We the Government?


I like to laugh at political cartoons, but it isn’t too often that one makes me stop and think like this one did.

Michael Ramirez from Investor’s Business Daily (IBD Twitter link here) hit a home run with this depiction of the Constitution of the United States (I would have linked to the cartoon itself, but I couldn’t find it on IBD’s site).

Think about what events prompted the formation of our country.
Think about the principles that all the people who have died creating and protecting this nation have fought for.
How would our founding fathers feel about the state of our nation right now?

We The GovernmentBy the way – did you catch the change made in Section 2 of the text in the cartoon?


  1. Damn these aging eyes and need-to-be-replaced glasses — I can’t make heads or tails of the tiny script in the image. Might there be a charitable soul out there willing to perform an act of kindness by transcribing the content for a crip with compromised vision and a penchant for political cartoons?

    • I couldn’t read it even with my current glasses on and squinting and tilting my head and getting closer to the screen, and my eyes are young. Thanks, Whitecoat, for translating not only for thehipcrip and I, but for all those others (read: everyone) that couldn’t read it either.

  2. “How would our founding fathers feel about the state of our nation right now?”

    It’s ironic to see WC, who has so little respect for the jury trial, which was mentioned as both a basis for revolution in the Declaration and enshrined in the Constitution, and a guy who essentially laid down in the face of healthcare reform, lament the loss of individual freedom. Crocodile tears?

  3. Patient Encounter #1
    Patient: I have pain in my left arm. It starts where they took my blood for a Coumadin level 5 days ago, and I can feel little lumps in my arm. It radiates(actual word used) up into my chest.
    Me: (after extensive history and physical) – looks like superficial thrombophlebitis. It should get better with warm compresses. You are already on coumadin and allergic to NSAIDS, so keep taking your percocet (prescribed for fibromyalgia) and it will get better.
    Patient: Aren’t you going to do an cardiogram and a scan of my chest?
    Me: Well, you really don’t need it. There are no clinical indications to require the tests.
    Patient: I want everything done. I have insurance. Medicare.

    Overheard Patient#2 in admitting
    Registration clerk: You have been medically cleared for this week old toothache, so how will you be paying for this visit?
    Patient: Send the bill to Obama.
    Registration clerk: Well, that healthcare reform hasn’t started yet for you, so we need a payment.
    Patient: I told you! Send the bill to Obama.
    (after some time) Overhead Page: Security to registration, stat.

    I turned on the TV the other day, and saw that Buzz Aldrin… astronaut, scientist, hero and the second man to walk on the moon was on a TV dancing show. Say it isn’t so, I pleaded. My wife told me he will probably be voted off the show in a week or two. Two thoughts occurred to me. First, who was the moron in charge of this show that would take advantage of an aging hero, and parade him like meat for the public to dismiss him into obscurity in the pursuit of entertainment? And second, what was Buzz thinking?!?
    Once NASA was run by scientists, and they put men on the moon. The whole world stopped and marveled at the achievement of the Americans… even the Soviets grudgingly had to admit the task was impressive. Within forty years our agency of achievement was overtaken by the lawyers, politicians and bureaucrats, and is now cancelled. What is left of NASA is to be retooled to look for climate change (nee Anthropomorphic Global Warning) because Al Gore and a bunch of controversial scientists told the media it exists. After all, Al Gore won the award from the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences (aka the Oscar) and the Nobel Peace Prize for … um … not chemistry, or physics, or medicine… for … um… Global Warming. But I digress.
    So what has this to do with anything medical? Well, thanks to the new Healthcare Reform Legislation, we have now put the lawyers, politicians and bureaucrats and IRS agents officially in charge of the medical system. What was once run by doctors and became the most advanced, innovative healthcare … has officially become NASA. Yes, the “I duuno, make it go” crowd of luddites in charge of the government have made it so. Let the regulation degradation commence.
    Now that the battle is over, and the war is lost, we can sit back and watch the people (who vote more often on that dancing show more than for their leaders) demand to take over the legal system. We can watch the medical system turn into NASA. And we can watch them vote Buzz Aldrin off the show… showng ’em who is in charge.

    So, Matt, the bell now tolls for thee. Those people who vote on dancing and singing shows sit on juries. Wait until the juries of the uneducated and uneducable start voting against you. And they will, because they hate you more than they hated us.

    • My friend, you act like this just happened. It began in the 60s with Medicare. And you know a group that signed on to that? Physicians.

      A day before this latest version passed, the government paid over 50% of all healthcare expenditures already. And you know who backed this latest “reform”? Among others, the AMA, physicians’ largest lobbying organizations.

      Now you want to complain about government. But for the last 40 years, where has been the physicians’ movement to decouple themselves from government? You won’t find it. What you will find is physicians asking the government for liability protection, for a few more dollars, to please delay the SGR fix one more year, blah blah blah. What you won’t find is many saying: “Enough, this is not working – why are we letting them control us like this? We’re independent professionals.”

      So spare me the “everyone else did it to me” line.

      “Now that the battle is over, and the war is lost, we can sit back and watch the people (who vote more often on that dancing show more than for their leaders) demand to take over the legal system.”

      That doesn’t make much sense.

      “Those people who vote on dancing and singing shows sit on juries. Wait until the juries of the uneducated and uneducable start voting against you. And they will, because they hate you more than they hated us.”

      They don’t hate you. They don’t hate us. We’re kind of like politicians when it comes to polls – everyone dislikes politicians, but for some reason THEIR politician keeps getting re-elected because they like him/her.

      But you know who else sits on juries – I know you think its idiots because you’re a physician and you’re quite sure everyone else is an idiot. But there are engineers, architects, schoolteachers, professors, mechanics, all kinds of people who are just as smart and have just as much common sense as you (shocking, I know).

      And here’s the thing, our profession didn’t sign on to the vast majority of us being paid by third parties. That’s what led to your downfall. That’s why people quit valuing your time and skills. Because you quit doing so. You became just a conduit to a procedure because that’s how you got paid.

      So stop blaming everyone else.

    • Matt
      I did not say it wasn’t our fault. I agree with you, it was. We sold out long ago, to you, the lawyers in the form of legislators and leaders. We signed over our sovereignty to your leadership, made it official with this healthcare reform bill, and now you have failed us. You lawyers as leaders are responsible for NASA, and now you have enshrined healthcare as a constitutional right with this legislation. You did not protect us, but rather decapitated us in the name of expanding power.
      Shame on us for believing you.*

      *The opinions expressed here do not necessarily express the opinion of the author or agents of the author, depending on what the definition of is…is, and the day of the week. Void where prohibited. Interest in your comments or reply may be simulated. No one is authorized to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the author with the replier and his legal counsel to the comments without express written confirmation by the author. Author may or may not care less what you think. Author will not accept any liability in respect of this communication. In the event of a dispute, the author expects to be sued into oblivion by replier’s lawyers because lawyers can. Reproduction of this or any opinion of the author is limited to anyone with half a brain that can read and can spell the word “read”. Author fully expects your reply to contain denial to the facts of this post, and reserves the right to chuckle or laugh out loud until such time that this activity is revoked by the legal profession.

      • Igloo doc…
        “Author fully expects your reply to contain denial to the facts of this post, and reserves the right to chuckle or laugh out loud until such time that this activity is revoked by the legal profession.”

        That needed a spew alert. Always remember that what a person wants or needs does not make it a “right”!

      • “. We sold out long ago, to you, the lawyers in the form of legislators and leaders.”

        Again, you pass the buck. Apparently responsibility is anathema to physicians.

        I’m not really following your NASA comparison, since there really was never a private space exploration program. And I’m not sure how many lawyers v. engineers there are at NASA. Nor does it appear are you.

  4. I think honestly to speculate about what someone would think who lived more than 200+ years ago is a stretch. They were in such a different time with totally different social norms. But honestly, I bet many of them would be in favour of the everyone having access to health care. In anycase, the world is a totally different place and comparing things now to then is almost as stupid as interpreting the second amendment strictly. After all, they could not have predicted submachine guns and street sweepers in the era of Brown Besses.
    I think that the government already pays for the lions share of health care already and although medicaid will be increased, so will people on private insurance as well. This bill also does nothing to change how we practise health care – and will do nothing to curb our appetites for testing and consults, etc. I doubt any half-assed bill that the Republicans would offer would do any better at reducing costs and would certainly no improved coverage or access. I agree we need tort reform and that defensive medicine plays a big role – but the main costs of health care are rooted in our culture and how we as doctors like to practise and how patients expect certain things. I am glad the bill helps curb insurance company abuses and that most people will have some coverage. We will have to work out how to increase access and more importantly, how to change our culture over time.
    Finally, The government should mandate we all carry coverage – it helps spread out the risk and eventually everyone gets sick and needs care. We can’t chose that we don’t want to get cancer.

    • “To speculate about what someone would think who lived more than 200+ years ago is a stretch.”

      Courts do it every day. That’s the basis for Constitutional law. Those who created the Constitution had enough foresight to insert phrases subject to interpretation so that future generations could adapt their situations to the principles contained within the Constitution – “due process” and “equal protection”, for example.
      Would our forefathers have imagined skyscraper hospitals the size of many city blocks and MRI machines? Doubt it. But what general principles would they have had in mind relating to health care for our citizens, multitrillion dollar deficit spending, and increasing government regulation of the daily lives of its citizens?

      I predict that the number of citizens on new private insurance plans will dwarf the number of new citizens on Medicaid.

      I don’t follow party lines and I never have (although I’m a little pissed at the Democrats who rammed this bill up everyone’s rear ends without much debate on the merits), so I don’t know whether Republicans could have come up with something better or not. The point is that if everyone worked together to find the best ideas (and maybe included a little more input from the doctors), then the end result would likely have been a much better plan.

      Again, “coverage” doesn’t equal access. You can mandate that indigent patients have Medicaid “coverage,” but it is readily apparent that they don’t have access to care. Putting everyone on Medicaid/Medicare really just creates the illusion that everyone is “getting care” when in reality, it will cause rationing to both the newly “insured” and the “previously insured” through bottlenecks in the emergency department. Already happened in Massachusetts. Now we’re going to replicate the system nationwide. Are we really that naive to expect different results?

      • I 100% agree with you WC!

        They definitely would NOT want government having their tentacles of control everywhere ..nor all the taxies. Boston Tea party.

      • Amen, WC. There are so many who choose the “ignorance is bliss” state of mind because it’s easy. What you said is absolutely spot on.

      • So the question comes back to you, WC. You’re on the front lines. Where can we find your legislative proposal to do something different? And by “your” I don’t mean you personally necessarily, but whatever lobbying groups you’re backing or politicians you’re backing. As someone with probably a more direct stake in this than any other person, what bill would you recommend we support in lieu of this one?

      • Hence the limitations of constitutional law. We are trying to place ourselves in our forefather’s shoes to speculate on a modern issue as they would. I personally think this is very, very open to interpretation. Also, which founding father? I bet Jefferson and Adams and Madison might all have a different view and carry on with each other.
        Anyway, regardless, I agree that coverage does not equal access and that needs to be addressed (of course with our input thank you very much) but getting people coverage is a good start. I never would have supposed a bill would have been right on the money the first time around anyway.
        Also, I get annoyed that tea baggers like to throw around the “government can’t do anything right!” crap all the time. It does many things pretty well and is held accountable by us anyway. The whole “the government that governs least, governs best” is total crap. Letting society run itself is pretty damn frightening to me.
        I say lets give the thing 5 years and see what happens – if everything is a worse train wreck than the train wreck it already was, I am sure the population will vote people in to change it.

      • ERP, last time I checked this is the USA, i.e., the United States of America and not the American Federal State.

      • Erp- just like how the population voted in favor of the bill? That is the source of discontention with the bill for most. The people had no say. Im getting out of medicine, it may take me 5 years,but i am done. Let them find another sucker.

      • Pink, last time I checked the USA utilizes a Federal System of government, i.e., the United States of America IS THE American Federal State.

      • ERP – It’s just that the underhanded way they did it was so wrong… and to me ..the most egregious..irresponsible part is that for something so profoundly important ..they rushed and DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS IN IT …meaning they have no idea of the long term effects on this country ..or care about the harm it is/will cause for people now. The gains do not balance out the sacrifice forced on others. I’ve said too much in here and I feel it pulling me down just thinking about it again.

        One last thing ..the problem with giving it five years ..once you have people dependent on programs ..they grow and you can’t just take them away.

        One thing confuses me about this bill… and perhaps I don’t understand ..but if this insurance is to help the poor ..then how can the government fine them if they don’t buy the insurance? Isn’t that the problem? they are too busy trying to put food on the table and couldn’t afford the insurance in the first place?

      • LibraryGryffon on


        We aren’t “teabaggers”. Unless you think we all indulge in bizarre sexual practices. Which I assure you is NOT the case. So please don’t use slurs which I wouldn’t want to have to explain to my children.

        And most of the tea partiers I know don’t think gov’t is incompetent at everything, just a lot of things. This is the organization which lost money running a whore house. Our federal gov’t has a limited number of enumerated duties, and health care isn’t one of them.

        And where is this administration’s vaunted transparency, and the proof that this is the “most ethical congress ever”? Didn’t Obama promise us that the text of any bill would be available for a week after both houses passed it before he signed it? Wasn’t the text of the bill supposed to be available for five days before they even voted on it? The only thing bipartisan about this health care take over is the opposition.

    • Sad but true. I bet the majority of doctors feel the same way. I have been practicing for 12 years and looking for a complete exit trying to grow an outside business and dabbling in real estate and currency trading. I may continue to do some urgent care but definately getting out of the high risk ER (5 frivolous or non liability suits in 12 years). I feel sorry for anyone going into medicine….I discourage anyone that is considering going into medicine. PA school is definately a smarter choice for most. I look forward to taking my skills to other countries on humanitarian missions where there is no CMS, EMTALA, insurance, HIPPAA, administrative bean counters, press gainey scores, HMO authorizations, etc. I won’t let my years of training go to waste but it won’t be for the benefit of people with government entitlements.

    • Steve and Cynic – if it’s what you really want to do then go for it and may you be blessed in all your endeavors. I just think it is awful that it is over regulation and lawsuits driving you out.

      I hope things somehow get better so we don’t lose a lot of doctors. I understand though.

  5. “How would our founding fathers feel about the state of our nation right now?” They might be shaking their heads as to why non-whites and women are voting and owning property and stuff like that. I agree with ERP…wait and see. It can’t be any worse than what we’ve got now.

    • Oh yes it can be worse – particularly in the way the bill will be expanded upon in the upcoming years.

      Prediction – Coming soon: a VAT to pay for it because the alleged “savings” will soon be revealed to be as real as unicorns, chimeras and fairies and there will need to be a way to pay for it without raising income taxes

  6. Based on their actions?

    They’d approve: http://open.salon.com/blog/paul_j_orourke/2010/03/24/news_pres_signs_h-care_insurance_mandate-212_years_ago

    “In July, 1798, Congress passed, and President John Adams signed into law “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen,” authorizing the creation of a marine hospital service, and mandating privately employed sailors to purchase healthcare insurance.

    This legislation also created America’s first payroll tax, as a ship’s owner was required to deduct 20 cents from each sailor’s monthly pay and forward those receipts to the service, which in turn provided injured sailors hospital care. Failure to pay or account properly was discouraged by requiring a law violating owner or ship’s captain to pay a 100 dollar fine.”

  7. AS I said, I agree with ERP. He has some well thought out comments on his blog without being Chicken Little the sky is falling hysteria. It’s not going to be perfect. Doctors, hospitals and patients are going to have to change the way they look at the medical resources. But hopefully people won’t go bankrupt with a medical event as my neighbor did or see premiums quadrupled as my friend did because two of her children got behind a genetic eight ball. I know 4 middle-aged people who got the corporate axe…as it stands now, they can’t afford private insurance because it’s ridiculoulsy expensive. Why shouldn’t they have a resource for insurance?
    Where I live I pay a bucketload of taxes to make sure every child is educated. My kids are long gone out of school but I will continue to support those taxes because it’s a good thing for a society to educate it’s children. So if my taxes go for this new healthcare because it says something about our nation being good and decent when people get sick so be it.
    PS I work for a very large for profit national healthcare corporation that got busted not once but twice for getting to enamored of the kaching
    of cardiac procedures. Had to pay a 900 million fine. Some of the runaway costs are just coming from pure greed.
    So I’ll stand by my statement, wait and see.

    • LibraryGryffon on

      My concern isn’t bankruptcy, it’s death. When the Navy doctor’s discharge your 5 month old daughter who has Rota Virus and is STILL VOMITING, who do you appeal to? When they refuse to treat a kidney infection which leaves you so weak and feverish you can’t stand up and are barely lucid, who do you appeal to? When Tricare refuses to pay for you chemotherapy to treat your cancer, who do you appeal to?

      Now expand this to the entire system. If the gov’t is in charge, there will be no timely appeals. Cancer isn’t going to wait 2 years. Right now they figure in Britain that 10% or more of people who cancers are at a curable stage when they are put on the list for radiation therapy progress to incurable during the wait for treatment to start.

      I’d rather go bankrupt trying to pay medical bills for my child than watch her die while waiting for some bureaucrat to approve treatment. And in a lot of the more socialized systems, you are not allowed to pay out of pocket for anything. You get what a faceless bureaucrat allows you, no more.

      • I’m sorry for situation and that of your baby’s. Unfortunately, stories similiar to yours happen with the present private insurance system. You also appeal to a nameless bureaucrat and will usually lose.
        Medicare is essentially socialized medicine and as a nurse who works on a geriatric floor in a hospital, no expense is spared and I’ve almost never seen anything denied. I recently gave chemo to an 89 y/o woman with end stage altzheimer’s and saw a 104 y/o man get a pacemaker. That of course is a whole different discussion. But if this group of people need something, they get it.
        I don’t know about Tricare but the little I’ve read about it, it sounds horrible. There are private insurances that aren’t too different tho.
        I had no insurance with my second child and spent most of my pregnancy with zero prenatal care. No doctor would take me. I just recently met a man who lost his health insurance and is having obvious cardiac symptoms but won’t seek attention. What good is the present system in these situations?
        There are horror stories on both sides of this issue.
        There is a lot of fear out there. Maybe a hybrid of private and government insurance might work. I don’t know.
        But there’s no question reform was needed.

      • LibraryGryffon on

        I’m not denying that reform of some sort is needed. But paying providers less, while throwing more people into the system isn’t it. And you are right, Tricare is worse than Medicare OR Medicaid, and that’s saying something. But if this is how the gov’t thinks our military men and women and their families should be treated, how will they feel about the rest of us, especially when the money starts to run out? Once they get the Effectiveness board working, you won’t have to worry about giving chemo to a woman with Alzheimers, or a pacemaker to a man over 100. You won’t have to worry about chemo to anyone over 60, or pacemakers over 70. I recommend you read the article from last years Lancet on the “whole lives” system for allocating scarce medical resources. It comes down to not paying anything for kids unlikely to be able to work and pay taxes, and not paying anything for those past working and paying taxes. Very Animal Farmish.

        And we have to do something about the shortage of providers first. Right now there are areas where even *with* insurance you can’t get prenatal care, or for that ob/gyn care of any sort. Throwing another 30 million people into the system won’t help them much, and will hurt the others. Especially if we disincentivize providers by paying them less than it costs to provide care. So if there are too few GPs/FPs/Internists there will be more ER visits, but there will be fewer ERs as hospitals close due to losing too much money. Insurance won’t do you any good if the nearest ER is two hours away and overcrowded.

  8. Pink,

    “Green, really? So, what you are saying is we have no state, county, or city governing entities?”

    No that is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that in the good ol’ USA, the national government and state governments share governmental power within the same political system. Which just happens to be the definition of FEDERALISM.

    Hence, I stand my prior statement:
    “…the USA utilizes a Federal System of government, i.e., the United States of America IS THE American Federal State.”

  9. LibraryGryffon & ERP,

    This weekend past, my state hosted “Showdown in Searchlight” a tea partier / tea bagger rally. The main attraction was rock star Sarah “when the going gets tough, I quit” Palin. The newspaper (yeah, yeah, yeah, the biased mass liberal media – but this is a very conservative newspaper)described the crowd as almost exclusively white, and older. And I would add, very, very scared. The Tea’s want an America like it used to be – overwhelmingly white and the one and only super-power in the world: economically and militarily. But it ain’t gonna’ happen, because the horse is out of the barn, and no matter how many AK-47’s or Glocks these “patriots” brandish will change that.
    People don’t like change. But change happens.

    • Your last line says it all, “People don’t like change. But change happens.”

      The interesting part is that when you peel away the propaganda and show people the facts, the majority are in favor of the reform. We’re not facing radical changes. In fact, the health care bill contains many ideas that were first proposed by Republicans long before Obama became president.

    • LibraryGryffon on

      Why do you have to use that disgusting term? You’ll be more likely to get folks from that side to actually listen to you if you don’t start by insulting them.

      I don’t care what the dominant color in this country is, but then, unlike the current race baiters, I worry more about character. I don’t classify people by skin color, and don’t assume that all (ethinic/religious/skin color group of your choice) think alike and have the exact same needs and desires. I don’t assume that without handouts those who aren’t white can’t succeed. I do assume that destroying those who create the jobs will hurt everyone, especially the “poor” whom the Democrats insist they are helping. If tax revenue dries up, because no one has any money anymore, it won’t matter how good your social programs are in theory, they won’t function in reality.

      And yes, I am afraid. I’m afraid of ending up with a country where there will be no jobs for my children, because those who create jobs are taxed to the point where they can’t create those jobs. I’m afraid of having a country where I and my children snd you and your children won’t have a chance to get the health care we need, because it’s so important to look like we have health care for all that we spend more money on administration than on actual health care. I’m afraid of having a country where our citizens are permanently divided by our skin color, so that “our rulers in Washington” can maintain power. And, yes, I’m afraid of having a country where my children are actively discriminated against because of their skin color. If it’s not right to discriminate against black skin or brown skin, it’s not right against white skin either. I don’t want to live someplace where white and black and brown and red and yellow only meet to throw insults or worse at each other.

      • Your fears aren’t real to you, but they aren’t based on facts. We had prosperous years under Clinton despite the propaganda machine pumping out fears. We got into this mess under Bush.

        Keep in mind that health care reform wasn’t strictly about helping the poor. It was also about helping the economy.

      • LibraryGryffon on

        I assume that your first line is a typo, and you are actually saying my fears *are* real to me? Thanks.

        So my fears about fewer jobs are all in my mind and have nothing to do with a steady official unemployment rate of 10%? Especially since under Bush they loved to give us the U-6 rate, which includes those who are underemployed and those who have given up and fallen off the rolls, while under Obama we only ever see the U-3 rate in the news.

        I don’t recall being told under Clinton how bad things were. I do recall a constant drumbeat of how awful the economy was under Bush, even as the news talked about biggest holiday season sales reports ever and the like, and I knew very few people who were unemployed for any length of time (unlike now). The media has taught me to assume that anything they say on the economy is designed to make the Democrats look better and the Republicans in particular, but any conservative at all, look worse, no matter what the actual facts are. Yes, we had problems under Bush, though a terrorist attack on New York City didn’t help things any. And the rosy situation under Clinton had a lot to do with the tech bubble, and I don’t think you can blame Bush for it bursting. And the Bush adminstration did try to do something about the Social Security mess, but the guys who are in charge now blocked any reform stating that the system was fine and would be fine for decades.

        My fears about less health care when more money is spent on administration has nothing to do with how I’ve seen it play out in other countries like Canada, Britain, France, and Ireland? When the man at the top of the adminstration has said that patients would be better off with pain pills than pacemakers and hip replacements? When one of his top medical advisors advocates the “whole lives” system, which would deny expensive treatment for children who would be unlikely to ever pay taxes, and for older citizens who are past their prime taxpaying years? When the adminstration and the Congress have rammed through a bill which none of them have read, which none of them can completely describe, and which a majority of citizens told them they didn’t want, at least in that form? When we have a White House and Congress who view themselves as our “rulers”, not our leaders or representatives?

        As for the health care reform, (which supposedly is really health care *insurance* reform), how is it helping the economy to tax businesses to the point where they can’t afford to create new jobs? How is it helping the economy to force younger workers who either wouldn’t buy health insurance even when given the chance, or who would only buy a major medical policy to buy a full bells-and-whistles policy, thereby taking more money out of the economy and using it to pay for the new army of gov’t health care and IRS bureaucrats? How is it helping the economy to pay providers less and less to see more and more patients, thereby putting them out of business, which hurts both the economy (fewer jobs, less disposible income, less tax revenue) AND our health care?

  10. Sea Spray, you will see your premiums rise right away probably. Even before the bill passed, BC and Well Point were already raising premiums astronomically. Now that it’s passed, I’ve heard working folks say they are going to use all the current insurance they can to cover all those things they’ve been just thinking about up to now. Knee surgeries, etc. you name it.

  11. Dwight Burdick, MD, FACEP on

    We have let corporations become our government. Our elected representatives are so busy pushing and shoving for a place at the corporprate feed trough that they have no time to govern. Anyway, they are mostly so dim witted and incompetent that they couldn’t govern even if they took a break from fighting over the slop the corporations are dumping in the trough.
    Even though the people have the tool needed to regain control of what used to be their government, there is no way they will turn their overweight, underexercised, inadequately educated, excessively medicated butts away from their primary source of diversion and information, the TV screen, long enough to critically examine candidates and issues and then cast their votes. It’s way past hopeless.
    We richly deserve our narcissistic, inexperienced, and seemingly dim-witted leader and his BFD second, and would too have deserved the only other allowed option if that aging and erratic reactionary and his bizarre female sidekick had won.
    I’m so happy I made the decision to “leave it” years ago when I stopped “loving it”.
    From my vantage point out here in the rest of the world, I join my neighbors in looking at the U.S. with confusion, consternation, and often, amusement.
    At what used to be a shining beacon of freedom and opportunity to the whole world.
    Wantonly dispensing the national treasury to crooked bankers and financiers, propping up long ago failed auto manufacturers, fighting two protracted, unprovoked, unnecessary, and loosing wars, paying by far the most for nearly the worst health care in the modern world, fighting another loosing war on drugs, and another on terror, depriving an ever growing underprivileged segment of the population of more and more of their ever shrinking social safety net, resorting to torture, rendition, and indefinite imprisonment without trial, unconditionally supporting an arrogant and aparthied Middle East regime, destroying the environment, dumbing down our students to the least common denominator, failing abysmally in providing modern mass transit, and on and on and on.
    Welcome to the failed state that the US has become.

    • I believe President D. ‘Ike’ Eisenhower made half (or a whole?) speech to the nation about that back then where he sternly warned Americans that Corporates are getting too powerful.

    • Dwight ..I do not for 1 second the United States has failed and she is still strong and the beacon of light. Why else do people risk their lives to come here? And if our medical care is so substandard ..then why do people fly here to get it? I am concerned for her future more than I ever have been and I am concerned she is now appearing weak around the world thanks to this administration.

      What country are you referring to when you said:
      “unconditionally supporting an arrogant and aparthied Middle East regime”

  12. Chelsea – I’ve heard that. I saw an orthodoc on TV state that he had patients wanting surgeries now ..that he knows they don’t need yet.

    I just wrote in the previous post that I am livid over this and the thought of losing our quality HC if we can’t afford to keep up with the premiums.

    And that the quality plans will be taxed FORTY PERCENT ..except from their favored union’s ins plans which Obama administration said will be exempt!

    It is like everything has been turned upside down overnight.

    We all knew there were problems with the system. They should have targeted the most important concerns. Not do this major overhaul that affects 1/6th of our national economy.

    Yes ..help the poor. We should. But there had to be a better way than this monstrous debacle.

    They should’ve been talking to the med professionals in the trenches. Did they really care about insurance companies being expensive? Then they should’ve OPENED up the state borders and allowed competition for better price and quality. Instead ..premiums will go up and we can afford it even less!

    They can’t get MDCR/MDCD right,they have people on welfare and so now they are creating more debt in massive proportions at a time when this country can least afford it. And it seems that as more and more people have to let go of their private insurance ..that more and more people will go on the public dole. HOW in the world is this good for our country? For our citizens? And for continued access to state-of-the-art, quality medical care? For funding for medical research? For state-of-the-art medical equipment?
    I know I have saud this too much ..but maybe if I say it often enough it won’t be surreal anymore, but: This administration does NOT KNOW WHAT IS IN THE BILL. THEY DID NOT READ IT. THE *PRESIDENT* DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THAT CHILDREN ARE *NOT* COVERED IN TH BILL! If he or *any of them* had actually READ IT ..they would have seen that was MISSING!!

    They don’t understand long term ramifications of this bill, i.e., how it will affect our national economy, the people with excessive taxation and ultimately poorer quality of access and medical care. They don’t understand because they DID NOT READ THE BILL.

    Who does that?

    Would you sign your name to a car loan, mortgage or anything without KNOWING what you are signing for??? And yet ..these people did this ..but they keep their insurance in tact and it is the rest of us who will be profoundly affected ..medically and financially. And who knows how it will affect our national economy?

    No wonder the tea partiers (comprised of different political persuasions,male,female, housewives, college kids,executives, blue collar workers,retirees, etc.) and the rest of us are angry! They did not listen to their constituents.

    They did-NOT-listen.

  13. I don’t disagree that they did not listen, and think they still gave into special interests too much. But doctors did not step up – nor did the Republicans. Something had to be done, and fast, and so this is what we’re stuck with for the moment. With all the obstruction and obstinance, much probably due to the upcoming elections, what else could they do?

  14. Chelsea – I respectfully take issue with “But doctors did not step up – nor did the Republicans.”, because they shut the republicans out and did not listen to them either.

    I can’t speak for doctors, but there are some docs in the senate and they did speak up. They were not listened too.

    I just quickly googled this link for republican ideas:http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/02/five_compronises_in_health_car.html

    I an sure you can find more.

    ***Our HC system needed reform. But *RUSHING* this through is why we have this monstrosity of a bill. If Obama had his way ..he would’ve passed this bill in August, 2009 in even worse shape than now.

    Why in the world rush something so profoundly important to our country and people? You would think that they would methodically change what was wrong in our existing system and methodically add what is good to it. Not turn it all upside down and create the problems that are already starting to happen. And what about the hardship of sm business owners being forced to pay for employee ins or be fined 2000.00 per employee? How does that help our economy? Or for the poor people that can’t afford insurance but will be fined if they don’t buy it?

    Is it for the moment? Once people start becoming dependent on the system ..they won’t be able to reverse it?

  15. Chelsea – also ..both parties are guilty of doing things for political gain instead of truly working together in a bipartisan effort to do what is truly best for the country. They are more interested in pushing their party agenda through.

    But this time ..this was huge. It was handled irresponsibly and should NOT have been RUSHED. And ..they should have read and understood it and the consequences.

  16. Dwight Burdick, MD, FACEP on

    The disastrous state of the US is incredibly vexing for this aging 60’s radical Leftist pit doc whose political views are most closely aligned with the Socialist Party.
    I am convinced we are becoming a failed state with an already failed government.
    Common sense and my intuition tell me that we cannot import more than we export, buy more than we sell, use our natural resources faster than we innovate replacements, reduce our citizenry to the least common denominator of educational, intellectual, physical, and emotional health, and replace production with low paying service jobs, without inevitably facing decline to third world status. Reducing our exports mostly to war, destruction, and military hardware (not to mention those ubiquitous Golden Arches) is not going to help us much in this 21st Century world.
    I have complained enough. It is time for solutions. We are terminally stuck until we get rid of all our dumbed down and corrupt national politician misfits. First we should vote out 100% of the incumbents, replacing them with whatever sorry alternative is most likely to win over our uninformed and incompetent electorate. Then we need exercise our right to vote, strip our useless central government of any power and money it still retains, and initiate steps to recover all that they have wantonly gifted to the already rich of the corporate world and Wall Street. All of this money and power should be handed directly over to local government, not to the states, but rather to city/counties and counties. We can so much more easily control our neighbor than some jerk hiding out in the criminal lairs inside the Beltway, or in the statehouse. Every one of the city/counties or rural counties in which I have lived and worked during my 40+ year public hospital EM and EMS career were fully capable of managing public works, police and fire protection, schools, public hospitals, EMS and a public social security safety net, and every one of them did so successfully, with little support and lots of aggravation from state and national government. Let our small businesses and innovators do what they do best, under local regulation only, without the interference of a totally dysfunctional central government.
    In time, and after we all wake up, regain our senses, and spend a little more time taking care of our families, our neighbors, and ourselves, we can revisit the idea of a central government and maybe design something functional and controllable, using the science of quality by design and continuous quality improvement which we gifted to the Japanese, and they so successfully implemented, after the end of World War II. Maybe even restart NASA, where I worked in the 60’s, and recognize the amazing technological spin off, just like we did back there in our race to catch up with Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin. Or build a national rail system.
    Whew, I sound like somebody from the Tea Party, but hey, I’m really not!
    Blood in the streets is likely before our slumbering populace wakes up from their TV induced coma. I do so long for the clarity of the pre-World War II country back there at the time of my birth. Oh, if only I could go back to that far better time in that far better country. Leave something better for my children than the great things my parents left for me. A typical old man’s lament.

    I feel compelled to respond to SeaSpray.
    On health care, let’s agree to forget the statistics which place us arguably somewhere around #37, maybe just ahead of that bastion of progressive government, Cuba. Instead let’s randomly select a statistically significant number each of Asians, Europeans, and Americans, evaluate them objectively through scientifically validated measures of intellectual, physical, and emotional health, and then still try to arrive at your conclusion that our health care is better than theirs. I have lived and worked among each of these three groups during the 40+ years of my medical career. I already know with certainty the inevitable conclusion of my proposed scientific inquiry.
    On immigration, just who out there really wants to join us? Western Europeans, Chinese, Malays, Japanese, Scandinavians, Singaporeans, Kuwaiti’s; or is it maybe, just maybe, more likely to be long suffering refugees hopelessly beaten down by the desperation of life in the third world? Come on, I think you know the answer.
    It should be obvious who is the arrogant and apartheid regime in the Middle East. That would be the one divided by a concrete wall, using religious and/or ethnic criteria to separate the haves, living a modern life in their democracy of the minority, from the have-nots, a seriously disadvantaged majority living under military occupation in overcrowded bombed out ghettos and Bantustans. Where does this diverge from apartheid South Africa, and why is not the solution the One State one, with Truth and Reconciliation, ala Nelson Mandela, mandated by the world community and supported by the US?
    And SeaSpray, if the atavar behind which you anonymously hide hints at something nautical, my totally off topic parting thought would be, “The worst day offshore on a boat beats the best day in a chair on the beach.”

  17. Dwight – when you compare Americans to Asians and Europeans are you blaming our health care system? Or diet and lifestyle choices?

    Regarding refugees ..yes that is correct ..they are looking to get away from oppression, but I also believe productive people around the globe also see us as a land of opportunity. I know my grandparents did.

    If you are speaking about Israel, I believe in her right to defend herself. There are injustices done both ways in that situation. Unfortunately ..the roots of the conflict goes back to the days of Abraham.

    One thing I don’t understand ..okay ..make that many things ..but with all the vast land that the Arabs own ..why don’t they give some to their fellow Arab Palestinians?

    And why do the hostile Arab countries …want to push Israel out to the sea if they could? Also, they do have to have a safe perimeter so they can deter incoming missiles, etc. If her enemies have access from the mountains ..they could easily send missiles into Tel Aviv, etc.

    Dwight you said:”“The worst day offshore on a boat beats the best day in a chair on the beach.”

    Unless your boat is the Titanic. 🙂

  18. P.S. Dwight – you also said “I do so long for the clarity of the pre-World War II country back there at the time of my birth. Oh, if only I could go back to that far better time in that far better country. Leave something better for my children than the great things my parents left for me.”

    I am a post WWII baby boomer and I agree with you. It all feels so different now. We were discussing this today. There are many fabulous things now ..but it seems a lot of good stuff is lost. Like freedom and feeling safe ..really safe and trusting people and handshakes meant something ..not that I did that as a kid.

    I am unable to articulate exactly what I am feeling about lawsuits, corporate takeovers ..no more gold watches and heck now even pensions that were a done deal and to be counted on are at risk.

    I feel like nothing can be counted on anymore ..or is that just called “growing up”?

    Does anyone remember that even though you were a young kid ..your parents let you leave the house and ride your bike anywhere you wanted to all day long… come in for lunch and back out until dinner and back out again and they would just say ..be in by dark? No one locked their doors. And the only warning I heard was “Don’t take candy from strangers and razor blades might be in apples”. I know bad things happened and maybe we just didn’t know because people lived in quiet desperation and/or we didn’t have the instant satellite news sources we have today. But it did feel safer and more innocent and I think kids were kids longer too ..which is a wonderful thing.

    I was so careful with our boys born in 1980 and 1988 and I did not trust even then to let them have the same freedoms.

    Delete if you want WC. 🙂

  19. These numbers are very misleading (U3), 114,000 in ” new jobs” at the same time initial jobless claims are averaging 250,000 to 287,000 over the last year, How does unemployment drop to 7.8%? The U6 statistic and the labor participation rate is more reflective of the economy. Also wondering if people are confusing “new Jobs” with “new hires”. A baby boomer that retires, and if his job is filled again – this should NOT be considered a new job or an increase to the job force, its only a new hire – replacing a postion. The operative stats here should be the labor participation rate and U6.

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