CNN/Tea Party Debate Audience Cheers Letting Uninsured Comatose Man Die
September 14, 2011 1:54 AM   Subscribe

CNN/Tea Party Debate Audience Cheers Letting Uninsured Comatose Man Die. In one of several recent ugly audience reactions at Republican debates, several in the crowd at last night’s CNN/Tea Party Express debate hooted their approval at moderator Wolf Blitzer‘s followup question about leaving a hypothetical coma patient to die if he couldn’t pay for care. Rep. Ron Paul said that the uninsured should “take (their) own risks,” and Blitzer rejoined, “are you saying that society should just let him die?” Paul answered “no,” but several in the crowd hooted “Yeah!” to a smattering of laughter.

The reactions of three or four audience members at a debate isn’t all that meaningful on its own, but this outburst follows last week’s Death Penalty Ovation at the Reagan Library debate, and another ugly moment at the Tea Party debate in which the crowd cheered for fed chairman Ben Bernanke to be tried for treason, a capital crime.
posted by jhandey (126 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: People we hate do things we hate isn't really a great way to start up a MeFi post and this is, as framed, just outragefilter. If you want to make ap ost about the complicated political mess the US is in, do it without pre-GRARing your post. Thank you. -- jessamyn



 
They want blood.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 1:57 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


This makes me sick to my stomach.
posted by arcticseal at 2:00 AM on September 14, 2011 [14 favorites]


classy
posted by ouke at 2:01 AM on September 14, 2011


so yeah i hear finland is a cool place to be

who wants that, who wants to come with me to finland
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:03 AM on September 14, 2011 [47 favorites]


I always thought tea parties were civilised affairs where people sipped tea with their pinkies in the air. This Tea Party is giving "tea parties" a bad name...
posted by greenhornet at 2:05 AM on September 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


No, the question was about a hypothetical man who wouldn't pay for insurance even though he made good money and could afford it. It's still disturbing that they would cheer death, but it's editorializing not to accurately describe the question.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:09 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Behold the typical uninsured person:

A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it.

If tea party members are now applauding the deaths of selfish rich young men they're ready to kill anybody.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:17 AM on September 14, 2011 [39 favorites]


Gawker: As it turns out, Paul was not speaking purely in hypotheticals. Back in 2008, Kent Snyder — Paul's former campaign chairman — died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer's example, the 49-year-old Snyder (pictured) was relatively young and seemingly healthy* when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder's surviving mother (pictured, left), who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:21 AM on September 14, 2011 [28 favorites]


And of course Ron Paul delivers the classic Republican mythology that back before all these social welfare programs people just took care of each other, with the help of churches. Just like the free market's rationality obviates the need for civil rights laws, and workers and consumers can protect themselves from harm without worker's rights laws the pesky FDA

I always wonder about these people's mental narrative of history. It sounds like humans must have existed in the most wonderful, rational, selfish but selflessly moral society, with invisible market handjobs for all, until one day inexplicably some idiot proposed having a government and everyone agreed, ruining everything
posted by crayz at 2:23 AM on September 14, 2011 [110 favorites]


another day, another bit of evidence for my political asylum application...
posted by Vetinari at 2:24 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


More from that Gawker post: *The Kansas City Star quoted his sister at the time as saying that a "a pre-existing condition made the premiums too expensive."
posted by jhandey at 2:25 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


In the first debate, the Republican crowd roundly cheered execution.

Killing poor people is an easy consequence.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:25 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oops, sorry jhandey, that was after the fold.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:29 AM on September 14, 2011


During the debate Paul also faced intense booing and a quick cutoff from Wolf Blitzer when trying to talk sense on foreign policy in regards to 9/11 and Iraq.

LA Times: Ron Paul, long a darling of such gatherings such as the one in Tampa on Monday, was roundly booed during the CNN/Tea Party debate for suggesting that American foreign policy helped contribute to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Paul was upbraided by former Sen. Rick Santorum, long a hawk on taking on radical Islam on a global scale.

“This idea that whole Muslim world is attacking us because we’re free and prosperous, that is just not true,” Paul said.

That's the thing about Paul, he honestly doesn't care if the crowd is cheering or booing, he's going to say what he thinks and sometimes it's crazy and sometimes it's damn right.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:30 AM on September 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


What would Jesus do if he were a Republican presidential candidate? Would he say stuff like this?:

Luke 6:20-21 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 4:16-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives...

Mark 10:21-22 Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.

The Tea Party would never elect, let alone believe, in a softee like Jesus.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:37 AM on September 14, 2011 [30 favorites]


a few idiots clapping and saying yeah isn't the audience cheering letting someone die

this is shamefully exaggerated
posted by pyramid termite at 2:37 AM on September 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


No, the question was about a hypothetical man who wouldn't pay for insurance even though he made good money and could afford it. It's still disturbing that they would cheer death, but it's editorializing not to accurately describe the question.

It's true, and the question was a softball. There are 50 million uninsured people in America. 1/6th of the country. They're not just all selfishly calculating odds

I'm 29. I'm working on starting a business. I'm uninsured. My previous job coverage has lapsed. I have pre-existing conditions. Any continuing/new insurance would be ruinously expensive if it was even possible, unless the government effectively foots part of the bill one way or the other

I was in Malaysia a year ago and came down with pneumonia. By the time I got to the hospital I barely had enough air left to walk. I was in the hospital for 5 days. The bill was $250. If I had been in America at the time, I would now be bankrupt and/or dead
posted by crayz at 2:42 AM on September 14, 2011 [65 favorites]


A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it.

LOL Tea Party. LOL. Why do they hate people? LOL.

What about Blitzer's question? What if someone decides to not buy health insurance? Someone who is say 25 and would rather have some new threads? 600 bucks a month is a lot of money when you're paying back school loans. What if he doesn't want to pay? Should there be any penalty? Any repercussion?

Insurance works on the principle that everyone pays and a few people benefit. When everyone does not pay, fewer people can benefit. If young healthy people who do not need health insurance do not pay, then no system of insurance can work.

There are two choices:

1) tax people or use the threat of government imposed penalty (including imprisonment) to force young healthy people to buy insurance. i.e., Obama-care.

2) let people take their own choices and live with (or die with) the consequences. i.e., Ron-Paul-care.

Honestly spoken, neither is particularly attractive and at least Ron Paul's solution has the virtue of being consistent with his view that people should have choice.
posted by three blind mice at 2:43 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think there are more than two choices, three blind mice.
posted by Red Loop at 2:49 AM on September 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


No it isn't. There's only the choice of paying to the government, paying to the insurer or dying. This debate simplifies to

"does a small sector of society get to determine your healthcare?"

where that small sector is, ironically, some hate-filled delusional fundamentalists. You want freedom? Pay tax.
posted by cromagnon at 2:57 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Watching this from the other side of the pond is really quite terrifying. Most powerful country in the world, land of the free, home of the whatever - yet a significant cohort appears to see monsters like Sarah Palin and assorted other barking-mad fascists as serious political figures. Probably the same people who are first in line to criticise middle-eastern states for having so-called "extremist" leaders.....
posted by MajorDundee at 3:00 AM on September 14, 2011 [28 favorites]


Honestly spoken, neither is particularly attractive and at least Ron Paul's solution has the virtue of being consistent with his view that people should have choice.

Right and the other option has the virtue of saving tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of wasted dollars

Also, since we could just do single payer and take money out of the general fund, the only real choice it takes away is the choice to get sick and die without care, and you can actually still do that too if you want. I guess choosing to go bankrupt paying for healthcare might be difficult, but we could probably work something out if that's of interest to Tea Partiers
posted by crayz at 3:01 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


a few idiots clapping and saying yeah isn't the audience cheering letting someone die

But this isn't isolated (as the often conservative-friendly Mediaite's article helpfully points out in the links from the original post I included). Death is getting a lot of applause at the Republican primary debates, and that's noteworthy. Maybe the Grim Reaper should throw his scythe into the ring - from the look of things, he might do pretty well.
posted by jhandey at 3:02 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Finally, we located an actual "death panel": the Republican base.

There are two three choices:

3. A single-payer system. For example, expand Medicare to cover everyone from the cradle to the grave.
posted by univac at 3:04 AM on September 14, 2011 [18 favorites]


There are two choices:

1) tax people or use the threat of government imposed penalty (including imprisonment) to force young healthy people to buy insurance. i.e., Obama-care.

2) let people take their own choices and live with (or die with) the consequences. i.e., Ron-Paul-care.


3) Realise that Insurance as implemented in America is hideously bureaucratic and inefficient, and do something radical that's both a hell of a lot cheaper than insurance* and much better overall like use the NHS or the Canadian systems as models.

* Even before you guys buy insurance, your government spends more per head on healthcare than ours does. And the British NHS is free at point of delivery, with outcomes that blow the US system away (as does just about every other system).
posted by Francis at 3:05 AM on September 14, 2011 [22 favorites]


That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed corporations that own them ...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:05 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honestly spoken, neither is particularly attractive and at least Ron Paul's solution has the virtue of being consistent with his view that people should have choice.

Tax people for single payer. No, seriously. The wealthy benefit from a population which is healthy and ready to work. The middle class benefits from not fearing the loss of all they have worked for just to get a hospital stay if they have a pre-existing condition, have lapsed in health insurance between jobs, or have enough student debt to pay back that insurance borders on impossible. The poor benefit from not dying in the streets.

I'll give that Obama's plan is the worst watered down piece of shit legislation I've seen hailed as a "victory" in his entire time as President. The trouble is that giving people a choice results in taking from others. With proper insurance, we wouldn't see people putting off treatment until they crawled into the ER and skipped out on the bill. With proper insurance, we wouldn't see people with a health condition staring down monthly insurance bills higher than the rent. Take the strain of health insurance off the backs of employers and the underemployed struggling to stay afloat and you might just find health care is cheaper for everyone because resources are wasted less and healthier people mean a healthier economy.

I don't want to pay higher taxes. I do find it a far more palatable alternative than going without insurance or being drilled for insurance outside a group plan. After all, a single payer system is the biggest group plan of all. It backs the government principle of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" pretty well on that first one.

Still, if you think socialized insurance is an unfair system to enforce and there should be choice, make sure you vote for someone who believes that and will shut down Medicare. Me? I'll be mourning the lack of choice of a candidate who supports sane health care.
posted by Saydur at 3:13 AM on September 14, 2011 [26 favorites]


Isn't this coming from the same people who were quaking in their sansabelts that Obama would deem them not worthy of living with his Death Panels?

justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: "If tea party members are now applauding the deaths of selfish rich young men they're ready to kill anybody."

Not if we get them first.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:17 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: getting so easy I can copy and paste my comment from another thread from yesterday into this thread, and it just fits.

Like I said yesterday folks- "I hope they win, every, fucking one of them. I hope they enact all the laws they want. I hope they legislate death to the poor, throwing children into the river in sacks with rocks (they're useless without education, eh? And, besides, they can just screw and make more.). I hope they eat the environment for breakfast and shit toxins at lunch. I hope they direct all the hot air they spew into the arctic and melt the ice cap, I hope they scrub the world clean of every sect, religion, belief, and acknowledgement of faith that doesn't include the unholy trinity and their white skinned, blue eyed spawn.

I hope they win, and propagate amongst themselves, becoming whiter, dumber, until they are nothing more than drooling piles of bleached skin and blond hair, inhaling with the greed of a protein black hole, until they eventually eat their own children because they don't know any better, and then, as a last act of self destruction, swallow their tales like the snakes they are and disappear..leaving the earth a clean, barren, burnt shell...

and then, somewhere, a cell will divide again and again... perhaps that cell will have learned something and will do better this next time around.

But, personally, I doubt they will have learned anything at all...."

posted by tomswift at 3:18 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Former Representative Alan Grayson, quoted in the Huffington Post:

My speech was about the fact I had been listening to the Republicans for months, and they literally had no plan to help all those millions of people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick. So I said, in sort of a wry manner, that their plan was "don’t get sick." All I really wanted to do was just call attention to the stark absence of a Republican plan. But Fox, trying to take the heat off Joe Wilson and Sarah Palin I guess, transmogrified that into a charge that Republicans want to kill people.

What you saw tonight is something much more sinister than not having a healthcare plan. It's sadism, pure and simple. It's the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading -- bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about -- "the war of all against all."

posted by jhandey at 3:21 AM on September 14, 2011 [33 favorites]


Having insurance doesn't mean a damned thing.

Both I and my mate work our asses off and put in long hours. But our insurance, for which we pay dearly, has a deductible of $11,000.00 and very, very few actual benefits. As we both work for small employers this is the best we could do. Neither of us receives anything resembling routine care--can't afford it, which is hilarious given that we are insured. And yes, there are things for which we need treatment. By the time we are able to get help, I'm sure these conditions will be much more serious and expensive. We both live in chronic pain.

The American system is so broken I doubt it can ever be righted. Compassion is scarce in a tight economy, unless you have a compelling viral video or website or have a sob story that makes it onto Fox News.

Capitalism is the true religion of America, and it ain't pretty.
posted by kinnakeet at 3:22 AM on September 14, 2011 [30 favorites]


The most disturbing part is that Ron Paul is a physician. He has taken the Hippocratic Oath, swearing to help the sick with all measures that are required and with warmth and sympathy.

I don't remember there being a line about "only if they could afford it."
posted by t_dubs at 3:26 AM on September 14, 2011 [20 favorites]


Compassion is scarce in a tight economy

I call bullshit. When things really get tough, people pull together to help each other. That's been true across generations, across national lines, across racial lines, for the entire history of humanity. Compassion isn't something that people need when times are easy, it's there, deep in our makeup, for the toughest of times.

When we're done blaming each other, we have to help each other.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:43 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Part of the problem is that health care costs are insanely high, much, much higher then they are in other countries just based on the baseline costs. And in fact, people who are uninsured can end up getting charged much, much more then people who have insurance for the same services.

Anyway, if it was up to me what I would do is say, for example if you don't have insurance and get sick then should take some financial responsibility for it, but the way it works in the U.S. now is insane. A simple solution would be to impose a higher tax rate on that person until the costs of their care are paid back, along with requiring them to buy insurance going forward.

It's surprising how un-creative the "we have two harsh choices!" crowd is.

Then again I would just universal healthcare in the first place, so it wouldn't be an issue.
posted by delmoi at 3:45 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Insurance works on the principle that everyone pays and a few people benefit. When everyone does not pay, fewer people can benefit. If young healthy people who do not need health insurance do not pay, then no system of insurance can work.
[...]
Honestly spoken, neither is particularly attractive and at least Ron Paul's solution has the virtue of being consistent with his view that people should have choice.


I know, it's so stupid of people to choose not to have health insurance. All those young and healthy people are taking stupid risks. Being uninsured is selfish; their failure to contribute makes the whole health care system not work.

I also have to admit that I find unemployed people similarly selfish. They are living on government handouts. Why don't they choose to just get a job? I also don't understand why the homeless don't choose to rent. Or the starving don't just eat some food. So many irresponsible choices!
posted by cotterpin at 3:46 AM on September 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Watching this from the other side of the pond is really quite terrifying.

And you are coming to this realization from the perspective of the UK, America's 'special relationship' poodle, the second most warlike western nation, with the third largest army in the world, nuclear weapons and no small history of political and military insanity.

Imagine how the sane, peaceful and essentially unarmed nations feel....
posted by srboisvert at 3:51 AM on September 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


1) tax people or use the threat of government imposed penalty (including imprisonment) to force young healthy people to buy insurance. i.e., Obama-care.

2) let people take their own choices and live with (or die with) the consequences. i.e., Ron-Paul-care.


Check out the most recent OECD report on healthcare expenditure by country (warning: horribly unintuitive Excel file). The really crazy thing is that not only is the total (public plus private) yearly per capita US healthcare bill the highest of all OECD countries (at $US7960 in 2009), its public expenditure is the second highest ($3794, only beaten by Norway at $4501).

In 2008 Australia spent $US3345 total, $US2342 public, and still manages to provide free or cheap universal healthcare. It's certainly not perfect, but from what I've read it's way better than you'd get on a lot of private plans in the US - and they don't kick you off it if you lose your job or start to cost too much. If you want private insurance, it runs at about $100 a month (it's basically unknown here for employers to pay for health insurance; they don't need to).

Anyway, the point is that there's precedent for universal healthcare actually reducing not only private expenditure on healthcare but public expenditure as well. So your options might read better as:

1) take advantages of the efficiencies available with a centralised universal system and reduce taxes while making it cheaper for businesses to hire people. i.e., like the rest of the modern world.

2) bask in the warming glow of market failure while everyone pays much more than they need to! Enjoy the schadenfreude of watching poor or foolish people send their families bankrupt paying for medical treatment then die anyway when the credit runs out! i.e. "fuck you, peons"-care.

posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:52 AM on September 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Would it really be that painful for people in the US to take a look at how other countries have this problem licked? Is it really that impossible that there are others who come up with better ideas?

Just pick any other first world country out there, any at all, and copy their system, and you're all better off.

Flip a coin if you can't choose, but for crying out loud stop complaining on how it's simply not possible.
posted by DreamerFi at 3:53 AM on September 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


"I hope they win, and propagate amongst themselves, becoming whiter, dumber, until they are nothing more than drooling piles of bleached skin and blond hair, inhaling with the greed of a protein black hole, until they eventually eat their own children because they don't know any better, and then, as a last act of self destruction, swallow their tales like the snakes they are and disappear..leaving the earth a clean, barren, burnt shell...

and then, somewhere, a cell will divide again and again... perhaps that cell will have learned something and will do better this next time around.

But, personally, I doubt they will have learned anything at all...."

J. G. Ballard Lives!
posted by crazylegs at 3:59 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just pick any other first world country out there, any at all, and copy their system, and you're all better off.

I'm wondering whether the US shouldn't just buy into an existing system rather than copy it. Send all those billions of dollars to [country X, or to a selection of three countries] and let them make sure Americans get good health care.
posted by pracowity at 4:07 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The scary thing about American politics isn't that the system is broken.

It's that the system is working perfectly.
posted by unSane at 4:08 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


CONSTITUTION!
posted by schyler523 at 4:09 AM on September 14, 2011


The wealthy benefit from a population which is healthy and ready to work.

I am not at all sure that the wealthy would see any benefit in that. They (at least that portion of the wealthy who control things) have been pushing in the opposite direction for some time. Healthy people who don't have to worry about the possibility of any serious illness destroying their finances are more likely to spend that energy examining their self-interests and working to improve them. The wealthy do not generally see their own interests as the same interests.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:18 AM on September 14, 2011


Ron Paul said no.

Rs have been cheering the death penalty forever. From their perspective, murderers are getting their comeuppance. They have always felt this way, which is why the death penalty is law in many states. How are pro-death penalty republicans a new and disturbing trend?

This is the political equivalent of a NYT trend piece.

There are things to fear about our current political climate but this is overblown in the extreme.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:18 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


...I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance...

I'm a little older than 30, but I am healthy with no chronic problems and rarely visit the doctor. I wish I could spend a mere $200-$300/mo on insurance. I spend more on insurance than I do on my mortgage. You heard that: If my insurance wasn't so high, I could own *two houses*.
posted by DU at 4:19 AM on September 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm suddenly proud to be an Australian.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:20 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any random audience is likely to have some idiots in it that will cheer for stupid things. Perhaps a tea party audience is likely to have slightly more such idiots. But this doesn't really seem worth getting upset about. Although, getting really really upset and freaked out about what the other side are doing seems to be how US politics works these days.
posted by memebake at 4:21 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


And you are coming to this realization from the perspective of the UK, America's 'special relationship' poodle, the second most warlike western nation, with the third largest army in the world, nuclear weapons and no small history of political and military insanity.

Ummmm, let me think about that. Ok, I've thought about it. No. I'm coming at it from the perspective of a passing knowledge of the 20th century history of Europe, and the fact that raving lunatic fascists - perhaps bearing comparison with the more outre characters the Tea Party lets off the leash (only with poorer dentistry and a swankier wardrobe) - were in power for part of that time and it didn't end well. At all.
posted by MajorDundee at 4:22 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Just pick any other first world country out there, any at all, and copy their system, and you're all better off.

Not really. I am all for universal health care. I would gladly send the hundreds of dollars I pay each month, or even more, to the government for healthcare instead of to an insurance company, but the U.S. really is a different beast from other First World Countries. Population alone makes it a much bigger issue. The U.S. has 4.48% of the world's population. The second biggest country I would consider First World on that list - Japan - has less than half as many people, and they aren't spread across nearly 4 million miles. Even so, I have heard lots of talk about how unsustainable their health care system is. Mo people, mo problems.
posted by Dojie at 4:24 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any random audience is likely to have some idiots in it that will cheer for stupid things.

This was not a random audience. And if you think that mainstream political audiences in other countries would cheer for this kind of thing you are happily wrong.
posted by unSane at 4:27 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I spend $100 a month on health insurance, mostly for dental.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:28 AM on September 14, 2011


The logic of the TP position is of course that people should be taxed to pay for health care. It must take some mighty cognitive dissonance to convince yourself that it's better to let the uninsured die than to tax people. And this is the pro-life party, eh?
posted by unSane at 4:29 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are two choices:

1) tax people or use the threat of government imposed penalty (including imprisonment) to force young healthy people to buy insurance. i.e., Obama-care.

2) let people take their own choices and live with (or die with) the consequences. i.e., Ron-Paul-care.


#2 is bullshit. It implies that someone who doesn't have insurance just passes away in the night. The reality is that they go to the hospital rack up $400 K in hospital charges (see the Ron Paul campaign manager example posted above), then die. So who lives with those consequences? All of the other poor suckers who get sick and go to that hospital - because the hospital is going to gauge every penny from anyone passing through its doors just to pay for all of the people who "choose" not to have insurance.
posted by spaceviking at 4:30 AM on September 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


This was not a random audience.
As I conceded in my next sentance.
posted by memebake at 4:30 AM on September 14, 2011


The U.S. has 4.48% of the world's population.

What percent of the world's doctors does it have?
posted by DU at 4:30 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's gouge every penny...
posted by spaceviking at 4:31 AM on September 14, 2011


Population alone makes it a much bigger issue.

Why? More people require more doctors and more hospitals, and more accountants to keep track of the money. None of that makes the cost per patient more. What is there about a large population that supposedly does?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:32 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I spend $100 a month on health insurance, mostly for dental.

And how much does your employer spend on your health insurance? However much it is, that can be seen as in lieu of wages, which would make it your cost.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:34 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


As much as I loath insurance companies, the real, true problem with healthcare in the US are the out-of-control costs on the provider/medical industry side of things. Until serious work is done to scale-back those real expenses, this problem is only going to escalate, with no end in sight.

Unfortunately, that seems to be a true third-rail in the healthcare debate. I've yet to hear any meaningful debate on cutting specialist's fees, for instance. In almost every discussion I've ever heard attempted on controlling provider costs, the discussion is quickly deflected to limiting patient access.

About the only area that gets serious discussion on cost control is Big Pharma. That's a good start. But, when I had to have back surgery, the major costs in the resulting $40,000 bill was not the drugs. It was the doctors' fees.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:35 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I call bullshit. When things really get tough, people pull together to help each other. That's been true across generations, across national lines, across racial lines, for the entire history of humanity. Compassion isn't something that people need when times are easy, it's there, deep in our makeup, for the toughest of times.

I suggest reading Colin Turnbull's The Mountain People. From a review:

He shows in detail how survival becomes a personal affair. Food is no longer shared. Men hunt what they can and eat it far from the village and women collect only for themselves. As starvation sets in children and old people die as they are not fed, the tribe becomes known for its cattle thieving among the neighbouring groups. The thieving becomes intense among themselves and Turnbull interestingly shows how this becomes the new norm.

Many other examples have been cited on the blue (e.g. cannibalism during the engineered famine in the Ukraine).
posted by ryanshepard at 4:36 AM on September 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


If anything a larger population should help, because of the economies of scale you'd get by centralising administration and being able to drive a harder bargain with suppliers.

And how much does your employer spend on your health insurance? However much it is, that can be seen as in lieu of wages, which would make it your cost.

He's in Australia, so $0.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:37 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish I could spend a mere $200-$300/mo on insurance. I spend more on insurance than I do on my mortgage.

This is what I was thinking about while reading the article and the thread here. It's kind of an asinine (but entirely predictable) way for Blitzer to frame the health care question.

Far more likely than a hypothetical American making "good money" just "deciding" he doesn't want to pay for health insurance is the real number of people who work just as hard as he does, but who don't have the luxury of premiums that low.

The real question for the Republicans (and Dems, for that matter) is, what kind of society allows a private health insurance industry to emerge that costs everyone much more money than a nationalized system would? An industry that is not "health care" at all, but usually a coupon for private services that entails additional out-of-pocket spending in most cases?
posted by Rykey at 4:37 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


However much it is, that can be seen as in lieu of wages, which would make it your cost.

Not really. Cost of living is going to be lower when everyone's take-home wages are lower.
posted by DU at 4:37 AM on September 14, 2011


It was a totally unfair question to begin with. I mean, Wolf Blitzer doesn't even say what the race, religion, and political affiliation of the sick man are.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:40 AM on September 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


cost of living is gonna be way lower when we're all fucking heads on spider-legs like in The Thing
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:47 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have a ten thousand dollar deductible. What is the point of insurance at that level?
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:47 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Americans are so proud about being selfish assholes.
posted by maxwelton at 4:48 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


How are insurance companies not contributing to cost with their billion dollar profits and insane billing paperwork adding to overhead?

Doctors make salaries commensurate with their training, education, and responsibility. They're still getting cut, though--ask any primary care physician who has to see an insane # of patients a day to break even because their reimbursements are so low and getting lower.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:50 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


sonic meat machine: "I have a ten thousand dollar deductible. What is the point of insurance at that level?"

I dunno, but at the rates people seem to be paying for such miserable coverage, it would make more sense to put said money in a bank account.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:51 AM on September 14, 2011


I was in Malaysia a year ago and came down with pneumonia. By the time I got to the hospital I barely had enough air left to walk. I was in the hospital for 5 days. The bill was $250. If I had been in America at the time, I would now be bankrupt and/or dead

This happened to me in the late '90s here in the US of A. I was in the hospital for three days and was handed a bill for thousands of dollars. It took me nine years to pay it off. Here's the kicker: I was gainfully employed, but still waiting on the insurance to kick in. It did, but not until the day after I left the hospital. Hooray!
posted by NoMich at 4:53 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The government pays for all the essential stuff, plus some non-essential stuff. I made a rational choice to buy private health insurance for the stuff not covered, and because it seems like a good idea.
The trick is that if I didn't do that I'd still be fine. It frees people to let them change jobs and spend more money on big TVs. It also removes some stress, and forestalls future problems because if you're sick at all you go to the doctor.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:57 AM on September 14, 2011


America has embraced regulatory capture on an unprecedented scale and incomprehencible depth. By that I mean, we might even view the Tea party, Cato, etc. as ideological variations on regulatory capture.

In any case, the health care situation is clearly regulatory capture all the way down, meaning : You must be financially ambitious to even consider a career in medicine because universities and medical schools charge insane prices. Pharmaceutical, medical supply companies, and insurance companies play every game in the books to increase their own take and prevent any real opposition. etc.

In any other country, drug companies negotiate with a monopoly buyer with near absolute authority over access to millions of consumers, while insurance companies are all either nationalized or tightly regulated. At the same time, medical school is free for anyone admitted, making the applicant pool broader, smarter, and more knowledgeable.

I would even assert that the future doctors elsewhere are determined by the grades assigned by their professors in medical school, while they are selected almost entirely by medical school admissions committees here. Ain't nearly so hard failing out the cruddy ones if they're spending government money.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:04 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


who wants that, who wants to come with me to finland
...
another day, another bit of evidence for my political asylum application...

Could you whiny, impotent twerps who keep saying you're going to leave the country every time something looks like it's going bad just go ahead and do it already? I'm getting really sick of hearing it and at least it would cut out the dead weight of people who turn tail and run at the first sign of adversity rather than sticking up for what they believe.
posted by indubitable at 5:09 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The reality is that they go to the hospital rack up $400 K in hospital charges (see the Ron Paul campaign manager example posted above), then die. So who lives with those consequences? All of the other poor suckers who get sick and go to that hospital - because the hospital is going to gauge every penny from anyone passing through its doors just to pay for all of the people who "choose" not to have insurance.

I suppose we can agree that you cannot get something for nothing. Healthcare is not free. Someone has to pay. This is a question of who is to pay and how to make them pay.

If you are able to pay and you choose not to pay for insurance (see Wolf Blitzer's actual question), should you expect insurance to be there for you when you need it?

It's not an unreasonable question. Ron Paul says no. Democrats say yes, but fail to explain how they would pay for it.

(If Ron Paul would have his way those laws which require hospital ERs to accept patients regardless of their ability to pay would also be repealed. Democrats are proud of this unfunded mandate.)

It is a question of incentive. What is the best way to pay for universal health care? Encourage people to pay by showing them the risks of not paying (Ron Paul), or forcing them to pay through higher taxes or making private insurance mandatory (Barack Obama)?

What happens when you do not wish to buy one of Obama's mandated insurance plans? What if you want to take your chances with your health?

Do you risk the consequences of your own choice (as the radical Ron Paul says), or government g-men coming with guns to take you to prison?
posted by three blind mice at 5:10 AM on September 14, 2011


Forget it, MeFi. It's Tampa, Florida.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 5:10 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


What would Jesus do if he were a Republican presidential candidate?

Probably something more like this:
Luke 22:36, He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
posted by ReWayne at 5:10 AM on September 14, 2011


Healthcare is not free. Someone has to pay. This is a question of who is to pay and how to make them pay.

I think we really need to add "How much to pay" to that mix, as well.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:13 AM on September 14, 2011


No, the question was about a hypothetical man who wouldn't pay for insurance even though he made good money and could afford it. It's still disturbing that they would cheer death, but it's editorializing not to accurately describe the question.

Why in the name of J. Edgar Hoover does it make ANY FUCKING DIFFERENCE WHY this person is uninsured???
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:15 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Americans are so proud about being selfish assholes.

This is like calling everyone at a party a sloppy drunken dick when there's really only one guy who's reeling around with a lampshade on his head, throwing up on the dog and hitting on your wife.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:15 AM on September 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


As much as I loath insurance companies, the real, true problem with healthcare in the US are the out-of-control costs on the provider/medical industry side of things.

No, actually they're the same problem.

In other countries, the doctor charges less because (among other reasons) he doesn't need to pay as many people's salaries, because there isn't a mountain of insurance paperwork and negotiation that has to be done for each and every thing the doctor does every day. The insurance companies are so convoluted that each doctor in the USA needs pay the salaries of a small army of paper-pushers out of his/her own income, and so has to totally jack the price.

In other countries, the doctor charges less because he just gets the money. He doesn't need to inflate his prices so that the fraction offered in the insurance counter-offer is still high enough to cover his costs. And if you're not insured, you won't have the muscle to make your counter-offer stick - you pay the inflated BS price.

In other countries, national agencies that buy drugs are allowed to negotiate over the price in a free market, while this is prohibited by law in the USA, because pharma companies got to write the law, because US government is corrupt. Yeah, that's one that can't be dumped at the feet of insurance companies, you're right.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:15 AM on September 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


I suppose we can agree that you cannot get something for nothing. Healthcare is not free. Someone has to pay. This is a question of who is to pay and how to make them pay.

As I pointed out upthread, all evidence points to universal healthcare being cheaper, for individuals but also for taxpayers, than whatever it is they have in the US. Strange but true.

It is a question of incentive. What is the best way to pay for universal health care? Encourage people to pay by showing them the risks of not paying (Ron Paul), or forcing them to pay through higher taxes or making private insurance mandatory (Barack Obama)?

This is just silly.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:16 AM on September 14, 2011


a few idiots clapping and saying yeah isn't the audience cheering letting someone die

this is shamefully exaggerated


Agreed. What's shamefully under reported are the consequences of the policies their candidates propose.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:17 AM on September 14, 2011


Could you whiny, impotent twerps who keep saying you're going to leave the country every time something looks like it's going bad just go ahead and do it already?

As people hit their limit and leave, people with a slightly higher limit soon start to hit theirs too. To you it just sounds like a constant complaint, and I'm sure a lot of it will be just talk, but there is some turnover going on as well - new voices appearing as previous ones leave.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:21 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is like calling everyone at a party a sloppy drunken dick when there's really only one guy who's reeling around with a lampshade on his head, throwing up on the dog and hitting on your wife.

No it's more like calling 53-49% of the party that depending on who the Republican nominee ends up being.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:26 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Paul's solution is to just assume that the hospital will take care of the guy, without remuneration, or perhaps with church-funded remuneration.

Under such a system, assuming that it works, why should anyone buy health insurance at all?
posted by Flunkie at 5:29 AM on September 14, 2011


Judging from how much can be made from so little, this is some of the most efficiently-manufactured outrage I've ever seen.
posted by Jpfed at 5:40 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Could you whiny, impotent twerps who keep saying you're going to leave the country every time something looks like it's going bad just go ahead and do it already?

I have. Others have. Welcome to the internet. The ship is still going down:
I've been living in Germany for a few years now, and every year the idea of ever returning to the US grows more and more distasteful. The (metaphorical) air in the US grows ever more caustic, the desperation more palpable, the citizenry increasingly turns on itself.

I'm young, highly educated, and can live anywhere - I found Berlin to be an easy place to adjust to, and while Germany certainly has its serious problems, it is nevertheless free of America's caustic, suffocating atmosphere. Last month, some friends from the US came to visit me. To a man, they all said the same thing, that I was right to have left the country, and that they're very seriously thinking of doing the same. I don't think it was idle chatter.

As the US feels more and more like a failing state, I think this phenomenon - an exodus of the most educated and employable - will rise and become difficult to ignore.
I hear sentiments like this from a fair number of Americans who have traveled abroad
posted by crayz at 5:42 AM on September 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Get it right people: death is life. These people are pro-life. War is peace.
posted by fuq at 5:42 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sort of like Terri Schiavo then? They were all for letting her die too, as I recall.
posted by Naberius at 5:44 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


i am sorry i have upset you indubitable

can we still be friends
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:45 AM on September 14, 2011


Could you whiny, impotent twerps who keep saying you're going to leave the country every time something looks like it's going bad just go ahead and do it already?

Schon verlassen, danke. Best investment in the future I ever made. I still hold out hope that America-the-society can pull out of its nine-eleven-mythos, bad-war-and-cheap-money-induced funk before it gets run into the ground by the paranoid schizophrenics who want to smash America-the-state and sell the pieces. Maybe I'm too old, maybe I lost my idealism too young, but I have no illusions that anything one man can do will undo decades of bad reactions to slow decline.

(And if you're going to go low-and-troll, can't you at least give us a nice setup? I can't do anything with "impotent twerp". There's nothing "who's scruffy looking" hidden in it.)
posted by Vetinari at 5:46 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


As far as Japan goes, yes, there are instabilities, but they are actually working to fix some of the issues, altering copayment rates and adjusting monthly payments. Monthly pay is based entirely on the previous year's salary. For me, that runs to about $350 a month, and I've got a 70/30 copayment. The hands down best thing about the system is the cost of treatment. A gallbladder removal, with a five day stay cost a total of $4000, leaving me about $1200 in costs. The same surgery in Chicago would have run me $50000, and even with a 90/10, I'd be paying $5000 out of pocket. That, and the surgery in the States is usually outpatient.

I'll stick with the system that covers everyone, and bases monthly costs on what people are able to pay, where care is not astronomically expensive. It's not impossible. It can be done, and it doesn't have to be like the system is in the States.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:47 AM on September 14, 2011


I left too. And I ain't coming back. I'm healthy, never had problems. My wife, on the other hand, has epilepsy. I couldn't move back even if I really wanted to. So I've got permanent residency in a mostly sane country, can get citizenship in two years.

I love America, I really do, but it is fucked for at least the next twenty years. Maybe just when I'm about ready to die it'll be a reasonable place to live.
posted by the dief at 5:53 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have a ten thousand dollar deductible. What is the point of insurance at that level?

Years ago I had a very simple routine hand surgery. Total cost if uninsured would have been more than $10k. Yes, having a 10k deductible would have made this suck very much - I'd probably just have kept the broken hand.

But look up what it would cost to have a more complex operation, or spend any amount of time in the hospital, etc, and see that it's many times what you make in a year, and realize that your 10k deductible is going to prevent you from potentially bankrupting yourself and your family.
posted by RustyBrooks at 5:55 AM on September 14, 2011


Someone should ask Ron and his Paulites (as noted by Andrew Sullivan yesterday) if he still supports the law that a person who comes to the emergency room has to be treated. Can they just chuck the body out on the street instead? Logic and "consistency" dictates that they can.
posted by fungible at 5:55 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Any random audience is likely to have some idiots in it that will cheer for stupid things. Perhaps a tea party audience is likely to have slightly more such idiots. But this doesn't really seem worth getting upset about. Although, getting really really upset and freaked out about what the other side are doing seems to be how US politics works these days.
posted by memebake at 6:21 AM on September 14 [+] [!]


Republican debate audiences are filled with party elites, not rank-and-file party members. Here you have the party elites literally cheering the idea of someone dying from a lack of health care. But don't let that disturb you or anything.
posted by goethean at 5:59 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


maybe we could start a sub-group of metas and pick up and all move somewhere.

anyone know how to farm well?
posted by zombieApoc at 5:59 AM on September 14, 2011


realize that your 10k deductible is going to prevent you from potentially bankrupting yourself and your family.

But so would a $5 deductible. A 10k deductible creates a situation where it's appealing in the short-term to put off preventative medicine, waiting until you absolutely must go to the doctor.
posted by dubold at 6:01 AM on September 14, 2011


That the Lizard People cheer on the deaths of people for simple lack of insurance is not much of a surprise, as we've all seen what these lizards do at their town hall meetings. To me, the real and bigger story is how CNN has become a right-wing extremist outlet, not only extending to Lizard People the kind of political credibility they should never have, but tossing away their own decades-long credibility in the process. Never thought I'd see a Wolf jump a shark.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:03 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


via furiousxgeorge's comment:
Gawker: As it turns out, Paul was not speaking purely in hypotheticals. Back in 2008, Kent Snyder — Paul's former campaign chairman — died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer's example, the 49-year-old Snyder (pictured) was relatively young and seemingly healthy* when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder's surviving mother (pictured, left), who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations.


How can they hand a bill like that to ANYONE but the person's spouse? I thought shit like that was done away with decades ago.
posted by zombieApoc at 6:04 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can you German ex-pat folks tell me how you did it? I had trouble getting a job in Sweden, so after I finished school there I had to come back.
posted by melissam at 6:06 AM on September 14, 2011


stupid question, stupid answer, stupid reaction, stupid debate.
posted by facetious at 6:13 AM on September 14, 2011


One cute phrase from (usually local) politicians who just want to get necessary work done is that potholes are neither democrat nor republican. The same should be said about health care.

Relying solely on a myriad of private insurance systems makes as much sense as trying to pave a city-wide network of roads with private companies, hired by everyone who drives. Sure, it could get done, but at a much higher cost to everyone, and everyone suffers for the irregularities in coverage.

Or it's like trying to protect a city with private fire companies -- your house might burn down because your neighbor was "young and reckless" and didn't think his house would catch fire, and your fire company couldn't come in time to save your house. And think of the costs to businesses!

But fire protection and road repairs are taken for granted. People grumble when road works take longer than expected, or cause unforeseen delays, but they don't say "maybe we should privatize this system." And while people are self-contained individuals, they interact and rely upon others, much like a neighborhood is made of individual houses. If one person gets sick, or can't work because of an illness they cannot afford to treat properly, everyone else can suffer for it.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:16 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I was in Malaysia a year ago and came down with pneumonia. By the time I got to the hospital I barely had enough air left to walk. I was in the hospital for 5 days. The bill was $250. If I had been in America at the time, I would now be bankrupt and/or dead"-crayz

Your bill was $250, Malaysia's bill was much higher and though you might not of paid it, the people of Malaysia did in one form or another. They did it with higher taxes and or less money going to other programs. I am just pointing out that nothing is free and someone had to pay. Unless all of the care was truely only $250.
posted by amazingstill at 6:23 AM on September 14, 2011


Do you risk the consequences of your own choice (as the radical Ron Paul says), or government g-men coming with guns to take you to prison?

And here's where you lose all credibility.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:24 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


How can they hand a bill like that to ANYONE but the person's spouse? I thought shit like that was done away with decades ago.

More to the point, why did Kent Snyder run up a bill like that in the first place? He knew he didn't have insurance. Why didn't he just give up and die like a good libertarian?
posted by fungible at 6:25 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Your bill was $250, Malaysia's bill was much higher and though you might not of paid it, the people of Malaysia did in one form or another. They did it with higher taxes and or less money going to other programs.

Well, yeah. We know that. And that is precisely why there are so many people incensed that the richest 2% of the people in this country are trying to weasel out of paying a tiny bit more tax.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 AM on September 14, 2011


Those of us who are advocating to close those tax loopholes ain't doing it to be "mean" or just be spongers, but because for many of us OUR LIVES depend on it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:27 AM on September 14, 2011


Your bill was $250, Malaysia's bill was much higher and though you might not of paid it, the people of Malaysia did in one form or another. They did it with higher taxes and or less money going to other programs. I am just pointing out that nothing is free and someone had to pay. Unless all of the care was truely only $250.

Among other remarkably simple ideas for containing health care costs, Malaysians who graduate from medical school must spend several years working in government hospitals. I left the US for Malaysia on Christmas Day 2002, and I'm very glad I did. The hospital bill for my first child? About 7 USD.
posted by BinGregory at 6:29 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


How can they hand a bill like that to ANYONE but the person's spouse? I thought shit like that was done away with decades ago.

More to the point, why did Kent Snyder run up a bill like that in the first place? He knew he didn't have insurance. Why didn't he just give up and die like a good libertarian?


that is a good point
posted by zombieApoc at 6:30 AM on September 14, 2011


Rs have been cheering the death penalty forever. From their perspective, murderers are getting their comeuppance. They have always felt this way, which is why the death penalty is law in many states.

As state budgets shrink, so too will the number of State Executions, unless they figure out a cheaper way to kill people. Last year there were fewer executions (46 in 2010 as opposed to 52 in 2009) partly because of problems with the availability of chemicals used in lethal injections but also partly because of the very high costs associated with carrying out a State Execution.

I have a ten thousand dollar deductible. What is the point of insurance at that level?


Expect to see more of this as the unemployment figures remain high. Right now employers are slashing individual coverage because they can. My neighbor across the street was fired and rehired the next day by his company with a 10% pay cut and a loss of all benefits. He and his wife signed up for COBRA coverage but it costs them $1200.00 a month.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:30 AM on September 14, 2011



The most disturbing part is that Ron Paul is a physician. He has taken the Hippocratic Oath, swearing to help the sick with all measures that are required and with warmth and sympathy.

I don't remember there being a line about "only if they could afford it."
posted by t_dubs at 6:26 AM on September 14


That is a completely unfair comment assuming you actually saw the footage in question and seems to overlook the man's answer out of hand, conflating the crowd cheering at a part of a question with the full answer given.
posted by rob paxon at 6:30 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


...and we're still about 10 months from conventions and 13 months from the general and these are Republicans on Republicans. Wait till they really turn their attention to Obama.

Its going to be ugly ugly ugly. Ugly.

Ugly.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 6:32 AM on September 14, 2011


That the Lizard People cheer on the deaths of people for simple lack of insurance is not much of a surprise, as we've all seen what these lizards do at their town hall meetings. To me, the real and bigger story is how CNN has become a right-wing extremist outlet, not only extending to Lizard People the kind of political credibility they should never have, but tossing away their own decades-long credibility in the process. Never thought I'd see a Wolf jump a shark.

I don't think that CNN did the Tea Party any favors by showing that debate.

It's embarrassing for the GOP.
posted by empath at 6:33 AM on September 14, 2011


These people don't believe in good government.

They don't believe in single payer system, or all these other rational fair solutions because they know it could not be administered effectively. Because they know that they themselves would be right at the forefront of fucking it up. Because they know CNN and the rest of the idiot media will gobble up any story these same right wing assholes dream up about imaginary welfare queens getting $100,000 manicures on the taxpayer dime.

The Tea Party believes that government is broken and cannot be fixed. Any reasonable health care system, if it somehow survived the legislation process without being subverted and perverted (we're already deep into la-la land), it would then be quickly defamed in the public area, and cut up by following legislation, especially once the businesses figured out how they could carve out a profitable slice.

There are too many stupid assholes in America for reasonable health care to work there.
posted by cold dead hans at 6:37 AM on September 14, 2011


More nonsense from Bachmann.
I guess all this just shows the failure of the education system. Also what MajorDundee says.
What's with you people excusing these wingnuts with "It's only a vocal minority" crap?
Head in sand much. Next it will be the Dominionism is a myth because lamestream media will ignore it.
posted by adamvasco at 6:37 AM on September 14, 2011


cold dead hans : Because they know CNN and the rest of the idiot media will gobble up any story these same right wing assholes dream up about imaginary welfare queens getting $100,000 manicures on the taxpayer dime.

Largely because we've all seen (on entirely too frequent a basis) people neatly separating their purchases at the grocery store - food and necessities in one order that goes on EBT, beer and smokes in the other that they buy with cash.

Sorry, but if you have $50 a week to blow on vices, get the fuck off the welfare roles.

Actual "welfare queens" may count as a rarity; but people will believe the more outlandish claims largely because of the casual commonality of the less egregious ones.
posted by pla at 6:47 AM on September 14, 2011


More nonsense from Bachmann.

Assailing Perry for forcing HPV vaccinations on "little girls who have a potentially dangerous reaction to this drug", Bachmann then told NBC's Today show on Tuesday:

I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. It can have very dangerous side effects.


If grandma was a Bachmann fan, I suspect that mental retardation might have been hereditary.
posted by Rykey at 6:48 AM on September 14, 2011


Sorry, but if you have $50 a week to blow on vices, get the fuck off the welfare roles.

How dare those poor people get any enjoyment out of life? They have quite the nerve.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:50 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sorry, but if you have $50 a week to blow on vices, get the fuck off the welfare roles.

Because one size fits all, extenuating circumstances are for pussies, and being incredibly poor doesn't mean that one can take refuge in the few solaces available.

Phooey to you sir. Phooey all over you.
posted by JHarris at 6:51 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


The conservative movement in the US will not be satisfied until they America they want comes to pass, whereupon they will all be ground up into cat food by libertarian corporate interests.

Never has a populace been so in thrall with creating their own disaster. And I'm taking into consideration ancient Rome.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:51 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


And this is the pro-life party, eh?

Perry actually had a comment that he was embarrassed by the reaction because they're supposed to be the party of "life."
posted by drezdn at 6:54 AM on September 14, 2011


Tea Party is of course, a misnomer. It's the Kool-Aid Party.
posted by Xoebe at 6:55 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


They don't believe in available health care, they don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, and I'd wager many of them are against vaccinations.

This is the pro genocide party.
posted by fleetmouse at 6:56 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I read about that and felt it was a collapse of civilized society. Ridiculous.
posted by skepticallypleased at 6:56 AM on September 14, 2011


Among other remarkably simple ideas for containing health care costs, Malaysians who graduate from medical school must spend several years working in government hospitals. I left the US for Malaysia on Christmas Day 2002, and I'm very glad I did. The hospital bill for my first child? About 7 USD.
posted by BinGregory at 6:29 AM on September 14 [1 favorite +] [!]


Does the government pay for medical school? Then I'm all for it. That would solve a whole LOT of problems...

But if these newly minted physicians privately financed their education, we can't go around forcing them to work for a certain employer just because they earned a certain degree.
posted by gjc at 6:57 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


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