a way to take over my next endeavor.

  26. James,
    I believe a recent (maybe a 2-3 years ago) study out of Dartmouth Medical, showed that end of life care in the US varies drastically from state to state so it is not clear to me if the comparison is so simple.

    However, about 10% of all health care costs in the US go to last year of life care. Of course this amount of support has been under the single-payer, universal system know as Medicare. This is the same percentage of health care spending devoted to the last year of life care that one finds in Europe and Canada. Now, some of the US amount may be supplemented by additional private health insurance through work retirement benefits or through Medicare supplemental insurance. Since even less than 1/3 of insurance premiums may go to actual care in the US, this may actually mean that less money in the US actually goes to end-of life care, but I don’t know the details of some of the calculations so I would not state that conclusively.

  27. I don’t have time to read all the posts right now..but I do have one question…if it isn’t government run health care, why is the government setting the rules, determining how it will be implemented, and paying the bill…thru our tax collections?

  28. James Davidson says

    Todd,

    Point 1: I’m familiar with the Dartmouth Atlas project, but I always have been skeptical about any project that is heavily funded by insurance companies. I was surprised that the New Yorker, of all magazines, would give it prominence, knowing its provenance.

    The study suggests that medicare spends much less in the last year of a patient’s life in some areas, such as Portland or Minnesota, than in other areas, such as Miami or Los Angeles. On one level that suggests that so-called greedy doctors conregate in certain towns and milk the system by over prescribing treatment at the end of life. Now you know where Obama got his line about the doctor performing an unneeded tonsilectomy.

    If the Dartmouth study is accurate, and it has been attacked in the professional literature, isn’t that ammunition for those who oppose a government-run program? Because, as you point out, Medicare is purely a government run program and, if the Dartmouth study is right, it tolerates enormous waste with little result to show for it. Why would Obama Care be different when brought to the entire country?

    Point 2: Percentages are deceiving. You say Europe and Canada spend ten percent of total health care costs in the last year of life, the same percent of health care costs as in the U.S. I’d like to know the source of that statistic. Regardless, ten percent of 18 percent of GDP is a lot more than ten percent of six percent of GDP. If you are right on the percentages (and I doubt it) that means the U.S. spends 1.8% of GDP on Grandma and Grandpa at the end, while Canada and Europe spend only 0.6 percent. Who is being miserly with the old folks? — and as you point out, that does not include private insurance.

    Point 3: Liberals out there, I’m still waiting to find out whether the public option will be subsidized with tax money (a stalking horse to get to single payer) or self-supporting (a guaranteed flop.)

    Point 4: Medicare isn’t a single-payer system. It’s a ponzi scheme, and it’s about ready to go broke. If a private insurance company ran such a scheme, it’s managemnt would end up in jail.

  29. James, if overall costs are lower for the components of the care it is not surprising that it is less percent of GDP. I’m just not clear on what basis there is to claim Europeans care of the elderly is somehow less than what the US care is. Do you have some data to back up the claim? Is there some reason to believe that Europeans care less for the well-being of their elderly parents?

  30. Ann,
    It seems that it is a government mandated insurance plan that is going to subsidize the insurance for many people in some way. The public option which may not even make it is clearly run by the government.

    It tells me something about where the “outrage” is coming from that the public option seems to be the source of anger not the mandating of insurance.

  31. James Davidson says

    Todd,

    You are thoughtful and I enjoy debating this issue with you, but I think you are mistaken.

    Maybe this will give you part of the answer you want. Britain’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence issues guidelines to the National Health Service about what treatments are and are not to be provided to the elderly. It does so based on its QALY scale (quality-adjusted life year.) This is a form of rationing. If you’re too old and too sick, you’re not going to get certain treatments. Recall that they tried to cut off Herceptin to breast cancer victims. I don’t know if they backed off or not.

    Ultimately Obama care will lead to rationing of medicare. That means at some point letting Grandma or Grandpa just die rather than spending the money on them. It won’t be soon, and maybe not even within the life of his administration, but it’s certain if he gets his way. It will be justified by saying the resources are better spent on the young or for prevention.

    Liberals: I am still waiting to hear from you on whether the public option will be tax subsidized (stalking horse for single payer) or self-sustaing (a bigger flop than cash for clunkers.)

  32. James,
    As I have stated, I think the BHS is a not a good universal system and would not want to see it replicated in the US. I. I would happily look at evidence that systems with universal coverage and lower per capita costs are leading to a trend allowing elderly to die rather than be treated. One would expect to see this in lower life expectancies or some other solid measure. I would also expect to see wide-scale dissatisfaction amongst people in those countries who are seeing their elders being allowed to die.

    There are many other factors that account for lower costs in these systems. Among these are lower drug costs due to systems setting prices and also lower pay for some types of doctors (hence, one reason the AMA is so against this in the US). It is also the case that there is significant cost added to the system because of the health care is delivered to the uninsured and the way private insurance works.

    Lastly, I find it odd to see Republican politicians bring this issue up since one of the big issues for the GOP in Congress under the last Dem administration was to reduce Medicare spending through cutting funding growth to the system and not through any other means such as mechanisms that would bring down costs. This clearly would have lead to changes in care, yet the same people claiming to be so concerned that the changes being proposed now is going to hurt the elderly where behind this previous effort.

  33. kralmajales says

    Travis,

    Who in govt. took your business away from you and why? I would like to know.

    And, if you are/were a small business owner, and pay out of pocket, then you should know more than anyone how much costs go up in this market system of ours and how little you would have left of YOUR money. The taxes you would pay for a public option would almost certainly be lower than you paying out of pocket month to month…and if it isn’t now, I bet it would be close. And, in the long run, it would certainly be cheapr.

    Of the subject again, but who in govt. took away your business and how? I am quick to defend the little guy (as a liberal) and if that happened to you and it wasn’t your fault…then I would certainly call it a travesty.

  34. Curious if anyone has reported this thread to flag@whitehouse.gov? I’ll be waiting for he knock on the door.

  35. Kral, My experience with paying out of pocket has been very positive over the last decade. I am very aware of both my care and what I pay for that care. I pay significantly less than those who choose to pay through insurance.

    There will be no direct negotiating of costs if the government is in control of either providing healthcare or controling the costs of insurance (demanding everyone pay for insurance.)

    I don’t pay for healthcare for my employees. I pay them a great wage and encourage them to take care of their healthcare themselves.

    Regarding the taking of my business, I was the vendor for someone with a government contract and the government decided that they would no longer allow the person to use their own vendors. They took all the accounts I once had and gave them to an out -of-state vendor whom they chose. It looks very much like a “good-ol’ boy” move. Very similar to Chicago actually.

  36. James Davidson says

    Todd,

    Like Saul on the road to Damascus, it’s never too late to be converted. What I think the Republican Congress was doing in the late 90s, approved by a Democrat President, was limiting reimbursement rates for hospitals and doctors. The effects are to (1) make hospitals and doctors become more efficient, (2) force some waste and abuse out of the system, and (3) shift costs to private payers. Unfortunately too much of the last occurred, with the result that private payers are subsidizing medicare patients to a degree.

    If Dartmouth is right and there is needless or useless treatment in some cities compared to others, by all means Obama should squeeze that out of the system. But does he need Congress to do it? Can’t he take care of that with his existing authority? He certainly does not need the stalking-horse public option to do so.

    If we get to single payer, it is inevitable that triage will enter the system, with the government deciding it must ration limited resources to where it will get the best result for the buck. The inevitable calculation, as NICE does in Britain with QALY-s, is not to spend money on folks who are dying anyways except for palliative care. Isn’t that always the result whenever you have a Beveridge-type health system?

  37. James Davidson says

    Todd,

    I have another question for you. In universal care systems, how successful have they been with new drugs or miracle cures or are they mainly free-riding on the vast sums America spends to develop new drugs and treatments, as Canada has done?

  38. James,
    I don’t really know how to answer this. I do know that of the top 5 pharmaceutical companies in terms of sales only one, Pfizer, is based in the US.

    I also understand that most new drugs that come to market are largely alterations of other drugs to keep patent protections. Most truly innovative discoveries from the US have been actually initially developed in academia or through NIH funding.

  39. James,
    As to the question of single-payer systems having some form of triage, it seems to me all systems perform triage, it can either be done through determining what is the most effective care that can be given within a certain budget or it can be done based on using those with the most money receive the most care. Additionally, our current system incentivizes denial of care for those who even have insurance. The private insurance bureaucracy, which consumes 1/3 of the funds it receives much of it from practices which deny care to people, certainly do this now.

  40. I attended the AFP townhall featured in the last video clip. After the event, I went up to the speakers to thank them for their time. The woman speaking in the video (data analyst) got to the economist from Goldwater ahead of me. She literally screamed at him, “You’re a liar! You made up that data! You’re a liar!” The economist informed her that he got his data from the government and she just repeated that he was a liar and data fabricator. I and another attendee informed her that she should check out BLS,etc. She walked away and began to attack the other speaker, a physician, accusing the doctor of making up stories yet had no facts of her own. She did not positively represent LD 15 Democrats but rather came off as an angry, bitter person who wanted everyone else to pay for her needs.

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