As someone who's 52 years-old, I don't mind telling you that I'm genuinely fearful of what the Republicans might try in order to get the debt-ceiling raised in a couple of months. They've already talked about eliminating the Medicare guarantee and throwing older people into the ruthless private-insurance market -- as if private insurers would be interested in taking on sick people in their 70s and 80s. (That's obviously why we needed Medicare in the first place back in 1965.)
My father, who's 87, spent six days in the hospital last November, and the hospital bill alone was over $67,000. That amount did not include any doctors' fees nor charges for medicines. And Dad had no operations and was in Intensive Care only 24 hours. Medicare paid for everything. But I can easily see how a month's hospitalization could literally bankrupt a millionaire without Medicare. Personally, I'm for a single-payer system covering every American citizen and legal immigrant regardless of age. I think that Alan Grayson was right when he said that "the Republican plan for health care is: Don't get sick."
Author of "Atheist Universe" (the book)
Yes, i've seen Sicko many many times.
I will never forget the first time i saw Sicko, i went to see it with 6 other nurses,
Michael Moore films are banned in my town, not by 'law', but because our theater owners are uber conservative and just will not show MM's films, so we had to drive some distance to see Sicko....
and we all walked out, with dropped jaws...you are right, it totally DID change my whole perspective, right then and there.
off topic, (who me?) but--
Re: MM films being banned in my town, except for ONE occasion, when MM debuted his film, "Capitalism", and he did that in the top eight cities with worst economies, and that year, and for many years since, my town had the #1 worst economy in entire nation.
so MM rented out the entire main theater in Elkhart, (have no idea how much he had to spend to get the conserv who owns it to go along....)
and gave us all free tickets to come in to see his film. His team was all over the theater, and on our way out, they handed out yard signs, that read:
"capitalism did this" to plant in front of our foreclosed homes, or shut down factories, closed up shoppes and restaurants, etc etc.
I took several!! haha!
We have this thing called "economics." Medicare doesn't magically provide "free" health care; it has to divert resources from other uses to do so. So what other forms of consumption do you want to give up for your "free" health care? Vacations? Meat in your diet (which we probably need to eat less of any way)? A new car? A bigger house?
And what does it accomplish, really, to try to keep people alive as long as possible under current conditions just because we can? I plan to get a genetic test to see if I have the ApoE6 gene which causes Alzheimer's (my 84-year-old father suffers from it), and if it turns out that I have two copies of that cognitive death sentence, then I plan to commit "suicide" around the age of 70 so that I can get a better cryonic suspension.
So what other forms of consumption do you want to give up for your "free" health care?
As an external observer I suggest you start by cutting down on military expenditures.
As an internal observer, I agree with Michel. That, plus taxing the wealthy their fair share. And I'm among those who are fortunate to be within that bracket. I'm fortunate because I lack for nothing and nobody in my family has had major health issues. I like paying taxes, they buy me civilization. I forget whose quote it is, but it is damn brilliant.
I thought policing the world was better than infrastructure and health care, right? Tea party nitwits prevent the building of mass transport, it's american to them to keep us low tech in everything. Waste energy, manufacture throw away shit, keep the public bemused by the illusion of celebrity.
Tea Party’s Next Targets
Blocking judges and federal appointees and even killing the gas tax might be next for the band of ragtag obstructionist rebels known as the Tea Party.
As the nation sweated the very real possibility that America would default on its debt, a band of the freshman congressmen blamed for the standoff gathered for a long-promised pot of seafood gumbo at the home of Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL), just a few blocks from the panicked Capitol.
These 19 Tea Party freshmen, as they’ve become known—derided as “terrorists” by Vice President Joe Biden and “bizarro” by their own Republican Party icons like John McCain—showed no remorse about bringing the nation to the brink of financial Armageddon.
Instead, they calmly traded stories about families and what brought them to politics, poked fun at their accusers, and reveled in the satisfaction of knowing they had dramatically brought Washington to its knees—eventually to accept a deal, bitter to both parties, that slices $2.4 trillion from federal spending over the next decade without any immediate tax hikes.
This ragtag band of proud obstructionists is already looking down the calendar to its next targets: blocking President Obama’s judicial and federal-agency nominations, radically restructuring Medicare and other entitlement programs, and maybe even killing the gasoline tax.
“There are some more things we want to go after—we're not done,” said Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA), who stood in the kitchen and stirred the pot of seafood gumbo that night. Now his fellow cast of novice politicians hopes to collectively stir a pot of political fear and anger unseen in a generation or two in Washington, if ever.
Jawboned into spending concessions they could never have imagined weeks ago, the White House and Democrats are no longer underestimating the GOP’s Tea Party wing and plan to mount a relentless campaign this fall to pillory the group as extremist and hypocritical.
From left: Rep. Moe (R-IL), Rep. Larry (R-MN), and Sen. Curly (R-KY). , AP Photo
“It’s about destroying the public space,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told Newsweek, testing a line certain to make the fall attacks. “They did win [the debt-ceiling debate]. But they didn’t win it with the American people. They don’t believe in government roles … and we need to make sure the public knows it.”
Matt Bennett, of the Democratic group Third Way, expects Democrats to castigate the Tea Party as “reckless.”
“You can paint the entire Republican Party with the Tea Party, that these people are crazy ideologues, not fit to govern. They’re revolutionaries,” Bennett says.
Hypocrisy may also enter the equation.
For instance, while he was a constant presence on TV preaching the Tea Party’s mantra of getting America’s fiscal house in order, Illinois freshman Rep. Joe Walsh was stung by a story about his own fiscal house when the Chicago Sun-Times revealed he owes more than $100,000 in back child support.
“There are some more things we want to go after—we're not done,” said Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA).
Likewise, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the Tea Party’s iconic figure on the presidential-campaign trail, is facing scrutiny for the gulf between her rhetoric and her record. She collected a federal salary as a lawyer representing the IRS (an agency despised by the Tea Party), owned a stake in her father-in-law’s farm that collected federal agriculture subsidies, collected tens of thousands of dollars for caring for 23 foster children, and advocated for millions of dollars in special pet projects—known as earmarks—and stimulus projects for her congressional district while portraying both forms of federal spending as wasteful.
To the intended targets of these attacks, it may not matter.
If there is one thing clear from the Tea Party caucus’ first triumph, it is that its members don’t adhere to Washington convention or care about public sentiment. The greater the criticism, the more they stiffen. Their singular focus is collapsing the size of government, at any cost.
Yes hypocrisy's likely to be a good weapon against people who profess from moral grounds.
I do hope that some diligent researchers are currently digging in these people's personal conduct. The left needs to get dirty. Hidden-camera footage, paparazzi pictures, cell phone records... but no lies, only facts. And go viral and mainstream.