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Don't Be Fooled by Phoney Town Hall Unrest on Health Care Reform

43 comments

Yesterday I blogged about a new tactic that a plastic surgery firm was using to entice consumers to try their facelift procedure: by having their own employees post positive internet reviews of the plastic surgery procedure, Lifestyle Lift hoped to get more customers. That technique, aptly named “Astroturf marketing”, has now spread into the healthcare reform debate, too. “Grassroots” protestors, led by the conservative website FreedomWorks, have cropped up at town hall meetings on reforming the health care system. The only problem is, the “grassroots” protestors aren’t really homegrown at all—instead they are “Astroturf” protestors led by conservative lobbying groups.

The main orchestrator of these “grassroots” protests is FreedomWorks, which is run by former Republican Majority Leader, Dick Armey, who is known on The Hill as one of the top ranked ‘hired guns’. In other words, he is a corporate lobbyist with a history of directing FreedomWorks to support the goals of his lobbying clients. In fact, he has a long history of supporting the following industries (some of which have a vested interest in keeping health care reform off of the table):

  • Armey’s FreedomWork’s is actively organizing against health care reform because his lobbying firm represents pharmaceutical companies, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, that oppose the comparative effectiveness research of the health reform plan because it may cut into their revenue for name-brand drugs.

  • Armey’s lobbying firm also represents the trade group for the life insurance industry: FreedomWorks mobilizes its members for deregulated life insurance reform.

  • FreedomWorks is currently lobbying for maintaining the U.S. reliance on fossil fuels on behalf of the domestic oil companies and on behalf of the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal exposed FreedomWorks for building ‘amateur-looking’ websites to promote the lobbying interests of Armey. It appears as if Armey doesn’t really care, though. Indeed, other lobbyist-run groups such as Americans for Prosperity, run by a former associate of Jack Abramoff, are joining forces with Armey to orchestrate the tea party protests. In fact, these lobbying websites are instructing members to infiltrate town halls and harass Democratic members of Congress. Although some news coverage has depicted these “grassroots” movements as real, it is yet again, another familiar Republican attempt to look like a party who actually cares about the average American family. Don’t be fooled.

43 Comments

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  1. Lana Keeton says:
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    Dear Mr. Mittleman, The problem lies with the more than $250 billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. And the 510(k) “approval” process at the FDA that puts thousands of untested products into the marketplace that harm thousands upon thousands of Americans. The disease mongering by industry is epidemic. Americans are not sick. Billions and billions of dollars of advertising create “illnesses” that are not curable but require a daily medication to control it.

    Being an avid patient advocate I know what I am talking about based on thousands of hours of research. Who’s talking about this? Who is really looking at the root of the problem? How in heaven’s name can it be solved by throwing trillions of dollars at it? Is that how you run your law firm?

    For me, I AM AGAINST THIS “HEALTHCARE” REFORM. I am not associated in any way with Dick Armey. Nor are dozens of my friends or business associates who do not want “Healthcare” Reform.

    The Congress and the White House HAVE TO STOP SPENDING MONEY THEY DO NOT HAVE!! That is it in a nutshell…nothing more, nothing less. STOP THE SPENDING!

    I personally do not have health insurance at the moment. I DO NOT WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO GIVE ME HEALTH INSURANCE. When I find the plan that suits me and is cost effective, I will buy it. Until that time, I pay out of my pocket.

    One other question? How do you back up your facts, or do you? I am really surprised to see you as an attorney on this site knocking Americans who are exercising their right to free speech.

    You have a job as an attorney based on the rule of law and the Constitution. Without our freedoms, you would not even have a job because there would be no free citizens to represent.

    Happily enjoying my right to free speech!

    All the best, regards, Lana Keeton

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    This is a great point. The fake protest , followed by national conservatives touting the “grassroot” actions, that they started is such a fraud. This message needs to get out.

  3. Devon Glass says:
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    Lana:

    I appreciate you taking the time to put your thoughts out there about health care reform. The best thing about reform is that everyone will be able to have affordable health insurance, and you can purchase it from a private source or from the government with a public option. You would not be forced to buy health insurance from the government, although you would probably be better off since they have no profit motive to deny coverage.

    I think we both agree that the real issues of reform are not being addressed, namely the undue influence of industry lobbies making health care more expensive and less effective. However, reforming the health care system to make it more available and affordable will hopefully make a dent into allowing health care to be more effective. If we can lessen the influence of the insurance lobby, that would be great, unfortunately it’s unlikely to happen any time soon, so that’s why we get health reform like you are seeing. It’s indirect, but it’s the only way to really get the ball rolling.

    I believe Mr. Mittleman backs up his facts by reading the paper and what is being written online. There are numerous links to stories about this issue written in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, among many other sources. Just type in “fake health care protest” and you can see lots of information about this issue. Mr. Mittleman is not denying anyone the right to freedom of speech, he is simply making the point that you should be aware this is nothing more than manufactured anger. The protesters at these hearings are not interested in actual debate or discussion, they are determined to frustrate and prevent the actual discussion of ideas about health care reform, and they are being paid for, and bussed in by, the insurance industry. This article gives everyone a heads up about these groups and what their actual goals are, which is to prevent reform at all costs. I’m glad we all the right to free speech, and all this article does is expose the motives of that free speech, it says nothing about preventing someone from actually speaking his or her mind. I believe there should be an open and honest debate, but that’s not what these protesters are looking for.

  4. Steve Sisko says:
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    Are you guys serious?

    That byline on this page: “Promoting Safety. Protecting Rights” is rich!

    Personal injury lawyers? Who care about healthcare?

    You guys are a big part of the problem and you have the gall to blame Obama’s stupidity on common, grassroots individuals?

    Bwa..ha…ha…

    I know this won’t make it on this page for long but at least you know you’ve been called out.

  5. Ernest Franklin, CPA says:
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    Thank you Lana Keeton and Steve Sisko for your comments that I agree with 100%.

    Devon Glass mentioned these protests are a result of “manufactured anger.” Yes, and the anger is manufactured by the Obama administration and the liberal Democrats who apparently have not been reading the bills they are voting on. The “manufacturing” is not being done by by Dick Army and the Republican party as David Mittleman would have you believe.

    I personally am thankful for Dick Army and others like him who are making the public aware of this atrocity by those seeking power by trying to take control of yet another part of our private lives.

  6. Jane Akre says:
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    Lana and All –

    Please don’t confuse astroturf marketing as representative of public opinion.

    Although it might represent the views of some, astroturf marketing means placing of industry-hired individuals parading as “citizens” when they are hired-guns representing industry.

    Astroturf also involves creating/ funding and hiding behind nonprofits with wholesome sounding names such as “Citizens For Everything Good in America.”

    They are nothing more than front groups lobbying for the corporate POV without the honesty to say so. They’ve shaped tobacco law, telecom legislation, pharmaceutical rules, food safety issues, and the selection of judges.

    Mr. Mittleman is right to point them out.

    The Center for Media and Democracy has done a superb job over the years tracking the harm astroturf marketing does to the public dialogue. “Toxic Sludge is Good For You” is produced by CMD and worth a read.

    I expect to see more examples of this in public forums as the insurance industry leaves its mark on health care reform. We’ll be watching!!!!

  7. Nick Carroll says:
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    Lana, Steve and Ernest:

    Please help me understand where the anger of those opposing health care reform is coming from. What specifically in the proposed bill has everyone riled up? I don’t mean vague statements like “(they are) trying to take control of yet another part of our private lives,” rather examples of how such a statement is true.

    As far as I can tell, the proposed bill will create a government run insurance company that would provide more affordable converage to those who currently cannot afford private insurance or were turned down due to pre-existing conditions.

    Individuals who choose to use this coverage (for whatever reason) are free to do so. Likewise, those that do not want to partake do not have to.

    Businesses of a certain size (and I’ve heard everything from those with payrolls of over $500k, to businesses with 50 or more employees) are expected to provide coverage to their employees. Those that do not wish to do so will face a penalty of between 2% and 8% of their payroll.

    — Side Note: For the record (and I am certain this will get me into some very hot water), I believe that those business owners who do not provide coverage for their employees are greedy jerks. If their excuse is that they can’t afford it, then they are either lying or are not running their business very well. That said, and in an effort to cover my butt just a tiny bit, I am sure their are exceptions. —

    What’s the big brouhaha over? And in case it isn’t clear, I ask this question sincerely.

    PS – Where is this bill? It does seem that I should have been able to find it in the five minutes I just spent looking for it.

  8. Angus Hinson says:
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    Nick, here’s the bill. Extra credit to anyone who reads all 1018 pages.

    http://wwww.bit.ly/ifpET

  9. Steve Sisko says:
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    Here you go Nick – Part 1

    Sec. 113, Pg. 21-22 of the Health Care (HC) Bill MANDATES a government audit of the books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self-insure in order to “ensure that the law does not provide incentives for small and mid-size employers to self-insure”

    Sec. 122, Pg. 29, Lines 4-16 – YOUR HEALTH CARE WILL BE RATIONED!

    Sec. 123, Pg. 30 – THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE deciding what treatments and benefits you get.

    Sec. 142, Pg. 42 – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your benefits for you. You have no choice!

    Sec. 152, Pg. 50-51 – Health care will be provided to ALL NON-US citizens.

    Sec. 163, Pg. 58-59 beginning at line 5 – Government will have real-time access to individual’s finances & a National ID health care card will be issued!

    Sec. 163, Pg. 59, Lines 21-24 – Government will have direct access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.

    Sec. 164, Pg. 65 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations (like that nasty ACORN organization).

    Sec. 201, Pg. 72, Lines 8-14 – Government is creating a Health care Exchange to bring private plans under government control.

    Sec. 203, Pg. 84 – Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private Health Care plans in the exchange.

    Sec. 203, Pg. 85, Line 7 – Specifications of benefit levels for plans means that the government will define your Health care plan and has the ability to ration your health care!

    Sec. 205, Pg. 95, Lines 8-18 – The government will use groups (i.e., ACORN & AmeriCorps) to “inform and educate” (sign up) individuals for government plan.

    Sec. 205, Pg. 102, Lines 12-18 – Medicaid-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No freedom to choose.

    Sec. 223, Pg. 124, Lines 24-25 – No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No “administrative of judicial review” against a government monopoly.

    Sec. 225, Pg. 127, Lines 1-16 – Doctors – the government will tell YOU what you can make. “The Secretary shall provide for the annual participation of physicians under the public health insurance option, for which payment may be made for services furnished during the year.”

    Sec. 312, Pg. 145, Lines 15-17 – Employers MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan.

    Sec. 313, Pg. 149, Lines 16-23 – ANY employer with payroll $400,000 and above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll.

    Sec. 313, Pg. 150, Lines 9-13 – Businesses with payroll between $251,000 and $400,000 who do not provide public option pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.

    Sec. 401.59B, Pg. 167, Lines 18-23 – ANY individual who does not have acceptable care, according to government, will be taxed 2.5% of income.

    Sec. 59B, Pg. 170, Line 1 – Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay for their health care.)

    Sec. 431, Pg. 195, Lines 1-3 – Officers and employees of Health care Administration (government) will have access to ALL Americans’ financial and personal records.

    Sec. 441, Pg. 203, Lines 14-15 – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.” Yes, it says that.

    Sec. 1121, Pg. 239, Lines 14-24 – The government will limit and reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income and poor are the ones affected.

    Sec. 1121, Pg. 241, Lines 6-8 – Doctors, it does not matter what specialty you have; you’ll all be paid the same. “Service categories established under this paragraph shall apply without regard to the specialty of the physician furnishing the service.”

    Sec. 1122, Pg. 253, Lines 10-23 – The government “validates work relative value units” (sets value of doctor’s time), professional judgment, methods etc. (defining the value of humans).

    Sec. 1131, Pg. 265 – Government mandates and controls productivity for private Health care industries. “Incorporating Productivity Improvements into Market Basket Updates that Do Not Already Incorporate Such Improvements.”

    Sec. 1141, Pg. 268 – The government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.

    Sec. 1145, Pg. 272 – Treatment of certain cancer hospitals: Cancer patients and their treatment are open to rationing!

    Sec. 1151, Pg. 280 – The government will penalize hospitals for what government deems preventable readmissions (incentives for hospital to not treat and release).

    Sec. 1151, Pg. 298, Lines 9-11 – Doctors, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission and the government will penalize you for that action.

    Sec. 1156, Pg. 317, Lines 13-20 – “PROHIBITION on physician ownership or Investment.” Government tells doctors what/how much they can own.

  10. Steve Sisko says:
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    Part 2

    Sec. 1156, Pg. 317-318, Lines 21-25, 1-3 – “PROHIBITION on Expansion of Facility Capacity.” The government will mandate that hospitals cannot expand (“number of operating rooms or beds”).

    Sec. 1156, Pg. 321, Lines 2-13 – Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required.

    Sec. 1162, Pg. 335-339, Lines 16-25 – The government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures. Rationing.

    Sec. 1162, Pg. 341, Lines 3-9 – The government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans (Part B), HMOs, etc. This will force people into a government plan.

    Sec. 1151, Pg. 298, Lines 9-11 – Doctors, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission and the government will penalize you for that action.

    Sec. 1156, Pg. 317, Lines 13-20 – “PROHIBITION on physician ownership or Investment.” Government tells doctors what/how much they can own.

    Sec. 1156, Pg. 317-318, Lines 21-25, 1-3 – “PROHIBITION on Expansion of Facility Capacity.” The government will mandate that hospitals cannot expand (“number of operating rooms or beds”).

    Sec. 1156, Pg. 321, Lines 2-13 – Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required.

    Sec. 1162, Pg. 335-339, Lines 16-25 – The government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures. Rationing.

    Sec. 1162, Pg. 341, Lines 3-9 – The government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans (Part B), HMOs, etc. This will force people into a government plan.

    “The Secretary may determine not to identify a Medicare Advantage plan if the Secretary has identified deficiencies in the plan’s compliance with rules for such plans under this part.”

    Sec. 1177, Pg. 354 – Government will RESTRICT enrollment of special needs people! “Extension of Authority of Special Needs Plans to Restrict Enrollment.”

    Sec. 1191, Pg. 379 – Government creates more bureaucracy – “Telehealth Advisory Committee.” Health care by phone or the Internet – dial 1 for your health care advice?

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 4-12 – Government mandates Advance (Death) Care Planning consultation. Think Senior Citizens and end of life. END-OF-LIFE COUNSELING. SOME IN THE ADMINISTRATION HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED RATIONING HEALTH CARE FOR THE ELDERLY.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 17-19 – Government WILL instruct and consult regarding living wills and durable powers of attorney. Mandatory end-of-life planning!

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 425-426, Lines 22-25, 1-3 – Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 427, Lines 15-24 – Government mandates program for orders for life-sustaining treatment (i.e. end of life). The government has a say in how your life ends.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 1-9 – An “advanced care planning consult” will be used as patient’s health deteriorates.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 10-12 – “Advanced Care Consultation” may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans – from the government.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 429, Lines 13-25 – The government will specify which Doctors (professional authority under state law includes Nurse Practitioners or Physician’s Assistants) can write an end-of-life order.

    Sec. 1233, Pg. 430, Lines 11-15 – The government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life, according to preset methods (not individually decided).

    Sec. 1302, Pg. 468, Lines 16-21 – “Community-Based Home Medical Services means a nonprofit community-based or state-based organization

    Sec. 1411, Pg. 524, Lines 18-22 – Establishes the “Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund.” More taxes for ALL.

    Sec. 1441, Pg. 621, Lines 20-25 – The government will define “NEW Quality” measures in HC. Since when does government know about quality?

    Sec. 1442, Pg. 622, Lines 2-9 – To pay for the Quality Standards, government will transfer money from “qualified entities” (government Trust Funds) to other government Trust Funds. More Taxes.

    Sec. 1411, Pg. 524, Lines 18-22 – Establishes the “Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund.” More taxes for ALL.

    Sec. 1441, Pg. 621, Lines 20-25 – The government will define “NEW Quality” measures in HC. Since when does government know about quality?

    Sec. 1442, Pg. 622, Lines 2-9 – To pay for the Quality Standards, government will transfer money from “qualified entities” (government Trust Funds) to other government Trust Funds. More Taxes.

  11. Steve Sisko says:
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    Part 3

    Sec. 1442, Pg. 624, Lines 19-23 – Qualified Entities: “The Secretary shall ensure that the entity is a public, nonprofit or academic institution with technical expertise in the area of health quality measurement.”

    Sec. 1442, Pg. 623, Lines 5-10 – “Quality” measures shall be designed to assess outcomes and functional status of patients.

    Sec. 1442, Pg. 623, Lines 15-17 – “Quality” measures shall be designed to profile you, including race, age, gender, place of residence, etc.

    Sec. 1443, Pg. 628 – The government will give “Multi-Stake Holders” pre-rulemaking input into selection of “quality” measures.

    Sec. 1443, Pg. 630-31, Lines 9-24, 1-9 – Those Multi-Stake Holder groups include unions and groups like ACORN deciding what constitutes quality.

    Sec. 1444, Pg. 632, Lines 14-25 – The government may implement any “Quality measure” of Health care services that bureaucrats see fit.

    Sec. 1444, Pg. 632-333, Lines 14-25, 1-9 – The Secretary may issue nonendorsed “Quality Measures” for physician and dialysis services.

    Sec. 1632, Pg. 710, Lines 8-14 – The Secretary has broad powers to deny Health care providers and suppliers admittance into Health care Exchange. Your doctor could be thrown out of business.

    Sec. 1637, Pg. 718-719 – ANY Doctor who orders durable medical equipment or home medical services is REQUIRED to be enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare.

    Sec. 1639, Pg. 721 – Government MANDATES that Doctors must have face-to-face with patient to certify patient for home health services.

    Sec. 1639, Pg. 723-24, Lines 23-25, 1-5 – The same government certifications will apply to Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s health plan: Your kids).

    Sec. 1640, Pg. 723, Lines 16-22 – The government reserves right to apply face-to-face certification for patient to ANY other Health care service.

    Sec. 1651, Pg. 734, Lines 16-25 – Proposes, for law enforcement sake, that the Secretary of HHS will give Attorney General access to ALL medical data.

    Sec. 1701 (beginning), Pg. 739-756 – The government sets guidelines for subsidizing the uninsured (and you have to pay for them).

    government wants to shine sunlight on Doctors but not government. “Reports on financial relationships between manufacturers and distributors . . . and between physicians and other health care entities.”

    Sec. 1501 (beginning), Pg. 659-670 – Doctors in Residency – government will tell you where your residency will be, thus where you’ll live.

    Sec. 1503 (beginning), Pg. 675-685 – Government will regulate hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs, including teaching hospitals.

    Sec. 1601 (beginning), Pg. 685-699 – Increased funding to fight waste, fraud, and abuse. (Like the government with an $18 million website?)

    Sec. 1619, Pg. 700-703 – If your part of Health care plan isn’t in the government’s Health care Exchange but you qualify for federal aid, you don’t have to pay.

    Sec. 1128G, Pg. 704-708 – If the Secretary determines there is a “significant risk of fraudulent activity,” on Health care provider or supplier, the government can do a background check.

    Sec. 1632, Pg. 710, Lines 8-14 – The Secretary has broad powers to deny Health care providers and suppliers admittance into Health care Exchange. Your doctor could be thrown out of business.

    Sec. 1637, Pg. 718-719 – ANY Doctor who orders durable medical equipment or home medical services is REQUIRED to be enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare.

    Sec. 1639, Pg. 721 – Government MANDATES that Doctors must have face-to-face with patient to certify patient for home health services.

    Sec. 1639, Pg. 723-24, Lines 23-25, 1-5 – The same government certifications will apply to Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s health plan: Your kids).

    Sec. 1640, Pg. 723, Lines 16-22 – The government reserves right to apply face-to-face certification for patient to ANY other Health care service.

    Sec. 1651, Pg. 734, Lines 16-25 – Proposes, for law enforcement sake, that the Secretary of HHS will give Attorney General access to ALL medical data.

    Sec. 1701 (beginning), Pg. 739-756 – The government sets guidelines for subsidizing the uninsured (and you have to pay for them).

    government wants to shine sunlight on Doctors but not government. “Reports on financial relationships between manufacturers and distributors . . . and between physicians and other health care entities.”

    Sec. 1501 (beginning), Pg. 659-670 – Doctors in Residency – government will tell you where your residency will be, thus where you’ll live.

    Sec. 1503 (beginning), Pg. 675-685 – Government will regulate hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs, including teaching hospitals.

  12. Steve Sisko says:
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    Part 4

    Sec. 1601 (beginning), Pg. 685-699 – Increased funding to fight waste, fraud, and abuse. (Like the government with an $18 million website?)

    Sec. 1619, Pg. 700-703 – If your part of Health care plan isn’t in the government’s Health care Exchange but you qualify for federal aid, you don’t have to pay.

    Sec. 1128G, Pg. 704-708 – If the Secretary determines there is a “significant risk of fraudulent activity,” on Health care provider or supplier, the government can do a background check.

    Sec. 1632, Pg. 710, Lines 8-14 – The Secretary has broad powers to deny Health care providers and suppliers admittance into Health care Exchange. Your doctor could be thrown out of business.

    Sec. 1637, Pg. 718-719 – ANY Doctor who orders durable medical equipment or home medical services is REQUIRED to be enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare.

    Sec. 1639, Pg. 721 – Government MANDATES that Doctors must have face-to-face with patient to certify patient for home health services.

    Sec. 1639, Pg. 723-24, Lines 23-25, 1-5 – The same government certifications will apply to Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s health plan: Your kids).

    Sec. 1640, Pg. 723, Lines 16-22 – The government reserves right to apply face-to-face certification for patient to ANY other Health care service.

    Sec. 1651, Pg. 734, Lines 16-25 – Proposes, for law enforcement sake, that the Secretary of HHS will give Attorney General access to ALL medical data.

    Part 4
    Sec. 1701 (beginning), Pg. 739-756 – The government sets guidelines for subsidizing the uninsured (and you have to pay for them).

    Sec. 1704, Pg. 756-761 – The government will shift burden of payments to Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) to states (your taxes).

    Sec. 1711, Pg. 764 – The government will require preventative services – including vaccinations (no choice).

    Sec. 1713, Pg. 768 – Government-determined Nurse Home Visitation Services (Hello union paybacks).

    Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 3-5 – Nurse Home Visit Services – Service #1: “Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.” Compulsory ABORTIONS?

    Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 11-14 – Nurse Home Visit Services include determinations of economic self-sufficiency, employment advancement and school-readiness.

    Sec. 1714, Pg. 769 – Federal government mandates eligibility for State Family Planning Services. Abortion and government control intertwined.

    Sec. 1733, Pg. 788-798 – Government will set and mandate drug prices, therefore controlling which drugs are brought to market. (Goodbye innovation and private research.)

    Sec. 1744, Pg. 796-799 – Establishes PAYMENTS for graduate medical education. The government will now control your doctor’s education.

    Sec.1751, Pg. 800 – The government will decide which Health Care conditions will be paid. Say “RATION!”

    Sec. 1759, Pg. 809 – Billing Agents, clearinghouses, or other alternate payees are required to register. The government takes over private payment systems too.

    Sec. 1801, Pg. 819-823 – The Government will identify individuals “likely to be ineligible” for subsidies. Will access all personal financial information.

    Sec. 1802, Pg. 823-828 – Government sets up Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund. Another bottomless tax pit.

    Sec. 4375, Pg. 828-832, Lines 12-16 – Government will impose a fee on ALL private health insurance plans, including self-insured, to pay for Trust Fund!

    Sec. 4377, Pg. 835, Lines 11-13 – Fees imposed by government for Trust Fund shall be treated as if they were taxes.

    Sec. 440, Pg. 837-839 – The government will design and implement Home Visitation Program for families with young kids and families that are expecting children.

    Sec. 1904, Pg. 843-844 – This Home Visitation Program includes the government coming into your house and teaching/telling you how to parent!

    Sec. 2002, Pg. 858 – The government will establish a Public Health Fund at a cost of $88,800,000,000 (That’s Billions).

    Sec. 2201, Pg. 864 – The government will MANDATE the establishment of a National Health Service Corps.
    o Sec. 2201 – “Fulfillment of Obligated Service Requirement”

    Sec. 2201, Pg. 864-875 – The NHS Corps is a program where Doctors perform mandatory Health care for 2 years for partial loan repayment.

    Sec. 2212, Pg. 875-891 – The government takes over the education of Medical students and Doctors through education and loans.

  13. Steve Sisko says:
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    Part 5 – Last part (

    Sec. 340L, Pg. 897 – The government will establish a Public Health Workforce Corps to ensure an adequate supply of public health professionals.

    Sec. 340L, Pg. 897 – The Public Health Workforce Corps shall consist of civilian employees of the United States as Secretary deems necessary.

    Sec. 340L, Pg. 897 – The Public Health Workforce Corps shall consist of officers of Regular and Reserve Corps of Service.

    Sec. 340M, Pg. 899 – The Public Health Workforce Corps includes veterinarians. Will animals have heath care too?

    Sec. 2233, Pg. 909 – The government will develop, build and run Public Health Training Centers.

    Sec. 2241, Pg. 912-913 – Government starts a Health care affirmative action program under the guise of diversity scholarships.

    Sec. 2251, Pg. 915 – Government MANDATES cultural and linguistic competency training for Health care professionals.

    Sec. 3111, Pg. 931 – The government will establish a Preventative and Wellness Trust fund, with initial cost of $30,800,000,000 (Billions more).

    Sec. 3121, Pg. 934, Lines 21-22 – Government will identify specific goals and objectives for prevention and wellness activities. More control of your life.

    Sec. 3121, Pg. 935, Lines 1-2 – The government will develop “Healthy People & National Public Health Performance Standards.” They will tell us what to eat?

    Sec. 3131, Pg. 942, Lines 22-25 – “Task Force on Community Preventive Services.” More government? Under the Offices of Surgeon General, Public Health Services, Minority Health and Women’s Health.

    Sec. 3141, Pg. 949-979 – BIG GOVERNMENT core public health infrastructure includes workforce capacity, lab systems, health information systems, etc.

    Sec. 2511, Pg. 992 – Government will establish school-based “health” clinics. Your children will be indoctrinated and your grandchildren may be aborted!

    Sec. 399Z-1, Pg. 993 – School-Based Health Clinics will be integrated into the school environment. More government brainwashing in school.

    Sec. 2521, Pg. 1000 – The government will establish a National Medical Device Registry. Will you be tracked?

  14. Nick Carroll says:
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    Thanks Steve. I am short on time today, but am going to take a quick look at the first three to see if your interpretation of each section holds up. I’ll hit the rest tomorrow.

  15. Nick Carroll says:
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    1. “Sec. 113, Pg. 21-22 of the Health Care (HC) Bill MANDATES a government audit of the books of ALL EMPLOYERS”

    There doesn’t appear to be any language that indicates mandated audits. Those are your words, not the bill’s. It simply says there is to be a “study” conducted. That seems like good policy to ensure there aren’t unintended effects.

    2. “Sec. 122, Pg. 29, Lines 4-16 – YOUR HEALTH CARE WILL BE RATIONED!”

    I find your interpretation of this one very shady Steve. The lines you are referring to deal with limits on cost-sharing, not benefits. In fact the bill specifically states in Section 112 (the very section you are quoting from), “does not impose any annual or lifetime limit
    on the coverage of covered health care items and services;”

    3. “THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE deciding what treatments and benefits you get.”

    This is actually half true. The bill states “(1) IN GENERAL.—There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a
    panel of medical and other experts to be known as
    the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.”

    I am not sure why this is a problem. Private insurance specifies what’s covered and not covered as well.

    Steve, if I may be blunt, it appears you have your agenda and are not going to let the actual wording of the bill get in its way. That said, I am certain you do have some valid points in your comprehensive list. Sadly, it’s difficult to discuss those issues if they are hidden amongst what appears to be a considerable amount of garbage. I will do my best to go through each point though, but it may take me several days. If for no other reason than it will help me have more informed discussions on what many consider to be the most important piece of legislation in some time.

  16. Steve Sisko says:
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    My response to your mistakes:

    1. “here doesn’t appear to be any language that indicates mandated audits. Those are your words, not the bill’s. It simply says there is to be a “study” conducted. That seems like good policy to ensure there aren’t unintended effects.”

    SS: “Study,” “audit,” “inspection,” “review” = go ahead and choose any word you want – it doesn’t change the fact that the government is inserting itself into an area it should stay out of.

    2. ”I find your interpretation of this one very shady Steve. “

    SS: You’re ignorance as to basic healthcare benefits management terminology and practices is obvious. What do you think “covered health care items and services means?!” HUH?! Are you daft? Coverage limits are not universal across all benefit packages and enrollment segments. Cost-sharing, coordination of benefits and third-party liability recovery is all about limiting benefits (i.e. rationing). Nick, you contradict your response to this item with your response to the next item. See below.

    3. “This is actually half true.”

    SS: Actually entirely true, which is twice more than you yourself acknowledge. This is a problem because the largest cross-section of the American public will not benefit with the government dictating what should be covered or not. There has to be some flexibility of benefit selection and fairness as to who’s on the hook for paying for what is selected.

    SS: As far as “private insurance specifying what’s covered and not covered as well” – Are you honestly suggesting that a benefit package of a single size and composition is appropriate, reasonable and fair?

    SS: Nick, if I may be blunt, you are batting .000 and it appears you have your agenda and are not going to let the actual facts and wording of the bill get in your way. After all, you are research-challenged attorney while I am merely a senior healthcare analyst who has spent 15+ years working in areas you will never have the time to learn and understand.

    “Sadly, it’s difficult to discuss those issues if they are hidden amongst what appears to be a considerable amount of garbage.”

    SS: More bluntness at you Nick: I won’t waste any more of my keypunches trying to get through to an apparently misguided Horse-lawyer who doesn’t know how to use Google but is apparently skilled in circumvention of facts and the law. I’ll check back in a few months after you’ve had time for read up and learn a lot more.

  17. Lana Keeton says:
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    Hello Everyone,

    WOW! So as a small business owner hit by personal health issues and a tough economy, you feel the government should be able to tax me for not providing myself with health insurance?

    I am a steel broker, buying and selling steel coils to metal building manufacturers. That does not work for me. Health Care Decisions belong in my hands. What shall I do? Pay for health insurance and live in the streets?

    I was appalled when Obama fired the CEO of General Motors. I thought to myself, this means he has the ability to fire me from my own company. They have effectively fired many business owners by closing down profitable auto dealerships.

    Now the government should also have the power to mandate I buy health insurance for myself?

    AGAIN, MY POINT IS THE COST! THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS SPENDING MONEY WE DON’T HAVE AND PUTTING US FURTHER INTO DEBT.

    Several years ago I was having a discussion with a business associate and I said to him then, “With all the credit card and mortgage debt individual Americans have, the United States could become a third world country.”

    We are very close to that now. I feel Government Run Healthcare would be the tipping point to put us over the edge.

    I am really surprised people believe everything is manufactured by some political lobbying interest. I know our country is run by political lobbying interests, but AMERICANS ARE NOT STUPID! This health care bill goes too far and people are angry.

    If I were not focused on patient advocacy of Synthetic Surgical Mesh Sufferers through Truth in Medicine, I would be out there with the “Mob” who are real citizens showing their concern, voicing their rights and their freedom of speech.

  18. Steve Lombardi says:
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    I think this is going to take some time to digest, but I must say that faking public opinion isn’t in this country’s best interest nor is it likely to create a public policy that solves problems. Like Jane I like how The Center for Media and Democracy is approaching these topics. I also can’t see the point in being against a health policy for low income patients who are already covered by the government and taxpayers. We simply can’t ignore the problem; heck we are already paying for it, so what is the oppositions proposed solution? We need to address it with some proposal. If groups oppose this Administrations plan then what is the plan they suggest? Or are they just opposed to whatever this Administration proposes? Steve Sisko and Lana Keeton: What is the link to a site that shows what the opposition proposes? Or don’t they have a plan? Opposition standing alone is no plan. Opposition standing alone is a choice, but not a plan. Choosing to do nothing doesn’t seem to me to be an option. So please tell us what is your groups plan? Thanks. Steve

  19. James Cool says:
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    I actually looked at several of Steve’s citations to the proposed text of the bill. I think Steve’s readings are not entirely incorrect but they almost always seem to take an extra step not contained in the text of the bill. For example, while the bill mandates that EFT capability be developed it does not mandate that the government have access to all private bank accounts. I acknowledge this is a possible logical consequence of enabling EFT somewhere down the line, the bill’s language is a necessary but not sufficient condition of the outcome you propose.

    I want to take a minute and explain to everyone what that means since most folks who didn’t have to sit through four years of a liberal arts education have blessedly never been exposed to formal logical calculus. Necessary conditions are those without which a thing cannot happen. Sufficient conditions are those which are enough to bring about the result discussed but may not be necessary. Thus if something is necessary but not sufficient, that means you need it to get the result but having it alone does not ensure the result. A good example would be a law degree. A law degree is a necessary but not sufficient condition to being a lawyer–you still have to pass the bar exam.

    Finally, as a note to my fellow “conservatives” and I use the modifier “fellow” liberally (pun intended). You brought this on yourselves. Obama won primarily because of young voters and independents. As one of both, I assure you that the reasons I and others like me voted for him and other democrats are simple:

    1.) You twice elected Bush. In doing so, you gave up the right to whine about big government, or privacy, or individual rights because that charlatan presided over this nation under the guidance of apocryphal biblical verse and supervised a stunning constriction of our individual liberties contemporaneous with the growth of government and the national debt.

    2.) The GOP wed itself to the very worst in our society–tome clutching fear mongers who hates minorities, foreigners, and gays. Those of us who live our lives free of hate simply could not vote for your candidate, even if we preferred small government.

    3.) You became the party of small minds, small ideas, and small words (and big government). The minute the republican party lost its intellectual luster and began pandering to Karl Rove’s middle-America, you lost all thoughtful conservative independents.

    4.) You keep running people you want to have a beer with. We don’t want to have a beer with you or the president. We just want him/her to lead and lead well.

    So, understand republicans, you brought this on yourselves. If your dooms day predictions prove true, then know that you wrought this on America.

    By the way, I don’t understand the Obama-Hitler references? Didn’t you twice elect a populist leader who drove a nation to war based on xenophobic-terror and moved America unerringly toward fascism. I admit I’m merely the descendant of holocaust survivors so my knowledge may be fuzzy, but that seems decidedly more “nazi” then giving everyone health care (however ill-fated that idea may be).

  20. James Cool says:
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    Lana:

    Obama did not arbitrarily fire the CEO of General Motors. He didn’t just swoop down in his Nazi-copter and pick off the head of some small business.

    GM underwent a government supervised (thanks to subsidy and bailouts) bankruptcy: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/10/AR2009071001473.html

    Not surprisingly, this led to executive intervention. Whether you think the bail out was a good idea or not (I think it was bad) the reality is that you as a small business owner are not analogous to the CEO of GM. That said, if you supervise a business which drives your investors and the country millions of dollars into debt then I might support the executive firing you too.

    Don’t worry, the Fuhrer ain’t coming for ya sweetie. I promise.

  21. Nick Carroll says:
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    Jimmy:

    I bailed on the discussion when a) Mr. Sisko displayed his unwillingness to have it rationally and b) I realized his talking points were taken verbatim from the Liberty Counsel web site (http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=19319).

  22. James Cool says:
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    The Liberty Counsel:

    “Restoring the culture one case at a time by advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and the traditional family.”

    Awww, pro-life Jesus-freak moonbats. Shoulda known.

    Meanwhile, most of their analysis is just flat stupid. Moreover, where it’s right it’s of no moment since the ills it identifies are present under the current system, they’re just inflicted by HMOs.

  23. Steve Sisko says:
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    “unwillingness to have it rationally!?”

    Are you serious, go re-read your own posts. Nick Carroll bailed on the discussion when he realized his fancy wordsmithing was worthless and could not prevent the facts from getting in the way; when thin-skinned Nick was responded to and treated the exact same way he treats others. And that is exactly why Obama and his ilk are so frustrated about now.

    Me thinks Nick Carroll and James Cool are just two greedy a$$ ambulance chasing attornies who are terrified at the thought of Tort Reform.

    And James….you appear a little too old to be such a misinformed, hateful, screaming Liberal. Those points 1 to 5 above say it all.

    But don’t mess with you guys huh?! “You’re attorney’s!!!!”

    bwa…ha…ha…ha

  24. Nick Carroll says:
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    Steve, neither of us are attorneys. But, thanks for commenting and take care.

  25. Ernest Franklin says:
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    Thanks and hang in there Steve. You know, I could have sworn they were both attorneys. At any rate, they are learning fast.

  26. James Cool says:
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    In fairness, I’m -almost- an attorney but Nick is not (it’s the thing I like best about him).

    That said Steve, the material you took from the Liberty Counsel is either flat out wrong, or moot. Did you look at the language they cite yourself? I did. How do you square the language with Liberty’s conclusions?

    Also, you hate lawyers, but you realize that little bit of propaganda you quoted was prepared by one of Liberty Counsel’s LAWYERS, right?

  27. Steve Lombardi says:
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    Sisko and Franklin: What do you mean by the term “wordsmithing”?
    And why do you assume that everyone who supports President Obama’s ideas are Democrats?
    What differences do you see between what the Republican Party’s criticism of the Democratic Party and what the Republicans did for 8 years?
    Are you both Republicans?
    How old are you?
    What do you do for a living?
    Do you have a law degree?

  28. Steve Lombardi says:
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    Last question, what are your ideas for health care repair, reform or whatever you wish to call it?

  29. Steve Sisko says:
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    Wrong Cool Guy! I never said I ‘hate’ all lawyers. There you go not reading what’s right in front of you and there you go with generalizations.

    I stated a strong disapproval for ambulance chasers, people who toss out a lot of big, flaming words on complex topics yet provide very little heat, and people who toss out Red Herrings and attack perceived agendas in an attempt to change the focus from the matter at hand. For the record Cool Guy, I’m not a Jesus Freak and I haven’t even been in a church or place of worship or anything like that for 15 years or more.

    I will forward a link to this page to the contact at the web site I cut and pasted those various parts from. Maybe they can rebut your sweeping generalization that their points are either flat our wrong or moot. (Man is that an asinine comment – “flat out wrong or moot!”)

    And Steve L.

    1. For what I mean by “word-smithing:” see the various ‘posts’ above from Carroll and Cool and my immediate response above to Cool guy above.

    2. Where did I say that ‘everyone who supports President Obama’s ideas are Democrats?’ Huh? There an attorney goes again with those generalizations. You ARE an attorney? right?

    3. What do you mean by “What differences do you see between what the Republican Party’s criticism of the Democratic Party and what the Republicans did for 8 years?” Can you be more specific about which “politicians did what in 8 years” and do away with the sweeping statements, old-timer?

    The following is none of your business but I’ll share anyway:

    4. I am a Libertarian, fiscally conservative. If you want to marry a goat, or drop acid every day, or become a hermaphrodite – and it doesn’t directly or indirectly cost or impact me or my family – then go right ahead. I don’t know Franklin’s party affiliation and I don’t answer for him.

    5. I am 48 years old.

    6. I work in healthcare – currently for a state government.

    7. I do not have a law degree. Do you have 15 years of experience with healthcare benefits package design, delivery and payment?

    Really, an injury lawyer can’t hold a candle to the depth and breadth of experience I have on this healthcare and most of the importance areas needing reform.

  30. up arrow

    The word “attorney’s” is the singular possessive of, and “attorneys” the plural of, “attorney.” I point this out because the common use of apostrophes where none belong (among other common grammar and spelling mistakes) bothers me almost as much as the cost and lack of coverage provided by our healthcare system. I don’t know if my two pet peeves are related, but I am looking forward to improvements related to these reforms.

  31. up arrow

    Oh, and I meant to provide this link from a respected “non-liberal” business consultancy:

    “Why Americans Pay More for Healthcare”

    http://tinyurl.com/6bqm4q

    for anyone interested in the economics behind the system.

  32. Steve S says:
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    Another Red Herring tossed out by an Injury Board member. Something smells ‘fishy’ here. I think I need to report you to the White House!

    By the way, the pot should not be calling the kettle black homey. You should check your critique before spouting off. Read your last sentence: “…are be related…”

    Apparently not?

    Are you an attorney too?

  33. Nick Carroll says:
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    Steve, InjuryBoard Attorney Members are designated as such under their avatars. Staff and other contributors are likewise identified. You can also learn more by clicking through to profile pages.

  34. Ernest Franklin says:
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    My post earlier today was commending and thanking Steve Sisko. Just want to make that clear since I did’nt use his last name in the post.

    Might better slow down a little there Steve Lombardi. Although I agree with Steve Sisko, you will not find the word “wordsmithing” in either of my two postings. However you should be smart enough to figure out what Steve Sisco means.

    Just for your information I am neither Democrat nor Republican. When you get beyound that I don’t see what difference it makes how old I am, what I do for a living or whether or not I have a law degree. I will say I’ve been around long enough and read enough to make good informed decisions.

  35. up arrow

    Thanks Steve, I fixed my typo. Want me to go through and correct yours? ;)

    Please report us to the White House, because that would be awesome. BTW, what state government pays its (note the exception to the rule) government employees or contractors to sit online and read and comment on blogs all day? Please don’t misunderstand, as we are happy to have you here. I am just curious as to whose dime you are sitting on right now.

  36. Steve S says:
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    Yea…go ahead and fix mine. I really hope I have not triggered any of your pet peeves with this final reply to this thread.

    I’m surprise at you’re failure to pick up on my reference to “FISHY” and ratting you out to the White House. This leads me to believe you are not following all the debate and back and forth on the so-called Health Care Reform bill. Or maybe you just have zero sense of humor. Probably you focus too much on being right and inconsequential details?

    In regards to your “BTW” – there you guys go again with your assumptions and generalizations. How do you know I’m even at a client site or work? How do you know I’ve been sitting and reading and commenting on blogs all day? What a presumptuous and arrogant attitude you have! Do you talk to your Mom with that tone?

    Since you are curious, I’m a high-priced contractor, paid by the hour and I work 60-70 hr weeks when I am away. I can do pretty much whatever I want to do wherever I want to do it. I bill for what I produce and pay for what I consume – something many (that’s ‘many’ – not ‘all) on Obama’s side of this issue likely wouldn’t understand.

    So there you have it Mr. InjuryBoard President of Vice and CFO Darren Dude.
    ============
    And Cool Guy, I was ‘almost an attorney too’but my family and friends slapped some sense into me. I was ‘almost an astronaut’ too…but the launch aborted.
    ==
    I’m really done with this site…there are too few intelligent contributions here.

  37. Mark Bello says:
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    After 8 years of Bush, I guess I understand the mistrust of anything “government”, but I don’t understand how anybody in America can argue against a policy suggesting that all Americans receive basic health care coverage. If we are, indeed, the ‘greatest country in the world’, we must do a better job of lifting up the less fortunate members of our society. The benefits of such an effort far outweigh any negatives. As I understand the proposed plan (no, I didn’t read Steve’s multiple post containing it) employers would pay less for employee’s health insurance, the wealthy could pay extra for better coverage, and the unemployed and poorer segments of our society would be covered, hence more healthy, hence less of a drain on the system. Sound like an “everybody wins” proposal to me.

  38. Ernest Franklin says:
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    Hi Mark Bello,

    Sounds a lot like socialism to me.

  39. James Cool says:
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    Ernest:

    Like it or not America is and has been, in many respects, a socialist society. Medicare is socialized medicine. Other socialist innovations include: unemployment insurance, bankruptcy legislation, welfare, WIC programs, After-School programs, Parks and Rec departments, the list goes on and on.

    I suppose you can disagree with all of these program and abhor all socialist endeavors. Truth be told, I personally would prefer an entirely private system, but I have come to reconcile taxes and the cost of these programs as the price I pay for living in arguably the most prosperous society in the world.

    Steve:

    I think you’ll find much quality thought and debate here, but it’s not going to be drawn out by poking your opponents with the “ambulance chase” stick.

    I asked you a simple question: How you do square the language of the bill with the Liberty Counsel’s conclusions? I told you I had compared numerous instances of the text with their conclusions and found them to be wrong or moot. Some examples:

    The portion about the government having “access to your bank accounts” is wrong. If you read it, the legislation merely requires that providers develop a system for accepting Electronic Funds Transfer. It does not mandate access to anyone’s account.

    An example of mootness is their claim that the government will tell doctors how much they can make. This is moot because it is the case under the current system. Doctors have specified provider agreements with health insurers and medicare which do exactly that–tell them how much they can make. In this way, the new system merely duplicates the old.

    Once again, I challenge you to answer my question. How do you square the language with the conclusion? It is not enough to proclaim my conclusion foolish without addressing my honest inquiry or explaining why you find it so.

  40. Concerned Citizen says:
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    I know from personal experience that the intended point of this article is a lie. I know the people who attended local protests and hearings of the health care reform bill. They have read the bill and know exactly what it says and what power it gives the government over Americans. To say that astroturf marketing tactics are representative of these meetings is a deception, and intention is the obvious intent of the article by David Mittleman.
    Sorry. We’ve had enough lies from the government, and from people like you. I know literally hundreds of individuals who have not been tainted by any propaganda campaigns, who see how terribly wrong the health care reform (tax) bill is by simply reading it.

  41. Nick Carroll says:
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    FactCheck.org just came out with a report today analyzing all of the 48 bullet points Steve Sisko reprinted here that were (according to factcheck.org) originally printed as a series of tweets from a “conservative blogger.” Their conclusion is that of the 48 points, “Twenty-six of them are false and the rest mostly misleading. Only four are true.”

    http://factcheck.org/2009/08/twenty-six-lies-about-hr-3200/

    Not that any of this matters as most people are clearly not interested in discussing the actual proposed changes to our healthcare and insurance systems.

  42. Steve S says:
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    Oh boy! That’s rich!

    What is FactCheck.org’s primary funding source? And there are many instances of bias by FactCheck.org – guess which way FactCheck.org leans?

    I do agree with the New Nick – no one wants to discuss proposed healthcare reform changes – mostly Obama and the leftists who just want to pass their bad bill and then sort it out after they get their camel-like nose under the tent.

  43. Nick Carroll says:
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    Thanks Steve. You were right on cue.