Los Angeles, California, USA
March 10
Artist, Philosopher
"There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents." Thomas Jefferson. ************************************** The earth knows my step, the deaf hears my voice and the blind sees my words. My hope is to introduce civility, class--unrelated to money--and honor into American culture. I am the defender of the weak.


Thoth's Links
DECEMBER 18, 2009 6:35AM

Socialized Medicine vs. Evil

Rate: 59 Flag

This piece was triggered by Lunchlady 2’s post (Do You Want To Do Something About Insurance), and is dedicated to Lunchlady 2.

Why do nations around the world offer their citizens free medical care and free higher education? The answer is simple: it is a national pride. France, Britain, Canada and…Egypt give their respective citizens free health care because they are French, British, Canadians and Egyptians. That is it. Healthcare and higher education is not a privilege, it is a human right, and a nation is as civil as how it treats its weak.

Every country that offers free medical care and higher education to its citizens also allows privately owned clinics, hospitals, schools and universities…for the rich. In most of these countries, the rich do not abuse the free clinics and schools; instead, they pay for the expensive fancy doctors, hospitals and universities. However, the more civilized the nation the closer is the gap between private and public healthcare and education.

If we bring our troops from around the world home and start surgically taking out the terrorists, the money we will save is enough for ten lifetimes worth of healthcare for every American citizen. Wait a minute, I foresee someone disagreeing with bringing the troops home: fuck you. True conservative Republicans (not the subhuman-Jesus-loves-the-rich-creatures) had a conniption (fit) when the government paid the banks over $700 billion. This is not how capitalism and the free market work, said the conservatives. To invest is to gamble; to gamble is to win or lose, it is that simple. Buying and selling fake commodities; buying, selling, and consolidating debt works for the big greedy thieves but only for a short time. A market/banks crash is a very healthy and essential part of Capitalism; bailing out the market/banks is an economic sacrilege.

I will not debase myself arguing for free healthcare: it is a basic human right. If one does not see that free medical care—and free higher education—is a right of every American citizen, one is an ignorant, evil, and a fucking savage ape. I cannot be kind about this, because that evil fuck is saying that people who cannot afford American healthcare should…die. Therefore, to anyone who dares dream to think to say anything negative about socialized medicine I say, fuck you and fuck all the coward evil apes that share your fucking “opinion.”

Health insurance is legalized rape. Health insurance companies are legalized pimps with a license to violently rape citizens; no rape, no medical care; sometimes, rape, and no medical care. Insurance companies are the lowest and most evil of organized crime: They are fucking legal.

Americans are dying every day because they don’t have insurance; the ones who are still alive don’t allow their children to engage in sports or go outside and play lest the kid breaks a bone and there is no money to fix it. Most Americans who have insurance (average $800 per month) don’t have enough money left for food; their children are living on peanut butter and baloney sandwiches. Do you still believe that your Lord and Savior approves of this sate of human misery, you evil stupid fuck. Is this the “The American Standard of Living” that the retard Laura Ingraham of FOX News—BA from Dartmouth in dildo science and a degree from the University of Virginia in demolishing male erection—says the Europeans want to take down with their socialized medicine?  The good news for all hungry Americans is this: Almost all the food in America is Franken food; you’re not missing much.

Someone, please explain to these stone-cold fuck nuts that we see carrying signs against socialized medicine on FOX News, that socialized medicine means free healthcare for them and their little adorable monkeys. Jesus Christ! They look like they don’t have a pot to piss in and they are vehemently chanting against their own salvation. On the other hand, to any American who not only sleeps at night while fellow citizens are suffering, but also walks around with a hopeful sunny disposition vomiting sunshine, I say: fuck you.

And please, please, stop talking about healthcare. Stop the healthcare “debate.” It is extremely embarrassing, because nothing will ever change. If any, a change will be at the expense of the poor. The more you piss off the owners (insurance companies, for example) of this country and their corrupt Congress, the more they will punish the poor. Please do not act as if you have a real Congress and a real President; it is ridiculous, old and lame.

Mr. Obama, we know you lied about everything from healthcare to the war. I just paid a $1000 bet I lost to a Republican friend when you announced you wanted to extend the Patriot Act. We also understand that the pride of Michelle Obama’s superior heritage or just her simple lack of manners may have prevented her from bowing to the much shorter and much older: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Regent of sixteen independent sovereign states for almost 60 years. That was an unnecessary jesture.

Socialized medicine is the only solution; it is the humane solution; it is the right solution.

I call on all Americans of wealth to start building and financing free public hospitals and clinics. This is the only thing we can do. Help someone in need. Happy Holidays everyone.

Thoth © 2009


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Sometimes one can tell a much-needed truth in a way that makes the truth seem like horseshit…which is what you just did, Thoth. Not only did you over-state parts of your case…the gratuitous shot at Obama and his wife stunk to high heaven.

We actually have a guy making a start toward universal health insurance a priority…and you are bad mouthing him.

You, and the others playing this game, are more a part of the trouble on this issue than is Obama or his wife.

“I want it all…and I want it now” is fine if you are a two year old…but it looks like mud on a supposed adult.

Remember that your hope here is: “…to introduce civility, class and honor into American culture.”
Frank kinda reminds me of me...I so wanted that guy I was supposed to meet in Charlotte to be real and genuine. My heart was set on him. I wanted to believe his words and promises. Even after his actions belied his words...part of my heart and mind were still hoping...I'm so glad I saw the light despite my desire.
Conservative Republican checking in here--da*n straight I had a conniption fit about the bailouts. Thank you for recognizing this!
until the people of this country start making their wishes known -- via marches, via elections, via boycotts -- nothing will change.
Well done, Thoth. I couldn't have said it better myself. Rated A+
Again, Thoth - as a Canadian, we know our system has some flaws. Mostly they are fiscal. Sometimes not enough doctors etc. - some long waits in waiting rooms ( but never for the seriously ill). I cannot imagine paying for healthcare, or involving self interested insurance companies in the process. Yes, we have private clinics - it is a user's choice. But people do not die because they cannot afford it. Canadians are not afraid of broken bones. I simply do not understand the United States and their bond with these damned insurance companies except for heavy lobbying. We must have had the same problem with insurance companies but managed to cut them out of the picture. Why can't the US government? It still won't be healthcare as your people need it. Great post as stated before.
I hear the frustration of many Americans in your voice, Thoth. The people have been promised for too long and been patiently awaiting, so it's high time to " want it all and want it now". I've never understood how a superpower and a wealthy nation such as the United States of America could neglect a most important basic right of its citizens so poorly: health care. Even in Turkey, where I was born, the poorest could get medical care and not be turned away because they didn't have insurance or money to cover their expenses. We ran on a system called "humanity". In a capitalist society, money makes the world go round and people devoid of such feelings. Canada is viewed as Socialist by the Americans, yet we are a democratic, free, thriving nation with a universal health care in place, second to that of Sweden's. Some of the most civilized European nations quietly take care of their own. It's high time America followed example and gave its people this basic right rather than go abroad and meddle in other places in pursuit of more riches for the already filthy rich few.
Here's Paul Krugman's take on this issue from today's Times:
It's kind of hard to stand up, clap, and type at the same time, but I'm doing it. What an excellent post! Thoth, you would not believe all the petitions I have signed. From the president, to senators to congressmen, to my rag of a conservative newspaper that our local people think is a bible. I too have egg on my face at what Obama is doing. He wants a health care bill before Christmas, no matter whats in it. This is fucking insane. If I had the money, I would move to Joe Lieberman's district just to vote against this lying SOB. This post should be on the cover, but I guess someone had a review of Mad Men or something! Great Stuff!!
Thoth, Thanks for bringing me over here! I have never been a political but now know I must be or risk all childrens futures. I just did not know where to start! I like what you say and maybe if enough of us get mad as hell maybe we can make a dent? If the big insurance companies win I cannot imagine how much more people will need to pay. I have a lady here at work who is PAYING to work here. She must cut the insurance company a check to pay OVER what she is working to earn. THAT is bullshit!
While I sympathize with your rant, I am baffled by the whole scene. (Full disclosure - I live in Canada with 'free' [paid from income taxes] health insurance). I think your suggestion that rich Americans set up free clinics, etc., is a good one. Maybe Bill Gates and Warren Buffet could pour some money into that (as well as the very admirable efforts in Africa). But BG and WB and a few others are rare - most of the rich aren't interested in anybody else...

I blame the American weird system of government where every stupid senator and rep has his or her own agenda. Under the parliamentary system, they get in step or they get out - and that means the party passes legislation that individual parliamentarians may not like. It accounts for our having universal single-payer health insurance established over half a century ago.

But with your government based on open and legal bribery, won't NOTHIN' ever get done for the average person...

Look how fast the war=funding bill got thru...but health care? Nah. Or if something gets thru, it'll be awful ...
MadCelt - we got our health system in place long ago, before the insurance companies were as large and totally in charge as they are now in the U.S. As I recall it (and I was there, charlie), it was the doctors who were upset. They went on strike. For a couple of weeks. Then it was all over...
Oh! Thoth you write so well of a chagrin that is deep within anyone and everyone who feels for their brothers and sisters. Its bubbling under my surface becasue I was so extermely angry at Senator-Good -looks who knew he did not stand a hair's ( his $400 cuts!)chance, who took away my candidate's chance of actually being able to use the political capital that the spousal pair had garnered through all these years. Healthcare has been the Dem issue and yet there is no banked political capital to force it through. They are a weak party "full of sound and fury signifying nothing" to paraphrase the Bard.

I voted for the man and so i have to hope or there is no hope and then where am I?

All politicians are the same I know and I do not trust ANYONE not a single one ....and that is why i kept wanting the Pres to be someone who has the most favors due to them and one who also wants to bring about the change that is absolutely needed. rated with a whimper !

After all this talk and banter and yelling and screaming there is no one to pick the baton and run? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!
I used to be against socialized healthcare because I didn't trust our government to do it right. They already screw veterans, the disabled, and the elderly...But now I've decided that we need to fight for good socialized healthcare. Insurance companies are screwing American people left and right. Drug companies and insurance companies are bankrupting people just because they want to be healthy. It's awful.

America will always be behind European countries that have good public education and good, affordable healthcare. We obviously don't care about ourselves or our fellow Americans to continue to allow this.

We would rather spend bazillions of dollars blowing up other countries and destroying lives that taking care of our children, the working class, and our elderly. How civilized of us!

I agreed with you 100%, Thoth, and I'm very sad that the healthcare reform on the table in Congress now is a total joke. It's depressing.

yeah this is pretty much the way it is...I can say that I agree with you Thoth. I am really what you could call apolitical, or what I call myself a political agnostic (that is I am pretty sure politics exists but I am unsure as to the role it plays in the average life) but if you have ever read anything I have written, it is quite clear that I am a liberal at heart. It is so important that we can extent real health care to not only all of citizens but also to use our massive resources and global power to help alleviate the great and preventable suffering of the starving, third world masses. If we don't, than who will and perhaps we have the means to do so...only so that we will.
This is a thoughtful and powerful argument. I like how you frame it not as an option, but as a right. rated.
Thoth, this is so timely! Yes, I know, lots of people are posting on healthcare, but you expressed exactly what is in my head. We are merely pawns in a big money game, cows led to slaughter because it enriches some insurance execs, wealthy stockholders ( yes, we are livestock and they are holding us by the curlies!) and the congresspeople who sell us out.

I lay awake last night trying to think of what exactly we could do. Stand on Pennsylvania Ave with signs? Flood You-tube with impassioned videos? Vote in an internet poll? Sign Move-On's endless petitions? Refuse to buy insurance or pay the fine?

Fuck that. Lets bomb the fucking insurance companies, take their execs hostage, bomb the jails, bomb the Congress bomb the.... yeah, I'm fucking mad too.
Can I hear an Amen?! AMEN! I am trying to hang on to hope just as Traveller is but it is fading fast. You would think as we hear the kind of money the insurance company CEO's take home that would be enough to incite the people to stand up and say "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" But no. We sit by in our apathy and complain about the rising healthcare costs and the declining health care service with our thumbs up our butts spinning round like some sick music box. I hate that the fate of our healthcare system is in the hands of politicians who are subsidized by insurance companies and who do not pay for their top notch health care. How can anything good come out of that? We've sat back and allowed our political system to become what it is and now more than ever are paying for those choices. Bring the troops home? ABSOLUTELY! But I already know any money saved there would not go towards a better anything let alone healthcare.
Well, since you made it perfectly clear that you don't want to hear any opposition or criticism of Socialized Health Care, then I'm just going to say "no comment" and move on.
I'm not happy with what is going on right now. Thought provoking post Thoth and I appreciate Frank's comment as well and am going to take a look at that Krugman piece.
Rated on the fly - be back later to comment....
I couldn't agree more, Thoth. Great rant. Right on the money. Here's one thing I don't get: Why the hell do we still keep troops in Germany and Japan? Hellllloo. World War II is over. God knows how much that costs a year.
What a righteous rant! Glenn Greenwald has a great post today that relates to this, you might find it interesting.

I think that progressives and conservatives who do not support the reign of corporatism should unite!
Well, Thoth, I fear a "fuck you" will be soon be directed toward me. Before my husband retired from the medical profession, he had numerous - I can't put enough emphasis on that word - patients who were citizens of countries with socialized medicine but were dying and poorly cared for because of inferior health care. They moved heaven and earth to bring family members to America for treatment rather than remain in the hands of governmental services. Our system is not perfect. We need a major overhaul, but socialized medicine is not the answer, at least not the way it is structured now. I must ask in all seriousness where you and the others in favor of a government run health care system think the money is coming from.....taxes, taxes and more taxes. Nothing is free - not even the promises we hear coming our of Washington. When politicians stop thinking about their own needs and look to improve the needs of their constituents, maybe then I will have hope for a system that benefits all. That will happen about the time hell freezes over and we all have sciatica from shoveling our way out of the deep hole of debt our leaders have dug for us. I wish there was an easy answer, but nothing worth fighting for is ever easy.
You're right, Donna, let's just keep giving all of our money to the greedy middlemen insurance corporations (which then deny us coverage as much as possible so they can keep that money) instead of using our dollars to fund a program that serves all of us.

We need to either regulate those greedy bastards or we need a different system. I will never understand why so many Americans so gladly bow down and serve their corporate overlords without even a whimper of resistance or desire for something better for themselves. No no massah, I don't need medical care for little Johnny, I would much rather you buy yourself a yacht instead. I'll just happily go bankrupt now because I can't pay little Johnny's medical bills EVEN THOUGH I WORK MY ASS OFF AND I HAD INSURANCE.
You said everything I feel. Thank you. I'm just baffled by all of this. So, no single-payer system, no public option - yet, we are forced to purchase insurance or face fines and jail time? Huh?

Excellent rant!
Our healthcare system is a point of national pride. Our pride is in making money, period. Healing people? Pffft! That's for loser countries.
Spot on, my good Man. Health care is a right. The insurance industry has done it's part to make a delicate situation worse. All the while siphoning money from a system that could have been used to treat a great many people (over the decades) . In the days when employers had no issues about providing health care the debate was close to non-existent. Now that some or all don't wish to provide or provide less coverage than they used to.
The government doesn't realize that they were the start of the problem in the first place (not recent, again over time). Medicare reimburses Hospitals and clinics for arguments sake let's call it 85% of they get for a non-medicare patient does. So these entities have to charge everyone else more to cover those losses. Not because they are profit driven, but because a nurse, doctor, x-ray tech, attending to that medicare patient does get 85% of their pay for working on that patient. The hospital's vendors won't accept 85% of their normal fee for providing syringes, IV bags and lab equipment. It has been argued that we already have socialized medicine, we just not being honest about it. These costs being spread around over time is what has caused astronomical inflation in this area. No one ever absorbs cost, they pass them onto their customers.

I fear the recent proposals fall very short of accomplishing anything worthwhile and end up providing more benefits to the insurers through increasing their customer base. The politicians have read polls that tell them that the portion of Americans who already have coverage though their employer, make up over 95% of the voting population, essentially the people who register and vote. That is why congress lack the political will to get anything done.
Sorry trying to get my comment in before my lunch break ends. What I meant to say was "

. . .x-ray tech, attending to that medicare patient does NOT get 85% of their pay for working on that patient. . .

CAPS added for emphasis of change, not yelling. Peace, Brother.
In the late '70's to about '80-82 the legal drinking age in Connecticut was 18. In 1983 the age was bumped to 19. Laura Ingraham drank at a bar/ pub that I bounced at. She was a jerk then—all full of herself, and most likely underage. I remember this because I was dating a girl who was friends with her. But we all have our memories that are nightmares. ~R~
Maybe the rich people want the poor people to die, so they can have all our stuff. The more I read about how the original good ideas are nitpicked and amended and watered down and taken apart and restructured into something that doesn't offend anyone, but doesn't HELP anyone either -- the more I want to build a time machine and get away. This is all very embarrassing for America.
sorry for the all caps yelling

this issue gets to me and i kinda lose it sometimes
Thoth, I agree it's a sad compromise, and I hope that this "reform" will make way for better, more efficient change in the future (though I completely understand and often share your frustration). I also believe that healthcare and education are basic human rights and that the provision of quality healthcare and education will improve this country's economy and progress in the long run. Rated.
BehindBlueEyes wrote: Insurance is a criminal enterprise. More of it is not the solution. Obama is a mass murderer who is part of the problem. Krugman is full of shit in that column. Stick to your guns.

Krugman is a Nobel laureate and a tenured professor at Princeton University.

The call is yours!
I want a healthy country. I want socialized medicine. Furthermore, I want anyone standing on U.S. soil, no matter where they're from, to have access to that healthcare. Instead of throwing prescription after prescription at people, I want to see real medicine being practiced again. I come from a generation who had that. I have been on antibiotics only twice in my life. Why? Because we used to have this thing called preventitive care. We had 'well' visits. Once a year, with the health care plan I used to have. For a woman, this included pap, breast exam, and discussion with the doctor of anything that might be going on. Interesting to note, that when I had all those things, I worked in a government environment. This entire situation is beyond the pale... Great Post. xox
Thoth, You never fail to get my heart racing and my blood boiling when you point out that which we are being denied in this country, and that which the filthy rich have settled into their lives spooning their avarice and greed every night as they fall into their dream sleep with adulation for Charles Ponzi bringing them to the verge of nocturnal emissions. Thanks Thoth, and keep them coming!
Very passionate subject for so many. The whole thing is so scary and bizzare! Both the total lack of understanding and brain washing has many American's crying out against the wrong causes. Un-freakin' believable!
Really bummed for you about that bet! Ouch! Watch out for doze wacky wepublicants!
The line I love the most..."if we bring our troops home and start surgically taking out the terrorists...the money we will save is enough for 10 lifetimes of healthcare for every American..."

Despite these and other horrors and frustrations in American government, past and present, I do hope for a warm and joyful holiday season for you and yours. Every American deserves some joy and peace in their hearts, whether during the holidays or in their every day life. Keep spreading around your joy, but no more politcal or policy bets for the time being!
I've been watching PBS a lot lately. I'm impressed by how Switzerland takes care of it's citizens. If that is socialized medicine, then I want it.

I also think that this country, the US, needs to care more for it's citizens. And not the citizens of other countries.
Amen, Thoth!

Damn, whatever happened to the days when insurance was used for big things (excuse my simplistic approach) like surgery or a major disease? And everyday stuff was paid for out of pocket and Dr's worked with patients who couldn't afford much?

Healthcare IS a human right. But at the same time, why is medical school so freaking expensive? No one is going into family/general practice (which is what the US needs more of) anymore, because it "doesn't pay" Its disturbing that people who go into medicine for the RIGHT reasons end up going into $100,000 + in debt, only to go into a specialty they really didn't want, but they have to because it pays.

Wow, I'm rambling but I just wanted to say how much I agree with your point.

I'm going to think some more about this and come back :)

Frank Apsia,

What did I "over-state?" "Over-state" by itself is not a counter argument. Are you or are you not for free healthcare for everyone? You see when you call my writing horseshit, the reader will immediately click on your blog expecting a much better writing. This is why ad hominem is a bad policy.

If "gratuitous shot" is your best literary critique on my Obama and wife paragraph, may be you should consult someone with knowledge of English literature.

And why aren't you telling us what this Krugman said. Is it a secret? According to this post it is either he is for free healthcare or not. If he is for free healthcare he is a good man; if he's not, it means that he's OK with poor sick people dying.

No, "we don't want it now." We are all waiting for you to explain to us the big plan. We'll wait; please, explain. Enlighten us.

Thank you very much for your very informative and enlightening comment.
New Buddha Fun,

Glad to make your acquaintance. Thank you so much for your comment and visit. Thanks for the link.
Leonde Delmare,

I love your comment; it is clever in so many ways. Yet, I won't believe my eyes and ears yet, I will patiently wait for Frank to explain the Big Plan.

Thank you so much. LOL

Glad to have made your acquaintance, and you are most welcome. I give credit when credit is due, and the conservative argument on the bailout is flawless. Thank you for your comment and visit.

It is always a pleasure to see your comments. You are right, governments should be afraid of the people, not the other way around.
Thanks for the comment and visit.
My favorite line: "Health insurance is legalized rape." You always have a way of putting it Thoth.

I have already discussed this with Frank on Kent's blog, and I just summarily disagree with him. I appreciate where he is coming from, I just don't personally agree with him or Krugman. First, Frank keeps calling those who want the bill killed "wanting it all" - for me, that would have been single payer. We were already taking compromise on talking about public option - that was my compromise. Second, Krugman, falls to a "let's grovel for what we can get" type argument in that piece while looking to the future for Senate logistical reform, etc. I personally think this is out of order. I say, kill the bill (it doesn't make the negotiations and momentum lost, it just makes the bill dead and shows the Dems have some fucking backbone for once), go for the reform first, and then readdress it. I know people are sick and need things, I am one of them, but handing me another evil is not a solution.

Here is Krugman's reasoning for what he says, "is like giving into blackmail - because it is":

"At its core, the bill would do two things. First, it would prohibit discrimination by insurance companies on the basis of medical condition or history: Americans could no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, or have their insurance canceled when they get sick. Second, the bill would provide substantial financial aid to those who don’t get insurance through their employers, as well as tax breaks for small employers that do provide insurance."

No, it wouldn't. This is the INSURANCE INDUSTRY people. They are beholdent to their shareholders, not the sick (as I pointed out on my last post, and was clearly talked about by Daschle and Maddow) and will continue in business practices which engage this way. Dean pointed out the triple cost to older Americans. Wait until you see what they are doing with the new parody law coming into effect in 2010 which is "supposed" to treat mental health like any other type of doctor visit rather than limiting the # of visits. Their solution? Go after the providers, who are barely making a margin with all the insurance rigamarole, and tell them at 20 visits they must fill out substantial paperwork waiting on preapproval for continued visits and if denied, any out of pocket costs falls to the provider/patient to figure out - typical claims negotiations. Number two, the tax breaks and coverage come from somewhere, and this new group of members will be dealt with the same unethical practices which have not been reigned in.

Also, for someone who is a Nobel Laureate, I wonder where he finds the basis for making the claim, "But it [social security] was improved over time, and it’s now the bedrock of retirement stability for the vast majority of Americans." Bedrock? Really? Am I asleep or has social security not been considered the third rail of politics for the last two decades?

Lastly, I am the first to approach a situation with civility and hope for it from others. I take it in a stepped approach. After bank bailouts, Afghanistan, torture, and health care "reform", to name the glaring disgusts, I am fucking pissed too and am not afraid to say it. Period.

Thank you Thoth - A great read.
@ everyone, please read madcelt's comment.

Thank you for such a passionate and informative comment.
I'm lucky enough to live in a country with free healthcare. Most people take it for just 'is'. Although we don't have free higher education, we do have interest free loans from the government that you start paying back when your income reaches a certain level.

America needs to catch up. Rated.
As much as I hate to admit it, blu makes an excellent (and oft overlooked) point. I couldn't agree with him (or you) any more. Excellent rant. It's just simply a question where you are lucky enough (or not) to be born. Has anyone ever looked at that?
@Everyone, please read FusunA's comment.

Thank you for an informative comment and gracious visit.

Thank you my friend as always for your kind support. I laughed so hard when you mentioned the Cover. This--and pretty much anything I write-- will never reach the cover; there are too many 'fucks' in it.
Thank you so much.
Lunchlady 2,

You are most welcome. You are a kind and brave soul and by right you deserve all the happiness. Thank you for your emotion-triggering post.

We all will grateful to the gods if we get a system like yours. Thank you for your visit and comment.

All we can do is tell it like it is. We have a very strong system in place; it will take a miracle to change it. Until then we must stop debating healthcare; there is nothing to debate.

Thank you so much, as always, for your kind and true humane notions and righteous perspective.
Well, that was cheerful! It should be pretty obvious to anyone with a pulse that our system of government is broken along with so many other areas of our country. The biggest problem that I see is good old American greed.

When corporations are allowed to "invest" hundreds of millions of dollars (of our money through profits) each year for campaign contributions and lobbying, the American public will lose every time. That's why we don't have socialized education and healthcare. Too much profit for fat cats that pull the strings. And yet, 45,000 dying each year doesn't register to them and we lag behind almost every nation with education. How many brilliant young minds are wasted each and every year? That's where America's future has always been, in the education of our youth.

Where else are the leaders of tomorrow supposed to come from? They come from the loins of the spoiled American elite is how it works now, but those young leaders are disconnected from the reality of the average American and never really see or feel the suffering. They are insulated from it, so the pattern continues.

Their dogma is entitlement and they believe what is good for them is what's good for the country. I believe that what is good for the lower and middle classes is what is good for the country. We have a much larger pool to fish for leaders and strong minds. There is no study I know of that equates a rich family background with a higher IQ. IQ does not recognize social class.

I feel if we could get the entrenched pricks out of Washington, most of our problems would solve themselves in a few short years because the government would once again be forced to work for the citizens' desires and not the desires of big money. I'm ready for the revolution.

Another thing that really pisses me is the ignorance of the public. Not everything can be blamed on our system of education. Much of the responsibilty also has to fall on the individual. Most people aren't paying attention and show up at the last minute to vote with there emotions and not on facts or policies. Just take a look at all the misspellings on teabaggers' signs and tell me I'm wrong. The Glenn Beckians are about the most useless knuckleheads out there.

That said, I certainly don't agree with everything Obama has done, but I will give him a first year grade of a C. It's not good and there is much room for improvement, but it's a lot better than the previous 8 years of consistent F's.
Thoth why are you always a step ahead of me below is a school paper I helped my daughter with she loves Obama forgive her she knows not what she does but it should answer Donna Carbone with cold hard facts as for Frank Apisa Thoth did not state the case stongly enough it needs to be stated at the point of a bayonette! Great job Thoth.


There is no issue of more importance in American society then the need for universal healthcare. You cannot oppress one section of society and expect the other one to prosper, when you do this you create opposing factions and without social unity you cannot have social order as Karl Marx once said in Das Kapital “ In the United States of North America, every independent movement of the workers was paralyzed so long as slaver disfigured a part of the republic. Labor cannot emancipate itself in the white skin where in black is branded.” Karl Marx was commenting on racism in America. When you have a body of three hundred million people and forty million of those people are denied adequate healthcare it is elitism and is that not just another form of racism.
Why is it that every civilized country (Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, South Korea, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) has some form of universal healthcare? Only the United States and Mexico are without any form of government-sponsored healthcare. The exodus of people from Mexico speaks for itself of the social conditions there. The media fails to impress upon American people the importance of healthcare because multi-national corporations seven to be exact own the media: Viacom, Walt Disney, AOL Time Warner, Sony, News Corp, Bertelsmann, and Vivendi Universal. Multi-national corporations cannot be expected to coherently discuss the well being of the American people when there own economic interests are at stake. Foxies and allies meet any talk of socialized medicine with derision. The usual is “ do you want a healthcare system like England and Canada?” In truth there is no mass exodus from England or Canada only Mexico.
Many people had health care provided by their jobs, but recently many jobs cannot continue to offer health care. So people turn to the individual insurance market, where coverage is usually denied, unaffordable, or even unavailable to people with health problems and older adults. In the Presidential debates of 10/15/2008 John McCain kept mentioning Joe the plumber senator McCain was beside himself because Joe the plumbers quarter million dollars would not be sufficient to buy and run the business Joe had worked at for years. In the movie “SICKO” Michael Moore tells us about Bob the carpenter who lost his two fingers sawing wood in his shop. When he went to the hospital the doctor told him since he has no insurance his middle finger would cost $60,000 and his ring finger would cost $12,000. Obviously he only had his ring finger sewed back on and that still put him in debt. Why is it that politicians in the United States keep emphasizing the rights of people like Joe the plumber to their own private kingdom while they ignore the rights of people like Bob to posses a middle finger. Is one person’s well being more important than another’s in a democracy? We have been taught since grade school that democratic society is an egalitarian society. Michael Moore also talks about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a president who had to deal with problems similar to the ones we face with the present. Roosevelt gave the four freedoms speech while the country was going through a depression. Roosevelt asserted that everyone in the world ought to enjoy freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. In these last two categories of want and fear, the president was expanding the traditional and natural rights doctrine beyond political liberties to include basic economic rights such as employment and healthcare. In addition calling for expanded old age pension coverage and unemployment insurance, Roosevelt insisted, “ We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.” Yet, over sixty years after Roosevelt’s speech, approximately forty-five to fifty million Americans lack health insurance, while millions of others lack adequate coverage to handle medical emergencies.
Health care costs are going up every day and there is under investment in prevention and public health. Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s plan is going to give a choice of new and affordable health insurance. If you already have insurance nothing will change except the cost will go down about 2,500 per year. He wants to lower costs to make our health care system for people and businesses not just insurance companies. Inefficient and poor health coverage cost America $50 to $100 billion dollars per year, the cost is expected to double within the next ten years. Obama and Biden’s plan begins with investing in electronic health information technology systems because we still store most health records on paper. Obama and Biden will invest 10 million dollars per year. Storing the records on computer files will prevent mistakes and will be cheaper to maintain. Also Obama and Biden want to improve access to prevention and proven disease management programs this can help providers improve medical practice Over seventy-five percent of total health care dollars are spent on patients with one or more chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Many patients with chronic diseases benefit greatly from disease management programs, which help patients manage their condition and get the care they need. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will require that plans that participate in the new public plan, Medicare or the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) use proven disease management programs. This will improve quality of care and lower costs, as well. Obama and Biden also want to Allow consumers to import safe drugs from other countries this is the 2nd largest health expense Americans deal with today. But some companies are exploiting Americans by dramatically overcharging U.S. consumers. These companies are selling the exact same drugs in Europe and Canada but charging Americans a 67 percent premium. Obama and Biden will allow us to buy the safe medicine from other countries if their price is cheaper. They also want to prohibit drug companies from keeping generic medicine out of stores. Promote patient safety. Also Barack Obama and Joe Biden will require providers to report preventable medical errors, and support hospital and physician practice improvement to prevent future errors. The last step to their new health plan is to reduce costs of catastrophic illness for employers and their employees. Offsetting some of the catastrophic costs would make health care more affordable for employers, workers and their families. So all together the Obama-Biden plan provides new affordable health insurance options by: (1) guaranteeing eligibility for all health insurance plans; (2) creating a National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans and businesses purchase private health insurance; (3) providing new tax credits to families who can’t afford health insurance and to small businesses with a new Small Business Health Tax Credit; (4) requiring all large employers to contribute towards health coverage for their employees or towards the cost of the public plan; (5) requiring all children have health care coverage; (5) expanding eligibility for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs; and (6) allowing flexibility for state health reform plans ( John McCain proposes to Reform The Tax Code To Offer More Choices Beyond Employer-Based Health Insurance Coverage. While still having the option of employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit - effectively cash - of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance. Families will be able to choose the insurance provider that suits them best and the money would be sent directly to the insurance provider. Those obtaining innovative insurance that costs less than the credit can deposit the remainder in expanded Health Savings Accounts. Senator McCain also wants to institute a Guaranteed Access Plan or GAP - that would reflect the best experience of the states to ensure these patients have access to health coverage. One approach would establish a nonprofit corporation that would contract with insurers to cover patients who have been denied insurance and could join with other state plans to enlarge pools and lower overhead costs. There would be reasonable limits on premiums, and assistance would be available for Americans below a certain income level. McCains answer to Obamas plan to let Americans buy safe drugs from other countries is the to further privatize the prescription drug market therefore promoting competition in pricing. Senator McCain also seeks to institute the same solution of further privatization of actual insurance providers thus stimulating competitive pricing. Privatization has not worked in any major industry since Teddy Roosevelt left office. I feel like the republicans are living a hundred years in the past. The anti-trust laws have become a running joke on Wall Street. Privatization will only lead to price fixing and further profiteering.
Karl Marx said in the communist manifesto: “Democracy is the road to socialism.” Marx almost seems to be vindicated by the rise of Obama. It seems to me that Obama is proposing nothing less than socialism and Americans are applauding. Obama now leads McCain by over 10 points in the polling and looks like he will win by a landslide. Capitalists would say that communism did not work in Russia and Russia is now a democracy but Russia wasn’t a democracy before it became communist it was a monarchy. China on the other hand is flourishing under a Marxist brand of communism. America is now borrowing money hand over fist from China, but Chinas healthcare system is a mess right now. Addressing this problem China’s Health Minister, Chen Zhu, has announced a plan to give every person in China access to basic healthcare by the year 2020. Called the healthy China 2020 plan, the Chinese government’s goal is to have universal health care and equal access to public services for its 1.3 billion people. If Chinas track record holds in instituting five, ten, and thirty year plans in its head long rush towards modernization 1.3 billion people will have adequate healthcare by 2020.
China is a poor example it’s much to easy for those who support a capitalist system to point out Chinas shortcomings these people seem to forget that when Mao Tse Tung took over, China was the largest concentration of impoverished people the world had ever seen. A much better comparison is England. In England the only people who pay for health insurance is the working class. Children, stay at home parents, people with an illness, and retirees get it for free. The only thing that everyone has to pay equally is for prescription drugs. Many people believe that the system in England and Canada is broken. I think it’s ten times better then our health care system policy because if someone needs urgent surgery to be done they take care of them immediately and they don’t have any worries about paying.
The United States has an obesity rate of 30.6%, and Mexico is 24.2%. Is it a coincidence that the two countries without socialized medicine have the highest obesity rates in the world? The United Kingdom has a rate of 23%, Slovakia 22.4%, Greece 21.9%, Australia 21.7%, New Zealand 20.9%, Hungary 18.8%, Luxembourg 18.4%, Czech Republic 14.8%, Canada 14.3%, Spain 13.1%, Ireland 13%, Germany 12.9%, Portugal 12.8%, Finland 12.8%, Iceland 12.4%, Turkey 12%, Belgium 11.7%, Netherlands 10%, Sweden 9.7%, Denmark 9.5%, France 9.4%, Austria 9.1%, Italy 8.5%, Norway 8.3%, Switzerland 7.7%, Japan 3.2%, and South Korea 3.2%. The infant mortality rate in the previously mentioned countries out of 1000 are Slovakia 7.1, United States 6.4, South Korea 6.1, Italy 5.7, New Zealand 5.7, Greece 5.3, Ireland 5.2, United Kingdom 5.0, Portugal 4.9, Netherlands 4.9, Luxembourg 4.7, Canada 4.6, Australia 4.6, Belgium 4.6, Austria 4.5, Denmark 4.5, Spain 4.3, Switzerland 4.3, France 4.2, Germany 4.1, Czech Republic 3.9, Norway 3.6, Finland 3.5, Iceland 3.3, Japan 3.2, and Sweden 2.8. Slovakia is the only country with higher infant mortality rates than the United States but in standard of living Slovakia is closer to Mexico. The infant mortality rate in Mexico is staggering, 19.6. The average life expectancy in the Unites States is 78.06. The comparison countries in order are: Japan 82.02, Sweden 80.63, Australia 80.62, Switzerland 80.62, Iceland 80.43, Canada 80.34, France 80.59, Italy 79.94, Spain 79.78, Norway 79.78, Greece 79.38, Austria 79.21, Netherlands 79.11, South Korea 79.10, Luxemburg 79.03, New Zealand 78.96, Germany 78.95, Belgium 78.92, and Finland 78.66. Countries with a lower life expectancy than America are the Czech Republic 76.42, Poland 75.19, Slovakia 74.95, Hungary 72.92, and Turkey 72.88. Most of these countries are the bankrupt former satellites of the Soviet Union again they are more comparable to Mexico 75.84. The only aberrations are Ireland 77.9 and Portugal 77.7.
These are the three most significant categories in healthcare that effect the quality of life for a countries inhabitance. These are facts that the media never seems to cover all we get is derision.
Perhaps the lack of truthful coverage in the media is why obese middle class Americans seem to not understand the desperation and the immediacy that attends the plight of the healthcare system these people seem to cling to their fantasy the day of their children have the right to be a king they could be called trailer park republicans. Karl Marx wrote an article in the Daily Tribune, September1857 saying “There is something in human history like retribution; and it is a rule of historical retribution that the instrument be forged not by the offended, but by the offender himself. The first blow dealt the French Monarchy proceeded from the nobility, not from the peasants. The Indian revolt does not commence with the riots, tortured, and dishonored and stripped naked by the British, but with the sepoys, clad, fed and petted, fattened, and pampered by them.” Surveys in poles show that Obama is carrying college-educated people again Marx is proved right.
Humanist Abraham Maslow said, human beings’ needs are arranged like a ladder. The most basic needs are at the bottom: air, water, food, and sleep. Then came safety needs then came belonging, love, and acceptance. At the top of it were the self-actualizing needs the need to fulfill ones self and to become whatever one is capable of being. Maslow said that if you have low expectations you would never be all you can be. People who focused on their higher needs he called self-actualizing people, they have a clear sense of what’s phony and what’s real. When we deny approximately fifteen percent of the population healthcare we have all of the middle rungs of the ladder missing. Perhaps the infant that died in his crib in a Harlem tenement because he had no attending pediatrician was the next Werner Heisenberg and was destined to solve the problem of cold fission and complete the unified field theory. Perhaps the poor baby who died in some backwater shack in Alabama was destined to have synthesized all the political theories into a coherent and workable government. Maybe the crack head that was refused medical treatment because he or she had no medical insurance was destined to define the meaning of existence. Man cannot climb to his greatest heights on a ladder missing half its rungs; in fact man has a hard time doing anything when he must fight just to survive. We reduce our selves to a Darwinian hell, and all of society suffers. Didn’t Ernest Hemingway say, “Ask not for whom the bell tolls.”? No man is an island unto himself what effects one man effects all men. The caviler attitude to which Americans treat the suffering of individuals who happen not be themselves has a detrimental effect on all Americans.
The American government has failed to provide a lot of things for its people. It has failed to provide adequate housing without the person getting a house being doomed to permanent servitude to the Wall Street parasites. Are literacy rate is one of the lowest in the world and our educational system is the laughing stock of the world. By the time I am done with my education I will owe the Wall Street parasites sixty thousand dollars for an education that is provided for fee in Europe. Social Security does not look like it will last another ten years. I and every body else in the generation have another 40 years to go. How will we eat? Perhaps McDonald’s will be kind enough to leave their garbage in an easily accessible place. These things are all bad enough but right now if I was to stop going to school I would have no medical insurance, yet America asks me to be patient. The coming election is looked at with a great deal of anticipation and excitement by a great deal of my generation. It promises to address all of these problems. I think that we are looking at a great deal of urgency at Barack Obama an urgency born of a desperation from a generation that has been left with no hope for the future without radical change in the present. I realize that these problems will not be solved all at once it took us a murdered president and fifty years to get into the predicament we are now in. It will probably take us another fifty years to get back to that place of hope that we hear so much about which marked the early sixties. Solving America’s healthcare issue would be a great start. It is certainly not an insurmountable problem like Karl Marx said in A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, “Therefore, mankind always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve; since, looking at the matter more closely, we will always find that the task itself arises only when the material conditions necessary for its solution already exist or are at least in the process of formation.”
Well, here's something that's not technically about health care, but it is about Socialism, Sweden actually,

... and how over the last few years they have been drastically rolling back social programs. Their current prime minister once wrote that the only thing the state should ensure is that the citizens don't starve to death. Sweden is the only country, well besides the US, that Karl Rove ever did political consulting for.

The whole thing is so far along, the machine, the plan they've been working for almost half a century... and I know I sound like a lunatic, "machines" and "plans" - but I just don't know what better name to call it. It's huge, international, the workings of "StateCraft" on a world-wide scale. It's almost impossible to miss if you know where to look, but there are some places people just don't want to look.
Thoth wrote: Thank you very much for your very informative and enlightening comment.

No problem...just trying to be helpful.

Sorry you are too thick headed to get it...but that's the way things go sometimes.

I just love the fact that you think what you are doing is going to help the case for socialized medicine! I am sure the conservatives of America love that also!
I have to say that you make many good points. We are run by many corporations, not by 'the people.' If it suits the defense industry and various lobbies for us to spend TRILLIONS on wars and bank bailouts, then we shall. It is painfully funny to me to see dipshit, bribed pundits talking as if the average joe is not taking responsibility for making mistakes, when it is primarily THE WEALTHY who are being bailed out, not the rest of us. They sold dipshit products that should have been illegal, and we have to bail them out, yet get blamed for being irresponsible. Who is throwing the wealthy out of their homes? Where are their tent cities?
I have to say, though I believe in a carefully-managed expansion of socialized medicine and I definitely believe in socialized higher ed (college tuition in my state has doubled in the last decade....have wages?), I don't trust our government to do things correctly. They are getting more adept all the time at pretending something is for the good of the people when it is a handout to big businesses. I mentioned that the Medicare Rx plan (which was desperately needed and has large gaps that hurt us, as my mom has one medicine that she has to have that has no generic and is $800-$900 a month) did not allow us to get FDA-approved drugs back from Canada that would cut the cost. That would hurt 'Big Pharma.' If my mom didn't have her medicine, she would have to be in a dismal state hospital and be funded by taxpayers, so either way, a little person foots the bill.
We will have to take to the streets eventually. They will do nothing for us. The Democrats in office are only marginally better than the Republicans. As long as so many people in America are fooled by Fox fearmongering, they will never realize who is screwing them over.
I was going to make a comment, but then I had dinner with a table of Europeans, NYorkers and assorted other people who actually listened to my I only can reiterate...take some from both sides and make sense of's not that difficult.
Gwendolyn Glover,

I am just sick and tired of watching good people debating and believing that it matters. The premise of the discussion should be FREE healthcare, and NO insurance companies. If people are going to die without healthcare, they don't have to die stupid.

Thank you so much for your kind intelligent words, visit and support.
Jesse Mitchell,

Yep, you are right, my friend: it is what it is.
Thank you, Jesse, for your comment and visit.
Thoth Interesting how entitlements for the poor are so easily attacked, entitlements for the middle class laughed away, yet entitlements for the rich are deemed good economics, dare I say, deserved. Lunchlady2 had such a serious , down to earth picture of the world the way it truly is. I posted last August about my Cadillac health insurance covering ALL, but I still got stuck with $13.000+ in just co-pays. What a bargain!
Health insurance does not equal health care!!!!
Having lived in countries with universal health care and visited countries with universal health care, I felt I have been, as you said , raped here in the US. It cost me one hour and $35 US dollars to see the doctor at the English speaking hospital in Prague for an eye infection. That included the taxi fare to the other side of the city!
Here, I wait hours, first in the waiting room, then to check in at registration, back to the waiting room, triage, back to the waiting room, see the doc, back to the waiting room, see the lab tech, back to the waiting room and then see the doc again to get my prescription. All this only took 9 hours! I have private insurance!!!!!
I could stay and wait at the pharmacy but I found out I can go to Rite Aid and only wait an hour.
My son has private insurance and Medicaid. He waits at most 20 minutes per visit. Even if we go to the ER, it is less than 20 minutes.
That the US thinks so little of its citizenry, is mind boggling to me. All your explicatives were at first off putting and then I started thinking about how it all plays out and I've decided I'm with you. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on. What the fuck is going on in the so-called land of the free (must not have meant human rights) and the home of the brave (must have meant all of us who deal with substandard health care because of our insurance). Too many of us have no options and we so wanted the public one!
Obama started at the compromise position in the primaries. Why should any of us be surprised that's where we started in congress. He is not a liberal, he is a centrist who thinks good will can make ideologs on the right become good people. He is a community organizer who has worked with people of good will? Congress is not a community in these times. It is an instrument of obstruction and idiocy. How does he think that good will possibly work with people of ill will?
Caroline Hagwood,

It is a right indeed. Thank you so much for the kind words and visit.

Atta woman; you tell them. You don't mess around do you? I love it. You are a model citizen; I wish we had more like you.
Thanks Ardee, you're the one.

That is the intelligent approach: nothing good will ever happen with a system of insurance companies.
Thank you so much for your comment and visit.

My point is purely compassionate: healthcare for those who cannot afford it. It goes without saying that healthcare for the critically ill and those with chronic conditions must be a priority. The idea is healthcare for anyone who needs it. All Americans should have healthcare. It does not have to be one or the other: we do have the money, we have tons of money; we just spend it on useless shit.

Thanks PSM, your opinion is always appreciated here.

you're right, we to waste entirely too much money on stupid stuff. And I'm not talking about the administrative waste that everyone else is so concerned about. I'm talking about the waste created by completely, utterly useless "treatment" that is nothing more than symptom suppression, rather than curing a disease. Can you imagine how much money we would save if the NIH were to develop an ACTUAL real treatment for cancer, that didn't require the patient to go on dozens of supplements afterward, to ward off infection, which, if contracted, needs to be treated itself? Or, what if the kid who sprains his ankle at 15, who then goes on to develop arthritis at 30, who develops kidney and liver failure from the arthritis medication, which causes a heart attack which causes death at 60. We need to find a way to treat the sprain so that arthritis doesn't develop so the snowball effect doesn't occur. And that snowball effect occurs with EVERY disease or ailment or accident that EVER occurs

Thank you so much for you comment and visit. We are still waiting on Frank to enlighten us.

"Unfortunately, we live in a country that has traditionally prided itself in monetary success and let the chips fall where they may for others."

Damn right, WalkAwayHappy. And that's why we shouldn't let the owners of the country laugh at us debating a fake issue.
Thanks as always for your wise words and kind support.
I appreciate your argument being based on health care being a 'right'. I so agree.
john blumenthal,

I have no idea why we're still in Germany and Japan. May be we're not done rubbing their noses in it yet. Promise to let me know as soon as you find out.

Thanks, my friend for a lovely comment and visit.

"I think that progressives and conservatives who do not support the reign of corporatism should unite!"

That is an excellent idea. I wish more people realize who the real enemy is.

Glad to have made your acquaintance. Thank you so much for your comment and visit.
Donna Carbone,

The key issue is where the money comes from. The people ORDER the government to give the trillions of dollars to healthcare, not war (period). We have an obscene amount of money that is stolen in the name of war and defense. We will never need to raise taxes. But insurance companies must go. The amount of money lost on the middleman/insurance companies is also obscene.

I very much doubt these people come here because they are denied treatment in their homeland, but I know of many rich individuals from all around the world who come here to go to the Mayo clinic. Everyone wants to be treated at the Mayo clinic.

Unfortunately, "nothing is free" only in America.

Once we get the money, all the concerns in your comment will be met. Thank you so much for such an objective comment and a gracious visit.
Julie Tarp,

Yep, banks are not giving loans, and insurance companies will get their money even if they have to put us in slave camps.

Thank you so much for your clever comment and wonderful visit.
Harry's ghost,

Couldn't have said it better; that's the spirit.
Thank you so much for your comment and visit.
The Wanderer,

I know exactly what you mean. It is simply bad theater. A Democrat, for example tells the Rebuplicans, "Tomorrow I am going to make this bullshit proposal and you guys go ape shit, and I'll take it back." It is all red white and blue big steaming pile of shit (George Carlin).

Thanks my friend for your comment and visit.
Chuck A. Stetson,

Thank , Chuck for confirming the impression, first hand.
Raving Bits,

This "amending" and "watering down" is a part of big old American con. They show you the ingredients; they show how to make the cake; but instead of giving you the cake they tell you that this time we are missing some ingredients, or fight with each other in front of you, and put the blame on each other an you go home without the cake. It is called eating the cake and having it too.

Thank you so much for your input and visit.
Lacey Driggars,

Absolutely, I agree. And as you phrase it so decently, I, too, hope and pray things get better. Many people have suffered for long time.

What a nice comment. Thank you so much.
New Buddha Fun,

Thank you, thank you so much. I am humbled. Yet, they will never let me be President because I will insist on smoking cigarettes and saying 'fuck' during my inauguration speech.

Thank you again and welcome to OS.

"...Instead, we have debates on who gets to marry and who doesn't."

That is it. That is my main grievance: pitting people against each other over lame non-issues that have been solved in civilized nations long time ago. It is so demeaning to us to look that stupid.

Thank you very much, glad to have made your acquaintance.
Accepting this bill is equivalent to becoming sheep to this corrupt system when now we are merely slaves. As slaves, we were at least asleep at the wheel, as sheep we have signed ourselves over. I was reminded the system isn't broken, it's alive and well and doing just fine as it always has. We're what's broken, the question is whether you want to follow Krugman, like the other sheep, or face the slave masters of greed and corruption and break the bonds of slavery.

The time is now. There is no more time to spare.
Kate Bishop,

Thank you Kate for such a brilliant comment and thank you for exposing the cowardly and sinister nature of Paul Krugman's argument. It is always a pleasure reading your name.

@ Everyone, please read Kate Bishop's comments (two).
Kate Bishop,

"Accepting this bill is equivalent to becoming sheep to this corrupt system when now we are merely slaves. As slaves, we were at least asleep at the wheel, as sheep we have signed ourselves over. I was reminded the system isn't broken, it's alive and well and doing just fine as it always has. We're what's broken, the question is whether you want to follow Krugman, like the other sheep, or face the slave masters of greed and corruption and break the bonds of slavery.

The time is now. There is no more time to spare."

This Kate Bishops second comment.

Thank you Kate for such a brilliant and truthful insight and thank you for exposing the cowardly and sinister nature of Paul Krugman's argument. It is always a pleasure reading your name.

@ Everyone, please read Kate Bishop's first comment, rebutting Paul Krugman's argument.
I agree. It is a national embarrassment that we are the only developed country that does not provide for all its citizens. You make an especially good point here: Even in countries with "socialized" medicine, you can purchase private insurance and bypass the public system. In England, 10% of citizens bypass the National Health Service by buying private insurance. People who are afraid of government-run health care can always go through private channels, even in the most socialized system. We need to guarantee coverage for all citizens. Each European country has found its own unique way to achieve this. We are still stumbling in the dark. Great post, Thoth.

Let me clarify what I said: people came to the US for treatment, not because they were denied treatment in their homeland, but because the wait for treatment that was inferior for their needs was leading to certain death. I could tell you story after story of patients who sat before my husband sobbing because their mothers/father/siblings were riddled with cancer and not getting even the basic treatment. The only doctors who will participate in a socialized program now are those who are not qualified to treat a flea. Good doctors don't need to worry about who will require their services. Monied people will find them. Lousy doctors, those who are pretty much a death certificate waiting to be signed, will run in droves to a government sponsored program. Truthfully, even though my husband and I have the benefit of using just about any doctor we want, we stay away unless we absolutely have no other choice. I don't go looking for trouble, and after all the mistakes I've seen made, I've decided that ignorance is bliss. Going to a hospital scares the living hell out of me.

As for insurance companies - they are the devil as they are now structured, a necessary evil in a world consumed by profit. We once had a claims adjuster as a patient who told us that they are trained in the art of "not paying." For example, every tenth bill that comes across their desk gets thrown in the garbage, every 20th bill gets relegated to the bottom of the pile, every few bills are rejected outright - not because their is anything wrong with them but because in each of these scenarios, the insurance company gets to keep the money and earn billions more in interest, while doctors and patients grow frustrated and angry. Doctors bills are outrageously high, not because they want to soak their patients or the insurance companies, but because the insurance companies leave them with no choice. If they can only recoup a small portion of what they charge, they must charge more to get what is fair and reasonable. The devil here IS the insurance company, but we cannot survive the system the way it is without them.

I would love to see a program similar to Medicare but for those under the age of retirement. We are the USA - we should be able to provide that for our citizens, but money is god and god is the politicos on the hill.

As for war, well, you must keep in mind that we have been a war time economy since the very beginning. War has gotten us out of debt in the past, and although you may not see it now, the Iraqi war will get us out in the (not too far, I hope) future. Every time we have gone to war, we have invested in the currency of the countries we help. When they stabilize and their currency revalues, we make a fortune.

In Iraq, whether the currency is the dinar or oil, we will one day be filling Fort Know with greenbacks. I think Bush always had this in mind when in sent our troops to the Middle East. He just did not anticipate how slow the Iraqis are to act on decisions or the amount of in fighting between tribes that must be contended with. Money, not freedom or justice, is always the motivation behind why governments get involved in the problems of other countries.

Anyway, I'm no expert. I do hold out hope that someday the US will reclaim its rightful place as a world leader and shower upon its own people the benefits that should be ours as citizens of the greatest country on earth.
A good post.

Frank, insulting other peoples' abilities says a lot of things about you, none of them complimentary.
One more thing, you said "the people ORDER the government to give trillions of dollars to health care." We are never going to be able to order anybody in Washington to do anything. Remember, we are a democratic republic -- not a democracy. Our forefathers never meant for their constituents to have any real power. The only thing we get to do is choose the people we think will represent our interests. Once they are in office, they can vote for whatever they want and we are stuck with them until their terms are over. Sadly, we just keep re-electing the same fools. Not that it makes must difference, no politician has ever told the truth when running for office. Maybe some step into the arena wanting to do well by the people, but once in office, the machine grinds them down and they become no different then their predecessors.
It is important to point out that the health care systems, one for each province, in Canada are not classified as socialized medicine. As discussed by the former Canadian Medical Association (CMA) President:

- Myth one: Canada's health care system is socialized medicine. "This is simply not true. Most doctors in Canada are not salaried and can therefore speak out on behalf of their patients."

- Myth two: Canada's health care system defines Canadians. "I couldn't disagree more. We define health care, not the other way around."

From CMA president tackles "medicare myths" in Toronto speech.

I also wrote several posts on this topic that may be of interest to some:

Let's compare public and private health care costs, eh?

Health care comparison: Universal vs US, part II
Odette, you wrote: Frank, insulting other peoples' abilities says a lot of things about you, none of them complimentary.

Thoth asked for “enlightenment”…and I gave him the unvarnished truth as I saw it. If you want to think negatively about me because of that…do so. I am not happy that you do…but I can tolerate it.

Thoth’s entire thesis here can be summed up:

We have troubles…and they are not being solved quickly enough for me.

He then offers some of the most simplistic solutions ever!

And then a bunch of people come to the thread to compliment him on his keen perceptions.

I say to you, Odette, with all the respect in the world: Gimme a break!

This post…and the many, many others should be condemned…and condemned with enthusiasm by any thinking members of this community. People like THOTH are doing more damage to the notion that we can be a better nation…than the people actively seeking to make us a much lesser nation.

Sorry you cannot see that…and I guess I could be wrong. I have been before.

But I will speak out against this kind of crap as loudly and as often as I can.
I can go with health care as a basic human right, as even in the tribal stages of human development this was true. The charitable, socialized nature of hospitals throughout history adds credibility to that.
However, it's not a Constitutional right, nor does it have to be in order to have socialized health insurance.
The most effective argument is the fiscal one. Draining consumer's money away from more productive spending to protect and expand the incomes of the few is economically debilitating.
The current model - in theory - is private, free market enterprise. The problem is that serves ideology, but is the worst business model, lacking efficiency and optimal results.
The pile of garbage that will be called "reform" will be such a fustercluckian mess that they will implement it in drips and drops, the worst of it pushed past the '12 election year.
The upside for future generations is that socialized HC insurance is inevitable, just as the abandonment of communism to favor capitalism was. Our problem is we won't see the efficient HC system implemented until we change our inefficient and perverted political bribery system.
So, don't hold your breath waiting for The Right Thing to happen. Besides, that can be interpreted as a pre-existing condition.
Here in a minute you aren't going to like me overly much thoth...

Full disclosure: I am an American living in Canada.

In order to qualify for CHS medical you must be a permanent resident, a legal immigrant or a citizen. There are several million legal residents of Canada who do not qualify for CHS medical care because they aren't *permanent* residents. In other words... "Everyone" is NOT covered and people still have medical bills in Canada despite claims to the contrary.

Allow me to tell you about a couple of men that I know... One, a Montreal resident, was informed by his GP that he was in *urgent* need of a hip replacement. That was 23 months ago. His surgery is scheduled for March 17, 2010. In the last 23 months the man in question has lost his house, his car, his wife, his job, he was forced to file bankruptcy... no, he doesn't have any medical bills to worry about... but he still had bills to pay. Bills that he couldn't pay because medically speaking he couldn't work and nobody gave a flying fuck at social services.

Then there is the man, residing in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne who was diagnosed 3 years ago with very early stage liver cancer... He's STILL waiting to see an Oncologist for the FIRST time. Predictably, at this point he's END STAGE liver cancer.

Frankly, from my perspective, and bearing in mine that I have *experience* with the US version of "socialized medicine" otherwise known as the Indian Health Service, if we don't do something like require that patients referred to specialists be seen within a specific VERY SHORT period of time... we will wind up with ever increasing wait times , people dying and people filing bankruptcy due to a LACK of medical care rather than because of medical bills. I have to wonder which is "worse"... filing bankruptcy due to medical bills or filing bankruptcy due to lack of medical care? Six of one and half a dozen of the other from my perspective.

On the other side of the equation though are the people who desperately NEED medical care and who nobody cares enough about to tell them about the programs available to HELP them *today*. I'm NOT talking about Medicaid either. All over Michigan (I don't know about other states but I can research it) there is insurance provided to millions of patients through local health departments. While it is NOT "major medical"... it IS insurance... and it DOES help. $5 co-pay for the doctor's office, $5 co-pay for most medicines (and some are completely free), NO co-pay for lab tests or x-rays.

Then there's the fact that EVERY hospital that accepts Medicare/Medicaid Patients MUST have what is called a "Charity Care" program. PLUS there are "Hill-Burton Act" hospitals, clinics and nursing homes in all but 6 states. Additionally EVERY drug company has a program to help people with medications at either low cost or no cost.

I can see BOTH sides... the good and the bad. I also know that insurance is NOT medical care. I HAVE insurance... what I do NOT have, other than on an emergency basis, is medical care.
Dear odetteroulette,

Thanks for stating the obvious, although I suspect your thought is an exercise in futility.

frank is so busily believing that he is a positive oriented person, that even if your thought, which is so true, that he is persistently and consistently insulting anyone and everyone who states an independent thought (which I've yet to see him do), that even were the reality tattooed on the inside of his eyelids, he still wouldn't have a clue as to his abhorrent, aberrant, and adolescent behavior.
@ Donna Carbone,

I don't doubt that there are many that come to America for cutting edge treatment. I just wonder how many of those people are poor. Your average person doesn't have the means to fly across the globe and pay out of pocket for the best treatment in the world. In fact, a very small percentage do. We have people here that can't afford to see the doctor if he works down the bloke. That is the problem with our health care system. 25-30% of what is paid to insurance companies go directly to profits and advertising and we leave 40+ million still without any access to health care. The argument is not against those few who can afford to fly around the globe in search of treatments. It's about those that can't afford it in there own neighborhoods.
My head had been spinning from the health-care issue before reading your thought-provoking post but now, after reading the post and all the comments I am literally dizzy. But stimulating dialogue is a good thing.

I admire your passionate stance about this important topic. I have many opinions on the issue but most of them have been said so I'll just say, great post Thoth!
We must all respect the opinions of others even Frank Apisa’s but here are the facts according to the world health organization: The United States has an obesity rate of 30.6%, and Mexico is 24.2%. Is it a coincidence that the two countries without socialized medicine have the highest obesity rates in the world? The United Kingdom has a rate of 23%, Slovakia 22.4%, Greece 21.9%, Australia 21.7%, New Zealand 20.9%, Hungary 18.8%, Luxembourg 18.4%, Czech Republic 14.8%, Canada 14.3%, Spain 13.1%, Ireland 13%, Germany 12.9%, Portugal 12.8%, Finland 12.8%, Iceland 12.4%, Turkey 12%, Belgium 11.7%, Netherlands 10%, Sweden 9.7%, Denmark 9.5%, France 9.4%, Austria 9.1%, Italy 8.5%, Norway 8.3%, Switzerland 7.7%, Japan 3.2%, and South Korea 3.2%. The infant mortality rate in the previously mentioned countries out of 1000 are Slovakia 7.1, United States 6.4, South Korea 6.1, Italy 5.7, New Zealand 5.7, Greece 5.3, Ireland 5.2, United Kingdom 5.0, Portugal 4.9, Netherlands 4.9, Luxembourg 4.7, Canada 4.6, Australia 4.6, Belgium 4.6, Austria 4.5, Denmark 4.5, Spain 4.3, Switzerland 4.3, France 4.2, Germany 4.1, Czech Republic 3.9, Norway 3.6, Finland 3.5, Iceland 3.3, Japan 3.2, and Sweden 2.8. Slovakia is the only country with higher infant mortality rates than the United States but in standard of living Slovakia is closer to Mexico. The infant mortality rate in Mexico is staggering, 19.6. The average life expectancy in the Unites States is 78.06. The comparison countries in order are: Japan 82.02, Sweden 80.63, Australia 80.62, Switzerland 80.62, Iceland 80.43, Canada 80.34, France 80.59, Italy 79.94, Spain 79.78, Norway 79.78, Greece 79.38, Austria 79.21, Netherlands 79.11, South Korea 79.10, Luxemburg 79.03, New Zealand 78.96, Germany 78.95, Belgium 78.92, and Finland 78.66. Countries with a lower life expectancy than America are the Czech Republic 76.42, Poland 75.19, Slovakia 74.95, Hungary 72.92, and Turkey 72.88. Most of these countries are the bankrupt former satellites of the Soviet Union again they are more comparable to Mexico 75.84. The only aberrations are Ireland 77.9 and Portugal 77.7
@ Frank Apsia

That's three times you insult me personally.

What is worse that ignorant stupid old fart is an ignorant stupid impolite old fart. Even worse, is an ignorant stupid impolite old fart who writes very badly. Even worse, is a delusional ignorant stupid old fart who writes very badly. You actually believe that you can write. Not only that, you are so delusional, you dare to fuck with your betters. Read my posts you delusional fart. you are not in the same league; you're not even in the same sport.

I asked you twice to give a coherent counter argument, you couldn't. Instead you insulted us (me and everyone who agrees with me) and hid behind Krugman. Kate bishop tore you both new assholes, as if you need another one.

Go back to your pigs and do not fuck with humans again, you ignorant fucking retard. I admit that I was enjoying you humiliating yourself for a while. Yet, I now feel bad and must tell you the truth: you are a delusional ignorant stupid angry impolite old fart: hide.
That's three times you insult me personally.

What is worse than an ignorant stupid old fart is an ignorant stupid impolite old fart. Even worse, is an ignorant stupid impolite old fart who writes very badly. Even worse, is a delusional ignorant stupid old fart who writes very badly. You actually believe that you can write. Not only that, you are so delusional, you dare to fuck with your betters. Read my posts you delusional fart. you are not in the same league; you're not even in the same sport.

I asked you twice to give a coherent counter argument, you couldn't. Instead you insulted us (me and everyone who agrees with me) and hid behind Krugman. Kate bishop tore you both new assholes, as if you need another one.

Go back to your pigs and do not fuck with humans again, you ignorant fucking retard. I admit that I was enjoying you humiliating yourself for a while. Yet, I now feel bad and must tell you the truth: you are a delusional ignorant stupid angry impolite old fart: hide.
@ Frank Apsia

That's three times you insult me personally.

What is worse than an ignorant stupid old fart is an ignorant stupid impolite old fart. Even worse, is an ignorant stupid impolite old fart who writes very badly. Even worse, is a delusional ignorant stupid old fart who writes very badly. You actually believe that you can write. Not only that, you are so delusional, you dare to fuck with your betters. Read my posts you delusional fart. you are not in the same league; you're not even in the same sport.

I asked you twice to give a coherent counter argument, you couldn't. Instead you insulted us (me and everyone who agrees with me) and hid behind Krugman. Kate bishop tore you both new assholes, as if you need another one.

Go back to your pigs and do not fuck with humans again, you ignorant fucking retard. I admit that I was enjoying you humiliating yourself for a while. Yet, I now feel bad and must tell you the truth: you are a delusional ignorant stupid angry impolite old fart: hide.
Michael Rodgers,

Don't assume that the people who came here for treatment were wealthy. Most people scrimped and saved to help their relatives. They didn't want to take them to the Mayo Clinic nor were they looking for cutting edge treatment. They just wanted medical care in a timely manner from a doctor, any doctor, who might be able to offer relief from pain and hope of survival.

Insurance companies are evil but they were created by the system that allows anyone with the brains and foresight to see a need and fill it to make a fortune. When health insurance first became available, it was a miracle for people. Think of the unions years back. They were a god send until they became too powerful and lost sight of their reason for being. That's what has happened with the insurance companies. The people who run them don't care about anything but making a buck...and that's the very principle that once made America great.

One last thing: When my husband was in practice, he never turned away a patient who could not pay. I can't tell you how many ugly crocheted outfits my children got in exchange for services. We had more baked goods and home made wine than we ever wanted, enough thank you notes to paper our living room. More often than not, my husband would go out after hours and buy groceries and necessities for those same patients. Doctors can't do that any more. Blame the lawyers, who have brain washed people into changing their name to sue.....and I don't mean short for Susan.

"@ Frank Apsia

That's three times you insult me personally.

What is worse than an ignorant stupid old fart is an ignorant stupid impolite old fart. Even worse, is an ignorant stupid impolite old fart who writes very badly. Even worse, is a delusional ignorant stupid old fart who writes very badly. You actually believe that you can write. Not only that, you are so delusional, you dare to fuck with your betters. Read my posts you delusional fart. you are not in the same league; you're not even in the same sport.

I asked you twice to give a coherent counter argument, you couldn't. Instead you insulted us (me and everyone who agrees with me) and hid behind Krugman. Kate bishop tore you both new assholes, as if you need another one.

Go back to your pigs and do not fuck with humans again, you ignorant fucking retard. I admit that I was enjoying you humiliating yourself for a while. Yet, I now feel bad and must tell you the truth: you are a delusional ignorant stupid angry impolite old fart: hide."

I have to compliment You on Your self-restraint. It is because of people like frank, who think it perfectly fine to walk into someone's
house and take a figurative dump in the living room, without even the decency of a SUBSTANTIVE response, that I haven't blogged a singular post in many months.
A bartender school graduate, he has a lot to say, but no answer to either of these comments of mine from earlier this week:

I beginning to think that Frank is a masochist. He chooses his battles carefully, by singling out some of the most the most knowledgeable posters (ProfessorEmeritusPAB, David Cox, Dennis Loo, You et al) on OS and offering rebuttals that are identical to those written 11 months ago.

There are NO facts in his posts, just his incessant demands that substantive criticism is wrong because . . . . well just because.

I'm still waiting for him to respond to Mr. David Cox's excellent response to him:

"Bush Tax cuts? Still there
Patriot Act? Still there
Troops in Iraq? Still there
Troops in Afghanistan? More than ever!
Expanding to Pakistan? Sure why not?
Why? Obama says we must fight Al Qeada! (Original huh?)
GM toxic waste sites? Passed to the public, clean up of New York site estimated at $1 billion dollars (You don't mind paying that do you Frank?)
Guantonomo closed? No just relocated to Bagrham.
Obama promises 30K jobs saved at Chrysler Plant, ten days later Chrysler anounces plant shutdown "Permanently"
Fiat purchases Chrysler and anounces new model to be manufactuered in Mexico for sale in North America.

Bush propossed indefinate detention, the world is outraged at the barbarity of the program.

Obama, a former law professor codifies indefinate detention is awarded Nobel Peace prize.

Change we can believe in? I'll believe it when I see it but I don't see it"

I don't think that you read very much, Frank, other than fairy tales, so you are probably aware now that you represent a minority position, as less than 1/2 of the american people support this president.


David, why must You persist in asking frank FACT based questions like:

"Tell me of these course changes?"

I don't see them, how is the domestic economy being handled differently?

How is our foriegn policy being handled differently?

How is the media propaganda being handled differently?"

Isn't it clear by now that frank dislikes facts and prefers ad homs, and vacuous claims.

In another thread, an hour ago, Frank said:

"Here and now...we Americans have more freedom than any people have ever had."

I felt like asking him if americans had more or less freedom pre-FISA or say, 20 or 30 years ago. I, also, thought of asking him how many countries he actually had LIVED in to make such a sweeping generalization, but knew such questions would only draw more vacuous responses (and probably some bilious scorn, as well).

The Presidential oath of office is less than forty words, the crux of which is "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." I would presume that even a majority of bartenders can discern the meaning of those words.

The obligation to do so, begins at the moment of the completion of the oath, and one needn't look too deeply to see that there are no caveats such as give him more time or he has a multiplicity of problems to deal with.

In the time, I've listened to his repetitious bleating (which feels like countless eternities), his commentary is like a defective 45 rpm record, which keeps repeating the same tired old song, and likely will continue until the needle renders the record totally unplayable.

obama's approval rating is below 50% and sinking fast, rendering all of frank's opinions, those that MOST americans DISAGREE with.

A joke that nobody understands, and must be explained is not a very good joke, indeed.

Similarly, when frank says: "On a political continuum with Extreme Liberal at 1 and Extreme Conservative at 10, I can be found at position “P,” I still find myself wondering, what in the hell is he talking about?

But that's frank for Ya'.

Your post is strongly rated, as anyone with a semblance of sanity can understand.
I have mixed feelings about this post.

I agree with your point that both health care and higher education should be available to everyone.

I also think that Obama is working toward this and this Round 1 of health care reform is just the beginning.

Good post! Rated.
Ben Nelson's bribe to vote for health care "reform"
I continue to be mystified that this discussion is even taking place in a so-called civilized country. Then again, the U.S. still has the death penalty in some states so what can I say that hasn't already been said?

@Mrs. Raptor: The Canadian system is not perfect but you continually trot out the worst-case scenarios as though they are the norm and that is simply not true. If anyone has an urgent health issue as you say, they would not be waiting years to have it remedied unless they were some very bizarre extenuating circumstances such as they lived a long distance away from medical facilities OR they refused surgery on dates that were offered. Your friend in Montreal may well be the exception that proves the rule, but an urgent hip replacement does not take two years. I've heard of people waiting up to a year for elective surgery, but even that is rare where I live. People seeking elective surgery are routinely bumped in favour of urgent cases. It's happened to me twice and I've only had surgery three times in my life.

An interesting study came out a couple of months ago that showed many of the same people complaining so voiciferously about long wait times in the Canadian system had in fact TURNED DOWN dates because they weren't convenient, or they were going on holidays etc. This includes the infamous Canadian shill for the Republican party who claimed she couldn't get brain cancer treatment.

Yes, there are some waits, and I've experienced it myself. I also take issue with your statement that there are "millions" of uninsured in Canada. Yes, if you are not a legal resident of Canada you have to buy private insurance. It didn't used to be that way but people keep electing right-wing governments who strip away those rights, then they complain about them being taken away. I am sure that if they were offered again, those same people would be raging about it. You cannot have it both ways.

Sorry, but I get very annoyed when the Canadian health system, which has problems as does any other system, is misrepresented in this way.

Thank you so much. First, I am glad to have made your acquiantance. I do appreciate you taking the time. Thank you for your wise, objective and intelligent comment.

Paul Krugman's column is like a very bad blow job. He was paid to to keep us down, to put the fire out. He is basically saying rape isn't that bad, and if you take some more rape, I promise you the pain will get better in time.

The other Frank Fart has absolutely nothing to say. What kind of writer needs SIX (6) COMMENTS TO INSULT ONE PERSON; either he's a dimwit or I am the Roman Empire.

Thank you again for your support and visit.
Emma... LYING doesn't become you.

I do NOT "continually" do a single solitary thing... let alone "drag out worst case scenarios". That you tell THAT particular LIE with a straight face demonstrates clearly that you know NOTHING about me.

What I HAVE done is point out that contrary to the common US perception with regards to CHS there ARE "cracks" that people CAN and DO fall through.

There are LEGAL residents of Canada who are NOT covered by CHS. That is a fact that even the most delusional WILL admit to IF they are HONEST.

With regards to my friend in Montreal... He was originally scheduled for the surgery in Feb, 2009. It wasn't "convenient" for the DOCTOR to do the surgery the day it was scheduled... so it was rescheduled to the "next available date"...MARCH 2010! I would say that the blame there lies 100% with the DOCTOR... as would anyone else in possession of the ability to be honest.
Wow, straight to the name calling. I am not "lying" as you put it. You have repeatedly made such claims and I'm not in the habit of making things up. I have read many posts where you focus only on the extreme negatives of the Canadian health care system. It seems to be a bee in your bonnet. I've never yet heard you say one positive thing about it.

I don't understand why your friend did not go to another doctor if his need was so urgent. Why would anyone just passively wait more than a year? A hip replacement is not an unusual or extraordinary procedure and surely another doctor would have taken him on if it was urgent. I also hope that he wrote the medical association to complain as that would be warranted.

As for "millions" of legal residents who are not covered by the various provincial health care systems, I have tried to find out whose these people are and why they aren't covered. I am coming up blank in my research, but I will keep trying. I'm also going to phone a physician friend of mine because I have lived in this country my whole life as a citizen and a journalist and this is certainly new to me.

And no, I am not delusional or dishonest. Most people who can defend their arguments rationally have no need to make such unfounded accusations.
So far all I am finding in terms of non-coverage for legal residents is for immigrants, some of whom face a five-year residency waiting period, and various provincial residency requirements for Canadians who move from one province to another. Medicare criterion and eligibility varies from province to province (and territory).

This is what I was able to find for BC at the federal government website.

This site also lists all the other provinces/territories criterion. Main site:

If you know more, I'd appreciate knowing your source(s).

3.1 Eligibility

Section 7 of the Medicare Protection Act defines the eligibility and enrolment of beneficiaries for insured services. Part 2 of the Medical and Health Care Services Regulation made under the Medicare Protection Act details residency requirements. A person must be a resident of British Columbia to qualify for provincial health care benefits.

The Medicare Protection Act, in section 1, defines a resident as a person who:

* is a citizen of Canada or is lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence;
* makes his or her home in British Columbia;
* is physically present in British Columbia at least 6 months in a calendar year; and
* is deemed under the regulations to be a resident.

Certain other individuals, such as some holders of permits issued under the federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Act are deemed to be residents (see section 3.3 below), but this does not include a tourist or visitor to British Columbia.

New residents or persons re-establishing residence in British Columbia are eligible for coverage after completing a waiting period that normally consists of the balance of the month of arrival plus two months. For example, if an eligible person arrives during the month of July, coverage is available October 1. If absences from Canada exceed a total of 30 days during the waiting period, eligibility for coverage may be affected.

All residents are entitled to hospital and medical care insurance coverage. Those residents who are members of the Canadian Forces, appointed members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or serving a term of imprisonment in a penitentiary as defined in the Penitentiary Act, are eligible for federally funded health insurance.

The Medical Services Plan (MSP) provides first-day coverage to discharged members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Forces, and to those returning from an overseas tour of duty, as well as to released inmates of federal penitentiaries.
3.2 Registration Requirements

Residents must be enrolled in the Medical Services Plan (MSP) to receive insured hospital and physician services. Those who are eligible for coverage are required to enrol. Once enrolled, beneficiaries are assigned a unique Personal Health Number and issued a CareCard. There is no expiration date on the card. New residents are advised to make application immediately upon arrival in the province.

Beneficiaries may cover their dependents, provided the dependents are residents of the province. Dependents include a spouse (either married to or living and cohabiting in a marriage-like relationship), any unmarried child or legal ward supported by the beneficiary, and either under the age of 19 or under the age of 25 and in full-time attendance at a school or university.

The number of MSP registrants in 2007-2008 was 4,409,732 . Enrolment in MSP is mandatory, in accordance with the Medicare Protection Act (section 7). Only those adults who formally opt out of all provincial health care programs are exempt. A beneficiary who wishes to opt out of MSP can do so by completion and submission of the appropriate Election to Opt Out (ETOO) form. The term of this decision is 12 months from the first of the month of receipt of the application, after which each adult must re-apply to remain opted out of MSP.
3.3 Other Categories of Individual

Holders of Minister's Permits, Temporary Resident Permits, study permits, and work permits are eligible for benefits when deemed to be residents under the Medicare Protection Act and section 2 of the Medical and Health Care Services Regulation.
Another link from a government of Canada site regarding the number of uninsured immigrants, temporary workers, permanent residents etc. The numbers are from 2007, but I am reasonably sure that they haven't skyrocketed into the millions in 3 years' time.
Robin Sneed,

Yes, I do agree that it has never been that bad in America. It saddens me as much as it saddens you. Thank you for a passionate objective comment and gracious visit.

Damn right, this is about basic human rights. Like many said here, we know who the bad guys are.
Thank you so much for a wonderful comment, support and visit.
Just Cathy,

Your wise words have a very calming effect, just as good as ice cream--I have no better compliment. Tell your family that they are very lucky to have you; and, Happy Holidays.
I have made precisely ONE comment(on ALL of OS... just one... the one that I made right here on Thoth's post) with regards to "wait times" in relation to CHS... and based on that ONE comment you felt the need to accuse me of "continually" doing so.

You again make a FALSE claim and claim that I have "never had anything good to say about CHS". I can EASILY prove that to be a lie... read THIS... You might want to note the date that post was posted...

The LAW says that the only people covered by CHS are Canadian Citizens, Legal Immigrants, and Permanent Residents. I, and a whole lot of other people, are legal residents but NOT immigrants, Canadians OR permanent residents. How can you not know that there are people who aren't covered? Oh we can go to any CHS facility and pay cash... but the issue here is the perception by most in the US that 100% of **residents** of Canada receive "free" health care. It's not for those who are legal residents but *not* citizens, immigrants or permanent residents.

As for my friend... I don't know why he didn't seek a different doctor. *I* would have been pitching 6 kinds of fits and complaining all the way to the PM's office.

Good for you; I would also read foreign newspapers online. These countries respect their citizens; they are civilized.
Thank you so much for your comment and support, and thanks for the advice; I will try as hard as I can to tone it down. In my defense, this subject makes me see red.
Thank you again.
Lady Miko,

Insurance companies got big, greedy and monstrous. Like the few other entities that own us, they are above the law.

Thank you for, as always, a straightforward insight.
Natalie Not Pedantic,

We will your country offers any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Pray for us to get there. Thank you for your comment and visit.

Of course we think about (that) and we use it to the limit. And, no you don't hate to agree with blu; we all love blu.
Thank you, Professor, as always, for you wisdom and kind words.
Michael Rodgers,

@ Everyone, please read Michael's first comment.

We waste an obscene amount of money on what George Carlin called America's first industry: the manufacture, packaging and distribution of bullshit.

Kudos on "IQ does not recognize social class." Social class does not necessarily mean virtue or talent either. One would think that money deciding opportunity is very un-American.

Thank you my friend, as always, for your flawless common sense and humanity.
Jack Heart,

@ Everyone, please read Jack's comment.

Thank you so much for taking the time and providing a wonderful argument. Thank you.
Feminist Whore,

They say that almost 20% of Americans know the "system" is very corrupt. The problem is the 30% that refuse to recognize how much the system stinks; instead, they walk around vomiting sunshine. It is so embarrassing.

Thank you so much for your visit and comment.
Delia Black,

@ Everyone, please read Delia's comment.

Thank you, Delia, so much for your objective, truthful and compassionate comment and gracious visit.
Buffy W,

Thank you so much for taking the time--I know you're busy--and wise comment. Enjoy your vacation, and Happy Holidays.

Thank you so much for such an objective and informative comment, and a gracious visit.

Of course it is. Thank you so much for your support and visit
Steve Belvins,

@Everyone, please read Steve's comment.

Thank you, Steve, for an objective comment and a gracious visit.

Are you for free healthcare or are you not? That is my argument. That is it. It is very clear. OS medium allows the use of baldface and color. Here, red means you never, ever do it.

Thank you for your comment.
No, Mrs.Raptor, unless you asked for them to be deleted, I clearly remember two such comments that I have seen on blogs. One was on JK Brady's blog and I don't remember where I saw the other one. I never said that you didn't say anything positive, I said that I had never seen you say anything positive.

That hardly makes me a liar as you insist. Good grief -- over react much?

I also said that I had never heard of "millions" -- your word, not mind -- of legal citizens not being covered. Where did I say that I hadn't heard of any? I have friends who are immigrants, I teach many new immigrants and international students -- of course, I know that this happens. You seem angry about it and I have definitely seen you mention it more than once, as is your right. The government's own numbers, however, show this section of the population to be about a quarter of million, which is a far cry from millions.

I understand that you want to dispel the myth that all is perfect and rosy with the Canadian health system, although I do find it interesting that you choose only the most egregious cases to make your point. And as you note, I repeatedly acknowledged that there were problems, even citing my own experience. I hardly think the Canadian health system is to blame and rendered useless because of the actions of one asshole doctor and your friend who didn't advocate for himself for whatever reason. In medicine as in everything else, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

You exaggerated a little. You're the one who has blown it up into some kind of big deal. The only reason I have responded is because you started calling me names. I won't forget that you called me a liar when I know that I am not, and in fact, meant no harm. I simply pointed out the mistakes in what you wrote and commented on what I have seen you write.

If there is a passionate discussion taking place with comments, I usually give ad hominems three trials/comments, and then I start deleting so the post won't turn into a cussing match. I gave Mr. Frank Fart FIVE (5) trials; that is, an extra two comments, one because he is a senior citizen, and another because he is retarded. What shit of a writer needs five comments to insult one person--I am not the Roman Empire.

I was enjoying Mr. Fart humiliating himself until you posted your comment. Then, I had to respond lest he takes my pity and kindness for weakness.

Thank you for standing up for civil discourse. Thanks for your comment and gracious visit.
Paul J. O'Rourke,

"Our problem is we won't see the efficient HC system implemented until we change our inefficient and perverted political bribery system. So, don't hold your breath waiting for The Right Thing to happen. Besides, that can be interpreted as a pre-existing condition."

Well said, my good man. Thank you so much for such an objective comment and gracious visit.

Throughout the post I refer to it as 'free' healthcare. I do not care what you call it. What do you call it when a Frenchman breaks his leg, goes to the hospital, they fix it and he pays shit. What is this system called?

Thank you for the clarification and the link.

I like you and admire you; we all like you. This is what comments are for; we learn from each other.

I read your comment, and still we are way behind Canada; we are really suffering here, especially those with no insurance. The point is this: we have much more money to spend than Canada or any other country. We have trillions of dollars that we can very easily allocate to healthcare rather than war. That is it.

Thank you for your passion, informative comment and gracious visit.
@ Karin Greenberg,

I know; me too. Thank you so much for your comment and visit.

@ Roger Falllihee,

Of course no single view is perfect. Thank you so much for your comment and visit.

@ Josh Fulton

Thanks for the visit and the link.

@ emma peel

Thank you for your comment and gracious visit.

@ Sharona Shelby,

Thank you for your visit.
Grand post. As an idividual who went bankrupt due to medical bills I know firsthand the horror of out medical system. My wife re-enlisted in the Army and went to Iraq to get us health care. She is returning to Iraq in March of 2010.

There is no rational sane argument against universal health care. As voters we must demand it ASAP. Your fine post should be required reading for all.
Rutilus Extraho,

Americans do deserve universal healthcare. Why can't we all see that if anything should be American, it is universal healthcare.

Thank you so much for confirming with personal experience what all Americans should have.
i have to agree with frank on this one. i've read your other posts--you are smarter than this, thoth. i really believe that. i think you are smarter than i am. as a non-jesus-non-religious believing person i have to say all the god hatred--while offensive to some, just misses the point for me. there is a brilliant argument to be made for socialized medicine--believe me, i know [i've had two GI surgeries, part of my colon removed and i'll be paying through the ass (pun intended) until the day i die]. i know you are angry about the hypocrisy of the republican party--whether it be about god or healthcare or marriage equality or anything else. i think we are probably in the same boat on most issues. but argue a case based on facts and specifics. don't resort to name calling. it's beneath you. you can do better than that.

In this post, I did not attack Republicans. On the contrary, I agreed with them on opposing the banks bailout. I said two things: one we have the money; two we should have universal healthcare. That is it.

Your point is well taken and much appreciated. Thank you so much for your concern, kind words and visit.
YIKES! I apologize--I didn't read all the comments before posting. I just meant that your very well taken point gets lost in lanuage like "stone-cold fuck nuts that we see carrying signs against socialized medicine on FOX News." I guess I thought that is why you were talking about Republicans/Conservatives/anyone against socialized healthcare. Anyway, when you state the issue as you did in your comment to me--it's very clear and I agree 100%. My comment was simply meant to articulate: when you have such a good argument, there's no need to alienate people with insults/language that dilutes the argument as opposed to strengthens it. Blah blah (i am SUCH a hypocrite because I do the same thing all the time). Anyway, cheers, friend. As someone who will be paying off two colon surgeries until they day she dies--I couldn't agree more.

You are most welcome. Your opinion is much appreciated regardless your position on the political spectrum. This how we all learn...from each other.

Thank you again for your consideration and compassion.
Bonnie Russell,

I agree strongly. One would think that your way is the proper one is a democracy. I wish with all my heart that our representatives are as reliable as we would like to think they are. Anyhow, action is definitely much more effective than talking or arguing.

Thank you so much for your objective comment and gracious visit.
Well, at least the whole "get it through by Xmas" can be counted as a Democratic "win" (never mind the loss to the people). Great strategy, people feeling angry but conflicted to do anything about showing up (and where would they?) when it is the holiday season. Seems Jesus' "birthday" can be taken hostage for a whole manner of "sins".

I don't think there is a party I can register with any longer. ;)

Me neither; its a shame.
Welcome to OS. LOL
I feel your passion about this issue and share your frustration that nothing is going to get done about it.

Britain has recently given up its free higher education unfortunately. But no government ever hoping for election here would even consider an alternative to the NHS.

It seems the whole world is being swallowed up by greed. We know who's running the show. Excellent post.
Dear reader I married him,

Thank you so much for your visit, objective comment and kind words.
Outta the park, man. Outta the park.

Thank you, my friend, as always.

Thank you so much for inviting me to comment. I've been somewhat preoccupied, waiting to hear if I do indeed have cancer or not. What strikes me during this time, is how I can indeed be confident I will receive treatment that will impoverish us because we are an American military family. No, it won't be perfect. It will likely be incredibly slow and incredibly complicated, frankly it has been already.

But it's there. And I wouldn't wish the loss or lack of healthcare to anyone in this country.

I'm ashamed of our nation's greed, I'm ashamed at our rampant stupidity in thinking the Republcians truly care about the poor or even the working poor and so are following their drumb beat like lemmings before the cliff.

Personally, if Obama manages nothing else in this country but to get us to respect the weakest among us, I will consider his presidency a success.

In the meanwhile, I'm waiting to hear about that biopsy.

Bless you all during the holiday season.
T. B. Cook,

I am so sorry to hear that, I wish you a painless recovery. Yes, it is sad and hopefully the gods will have mercy on the people of this country.

Thank you, and very Happy Holidays.
I agree with a lot of what you say - but at the end you called upon Americans with wealth, well - they are the ones making all of this possible. Swiss bank accounts to avoid taxes, dirty business deals, government bailout. It's not about America with greedy persons, it is about them and they don't care how they get their money and they don't care who goes hungry at night. How do we get them to care? I don't know - it's hard to cry to Congress because it is like a cow crying to the man who will slaughter him, would it make a difference? No... the man thinks - it's just a cow, not important and the cow is worth $$$ to me.
I think we need to exercise our rights as Americans and start taking the government seats we are entitled to. Society has put stipulations on who can or should sit in a PUBLIC chair, but really - anyone who files to run for office can run. So I say, we start picking out of our own pack, and get some hard-working decent people in our Congress. Then, healthcare will certainly be reformed. Peace & Love

I call on individual wealthy Americans because it is the only thing possible. You see the system will never--ever, ever--change. The powerful big money will always rule. It is either begging or revolting, which is impossible.

Thank you so much for your objective and insightful comment.

My heart is racing after reading your post and all of the comments that have followed. I agree with you that the system we have in America is not good or fair and that we have to change it. I also have expressed concern before about what will actually be accomplished in this reform effort. I worry about unintended consequences. One of my concerns is that GP's and internists, as just two examples, will leave the medical because the government can't pay them enough to make it possible afford being in business. I believe we have started down that road already with Medicare. Many providers today will not accept Medicare patients. Will there be enough doctors under a single-payer system for this huge land? Will it take years to see good results? Is the reform effort dribbling to nothing?

The single-payer plan seems like it was tossed out the window in the rush to get something passed by the end of the year. Maybe a national care plan can be resurrected, one that won't make people suffer when the intention is the opposite. Maybe very intelligent people can work all of this out.

As for health insurance companies. The business seems like organized crime. Insurance companies may be able to help you, but that favor will cost you more and more over time. Perhaps it is incorrect to put all insurance companies in the same pot, but what I see from where I am sitting is boiling over.

I will be absolutely furious if members of Congress don't accept the same health care as all other Americans, however the reform effort shakes out.

Lastly, I want to tell you a true and very American health story. After years of scraping, friends of mine paid off their house. They do not have cable TV. Their TV has been barely functioning for over 15 years; everything on the screen is red. The family cuts their own hair. They buy only brand X products, wouldn't go near organic anything because of the higher price, do not buy Christmas presents or presents for any other holiday because all money goes for necessities only. They fix the holes in their socks, keep the thermostat way down and will put an injured pet down themselves rather than pay for necessary care or for the vet to do the deed for them if it comes to that. I could go on, but what I am saying is the family lives quite frugally. Okay, so for years this family has done nothing but live without debt and scrape to make extra house payments.

Before the holidays, they made the final payment on their house.
The house is theirs, and no debts. UNTIL... the husband suffered an injury. Left untreated for months because the family does not have health insurance, the injury finally resulted in emergency surgery, weeks in the hospital, complications -- and a bill for over $115,000 -- more than what the family paid for their house.

Disaster... Until.. it turned out that one of the doctors made an error that may have contributed to the situation. The doctor and the hospital are connected so I suppose there was some concern about a law suit. What happened? Out of the blue the family received notice that all but about $5,000 for outside services such as lab tests, was forgiven.

Sudden, massive, life-altering medical bill.. then most of it is just as suddenly erased because of fears of a lawsuit.

Isn't that truly a crazy American story?
Clarification: In the American story that was the final section in my response to your excellent post, I should have written, "In 2008, before the holidays they made the final payment on their house."
Natalie K Munden,

Thank you, my friend, for taking the time to give us such an objective view. Thanks for your visit.
With insurance we avoid healthcare because of the cost - deductibles, co-pays, etc. under my husband's plan. We never know, upon heading to the doctor what our bill or portion of it will be--and no one can tell us.

When I was laid off, I received my COBRA notification. Turns out I would be paying $1300/month. My unemployment is under $400/week, so you can imagine the reception the COBRA notice got.

My parents, both retired and living exclusively on Social Security, have Medicare and some kind of Supplemental Medicare plan. Even with those two things, their medical expenses are so high that they are talking about filing bankruptcy, a course of action I think would be insane. The hospitalizations (at $150/day out-of-pocket) quickly outstrip their ability to pay. My dad's medications cost from $400 - $900/month out-of-pocket. On Medicare. With supplemental insurance.

My brother, on the other hand, is a retired, disabled vet. He can't say enough about how wonderful his health care is.

It's a mixed bag. I'm not smart enough to figure it all out. On one hand, the government requires them to offer me COBRA which I cannot afford, and I imagine most of us couldn't. On the other hand there are two different examples of government healthcare. One is driving my parents to bankruptcy, the other invites rapturous odes by my brother. But, we will get none of the above, and messing around with it all (and many, many, many things we already do) is probably unconstitutional, though we don't tend to think about that very much any more. I'm fairly certain it's been a very long time since politicians by and large think about it at all, despite their pledge to uphold and defend the Constitution. Should we operate this way, taxes, programs and funding would be on a state level, and very likely we COULD afford healthcare because of all the things we would NOT be funding.

I'm not taking a stand one way or the other. I tend to err on the side of mercy and mercy would lean towards universal health care. But I am also quite impressed with the beauty of the Constitution as written by our founding fathers, flawed as they were.

Thank you for writing on this thought-provoking and passion-inducing topic. I wish I saw this as clearly as you and most of your commentators do. Then perhaps I would know which side to cuss out.
Kim Bentz,

Well, you seem to know much about the subject; even better, from a personal experience. I am sure you know whom to cuss.
Thank you for your visit and comment.

Thank you so much. coming from you; this is a great compliment.
Thanks for your visit. this point...what's in that bill anyway? no public option...we spend almost half of our take home pay on me trying to live more comfortably...i am raped over and over financially...i just got a bill from a pt..she charged 40 bucks to put an icepack on me...???wtf?

the ONLY system that will work is single opinion.