Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Riddle me this ....

.... Libraries didn't put bookstores out of business.

Public schools didn't take away a parent's choice to send Junior to a private school.

The UPS didn't get in the way of FedEx or UPS.

Public transportation doesn't discourage people from buying cars.

Why then are people afraid of a public health insurance option?

* * *


Erin O'Brien said...

Just think--if public libraries weren't already established entities and a movement tried to start them up, imagine how the likes of Borders or B&N would fight it.

(S)wine said...

there is really only one reason i can think of: stupidity (which breeds fear, which is constantly underscored by the GOP)

Anonymous said...

It's not people who are afraid--it's a well organized and very influential lobby of insurance groups. The people, by numbers I've heard as high as 65% want some public option. In my humble opinion, the Democrats, with their majority, are missing a golden opportunity. There will be hell to pay in the midterm elections if this chance is squandered.

Tony said...

Greed and ignorance are easy prey to powerful lobbiests.

dean said...

People are being told lies by powerful groups with huge amounts of money behind them. These groups have a hell of a lot to lose.

Plus there's the whole 'socialism' thing, an overhang from the dimwitted Red Scare days.

LimesNow said...

Well, already this is not original, but I'll ring in with agreement - lobbyists with power, money and the ability to persuade the ignorant, while up to 65% of us are saying "Do this!" Some of the TV spots are hideous: "Nevada senior citizens, call your senator NOW! Something bad is about to happen."

Anonymous said...

Change scares people and the hucksters prey on those fears.

True Story to amplify deans point about socialism. Elder fellow in the office the other day got triggered for some reason, starts ranting about the demise of "America." (Capitalism) States "What were those guys in THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR fighting for?"
Ya can't make this stuff up.


Anonymous said...

paid by taxpayers

huge lots of new rules

changes in the way medicine is done

this govt is way too big already

ps. red scare days weren't "dimwitted" duh

Tag said...

I haven't heard this recently but a few years back there were some authors speaking out againest libraries cutting in to thier profits. Seems a silly arguement to me.

Anonymous said...

Four perfect examples of failures. The common thread, all government run or supported. Do you really want the same quality of people that run your local DMV to run your health care?

James Old Guy

ben said...

My library is anything but a failure. We use it all the time. Can't go to Circuit City anymore, they didn't make a profit.

I shudder to think what a private DMV would be like. Preferential treatment for a lucky few, denial of service at all to others. Quadruple the paperwork.

Same with the roads. "I'm sorry, you aren't authorized to use this highway, it's only for Members. you'll need to detour through Louisiana to get to New Mexico."

How about our police and EMTs? "Do you have a pre-approval from your local Captain to call 911? If not, I can try and work you in sometime tomorrow." They would have responded to 09/11 sometime in 2002.

We spend $300 billion on paperwork every year right now. Imagine if we could cut that by 10%? 20%?

There are at least six health industry lobbyists for every member of congress.

Follow the money.

I don't need to be 'anonymous,' but I appreciate the option.

(S)wine said...

yea, actually my DMV is amazingly efficient. so, uh...yea James Old Dood, yes. I would like my health care run that way.

by the way, that is a tired old question we've all heard before from the conservative side. feed us something new.

and my answer to your next highly-anticipated, straight out of the playbook question is this: right now we have a CEO standing between us and our doctors. i'd much rather have an elected bureaucrat than a promoted fatcat only interested in maxing profits for shareholders.

Kirk Jusko said...

Here's one for the 21st Century: Libraries haven't put computer stores out of business.

Kirk Jusko said...

By the way, couldn't help but look at the Twitter thing on the right. Just what are you and jaketapper talking about? Did Laura Petrie do a centerfold?

Erin O'Brien said...

Kirk: OKAY I ADMIT IT ALREADY!!! I'M TRYING TO GET JAKE TAPPER'S ATTENTION ON TWITTER! You people know I have a thing for news anchors, dontcha??

The original content was something about working in pajamas. Hell if I can remember exactly what. This here has been one long day at Casa OB.

Erin O'Brien said...

Gotta chime in on the USP. Aren't they mandated by law to go to every address six days a week? I think the head honcho over there only makes about $1 million a year.

I think the post office gets a bad rap. The volume is shrinking because of these here pooters we all use, but they're mandated to continue with a certain level of service.

As for libraries, NE Ohio has the best around: in CLE and CUY county, even our college libraries are top notch.

Public schools? Sure, I have my complaints, but I also know how much better they are than private. Every parent I know who transfered their kid from private to public can't believe how badly they were being fleeced in the private sector--and for a far inferior education. Granted, the schools in our district are pretty damn good. Other districts have real problems--but that's a home rule issue and that's a whole new topic for another post.

But what's REALLY hard to take is that James Old Guy gets VA health insurance (to which I believe he is wholly entitled). So Mr. Smith, government supplied health care is good enough for you, but not good enough for the rest of us?

Anonymous said...

Dearest James Old Guy,

The DMV is not a parallel analogy. Last time I checked there were no licensed medical professionals at the DMV.

If thats too complex for you let me try it in your idiom.

You're a dumbass.


dean said...

ps. red scare days weren't "dimwitted" duh

I notice that people who are opposed to socialized medicine (I'll call it what it is - I'm Canadian, it's socialized, and it's way the fuck better than what y'all have) also tend to be the people who think that reds still lurk under the occasional bed.

Some of them are even people who object to a certain man occupying the White House because of the colour of his skin. Right James?

Glass Houses said...

I think a lot of people are balking at the idea of public health insurance because it irks them to pay for insurance for those who can't or won't work.

Problem is - we already do. Who pays for Healthy Start and similar programs? (that's about $10,000 per child born to a mother without insurance.) The tax payers.

When that drug dealer on the corner gets shot, who pays for his hospital stay? The tax payers.

I for one am tired of working my ass off to pay into a system that will not help me because I work my ass off.

It is the hard working, tax paying, blue collar, middle class that goes broke trying to stay healthy on privatized health insurance, while we watch those who can't or won't work get a free ride.

I'd like to see the taxes work for the people who actually pay them.

Erin O'Brien said...

Although everyone's opinion is welcome here, please refrain from name calling here.

And Glass Houses, that was well said. We are all paying in the most ridiculous way. Now it seems the Senate Finance Committee has passed the bill. Where do we go from here??

LimesNow said...

Ahead. We go ahead from here. Some place that will be better or worse, but at least different from something few can fail to recognize was broken. god bless Olympia Snowe! "When history calls, history calls."

Kirk Jusko said...

The Senate bill now has to be reconciled with the House bill.

LimesNow said...

One step at a time . . .

Anonymous said...

And the reconciliation is the fight. It will be ugly--Republicans charging an end run around the process and whipping the usual suspects up in a frenzy about "socialized medicine." Glass Houses is absolutely correct, every ER visit the poor make (usually when a problem has gotten out of control) is paid by either those with health insurance or the taxpayer. We should be getting a better return on our expenditures.

As for Congress,it seems somehow morally indefensible that they should enjoy a gold-plated healthcare sysem (as well as a defined benefit retirement system but that's a different story) and vote to withhold that from their constituents.

As a taxpayer, I am willing to pay more so that everyone has access to some level of care, even though I already have health insurance. It is what a compassionate country should do. What really is the alternative? Allow people to die for want of care?

Finally, government is us, RJ--not some Boogey man. We have the capacity to run Medicare, VA and other health care programs--we can run a national system for everyone who needs it. To say we can't is to somehow say we are unable to do what every other developed nation on Earth has done. jemison

Anonymous said...

For a few moments everyone might want to drop the name calling and actually read the bills being proposed. I have.

james old guy

Glass Houses said...

James - seems to me only one person stooped to name calling, and was reprimanded.

Many of the posters here appear to be well read and well informed on the subject. The fact that they don't agree with you after having read the same material doesn't mean they didn't understand it.

Erin O'Brien said...

You're exactly right, Glass.

Jeepers creepers, Mr. Smith, you righties sure are good at blowing things out of proportion.

Seeing as you insult me on oh-so-many sites on these here internets, that's a bit jelly-kneed, ain't it?

The cliche goes something like this: You can dish it out, but you can't take it.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem being called a dumbass or racist, oh yeah it was not direct but it was there. I have more respect for RJ at least he doesn't tiptoe around his opinion. I doubt if anyone here has read the bills being presented. Its our 800 Billion or so dollars so it might be worth your while.


LimesNow said...

Glass Houses, you hit it on the head.

How arrogant for one commentor to think he could be the only one in a group who troubled to read the bills. We can read. We just don't share your opinions.

Glass Houses said...

Because they disagree with you, you assume they haven't read it?

That's a bit near sighted, friend.

Your opinion of the bill is not the only possible conclusion. If there were only one possible conclusion to every written document, there wouldn't be so many different religions, would there?

I'm sorry you were singled out. But if we're going to talk about tip-toeing around something, you basically called everyone who doesn't agree with you ignorant.

Why is it okay for you to name call and not others?

Glass Houses said...

It would be rude of me to post my own personal health care story from last week here on Erin's blog. It might be equally rude to direct readers to my blog...but with apologies I'm going to do it anyway.


What happened to me last week happens to millions of Americans every day. Except it doesn't always work out so well.

dean said...

I have no problem being called a dumbass or racist, oh yeah it was not direct but it was there.

Oh, I have no problem being direct, JOG. You're a racist, but that's not namecalling, that's an observation of fact.

However, you entirely missed the point, which is not surprising really.

See, I was drawing a comparison between the irrelevance of the actual existence of any bed-hiding commies to the pant-shitting of the North American right and the irrelevance of the White House occupant's skin colour to the quality of the job he is doing.

My point being, you see, that people who see relevance in the one are likely to see relevance in the other.

Which you do.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. O'Brien,
I don't wish to join the heated political debate here (because I think I am in the minority), but I did want to drop you a quick note in praise of your late brother. I was intrigued by the movie LLV and the subject of severe alcoholism and decided to further persue the subject by reading the book. It remains one of my favorites of all time. I was even more enthralled and shocked by the incredible indepth portrayal of the alcoholic Ben in your brother's book than Mr. Cage's character in the film. I think LLV is the most honest, revealing and frightening glimpse into the sick mind of the hopeless alcoholic ever, because it rings so true for those of us who have been there and fought those demons. I immediately rushed over to Amazon to purchase Tony's and read it, which I absolutely loved as well. Your brother was a great writer whom I admire for his unique imagination and incredible vocabulary. Looking forward to securing copies of Stripper Lessons and Better in the near future. Sorry for your tremendous loss. I feel it as well.
I remain a huge fan,
the misplacedmtnman

Erin O'Brien said...

Thanks so much for dropping in and commenting, misplacedmtnman. I appreciate your kind words on John's work.

Erin O'Brien said...

Dear Mr. Smith: Just a suggestion--you might want to get making with a Dale Carnegie course.

VideoDude said...

My suggestion is Mr. Smith, you need to stop watching FIXED Noise, Rush Limballs, Glenn Beck, etc.

How can someone who is on governemt healthcare be against it for everyone else?

Explain that to us lowly, ignorant liberals, who can't read!

Like the Town Hall screamers yelling "...keep the government out of my Medicare"!

Anonymous said...


"Its our 800 Billion or so dollars so it might be worth your while."JOG...This just in: 165 million per day to fund war in Afghanistan. Where do I pull the cut and run lever?

"Finally, government is us, RJ--not some Boogey man. We have the capacity to run Medicare, VA and other health care programs--we can run a national system for everyone who needs it. To say we can't is to somehow say we are unable to do what every other developed nation on Earth has done."

Hey, I'm the neighborhood commie. I'm all over that point of view.


Earl Tesch said...

UPS and FedEx are organizations that came into existence in response to the "service" we receive from USPS. Libraries do not always have the titles available that I'd like to read.

It is my personal experience that government operated institutions lack the personal service standards of their private equivalents.

That said, I'm for the public option just as long as the private options available don't become too out of reach for those of us willing to pay.

Erin O'Brien said...

I believe there will always be supplemental insurance for anyone who wants to pay for it--just like many Medicare peeps have.

Kirk Jusko said...

Don't sweat over the rudeness, Glass Houses. Every time one of us on Blogger leaves a name here in the comment section, we also leave a link.

Anonymous said...

RJ, I don't see how saying you're the neighborhood commie is a retort to my assertion that Medicare and other gov't run programs provide the template for a system to include all who choose to participate.

I can appreciate arguments that diverge from the usual feverish rhetoric of socialism (or communism even though there's quite a gulf there and the two get lumped in together) such as the not insignificant problem of the federal deficit. However, I think a prescient approach will ultimately pay off. Imagine if we had tackled this nut back in 1994--would GM have had to tack an extra $1,500 on every car to pay its retirees' benefits? But tackle it we must, and sitting around thinking that it is acceptable that 99% of Americans are one health crisis away from bankruptcy is lunacy, in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where I'm failing to communicate jemison. I think your point is valid. I'm 55 years old and have worked in healthcare for 26 years and have long supported universal coverage. Currently I work for a government run healthcare program and I would say most of our clientele are satisfied with our service. It would not be an unreasonable suggestion to propose adding the 40million uninsured to our census. Sure would seem easier than all these co-ops, etc. The infastucture is already in place.


Anonymous said...

Correction: infrastructure, of course.


Mr. L said...

Um....because they are told to be afraid of them? "Baa....baa...."

John said...

Creatures of habit, even creatures of bad habit fear change. Excuse me while I adjust my blinders.

vortex said...

Obviously you've never had to file a claim with any government run service....

redtape, lies, more redtape, more lies, laziness, and subterfuge for our hard earned money...
we go fed when i'd rather be dead

Richard said...

I am on the fence as far as a public option goes.I like to call myself a conservative but really I have more of a liberal everything, conservative government view. In other words I hate the government, particularly the IRS.

I am afraid that my taxes will skyrocket even more than I am paying now. Thus far for the year I've paid $12k+ in taxes and that doesn't count what I'll OWE when I file (usually another 2-3k. Will my medical costs drop enough to cover what I will be paying in taxes should a public option be passed?

Someone up above mentioned the cost of paperwork and how it will drop. Are you kidding me? The paperwork will just transfer from one set of hands into another and create yet another government boondoggle.

That having been said, I think that some sort of 'universal' healthcare plan needs to be put in place, I just don't know if the folks we have in charge will do anything but make a mess of it.

While I tend to agree with James Old Guy about the postal service and public transportation being huge failures (they are both losing money) Erin is right about public schools. The level of education in public schools is far and above much better than private, but that's not why people put their kids through private school. My son went to private school from the time he was a toddler until the 10th grade and finished the last two years at the public school my wife teaches at. Both of my daughters are in public school now. We put our kids in private for social reasons, simply because I didn't want my kids to start out with all of the knuckle draggers, the kids who sleep all day, fight all day and have nothing better to do with their lives than to interfere with the learning process. While there are kids in private school that act that way as well, for the most part they are kept in check or they are forced to leave. My problems with public school at the time had more to do with the administration and the lack of discipline than the level of education.

BTW, hey Erin! Been awhile since I've stopped by here.

Anonymous said...

Here's a novel idea big govornment proponents, take a walk in your local govornment supported neighborhood. Daylight, or nighttime. When you 'Give' 'Free' stuff to Any people, this is what happens. ANYONE with Real Life Experience Knows this Is True.

Anonymous said...

By the way, taking a walk was my post, call me Blink. Don't care about anonymity, just choosing not to become part of the google family. This is all pretty much common sense. A large portion of people without private coverage have either chosen that, or have made Very poor lifestyle choices. At any rate, Anyone can walk into the emergency room an be treated. The only govornment interferance I want in my health care is for them to lift the curtain between states so that the free market can work as it does when unfettered by buerocrats that seek only to empower themselves.

Erin O'Brien said...

Thanks for everyone's comments on all sides of this issue.

Anonymous said...

The point about EVERY example in the post is that the "public" version is payed for by people who do and people who do not use the service. Even if I never set foot in a library, attend a government school, send anything through the USPS, ride a city bus, or use public health insurance, if I pay taxes, my hard earned money is paying for something that I don't use (aka, wasted on me).

The key is that things like bookstores (and private libraries ;) ), FedEx, Auto manufacturers (the still privately owned ones, of course), and private insurance firms DO exist. More would if not for overregulation, competing to lower market prices, and responsible to produce a quality service or else lose business, and to provide that service at minimum cost to the firm, thus saving money on the other side of the coin. Isn't the free market lovely??

Eric L said...

Probably because in all of these cases, the private option (bookstores, private schools, FedEx/UPS, cars) are all far superior to their public options (libraries, public schools, USPS, public transportation).

I personally am not "afraid" of public health insurance (just like I'm not "afraid" of libraries, public schools, USPS, or public transportation), I just dont want to throw good money after bad and trade in a decent health care system for a byzantine, bureaucratic healthcare system run by philosopher kings in Washington.

Anonymous said...

Two years ago we bought a HDTV and I am still wainting for TimeWarner to bring me my box to watch HDTV. I am still waiting for the plumber who came two and half hours late (because we live in Avon they stated), broke my shower wall, and have not returned they because they claim they are waiting for approval from the builder to finish the job they "messed up". My Dad with prostate cancer has been very well treated at the VA. I wish we all could get that treatment from the private sector. Believe it or not progressives realize that we all pay into the system. Health care will not be free, like we pay for our schools, we pay for our roads, we pay for our libraries. Where do people get the idea that we are thinking these services are free? We do pay taxes out of our hard earned money. Truthfully I like being able to go down the road without having to pay each and every Landowner a fee for using their roads. And if this so called over riding the states insurance commisions(republicans are usually the cheerleaders for state rights) why didn't the republicans do it while they had the house, senate and White House?


bruises. said...

i don't understand why americans aren't down to be covered when they are sick. i can't imagine how horrible it must be to have to pay tons of money just to have a consultation, an x-ray done or a baby born.

people criticise canada's health care because our hospitals are packed? they are only packed because people can actually afford to survive.

dying because you are too poor to afford help sounds so third world. how do some people deserve to be sick and die while others deserve to be healthy?