SEB Mailbag: “You wonder why healthcare is so expensive? It’s not the Doctors or Hospitals.”

I’m probably going to get myself in trouble with this one. There are people of a conservative persuasion in my circle of friends and extended family and most of them have learned not to send me email forwards of any kind because I have a bad habit of hitting Reply To All when I don’t agree with the email. This was one of those emails and it had been sent to almost 40 people, including me, so my reply is going out to a lot of people I don’t actually know. That usually results in whoever the friend or family member that forwarded it to me getting rather angry about the fact that I sent my reply on to the other recipients.

The email itself is the usual Republican attempt at bashing the current administration, but it was unusual in that it was mercifully short. It consisted of a video clip of some form of testimony from a hospital administrator about the high costs of providing medical treatment to illegal aliens. Here’s the video clip found on YouTube followed by the terse message that accompanied it:

How did we get to this and why are we continuing to let it go on? Time for new leadership.
Carroll

My reply was not as mercifully short so I’ll include it after the jump.

Here’s what I sent to 40 mostly-strangers that will probably result in some folks being pissed at me for a few weeks:

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to take a moment to respond to this email. Carroll asks “how did we get to this and why are we continuing to let it go on.” I think that should be pretty obvious. It’s a result of eight years under Republican control of the government wherein all attempts at Immigration Reform where either thwarted or consisted of proposals to build giant walls (that won’t really keep anyone out) or to shoot people on sight.

Ironically, one of the few really good ideas President Bush tried to accomplish in his time in office was [to] come up with a decent reform of the immigration system only to have his own party do everything it could to kill the proposals. Why? Because he proposed a Temporary Worker Program that would allow illegals with jobs to apply to stay in the country for up to three years so long as they were gainfully employed (see Fox News circa January 8th, 2004: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,107707,00.html). One benefit of such a program would be that these temporary workers would be able to get health care insurance from their employers allowing them to do preventive care instead of waiting until they’re so sick they have to use an E.R. to get help which is much more costly. Bush continued to push for this reform for three years and he modified it along the way to include concessions to the Republicans such as the building of the wall along the border with Mexico and guarantees that this program would not put immigrants on a path to citizenship and yet the Republicans killed it in 2007.

The only thing that really came out of the whole effort was Great Wall of Mexico a.k.a the U.S./Mexico Border Fence. Since its start in 2005 we have spent $2.4 billion on some 600 miles of new fence along the border with Mexico and it’s still not finished. The GAO estimates that it will cost another $6.5 billion to maintain the fence over the next 20 years not counting repair costs from breaches. So far it’s been breached over 3,000 times by illegals at an average cost of $1,300 to repair each breach. To this date it’s nearly impossible to tell if the fence is reducing the number of illegal immigrants at all. The folks in the Secure Border Initiative claim it’s working, but they may be a little biased seeing as their jobs depend on it working. According to this Christian Science Monitor article from Sep. 2009 others think it’s a waste of time:

Wayne Cornelius, director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California in San Diego, says he has conducted 4,000 interviews with illegal immigrants and potential migrants from Jalisco, Zacatecas, Oaxaca, and Yucatan in the past five years. His assessment:

“The existing border fortifications do not keep undocumented migrants out of the US. Not even half are being apprehended on any given trip to the border, and of those who are apprehended, the success rate on the second or third try is upwards of 95 percent.”

“There is no reason to believe that additional investments in the fence project – both physical fencing and the new “virtual fence” – will create an effective deterrent,” he says.

So the one thing the Republicans did to address the problem of illegal immigration — a problem which directly ties into the problem addressed in the video attached to this email — doesn’t work and is costing us billions. Putting up a fence isn’t immigration reform and it doesn’t impact the number of illegal immigrants relying on emergency care instead of health insurance when they need medical attention. According to the folks at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) the annual estimated cost for treating illegals is estimated at around $10.5 billion annually. Much of which the hospitals don’t receive any kind of reimbursement for (there was a program in place for awhile that did give hospitals some reimbursement, but I believe that ended in 2008).

Ideally part of the debate over health care reform should address the issue of the costs of treating illegal immigrants. Not only would that require diving back into the whole issue of immigration reform, but if President Obama were to even suggest the idea that it might be a good thing to cover costs of treating illegals the Republicans would shit a brick. This means this problem will persist even after whatever health care reform, if any, gets passed.

Carroll suggests that it’s “time for new leadership” as though the current administration is to blame for a problem that goes back literally decades. A problem that the former Republican President attempted to address and failed thanks to the Far Right elements in his own party who take an attitude of “I’ve got mine, go get your own” and who would apparently rather see illegals dieing in the street in the hopes that it would serve as a warning to others who might come here. Let’s be realistic: Even if we just allowed illegals to die in the street that wouldn’t stop them from coming to America. The rewards of finding work here compared to their own country are just too great. They already risk life and limb crossing the border in 100+ degree heat in total darkness in the middle of nowhere with armed border patrols actively looking for them and all the dangers of the desert confronting them, do you really think they’re going to worry about getting so sick they die in the street because we won’t give them needed medical treatment? Have you considered the cost that goes along with cleaning up after all those dead illegals? Or the fact that it’ll probably lead to an even greater rise in identity theft as they attempt to gain social security numbers in order to score health insurance?  Nah, let’s not think about that. Let’s just pretend everything will be fine if we just stopped giving those damned illegals medical treatment when they most need it.

I realize that the majority of the folks receiving this email are probably on the conservative side and will probably be angry with me for responding at all, but I hope some of you will at least stop to think about the issue a bit more in-depth. This is a serious problem that deserves to be more than just a Republican talking-point to bash the Obama administration with. It is true that the costs of treating illegals is a big drain on our medical system, but the implication that it is the sole cause of the medical crisis is quite simply ridiculous. The folks at FAIR estimate that illegals make up 15% of the uninsured in this country, that means the other 85% are AMERICANS. That means out of the 45 million people in 2008 without insurance in the U.S. around 38.25 million were Americans.

Perhaps you’re OK with that. Personally, I find it abhorrent. The United States is the only modern post-industrial nation on the planet without some form of universal health care for its citizens. We’re arguably one of the richest countries in the world (approximately 10th richest at last count) and yet we can’t seem to find a way to provide medical coverage to all who need it. We need comprehensive reform of both our medical system and our immigration system. These two problems are too serious to be used for nothing more than political point scoring.

Which is really all this email forward was about. An attempt to use two very serious issues to score political [points] with like-minded people. How it ended up being forwarded to me is a mystery, but I hope you’ll at least consider what I’ve said. If I’ve pissed some of you off then I apologize in advance as that was not my intent. My only goal is to point out that simplistic arguments to complex problems don’t do anything to improve the situation. The constant calls to “change the leadership” when the current administration has only been in office a year doesn’t solve the problem. If the roles were reversed and it was a Republican in charge you’d feel that such calls were unfair and unhelpful so why should it be any different in the current situation.

I’ll shut up now.

Les Jenkins

56 thoughts on “SEB Mailbag: “You wonder why healthcare is so expensive? It’s not the Doctors or Hospitals.”

  1. Great response, Les! There is no way I could have said it as well without starting to foam at the mouth.

    Right wing loudmouths have offered absolutely nothing in the way of solutions for our problems over the last year, yet find the time to obstruct every single idea regardless of merit. They seem to feel compelled to lay every single problem, old or new, many if not most of which were created by conservatives, at the feet of a new president. Some call it “partisanship”, but I just call it “bullshitting”, and along with our ever-shrinking constitution it is one of my main annoyances in American Politics.

    I have been following politics since I was seven, and every year the far-right noise machine grows louder and more militant, flings more blame at liberals, and absolves itself of more and more responsibility to do anything other than foment violence and mass poverty while making power grabs that would make any run of the mill dictator blush. They constantly talk about responsibility and accountability while honoring nothing of the sort, even openly sabotaging any workable plans out of a desire to hurt the “opposition.”

    I sometimes get sent right-wing emails that make the rounds, I hope you don’t mind if Im use some of your ideas here to rebut them.
    Speaking of which, which course would you or other readers here recommend? I could link to this page, although most of my conservative relatives and acquantances probably wouldn’t bother reading, I could use your ideas in my own words,(plagiarism lite) or I could just copy your whole letter with source info intact. Any other ideas? I hate to ask, but is there some way I could use your words here without treading on your toes or expecting my conservative acquaintances to read a blog post by a liberal atheist? It would only be for email, not a blog or anything, and I would never try to claim that I originated it. What is the best way to pass along your great response and actually have people read it? Any thoughts? I ask only out of admiration and ignorance, and the assumption that one of my aunts or cousins will forward this around eventually.

  2. GREAT rebuttal – I”m bookmarking this so please don’t ever delete it from your site. I will be using it the next time I hear that claptrap.

  3. Superb response Les. What seems even more surprising is that many of the people who would actually benefit from the healthcare reform are protesting it. Remember the guy who got injured after protesting at a healthcare debate in a ruckus that he caused, then complained he had no healthcare.

    I dunno, the US spends approximately 16% of GDP on healthcare, while this figure is about 8% in the UK. UK residents have a higher life expectancy, and a lower infant mortality rate. I can’t see how any of the Rethuglicans arguments have any credibility cast in that light.

  4. It’s funny how the good things that Bush will be remembered for are notably liberal, and all the bad things are from rotten apples in his own party (plus his own poor judgement)

  5. Nice reply, I like how you piss people off, Les. I agree, stop saying ‘lets get a change in leadership’ and let whoever is leading either succeed or fail. No bill has ever been perfect and never will, so lets not pretend to try.

  6. I had a few thoughts reading that, very thought provoking, but I suppose the one that I will mention is how ironic it is that these people on the conservative right claim that this is a “Christian country” and yet they want to see poor people die on the street. I’m quite disenchanted with all things Christian, but one thing I am pretty sure of is that Jesus would not have approved of that.
    Hope you keep us posted on any replies, Les. To be honest, I’m not sure that I would be brave enough to risk pissing off friends and family members in that way; but you certainly did the right thing.

  7. Very well put Les! Ditto Patness…

    I remember when Bush tried to push forward that reform. I had all kinds of Conservatives ask me what I thought. I said, “I still very much dislike this president, but I totally agree with the reform and thinks its a great idea.” They had nuttin. As if being a Liberal automatically means you have to hate something a Republican president does. When will Republicans realize that not all Liberals are like them?

  8. Neil, you may use all or part of this email if the need should arise. Though I’d extract the facts and then use your own words. Collecting the facts was the hard part, the rest of it was just me being honest.

  9. This kind of nonsense just drives home a point I’ve been thinking about for quite some time: for the conservatives in this country, pragmatic, effective solutions to problems are almost anathema. What they want are “solutions” that line up with a laundry list of preconceived “principles” that they assume a priori. It usually goes something like this:

    Normal Person: “HPV is a big problem.”
    Conservative: “I agree.”
    NP: “I have a solution.”
    C: “Do tell.”
    NP: “There’s this vaccine against it that will help stop its spread and thus aid in the prevention of cervical cancer.”
    C: “No, sir, I don’t like it.”
    NP: “Huh? What’s not to like? It’s cost-effective and it saves lives! It solves the problem!”
    C: “So, because promiscuous or premarital sex is bad in principle, and therefore any solution that allows for premarital or promiscuous sex isn’t a solution at all.”
    NP: “What?”
    C: “People just need to stop having sex. That’s the only viable solution.”
    NP: “Are you retarded?”

    Conservative argument almost always rests on principles rather than effectiveness or practicality. The Teabag Scourge will shoot themselves in the foot on the healthcare issue (and dozens of others) because they’ve been convinced by a bunch of dipshits in charge of their lunatic fringe that government shouldn’t have anything to do with healthcare in principle. What’s that you say? It works well in other countries? Nobody’s on death panels in other countries? Other countries’ health statistics blow ours away?

    Doesn’t matter. Government shouldn’t be involved in healthcare. Period. End of story.

    You can’t have a rational conversation with these people because they aren’t being rational. They can’t back up their claims because so very many of them are just assumed to be true in the first place and all the rest of the nonsense follows. They’re not interested in workable solutions, just a ridiculous black-and-white ideology.

    (I should note that in the dialogue above, sometimes the Conservative response to “X is a problem” is simply “No it isn’t,” e.g. global warming, certain nutjobs’ opinions of the American healthcare system, etc. I should also note that the same criticism regarding assumed principles is also true of liberals on many issues. The War on Drugs comes to mind, as does the far end of the “child safety” community. But the Conservatives definitely have them beat on valuing lameass principles over practical solutions and even over people.)

  10. Well said, sir, well said. My girlfriend is a Mexican born citizen, and my eyes have really been opened over the last few years as to the need for immigration reform. Her family immigrated legaly to the U.S. in the 80’s, and while most of her family has achieved full citizenship since then, her sister has been on the ‘list’ to receive her residency for more than 25 years. So even for legal immigrants the process is very clogged, overly-complicated and frustrating.

  11. Awesome, Les. I saw this earlier in the week and marked it for later reading… you completely nailed it.

  12. Nice work, Les. One thing that continually amazes me about American politics is how successfully the rich are at selling their message to the poor, who vote for policies that make them even poorer.

  13. Thus empirically proving that the poor are stupid.

    …and deserve to be cynically manipulated by their betters!

  14. I’m doing my best to cynically manipulate the poor. But so far, I’m not convincing myself…

  15. Yes, American conservatives hate Darwin but love Social Darwinism. They reject his factual ideas about evolution in favor of I.D.iocy, yet all the while adopting the corrupt spin off of his ideas which says that the strong should dominate the weak and the poor; which is the foundation of their ideology. American conservatism: the worst of both worlds.

  16. yeah you won’t publish my comment. that’s Ok, you are pieces of crap like the wetbacks. bunch of liberal faggots.

  17. I am a conservative, and i am against amnesty. i say Americans with guns, start shooting the S.O.B.’s and take their carcuses back to the border and dump them out. That’s all they are good for. I have done jobs that the illegal scum REFUSED to do so i don’t won’t to hear your mouths.
    You people act like it’s impossible to get rid of the Illegal pieces of crap. just starve the Mothers. that’s all you got to do. starve them. they will leave. they are just like cock roaches. they will go where the food is. Stop the free health care. you can blame Bush all you want to. By god, it was mr. Skirt chasing liberal Billy Boy Clinton that started this crap. Stop blaming Bush for every thing. I am going to start a damned fight of my own if they grant amnesty to those scum bags. i am sick of them. and by the way don’t call me a racist .I used to run with the low life pieces of crap , then i got some sense knocked into me. the only people that wants them here are the people who will benefit by them being here. the rich people.

  18. What comments, Michelle? This is the first I’ve seen in the pending queue for you.

    Though given the sentiments expressed it’s probably no great loss that we missed the others.

  19. The reason that white people in America take up for the illegals is because you are afraid of them. God, I would have loved to have lived in this country back when men were men. They were not afraid to fight for what was right. my first husband was an illegal alien. I used to feel sorry for them. But when you have spent as much time with them as I have , you get to know them for what they are. Cocky, unfeeling , unholy, just a bunch of heathens that don’t care for anything or anybody. All they want to do is have sex, and get wasted. When are you stupid liberal idiots going to get that through your heads ? aFter they rape and murder your women folK? because if you think they won’t you are sadly mistaken. nope the time to take charge is now. Just shoot them when they are caught. Word will get back to the other family members in Mexico and the rest will be too afraid to come. Whey they take over this country, and it’s coming because of lazy liberals , and by the way don’t call me lazy . I have worked in the factories and tobacco fields and i could out work any illegal cockroach in the work place. they were babies. whined about every thing. And want every thing handed over to them. They have no rights here , you bunch of morons.
    They are criminals. They are coming here, by the millions, and most of them are criminals. It is the responsibility of you white men to protect us weaker americans. you don’t want to do, you ain’t go the B**s to do it, then by God we decent white women will. you bunch of PUS***S!

  20. Michelle, you are making no sense at all. You really think that people on a blog somewhere are afraid to say anything against immigrants, for fear of… what, exactly? Some kind of retribution?

    Also, even assuming your personal account emanates from somewhere other than your scatological orifice, you’re judging millions of people by the experience you had with a group of individuals you knew? By that logic, I would assume that all illegal immigrants are pretty decent and hard-working, because that’s the experience I’ve had with some of them (admittedly a long time ago).

  21. It was not liberals who gave amnesty to millions of illegal aliens (Reagan). In this decade hordes of ‘illegals’ have entered the country under Bush’s watch (as Lou Dobbs daily screamed to the top of his demagogic lungs). Con-servatives cause these problems and then blame them on the left… but of course they haven’t done that before (neglecting Afghanistan, invading Iraq, deregulating the economy.) Just blame it on Obama and everything will be alright.
    I am sure that liberals to a large degree do not want a greater influx of illegals into the nation; what they also don’t want is kids dying in the street because some Con-servative looking for the racist vote (which sadly seems to be larger than one might have thought, as Michelle demonstrates) says that they don’t get health care.
    Saying that most of them are criminals (aside from the actual act of entering the country) is foolish. Sadly, I get the impression that a lot of people buy into that idea. This is what happens when Bill O’Reilly is the most watched person on cable. The fact is that what is holding this country back is not illegal aliens, what is holding this country back is corrupt Republican politicians in the pockets of big business and their ignorant, half-literate, Christian fundamentalist voters. One service that immigrants do seem to provide is that they may insure that those red(neck) state voters will lose their majority.

  22. I don’t watch Bill O’Reilly, I know the illegals for what they are . I live in a state that is over run with them.
    You tell me why it’s Ok for them to enter this country, break all the rules and get rewarded for it ? oh, and I don’t want to hear that they are doing jobs that no one else wants to do. I know of white and black Americans that go to the temporary hiring services looking for work only to be told that there is nothing. then a car load of illegal scum go waltzing through the doors and they automatically give them work. I have gotten behind them at the grocery stores and they have paychecks that are $600-$800 and they are driving brand new cars that their farmer employer provides for them while the average American is barely getting by on $200 if that much. So I don’t want to hear that they are having it hard. They get those $800 pay checks, plus welfare. I was married to an illegal one time. loved him dearly. He was a good worker, He came here in the 1970’s, worked in chicken houses, primed tobacco, and stayed out of town. They come here now with an in your face attitude, hating the American people with no thanks or gratitude whatsoever, They are like spoiled children whose mom and dad gave them every thing they wanted. And I will tell you who doesn’t make any sense in this country. That’s YOU GODFORSAKEN liberals and business owners that want to cheat the system. so go ahead and continue blaming Republicans. This country started going down hill when Clinton was in . While he was screwing around with every body and every thing. and if this makes no sense to you, it’s because you are stupid.

  23. oh , the reason that I didn’t reply to your comment before now, is I happen to have a life. I don’t sit on the computer looking for people to pick fights with. now if you will excuse me, I am going hiking in the mountains, while the sun is out and before our liberal government gives it away to some other country.
    I try to exercise so that I don’t have to rely on healthcare. Like this new health care thing that the new liberal pres is wanting. That’s just something else to reward the illegals for coming here.

  24. Racists are so cute.

    “BUT THEY’RE MAKING MONEY! AND THEY’RE SPENDING IT!”

  25. Michelle scrawled;
    “I try to exercise so that I don’t have to rely on healthcare.”

    Yeah, cancer really doesn’t give much of a crap how many mountains you climb. Neither do most of the really serious diseases that you can catch. Still, you don’t actually seem to care too much for that there “book lernin'” do ya?

    Also
    “This country started going down hill when Clinton was in . While he was screwing around with every body and every thing. and if this makes no sense to you, it’s because you are stupid.”

    It does make sense actually, but it has nothing really to do with Clinton. Actually, it has way more to do with the fall of the Soviet Union. After the downfall of the USSR, Europe was transformed into a very different place. In 1993 the Maastricht treaty was signed and the single market established. That, far more than your own leadership, was the beginning of the end for the US being the world’s only economic superpower. Now, the EU is the world’s largest trading block. But let’s now forget China. China is currently either the world’s second or third largest economy. They will soon be the first, and there is nothing that the US leadership can do about that. The US was only ever number one in the world for two simple facts, one) Europe’s infrastructure was destroyed in two world wars, and her best minds had flown Europe to America to avoid the Nazis, (furthermore the US lent heavily to other countries during the second world wars and subsequently grew fat on the repayments); two) Europe was kept down by by the Cold War. Now that Europe has started to bounce back from the Cold War, Europeans again have some of the best standards of living in the world. There are a huge range of areas where European countries perform better than the US. We have less criminals, fewer murders, we have less abortions, we also typically have higher life expectancies and better literacy rates.

    America’s century is gone. Old dinosaurs like you who have no morality (advocating allowing people to starve to death? Classy. If there is a God, I am sure he has a very special Hell for people like you) and very little knowledge should do us all a favor and keep your mouth shut.

    Remember people, Spay or Neuter your Republican!

  26. Lucky we have all those illegal immigrants to pick our vegetables and operate on our brains….

    (OK, it’s an inspirational story of a migrant worker who became a brain surgeon. It was a dumb punchline. Rather like a recent commenter.)

  27. In response to Your Mighty Overload:

    I have no morality ?
    excuse me, I am not the one giving birth to unwanted children , and then expecting the tax paying American citizens which I am sure that you are not , get stuck paying for the unwanted children.
    You talk about starving children ? Money has been sent to Ethiopia time and time again, but those people just never seem to have enough. The children are not receiving any of that money for food. Why don’t they ever show the parents of those starving children.
    the only people that are starving are the elderly in America. The same people who survived the Great Depression, worked in the factories, and went to war so that this country could enjoy freedoms that liberal bastards like yourself that are not man enough to sigh up for the military can enjoy.
    Don’t start on me about book learnin you jackass. I have 3 savings accounts, 2 checking accounts , and 4 paid for homes. Pretty good for a factory worker, and thanks to being smart enough to invest money, I can sit on my ass for 5 more years. That is if the government doesn’t raise taxes for these stupid programs that keep welfare recipients in bondage for more welfare.
    The smartest people in this country are the old folks. You want learnin, you go to them.
    they know more then you will ever know !
    You still live at home with your mommy and daddy, you simpleton. You don’t have a pot to piss in, nor a window to throw it out of . Too bad your liberal mother didn’t have an abortion when she found out about you! one less jackass to have to feed and support.
    And the only people that need to be spayed and neutered are the blood sucking liberal leaches. THAT’S WHO.
    Oh and there is a HELL, You can bet your piece of shitty liberal ass on that one.
    We conservatives are living it now. But we won’t be for long. There is a storm coming Jackass. there is going to be some Changes made. And the only change you will get from The KING is the change that will be in your pocket when they keep taxing your mom and dad . There won’t be anything left for your sorry ass to receive .
    Me, I will be living on 35 acres of land that I worked for , didn’t inherit. And I will be eating high off the hog, because I had enough “learnin’ to not spend more than I could afford. Not like the stupid democrats. just spend , spend , spend.
    I have enough book learnin to know if you keep spending more than you are receiving from hard working Americans, {NOT BUMS LIKE YOURSELF} , but if you keep spending more than you have , you are going to be in no condition to keep sending out the welfare checks. Which brings me to why do the welfare checks have to be sent out ? The recipients need to get off their dead lazy asses and go down to the welfare office , submit to drug tests , then receive the checks. I have seen it too many times, the only ones that benefit from the checks are the slut , whore mother’s boyfriends that live in the house and are too lazy to work.
    Funny thing. all the conservatives in my family, never went to college, worked in factories and coal mines but they have beautiful paid for homes, they don’t have credit cards, and they put all their children through college to become teachers, { that won’t last long the minute they are known to be conservatives ,they will fire them } and the liberal members of my family, are always in debt up to their eyeballs, always looking for hand outs , always whining, running back and forth to the doctors demanding pain killers. they need to be executed!
    Sound familiar ? I know I am not the only American that feels like this.
    the only “learnin ” that i need is from the older generation. You know, the ones that are being robbed by the government today ? Just so we can raise a generation of college educated idiots. and of course , welfare recipients so we can have more democratic voters.
    You remind me of my nephew. He graduated from high school in 1989, been in college ever since. He has several degrees, and can’t get a job. Why, because he can’t keep his stupid liberal mouth shut for 5 minutes to learn a job. He knows everything there is to know about every thing and couldn’t even keep a job at Wal-mart, because he couldn’t mix the paint up the way the paper work told him to do. Pitiful, just pitiful. must have been too much liberal “learnin”. reminds me of someone who has a Harvard education and can’t speak without using the teleprompter. oh yeah, my nephew is still going to college to get more book learnin and he’s now selling hamsters for $2 a piece and he drives 100 miles to deliver them. just what we need , more educated idiots.
    now I would love to remain on this here computer, but I need to start buying up supplies for the revolution that is coming up. And I need to see how my invested money is going from where I worked my ass off in a factory for 30 years until billy boy signed the Nafta agreement and there went the backbone of this country .
    yep there is a hell. It’s called Liberal America.
    And there is a God. He doesn’t advocate laziness. or smart asses. He uses the simpleminded like myself to confound the wise. that would be YOU ! smartass.

  28. In response to Your Mighty Overload, again:

    God can still take down the EU. dick head. He’s going to use someone called the Anti christ. Yep. pretty soon, you won’t be able to buy or sell without that little computer chip in your stupid head or that right hand of yours . Meanwhile we Americans will be enjoying life as usual. Don’t get too cocky. You are not out of the woods yet. America is not a weak country. Right now. we just can’t get our shit together. But just piss us off one time, and you will get your just dues. got it ?
    this is stupid. wasting time on here. I’m off of here. to hell with you. you are going to look so cute with that little computer chip in your stupid forehead. ha ha ha hee hee hee.
    when the tribulation begins, your cry baby ass will be bawling to get into this country. and you won’t be able to have any peace. ha ha ha ha

  29. I had to post both of those replies from Michelle on her (I’m assuming it’s a her, could be a he, don’t really care) behalf as it seems she was unaware that replying to the comment notification emails she received would come to me and not to Your Mighty Overlord.

    Normally I wouldn’t bother, but I thought they were funny enough to share.

  30. Funny as hell! I swear, sometimes you start listening to the rational ones too much and you forget what someone truly stupid sounds like.

    Thanks for making my day, Michelle! There’s nothing that quite makes a guy feel better like realizing “Hey, at least I’m not functionally retarded like this crazy bitch on the Internet is!”

  31. Hahaha, Oh Michelle, you really are too much.

    Lordy lordy lord! You really are hate filled! Perhaps if I push you a bit more you’ll have a massive coronary attack and make the world a better place.

    Sorry, but I don’t live with my parents. I actually don’t live in Europe anymore either – I live in Japan. I have a job – a good one, and although I don’t have as many things as you, I am only a young guy. You sure do make a lot of assumptions and project a lot though.

    It has been said that you can tell how civilized a country is by the way it treats it’s poorest citizens. America, and particularly people like you, seem to wish to grind these people into dust, Seems like a dick move to me.

    Still, you’re obviously not interested in having a rational or logical debate on these issues, which I actually was. I think there is a lot to explore and discuss,

  32. Michelle Screeched!
    “Not like the stupid democrats. just spend , spend , spend.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USDebt.png

    Funnily enough the national debt went up under Reagan and Bush Sr, leveled off and was starting to go down under Clinton, then shot up when W came to power, mainly as a result of his tax cuts and spending on the war.

    Funny, seeing how the Republicans sell themselves as the party of fiscal prudence that they always seem to screw-the-proverbial-pooch so badly when they come into power….

    Ultimately, when it comes down to it, the UK spends half of what the US does on healthcare and has better results in terms of longevity and child mortality. Someone who was truly financially prudent would take that into account. Here in Japan I pay about $20 a month for my healthcare. The last time I went to the dentist it cost me $5. I also got unemployment benefit 3 years ago when the company I worked for went bankrupt due to management corruption. So, in a very short way, I have lived all my life in socialist countries, and I quite simply would NEVER take the risk to my or my families lives to live or work in America, unless I was being offered very good insurance.

  33. Michelle, there is a long list of things worth saying, but I’ll boil it down to this:

    Clinton helped restore trade and production power to a country that had stagnated in big ways, but it had risks.

    GW Bush was concerned about the freedoms given to financiers like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He moved to have them subjected to greater oversight – he recognised the threat of free enterprise.

    The GOP voted, overwhelmingly, to shut it down. That was 2003. They had control over Congress, Senate and the Oval Office. Imagine if that bill had been passed…

    You notice how it was the liberal moving for the free market and the conservative budging in on the American Dream?

    Same goes for health care: so-called red states generally stand to gain more than blue states. Red states tend to be poorer, with more uninsured and larger medical costs, not to mention the extended cost of illness on their state economies. And, in the last 10-20 years, red states also feed much more out of the government trough.

    Liberals are voting for health reform on the basis that “it will save money” – despite that they will pay the most and get the least from it.

    Conservatives are voting against health reform because they disagree with subsidizing other people, despite taking more government funding and benefiting more from reform.

    One can’t help but think that either all the voters in America a) are brainwashed or b) have ulterior motives.

    I realize “liberals” are from “the other side of the fence”, but agree with them for godsakes – if not out of compassion for all the people it would help, then out of self-interest.

    And if you can’t do either of those, it’s little wonder why the USA is in the shape it’s in. That obsessive, partisan bullshit is the reason the USA continues to have a shaky reputation abroad – even while it enjoys one of the most highly regarded presidents in a century.

    Edit: Oh, and I applaud you for exercising, but you’ll cost the USA more by living into old age. Extended cost of old age care – especially for the infirm – trumps the extended cost of most other kinds of care. The country would be best served by your being eaten by bears shortly after retirement, but, thankfully, we also recognise that the free market is entirely pathological and not at all the kind of thing human beings ought to take notes from.

  34. Patness,

    Those are fantastic points about the Red state / Blue state use and requirement of benefits.

    I totally agree about this partisan crap. Obama, love him or hate him, is at least trying to get healthcare through along the centre. The republicans, however, take every chance they can get to try and kill the process.

    Now I agree that personal freedoms should be maximised – and that can be achieved. In the UK, under the NHS, the healthcare that you receive is always based on what you need, rather than political concerns. I have never heard of anyone being flat out denied treatment because it was too expensive. Sometimes they have to wait a bit for non-urgent care, but they always get it. In the US, if you can pay you can have great service – if you can’t, you don’t get treated, except under the under-funded government schemes.

    I must say, for me, it is an unthinkable situation that someone would not get medical help if it was required, simply for the sake of money.

  35. TROLL! DO NOT FEED!

    No, really, I have to assume “Michelle” is simply trolling for spittle and apoplexy, given that basically every sentence is horrifyingly provocative and fact challenged, not to mention insulting.

    I mean, I hate to ruin his/her schtick but, really, “And the only people that need to be spayed and neutered are the blood sucking liberal leaches. THAT’S WHO. Oh and there is a HELL, You can bet your piece of shitty liberal ass on that one.”? Come on, even Glenn Beck couldn’t say that with a straight face.

  36. Hey Dave,

    Oh, I think you’d be surprised at some of the Christian “love” out there. Michelle may well be a troll, but it sure is fun to poke her with a pointy stick. Come on, tell me her rant didn’t make you smile a bit. I can imagine the flecks of spittle issuing from her mouth as her face goes progressively more and more incandescent with rage. Suddenly, in a Monty Python-esque moment she clutches her chest and falls backward stiff legged off her chair. A pair of feet stick up above the level of the desk, replete with red and white stripy socks and red, ruby slippers, as the camera fades…..

  37. If she were actually authentically as hateful and irrational as her comments indicate, I’d actually feel sorry for her. I see “her” as more trying to draw a reaction, a la Colbert, than as anyone who would actually believe and say all the things “she” has said.

  38. Hey,

    Yeah, I can see where you are coming from. These people’s brains (the real ultra-right-wingers) seem to be completely poisoned by hate. Mind you, the ultra left wingers often seem to have some kind of brain softening disease too. No organic food for me, thank-you-very much. (mainly because it is no better for the environment, may actually be worse, and at the very minimum does not allow us to produce enough food for the population).

    Oh, don’t worry, I don’t take her too seriously – I don’t see how anyone could!

  39. YMO:

    I am Canadian. Our system took massive cuts nearly two decades ago – we’re talking cut in half in well under a decade. Here’s why:

    My hometown of 1200 people had a GP who was an outstanding diagnostician (think Greg House; swap Vicodin for booze, refusal to speak with patients with refusal to touch them, and switch Illinois accent for Hindi).

    There were so many other places where he would have been so much more useful. Why he stayed there, I never understood.

    Affordable healthcare boils down to financial savvy. It started in Saskatchewan. That’s where I was born, and it’s the poorest province in Canada (interestingly, also the only place in North America to not see recession).

    Where I currently live is it’s oil-rich neighbor, Alberta. Alberta invested all of it’s money into oil, and when the prices plummeted, the whole place bombed. It’s having a lot of trouble recovering because they’re making cuts where the costs are immediately clear and the benefits are not (healthcare, education). Alberta is in “crisis” for its inability to provide timely emergency treatment.

    You have to strike a balance. Have solid emergency care in place when you need it, and allow for enough access to preventative care to maximise its mitigating effect on the overall cost of emergency treatment.

    I firmly believe any industrialized nation -can- do it, the trick is to discover the most effective means of doing so. I’ve heard mixed opinions on the NHS, but Japan sounds good (until last year, I paid more money than that for less coverage).

  40. How’s this for amusing: After I send Michelle a note telling her that replying to the notification emails won’t get her message beyond my inbox she continues to reply to the notification emails and then sends me this:

    you know what, I’m going to forget about this site. I am so busy that I don’t have time to argue. it’s a waste of time. Every body has his or her own opinion.
    I have no idea what made me look up liberal stuff last week. It’s been a boring winter, and I am getting grouchy being stuck in the house. Won’t bother you any more.

    Of course you know I’m going to have to post the other three comments for her now.

  41. i don’t mind having the coronary, I will be in a much better place. thanks for writing.

  42. I like being a stupid crazy bitch as long as I am an American. maybe you will have another big earthquake in japan. Oh then Americans will do like they always do , open up the pocket books and hand over the money one more time . Oh before I forget , my democrat psychic friend wanted me to tell you to stop that nasty habit that you are doing or you are going to have buck teeth .I am not sure what she means by that , she just told me to get the message back to you.

  43. I just wanted to say that unless you are an American citizen, nothing that goes on in America is any of your business. You must be jealous that you are not in America. So I understand.
    Ok that’s enough. after today, I am deleting every reply from this site.

  44. OK this message is for Michelle (because we’ve run into this problem before)… if you want to stop getting notifications from this thread, look for the “Unsubscribe” link in the notification email. It reads like this:

    “To manage your subscriptions or to block all notifications from this site, click the link below:”

    If you are using Gmail, you might need to click on the “Show Quoted Text” link below the message to see the link.

    (Just a hunch that she might have trouble figuring out how to unsubscribe)

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