A list of things Obamacare leads to…

November 11, 2013

A few months ago I wrote on the absurdities that conservatives tend to invoke when they’re losing an argument that they’ve staked their reputations on. Back then, it was gay marriage. The list of terrible, World ending catastrophes that same-sex marriage was going to inevitably lead to, according to conservatives, was extensive and staggering. But now they’ve moved on to a new subject. And so I thought I’d present a comprehensive list of the most outlandish and absurd suggestions that US conservatives have decided are the product of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act:

  • A Communist takeover of government and the end of the Catholic Church in the US. Here.
  • Following the path of Hitler (you know, the guy who killed 6,000,000 Jewish people in gas chambers, and tried to establish a “racially pure” empire) and Stalin. here.
  • Worse than Watergate. Here.
  • Worse thing since slavery. Here.
  • Armageddon. Here.
  • President Obama killing a variety of old people. Here.
  • Kids having secret abortions at school ‘sex clinic’. Here.
  • The most dangerous piece of legislation EVER passed. Here.
  • President Obama starting a race war. Here.
  • The death of all prosperity. Here.
  • Mandatory microchips implanted into all Americans. Here.
  • The destruction of the institution of marriage. Here.
  • The work of Satan seeking to destroy freedom. Here.
  • Obamacare causes cancer. Here.
  • The reintroduction of Feudalism. Here
  • The Government murdering people based on how productive they are, and children with Down Syndrome being judged by a panel on whether he or she can live or die. Here.
  • Conservatives sent to concentration camps. Here.
  • The US becoming a leading outpost of an Islamic Caliphate. Here.
  • Health insurance companies going along with the Affordable Care Act, are no different to Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps. Here.
  • Systematic genocide. Here.
  • As destructive to personal liberty as runaway slaves being forced to go back to their masters. here.
  • A racist tax against white people. Here.
  • Worse than the Boston bombing. Here.
  • A gay man going to prison because he has no money, and is forced to play roulette, because of Obamacare. Here.
  • Schools preparing children to accept Death Panels. Here.

    Naturally none of them mention the exact part of the bill that lead to their outlandish claim.

    When I began this, I didn’t expect the list to be as long as it eventually turned out to be. We are apparently a generation that is gifted with access to information and fact on a level no previous generation has enjoyed. And yet, it seems that facts and reasoned debate are often drowned out by a deafening constant screech of absurdity that creates an atmosphere in which Michelle Bachmann and Ted Cruz are trusted with political power. They represent nothing more than a comprehensive failure of education and access to accurate information in order to form rational and well rounded democratic decisions. What a waste of a wonderful gift.


  • Bush White House paid for universal health care in Iraq.

    October 15, 2013

    In 2011, ex-Wisconsin Republican Governor Tommy Thompson announced his intention to run for the vacated Senate Seat for Wisconsin in 2012. During the campaign, Thompson told a Tea Party gathering:

    “who better than me, that’s already finished one of the entitlement programs, to come up with programs that do away with Medicaid and Medicare?”

    – Thompson’s inherent desire to ‘do away with’ essential government-run healthcare services was echoed in his earlier campaign press release in which he reads:

    “I intend to continue the fight for a fiscally responsible, market-based approach to reforming our health care system that will improve both access and the quality of care.”

    – Thompson is committed to healthcare as a market. To Thompson, the health of individuals is a commodity. The government cannot provide any meaningful provision of health care according to Thompson. So imagine my surprise when it turns out that in 2004, Thompson was the Bush administration’s top health care official as they signed off on a US funded $950mn universal healthcare plan…. for Iraq.

    Following the war, and with redevelopment in mind, the US was instrumental in the framing and passing of the Iraqi Constitution in 2005. The US Institute of Peace reported:

    “From the time the Leadership Council [this was a group developed outside of the National Assembly made up of senior Iraqi leaders from all sides in order to fast track negotiations] was formed, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad attended meetings regularly, and U.S. Embassy officials were engaged in less-than-subtle efforts to accelerate a final constitution. Several of the early meetings of the Leadership Council took place at the U.S. Embassy. By August 10, the United States was strongly expressing its views on substantive constitutional issues to reach fast compromises that resembled the terms of the TAL… On August 12, in efforts to accelerate the drafting process, the U.S. Embassy circulated its own draft constitution in English”

    – At every stage, the Iraq Constitution was under scrutiny by the US. Nothing was overlooked. And so, along with the funding for a universal health care system, Article 31 of the Iraq Constitution states:

    “Every citizen has the right to health care. The State shall maintain public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and health institutions. “

    “Individuals and entities have the right to build hospitals, clinics,or private health care centers under the supervision of the State, and this shall be regulated by law.”

    – This article and the establishing of a fundamental right to state-funded healthcare in 2005 to run alongside a well regulated private market, could only have been made possible by the funds allocated by the Bush administration to establish a universal health care system, supported by Republicans in Congress.

    One of those Republican Congressman who spoke on the floor of the House in 2004, defending the Bush Administration’s $950mn universal healthcare project in Iraq was ex-Congressman Duncan L.Hunter. Hunter said:

    “It is hugely important that we provide this infrastructure, this basic health care need to the Iraqi people”.

    – It’s essential to note this, because in 2009, after his tenure in Congress was over, when asked about the Affordable Care Act in the US, the same Duncan Hunter said:

    “Well listen, this is an attempt to socialize our country. And it is one that is attempted at what the architects of socialism and Marxism would view as being a “soft exposure” in the American fabric. That is, people are obviously concerned about health care. It is important to them, and they are concerned about having security with respect to health care. The problem is government healthcare doesn’t provide security. And in most of the cases we see around the world, it provides instead a system that is largely dysfunctional and provides inadequate care.”

    – By his own standards, Hunter worked to create a ‘socialised’, ‘Marxist’, ‘dysfunctional’, and ‘inadequate’ health care system in another country, paid for by US dollars.

    Where was Ted Cruz – the foe of any government interference in health care – you might ask? Well, at that time, Cruz was Solicitor General for the state of Texas, and instead of choosing to fight US funding for universal health care in Iraq, he was busy insisting that the Ten Commandments monument at the Texas State Capitol was in fact Constitutional. So now you know; to stop Ted Cruz threatening the health care of the Nation’s most vulnerable people, and closing down the government… just tell him the Ten Commandments on state buildings are unconstitutional. You’ll never hear from him again.

    With Ted Cruz and fellow Republicans either fully supporting universal health care in Iraq paid for by the US taxpayer, or just entirely silent on the issue, Democrats were raising concerns. In fact, one of the few who raised objections to the project was the then Democrat Senator from North Dakota, Byron Dorgan. On the Senate floor in April 2004, Dorgan suggested the Iraqi government should perhaps securitise future production of Iraqi oil in order to raise funds for reconstruction:

    “It is their job, not the job of American taxpayers to have a program for housing, health care, jobs, and highways in Iraq. That ought not be the burden of the American taxpayer.”

    Another Democrat to raise his concerns, was Tim Ryan (D-OH). On the House floor in 2005, Ryan said:

    “So we are cutting health care, increasing premiums, increasing co-pays, and yet we have created a Welfare system in Iraq.”

    – So whilst Democrats were raising concerns about a US tax payer funded universal healthcare system for Iraq…. Republicans were eerily silent whilst they accepted it without question.

    We should also not forget that whilst the funds provided free training for doctors and nurses in Iraq (rightly so), it coincided with a $278mn cut to the Health Professionals Training Program in the US, and a $93mn cut to community access programs, that same year.

    This was happening whilst the number of US citizens uninsured rose from 38.4 million when Clinton left office, to 46.3 million by the end of Bush’s term. Not one Republican Senator of House Representative threatened government, or default on the nation’s debt over the government funded establishment of universal health care for Iraq.

    A Republican White House, with Republican Congressional support oversaw the framing of the Iraq Constitution that included universal health care as a fundamental human right, provided by the state, and initially funded by $950mn of US taxpayer money, and defended by a Tea Party favourite who now wishes to dismantle all state funded health care provisions.


    Painting Congress Blue 2014: Focus on Candidates V.

    October 12, 2013

    Florida's 19th Congressional District Race. April Freeman

    At the time of writing the first four in my series of articles on Republican House incumbents and their Democratic rivals for the House in 2014, it seemed that for Democrats to pick up the necessary seventeen seats was going to require a significant political disaster by the Republican Party. If the most recent Gallup poll is anything to go by, it is apparent that the Republican Party may have inflicted a wound upon themselves that they might not recover from in 2014.

    Florida’s 19th Congressional District:
    Florida’s 19th is currently represented by Tea Party favourite, Republican Trey Radel. On his Facebook page, Radel posted this:

    Trey Radel misleading Kentucky Obamacare Stats
    – As part of his maniacal effort to defund the Affordable Care Act regardless of the courts or the outcome of elections, Radel is happy to use any PR tactic possible to drum up support for his failing cause. I say that, because the claim in the picture above omits crucial information: The claim relates to a story put out by Fox (obviously) of the Mangione family of four in Kentucky whose monthly premium apparently rises from $333 a month to $965 a month, from private insurer Humana, a few weeks before Kynect (the healthcare exchange) opened. What the story doesn’t tell you, is just who Andrew Mangione – the father – actually is. As it turns out, there is quite the conflict of interest with this story: Andrew Mangione is:

    “…the Vice President, Government Relations, for AMAC. Andy’s career spans the medical device, pharmaceutical and managed care sectors of health care. He has held senior and executive sales positions with organizations including Humana, Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and Invacare Corporation. Andy serves as the lead legislative and government contact in Washington, DC for AMAC, and is also responsible for national grassroots outreach and developing strategic relationships. Andy earned a B.A. in Management from Malone University and his Master of Business Administration from Lake Erie College.”

    – Not only did he hold senior/executive position in his insurance company, the website that he is now the Vice President of Government Relations for, has spent almost all its energy – prior to his appearance on Fox – fighting the Affordable Care Act. This man is one big agenda, so it is predictable that both Fox and Trey Radel decided not to mention his credentials. And $300 a month for a family of four? That’s a hell of a lot cheaper than most pay. Nevertheless, The New Yorker argues that under the new rules, the Mangione family might actually benefit.

    So with that in mind, it is no shock to discover that despite moderate Republicans taking to the airwaves to pin the blame for government shutdown at the door of the Republican Party and its small group of extremists, Radel has decided that those extremists are in the right. Radel told CNN:

    “This entire place is failing the American people”.

    – He’s right. When a Freedom Works memo (The Freedom Works Website lists Radel as a signee of Sen. Mike Lee’s letter to use the CR to defund Obamacare) demands a willingness on the part of the Republicans the group funds, to use the threat of shutdown and its implications to win a policy battle that the Republicans couldn’t win via the usual electoral process, that is a massive democratic failure. One that Thomas Jefferson noted was a threat to the American system of governance:

    “I hope we shall crush… in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

    – But this isn’t what Radel meant. Radel thoroughly disagrees with Jefferson. He seemingly had no issue with the fact that an agreement had already been reached on funding the government, an agreement that hugely favoured Republican demands, only to be reneged on by House Republicans whose corporate backers weren’t happy enough, who now demand the complete defunding of a law they couldn’t repeal through the natural democratic process. Instead, he says:

    “The adults need to come to the table, as Republicans are asking…”

    – The typical spin, to deflect attention from the fact that they caused this. He then goes on to blame the Affordable Care Act for all the nation’s woes. Later in the same interview, and without a hint of irony, Radel says:

    “When you hear the President say he isn’t going to negotiate…. I’m sorry but this is democracy.”

    – Here, Radel, like fellow Tea Party members, has apparently redefined the word ‘democracy’. I am struggling to understand how it is possible to lose the Presidency twice, to lose the Senate, to lose the popular vote for the House, to lose a Supreme Court case, to watch your ratings plummet, when 21 of your own House members are willing to vote to reopen government, and still think that by shutting down the government until you get your way, that the path you have chosen represents “democracy”.

    It is presumably also “democracy” in action when, at 10pm on September 30th, House Republicans voted to amend House rules, by taking away the right of every member of the House of Representatives to bring a clean CR vote to the House floor, and to bestow that right to Eric Cantor only, to ensure a shutdown went ahead.

    According to opensecrets.org, Trey Radel’s 9th biggest donor, is Koch Industries. How surprising. His number one donor is “Every Republican Is Crucial PAC”. This particular PAC is the 2nd biggest donor to the 20 or so dissident Republicans in the House. They are instrumental in propping up support for those who have used the threat of shutdown unless their demands are met. And Radel is doing their bidding. In 2012, his website read:

    “Our country has prided itself on freedom and liberty. Regulations like ObamaCare not only place severe restrictions on our freedom and choice but also threaten the economic livelihood of this country. ObamaCare in particular essentially forces individuals to buy a private product just because they are American. This is another example of the government excessively interfering in the lives of private citizens. This law is not only costly, but will also cause great inefficiencies in the medical industry, and have negative ripples throughout the economy. On Trey’s first day in office, Trey would offer a bill to repeal all parts ObamaCare (regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision).”

    – The phrase ‘regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision’ should be enough to shock anyone who appreciates the system of American governance, as should the Tea Party section of the Republican Party’s complete lack of respect for the outcome of elections that don’t go their way. It is quite incomprehensible, and very anti-democratic. Let’s not be under any illusions. Trey Radel is one of the small group of Republicans responsible for the government shutdown, and backed by very wealthy donors.

    Trey Radel – a man who genuinely believes that Public Enemy’s track ‘Fight the Power’ reflects the message of Tea Party Republicans – is so concerned about the health and wellbeing of his constituents, that he voted ‘NO’ on reauthorising the Violence Against Women Act. Not only does women’s health and rights not concern Radel, but he also voted ‘NO’ on the Sandy Relief Fund and voted in favour of cutting SNAP. I can find no redeeming feature of Radel’s incumbency, it appears to have been a year of making life as difficult for the most vulnerable as possible. Florida’s 19th can do better than that.

    The Democratic challenger to Radel, is April Freeman. Freeman’s website identifies exactly what Florida’s 19th District is currently lacking:

    “Real people, honest and intelligent leadership, hard working and caring public servants, and more independent women.”

    – Honest, intelligence, caring and independent women. Those are the words all progressives would use to describe exactly what the House of Representatives requires more than anything at the moment.

    Freeman has impressive credentials to back up the tagline on her website. She was awarded “2005 Business Woman of the Year” by the Business Advisory Council at a White House Dinner; she is the founder of a company that works for no profit to highlight the lives and memory of gifted individuals who died too soon as a result of mental illnesses, and she’s currently obtaining her law degree. Intelligence, and caring, are two traits that Congress desperately requires, and desperately lacks at the moment.

    Freeman is right to highlight that voter suppression is a dangerous re-introduction to the democratic landscape, and must be a priority to secure fundamental political rights regardless of race, or wealth. Freeman sets out her position to deal with it:

    THE PLAN – Educate local voters in a grassroots effort so they are taught the importance of the early vote & vote by mail in order to relieve the immediate issue of excessive wait times on election days.
    THE RESOLUTION – Support Legislation that would make it illegal for the wait time to exceed 1 hour during Federal elections.

    Whilst 30 years of anti-union, pro-market fundamentalist rhetoric and policy has seemingly lead to very little other than stagnating wages, poverty increases, recession, and jobs off-shored to the detriment of the lives of real human beings, April Freeman recognises the need to rebalance the scale:

    “We need a steady growing economy in SW Florida thus relieving our sole dependence on seasonal residents.
    THE PLAN – Support Unions to bring secure jobs with benefits while strengthening collective bargaining ability in order to build our local economy.
    THE RESOLUTION – Introduce and Support Legislation that will give tax incentives to small business and corporations in right to work states for merging with unions to provide a living wage and benefits, while penalizing for outsourcing jobs to foreign countries.”

    – Freeman’s plans put people right at the centre of policy, and that’s a breath of fresh air for Congress.

    If you value women’s rights, ending violence against women, LGBT rights, the right to vote, economic growth and fairness, campaign finance reform, Protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, Veterans issues; then there is absolutely no reason to vote Trey Radel, he fails miserably on all of those issues.

    The Democratic base in Florida’s 19th has to grow if April Freeman is to pose a serious challenge to Trey Radel. But with the public at large placing the blame for shutdown on Tea Party Republicans like Radel, there will not be a more perfect time for Freeman and Democrats in Florida to grow that base. Freeman certainly has a chance to turn Florida’s 19th blue in 2014.

    Vote April Freeman for Florida’s 19th Congressional District in 2012.

    See here for FD’s focus on Florida’s 2nd, and Illinois’ 13th Congressional Districts.
    See here for FD’s focus on West Virginia’s 2nd, and Colorado’s 6th Congressional Districts.
    See here for FD’s focus on California’s 1st, and California’s 25th Congressional Districts.
    See here for FD’s focus on Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District.


    The Republican Individual Mandate: A forgotten history.

    October 2, 2013

    The President signs the Affordable Care Act into law. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Author:  Pete Souza.

    The President signs the Affordable Care Act into law.
    Source: Wikimedia Commons.
    Author: Pete Souza.

    A brief timeline of Republicans and the individual mandate:

    1960s: President Kennedy subtly hints at universal healthcare for America. Republicans don’t know how to react.
    1970s: Republican President Nixon offers market based solution and employer mandate.
    1980s: Republican think tank comes up with individual mandate.
    1990s: Democrats offer ‘HillaryCare’ a step on the path to universal healthcare.
    1990s: Republicans respond by sponsoring market-based Acts with individual mandate attached.
    1990s: Republicans propose individual mandate, to prevent government-run healthcare.
    2000s: Republicans create individual mandate system in Massachusetts.
    2010s: Democrats throw out universal healthcare goal, adopt Republican individual mandate idea.
    2010s: Republicans forget that it was their idea for decades, and decide it’s actually Marxist.

    Through all the misinformation and misleading arguments against the Affordable Care Act, one of the most prominent is the conservative assurance that the individual mandate represents ‘government compulsion’ and so is the death of liberty. With this in mind, it would then seem natural to believe that the Affordable Care Act was conceived in a room of shadowy Marxists, waving an American flag upon which the 50 stars of Old Glory replaced by a hammer and sickle, thinking up devious ways to enslave the American people to the will of the big bad government. And conservatives – in the most over-dramatic fashion possible, are sure of that synopsis:

    obama1
    – Despite ridiculous comparisons to Stalin, slavery, and Nazis, the history of the idea of an individual mandate is in fact a conservative conception.

    Born close to the border between England and Wales, Stuart Butler emigrated to the US in 1975 and has slowly worked his way up the ranks of the conservative Think Tank ‘The Heritage Foundation’, and is currently the foundation’s Director of the Center for Policy Innovation. In 1981, Butler gave a speech on healthcare in the United States, in it he says:

    “We would include a mandate in our proposal–not a mandate on employers, but a mandate on heads of households–to obtain at least a basic package of health insurance for themselves and their families. That would have to include, by federal law, a catastrophic provision in the form of a stop loss for a family’s total health outlays. It would have to include all members of the family, and it might also include certain very specific services, such as preventive care, well baby visits, and other items.”

    – Here we have for the first time, an influential right winged think tank proposing ‘government compulsion’ within the healthcare market. This idea was pushed an alternative to universal healthcare, which of course was then described as ‘government compulsion’ whilst the individual mandate promoted as a reasonable market-driven solution. Republicans today complaining that the President is not compromising appear to not understand that Obamacare absolutely is the compromise.

    Conservatives including the Heritage Foundation today claim they changed their position in the early 90s and were now against the mandate. This isn’t exactly the case. They were against inclusion of the mandate in a Democratic authored Bill, not because they suddenly disagreed with the principle of an individual mandate, but because of the projected cost of the Democrat plan. We know that Butler was not against the idea of an individual mandate in principle, because in 2003 he told Congress:

    “The obligations on individuals does not have to be a “hard” mandate, in the sense that failure to obtain coverage would be illegal. It could be a “soft” mandate, meaning that failure to obtain coverage could result in the loss of tax benefits and other government entitlements.”

    – Are Republicans in 2013 willing to suggest that the Director of the Center for Policy Innovation at a leading conservative think tank, is advocating ‘Marxist’ forced government interference, with his 25 year support for an individual mandate?

    In 1991, Mark Pauly – the lead author of a Health Affairs paper – wrote a paper for President Bush insisting that an individual mandate to purchase private health insurance was an effective way to keep government from nationalising healthcare. The individual mandate, in other words, was an anti-socialist principle in 1991. Pauly says:

    “I was involved in developing a plan for the George H.W. Bush administration. I wasn’t a member of the administration, but part of a team of academics who believe the administration needed good proposals to look at. We did it because we were concerned about the specter of single payer insurance, which isn’t market-oriented, and we didn’t think was a good idea. One feature was the individual mandate.”

    – So, all through the ’80s, ’90s, and early 00’s, Republicans and conservatives were touting an individual mandate for purchasing private health insurance, as a conservative principle designed to derail nationalised healthcare.

    In 2011 Tea Party favourite Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) referred to an individual mandate as:

    “…the unconstitutional employee mandate.”

    – Leaving aside the fact that the Supreme Court upheld the mandate, back in 1993 Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was a co-sponsor of a Healthcare Bill introduced by Republicans, that included an individual mandate. He fully supported it, along with current Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Richard Lugar (R-Ind). Senator Grassley is currently on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and supported Ted Cruz’s miserable attempts to defund The Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate, twenty years after he proposed and supported a similar Act. Senator Lugar (co-sponsor of the 1993 Act that included the individual mandate) is responsible for pushing Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to question the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Both Senators support an individual mandate when Republicans propose it so much so that they co-sponsor it…. they’re then anti-individual mandate when Democrats compromise and propose it.

    Instead of registering outrage at the ‘Marxist’ government compulsion involved in mandating individuals to purchase private health insurance (the strangest understanding of the concept of Marxism I’ve yet come across), Mitt Romney when governor of Massachusetts embraced it whole-heartedly. In 2006 the state of Massachusetts passed ‘An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care’. Dubbed ‘Romneycare’, chapter 58 requires that all citizens of Massachusetts purchase health insurance coverage. Before signing the Act into law, Governor Romney vetoes eight provisions in the Act. Predictably, he vetoed providing dental help to the most vulnerable on Medicaid, and particularly heartlessly, he vetoed providing State funded care for legal immigrants with disabilities. What Romney didn’t veto, was the individual mandate. He seems to have been perfectly fine with that section. But don’t accept my word for it, here is what Romney himself had to say in 2006:

    “With regards to the individual mandate, the individual responsibility program that I proposed, I was very pleased that the compromise between the two houses includes the personal responsibility mandate. That is essential for bringing the health care costs down for everyone and getting everyone the health insurance they need.”

    And as a conservative idea, it seems to have worked. Conservatives should be proud. It’s a good idea. The Urban Institute released a report in 2010, that noted 98.1% of residents were insured, compared with 83% nationwide. 99.8% of children were now covered. 99.6% of seniors now covered. In 2011, the National Bureau of Economic research released a report noting that:

    “…health care reform in Massachusetts led to better overall self-assessed health and improvements in several determinants of overall health, including physical health, mental health, functional limitations, joint disorders, body mass index, and moderate physical activity.”

    – It works. Democrats adopted a Republican idea that works.

    But it isn’t just the individual mandate that began life as a conservative idea. Let’s not forget that the employer mandate was first accepted by a Republican President. In 1974 President Nixon stood in front of Congress and offered his idea for comprehensive healthcare reform. He stated:

    “Every employer would be required to offer all full-time employees the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan.”

    – Every employer. The Democrat President in 2012 has watered down this conservative proposal, and mandated that in 2015, only employers with over 50 employees provide health insurance for their workers, with the first 30 employees exempt. This is a major difference from what conservatives were offering with employer mandated health reform. Would Republicans be willing to accept that President Nixon was more ‘Marxist’ and anti-business, than President Obama? I suspect not.

    It’s worth noting that Kennedy and the 1960s Democrats first argued the case for universal healthcare in the US. The UK had created the NHS after World War II during the wonderful Prime Ministerial reign of Clement Atlee. The NHS is a national treasure today. President Kennedy stood in front of an audience at Madison Square Garden and argued the case for a National Health Service in the US. Since then, Republicans have focused on reacting to Democrats on health care. First, they reacted by offering a market based solution that included an individual mandate to counter universal health care. For this, they also at times argued for an employer mandate. And now, the react by opposing Democrats, and previous generations of Republicans, but offer nothing new. The Republicans represent opposition to the President whatever he says or does, badly masked as a practical alternative.

    It seems that for the majority of the past half a century, pre-Tea Party Republicans understood that healthcare is not a commodity like any other. That it isn’t based on choice in the first place. It is a necessity, and represents a product that can be the difference between life and death, and so it must be treated differently, focusing on the human aspect rather than the profit aspect first and foremost. Republicans in the past have understood that. Whilst universal healthcare is the ideal, it is still far away from being released in the US, and so until then Obamacare is a good, practical alternative that was first conceived by thinking Republicans, and that works well. We mustn’t be under the impression that Republicans oppose Democrats on health reform for any practical reason – after all they’ve offered no alternative – other than their traditional aimless opposition to Democrats on health reform, even if it was their own idea in the first place.


    #StandForLife…. as long as it’s not left the womb yet.

    July 3, 2013

    poverty-creators

    A sudden flurry of twitter activity around the #StandForLife trend, took my interest yesterday. The trend is in support of Texas House Bill 2, the Abortion Regulations Bill. I searched long and hard for any sign of anyone actually standing up for the life of a child once he or she had been born. Imagine my surprise when I failed to notice any mention of promoting universal healthcare, or well funded child care, or an emphasis on fighting child poverty, or a campaign to end the death penalty, or increased spending on education rather than weapons, or restrictions of guns. It would appear that #StandForLife simply means, protect a fetus; but when it’s born, it’s on its own, and should probably get a gun.

    In a wonderful fit of ironic “freedom“, some were suggesting a fetus should have Constitutional rights, but then lose those rights, if they grow up to be gay:

    Untitled-2

    Others didn’t understand why discarding cells from a womb and protecting a woman’s health, isn’t treated the same as a word that has around 300 years of violent slave related, human rights abusing context behind it:

    Untitled-1
    – It really was another flurry of mad conservative overly dramatic preaching.

    For those calling themselves ‘pro-life’ or insisting that they’re standing in protection of human life, they would do themselves great credit to note that universal healthcare, in every country it is permitted, works. And it tends to work far better, for far cheaper, for the majority of the population. Pro-lifers first big battle should be a system of healthcare that works for all. If we take the examples of the US with its private healthcare system, and the UK with its national healthcare system, we note some key differences, according to the World Health Organisation:

    UK Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 79/82
    US Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 76/81

    UK Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 5
    US Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 8

    UK Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 91/57
    US Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 131/77

    UK obesity rates (2013): 23%
    UK obesity rates (2013): 30.6%

    UK Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2011): 3,322
    US Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2011): 8,608

    UK Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2011): 9.3
    US Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2011): 17.9

    We should also note that the 9.3% of GDP the UK spends on healthcare, is enough to cover 100% of the people. By contrast, the 17.9% of GDP the US spends on healthcare, covers around 30% of the people. So, as of 2011, the US healthcare market was far less efficient than the UKs socialised healthcare system. It costs the government more, it costs people more, whilst life expectancy is lower, and there’s a higher risk of your child dying early, under the US system. It helps that that UK also has much stronger primary care, which is known to reduce healthcare costs overall. The US is especially good at late stage intervention. 13.7% of Americans were uninsured when Clinton left office in 2000; compared with 15.4% when Bush left office.
    If you were to #StandForLife in the US, you would be advocating a universal healthcare system, opposing all Republican suggestions.

    Republicans create poverty. Especially among children. Child poverty in the US is getting worse. The percentage of children living in a household earning less than 50% of the national average, was at 21.4% as of 2011. The lowest, is Denmark, at 2.4%. The UK is at 16.2%. In fact, from 2001, to 2009, the Bush years, child poverty rose by almost 6% in the US. Republicans care about life, before it is born. The moment it is born, they plunge you into poverty. That of course isn’t too much of a shock, given that Bush’s wealthy tax breaks resulted in the median income falling from $52,500 in 2000 (inflation adjusted) to $50,303 in 2008. In 2000, 31.6 million Americans were living in poverty. When Bush left office, 39.8 million were in poverty.
    During the 2012 ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations, the House Republicans passed 39.8 million DOA Plan B 215-209-1. This Bill didn’t make it to the Senate, but its interesting to note that the proposal from Boehner, included throwing 300,000 children off of food stamps, whilst the Tax Policy Center found that the same proposal offered an average $108,000 tax cut for millionaires, in a typical Republican move to redistribute wealth upwards, whilst endangering and impoverishing the lives of children. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted that the Republican plan results in:

    “…a mother with two children who works full time at the minimum wage of $7.25 and earns $14,500 a year would lose $1,560 of her Child Tax Credit, which would plummet from $1,725 to $165.”

    Republicans in the House, we know, are pushing forward attempts at deep and harmful cuts to education funding, to help protect spending on defence. In May, House Republicans proposed a 6% rise in Department of Defence spending, whilst proposing a cap for Labour, Education, and HHS at $121.8; about $28bn lower than expected. Children hit again by a Republican obsession with spending cuts for those who need it the most, whilst proposing tax breaks for those who need it least.

    In Tennessee, Republican state Sen. Stacey Campfield introduced a bill in January that would limit welfare payments to families, based on a child’s performance at school. Essentially, do your homework, or we rich people are going to starve you. Interestingly, Senators and Representatives monthly wage isn’t dependent on their performance in government. They will eat whether they succeed in anything of any substance, or not.
    If those on welfare in Tennessee have a child who skips school, they already get 20% of their welfare cut. Campfield wishes to add an extra 30% if the child isn’t performing to his standard.

    Republicans dominate the State of Mississippi, they hold the Senate seats, and three of the four US House seats. And yet, voting a pro-life Party has done nothing but keep Mississippi at the very bottom of the list of worst possible States for children to live, according to Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Index. It has remained at the bottom for 24 years. Though this year, it was overtaken by another red State; New Mexico. In fact, the bottom five States for child wellbeing in the US, are Republican controlled. All five States, coincidentally, passed ‘Right to Work’ anti-union laws, pushing poverty up horrendously, whilst enriching the wealthiest. It isn’t a war on poverty, it is a war on the poor.

    In Mississippi, child poverty rates are at a shocking 32%, one child or teenager is shot and killed every single week, and infant mortality is higher than anywhere in the country. This, as well as around 60,000 uninsured people living in Mississippi, and yet, Republicans in the State have decided to tackle all of these problems…….. by harshly regulating abortion inducing pills, whilst attempting to make it easier to carry a gun in public. Let’s also not forget that Mississippians still pay their tax dollars toward State murder, through the death penalty.
    According to Gallup, in 2009, Mississippi was the most Christian State in America (Vermont is the least religious State, and also, has one of the lowest poverty rates. It is a Democrat State), whilst also being the worst State to raise a child for 24 years. Which renders tweets like this, rather ironic:

    cruz
    – Ironic on several counts. Firstly, for the reference to Christianity, at a time when the most Christian States tend to have the highest rates of child poverty. But also, because it’s coming from Ted Cruz. A US Senator from Texas, who voted against affordable University education for students, with the Student Loan Affordability Act, against regulations for assault weapons, against background checks for guns, against limiting firearm magazine capacity, sponsored limiting funds for people with pre-existing conditions, against the Violence against Women Act (so your child is a ‘gift from God and deserves to be protected’, until she is born), and against the Sandy relief fund and disaster relief. It is almost impossible for one man to be more anti-women, and anti-life than Senator Cruz.

    #StandForLife is a soundbite. It sounds far more attractive, loving, and respectable than the truth, which is simply Republicans, under the banner of “individual Liberty”, wishing to control as many people (mainly women) as they possibly can, whilst enriching themselves in the process.

    If you were to truly #StandForLife in the US, you would never vote Republican again.


    The Elephant in the Womb

    June 25, 2013

    If the Republican Party left 2012 hoping to start afresh – following a President election defeat that quite comically they were certain that they’d win – in an attempt to broaden their base, inclusive of both the Hispanic community, and women that abandoned them in huge numbers; by mid 2013, they’ve failed horrifically on both of those counts.

    As noted yesterday, in my article on immigration reform, the obvious attempts by a few outspoken Republicans to put a halt on legalising 11,000,000 undocumented workers only works to narrow their base even further. They appear wholly antagonistic, when they need to be appearing far more inclusive. It seems they’ve learnt nothing in past seven months.
    67 votes in the Senate yesterday secured proceeding with the immigration bill on the basis of the Border security amendment.

    Today, the focus is on their renewed war on women. The 21st Century Republican Party appears to be based on one simple sentence: “Get Government out of everything (except a woman’s womb)“. Yesterday, Republicans in the Texas State House of Representatives cowardly voted to restrict access to abortion by 97-33 on an anonymous Bill made up of past Bills that had failed in the House during the regular session. The Senate had already passed the Bill, but the Amendment to restrict access to abortion was added at the last minute by House Republicans. The Bill was voted on and passed at 3:23am. It must now return to the Senate. Cries of ‘Shame on you’ could be heard as the Bill was passed in the dead of night by cowardly Theocrats.

    State Democratic Senators have today announced they will filibuster the vote in the Senate until Midnight tonight, when the session officially ends. If that happens, Governor Perry, a pro-life advocated, but on whose watch 250 people have been killed by the State’s death penalty, which he so shamefully boasted of during the Primary debates, could call for a special session of the Legislature to take place, for further discussion of the Bill. We shouldn’t be surprised if he does this.

    If the Bill were to pass, it would threaten the running of abortion clinics across the State. Many may close. Again, Republicans promoting very dangerous anti-women policies.

    The bill to restrict safe access to abortion is quite obviously not the first time Republicans have taken aim at women. It is a growing trend for the GOP. We see the nature of the debate on abortion from the right winged fringes, when presented with campaign literature like this:
    babies-guns
    – I’m not even sure what he’s suggesting here? Give guns to cells? Maybe just a knife to sperm, in an attempt to stop masturbation? Linking guns and children probably isn’t the most sensitive of campaign slogans the Republicans have ever came up with. But then, ‘National Association for Gun Rights’ and ‘Gun Owners of America’ are two of Stockman’s key campaign contributors, so it shouldn’t surprise us.

    Stockman goes one further. He doesn’t just take aim at women, but also the transgendered community, and why he believes the Violence Against Women Act should not include them:

    “This is a truly bad bill. This is helping the liberals, this is horrible. Unbelievable. What really bothers—it’s called a women’s act, but then they have men dressed up as women, they count that. Change-gender, or whatever. How is that—how is that a woman?”

    Similarly, in 2010 Medina County Republicans put out a leaflet that included this little gem:
    bettysutton

    It isn’t just Republican men that are obsessed with both patronising, and controlling women. Republican women seem to be just as awful. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) wants to recruit women to the Republican cause in 2014. She says:

    “Women need to be asked. They have to be told of the opportunity and be encouraged to run.”

    – That’s right! Women need to be told of the fact that they can run for public office. Really slowly. So the pretty things can understand. Perhaps their minds are too filled with getting dinner ready for the man of the house, in between thinking of kittens and flowers.

    Ann Coulter, reflecting a general Republican anti-women stance once said:

    “If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. ”

    – Even female Republicans, are anti-women. Some, cloak their inherent anti-women sentiment, behind creative, and horrendously offensive statements. The level of debate in the Texas House of Reps can be summed up quite wonderfully, by the statement of State Rep. Jodie Laudenberg (R):

    “In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits, where a woman can get cleaned out,”

    – Cleaned out? Really? That’s what you’re going with? Let’s also not forget that beyond the horrendous sentiment, she’s also entirely wrong. A ‘rape kit’ is used primarily to collect evidence, it isn’t used to perform an abortion. She is using the issue of rape, in order to pass an amendment, by blatantly lying.

    A couple of days ago, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) stated that problems with the US education system began, when women started working outside of the home.

    During the debate, Texas Congressman Michael Burgess (R) told us we should ban abortion, because fetuses cannot stop masturbating:

    “Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful … They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?”

    – What’s most worrying about this, isn’t the level of stupidity that public debate has seemingly fallen to, but the fact that Burgess is a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology. Here is what the GOP would call an expert in their ranks, on the subject of reproduction. Would anyone let this man check you over?

    It seems pretty obvious, private citizens do not want Republican Senators and Representatives taking ownership of their wombs.

    In 2012, Wisconsin voted to repeal the Equal Pay Enforcement Act; a law that helped to address the growing pay gap between men and women. Upon repeal, Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman said:

    “You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious.”

    And then we have the mouthpiece of mad, ranting, misogynistic, Tea Party Republicans, Rush Limbaugh. When it comes to women, Limbaugh said:

    “So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

    – Wealthy, white, conservative, male attitudes to women are simply a reactive response against a growing modern, progressive, liberal inclusive culture that they very much dislike, because it threatens their unjustifiably privileged position in life. Whether they’re consciously aware of that or not. We can attach this reactive response to almost every group conservatives take aim at. They are a threat to privilege, and Republicans are the protectors of archaic and regressive privilege.

    Republicans apparently agree with Rush, given their 2011 attempts to not just cut levels of funding to, but completely cut Title X. Title X offers family planning funding and services including breast and cervical cancer screenings and preventative healthcare to millions of low income women and families. The Republicans, not content with trying to cut Title X entirely in 2011, then sought to ban Title X funds reaching the Planned Parenthood Program. A program that also offers: contraceptives; emergency contraception; screening for breast, cervical and testicular cancers; pregnancy testing and pregnancy options counseling; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases; comprehensive sexuality education, menopause treatments; vasectomies, tubal ligations, and abortion. Naturally, because of the last in that list, the Republicans believe Planned Parenthood deserves no funding whatsoever, for any of its services. Some States have already completely defunded Planned Parenthood, including Tennessee, despite no State money going to support Planned Parenthood abortions. In Wisconsin, nine of the State’s 27 Planned Parenthood clinics were completely defunded by State Republican legislatures. The nine clinics provided 12,000 uninsured women with low cost, and easily accessible health care. The Women’s Health Program in Texas receives 90% of its funding from Planned Parenthood… Texan lawmakers reduced its funding from $111 to $37. Wealthy State Republicans took that away. And they ask themselves why women have a problem with Republicans?

    In 2011, Republicans also wished to cut funding to The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. A program designed to help low income mothers, and pregnant women. Despite WIC funding leading to lower infant mortality, and higher birth weights, the GOP are unhappy with it, and demanded a cut of $747 million. This, alongside a $50 million cut to the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, which helps millions of impoverished and low income women and children every year. That’s not all. They demanded a $1 billion cut to Head Start, $39 million from Child Care Development Block Grant. 368,000 estimated to lose learning support in their early years, along with those mothers who rely on child care, in order to work.

    When political and religious ideologies are used to not just tell others, but force others to live their lives according to that ideology, and especially when it pertains to that individual’s body, your Party cannot then claim to be a Party dedicated to individual liberty. You are a Party dedicated to control.

    From Mitt’s “binders full of women” to Akin’s “legitimate rape” to Chambliss almost whimsically shaking off the seriousness of sexual assault in the military by claiming it’s simply down to young men’s “hormone level created by nature“, to the anti-women bills and underfunding of important health services; the GOP really has a problem. It isn’t just the perception that they are anti-women. They can’t just ‘re-brand’ and hope people will forget. The things they say and do, are so blatantly anti-women, that there is no other possible perception. The GOP has an extremely long road ahead of it if it wishes to be an electable force again. At the moment, an all out, relentless attack on women’s health and reproductive rights, renders the GOP the same fringe Party of mad bigots that it was before the Presidential election.


    Tea Party: Pro-death.

    September 14, 2011

    The Republican debates have been quite an eye opener. I knew that those who subscribe to the Tea Party way of life, are pretty vicious in the ideological leanings, but I didn’t really know to what extent their bile was able to rise. It turns out, they are an utter disgrace. A cancer on the fabric of society. The worst type of person. The reason I take such a strict approach to the Tea Party, is that they are extremists. My staunch and outspoken Atheism takes the shape of a bullet aimed at the incompatibilities between dogmatic ideology and the humanity as a collective entity looking to survive.

    The Tea Party simply represent a vicious dogmatic obsession with their ideology, which happens to be unabridged Capitalism. An ideology that insists massive Corporations are “job creators” (a phrase I hate. Demand creates jobs. Not Corporations). The Tea Party is a representation of everything that is wrong with the right wing.

    During a debate, Ron Paul was asked a question about a man who has a good job, but has no medical insurance, and ends up in a coma, what should happen? Predictably, Ron Paul doesn’t particularly answer the question, he just insists the guy SHOULD have medical insurance. I am fully aware that right winged Americans believe healthcare is a luxury rather than what I believe it is; a necessity. But what struck me, to the point of speechlessness, which slowly became a distinct sense of disbelief and disgust, was when the guy asking the questions said “Should we let the man die then?” to which the Tea Party audience, yelled “Yes!!
    – This mentality, is extremist. It is taking an ideology to the extreme. Capitalism, like Socialism, when taken to its limits, is extreme ideology; in this case it becomes extreme when it decides who lives and who dies. Ron Paul started his question, by suggesting that any form of tax payer funded healthcare is Socialist, and that’s bad. This is a rather extreme position, because it fails to take into account results. The system is judged on how strictly it adheres to its ideological dogma, rather than the success or failure.

    Money, in a Capitalist society is based on nothing. Actually it is based on debt. So its power comes from a collective concept of what it means. Life on the other hand, is not a concept. It transcends ideology. It is far more important than ideology. The ideology requires a constant insistence that what we own, is what makes us who we are.

    So, let’s look at the results of two rather polarised healthcare systems. The UK has a Nationalised Health Service. In 2009, the US had a largely Private Health Service, in which your ability to pay (a concept) is far more important than your life itself (reality).
    Infant mortality rate (probability of dying between birth and age 1 per 1000 live births)
    UK: 5
    USA: 7

    Under-five mortality rate (probability of dying by age 5 per 1000 live births)
    UK: 5
    USA 8

    Adult mortality rate (probability of dying between 15 and 60 years per 1000
    UK: 77
    USA: 106

    Case detection rate for all forms of tuberculosis (%):
    UK: 94
    USA: 89

    Per capita total expenditure on health at average exchange rate (US$)
    UK: 3285
    USA: 7410

    Life expectancy at birth (years)
    UK: 80
    USA: 79

    General government expenditure on health as a percentage of total government expenditure.
    UK: 15.1%
    USA: 18.7%

    A quick analysis suggests that the UK pays less per capita, our government spends less on our health system than the US, and yet we have “Socialised” healthcare, we’re living longer, and our children are less likely to die at a young age. And yet, all of this is grossly overlooked in favour of ideological dogma regardless of how backward, and ultimately deadly it is.

    It isn’t just when compared to the Nationalised health system of the UK. The Nationalised health system of Norway provides equally as disastrous results for Tea Party enthusiasts. When a man is ran down by a car, and the first thought in the collective mind of a Capitalist society is “oh my god!! I hope….he has insurance”, who then walk away when it turns out he doesn’t, one has to ask ourselves how far they are willing to go? Is collective policing wrong? Should we have fire insurance? If our house is burning down, and we’re too poor because our insurance bills include health, road, and police, should we just accept that the fire department shouldn’t be burdened with our current predicament? Should we expect to get arrested for leaving our house if we haven’t paid our road insurance? How is that freedom? That seems to be to be substituting the ‘tyranny’ of Government for the tyranny of big business – a real tyranny because it has unaccountable, unelected powers. A two tier society, in which you’re absolutely second class if you are not propertied, is my idea of hell.

    According to a World Health Organisation ranking list of 2000, the US Health System ranks 11. The UK 18th, and the USA…… a pathetic 37th. Even though, the US spends most per capita than any other Nation in that ranking list. Above the US, ranks Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, UAE, Andorra and Malta. The most powerful Nation on Earth, has a worse healthcare record, than Saudi Arabia; a desert. Japan is number one for Life Expectancy and 70% of healthcare costs in Japan are paid by the Government. The cost of an MRI scan in Japan is $US 98. In America, it is $US 1500. There is no excuse for it. A healthcare system based on the ideological position that a doctor should check your insurance before he saves your life, is doomed to fail every time. A system should be judged not on its allocated “ism” but on its success. Private health insurance is not benefiting mankind. It benefits one or two wealthy people, and a host of United Health shareholders, with private health insurance money then ending up in Rick Perry’s campaign pot.

    It is interesting to note that the same group of people cheered in delight last week, as it was announced during a debate that candidate Rick Perry has overseen 234 executions in Texas since becoming Governor. It would seem that State sponsored healthcare that ultimately (as shown above) saves lives is Socialist and evil, whilst State sponsored murder is a perfectly acceptable way to spend tax dollars. This includes the execution of Cameron Todd Willigham, a man who was accused of setting fire to his family home, killing his three young children. Before he was executed, a scientist wrote to the parole board to point out the flaws in the original case against Willingham. Perry ignored the concerns, and Willingham was executed in 2004. In 2005, an investigation was set up by a new 9 member Texas Forensic Science Commission. Just before they started their hearings into the case, Perry fired all 9 members. Another nine of the USA’s top fire scientists say the science was faulty in convicting Willingham. It is quite possible that Willigham was innocent. People in that crowd last week, cheered the death of at least one innocent man. Pro-life apparently. What a disgrace to humanity.

    If anyone tells you that the US healthcare system is the best in the World; be sure to point out that it isn’t. That it isn’t even in the top ten. Or top twenty. Or top thirty. That it barely reaches the top 40. That your children are more likely to die young in the US, than in the United Arab Emirites or Macau (I’m not even sure where Macau is). But be sure to let them know that if they want to execute someone based on flimsy science, Texas is the place to be!

    The great Gore Vidal once said:

    Religions are manipulated in order to serve those who govern society and not the other way around.

    – This is true of the religion of American Capitalism.

    I truly feel for America if a Republican ends up in the White House.


    Historical healthcare

    March 22, 2010

    Our policy is to create a national health service in order to ensure that everybody in the country, irrespective of means, age, sex, or occupation, shall have equal opportunities to benefit from the best and most up-to-date medical and allied services available.
    Winston Churchill

    OH MY GOD Churchill was a communist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Or not. Actually, definitely not. Unless you’re a conservative American. If Obama had said what Churchill said, Glenn Beck’s head would have exploded live on TV.

    Historic day for America. Obama’s healthcare plan passed. Which means more than 30,000,000 more Americans will be insured; insurance companies will no longer be able to oppressively discriminate on any basis, and best of all; Republican and conservative Americans hate it. They seem unable to differentiate between slightly left of centre beneficial policies, and Stalinist Communism.
    Obama was absolutely correct when he subtly digged at the Republicans for their appalling use of fear tactics to attempt to win this argument. They should be ashamed of themselves. They, in my eyes, are comparable to those who opposed the Civil Rights Act in ’64.
    Obama said:

    “We didn’t give in to mistrust or to cynicism or to fear. Instead, we proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things.”

    Whilst the Republicans continue to complain about the evils of Socialist medical care, I thought i’d sing it’s praises.
    We in the UK have a National Health Service. It is a single payer system. It is government run. It would, in short, make Glenn Beck’s face explode in rage.
    According to the World Health Organisation:

  • The UK’s EVIL SOCIALIST life expectancy (m/f):77/81
  • The US’s free market haven life expectancy(m/f): 75/80
  • The UK’s EVIL SOCIALIST Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 6
  • The US’s free market haven Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 8
  • The UK’s EVIL SOCIALIST Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 98/61
  • The US’s free market haven Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 137/80
  • The UK’s EVIL SOCIALIST overall World Health standing:18th
  • The US’s free market haven overall standing:36th

    In short, whilst Republicans keep complaining about how awful Socialist medicine is……… we in the UK will continue to enjoy it, whilst living longer.

    For a World superpower that basis itself on freedom, I’m not sure how they can justify being so terrible in the healthcare rankings. The US even ranks below Singapore for infant mortality. That’s appalling. But, apparently allowing more children to die than 35 other countries, is far more Constitutional (as is sending the living children to war on the basis of a lie, when they’re older), than giving them a better healthcare program safety net. In fact, half of all personal bankruptcies in the USA are believed to be partly the result of ridiculously extortionate healthcare costs.

    Republicans and the Tea Party movement is simply a movement to protect the profits of American insurance companies. To fight against a bill that prevents insurance companies from turning down insurance for patients with pre-existing conditions, and cancelling insurance when people get ill, on the ideological basis that the new bill is “big evil socialist government” is pathetic. I cannot believe insurance companies have been allowed to get away with their utterly immoral practices for so long.

    In fact, I watched Republican John McCain tell a room full of people live on Fox News that the British NHS refuses to treat patients over 75. The extent of this ridiculous lie was rendered even more ingenious given that on that very same day, my 83 year old grand mother was being treated on the NHS after having a heart attack. They saved her life. The irony of John McCain’s position is, most of my family, if we lived under the current US healthcare system, would not be able to afford healthcare, and the rich conservative and Republican anti-socialised medicine brigade would have no problem denying us care.

    To deny people the right to healthcare whilst you yourself can afford it, in my opinion, is no different to me blocking the road when an ambulance needs to get past. I’m fine and healthy. I paid taxes that went to fix that road. So fuck them!!! That’s the attitude. The “individualist” attitude plaguing the West. The Republican attitude. Today, it was defeated. My face is one of complete smugness today.

    McCain today argued that the bill promoted big government. I’d argue that is irrelevant. Our British NHS has survived for sixty years, and whilst it has it’s issues, it is better than the American system. Big government or small government is not the issue. It is the equivalent of approaching an uninsured suffering child and saying “We wont help you, because, erm, well, BIG GOVERNMENT!!!!” Perhaps an injection of big business to curb the excesses of big insurance and big business, is not such a bad thing. I fully support it.

    My only issue, is that the bill doesn’t go far enough. After eight years of Republican misery, the fact that anyone actually pays any attention to those lunatics amazes me. President Obama didn’t seem strong enough. He allowed Republicans to populate their lies and fear tactics; the same tactics they used for the war on terror. It has to stop. The Republicans are an international laughing stock. And yet, their usual cry of “SOCIALISM!!! HIGH TAXES!!! BIG GOVERNMENT!!! COMMMUUUUNIIISSSM!!!! NO STIMULUS!!!!!” against anything slightly left of Reagan, seems to generate sympathy in America. The rest of us look on in amazement. Today, that horrendous and selfish tactic lost.

    I look forward to watching the psychotic Glenn Beck tell everyone America is now Soviet Russia.