OBAMA CARE...So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. This is a statement of our most basic individual rights. Over the centuries our human rights have been abused and eroded but always one could still say (...most of the time, in this country...) one could mind their own business and be left totally alone to live their life with no interference from anyone. But with this new health care bill, soon everyone will have to pay a fee to the government, or insurance company, for being alive.

...our last tiny bit of absolute liberty will be erased.

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mojo5501, if you haven't seen Monty Python's Life of Brian, you really need to rush out and do so. It's sort of a foundational document for atheists. Plus, it's hilarious and really well done.

I think that the government having greater involvement in health care generally should shine a light on corporate waste and mismanagement. I know that goverment can waste money, but it always amazes me that people think the private sector is immune to mismaganement and fraud.
Yes, I am a Monty Python fan...I've seen 'em all. I agree that Life of Brian is fantastic and it was probably one of the many things that influenced/changed my way of thinking about the life of Jesus as a teenager. I also loved that whole skit in The Meaning of Life about big Catholic families v Protestant families, with the song "Every Sperm is Sacred".

When conservatives applaud the free market system and apply the same rules of capitalism to health care, hospitals, doctor's fees, insurance companies, and pharmaceuticals, this is the point we have to ask ourselves the question: Is our health a commodity? Who benefits from the existing way of doing things?

Private hospitals headed by business managers with stockholders to please are under pressure to make money...as all good capitalists are. But hospitals aren't supermarkets or banks or car dealerships. It takes a different kind of management style for hospitals to excel and provide the best possible services.

We all end up in the health care system one way or another... wasteful practices only end up costing us more over time. And insurance premiums are skyrocketing, with more and more employers feeling the strain of covering their employees. A more efficient system is being planned...with financial oversight and boards of physicians (not shareholders) to keep costs under control. I think if people took the time and effort to look beyond all the scare tactics, they'd see a lot to like in what's being created.

I remember watching some of the town hall meetings before the presidential elections and people would stand up and denounce health care reform on the basis of "government intervention": "Keep your hands off my Health care". One woman was so concerned about abortion being provided free by the government that she almost started to cry.

It's such an emotional issue for people...even though we all win when everybody is covered by quality, affordable health care. Some people are in such a frenzy about socialized medicine that they don't even take the time to understand that our reforms in the health care insurance industry provide MORE CHOICES not less choices. Regulation is GOOD for the consumer (us). We will have more protection from price hikes and substandard care.
Not really, you still have the option to not have health insurance and die, just like before.
I thought there was some requirement that people have health insurance, kind of like car insurance?
By 2014 the Republican-proposed you-have-to-buy-health-insurance rule kicks in.

A whole lot of us are hoping that by then, an affordable public option is introduced.
Well, hopefully by 2014 my income will have risen above its current level of $0.
For a great reference, check out the website: Politifact

It's got 2 articles about health care reform that I found very helpful:


"Top 5 Lies" about Health Care Reform
"Top 10 Facts to Know About Health Care Reform"

I think I remember reading about some sort of penalty for people that "opt out". It was a certain amount of money to pay. And there are exceptions for people in economic distress...I don't think anybody's going to be left to die in the hospital parking lot!
Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.

Ralph, 45,000 people in this country die each year as a direct result of not having the money to give to the private, for-profit companies that are the gateway to the even harder to afford medical care in this country. And/or because those for-profit companies happily took their premiums, then dropped them when they needed to cash in. Explain to me the "Life" part of that. Please. I'd love to know how a for-profit company deciding whether you live or die is "free" and "American." How it ties in to Life and Liberty.

Pursuit of Happiness - Working at a ski resort last year, a woman told me "If you don't have health insurance you shouldn't be allowed to ski." As I speak I'm recovering from a knee surgery which I could only afford by quitting work and becoming poor enough for Medicaid. Had I not, it would have worsened to the point of permanent damage. Never again to ski, play basketball, pursue a desired job as a backcountry Park Ranger. All because I'm not one of the richest few percent who can afford real insurance or out-of-pocket medical care. Explain to me Ralph how that ties in to "Pursuit of Happiness."

Over the centuries our human rights have been abused and eroded but always one could still say (...most of the time, in this country...) one could mind their own business and be left totally alone to live their life with no interference from anyone.

How? By ending slavery? By giving Women and Blacks the right to vote? By nipping the Conservative eugenics programs of the early 20th century in the bud and allowing the poor, the disadvantaged, the people-we-don't-like to live like any other American?

Or are you speaking of the freedom of the butcher to feed you ecoli-ridden human remains, or the drug company to sell you a pill that doesn't do what it's advertised to do? How about the freedom of your commercial airline pilot to down a fifth of Jack right before the flight? The freedom of your building contractor to cut corners so that your home comes smashing down on top of you and your family? Then there's the freedom of Hospitals to price-gouge for medical care such that only the rich can afford to live. If you go to a loan shark insurance company, you might be better able to afford the doctor's prices, but you might also be robbed blind. Are these the freedoms you speak of? Because yes, those freedoms have been largely squashed by government regulation. That last one, thanks to...


with this new health care bill, soon everyone will have to pay a fee to the government, or insurance company, for being alive.

What fee Ralph? Are you talking about the mandate to carry insurance that will kick in 4 years from now? A rule put in place by Republicans? Because if that's the definition of loss-of-liberty, we lost it when Auto insurance became mandatory.

Or are you talking about taxes? Because unless you make over $200,000/year, are on the most expensive private insurance plans out there, or get Botox, you will not pay any more or different taxes for this bill than you do right now.

And whether you do or not, I'm sorry but taxes, in and of themselves, do not equal loss of liberty. You live in this country. You benefit from this country's social services, whether it's the DOT, FDA, FAA, NTSB, Postal service, Police, Fire, Public School or Public Library, or the Medicare and Social Security checks you will get when you're 65, you are benefiting from Socialist Services in America. Are you saying Ralph that you should be allowed to benefit but should not have to contribute?

And besides taxes, which are already a fact of life and therefore nothing new, how exactly does this bill interfere with your freedom Ralph? By allowing a 23 year old to stay on their parent's insurance? By making it illegal for your insurance company to take your premiums then drop you when you get sick? By preventing price gouging in stating that 85% of what your insurance company takes from you has to go towards actual medical care? Perhaps your loss of freedom comes in the form of the expanded Medicare services you will get when you retire and become a deadbeat, lazy, slacker, non-contributor to society?

I really want to know Ralph. Where in your sick fantasy world does a 10% tax on Botox override the right to life of those 45,000 Americans?
I should like to add how many people go broke in the USA as well trying to stay alive, and ending up with huge hospital and treatment bills.

Speaking from my socialist perch up here in Soviet Canuckistan public health care just makes sense.

There are a few things every healthy nation should have. Health, Education and Social safety nets are a part of that equation. I see it as leveling the playing field by giving every citizen equal access to the basics of life.

Much like you we have a contingent of right wingers who don't realize what they have, and want to give up.
There are a few things every healthy nation should have. Health, Education and Social safety nets are a part of that equation. I see it as leveling the playing field by giving every citizen equal access to the basics of life.

Exactly my point, only I was way more wordy.
I'm beginning to think Ralph is a hermit and his internet connection got disconnected...has he/she ever responded?

I don't think he should bother....because YOU Jo Jerome JUST won the debate, seriously, well done. I feel like we should hear the bell of the last round of a boxing match right about now!!
Yeah, gotta hand it to Jo for that post. And JayBarti, I'm convinced that Gregory S. Paul's hypothesis is correct, and the stronger we make our social safety nets, the sooner religion will die off in the US as it has in more enlightened countries. Another reason why the atheist/libertarian combo makes no sense. The lack of robust safety nets is what keeps churches in business.

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