Posts Tagged ‘Wyoming’

Health Care Debate: Why Won’t Ignorant Conservatives Realize They Need Their Government Savior?

September 2, 2009

The Los Angeles Times can’t understand why conservatives refuse to embrace “one nation under Government.”  After all, James Oliphant points out in his article, conservatives would stand to benefit by bending the knee to their big government masters and embracing the socialist system.

Have you ever tried to help a wild animal that simply couldn’t understand you would only seek to free it or help it?  That’s the elitist and patronizing tone Oliphant takes in his article.

States most likely to win under healthcare overhaul are home to its biggest foes
Rural states have more uninsured and lower-income people who stand to benefit from legislation, but it’s there where the effort faces the most vocal resistance. It’s a factor that stymies legislators.

By James Oliphant
September 2, 2009

Reporting from Washington – Wyoming, with an economy marked by farming, ranching and small businesses, has a disproportionate number of people without medical insurance. And by that measure and others, its people are among the likely winners if Congress approves a healthcare overhaul.

But if Republican Sen. Michael B. Enzi was expecting a pat on the back from his constituents for working with some of his fellow senators to seek bipartisan agreement on the issue, he was disappointed.

Last week, Enzi held a town hall meeting in his hometown of Gillette. And when he told the 500 people in the audience that he believed both sides could eventually strike a deal, it turned out that wasn’t a popular thing to say.

A state legislator even stood up and demanded that Enzi pull out of the congressional talks altogether, and was widely applauded by the audience.

The scene in Gillette was replicated in towns across the U.S. last month, as screaming taxpayers filled TV screens with criticism of healthcare proposals. The clashes dramatized a conundrum faced by lawmakers such as Enzi who are seeking compromises.

As you can see, Oliphant begins his article by presenting a narrative of a Republican politician who wants to seek bipartisan agreement on health care.  What he doesn’t bother to do is explain how one seeks bipartisanship when none of the Republican ideas have even been considered.  He certainly doesn’t bother to tell you that Republicans have been shut out of the “bipartisan” process nearly completely.  Rep. Tom Price – who happens to be a medical doctor – writes to Barack Obama and points out that:

several Members of Congress from your party have publicly admitted that Republicans have been shut out of House negotiations on health care reform.

H.R. 3200 is 1017 pages long.  How many of those pages have been written by Republicans?  What Republican representatives have contributed?  What’s that, Mr. Oliphant, you don’t give a damn if Republicans haven’t been allowed to contribute?  You don’t want to believe that big, bad Republican Tom Price, who is probably one of the doctors ripping out kids’ tonsils and sawing off diabetics’ feet that Obama warned us about?  How about paying attention to the centrist Blue Dog Democrats, who claim that they, too, have been shut out?

Let me point out to you that those hicks and hayseeds in Wyoming understand something that you clearly don’t: WHAT BIPARTISANSHIP?

“Compromise” is not bowing the knee to the liberal agenda.  When Republicans are treated as equal partners, then we can talk about bipartisanship and compromise.  Until then, such claims as writers like Oliphant are making are simply factually untrue.

Oliphant drones on – er, I mean, continues:

Some of the most vociferous opposition to the proposals before the House and Senate comes from residents of rural states that could benefit most if the present system is revamped.

“The states that tend to be more conservative have a higher rate of people who are uninsured,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of FamiliesUSA, which backs a healthcare overhaul. “As a result, healthcare reform is going to provide a disproportionate amount of resources to those states.”

In Wyoming, for example, nearly 1 in 3 people younger than 65 went without health insurance at some point during the last two years, according to Pollack’s group. A huge majority of the uninsured have jobs, but work for employers who don’t provide coverage.

Fewer options

The problem pervades other rural states as well, where a high percentage of employers are small businesses. Although there is a consensus in Congress for keeping the current employer-based system of medical insurance, that system is riddled with holes in coverage that disproportionately affect rural states.

Well, again, those hicks and hayseeds in Wyoming seem to know something that James Oliphant – for all of his liberal elitist arrogance – doesn’t seem to know.  They know that ObamaCare would be a disaster for the small businesses that they depend on for their jobs and their livelihoods.  They understand that many businesses that DO provide health care for their employees would be discouraged or even forced to stop doing so under the Democrat plan, with the result being shoving people into the “public option” or the “co-op” (or whatever the hell they’re going to call their government option).  And they know that,  Democrat protestations and hand waving dismissals aside, that ObamaCare is ALL about rationing.

Next Oliphant points out what will happen if “bipartisan” Republicans don’t properly “compromise”:

Given that reality, it may not be surprising that senators from these states have been the most active in the effort to salvage a bipartisan compromise on healthcare. Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who hold top posts on the Senate Finance Committee, are part of a group of senators still talking about a deal, along with Enzi, Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine).

If they fail, the Democratic leadership in the Senate has threatened to ram a bill through without GOP backers.

So now we get to the essence of the Democrat vision of “bipartisanship” and “compromise”: “Do it our way or else.” This amounts to a mobster coming into your store and threatening to break your knee caps if you don’t purchase his “protection.”

And in this case, the mobster is literally blaming the store owner for the broken knees.  After all, if the stupid store owner had just played ball, his knees would have been fine.

And what Oliphant doesn’t understand is that the Wyoming hicks and hayseeds hear these threats and just get all the more enraged and all the more distrustful – as they should.

What follows next is a section in which Oliphant fundamentally misrepresents the actual dynamic.  He presumes the pseudo-narrative that Republicans are blocking health care when in actual fact Republicans have virtually nothing whatsoever to do with it (having been shut out, and lacking the votes to impose anything on anybody).

Although Enzi has said that he wants to find common ground on healthcare, his public remarks have become more polarized during the congressional recess.

“The Democrats are trying to rush a bill through the process that will actually make our nation’s finances sicker without saving you money,” Enzi said in the GOP’s weekly radio address Saturday.

Eric Wedell, a Wyoming physician and governor of the state chapter of the American College of Physicians, applauded Enzi’s efforts to broker a compromise. Enzi “is continuing to work hard on healthcare reform because he knows we need it,” Wedell said.

But another Wyoming physician, Timothy Hallinan, disagreed, saying it would be better to have no bill than to have the kind Enzi is negotiating.

It was Hallinan, a state representative, who demanded at the meeting in Gillette that Enzi stop working with Democrats.

“Perhaps Sen. Enzi will get the most egregious — in his and my view — items dropped through compromise. Nonetheless, the compromised bill will be going in the wrong direction and must be seen as a down payment on where the current majority plans to go — a complete takeover of medical practice by the federal government,” Hallinan said.

“I would rather see no bill than that. I suspect that a large percentage of the American population agrees,” he added. “I know that a big majority here in my district agrees with me.”

You might as well blame the dinosaurs for causing global warming as blame the Republican Party over blocking health care.  Nancy Pelosi is running the House of Representatives with an bejeweled iron fist (made by Tiffany); and Harry Reid has a filibuster-proof majority.

The reason health care hasn’t passed is because the American people are overwhelmingly against it.  The reason health care hasn’t passed is because it is such a bad bill that even Democrats can’t support it.  The reason health care hasn’t passed is because a lot of Democrats know they will lose their seats if they vote for it.  Not because of Republicans.

Let me be clear: any scintilla of a hint that Republicans are “blocking health care reform” is a fraud.  All Democrats have to do if they want Republican support for reform is yank out the public option and replace it with tort reform.  But to blame Republicans for not supporting a philosophy and a system that they are diametrically opposed to is simply saying that we should be a fascist system where everyone does what Big Brother wants or else.

Oliphant continues:

Potential benefits

Although much attention has been focused on whether the ultimate legislation will provide for a government-run insurer or a series of private health cooperatives to help cover the uninsured, the bill is also expected to increase eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid, which could provide a lift to states like Wyoming.

“Things that are enormously important are getting less attention,” lamented Pollack of FamiliesUSA. Rural, conservative states, he said, “are going to get the influx of new federal dollars.”

But those opposed to the proposals, such as Hallinan, point to the cost. Even at current coverage levels, Medicare and Medicaid spending is expected to vastly increase the country’s debt.

Others are simply nervous about more government involvement in healthcare. Although centralized government can often deliver healthcare services more efficiently, “it runs counter to perhaps the rugged individualism on which America is built — where everything is available for everybody,” said Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the nonprofit Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Oliphant states as an assumed fact that “centralized government can often deliver healthcare services more efficiently.”  But based on what does he say that?  Does he not know that Medicare is about to go bankrupt?  Does he not know that the U.S. Post Office – which Obama used as a metaphor for his health care plan – is about to go bankrupt?  Does he not know that government is the home of the $435 hammer, the $640 toilet seat, and the $7,600 coffee maker?  Does he not know that the government only recently showed how inefficient it is by paying nearly twice as much for canned ham as they could have paid simply by going to a grocery store?

In theory, the government should be able to use its purchasing power to benefit from bulk discounts.  But in actual fact that never happens.  There are simply so many layers of bureaucracy and so few incentives for the government to save money (they’re not using their money, remember; they’re using yours) that waste and abuse is rampant.  Often the very system itself – exemplified by governmental budgeting systems which perversely encourage government employees to consume their entire budgets so they can get more money in the next budget cycle – actually make the very idea of savings counterproductive to their agenda.

The assumption that “the government can do it faster, cheaper, and better than the private sector” has kept complete fools in government for generations.

What follows is a summation of the overall tone of the article: conservative hicks and hayseeds are frankly just too stupid and ignorant to understand that they are acting counterproductively to their own obvious interests:

In Iowa, where almost 70% of those who are uninsured have jobs, Grassley has faced combative audiences in a series of town halls, to the extent that speculation has risen that he will pull out of negotiations.

But Jack Hatch, a Democratic state senator from Des Moines, said that much of the anger and uncertainty in Iowa was directed at Wall Street bailouts, the stimulus and other government spending.

“I’ve been to a half a dozen of these,” Hatch said. “There are maybe 15 to 20% of the people who are just angry with everything. They’re angry with their economic situation.

“They’re afraid of any kind of deficit spending,” said Hatch, part of a White House-led effort to enlist state lawmakers to promote the legislation. “When we shift to healthcare, there’s a lot less noise and a lot more questions.”

But he admitted that opponents of the plans had succeeded in making Iowans nervous — and that supporters would have to sharpen their message in states such as his.

“All we have to do is get the people to listen through the screams of this small minority,” he said. “We have to be more vocal and fight back.”

James Oliphant – like Democrat Iowa state senator Jack Hatch – either doesn’t bother to look at the polls (which show a people overwhelmingly opposed to the Democrat’s health care agenda), or simply assumes that most Americans (even the non-hicks and hayseeds) are stupid.  They simply aren’t capable of “listening through the screams of this small minority.”

The people who oppose the massive new Democrat takeover of health care will cost money that the country simply doesn’t have.  Obama’s deficits are simply shocking, out of control, and utterly unsustainable.

The people who oppose health care understand that there is always a trade off to a massive government program.  They understand that what the government giveth, the government can taketh away.  They understand that more government power means less individual liberty.  They understand that the Democrats plan to take away about half a trillion dollars from Medicare and redistribute that money to younger people and even illegal immigrants who don’t have health insurance.  They understand that horror stories abound in countries that have embraced government health care systems.

The people who are opposing ObamaCare are not only not stupid, they are actually a heck of a lot smarter than James Oliphant.

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