If Rich Americans Weren’t So Greedy, We Wouldn’t Need Obamacare

If Rich Americans Weren’t So Greedy, We Wouldn’t Need Obamacare January 13, 2017

Begging hands

Donald Trump has yet to take the oath of office, but that hasn’t stopped the party of Christian values and pro-life ethic to already begin stripping healthcare away from the poor and vulnerable.

Because, you know, nothing says “We love pro-life values” as much as taking healthcare away from people who will die without it– but that’s a topic for a different post.

Conservatives will often tell me that providing for the poor and needy is the role of private charity, not government. While I certainly think that might be a wonderful ideal in theory, in our cultural context it is grossly impractical on a variety of levels.

First and foremost, if the idea of “voluntary charity instead of government programs” were to work, we would need the rich to give money to charity. But there’s just one problem with that:

They don’t.

In fact, studies have shown that the rich give on average only 1.3% of their income to charity. By comparison, the poorest Americans give more than double that amount.

As social anthropologists have tried to understand why the rich give so little, and why in comparison the poor give so much, the general theory is that the rich are simply so isolated from the rest of the world that they are rarely confronted with the realities of poverty, or challenged to have empathy that’s followed by generosity. If your entire life is lived in a bubble with people who have every last need and want met, you simply aren’t forced to recon with how the rest of the world lives– so your charitable giving reflects that.

As the Atlantic previously reported, studies from UC Berkeley and Indiana University School of Philanthropy show that low and middle income neighborhoods give proportionally more to charity than areas with a higher rate of financial affluence. In fact, the discovery that rich people who live in diverse neighborhoods give more to charity than the rich who live in affluent neighborhoods, seems to support the notion that when the upper class is detached from the rest of us, they give very little to charity.

The basic reality we have to contend with, for whatever reasons may be behind it, is the truth that the rich in America are significantly more greedy than low-income Americans. And one cannot expect low-income Americans to shoulder the burden of funding enough private charities to make sure that all the poor and sick in America have their basic needs met.

But I know where you’re going: 1.3%, when coming from the rich, is still a lot of money you say.

That may be true if one looks at dollar figures. But one must also consider who the rich give that 1.3% to— and it’s not the poor.

As also reported by the Atlantic:

“Wealth affects not only how much money is given but to whom it is given. The poor tend to give to religious organizations and social-service charities, while the wealthy prefer to support colleges and universities, arts organizations, and museums. Of the 50 largest individual gifts to public charities in 2012, 34 went to educational institutions, the vast majority of them colleges and universities, like Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley, that cater to the nation’s and the world’s elite. Museums and arts organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art received nine of these major gifts, with the remaining donations spread among medical facilities and fashionable charities like the Central Park Conservancy. Not a single one of them went to a social-service organization or to a charity that principally serves the poor and the dispossessed. More gifts in this group went to elite prep schools (one, to the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York) than to any of our nation’s largest social-service organizations, including United Way, the Salvation Army, and Feeding America (which got, among them, zero).”

So let me summarize for you:

Conservatives say we should repeal Obamacare because it’s the role of “private charity” to take care of the poor, not the government. For that grandiose ideal to work however, one would need the rich to be generous givers to charity– and not just any charities, but ones that actually care for the poor and sick.

But in America that’s not happening. The poor not only give double what the rich give to charity, they’re essentially the only group of people giving to the types of charities that actually do serve the poor.

The rich? They give a measly 1.3% to charity– and what they do give is going to prep schools and art museums.

So tell me again how this plan works? How do we help the nation’s poor and sick by total reliance on private charity?

I’m genuinely curious to hear your plan– and don’t tell me it’s advantageous tax policies, because the rich already have those to such a degree that our mega-rich incoming president boastfully doesn’t pay taxes.

The reality in America is this: the rich are greedy, and the people who overwhelmingly give to the poor are the poor themselves.

Until that dynamic changes, we’ll continue to desperately need provisions such as the Affordable Care Act– and repealing it will be nothing less than violent assault on the least among us.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Danny Reneau

    Thank you.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    We share our nation with a lot of people that live on the premise of “Even if it’s maybe not true, it ought to be,” and have a visceral hatred of any hint of “socialism” without ever bothering to learn what the term actually means. So many seem to be rather like those who buy oodles of lottery tickets under the idea of “someone’s gotta win, might be me” and seem to think they have a shot at gaining the upper-echelon of the folks with bucks in this country.

    Consequently, they constantly vote against their own interests, and regardless of the humorous memes of some, truly do hate “Obamacare” while spewing about keeping gubmint’s hands off their Medicare, Social Security and ACA…

    Fighting and arguing against the truly convinced, yet seriously under-educated is a tiring thing, y’know?

  • Paul Julian Gould

    BTW, Hi, dear Herm! (saw the upvote and took it as an opportunity to greet your noble self… *smile*)

  • RustbeltRick

    Even if the rich were overwhelmingly generous, we would still need Obamacare. That’s the point of any kind of insurance — it pays for expenses that most reasonable people cannot afford out of pocket.

    But that’s a minor quibble. I find the whole “let’s use private charity” argument so full of holes, it is not worth arguing. We are already doing a form of it, and it is incredibly depressing. Look at how many sick Americans are turning to GoFundMe simply to pay for medical care.

  • Herm

    It’s not Obamacare that is the GOP’s focus of greed as much as the party, with the most popular president leaving office possibly ever, who finally, barely, got an affordable care act passed. Should the Affordable Care Act be repealed, in any way, rather than tweaked to improve it (which the Republican congress refused to consider for six years) those who will die as a result are only considered collateral damage necessary to the survival of the Republican party (that’s the self-centered greed for power). Those citizens of our nation who do not understand what I just wrote have not been responsible enough to pay attention to what has gone on within the beltway, and state Republican controlled governments, to obstruct any positive results from the last eight years. The previous eight years of Republican control left our nation, and world, in shambles socially, financially and in respect from our allies. They are back, willing to take a narcissist as their lead if that will get them that final signature to get their way. Our democratic nation shoots itself in the foot by the fickle voter who actually believes the marketing of the wealthy (and last year the over 75% lies from the presidential candidate’s mouth/twitter) that if they just vote for change the resources of our more perfect nation will finally trickle down. As our president-elect asks, “what can you lose?” … everything

    Our “christians”, professing love of babies and their sacred marriage, who voted the GOP into super power did so just to insert their religious law into civil law at any cost. They missed the little command of give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God, who is spirit, what is God’s. My Lord doesn’t know them and they certainly don’t know my Lord.

    I hurt for all of us!

  • Frank Lesko

    If personal charity solved the problems of poverty and healthcare, we wouldn’t even need to have this conversation at all. There is nothing stopping them from doing it right now. The real reason for this rhetoric is that the government is the best institution to check the runaway power of the rich, so the rich want to dismantle and disempower it.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    As a liberal, but proudly theistic, Jewish man, while I refer to G-d in different terminology (different, even for Jews, as my morning prayer tends to be, “Good morning, Boss… thanks for another day awake…” and generally no more and no less… gratitude that I’ve another day to love on my wife and family, and that I’ve another day to do as He may wish and direct, in any way He expresses that ) *smile* I share your grief, and wonder just how dark some folks’ idea of G-d really is…

    They’ve made their own god in their own image, and I don’t envy the interview when they, after death, are confronted by the real One… by whatever Name and whichever facet of the Holy Jewel anyone focuses upon.

    The Holy Carpenter, as has been attributed to him, even said, regarding those things that really matter, that those who didn’t listen the first time will not be recognized, and sent to whatever darkness was actually sought by them… I don’t believe in hell, but in my own interpretation of “karma,” I perceive that in the final interviews and exams, there will be so much joy, and among so many that would surprise current rigid people, but so much regret. Eternal regret is about as much of an experience of “hell” as I perceive, but, with some thought, that’s a pretty severe retribution for having spent their lives in hatred, bigotry, rigidity and, most important, lack of any form of real love for others who are also G-d’s children and creations, who also love Him, each in our individual expressions (hell, Christianity,alone, is made up of more than 35K expressions, each convinced their path is the only true one, else they wouldn’t have founded an additional brancy) with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, as recited in the Sh’ma.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    s/b “branch”… big fingers, small keyboard… eatcherheartout, Mr. Trump. (*kidding*)

  • Frank Lesko

    It is greed, but they have deluded themselves into this mythology that the best way to help one another is to leave them alone to fend for themselves. There is no historical precedent to suggest that poverty goes away without help. But there’s always that one freeloader they can point to who probably could benefit from cord cutting.

  • ashpenaz

    The young and healthy don’t want to help pay for the old and the sick–that’s the problem. “We’re fine,” say the young. “Why should we pay this small premium so that insurance companies can charge the old and sick less on their premium?” They don’t foresee the possibility that they, too, will one day be old and sick, and the Obamacare mandate is simply paying it forward.

    Ryan wants high-risk pools. Yay! Let’s quarantine those pesky old, overweight, and sick people off from the rest of the young, beautiful, and healthy. There’s no reason for all of us to pitch in so that everybody has equal access–how unChristian for the whole community to take responsibility for its weakest members!

  • Delta 14

    Rich people are evil… lets take their money and ban them to Siberia. All income over $15,000 dollars per person per year; or $30,000 per family per year should be given to the poor. We shouldn’t allow anyone to have more than 1 months needs in their savings accounts. Anything more than that should be confiscated.

    We shouldn’t allow anyone to have anything more than what we want them to have and we should be able to take whatever we want by force. After all, God wouldn’t want us to allow anyone to have something that everyone can’t have. The nasty greedy rich people should be taught a lesson!

    Now the evil Trumpians want to give healthcare back to the millions of middle class citizens who got kicked off their plans and don’t have health insurance now. Those rats… they deserved to be punished! Shame on them for wanting healthcare! Shame on them for wanting a better life for their children! Shame! Shame! Shame!

    Lets all move to Canada or Mexico!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    If it helps, (if it doesn’t, just blow it off as the ramblings of a weird old Jewish hippie, who’s been in the military honorably, and has a bunch of other creds, seriously off-topic)

    My transliteration, rough translation, and current take of what I love as the Sh’ma, from Deut. 6

    Sh’ma Yisroel
    Adonai Elohaynu
    Adonai Echod

    Baruch Sh’em k’Vod
    Malchutov
    L’Olam Va’ared.

    Hear, O Israel, the Lord Your G-d, the Lord is One
    And you shall love the Lord, your G-d, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

    Paul’s sorta paraphrase

    Hey, folks… however you term it, the universe is one, whether or not you invest it with personality…

    And you really need to honor that by doing all you can to do what’s right, regardless of your biases, your bigotries and your tribalism.

    Work for you guys?

  • BillyT

    What a thoughtful response filled with accurate evidence based rebuttals.

  • Richard Lambert

    I sense sarcasm..or at least I hope I do. This article has nothing to do with regulating what and how much people have…being able to see a doctor shoulent be a luxury that only you have and someone else dosent.

  • Herm

    Thank you Paul! You support the Spirit of God as I know Them to be. From witnesses to the Holy Carpenter it is clear that mankind can make their god in their image to feel free to execute the Spirit of God in their midst in the name of God.

    The frustration I have is how many of Man see no need to be inclusive of their own species, who they can see all around them, as themselves and theirs. Those people have no compunction to look beyond their immediate finite temporal selves, much less to be included with an infinite eternal God as a potential guide to benefit them any more.

    We have a bountiful world that all the resources have already been gifted us all without us doing anything but to learn how to use them. The wealthy and powerful, not all, use our graced resources as a score card to be tallied for us to know how successful they were when they died. This has proved to be the weakness in our democracy when the oligarchy persuades the still huddled masses yearning to breathe free, through high dollar marketing, to vote for their continued hoarding of our resources with the hollow promise of surely the overflow will trickle down.

    Genesis one oh One … mankind is one in the image of God who is one. Inclusive mankind stands to live beyond each of us, divided mankind will fall once and for all by the individual who wants it all at the cost of the rest.

    When I really deceive myself to believe I can stand alone I have no reason to look beyond to realize how much all of mankind is dependent upon all others, including the united Spirit we call capital “g” God, Allah, Elohim, ….

    I don’t believe in eternal hell in any form but the God I know helps me to understand a life united, without end, with only others who have learned how to love each other with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (which is each one of us in spirit) today. That is the tally of wealth stored in someplace called heaven.

    You are in that Spirit! Love you!

  • Herm

    Works for me! … keep a ramblin’ on! Thanks!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Dear friend and brother Herm, we’ve never met face-to-face, and may not until we each cross that noble bridge, but I do consider you a true friend and brother… We express ourselves in different terminology, and we view the Ultimate in different mental and spiritual pictures, but there ultimately is One, and we’re heading in that direction, I’m certain, on our parallel hiking paths.

    Real life as it is, I don’t often have the opportunity to do more than an upvote when I run across it, but, dude, we’re and always have been saying the same thing… just with a few different portraits in our private galleries… *gentle smile*

    Thank you from the cockles of my cockles for your friendship, your honesty, your wisdom, and, hell, that you also wore the uniform! *lol*

    Love you, man, truly.

  • Delta 14

    Unfortunately, the bulk of the costs of the ACA haven’t been paid by the young… they were paid by a small percentage of Americans who didn’t have group policies or lobbyists to protect them. What Obama effectively did to those few Americans was kick them off their plans, which he promised he wouldn’t do, and offered them plans that cost 4x as much and delivered 1/10th the benefits.

    Every promise he made was broken and the evidence showed that he knew when he made the promise that it wasn’t true. He looked all of us in the eye and intentionally lied to us. While Obama touts the 20 million poor who have insurance – he never mentions the millions like my family who’s insurance plans have been cancelled every year since the ACA passed. He never mentions the millions who currently do not have medical insurance who had it before because of the law.

    After the insurance debacle of the last 8 years… I only have my middle finger to offer you people who think that Obama was a good person. The jerks from Harvard that designed Obamacare knew what they were doing to people like me and didn’t care. We didn’t have a big lobby group to protect us and they didn’t give a rats ass about us. F-em they said. You have to pass it to read it they said… hahaha. We were all suckers they said… hahaha.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could trust the government to do the right thing for all of our citizens? Instead we got Obamacare… the most rotten system ever conceived. Nothing is 80,000 times better than Obamacare!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Ramblin’ Man is a pretty cool tune, and I wish my voice was back to sing the durned thing… but I’ll bet I can learn the rhythm and lead guitar parts! *grinning*

  • Paul Julian Gould

    And, just as a thing, there’s a legend of Rabbi Hillel, a generation or so before Rabbi Y’Shua (hey, I’m not a Messianic Jew, but recognize he’s some folks’ rabbi… *teasing*)…

    I’m obviously paraphrasing the story, so really would appreciate some folks’ not correcting me ’cause…. ummm… paraphrase… LOL (trust me… there has been at least one purist that insisted on the whole thing, properly)

    The story’s that Rabbi Hillel was confronted by someone who expected him to recite the total Law and Prophets while standing on one foot.

    Reb Hillel reportedly recited the Sh’ma I quoted above, and added “And you shall love your neighbor as yourself… everything else is commentary.”, put his foot down and went on his way….

    In as much as I can absorb that lesson, I’d like to think I’m making a fair attempt. *gentle smile*

  • Delta 14

    This isn’t a rebuttal… can’t you see… I am 100% in agreement. Let’s stick it to the filthy, rich, white-privileged Americans who make more than me. They think they are so special… it is sickening actually… they shouldn’t be allowed to comment on this blog either.

  • ashpenaz

    You must be a healthy person with a fulltime job. As a pre-diabetic with two parttime jobs, Obamacare is a godsend.

  • Delta 14

    Well put… since I don’t have insurance anymore thanks to Obamacare, I don’t think anyone should have the luxury of seeing a doctor when they need to. Shame on you for wanting to see a Doctor when you need one; while there are those among us who can’t, none of us should be able to.

  • Herm

    The best we can offer each other is each our unique perspectives in support of the whole of mankind. All life needs to be tweaked and balanced as non-stop continual change influences us all to have to keep up or fall by the wayside. I need all who in love and support check and balance me so a more healthy me can support to check and balance my neighbor that my neighbor ….

    I don’t believe in the freeloader as a product of self but as a product of bad examples around them. I have been in prison ministries and have witnessed transformations from those who had only been taught the value of taking. When the prisoner was introduced by example to the value of giving to be balanced with the ultimate value of sharing first the person became freer than they had ever been even remaining behind prison walls. Most people I know who do not make the effort to share themselves do so because they are afraid to fail. I learned that I only fail when I don’t try. When I try to help others always, sometimes failing, that I learn with scars how to help others. As much as I have always found my most pleasure in giving I have needed help many, many times in my life. If I checked I found that those who supported me to be able to give again had in every case been supported by someone in their past to grow to be able to help me then.

    We are in this together. The lifeboat earth that we share for our survival had all the resources necessary already on board. None of us earned those resources. Our efforts to utilize those resources are necessary to build our strength and to value what we have to share. Not one of our species earned anything from their efforts to hoard and control the majority of our gifted resources to be doled out at their discretion. The most wealthy among us only amassed their wealth by trading our resources, not mining or utilizing our resources. That’s the delusion of “fend for yourself” that only justifies blind, centered greed for self that has absolutely no value when departed.

    Thanks Frank!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    ENT appointment next week… issues for about 3 1/2 months… just want to make sure it’s not what it may be, or has seemed. Prayers and noble thoughts would be welcome.

  • Delta 14

    Good for you… I am glad you have health insurance… I hope you sleep better knowing that Obama canceled my insurance so that you could have yours. I hope you know that before this I would have been happy for you. Now… I don’t give a shit.

    They could have fixed this for everyone. Instead Obama and his pointed heads at Harvard F’ed my family. I think they dramatically underestimated the anger that they caused because of it. We were fine until the government got involved… now I have a daughter that doesn’t have health insurance… they could have fixed healthcare for you without screwing me over.

    I am now a Benjamin Corey fan… if one of us doesn’t get health insurance, then no one should have it.

  • Frank Lesko

    Agree on the concept of “freeloaders.” There is a time for tough love, but those times are few and far between and subject to great discernment. Compassion is key–suffering with, walking with someone.

  • ashpenaz

    This is an honest, friendly question–how can you not have health insurance? Everybody can get insurance through healthcare.gov, and almost everybody gets a tax credit. Have you looked at the policies? How could Obamacare possibly take away your health insurance?

    Also, any policy you get through healthcare.gov will cover your daughter until she’s 26.

  • Blerg

    That’s how it was before Obamacare – people were literally choosing between life and bankruptcy, or death.

    How did the ACA cost you your insurance? Did you have it through your job, and lost it? Did you make too much to be able to get subsidies?

  • Blerg

    You have a lot of anger, but it seems misplaced.

  • Delta 14

    I agree Frank. I think everyone gets paid too much. The government needs to step in and tax the overprivileged leaches in society who don’t produce anything. If your not producing anything… like for example working on an assembly line or serving food in a restaurant then you are basically a leach on society. Wouldn’t you agree?

    We have too many leaches in our country and we need the government to do something about it. Especially in the field of higher education. Where else do you have a group of people who produce nothing? Those professors are grossly overpaid and the government needs to do something about it.

    We could use the money to pay for healthcare for those who don’t have it because of Obamacare. The extra money we could use to build an Alpaca farm so that we can have the yarn for sweaters and coats to give to the poor. We can call it the Alpaca Farm of the United States.

    The leaches in society should know what its like to produce something so the government should start a program that forces the leaches such as the professors, administrators, bankers, doctors, and the filthy rich, to work on the farm. It will be good for them because if someone has to work on the farm cleaning Alpaca crap, then everyone should have to do it. We’d have to have a Unisex barn for the Alpacas though. It’s all good – man!

  • Guy Norred

    Funny when you put it that way. I think I lean (admittedly heavily) toward socialism BECAUSE I see things that “ought to be”.

  • Blerg

    You know that Obama didn’t personally cancel your insurance, right? The fact that insurance companies have been screwing us every chance they got, didn’t start in 2010. You just were apparently one of the lucky ones who didn’t have a problem with their insurance. I have a bankruptcy in my past, due to medical bills. My husband was uninsurable prior to Obamacare.

    Most of the cancellations were followed with an alternate plan, which you might not have liked. It reminds me of Ted Cruz’ lie that he and his family were kicked off their insurance. He actually just had one plan cancelled, replaced by another plan. But any chance to complain, I guess.

  • Delta 14

    I know… I don’t know how I can live anymore in this horrible country with the way they voted. They know not what they do – I guess. If they could only see what I’ve seen and what enlightenment does to a person. The transformation… the freedom… the love…. Oh if only they could walk in my shoes.

    They would hate themselves for voting the way they did, wouldn’t they? If only they were enlightened!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Ah, yes… but of course, old friend, it does all depend on the person determining the “ought.”

    Some of us base our “ought” in what we’ve learned, what we aspire to, and a whole raft of other things…

    Others tend to base their “ought” on very little education in anything that really does matter, but very much seriously vehement preaching under which they’ve sat, and very little else…

    There tends to be a vast gulf… just sayin’, good sir… I’ve come to know you as much as anyone can come to know an honest person online… I know which category in which you (and I, hopefully) fit. *smile*

  • Paul Julian Gould

    And, anyone who actually gets their info outside of an echo chamber knows that “socialism” in itself is not a dirty word, an insult, nor a bad thing… But there are those that have such a visceral reaction to the term that the brain shuts down.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    And, just to say, our system of governance, throughout our history, has grown to a thing that incorporates everything from libertarianism to socialism (even though such formal terms weren’t and aren’t officially applied)… We are and always have been a noble experiment of a form of a Democratic Republic, which, at some times, has been seen as something worth emulation, but we do sadly seem to be losing both the “Democratic” and “Republican” part of that, based upon our fear of the “other,” our mis and under education, and our refusal to learn from history. Most people don’t, frankly, give a damn about anything that doesn’t fit the narrative, and here we find ourselves.

    I have the impression that our founding fathers would be WTFing all over the place, and would have written some really sharply pointed but fun to read diatribes about that.

    NB: and edit: 01/14/07

    To appease any purist that may have read the above, and choose to make a major out of a minor, allow me to be pedantic and say:

    We are officially and by design, a Constitutional Democratic Republic, which designation is one helluva lot more complex that is thought of by so much of our under-educated, binary-minded populace in such a disturbingly large number.

    Kinda how a lot of them view their version of Holy Writ, as interpreted solely by their preachers, pundits and preferred authors.

    Sorry… couldn’t resist… sue me…

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Well, let’s also not deny that most of the “freeloader” accusations have little basis in reality…

    In circumstances I’ve observed, and been around, and of which I’ve even been involved, that usually amounts to a diss at those who are people of color, or other ethnicities, when the reality is that most recipients of SNAP, welfare, Medicare/Medicaid and the rest tend to be rural or living in a “red” state white folks…

    To me, that indicates a seriously dark view of reality, and says terrible things regarding the psyches of those that tend to be the most vocal….

  • Herm

    There is an eternity’s worth of life yet to learn through adventure together. We are adults here, speaking like women and men, all enlightened enough to be responsible for what little we know today. That is why the One who actually knew could in all sincerity ask the Father to forgive those who knew not what they did.

    If it gets too much for you to cope a door will open to allow you to find the respite you need to fight another day. The most we can do for ourselves including mankind is to be an example of the enlightenment we have been graced. Here, where you speak the language with awareness to our cultural innuendos, is where you can serve best to share your light of hope with the otherwise lost in the melee that is just now beginning as a result of our latest political season.

    We all can live day to day helping to meet the needs of our whole; or we can attempt to escape to a place to heal. Nothing can promise that we don’t just escape into worse environments than the one we know today.

    Thank you Nelson!

  • Martin LaBar

    Psalm 72 speaks of the King helping the poor materially, and as if this were a good thing, and part of the king’s duty. The King WAS the government, in those days.

    https://ebible.org/web/PSA072.htm

  • Delta 14

    I am a self employed person who had the same health insurance for 10 years. I had no intention of changing plans. My plan covered the 6 people in our family, we could see any doctor we wanted and it included 100% coverage after a $1,500 deductible and our annual premium was $650/mo. The very next year, my insurance company terminated the plan I was on because of Obamacare. I was forced to find another plan on the open market. This was before the exchanges.
    When I went to the open market to replace my policy, the insurance companies used a sleep study that I had in 2007 to put me into the high risk pool. So much for pre-existing conditions. Obamacare allowed them to do this before the law took full effect. It was all part of Obama’s plan to generate the revenue needed to pay the subsidy – thanks to the idiots at Harvard. My new policy was an 80/20 after a $5000 deductible and it cost $950/mo but we could see any doctor. My insurance policy has been cancelled every year since then with the exact same language.

    When the exchanges were launched the policy offerings became even worse. Policies offered on the Ohio exchanges don’t cover medical bills incurred in other states. I live on a border with Kentucky and I have doctors in Kentucky and Ohio. I travel for my business… I have no coverage when I travel outside of Ohio. There are very few doctors in my area that accept the plans offered on the exchanges. Even if I got sick, my policy wouldn’t cover my doctor and hospital… it was a total waste of money. It is horrible what they have done.

    In 2015, the last year I had coverage… I was paying $1,680/mo or $20,160 for myself, my wife, and my daughter for an 80/20 plan with $10k deductible, no out of state coverage that our doctors and hospital wouldn’t even take. I make just over what is needed for subsidies and the cost in 2015 was over 25% of my income. I calculated the extra costs in insurance premiums and lack of coverage and Obamacare has cost my family over $80,000 dollars since 2010. We ended up spending the savings we had made for our daughters college education on health insurance.

    In 2016, my wife and I decided to opt out. We had no choice. I decided to do some research to figure out why this was going on… Could we be the only people in the country having this problem? When they designed Obamacare, they needed a way to fund the subsidies. Big Corporations, Unions, and Insurance lobbyists were able to influence the law so that they didn’t have to share the added costs. Their rates didn’t go up and their benefits didn’t change. The burden of paying for Obamacare fell entirely on the small people, self-employed, self-insured, who don’t have lobbyists to influence law makers. Those who least afford it were forced to shoulder the vast majority of the cost. They did it by gutting our benefits and quadrupling our rates while they left big corporations, unions, governments, and others untouched comparatively.

    So now you know that there are millions of families who actually make less $85,000 with kids who can least afford it are the ones paying for it; while the people who can afford it the most are once again skating free. I thought it was the Republicans who let the big corporations off the hook. At least the Republicans don’t lie to you when they are screwing you in the Ass.

  • valerie

    This article might be the one that pushes me off the ledge. It’s timely because my $7000 deductible will be met immediately and I will have paid only 1 month’s premium. The 800+$ will be worth it if I survive the fall.
    Of course I wont be able to go to my hospital of choice nor have my physicians of choice having chosen a cheaper plan.1000 $ monthly was just way too much.
    Regarding the author’s stats on those awful rich people giving to charity, I will stick with Arthur Brooks, President of The American Enterprise Institute.

  • valerie

    His anger is not misplaced. The author is an ideologue promoting an agenda.

  • kaydenpat

    Republicans should just be honest and say that they don’t care about the poor or those who cannot afford healthcare. That would be more honest than this whole “repeal and replace” dance they’re doing with regard to the ACA. They’re not fooling anyone and I assume their supporters are pissed off that they’re even putting on a charade. I recall in 2012 that attendees at one of the Republican debates actually applauded Rand Paul when he said that those who can’t afford healthcare should die.

  • valerie

    There needs to be a better way for you to be covered. One that doesn’t deny it to others because they have been priced out and dont qualify for subsisdies. And even if they did,the policies may turn their care upside down with new providers and less coverage.
    I know there is a better way and I expect to see changes soon.

  • valerie

    Of course your response is ugly.

  • valerie

    BS

  • Bones

    Don’t come to Australia.

    We have free health care.

    You’d bitch and moan about that too.

  • Bones

    Yeah like you give a shit about homeless vets, the unemployed, the sick, the elderly, single mothers….

    All up costing $1trillion

    Like Christians would foot that bill.

    Gee some people are morons.

  • Bones

    Is he paying your health bill?

  • Blerg

    So, you support the US moving to single payer?

  • Blerg

    True. He is promoting an agenda of Christ-like compassion. I can see why that would make you angry.

  • Blerg

    I don’t believe your story; it may be partially true, but like most conservatives, you are lying about some of the details to make yourself look like more of a victim.

  • Blerg

    Conservatives don’t care about anyone but themselves. They lack empathy. They only care if something happens to them. Conservative Christians are even worse.

  • Kirstyn Kralovec

    OK, playing devil’s advocate here (not that I doubt the veracity of the information…I just always try to force myself to take a contrary stance when I find myself agreeing readily with something): Do these numbers take into account what individuals give via their employer’s corporate community giving campaigns? For example, my company lobbies hard for its employees to do their charitable giving during our United Way campaign each year. It makes the company look good, because the credit goes to them and not the individual. I wonder if there are a number of wealthy corporate types who give a lot during their company’s campaigns in order to be good corporate soldiers, and maybe that isn’t reflected in these numbers? I don’t know from where the numbers in the article come, so I have no idea.

  • Bones

    ‘I Would Be Dead’: Longtime Republican Tells Paul Ryan He’s Thankful For Obama and the ACA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mek64Teo3w

  • Delta 14

    I wouldn’t have believed it either if i hadn’t lived it. Unfortunately every word of it is true. Do you think that Bill Clinton was lying when he said this…

    “So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world,”

    The only thing Bill Clinton lied about was that my coverage more than quadrupled and my benefits were practically eliminated.

    The other thing you should know about me is that I’m not a conservative per se. I am a Libertarian and I am theoretically of the belief that all insurance should be underwritten by the government so that costs are evenly and fairly distributed. How much sense does it make for me to pay a third party for insurance when it is in their interests to deny my claim?

    I also believe that the government should work through 3rd parties to sell and manage policies and provide customer service. Why should I trust a government that will lie to my face and then do what they did to me and my family over the last 6 years? I only wish I could trust the US government to do the right thing for once. They are all bought and paid for – including and especially the Democratic party.

    The law of the harvest is alive and well my friend!

  • If the current President had the wisdom to propose a bipartisan health care bill and had used his influence to gain bipartisan support we would not be at the point of repealing this law. But he did neither of those two critically important things. The Affordable Healthcare Act was sold to the people based on lies told over and over: “If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it; if you like your doctor you can keep him.” The third lie was the cruelest of all: “This plan will save you $2500 per year in premiums.” Instead the premiums have soared and the deductibles are obscene. The young who were to help pay for the plan and offset the costs for the older population have largely rejected it. The middle class who have to purchase it cannot afford it. And the law has self destructed; the exchanges by and large have failed; competition among carries has gone away. This law in and of itself is the brake on the economy that has prevented the robust growth in the economy to produce the jobs needed for the 90 million people who are out of the workforce. This law and the repeated lies about is one of the main reasons that the current president was rejected by the working class. The poor who have been able to obtain healthcare under this law will be protected. It is not about the rich and the elite as you state as much as it is about political incompetence and arrogance in trying to control to 1/6th of our economy from Washington.

  • ashpenaz

    I have a Silver policy which costs $20 with an $825 deductible. I have to believe the same is available to you. Last year, when I had more money, it cost $90 with a $6000 deductible–which is a big deductible, but my doctor visits and prescriptions were cheap.

  • Herm

    Bob, you’ve tried to be sincere before so I’m assuming you believe what you just wrote. You have been fed and seem to have fully digested obstructionist garbage. I wish I had time to take it point by point but there is nothing you just repeated that wasn’t fed you by FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump and the Republican congress and each point is an untruth. Good luck with your government. President Obama made every effort one man could to get congress to tweak the Affordable Care Act for six years and all they did was put it up to be repealed. At least Social Security and Medicare had the support of Republican congresses and presidents to tweak each because in each of their first states they were much worse than the Affordable Care Act.

    Lots more people would have bee employed today, and your 90 million is fraudulent unless you count the retired and physically/mentally unemployable, if congress would have passed infrastructure bills put before congress. The national economy has never been better except most of the profits have gone to the wealthiest. The wealthy today are not trickling down their good fortune.

    Nobody who can research the state of our union and our relationships throughout the world believes it is worse than when the Republicans last held the Executive branch.

    If this is the brilliance you are going to share here as a solution to all our problems you would be better off not embarrassing yourself.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The problem is trying to provide universal cover with private health insurance. The US spends vastly more per head on healthcare than other developed countries for patchy cover, expensive co-payments and with immense difficulty actually getting everyone covered.
    Here in the UK we get free universal cover in the state-run NHS. There are waiting times for elective surgery and problems with long waiting times in accident and emergency for minor conditions, but this is due to funding levels more than anything: the US spends 50% more per head on health than we do.
    If the insurance premiums, co-payments and gaps in cover are typically anything like those complained about in this blog, middle America’s objections to state-funded healthcare are just insane.

  • KonCern

    “Until that dynamic changes, we’ll continue to desperately need provisions such as the Affordable Care Act– and repealing it will be nothing less than violent assault on the least among us.” I believe that most white Christians see the ” least among us ” as black folks and the other and so caring is very difficult for them.
    Secondly, I am amazed how many people thinks that Obama Care is different from the ACA and many are choosing to hate Obama Care instead. This is a strange phenomenon.
    Thirdly, it seems that social issues are more important to Christians that the need to care for the least among us. They somehow don’t see that people are making a personal choice to abort their babies and to be gays or lesbians. And has nothing too do with Obama.
    Fourthly, too many Christians are hopelessly devoted to a conservative ideology , that promotes greed under the guise of freedom to make more ,money; not realising that it comes at the expense of helping the other.

    The Christian walk is always ” Other Centered” yet so many Christians are Conservatives. That’s strange… holding fast to a Lie and a deception because, it is against the other.

  • KonCern

    Bob , the gang of six ( including Republicans) agreed on ideas, then the Republicans refuse to vote on the very idea that they wanted.
    They were told by Mitch if they compromise with Obama, they would be branded a RINO. That’s when we got the idea that ” Compromise ” is a Bad word.

    quote,”What became clear before September, when the talks fell apart, is that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had warned both Grassley and Enzi that their futures in the Senate would be much dimmer if they moved toward a deal with the Democrats that would produce legislation to be signed by Barack Obama. They both listened to their leader. An early embrace by both of the framework turned to shrill anti-reform rhetoric by Grassley—talking, for example, about death panels that would kill grandma—and statements by Enzi that he was not going to sign on to a deal. The talks, nonetheless, continued into September, and the emerging plan was at least accepted in its first major test by the third Republican Gang member, Olympia Snowe (even if she later joined every one of her colleagues to vote against the plan on the floor of the Senate.) end quote.

    Secondly, the ACA is a Republican Idea. But it was Obama putting it in place so that cannot be allow to happen….but I hope you realized that many in the GOP base love the ACA

  • “Derp”?
    Ben personally put you in your place and admonished you about your foul and abusive language – please stay there! Your dribble is galimatias.

  • Herm: “there is nothing you just repeated that wasn’t fed you by FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump and the Republican congress and each point is an untruth.” So you say but others like Snopes, CNN, Politifact and Huffington Post say otherwise.

    PolitiFact ‘Lie of The Year’: ‘If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep It’

    Obama’s ‘You Can Keep It’ Promise Is ‘Lie Of The Year Huffington Post

    Obama Lied, My Health Plan Died…Twice!

    Cut the cost of a typical family’s health insurance premium by up to $2,500 a year – Politifact

    Fact Check – premiums will go up -Posted by CNN Staff

    CNN: Get ready for steep ObamaCare hikes to premiums in 2016 – POSTED AT 3:21 PM ON JUNE 3, 2015 BY ED MORRISSEY

    Election results confirm that Obamacare was a major reason that working class people chose Trump over Clinton and Obama’s legacy.

    Sorry Herm your are ill informed on this issue.

  • Obama’s legacy will be judged by history and Obamacare will be viewed in light of its failure not its intentions. If Obamacare had worked as advertised the Democrats would have been in the catbird seat and not in the dumpster where they are at present.

    Presidents are judged by their accomplishments not by their self promotion. The people have rejected Obamacare not because they don’t understand it but precisely because they do. When one side forces its will on the entire country the end result had better be spectacular not oppressive.

    Good Presidents learn how to get things done with Congress. This president failed in that regard and it has cost him and his party dearly. The democrat party is essentially dead at this point and after the 2018 midterms the majority of the progressive senators will be gone. This spectacular collapse is entirely due to the way president Obama ran the government. It was the genesis that propelled president elect Trump into office.

    When president Trump produces spectacular results in a short time the comparison will destroy the core arguments of the progressives and they will not reappear for another 30 years as in the case of Carter.

    To be blunt nothing this President has done worked and Obamacare is the most visible example.

  • David Stewart

    Unfortunately, here’s the problem, because of how the ACA is structured and how it has distorted the market place, people more and more cannot afford the policies out there, and if they can, the deductibles are so high, they it’s difficult to afford the healthcare any way.

    Only a fool would make such an argument over a law that ends up doing the poor no good anyway.

  • Blerg

    Ah – a Libertarian. That explains everything.

  • David Stewart

    Sorry Herm, but Obama never had any real intention of working with the Republicans. Did you listen to the “healthcare summit”?

    I did on XM as I was driving to Florida. Any time a Republican asked Obama, in a very respectful tone, a question that legitimately challenged aspects of his proposals, Obama bristled like the school yard bully at having his authority challenged.

    That has been his MO for the past eight years. Only a fool can’t or won’t stop long enough to notice that.

  • Exactly. Obamacare certainly has some flaws, though it’s better than the alternative, but the real solution– the only viable solution– is single payer universal healthcare.

    Where Obamacare failed is that it’s not *actually* a government run program and still relies on the open market and corporations, which will always find their way out of helping. The ultimate solution is to do what the rest of the world does, and what’s been proven to work– true universal healthcare.

  • In his defense, there actually are people who fell through the cracks of Obamacare and saw their rates skyrocket. That’s why we must move toward a single payer system. My point in this article is that “private charity” isn’t a viable alternative, but I have definitely seen stories of people who did end up unable to afford insurance under this new system. It’s the kind of thing that Bernie tried to point out.

  • Matthew

    Can someone explain why the premiums and deductibles have soared?

  • Matthew

    It´s my understanding that those who cannot afford the ACA premiums receive a subsidy from the federal government. Also in some states I thought that medicaid was being expanded to include those who are poor and cannot afford the premiums either.

    It seems to me that possibly the ACA is doing the poor good, but not those people who balk at having to pay higher premiums as a result of the legislation, though I may not be understanding it all correctly I´ll admit.

  • Bones

    Yep you’re a derp.

    A moron who has a massive chip on his shoulder and a deluded view of the world.

    He obviously doesn’t have a problem with your lies.

  • Bones

    Don’t be an idiot.

    He entered his presidency with a democratic congress and tried to go all conciliatory and bipartisan.

    The Republicans did their obstructionist best to kill and delay bills. This was made perfectly clear by senator McConnell.

    Obama should have put bush on his lackeys on trial and jailed the wall street mob.

  • Bones

    You still digging around for Obama’s birth certificate?

  • Bones

    Your congress wanted nothing to do with affordable health care.

    If it wasn’t for Obama there would have been none.

    You tried to destroy as much of it as you could.

    Well done to you.

  • Bones

    We all have free healthcare over here.

    But it’s too hard for Americans who are slaves to big business.

    Too bad for you then.

  • Blerg

    I know. He’s just trolling. I know there’s lots of problems with the ACA, and I want single payer. But the ACA has saved my husband’s life, and has ensured we don’t have to endure another medical bill bankruptcy.

  • BillyT

    “Presidents are judged by their accomplishments not by their self promotion.”
    By this measure, the pretender to the presidency has already failed epically. Yugely even.
    Much of what you write demonstrates blind partisanship. “To be blunt, nothing this President has done has worked.”
    I’ve read enough analysis to recognize there have been positive results from the ACA such as efforts by hospitals to control costs.
    Considering the US system is one of the most expensive health regimes in the world, I’d say an outcome that reins in costs is a significant accomplishment.

  • Herm

    Wait, when did the Republican congress ever say, as an equal power to the Executive branch, this is how we can do it better? Voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act 60 times dependent upon a presidential signature that they knew they were not going to get demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Republicans had no intention, from the beginning, of working with the Democratic Executive branch. They never offered, and have yet to, anything that improved on a healthcare package for the entire nation.

    Far less prosperous democratic nations around the world have better and more affordable healthcare packages than we have today but the Republicans insist it has to be their package, when Massachusetts’ (the pattern for Obamacare) working healthcare plan today is a Republican package.

    When do people wake up to throw off the oligarchy actually in power (throughout the beltway and state governments) that hoards our national resources for their individual profit alone? In a national government of the people, by the people and for the people all the resources are the people’s responsibility to manage for the good of all the people. If we have the technology and skills within our purview an empathetic, compassionate and tolerant government espousing Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for all their constituents created equal we must provide all we can to that goal for all, not just the CEO making 400 times the average annual income of their employees.

    Check out the number of filibusters in the United States Senate during Barack Obama’s term:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/26087974@N05/7983998912

    If President Obama’s name was attached there was an automatic filibuster on the part of the GOP Senate. I would “bristle” too when everything I proposed was challenged because I a Democrat was in office.

    Check out how many bills with presidential approval were not even brought to the floor of the House or Senate, at the whim of the Speaker or Majority Leader, for debate during the Republican congresses.

    You have to be blind to not see the root cause of “my way or the highway” partisan obstructionist rule during the last eight years.

  • Herm

    Bob, your trusted sources remain the same as indicated that you mimic.

    Yes, there were misstatements on our President’s part that didn’t and couldn’t work as planned. All his statements have held more verifiable truth over the past 14 years than yours have in the last three years. We each have yet to reach perfection. If I was totally infallible from birth why would I need parents, adults, oversight and God to have my back? I am not a narcissist, neither are you and certainly Barack Hussein Obama is not. We can see the need for support beyond our selves equal to the need to support beyond ourselves.

    The proof of Barack Obama’s trustworthiness is seen in his popularity today nationally and the restoration of trust internationally that we had severely lost under the Bush administration.

    James Comey was the major reason that working class people chose Trump over Clinton in the electoral college. The popular vote was clearly Hillary Clinton’s.

    Donald Trump from all the podiums and Twitter has castigated beyond recognition truth. Evangelicals, White Nationals, and those believing “what do you have to lose” with “I alone can fix it” sold out their convictions to a proven liar and flim-flam man.

    It was not the Affordable Care Act that turned the tide but the partisan seed of doubt sown by “oh, not more illegal emails” raised by the FBI director as our people were voting.

    Oh, how we so quickly forget that the Clinton private email server did not become an issue except as a spin off from the 5th (the witch hunt) congressional partisan investigation into Hillary Clinton’s involvement in Benghazi when that was in no way a State Department responsibility, it was the CIA’s solely.

    The most damaging emails released were through Wikileaks given to Julian Paul Assange by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

    As a side note: there is no evidence that the Clinton server was ever hacked but there is certainty that the State Department’s server (classified material and all) was hacked. The State Department’s server security was not the responsibility of the Secretary of State and the Clinton’s server was.

    Wake up Bob, please, you aren’t even close to being sufficiently informed to make the destructive partisan judgments you espouse here. If President-elect Trump is your man you are even more responsible to intelligently lessen the resulting damage, especially the innocent collateral damage, from your vote. We will try to support you in your efforts to do so for we do care for all the people of our nation and the world, not just the “Grand Old Party”.

  • KonCern

    “Good Presidents learn how to get things done with Congress. ” Correction, with a Congress that want to get things done, NOT one hell bent on sabotage,plotting and conspiring to make America FAIL so Obama can fail. Not with a “Do Nothing Congress” with the lowest job rating in history. quote,” If I say Fish lives in the sea, they say NO, If I say the sky is Blue, they say NO”

    “When president Trump produces spectacular results…” Well, I will say what Obama told Trump, quote,” I wish you well, if you succeed , America succeeds” That is the wisdom of a grown up adult. Nothing like what Bitter angry Republicans did to Obama — hoping, plotting for America to FAIL, so Obama can be a “one term President”.

    “To be blunt nothing this President has done worked and Obamacare is the most visible example.” At this point I am convince you are a member of the basket of deplorables. You guys still believe that Obama was born in Kenya and is an alien who came to steal America. Rational thought is a foreign concept…

  • KonCern

    Many in the GOP voter base love the ACA , but hates Obama care.
    The ACA has been good for the poor, 20+ Million of them.

    The cost can be fixed, and the law improved on. But it has Obama’s face on the law, so under no circumstances that should be allow to stand.

    Screw all those you benefits from the Law. Obama must be made History- a has been, that never should have been. That’s the issue …not the ACA.

    But , the reality is, ACA is here to stay, no matter if they repeal the Law.
    Obama did what others failed to do, because he cared enough to invest political capital too get it done. Now we wait for the replacement…

  • Sgt Carver

    Bill Maher does a good job explaining that Americans love socialism in practice by using the NFL as an example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTVKt250MO4

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Well, my friend, I’ll further offer that, while I’ve never even set foot in the state of Wisconsin, the one pro-football team I support is the Green Bay Packers… 1st and only publicly owned (there’s that nasty ‘socialism’ again) team in the league…

    We don’t do pro-ball around here, as my lovely wife is from Detroit, and Michigan and Michigan State are on our big-screen, each and every time they play, but I dig the Packers’ vibe, regardless of their governor and state … the people make as many decisions collectively as the fools in the capital let them get away with.

  • BillyT

    A Quick Guide to Rising Obamacare Rates http://nyti.ms/2eIquU4

    This is an overview from a reputable source. It’s certainly a complex issue but, as is often the case, critics dumb it down to short digestible slogans. Rather than improve on it, they prefer to throw it all on the trash heap.
    When I consider the history of our own journey into single payer healthcare here in Canada, the product we have today has evolved significantly from what was introduced in the 60’s. And we still are lacking a universal drug component but that may change under our current government.

  • Sgt Carver

    If I may rework an old joke.

    I know nothing about the NFL… except that the players have oddly shaped balls. :)

  • Paul Julian Gould

    oh, dear… *LOL*

  • Sgt Carver

    Sorry it’s adapted from a very old Irish joke about the difference between Gaelic football and rugby.

  • Bones

    At the moment it is.

    Just the usual conservatives screwing with people”s lives.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Hey, no worries, my friend… I though it was pretty cool, although I’ll admit that when I read it to my lovely wife, the eyerolls were perfectly synchronized…

    *teasing*

  • Paul Julian Gould

    So, I’ll just wish you a “Shuh-lahn-shuh” (lol), lift my pint of brew to you, and just let it go at that… *chuckle*

  • Paul Julian Gould

    (what the hell.. close enough, phonetically for a dude who’s lived in Texas for 7 years… take it as given… *grin*)

  • I am not “you guys.” I have my own opinions and they are in stark contrast to liberal progressives. They are, however, policy based and have nothing to do with the petty personal attacks you mention.

    People are angry and frustrated at President Obama simply because he did not perform as advertised. 69% of the country feel that the country was on the wrong track. Is it any wonder that Clinton lost even without her many, many scandals and self inflicted wounds. See Rasmussen:

    “Thirty-one percent (31%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending January 5.”

  • Sgt Carver

    I don’t blame her, it is a real bloke joke. I also admit I like jokes where I first laugh, then groan.

  • Let’s just rebut a few of your points.

    1. “Yes, there were misstatements on our President’s part that didn’t and couldn’t work as planned.” No!
    They were outright lies knowingly told to the public long after the President knew they were not true. This point is not in question. It’s in the record. Why? Read Gruber.

    “Gruber, in case you have forgotten, is the MIT economics professor who frequently referred to himself as the “father of Obamacare” during the long health reform debate that culminated in the passage of the ironically titled “Affordable Care Act.” He became an unperson two years ago when a video emerged in which he delivered himself of the following words of wisdom concerning the law: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.… And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

    2. “The proof of Barack Obama’s trustworthiness is seen in his popularity today nationally and the restoration of trust internationally that we had severely lost under the Bush administration.”

    This is naieve in the extreme and is itself just Democratic talking points. 69% of the country feel we are on the wrong track. That is the real feeling about the President.

    Our allies do not trust President Obama. He has put Iran on a course to have a nuclear bomb and this threatens the entire middle east. He went back on his word to Syria and did nothing when they used gas and crossed the Red Line.

    To wit, “The issue was Obama’s chemical weapons “red line” in Syria, an ultimatum that led Obama to threaten the use of force against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad before ultimately accepting a peaceful resolution. Although Obama defends the outcome, critics in both parties — including three former Obama defense secretaries — accuse him of dangerous indecision and lack of resolve.”

    And Hillary said, “Clinton has mostly defended Obama’s performance, backing him at key points as the drama unfolded and declaring its outcome a “net positive.” Since she began running for president, however, Clinton has conceded that the episode left U.S. allies uncertain about American resolve.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    A man after me own heart, boyo… *grin*

  • Sgt Carver

    In the distant past, when I was dating, I would always try to skip the movie and suggest a comedy gig instead. It was always a gamble but you could win in two ways. If you got it right your date would wake up the next morning thinking “well I never laughed so much and had such fun on a date before” (even if it wasn’t me making her laugh). Also I would find out if we had the same sense of humour which I think is important.

  • Bravo Sierra

    “Christ-like compassion” is a lot like our modern understanding of “religious freedom”; it’s not what you think it is.

  • Bones

    I see democrats joined Republicans in stopping cheap medicine from Canada to keep big business happy.

    They have learned NOTHING!

  • calduncan

    Stupid old nerd

  • Bones

    Just on Gruber

    I see your usual lies and introduce some facts….

    Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber: “Obamacare Is Not Imploding,” “Working As Designed”

    MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, a well-known architect of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, tells CNN that the law known as ‘Obamacare’ is working exactly as intended.

    Full transcript, via CNN:

    JONATHAN GRUBER: Obamacare’s not imploding. The main goal of Obamacare was two-fold. One was to cover the uninsured, of which we’ve covered 20 million, the largest expansion in American history. The other was to fix broken insurance markets where insurers could deny people insurance just because they were sick or they had been sick. Those have been fixed, and for the vast majority of Americans, costs in those markets have come down, thanks to the subsidies made available under Obamacare…

    The 22% increase [in health care premiums], let’s remember who that applies to. That applies to a very small fraction of people, who have to buy insurance without the subsidies that are available.

    85% of people buying insurance on the exchanges get subsidies. And for those people, this premium increase doesn’t affect them.

    Now, for those remaining people, that is a problem, and that’s something that we need to address, but it’s not a crisis. It doesn’t mean the system’s collapsing. And most importantly, it doesn’t affect the 150 million Americans who get employer insurance, who have actually seen their premiums fall dramatically, relative to what was expected before Obamacare.

    CAROL COSTELLO, CNN: OK. So let’s talk about how exactly you can fix Obamacare. And I just need you to be specific, because I think people really want answers. So Hillary Clinton says she can fix Obamacare. So what would be one fix that would drive premiums down.

    GRUBER: Look, once again, there’s no sense of oh it just has to be fixed. The law is working as designed; however, it could work better, and I think probably the most important thing experts would agree on is that we need a larger mandate penalty. We have individuals who are essentially free riding on the system. They’re essentially waiting until they get sick and then getting health insurance. The whole idea of this plan which was pioneered in Massachusetts was that the individual mandate penalty would bring those people into the system and have them participate. The penalty right now is probably too low and that’s something ideally we would fix.

    COSTELLO: So somebody who is president could go to congress and say, “You know what, lawmakers, this is a fix. Can you pass this?” Is that what would have to happen to put that fix into place?

    GRUBER: Basically, it’s hard to know what dramatic fix we could do without congress participating in the process. We could do things like a stronger mandate is one. We could do things like increasing the pressure on states to expand their Medicade programs, a horrible act of political malpractice where states have left millions of people of their lowest income citizens uncovered. We could do things like that, but a lot of that would involve congressional participation. It’s hard to know what you can do just on your own as a new administration.

    COSTELLO: What about the insurers who have fled the system? How do you convince them to come back or new companies to sign on? GRUBER: Once again, I think the press here has been misleading. Some insurers are leaving. Other insurers are thriving. I think what you have is a system where we’ve shaken up the status quo, exactly what we expect of new innovation, disruptive innovation if you will, to do. Insurers who were thriving in the old system are finding this new system sort of hard for them. Other insurers are doing really well and what’s going to happen is the natural process as the market evolves. These premiums are going to increase. That’s going to allow profitable opportunities for new insurers to enter they are(ph) and bring premiums back down. So we’re just seeing the ups and downs of a new market. What you have to remember is that premiums in 2014 came in way below what we expected. In fact, where they are today is exactly where they thought they’d be today. It’s just they came in lower than we thought and they rose faster than we thought. And that’s just some of the unpredictability of a new market. That will settle down over time. And new insurers will enter.

    COSTELLO: OK. So hindsight is 20/20, right?

    GRUBER: Yes.

    COSTELLO: Looking back, is there one thing that you wish was done differently?

    GRUBER: I think there’s really probably two things I wish was done differently. One is I wish the mandate penalty was stronger. The other, I wish the federal government had done more to get states to expand their Medicaid programs. I think that this is a fundamental flaw in our system that states are leaving so many systems uncovered and citizens who are sick who are coming into this exchange pool and making it more expensive.

    COSTELLO: So realistically, you know, after the next president is put into office, what do you think will happen with Obamacare?

    GRUBER: I think nothing much is going to happen, to be honest. I think that basically a system that largely works , that the flaws your seeing now or the premium increase you’re seeing now are just the natural dynamics of a market as it transitions to its new state, and I think that we’re just going to let it go for a couple years and it’s going to get better on its own. And basically I think it’s a system which largely works.

    COSTELLO: What if Donald Trump becomes president, he has a republican congress, and he does repeal it? What happens then?

    GRUBER: Well, first of all he won’t repeal it. Remember, the whole argument and public debate against this law is that people didn’t get to keep insurance they liked. Well, you’re going to have 20 million Americans or more who are now getting insurance that they like. You’re not going to take that away from them. And let’s be clear, there is no replace. There is only repeal. There is no Republican alternative to this law, and the reason is because this is fundamentally a bipartisan legislation that was originally drafted on Republican principles, to be honest. And so there is no Republican alternative. And so his repeal and replace is just repeal and leave people uninsured. That’s not going to happen.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/10/26/obama_architect_jonathan_gruber_obamacare_is_not_imploding_working_as_designed.html

  • Bones

    “He has put Iran on a course to have a nuclear bomb and this threatens the entire middle east. ”

    How stupid are you?

    Do you know who Iran’s biggest allies are?

    Russia…..

    Lol..lol…lol…lol…lol…lol…lol…lol…lol.

    Btw Obama’s stupid Syrian policy was all about defending Israel and breaking up the Syrian/Hezbollah/Iran alliance. Bloody stupid policy, I’ll give you that, especially given the the grief Netanyahu has caused Obama.

    see leaked Clinton emails

    “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of
    Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.

    Negotiations to limit Iran’s nuclear program will not solve Israel’s security dilemma. Nor will
    they stop Iran from improving the crucial part of any nuclear weapons program — the capability

    to enrich uranium. At best, the talks between the world’s major powers and Iran that began in
    Istanbul this April and will continue in Baghdad in May will enable Israel to postpone by a few
    months a decision whether to launch an attack on Iran that could provoke a major Mideast war.

    Back to Syria. It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in
    Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel’s security — not through a direct attack,
    which in the thirty years of hostility between Iran and Israel has never occurred, but through its
    proxies in Lebanon, like Hezbollah, that are sustained, armed and trained by Iran via Syria. The
    end of the Assad regime would end this dangerous alliance. Israel’s leadership understands well

    why defeating Assad is now in its interests. Speaking on CNN’s Amanpour show last week,
    Defense Minister Ehud Barak argued that “the toppling down of Assad will be a major blow to
    the radical axis, major blow to Iran…. It’s the only kind of outpost of the Iranian influence in the
    Arab world…and it will weaken dramatically both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic
    Jihad in Gaza.”

    Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease
    Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly”

    “Arming the Syrian rebels and using western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and
    airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach. As long as Washington’s political leaders stay firm

    that no U.S. ground troops will be deployed, as they did in both Kosovo and Libya, the costs to
    the United States will be limited. ”

    https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/18328

    But now their allies, the Russians, have stepped in to help Assad/Hezbollah/Iran (Israel’s enemies) out….

    You know, your new friends….

    And now Assad, Israel’s enemy, has become the right wing hero…..

    lol…lol…lol..lol..lol…lol…lol..lol..

    Oh the ingenious stupidity of Trump supporters.

  • Bones

    Btw Russia (your friends) helping Iran build a new nuclear power plant. The second in a lazy eight…

    Iran, Russia start construction of new Iranian nuclear plant

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-russia-nuclearpower-idUSKCN11G0EB

    Its Obama’s fault…..

    Lol……..

  • KonCern

    Speaking of polls, Obama has a 57% Job approval rating. Trump has a 34%…
    “People are angry and frustrated at President Obama simply because he did not perform as advertised. ” That “advertisement” was base on a faulty perception & expectation him to be like Prophet Moses who would lead Americans in a land flowing with gold.
    However, it seems that most who are angry at Obama are the very Loud and vocal Tea Partyers, Birthers, White Supremacist and the NRA gun loving crazies.
    But, Yet, Trump did not win the majority vote to become President; Obama did– go figure…
    ” Is it any wonder that Clinton lost even without her many, many scandals and self inflicted wounds.” Agreed she had self inflicted wounds, but it is now standard knowledge even to Trump, that the Russians did help him to win the election and that the FBI inflicted more wounds on Hillary designed to help Trump win. And it worked.

    Comy won’t admit if was investigating Trump business ties to Russia at the same time he decided to go public with emails on Wiener’s Laptop that had NOTHING to do with Hillary.
    But Comy refuse to say what his investigations into Trump’s connection with the Russians were. He told the committee , it is classified. Imagine that? He protected Trump and throw Hillary under the bus. The Senators said it is a double standard…but the damage was done, her polls sank and didn’t recover in time.
    No wonder Lewis and others see Trump as the Russian Installed President and rightly so…

  • Ken

    The fastest and simplest way to explain it is this. Back in 2015, Marco Rubio introduced an amendment into an Omibus Budget Bill, that said, the government would only pay 13 cents on the dollar to insurance companies, to insure high risk people, the disabled and chronically ill. And YES. He knew EXACTLY the affect it would have. As a matter of fact, insurance company execs TESTIFIED, as to what the effect of that amendment would be. So, if they wanted to FIX the ACA, (Obamacare) all they have to do, is REPEAL, that ONE little amendment. And YES, Rubio and the other fascist in the G.O.P. leadership, (Boner, McConnell and Ryan) knew EXACTLY what the effect of the amendment would be.

  • Ken

    There’s no CHOICE involved in being gay or lesbian.

  • Ken

    Uhhh… The ACA (Obamacare) is a REPUBLICAN bill. Written BY republicans, (The Heritage Foundation) YEARS ago. It was the most bi-partisan bill he could’ve POSSIBILY past. As a matter of FACT, before Obamacare, it was called ROMNEYcare. (Keep up, Bob.)

  • Ken

    The ACA (Obamacare) WAS working. So, Marco Rubio and the other fascist in the republican party, snuck a lil “poison pill” into an Omnibus Budget Bill BACK IN 2015, to KEEP it from WORKING. It’s called SABOTAGE, Bob.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much.

  • Matthew

    Very interesting Watson …

  • Matthew

    A quick conclusion I drew from the article is that the ACA is certainly not perfect, but it´s better than what the U.S.had previously, and much better than the lack of alternative(s) the GOP has offered up. Thanks again BillyT.

  • KonCern

    Really ? OK..is it a choice made for some to change back from being gay / lesbian or tranny? Or does it comes automatic and natural to be what one feels?

  • BillyT

    Glad to help Matthew. It can be be challenging to wade through all the conflicting analysis, opinion and outright propaganda.
    Far too many people just listen to their favorite sources and ignore anything to the contrary.
    Like Trump, they cite their ‘very good brains’ and believe that they know more than the experts, buying into the false equivalency between opinion and evidence.
    It’s great to see someone who seems genuinely interested in getting behind the spin.

  • Matthew

    I´m pretty tired of spin. I´m looking for something objective, balanced, and real these days.

    What are the downsides of the single payer system in Canada if there are any?

  • RonnyTX

    Ken to ConCern:
    There’s no CHOICE involved in being gay or lesbian.

    Ronny to Ken:
    Ken, thank you for saying that and as I well know, it is so true!

  • Guy Norred

    Pretty much any of the single payer systems in the rest of the first world would have done this but the President was wise enough to know that that had no chance of getting through Congress so he took a Republican idea of working within our current market system to reign in costs and spread coverage and got that passed despite opposition from those who originally proposed it (because it was coming from a democrat) and who would now try to poison it by calling it socialism (as if that were a bad thing), and then by taking out the parts that made it work rather than trying to tweak the parts that didn’t.

  • Hey, class warfare again! Let’s call rich people greedy and blame them for a broken medical system.

  • Blerg

    Please, do explain.

  • Bravo Sierra

    In modern usage, it means the opposite of what you might think it means.

  • Blerg

    So Christlike-compassion actually means being hateful and condemning towards others; laughing at their misfortune and blaming them for their victimhood? Today’s GOP really is a group of Christians, then. And here all along, I had thought they were modem-day Pharisees.

  • Tim

    If the shoe fits. There’s a reason Jesus cautioned about wealth.

  • gimpi1

    Thank you for this! I’ve pointed out for decades that the whole idea of, “letting private charity take care of the poor,” has never worked. Private charitable organizations are the first ones who say it will never work. No one can point to place in the world where it’s working.

    I’m about results. Results matter. When I look around the world, I see single-payer healthcare working OK. I see governmental systems working OK. I don’t see anyplace where almost everyone gets necessary medical treatment with only a private, for profit system. I see the same thing with poverty aid.

  • gimpi1

    Do you have an actual example of a place or time where private charity actually addressed even most of the need for poverty aid or medical care? Do tell – two letters don’t offer anything but a strong suspicion that it’s what you’re full of.

  • gimpi1

    The thing is, most of the problems with the ACA were things put in to attempt to bring at least a few Republicans on board. The whole idea of higher deductibles and transferring costs to individuals so they’ll have some “skin in the game” (as though being sick isn’t enough) is a conservative idea. They believe it will lower costs. I’ve seen no evidence of this.

    You’re right, single payer appears to work best. I don’t understand why we’re so afraid of a system that works for the majority of the developed world.

  • paganheart

    Because then we would have to admit that other countries have some better ideas and some better ways of doing some things than we do, and maybe the USA really isn’t “The Greatest Country In The World(TM)” after all. The USA is a great country if you are white, rich, healthy, cisgendered, heterosexual, Protestestant Conservative Christian, capitalist, and male. For literally everyone else, this country stinks in one way or another. It is past time for “American Exceptionalism” to die, but I’m not holding my breath. We are an arrogant, selfish, greedy, prideful, spoiled and immature country, and I fear we will have to hit some kind of horrible rock bottom before we are humbled, forced to admit that we really aren’t all that great, and finally grow up.

  • gimpi1

    Yeah, that “American exceptionalism” rot always gives me heartburn. We’ve had some good ideas. So have other people. That’s one of the best things about the ease of communication we have today. When another place has a great idea,, we all know about it. We can study it, use it or modify it. We can learn from other’s experiences. Why so many people in the States refuse to do that is beyond me.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Reading back, and 3 days later… We seem to be losing the “Constitutional” part of it, as well… which loss will be based on nothing better than fear and hatred.

  • RonnyTX

    ConCern to Ken:
    Really ? OK..is it a choice made for some to change back from being gay / lesbian or tranny? Or does it comes automatic and natural to be what one feels?

    Ronny to ConCern:
    At 12 years old, I had never even heard the word homosexual/gay and all I knew about was guys who were attracted to females and females who were attracted to guys. But then, at that young age, I found out by personal experience, that I was attracted to some males and I thought it was the grandest thing ever. :-) But then in the same year, I was taught to believe by some of my church elders, that being gay was self chosen and the worst of sins. That wasn’t true; but then as a 12 year old, I didn’t know any better than to believe those church elders. I believed everything they said, just as they had taught me to. I treated their words to me, just as if I was hearing the same and that directly from God. In other words, some of my church elders, they taught me to commit the sin of idol worship; but of course, as a 12 year old and brought up in such a church, I didn’t know or see that. So, given what some of my church elders said about those homosexuals, I believed their lies on that, for the next 28 years! And it seems to me, that you would want young gay people today, to believe the same lies I was taught. That is, that being gay was self chosen, sin and the worst of sins.

  • OrthoAnabaptist

    It’s not just the very rich who don’t give there monies to real charities… it’s a lot of conservative Christians in general. How much of the money “given” to charity goes to megachurches where stadium seating and super sound systems are a much bigger priority than the poor? In my local very conservative/GOP ruled community we have this once a year “Big Give” where you can donate to a huge list of local charities (many of which are social service charities… but again some are non-profits with nothing to do with social welfare) Guess what one of the highest getters was? The local contemporary christian radio station! Oh they sure talk a lot of Jesusy stuff and churchy stuff, etc etc… but they’re all entertainment (and bad at that to boot) It’s sole purpose is to tickle lazy, coddled evangelical ears and make them feel good about themselves and to be a shill for the worship industrial complex — yet it can pass itself off as a charity and rake in the bucks throughout the year and during this event (because it doesn’t have “commercials” and is therefore a “nonprofit.
    You’re right btw Ben. I’ll believe conservative Christians desire to take all the gov charity/social work on when they start spending their dollars on those things instead of the self-serving monies they spend on themselves now.

  • SamHamilton

    If I remember correctly, the Heritage Foundation proposed the idea of a health insurance mandate. It didn’t write the entire bill. Fewer caps, less name calling and condescension, and we’ll all be better of. Thanks.

  • Matthew

    Bernie points out a lot of things that Christians should be on board with. Ironic really.

  • Delta 14

    Herm… there is plenty of blame to go around. Republicans, Democrats, Congress, etc.. You are totally missing the point though. The law should have never been passed as is. The hippocratic oath “do no harm” was wholly abandoned by the authors of Obamacare.

    If they had produced a program to start with that “did no harm” then Hillary Clinton would be in the White House. Instead they really hurt people. Over 5 million families were grossly harmed by this law… even the most liberal institutions agree. It is not a matter of these 5 million families falling through the cracks. These families were targeted by the authors of Obamacare and the harm that occurred was intentionally done to them by the government. Why won’t you hold your politicians accountable for the harm that they did?

    You trust your political leadership way too much. Blaming Republicans for not cooperating is part of the sickness. Man up and take responsibility. Just say it… Our guys F-ed up. Now lets move forward and fix it.

    This problem will never be fixed by a single party. It has to be bi-partisan. People need to check their party affiliation at the door and do what is right for their country. The ACA should have never been passed in its current state. Obama should have taken the time to do it right – instead he rushed it through and law makers passed it without even reading it. They trusted him.

    Blaming the rich, or whites, or men, or christians, or evangelicals, or straights is not an enlightened approach or philosophy. Shaming people is not going to win you more votes. When you strip away the adjectives and realize that behind those labels are real people, then we can start making progress.

    Everyone needs healthcare and the solution isn’t a system that helps some but screws others with unfavored “adjectives”. It is so stupidly obvious… if the government is going to insure that everyone gets coverage, then create a system that takes care of everyone… not just the poor at the expense of “the unfavored”.

    After all… regarding government services… nobody should have what everyone can’t have. Am I wrong?

  • Delta 14

    Herm… I thought you were enlightened? But here you are supporting Obama as if he is your “prophet” or “Savior”. Why do you practice jihad for the guy?

    I have to comment on your previous statement – loosely quoted that Obama has improved our relations with the world. All of the arguments up to now have been toothless. How do you excuse the assassination program he has waged in Muslim countries…

    http://www.cfr.org/counterterrorism/targeted-killings/p9627

    https://theintercept.com/2015/11/19/former-drone-operators-say-they-were-horrified-by-cruelty-of-assassination-program/

    https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2016/07/01/obama-drone-casualty-numbers-fraction-recorded-bureau/

    I suppose the countless penniless innocent civilians murdered by US drone strikes ordered and supervised by the Obama/Clinton regime mean nothing to you. I suppose murder is OK as long as you are a Democrat doing it. What is next for the Democratic Party… gas chambers?

    Heil to the War Criminal! Heil to the Democratic Party!

    https://qz.com/569779/drone-strikes-are-creating-hatred-towards-america-that-will-last-for-generations/

    All hyperbole aside…

    Can you really say that the foreign affairs have improved or that Obama was good at foreign affairs? That’s like saying… I’m for murder as long as I get free healthcare.

  • Justin

    I don’t think this is a conservative vs. liberal issue as a lot of liberals are the same way: holding their money or donating to charities that protect puppies (but that’s a topic for another comment). It’s ironic to despise rich people for being greedy, yet they are the one’s who can solve this problem. Maybe publicly bashing them isn’t the answer

  • Thela Ginjeet

    Everybody knows that liberals and assorted leftists are the most charitable and giving people around…They just do it with other people’s money by expanding the ever increasing power of government to redistribute wealth funded by higher taxes. Economists point out that the more the public sector expands, the private sector shrinks. The bigger percentage of GDP that the welfare state takes up, private charities are crowded out and decrease. Those poor that are giving more of their income to charity… Are themselves mostly conservative and Christian, and they give more than the richest liberals.

  • This reminded me of something that came to mind recently while I was reading through Isaiah. There are within our religion certain individuals who insist that Christians (either as a whole, or just their own specific sect) have replaced Israel as God’s Chosen. And yet I’ve noticed so many of these same individuals acting and encouraging others to act just like Israel and Judah did when their actions caused God to become angry with them.

  • Herm

    Thela, you wrote, “the private sector shrinks”. Are we talking the same private sector that administers and distributes insurance premiums for a profit while paying their CEO $400,000,000.00 a year?

  • Thela Ginjeet

    I’m talking about private sector charitable giving in totality. Individual, religious, corporate, institutional, etc. What are you talking about? Your post is not clear.

  • Herm

    You really haven’t seen the numbers have you?

    That is beside the point, the subject of the article is why we need the Affordable Care Act which is health “insurance”. If the progressives had their way it would have been single payer but then the profit motive of the insurance companies would have been jeopardized. What are you talking about relative to health, auto, home or life insurance being managed by private sector profit motive alone when without any form of Affordable Care Act (which is healthcare only)?

  • Donald L. Hill

    You have to bash them because they have NO shame.

  • Thela Ginjeet

    Uh…No. The subject of this article is the title, “If Rich Americans Weren’t So Greedy, We Wouldn’t Need Obamacare.” Don’t know what article you read.

    What insurance company pays their CEO 400 million? I can’t seem to find that data.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2016/03/31/what-if-we-confiscated-the-compensation-for-large-health-insurers-and-redistributed-it-to-members/?client=ms-android-verizon

  • Donald L. Hill
  • Donald L. Hill

    If the private sector is shrinking how do you explain the doubling of the stock market during Obama’s terms?

  • Donald L. Hill
  • Mary George

    I am tired of the bald faced lies about conservatives.Conservatives have been proven over and over again to provide monies to charity unlike their liberal counterparts.Obamacare is a demonic monstrosity.It makes me a Christian conservative pay for the slaughter of the innocent.Barack Hussein Obama aka Bath house Barry Soetero and Obamacare are demonic entities. ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!

  • Herm

    http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payer/health-insurance-ceo-pay-at-big-five-tops-out-at-17-3m-2015

    Thela, are we reading the same article? What is Obamacare if not health insurance?

    I can’t read your Forbes article because, for their profit, they require a login.

  • Neil Parker

    The downsides are that costs are not entirely contained, of course. Health care costs are a rising percentage of our national budget.
    And some would argue that there is a danger of a “two-tier” system — those with money will “jump the queue” and pay more for expensive treatments and surgeries while the average or poor citizen puts up with long waits for those services.
    The advantages are generally considered to outweigh the costs; the cost per person is generally lower because there are fewer intermediaries, and some gains result from a system that is focussed more on health care provision than profit (this is arguable, of course, because even “non-profit” must still be “financially sustainable.”)
    Nobody loses their house to pay for an unexpected pregnancy, stroke, or early-onset Alzheimer’s. That is worth the extra dollars I might be paying.

  • Thela Ginjeet

    No. I don’t think so. You’re reading the “topic for a different post.”

    I will ask again…What insurance company pays their CEO 400 million dollars?

    The Forbes article doesn’t require a login.

  • Thela Ginjeet

    I should have clarified that the more government (the public sector) takes over the responsibility for the social welfare of the poor and the underclass through various entitlements…There is a decrease in giving and charitable dispensation in the private sector for those same issues that once relied on private altruistic endeavors. Economists refer to it as a crowding out phenomenon.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Surely they deserve proper compensation for providing such a splendid service? (To shareholders, obviously, not patients.)

  • Jonathan H. Pienaar

    The rich aren’t the ones who can solve the problem. They are the problem. Trickle-down is a lie, for one simple reason: the rich (shareholders/business owners, CEOs) invest their money elsewhere, as long as they can avoid tax. They are not tax-incentivised to create jobs or support specific causes that help the disempowered. They are incentivised to maximise profits, which means paying as few people as possible as little as possible, and showing shareholders “growth” — dividends which get invested in growth markets like China and India.

  • Jonathan H. Pienaar

    If you quote, please cite your source.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much. Helpful.

  • Katherine Harms

    I would be curious how you define “working OK.” When I look around the world, I see single-payer systems going broke and putting people on waiting lists for months, rather like our own government treatment of veterans. Where exactly is the model “single-payer” system where government is providing the medical treatment everyone needs, and by the way, in your model perfect OK system, who gets to decide what people “need?”

  • Daniel Niehoff

    Canada, Germany, Austraila, and the Nordic Nations for a start. Although no system is without flaws, the US spends almost twice as much per capita on healthcare as these other nations and doesn’t have remarkably better health outcomes. Keep in mind that we have and have had rationing of healthcare here in the US. Rationing here occurs because people don’t have enough money to go to the doctor or pay for procedures. Medical bills are also to blame for the largest percentage of bankruptcies here in the US.

  • Bones

    I couldn’t get out of bed last weekend. Had fevers and nasty throat infection.

    Went up to our public hospital on a Sunday and was treated by a doctor for free and prescribed antibiotics for $5.

    I love Australia.

    edit:

    Oh and last year we were on holidays when the baby decided to drink some dishwashing liquid…

    Up to the hospital…checked out by doctors…and let go….for free.

    Aged mother had a heart attack and was in intensive care for weeks and stayed for months in hospital until the day she died- cost nil….

    Aaah but how much does it cost the taxpayer?

    A lot fricking less then you spend on bombs.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    ConCern, when did you choose to be straight? Can we make you choose to be gay?

  • Bones

    We have Medicare over here where those earning over $50 000 pay extra 2-3% levy and more for those over $150 000. Something like that anyway.

    Medicare covers all Australians.

    I’m getting free physio this year as old age has started to impact my body.

    Private Insurance is an option but not a necessity.

    It’s no wonder you guys are slave to big business.

    They literally hold your life in their hands.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    You would think it wouldn’t be that hard to get people to understand. Unfortunately, it is exhausting for many of us Americans who do realize what you stated is true. You can provide facts. Show studies. Give examples of other countries who provide healthcare better and more efficiently than us, and yet none of that matters. Many Americans seem to believe that everyone is entitled to their own facts, confusing opinion with facts. Some things are debatable, but many Americans just outright reject facts and reason; they even do so gleefully!

  • Bones

    “Blaming the rich, or whites, or men, or christians, or evangelicals, or straights is not an enlightened approach or philosophy. ”

    So blame da black man, and the Democrats…….that makes sense…

    You guys need to be weaned off insane private health and into federal funded health care which is used around the world.

    Yeah that means an increase in TAX.

    Oh no……

  • Chris Mooney

    “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • Daniel Niehoff

    The Heritage Foundation and other conservatives like Gingrich may not have written the ACA or supported everything in it, but you are correct that they did understand the need for a mandate. Unfortunately, the mandate was the first thing conservatives objected to and have been loudest at complaining about. No matter what happens now, we will arrive back at the same situation where they realize a mandate is needed in order to ensure all are paying in to the system.

  • KonCern

    Daniel, I did not chose to be ” straight ” ; I (we ) were created for purpose. Being gay or lesbian, isn’t one and serves no real purpose.

  • KonCern

    I have heard many personal stories and some times , I simply ignore the various and diverse experiences and stick with a design purpose for gender.
    SSA is NOT a sin; the sin is in the ACT. If you CHOSE to penetrate another man’s butt with your penis or have another man penetrate your butt with his penis , as a man would a woman, then it is a SIN. That is a choice you make.
    I am attracted to beautiful sexy women, but I will CHOSE to go after them to have sex with them, it’s a choice. It is an act of the will, that will lead me to go after them.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    Trump’s and the Republican’s policies, if fully enacted, may bring initial success and and economic jolt, but the long-term effects studied by many economists and experts predict a likely downturn after that. His policies won’t boost economic output enough to make up the lost revenue caused by greatly decreasing taxes on corporations and those at the top. This will result in either eventual higher taxes on the middle class, or deepening cuts that will eventually stall the economy, or adding a large amount to the deficit. The numbers don’t lie, and Trickle-Down economics is proven to fail in the long-term. Look it up. There’s plenty of research out there proving this.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    And many gay people will tell you that they did not choose to be gay. What is the real purpose we were created for that proves being gay is a choice?

  • SamHamilton

    I agree that if you want to mandate private insurance companies provide coverage to sick people with pre-existing conditions at the same rates they would cover healthy people that you need some sort of purchase mandate. Of course, if you skip the former mandate, you can skip the second, but then we’re back where we started with people with pre-existing condition not being able to get affordable coverage. Republicans are trying to come up with a way around this, like only requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions who’ve maintained continuous health coverage or using high-risk pools, but that might not work either.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    “requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions who’ve maintained continuous health coverage or using high-risk pools, but that might not work either.”

    You are correct. That won’t work either because it’s been tried in the past. If someone had health insurance through their company and then lost their job, they had to pay for COBRA in order to ensure they kept continuous coverage. Of course, COBRA was very expensive and when you don’t have a job you are at high risk of not being able to keep up with the payments. If that happened, that person wouldn’t be covered for at least a year (and possibly not ever) for preexisting conditions. Thus, we’re back around to the same problem.

    The solution, as I see it from studying the options and listening to experts from around the world, is a single payer system. Everyone pays in, everyone is part of one giant risk pool, we can negotiate prices of care, and we can negotiate drug prices. This eliminates the need to suck money out of the system in order to pay for the profits of the health insurance companies.

  • Try telling that to a President Reagan fan. Democrats have been trying to spread this fearful scenario for 40 years. We now have high taxes, no economic growth for 8-years. See below from Jim Hoft Apr 28th, 2016 in
    Time Magazine. What research do you have disproving our current situation based on high taxes and economic doldrums?

    “The rate of real economic growth is the single greatest determinate of both America’s strength as a nation and the well-being of the American people.

    On Thursday the Commerce Department announced that the US economy expanded at the slowest pace in two years. GDP growth rose at an anemic 0.5% rate after a paltry 1.4% fourth quarter advance.

    Ronald Reagan brought forth an annual real GDP growth of 3.5%.
    Barack Obama will be lucky to average a 1.55% GDP growth rate.

    This ranks Obama as the fourth worst presidency on record.

    Barack Obama will be the only U.S. president in history who did not deliver a single year of 3.0%+ economic growth.

    According to Louis Woodhill, if the economy continues to perform below 2.67% GDP growth rate this year, President Barack Obama will leave office with the fourth worst economic record in US history.

    Quite different from President Obama’s self declared greatness.

  • Delta 14

    “Blame the Black Man”…

    In your world everyone is an adjective. It’s really hate speech. Just sayin….

  • Daniel Niehoff

    Small business taxes were cut 2 to 3 times over the last 8 years. As for the growth, what I’ve read shows growth a little higher under Obama than what is stated here. Also, the economy suffered the worst downturn since the Great Depression in 2008, so we have grown and recovered since then. It’s not been as much as we want, but overall things are better than in 2008.

    Here’s a good explanation of what is likely to happen if Trump and the Republicans enact their desired policies.

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/folly-trumponomics

  • Herm

    I apologize Thela for trying to do too much and getting the figures wrong. My eyes actually read that $400 million figure as less than the $15 million number in the web page I sent you. Fresh eyes today see my gross error. I am sorry for that.

    I can only assume I arrived at the $400 million figure because that was the annual salary for the top 20 healthcare industry CEO’s that I had read earlier this week.

    The point is that “private sector” is all of our economy that is not under direct government control. The charitable giving portion is the least able to be budgeted, as donations are by definition in excess of living expenses for each who donates.

    These are FOX business figures:

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2013/04/24/poor-middle-class-and-rich-who-gives-and-who-doesnt.html

    Only the very wealthy can afford to donate to the healthcare industry and they donate the least percentage over all from those making between $50k and $75k annually.

    You are right, yet once again, Forbes does not require a login, only that I drop my ad blocker. I have it up for a reason that they understand or they wouldn’t be so insistent.

    Education and healthcare for our entire 320 million populous must not be dependent upon profit motive if we care for the condition of our nation to be able to give back to our nation.

    The good old days of high paying factory labor jobs is past as robotics took those rote jobs that dehumanized our workers. We are either going to figure a way to supplement survival costs for those positions beyond charitable giving or figure out a way to decrease our population. Just being willing to work hard is not enough, anymore, to guarantee survival in the USA.

    The GNP for the USA has never been higher. The resources of our nation were here before they were hoarded to be doled out for profit. Without those resources we would not be a competitive force in the world, nor would we have the number of wealthy.
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gross-national-product

    The top 0.1 percent included 160,000 families with net assets of at least $20 million. Meanwhile, the bottom 90 percent encompassed 144 million families with average wealth of $84,000.

    Sep 21, 2015
    http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2015/sep/21/bernie-s/bernie-sanders-says-top-01-us-have-almost-much-wea/

    Last year alone, 2.6 million more Americans fell below the poverty line for a total of 46.2 million living in poverty or over 15% or 1 in 6, the highest number of poor in over 50 years. At 200% of the federal poverty level, the poverty rate in America would be 30%.
    Poverty Program: USA Poverty

    http://www.povertyprogram.com/usa.php

    …greed?

    …do we need an affordable care act for the health of our entire nation?

    …should we ever expect donations to supplement the health of our nation?

  • Scott Moore

    I agree that the rich need to be more generous when it comes to helping the poor. I also believe that the poor need to be more generous when it comes to loving the rich. We live in a very tumultuous time in which there is a lot of stone throwing between competing ideologies. The truth is all sides have major strides to make if they are going to live the life Jesus modeled for us. I think that Jesus would probably be disappointed in how all of us are choosing to “make the world a better place” As I close this up I do not have all of the answers to our current situation…however I do think it starts with finding common ground and working from there instead of attacking each other.

  • gimpi1

    Perhaps it depends on that you’re choosing to see? The Scandinavian systems are rated best, worldwide, with much higher outcomes and satisfaction ratings than the U.S. All over Scandinavia, Western Europe, Australia, and Canada, access and outcomes are objectively rated better, with longer lifespans, better outcomes for treatment, and patients happier with their care.

    Personally, I have friends in British Colombia and other regions of Canada, Great Britain including England, Ireland and Wales, the Normandy region of France, Germany and Austria. The people I know vastly prefer their systems to ours. My friends have been able to get needed care without the fear of going bankrupt that haunts anyone getting a serious diagnoses in the U.S. In fact, they genuinely can’t believe that we don’t see this. When I tell them the standard horror stories that circulate about their systems in the U.S., they laugh out loud. No one would trade places with us, no one. In fact, to my knowledge, no country that has set up a single-payer system has chosen to go back to a market-based system.

    In countries with single-payer, doctors actually have more control than they have in the U.S, where insurance companies control everything from the length of doctor-appointments and hospital stays to what a doctor can prescribe. In the U.S., what sort of job you have may well decide if your child dies of leukemia or your husband is widowed by your breast cancer. That really doesn’t happen in France or Canada or the U.K. The whole “death-panels nonsense is just that.

    I have no “model perfect system.” Why, when someone advocates for something, does someone else always misrepresent and exaggerate their position? No system is perfect, single-payer gives every evidence of being objectively better. No perfect, better. Better access, better outcomes and cheaper to administer. That’s my position. I believe I have evidence to back it up.

  • BrotherRog
  • Donald L. Hill
  • Donald L. Hill
  • Steve Wolfhagen

    Only a few Democrats. More voted in favor of allowing Canadian medicines than voted against. More Republicans voted against Canadian medicine than voted for if you want to point fingers.

  • Steve Wolfhagen

    There is no purpose for which any of us were created because there is no creator. We are just what we are.

  • billwald

    The very rich must “believe in” Darwinian the will toEvolution. If we let those who can’t adapt to their environment pass their DNA on to the next generation. . . . Or maybe the will to accept welfare is a genetic adaption to the increasing lack of good 40 hour/week jobs.

  • Bones

    Unfortunately that’s the sort of attitude which won’t change the democratic party.

    Dems need to stop being a right centrist party.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with generic brand medicine.

    I’ve been using it for years.

  • Bones

    Go read your post dude.

    You’re the one apportioning blame…

    Keep blaming da black man and the Democrats….

  • Linnea912

    Also, for whatever reason, there’s long been an anti-government streak among Americans. A hangover from the days we were still ruled by the king of England?

    At any rate, there’s an unbelievable number of people in this country who don’t want the government to do *anything* potentially helpful for anyone… oh, except for the rich. Give the rich all the breaks they can handle, right? *snark*

  • Daniel Niehoff

    So God is very concerned with where we put our genitals apparently. Is God against “butt penetration”? Why is God so concerned with which orifice we put our genitals in? Is oral sex a sin? Studies have shown that straight couples have more anal sex than gay couples. Is it wrong when a man does it to a woman? Is sex only about the ability to procreate? If so, is it wrong for women past menopause to have sex? What about people who are infertile… can they still have sex? Is birth control a sin against God? Is masturbation a sin?

    You see ConCern, your beliefs are silly. If there is a God, I doubt very seriously he is as concerned about our genitals and where we put them as you are. That would make him petty and silly like you; of course, the God of the Old Testament was very human-like. He was petty, jealous, vengeful, violent, and etc. Do you ever wonder why everyone’s god always agrees with their own built-in prejudices and views? Quite ironic isn’t it?

  • Daniel Niehoff

    “This problem will never be fixed by a single party. It has to be bi-partisan. People need to check their party affiliation at the door and do what is right for their country. The ACA should have never been passed in its current state. Obama should have taken the time to do it right – instead he rushed it through and law makers passed it without even reading it. They trusted him.”

    You’re exactly right. The reason Obama and the Democrats forced the ACA (and didn’t even try to get single payer or even a public option) is because they knew Republicans had no desire to reform healthcare in any meaningful way that would actually improve things for most Americans.

    “if the government is going to insure that everyone gets coverage, then create a system that takes care of everyone… not just the poor at the expense of “the unfavored.”

    I do completely agree with this! We need single-payer. It is the best workable solution. Any attempts to repeal ACA and replace with a hands off, free market system will bring us right back to the same place we’re in right now, maybe even worse.

  • Delta 14

    Daniel, I wish that we could trust the Federal government with healthcare. In a perfect world ALL insurance should be underwritten by the federal government. How much sense does it make to pay a third party for coverage when its in their interest to deny claims? The profit motive in the insurance industry shouldn’t be allowed because it is a clear conflict of interest.

    I am arguing that insurance should be underwritten by the Federal Government or non-profits. In my mind, the Federal Government is by far the best of the two options for the following reasons… 1. We all know that non-profit really isn’t non-profit, which means that the profit motive still exists. 2. Private companies aren’t as capitalized as the Federal government and they don’t have the ability to adequately cover the risk that is out there. Big events could bankrupt the system. 3. The Federal government could manage the system as net zero to the tax payer. In other words, people still pay premiums. Those premiums are set by the underwriter (the Federal Government) in such a way that 100% of the obligations are covered by premiums. 4. The poor and those who need help can be covered through direct Federal grants. Since the Feds are underwriting everything, the grant payments can be handled without passing through middle men eliminating fraud and waste. 5. People would still have the freedom to pick and choose what coverage they want. If someone who can afford insurance chooses to go without then they have to pay their own healthcare costs.

    If only we could trust our government to do the right thing! The reason that this will never work in the US is that our government is bought and paid for by outside interests and both parties in our political system are as corrupt as they can be. This isn’t Canada… Until we eliminate the corruption in our government we could never trust the Federal government to do the right thing.

    Case in Point… Obamacare. Our politicians are not only allowed to lie to us, but they look us straight in the eyes without blinking while doing it. These guys in the federal government walk around with a jar of petroleum jelly in their brief cases – Obama chief among them.

    If the Federal government could be trusted, then I would have no problem with them taking over the insurance underwriting role. However, I would never under any circumstances, allow the Federal governments role to go beyond underwriting insurance.

    The system needs to be privately owned and operated and publicly underwritten. Can you imagine the customer service nightmare if the Federal Government owned your local hospital?

  • Delta 14

    Donald, it’s great that the stock market has doubled during Obama’s tenure and that is a good thing in my view. Hopefully you understand that the stock market doesn’t measure actual wealth. It is a measurement of wealth potential. In other words, if everyone went out today and sold all of their shares, they would be practically worthless because there is not enough buyers or capital in the system who want to buy those shares.

    The only reason the stock market has doubled is because there is more people who want to buy the stocks than want to sell them. This occurs because of an economic phenomena that applies regardless of which political party is in power. That economic phenomena is that “capital always flows to the investment with the highest rate of return (risk adjusted)”. As long as there are more buyers than sellers then the stock market will go up and there is the appearance that wealth is being created. In reality, it all has to be carefully managed or it will collapse like dominos.

    Since banks pay practically zero interest on savings, the only place people can get a return is in the stock market. Thus capital is flowing into the stock market and it is going up up up.

    In this regard, a companies stock performance is often not a very good indicator of whether the company is doing well or not. It is the same with the economy in general. A healthy stock market is good but you can have a good stock market and a bad economy. Most people I know who look at the current labor participation rate would say that the economy is no where near as good as what the stock market would suggest it should be.

    Another point is that the stock market helps the rich almost exclusively. Obama has been very good at managing the stock market and making sure the rich get richer. What has he done for the poor and disadvantaged?

  • Bones

    You mean like other countries do.

    oh but it’s too hard and my republican Party shags the legs of big business.

    Ffs listen to yourself.

    We can’t trust the government like other countries can to provide healthcare.

    But we’ll spend trillions on a nuclear arsenal.

    It’s pretty Fricking easy if you actually wanted to do it.

  • Steve Wolfhagen

    I don’t understand your comments.

    I don’t expect Democrats to march lockstep on every issue as the republicans do to avoid being primaried. But I expect the dozen defectors to pay a price on this issue, their vote so obviously influenced by money.

    I would disagree that the party is right centrist. On nearly every issue the party is left of center even if some members occasionally ‘defect’.

    Who said there is anything wrong with generics? Their stated cover story is that the FDA doesn’t have oversight over imported drugs. We both seem to agree that it is not needed as Canadian oversight suffices.

  • Jonathan Roth

    How about Canada?

    ER visits and doctor’s visits are free, and I’ve rarely had to wait more than an hour for treatment. My company offers additional insurance which covers paramedical services, dental, vision and even certain forms of culturally accepted woo.

    I lived in the US under the Bush administration. I figure I must have paid $5000 in health “insurance” costs, none of which covered my $1400 medical bill when I twisted my ankle and needed an ambulance.

  • Dr Ian Dexter Palmer

    I liked the direction of this article. Three quickie points: (1) Income inequality: Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet. And eight men now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world (six of these are from the USA). The poor and needy must have given up on receiving help from rich Americans. (2) Christian benevolence: In one maga-church the average number that turn up on Sat mornings once per month to serve the disenfranchised is less than 5%. (3) Christian preaching: you can tell whats important to a mega-church by the number of sermon topics per year. In one I’m familiar with, it was only 2 sundays per year on the topic of serving others esp the demarginalized in USA and overseas. It’s just a token. I fear many Christian churches have become too introverted in their spiritual studies by comparison with Jesus’ life.

  • Bones

    The Democrats are no less neoliberal than the Republicans. Obama’s bailing out of Wall Street proved that.

    They are Centrist right at best which is why Sanders was such a breath of fresh air.

  • Steve Wolfhagen

    Spoken like someone on the too far left. What’s next? A liberal purity test?

  • Bones

    In case you haven’t noticed your party just got its arse kicked by one of the worst candidates ever.

    Dr Cornel West sums up Obama’s presidency and the Democratic Party….

    Pity the sad legacy of Barack Obama

    Eight years ago the world was on the brink of a grand celebration: the inauguration of a brilliant and charismatic black president of the United States of America. Today we are on the edge of an abyss: the installation of a mendacious and cathartic white president who will replace him.

    This is a depressing decline in the highest office of the most powerful empire in the history of the world. It could easily produce a pervasive cynicism and poisonous nihilism. Is there really any hope for truth and justice in this decadent time? Does America even have the capacity to be honest about itself and come to terms with its self-destructive addiction to money-worship and cowardly xenophobia?

    Ralph Waldo Emerson and Herman Melville – the two great public intellectuals of 19th-century America – wrestled with similar questions and reached the same conclusion as Heraclitus: character is destiny (“sow a character and you reap a destiny”).

    The age of Barack Obama may have been our last chance to break from our neoliberal soulcraft. We are rooted in market-driven brands that shun integrity and profit-driven policies that trump public goods. Our “post-integrity” and “post-truth” world is suffocated by entertaining brands and money-making activities that have little or nothing to do with truth, integrity or the long-term survival of the planet. We are witnessing the postmodern version of the full-scale gangsterization of the world.

    The reign of Obama did not produce the nightmare of Donald Trump – but it did contribute to it. And those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility.

    A few of us begged and pleaded with Obama to break with the Wall Street priorities and bail out Main Street. But he followed the advice of his “smart” neoliberal advisers to bail out Wall Street. In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders. He proclaimed: I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you, he promised them. And not one Wall Street criminal executive went to jail.

    We called for the accountability of US torturers of innocent Muslims and the transparency of US drone strikes killing innocent civilians. Obama’s administration told us no civilians had been killed. And then we were told a few had been killed. And then told maybe 65 or so had been killed. Yet when an American civilian, Warren Weinstein, was killed in 2015 there was an immediate press conference with deep apologies and financial compensation. And today we still don’t know how many have had their lives taken away.

    We hit the streets again with Black Lives Matter and other groups and went to jail for protesting against police killing black youth. We protested when the Israeli Defense Forces killed more than 2,000 Palestinians (including 550 children) in 50 days. Yet Obama replied with words about the difficult plight of police officers, department investigations (with no police going to jail) and the additional $225m in financial support of the Israeli army. Obama said not a mumbling word about the dead Palestinian children but he did call Baltimore black youth “criminals and thugs”.

    In addition, Obama’s education policy unleashed more market forces that closed hundreds of public schools for charter ones. The top 1% got nearly two-thirds of the income growth in eight years even as child poverty, especially black child poverty, remained astronomical. Labor insurgencies in Wisconsin, Seattle and Chicago (vigorously opposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a close confidant of Obama) were passed over in silence.

    In 2009, Obama called New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg an “outstanding mayor”. Yet he overlooked the fact that more than 4 million people were stopped-and-frisked under Bloomberg’s watch. Along with Carl Dix and others, I sat in a jail two years later for protesting these very same policies that Obama ignored when praising Bloomberg.

    Yet the mainstream media and academia failed to highlight these painful truths linked to Obama. Instead, most well-paid pundits on TV and radio celebrated the Obama brand. And most black spokespeople shamelessly defended Obama’s silences and crimes in the name of racial symbolism and their own careerism. How hypocritical to see them now speak truth to white power when most went mute in the face of black power. Their moral authority is weak and their newfound militancy is shallow.

    The gross killing of US citizens with no due process after direct orders from Obama was cast aside by neoliberal supporters of all colors. And Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Jeffrey Sterling and other truth-tellers were demonized just as the crimes they exposed were hardly mentioned.

    The president’s greatest legislative achievement was to provide healthcare for over 25 million citizens, even as another 20 million are still uncovered. But it remained a market-based policy, created by the conservative Heritage Foundation and first pioneered by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.

    Obama’s lack of courage to confront Wall Street criminals and his lapse of character in ordering drone strikes unintentionally led to rightwing populist revolts at home and ugly Islamic fascist rebellions in the Middle East. And as deporter-in-chief – nearly 2.5 million immigrants were deported under his watch – Obama policies prefigure Trump’s barbaric plans.

    Bernie Sanders gallantly tried to generate a leftwing populism but he was crushed by Clinton and Obama in the unfair Democratic party primaries. So now we find ourselves entering a neofascist era: a neoliberal economy on steroids, a reactionary repressive attitude toward domestic “aliens”, a militaristic cabinet eager for war and in denial of global warming. All the while, we are seeing a wholesale eclipse of truth and integrity in the name of the Trump brand, facilitated by the profit-hungry corporate media.

    What a sad legacy for our hope and change candidate – even as we warriors go down swinging in the fading names of truth and justice.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/barack-obama-legacy-presidency

  • I own a small business. What taxes were cut?

    The article you referenced,
    The Folly of Trumponomics
    It may produce a short-lived boom. Then, look out.
    By Simon Johnson / The American Prospect January 17, 2017,
    is pure left wing histrionics.

    In 8 years we are still talking abut recovery and how bad the recession was. That is why Trump was elected over Hillary. Americans want jobs not talk.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    Good points. I don’t support the government running the hospitals and directly employing the Healthcare workers. Government should be the “single-payer” when we go to the hospital or see our doctor. Doctors and hospitals would remain private or non-profit, andown keep autonomy. No extra money sucked out to boost profits to health insurance companies. Ability to negotiate lower drug prices do to the volume of people all in one risk pool.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/10/fact-sheet-president-obama-has-signed-eight-small-business-tax-cuts-law-

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/sep/07/barack-obama/barack-obama-said-hes-cut-taxes-middle-class-famil/

    And I’ll add one policy that I know would help small business…. single-payer healthcare would be a tremendous boost to business. No money diverted to paying for for employees’ healthcare. Not as money money spent on their own personal healthcare by the business owner. More money for investment, salaries, training, and etc.

  • Single Payer is very controversial. After watching Obamacare self destruct I would suggest that Single Payer is not going to happen.

    If you believe the Federal Government can manage this nation’s healthcare and that it has achieved success with Obamacare then why are the VA hospitals still not performing? Obama pledged to reform the VA and he did not. Assuming you believe he was sincere with this promise then what happened?

  • Well, American society and culture generally states that wealth is related to personal worth, character, and dignity– with the richer someone is, the closer they supposedly are to God. This is complete nonsense. However, the doctrine pervades the U.S. so much that we are like fish that swim in this water. It’s hard to see how to really turn the tide, but hopefully enough people are talking about making the national psychology more… well, healthy.

  • Snooterpoot

    Paul, I have asked people who spew the word, “socialism,” to define it in their own words many times. Not one of them has. Not one of them has defined communism or fascism, either, though they often use the words.

    More’s the pity.

  • Snooterpoot

    Herm, honey, you know I love you, and this is nit picking, but please, for the love of the English language, don’t ever use “gifted” as a verb. It drives your admirer here up the wall.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    9 days later, as we can’t do the co-pay right now, appointment for the tracheoscopy is at 0830, on the 1st, colonoscopy, the following day at 1445 (2:45 pm)… still needed for both,as some things are better, other things, not so much.. couldn’t get to sleep until 0500 this morning, as coughing fit, tight chest, and numb hands… having a coughing fit as we speak…

    Prayers and/or happy thoughts obviously still welcome… *weary smile*

  • Herm

    Thank you Snooterpoot. Most people just don’t understand graced. I’ve been accused of using unmerited divine assistance too much. How do you suggest I make it clear we didn’t earn any of this opportunity to live? I really don’t know.

    I do admire you, also. Thank you, again!

  • Snooterpoot

    How about divinely given, with the responsibility to be good stewards of those gifts?

    And, for the record, I wouldn’t give much thought into being accused of using divine assistance.

  • gimpi1

    I actually read a conversation posted on Captain Cassidy’s blog that featured someone who actually thought that “Obamacare” had been replaced by the “Affordable Care Act.” He insisted that he wasn’t worried by the Republican’s plan to repeal (again?) “Obamacare” because he was insured by the “Affordable Care Act.” that the Republicans had created. It was unbelievable…

  • gimpi1

    Everything you said is a bald-faced lie.

    The A.C.A. has saved thousands of lives – that’s demonic? No money goes to pay for abortion, what I assume you are referring to with your “slaughter of the innocent. Conservatives do not contribute more to charity if you back out tithing to churches, which is mostly used to pay for staff and facilities. Mr. Obama is a Christian, and your weird innuendo is just pathetic.

    I’m pretty sure everyone has had enough of you.

  • Snooterpoot

    You are one sick, pathetic human being. Get help.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    Single payer is mostly only controversial here in the United States. Most other modern nations have some form of single-payer and overall, their citizens are happy and would not want a completely different system. All systems have flaws, but single payer seems to be the best way to provide healthcare to the most people affordably.

    As for Obama, I’m not a blind Obama supporter. I actually didn’t vote for him. The ACA is a flawed system and I’m not a big fan of it, but it was an attempt to address healthcare issues and has had some successes. It was a much better alternative than doing nothing. Republicans didn’t try to work on improvements to the ACA, often-times did things to subvert and weaken key provisions, and have never come up with an alternative plan. They seem to think the almighty “Invisible Hand” of the free market will solve all our problems. I don’t buy it. Obama didn’t even attempt to enact single payer and didn’t even fight for a public options because a) the Republicans wouldn’t go along with either of those options and b) many Democrats are bought off by the Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical lobbies. This should not be a partisan issue. I once opposed Single-Payer but I have read, observed, and studied enough to think it is our best option. Of course it won’t be easy to implement, it will cause disruptions to enact, and it will have flaws that will need to be improved upon.

  • Bones

    Yeah my government is looking after the costs of our baby’s treatment for severe hearing loss.

    Conservatives like Bob would hate that.

    Their government is about killing people.

  • It is clear that our Federal government is incapable of managing our health Care system. You only have to look at the VA Hospitals to understand how inept government is at running anything. Obama had a chance in the first two years to do anything and he choose Obamacare. He owns it and it is a failure.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    You do realize that under a single payer plan the government wouldn’t have to run the actual hospitals or healthcare systems? The government can be the the “single payer,” taking the place of insurance and can negotiate prices for care and pharmaceuticals. Although some systems (See the United Kingdom) have government run hospitals and the healthcare workers are government employees, others only have the government involved as the single payer as stated above. If other governments can accomplish this, I don’t see why we can’t eventually accomplish it, especially when we have so many models to study, observe, pick, and improve upon. We do need to get rid of corruption, and that will always been an ongoing process no matter what system we have. There is rampant corruption of businesses in the private sector as well (including the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors). We will always need to fight this and we definitely need to find a way to limit big money’s influence on our government.

  • BoboBilliken

    I get why Evangelicals and theort GOP stooges HATE the LGBTQ and women ..because its ordained in the BIBLE, but why do the evangelicals and their GOP stooges HATE the poor….Is it because a poor kid picked on them or is it because they NEED more HATE to fuel theit lives???

  • I have not studied single payer plans. So you may be correct. But, I believe that he who controls the purse controls the service. The government is the absolute worst possible manager for healthcare. In the case of Obamacare the government could not even build a website to offer their plans and now we see the plan itself has imploded.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    I understand your reservations, but one must remember that the ACA is not a single-payer plan in any way. It left too much control in the hands of the health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industries. You may not trust the government, but I trust the private health insurance companies even less. They’re in business to make as much money as possible because they have stock holders, upper management, and employees to pay. They have much incentive to deny claims and do shady things to squeeze profits out of us. In that scenario, they care more about profits than our health and they (as someone with inside knowledge of healthcare) also exert control of the providers; individuals and doctors are still not in control of their healthcare when “private” health insurance companies are running things.

    Single-payer would be similar to Medicare and many have proposed a Medicare for all plan. You still have private doctors, hospitals, and facilities. You still have choice as where to receive your treatments. When you go for a visit it is covered under the single-payer plan. The government sends the payment (instead of a private insurance company that has to extract money out of the exchange) and you pay nothing at the time of visit or afterwards; just through your taxes. Much more efficient and streamlined way to provide healthcare. There is only one insurer/payer, which is the government. Facilities won’t have to devote as much resources to health insurance billing, deliberating, and so forth. Single-payer does work in many other countries. Don’t take my words as all the truth and proof you need. Go research it for yourself and come to your own conclusions. I’ve enjoyed the discussion and think it’s very important for more Americans to discuss this as it is one of the biggest issues this country faces. If healthcare isn’t dealt with properly, we will all suffer tremendously.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    I agree that the government should not own the hospital systems or employ the healthcare workers. The government needs to be the single-payer or underwriter as you state. Then we will also always need to fight to prevent corruption.

  • Bones

    Why?

    It does over here.

    So the government should only own and pay people to kill.

  • sg

    I agree that the greedy rich are a problem. Unfortunately you failed to make that case.

    The truly rich vote democrat, so I am not following that point about modifying the ACA.

    Christian conservatives don’t give to the Opera and the Museums or Harvard, they give to local community and social service organizations, so I don’t follow that point.

    Also, if the rich are giving to medical facilities, isn’t that going to help the poor with their medical care?

    The ACA, like any insurance scheme, doesn’t provide any health care to anyone. It just pays for it. So, John Doe who has a health care issue can still get care, he just gets stuck with the bill. If he is a middle income guy, that could wipe him out financially. He wants health care, he just doesn’t want to pay what it costs. He didn’t buy insurance before because it was expensive and he wanted to buy something else instead figuring he would be okay. But he lost that bet. In a sense, he was being greedy.

    As it is, he just doesn’t pay and the hospital passes the costs on to those who are insured. Hospitals are quite profitable, so we know they have mastered this art. The ACA as designed is a way for hospitals and insurers to be even more profitable by requiring everyone to buy an expensive product and having the government pay companies to insure qualifying lower income customers. However, it just didn’t work. Americans are not a very compliant bunch.

    But it all comes back to the ACA combining the worst of two systems. The single payer scheme taxes everyone and covers everyone but just doesn’t guarantee actual services someone might want or in a timely manner. The medical insurance scheme does better at delivering care but the cost is very very high.

    Everything in ACA could have been achieved by just expanding Medicaid to cover more people. Perhaps lawmakers didn’t want to go that route because no insurance company folks would be donating to their campaigns. Or maybe Medicaid doesn’t have that great a reputation.

    Still Medicare and Medicaid have lower admin costs because there is no profit and no executives getting eight figure compensation packages.

  • sg

    Every citizen is entitled to vote his views into civil law.

    That is what you do.

  • sg

    “There is no historical precedent to suggest that poverty goes away without help.”

    Uh, what?

    Where does such help come from?

    Are you talking about cooperation?

  • sg

    Highest paid public employee in Texas: University football coach.

  • sg

    Actually the elderly have gone from being the poorest demographic in the 1950’s to the richest demographic group now. This is due to Social Security paying people who are very well to do.

    The young are paying big time for the old.

    Ask yourself how many single adults you know who live alone in a four bedroom house. I know lots of these older ladies and a few men. That is only feasible when you have workers, legal and illegal, paying FICA taxes. However, these older folks have children and grandchildren who have big student loan debt and cannot afford housing for their families. But grandma lives alone in a four bedroom house because she collects extra money in the form of Social Security.

  • sg

    Are you in Ohio?

    Does that cost include your wife and kids?

  • Herm

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Civil marriage is not religious marriage. Any attempt to make marriage between only a man and a woman cannot be based on religious arguments.

    As far as those against a women’s right to choose what they do with their bodies that should be a civil right guaranteed her the same as he relative to:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    God holds no value for mankind less than a month old so that should not be a religious concern.

    This is why we have a constitution and a founded upon our declaration of independence.

    So no, that is not what I do because our constitution forbids certain bills from becoming civil law.

  • sg

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    People aren’t created a month after birth. Surely the intelligent men who wrote the Declaration of Independence knew that. The document is not a religious document but a social contract.

    Abortion laws restrain the providers, not women.

    Civil marriage was based on biology in every place on the planet for thousands of years and in every culture. Coincidence? No, it is just that they noticed that a man and a woman made a baby. They were just sane and rational. Emphasis on rational.

    In Rome men had the right to choose whether to keep a newborn or leave him to die. Less than a month old, no problem, right?

    One needs no religious argument to oppose abortion or infanticide.

  • Herm

    Social contract:

    The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the LORD by giving the equivalent value, set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; for a female, set her value at thirty shekels; for a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels; for a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver; for a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels and of a female at ten shekels. If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, the person being dedicated is to be presented to the priest, who will set the value according to what the one making the vow can afford.

    Leviticus 27:1-8 (NIV2011)

    Gay ‘marriage’ in medieval Europe
    Same-sex unions aren’t a recent invention. Until the 13th century, male-bonding ceremonies were common in churches across the Mediterranean. Apart from the couples’ gender, these events were almost indistinguishable from other marriages of the era. Twelfth-century liturgies for same-sex unions — also known as “spiritual brotherhoods” — included the recital of marriage prayers, the joining of hands at the altar, and a ceremonial kiss. Some historians believe these unions were merely a way to seal alliances and business deals. But Eric Berkowitz, author of Sex and Punishment, says it is “difficult to believe that these rituals did not contemplate erotic contact. In fact, it was the sex between the men involved that later caused same-sex unions to be banned.” That happened in 1306, when the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II declared such ceremonies, along with sorcery and incest, to be unchristian.

    http://theweek.com/articles/475141/how-marriage-changed-over-centuries

    When did the church get involved?
    In ancient Rome, marriage was a civil affair governed by imperial law. But when the empire collapsed, in the 5th century, church courts took over and elevated marriage to a holy union. As the church’s power grew through the Middle Ages, so did its influence over marriage. In 1215, marriage was declared one of the church’s seven sacraments, alongside rites like baptism and penance. But it was only in the 16th century that the church decreed that weddings be performed in public, by a priest, and before witnesses.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    I just think for the United States, a transition to single-payer where the hospitals and workers remain private or non-profit would make the transition easier than the government having to become the single-payer and then having to take over all the healthcare facilities and workers. The main thing is that single-payer would simplify things, cover everyone, and bring costs down for the citizens. I am aware that there are multiple ways to implement universal healthcare and some countries have preferred one way over another. Either way, the United States is way behind the times and change is long overdue.

  • soter phile

    You said: “The rich are greedy, and the people who overwhelmingly give to the poor are the poor themselves.”

    Who are the rich? WE ARE.
    The world’s median annual income is $1,225.
    Anyone making over $34k is in the top 1% worldwide.
    Anyone making over $25k is in the top 2% worldwide.

    sources:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082385/We-1–You-need-34k-income-global-elite–half-worlds-richest-live-U-S.html

    http://www.globalrichlist.com/
    [input your income & find out your percentile]

  • relative equality

    1.yes, 2. Because God cares about your physical, spiritual and mental health. 3. Unknown. Not explicitly stated. 4. Yes 5. No. 6. Yes 7. No. 8. Not explicitly but implicitly it could be and most likely is.

    No one answered / addressed ConCerns thoughts regarding the act as a sin…nor how one person can change sexual preference / orientation if it were not a choice.

  • relative equality

    Late to the discussion, but single payer reduces competition which reduces innovation. The US will no longer be on the leading edge of the medical forefront. Also, quality care and access will decrease. Americans aren’t willing to wait 6 weeks to see if a strained knee gets better with rest and therapy; they want an MRI now. The problem is that Americans don’t trust their doctors and aren’t willing to be patient to get better or get testing. That’s why they sue them and cause defensive medicine which increases health care costs.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    Technically, I don’t believe there is any such thing as sin. Sin is an idea invented by man and many sins have often been created as a way to control the behavior of those in a given society. Some sins, or things that humans feel aren’t right, are universal actions that most groups of people view as wrong such as: murder, theft, lying, and etc. The Bible is filled with all kinds of rules. Some made sense in those times and still makes sense today. Some made sense in those times but don’t make sense today, and some didn’t make sense then nor today. Some rules (or definitions of sin) were created in order to promote social peace and order, and some were created to control others. It’s a complex issue that takes much longer time to discuss than I have at this time.

    First you must establish if there is a god. Then, if there is a god, you must determine which god he is out of all the ones man has claimed exist throughout history. Then you have to know what this god thinks or know that the words written thousands of years ago in a holy book were actually the words of god and not merely made up by man. Then you have to know which rules this god no longer wants us to go by today and are there any new rules this god would like to add today. Even after all that, if you choose the Christian god and the Bible as the “true” word of this god; you would then have to deal with all the rules and laws that have changed over time. You would have to know which sect’s interpretation of scripture is correct. You would have to reconcile that this Christian god claims to be the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow with the fact that he appears to be completely two different gods between the Old and New Testaments. Also, if he doesn’t change then you would have to explain why we no longer have to abide by rules that this god once found as extremely important and now doesn’t seem too concerned about. I could keep on going but I don’t have the time or desire to go further down this road.

    I don’t think our country’s laws today should be based off of the views of people from one religion. I think our laws should be based off of reason, science, and basic human nature. Some laws from past times and past religions no longer serve a purpose in today’s world. If you want to restrict certain behaviors or base laws off of religion, you’re going to have to explain exactly why we should make certain behaviors illegal.

  • Daniel Niehoff

    I do agree with you about Americans not willing to be patient. It’s funny you mentioned the knee strain. I recently injured my knee dancing of all things. I woke up and had a lot of pain and it was hard to put a lot of weight on my leg/knee. Instead of running to the doctor, I have been waiting with rest and therapy as you mentioned. It progressively got better but has taken some time. I feel almost back to normal but am not pushing it yet. I knew that if the knee got worse or if I started having bad swelling I would need to go seek treatment. Many people are not willing to do this, as you stated.

    I’m not so sure about the US not being on the leading edge of the medical forefront if we switch to a single-payer. Germany and other countries have great medical advances and discoveries while maintaining single payer systems. There is still incentive to invent. People can and do still make profits. Profits could decrease in some instances, but not necessarily enough to completely discourage anyone from making medical devices, pharmaceutical, and new advances.

    We must do something to improve healthcare access and costs in this country. Many other countries are having success with single-payer and we should look to see how other people are delivering healthcare more effectively for their citizens. We can fix this, but it will require a willingness to learn and the ability for experts to explain to the American people how a single-payer system can benefit them.