Questions for your health care town hall meeting

posted at 8:48 am on August 5, 2009 by King Banaian

There are plenty of copies of H.R. 3200 now for Congress to read. If you are going to a townhall with your Congressperson or Senator (which means you don’t live in MN-7, since Rep. Peterson has decided he doesn’t want to meet with you), you should read and bring specific questions about this bill. I intend to offer one set a day at my blog.

Today’s comes from Secs. 141 and 142. In these sections we read (edited for readability):

There is hereby established, as an independent agency in the executive branch of the Government, a Health Choices Administration (in this division referred to as the ‘Administration’).

The Administration shall be headed by a Health Choices Commissioner (in this division referred to as the ‘Commissioner’) who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(1) QUALIFIED PLAN STANDARDS- The establishment of qualified health benefits plan standards under this title, including the enforcement of such standards in coordination with State insurance regulators and the Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury.

(2) HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE- The establishment and operation of a Health Insurance Exchange under subtitle A of title II.

(3) INDIVIDUAL AFFORDABILITY CREDITS- The administration of individual affordability credits under subtitle C of title II, including determination of eligibility for such credits.

(4) ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS- Such additional functions as may be specified in this division.

Questions for your congressperson or senator:

  1. Will this commissioner have the power to terminate one’s insurance plan and place one in a government plan if he or she decides the private plan does not qualify? Dr. Bernadette Healy says yes.
  2. She also says that assignment is “random”. Indeed it is; see Sec. 205. Does your Congressperson support random assignment of people to plans that the Health Choices Commissioner says do qualify?
  3. What will be the relationship between the Health Choices Commissioner and the IRS as regards the enforcement of the 2.5% tax on individuals who do not have coverage, as defined in Sec. 401?
  4. Will the Commissioner hire his or her own staff to administer “random compliance audits”?  What will be their powers?
  5. If I disagree with the determination of the Commissioner, to whom may I appeal? What are the checks and balances on the Commissioner’s power?
  6. We heard recently of a massive Medicare fraud case that lead to many arrests.  How would this new Health Choices Administration assure us that fraud would not explode in these government exchanges?

If you go to these townhalls, take these questions on index cards and distribute to your neighbors and friends. I’ll bring more as I get them.

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kbanaian – I knew it! You ARE one of those billionaires behind all those astro turf protests ;o)

Should we add these notes to the index of our ‘handbooks’ daily?

sherryande on August 5, 2009 at 8:53 AM

Any chance Betty McCollum will have one? :)

closetgop on August 5, 2009 at 8:54 AM

as an independent agency in the executive branch of the Government

WTH? An independent agency like the Federal Reserve? A cabinet level position?

Skandia Recluse on August 5, 2009 at 8:54 AM

Well done!
Thank you for this!

bridgetown on August 5, 2009 at 8:56 AM

This is my guy what are the chances he vote for this bill?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_C._Burgess

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Paul Hodes has decided he doesn’t want to face us little people, either. Apparently he’s sending some staffers to a single meeting in Atkinson.

crazy_legs on August 5, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Betty McCollum doesn’t have to, if ever there were a pool of constituents who could be considered utterly blind to reality it would be hers. Betty could announce that she plans on shooting one out of every ten people in her district and they would still overwhelmingly vote for her.

Bishop on August 5, 2009 at 8:59 AM

I have a feeling these questions will silence our representatives better than any protests or shoutdowns ever could.

misslizzi on August 5, 2009 at 9:01 AM

I doubt any politician would understand the questions at this point.

bridgetown on August 5, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 8:59 AM

My Rep is an MD too

ladyingray on August 5, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Kbanaian, good stuff. Which insurance company is feeding you this information?

fogw on August 5, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Ditto for Schumer. He’s not having any (of it).

NYconservative on August 5, 2009 at 9:03 AM

ladyingray

Here is Burgess on Fox News discussing the health care reform plan, he also came out against Cap and Trade.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWQ0WgDHRb8

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 9:03 AM

ladyingray,

both ob/gyn

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 9:07 AM

All are encouraged to go to “flag@whitehouse.gov” and report the suspicions that there IS a family hiding in the attic in that building across the street. I sure did!

Marcus on August 5, 2009 at 9:09 AM

It would be nice to see someone bring a copy of the bill to a townhall and read certain provisions to one of these politicians. “Hey, since you don’t have time to read the bill, I have it right here, such and such article says this, this, and this. Did you know about it…? What you didn’t? But your still voting for it though because it’s just way too complicated for us plebs to understand? I feel so much better!”

FireFly on August 5, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Ditto for Schumer. He’s not having any (of it).
NYconservative on August 5, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Paraphrasing Schumer: “we are going to rape you and you are going enjoy it.”

bloviator on August 5, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Marcus on August 5, 2009 at 9:09 AM

I knew the minute the White House put this up it was going to become a joke. Are you worried that they have your email info? The paranoid people are making me paranoid.

Cindy Munford on August 5, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Betty McCollum doesn’t have to, if ever there were a pool of constituents who could be considered utterly blind to reality it would be hers. Betty could announce that she plans on shooting one out of every ten people in her district and they would still overwhelmingly vote for her.

Bishop on August 5, 2009 at 8:59 AM

I live in McCollum’s district and this is spot-on. In fact, her constituents would like it very much if the 1 of every ten to be dispatched were residents of those pesky areas north of 694.

Mr. D on August 5, 2009 at 9:14 AM

ladyingray,

both ob/gyn

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Yes, and my Rep was my ob/gyn…

ladyingray on August 5, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Good qestions for a dinner table discussion but too indepth for the typical town hall meeting. Stick with one liners, “Are you and your family going to be on this plan?”

“If private health care goes away will congress establish a separate health care entity for themselves?”

etc.

E9RET on August 5, 2009 at 9:16 AM

This post has been hereby reported to the White House’s Ministry of Health Care Disinformation Refutation.

You crazy, manufactured, mob-like extremist wingnuts.

Good Lt on August 5, 2009 at 9:16 AM

If you go to these townhalls, take these questions on index cards and distribute to your neighbors and friends. I’ll bring more as I get them.

Great questions, sure to make your Congressman look like a deer in the headlights.

highhopes on August 5, 2009 at 9:16 AM

And since I forgot to say it earlier, excellent post, King!

Mr. D on August 5, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Great questions, sure to make your Congressman look like a deer in the headlights.

And why, might you ask?

BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T READ THE BILL.

Give ‘em hell.

Good Lt on August 5, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Awesome…my congresscritter is coming to town in two weeks.

hoosiermama on August 5, 2009 at 9:21 AM

Someone on “Morning Joe” early this morning mentioned that Biden is going to be in NY today to talk about the mobs at the town hall meetings and the e-mails were going out for people to show up to his meeting. Do any New Yorkers know anything about the meeting?

yoda on August 5, 2009 at 9:21 AM

Here’s another question to ask:

7. Are these “individual affordability credits” — which are direct welfare payments to low-income individuals who cannot afford to purchase health insurance on their own — going to be limited to only individuals who can demonstrate that they are U.S. citizens? If not, then can you explain why U.S. taxpayers should be required to finance health insurance coverage for millions of low-income illegal aliens?

AZCoyote on August 5, 2009 at 9:21 AM

i agree that i think these questions are too long & too complicated. sure, the Congressman will look like an idiot & make some long, grandiose response that is utter BS.

however, even at the little townhalls, there will be print media & people with small video cameras that can be put on the web.

let’s get these questions distilled down somewhat. yes, i’m acting like everyone else in govt.

kelley in virginia on August 5, 2009 at 9:22 AM

This post has been hereby reported to the White House’s Ministry of Health Care Disinformation Refutation.

You crazy, manufactured, mob-like extremist wingnuts.

Good Lt on August 5, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Linda Douglas (aka Elmer Fudd) declares: “Oooooo! I’m gonna get those kwazy wabbits.”

BuckeyeSam on August 5, 2009 at 9:22 AM

AZ: the shorter & better question (in my view) is this:

will you require proof of US citizen ship before administering any medical help?

people aren’t as charitable as they were, say, 1 year ago. the illegals are bankrupting us.

kelley in virginia on August 5, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Here’s my question. Does “Separate But Equal” ever work?

PS. My congressobot, David Price, has not made a town hall schedule available, yet. But he will be having a few televised, phone in events. But only if you have Time Warner Cable. Sounds fishy to me.

bloggless on August 5, 2009 at 9:26 AM

Politicians don’t give a crap about quiet studied debate, all they understand is angry mobs! That gets their attention because they realize that what they are doing, might not get them reelected to their cushy jobs with free health insurance and life-time retirement!!!

flytier on August 5, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Betty McCollum doesn’t have to, if ever there were a pool of constituents who could be considered utterly blind to reality it would be hers. Betty could announce that she plans on shooting one out of every ten people in her district and they would still overwhelmingly vote for her.

Bishop on August 5, 2009 at 8:59 AM

I live in McCollum’s district and this is spot-on. In fact, her constituents would like it very much if the 1 of every ten to be dispatched were residents of those pesky areas north of 694.

Mr. D on August 5, 2009 at 9:14 AM

I used to live in McCollum’s District, but moved to get out of it. Now bask in Michele Bachmann’s district where I send letters of praises instead of complaints.

Dasher on August 5, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Good qestions for a dinner table discussion but too indepth for the typical town hall meeting. Stick with one liners, “Are you and your family going to be on this plan?”

“If private health care goes away will congress establish a separate health care entity for themselves?”

etc.

E9RET on August 5, 2009 at 9:16 AM

I don’t disagree necessarily. But it’s not a bad thing to be prepared to ask about some of the absurdly obscure Trojan Horse(sh*t) that they are trying to ram through in this bill. Not to run off on tangents, but legislators campaigning for this sh*t ought to be able to explain the operation of provisions and the specific policies underlying their enactment. Seriously–35 new agencies? I read or heard about some “new parent counseling” program that’s part of one of the bills. It’s unbelievable.

BuckeyeSam on August 5, 2009 at 9:29 AM

I knew the minute the White House put this up it was going to become a joke. Are you worried that they have your email info? The paranoid people are making me paranoid.

Cindy Munford on August 5, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Uhm, they practically do a “digital exam” every April 15, don’t they? If Rush can take it, so can I. “flag@whitehouse.gov” Give ex-ABC hack current-whitehouse hack Linda Douglass a piece of your mind. Everyone’s doing it!

Marcus on August 5, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Politicians don’t give a crap about quiet studied debate, all they understand is angry mobs! That gets their attention because they realize that what they are doing, might not get them reelected to their cushy jobs with free health insurance and life-time retirement!!!

flytier on August 5, 2009 at 9:28 AM

But they would still get that cushy healthcare/retirement package even if booted out.

Dasher on August 5, 2009 at 9:31 AM

PS. My congressobot, David Price, has not made a town hall schedule available, yet. But he will be having a few televised, phone in events. But only if you have Time Warner Cable. Sounds fishy to me.

bloggless on August 5, 2009 at 9:26 AM

Sounds like Obama’s town hall meeting at the Kroger in Bristol, VA last week. It was for Kroger employees only and the attendees were specifically invited.

ladyingray on August 5, 2009 at 9:32 AM

ladyingray

Burgess was on FBN yesterday he said, he read the entire bill, and he also accepted the invitation to meet with the President, and go over it line by line but he doesn’t think that meeting will take place. This is funny Burgess is saying in this clip that Big Pharma wants a place at the table and not be on the Menu, but Burgess says there is no way they are going to stay off this Administration’s menu. What has happened to business – capitalism in this country? This is turning into one of those first they came for them scenarios, then they came for us. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saoRMi-aqos&feature=channel_page

My Rep reads Bills….incredible huh when you watch all the Reps stating: who can read a bill over a 1,000 pages.

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 9:33 AM

I think Big Pharma is in for rude awakening if they think this administration is only after a shake down….sad state of affairs. They are trying to remember how it worked in the 1930s with Roosevelt. Wasn’t it Roosevelt who said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself? Cowboy up Big Pharma, 2010 is right around the corner, oh happy days are here again….the sun is going to shine again….;)

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Thank you, kbanaian. Your post is terrific. My hope is that HA will develop more of an action orientation, or a section of the blog that facilitates action items, and this is just the kind of thing I have in mind.

Even before town hall meetings, I’ll be using your posts for my daily faxes.

petefrt on August 5, 2009 at 9:47 AM

My Rep reads Bills….incredible huh when you watch all the Reps stating: who can read a bill over a 1,000 pages.

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 9:33 AM

It’s not that hard of a read. Most of the 1,000 pages are margins and spacing and common definitions. Any one use to reading bills wouldn’t have any difficulty in reading and comprehending this in 1-2 hours. And the complaints that it changes and they can’t keep up is bogus, too. Small parts of it change – not the whole damn thing.

Blake on August 5, 2009 at 9:51 AM

If we really want to minimize the damage to be done to our freedoms then we need to do more than speak up in town meetings. I applaud the contents of this post, but these politicians know that only the motivated (read “fringe”) show up to town meetings. The politicians can cancel the meetings or they can dismiss your questions as being from a wingnut.

What we need to do is to take these and other points and spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) amongst the voting populace. Take these questions and write letters to the editors of your local papers. Start and attend Tea Parties. Talk to your neighbors and friends. Forward emails. Craft your statements so that they appeal to the interests of your listener. Act like your life depends upon this, because it might.

A well written and thought out letter to an editor can influence many tens of thousands of voters.

Politicians can ignore you in a townhall meeting, but they cannot ignore Rasmussen or Gallup. By all means attend the townhall meetings (it feels good to do something like that), but if you stop there your impact will be marginalized.

ksm on August 5, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Forgot: Great job, kbanaian. Thank you. It’s these types of posts HA needs more of.

Blake on August 5, 2009 at 9:52 AM

I wanted to share what Lloyd Doggett (now that he’s safely out of the parking lot) thinks of his displeased, doubting Thomas constituents:

“This notion of a grassroots campaign is totally and completely phony. The Republican Party has coordinated this apparent outrage and stirred it up.”

They’re not really mad. They’re Republicans.

I still want to know ~ if there’s so many Republicans who can be whipped up in a frenzy at a moment’s notice ANYWHERE in the country ~ how we screwed up that President McCain thing?

tree hugging sister on August 5, 2009 at 9:54 AM

do I get a free bus ticket if I use one of these questions?//sarc

ted c on August 5, 2009 at 9:55 AM

however, even at the little townhalls, there will be print media & people with small video cameras that can be put on the web.

kelley in virginia on August 5, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Not necessarily.

In this town hall meeting in Worchester, MA, they weren’t allowed to ask questions and they weren’t allowed to bring cameras.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2308562/posts

They don’t have the right to forbid cameras at a public meeting like this.

My response to this treatment?

We should plan to bring even more cameras. And if they try to take them away from someone, let someone else be there to record it.

powerpro on August 5, 2009 at 9:58 AM

My congressman, Jay Inslee (WA-1), seems to be dodging this, too. He held a “telephone townhall” on health care on July 29…but only gave a couple hours notice. A local radio program is reporting this morning that he sent out e-mail invitations to another “telephone townhall” scheduled for tonight, but there is no notice posted on his congressional home page or in the news.
I guess he is only inviting his friends.
.
What a p*ssy.

dont taze me bro on August 5, 2009 at 9:58 AM

SEC 133
(2) PLAIN LANGUAGE.—In this subsection, the
term ‘‘plain language’’ means language that the
intended audience, including individuals with limited
English proficiency, can readily understand and use
because that language is clean, concise, well-organized,
and follows other best practices of plain language writing.
(3) GUIDANCE.—The Commissioner shall
develop and issue guidance on best practices of plain
language writing.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!!!

jerrytbg on August 5, 2009 at 9:59 AM

I live in McCollum’s district and this is spot-on. In fact, her constituents would like it very much if the 1 of every ten to be dispatched were residents of those pesky areas north of 694.

Mr. D on August 5, 2009 at 9:14 AM

This is inside baseball from Minnesota to the rest of the board but if they could see Minneapolis/St. Paul which has Keith (I don’t use my Muslim Name) Ellison in my Mpls area District and Betty McCollum in the St. Paul area who can’t speak intelligently and if you go a few miles north of me you have Bachmann. It show what a truly politically polar place the Twin Cities are. It goes from Radical and incompetent Democrats to true blue Conservatives. I was shocked to see Ellison taking it from the true Blue people of MN-05 on Hot Air but then I thought about the redictricting that captured me and there are northern suburb residents who have NOTHING in common with Ellison who showed up.

Conan on August 5, 2009 at 10:00 AM

And now…

Courtesy of the DNC’s Rapid Response team…

BEHOLD!

“Enough of the Mob”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtTBkxvBq88

Because apparently their communication director’s statement labeling dissenter’s as right wing extremists and crazed mobs isn’t enough.

powerpro on August 5, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Apathy the opposition is counting on it, and “hoping” for it….looks like from the turn out at town hall meetings it isn’t going to be the case. This isn’t just a Republican issue otherwise the House would have had overwhelming support for this so called Health Care Insurance Reform Bill this is an AMERICAN issue. Listening to Rep Burgess – Big Pharma thinks they can make some kind of deal with this administration they are deluded.

First they Came….

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent; I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent; I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 10:05 AM

powerpro on August 5, 2009 at 10:03 AM

At first I thought that was a parody…
The dnc actually paid for that… Amazing !

jerrytbg on August 5, 2009 at 10:11 AM

I would like to see a this bill fail unconditionally. The only way we can do this is to put a provision in the bill that will allow, or force the House and the Senate to reliquish their health care system and place them under H.R. 3200. If this happens they will never vote for it.

If the Senators and Congressmen were sales persons. If they were selling another type of service or goods, would’t one of their sales points be ‘ I use it myself, it’s a wonderful product’

Time to make them put their money where their mouth is, Time to make them have some skin in the game, time to make them be patiotic.

Didn’t a Congressman introduce such legislation?

Burgher on August 5, 2009 at 10:12 AM

This is turning into one of those first they came for them scenarios, then they came for us.

Dr Evil on August 5, 2009 at 9:33 AM

True dat.

ladyingray on August 5, 2009 at 10:13 AM

i called my congressman’s office (dem Tom Perriello, 5th CD, Virginia)

he is not having a townhall. he is having a “one-on-one” first come, first served sign up. what do you want to bet that he will have every democrat in 10 counties signed up ahead of the regular people?

i guess we’ll just be in the parking lot, acting like those revolutionary tea partiers.

kelley in virginia on August 5, 2009 at 10:17 AM

burgher: cong. fleming maybe

kelley in virginia on August 5, 2009 at 10:18 AM

I wanted to share what Lloyd Doggett (now that he’s safely out of the parking lot) thinks of his displeased, doubting Thomas constituents:

tree hugging sister on August 5, 2009 at 9:54 AM

As someone who lives in Doggett’s district (sigh), I very much liked your writeup.

Snowed In on August 5, 2009 at 10:23 AM

My Rep, Jim Moron, er Moran…is bringing the SCREAMER Howie Dean to his Town Hall meeting on August 25th at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia (doors open 6pm for the 7pm-9pm meeting).

Let’s call it what it is: Government-run Eugenics-not-Care, courtesy of genociders like John Holdren and Rahm Emanuel’s brother Ezeziel.

Moron + Dean = fascist freaks

Should be a great evening.

ex-Democrat on August 5, 2009 at 10:25 AM

The only thing we can do about any of these jerks both Dems & Rep. is to vote there sorry ass out of office.Remember the first tue. in Nov. 2010. Let these elite find out who they work for on that day.Take our country back on that day.Until then fight these people with ever fiber of your body.

thmcbb on August 5, 2009 at 10:31 AM

At first I thought that was a parody…
The dnc actually paid for that… Amazing !

jerrytbg on August 5, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Sadly, not a parody. Not satire.

This is what our government thinks of us. We need to as a people stop seeing our government as an ally. They are not. They are now openly hostile toward anyone who questions their agenda.

This is why we must be armed…when we go to these townhalls and protests…with:

1. information
2. thoughtful questions, and just as importantly…
3. CAMERAS.

powerpro on August 5, 2009 at 10:32 AM

thank you for the EXCELLENT info!!!

ginaswo on August 5, 2009 at 10:35 AM

I have a question that should be asked that the media seems to have ignored.

It took President Obama over 6 months to chose a dog and after a year he still has not chosen a new church, yet all of these spending bills must be rushed in a few weeks or months.

Why?

JeffinSac on August 5, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Betty McCollum doesn’t have to, if ever there were a pool of constituents who could be considered utterly blind to reality it would be hers. Betty could announce that she plans on shooting one out of every ten people in her district and they would still overwhelmingly vote for her.

Bishop on August 5, 2009 at 8:59 AM
I live in McCollum’s district and this is spot-on. In fact, her constituents would like it very much if the 1 of every ten to be dispatched were residents of those pesky areas north of 694.

Mr. D on August 5, 2009 at 9:14 AM
I used to live in McCollum’s District, but moved to get out of it. Now bask in Michele Bachmann’s district where I send letters of praises instead of complaints.

I would like to do this, too. Hopefully White Bear can get redistricted over into Bachman’s territory. We have nothing in common with the loons down in St. Paul.

Nelsen on August 5, 2009 at 10:35 AM

DEMS said the new health plan wasn’t paying for abortion.

They LIED, according to the LIBERAL Associated Press.

Jeff from WI on August 5, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Got this in my email today..of course with a big red “DONATE” button at the end.

There’s been a lot of media coverage about organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion about the need for real health insurance reform.

The truth is, it’s a sham. These “grassroots protests” are being organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies who are desperate to block reform. They’re trying to use lies and fear to break the President and his agenda for change.

Health insurance reform is about our lives, our jobs, and our families — we can’t let distortions and intimidation get in the way. We need to expose these outrageous tactics, and we’re counting on you to help. Can you read these “5 facts about the anti-reform mobs,” then pass them along to your friends and family?

5 facts about the anti-reform mobs

1. These disruptions are being funded and organized by out-of-district special-interest groups and insurance companies who fear that health insurance reform could help Americans, but hurt their bottom line. A group run by the same folks who made the “Swiftboat” ads against John Kerry is compiling a list of congressional events in August to disrupt. An insurance company coalition has stationed employees in 30 states to track where local lawmakers hold town-hall meetings.

2. People are scared because they are being fed frightening lies. These crowds are being riled up by anti-reform lies being spread by industry front groups that invent smears to tarnish the President’s plan and scare voters. But as the President has repeatedly said, health insurance reform will create more health care choices for the American people, not reduce them. If you like your insurance or your doctor, you can keep them, and there is no “government takeover” in any part of any plan supported by the President or Congress.

3. Their actions are getting more extreme. Texas protesters brought signs displaying a tombstone for Rep. Lloyd Doggett and using the “SS” symbol to compare President Obama’s policies to Nazism. Maryland Rep. Frank Kratovil was hanged in effigy outside his district office. Rep. Tim Bishop of New York had to be escorted to his car by police after an angry few disrupted his town hall meeting — and more examples like this come in every day. And they have gone beyond just trying to derail the President’s health insurance reform plans, they are trying to “break” the President himself and ruin his Presidency.

4. Their goal is to disrupt and shut down legitimate conversation. Protesters have routinely shouted down representatives trying to engage in constructive dialogue with voters, and done everything they can to intimidate and silence regular people who just want more information. One attack group has even published a manual instructing protesters to “stand up and shout” and try to “rattle” lawmakers to prevent them from talking peacefully with their constituents.

5. Republican leadership is irresponsibly cheering on the thuggish crowds. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner issued a statement applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to “a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress.”

It’s time to expose this charade, before it gets more dangerous. Please send these facts to everyone you know. You can also post them on your website, blog, or Facebook page.

Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong together and defend the truth.

Thanks,

Jen

Jen O’Malley Dillon
Executive Director
Democratic National Committee

Alden Pyle on August 5, 2009 at 10:38 AM

dr evil

totally agree, it’s the nose under the ten with these guys…
I think Billy Tauzin is smokin rope if he thinks he has cut a deal with TOTUS to cover Pharma

you CANT cut a deal with TOTUS. nothing is in stone and he wont be pinned down on anything

anyone who does a deal with him is selling out their membership, hear that AARP you frakkers?

ginaswo on August 5, 2009 at 10:38 AM

All really stupid and dangerous questions. All these questions accept the premise that Big Brother has the authority to seize God Given freedoms and liberties from the citizen-sovereign.

Better question. As well meaning as this bill might be, who the hell do you think you are to interject yourself in between God, and the citizen and could you point out the specific constitutional passage that gives you this unprecedented authority.?

epluribusunum on August 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Jen OMalley Dillin no doubt got that list of items fom OBAMAs DEM Caucus playbook, they bused people all over the country to faint and scream for him.

SEIU, check
ACORN check

the community organizer is against the community organizing
simply precious

ginaswo on August 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Just one note:
Some of our ‘radical’ Tea Party types (you know those nuts; the ones that think spending trillions ytou don’t have is a problem) are showing up at the AARP scheduled town halls. Our let tour ‘street leader speak from there:

We ate their lunch! Well, we ate their cookies and drank their coffee; and asked pertinent questions they couldn’t answer and offered arguments with which they couldn’t compete. So, half-way through the meeting, the AARP coordinator, main speakers and most of the members abandoned the pulpit and abruptly left the room. Pouting!

Thank you –TIGERS! I just stood in the background –in AWE and PRIDE over your knowledge, your posture, and, especially, how you conducted yourselves. I was also pleasantly surprised that many of the AARP ‘regulars’ did stay on to listen. Even one of their leaders acknowledged our right to be there and commented how he appreciated us allowing them to speak after we filled in the vacuum for the final half-hour. Of course, they weren’t saying much. Maybe delayed shock?

Our ‘Street leader’ (we’ll call him ‘Q’) does not credit himself with enough; a person capable of organizing on the fly and- as importantly- keep a lid on things, is invaluable. If we’d had a ‘Q’ in the 60s, Goldwater would’ve gotten elected :)

The AARP has 3 more events scheduled locally, they’re going to be great fun and the attendees may actually learn about this bill, rather than be preached at.

michaelo on August 5, 2009 at 10:52 AM

For simplicity, If health care is a right how can government take it away from me?

Since the verifications of citizenship have been removed from the bill, how can goverenment provide health care to citizens only?

Americans are overwhelmingly in support of lowering the cost of health care, how does including millions people unable to pay for insurance into the system lower the price?

If millions of uninsured are going to put into the system, How much longer will my wait times for seeing a GP, specialist, or admitted into a hospital be increased? Three times longer? Five? Ten? Do you even know?

If medicare/medicaid are both going broke, why would we think the government could now miraculously run ten times the program with any better results?

Why is there no tort reform in the bill?

jukin on August 5, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Excellent post and I look forward to the others. I have started printing my copy of the bill to take to my Congressman’s office while he is in town.

And I will be protesting outside one of his district offices on August 22nd – noon. I realize the office will be closed but this is a nationwide event and I encourage everyone to look into the Recess Rally – attend one in your town.

While I am convinced nothing I can say or do will change the mind of my Massachusetts Liberal rep, I will never be able to live with myself if I do not stand up against this.

I’d attend at Townhall mtg but Rep. McGovern in unavailable in August – he’s planning a meeting for September and promises the meeting will happen before a vote. Yeah. Sure. Can’t miss your month on the Cape.

gopmom on August 5, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Holy buckets!! The above is what happens before I get a cup of coffee into my gullet.

jukin on August 5, 2009 at 11:01 AM

P.S.

As a former Ohioan and family friend of Dr. Healy, can I just say it’s Bernadine, not Bernadette. She’s been attempting to institute smart and effective and non-governmental takeover healthcare policies for decades.

gopmom on August 5, 2009 at 11:02 AM

It looks like the Obama bots are out en masse. If anyone gets bored check out http://www.myfoxdfw.com in the community/blogs section.

Doppleganker on August 5, 2009 at 11:16 AM

kbanaian: This is a wonderful resource. Thank you very much for the effort you’ve put into this, as the MSM seem disinterested. For some reason. An educated constituent is a scary thing to liberals.

Loxodonta on August 5, 2009 at 11:17 AM

According to section 401, the section that charges you 2.5% of your income for not having insurance that meets their standards, there are Religious Exemptions as per section 1402(g)(1) of the Tax Code.

Here is the section of the bill (truncated at the end) with the important stuff highlighted:

‘SEC. 59B. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.

(a) Tax Imposed- In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of–

‘(1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over
‘(2) the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer.

‘(b) Limitations-

‘(1) TAX LIMITED TO AVERAGE PREMIUM-

‘(A) IN GENERAL- The tax imposed under subsection (a) with respect to any taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed the applicable national average premium for such taxable year.

‘(B) APPLICABLE NATIONAL AVERAGE PREMIUM-C

‘(i) IN GENERAL- For purposes of subparagraph (A), the ‘applicable national average premium’ means, with respect to any taxable year, the average premium (as determined by the Secretary, in coordination with the Health Choices Commissioner) for self-only coverage under a basic plan which is offered in a Health Insurance Exchange for the calendar year in which such taxable year begins.

‘(ii) FAILURE TO PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR MORE THAN ONE INDIVIDUAL- In the case of any taxpayer who fails to meet the requirements of subsection (e) with respect to more than one individual during the taxable year, clause (i) shall be applied by substituting ‘family coverage’ for ‘self-only coverage’.

‘(2) PRORATION FOR PART YEAR FAILURES- The tax imposed under subsection (a) with respect to any taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed the amount which bears the same ratio to the amount of tax so imposed (determined without regard to this paragraph and after application of paragraph (1)) as–

…..

(5) RELIGIOUS CONSCIENCE EXEMPTION-

‘(A) IN GENERAL- Subsection (a) shall not apply to any individual (and any qualifying child residing with such individual) for any period if such individual has in effect an exemption which certifies that such individual is a member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof described in section 1402(g)(1) and an adherent of established tenets or teachings of such sect or division as described in such section.

‘(B) EXEMPTION- An application for the exemption described in subparagraph (A) shall be filed with the Secretary at such time and in such form and manner as the Secretary may prescribe. Any such exemption granted by the Secretary shall be effective for such period as the Secretary determines appropriate.

Here is that section of Code with a ton of unimportant stuff edited out because it’s too long:

(g) Members of certain religious faiths
(1) Exemption
Any individual may file an application (in such form and manner, and with such official, as may be prescribed by regulations under this chapter) for an exemption from the tax imposed by this chapter if he is a member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof and is an adherent of established tenets or teachings of such sect or division by reason of which he is conscientiously opposed to acceptance of the benefits of any private or public insurance which makes payments in the event of death, disability, old-age, or retirement or makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care (including the benefits of any insurance system established by the Social Security Act). Such exemption may be granted only if the application contains or is accompanied by—
(A) such evidence of such individual’s membership in, and adherence to the tenets or teachings of, the sect or division thereof as the Secretary may require for purposes of determining such individual’s compliance with the preceding sentence, and
(B) his waiver of all benefits and other payments under titles II and XVIII of the Social Security Act on the basis of his wages and self-employment income as well as all such benefits and other payments to him on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of any other person,
and only if the Commissioner of Social Security finds that—
(C) such sect or division thereof has the established tenets or teachings referred to in the preceding sentence,
(D) it is the practice, and has been for a period of time which he deems to be substantial, for members of such sect or division thereof to make provision for their dependent members which in his judgment is reasonable in view of their general level of living, and
(E) such sect or division thereof has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1950.
An exemption may not be granted to any individual if any benefit or other payment referred to in subparagraph (B) became payable (or, but for section 203 or 222(b) of the Social Security Act, would have become payable) at or before the time of the filing of such waiver.
(2) Period for which exemption effective
An exemption granted to any individual pursuant to this subsection shall apply with respect to all taxable years beginning after December 31, 1950, except that such exemption shall not apply for any taxable year—
(A) beginning (i) before the taxable year in which such individual first met the requirements of the first sentence of paragraph (1), or (ii) before the time as of which the Commissioner of Social Security finds that the sect or division thereof of which such individual is a member met the requirements of subparagraphs (C) and (D), or
(B) ending (i) after the time such individual ceases to meet the requirements of the first sentence of paragraph (1), or (ii) after the time as of which the Commissioner of Social Security finds that the sect or division thereof of which he is a member ceases to meet the requirements of subparagraph (C) or (D).
(3) Subsection to apply to certain church employees
This subsection shall apply with respect to services which are described in subparagraph (B) of section 3121 (b)(8) (and are not described in subparagraph (A) of such section)
.

It looks as if it’s referring to a definition specifically outlined in the Social Security portion of the tax code.

I didn’t even know that there was an exemption from Social Security if your religious franchise was against it. (Which ones are, I wonder, and can I join? I am a member of a Baptist Church now and I’m curious as to how they fit into this.) If you can escape Social Security _and_ the new Health Care debacle, will people beat the path to become Amish or whatever other sect is allowed the exemptions?

How does one find out which church members are exempt?

Curiouser and curiouser.

The links:

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/text?version=ih&nid=t0:ih:1119

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/26/usc_sec_26_00001402—-000-.html

Theophile on August 5, 2009 at 11:25 AM

I knew the minute the White House put this up it was going to become a joke. Are you worried that they have your email info? The paranoid people are making me paranoid.

Cindy Munford on August 5, 2009 at 9:13 AM

I’m proud to be judged by the character of my enemies.

riverrat

riverrat10k on August 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Congressman/Senator – Some have said that it is bad to “bus in” people for people for these town hall meetings. Are you ready to go on record to oppose all those events where SEIU or ACORN have bussed in people? Including protests at people’s houses? Does that mean you will support a congressional investigation into ACORN?

barnone on August 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM

All are encouraged to go to “flag@whitehouse.gov” and report the suspicions that there IS a family hiding in the attic in that building across the street. I sure did!

Marcus on August 5, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Dear Marcus:

The President has asked me to express his appreciation for your communication.

You will be relieved to learn that forces of the Domestic Homeland Security Agency have determined that the family in question are benign guests from Mexico who fully support the President’s efforts to reform healthcare.

Please do remain vigilant, particularly with regard to any well-dressed agitators or hidden Jews.

Regards,

R. Emmanuel

guntotinglibertarian on August 5, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Many of these questions are too specific to help win the public debate. Nuance will not be covered in the news.

You need broader, more targeted questions, such as this one — in several parts:

Congressman, or Congresswoman, we hard working taxpayers spend billitons of dollars each year, in part, to give you and millions of others in the federal government “Cadillac” medical coverage, and we are the ones now expected to foot the bill for this monstrosity, which will have a huge effect on our economy. People are concerned, especially in this weakened economy.

So here are my questions:

– Will you sponsor and vote for an amendment to the bill to require all Members of Congress, and all federal officers and employees, to be covered ONLY by the public option as a benefit?

You could, of course, go out and purchase any additional benefits you might feel you need in the commercial market with your own money — not ours — and this amendment would result in saving the taxpayers a considerable amount, which is one of the stated purposes of the bill, HR-3200 –to “reduce the growth in health care spending.” And, it would underscore your personal faith in the viability of the bill.

– If you will not sponsor such an amendment and push for a vote on it, why not? And, why should any of us believe it is a good bill for our country if you won’t personally abide by it?

The L.A. Times reports that, during the House Committee mark-up, in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, an amendment was narrowly voted down which would have required you all to be covered by the “public option.”

The President himself and several Members of Congress have been asked if they would agree to be covered by the public option, or a similar question, but they have, for the most part, simply refused to answer the question. Many just refuse to meet with their constituents!

– Why do you suppose the Members of Congress will not answer that question?

And finally, in follow up,

– If such an amendment is NOT included in the final version of the bill, will you publicly pledge right now to vote against that final version?

– Will you publicly work for it’s defeat?

Trochilus on August 5, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Hey! You’re PLANNING! You’re inciting hatred! You are trying to influence congress and oppose Our President! I bet you’re well-dressed, too, in that you are probably actually dressed!

Off to the reeducation camps with you! You mob, you!

(P.S. Where’s my check?)

Alana on August 5, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Alana on August 5, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Alana, you have the best post yet…..(P.S. Where’s my check?) We need to end every post with WMC? ( :

yoda on August 5, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Here is another suggested question to ask your Member of Congress . . .

Congressman, Congresswoman, when you began your term, you specifically took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.

As you are hopefully well aware, the very First Amendment to that Constitution, contained in a bill passed in the First Congress by then-Congressman, James Madison of Virginia, and which was thereafter ratified by the American people, guarantees to all of us the Right of Free Speech.

Yet, the Obama White House has posted on their official website, a post featuring a stern-looking former ABC reporter named Linda Douglass, who carries on about the so-called “misinformation” being spread, and which post, by one “Macon Phillips,” appallingly encourages Americans to snitch on their fellow citizens if they receive or spot any information about health insurance reform that seems “fishy” to them!

That post specifically recites, in pertinent part, and I quote:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

As an aside, I thought this public debate was supposed to be all about “healthcare reform” . . . not “health insurance reform.”

But let’s not get distracted. Here is my question:

– Do you believe — as I do — that it is a violation of the United States Constitution, which you are sworn by an oath to uphold, for the President to be encouraging Americans to be “snitching” on one another over things that are merely being said or written by them or by others about healthcare (or health insurance) reform, just because they might seem “fishy?”

– If you — as I certainly do — believe that this is an unconstitutional exercise of power, please tell us all here exactly what you intend to do about it?

– And, if you do not believe it violates the Constitution for the President to be encouraging Americans to be secretly “snitching” on one another over matter that merely appears to be “fishy“, please explain to us why it does not?

Trochilus on August 5, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Here is another suggested question to ask your Member of Congress . . .

Congressman, Congresswoman,

You can’t tell if my congressperson is male or female either? :)

Snowed In on August 5, 2009 at 3:47 PM

You can’t tell if my congressperson is male or female either? :)

Snowed In on August 5, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Heh!

You’re not going to draw me into that one, like getting me to suggest that you check for an Adam’s apple.

No Sir/Ma’am!

Seriously, though, I did give myself an idea —

Mr. Obama, Tear Down This Webpost!”

Now I think I’m going to report myself.

Trochilus on August 5, 2009 at 9:54 PM