ObamaCare infomercial: What were they thinking?

posted at 1:26 pm on June 25, 2009 by Karl

Seriously. What were they thinking?

The health care “town hall” event at the White House staged by ABCNews was clearly intended as part of Pres. Obama’s week-long PR blitz to bolster the case for health care reform, to be followed today with rallies funded and organized by the Usual Suspects.

ABCNews denied that it was actively assisting this effort, despite running graphics in a font remarkably similar to the Gotham font Obama used throughout the 2008 campaign. But despite the presence of a couple of challenging questioners, the pre-selected questions and general lack of follow-up made for an experience similar to the lame press conference format lefty bloggers like Ezra Klein were decrying yesterday morning, but probably enjoying in primetime. (Even ABC’s online fact-checking was lame, verging on the left-leaning. In contrast, Cato managed to savage Obama’s talking points in real time.)

The upside for Obama in this format is that he was generally able to bob and weave away from the real issues. For example, he talked about increasing the number of primary care doctors without acknowledging this could inflate the health care costs he claims he is trying to contain.

He could deliver his standard talking points about preventative care, even the vast majority of preventative measures reviewed in the health economics literature do not save money.

He could simply assert that “often times we know what makes sense and what doesn’t,” in pushing comparative effectiveness research, despite the fact that it is already killing cancer patients in Britain, to name but one example. (Indeed, no one followed up on his semi-oblique suggestion that America generally needs to move to a culture that disfavors heroic end-of-life care.)

Obama could talk about a proposed government-run plan without addressing the arguments that such a plan would almost inevitably engage in unfair competition. Obama was not asked whether a public plan would be allowed to fail. He was not asked about the Senate bill that would allow a public plan to avoid state regulation. He was not asked about the Lewin Group estimate that as many as 119 million people could be dumped from their current coverage into to the public plan until the Nightline segment, which was likely watched by far fewer people. Obama should doubly thank ABCNews for burying that exchange because — despite the fact that he had to know it was probably coming — it was Aetna CEO Ron Williams, not the Orator-in-Chief, who had the soundbite: “It’s difficult to compete against a player who’s also the person refereeing the game.” (At that link, Jake Tapper also notes that the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that support for a public plan plummets to 37 percent if it would crowd out private insurers. But I digress.)

He got to complain about the Congressional Budget Office’s stubborn refusal to score his imaginary game-changers as actual savings, while refusing to commit to any method of paying for a plan that Obama admitted might cost as much as $2 trillion. As CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller noted again and again and again, throughout the primetime special — and the Nightline addendum — Obama would pretend he was going to address a “challenging question,” or would say that an issue required a “difficult decision,” while avoiding an answer.

But what did Obama really get for all of his dodging? He didn’t take many punches, but he didn’t land any, either. Drew Weston might say that it is smart to avoid wonkery and focus on his three basic principles (however dishonest they may be) — lower costs, freedom to choose and coverage for all Americans. But even if the audience will not remember the details, they will remember (even if subconsciously) whether there were details. Platitudes alone will not address the public skepticism of about the types of fixes being proposed by Obama and the Democrats.

Weston also believes in the power of stories over policy (and there is some merit to that argument). On that front, Obama got to talks about his late grandmother again. But he was also exposed as a rank hypocrite on the issue of seeking extraordinary care for his own family before making it clear that he thinks other people’s families should hurry up and die already:

Jane Sturm told the story of her nearly 100-year-old mother, who was originally denied a pacemaker because of her age. She eventually got one, but only after seeking out another doctor.

“Outside the medical criteria,” Sturm asked, “is there a consideration that can be given for a certain spirit … and quality of life?”

“I don’t think that we can make judgments based on peoples’ spirit,” Obama said.

Obama came off sounding more like one of the evil insurance company execs he wants to drive out of business than the sort of empathetic person he wants to appoint to the federal judiciary.

Pres. Obama’s approach of leaving all of those “difficult decisions” to Congress and refusing to commit to any specifics that might turn out to be unpopular places him in the role of professor, not president. It’s hard to be a leader with no direction. It’s hard to sell a plan when you don’t have a plan. It’s hard to be given hours of ABCNews time and not make any news, but Obama seems to have managed it. ABCNews gave Obama a gift, and he squandered it. The town hall was billed as a “Prescription for America,” but viewers were left with little idea as to what might end up in the bottle.

As Obamacare started running into trouble in Congress, some on the Left — like Stanley Greenberg and Nate Silver — started begging Pres. Obama to get out and sell, sell, sell a government takeover. Ezra Klein argued that Obama should have sat back and waited until Congress pushed as far as it could. Yesterday’s installment of O!TV seems to have accomplished the worst of both worlds, burning some political capital to no concrete purpose.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Comment pages: 1 2

so we really want the government to do to health care what it has done to public education? and the problem isn’t so much coverage as the costs of health care that rise due to emergency room visits that are NOT emergencies and out of control malpractice suits (john edwards is a good example of why there is such a high cost in health care) then there are the insurance companies that only cover a small fraction of what is billed so doctors/hospitals increase the rates to cover their cost. reform is needed – government insurance is not. there have been several very good ideas in regards to REFORM – most if not all are from a free market standpoint. none are from a government boondoggle

Blight on June 25, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Nothing new there. PRESENT! Barry’s a ‘vision’ guy. He never worries about the details. You know, the one’s where a real person counts real dollars. People like you and me, who have to live on a paycheck and a budget.

GarandFan on June 25, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Exactly. This dumb pecker wood has no clue what he’s doing….but wants to push ideas thru, without thinking of the consequences. No doubt thinking, that one day, his beloved subjects, will create, and build shrines for all of us to go, and worship at. He’s a total moron.

capejasmine on June 25, 2009 at 2:23 PM

We’ve lost 7 hospitals in LA in 5 years. We seriously must address this issue. The losses are directly due to the uninsured illegal aliens using emergency rooms for free as problem in this area.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Akzed on June 25, 2009 at 2:23 PM

caver cover..sorry

HoustonRight on June 25, 2009 at 2:23 PM

We’ve lost 7 hospitals in LA in 5 years. We seriously must address this issue. The losses are directly due to the uninsured illegal aliens using emergency rooms for free as problem in this area.

Akzed on June 25, 2009 at 2:23 PM

We have a winner!

HornetSting on June 25, 2009 at 2:28 PM

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Perhaps California, should address their problems, and solve them. This isn’t the problem of states, who chose to run their governments responsibly. I feel for the people of California, but this isn’t something that other people, in other states should pay for. Your elected officials did this to your state, so maybe elect more responsible legisilators, and fix it yourselves.

capejasmine on June 25, 2009 at 2:28 PM

I watched the first season of Dexter instead.

jennifernaz on June 25, 2009 at 1:33 PM

A good choice: Dexter threatens far fewer lives…

(I was literally watching paint dry…used the opportunity to do something important like painting the garage floor)

landlines on June 25, 2009 at 2:29 PM

I’m into solutions on this issue.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:21 PM

But you aren’t. It would be immoral to turn away somebody from an ER simply because they didn’t buy the public plan on the spot. Your passion is getting in the way of common sense.

The truth that you want to ignore is that this plan is simply not afforable and the American taxpayer should not be burdened with another 4 TRILLION dollars of debt on top of what has already been squandered on economic stimulus. The only solution in this case is to tinker around the edges with the existing system not the scorched earth dogma you are demanding to the point you would deny government (employees and their families) coverage unless illegals are taken care of on the public dime through this bad idea.

highhopes on June 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:21 PM

You don’t think that the illegal population is the cause of most of those issues in LA?

ctmom on June 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM

(1) Why is Kent Conrad’s alternative to the “public option” — nonprofit co-ops — an unacceptable approach?
(2) If the “public option” is “non-negotiable,” will it be allowed to fail? If not, can it really compete fairly?
(3) The President said, literally scores if not hundreds of times during the campaign, that under his plan “if you like your health care coverage you can keep it.” Do you accept that his current “clarification” of his position, that the government will not directly deny anyone access to their current health coverage, is what he meant all along? If it is, why didn’t he just say that? Or was he lying all along?
(4) Were you aware that the original Medicare 30-year cost projections were off by a factor of 9?

1. Non-profit coops introduces a new form of administration. I like the concept, but I wonder if we can really implement it effectively. Bush’s revisions to prescription drugs, in my opinion, failed because it was complex. That doesn’t work. My own “rule of thumb” is simple. If it takes the majority of time to explain, then it’s not a good plan.

2. The public plan option hasn’t been embraced yet. So I can’t really speak to that one. Obama clearly backs it, but he’s not willing to say he’ll veto a plan without it. We’re in the middle of the hallway on that one. I personally, obviously, support it. I think it’s the way to go. I do hear the worries, fears, but I guess that most are exaggerated, some will prove true, some completely untrue. I hope we get to find out which is which.

3. Medicare….yes, and that’s due to the dump in the economy. What I like about Medicare is that it’s not been like gov’t pensions/benefits, which caved in and promised future benefits that are ridiculous. It’s pretty basic stuff. Nobody living on medicare alone is going to be getting terrific care today, in the past, or in the future.

Yes, it’s a cost to society. So is our defense system. There are costs to being American. I do not begrudge my taxes for that.

I am no bleeding heart. I simply want a public plan option, paid for by the user, that is reasonable.

That will end the predatory practices being used and escalating by the insurance industry.

My position is that insurance is where Freddie was 10 years ago.

Either stop it now or it’s going to be entirely on you. We are telling you now what’s really going on in this industry.

Either listen? Or you’re the next Barney Frank.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM

It comes down to PRIDE. You’ve worked hard for a company for many many years. They pay your health insurance as part of a benefit package. In an instant, you’ll be relegated to a homeless person status. All that work to build something up for your family, and suddenly you’ll have the same “free clinic” medical care as that 23 year old welfare recipient, who occupation is professional baby maker for welfare payments, who has never worked a day in her life.

Welcome to Democrat America.

Jeff from WI on June 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM

(Indeed, no one followed up on his semi-oblique suggestion that America generally needs to move to a culture that disfavors heroic end-of-life care.)

What do you expect with someone who places no value on life in its infancy…

Neo-con Artist on June 25, 2009 at 2:32 PM

capejasmine on June 25, 2009 at 2:28 PM

There ya go. Fix the cause, not the symptom.

ctmom on June 25, 2009 at 2:32 PM

I watched the first season of Dexter instead.

Terrific show. I’m envious!

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Oops: I was watching a The Venture Bros. DVD marathon and forgot the Obamashow was on.

Go Team Venture!

pseudonominus on June 25, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Oh I dunno. Obama seems to think he’s The Monarch.

TheUnrepentantGeek on June 25, 2009 at 2:34 PM

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM

So if public plan is so great, why are federal and union employees exempt?

ctmom on June 25, 2009 at 2:34 PM

We’ve lost 7 hospitals in LA in 5 years. We seriously must address this issue.

The losses are directly due to the uninsured problem in this area.

I personally support a mandated plan. You want ER services?

Buy the federal public option plan on the spot. You don’t?

Drive to the border.

I’m into solutions on this issue.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Where do you get your information?

Shocker! Uninsured not jamming emergency rooms
1st major study contradicts conventional assumptions

Hospital emergency rooms are overcrowded because uninsured patients have nowhere else to turn.

Right?

Wrong, says a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hospital emergency rooms are, indeed, jammed. But it’s not for the reason proponents of nationalized health care suggest.

The study, “Uninsured Adults Presenting to U.S. Emergency Departments: Assumptions vs. Data,” found most emergency rooms are packed because more patients of all kinds – insured and uninsured alike – are choosing to visit them. Further, the study found, emergency room patients are being kept there longer than necessary when they should often be checked in or treated in a doctor’s office.

“This is a larger problem, and the emergency room is the canary in the coal mine,” explained Carla Keirns, a contributor to the study.

In conducting the first study of its kind, researchers discovered other scholarly papers on the uninsured found that most simply assumed the uninsured are the principal cause of emergency room overcrowding.

In fact, Devon Hetrick, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, blamed those carrying government insurance for much of the overcrowding of emergency rooms.

“It’s not the uninsured who burden America’s emergency rooms so much as it is people who are carrying government insurance policies,” he said. “The low reimbursement rates offered doctors by government programs means very few will accept taxpayer-funded insurance any more, leaving those on government plans to visit ERs for care instead of primary-care physicians.”

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=91258

izoneguy on June 25, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Perhaps California, should address their problems, and solve them.

capejasmine on June 25, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Personally, I’d like to tie enforcement of immigration laws to the issue. Why should we even be considering a public plan for health coverage until we’ve gone out after employers who hire illegals and closed our borders to illegal immigration. Then let’s examine who is getting welfare benefits and if they really need them or could they be contributing to their health coverage.

Obama says all ideas are on the table. Mine is that the producers should no longer be forced to pay for others idleness and greed.

highhopes on June 25, 2009 at 2:35 PM

You don’t think that the illegal population is the cause of most of those issues in LA?

I’m a bit tough on that issue. I say, buy the insurance on the spot or drive back home, over the border, where care is cheaper.

Yes, I personally like that solution. If it’s life and death?

People will cough up the premium for the public policy.

But it will clear out the ER rooms for flu.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:35 PM

So if public plan is so great, why are federal and union employees exempt?

They aren’t, to me. I will fight against gov’t plans if this doesn’t go through.

I’m toast on that distinction.

Completely toast.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:37 PM

“It’s not the uninsured who burden America’s emergency rooms so much as it is people who are carrying government insurance policies,” he said. “The low reimbursement rates offered doctors by government programs means very few will accept taxpayer-funded insurance any more, leaving those on government plans to visit ERs for care instead of primary-care physicians.”

Then, that needs to be addressed, obviously.

A recent study of a Texas hospital showed that 11 patients constituted the majority of charges to the gov’t.

All were for chronic diseases, which went untreated.

They all ended up in emergency care, running up millions of dollars in costs.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:39 PM

So Pedro from Tijuana, an illegal alien will be standing in line, in front of you, while you wait to have a doctor look at your sick child.

Pedro pays no taxes, Pedro drives without a license, Perdo gets the same care that you do, after years of paying into the system.

Jeff from WI on June 25, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Whatever happened to that Obama campaign line that ‘computerizing medical records’ and ‘ending the war in Iraq’ would pay for the entire health care plan the One was proposing? I seem to remember that being repeated over and over at each debate.

DrW on June 25, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Whatever happened to that Obama campaign line that ‘computerizing medical records’ and ‘ending the war in Iraq’ would pay for the entire health care plan the One was proposing? I seem to remember that being repeated over and over at each debate.

DrW on June 25, 2009 at 2:42 PM

reality

Joe Caps on June 25, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Jeff, people in unions in San Diego can now opt for Mexican healthcare, because they get more for the buck.

We’re intertwined here in So. Cal.

My family is planning a trip this summer to Yuma. My family retired from teaching in Texas, but it’s cheaper to take a trip to Yuma, get on the “Dental Bus,” and get some complicated dental work done over the border.

Yep, a Dental bus.

This situation is not as obvious as it first appears.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Lobbyists using scare tactics aren’t working anymore. People we walk with daily have far worse scary stories, and they are real. And they are due to insurance problems.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 1:53 PM

And everyone with any common sense knows… if you think you have problems with insurance companies, just wait until you have to deal with big government!!!

dominigan on June 25, 2009 at 2:48 PM

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM

I give you partial credit on question 1. The rest, well, … ?

DrSteve on June 25, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Jeff, people in unions in San Diego can now opt for Mexican healthcare, because they get more for the buck.

We’re intertwined here in So. Cal.

My family is planning a trip this summer to Yuma. My family retired from teaching in Texas, but it’s cheaper to take a trip to Yuma, get on the “Dental Bus,” and get some complicated dental work done over the border.

Yep, a Dental bus.

This situation is not as obvious as it first appears.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Annin..good for the people in unions. If you have to take a bus to Yuma to get dental care, so be it. I get my work done cheaper letting dental students from Marquette work on me. I didn’t make you join a union, I didn’t make you live in Ca., I’m not responsible for YOUR insurance or medical condition.
If I have a medical plan I like, that’s either entirely or partially paid by my employer, THAN LEAVE ME ALONE! I don’t want a government “free clinic” homeless shelter doctors or medical care. I DON’T want Federal Employees telling me Grandma can’t get her broken hip replaced because she’s two month over the 80 year old limit, so we have to put her down. EVERYONE TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN DAMNED INSURANCE YOU DEADBEATS

Jeff from WI on June 25, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Yes, it’s a cost to society. So is our defense system. There are costs to being American. I do not begrudge my taxes for that.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Our military defense is defined in the Constitution, and thus legal for the Federal Government to tax us and pay for it.

Public healthcare administered by Government is NOT in the Constitution, and thus per the 10th Amendment, the province of the states, and is thus ILLEGAL for the Federal Government to get involved in!

Every issue that comes up should immediately prompt… “Is it Constitutional?”

So, yes… I begrudge anyone who thinks my hard-earned money should be taxed to pay for an illegal system.

dominigan on June 25, 2009 at 2:55 PM

1. Non-profit coops introduces a new form of administration. I like the concept, but I wonder if we can really implement it effectively.

They would be one more option on the menu, just like the “public option” is supposed to be now. Keep in mind that the Swiss (7 million people) have nearly 90 such nonprofits providing them with health insurance under a mandate and beginning with a guaranteed package.

2. The public plan option hasn’t been embraced yet. So I can’t really speak to that one.

The question was, if the public option goes through and so much political capital has been invested in it, will it be allowed to fail? My sincere belief is that it will not. And an entity operating with an implicit government guarantee of a bailout has different capital market access than one that does not… so, unfair competition.

3. [Actually 4, you didn't respond to 3] Medicare….yes, and that’s due to the dump in the economy.

I was talking about the 1996 projections from the 1966 startup analysis, not what’s happening now. They were completely wrong.

DrSteve on June 25, 2009 at 2:59 PM

The ‘dental bus’ is an example of how the free market works. Medical tourism is booming because of this. Plastic surgery and all sorts of voluntary medical procedures can be cheaper in a foreign country. When that happens, that is a good thing.

That’s the free market. If the government controls everything, there will be no free market. Everyone will pay the same.

I like the concept of Dental busses. In fact, I may begin to offer medical plans for medical tourism in India.

ThackerAgency on June 25, 2009 at 3:02 PM

ObamaCare infomercial: What were they thinking?

OBAMACARE: How ANYONE voted for this arrogant, out of control spending bastard goes beyond words. America, what in the hell were you thinking about?

Obviously and shamefully, ABC news is dog paddling in the white house swim hole!

byteshredder on June 25, 2009 at 3:09 PM

I like the concept of Dental busses. In fact, I may begin to offer medical plans for medical tourism in India.

ThackerAgency on June 25, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Fine, but lotsa luck to you if your Mexican dentist accidentally severs a facial nerve. He won’t have any medical malpractice insurance and you won’t have any right to sue him.

rockmom on June 25, 2009 at 3:16 PM

We have got to stop Obama from destroying our way of life. He’s trying desperately to ram a socialist government/medical system down our throats as fast as he can, hoping we’re too stupid to understand his horrible plan.

BillCarson on June 25, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Once upon a time in this country, health care was affordable and good. Hospitals were nonprofits and mostly run by churches, universities, or local governments. Doctors took care of the indigent for free and allowed people to pay their bills over time with no interest if they could not pay all at once. Health insurance was necessary only to cover catastrophic illness or injury.

What happened?

1. Medicare/Medicaid – dramatically increased demand for health care and made health care attractive as a for-profit business because the patient population was unlimited and the government paid all bills on time.

2. In the 1970s the IRS began forcing doctors to attempt collection of bills before allowing them to be written off. This ended routine free care for the indigent, forced doctors to hire accountants and collection agents, sent people into bankruptcy who could not pay their bills, and caused doctors to raise rates to pay for the bill collectors. A very little known but extremely important development! In 1973 my dad was hit with $25,000 in tax penalties for writing off his care to the indigent. He immediately hired a collection agent and increased his rates by 10% to pay for it, and stopped offering free care to anyone.

3. The explosion of medical malpractice litigation starting in the 1970s. Malpractice insurance premiums skyrocketed, doctors and hospitals once again had to raise rates, doctors started leaving high-risk specialties and ordering many more unnecessary and expensive tests and procedures to avoid lawsuits. My dad was sued in 1974 and for a while afterward he could not get any malpractice insurance and had to quit working. He finally got a policy at quadruple the previous rate, and of course once again had to raise his rate to pay for it.

4. For-profit hospital chains like Humana and HCA came in and offered huge salaries and deluxe new facilities to lure away top doctors from the noprofit hospitals. This started another round of medical inflation. There would not be much profit in health care if the government were not paying for so much of it.

From 1965, when Medicare was enacted, until 1985, when he retired, my father raised his rate by over 150%. Yet after inflation his take-home pay was about the same.

rockmom on June 25, 2009 at 3:38 PM

What’s worse? We know what lobbyists support them. Without fail, those blocking reform are backed by medical lobbyists.

This is just not going to work out well for them in the end.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:05 PM

You’re a paid astroturfer, aren’t you? C’mon, tell us. We’ll still read your crap, I’d just like to know.

evergreen on June 25, 2009 at 3:49 PM

BTW, I understand Ms. Sturm’s mother is now 105, and still doing well with said pacemaker. President or not, I’m afraid I would have had quite a colorful “follow-up” question if Ebenezer Obama had told me to my face that my mother should just die and decrease the surplus population.

SteelGuy on June 25, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Is somebody hitting the bottle?

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/michelle_obama_booze_binges_barack_livid/celebrity/66873

Didn’t Bill Clinton just make a speech about us all forming a more perfect union….yeah that’s not as easy as it looks Bubba.

Dr Evil on June 25, 2009 at 3:55 PM

…I’ll be at every teaparty demanding that every single govt employee be out of taxpayer benefits programs.

Completely unrealistic and you do realize that our military are government employees.

NoDonkey on June 25, 2009 at 4:03 PM

I’m not saying that I would have sat down to watch this, but “this president” is so over-exposed that I have no reason to consider that he’s got something new to say. Like to tell my kids, “When we talk too much, after a while, people stop listening because they don’t what is most important to know”.

pjean on June 25, 2009 at 4:06 PM

As Obamacare started running into trouble in Congress, some on the Left — like Stanley Greenberg and Nate Silver — started begging Pres. Obama to get out and sell, sell, sell a government takeover.

One of the funny things about Obama is that while all his promises come with expiration dates, those promises are normally delivered before large groups and with teleprompter in place.

When confronted directly with questions, he doesn’t have that Bill Clintonesque ability to just flat-out lie to someone’s face. So every once in a while, when he does get confronted with tough question in a one-on-one situation, his lack of BS skills sans teleprompter results in the truth slipping out when he can’t figure out a decent way not to answer the question at all.

It may not make him look any better by telling Jane Strum the truth while at the same time admitting he wouldn’t let his family survive just on government-run health care, but in a way, being a hypocrite like that is better than flat out lying to people about what wonderful care their elderly parents are going to receive from Uncle Sugar.

jon1979 on June 25, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Whatever happened to that Obama campaign line that ‘computerizing medical records’

Great idea, having all those medical records under the “care” of a government agency. Several weeks ago, I received a letter from the Commonwealth of Virginia. They informed me that I’ll need to watch my credit extra close for the next year or two. Seems that someone hacked their system and they have no idea what information was compromised, but it involved prescription records, social security numbers, etc. Gotta love that government efficiency!

oldleprechaun on June 25, 2009 at 4:19 PM

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Perhaps California, should address their problems, and solve them. This isn’t the problem of states, who chose to run their governments responsibly. I feel for the people of California, but this isn’t something that other people, in other states should pay for. Your elected officials did this to your state, so maybe elect more responsible legisilators, and fix it yourselves.

capejasmine on June 25, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Perhaps we should give California BACK to Mexico

Jeff from WI on June 25, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Stay the hell out of my life. I have reached a point my anger no longer stays on the charts. The ONLY government entity the government has not completely hosed is the military. Not because they do not try. They screwed up what used to be good healthcare for mediocre care. They took away healthcare for retirees promised when we joined. We now pay regular premiums for healthcare after retirement. For those who never served I do not expect understanding on this point. Servicemembers lives were always expendable but the promise to care of us and our family afterward was the payoff. Dental care, phhhttt. Too expensive after retiring to talk about and worthless.

I am beyond party affiliation. They are all self-serving corrupt party hacks with few exceptions. Writing to any of them results in a standard party talking points letter. In the end they compromise(fold) like cheap houses.

I do not have much faith in the future of our country. It will be up to the states to exert their rights and protect its citizens.

Oh yes, AnninCA. Tuff break.

usarmyretired on June 25, 2009 at 4:30 PM

I think that the federal government should tax me at 100% and take all of my earnings to pay for what our society so desperately needs. I’m perfectly willing to do what I can to help out all of my fellow Americans so that nobody has to suffer…

Healthcare for all and everyone must use the same single-payer system…except for politicians and their families. Our politicians must have private options so that they can investigate possible improvements to the nearly perfect system of nationalized healthcare.

No energy. All energy is bad, even wind energy requires that the placement of mechanical devices be installed that will ultimately displace the habitats of creatures. Energy costs will skyrocket soon enough, so no one will be able to afford it anyway, so we need to return to a pre-industrial society that is no longer dependent upon energy consumption/production. As an added benefit, our climate will return to normal and we won’t suffer undue warming/cooling.

No military. Shut it all down and bring all of our troops from around the world home and then decommission all of the branches. The whole ‘war on terror’ is a big lie and a farce anyway. Besides, if we have to Mirandize combatants its too dangerous anyway. Better to just stay at home and not get any of those angry nations upset. If we just kept our noses out of everyone elses’ business, no one would bother with us so we don’t even need a military.

Government controlled businesses. The government is the only one that will look out for us. Those greedy businesses only care about the bottom line and will do anything to make a buck. They don’t care about their employees, making safe products or keeping our environment safe. Only the government will look out for the citizens and environment properly. The US Government is like the biggest company in the world anyway, so having state-owned production of all goods and services will be easy to handle. Oh, and its not like the PotUS would be the CEO of these companies, they’d just appoint people to those positions like ambassadors or cabinet members.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid are excellent examples of how well the government handles taking care of the under privileged. Sure, there aren’t any actual funds available in any of the programs, but the government can be trusted to make good on all of it because they have a constant flow of funds coming in from all of the jobs they create and support. This would go hand-in-hand with the government control of businesses, they could hire as many people as they needed to keep employment numbers high, taxes flowing and production rolling.

Removal of term limits for the PotUS. If the people find a historic figure that runs the country better than anyone else ever could, why should we be forced to remove them from office because of some little (outdated and wrong headed) Constitutional Amendment? We just get the SCotUS to redefine the meaning of 2 terms to be a more ambiguous period related to the expected lifespan of the average American citizen (or occupant of the US).

On demand abortion and/or assisted suicide, without limitations.

Prior to the deconstruction of the military, all enemy combatants (freedom fighters) captured on the battlefield should be first Mirandized and then transported to the US where they will be given automatic US citizenship and then released upon their own recognizance after their court date and court appointed lawyer have been secured.

Guns are too tempting for fundamentalist, radical, bible-thumping right-wingers who are knuckle-dragging, mouth breathing, racist, hate mongers. So, we just ban guns completely and outlaw the practice of certain religions that have proven to be vile and hate inciting, like Christianity.

Geministorm on June 25, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I watched the first season of Dexter instead.

jennifernaz on June 25, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Hey!!! Me, too!!!

uncivilized on June 25, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I was watching the College World Series last night.

fogw on June 25, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Congrats to LSU! Or as the late Justin Wilson called them, “LUS”.

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Apparently The American People do not think it is as much of a crisis as Obama and his minions media fluffers do.

kingsjester on June 25, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Fixed.

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2009 at 5:32 PM

the radio talk jocks have it right…………..
folks need to tell these slimy bastards in Washington voting for this POS bill that they need to publicly opt out of the congressional program for themselves and the first family and accept the public option. If they are not willing to do that, then to hell with them. You crack heads better get it together and vote these spineless POS out of office. You better get with a source that educates you with this debase and quit listening to the SOB’s in the media trying to get you to support this crap legislation. Pull your head out of your ass.

bluegrass on June 25, 2009 at 5:46 PM

Coverage is almost a moot point since the overnight numbers show that nobody watched except members of the BHO Goon Squad.

Mr. Grump on June 25, 2009 at 6:13 PM

A recent study of a Texas hospital showed that 11 patients constituted the majority of charges to the gov’t.

All were for chronic diseases, which went untreated.

They all ended up in emergency care, running up millions of dollars in costs.

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Once again, your information is wrong.

Just nine people accounted for nearly 2,700 of the emergency room visits in the Austin area during the past six years at a cost of $3 million to taxpayers and others, according to a report. The patients went to hospital emergency rooms 2,678 times from 2003 through 2008, said the report from the nonprofit Integrated Care Collaboration, a group of health care providers who care for low-income and uninsured patients.
“What we’re really trying to do is find out who’s using our emergency rooms … and find solutions,” said Ann Kitchen, executive director of the group, which presented the report last week to the Travis County Healthcare District board.
The average emergency room visit costs $1,000. Hospitals and taxpayers paid the bill through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Kitchen said.
Eight of the nine patients have drug abuse problems, seven were diagnosed with mental health issues and three were homeless. Five are women whose average age is 40, and four are men whose average age is 50, the report said, the Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday.”

No chronic diseases, sorry.

mnealtx on June 25, 2009 at 10:16 PM

1. Non-profit coops introduces a new form of administration. I like the concept, but I wonder if we can really implement it effectively…
AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:31 PM

So does the so-called public option. By this logical construct (to avoid a new form of administration,) we should do nothing – leave the system as it is.

In many ways, that sounds like a good plan.

massrighty on June 25, 2009 at 10:43 PM

Hey, aren’t libs more likely to have abortions?

Don’t libs consider having more than 2 kids to be bad, because it puts undue stress on the environment, their carbon footprint gets bigger and they tend to use up more resources?

Are libs for nationalized healthcare?

Seems to me like the libs have a death wish, and are self eliminating…

Geministorm on June 26, 2009 at 12:46 AM

AnninCA on June 25, 2009 at 2:21 PM
We’ve lost 7 hospitals in LA in 5 years. We seriously must address this issue.

Then admit that ILLEGAL imigration is the cause of the failures. Closing the border and deporting those who HAVE NO RIGHT to be here is how to fix that problem. It’s WELL documented that illigal imigration is the PRIMARY cause of hospital closure.

The losses are directly due to the uninsured problem in this area.

No, the losses are due to illegals FLODDING the hospitals and NOT paying. They don’t have insurance because they can’t LEGALLY work here. The show up in the emergency rooms pregnant with their anchor babies or their latest gunshot wounds KNOWING they wont be turned away and leave hospitals with the bill. Kinda like congress and liberals usually do to the rest of us.

I personally support a mandated plan. You want ER services?

I support a MANDATE of you not speaking anymore because you have ZERO knowledge about buisness, insurance, finance, capital markets, or anything else like the moron in chief!

How about THAT for a mandate, not to fun when sombody ELSE makes decisions for you IS IT?

Buy the federal public option plan on the spot. You don’t? Drive to the border.

Oh but wait, Isn’t YOUR idiotic liberal plan “free” healthcare? It’s supposed to SAVE money so where do you get this “pay for it” attitude unless you KNOW it won’t be free and Odumbo is just lying as usual.

I’m into solutions on this issue.

Lying to us won’t earn you anymore credit than Odumbo has. You are NOT interested in actual solutions, if that were the case Pelosi and her band of merry idiots wouldn’t have BLOCKED every single attempt the Republicans made to SOLVE the problem for the past eight years!

No sweetie you have no interest in “solutions” you only have and interest in FORCE by any means neccassary to get YOUR way.

babydoll4you on June 26, 2009 at 1:38 AM

Why in the world does anyone engage AnneinCA the Tokyo Rose of Obamacare. She is not interested in actually getting to the facts on this issue because she ignores all of the details that people provide her. In fact, many of her posts are recycled from thread to thread.

She is either a “special needs” student who keeps getting on the internet without permission in which case no one should be taking her seriously. Or, she is simply a shill for a socialist program that is the death knell for health care in the US in which case no one should be taking her seriously.

Mormon Doc on June 26, 2009 at 2:48 AM


(3) The President said, literally scores if not hundreds of times during the campaign, that under his plan “if you like your health care coverage you can keep it.” Do you accept that his current “clarification” of his position, that the government will not directly deny anyone access to their current health coverage, is what he meant all along? If it is, why didn’t he just say that? Or was he lying all along?

DrSteve on June 25, 2009 at 2:19 PM

What this means… “if you like your health care coverage you can keep it,” unless your health care coverage leaves you. With a public option that is exactly what will happen. It is impossible for a private company to compete against the government which has no profit motive, can impose taxes, or print money none of which the private company can do.

Dasher on June 26, 2009 at 3:42 AM

How is it Constitutional for the government to control my health?

olesparkie on June 26, 2009 at 7:30 AM

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