Success Stories in “Socialism”

As the “supermajority” dies, so passes another hallmark of the past two years: the idea that the Obama administration, or its policies, resemble anything an educated person would call “socialism.”

Words have meaning, and the word “socialism” carries a weighty and meaningful past. Cornered on this point, most debates about whether the Democrats have embraced “socialism,” at least between informed parties, collapses to this point: if socialism is state ownership of the means of production, doesn’t the acquisition of General Motors count as exactly that?

No, because “socializing” an industry on an emergency, temporary basis is not the same as public ownership as a way of life. Several presidents have “socialized” industries on an emergency basis: in fact, Truman’s attempt to nationalize the steel mills, and the Supreme Court’s stinging rebuke for the same, gave us the best description to date of the limits of presidential power. But no-one calls President Truman a “socialist.”  So unless General Motors is to be a permanent property of the American government, Obama does nothing but join the legion of other American politicians who have advocated, attempted to, and succeeded in acquiring private property on a short-term basis, to avoid massive public harm.

A report last week resolves the question conclusively: General Motors will hold an offering to first dilute (and, probably, ultimately liquidate) the government’s share in the company. As the factual basis for the claim disappears, we should expect the narrative to cease, as well. But this has never been about facts, or logic. It’s about using scary words to distort commonplace occurrences out of all recognition, to drive swing voters to a discredited party. a

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80 comments

  1. Weren’t most of the ‘socialism’ claims based on HCR, not the car bailout?

  2. That would make even less sense. In my experience, the assertion starts there, but is quickly walked back to something more logical, before dying an abrupt death on these facts.

  3. The end-goal is to destroy the American health insurance industry and create a public entity to do the same. Isn’t that soialism?

    1. 1) The end goal is not to destroy the insurance industry. We’ve bent over backwards to protect that industry.

      2) Relying on a single payer is still not socialism. Care is provided privately.

    2. The basic elements of contemporary right-wing thought can be reduced to three: First, there has been the now-familiar sustained conspiracy, running over more than a generation, and reaching its climax in Roosevelt’s New Deal, to undermine free capitalism, to bring the economy under the direction of the federal government, and to pave the way for socialism or communism” -1964

      No one’s out to destroy anything.

      1. So you don’t want a single-payer system?

      2. And to answer your question, which is what I answer seemingly too much, is I don’t care.

        I don’t really have a exact health care proposal written up.

        Just wanted more coverage people, less people getting screwed over by our system.

        If you can do that with single payer, do it, if you can do it without, do it.

    3. So, your theory Mike: Democrats have long proposed health care reform, one of the top priorities of the country, they go in, try to fix some of these problems (but not really because CONSPIRACY), later modify and moderate their plan due to resistence of Republicans and insurance companies. But secretly, that’s what Democrats wanted all along! They wanted this exact modified plan , they didn’t want to help ensure more people or children, prevent insurance companies from dropping people for pre-existing conditions, their real plan was so it would later fail. Then, as the country falls into despair, they’d hope they were still in power after implementing failed policies, that they would then implement the policy they really wanted all along. Then they run off cackling into the night!

      It’s the same thing as saying Bush wanted to destroy Social Security by privitizing it.

      It’s silly.

      1. We’ll have to agree to disagree on public support for HCR.

        As for what Democrats intended, I still think the end goal of most liberals is single-payer. As I said to Erika, that creates a lot of skepticism with the rest of us. liberals created that climate and they need to take some ownership of that.

      2. I wasn’t talking about support for a specific health bill

        I was saying, in my timeline for your theory, I’m talking about the lead up to starting the process for reform (Before for you, I’ve looked up the gallup polls before that health care reform has been a top 3 concern for government for almost every year in the last decade).

        I’m just saying, when you’re basing this all on your personal skepticism and dislike of a different ideology, particularly with no real evidence…it’s a conspiracy theory!

        Own it Mike! Give it a hug!

        Oh and Bush let 9-11 happen.

        1. When I say ‘skepticism of HCR’ I’m talking skepticism about the end-goal i.e. a single-payer system. 38% of the public might want ‘health care reform’ but have you drilled down to find out what that meant for them? I want HCR too but I can guarantee I want different things than a single mother of four children working at Walmart. So let me spell it out: The skepticism is over the insurance provider. Will it be only Uncle Sam or will he just be one player at the table? Most conservatives believe liberals just want one provider and I think statements from a LOT of prominent Democrats confirm this as a legitimate concern. I mean, the President, the Speaker of the House, etc are all on record as prefering single-payer and you’re acting like I’ve got a tinfoil hat on my head by suggesting that maybe that is still their longterm plan.

        2. Yes, of course I’m acting like you have a tin foil hat on.

          You’re saying Democrats want something about America to fail, enacted purposefully bad policy, and have a hidden agenda. I’m supposed to take that seriously?

      3. Can I just say, the thing that makes me angry about you always saying this, is when you say reform was done under false pretenses, and that Democrats want the policy they voted for to fail. That idea just seems beyond farfetched. Even that HCR is THAT bad is a rather fringe thought. Your idea that there was some back room plot I find unsubstantiated and aggravating.

        (I also don’t think so many Democrats would be happy with some of the changes if it was something made with the intention to fail: http://www.slate.com/id/2273708/ )

        Now if you want to have a less conspiracy theorist point of view, you could simply say, “Democrats want to create a single payer system, and eventually will try to do that” Or even “health care reform was a step in trying to eventually set up a single payer system”. I’d probably disagree with you, but you can say it without invoking a sinister plot.

        But I don’t know if you would do that, because that changes the discussion from a story about evil ill willed libruls destroying America with a secret plan while bad mouthing HCR, to human beings making policy and the details of that policy.

        p.s. Liberals need to take ownership? Conservatives need to take some ownership over their historical paranoia.

        1. Who said HCR will fail? I think it will accomplish exactly what Democrats want it to do which is move more and more consumers onto the government administered plan and also hurt the insurance industry. I don’t think less people will be covered, I just think less people will be covered by private insurers.

        2. “The end-goal is to destroy the American health insurance industry” – Mike

          That guy.

          Reform is to help the system, not make it fail…so you are. If everything goes to hell, that’s failure.

          1. Liberals would see a collapse of the health insurance industry as a success, so from that perspective HCR that brings them down is a good thing and they would also consider it good for the American people. I’m not sure why you are having trouble with that concept.

          2. Yeah, you’re missing a big step. I’ve fixed it for you.

            Liberals would see a [reinvention] of the health insurance industry [into something more equitable, whether by regulation or ownership,] as a success, so from that perspective [any progress towards that goal] is a good thing…”

            See, stripped of paranoia, it’s pretty boring.

          3. I’ll go over it again, I’ll tell you why I have trouble with the concept. I’ll break down all of the paranoid assumptions and leaps of logic that you make for your idea to be true:

            1) All Democrats want single-payer
            2) This is the Democrat’s ultimate goal
            3) Democrats want and are willing to destroy the health insurance system to make it happen
            4) That this policy, as per your health care industry expertise, is actually capable of destroying insurance companies
            5) The policy is dishonest in it’s attempts to increase private competition, or any of the other reforms it installed. Instead it is simply made to drive insurance companies out of business.
            6) They are willing to lose elections indefinitely due to a policy that could hurt people due to a gap in coverage and a decimation of a big part of the industry.
            7) That the modifications by Republicans, Democrats, health insurers, hospitals, and public feedback…all contributed to the Democrat’s hopes of ruining the health insurance industry. Things like taking out the public option, weakening provisions, adding others.
            8) That no one spoke about the secret meeting where it was decided this was the main goal.
            9) All the second opinions, CBO estimates, expert information, was all falsified when Obama went to them and got them on his plan
            10) That even if it put insurance companies out of businesses, that Democrats would be elected, or even be capable of passing any more health care legislation, let alone one that implemented a single-payer system.

            I mean, there’s the same paranoid thinking on the left. I would hope, when conservatives do tax cuts, they’re not secretly trying to bring down the government by starving it. Some people think they are.

            Or again, every time Republicans try to reform social security for longevity or fiscal viability, they’re not out trying to destroy a program they’ve never really liked anyway.

            But hey, you should take ownership of that, because that’s the climate conservatives created.

            Be fair Mike.

  4. The interesting thing is that historically, introducing national health care has usually been a centrist or conservative strategy to prevent the socialists from gaining support for their much more radical agendas.

    Konrad Adenauer, for instance. If nationalizing health care is socialism, post-WW2 Germany’s probably most anti-socialist Chancellor must be socialist. Also in this broadcast: Words no longer have meaning.

  5. See also Bismarck in post-unification Germany, answering and blunting the demands of the 1848 revolutions; FDR speaking to the need for reform, and also heading off socialist/communist strength by pushing regulations instead of nationalization.

  6. There is/was nothing remotely “socialist” about health care reform. The plan is more properly “insurance reform”, forcing/allowing more people to be insured, either by private insurers or the government (the latter in a capacity not much different from its present role).

    To say that it in any way resembles socialism is either dishonest or ignorant.

    1. I believe the charges of ‘socialism’ are based on what the reforms will do to the insurance industry.

      1. And since the individual mandate forces people to pickup private insurance, I’m not sure how the reforms will damage the insurance industry. Adding single payer (aka, expanded Medicare) still leaves room for insurance companies. It, however, does not leave room for the monopolizing of health care by insurance companies.

        1. I’ll give you just one of a bunch of examples. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). The feds are creating a bunch of new rules that will render them useless. HSAs are one of the best innovations in the HC industry in a long time so why kill them. The HC bill was just a means to an end, and that end is the death of the HC industry by a thousand cuts.

          1. From my study and experience of the health insurance industry, I’d have to say that your reasoning is unusually specious. Limitations of a program that was already limited by the health insurance industries themselves does not lead to the death of the HC industry (I wish for that day many times!) Your comments about socialism have become the mantra of “any limitation on private industry = the death and destruction of the industry”, and makes you look like either a simple minded follower of the idiot side of the GOP or someone who’s very happy in their thinking rut. You have much better ideas and viewpoints than that — I’m disappointed in you.

            Rant over… back to lurking (and sadly, simmering)

          2. It’s almost a compliment at this point, Mike – you say a lot of very astute things, so when you get dragged (or dance happily) down to Ames’ level of partisanship it makes you looks particularly bad. I mean, two random commenters who don’t know each other have now said the same thing. STAY STRONG, BROTHER!! *fist pump*

            (And yes, Ames, it looks bad on you too, but at this point it’s impossible to conclude anything other than the fact that you’ve happily embraced it. Soooo… peace be upon you, or something.)

          3. I don’t think that’s entirely fair. I make my allegiances known, but they’re not for nothing, or simple brand loyalty. Also, isn’t your other criticism of me too much unflinching loyalty to Obama’s centrism? (Which I also dispute.) Regardless, those seem to be in tension.

            1. Sorry for the slow response. The criticism isn’t about centrism, whoever it belongs to. The criticism is that by all appearances (I’ll step back from saying I actually know your mind on this) you’ve conceded your critical eye in favor of the most favorable interpretation you can manage of the Obama administration.

  7. Erika / John,

    If Republicans push hard for an overhaul of the abortion industry and the final product is a bunch of small to mid-size changes in the regulations (parental notification, eliminating 3rd term abortions, etc) liberals would got nuts. They would say that this was the first step towards an eventual goal of nearly or completely abortion in this country. And you know what? They would be right. The elimination of most abortions is a stated conservative goal and an incremental approach is a smart one.

    It’s no different with HC. The stated goal of liberals is a single-payer system. Any move, however small, that gets you a little closer to that goal is a good one, right?

    HSAs give consumers more control over their health insurance AND they are usually attached to high deductible plans which liberals don’t seem to like. HD/HSA plans are a way for people to start seeing what they are spending on health care as opposed to the old policies where you simply paid premiums and then no matter what you did the provider would pay the bill and you never see it. HSAs make consumers of healthcare actually think twice about going to the doctor. If they can save some money in our HSA that would roll over to next year and we can use it then if need be. People can build a reserve of cash in their HSA in case a big event happens down the line, etc. All of that makes a policy work better for the consumer, so again, why kill them?

    Let me also be clear here that I personally don’t believe that HCR is socialism. I just hink it’s bad policy and liberals are being dishonest about their intentions. As always with Ames’ site, as the only conservative commentor I often play devil’s advocate to the other side of his partisanship.

    1. Dick Turpis · ·

      I don’t think it’s fair to say that single payer is the ultimate aim of liberals. Certainly some (many?) favor this (I am probably among them), but I see no evidence that it is universal. That contrasts with your abortion comparison above, because those conservatives openly admit they want to ban abortions in this country (the debate seems to be whether or not there should be excepts for rape and the like). It seems to me the goal of the left is to ensure everyone has access to health care. If single payer is the only way to do this, then that will likely be embraced, but if it can be done more within the private sector then most liberals will be willing to take that route. As for the conservative position, I haven’t seen any proposed solutions. In fact, I’ve seen quite a bit of reluctance to admit there is a problem. Some have even proposed that 30 million uninsured Americans is a good thing.

      1. In a recent discussion on this blog several liberal commentators and our host all stated categorically that the government ALWAYS does a better job than private industry. The logical conclusion would be that a single-payer system is the end-goal.

        1. Since I haven’t seen the discussion or the context that you’re referring to, I’m going to have to respond to your paraphrase and your logical conclusion. I believe that the very structure of business cannot allow private industry to provide services to everybody better than the gov’t. If you take the USPS, for example, the private companies cannot provide their services to everybody as the gov’t can, nor at the same efficiency. Since private industry must make money to stay in business, the folks that cannot be reached efficiently and cheaply will not be serviced (aka, poor rural areas). Private industry cannot run at a loss. Gov’t can run at a par or even at a loss so that everyone, no matter where they live, is provided with basic mail access.

          But the gov’t USPS service does not preclude private industry from florishing. Fedex, DHL, UPS, and many others have found their niche and exploit it. However, even they will fall back onto USPS for delivery to places that it would cost them too much to deliver to.

          Does that mean that the end goal should be/will be having only single-delivery system? Seems a bit specious, given the actuality.

          1. Dick Turpis · ·

            Also, I would be hesitant to take statements by several liberal commentators on a minor blog as indicative of “the left” as a whole.

            1. Ames’ likes generalizations. They are the coin of his realm.

            2. Commenters on isolated blogs are different than party spokespersons. Aren’t they? And from where I’m sitting, “Sarah Palin says X and it has become a GOP litmus test” is something that’s usually correct.

          2. If private industry cannot, “…provide services to everybody better than the gov’t,” why not kill the private healthcare industry? Isn’t efficency the goal?

            1. Refer to paragraph 2 of my response. In a capitalistic society as we have, business will flourish where there is a perceived need. There is no need to destroy the private healthcare industry. There is a need to prevent the private healthcare industry from being a monopoly that controls access to healthcare for most of society. Ensuring that there is another track for care does not include or consist of destroying the private healthcare industry. In the UK, NHS does not mean that there are no doctors in private practice.

              1. Are we talking about HC providers or HC insurers? I don’t think even liberals are dumbe enough to try to get government-run providers. For insurers though, given the inflammatory language used by the Left (monopoly) and the honest comments from more than a few liberals that they would prefer the private insurers out of business, all motives are suspect. That’s the climate that liberals have created around HCR. They need to take some ownership of that.

  8. Mike, I think you’re doing what you accuse me of, when you point out my overcitation of things like Hot Air. I travel in these elitist latte sipping lib’rul circles — as we speak, I’m looking out over suburban New Jersey and sneering at it — and I don’t hear these clamors for state ownership of insurers. I think you’re looking too much to Olbermann.

  9. No one is talking about a state takeover of insurers (a la Mussolini). I’m talking about killing the industry through over-regulation and a subsidized government alternative that may be inferior but cheaper.

    And let’s just look at this thread:

    Erika: “..the death of the HC industry (I wish for that day many times!)”

    Dick: “Certainly some (many?) favor this (I am probably among them),”

    And it would probably only take a few minutes of searching your archives for similar comments from you. I also think Lanfranc’s preference for single-payer can be assumed. Are you guys not a representative sample of the Left?

  10. Hahaha always with the Mussolini. I’m just asking questions!!!

    I’m actually not sure that I’d want single payer. I do think it would probably work, and work better than what we actually have. But I think all of us here will probably agree that the fight isn’t worth the cost. Taking that as true, because slippery slopes require an actual probability of the harm materializing — otherwise they’re just more “everyone-will-marry-their-toasters” Scalia fallacies — your nightmare scenario is not alarming.

  11. I certainly think that a single-payer system is preferable, not least to cut down on the huge inefficieny that comes from having hundreds of different payers.

    But single-payer does not necessarily mean entirely government-run. There are many countries that have a system with the state as the main source of funding, but where the individual care providers are private entities – Canada is the most obvious example here.

    Frankly, though, the real question is not an ideological one, but much more pragmatic: Considering the huge economic difficulties ahead, can the US as a nation really afford the luxury of spending as huge a % of the GDP on health care as it does now? I think not.

    1. I think you’re talking price controls on care? That’s a whole new can of worms.

    2. The federal government controls prices, sets standards, and funds the provinces, which act as insurers for their residents. The GPs, hospitals and other providers are private corporations who just send their bills to the province. Simple and efficient.

      Meanwhile, private insurers still have a role to play re: things like dental care, cosmetic surgery or other things that are not covered by the federal plan.

      1. Weren’t you telling me recently that price controls were bad and illegal in most European countries?

  12. 1) All Democrats want single-payer

    We’re commenting on an extremely partisan blog not in a public debate. Generalizations are the name of the game and you know that. And I was careful to say, ‘liberals’ because I don’t think ALL Democrats are that stupid.

    2) This is the Democrat’s ultimate goal

    See point #1.

    3) Democrats want and are willing to destroy the health insurance system to make it happen.

    It’s not a ‘destruction’. It’s about making them irrelevant with a cheaper (read: subsidized) alternative. And there wouldn’t be a vaccuum because of the public option.

    4) That this policy, as per your health care industry expertise, is actually capable of destroying insurance companies

    You do know that all the rules haven’t even been written yet? I have friends who work for Humana here in Louisville who spend hours every week whiteboarding scenarios for how to deal with the new regs and stay in the black. They are the experts and they are scared. Maybe that’s just conservative paranoia, or maybe they know something we don’t?

    5) The policy is dishonest in it’s attempts to increase private competition, or any of the other reforms it installed. Instead it is simply made to drive insurance companies out of business.

    With so many liberals talking about how evil the insurance industry is, I don’t think it’s wild speculation to believe they might be happier with the industry dead.

    6) They are willing to lose elections indefinitely due to a policy that could hurt people due to a gap in coverage and a decimation of a big part of the industry.

    See #3. And I don’t think Democrats believe they would be hurt at the polls. To the contrary I think they believe they would be hailed as heroes.

    7) That the modifications by Republicans, Democrats, health insurers, hospitals, and public feedback…all contributed to the Democrat’s hopes of ruining the health insurance industry. Things like taking out the public option, weakening provisions, adding others.

    No – if anything those modfications were a good delaying tactic.

    8) That no one spoke about the secret meeting where it was decided this was the main goal.

    There hasn’t been a secret meeting about abortion law but conservatives generally understand the end-game. But maybe we’re just more perceptive?

    9) All the second opinions, CBO estimates, expert information, was all falsified when Obama went to them and got them on his plan

    A lot of those numbers have been disputed and I believe the CBO has revised the numbers Obama was using. Megan McArdle has written volumes on this.

    10) That even if it put insurance companies out of businesses, that Democrats would be elected, or even be capable of passing any more health care legislation, let alone one that implemented a single-payer system.

    See #6.

  13. I didn’t criticize you for generalizing, as per usual.

    Democrats are the ones who mostly designed and voted it in the bill, so I am using that term very specifically as well. Liberal politicians are a small subset of people within the Democratic party (making this liberal plan for single payer even more of a far fetched idea).

    But the point with number 1, is that Democrats can’t agree on health care reform, the public option, let alone agree on or want single payer.

    Also, this is so unrelated to abortion. This is health care reform which both parties have been supposedly dedicated to for years. Dedicated to covering more people and lowering costs. There is no one Democrat way to solve it nor one Republican way to solve it. And again, many of these changes were Republican ideas (an exchange). Republicans and Democrats both have established stances on abortion, yet few on health care. You can’t go to Democratic Senator’s website and find, “Dedicated to providing a single payer system for health care”, as you can find “Dedicated to giving women the right to choose”. You can’t find Democrats or Republicans all who together agree on what to do.

    Not everything is written, so you have no idea, it’s just another guess. What might happen if your hypothesis is true but you’re not really giving me anything substantive to say except your assumption that all liberal politicians want single payer and think insurance companies are evil. Who then in your cardboard cutout of a liberal, cannot make policy decisions outside of that nagging thought of OMG Single Payer! They can’t think of lowering costs or increased coverage without thinking it I guess. I can’t even get past that first assumption, to do the follow up that they actually accomplished it.

    I’m going to give you a simpler explanation. This country has been having a health care problem for decades. Popular opinion has said people want reform. Democrats particularly have been pushing for years for some sort of reform. They finally get a chance to get something done. They’re more focused at finally getting something passed than making huge changes. They address several problems they had hoped for, child coverage, getting rid of pre-existing conditions, trying to lower the rising cost of insurance, and they pass it by the skin of their teeth.

    Fine, tell me how it’s bad policy, how it’s wasteful, even how it’s bad for insurance companies, or how it’s bad for patients. I will argue with you all day about how insurance companies will be okay. I’m fine with all that. Great, a real policy discussion! But when I have to delve into your unsubstantiated theories of what liberals secretly want and then passed…I can’t take it.

    1. Also, wanted to say, sorry Mike. Didn’t anticipate getting as worked up as I have been.

    2. I know you hate it when i ask questions, but I think that having the minority opinion in the commentariat entitles me to a little elbow room….

      I’m curious, I know why you think Democrats want healthcare reform, but why do you think that Republicans are resisting it?

    3. Well, there are lot of reasons, don’t want to generalize ;)

      Some prefer health care reform on a state level, some want limited government involvement in health care (death panels), some were worried about the medicare cuts and its effects, some don’t want Obama having a legislative victory, some think it will cost too much, some are concerned with unintended effects from changing things, some are worried about keeping their current insurance..etc..etc..

      1. So for the people who don’t want Obama to have a victory – was their opposition just about the politics? They thought it was good policy but they resisted just to give him a black eye?

      2. I don’t know their minds, but from things Boener, McConell, and things like conservatives Frum have said, it seems to have played some level in their thinking.

        http://www.frumforum.com/waterloo

        I can’t say which people said believed which ones, nor what level it played in their decision making. But it probably was more than one of the previous reasons.

        1. Sounds kind of devious to oppose good policy simply for political points…but also believable.

          So why am I a conspiracy nut to believe that previous statements by Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc played some level in their thinking, and might even have lead to advocating policies designed to hurt insurance companies in the longterm?

        2. It’s a world of difference. I didn’t say that it’s Republicans ultimate ambition to not let Obama have legislative victory. I gave you a bunch of policy stuff which they disagreed, LETS ACTUALLY TALK ABOUT THAT.

          Please? Jesus christ.

          1. You said, “…but from things Boener, McConell, and things like conservatives Frum have said, it seems to have played some level in their thinking.”

            That is not any different than me saying that previous statements by prominent Democrats are good reason for skepticism over their intent.

            1. Well then I think we’re done with this conversation man. It’s not fair for you to imply devious intentions on the part of Republicans (which I agreed with) but dismiss it on the part of Democrats.

              See you on the next batlefield…

            2. You usually ignore half of what I say, so what’s the point?

            3. As I’ve said again, but you ignored it last time, I completely agree that Democrats sometimes do it. They do it when Republicans want tax cuts, they do it when Bush tried to privitize social security.

              Yep, but I’m being unfair because I disagree with the one example you gave me.

              1. Again – then you and I just aren’t going to agree on this discussion. I see shadiness on both sides. Republicans wanted the cheap political points of seeing HCR fail and Democrats crafted policy designed to accomplish their longterm goal of a single-payer system. That’s MY opinion and you’re not going to persuade me otherwise unless you’ve got a lie detector you can hook Congress up to.

          2. No one has ever said anything about health care reform that the bill is designed to usher in single payer or destroy private industry. They may have talked about single payer, they may have looked at single payer for help for trying to find solutions, but it’s your assumption that goes from, liking single payer to enacting something to usher it in. Please, if you have anything besides your theory of yours, please show me.

            1. Andd it’s your assumption that Republicans’ desire for an Obama defeat lead to their opposing a policy they actually agreed with.

            2. No, no. Hell no.

              Please go back and read. I said that some Republicans have that intent, the leaders of the party McConnell and Boener have flat out talked about this recently. I clearly tried to say that I don’t think that’s everyone’s opinion, nor that it was the driving force. I’m not the one coming in here making such outrageous accusations about Republican/Democrat secret intent. I didn’t come in here and never have said that “Republicans fought HCR, even though they liked it, because they dislike Obama. I NEVER SAID THAT.

              I didn’t even say that it was some major driving force for everyone. Nor anyone’s sole reason. So don’t try to put words in my mouth, and don’t try to turn this around with things I don’t believe, just to defend yourself.

              Yet, I tried hard to say, I don’t believe this is their driving force. But you just wanted to keep asking your questions until you could make the point you want me to believe.

              1. And I don’t think EVERY Democrat wants to kill the insurance industry. I just think the ones that do had the loudest voice in the room. Do I get to take off my tinfoil hat now?

              2. No.

                Who are these people? And where are these quotes?

                1. Pelosi, Obama, Reid, Durbin, etc. All are on record as supporting single-payer.

                2. And once more, can we keep the comparisons actually apt? I mean, I can say that sometimes Democrats opposed Republican proposals because of politics. I mean, politics usually involves…politics.

                  So, instead, please come up with a better comparison that references an unsaid agenda for the other person, that they would deny.

                3. Here’s one that’s actually similar Mike!

                  Republicans voted against the stimulus, so that the economy could get worse, and they could regain power and help fix the economy again! Right? Something they would never admit to, something that they would do behind closed doors, something that would be harmful, something that would fulfill their long term goals.

                  1. I think there was definitely some politics on the Right. It was a horrible bill but they didn’t fight hard enough for a non-pork alternative. Makes one think they just wanted to see Democrats fail. Politically it was a good strategy because the Stimulus didn’t do much. Morally they should have provided a better alternative and done a better job of selling it to the public.

                  2. No, you didn’t talk about the important part that’s equal to your theory.

                    That Republicans are purposefully trying to hurt the economy to pass their “agenda”.

                    1. Well, it’s kind of like the Democrats. I don’t think they think they are hurting the public with HCR (and I said that several times above). I don’t think the GOP does either by opposing the Stimulus Plan. The truth is though that in both cases their motives are at least partially shady in the full-disclosure sense.

                    2. OHhh, so as long as the other side thinks it’s a good thing, the made up theory isn’t insulting…

                      So because Democrats talk negatively about insurance companies you say they want to bring in socialism, I can say, Republicans talk about religious freedom and the importance of Christianity to our country, so they pass legislation to eventually make us become a theocratic state?

                      Or again, because Republicans have talked negatively about welfare, they ultimately want to disband all of our social services? Because it’s best for the country…in their opinion.

                      I do think part of this is a difference in opinion on government. I don’t see Democrats or Republicans having any major hidden agendas outside of what they try to pass. I’ve never been believed in any of the Iraq conspiracy theories or 9/11. I may think it’s bad policy, but that’s as far as I can go.

                      Maybe that’s just a difference in our world view.

                    3. I don’t think it’s a ‘conspiracy theory’ and I think you’re injecting a bit of hyperbole. Read the Barney Frank quote below. I think that’s representative of what a Lot of Democrats probably said behind the scenes. They have a long-term goal of single-payer and they think a public option will eventually get them there. If other small regs like messing with HSAs and installing price controls help move that along, great. It’s not as Machivellian as you think I am implying. It’s just not full disclosure of their longterm goals and an unwillingness to acknowledge this moves the ball towards that.

              3. So, they like single-payer. Great. So no quotes that they are planning to destroy health care insurance or that the bill is designed to usher in single payer?

                I mean, I can show you obstructionist quotes from Republicans against Obama.

                1. Please share.

                  1. You volunteered.

                2. You probably won’t agree with me, but I these quotes show that one of their influences is political in nature.

                  “This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles”. – Boehner

                  “We feel like we are reflecting a broader mood of dissatisfaction. Right now, the American people want us saying no.” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)

                  Graham: “The first casualty of the Democratic health care bill will be immigration reform. If the health care bill goes through this weekend, that will, in my view, pretty much kill any chance of immigration reform passing the Senate this year.”

                  McCain said: “There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year. They [Democrats] have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.”

                  And McConnell’s one term presidency quote.

                  Please tell me that you don’t think politics doesn’t happen in politics. Again, not an apt comparison, but whatever.

                  Now can you please give me something that speaks about sneaking in single-payer or destroying private insurance with this bill? I’ve asked more than twice now?

                  1. If this is the best you’ve got, this won’t be hard.

                    “For 30 years I have supported a single payer plan, but our next best choice is to support an exchange and a public option.” – Pelosi

                    “I am a proponent of a single-payer universal healthcare program…All of you know we might not get there immediately because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate and we have to take back the House.” – Obama

                    “I think that if we get a good public option it could lead to single payer and that is the best way to reach single payer. I think the best way we’re going to get single payer, the only way, is to have a public option and demonstrate the strength of its power.” – Barney Frank

                    (That last one is beyond awesome…)

  14. Design8edwisdom · ·

    @ Mike
    Speaking as some one who has actually worked in the medical field for several years, I can confidently say that the Insurance industry will not be destroyed.. Many people will opt to buy insurance so they can continue with the same care they have been receiving. The whole point of this is it is an OPTION. I’ve worked in an office where everyone paid out of pocket. They decided to do this on their own accord for the care they felt they needed. The public health option will just see to it that those who can not afford to take such measures have the care that they need. Granted, It will not be the most optimal of care.. But it’s care nonetheless. It will provide a safety net, which ultimately can help the state of economy.. If more people have health care that industry will only grow, not to mention the fact that people will no longer be losing their homes due to obscene medical bills they can not afford… It will be no different than deciding to buy into an HMO or PPO.. You decide to pay for that which you feel is necessary and that which you can afford. Point being: A cheaper item of lesser quality does not make the higher end more expensive product irrelevant.

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