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Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef?

by TChris

In a speech at Wendy's corporate headquarters yesterday, the president "took on critics" of his plan to expand health savings accounts. Countering charges that the plan benefits the wealthy while giving no relief to 45 million uninsured Americans, the president said "It's kind of like saying, 'If you're not making a lot of money, you can't make decisions for yourself'."

No, it's more like saying, "If you have a low-paying job at a fast food chain like Wendy's that doesn't provide you with a comprehensive health insurance benefit, you're screwed because you can't save enough in a health savings account to cover your medical bills."

Here's another absurdity:

Mr. Bush's position is that the accounts will make people more conscious of the money they are spending for their medical needs and will ultimately help drive down the nation's health care costs through competition.

True, people who can't afford health care become "conscious of the money they are spending for their medical needs." As a consequence, they forego needed health care until they end up in an emergency room. Does that really drive down health care costs?

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  • Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Che's Lounge on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 08:19:47 AM EST
    Impeach

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 08:34:35 AM EST
    Go quail hunting with dick.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 08:34:42 AM EST
    The GOP stock answer would be "don't work at Wendy's". Sounds good, but then who will cook burgers for the masses? I think the people that cook for us, clean for us, care for our elderly, ring up our purchases...the whole ever expanding service industry, deserve medical care. Let's figure out how to do it and put aside theoretical pipe dream savings accounts, which as TL so aptly put it, do no good when you only make enough to make ends meet, and have nothing to save.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:02:10 AM EST
    I think the people that cook for us, clean for us, care for our elderly, ring up our purchases...the whole ever expanding service industry, deserve medical care. Are YOU offering to pay for that medical care, Kdog?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:13:01 AM EST
    We already do, genius. When people who can''t afford to pay go to the emergency room, where do you think the cost goes? Hint: the answer is not "magical healthcare-cost leprechauns."

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:22:23 AM EST
    We already do, genius. When people who can''t afford to pay go to the emergency room, where do you think the cost goes? So you and Kdog pay for all indigent medical care costs? Somehow I doubt that. Oh, you mean "we" as in "we who pay our own medical bills"? All well and good, so why do you want to change the system? As usual, the liberal position on medical care is that everyone else should have to pay for it for them. Rather than complain about Bush not promoting such a stupid policy, why not set out to convince a majority of the people who would have to actually pay the bills in the form of higher taxes that it's a good idea? Oh, right. You tried that and it didn't go down so well, did it? Spare the sarcasm, "genius".

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:48:07 AM EST
    jpaul...I'm willing to chip in with part of my taxes. It could be arranged without raising taxes, just shifting priorities. One new warplane or space shuttle equals lifetime medical care for thousands, for example. It's certainly a tough issue with no easy solution...Personally I think we need either bare bones socialized medicine where the govt. can negotiate the best prices with the health care industry, or mandate that employers provide bare bones health insurance benefits. I've heard convincing arguments that having so many uninsured actually increases costs to the taxpayer since the uninsured don't get preventative medical care, they only seek medical attention when it's too late and the cost is huge, and picked up by the rest of us. I prefer the liberal position to the conservative position, which the best I can tell is "f 'em, let them suffer and die" or "not my problem". I guess it depends if you want to live in a compassionate society or a dog eat dog one.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#8)
    by roy on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:52:26 AM EST
    Dubya is being disengenuous, but he sort of has a point. Basic economics teaches that we're less careful spending others' money than we are spending our own. If everybody is spending everybody else's money -- which is pretty much the case now -- hospitals don't need to compete on price. People are more willing to pay high prices, and more willing to buy things they don't need, because it's not their money. So prices rise. The big problem is that when it comes to health care, the poorest people either buy it with others' money or they die young. Savings plans won't solve that problem, but they might reduce it a bit. There's enough people who can afford health care by saving that, if they start caring about price because they're spending their own money, hospitals will have to lower prices to compete with each other. And they'll be more conservative about going to the hospital unnecessarily, lowering the demand side of the supply & demand equation. The poorest won't benefit -- zero money will still buy zero treatment. Those on the fringe will benefit by being able to afford preventive medicine as it becomes cheaper. The rest of us, those not currently screwed, will continue to get good health care and save some money. It's a theory anyway. Beware libertarians touting free market magic.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:57:59 AM EST
    justpaul - BION, when someone without insurance goes to the ER, someone is going to pay for it. Now if they can't pay, the usual way is to fold that cost back into the operating cost and charge the paying customers. Just like anyother business. As to how to pay for National Health Care, it is obvious that it will be a tax. My favorite is a 5% national tax on everything except none processed food. You probably won't see it, but your employer will, a huge insurance savings. i.e. They aren't paying anymore. Maybe you can get some of that, maybe you won't. But if you decide to leave and start your own business, health cost issues won't stop you. To those who will cry look at Canada, fine. We don't have to repeat their mistakes. To those who say that the government will mess up the system I say you just haven't taken a close up and personal look at what we have now. And just as only Nixon could open China, only the Repubs can do this.

    As usual, the liberal position on medical care is that everyone else should have to pay for it for them.
    And the "compassionate" position is that the poor should go ahead and die and reduce the surplus population. How Dickensian. jp, do you really want sick people working in our fast food joints?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#11)
    by alapip on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 09:59:44 AM EST
    c'mon kdog, don't you realize if a person is born into poverty or other disadvantaging circumstances, it's their own fault? you're showing way too much empathy for your fellowman. even though it would actually cost our society less as a percentage of GNP for universal healthcare, we have to consider the poor insurance companies and HMOs that would be hurt, taking away some badly needed profits from the rich, not to mention lobbyist donations from our congressmen.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#12)
    by swingvote on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:06:35 AM EST
    I guess it depends if you want to live in a compassionate society or a dog eat dog one. You know, Kdog, on the grounds that some people are doing without, we could justify an awful lot, if we chose to. So you want socialized healthcare, "free" to the masses. Why not food? Plenty of people are hungry. Why not higher wages? Plenty of people making the minimum wage. Why not free gasoline, or at least free mass transit? Plenty of people can't get around? Why not free heating oil? Penty of people can't afford to heat their homes to 80 degrees all winter. Why not free electricity? Plenty of people can't afford to cool their homes to 54 degrees all summer. Why not free clothing? Plenty of people can't afford the latest fashions. Sure, some of these seem pretty damn inconsequential to you and me, but to others they may seem far more important than "free healthcare", especially if they have healthcare. I would prefer the government simply stopped taking so much out of my paycheck, period, and left me with the responsibility of taking care of myself. Maybe then I could afford to buy some health insurance too. As it is, your compassionate answer is to take even more of my paycheck to pay for someone else's healthcare. Gee thanks. jp, do you really want sick people working in our fast food joints? Brilliant repartee, Quaker. Proving once again that the only answer any liberal ever has for a perceived problem is yet another giant government boondoggle. Whether Wendy's offers healthcare to its employees is a matter between Wendy's and its employees; nothing in the U.S. Constitution grants the federal government the authority to step in and force them to do so. If you feel so badly for those workers, why not set up a nonprofit healthcare company and provide them with the care they need? George Soros could fund it with his pocket change.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#13)
    by alapip on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:10:42 AM EST
    wow, justpaul. enough straw men there to start a pretty big fire!

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Johnny on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:12:41 AM EST
    I truly like Jim's idea.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#15)
    by alapip on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:15:37 AM EST
    we must all remember that the 'Right' are always right, because their righteous. the fact that they're selfish and narrow minded (the opposite of their Jesus) is of no concern. hypocrisy is in the eye of the secularist?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Peaches on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:17:20 AM EST
    I truly like Jim's idea.
    I wouldn't hold your breath
    And just as only Nixon could open China, only the Repubs can do this.


    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#17)
    by alapip on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:20:52 AM EST
    peaches, at the present time, only the Republicans could. trouble is, only the Democrats would.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#18)
    by swingvote on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:32:30 AM EST
    enough straw men there to start a pretty big fire! Care to name one? Or is that the total of your knowledge on the subject? Strawmen about strawmen; another TalkLeft classic.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Peaches on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:37:18 AM EST
    I would prefer the government simply stopped taking so much out of my paycheck, period, and left me with the responsibility of taking care of myself.
    Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Another Rugged Individualist. You are so freaken Talented like the thousands of others who have blathered on about the same stupid myth. It would be nice if everytime some one asked to be left with the responsibility of taking care of themself, we could ship them to some remote island--away from everyone--so they can do just that and they wouldn't have to try and get along with anyone. Try a new angle, the American West died out long ago.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#20)
    by alapip on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:46:44 AM EST
    just paul - re: strawmen - " Care to name one? Or is that the total of your knowledge on the subject?" jeez, read your own post. you listed a bunch of them, one by one. i say again - jeez

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:48:27 AM EST
    Insurance companies have been making hundreds of millions per year, my guess is that a national plan is not only affordable, it could be a profit center. See the government could charge for it and make the fees affordable on scale, and make a little money to be reinvested in other social programs. I am not for bigger government in any way shape or form, however all the bellyaching about pulling yourself up by the boot straps is tired. People should have access to health care and should not lose everything because they have cancer or some other life threatening illness. Problem is, once the gov't gets a hold of anything they find a way to make it not only lose money, but lose it at record paces. Of course the Post Office seems to be doing well, perhaps we could them manage it.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#22)
    by swingvote on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:53:57 AM EST
    jeez, read your own post. you listed a bunch of them, one by one If so, you should be able to identify them and refute them. That you can't simply shows that you've learned the term "straw men" from your liberal primer, but you still don't know what it means or how it's actually used. Nice try, but no cookie for you!

    Let's see, Bush is willing to piss away hundreds of billions on settling a family score in Iraq, was willing to piss away a trillion or more on wrecking social security, but needs to pinch pennies on keeping the lower class peasants from dropping dead. Yeah that about sums up Republican priorities.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:01:37 AM EST
    As it is, your compassionate answer is to take even more of my paycheck to pay for someone else's healthcare. Gee thanks
    No jpaul...re-read my post. I said this could be accomplished without a tax increase, just a change in priorities. How many doctor visits will scrapping the Mars space program pay for? As others have said...we already pay. No one is refused medical care at an emergency room...and thank goodness for that. Why not socialize it and make it cheaper for every taxpayer? Seems to me like we've got everything to gain (healthier countrymen spared from suffering at a lower cost to the rest of us) and nothing to lose.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Peaches on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:13:21 AM EST
    JP, Since when is the strawman argument a liberal primer. straw man -- A fallacy that occurs when someone attacks a less defensible position than the one actually being put forth. This occurs very often in politics, when one seeks to derive maximum approval for himself/herself or for a cause. OK, Now read your post and list of fallacies. It is a classic use of the strawman fallacy. Health care was the subject and you put forth "less defensible positions" such as this gem.
    Why not free electricity? Plenty of people can't afford to cool their homes to 54 degrees all summer.
    I mean, think of it, the cost to lower indoor tempreatures to 54 degrees during the heat of the summer--and everyone would have to wear a parka indoors. Who could defend that?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#26)
    by alapip on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:22:48 AM EST
    justpaul - (misleading name. you look to me to be far from 'just'.) re: straw men - again "If so, you should be able to identify them and refute them." don't need to refute them. they are there and very obvious to any one with an open mind who knows what a straw man is. look the term up and reread the post in question. maybe the problem is, you've been concentrating too much on "eating dogs". a chocolate chip cookie would do just fine - thanks.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:22:54 AM EST
    That you can't simply shows that you've learned the term "straw men" from your liberal primer, but you still don't know what it means or how it's actually used.
    justpaul, you are mistaken as to the meaning of "Straw Man". You attempted to distort the issue at hand by listing a bunch of "why not make X free" statements. Immediately following your "why not make X free" list, you then state:
    Sure, some of these seem pretty damn inconsequential to you and me, but to others they may seem far more important than "free healthcare", especially if they have healthcare.
    This is an attempt to distort and divert attention to the issue being discussed. Click here for a description of "Straw Man". Jim,
    My favorite is a 5% national tax on everything except none processed food.
    I like your idea.
    To those who say that the government will mess up the system I say you just haven't taken a close up and personal look at what we have now.
    Very good point. The system is out of control.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:24:20 AM EST
    This is an attempt to distort and divert attention to the issue being discussed.
    I meant from the issue being discussed.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:34:04 AM EST
    I have a solution...itemized tax payments. Every taxpayer decides how their money is spent. I'd guess more people would put a percentage towards health care for their fellow man than a new B52 bomber. Americans, deep down, are a charitable people. Priorities, priorities, priorities.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#30)
    by roy on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 11:39:09 AM EST
    kdog,
    I have a solution...itemized tax payments. Every taxpayer decides how their money is spent.
    Then people would have power over the government proportionate to how much the contribute. The Left would never stand for it.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#31)
    by alapip on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:11:14 PM EST
    macromaniac, "Very good point. The system is out of control." i don't think there actually is anything you could call a system. but... your comment made me think - the artificial intelligence 'singularity' is approaching, when we *may* be able to turn more of the societal planning over to AI. of course, this would require totally honest, controlled input to avoid the old garbage in/out adage and final approval by maybe a very large panel of experts in all the various fields involved. we aren't able to accomplish a stable and 'just' (there you go again, paul) society by ourselves, maybe dispassionate logic could assist us. there are logical solutions to our problems with healthcare, overfilled punitive institutions, global warming, you name it that we emotional, arrogant, bullheaded humans cannot accept by ourselv... oh hell, why would I think we'd pay attention to AI. never mind.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#32)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:26:57 PM EST
    I'm not clear where the "benefit" is here. Don't these employees make around $18,000 a year? After exemptions and personal deductions, someone making $18k/year pays hardly any tax, especially if they have kids. Let's PRETEND that you can work an $18k/year job and scrape together $1500 to save for health expenses (after you've bought your catastrophic insurance policy AND paid the $1000 or so minimum deductible). What's your tax benefit here?

    should not lose everything because they have cancer or some other life threatening illness.
    But see, here's the rub, folks don't lose everything [due to med costs] because they have cancer or some other life threatening illness. It's a myth. But those that want to socialize health care scare you with the thought that they do. Ok, maybe there are some people "losing everything" due to med costs from terrible illnesses, but if so, it's happening at no where near the rate that would even remotely justify socializing the entire system for the rest of us. Help these people, if they exist, don't F it up (nor F it up worse than it already is) for the rest of us.
    I have a solution...itemized tax payments. Every taxpayer decides how their money is spent.
    kdiog, you've hit on the one thing I've dreamt about for ages. A bunch of boxes to check off on my tax return just like the one that says "do you want $1 of your taxes to go to special election funds" or some such thing. Imagine.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:38:29 PM EST
    i don't think there actually is anything you could call a system.
    I disagree. The definition of a system is:
    a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole
    Independent entities within the healthcare system include: * Medical personnel - Doctors, Nurses, etc... * Insurance * Patients (the customer) * Medical Supply Companies All of these independent entities are interrelated and depend on each other for survival. Currently, this system is regulated (from a cost perspective), for the most part, by the free market. Since healthcare is something everyone needs, perhaps the free market is not the best method of regulating the healthcare system.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:55:09 PM EST
    SU - My friend JK, lost everything but their home when her husband, an optometrist came down with cancer. He has had cancer for 2.5 years and the bills forced them into bankruptcy a long time ago. Not a friend of a friend, my friend. Kills that myth a bit doesn't it?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 12:59:47 PM EST
    National H-C where we all pay, just like we do to our existing carriers, should be a profit center or at least a break even for the gov't. No new taxes, just let me pay what i am paying now to my provider to the gov't and subsidize i.e. lower payments for those under or at the poverty level. If insurance companies can make billions from insurance, why can't the gov't break even? I know, it would put the insurance providers out of business. Which means less jobs etc. Which of course leads me to the patriotic defense industry. There should be a limit on their profits, after all they are providing service to help defend our country, what is more patriotic than putting national security ahead of profit?????

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#37)
    by alapip on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 01:08:04 PM EST
    ok, macromaniac - I give - it's a system. it's a very unsystematic system in my opinion though. please, let's not nitpick when one of us is trying to make a larger point. to change the subject - kind of - I, in my idealistic way, do believe there really are logical solutions to basically *all* of our societal problems if we could all look at the, I think, undeniable fact that if we helped the losers in our *system* become unpoverty stricken, reasonably healthy, ditto educated, more confident in their futures we'd all win. Accomplished, not through charity, but through directed *guidance*, that guidance in early childhood which actually is needed by all members in our society. We would not be taking anything away from today's winners. In actuality, we would be enhancing their lives also. Penitentiaries are very expensive, as are all after-the-fact bandaids, which would be much less necessary in a proactive system. Don't you all think we should do what it takes to actually deserve and become the respected example to the world we have claimed to be for so long?

    Jl, we could quibble about the definition of "lose everything" and whether bankruptcy, in the American sense, qualifies, but did you read the rest of my comment? It was less rhetorical.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 01:19:38 PM EST
    I did SU, just took exception to the myth quote. I too, in my libertarian ways would LOVE less gov't. But I am also a compassionate sort that sees an industry flush with cash that could be run by the gov't and provide services to all. I am already paying 1200 a month for insurance for my family and not counting what I pay for all of my employees. This is something the gov't can and should do. And let me say again, I am willing to continue paying what i am paying I am not looking for a handout, just want everyone to have access to medical care. Sorry about the aggressiveness over the myth comment, hit kind of close to home. You have always been fair when disagreeing with me and I should have shown the same restraint.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 01:24:31 PM EST
    But see, here's the rub, folks don't lose everything [due to med costs] because they have cancer or some other life threatening illness. It's a myth.
    Bullsh*t! My Father lost everything. He hasn't been able to work since he was diagnosed in 2004. He had medical insurance through his employer and he still went broke due to out of pocket expense because his insurance didn't cover everything. Medicaid, when he was finally eligible to receive Medicaid, didn't cover everything either. His cancer completely wiped out his retirement fund, and any other assets that he owned were liquidated.

    macro, truly sorry to hear about your dad.

    Jl, I'm with you. Everyone should have access to health care. Focus on the tiny minority of Americans that really don't have access to healthcare and leave the rest of us alone. The history of gvt has shown that you'll pay much more and receive far less if you depend on the gvt to provide it. Your 1200/month'll likely be 5000/month and every visit to the doc'll be like going to the DMV.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#43)
    by lilybart on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 01:57:40 PM EST
    justpaul.... WE already pay for the health insurance given to workers at large corporations, subsidized by tax breaks. There is enough money floating around between medicare, medicaid, and taxpayer subsidized insurance for the lucky who get it at work, to fund medicare for every American. Rich Americans can always buy more service, fancy private rooms etc. so they won't "suffer." We could get rid of welfare by funding universal preschool, college for anyone who can qualify, and health care. Education and good health are the basics that make the difference between success in a capitalist system and falling between the cracks.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#44)
    by alapip on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 02:04:30 PM EST
    The bottom line when it comes to being forced into bankruptcy by medical costs is, even if it doesn't wipe you out financially, it can permanently damage your self esteem, your credit rating and your ability to participate fully in our capitalist system through no fault of your own. There but for the grace of (insert object of belief system) goes every one of us. We all have trouble remembering that life is pretty much a crapshoot from birth to death. Be thankful for your good fortune and be empathetic to those whose fortunes are less positive.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 02:05:27 PM EST
    Does anybody really believe Bush gives a crap about the health and well-being of any employee of Wendy's? Has the photo image of all those poor folks laying on rooftops floating through downtown New Orleans left anyone's minds? Get real. In Bushworld, if you haven't figured out how to get your own health care by now, you and your loved ones are going to die, and nobody cares. They got better things to do with their time, like hunt quail.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 02:07:09 PM EST
    Funny that talkleft calls this a Social injustice, how much more unhinged ad nauseam can you get? Injustice implies that you have a "right" that is being denied, I don't recall "cheap heath care" being a right? Did I miss that in the US Constitution some where? I am self employed, so I have a good understanding of what heath care really cost. I don't get any free handouts. Macromaniac, Sorry to hear about your dad, my dad has renal cancer, his prognoses is 6 months to a 1 year. Cancer sucks and your are correct that insurance doesn't cover it all.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 02:09:58 PM EST
    SU - I could live with that if they could design a fair system of distribution of HC to those most needy, but I also find the profits in the industry sickening considering how many people do not have insurance. Funny the argument always goes back to the ineptness of the gov't and not what is best for everyone. The post office seems to run ok, and our DMV locally has improved immensely, but I would be hard pressed not to agree that the potential for mismanagement and crappy service would be par for the course. Which of course goes to the argument that most of our gov't spending and management is crap and both parties blow.

    The bottom line when it comes to being forced into bankruptcy by medical costs is, even if it doesn't wipe you out financially, it can permanently damage your self esteem, your credit rating and your ability to participate fully in our capitalist system through no fault of your own. There but for the grace of (insert object of belief system) goes every one of us. We all have trouble remembering that life is pretty much a crapshoot from birth to death. Be thankful for your good fortune and be empathetic to those whose fortunes are less positive.
    Exactly. And this is my last point on the subject. Health, like intelligence, looks, family, biz accumen, whatver, is all a crapshoot. Is it the gvt's job to protect us from every possible occurance of bad luck? If not, which should it protect us from? How do you make that decision? Do we have some inherent right not to have financial hardship due to the bad luck of getting sick? Jl, as long as we all understand the gulf of difference between those w/o health insurance and those w/o access to health care.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#49)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 02:16:51 PM EST
    Good point SU, without access is a completely different animal and needs a different set of rules.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#50)
    by desertswine on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 02:23:36 PM EST
    One way to help control costs is to help people who are poor and indigent get costs in places that are much more efficient at delivery of health than emergency rooms.
    GW Bush, 16Feb06

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#51)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 02:30:21 PM EST
    I have read an article in the last six months that Bankruptcies are up and half of the banrupcies are due to medical costs. Most of those had insurance. MOST! So we are all paying through the ass (us or employers) for healthcare that we may never receive because once we are actually sick we lose our coverage or cannot afford it anymore. This is a game that we are set up to lose, yet currently there is no other way. Many people are free riders in a sense that they cannot see the risk that they are actually shouldering. They think "I have insurance.", this does not affect me. It affects anyone who is unfortunate enough to get sick. Even if you think of yourself as well off, try absorbing the cost of a long term illness or a sick new born child. This can easily reach into the $100,000 range and remember most policies don't pay for transplants or anything exotic like that. In Louisiana 50% of the population will have cancer at some time in their lives! That statistic is unreal because that is only one of the many illnesses that we may face in our lifetimes. Business owners need to speak out for universal healthcare and I think eventually they will. If General Motors has started to come around, which I read recently, many many will follow. This is putting our businesses at a competitive disadvantage vis a vis Canada! CANADA! At the end of the day it is the econonmy stupid! This is a drag on the economy!

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:21:35 PM EST
    CANADIAN ENVY: UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE Americans look north! We have something we love and you need (no, keep your hands off our water!). We have the best health care in North AND Central AND South America. Yes we all pay for it and yes EVERYONE is covered. Have two cents and just had a heart attack? Oh that's not you? YOU have a million bucks. No problem! Either way we'll keep you alive with excellent medical care because we value you as a human being no matter the state of your material possessions. We're called Canada and we have UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. EVERYONE IS COVERED. No-one is left out. No-one is disposable in our society. Get some humanity America - get UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE (you'll love it and your children with thank you).

    Everytime someone touts Canadian health care, I always think of a biz associate of mine in Vancouver, CA, who blew out her knee playing softball and after schlepping around on crutches for over a year still couldn't even get an MRI because, in her words "I don't know anyone high enough in the system." Doesn't sound particularly humane to me. Oh, and then she said all the rich people in Canada buy private health insurance and/or go to the US if they have a serious illness or injury. Oh, and Canada only has about 30 million citizens compared the the US's almost 300. No thanks.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#54)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:51:34 PM EST
    Peaches and Alapip, As per Peaches, a straw man argument would by necessity be an argument provided so that the person offering it could then knock it down. I neither presented an argument (I merely offered some other possible freebies the government could provide), nor did I knock them down. I left them standing for Kdog to knock down. But I note that you only took the most obvious example, of free electricity for the purpose of cooling one's home to a ridiculous temperature. What about the rest? Should the government provide free housing? Or free clothing? Or free food? If not, why not? Are these needs any less inherent than that of healthcare? And given that adequate clothing, housing, and nutrition canin fact mitigate the future need for healthcare, aren't they even more important? If not, why not? And Peaches, I made "strawman" part of the "liberal primer" because it is used here all to often by those of the a very liberal persuasion who cannot refute an argument, as Alapip has shown him/herself incapable and unwilling to do, to deride the comments of others who at least take the time to make a case. And dimwit, my name is Paul, hence the tag line justpaul, and is just Paul and nothing else like some catchy tagline like so many others here like to use. Paul was already taken.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#55)
    by TChris on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:53:34 PM EST
    Bar, The post doesn't suggest that "cheap health care" is a right, but affordable health care is essential to the maintenance of life. Many in this country have long believed that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights. Where could they have gotten that idea?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 03:58:59 PM EST
    Dear "sarcastic unamed one" Consider this: The U.S. has 10 million more people WITHOUT ANY INSURANCE than the whole population of Canada. Not something to be proud of. You sound like you have insurance - lucky you! - but if you're one of the 40 million in the U.S. who doesn't, you might like a system that guarantees you access to health care. All systems have their problems. Your friend will eventually get her MRI. But would she rather wait a while to get it (while people with critical injuries are getting theirs) or NEVER get it at all because she can't anty up the big bucks. In short, does your society value human beings for their intrinsic value or does it value them based upon their material possessions? Move to a higher plane, America! Human beings are always more important that what they own! Canada: the greatest health care system in the Americas! When are you going to get yours? No wait! Why don't we just let the poor children die and decrease the surplus population? Are there no workhouses? Are there no morgues? The more poor that die the less poor there will be among us. That appears to be the current accepted U.S. thinking on health care. "Be rich or die!" God bless Canada!

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:18:23 PM EST
    Kdog, The problems with your "we'll pay for it by cutting spending to another program" approach are myriad. First and foremost, you and I don't get to decide how to fund this program; 435 House members and 100 Senators do. And when they start talking about cutting programs, they are talking about cutting programs in their districts, which means jobs lost in their districts, which means it doesn't happen. Take, for example, your question of how many people could be insured for the cost of the mission to Mars: I'll bet a lot of people could be insured with that money, and if that's all there was to it, it would be an easy choice. Problem is, that isn't all there is to it. What happens to the people who work on that program at NASA, and at all the contractors they employ? Where do they go for healthcare after they are laid off because you cut their jobs to pay for "free" healthcare? Whose job will you now cut to pay for their healthcare? And so on, and so on, and so on. And what about the loss to the federal revenue when all those people you just put out of work stop paying income taxes as a result of having no income? Is the lost revenue made up somewhere else in your scheme? Have you done the math? Are you sure you aren't cutting off your nose to spite your face? Now I know you are a good hearted person, Kdog, and that you only want people to have their needs met, but just how many people are you willing to put out of work to fund this program and at what point exactly does the number of people laid off sudffice to pay for all the people without healthcare, including the ones you just created, that no more programs have to be cut? At what point, in terms of layoffs and program cuts, does your plan actually pay for itself?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#58)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 04:59:50 PM EST
    Redking, If your heath care is so great, can you explain why its American drug companies that lead the world in producing new medications and new treatments to combat diseases. I cant remember that last Canadian drug company that had any major breakthroughs. If we had socialistic healthcare, your Country wouldn't have the quality of healthcare that you enjoy now. See Canada rides on American drug companies coat tails. I should also add that we Americans pay higher prices for drugs, because Canadians want free hand outs. So if you really want us to have healthcare, start by paying your fair share, instead of looking for a free ride. Millions of Americans get health treatment daily that don't have health insurance, our hospitals do not turn them away, like you pretend.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#59)
    by Johnny on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 06:40:01 PM EST
    Except Bar, a lot of those drugs are, arguably, 100% unnecassary. In fact, a lot of those miracle drugs are in existence solely to combat the myriad problems associtiated with mass over-consumption of beer, cigarettes, fatty foods, video-games, 50 mile commutes, head banging stress, 60 hour work weeks, 1 week vacations, pollution, inadequate basic preventative healthcare... A culture that produces so many wonder drugs has larger underlying issues than a simple supremacy complex.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 07:26:23 PM EST
    TChris,
    Many in this country have long believed that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights. Where could they have gotten that idea?
    Try the Declaration of Independence. And I did find "affordable healthcare" mentioned in that historic document. This thread is listed under "social injustice". My contention was your using the word "injustice" which implies a previously held right that is now being denied. I cant recall cheap healthcare being a previously held right. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Sailor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 07:27:30 PM EST
    If your heath care is so great, can you explain why its American drug companies that lead the world in producing new medications and new treatments to combat diseases.
    And American health care kills more people every year due to drug interactions. Also, studies show that most new drugs are no more efficacious than the generic that already treats the symptoms. BTW, why is an American drug so much cheaper in Canada?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#62)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 07:28:02 PM EST
    Johnny I would agree. But not all of the drugs, my dad has cancer and he is taking a new drug that was just approved last month. Redking started sounding a bit "puffed up" so I though some facts would cut him down to size.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#63)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 07:45:01 PM EST
    Bar, We Canadians are known for our modesty, so being called "puffed up" is almost a compliment to us (thanks!). In response to your contention that Canada does not produce new drugs and "rides on the backs" of American pharmaceutical companies, try this (and remember that Medicare in Canada was only introduced provincially - Saskatchewan - in 1962 - only later federally): "In terms of R&D, Canada has had a spotty track-record. Insulin and PremarinĀ® were Canadian discoveries made many years ago. From the 1950s through the 1980s, there were very few significant Canadian drug discoveries. In the 1990s there were some more. It is more difficult now to determine the roots of new drugs, but drugs like atorvastatin, montelukast, and 3TC, a drug used against HIV, have significant Canadian histories. We now see the first fruits of the local biotechnology industry, in verteporfin (VisudineĀ®), which was developed here by QLT Inc." -- Source: http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/forum/2001/04/section_13.html Also, many of your U.S. companies do their drug testing in Canada! Now why is that? Could it be that Canada offers a superior financially rewarding environment for drug companies over the U.S.? We have a free market here but we put people ahead of profits. We think profits are made for people; people are not sacrificed for profit. I think that is living on a higher plane. I encourage you Americans to join us by putting people first! (oh yeah, we love your space program. Come on, we love you guys!)

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#64)
    by Johnny on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 07:50:37 PM EST
    Bar, I understand your feelings, and I feel for your father. But cancer is a huge issue in this, and most other "advanced" countries. Long term exposure to pesticides, hormones, radiation, long work weeks, lack of exercise, poor diets, excessive alcohol consumption, fatty foods, aluminum cookware, airbourne pathogens and particulates, and any number of other extremely unhealthy things all equal one humdinger of a epidemic of cancer here. Also, one humdinger of a windfall for the massive pharmacueticals marketing towards baby-boomers. Other than basic healthcare (which is what liberals mostly want socialized) is inexpensive compared to advanced cancer treatments. Our lifestyles coupled with a unique american attitude (walk it off, johnny, it'll feel better. But coach, my leg is broken!)and a lack of affordable basic preventative healthcare contribute to the nightmare that advanced medicine has become. One complete tune and lube, once a year, for every american would go lightyears to eliminating more serious problems down the road. Of course, that several thousand medical specialists might have to demote themselves to being a GP (the horror), but better 3,000 geriatric oncologists looking for work than 40,000,000 million looking for funeral homes. So short of dictating in minute detail everyodies dietary and exercise habits (which the libertarians would howl at, even more than howling at socialized medicine), we may have no other option than to start making basic healthcare available.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#65)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 16, 2006 at 10:12:28 PM EST
    Johnny, good points. I realize that personally I don't like going to the doctor, and pretty much avoid it at all costs, so I only carry major medical. Which in my dads case has worked out better than if he had only basic insurance. Now I don't want to deny the less fortunate healthcare, but I also dread bureaucrat healthcare. Redking, point well taken and thanks for the laugh. But don't get me started on the space program and how much money they waste.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#66)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:21:40 AM EST
    Hmmmm, Johnny, macromanic and Peaches agreeing with me. Heart be still. What I think we need to do is lay the politics aside, which will be difficult to do, and look for solutions to the problems. First let's cover some basic points: Health care is not mandated by the Constitution. The DOI, in stating why the founders did what they did, does say 'life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Big medicine and big drug companies are not blameless, but they are also not "evil." Quit telling each other how bad or how good Canada is. I am talking about the US. Stop thinking that you are not paying for health care for those who don't have insurance. When they can't pay, the medical facility - clinic, hospital, etc. - merely folds the loss back into the cost base, increasing the cost to those who can pay. So you are paying. Stop think that you have FREE insurance through your employer. You don't. Benefits are factored into your salary and into the cost of goods and services your employer sells and you buy. So you get a double hit. Lower salary and higher prices when you purchase. (I realize that is not a hard and fast fact, but in the long run it proves out.) Give up on the "I don't want government involved." The camel got its nose in the tent with Medicare, and triple so with Medicaid. There's a reason why a medical procedure is priced at $200 and Medicare says it's worth $160. There's a reason why HIPPA is now a law. There's a reason ..,. etc. And the reason is, people wanted it. Some specifics: Problem: People are concerned that they are going to pay for healthcare, through some variation of the FIT, for people who don't work or outside the system. Solution: A national sales tax. I proposed 5% on everything except unprocessed food. Easy to collect, easy to admin and easy to adjust. (Yes, 5% may not be enough.) Let me very plain here to those on the Left. You are not going to sell it on the "fairness" of the "progressive tax" theory. Everyone has to pay the same percentage. If you try to "soak the rich" the middle class will understand that they will be the one's paying and the plan will be dead. Problem: One size doesn't fit all. Why should I pay for something I don't need? Solution. Give everyone an annual "Health Care Account." Let them choose the base plan, which costs them the total amount, or (maybe) three other plans with various options. Bar doesn't think he needs anything but catastrophic coverage, so he buys that. Now, let's say the "check" is $7K. Bar's plan cost $4K. Return$2K to the plan and give Bar $1K to invest in a pretax IRA retirement plan. As in other plans. It can be changed once a year. This retains some "free market" control. The medical profession will like this because it retains the traditional "fee for service" structure. They will hate it because it puts the government right in the middle of the cost structure. See medicare. The insurance people will like it because it retains them. They will demand to offer HMO's, PPO's, etc., variations. Okay fine. I don't like'em, but you have to give a little to get a little. People under the age of 21 must have the 100% plan. That prevents some clod from trying to use his kids to feather his nest. Johnny - You make some good points (did I say that?) re life styles and health. But if the general public thinks you are wanting a Health Czar on smoking, weight, diet, etc., they will not accept it. In fact, opponents of the plan would love this issue.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#67)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:29:12 AM EST
    et al - Please don't tell those who insist that I am just a right wing religious conservative troll about my comments on this issue. I wouldn't to be responsible for spoiling their day. And God forbid they actually understand that you can be a Social Liberal and still support a strong national defense.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Peaches on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:02:32 AM EST
    And God forbid they actually understand that you can be a Social Liberal and still support a strong national defense.
    You can be whatever you want. What people usually disagree on are matters of degrees and priorities. I am a social liberal and support a strong national defens also, but not nearly as strong as you. You put national defense (you really mean offense) ahead of all social programs in terms of priorities. And when it comes to paying, we obviously can't afford to maintain are huge military expenditures and talk about expanding any soical programs such as health care. So when you say you are a social liberal, I say Phewey...you live in a dream world.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#69)
    by Peaches on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:26:00 AM EST
    Jim, Speaking of defense, I have a favor to ask you. I have kind of removed myself from the loop of late and I don't get to hear all the talking points. What does the right wing say about Michael Scheuer? I am sure they have dug up some kind of dirt to discredit him and his views. I linked to this interview with him in another thread. Read it and tell me if it doesn't scare the pants off you, because it does me. Scheuer

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:36:03 AM EST
    As someone who has had cancer three times it irks me to no end when people gripe about our helathcare system and clammer for a system that doesn't in anyway equal ours (Canada) or a system that can't exist (our level of care but free). Only because I am an American am I alive today. If I had had my type of cancer in any other country in the world I'd be dead. Unless I was a millionaire and could have afforded to fly myself to America for treatment. The costs and financial burdens I endured to stay alive where well worth it and I'd have paid more. How can you complain about going into debt to stay alive when the other option is death? If I'd lived in Canada I'd have died, same for England and any other FREE system you can name. But hey, at least my wife wouldn't be stuck with the bill. The problem with free or government healthcare is it has no incentive to become better or provide top notch care. The best treatments are the expensive ones and if you can't make money on them why bother? If you want to have a baby (my sister just did in Toronto) Canada is great. If you skin your knee, break your arm etc... Canada, England, Russia or whatever free system you can name is fine. But if you get seriously ill or have a disease that only certain researches know about you are screwed. Goodnight. thanks for playing. The result is instead of having high priced A+ care you get affordable B- care. The average person is fine but the seriously ill die off. Maybe this is the system people want. Fine just admit that free average healthcare is what you want and we'll vote on it. But that's not what people are trying to sell. Instead they think the government can do it all...how typical...and in reality it can't. Our system can only be made more affordable by controlling costs and the presidents plan is one option of many in trying to do that. Involving government will only icrease basic costs and dumb down the level of total care. But hey what do I care. I make enough now to pay for whatever services I need. Why should I care when some poor kid gets cancer and dies?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:45:59 AM EST
    Peaches - Everything about the CIA scares me. From the poor information they had about Iraq to them letting Joe Wilson go on a mission to them leaking information to the press. The agency appears fractured and in the midst of an internal fight based on the politics of the memebers. You can't have that in the military or the CIA. It is a road that leads to real problems. Since I am not a "right wing," I can't help you on your request for talking points. I suggest you hit the right wing blogs. Re national defense and health care cost. Yes. it is first. Without a country you have nothing. No, I fund health care with a national sales tax. I think what you want is it just added to FIT in the existing sturcture. That plan is dead on arrival. And yes, in today's world you must have an offense. MAD worked because the Soviets were a nation state and somewhat rational. The Moslem terrorists are neither, although various ME states use them. Iran, Syria, Palestine and elements in SA. SA's blame lies in them not suppressing them. Change the state and you kill the terrorist. But we don't have the time MAD gave us with the Soviets. Defensive containment won't work.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#72)
    by Johnny on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:47:22 AM EST
    Slado, other than a strong sense of supremacy, do you have any links to back up your claim that we offer the highest cancer survival rates?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#73)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:50:42 AM EST
    Of course not. I am speaking strictly from my personal experience. If you'd like to counter my argument feel free. Heres a good perspective on the whole mess. WP I am only trying to point that our system provides high level care and before we mess with it we need to realize what we might give up.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#74)
    by Johnny on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:50:59 AM EST
    cuz life expectancy and infant mortality, 2 huge indicators for the health of a population, fall behind this nations with nationlized medicine. Look it up on the WHO website.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 08:57:02 AM EST
    There are so many other factors that account for that but I'll play your game. You pick the country and tell me which one you'd rather get sick in.

    If you break your leg, do you fix it by putting your whole body in a cast? If there are a leg-full of folks w/o access to healthcare/lose everything/whatever, do you fix it by socializing everyone else's healthcare?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#77)
    by Peaches on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 09:52:08 AM EST
    Since I am not a "right wing," I can't help you on your request for talking points. I suggest you hit the right wing blogs.
    Well, actually...
    Everything about the CIA scares me. From the poor information they had about Iraq to them letting Joe Wilson go on a mission to them leaking information to the press. The agency appears fractured and in the midst of an internal fight based on the politics of the memebers. You can't have that in the military or the CIA. It is a road that leads to real problems.
    I am sure falls under talking points. If someone with credentials says anything remotely criticizing the administration policy for fighting terror and the War in Iraq then criticize the organization they are from. FBI, CIA..., as if they all have an anti-bush agenda or are simply incompetent. What must not be admitted ar even hinted at is that the Bush administration itself might be incompetent. So, rather than read the interviews and make some insightful comments on it, you just make a flippant comment about the CIA and don't address anything Scheuer says. And you want me to believe you are concerned about national defense. Living in a dream world, you are, Jim.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#78)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 10:33:28 AM EST
    Slado - You obviously didn't read my comment. What I propose is a plan funded by a national sales tax to give funds directly to indviduals to allow them to purchase insurance directly from private insurance companies. That is not "government healthcare." Continual negative comments about other countries plans may be accurate. But those plans have nothing in common with what I have proposed. et al - Do you want national care or do you want to score points?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#79)
    by Johnny on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 10:52:36 AM EST
    There are so many other factors that account for that but I'll play your game.
    Your right, I forgot the smaller disparity in income between the richest and the poorest that those countries, with healthier people living longer lives, who practice socialized medicine. So there we go, socialized medicine plus smaller discrepancy between the richest and the poorest=longer, healthier lives. Geez, double whammy on the ol' "free market" with regards to peoples health. Throw the unfettered pollution that runs rampant when gov't does nothing to regulate it and no wonder we have the best emergency care in the world, and the crappiest preventative care. We need the pound of cure, we won't fund the punce of prevention.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#80)
    by Johnny on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 10:53:16 AM EST
    Errr... "ounce", not punce... In my native tongue, "punce" is a word that means "spell-check".

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#81)
    by roy on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 11:00:53 AM EST
    Jim's idea would work for a few years, but without something to fight increasing health care costs we'll end up either paying exorbitant amounts for insurance (maybe that's OK) or instituting other countries' "problems" as cost-saving measures. That might mean limiting procedures which the government calls non-essential. It might mean price controls so doctors and hospitals don't make much profit and don't have much incentive to do the job well if at all. Whether those scenarios are worse than where we're heading with the current system is another question. In theory we could just have the government non-coercively negotiate hospitals' and insurance companies' prices, an almost-free market, but politicians are just plain bad at that. Plus a new tax system -- even one originally based on a simple rule -- is a new game for politicians and lobbyists to manipulate. But that problem isn't unique to health care. ... Johnny, Which countries did you have in mind for "socialized medicine plus smaller discrepancy between the richest and the poorest=longer, healthier lives" double whammy?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#82)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 11:04:43 AM EST
    PPJ Nothing would garuntee a drop in care like turning over any major part of our system to the government. The government is good at regulations, laws, practices etc... but not actually providing healthcare. You can put lipstick on your version of national healthcare but it won't sell. I lived in TN and TennCare a system that provided state wide helth insurance almost bankrupted the state. You can't control spending and costs when individuals have no choice or ability to shop. Let alone when you basically give them a blank check to get anything they want. Once people found out that they could get anything they wanted because they didn't have to pay for it patients demanded the best drugs, repeat appointments, unnecessary proceedures and the state lost all control of spending. Your system would be just as bad an idea as Hillary Care IMO.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#83)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 11:17:35 AM EST
    Slado - What is about "individuals purchasing insurance from private insurance companoes" that you don't understand? Go back and read my 8:21AM comment.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#84)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 11:41:53 AM EST
    Peaches - Sorry I didn't meet your expectations. A pay raise and free health care might motivate me. ;-) You asked me for right wing talking points, I said I didn't know. You asked me about Scheuer and I threw his comments in with my answer that everything the CIA does scares me, as I noted. Scheuer is ex-CIA, although 2 years out of the loop, so his information is included. Is he right? His key point is:
    (OBL) I think, took a lesson from that and instead focused on the impact of our policies in the Islamic world--our support for the Arab tyrannies in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, our presence in the holy lands on the Arabian Peninsula
    We know exactly what OBL said in his 3/97 interview with CNN's Peter Arnett.
    REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, you've declared a jihad against the United States. Can you tell us why? And is the jihad directed against the US government or the United States' troops in Arabia? What about US civilians in Arabia or the people of the United States?
    BIN LADIN: We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal whether directly or through its support of the Israeli occupation of the Prophet's Night Travel Land (Palestine). And we believe the US is directly responsible for those who were killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq.
    But, when asked:
    REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, will the end of the United States' presence in Saudi Arabia, their withdrawal, will that end your call for jihad against the United States and against the US?
    BIN LADIN: The cause of the reaction must be sought and the act that has triggered this reaction must be eliminated. The reaction came as a result of the US aggressive policy towards the entire Muslim world and not just towards the Arabian peninsula. So if the cause that has called for this act comes to an end, this act, in turn, will come to an end. So, the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world.
    That's pretty plain. The problem is, OBL plainly says that the west must not intervene with the actions of Moslems. That Shari governs everyone, and that Moslems do not have to respect western law and culture. The question is, do we wait or do we attack? And yes. I think the CIA and the FBI, especially in late 2000 and 2001, had some big problems. And the problems now have become politicalized. And I don't care if you like or dislike foreign policy, you don't leak information if you are FBI or CIA. That's a job requirement.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#85)
    by Johnny on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 12:11:49 PM EST
    UK, Sweden, Germany, France, Japan, Canada for starters.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#86)
    by Johnny on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 12:13:53 PM EST
    Once people found out that they could get anything they wanted because they didn't have to pay for it patients demanded the best drugs, repeat appointments, unnecessary proceedures and the state lost all control of spending.
    Sooo..... does that mean only the rich deserve the best health? Or please tell me that too much healthcare is worse than not enough.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Peaches on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 01:06:30 PM EST
    Jim, Thanks, once again, for a whole lot of nothing.
    The question is, do we wait or do we attack?
    Well, that question is easy enough answered. We attack.
    And the problems now have become politicalized. And I don't care if you like or dislike foreign policy, you don't leak information if you are FBI or CIA. That's a job requirement.
    Okay, Did Scheuer leak information? I thought he had permission to write his book as an anonymous author? Speaking of leaks, how about Valarie Plame? goes both ways, right? But forget the freakin' leaks, you senile old man (I say that with much affection). Scheuer knows more about OBL than you, I or Arnett. He says OBL is likely poised to attack us very soon and with much greater impacts than 9/11. He thinks it is very possible he will use a nuclear bomb. He says we lost sight of the target when we invaded Iraq. All of this has been said before, but i was curious if you found the interview with Scheuer convincing. But you have and agenda and you will not waver. Ciao

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 01:32:33 PM EST
    Peaches - I never said he was a leaker. His information is what I was referring to "scares" me. In fact, I think he had his book vetted, etc. In fact, I think his comment is in line with what OBL said in his interview with Peter Arnett. But there are leakers. As for Mrs. Wilson, someone in the CIA let her send her husband. That was just pure politics. As was the Repubs response. But she was not covert or Fitzgerakd would have indicted. Fitzgerald said she was "classified," but he didn't indict for that, so the Mrs. Wilson Affair is rather hollow at this moment. Should we have invaded Iraq? Well, since the only way we can shut down the terrrorists is to get the suppporting states to quit doing same, it sure appeared to be a good place to start. BTW - Whar do you make of the ABC Saddam tapes?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#89)
    by Peaches on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 01:57:03 PM EST
    Whar do you make of the ABC Saddam tapes?
    As I said, I've been out of the loop lately. What ABC Saddam tapes?
    Should we have invaded Iraq? Well, since the only way we can shut down the terrrorists is to get the suppporting states to quit doing same, it sure appeared to be a good place to start.
    Although, Scheuer doesn't claim to have any expertise on Iraq and whether or not Saddam supported terrorism, he does think that OBL gained much in credibility in the Muslim world once we invaded Iraq and it only grows the longer he remains alive. Scheuer says that we should have never taken our eye off of OBL as a traget, which we did when we went to Iraq. Scheuer also goes on to say that money is no object with OBL and we have done nothing to hurt him in this reegard. Whatever someone may want for a nuclear bomb, he could pay for it. He also has experts in place who will make sure he gets what he pays for. The source for his money wasn't Saddam or in Iraq and I believe onlyu a small percentage could be linked to Syria or Iran. From what I've read most of his financing comes from ME states we calim as our friends such as SA, Egypt, Pakistan, Uzbeck... Azebrae (how does anyone expect us to spell thwse states) etc. As for the leaks, I care about them as much as I care about health care when thinking of the possibility of OBL already with a plan in place for nuking us in order to kill 10 million Americans.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 03:46:11 PM EST
    Peaches - As in ABC news... They have hours of conversation by Saddam. Very interesting. I am aware of the claim that OBL used the invasion of Iraq. I am sure he did. Just as the Imams used the cartoons. So what do you do? Nothing for fear of offending them? And I have agreed that the source for support is thd ME nationstates you mentioned. But I do find your lack of concern about a CIA that is leaking information interesting. Do you think maybe the terrorists figured out to tighten up their security after the NYT article? As for OBL attacking, that is a given. Question is, can we continue to prevent it? Especially with the MSM whipping the moslem "street" into a frenzy every chance they have, assisted ably by CIA leakers. Just curious, what do you do for a living that keeps you so out of touch?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#91)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:06:42 PM EST
    This is an older article but somehow I think it's still pertanent. I'll say again for you Johnny. Other systems preform better for non critical care. IE they are more efficient because here in America we are very worried about not getting sued so we takes lots of inefficient steps to prevent what probably won't happen but could. Check it out and tell me when you have a 12 pound germ cell teratoma (what I had) removed from your chest cavity if you'd like it done in England or America. Daily Telegraph

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#92)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:09:32 PM EST
    Also here is a great first hand experience where he honestly breaks down both systems. Check it out. You picked the country. WSJ

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#93)
    by Slado on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 07:11:48 PM EST
    WSJ

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#94)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 09:37:07 PM EST
    Just curious, what do you do for a living that keeps you so out of touch? Maybe she has to monitor trolls like you, PPJ, it would explain a lot here ;) I was always told that a gentleman must accept an apology. Is it you can not? Or....? Should a gentleman respond to a comment that is meant only as a crude jest? That's the real question, PPJ. TTFN, Whizzy.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#95)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 05:17:58 AM EST
    Peaches, given that JimakaPPJ is so out of the loop that he still thinks (or tries to claim that he still thinks) that Valerie Plame wasn't covert, there's really no point responding to any points he tries to make with regard to the Plame Affair: he's operating from a position of willed ignorance. Just ignore him.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 07:17:45 AM EST
    Jesurgislac - Perhaps you can provide proof that she was a covert agent. Then you can write a letter to Fitzgerald telling him he isn't doing his job. And no, saying she did some covert work in the past five years doesn't make her a covert agent.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#97)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 07:29:06 AM EST
    Back to the original topic of discussion: True, people who can't afford health care become "conscious of the money they are spending for their medical needs." As a consequence, they forego needed health care until they end up in an emergency room. Does that really drive down health care costs? Of course not. What drives down health care costs is a national health care system with universal health insurance. Ideally, free at point of use. The current system in the US is quite literally the worst in the developed world, and the most expensive anywhere. Americans are paying more to get less. It doesn't make sense.

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 07:53:32 AM EST
    Jesurgislac - Did you like my plan, or did you even read it?

    Re: Bush Goes to Wendy's, But Where's the Beef? (none / 0) (#99)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Feb 18, 2006 at 08:09:37 AM EST
    Jim's plan (whatever "none processed food" is): As to how to pay for National Health Care, it is obvious that it will be a tax. My favorite is a 5% national tax on everything except none processed food. Pretty stupid, or at least more evidence of your willed ignorance to everything else around you. Evidently you've bought into the idea that a national health care system has got to be really, really expensive. Look at Canada or any of the other developed countries with national health care systems (which is all of them, except the US) - they provide better health care more cheaply than the US's system does. Of course, so long as US politicians have this allergic reaction to socialism, the US never will have a decent health care system: it can best be run on good socialist principles of a graduated tax on income (cut Bush's tax cuts, for starters) and free health care at need on request.