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August 12, 2009 - 7:05pm

A challenge to all Critical Thinkers

posted by Jeff Allen in Obama, honesty, healthcare.

This is a legitimate challenge to all critical thinkers.  Watch the two youtube videos below (a total investment of less than 3 minutes of your time), then without the filter of partisanship, without claiming "out of context" since the videos are completely in context.  Using only critical thinking skills, explain how the statements in each of the videos can be reconciled.

 

 

Doug Yeomans
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The problem with current health care systems is the fact that the government makes too many rules for them to begin with. The last thing I want is an ENTIRELY government run health care system. The government needs to butt-out of health decisions between a patient and their doctor. I want smaller government entirely and I don't want them knowing anything about personal matters such what I discuss with my personal doctor. It's none of their business. There's much to be said about this topic but considering the way that the Federal government mishandles just about anything it touches, do you really want to turn your health care into another topic that politicians squabble over? I vote "NO."
Doug Yeomans
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Just how much power do you want the Federal government to have over your life, anyway? They already have far too much, in my opinion. There's a reason why it's difficult to easily get ahead and become financially independent. It's called "power". If you're kept under the thumb, over taxed and governed, you are enslaved. If you're able to become financially independent, you don't have to worry about health care or other financial burdens. Being financially independent also doesn't mean you won't be productive, just the opposite. It also means you have a choice not to be an Obama-bot. Think, think, think!
Doug Yeomans
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Tagged in: *healthcare *honesty *Obama All three of those things don't go together in the same sentence. 1. Heath Care shouldn't be a function of government. 2. Honesty in politics - I like to laugh but this is just sad. 3. Obama - He's a politician, Revert to point #2.
Dennis Jay
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The two videos can be reconciled by understanding the nuances of how political reality can change between campaigning and governing. I know many knowledgeable, thoughtful and moderate people who favor the concept of a single-payer system, but don't support it now because it would surely lead to no reform at all. I think Obama was probably sharing his feelings honestly in both settings. I've worked in insurance for 30 years, and can say unequivically that the current system is not sustainable. The increased costs over time will put health care and insurance out of reach for most Americans. On a sidenote, Jeff, I like your comment about replying "without the filter of partisanship." We need more of that.
Sean Valdes
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As much as I dislike the President and his views and direction for this country - I can't say that he did anything different in the above videos than a Republican politician has done. Politicians lie. It's our job as informed citizens to find the truths from their words and their actions. Concerning the current government proposed health care bill - I think we need to look back to June 30, 1965. Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law by President Johnson as part of the "Great Society". After that date, every 3-5-7 years, more benefits were added to the two programs - Disabled people in 1972, Supplemental Security Income in 1973, increased coverage almost every 2 years, all Federal employees become eligible in 1984 (some were previously exempt prior to 1984), etc. etc. Fast forward to today and we're paying for Grandpa's erectile dysfunction pills. Government will expand as long as we let it. We need to stop the expansion now, and not let any new programs begin - period.
Jeff Allen
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Dennis, my political views have been well established on this site, and it would have been tempting to jump all over these videos with the "gotcha politics" that BOTH sides like to engage in. But I just wanted the content of the videos to speak for themselves and let discussion start without adding any additional fuel. Good so far, waiting for more.
Bea McManis
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Every president since President Truman have attempted some form of health care. Each time the results are the same, 'we need more time to study this'. Since the majority of the readers only know President Truman from their history books, wouldn't you think the time for study is over? I do think the talking point that one doesn't want the government between the patient and the doctor has little merit. When you have private insurance, you have the CEO of the insurance company between you and your doctor. No one is going to take your private insurance away from you. God bless you if you can afford it. Hopefully after this summer of robust rhetoric, the people in Washington can sit down, do some compromising and come up with a plan that will satisfy the majority of Americans. If it turns out that the plan is 'no plan' then so be it. I only hope it is a 'no plan' for the right reason.
C. M. Barons
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Side by side these videos seem to evoke a contradiction as to Obama's advocacy of single payer or universal health care. However, these two videos are not contemporaneous: one is probably from his campaign- several months ago, the other more recent. Secondly, as Obama notes in the AFL-CIO Conference video, and alludes to in the C-SPAN video; he has a progressive view on health insurance. In other words, what he might advocate initially, does not necessarily represent the ultimate of his reform goals. He explains that shifting directly from a private-payer to a single-payer system would be too disruptive in one step. It is concern for a faultless transition that accounts for not favoring a single-payer system up front. That does not preclude moving to the eventuality of a single-payer system in the future.
C. M. Barons
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I keep hearing of this fear that the government will come between patients and doctors. Since when is an insurance company's interference less threatening? Insurance companies REGULARLY decide what procedures they will cover or not, what drugs they will cover or not, what doctors they will cover or not... A single HMO plan is about $900/year; a family plan, $3500. The Republicans think I should continue to support profiteering insurance companies (that raise their rates 10 - 30% annually) so I can save 10 bucks on the one or two doctor's office visits I make each year. The alternative: my taxes pay for my doctor visits and my employer pays me an extra $500 bucks a year because the company doesn't have to shell out to an insurance company anymore. I'd like to know how much the health insurance companies are paying the Republicans to make the insurance companies' hand in my pocket look so attractive?
John Woodworth JR
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All I have to say is look into some of Europe's Healthcare systems such as United Kingdom's and Italy's. These might help you understand how healthcare reform does and doesn't work like they want you to believe. Physicians, pharmacist, and HMO companies are too corrupt and greedy to allow a low cost healthcare system. Look at Italy's doctors they will help you, but will save you, if you have the money.
John Woodworth JR
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Oh by the way! Since we are talking negatively about President Obama's healthcare reform plans our we being turn in by some concern citizen to President Obama's adminstration?
Jeff Allen
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C.M. your first post is the first one using critical thinking debate. So by using the contemporaneous argument, the next logical conclusion would be that the President has changed his mind from the first video to the second.
Jeff Allen
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I also wanted to point out a subtle piece in the two videos. In the first video, the President feels the need to distinguish between single payer and universal healthcare. Why he does cannot be derived from the video alone. In his answer he only defines single payer and clearly states he is not for it. He does not however define universal healthcare nor does he say whether he is for or against it, he simply moves on to another point. By the way, he accurately describes single payer(governemnt pays for it all) and we know that universal healthcare means the governemnt is the insurer (governemnt runs and pays for it all) The difference between the two is rendered moot in the second video when he says I am a proponent of single payer universal healthcare. The second video would indicate that either there is no difference or he is for either/both. I have to get to work now so I will not be replying until later in this afternoon.
Peter O'Brien
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I think this is the correct video. I have no speakers at work so I cannot verify it. It should have a quote of him saying a public option is the best path to a single payer system.
Kelly Hansen
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I have yet to hear the following question answered succinctly and completely: What happens when my employer decides that it would save the company millions to cut out healthcare and we are all forced into the public option? This would be a big money saver for corporations and small businesses in this tough economy. I do not want the public option, want my current insurance, but the company sees the enormous benefit of dropping health insurance costs. ??? Anyone? Has anyone here studied what happened in Hawaii recently when they tried this??? The businesses all got rid of their healthcare plans and dumped the people into the state plan. The state plan folded immediately.
Peter O'Brien
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You should be able to keep your insurance, it would just cost a lot more. Could be reason to unionize though which Obama would appreciate.
Kelly Hansen
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Peter, cost a LOT MORE? Do you know how much health insurance costs? Unionize? LOL! Anyone else? :)
Chelsea O'Brien
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Companies receive tax breaks for giving their employees health benefits, so it may not be in their benefit to get rid of those plans. There are still private options for health care, and some state options. While it would cost you more, you would still have a choice between private and public health care.
Peter O'Brien
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I wrote lots more....
Kelly you nailed it for me! My company this past year in an effort to save money changed carriers and saved millions. Unfortunately, the plan was and still is aweful! My wife and I discussed it and chose to get another plan through her work that provides much better care that meets our family's needs for a lower price. That was my choice. My biggest concern is exactly what you stated. If the government has a plan and a company can and will save millions by just allowing them to pick up the tab why not? I know that there may be fines, but are the fines even substantial enough to offset the cost of what they pay? Probably not. My problem is simple. I want choice in my life. I want to be able to decide what is best for my family. I don't want the government to tell me what is best for my family. I understand that under the current proposal that we can keep our current plans, but how long will that last? My wife and I when we first got done with the military did not have health insurance for a time. We had a small child at the time and could not qualify for anything. The result...We paid for everything. We became more thoughtful on what we really needed to go to the doctor for. We didn't run into the office everytime my daughter coughed or sneezed. At the end of the day though we had an emergency and I recieved a big bill. We are still paying for it today. Do you know what I did? I found a better job that was willing to provide the healthcare I wanted and I left. I chose to better my situation, then actually did it. I understand that people have hard times in life. Everyone does. The plain truth is I don't feel that this plan is well thought out and we will all suffer for it. Getting something approved just to celebrate a political victory is a joke.
Chelsea O'Brien
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There are other examples out there about the federal government creating a program, but also having a private option. One example is Federal Stafford Loans, schools decide between Direct Loans and FELP. Direct Loans come from the government. FELP loans come from private companies, like Sallie Mae, but are backed by the government. Regardless if you think the government should be in the loan business, some schools firmly believe in the FELP program because of the competition it creates. However, lately, the government has been calling for getting rid of the FELP part and solely using Direct Loans for its Stafford Loans.
Kelly Hansen
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If people must pay for insurance out of pocket to secure a 'choice' or go to the public program - that is not a choice. Private insurance is unaffordable. That is where the reform should lie. I know someone who works for BC/BS and their Christmas party every year is a seafood buffet. If we lost our insurance through work, we could not keep the same plan. The business pays 75% of the cost and we could not cover that. How is this public option going to be paid for? Peter and Paul have both been robbed and even the Chinese (home of everything lead) is disgusted with our spending habits. People, reform IS necessary; the public option is a horrible one.
Chelsea O'Brien
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Kelly, You do not agree with having a government/public plan, and you do not agree with the corporate greed you see in the current health insurers, what do you suggest?
Karen Miconi
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These Rich Bastards are taking advantage, and living like kings, off the backs of the American people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKI9be55N00
Chelsea O'Brien
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Yeah, and this is different from other occupations, how? The goal is to make money, and you are going to fault them for doing it? There has been little over sight of health insurance, other than our fantastic lobbyists. Same with the banking system, the stock market, the automobile industry, the university systems, private loan companies, etc etc etc
Peter O'Brien
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Sounds like wealth envy...
Jason Juliano
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There is no doubt health care costs are out of control. But it turning over to a government that can't run anything successfuly - is foolish. There is no justifiable reason to trust the government with it. Please, someone, change my mind. I've been asking this same question for months now... on this site and others... NO ONE can answer it. ARE THERE ACTUALLY ANY GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS THAT RUN EFFICIENTLY, AS PLANNED AND INTENDED, AT OR UNDER BUDGET, AND DON'T CREATE EXCESSIVE BURDEN ON TAXPAYERS? And, no, the IRS is not a government program. All of the "big government" propenants CAN'T ANSWER THAT QUESTION. And this is not about playing gotcha - if I'm going to support Obamacare, I need some proof that the government is competant at handling it. Don't get me wrong, our healtcare system has plenty of problems!!! But it couldn't be *THAT* bad when people from other countries flee to America for care. HOW MANY PEOPLE FLEE TO CANADA OR THE UNITED KINGDOM FOR THEIR CANCER TREATMENTS? Proof speaks for itself.
Jason Juliano
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ITS NONE OF THE GOVERNMENTS DAMN BUSINESS HOW MUCH MONEY A COMPANY MAKES! Obscene profits offends me as a business owner and it should anyone else that stives for more than mediocrity!!! People dream of becoming rich and you do that with obscene profits. Thats what makes this country great (for now?!) ... where else can someone go from nothing to wealth. Show me another country where that is as easy as America (for now!) If you don't like that a company is successful and makes profits - don't give them business. But to suggest that it is wrong to make profits - let alone obscene profits... my goodness. Just simply doesn't make any sense!!! What is the reason to be in business if there are no profits. What you describe ma'am is charity. There are plenty of organizations that don't exisit to make a profit... they are called non-profit orginzations. BUT THAT IS NOT BUSINESS!
Richard Gahagan
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Its all about control.Obama and the dems want to control every aspect of your life. In six short months they gained control of the banks, auto industry, and insurance companies. Cap and trade is about controling the oil, gas, coal and power industries. Health reform is just their attempt to take control of big pharma, r&D, and health insurance companies.
Peter O'Brien
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Jason, The prescription drug program, introduced by Bush, came in under budget and does what it was intended to do. I don't support it but there it is.
Jason Juliano
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The prescription drug program was originally budgeted at around $400 billion in 2003 to get the support of republican congressmen. Later jumped to over $500 billion after passing. And then in a 2005 budget was at $1.2 trillion. I agree! I didn't support it then or now. But this is just proof that big government is bad. I was against the previous administration growing our government (which they did) and I'm against Obama doing it as well - especially at the rate he's moving.
Peter O'Brien
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Those numbers are all wrong, Bush proposed $77 billion over 10 years in 2002. In 2008 the estimate of spending by the Congressional Budget Office was $52 billion.
Peter O'Brien
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Oh wait further research helped me to understand your numbers, they are cumulative till 2015.
Laura Russell Ricci
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We need regulation on health insurance. Period. That's the real problem, not the quality of care, etc. Health insurance companys dictate what services are covered or not covered. I worked in a doctors office and it was frustrating calling to always get authorization for simple procedures. There has to be better answers out there...
Bea McManis
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Posted by Laura Russell Ricci on August 13, 2009 - 11:42am We need regulation on health insurance. Period. That's the real problem, not the quality of care, etc. Health insurance companys dictate what services are covered or not covered. I worked in a doctors office and it was frustrating calling to always get authorization for simple procedures. There has to be better answers out there... Ergo, who is standing in between you and your doctor? For some reason people who claim that they don't want the government between them and their doctor feel it is okay to have a corp. head (to whom they or their employer pay a large premium) make the decisions on procedures.
Howard B. Owens
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Ron Paul: "We should remember that HMOs did not arise because of free-market demand, but rather because of government mandates. The HMO Act of 1973 requires all but the smallest employers to offer their employees HMO coverage, and the tax code allows businesses – but not individuals – to deduct the cost of health insurance premiums. The result is the illogical coupling of employment and health insurance, which often leaves the unemployed without needed catastrophic coverage. While many in Congress are happy to criticize HMOs today, the public never hears how the present system was imposed upon the American people by federal law. As usual, government intervention in the private market failed to deliver the promised benefits and caused unintended consequences, but Congress never blames itself for the problems created by bad laws. Instead, we are told more government – in the form of “universal coverage” – is the answer. But government already is involved in roughly two-thirds of all health care spending, through Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs. " And you wonder why I don't trust the federal government with my health. Pretty much all the mess we're in now with health coverage was caused by the federal government.
Karen Miconi
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Alot of families, pay for years to sustain health coverage. 10's of thousands of dollars, that they may never use, over the corse of 10-20-30-40-50- years. This is not the fault of the president, the Dems, or Republicans. This highway robbery, has made these CEO's of insurance companies Rediculiously Rich. Knowone has challenged them, so they keep on grabbing the cash, and reaping the rewards. This bull has been going on far before Bush, and Obama. Someone needs to cut the high paying jobs of these CEO's, not the coverage of the insured victims. What I want to know is, what the hell do these CEO's do that warrents 4 mill a year?? Are they turning dirt into gold?? What??
Peter O'Brien
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Smell the wealth envy? Karen, Their salaries are warranted. If you don't know what they do, then how could make a sound judgment of their pay?
Karen Miconi
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How so Pete?? Unless you, like my husband and I, and alot of other american families, have payed for years into insurance coverage, can you even remotely know what you are talking about. Keep trying to poke me Pete, its not working (o: The only thing I smell, is you trying to pick a fight. Have a GREAT DAY!! MUAH!
Howard B. Owens
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These health insurance CEOs basically operate in a government-created and operated monopoly. No one business may be a monopoly, but there is a very high barrier to entry for any start-up to get in the business, which limits competition. I've no problem with any individual becoming as rich as possible, but let's be real -- these aren't getting rich in a fair competition environment. They are getting rich by fleecing working Americans with the aid and comfort of Congress. Because of the requirements that employers provide health insurance options, and the laws the regulate health insurance, and because of the health insurance system that has arisen, consumers are held prisoner by a system that all but guarantees a few people get very wealthy while the rest of us get robbed. I've no animosity against the CEOs. They didn't create the system and there is nothing unethical about them benefiting from a system created by officials we all, stupidly, elected. We have nobody to blame but ourselves for getting locked into a two-party system, ceding too much power to the federal government and continually reelecting the bastards who create all the problems.
Tyler Hall
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Pizza at Pizza Hut or Picasso's??? Photos at Carlson's or at the Wal-Mart picture place??? Furniture at Max Pies or Target??? so on and so on. I'm sure all of their CEO's makes millions. Do I hate their 'money grubbing greed'???? Absolutely not. Do I hate these insurance companies for making so much money??? Absolutely not. (Please don't take this out of context. I do shop locally.) But, the fact is, I do not blame anybody for making a buck. I GIVE THEM ABUNDANT AMOUNT OF KUDOS AND ASPIRE TO WORK HARD TO EARN THEIR WEALTH. What is stopping anybody who blogs on this site from levitating to such positions??? I'm sorry to be so blunt about this. Call me greedy and awful. But as Neal Boortz once said......"Greed: A word commonly used by liberals, low achievers, anti-capitalists and society's losers to denigrate, shame and discredit those who have acquired superior job skills and decision-making capabilities and who, through the application of those job"
Peter O'Brien
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I don't need to pay a ton of money to understand what the problems are.
Karen Miconi
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Howard, thank you for your politcal take on things. I understand your points of view, and respect them. I also understand your feelings about Walmart, now that my husband enlightend me, on the fact that all the dollars we spend there go straight to China. Now I see how this hurts the local economy.
C. M. Barons
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We all seem to be evading the real question- why isn't health care affordable WITHOUT insurance? My father spent his final years in a nursing home. The cost ranged from 3,000 to 4,000 dollars a month. It would have been cheaper to enroll him in Harvard Medical School. My health care insurance premium is about 900 dollars per year. I have been insured for most of my adult life. 90% of my expenses fall below the deductible. I deserve a refund. Someone mentioned quality care? My father spent his last days in UMMC, water dripping from a leaking roof on him, his bed and food tray. Doctors' and nurses' (even the "hospitalist") assessments of his condition raged from flu to major organ failure. I wouldn't advocate rescinding UMMC's operating license, but I have my doubts that anyone on staff knows who's in charge. The place reminds me of the scene from Apocalypse Now when Martin Sheen's character tries to locate a CO at Du Long bridge.
Peter O'Brien
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Its not affordable because of malpractice suits and new technology. I work at a company that makes the power supplies for MRI machines and they sell in the 5 digit range easily.
Howard B. Owens
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Peter, it's not affordable because it's not a free market. There is no real competition in how health care is paid for.
Gabor Deutsch
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I have to respond to this: "I also understand your feelings about Walmart, now that my husband enlightend me, on the fact that all the dollars we spend there go straight to China. Now I see how this hurts the local economy". WalMart is a shit in a massive bucket. China holds TRILLIONS of U.S. Dollars of our GOVERNMENTS Debt, not to mention the vast amount of gold they are buying up (to protect the dollar dropping and screwing them). I know people who work at walmart and live in Batavia, not China, and they get paid everyweek.
Peter O'Brien
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That as well. Truthfully its going to be severly painful no matter which direction it goes for repair. People will whine when their employers drop their care packages to introduce an open market just as much as they are now with the potential government takeover.
Jeff Allen
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I at least tried to get some critical thinking going, but the posts went political almost immediately, so here I go. Peter, the video of Barney Franks was where I was going next. The liberals and the Presidents intent for healthcare is actually the sum of the whole. I could post numerous videos of Obama saying in the past that he an advocate for and intends to establish single payer/universal healthcare. Coupled with the Franks video and many others from the left supporting single payer, saying the public option is the way to get there and then pretending that the public option is nothing more than healthy market competition betrays everything else they say. The purpose of the original post was to point out that putting partisanship, and pre-supposed conclusions aside, the President continues to look us in the eye at these "townhall meetings" and lie to the American public about what his intentions are. If the President truly believes that universal healthcare is the best way to solve the healthcare issue, then stand by what you believe, call it what it is, use your fillibuster proof majority and ram it down our throats. Stop flying all over the country(at $100,000+ per hour), telling us that the AARP endorses it when they don't, accusing doctors of frivalously cutting off appendages for money, telling us that that Medicare and Medicaid won't be rationed when the plan mandates a 40% cut in their reimbursement rates right off the top, telling us that the current system, current greedy Drs. and current greedy insurance companies are bankrupting the nation, but if you like them you can keep them, telling us that services won't be cut when the bill mandates an immediate 25% cut in advanced diagnostic testing. There is so much more wrong with the bill, and yes, the portions I have pointed out are from my reading the legislation directly from the .gov website and not relying on Fox news as our press secretary would accuse. Americans are angry that they are being lied to plain and simple and no amount of astroturfing from anyone can sustain the kind of emotion that is being vented by people from coast to coast.
Sean Valdes
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Ok everyone - I think we can agree that the vast majority of the people here are against the health care bill - now what? What is the next step? What takes us from talking to getting action? Do you really think that calling our elected officials helps? Is it protests? Letters? Crashing town hall meetings? Does anything really help? Regardless of what the people really want, are we not going to get a slightly watered down version of the bill anyways? I'm curious to hear your response.

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