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Veto

Posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Dave!Did you feel it?

Did you feel it?

If you were anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, you undoubtedly felt the presence of Elizabeth Hurley in Seattle yesterday, signing autographs at Nordstroms to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, I had a project deadline to meet, so driving over to Seattle so I could stand in line with a bunch of ladies in the cosmetics department and profess my undying love for all things Elizabeth Hurley was not in the cards.

Perhaps it's for the best. Keeping the fantasy alive and all that.

And then there's reality...

I've said before that blogging is not very difficult for me. Whenever I have free time during the day, I just grab my MacBook and type something out. I don't really think about it, and just blog whatever is on my mind. The average entry comes together in about 10 minutes (or a little longer if I have photos to work with or cartoons to draw).

But today was completely different.

Because this morning I read about President Bush's veto of the bipartisan bill to help provide healthcare to children that are from families making too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little money to afford insurance.

And then lost my mind.

This is my fifth attempt to put down my thoughts on the matter. The four other times I've tried throughout the day, I just end up typing "FUCK!" every other word and WRITING EVERYTHING IN ALL-CAPS. I'm beyond shock. I'm beyond anger. I can't even feign indifference. George Bush with all his money has never had to worry about how he's going to care for a sick child, and now it's fairly obvious that he doesn't give a fuck about people who do. This was a bill endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans. This was a bill supported by 72% of Americans. This was a bill that would cost relatively little compared to our $13 trillion dollar economy (and is positively paltry when compared to the cost of the war in Iraq). This was a bill that would provide desperately-needed health care coverage to over 9 million children (CHILDREN!!). This was a chance for George Bush to put his personal politics aside and do something for the good of the people he represents... something that a majority of these people are supporting.

But our president apparently doesn't give a fuck. He doesn't give a fuck about parents who can't afford insurance for their kids. He doesn't give a fuck about what Americans want. He doesn't give a fuck the well-being of children. And he certainly doesn't even give a fuck about his fellow Republicans who will be running for office next term, because stuff like this is what will push fence-sitters to vote Democrat.

He just doesn't give a fuck.

President Bush says his reason for killing the bill is because he's trying to halt the federalization of health care... "I don't want the federal government making decisions for doctors and customers." Which just goes to show that on top of not giving a fuck, he's completely clueless as well. Did he even READ the bill before he vetoed it? This program has NOTHING TO DO WITH FEDERALIZING HEALTH CARE!! The program would provide funds for STATE government to enroll children in PRIVATE health insurance plans. Perhaps he actually did read it, he just didn't understand it? I can't decide if that would make me feel better or worse.

I could go on and on. I could unleash my profound disappointment in our president. I could rage about how insane it is that the wealthiest nation on earth can't provide health care for all of its citizens. I could go crazy over how insurance lobbies are dictating policy to our elected officials. I could... but I won't. I don't want to discuss it anymore. I don't want to think about it anymore. I don't want to deal with it anymore. I just don't want to accept that our country is run by somebody so lacking in decency and compassion.

Or maybe it's because I don't give a fuck either.


Categories: Elizabeth Hurley, News - Politics 2007Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    if you cannot afford to take care of your children why must someone else have to pay for there care?

  2. Dave2 says:

    I don’t have any children.

    As to why our tax dollars should go towards providing health care to children in families of those who can’t afford it… that much is simple… it’s just the right thing to do.

    Much like ensuring that we have clean drinking water, providing access to affordable health care should be a function of a government established to “promote the general welfare” of its peoples (for reals… it says so in the preamble of The Constitution of The United States of America!… you can look it up!).

    Our government has created an environment where a very large (and ever-increasing) number of Americans are simply not ABLE to pay for their children’s health care because the cost of doing so is prohibitive. This is not just poor people, but average, hard-working American families. When something this horrific happens, it is the obligation of the government to spend our tax dollars to assist its citizens… much like using tax dollars to assist in recovery from other disasters, both natural (like hurricanes and earthquakes) and man-made (like war and fucking over your constituates by bending over to health insurance lobbyists and big drug companies).

    But mostly because its the right thing to do.

    I find it profoundly sad that I have to explain simple compassion for a child’s right to a healthy life here… it’s not like being raised poor and getting sick is something that a child has any control over… but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. There are people in this world who have no problem kicking a puppy, so it doesn’t take a huge leap of the imagination to realize that there are people who would be happy doing nothing while children are suffering. It’s not there their kids, so why should they care?

    Uhhhh… because it’s the right thing to do?

    Of course, if our government were doing its job in the first place, health care in the wealthiest nation on earth would be affordable to everyone and we wouldn’t be in this mess, but Bush doesn’t seem to give a fuck about that either. He’s rich and has free health insurance, so why should he?

    Oh yeah… because it’s his job!

    And, as should be clear to anybody who’s human, because it’s also the right thing to do.

  3. serap says:

    Well said Dave… unhealthy children have such limited options in life compared to healthy children, and they often grown up to be unhealthy adults, and therefore are unable to achieve as much in life as theIR healthy peers. I worked with underprivileged children for several years, but luckily, as healthcare is provided by the state here, it was one issue (of many) that we didn’t need to worry about. I would have happily paid towards appropriate clothing for them though… seeing them without coats in winter was horrible.

  4. Go get ’em, dude.

    But you are kind of missing the point aren’t you? I mean, he’s the DECIDER, after all…privy to all sorts of information that we poor pitiful peons can’t possibly ever know. We should just surrender our will to him and trust, that with God’s guidance and George’s REALLY BIG brain, we will inherit a world of peace and prosperity…a golden age of integrity and transparency in government never seen before in the WORLD.

    Because after all, that’s worked so well for us for the past seven years, right?

  5. I recognize that you published this on October 4th. Today is my birthday, so don’t be all flaming my ass back on this one.

    I agree that children need healthcare. I also agree that the middle class is very quickly losing their ability to afford basic necessities, such as health care, the rich are getting richer, and the poor are proliferating. I honestly am not educated enough to determine the true cause of the “death of the middle class”, but I am sure there are tons of pundits who will tell you why.

    But, I am in support of Bush’s veto. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not a bush lover. I have not been happy with either of his terms. I am not sure I will vote Republican again this time around; in fact, I probably won’t.

    But, I’ll be honest with you. First of all, I don’t think the bill was for enough money. Second of all, I didn’t agree with the age cap at 25. I think that is far too high. Third of all, I still think it’s premature to throw out some government-subsidized healthcare without determining how the healthcare system is going to handle it.

    Of course, I would rather a child have healthcare than none at all, but I am not sure that I want them getting the horrific and substandard care that government healthcare would provide. Trust me; I have been to military docs. They scare the hell out of me. I would almost rather the kids go to the emergency room and take their chances with a crappy ER doc than a doc that graduated at the bottom of their class, is from some Baltic state, can barely speak the language, and couldn’t care less about anyone he sees; just the number of people he can push through in an hour to maximize his profit.

    I think that what we have to worry about is, although this could be construed as a band-aid, America has a tendency to turn a band-aid into a solution by letting the scar build over the band-aid.

    Social security, for example. Welfare, for example. FDR never intended for welfare to be a long-term initiative. It was meant as a band-aid for the short term. But we turned it into a long term initiative, much to our detriment.

    So, if we create a band-aid for the woefully under-insured middle class, the government will be too lazy to actually solve the problem, and they will throw more money at the band aid, and before we know it, we have a really shitty version of socialized medicine.

    So, again, don’t get me wrong. Let’s insure everyone. I’m all for it. But god help us; let’s not throw a band-aid at the situation that will inevitably turn into the crappiest solution that we can’t get ourselves out of because we have legislated ourselves into a corner. Let’s do it the best way we can.

  6. Avitable says:

    Wow, your first comment of the day is an anonymous pussy. Impressive.

    Dave, just tell yourself “It will all be over soon”.

  7. Jill says:

    Bush isn’t against the bill, he’s against some of the stuff in it, and will be OK with it when it gets fixed.

    He proposed to increase SCHIP funding by $5 billion over five years. This is a 20 percent increase over current levels of funding. One of the biggest points of contention is that Congress’s bill turns a program meant to help poor children into one that covers children in some households with incomes of up to $83,000 a year. I’m sorry, but if you’re making $83,000 a year, you probably have your own health insurance and shouldn’t be eligible for this kind of program. The taxpayer shouldn’t be footing the bill for someone who has insurance. Which leads the other thing that would happen: Millions of American children who now have private health insurance into government-run health care. I don’t even want to think about what that would do to my taxes.

    It’s not that Bush isn’t looking out for the kids, he’s looking out for the taxpayer. If you want to blame anyone – blame Congress. Fix the bill and it will get passed!

  8. Kami says:

    Don’t you LOVE anons?

    It’s not about having children and being able to pay for “there” care. Children don’t choose the situation into which they are born. They don’t get to choose their parents – and what kinds of jobs those parents have.

    Children also cannot go out and get JOBS with medical benefits. THEY ARE CHILDREN.

    Yes, I have a child. And yes, he has health care from his father’s company. Lucky kid.

    Excellent post, Dave. No, he doesn’t give a fuck about anything, except maybe his stupid ranch.

  9. adena says:

    Thank God Oregon has the Oregon Health Plan, or my kids wouldn’t have Insurance at all right now.

    As it stands, they have full, free insurance.

    Pres. Bush is a moron.

  10. Jeff says:

    George Bush scares the crap out of me. I am worried that through his selfish ignorance, he alone has personally set in motion so many irreversible horrific actions that it will take decades for the world to “undo” what he has started – if they can be undone at all. For the last 8 years I’ve been embarrassed for our country.

  11. kim says:

    Bush is about 50 years to late to stop the beginning of federalizing health care… did he forget about medicare and medicaid?
    It is just the right thing to do.

  12. Tracie says:

    I love how that person posted that anon. Chicken…

    But good answer, Dave.

  13. Miss Britt says:

    To the anonymous commenter – why should “someone else” have to pay for their care?

    Because they are children. And the option of “working harder” like “my parents did” is not an option for them.

    And because if you’re going to PAY taxes – this is exactly the kind of thing taxes should go for.

    To Dave… you know, that frustration and not wanting to think about it anymore I think is a direct result of GW’s presidency. His Just Don’t Give A Fuck What The People Think attitude has made a lot of people feel like raging against the establishment is just an exercise in futility anyway.

    Politicians used to at least pretend to care about what people think, at least long enough to get re-elected.

    But this moron has proven that even that cursory glance down to the masses is no longer necessary.

  14. sizzle says:

    it IS the right thing to do. you don’t have to have children to understand that. and believing that people who have kids but can’t afford health care for them are somehow negligent or moochers of the system is very classist (among other things). why can’t we prioritize caring for one another? it’d make the world a better place.

    and, yes, i agree- our president lacks compassion and decency (and intelligence- which goes without saying).

    thanks for posting this, dave.

  15. Roberta says:

    I could have the teeniest amount of compassion if it WAS just that he were stupid. Or that his advisors were stupid.
    He is mean. He is proud of his ‘indifference’. He and his advoisors are the fucking axis of evil.

  16. Hilly says:

    Between Jeff and Miss Britt, there is not much left for me to say because my sentiments reflect both of theirs almost exactly. I will add, to that anonymous douchebag (who I only call a douchebag because it takes real guts to use your real name) this story:

    I lived with my friend Jennifer and her two kids for a few years. Jennifer was in nursing school, working as a nursing assistant, and picked up small odd jobs on the side just to make ends meet. Because all of her jobs were part time, she had no health insurance for herself or her kids and they suffered many times for it. Sure, we were all able to haul our asses to yet another 10 hours in the waiting room of the “indigent” County Hospital but that should never have been so for someone like my friend Jen, who was working and trying so damned hard to take care of her family. She was, as that person said, taking care of her own kids, even while bettering herself so that she could take care of them even better. So I get pissed off when I hear people make blanket statements like that. Sorry for the rant.

    On a lighter note…seriously? You did not make the drive to Seattle? Wow. ;)

  17. diane says:

    **Steam coming out of ears**

    I cannot deal with people who think “If you make x, well, then you should get insurance! You are just lazy!”

    I am self employed. I make…well, let’s just say enough not to be considered poor. I have consulted for the same company for 2 years. And when my COBRA ran out from my last job, I was screwed.

    I tried to apply for insurance. I WAS DENIED. I don’t have cancer, or any serious disease. Just a bit of reccurent IBS and some allergies, but it was enough for the insurance companies to say “Nope, sorry!”.

    I am now desperately trying to get on the state insurance. I actually feel bad because I know others need it worse than I do. But I need it, because I cannot afford $6000 for an MRI if I get kidney stones again. I cannot afford $11,000 for a biopsy should I need one, like an uninsured friend of mine needed.

    Anything, ANYTHING that makes insurance more accessible and hopefully more reasonably priced has my vote. I am not a huge proponent of socialized medicine, but the things we throw our money around on in this country sickens me.

    So please, PLEASE people–do not assume that if someone does not have insurance it is because they are lazy. Trust me, the state insurance application where I live took a hell of a lot of work.

  18. Dave2 says:

    Health care is a hot-button issue that can be debated on both sides FOREVER.

    And that’s the problem.

    It’s going to take FOREVER for the Health Care problem to be solved. As long as our government is divided and their time is spent fighting each other instead of coming together and fighting the problems we face, health care is never going to be fixed.

    Like all legislation that is formed by compromise, this bill may not have been perfect. This bill may not be exactly what everybody wanted. This bill may have parts that upset people. This bill may be just a band-aid on a gaping wound… but it’s still an effort to DO SOMETHING. Warts and all, this would have been welcome relief for people with children who are out of options and in desperate need of it.

    The Absurdist… Nah, I’m not going to flame your ass on your birthday! But I will reiterate that this program would not put any children on “horrific and substandard care that government healthcare”… it would instead enroll children in private insurance so they would get the same care other insured children would get. And I don’t think that these problems are going unsolved because our government is lazy, it’s because they’re spending their energy playing partisan politics.

    Jill… First of all, it was “fixed” enough that it was supported by both Republicans and Democrats who see a need to provide health care for needy kids. As I said, if we wait for this unachievable “perfect” bill that makes everybody happy, it will never happen. In the meanwhile, kids are suffering. Second of all, the $83,000 is a THEORETICAL limit because we don’t know where the poverty line will be in the five years this bill covers. This sounds to me like it was put in to appease Republicans who were afraid that Democrats will control the White House next year and move the poverty line so that the bill would give money to those making MORE than $83,000! It doesn’t really matter though, because this was a proposal by the state of New York and was rejected. IN REALITY, as in WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TODAY, is that the bill would only fund those at three times the poverty line, or $60,000… so Bush’s big argument (which is now apparently yours) doesn’t hold water.

  19. I had an entire comment written, and I asked my WHH to review it and now it’s gone. I think he clicked on something he shouldn’t have. He’s not used to this stuff.

    Anyway, to “The Absurdist” I pray that you never have a disabled child. Do you think that a disability magically disappears at the age of 25? Do you understand that NO insurance company will insure someone with a “pre-existing” condition, or if they consent to insure the individual, it will cost more than one would earn at their job working less than 40/hrs/wk?

    Jill… so $720,000,000 per day spent on a war in Iraq that is killing our sons and daughters is more important than keeping the rest of our children healthy? I’m no mathmetician. Never have been, but your argument is bullshit.

    I don’t blame all of this on George Bush. He’s way too fucking stupid to fuck up our country, but his advisors are the gawddamn Axis of Evil.

    I think I should STFU now. Dave, you’re right on. Our country is so fucked up, and has been for a long time. It makes me so mad I want to SPIT!

  20. Kyra says:

    I think the general public forgets the fact that the children are the future of the country. I don’t mean that in a sappy sense, I mean it in an economic one. Our birthrates in the US have been falling, and with the added gap created by the baby-boomer population, our GDP is in serious jeapordy in the next 50 years or so. If you are going to have less children and thus less people working for your country’s own good, you had damn well better take care of them.

    This isn’t just about the children, and that doing right by them is simply the right thing to do (and it is), but it’s also about ensuring the economic stability of the United States (regardless of which moron is holding office over the years.) If you bring up a generation in ill health, that has already been declining in numbers, you are setting yourself up in a weak position for continuing prosperity as a whole. If a person is such a jackass that they can ignore the actual wellbeing of a child because of tax dollars in this moment, they had better pay attention to the impact that this poses in the future outlook for this country. And if a person can’t see either aspect as needing attention, they’re so blind nothing will help anyway.

    Regardles of the bill’s problems, it still would have been a step in the right direction, instead of sitting around doing nothing which most can agree is the wrong one.

  21. Wayne says:

    Come on – Bush has made it clear that he wants to renew the program, and even is willing to approve an increase in spending. But the authors of the bill also made it clear that their sole interest is in increasing their voter base, and creating more people on the dole. If they really cared about children, they’d give some of their own money into it instead of passing a law redistributing wealth. They would pass incentives for individuals to donate instead of mandating a state-run system.

    I think that if someone is on welfare, they shouldn’t be able to vote. If you want the PRIVILEGE (not right) of voting, you must be somewhat self-sufficient. If that provision were put in there, I’d say pass the bill as-is, because then my concerns are taken care of.

    My motto – ACT liberal, VOTE republican. I can’t believe it when people hear I’m for the Bush Healthcare veto, they think I’m a compassionless, heartless pig. I give. I give a LOT. I give money, I give time, I give love, I give energy and I give a lot of effort to those less fortunate than I. Anyone who needs something, I give. Who is the government to take THAT away from me too? They think that they can take my money so THEY can “give” to who THEY want and how THEY want to redistribute my money. Sick bastards, if you ask me. They just want more votes next time around, and they’re buying those votes with MY MONEY.

    Any time the STATE is more important than the INDIVIDUAL, you’re talking Lenin, Mao, Hitler, Marx. Communism. Dictatorship.

    AND DAVE — I love your post. I sent Liz your way but I can only do so much. I told you I was pulling strings for you, but maybe I should have been more clear and told you – hey bud, she’ll be just a couple hours away. But NOOOOOOO, you had to go and miss it. She’s already called me TWICE asking “So, where’s this Dave you kept telling me about? You said he’d be funny, and witty, and give me a shirt or two, but he didn’t show. Just a bunch of homeless people coming in asking for my money and some perfume. GAHHAHHH!”

  22. Dave2 says:

    So when the bread-winner of a family with a sick kid loses their job… NOT because they are lazy and don’t want to work… but because economic policy has destroyed their ability to even have a job… it’s just too bad, because now he’s poor and the rest of us shouldn’t be bothered to keep a fellow American from helping his child? Really? The wealthiest nation on earth should let future generations grow up sickly so they are an even further drain on taxpayers? We should just cancel this man’s right to vote because he lost his job, has a sick kid, and is now a detriment to society?

    You have it all backwards. When individuals no longer matter, when the few get to decide the fate of the many, THEN you’ve got a dictatorship.

    You keep talking about YOUR MONEY. Well it’s my money too. It’s also the money of tax-paying citizens who can’t afford health care because our government bends to the will of special interests and does nothing to put proper health care within reach of too many of its citizens. It’s average Americans trying the best they can to just get by as they live paycheck to paycheck and are then financially devastated because one of their kids gets sick. And then they’re an even FURTHER drain and should be discarded? That’s not America. Well, it’s not MY America, and it shouldn’t be yours either.

    Besides, MY MONEY is being spent on a war that is putting our troops in harm’s way because of a rash decision based on bad information with no exit strategy. So climb down off the cross, because you’re not the only one who feels frustration at the way their tax dollars are spent. Bush got his war, why don’t those of us on the other side of the fence get to win one every once in a while? And, in this case, it’s the MAJORITY of us. It’s Democrats AND Republicans. It’s the will of the people being ignored.

    You can go on all you want about how the authors of the bill are doing this for the votes (a statement I disagree with), but I can say the same thing about Bush catering to voters like you who are against state-run assistance programs. And that’s the point… it’s ALL politics. That’s all it EVER is. Until our elected officials come together and solve the big problems… like ensuring affordable health care… programs like this can help a lot of people who don’t deserve to be abandoned by society because they find themselves poor.

    I hear you when you claim to “give and give and give,” and that’s a good thing… but there are problems larger than what any individuals can solve, and for our president to use distortions (IT’S FEDERALIZED HEALTH CARE!!), untruths ($83,000!!), and personal bias (I WANTED TO PASS IT, BUT ONLY MY WAY!!) as a veto excuse is just sad. I don’t vote Democrat or Republican, I vote for the candidate. I vote for intelligent, hard-working, compassionate people with a desire to serve ALL America’s citizens and make this country the best it can be…

    Not somebody who doesn’t give a fuck.

  23. martin says:

    We are so lucky here in the UK to have The National Health Service. It is creaking a little bit,but still gives wonderful service. I would say that 99% of politcians are total crap. Noses in the trough as we say here.

  24. Darci says:

    GW does not see the big picture…he never does. By providing healthcare for the kids who are lost in the middle he increases the productivity of those parents – instead of waiting for hours in understaffed clinics, they are in at their jobs. This will cut down on absenteeism in the work place and in schools.

    But that would not be the GW way, no it would not.

    As for Anon…I have no words…that is just sad.

  25. bogup says:

    Dave2,
    You are absolutely correct. As a society we have an obligation to provide health care for children in need and to assist the elderly in their waining years. The current situation is only because of misplaced priorities given all the wasted $$$ the gov’t spends each year on special interest programs and war.
    The most vulnerable around us — children and people with mental disabilities — are also, coincidentally, the ones with no clout when it comes to political influence. There is a problem of inefficient government to implement needed programs, but mostly it is the fault of political leaders who don’t represent the people and aren’t held accountable. While we should hope that non-profit organizations would fill in the gaps, and there is much good work is done by dedicated volunteers and United Way agencies, government must allocate resources to assist those in need, especially those who can’t help themselves. After all, we are already paying the huge costs through insurance rates and hospital rates that must cover those who show up at their door in need of emergency care.
    The health care system is broke in America and we can’t leave it to the insurance companies, or Bush, or special interests to solve it. We need strong political and civic leadership, and unfortunately that is one commodity which is in very short supply.

  26. the patient says:

    Oh the stories that I could tell of what I’ve experienced in just a couple of weeks of dealing with this country’s care of its citizens, in my case, the elderly. It is completely nonsensical how low the safety net is set. I mean, at that height, considering the give in the net, you still are going to slam into the ground. And don’t forget how the Bush administration also made it harder to recover yourself by declaring bankruptcy.

    Truly, it is a sad sad thing that this country ever elected such an idiot, not to mention elected him twice.

  27. Wayne says:

    I wish there were checkboxes on my paycheck, where could could vote to where my money goes. I’d give it all to the military and roads, and you could give it all to welfare, kids health insurance and $5000 baby bonds. That way each gets the money they need, and we both feel better! Win-win!

    Oh wait. Then I really would be the evil bastard here, because if the social programs didn’t get the money, I could sit back and be all smug and say “well, we’d have the money if people agreed with you”. And if the military didn’t get the money, I could still sit back and be all smug and we’d spend the money anyway, because, well, it’s our military and they always get the money they need.

  28. Dave2 says:

    Actually, I would give all my money to abstinence-only sex education programs… they’re just so darn effective in reducing teen pregnancy!

  29. Hilly says:

    Color me a bit snarky and confused but I thought that voting actually IS a right and not a privilege? Why should someone on welfare not be allowed to vote? Not everyone on welfare is a lazy ass who doesn’t want to work. Some people lose their jobs and are unskilled for anything else. I go back to my friend, the nurse, who was actually government assisted for awhile after her husband left her with two kids and she needed a little help to pull up her bootstraps. She had no right to vote because of that?

    I think some statements are being too generalized here but that’s just me and my liberal bleeding heart ;)

  30. Tal says:

    Ghaaaa! Reading your post and all the comments, as much as I know the Canadian system has its problems, I get to go visit my doctor today, and I have no worries. With all my health problems, I will never “lose” any insurance and be denied coverage. Even if I lose my job, I can break my bones and not have to declare bankrupcy! (Booyah!) And I can have kids have some devastating disease like brain cancer…. but at least I won’t be financially devastated!

    I really don’t know who I agree with…. Kids SHOULD be protected. But seriously, if I lived somewhere where insurance was something I had to buy, it would be the like 3rd priority after house and food. Especially if I had kids.

    I think its one of the reasons why places have socialized medical. If you give people the option of NOT getting insurance, too many people risk not getting it. Pretty big gamble there. But I’ve also seen horror news stories of people who DO have medical insurance in the US and even then, it doesn’t cover much, and they still have to file for bankrupcy.

  31. ChillyWilly says:

    Agree 100%. You said everything I would have said. The word clueless described GWB and his lack of doing anything without some sort of agenda.

    Until this country can figure out how to focus on and take care of their own, we’ll see more bad decisions like this happen.

  32. Lexie says:

    first you say lies now you joke about abstinance education NEWSFLASH IF TEENS DONT HAVE SEX THEY WON’T HAVE BABIES THAT NEED HEALTHCARE $$$$

    you say Bush is stupid but obviously you are the stupid one if you can’t figure this out so get a clue

  33. Dave2 says:

    Yay! I was hoping that someone would come along and put words in my mouth, and here you are!

    I may have said that Bush was lacking compassion and tells untruths to justify his actions, but at no point did I call him “stupid.” That would be you.

    But, more importantly, you’ve just proven my point for me, so thanks again!

    Abstinence only education has been shown to be highly ineffective in preventing teen pregnancy. In fact it actually seems to encourage it. I’m guessing this is because kids who commit to abstinence don’t carry condoms. This means that if they do end up having sex, they’re the least prepared for it, and are more likely to end up diseased or pregnant over some kid who has been educated in condom use, which our president doesn’t support.

    So yes, health care would be better off if teens weren’t having babies. So when Bush’s idea of curbing teen pregnancy is to give millions of dollars to evangelical religious groups so they can promote abstinence-only education that doesn’t work… well, there’s a pickle for you. First Bush’s program is ineffectual in preventing teens from getting AIDS and having babies… then he slaps down a veto on a program which would assist in a problem his policies actually encourage. It’s this lovely kind of circular lack in logic that makes people think Bush is stupid.

    But not me. I did not say that.

  34. Mark says:

    I think it is a bad bill. As stated previously, the federal government should not be providing healthcare for children in families making $83,000.

    I hate to sound so insensitive but either stop having kids or get a second job.

  35. Dave2 says:

    As I said in my comments, this is not factual information. You (and the president) are quoting a dollar amount that was from a previous proposal by the state of New York that was REJECTED. The actual amount is three times the poverty line, or $60,000.

    I respect your opinion that this is a bad bill, but you should be basing your opinion on facts, not what Bush is telling you. The $60,000 figure is widely available to anybody who should care to research the facts. There are even Republicans in support of this bill who have stood up and clarified this point.

    Well, I should clarify my OWN point and say that the $60,000 figure is widely available outside of FOX NEWS, where I’m guessing it’s not mentioned in the interest of “fair and balanced reporting,” but whatever! :-)

  36. diane says:

    What a great discussion–so many interesting points. Kyra really hit me with the thought of the impact of the uninsured on the economy. As an HR professional, I’ve seen that. PT workers who couldn’t go full time b/c of child care issues didn’t have insurance and put off going to the doctor until things were so severe that they had to take a month off to recover. And the right to vote thing really has me thinking. Once upon a time, not that long ago really, women and blacks were not considered privileged enough to vote. When does classism begin to look as bad as racism and sexism?

  37. Hilly says:

    Diane, no kidding – it already does look bad. I mean seriously, who are we to dictate a dollar amount for who can and cannot vote? We all should have every right given to us under the various amendments to the US Constitution which site several reasons that a person shall not be denied the right to vote. And now, people are saying that monetary classism should be segregated?

    Oy.

    And I’m sorry but it is narrow minded for anyone to think that Abstinence Education is the sole answer to teen pregnancy or any pregnancy otherwise. Are we as a country just going to say “well don’t do this and the world will all balance out” fully knowing that what we are asking will never happen? How about more safe sex education and more parents actually taking the time to be real about the fact that their kids are having sex and to take measures to make sure they have all of the precautionary tools necessary. We can’t just shut our eyes and pretend that people are going to abstain. That will never ever happen.

  38. Dave2 says:

    Hey, I’m totally abstaining right now!

  39. diane says:

    ACK!!! Sorry to be a comment hog, but Mark hadn’t posted when I responded a bit ago.
    PLEASE do not assume that not working hard enough is the reason anyone doesn’t have insurance!!!
    I have no children. I have a well paying job. I have no insurance.
    I am self employed, and at times I work close to 60 hours a week which allows me no time for a second job. And it wouldn’t matter if I did have one, the insurance companies could STILL DECIDE TO REJECT ME. If you have never tried to get on your own insurance, you have no business talking about other people being lazy, because believe me, it is no easy task.
    Why haven’t I just gotten a full time job with a company? Because what I do is not a job that’s usually hired full time, it is usually on a consultancy basis. I like what I do and where I work and I’ve spent 7 years doing it.
    But I should just quit my job and work at Starbucks, it would seem, so I can get insurance. Where I will then have an unstable future and in 5 years maybe end up homeless and then you can gripe about me and the other homeless people some more, eh?
    Seriously, I want ONE person who is against this bill to step forward who has ever had to be responsible for their own insurance. You have no idea how difficult it is otherwise.

  40. ET says:

    In my opinion the COST of healthcare in the US is an ‘elephant in the room’ that no one seems to want to address. Where I grew up there were 3 big hospitals. One was run by the Baptists, another the Catholics, and the third was the County Hospital. Now 2 of them are owned by a ‘heathcare group’ (for-profit corporation). These groups are buying up hospitals, outpatient treatment centers, nursing homes, etc. They used the excuse that they can be more efficient and pass on the savings to the public but, the bottom line is they’re all about the bottom line – profit.

    20 years ago, when I had an appendectomy in a NYC hospital it was a 2 day stay. I got a statement from my HMO saying that it cost $5,000 and I was appalled. I just read that in California, now, a simple appendectomy costs on the average of $18,000. Needless to say, I’m even more appalled.

    There’s a zillion reason’s why this sort of stuff is happening. There’s stupid stuff like sloppy bookeeping: A guy didn’t have insurance, daughter needed knee surgery, he got all the costs up front and prepaid the operation – $4,500. He later got a bill for an additional $21,000 for a 20 hr. stay at the hospital. A requested itemized bill was so cryptic as to be useless. Fortunately, he kept detailed notes of her entire stay but, he had to have a sit-down with them before they adjusted the charges down to around $600. Some of the cost increases may come from a careless, general outdated outlook of: “Eh, whatever! Insurance will pay for it.” which is, of course, no longer the case.

    I think the biggest driving factor to the spiraling, obscene costs of healthcare is the fact that it’s callously, too profit driven. Pharmaceutical companies, doctors, healthcare providers see it as a big, fat, sacred-cash-cow. and they can just say “Whatever it costs, it worth it. After all, we’re talking about YOUR HEALTH, here.”. There are certainly many sincere devoted heathcare professionals but, I’m sure that when many doctors take the Hippocratic Oath their focus is more on visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads and it should be called the Hypocritic Oath. They see their profession as a ATM for a McMansion, luxury car, second vacation home, boat and other excessive displays of wealth and status.

    Of the top six wealthier nations of Germany, Britain, Australia, New Zeland, Canada and the U.S., their health care of each was rated on quality, access, efficiency, equity, and outcome. The U.S. came in last and cost the most. BTW & FYI all of the other countries provide Universal Heathcare. So, I believe that any measure of government funded heathcare should be instituted and that profit driven heathcare just for profit’s sake is inherently and ethically wrong…..just like making ethanol from food is wrong – just so Americans can drive SUV’s in a starving world.

    Whew!! After all that you’d think I”d have at least seen “Sicko” but, never got around to it. It was at one last hold-out theater, here, in NYC this week but, I just checked and now it’s gone..Guess I’ll have to wait for DVD next month.

  41. Melanie says:

    I don’t know if you accept fake Internet hugs from relative strangers, but:
    (((Dave)))
    And I understand. Even though I knew it was going to happen, it still really sucks. Really really sucks.

  42. Dave2 says:

    I know! Can you believe that Elizabeth Hurley was just 2 hours away, and I MISSED IT?! The horror!

    Ohhhhh! Oh… you were talking about the veto. Yeah, that really does suck. :-)

  43. amandarin says:

    Wow – I guess we can now add “healthcare” to the list of topics that are guaranteed to produce violent, knee-jerk reactions in polite company.

    Although I agree that this bill was far from perfect, I also agree that it was at least a step in the right direction. I am tired of watching our government get so tangled up in party politics that it can’t move forward even a centimeter.

    Similarly, I am tired of hearing the poor = lazy argument. Yes, there are plenty of lazy people on the planet who will find a way to abuse any aid program, but there are also plenty of determined people who just can’t make ends meet no matter HOW hard they work.

    I am a single woman with no children and no serious health concerns. I have a college degree and a job that is considered “good” by most standards, but you know what? I live on a such a slender budget that one thing, from an unexpected car repair to a sudden illness, can force me to live paycheck-to-paycheck for MONTHS. Not because I’m lazy, but because my salary forces me to walk such a razor-thin line. If I had to pay for my own health benefits (which mercifully I do not), I would have to choose between being insured and being able to eat.

    People like me are more common than anyone wants to admit. The “American Dream” is now just that, a dream. Determination and hard work are no longer a guarantee of stability and success.

    And finally, I’d like to point out that the $60,000 cap (or $83,000 for those of you insistent on quoting the wrong information) is per HOUSEHOLD, not per person.

    If we assume that a household is comprised of two working adults and a number of children, then each adult would have to earn no more than $30,000 (or $41,500) for the HOUSEHOLD to stay beneath the cap. That’s not much money, folks.

  44. yellojkt says:

    Your post sure brought out the dittoheads. Keeping children sick seems to be one of their priorities.

    All I know is that Compassionate Conservatism is neither.

  45. Dave2 says:

    And can you imagine if I had mentioned that the funds for the bill were to come from a 61¢ tax on cigarettes?

  46. Jill says:

    I just want to be clear that I have no problem with people who need help getting help. But living in New York and in one of the highest taxed counties in the country, I am very wary of where my hard-earned tax dollars are going. I am also really tired of seeing people scamming ‘the system’ costing everyone more money and ruining things for people who really need it. In my eyes, to see a ton of people to move onto government health care and have the public pay for it would be very bad.

    $80,000 (or $60,000 for those who want to use that figure) is a huge amount of money around here. The median income for a family in Buffalo and Niagara Falls is a little over $30,000. For someone around here to make $80,000 (or $60,000) and to get free health insurance is crazy.

    Congress should leave all the extra crap out the bill that doesn’t help the kids who need it. The bill should just be fixed, fast, and then passed.

    I also think that it’s important to understand why we have a health care problem in the United States, it’s important to know how we got there.

    President Bush’s response.

  47. Dave2 says:

    I suppose it depends on how many packs of cigarettes you smoke?

    No piece of legislation assembled by committee and hobbled by compromise will ever make everybody happy. You have to accept this when it comes to politics or nothing will ever be done. There’s always going to be stuff that some people consider “crap” just like there is going to be stuff that some people consider critical, which is subsequently eliminated from a bill to get it to pass.

    Still, the $60,000 is a theoretical amount, because it would be up to the states, NOT the federal government to determine what percent of the poverty line is eligible. This amount could end up being quite a bit lower.

    In any event, this bill was certainly better than most… providing essential health care for lots of needy kids, and paying for it by taxing cigarettes. Yes, a 61-cent tax on CIGARETTES! I mean, HOLY CRAP!!! Tobacco kills nearly a half-million people in the US alone, and runs up nearly $100 billion in health care bills EVERY YEAR! Not only would this bill help out needy kids, but it also works to make people stop smoking and eating up even more health care dollars!

  48. amanda says:

    I am so sorry you couldn’t see Elizabeth when she was so close to you!

    Also, I prefer to tell myself he’s a retarded idiot pushover rather than that one person can be so out of context with the American people and such a heartless prick

  49. Catherine says:

    From Amanda: “Also, I prefer to tell myself he’s a retarded idiot pushover rather than that one person can be so out of context with the American people and such a heartless prick”

    I had too, for a while, except that now I have come to understand that he is all of the above.

  50. ChillyWilly says:

    Dave… your abstinence statement 14 comments above was spot on. It’s that (lack of) logic in putting hormone-enraged teens into a program that tells them they need to “simply pray and turn off those feelings” without providing any other options in case prayers or holding back don’t work as “advertised” – that makes me just say “Huh?”

  51. Tracie says:

    Stop having kids? Gee.. why didn’t I think of that. *smacks self*

    Seriously Mark? Are you for real? First of all, the bill wasn’t for future kids….. it was for the kids that are already here, alive and kicking and would like to stay that way.

    I have kids.. a lot of them. And they are insured. We are lucky that we can afford it. But what if something happened and my husband lost his job, or even worse, was harmed in some way and the income stops rolling in like it used to. Even with two jobs I likely would not be able to afford health insurance. Do you think the answer “stop having kids” is going to help me? Genius.

    Voting is a RIGHT in this country, not a privilege.. Ugh, I’m just going to stop reading the comments on this post. Too many trolls.

  52. amanda says:

    I don’t want to beat a dead horse–but I totally disagree that 25 is “too old” for a federal health care program such as SCHIP. Young adults 18-27 are the population in this country that is most likely to be uninsured or underinsured. And if you are sick as a child, or heaven forbid, you get a long-term illness as a young adult (when you’re just starting out in the workforce, often with no or limited benefits and plenty of debt from college), you will be DENIED from almost all private insurance for the omni-present “pre-existing condition” clause. DENIED, as in, the rest of your adult life with no or very expensive insurance. If you hold any sort of job, you make too much money for Medicaid as a young person. But then again, Barbara and Jenna never had to worry about any of these concerns.

    The leadership in this country is so out-of-touch that it makes me want to cry.

  53. Judi says:

    As one of those ‘lazy’ people referred to in comments, I felt inclined to reply.

    First of all to Dave, I just want to say thanks for caring about this issue. Despite the comments otherwise, it’s nice to see that the health care issue concerns even those who it may not be a problem for. I used to be one of those people. And I honestly can’t say if I would have cared about a bill like this 8 years ago. But oh how things change.

    Like losing a spouse. And because of recent job changes there wasn’t any ‘valid’ life insurance at the time. (suicide) So I quickly went from a nearly six figure income, a comfortable middle class life, to having a little more than a third of that income with three kids. I considered myself lucky though. I had health insurance through my employer. It ate up a huge chunk of my paycheck for family coverage, but I had it. Forward one year later, my 8 year old is diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. Our employer had already notified us of a 25% increase in our share of insurance for the next year two weeks before he was diagnosed. Then to find out that some of his supplies aren’t covered, and the ones that are have $20/$25 co-pays. He had six different scripts to fill each month. So I took a second job. For well over a year and a half after he got sick, I worked two full time jobs. Until I couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t have enough time with my kids who needed me and it was detrimental to my health.

    So I quit one and tried to figure out ways to get by. Long story short, it didn’t work. So I did something desperate. I quit that job too. I got emergency coverage from the state health plan for my ‘sick’ son. (You can get it in a month instead of the six month normal waiting period) And I prayed my other two would be fine for six months because I couldn’t afford the COBRA payments. Of course that didn’t work as my youngest fell off a slide and broke his elbow requiring surgery. I still owe doctors’ and hospital for that.

    It’s now been a little over four years since I became ‘lazy’. Do I want to be? No. But our state health plan has a income limit of $38,000 a year to be eligible. This is a plan above the basic medicaid that I pay a portion of. So my choices are living like I am now, or working two full time jobs to be able to afford insurance/co-pays/deductibles. To me it’s not a choice.

    I do know people work two or three jobs to get by. Maybe I am lazy not to. But I have three kids who are now teenagers who are well adjusted and good students. To me it was worth it.

    But what I wouldn’t give to have a $60 or $80 thousand dollar ‘cap’ on income so we wouldn’t struggle every month to get by. Heck, I’d be thrilled with $50,000. It’s just that extra little bit that would allow us ‘lazy’ people to let my child have an extra glass of milk at night instead of being the food nazi I have to be.

    I’m sure at some point this will be passed in some shape or form. My state has been talking about raising the cap for several years, but it hasn’t happened. For me, it will probably happen too late. In a couple of years I’ll have no choice but to go back to working two jobs as a majority of my SS benefits will end.

    I suppose I am ‘lazy’ if I only want to work ‘one’ job and have health insurance. That is what this bill might have done for a family like mine.

    Thanks for your blog, Dave. I don’t remember how I found it, but it’s always a great escape to read and laugh along with you.

  54. Dave2 says:

    No, thank you for sharing… because there you have it.

    Here is the perfect example of exactly who this bill is meant to help out, and I’m sure there are thousands (if not hundreds of thousands? millions?) of similar stories to be told.

    For any faults this bill might have, it would ultimately do a lot of good for a lot of people… a lot of children. And yet our president, who has no problem tossing a half-trillion dollars at Iraq, won’t allow a “paltry” 12 billion dollars in annual cigarette taxes be approved for the next five years to help out some kids.

    It’s things like this that make you proud to be an American.

  55. Mark says:

    Okay, $60,000 for a limit. That is still a lot. I make $73,000 a year and support a family of five. What seems to be the problem?

    To the gentlman that posted about being self employed and working 60 hours per week, my grandfather worked two jobs for a total of 80 hours per week, and raised 4 children. If was really important that you had health insurance you would find a way.

    I think that our priorities are all screwed up. I cannot comment on your life but I have friends that live paycheck to paycheck because they have to have a certain type of car or tv. Then they complain how the republicans are screwing the middle class. They have all the toys and no savings. When they retire they will be asking for the government to give them a pension, and ask why their company didn’t provide them with a pension.

    I am not a fan of Rush Limbaugh. He is a jackass. I am not a fan of George Bush, he has been a bad president.

    So what box are you going to put me in now?

    Let’s call me a personal responsibility advocate.

  56. Dave2 says:

    No box… and that’s the entire point.

    $73,000 is a good living in some parts of the country… in other places it would be a challenge to make ends meet. $73,000 for a family of five with no major health problems may be a comfortable life. $73,00 for a family of three with a very sick child might be barely enough to scrape by.

    As I have said again and again and again, there is no one plan that fix everything perfectly because bills are built from compromise. But, despite what President Bush is saying, this is NOT federalized health care… it would be up to individual states as to where the cut-off to qualify for the plan might be. It could be that it’s not the max of $60,000… maybe it’s $45,000… maybe even less. The important thing is that SOMETHING is being done, even if some people benefit who probably shouldn’t. That’s just the way it is with government programs that are trying to help the most people possible. But in the grand scheme of things, that would probably be the exception, not the rule, and a lot of kids would be helped out. That’s the big picture.

    You also have to keep in mind that we are in an economic recession where good jobs are becoming harder and harder to find. Health care is getting more and more expensive. The amount of money your grandfather spent to buy health insurance is a fraction of the percentage of outlay that it is now. This is not just buying a new car when you should be saving your money… this is your uninsured child coming down with leukemia, and you lose everything to get the best care you can afford. You say that if it was important to have health insurance, people would find a way… but it’s just not that simple. In an increasingly large number of cases there just ISN’T a way. That’s what this bill is meant to fix.

    People have labeled me a liberal because of how I feel on issues like this. Others have labeled me a conservative because of how I feel on other issues. I vote for both Democrats and Republicans depending on who I think will do the best job. I am not affiliated with any political party, and don’t vote party lines. I don’t even have any kids. But an issue like this doesn’t come down to dollars and cents… it comes down to doing what’s right. And making sure that children living in the wealthiest nation on earth have affordable health care isn’t a matter of dollars and sense to me. It’s just the right thing to do.

  57. Hilly says:

    Can I just chime in and be incredibly gauche in order to make a point? I make close to what the salary range that everyone is throwing around and still have a hard time making all of my ends meet due to where I live. In the last three years, I had to spend 30K plus on dental work and I HAD insurance. I have no kids and am not a frivolous person who just spends money and has no priorities but I am telling you this….there is no way in hell that I could support 4 children on my salary living here in Orange County, California…no freaking way. So not everyone in every part of the country has it as simple as just “finding a way”. I think of the cost of living in places like Los Angeles and New York then also think of parents working three jobs each with no insurance, doing the best they can.

    I think we keep telling people that they are not doing enough to better themselves yet at the same time, when is our leader going to do something to better his country?

  58. Dave2 says:

    Well, if you’re part of an industry that destroys the environment, then President Bush had done all kinds of things to make your life a lot easier!

  59. Walt Lansberry says:

    Dave I only read the first comment so forgive me if I repeat.

    But I’m sick of every one running around thinking they are paying for something they don’t want or someone else’s failures. I would rather see my taxes go to a neighoring family than to have a rich politian suck my money into his wallet or waste it on corporate welfare or to redevelopment programs like tax free industrial parks that are all bullshit.

    Why should we pay for kids? Why should we pay for corporations? Why do corporations receive $1,500 in tax breaks for laying off workers? Why should we pay for the financial bail out of banking firms? Why should we pay for subprime lenders to throw cash at folks that are over extending in their credit? Why should we pay six percent interest on every dollar printed to the share holders of the Fed?

    Are these people for real? You can never afford children! Those folks who have kids realize what I’m talking about. As a parent, you want to throw every opportunity you can at your child and the cost means nothing, until you are about to lose your home.

    What we are talking about is do we want healthy children or not. The President of The United States apparently does not. But who can blame him, it’s easier to rise to the top when the competition is distracted by their debts.

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