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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

1/10/2010

This is No Time for Apathy


First, the Democrats in Congress wanted 'Single Payer' – a totally government-run health care bureaucracy under whose thumb it would be illegal for an individual to contract directly for the services of a doctor, a laboratory, a hospital, or to purchase health insurance from a private company. Last summer when the outright nationalization of the American medical system didn't fly, the Reid/Pelosi/Obama/Immanuel axis decided to try to sneak it in by stealth instead. To do that, they came up with a new construct they called 'The Public Option' – a system whereby the government would 'compete' with private insurance companies to 'lower the cost of insurance'.

No matter that any such 'competition' would be rigged from the start. Government 'insurance' could be sold for a fraction of the cost of private insurance because it wouldn't have to meet the mandates and the capital and underwriting requirements that private companies must meet. Within a few short years (if not months), a 'public option' would undercut the private insurance industry and put it out of business leaving only the 'government option' (which is their ultimate goal anyway).

What does it matter if the true believers have to wait a few more years to achieve full socialized medicine in America? Socialists are nothing if not patient. They knew back in 1965 that if they could just get their foot in the door with Medicare, it would eventually lead to a total government takeover (See: Past is Prologue – Medicare, 1965). So it has become with this latest health care bill. When the true believers couldn't achieve the total takeover of 1/6th of the American economy all at once, they 'compromised' by putting in place a system that is guaranteed to achieve that same goal in a few more years. This explains why one 'deal-breaker' after another has been ignored and 'lines-in-the-sand' that have been drawn over one issue after another keep getting crossed. Like the sleight-of-hand artists that they are, the people pushing this bill know that bickering over side issues like 'exchanges', 'single payer', 'public options', abortions, 'death panels', etc. will serve quite nicely to distract the attention of the America public from the real issues.

Let’s recap: Sounding for all the world like Gandalf planting his staff on the bridge in The Lord of the Rings, last September Nancy Pelosi announced firmly that "any health care bill without a strong public option will not pass the House!" In the middle of the night on November 7th, she made good on her promise. She passed the "Affordable Health Care for America Act" – H.R.3962 – which creates a 'health insurance exchange' with a 'public option':

SEC. 301. ESTABLISHMENT OF HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE; OUTLINE OF DUTIES; DEFINITIONS.

    (a) Establishment- There is established within the Health Choices Administration and under the direction of the Commissioner a Health Insurance Exchange in order to facilitate access of individuals and employers, through a transparent process, to a variety of choices of affordable, quality health insurance coverage, including a public health insurance option.
But since the midnight passage of H.R.3962, the Senate passed a totally different bill which does not contain the magic 'public option' words. So now Pelosi is backpedaling. Asked on Dec. 16 whether she could support legislation without a 'public option', she said, "It depends what else is in the bill." One line in the sand crossed. More recently, she has just stopped mentioning the 'public option' altogether, even though 57 House Democrats signed a letter in which they stated: "Any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, for a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates -- not negotiated rates -- is unacceptable."

However, over the past few months we've all been witness to the fact that the word 'unacceptable' is entirely situational. How long before these 57 come out and say, "Well, we really didn’t mean it." We’ve seen one group after another abandon their 'demands' and 'firm beliefs' in order to get this bill passed: The Catholics who wouldn't vote for a bill that used taxpayer funds for abortion; The 'public option' hard-liners who promised not to vote for a bill without one; The 'blue-dog' Democrats who promised not to vote for a bill that raised the deficit; Those who promised not to raid Medicare to pay for 'universal health care'; Those who demanded that everyone be covered; Those who wouldn't support a bill that covered illegal aliens ... and so on.

So what's going to happen when the House meets tomorrow? I believe that first, Ayatollah Pelosi will be button-holing those 57 Congressmen and telling them something like, "Let's not waste this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity over mere semantics. What does it matter if the words 'public option' are not in the final bill if it results in what you all favor: government-run health care." That, and of course she'll be threatening to punish any Congressmen who cross her by cutting their staff, their campaign funds, and taking away their committee assignments ...

John Hinderacker at Powerline sums up the situation nicely in No Public Option:

    So what is shaping up behind closed doors is classic National Socialist legislation. The government will not overtly take over the insurance industry ("seizing the means of production", in Marxist terms). Rather, ostensibly private institutions will be left in place, at least for the time being. But those "private" institutions -- the health insurance companies -- will be subjected to top-down regulation that turns them into agents of state power. No meaningful competition will be permitted. The federal government will run health care, but will do so behind a facade of private enterprise. Mussolini would be proud of Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid.

    Presumably this arrangement is only temporary. As we have noted before, the Left doesn't really need a public option. President Obama has said that under his proposal, private insurance companies would be driven out of business over a period of ten to twenty years. At that point, there will be no such thing as private medicine, and the federal government will be able to come out of the closet. It will be illegal for you or members of your family to obtain medical treatment, except as permitted and controlled by the government.

    Will America then be a free country? That's debatable, but I would say, No.
I know everyone is weary of bombarding their legislators with phone calls, faxes, and letters, but now is not the time for freedom lovers to go wobbly. Your congressman will be back in his D.C. office on Tuesday. You know what to do.

by John Cooper
(contributing Team Member of Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

21 comments:

John Cooper said...

Thanks for posting that, Joanie. Other than the government undercutting their price, there are several more ways that private insurance companies will be put out of business. Here are just two of them:

1. Both the House and Senate bills contain profit controls. They mandate that insurance companies must pay out either 80% (Senate version) or 85% (House version) of their gross receipts in benefits. That means that the sum total of their operating and administrative expenses, wages, and profits are essentially capped at a level lower than other industries.

2. Many people will find it makes more sense to simply pay the fines and go without insurance until they get a catastrophic illness or suffer an accident. Massachussans have already figured this out, and it's bankrupting MassCare. PAUL HARASIM writes in Sweetness & Light:

"[Mr. Brad] Coker [managing partner of the Washington, D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research] said it won’t be long before people realize they are better off economically if they go without insurance until they need it. He noted that a family that pays $1,000 a month for insurance could bank $120,000 in 10 years by going without insurance. That figure would be before $22,500 in fines were paid.

"The way the proposed law stands now, they can’t refuse you from buying insurance when you get sick, and they can’t charge you any more than someone else your age," he said. "So you’re better off financially not buying it. Once that catches on, that could put insurance companies out of business."

Coker said those who are cynical may think that is the goal of the current plan. 'That way, there would be no alternative to go to a government plan, which many liberal Democrats wanted anyway.'"

Steve Leiden said...

This President and this Congress are self-declared enemies of free enterprise, and freedom in general. Like all Marxists/socialists, they believe themselves to be a cut above the rest of us, "called" to tell us how to run our lives, and superior enough to us not to have to wear the same yoke they build for us.

Will we be a free country in 5 years? We're not a free country NOW.

Lou Barakos said...

Nice work, Cooper. It looks like you're picking up the slack when Joanie is otherwise occupied. You're doing a good job of it!

You're damn right this is no time for patriots to be wobbly!

Cal Brindisi said...

Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on a new report released today by the Center for American Progress that shows that health insurance reform will create up to 4 million more jobs over the next decade than would be created without reform. The report finds that health care reform could increase the number of jobs in the United States by about 250,000 to 400,000 per year over the coming decade:

"We know that health insurance reform will help save lives, save money, and save Medicare. But Americans need to know that reform will actually save and create millions more jobs—lessening the burden of skyrocketing costs on small and medium-sized businesses all across America. Reform is critical to the health of our economy and to the health of our people."

Never mind that the rest of her comment is bull$hit, the 4 million jobs will be in the bloated government bureaucracy.

We are screwed, and screwed permanently this time.

God save the (terminally stupid) American people!

Sharon Gold said...

I'll never stop e-mailing, faxing and calling my Senators and Representatives. Just because I don't think it will do any good doesn't mean that I shouldn't continue to do everything that is still within my power. It may not be in my power much longer.

joanie said...

John, yesterday I started reading the book 'Defying Hitler' that our mutual friend sent us over the holidays. It was written in stages before Hitler seized ultimate power, and yet its messages and warnings are timeless.

I was especially struck by one of the first paragraphs, in which the author likens to a duel the interactions between free men and a burgeoning totalitarian state:

It is a duel between two very unequal adversaries: an exceedingly powerful, formidable, and ruthless state and an insignificant, unknown private individual. The duel does not take place in what is commonly known as the sphere of politics; the individual is by no means a politician, still less a conspirator or an enemy of the state. Throughout, he finds himself very much on the defensive. He only wishes to preserve what he considers to be his integrity, his private life, and his personal honor. These are under constant attack by the government of the country he lives in, and by the most brutal, but often also clumsy, means.

I admire your continued activism.

~ joanie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good summation.

My rep supports this mess, and I�m definitely not happy. I�ve already told the shmuck that I�ll be actively working against his reelection because he voted for this anti-Constitutional crap. Of course, he doesn�t give a rip for the concerns of his constituents, so that fell on deaf ears.

Happily, though, that got me taken off his mailing list, so no more junk mail from his office.

DaveBurkett said...

"That's why my KGB instructors specifically made the point, "never bother with leftists. Forget about these political prostitutes - aim higher." This was my instruction. Try to get into large circulation, established conservative media. Reach filthy rich movie makers, intellectuals in so-called academic circles. Cynical, ego-centric people who can look into your eyes with angelic expression and tell you a lie. This are the most recruitable people; people who lack moral principals - who are either too greedy or suffer from self-importance. They feel that they matter a lot. These are the people who KGB wanted very much to recruit."

--KGB Defector Yuri Bezmenov

Lindy said...

Thanks to you all for the thoughtful, well-reasoned ammo. I can use your insightful comments on my additional e-mails to my ‘representatives’. They won’t hear me…but I’ll keep plugging away. I’ve had first-hand experience wrestling with our current Medicare/Social Security/In Home Health Services for more than seven years. My battle on behalf of my frail mother is over. However, the ‘health care crisis’ that is looming via the ‘new and improved’ health care plan is horrifying. God help us!

John Cooper said...

Speaking of apathy (or lack thereof), Scott Brown of Massachusetts is running for the U.S. Senate seat formerly filled by Ted Kennedy.

Brown has promised that if elected, he will vote AGAINST the reconciled health care bill.

Tonight - in one night - he has raised almost a million dollars in donations from small donors like you and me. If he wins, he will change the course of history.

Scott Brown Money Bomb

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TrustButVerify said...

This is a great article, Cooper. Keep up the good work, in writing and in tea partying! ;)

One of the aspects of this whole fiasco that makes me the most angry is that they are bribing our representatives to vote for this monstrosity with our hard-earned and giving special favors to the hold outs. There is no shame anymore, and the Constitution and the rule of law be damned!

Jason said...

Very nice blog you have here. I like reading political blogs for some reason. Anyway, I have a site myself where people from around the world come and debate on popular issues. I feel as if this will give citizens some form of power, letting their voices be heard.

I'd like to exchange links with you to help spread some traffic around between each other. If you'd like to, please leave a comment under our "Compadres" page when you've added our link and we'll return the favor.

Until then, keep up the good work.

Jason
DEBATEitOUT.com

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John Cooper said...

Thanks for all the kind comments. I just sent this letter-to-editor to our local paper:

I just received yet another health care form-letter from Sen. Kay Hagan which repeats the same misinformation that she has been spreading for over six months now. It’s obvious that either she still hasn’t yet read the bill, or just doesn’t care to tell the truth about it. She writes “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...is a fiscally responsible plan that will reduce the deficit by nearly $132 billion in the next 10 years.” She obtained that number from the Congressional Budget Office, but failed to report that those “savings” were only obtained by 1. Offsetting ten years of increased taxation with six years of benefits, 2. Including the $149 billion excise tax on “high premium insurance plans” (Cadillac Plans) which has now apparently been removed from the bill, and 3. Pulling the $468 billion Medicare reimbursement schedule adjustment (the “doc fix”) out of the bill and treating it separately. According to the Heritage Foundation, the true cost of H.R. 3590 is $4.9 *trillion *over twenty years.

Sen. Hagan continues: “Illegal immigrants would be explicitly barred from receiving services under the legislation.” Yes, the legislation says that, but it contains no method of checking the immigration status of an applicant for insurance, and no penalty for using false documents to obtain coverage. In other words, the so-called “explicit ban” is toothless. Furthermore, the law requiring emergency rooms to treat all patients regardless of ability to pay [EMTALA] is still in effect and was in no way addressed by H.R. 3590.

Regarding the abortion issue, Sen. Hagan writes that abortion services "could not" be covered under this bill due to the Hyde Amendment. The truth is, the Hyde Amendment applies only to funds appropriated through the annual HHS appropriations bill. It will not apply to any of the funds used to establish or operate either a “public option” (if there is one in the final bill), or the premium-subsidy program created by H.R. 3590. Under this bill, taxpayers will end up subsidizing abortions.

The good Senator also claims that "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would not do anything to limit the ability of your doctor to pursue the course of care he or she believes is most appropriate for you.” Sure, your doctor can offer any treatment he desires, as long as he doesn't care whether or not he gets paid for it. Title III if this bill contains almost five hundred pages describing how “payments will be linked to quality outcomes”, and listing what treatments are approved and which ones won’t be paid for. In other words: Care will be rationed, and I, for one, am getting sick and tired of Kay Hagan treating her constituents as children who are incapable of reading and understanding the clear language and intent of the bill.

Anonymous said...

The conservatism represented on this site is a breath of fresh air. I came here because I Googled for info on the Kirlin's land grab case in Boulder and another site that reported on it sent me here.

I've spent the last hour perusing your articles. Wish there were more.

I'll be back. ;)

Anonymous said...

Ditto to both of the above (found this through Google and will be back).

Anonymous said...

Compliments of the Center for Individual Freedom, here's a handy online form that can be used to send a message to your legislators:

Defeat Government-Run Health Care

Vijay Chakravarthy said...

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Vijay Chakravarthy said...

Hi Jason

Thanks for the interest shown on my blog and visiting my blog.

I am maintaining my blog http://spacestation-shuttle.blogspot.com/ for young peoples who needs what happening in space.Thanks for providing me a space in your blog.

But i cant see my blog in your list.

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joanie said...

Vijay and Jason,

Apologies for the late response to your comments. I did not get to this comment list until this morning.

Thank you for stopping by here, and for the very kind comments. I will have a look at both of your blogs later today -- am looking forward to doing so -- and will post a comment on them when I do.

Best to you both --

~ joanie