Posted by: distributorcap | July 22, 2009

Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Babbling Brooks

David Brooks is actually a pretty smart guy. But being smart does not prevent one from being a douchebag. And guess what, Brooks is a smart douchebag. The Babbling Brooks has proven once again that when the GOP dumps its toxic mixture of evil, hate of the poor, racism and insensitivity into the water, you truly can never extricate all the pollution from the brook. Or in his case, the sludge as well.

Let’s take a look at some of David Brooks’ “opinions” in his July 21, 2009 New York Times Op-Ed piece entitled “Liberal Suicide March.”

The party is led by insular liberals from big cities and the coasts, who neither understand nor sympathize with moderates.

The last time we all checked, I don’t think any Democrat or even moderately progressive person with half a brain would call Barack Obama an insular liberal. The GOP will of course. Somehow the Karl Rove faxed talking points conveniently failed to remind Mr. Brooks that Obama’s continued terrorist trials, potential indefinite holding of prisoners, expansion in Afghanistan, and failure to release torture photos et. al. are all signs that do not scream insular liberal.

Approval of Obama’s handling of health care, for example, has slid from 57 percent to 49 percent since April. Disapproval has risen from 29 percent to 44 percent. As recently as June, voters earning more than $50,000 preferred Obama to the Republicans on health care by a 21-point margin. Now those voters are evenly split.

According to that same ABC/Washington Post Poll – Obama has a 59% approval rating (which head ventriloquist Karl Rove faxes to his dummies with the qualifier “talk up how dismal”), while Congressional Republicans are at 36%. On handling health care – Obama 57, Congressional Republicans 34. As Babbling Brooks so easily proves – why let the facts get in the way of an Op-Ed that would go unread unless it generates enough controversy (aka lies) to go viral.

Let’s take Brooks’ cherry-picked numbers at face value. What Brooks is pointing out is some semblance of truth — that America is waking up to the fact that the health care free lunch cafeteria is closing. Something’s got to give – and what is giving is a health care model that American’s say they truly hate — until they have to actually give it up.

The Clockwork Orange-style of behavior modification so brilliantly practiced by Ronald Reagan – that persuaded this country we deserve something for nothing – is finally collapsing under its own weight. Everyone wants health care, good health care, and accessible health care. The problem is we don’t want to pay for that – nor do we want to pay for someone else’s. The current structure has somehow convinced most Americans (those with insurance, especially those with insurance like David Brooks), that their health care really doesn’t cost that much (or anything), since the insurance pool covers it all. After all, if you have a health insurance like any Congressman, you go to the specialist – he runs some tests, he writes a prescription for Viagra (Ensign, Vitter, Pickering etc.) and you pay a whole $25 (or so) co-pay. Not such a big outlay, is it? Remember the guys creating and reporting on health care are the ones with the best health care insurance! Unlike Sotomayor, these wise Congressman never let life experience get in the way of their decision making process for 300,000,000 Americans.

For those with a good insurance – the current payment structure makes it seem like it really doesn’t seem to cost that much. And how does the GOP use this? They employ the 21st century version of the big lie – a never ending cacophony of sound bytes and appearances before a camera stating that any “reform” will definitely translate to higher premiums, stiffer co-pays and some sort of tax to pay for the fat slobs who smoke. That is what the GOP is trying to convince us of – and Brooks is just another brick in the wall (I have been on this Pink Floyd kick lately).

Everyone wants reform and improvement – until they realize there is no free lunch. I wonder if those pollsters balance the sample on insured/non-insured, ill/not-ill, unemployed/employed etc., instead of just age, gender, geography. I would bet the results would be different.

But as you read between the lines in this Op Ed (oh hell, you don’t even have to read between the line – it stares you in the face) – Brooks reveals his true character – that once a Republican cheerleader, always a Republican cheerleader. He point blank states that the Republicans and Blue Dogs are saving the day with their talk of fiscal restraint. Talk about one of Sarah Palin’s dead fish floating down a polluted Babbling Brook. Let’s forget about the fact that for 8 years the entire GOP couldn’t suck Bush’s toes (this is a family values post) fast enough and give him trillions for an immoral, illegal, useless and endless war – but health care reform – not a wooden nickel. Anyone remember S-Chip? Oh yea, there was Medicare Part D, but too bad if you aren’t 65 yet – and Bush never addressed the fact that there are 47,000,000 uninsured, many through no fault of their own.

It is obvious that the GOP has a least one trekkie on their strategy committee. Their entire MO is based on the Sept 27, 1967 broadcast of Star Trek – The Changeling. In that episode, the Enterprise encounters Nomad, a space probe built with human thinking patterns, but without any conscience. Nomad has one mission programmed into its brain – “to find and sterilize imperfection.”

Sounds like the GOP huh?

It doesn’t take much to figure out that the entire mantra of the GOP is to ensure the destruction of Obama and the Democratic Party. That Nomad strategy — find and sterilize — is just part of the GOP DNA. And the imperfect American people – mere potholes to be filled up while on the road back to power nirvana. It is that simple, it is that obvious. Brooks is just another talking journalist mouthpiece with lots of money and very good insurance that really really really wants Obama to fail (even though he says he doesn’t). The GOP has spent the past 6 months in front of any camera and any microphone acting as spokespeople for Pravda while telling the proliteriat that the other guy is the real commie.

And the reason the fear card works so well with health care – because this time a policy change as deep and complex as Health Care will actually cost Americans their free lunch. And Rush, who understands free lunches better than anyone else, knows exactly how to mince his words for maximal affect.

The saddest part is that he has smart lemmings like David Brooks marching right behind him.



  1. Brilliant! Though I must say, the Republicans aren't the ones scaring me in this debate. They'll do what they always do. It's the Dems who just seem terrified to pull the trigger on a public option–let alone universal health care. They're the ones who really have me quaking in my boots.

  2. From the birthers, to PUMA loons, to those who want to derail national healthcare, it's open season on Obama.Maybe these nut cases would've been happier if McCain and won the election and Sarah "21 ethics charges" Palin were vice president?But not to worry. If Obama's job approval numbers fall into the 30's, rest assured that Hillary Clinton is waiting in the wings to toss her hat into the race in 2012.

  3. I really wish it was a requirement for political office or punditry that everyone spend a month in an inner city neighbourhood living a working poor lifestyle. I am really sick of people who don't have that experience speaking to us and on our behalf.

  4. I agree, the people who say they are speaking for "middle America" wouldn't know "middle America" if it bit them in the ass. Not to mention, most of them have never had to face no insurance, or wondered if they would be able to pay that medical bill, or how to pay it, or figure out if they should go to the doctor and get the diagnosis they need so they can get their disability. All while trying to figure out how much of their savings was going to be spent waiting on the disability. (most of it)Yeah, there is no rush for health care. Take your time…people can wait, and die, and go broke, and bankrupt. We really don't matter..while you fiddle, Nero…burn, baby, burn.

  5. Again…good post. And there is everything good about being on a 'Pink Floyd thing'… in fact… speaking of Repubs and Rove &Rush& such….'If you didn't care what happened to me,And I didn't care for you,We would zig zag our way through the boredom and painOccasionally glancing up through the rain.Wondering which of the buggars to blameAnd watching for pigs on the wing.'

  6. Amen, both to your excellent post and the comments.Speaking of Hillary, I heard her this morning on NPR and there was a weird quality to her voice–she was quiet and calm-sounding, unlike her usual forcefulness. It immediately made me wonder (for some odd reason) whether she's angling for more likeability so she can run in 2012. Then I read Christopher's comment, and it just hit home.P.S.–I hate these stupid conservative columnists, all of them. The only op-ed guy I can stand is Leonard Pitts.

  7. My favorite argument…with obama's healtcare plan – you will have the government to approve or disapprove treatments and procedures. My argument – WTF do they think the CEO's and fat cats of the HMO's are doing now? And No, I do not believe the GOP rhetoric.

  8. I don’t think any Democrat or even moderately progressive person with half a brain would call Barack Obama an insular liberal.Of course not, that's because he's a commie socialist Nazi. Duh. And that's who'll be making your health care decisions, an SS Party Commissar Comrade instead of that HMO CEO who pulled himself up by his bootstraps. You hippies make me sick. If only I had health insurance.

  9. There is zero chance a national healthcare plan is coming unless severe rationing of healthcare services is part of the deal.Existing government programs prove that bureaucrats are incapable of managing healthcare in an effective and efficient manner.Medicare costs $8,000 per person per year. The program covers roughly 45 million people.On a national level, Medicaid costs about $5,000 per person per year. Is anyone satisfied? No. More than 40 million people are covered by Medicaid.However, NY State has a special place in the Medicaid world. It operates the costliest program in the country — $12,500 per person per year. That about double the average cost of healthcare coverage in the US.Hence, based on NY State Medicaid expenditures, a national healthcare program run by the government threatens to nail the republic with an annual bill of $4 TRILLION. A bit much. No?Meanwhile, the Veterans Administration also runs up high costs, spending at least $55 billion in the last year directly on medical treatment.Thus, there is no reason for anyone to accept the claim that a government healthcare plan will operate more efficiently and/or less expensively that a private operation. Moreover, we have the Post Office, Amtrak and the public school system for further proof that government management is lacking.

  10. slappzyou truly are an idiotmedicare is one of the best run programs around – what about the 47,000,000 uninsured?and the current system, controlled by private insurance – so efficient and well run – are you FUCKING kiddingyou truly are an idiotand the reason so many people are on medicaid is becuase of the current system to begin with – chicken and egg. (i do agree medicaid has a ton of problems)what about the fact that insurance companies control and ration alreadyeveryone on the planet (inlcuding the douchebags in the GOP) – except YOU thinks the system is broken and needs fixing – we can argue what to fix and how, but it needs it.also, i assume you are one of those people who thinks health care is a privilege for the wealthy and the poor, well they are poor and deserve crappy health care and to sit in waiting rooms.the insurance companies are afraid of govt intervention because aways goes their profits – because they cannot compete with the govtdont bother to write back – i will not bother to answer someone who feels the current health care system is a good thing.

  11. 1. Fuck Slapz, he's a troll of the lowest order.2. The neo-cons lost because they proved to be full of shit and wrong about everything. Their constituency is Big Business, and they couldn't care less about we the people.I say Obama and The Congress should just ignore them and get some work done.And my new approach, living in Texas, is to confront them and reeducate them whenever possible. All I have to do is start the conversation with some Christian or patriotic cliches, then once their eyes get that neo-con glaze, I hit them with some plain truth.No sense in reasoning with these imbeciles.

  12. no slappz should change his name to no brainz.

  13. Well let's see.Post Office: I can send a letter to anywhere in the United States, including the most isolated town on the north slope of Alaska, for what? $0.44 and in 99.999% of cases, it will get there within 2 weeks. Does ANYONE really believe a private for profit operation would provide that kind of universal coverage, to even unprofitable parts of the country, at that price with that reliability? Gimme a break. Public schools: These systems are really hit and miss, but some of the best schools in the U.S. are public. I would assume that public schools would include public community colleges and public universities like Rutgers, the University of California system, University of Arizona, University of Texas, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, University of Colorado which are ranked as some of the nest universities in the world. And Amtrak is one of the best ways to get around the Northeast. They're much cheaper than the [private for profit] airlines, has a better departure and arrival record and they are less hassle to use. I can buy a ticket at the last minute for the same price as weeks before and there are no games. If these are the examples of what public health would be like, bring it on!!!!

  14. After the election of President Obama I had a rebirth of hope that someone could through truth and real leadership get this country mobilized to work for the betterment of us all. After hearing more than a few people around me start whining about how they are for health care reform but they sure as hell don't want to pay for it or have some bureaucrat tell them what care they could receive I'm starting to wonder if its all a lost cause. That people should believe health care reform would be cheap or easy is depressing enough but to have some think that a corporate bean counter is any better and gives a damn about anything but the bottom line is scary. I'll take a bureaucrat any day over a CEO.

  15. Slapz–I don't know where you get your information, but I work with a bunch of retirees who are on Medicare/Medicaid, and they sing its praises to high heaven every day. They really can't understand what all the controversy is all about. But ideology has nothing to do with reality, I fear.

  16. toujoursdan, YOU might pay 44 cents to mail your letter. But the true cost of sending a one-ounce letter to some distant part of the country is much higher. That's why the Post Office nails those who send junk mail and, as always, the taxpayer. Taxpayer subsidies — always the bottom line for government programs. As we know most Post Office services are uneconomic.Forget profits. No business would offer to transport a one-ounce letter from Dogbite, Texas to Frostbite, Alaska for 44 cents. But the Post Office will maintain a staff to deliver the handful of letters going to rural outposts because EFFICIENCY is a low priority item. The service creates jobs.Amtrak operates on the same principles. It operates profitable routes in the Northeast. It consumes those profits subsidizing all the other routes that lose a bundle every time the train leaves the station and then it grabs a big subsidy from taxpayers to keep this artifact moving.Why bother running the losing routes? Train ridership is LOW. No one will miss transcontinental passenger trains. Just like no one misses the stage coach and the Pony Express or the telegraph.Long distance passenger train service is expensive and limited. By comparison, bus service is a steal and goes many more places. And airline service is cheaper and much faster than train service, except on a handful of routes in the Northeast.Thus, Amtrak should shrink down to its profitable routes and stop service on the losing routes. There is no reason for the government to subsidize this dinosaur. Public schools. Correct. Some are very good. Some are terrible. But this gets into different territory.The quality of a public school is almost entirely a function of the kids enrolled in it. Stuyvesant High School is the best public high school in NY City because it takes only the best students. Kids must pass an entrance exam if they want to attend.The troubled schools in NY City are troubled because there are a lot of problem kids enrolled in them. You mentioned universities. Correct. Your list was good. Why are those schools good? Because the school are SELECTIVE. They take the students they want. Not the students they are stuck with, like most public schools.And that makes the public school system good for comparing and contrasting with government-run healthcare programs.NY City's Department of Education spent over $16,000 per student in the latest school year.The DOE offers a lot of data to interested people. Stuyvesant, the city's best high school, spent about $10,000 per student. Quite a discount from the average cost.Why? Because it takes LESS money to educate kids who are motivated and responsible students.If people did not smoke, drink or eat way too much problematic food, our healthcare bills would drop like the education costs at Stuyvesant.However, we can count on people to continue creating their own health disasters. Obama has spoken repeatedly of Efficiencies in Healthcare. Okay. If that's a true goal, then the system cannot operate like the Post Office. But, in fact, it does. And it will continue to do so.Evidence — the $12,500 per person annual Medicaid expense in NY State.

  17. slappz – you have proved that you are smart – but youl have also proved that you are actually a bad person and a real dickyou care about one thing – that companies make lots of money LOTS of money – and that the little people – well they pay taxes. i am asking – please stay away — discourse is a good thing, but your emphasis on profit over people is frankly – constantly point out how bad caring about people is – but never offer a solution – only that poor people and the down trodden suck. to you, unless you are rich and educated – well maybe you dont belong in the US.i really wish you would go away. you offer nothing to a discussion other than your disdain of anyone who doesnt believe in the totality of profit. and you know what – the world would be a better place if cared more about people that about how much it cost to educate a student at Stuyvesant vs another schoolbut of coursse to you – that doesnt matter. maybe if you offered solutions and ideas people would listen – but you dont. you just criticize.i am asking nicely — take your ridiculous arguments to you will make a lot of friends there.

  18. Brooks probably is smart. A smart whore. He'll say whatever his masters pay him to say, and then wipe his chin. Oh, and just block slappz. This isn't a public forum, it's your blog. If he came to a party at your house and was an asshole, you'd throw him out, no?

  19. …what Pissed said.

  20. Another touché. Add labels: "Idiot Republicans" and "I Hate These People." We need universal health care, French style. We also need more stimulus, French-style. We also could use more engagement, French-style. Not to mention more reading, and more appreciation of Woody Allen ;->

  21. and this guy is called a moderate conservative; a non-lunatic republican….sigh!

  22. //slappzyou truly are an idiot////1. Fuck Slapz,//"Just like no one misses the stage coach and the Pony Express or the telegraph."Break me up! And no one will miss Slapz! If I really would like discourse with a moron… I can talk to the right-wing nut in the car-pool…he believes we should ..'arm teachers to stop school shootings'!Oh, shit, this is funny and it is still too early for a I kinda miss the pony express

  23. No_Slappz:Your post is non-responsive to my point. My point is that government serves can work and can serve their citizens well. Nothing you have said in response changes that; you just gave me a list of extenuating circumstances that explain why they work. Of course I know that these circumstances exist that makes these services work, but we are still in the design phase of a national healthcare system and can make this work for everyone as well.Whether NY Medicaid is efficient or not is completely irrelevant because a public healthcare system doesn't have to mirror NY Medicaid. There are numerous examples of public healthcare services around the world that deliver top notch healthcare to their population at much, much lower costs than the current American healthcare system. The French, Swedish, Canadian, Australian, Japanese and New Zealand systems all have something to teach us and there is no reason the U.S. can't take the best of each of these systems and create a hybrid. Why haven't you discussed them?Your solution is to cut part of the population loose because they are "bad people" who do self destructive things or because they are stupid enough to be poor; and your "final solution" seems to be to let them get sick, suffer and die. What I find amusing of this typically American individualism-run-amok attitude is that you actually believe that somehow their plight isn't going to negatively impact your way of life and limit your choices. It's laughably disconnected, short term, superficial thinking that seems to run rampant amongst U.S. conservatives. You do know that these poor and "self destructive" people still get healthcare and that you still pay for it, just in the most inefficient way possible. They show up at emergency rooms with conditions that could have been treated earlier and more cheaply and their costs are passed on to the insured…YOU. Those who are unfortunate enough to get chronic conditions that burn through their insurance, into bankruptcy and onto on disability and welfare are ultimately paid for by YOU. You still pay for everyone who can't pay for themselves, and more than you would have to otherwise. If you want to see how a society like this works go spend some time in South Africa. Yes, the White rich minority has lots of money and can sent their kids to great schools and get excellent services, but they have to live in armed compounds to stay safe, have their electricity rationed, worry about carjacking and are exposed to completely preventable diseases like TB and polio that sweep through the country because of the poor state of health there. What kind of quality of life is that? Is that really what you want America to become so that you can save a few extra bucks for another big screen TV?Like it or not, we are all connected. You can't cut off a part of the society and hope that their problems go away. Your quality of life is brought down by their plight. As soon as you figure that out, the wiser you will be. No man is an island.

  24. toujoursdan,re: slappz//No man is an island.//…but some are idiots! 🙂

  25. toujoursdan, you wrote:"My point is that government serves can work and can serve their citizens well."In fact, the point you made was that SOME parts of government service work well. But, as the facts of Medicaid, Medicare, the VA, the Public Schools, the Post Office and Amtrak PROVE, there are some BIG problems.You and d-cap merely offer the illusion that somehow all the realities that result in the huge waste and inefficiencies of government systems will go away if we — drum roll — create a BIGGER government system.The Post Office keeps its edge in the delivery of first-class mail by and act of Law — not competitiveness.If the Post Office had to charge the true cost of a first-class letter, then private competition would rise and, of course, the Post Office would trail.As we know, FedEx and UPS kicked the Post Office to the curb in the business of package delivery.What happened after that? Two things. The Post Office learned how to compete with FedEx and UPS, though AND outside most Post Offices, you will now find a FedEX drop box. In other words, the government has conceded that it simply cannot match FedEx and it believes customers are entitled to getting the best service without humping their packages to some other drop-off point.A rare display of Public/Private sanity.Amtrak collects money from taxpayers providing a service few people want. Given the need for travel services, it seems like a grotesque waste of taxpayer revenue to subsidize expensive passenger trains that only serve affluent travelers hoping to capture a romantic feeling of a bygone era. However, I think the romance is a myth.The chief failing of government programs is their attempt to give everything to everyone — without regard for cost. That lack of attention to cost leads to every manner of fraud and financial abuse.If each government agency were to focus on its strengths and drop its weaknesses, we might get somewhere.However, as we know, the government is in the business of giving people jobs, no matter how small and trivial, and oftentimes, useless. Therefore, it is beyond reason to think that a national healthcare program, which would possess the power to bill the taxpayers for TRILLIONS of dollars, would miss an opportunity to jack up the bill.It is not profits that concern me. It is the overwhelming likelihood of a national healthcare plan bankrupting the nation that has me worried. This is the obvious concern of Democrats in Congress who are now saying they are uncomfortable with this current healthcare bill. GM is bankrupt because the Present Value of the Future Obligations of its Healthcare and Pension Benefits exceeded the company's capacity to pay the bill. It's that simple. As GM goes, so too can the nation go. toujoursdan, regarding other nations with national healthcare plans, well, they are NOT the US.They have far tighter citizenship laws, they aggressively kick out people who attempt to freeload on their healthcare plans AND, AND, AND, they ALL reap HUGE benefits from the fact that OUR drug companies do ALL the work from which the citizens in those countries benefit.Like defense, if Japan had to cover its own military bills, rather than live under the protective umbrella of the US, its economy would have fewer bucks avaiable for healthcare.And we know North Korea would threaten Japan enough that Japan would throw a lot of money into defense if it had to.Bottom line — unless the US is willing to RATION end-of-life healthcare, there is NO chance we will get a national plan.Rationing is how other countries keep a lid on costs.But in the US, the idea of saying NO is an offense.

  26. Earth to no_slappz: 1) The American system ALREADY RATIONS end of life healthcare as well as for the poor and chronically sick. Pull your head out your pants and do some research. You'll find insurance companies are ALREADY terminating care for the elderly and the chronically ill and people dying from it NOW. A single payer system would do LESS of this. In the Canadian, New Zealand and Australian systems, it isn't the government that makes the decision as to what treatments you receive. It's your doctor. If you don't like what your doctor determines you can get a second opinion or go somewhere else. All the government does is FUND, not MANAGE care in the system. It's so sad when Americans fall for their own propaganda. At least the Stalinist Soviets and Eastern Europeans could figure out when they were being lied to. Too many Americans have become so intellectually lazy and naive and buy whatever their conservative or liberal pundit tells them to believe. I am a Canadian citizen who lived in New Zealand for 2.5 years and am now in the U.S. I have had on-the-ground experience with 3 nations healthcare systems. What other countries have you lived in? You are simply making stuff up. It's laughable.2) What you have to say about other countries citizenship laws is bullshit. Canada, Australia and New Zealand take in more immigrants and refugees per capita than the U.S. does. And in the other countries, all permanent residents and taxpayers are entitled to use the healthcare system whether they are citizens or not. So your comment about citizenship laws is a red herring and irrelevant to the discussion.3) What you have to say about the military speaks volumes, however. There seems to never be enough money for the U.S. military and the military-industrial complex to guard against all these phantom threats your news stations tell you to be afraid of. It's pretty laughable that Japan needs the U.S. for defence, as if the American military could really stop the Chinese from invading or the North Koreans from lobbing a nuke. Give me a break. The Americans can't even succeed in dirt poor countries like Iraq or Afghanistan. But your fear-culture in the U.S. certainly keeps you guys from questioning the usefulness of the military as it is, while the civilian population has to suffer in poverty and deprivation. America is no different than Ancient Rome or modern North Korea in this regard.What you're telling me is that Americans are either too stupid, lazy, disorganized or entitled to deliver services that other countries do very efficiently. It can be done. The will just has to be there. It's sad to see a nation that used to lead the world give in to paranoid, fear and propaganda. You are a shadow of what you used to be and it is a pity.

  27. And one more thing, if you think all drugs, research and procedures come from the American drug companies and other countries freeload off them, you are dumber and more brainwashed than I thought. The U.S. doesn't even lead the world in the granting of medical patents anymore.

  28. thats right slappzlet all the poor and needy people either die or go hungry because it is not efficient to take care of them (Meaning they dont have any money)like your Amtrak argument why bother having supermarkets or any retail outlets in rural areas? not enough people to make them efficient aka profitable – companies should just get rid of them, let the country folk drive 5000 miles to get groceries or go to a doctor.regarding amtrak – how about the fact that if it didnt exist more people would drive, even where the routes are less efficient – more driving, more gas used, more gas used, more money to the arabs (and the ooh-dreaded islamofacists) and more more pollution – but why let anything get in the way of profitwhat you seem to not be able to grasp is the everything is NOT ABOUT MONEY. how much do you need? how many pairs of shoes or BMWs do you need slappz? is there one iota of caring about your fellow man who doesnt work on wall street (like the very charitable bernie madoff) and earn enough to even have a decent meal every day, let alone health care.efficiency – what about markets that are manipulated by companies like AIG, Citibank, Goldman Sachs etc – their borderline criminal activities makes them better purveyors of the market than the govt? you have to be is not always about profit and efficiency – like you think. maybe if we cared a little more about each other and less about the fear and paranoia that rules our lives we would be a lot better of a society. but from i read of your responses – you dont seem to care about that all – all you care about is efficient markets to make MORE money to buy more thingsbecause that worked out so well under bush!!!! —i think a little socialism mixed with a little capitalism and a lot of compassion is a far better system the slappzismand toujours – both of your responses are some of the best things i have read in a long time!

  29. I'll respond to toujoursdan later.d-cap, you ranted about efficiency, as though it's an evil. Unfortunately for you, in the speech Obama gave today, he talked about the huge INEFFICIENCIES of Medicare and how he would improve the efficiency of Medicare enough to cover much of the expected bill for a national plan.You, however, seem to favor Inefficiency — paying people to do things that accomplish little or nothing. How much inefficiency can an economy stand before it collapses?There is an answer to this question. At the corporate level GM has given its response, as have other bankrupt companies that have fallen from public consciousness over the years.For some reason, people want to believe that some drastic change will overtake the healthcare industry.Suddenly every person who works in the industry will ask for — beg for — a pay cut. Doctors, nurses, therapists, technologists. The hospital cleaning crew. Everyone at Pfizer, all the Phds, all the scientists, the researchers, everyone will beg for pay cuts.Then the companies themselves will fundamentally change their financial obligations, choosing instead to operate without any concern for paying debts of every type.In the world of pharmaceutical companies there is one named Genzyme. It produces a drug for patients suffering from Gaucher disease. Gaucher is a genetic disorder that is usually fatal if untreated. Fortunately there are only about 5,000 cases in the world. About 1,000 Gaucher patients live in the US.The drug that keeps Gaucher sufferers alive is expensive. About $300,000 per year, per person.Genzyme is the only producer of the drug. The only previous producer handed off the drug to Genzyme because it was losing money for its efforts.Perhaps the government should assume the role of pharmaceutical manufacturer in addition to car manufacturer. That's okay with me. But do you believe the government would manage to treat ALL the Gaucher sufferers? I don't.In a country flowing with top-quality marijuana, the Legal Marijuana sold under the banner of medicinal pot is described crap. Are you shocked? No. I'm sure you are not.My point boils down to the observation that you want to see the US achieve two goals in healthcare — complete coverage for everyone at low cost — but you cannot admit they are mutually exclusive goals.Meanwhile, even Obama admits Medicare is a bloated, mismanaged agency.Even you can admit that when Medicaid in NY State costs $12,500 per person per year — double the national average cost of healthcare — something is way out of whack with the government program.

  30. Given that 40% of every healthcare dollar spent in the U.S. private healthcare sector goes to the private bureaucracy, overhead and profit, I don't think you're one to scream about inefficiency and bloat.There is simply no reason why the U.S. cannot deliver universal coverage at a much lower cost per patient than it does now.If other countries can do it, the U.S. can. If the current agencies aren't doing it efficiently, then look abroad and copy what is going on in other nations. American society isn't that unique.The idea that government is somehow more inefficient than the private sector is an nice ideological talking point, but free market capitalism is like communism in that it's a great theory, but doesn't really work in real life.

  31. health care is a right, not a privilege for the richshould we just let all the people with gaucher die because it is too expensive to keep them alive?i am sure if some asshole GOP senator had a child with Gaucher he would be the first on line to get the $300,000 drugs for his kid.just like the victims of hurricane Wilma – my father said his very republican bush loving neighbor was the first one down at FEMA taking free for efficiency – AIG and Lehman brothers – need i say more. capitalism speckled with american greed is just as inefficient as socialismas for medicaid in NY costing more – – grant you that – NY requires the counties to kick in money (25%) – adding another layer of bureacracy – NO other state does that. NY should be forced to abandon that. maybe proper healthc are just cannot have the super duper efficiences you so desire for the entire world

  32. I want what I want and I don't want to reach out a hand to help you, even though our fates are linked. Typical conservative attitude.It's about keeping all of what's mine for me and mine.

  33. limit this

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