Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen ...

... the Constitution of the United States of America.

Learn it, live it, love it.

It is the Founding Document of the great Nation in which we live, and it is the fountain-head -- the sole source -- of the powers, rights, duties, obligations and responsibilities of the Government, to wit:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

I don't see one sodding thing in there regarding the power of Congress to establish and maintain a national health-care program.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

I don't see one bloody snippet in there regarding the power of the President to establish and maintain a national health-care system.

I don't give one sweet damn if the thousand pages of Obamacare were actually the Lost Dead Sea Scroll, or if the idea came straight from the lips of Odin All-Father Himself -- if the Constitution doesn't authorize Congress to do it, it is unlawful, it is illegal, and it is treachery.

You want Government-run Universal Health-care -- then you Amend the Constitution to allow Congress to do it -- the instructions for the Amendment process are listed and enumerated in Article Five of that document.

For the best part of my adult life, Congress and the various Presidents of this Union have, at best, ignored the Constitution, and, at worst, actively crapped on it.

And I am Sick. And. Tired. Of. It.

No more. My line is here.

You want Government-run National health-care? You do it right -- you get the Constitution amended to allow Congress that power.

Until then -- go to hell.

LawDog

70 comments:

Digitarii said...

Hallelujah, LD! I couldn't agree more. I think we meed to get rid of the lawyers and polisci airheads we have in office right now and replace them with historians, teachers, doctors and a few soldiers.

Asphyxiated Emancipation said...

How big a stick do you reckon we'll need , to pound this into the heads of Dear Leader and his cohorts?

Brad J (Kazrak) said...

Unfortunately, there's a couple loopholes big enough to drive a truck through:

"...provide for the...general Welfare..."

"...to regulate Commerce...among the several states..."

I could easily see either or both of those being used. The commerce clause, in particular, is used for lots of cases that never cross state lines. (Drug laws, for example - somebody grows pot in their house for personal use, it's a Federal crime. Why? Interstate commerce.)

On a purely pragmatic level, unfortunately, attacking this from a Constitutional standpoint won't get you very far either. Because you're trying to argue that Medicare is unconstitutional. (There have been people arguing that for years, it appears, but it hasn't gotten anywhere. I can't find case law either way.)

Drew said...

"The Congress shall have Power To... provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States."
One could argue that the general welfare of the U.S. hinges upon the health of it's population and the quality of care avaliable regardless of income.
I live in a country with socialised health care and it works. On average Australians live 2 and a bit years longer or 40 places higher when indexed then America.
However compared to spending on health care on average your government spends $4,631.00 per capita compared to Australia of $2,211.00 per capita. Shrug.

Drew said...

Apologies thats public and private combined.

Mikael said...

The simple explanation to that, Drew, is that the insurance companies drive up the cost something fierce, which is in large part due to insuring against malpractice lawsuits(IIRC this alone raised medical costs by about 30%). Basically, in order to lower medical spending, they'd have to set in place laws that limit malpractice lawsuits(perhaps by capping maximum claims), so that the insurance costs would go down(or perhaps not be completely needed).

I'm sure there's a lot of other things that could be improved to lower healthcare costs as well(like the ability to turn away known drug seekers), but the often ridiculous sums awarded to people who sue, and the insurance cost this brings, is the by far largest factor.

Samantha Joy said...

Mikael, you said:
"the often ridiculous sums awarded to people who sue, and the insurance cost this brings, is the by far largest factor."

Cite please? FactCheck.org disagrees, and while this is something I've heard a lot of people claiming, I've never seen evidence to back it up.

Cybrludite said...

Drew,

One of the main things driving the average life expectancy down here in the US is how we count extremely premature babies. When a crack-baby is born here two months ahead of schedule, they get counted as a live birth, spend a few weeks in a NICU unit, and all too often they then end up failing to thrive. How many entries of .04 years does it take to drop the over-all average?

wolfwalker said...

Well said, LawDog.

Basing socialized health care on the "General Welfare" clause is precisely the kind of sophistry that has brought us to where we are: a federal government that has no effective limits on its power. That is clearly not what the Founders envisioned, therefore that interpretation must be wrong.

I don't think the Supreme Court has ever ruled on the constitutionality of Medicare. At least, a web search didn't find any references to such a case. Lots of cases about ancillary issues, but nothing directly on "is Medicare constitutional."

Dave said...

Maybe you are the one who can explain it to me, since generally your opinions seem to be in sync with mine and I am honestly baffled here.

Why are people so amazingly angry about the health care issue?

I am not asking you to explain why you oppose it; I get that. I just don't understand why THIS is where people draw the line. People that were mildly peeved when heat shields on hunting rifles were called "assault rifle components" or rolled their eyes at an attorney general who was so scared of boobs that he had to change the statue of Justice are livid at this.

War in Iraq? Annoying
Legal abortion? People get kinda pissed.
NSA scandals? Bribed senators? First, second and fourth amendments generally ignored? Meh.

But congress considers giving health coverage to people, and folk are PISSED. Way, way, way more pissed than I have seen them for anything short of war protests. I just don't get it. Why is this such a big deal?

If people are pro-health care, well, they should be used do disappointment by now and not get so worked up about it. If people are anti-health care, well, worse case scenario for them is they have to watch the government waste a (really really tiny) bit more of their money than the government already wastes on a ton of other useless crap.

As for constitutional standing, there is nothing expressly commanding them to do it, but nothing prohibiting them either. This is not like the cut-and-dried-hands-off-my-personal-possessions issues like gun control. Congress is specifically prohibited from meddling with guns (though they do anyway). But congress is not banned from health care. The same general framework that lets them establish the FDA could be used to establish a health system.

It's moot for me, I am a disabled vet and get free government health care regardless. I am just confused as to why everyone else is so emotional about it.

Dave said...

Also, gotta say, most of our current social programs have other purposes. Google the WWI and WWII induction physicals, and the subsequent creation of the school lunch programs, food stamps and so on. A massive number of people were unable to enlist in our first global conflict because they grew up starving. These programs were done out of national defense needs far more than compassionate needs. Health care would likely not be much different (have you SEEN the dregs of society we have had to let into the armed services these last few years? We have had to resort to felons because we ran out of health noncriminals).

Derius Thoran said...

Dave, the reason so many people are so pissed about it, is the way it is being done. It is being done in the guise of helping the poor innocent uninsured, but it is in fact nothing more than a governmental power grab of the largest scale yet seen. The far reaching implications of this kind of power grab, by these kind of people, with these kind of policies, should alarm every American.

Not only that, but it is being designed in such a way as to become over time, our ONLY available choice, or not being a choice at all, its get our option or else.

First they all but seize the reserve, loot the treasury, take over banks and auto, schools...does this method of governing remind you of any others throughout history that have ended in misery and oppression?

Does it bother you that nearly all of the POTUS special appointed "czars" have open, well documented ties to communism, socialism, and radical, violent, often treasonous affiliations with known enemies of this country and her freedom?

Does it matter to anyone that known, admitted members of radical communist and socialist organizations have been given unprecedented power and the ear of our very POTUS?

Does it bother you that these are the type of people with the type of ideas that the POTUS surrounds himself with? He has already admitted in his own words, that if one wants to see what his policies and his closest, most heart felt ideals are, just look closely at the people he surrounds himself with...

Do some research into STORM, Weather Underground, and many other such organizations. Look at their direct ties to the POTUS, and ask why some of the founders and leaders of such things are appointed RIGHT NOW in charge of making policy in the U.S. and drafting bills that sit in front of Congress right now.

See if the current situation in America smells any different after a little independent research.

Anonymous said...

Dave, another reason is the budget deficit. The US is currently so far in the hole that they are about to start piping in sunlight and air, and yet Congress and the POTUS want to bring in a power digger!
Start reforming the health insurance system by making coverage portable from state to state and job to job, then look into medical liability (including asbestos, mesothelioma and other class-action things) and abuses of the current system (use of the emergency room for daily care, Medicare fraud). That will keep people happy.
Using "saving the children" as an excuse to expand the government beyond recognition is not the way to solve the problem.
LittleRed1

Anonymous said...

Well, you want to plug the deficit then stop Medicare right now. Pay everyone back what they put in adding interest at past market rates, minus whatever benefits received. Then its over. 100 years ago people actually had to take care of their parents. They actually had to live with their families. Now we stuff them in homes and walk away, and let the government pay the price. Enough. Medicare is wrong, its unconstitutional. Lets abolish it now. Its by allowing things like it to stand that we legitimize those Nazis. Pull it down now.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that this 1000+ page so-call health-care bill is chock full of little things that have nothing to do with health issues and everything to do with inserting the hand of government so far down your throat that you will shake that hand every time you wipe your ass..
emdfl

Drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wolfwalker said...

Dave, you've already gotten several good answers. I'd like to add one more. Well, two more.

First, each of the items you listed did galvanize some people -- just not all the same people, and not enough people to really make a difference. However, whether on purpose or by accident, the health care bill currently being discussed in Congress includes at least one provision that's guaranteed to galvanize every single one of those small constituencies, and turn them into one big movement.

Second, for the first time in recorded history all these small constituencies are able to organize and link up almost in realtime, thanks to talk radio and the Internet. We got a foretaste of this with the shamnesty bill two years ago, when there was such an outcry of opposition that the bill completely collapsed, went from a supermajority for passage to a majority against in just a few weeks. That encouraged a lot of people to believe that it was in fact possible to Make A Difference.

Add in the fact that in the last two years a lot of people tried to vote against the things you listed, and instead got more of them, and, well, the rage we're seeing in the electorate now becomes entirely understandable.

aczarnowski said...

Why is the health care issue so divisive? I think Marko said it best when he called it a "universal adapter for unlimited ... legislation."

Hear, hear LawDog! It's really too bad the constitution party isn't.

Anonymous said...

Stopping Medicare is not going to plug the deficit.
Here's a few things that might:
Fine every employer (including those in Washinton D. C.) hugely for using illegal alien labor.
Stop all benefits for illegal aliens.
Deport these people; they're ILLEGAL.
Stop bailing out companies that are in trouble; make it or break it according to supply & demand.
Contrarily, set a cap on profits for anything having to do with health services.
Stop all immigration for four years-and I mean ALL. If it's resumed, place severe limits on it; we can't afford to be the Golden Door any longer.
Deport those indulge in illegal activity, even if they're naturalized.
Make everyone on Welfare show they've made one legitimate job application per week before giving them their check.
Refuse payments for any babies born more than 10 months after their mothers signed up for Welfare.
Stop allowing 'outsourcing,'
put strict tariffs on importations, including those by Americans businesses manufacture outside the USA.
Put duties on imported goods equal to those charged for comparable US goods going into the producing country.
Get a bill through Congress (like that will happen) stating that all members of the Executive, Legislative, & Judicial branches have to abide by the same laws that they enact.
Limit their pay to what is a reasonable living expense in Washington, D. C. Limit their ability to vote in special privileges for themselves.
Stop frivolous lawsuits & put an end to the enormous awards given for them. Put a % cap on the amount an attorney may collect for himself from a case.
Regulate charges for medical services: when someone charges $110 for ten minutes of chit chat & doesn't even take my blood pressure, something is wrong-or, in the case of a rickety, ancient hospital bed for my mother, $2000 paid by Medicare AND me, a true evaluation of the bed should be charged, or, the real kicker, $15 for a tiny box of tissues which are half the size of those in the supermarket.
Wreak havoc with the insurance companies. My son pays over $6000 a year for insurance, & it has a $5000 deductible, & limits what it'll pay for. However, it's far better than the Obama plan, which would probably deny him treatment at all-that's built in to those 1000+ pages, folks. Read what you think 'isn't so bad.'
Limit the POTUS and cronies' expenses; a lobster dinner with the wife in New York may be romantic, but it's also expensive as hell, & we, the people paid for it-and more. How much did AF 1 buzzing the Statue of Liberty cost?
Stop trying to be Big Daddy to the world & leave the 'rescue' of people in foreign nations to Hollywood.
Review the thousands of government grants and stop the silly ones-like, this town has $300,000 worth of new sidewalks (already cracking) in front of vacant lots and empty buildings.
Review the government agencies and offices and stop the silly ones.
Provide for really large fines for anyone abusing Medicare-and I've seen a lot of that, working for home health.
Take back every bit of the billions spent bailing out failing companies.
Yes, some of the above interferes with capitalism...and you think Obama doesn't?

And, refusing to set a 70 year old's broken hip, or withholding blood pressure medications from 80 year olds is NOT providing for the general Welfare; it is indulging in discriminatory rationing, taken out of the hands of qualified people.
As for suicide counseling, nothing in a Christian nation could or should be more repugnant. For anyone in government claiming to be a Christian, to even consider this, much less propose it is anathema.
Not only that, it will become murder for those too helpless to defend themselves.
No one of conscience & good will should open that door.
But we need to stop the bleeding heart bit and close a lot of doors (preferably in Obama's face) if we are to survive as a people and as a nation.
LawMom

Drew said...

Cybr,

Australia counts live births in these. However both don't count stillbirths, Not sure of your point.
Mikael
Australia has mal practice suits and private options yet still less is spent. We both have a litigous society, one of the reasons many, many midwifes went out of buisness or changed practices radically was after a spate of lawsuits, and once again less is spent, better results achived.

Kevin said...

Now don't quibble! Tell me how you really feel!

Dave said...

Thanks for the feedback everyone. There was some good (and, well, it's the Internet, some "other") commentary. Best one to help me understand why people were so worked up about this was Wolfwalker's theory.

For what it's worth, I tried to reply to everyone here. It's a long chunk of text though.

-Dave
-----

Dave said...

"It is being done in the guise of helping the poor innocent uninsured, but it is in fact nothing more than a governmental power grab of the largest scale yet seen."

Really? Cause I read through it, and this pales in comparison to just about every large government action for the last half-century. They are not grabbing NEARLY as much power as they did in post-WWII, or during the Bush2 years, or during the Clinton years.

"our ONLY available choice, or not being a choice at all, its get our option or else."

Nope. Read it. Not true. But on that note, only 9% of Americans buy their own health care, the rest get the plan options work or government gives them. 91% of us have no choice NOW and never have.

"First they all but seize the reserve, loot the treasury, take over banks and auto, schools...does this method of governing remind you of any others throughout history that have ended in misery and oppression?"

Yep. Every single government ever. And that's not the question. Pissed about the government buying (not taking over, buying) gm? Fine. Still does not tell me why people are 1,000% more pissed about health care.

"Does it bother you that nearly all of the POTUS special appointed "czars" have open, well documented ties to communism, socialism, and radical, violent, often treasonous affiliations with known enemies of this country and her freedom?"

Aaaand, done. No point in arguing this one. The next several paragraphs contain more factual errors than I care to bother with, and none answer the question of why people are so very pissed about health care. I'll just say "independent research" does not mean "trolling blogs for third-hand opinions that match your own."

----

"Dave, another reason is the budget deficit. The US is currently so far in the hole that they are about to start piping in sunlight and air, and yet Congress and the POTUS want to bring in a power digger!"

Entirely true, but I have never seen Americans this livid about the budget before. Health care is not even close to our most expensive budget line-item even if they go for the single payer system (which they are not).

"Start reforming the health insurance system"

That would be great, and it's a good idea, but it would not address those who simply can't pay for it from the start. Look at how many people work at McDonald's or those kiosks in the mall; none of them could pay for it no matter how the reforms work out. And thus, they go to the emergency room for daily care (punishing them won't solve it either, they go there because they have no choice).

----

"had to take care of their parents. They actually had to live with their families."

Mine are dead. So... yeah, that option won't work for me or anyone like me.

"Its by allowing things like it to stand that we legitimize those Nazis. "

Nazis also created a highway system we modeled ours on. Shall we rip that up too? It was a purely nazi invention, 100%, and born from their political ideology.

----

Dave said...

"chock full of little things that have nothing to do with health issues and everything to do with inserting the hand of government so far down your throat that you will shake that hand every time you wipe your ass."

Yeah, it's there and it sucks. But if that is why people are so very pissed, it must be the first piece of legislation they have ever read. ALL of them are like that. And in this case, most of the non-health-care items are things that are stuffed in there by the opponents of the bill in an effort to kill it (it's an old tactic that almost always works. Take the "Free puppies for everyone" law that is certain to pass, and insert a "we stomp on kittens" line in it. Nobody wants to be on record as pro-kitten stomping so they vote against the free puppies).

-----

"one provision that's guaranteed to galvanize every single one of those small constituencies,"

Hmmmm... Really? I can sort of see that. Hadn't really thought about that angle. Actually, yeah, that makes sense. There is always at least one group of people that is really livid about any issue. Is that what's going on here? A collection of individual complaints rather than a massive reaction to it on a broad-based thing?

Most of the individual complaints I have heard people say turned out not to be factually true (like the "death panels" that never existed). The Wall Street Journal says the health insurance industry has assigned 50,000 lobbyists to this, so I can see each and every one of those issues getting a lot of attention (gotta love our legalized bribe system. 535 members of congress vs 50,000 lobbyists. Wonder how that will turn out?)

"for the first time in recorded history all these small constituencies are able to organize and link up almost in realtime, "

Nooooooooo. The Internet has been near-universal since the Clinton years, cell phones have been cheap for about that long too. Talk radio has been around for decades (Rush was most popular radio show in the country back when I was a teenager if I recall correctly).

"people tried to vote against the things you listed, and instead got more of them, and, well, the rage we're seeing in the electorate now becomes entirely understandable."

That makes sense too. We saw a lot of that near the end of the Bush2 years, where things that I think people would normally be annoyed at became things they got really mad about. Maybe this is just that, on a larger scale?

-------

"universal adapter for unlimited ... legislation."

That's called the "Interstate Commerce Clause." It's been around and causing problems for centuries. Pretty much every federal law that effects you personally can be traced back to that. The health care bill as I read it doesn't do this at all.

-------

(scanning ahead to the health care stuff)

"However, it's far better than the Obama plan, which would probably deny him treatment at all"

Nope. I just read it, and it's got pretty clear wording prohibiting it from doing that. Private insurance, on the other hand, does that all the time.

"refusing to set a 70 year old's broken hip, or withholding blood pressure medications from 80 year olds"

It's not in the bill and never was.

"As for suicide counseling"

That's also not in the bill, and never was.
-----

Crucis said...

Hey, 'Dog! Glad to see you posting more frequently. I've missed your missives.

Wayne Conrad said...

The existing state of affairs where the commerce clause and, especially, the general welfare clause mean exactly what congress wants to mean, have been arrived at after 200+ years of increasing disregard for their original meaning and intent. That horse has indeed left the barn, but that does not mean that those riding it are in the right.

Anonymous said...

And you read all 1031 pages of the Obama plan just now? My, my.
And I notice that you leaped right ahead to the shortest commentary of all. Right.
So, with your reading expertise, show me anywhere in my posting that I said these things were "in the plan."
They are, however "in the future."
If you have read and heard the recommendations of the various people having to do with the Obama plan, you will see exactly what I have said-unless you prefer to continue to wear blinkers.
This plan opens the door for some horrendous things, namely Daschele's ideas of strict rationing or abandoning of health care for the elderly and the infirm, and don't imagine they won't come to pass once that door is opened. Suicide counseling is also mentioned.
So, if he doesn't believe in all this, why didn't Obama muzzle his minions and straightforwardly deny them? He will when and if it suits him to do so, I'm sure.
If you had lived as an ordinary person in the USSR or in England, you would know where the USA is headed.
Are you so blind or naive or both as to believe that if this plan is put into effect, it won't continue on, and on, and on, each time stricter and more limiting until we have no choices left?
Of course, you are.
LawMom

wolfwalker said...

Dave,

Most of the individual complaints I have heard people say turned out not to be factually true

Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not. Consider that:

a) no one knows what will actually be in "The Health Care Bill" because there isn't just one "Health Care Bill." There are at least six different versions floating around, each of which is hundreds of pages long.

b) many of the provisions are written in legalese so dense that it takes a lawyer to figure out what they really say. Most regular people are rightly suspicious of any law they don't understand.

c) no matter what the text of the law says, its actual meaning will be determined by the bureaucrats who are given the job of implementing it. Those bureaucrats can implement it any way they choose, and not a thing can you or I say to stop them.

Thus, it's impossible to say exactly "what is in the health care bill."

Next, consider the fact that medical resources (doctors, nurses, hospital beds, medicines, etc.) are limited. That means that no matter what the law says, in practice the government will be forced to ration health care. Given that, it's quite easy (and I think, quite probably correct) to conclude that any health-care reform that does not explicitly outlaw such things as "death panels" will implicitly allow them. And eventually, inevitably, require them. Add in the fact that a number of respected left-wing thinkers openly advocate rationed care and even assisted suicide for the elderly and the terminally ill, and, well, the conclusion is obvious.

It's also quite easy (and quite probably correct) to conclude that if someone says firmly that socialized health care won't lead to rationing, then everything else that person says about the health care bill is suspect.

We saw a lot of that near the end of the Bush2 years, where things that I think people would normally be annoyed at became things they got really mad about. Maybe this is just that, on a larger scale?

Exactly. It isn't any one thing, it's all of them together. People are not actually more pissed off about health care than they were about gargantuan deficits, or nationalizing GM, or bailing out the banks, or any of the other things you listed. It's just that all that accumulated pissed-off-ness is coming together at once and coalescing into one giant surge of fury, with the health-care reform bill(s) as the focus.

As for the Internet and the ability to organize: twenty years ago, even ten years ago, most people weren't on the Internet. Any big organizational effort was limited by the speed of the mail and the news cycle. If Congress had tried something like this twenty years ago, they would have gotten away with it because the bill would have been passed before anyone found out about the problems with it. But today, the news cycle is measured in hours, and you have a thousand bloggers crawling all over any proposed law as soon as it's published -- reading it, analyzing it, figuring out what it means, and then spreading the word about it. Twenty years ago it took a major effort to get your ideas out to even a few thousand like-minded people. Today, all you have to do is tell Instapundit and Hot Air, and your message can reach a million people inside a single day. Get a link on Drudge or Slashdot, and you can reach a million people in a couple of hours.

Dave said...

thousand-page documents are not that hard to read. Between double spacing, a few dozen pages of index and preambles, it is less reading than most short pulp novels. Couple hours of reading, more people should try it.

As for the future, I lack the ability to see future events before they happen, so I have to rely on observable fact. And the facts in this case do not show that conclusion.

You say this plan opens the door for a system that rations or abandons health care for the elderly or infirm despite it stating the exact opposite. You also say suicide counseling is mentioned, which is also false. But you won't take my word for it. I am just a guy on the net. You are willing to take the word of whoever told you the suicide counseling lie, and once you realize they lied to you I hope you never listen to them again.

So please look it up yourself. It's not hard. The bill is posted on congress' website in its entirety. You can even hold down the "ctrl" key and press "f" to search for specific things if you are pressed for time.

Lastly, I HAVE lived as an ordinary person in England. And grew up spending a lot of time camping and vacationing in Canada. They are generally happy with the NHS.

Again, don't take my word for it, and please stop taking the word of radio entertainers. If you want to know what Canadians and Brits think about this, ask THEM, rather than listening to someone else tell you about them.

Dave said...

"Thus, it's impossible to say exactly "what is in the health care bill."

Well, to a point. None of the six versions have suicide counseling or death panels in any form. Legal interpretation can be bent a LOT in this country, but there are limits. And I have a year of law school and a former career in law enforcement so I am accustomed to reading dense legalese. They can bend it and twist it a lot, and will, but when people say things that are flat-out provably factually untrue I have to speak up.

As for rationing, it's possible but not likely. Most of the first world has socialized health care and does not wind up with death panels. And if they did, they could still opt for private insurance (yes, they have normal private health insurance in the UK if you want it, and we will still have that option in the USA).

Of course my roommate was diagnosed as narcoleptic, and her insurance rationed her care since the drugs were a few hundred bucks a month. That's the system we have now.

I still think you have a great point about the accumulated anger. I guess from my perspective (seeing the anger on TV or the net, not in person) it just seems that people are far more angry than before, and I wanted to know why.

It still seems to fall a bit short though. I wonder how much of the anger is genuine issues (like the budget, prospect of rationing, damage to the insurance industry) and how much is the product of those 50,000 lobbyists or disproven urban legends like the suicide counseling myths and death panels.

Anonymous said...

I do live as an ordinary person in England. My mother got free health care from the NHS from 1945 until she died aged 92 a few tears ago.

Unlike her older sister who died just before the war while the family were wondering (because of the potential debt) whether they really needed to call a doctor.

Dave said...

"I do live as an ordinary person in England...."

But that's not what our USA-based talk-show hosts say! They refuse to travel overseas and don't know any foreigners and refuse to cite their sources and don't have any education or job experience in that area, but they MUST know better than you what living in the UK is like!

/sarcasm

Jon said...

The Federal government has screwed up every social program implemented. Expecting anything better with health care is pure madness.

If everyone wants health care reform, then allow doctors and hospitals full reign on their territory and who gets treated without the threat of fines or litigation. I'm willing to bet their reluctance to treat lawyers, bureacrats, drug addicts, hypochondriacs, politicians and criminals would eliminate enough costs to reduce the total cost by at least two thirds.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want health care becuse you believe that your own government is even more incompetent than the British government that's your judgement to make. It's just the lies about the NHS I find slightly irritating (though the idiot who didn't realise Stephen Hawking lives in Britain was good for a laugh).

Derius Thoran said...

Dave, you can choose to ignore the facts regarding the POTUS appointed czars connections to communism, radical socialist organizations, ect if you wish. That does not make them any less open fact. And if these people controlling our nation does not bother you, then it does no good to explain part of why people are so upset.

This all falls in with the fact the far left have the gall to equate angry protesters and concerned seniors to swastika carrying nazis.

And it is government takeover, that opens the door to more control over time. There is language in the bill that will allow this public option to squeeze out all other legitimate private insurers, even going so far as to fine companies that fail to sign on.

And call it buying GM or whatever makes you sleep better, but it does not change the fact that it is nationalization of private industry. Last I checked, that wasn't in the .gov's list of powers, nor was it the way things are done in America.

Aaaand, done. No point in arguing this one. The next several paragraphs contain more factual errors than I care to bother with, and none answer the question of why people are so very pissed about health care. I'll just say "independent research" does not mean "trolling blogs for third-hand opinions that match your own."

OK. So if what I said from there and on was full of factual errors as you say, then care to refute some?

Look up Van Jones history. Look at quotes from Holdren. Look up what co-founder of the Weather Underground now holds prominent place in government, crafting bills.

Look up RAW, STORM, ELLA BAKER, the WTO Riots, the BAY AREA POLICE WATCH, APOLLO ALLIANCE, The CPUSA, or its now named arm The Movement for Democratic Society.

Look at these organizations, their leaders, the czars, and their connections to our POTUS. Unless you can't stomach truth, or actual facts.

If you do you will see how these people tie into the healthcare debate, and why it is about so such more than healthcare.

Being snide or dismissive does not change the facts. I gave my opinion and the facts to support what I said. Try doing the same.

Derius Thoran said...

And also, if the "death panels" or end of life stuff isn't in there, why have they admitted openly to removing all such language regarding it? Ever look at the VA booklet stirring up so much heat? Ever wondered why the "counselling firm" they advise people to go to is in fact a firm linked to assisted suicide?

You see, this type of "healthcare" or socialized medicine has been offered in different packages over the years, and thank God our people were smart enough to see it for what it was.

This time it is more offensive, and with farther reaching control methods. People are finally beginning to wake up.

We don't want Socialism in any form, at all in this country. This and all other big gov expansion of power and control must be stopped.

Such a road is not a slippery slope, it is a sheer cliff.

Kristopher said...

Dave:

Please answer one question: If this is so damned good, then why are congress-critters, their families, and trade-unionists exempt from it?

Until you can answer this, you are not credible here.

Anonymous said...

To all here, I would ask. If socialized health care is so horrible, which it is factually, then are you willing to state that you would like to shut down medicare right now? Now that we are having this debate, we should use it to actually have a real dialog on the system we have NOW. Why is it that with the exception of a few anarchists, no one is willing to say that the current system IS bad, because it goes too far?
As to rationing, withholding blood pressure medications from 80 year olds is NOT rationing, its economics. If as a 40 year old I cannot afford medication I go without, and have. Why should someone magically get coverage because they are 25 years older than me? Give them back whatever Medicare premiums they have paid, plus interest, and minus benefits received. End it. I can't find one bit in the Constitution that defends Medicare

Mikael said...

I live in a country with socialized medicine as well, and it's pretty good overall, and no real rationing, but there can be long queues for surgery, depending on the hospital's workload.

And not all of it is totally free, although most of it is free or heavily subsidized.

Examples:
Last year I had some vaccinations before traveling to thailand. I had to pay full cost and it ended up around $200.

A few years ago I slipped with a knife and stabbed my wrist(about half an inch wide and just as deep), 4 stitches. ER bill about $30(cabfare another $15, wasn't going to call ambulance over it).

A few years before that I had a snowboarding accident, got a concussion, an abraision on my jaw, and memory loss between the accident and waking up in the hospital(though they say I was only out for about half a minute). Hospital bill $0.

My mother, who is struggling financially, has long had stomach problems. She's had two surgeries in the last couple of years, which has improved her health considerably, the first was removing her gallblader, and I forget what the second one was. Again, no charge.

If she'd been living in the USA, there's not a snowballs chance in hell she'd have coverage or been able to afford those surgeries.

tmoney said...

Some thoughts on the discussion.

RE: Why everyone is so angry.

It's a cumulative anger. Had Obama been elected in a time of prosperity, with no financial burdens imposed on the country, there is a very good chance that this would have passed already and with little fuss. But he didn't. Obama inherited this country after 8 years of Bush, in which every democrat, many moderates and a portion of the republicans feel that the government spent 8 years ignoring the people and doing whatever the hell it felt like. Now this is the normal way during a party change, but what made matters worse is the recession. For nearly a year now (as of last sept) the people have been clamoring for the government to stop for a moment and think before enacting policies which are unread, undesirable and unconstitutional. This uniquely has been cried from all sides of the political spectrum (sometimes consistently, sometimes on party lines). But under both Bush and Obama, the government has surged ahead, bailing some companies out, letting other fail, buying some companies, allowing others to go bankrupt, issuing massive amounts of credit to buy overvalued products, and otherwise trying to maintain the status quo, when it is clear to anyone paying attention, that the status quo is exactly what got us into this mess in the first place. Now, instead of listening, the government is pushing forward again, and again asking us to not pay attention and not read it, just to trust them (see "must pass this by august or we're all doomed", "think of the children" and "who has two days and two lawyers to read this shit?"). And people are starting to see that regardless of what their politician of choice says, they're really all on the same side, which is the side of gaining more power (see Obama voting for telecom immunity). We're reaching a breaking point here. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be enough to push past that breaking point, people are too easily distracted and very few actually care beyond what their party of choice tells them to care about.

RE: The constitution doesn't explicitly allow it, but it doesn't deny it either.

This is just flat wrong. Reference Amendments IX and X. While the government may ignore those amendments, they do exist, and they trump federal fiat.

RE: You can't see the future, so how can you know what will happen. Also, the bill doesn't say it will do X, or prohibits Y so it clearly wont happen.

A cursory look at American history shows this is just plain untrue. The oldest example is the aforementioned 9th and 10th amendments. A more recent one is the PATRIOT ACT which explicitly stated that the expanded observational powers are limited only to observation of Foreign Nationals, we see how well that worked out for us. As a rule, when giving the federal government power, one should mentally magnify that power and it's reach by about 100 to get the final result. Even something as innocent as Federal Highways have been used to force policy. The drinking age at 21 is not federal law, but almost all states (with I believe 1 exception) have it. Why? Because federal funding for these highways is now restricted based on whether or not the drinking age for your state is 21.

tmoney said...

RE: The end of life discussions will never be used to force political policy on people.

Did you know that if you decide that you don't want Medicare, that you MUST decline your Social Security benefits as well? Any time the government mandates something, you can be sure that it will mandate politics, not science or health.

But if you don't believe me, ask yourself this, if the government were to pass this healthcare bill, say the religious right gained power, would you want them to be able to mandate a pre-abortion counseling session where the only topic was how wrong abortion was? And for pro-life folks who might find that idea appealing, would you want the government to be able to mandate a "pre-teen" health counseling which included instruction on various pregnancy avoidance methods including abortion? The pendulum always swings the other way, and no matter how innocent it starts, government power can and will be corrupted to push politics and not health.

And for what it's worth, I have no problems if each state wants to implement their own health system, that is within the bounds of the constitution (depending on how far you take the incorporation clause). But it isn't something the federal government can or should do.

Lastly, I would like to end with a personal anecdote which explains why I don't trust the government to make a plan which works.

My wife has a medical condition which for a time made it nearly impossible for her to keep a steady job. She could get a job, but when the health issue started acting up (picture something akin to epileptic seizures, 20 minutes to an hour at a time, 3 to 4 times a day), she would find herself unable to work, and quickly fired from her job. Medication could help control the condition, but not eliminate it completely, however, medication was $600 per month, a bit out of our price range and at the time we had no insurance. Luckily (we thought) there are government programs designed to help. Social Security has programs to supplement your income if you can't work due to medical conditions, and programs to assist in paying for medications. So after much discussion on the issue (we both abhor the idea of being on government assistance) we decided to apply.

What we were told was that, yes, it appeared she would qualify for the supplemental income, however, there was a 3-6 month application process, during which time she would not be allowed to work more than 10 hours per week, else she would be disqualified and have to apply again. If she was approved, she would be able to receive income up to roughly 20-30 hours per week. She would then be allowed to work and any hours worked would be deducted from her benefits, however, under no circumstances was she allowed to work more than 20 hours per week. If she did, she would lose all her benefits and have to start the application process over again the next time she lost her job or her hours got cut. Needless to say, when you've only got one source of income, which is already part time and have no interest in living off the government teat nor racking up debt just to be allowed the chance to live off said teat, this option became a non option very quickly. Oh, and the programs in place to cover medications, wouldn't cover hers because it wasn't on the approved list for treatments for her condition (this after years of trial and error by her doctor, and incidentally, the same excuse her private insurance gives today so government vs private insurance to us is same shit different flies). We found out after the fact that if you write to the manufacturer of her medication, and provide evidence of lack of income, they will actually provide you with the medication for free, score one for the big evil profiteering corporations.

Government programs are not designed to help people and are not designed to get people off the program. They are designed to keep people on the program as long as possible, in order to keep funding flowing.

Ronald Pottol said...

Not saying you are wrong, but 90+% of the federal government rests on the general welfare clause and the interstate commerce clause, and completely insane interpretations at that. Apply that to the second, and we'd say that paranoid schizophrenics with a history of violence should be given hydrogen bombs.

It's as legal drug prohibition, federal gun laws, and social security.

Growing food on my own land may be regulated because I'm replacing food that I would have had to buy that might have been transported from another state.

Dave said...

Honestly I feel kinda bad about clogging someone else' blog with my rants, and there are so many replies I can't even keep up. But I will give it a shot.

"I'm willing to bet their reluctance to treat ..."

Don't know any doctors, do ya?

"though the idiot who didn't realise Stephen Hawking lives in Britain was good for a laugh"

Funny for you (assuming you are the British person who posted earlier). Kinda embarrassing for us.

Czars rant: Way off topic, and while I can think of a few retorts it just won't fit here. Mrs. Palin already said all that, so just look up all the people who commented on her stuff back then for rebuttal.

death panels vs. end of life: not the same thing. End of life counseling = teaching people about living wills, inheritance and so on. Most of the GOP legislators who are making a rukus now voted FOR exactly this in 2003, but they "were for it before they were against it" (in case you were missing John Kerry, there's a sound byte for ya). "Death Panels" (panels that decide if you live or die) never existed in any proposals.

"If this is so damned good, then why are congress-critters, their families, and trade-unionists exempt from it?"

Because they already have health care. Not sure how answering that means I have credibility here, but there ya go.

(skipping over a few that don't seem aimed at me)

Cumulative anger comment: Again, thank you. That still does the best job of explaining to me why people are so worked up.

interstate commerce clause/welfare clause: Ronald, you are right. I can't argue against that at all. Personally I yearn for a more libertarian time, where the federal government was more or less the regional meeting of the independent states' governments. Commerce clause killed that wayyyyy back. It's more abused than any other part of the constitution IMHO.

As for the various (many many) people who mention socialism... fire departments. Public school. Roads. National parks/forests. All socialist. Truly. Now ask yourself if you even know the definition of the word "socialism."

Funniest headline The Onion ever wrote: "Libertarian reluctantly calls fire department."

wolfwalker said...

Dave wrote: As for the various (many many) people who mention socialism... fire departments. Public school. Roads. National parks/forests. All socialist.

Sorry, not even close.

Anonymous said...

Dave apparently can't read.

Specifically the 10th amendment, which says (paraphrased for the reading-impaired:

"If it ain't on the list of Federal powers, then the Federal Government ain't allowed to do it - only the states or the people."

What part of that isn't clear?

DD

Dave said...

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

so, your government does not administer your fire trucks, textbooks or parklands?

Dave said...

Tenth amdt: valid point. So is the "general welfare" clause. Thus, you need more substance for your argument.

Surprisingly, I only came here to ask why this issue raises greater protest than patriot act, abortion, gun rights and so on. My question was answered (really, I mean it, and thanks) and this isn't my blog. So I will bail now, and just say there are opinions and facts. Reasonable people can disagree about opinions (good idea, bad idea, will work, won't work, bad man, good man, etc).

Facts, however, are facts (this does exist, this does not, the text says ___, the text does not, etc).

The bill in question likely won't work (my opinion) but does not include death panels (fact). It's not prohibited by the constitution (my opinion, having gotten rather high grades studying it) and one last fact: once you strip out the index, preamble, 200,000+ double spaces (really) and definitions, it's around 530 pages of two and three-line paragraphs. You can likely read all of it in an evening.

If you do, you don't have to take my word or Bill O'Reily's word as to what it says; you will know for yourself.

Howdy said...

TRUE EXPLANATION OF "THE GENERAL WELFARE" CLAUSE:
To all those stating the "general welfare" clause as a potential loophole, or outright gift for national health care, may I direct your attention to the Federalist Papers. Specifically, #41.
In it, you will find that James Madison, the father of the Constitution, strikes down the idea that "providing... for the general welfare" is a power in and of itself.
It most certainly is not!

Instead, the "general welfare" is to be provided for by following and executing the enumerated powers given to congress in the succeeding text following it.
As Madison stated:
"For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars."

The "general welfare" clause is NOT an open ended grant of all powers simply because congress can construe an idea to be portrayed as "for the common good".

We must not disregard the original intent of our Constitution, and I will not allow others to deliver the proverbial slap in the face to our founding fathers.
Respect them, and their word. Else we are doomed to fall.

Keep it up LawDog! Great post!

Anonymous said...

"As for constitutional standing, there is nothing expressly commanding them to do it, but nothing prohibiting them either."

Amendments 9 and 10 - if it isn't specifically permitted to the Federal government elsewhere in the Constitution, these two deny it.

The problem is that the Supreme Court decided about 70 years ago that the Commerce Clause essentially allows everything by changing the test to (essentially) "Could it theoretically have some sort of economic impact? If so, then it is acceptable"

tmoney said...

RE: General Welfare and Commerce Clauses

Just because we as a society have in the past ignored and trampled the very laws we founded this country on, is no excuse or justification for continued trampling of our laws.

To say that the General Welfare clause provides all the authorization congress needs to do pretty much anything it wants as long as it can claim it's "for the children" is to presume that the founding fathers made the entire rest of section 8 completely redundant, and didn't really mean all that stuff they said about "congress shall make no law", oh and never mind those 9th and 10th amendments, we really didn't mean those either, just editorial notes you know?

Same with the interstate commerce clause and its abuses.

RE: Fire departments, police, and schools

DIscounting for a moment the horrible federal DoE, each of these is an example of something provided by the state or the town or the people directly, all of which are perfectly valid under the constitution (again see Amendments 9 and 10). This design is intentional, the founding fathers understood that smaller chunks of government are more manageable and better serve the interests of the people rather than the interests of the politicians, so they specifically limited federal power. We continue to ignore that design at our own peril.

Lastly, something I think escapes a good number of people from Europe when they look at these sorts of conflicts we have here in the state, recall that the entirety of England is roughly the same size as the state of North Carolina. Even larger countries are still smaller than some of our states. Now, Europeans have started to get a taste of this with EU regulations and such, but if you live in Europe, as yourself if you would trust the people of a different country to adequately manage and provide for your healthcare system. Do you think from their seat 4 or 5 countries away that those people would be able to adequately determine what resources you need and where they should go? This is what the people here deal with. Federal healthcare mandates is something akin to the EU deciding all of Europe will have the healthcare system of the UK, or Germany instead of being allowed to choose what works best for them.

wolfwalker said...

Dave, two final points from me, and I hope you'll hang around long enough to see them:

1) Regarding "so, your government does not administer your fire trucks, textbooks or parklands?" -- the Founders, like most sensible people, understood that some services (like police and emergency response) can only be effectively provided by a government. That isn't socialism, it's good old-fashioned common sense. Note, for example, that the Constitution specifically authorizes Congress to create "Post Offices and Post Roads." The Constitution attempted (and for the most part succeeded) in creating a system where the federal government is permitted to do only those things that must be done by a national-level government.

2) regarding the 10th Amendment and the "general welfare" clause: you can't use one part of the Constitution to overrule another, unless the language specifically says "this part replaces and supersedes that part," as with the repeal of Prohibition or the direct election of senators. By this principle, you can't say that "the general welfare clause renders the 10th Amendment moot." You have to strike some sort of balance between the two.

Crucis said...

Mikael, if your mother had/would be living in the US, she can go to any ER and be treated for FREE.

It's the law. Hospitals cannot turn away anyone for lack of payment.

There is absolutely no need for this massive nationalization of healthcare other than politics. Anyone, who needs and/or wants healthcare in the US today, can get it. Anyone saying otherwise is a LIAR.

Kristopher said...

Dave:

Stop evading the question, Dave.

I'll rephrase it to make it a bit more difficult to avoid:

If this system being proposed is so good, then why are congress-critters and tradeunionists insisting that their privileged healthcare systems be exempt?

Are they too good for peasant-care?

Anonymous said...

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Anonymous said...

"To all those stating the general welfare clause as a potential loophole, or outright gift for national health care, may I direct your attention to the Federalist Papers."

Direct us to where the states agreed that the Federalist Papers have the force of law.

Anonymous said...

RE:The Federalist Papers.

When interpreting the Constitution there are 3 ways it is generally done.

1)Strict construction : The words mean exactly what they say, nothing more and nothing less.

2)Original intent : What did they mean when they wrote it. In this case, you look at the surrounding evidence.

3)What do we want it to mean. Essentially, if it doesn't fit your desires make something up.

When people start talking about the Federalist Papers they are making an Original Intent argument. That is particularly useful in this case as the arguments in favor of the Commerce Clause and General Welfare allowing the government essentially unfettered power are largely a combination of type 2 and 3 arguements.

Howdy said...

I never stated that the Federalist Papers carried the authority of law.
To make such a comparison is asinine.

However, being that James Madison co-authored the Constitution, which DOES have the force of law, and seeing that he also authored parts of the Federalist Papers which explained to the people what the Constitution would mean to them, it is a simple deduction of logic to believe they should be looked at as a magnifying glass for what the Constitution's writers intended.

Simply because you wish to negate their meaning doesn't negate the fact that an author of the Constitution directly opposes your view of that clause.

Deal with it. The "general welfare" clause is NOT an enumeration of power, and does not grant authority for national health care. Period!

Jon said...

There's no way the U.S. can afford to give everyone healthcare. There will never be enough money and the ultimate result will be the reduction in services to compensate for the lack of money. All the political discourse and tooth gnashing will never change this fact. They will never be able to collect enough taxes, the money can't be borrowed and the drain on the private sector will destroy free commerce in the U.S.

So, why am I mad? It's because the current systems of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupt. The tens of trillions of dollars needed to keep these money pits in place will never be realized, so I'll be facing the shortages and loss of services when I reach retirement in the next 15 years. As the last of the baby boomers, I'll witness the demise of the confiscatory Ponzi schemes. The thought of another ridiculous entitlement program makes my blood boil. The thought that more of my money will be taken under the threat of incarceration to pay for another bureacracy galvanizes my into opposing any increase in the size of the government.

outside_of_apex said...

I'm not disagreeing with LawDog's point here about the constitutionality of a managed health care system, but I think think this is a bit of a red herring and the horse has left the barn a long time ago (feel free to add any more relevant or not so relevant analogies).

There are currently more government agencies and departments than you can throw a stick at. I'm not so sure how many would pass constitutional muster.

I'm a Libertarian at heart. The fewer laws the better. I don't want someone telling me what I should do. I was raised to know how to fend for myself and to know how to survive without dependence on others.

Unfortunately, there are just too many people eating temptation's apple and spoiling the barrel for the rest of us.

Mikael said...

Re: Crucis

No, you're quite wrong there. You see, while her afflictions were painful, they weren't emergencies. Some of her problems stem from a disease she's had, undiagnosed, for about four decades(a sort of bowel infection generally only inflicting the malnurished, and treatable with a heavy regimen of antibiotics). She's got a stomach her doctor called the worst he's ever seen, with so much scar tissue.

One operation was removing her gallblader, which was filled with gallstones, and I forget what the other one was, but both were non-emergency but quality of life improving. This means that even in the USA, it's by appointment surgeries, it's not handled by the ER.

Also, even if they wouldn't be allowed to turn her away, she'd still have to foot the bill in the end, and likely end up in staggering amount of debt. It's not like american healthcare is FREE as you put it. This would be pretty close to a mortgage your house kind of thing, at least taken together.

Mikael said...

PS: When she finally got that infection diagnosed, she had to spend a week in the hospital for the heavy duty antibiotics too.

Mikael said...

PPS:

Finally remembered the disease's name: Heliobacter. She had it for _four decades_

Crucis said...

Mikeal, you weren't listening. ERs are no longer just for emergencies. Nor do you have to be in pain. Go over to Abulance Driver's blog and read about some of his patients.

Everybody. Every. Single. Person. Going. To. The. ER. Will. Be. Seen. And if anything is found, treated. If the patient can't pay, the hospital, in many states, will attempt to get reimbursed via Mediaid from the state.

Citizenship status, economic status, health status nor severity of health affliction is no bar for service. The patient will be seen and treated.

Period.

Anonymous said...

Having been more or less in the health profession for a number of years, I can say with perfect authority that many doctors tell indigent patients to go to the ER for EVERYTHING.
And they do: runny noses, hangnails, sprained ankles, you name it.
What's more, these people are frequently treated before the more serious injuries because the hospitals fear lawsuits brought by someone like the ACLU if they don't.
I have seen a boy, both eyes black, vomitting, fainting from at least a severe concussion, sit for hours in the ER while every Welfare layabout in the county was treated first.
My landlady's grandson, only a year old, was in the midst of a critical asthma attack when she took him to the ER about 8 pm. Six hours later, she brought him home, still untreated, and we dosed him with strong coffee and benadryl. He lived-that time.
In fact, the son of one of my friends died in the ER, having been shot by a mugger. He was there over 2 hours, untreated, and bled to death while illegal aliens, drug addicts, and other trash were treated first.
Of course, the parents sued, as well they should in this case, but the hospital managed to shove it off on the ER doctor-never mind that it was the hospital that set policy.
Needless to day, these people were respectable, employed, had insurance, and their presence in the ER was truly an emergency.
One hospital of my own knowledge had ordered the ER personnel to look for anyone of color and treat them first, on the theory that they were the most likely to sue if they didn't get immediate attention.
It ain't like t.v. folks, and believe me, it's going to get a lot, lot worse.
LawMom

Da Curly Wolf said...

Lawdog? Couldn't agree more.

AE? Sticks break too easy. If you ask me nicely I'll lend you a length of 1/2" steel pipe.

Sendarius said...

Mikael wrote:

Finally remembered the disease's name: Heliobacter. She had it for _four decades_


I hate to burst your bubble, but Heliobacter pylori is NOT some great and evil disease - it is a simple bacterium that was proven be an Australian researcher to cause some stomach & duodenal ulcers. According to sources I spent 5 minutes finding, as many as 50% of the population harbour the bacterium in their upper GI tract.

Not finding it in your family member before it was even discovered is no great sin, and it is truly stretching to categorise that failure as indicative of poor medical care.

I think you dissemble somewhat.

Anonymous said...

The constituion does not say "provide for the general welfare" but rather promote it. (We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.)Notice the "provide for the common defense." Only parasites want it the other way.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want government run health care, then kindly refuse to participate in government run retirement - Social Security. While you're at it, make sure you don't enroll in Medicare too.

Anonymous said...

Lawdog,

For more information on how this violates the Constitution, try the following:
http://michaelconnelly.viviti.com/entries/general/the-truth-about-the-health-care-bills

Rat Bastard

Anonymous said...

Amen, brother. I couldn't have said it better. I've had it up to here with this crap.

farma