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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Health Care Debate Violence

It doesn’t surprise me that this simple discussion about healthcare for all Americans has become violence prone. All sides of the debate are getting pissed, miffed, angry, and riotous and it makes no sense. Is it not fair to say that the argument on the right is being fed misinformation from organizations that just don’t want healthcare for everyone? There isn’t a Republican I know that would walk away from someone that was injured or bleeding on the street. Same goes for any Democrat, Green, or Independent that I know. Democrats are not being told the whole truth either given the White House’s recent backing off of a deal with the pharmaceutical companies that would have negotiated prescription drug pricing for people on Medicare.

I find it stupefying when you see people estimate healthcare for all Americans at one trillion dollars but leave out the fact that that is a Washington budgetary term that is in fact spread out over ten years. So the discussion should move to what can be cut in the federal budget to pay for health care for everyone? Can we cut tax subsidies for oil companies that are basically having a freebie on oil leases on public land and seas? Or can we even go so far as to cut the spending for maintaining a military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our troops all home and hopefully in one piece?

One thing is certain, America needs to fix its health care system and it will not get fixed when everyone is yelling and screaming at one another. It certainly won’t fix itself or even remotely heal with violence breaking out at Town Hall meetings to discuss health care. It’s one thing to discuss an issue, it is entirely another when violence becomes the high point of any political reporting on what the changes of our health care system are or can be.

When you really look at America, we have a diverse culture and collection of people. We can be best of friends on Facebook or Myspace and yet not recognize one another and become violent with one another over healthcare? Does that make sense to you? In the end, if the violence wins the day and kills healthcare for all Americans, what has the political movement on the right really won? David Frum has his opinion on that…

Makes me wonder if outside influences and special interests on both sides are pushing the buttons to force matters and discussions regarding healthcare into a violent end. Otherwise, I think we can all agree that Kate Smith had it right with her inspirational rendition of God Bless America. At the end of the day, we are all still Americans and we can not and should not ever forget that.

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Blogger Machinist said...

The tea parties and conservative protests have been going on for months without violence, crime, or vandalism. It was bringing in the brown shirt union thugs that has resulted in violence. When I was in California I saw plenty of this. The union thugs came out in force during the Davis recall. This is why I found Michael's picture so offensive. It is classic pot calling the kettle black.

Look at the union thuggery, the ACORN fraud and thuggery, the organized vandalism against Republican voter assistance programs, slashing tires and such, the use of publicly paid Americorp "volunteers" as political shills. These do not bode well for democratic processes and anyone who values freedom should be concerned about these things. This is NOT happening on both sides! There is no Republican counterpart to Code Pink, ACORN, union thugs and the like.

America may not be a very nice place if this keeps being pushed. This is not Weimar Germany.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is the democrats want absolutely no debate on this. They have a health care adviser who has views that don't sit well with some(yes mostly seniors) that people would not be aware of because it would just be tucked ever so obscurely in that 1000 page bill.
Good thing we are able to look at the types of people who are making the most important decisions that will affect us. I know the democrats want to ram this through fast so people don't have time to examine it but in America we shouldn't be making decisions based on someone's "beliefs".

Ezekiel Emanuel's words:
Emanuel bluntly admits that the cuts will not be pain-free. "Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely 'lipstick' cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change," he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008).

Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, "as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others" (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).

Yes, that's what patients want their doctors to do. But Emanuel wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else.

Many doctors are horrified by this notion; they'll tell you that a doctor's job is to achieve social justice one patient at a time.

Emanuel, however, believes that "communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia" (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. '96).

He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years" (Lancet, Jan. 31).

What he is saying is that 65 is not held to same considerations. It's too general a statement to be acceptable IMO.
Does that mean Ted Kennedy should fall into that same category or do politicians hold themselves above the rest of us. Being we are forced to kick in for their healthcare as well as our own we should have the same exact choices they get. I think that is ony fair.


10:20 AM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I have to disagree with you Machinist that the right side of the aisle is not promoting violence. I'm of the full belief that both sides are promoting the issue into something that can no longer be debated and I don't care for it one bit. Republican's are organizing teams to attend and disrupt congressional democrats as they try and talk about healthcare in their districts. You can verify that on RCP or Memeorandum. Only today, a Republican run operation is going to start paying people to come to a blog like this one and just spam the hell out of it just so people like you and I can't discuss the issue in a public forum.

I think it is only fair to say that someone on the left didn't create the poster defacing our President (OUR President) and depicting him as the Joker from Batman fame. Even Glenn Beck of Fox News is having to urge his viewers and listeners to not become violent???

I want to talk about the proposed legislation and discuss it with people. Are there parts to it that I don't care for, maybe? Are there parts of it that I favor, could be? We get to the middle ground by talking and not sending groups from any political arena in to disrupt and close the discussion down.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Infidel753 said...

it will not get fixed when everyone is yelling and screaming at one another.

I'm not sure about this. It could be that the right's tactics are actually discrediting it in the eyes of the undecided mass of people in the middle.

We've seen the disruption and shouting that prevent discussion. We've seen the instructions that went out encouraging such behavior in detail. People aren't stupid. The ones who aren't already committed to one side or the other (that is, the people who need to be persuaded) can see where the problem is coming from.

The hysterics are probably effective at rallying the troops on their side, but I doubt they're effective at getting their point across to the undecided, which is what matters.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Strive For Mediocrity said...

Lisa –
Gal, your writing skills sure have improved. If you are using copy and paste, please use quotation marks and cite your source.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

Good point SFM and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Lisa, please tell me that you are not copying and pasting to Papamoka from an email or some other website on talking points? Love and hugs at ya honey but please just write your own opinion. Be honest with me and I will be the same back. Isn't that why you read this site?

Looking back at the comment I hope you don't claim ownership of it. That would diminish my respect for you if you did. That is by no means your writing style.

Sometimes I hate being brutally honest here but I need to maintain that this site is for "People" to discuss the issue and not political activist selling hype pro or con. Otherwise I could copy and paste pro DNC hyperbole on healthcare all day long and that would be wrong.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a copy and paste. I don't deny that. It came an article but I didn't want to link the whole article as the rest of it wouldn't help me make my point. Either way my argument was showing what Ezekiel Emanuel believes, copied or not those are his words.
Either way each statement shows where he sited each of those comments.

Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008).
Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. '96).

Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).

Lancet, Jan. 31

I don't know about you but making statements like that is not someone I would want in charge of my medical care decisions.

And for the record the violence was cited by the left. There was never any violence until the SEIU and ACORN thugs showed up.

I can bet that if people showed up and not shown there dissent against this it would get pushed right through because that was the original intent, to do it with out any republicans involved and disregard for the 80% who want to keep their healthcare.
The left talked about Bush being arrogant?
I guess arrogance is only okay when it comes from the left.

I was at a Town Hall Meeting about the Cap and Trade Bill. We were actually the ones that made the news. There was no violence and yet the cops were called and what's laughable is the cops said they have to show up anyway and they were very nice to us.As they always are. Anyway Tim Bishop just parroted Pelosi's words at that Town Hall. They are voting for this regardless and the only way to show we are unhappy without is to get in their faces because that's all they understand.
I guess Obama doesn't like the fact that the community is organizing without him. :)


4:41 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...


Thank you so much for being honest with me and everyone that is following this debate in admitting you copied and pasted that comment from somewhere else. If this was your reputation as a writer on the line and this was your website what would you do with that entire comment? Still being honest with one another. Would you let it stay or would you delete it? And to be fair, I don't have a problem with you posting a link to the article you were refrencing to make your point. As a writer, I personally hate to see someone else claim my work is theres and in the real world of journalism people get fired for copying other peoples work.

Back to the debate, nobody is stealing your healthcare coverage as it is today. Nowhere in the legislation does it say exactly that. You still keep your doctor, keep your healthcare insurance, keep everything you have now. Nothing will change for people with health insurance other than you will no longer have co-pays and your current provider can't deny treatment for existing conditions. The legislation is looking at covering all the people that don't have health insurance or healthcare like yours truly. As it is now, if I were to get healthcare insurance today, any insurance provider could deny me care because my healthcare, long term, could be expensive to them to provide and treat. Is that a fair system?

6:31 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

When has there been any violence or vandalism at any by the right at any of these events? Only the union thugs have brought that to the debate.

As to people being paid to disrupt blogs like this I hope you will forgive my chuckling a bit. At least one of your commenters is already accusing me of being paid to disrupt this blog. There is a bit of "boy calling wolf" effect, unless you think I am making a profit here. You know why I came and I don't think I have tried to shut down debate. My points were dismissed with personal attacks and name calling. Then I was accused of bring both to the site, though it is easy to look back and see who brought them here. I admonished him for both. This is not debate, my friend. Right wing and left wing blogs are both far too venomous and I have admonished both that reasoned debate is more productive.

Did you criticize the posters portraying Bush as the joker? Or as a vampire? Or a Nazi? If not, why is it suddenly a bad thing when it wasn't before?

I guess time will tell if angry taxpayers shouting at their representatives at a town hall puts off moderate voters more than Whitehouse instigated union thugs beating up peaceful men and women outside the events. I certainly hope the latter has more impact, and not just for political reasons. I would hate to see this country submit to Brownshirt violence to suppress political opposition. YMMV.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

Tens of thousands of protesters have attended the tea parties and town halls. Has there been any violence, vandalism or lawlessness?

You will probably see that change but it will be the union and ACORN thugs that will be at the center. Will that be coincidence?

7:05 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...


If you are not following this conversation about violence regarding healthcare on news sites like RCP and Memeorandum then we will never see common ground.

Republican activists are openely telling people to go to town hall meetings and disrupt the conversation according to many news reports including FOX NEWS! Glenn Beck had to go on the air and tell his viewers not to get violent after numerous reports that people were following his call to disrupt and silence debate.

Google search RCP (Real Clear Politics) and Memeorandum. I'm not making this stuff up Jeff!

8:17 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

Mat, calling a politician a liar is rude and I may not like it or approve of it but it is not "violence". A "town hall meeting" is a gathering for constituents to talk with or question or even shout at a politician that supposedly serves them. This is a public forum. If no property is damaged and no on is hurt then there is no violence. If we do not use these words with some semblance of their meaning then conversation is impossible. When Democratic politicians gave passes and invitations to Code Pink so they could run on stage or disrupt hearings that were NOT public forums was this violence? Remember them shoving paint covered hands in Rice's face or throwing pies at conservative speakers? Did you condemn this as much as you do these citizens protests? Town halls are supposed to be public events and paid for by public money. If these are to be Democratic rallies then shouldn't the Party pay for them?

You are upset because some people have called for constituents to disrupt these meetings but you are not bothered by the Whitehouse sending goon squads out to rough up women and old men? Did I miss the post where you pointed out what a threat this was to our Republic and our rights? The man who was attacked was not disrupting the event. He was outside passing out flags. The woman they hit in the mouth was just trying to object to them beating him. This is not Fox news propaganda, it was on video and three of the union thugs were arrested. The victim went to the ER. That is violence, Mat.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

Remember when Bush was President and Nancy said protest was patriotic. Now that Obama is President she says protest is unamerican. What does that say about the difference in how Bush and Obama see the American people and their relationship with them?

"We won!"

10:06 PM  
Blogger B.J. said...

Democratic violence v. Republican violence: two wrongs don’t make a right.

What does all this have to do with the fact there are sick people in this country who cannot afford and cannot get proper health care?

4:41 AM  
Blogger Machinist said...

What Republican violence are you referring too. The only violence I am aware of in months of protests and town halls is that by union thugs. What have I missed, please.

The topic of this post was "Health care debate violence". If I went off that topic, wouldn't I be disrupting the thread?

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt-In the bill it says that if there are any changes to anyone's Insurance whether it be a higher cost or a modified plan they will automatically be switched to a government plan.
Our insurance changes every January.
I do think all American "citizens" should have access to Health care,but for those of us paying attention it is also about insuring illegals which is a big reason for our high medical costs to begin with. There needs to be tweaking but not complete overhaul.
That 1000 page bill needs to be looked at more closely and debated. Like I said before there already had to be a couple of amendments made.
I can bet though if this were Bush everyone who was protesting the media would be outside showing everyone's signs.
We need a commercial showing all of Obama's "read my lips" moments. We can have a field day with it. But you know there would only be one network that would participate in that.
What do you think happened to the Pharmaceutical companies all of a sudden.? Another transparent backroom deal maybe ?

10:37 AM  
Anonymous SFM said...

Watch Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (replay), Comedy Channel, tonight, Aug. 11, at 8 ET. There’s a panel discussion highlighting how absolutely ridiculous all these right-wing claims are.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Machinist said...

Grassroots or astroturf. A lot is being made about political parties and commentators calling for activists (please note the difference between political organizations and government organizations paid for by the taxpayers, like the Whitehouse). These ads for paid shills are running all over the country. If I recall correctly, Axelrod invented astroturfing.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this whole administration was orchestrated. You can do that when you have powerfuul people backing you.
The whole campaign was one big astroturf. All scripted. All played out. All

Just like now how instead of discussing the bill they say things like " Astroturf and people carrying swastikas" and acting like these people were all organized.
Bush would have been slammed had he ever said something like that. Mobsters the people showing up at these Town Halls but the ones in Congress.
If they were organized they would have come by bus with the words"ACORN" written on the side.


3:17 PM  

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