A Different Campaign

Since the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the Constitutional issues of the health care law, President Obama has launched his own war of words, putting Mitt Romney on the shelf for a while.   He has made some statements that have raised the ire of other federal judges, and has caused a great deal of controversy with what can only be described as some very misleading remarks.   It also leaves one wondering if he is simply promoting his support of the legislation, or if he doesn’t understand  the role of the Court and the meaning of separation of powers.

Admittedly, the President has a lot riding on this law.  Some have said, given that it was the cornerstone of his 2008 campaign, as well as his presidency, that without it, all he has left is “I killed Osama bin Laden”.   I don’t think that remarks like that are completely accurate or that they add anything to the debate, but the President appears to be more than a little invested in seeing that the health care law survives in tact.

The statement he gave on April 2, during a news conference was as follows:

“Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.”

The next day, after receiving some criticism, and in an effort, according to the White House, to clarify that remark,  President Obama stated that he meant “a law that was passed by Congress on an economic issue.”   That really didn’t make things much better, and it still isn’t entirely true.  The entire purpose of the Supreme Court is to rule on Constitutional issues and that includes laws passed by Congress.   There have also been more than a few of those laws and resulting Court decisions, that dealt, in some way, with interstate commerce, and therefor effected the economy.

My criticism of his remarks is based on the simple fact that he really should know better.  The case law that he is talking about is something any first year law student would be able to cite.  Our President was a member of the Harvard Law Review and a teacher of Constitutional Law, which should make him an expert on the subject.   The statements he is making about the Court and the law are, at best, disingenuous, and at worst, misleading to Americans who give weight to his opinions.

During an election cycle, we’ve all come to expect rhetoric and spin, from both parties, and all candidates.  President Obama has engaged in a debate with the Supreme Court, and that could certainly be considered unprecedented.   It isn’t the first time that he has commented on their decisions.  During the 2010 State of the Union Address, the President made it known that he had nothing but disdain for their holding in the Citizens’ United case.  I agree with him that it was a dumb decision, and the Court has had more than their share of those, but to criticize them in that type of forum is more than bad manners, it’s also a violation of an unwritten protocol.  I understand that, at any given moment, one or more of them may fall asleep during the speech, but that, by no means, is a license to be disrespectful of the Court.

For the President, such open criticism may very well work against him.  This Court is divided along decidedly disparate perspectives.  There are five members who tend to be conservative, while the other four lean towards more liberal philosophies.  Ideally, the Court is supposed to put their epistemological differences aside, ruling only according to constitutional precedent and guidelines.   Time and again, however, decisions are rendered through 5-4 votes.  This not only demonstrates the fact that they do, at times, let their own philosophies get in the way of reason, but also sends the message that the Court really has decided on nothing.

I also think that it’s worth mentioning that at least two of the Justices should have recused themselves, as their interests in the health care law could be considered as less than objective.  Justice Kagan was an advocate for the law while Solicitor General and wrote in an email,  “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing,” on the day Obamacare passed through Congress.  Justices Thomas and Scalia attended events held by the Federalist Society, a group which strongly opposed the legislation.  Thomas’ wife was a lobbyist for the Heritage Foundation, another opponent of the law, and was often seen at speaking engagements wearing headgear resembling that of the Statute of Liberty.

On the other hand, when they want to do the right thing for the Country and maintain the integrity of the Constitution, the Court’s efforts are obvious and nothing short of remarkable.  The decision in Brown v. Board of Education was a unanimous one, due in large part to the leadership of Chief Justice Earl Warren.  Brown was meant to be a message, to everyone, that the separate but equal doctrine would no longer be tolerated.   Cases like Brown, and others, show that the Court is capable of greatness.  President Obama, actually, all of us should understand that the Justices are also human and can decide issues on less than lofty principles.   The President may continue his campaign for the health care law, while at the same time, pleading his case to the Court and voters alike.  In a couple of months, one way or another, all of us will be reminded that they always have the final word.


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76 Responses to A Different Campaign

  1. Viewer 5 says:

    I watched the coverage of that remark on MSNBC. They excorciated Obama for it. OT – I don’t understand why the Court is waiting until June to release the verdict. Any thoughts?

    Further OT – I’m just sick of everything being so damned unequal in healthcare, monetarily, and how that plays out in terms of care. It infuriates me. Even when well-insured, if you don’t know your rights or don’t understand your policy, companies will mess with you – it’s their job. If you’re not insured – I can barely comment on that; it infuriates me.

    Even further OT, to illustrate the latter sentence – There is a not-for-profit hospital in PA where a couple who used to work w/ my family work. She’s a nurse; he’s a nurse’s aid. Everyone is on fixed salary. No one – let me repeat this – NO ONE is refused health care, and those w/o insurance and who cannot afford care are not harrassed to pay. The employees absorb the costs by working on a fixed wage. Every employee – from Dr.’s to clerks – shares equally in end-of-year profit, if there is one. It’s considered an experimental hospital. Here’s the crazy thing… people who work there are kind of happy. Patients are all treated with equal respect, kindness, and attention. The couple LOVE their jobs. I’ll find out the name of the hospital and post it to you, Empress.

  2. Adgirl says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful blog.
    If only Congress had passed a straightforward tax instead of cramming this strange bill through, we wouldn’t be in this swamp. Congress has the perfect right to tax. There wouldn’t be arguments in the SC.

    Everyone deserves full access to quality medical care for basic services. I think”single payer” will win over many people. However, I do want some say so in who my provider is.

    If this version of the law is gutted by the SC then Congress can start over and do it right. Most Americans have gotten used to the idea and understand the benefits.

    My complaints about law are the creepy riders:

    New reporting for small business to 1099 every purchase over $600

    Feds taking over student loan industry

    And the huge expansion of the IRS without going thru the appropiations process

  3. Lisa Renee says:

    Good Morning Empress, thanks for another blog on one of my favorite subjects The Supreme Court. I agree it is their job to tackel constitutional issues & laws that have already been passed. Very very interesting info on the 2 that you feel should have recused themselves. I have to agree with you again & had no clue how close they are to the issue. How come nobody is talking about that? Also, you know that most of this is way over my head. I read your post twice & will learn more about the Citizens United case later today, sort of like homework lol. I remember when the health care act was signed & a hot mike picked up Joe Biden telling POTUS that this really is a big F’in deal. I was so excited that upon signing that bill I was now born with the “right” to health insurance. I was thrilled for all the uninsured americans & looked forward to affordable healthcare. Then came the details, they were not pretty & I was left feeling like I had been played for a fool. I said to my husband while listening to oral arguments on cspan that I am furious that Obama would frame this Act with the obvious constitutional conflicts. I can not grasp how could he NOT know this was going to be an issue. Me & my GED figured out that much, so IMO it was done on purpose. Have no clue as to why he would do that. Sadly I think health care will remain elusive to those who need it most, no matter which way the court rules. Robbery without a gun, that IMO is what Obama wants the Supreme Court to affirm. I do not think it will pass as written & as much as I want this for our country, I do not think it should. Have a great day, Lisa

    • Lisa,
      LOL – It wasn’t my intention to hand out homework assignments.
      I thought that this particular paragraph from the Court’s decision on Citizens’ United might help to at least provide the gist of it.
      “The majority argued that the First Amendment must protect speakers with equal vigor. The majority argued that the First Amendment does not tolerate prohibitions of speech based on the identity of the speaker. Because corporations are groups of individuals, the corporate form must receive the same free speech privileges as individual citizens. Likewise, the majority argued that independent expenditures are a form of speech, and limiting a corporation’s ability to spend money also limits its ability to speak.”
      I hope that helps – asking you to read through a 30 page decision is tantamount to waterboarding. 🙂 E

      • Lisa Renee says:

        Good Morning Empress, What a great synopsis. It took me days to grasp Griswold V CT. If I wasn’t so determined I would probably choose waterboarding lol 🙂 I am learning so much, thank you. I embrace different opinions, the comments resulting from this blog have been enlightening. Posting about politics is always risky, you never know who you are gonna piss off. Thanks for being brave enough to create this forum, I appreciate it. Take care of you & have a wonderful day. Lisa

  4. catnapper says:

    I am all for making changes in the way Americans get healthcare but not in the same way as the POTUS. This is a huge unprecedented power grab and represents 1/6th of US economy. Once the govt takes over anything it becomes a nightmare and poorly managed. Citizens seem unaware of the ramifications of this law. I just can not understand why Americans would choose a Socialist type country over a Republic. Each step forward by POTUS is a move toward Socialism. Women especially seem to look toward govt to take care of them more than ever. Nothing is “Free.”
    Each time the govt grows our freedoms lessen. It’s the old “One size fits all.” I am so disheartened to see the direction of this once great country. I wish Americans would read about Saul Alinsky whom POTUS is an admitted follower. He taught this man’s agenda at Harvard. Read about the influence of George Soros on the POTUS. Read about the appointed czars and their positions and influence. Are we at the point where half of Americans work to pay for the half that don’t? My hope is that we can remain a free country and not controlled by out govt. Taking over healthcare is but one more step in the taking away of our freeom of choice.
    The 2 people who could have been recused from the SC cancel each other out.
    Remember this is just my opinion and not intended to offend anyone.

    • Adgirl says:

      I always thought it strange that Obama never wrote anything for the Harvard Law Review and he has kept his grades and papers supressed. Every other presidential candidate opened their college records. (Gore and GW had similar grades. Not stellar. LOL.)

      It makes everyone guess and make assumptions about what his philosophy is.

      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        You have to understand how one gets to publish a paper in a law review. It varies from one school to another, but the basics are this: Top xx% (usually 5% of class) is automatically invited to join the law review. No one declines the invitation because it is a ticket into the big firms and the big salaries. Most schools also hold a writing competition for the rest of the class and a handful are chosen. Once you are on law review you are obligated to write a certain number of papers and edit a certain number. Not just any student can submit a paper to the law review. First year submissions are generally anonymous “case comments.” If he wrote one or more case comments, his name would not appear on them. They also invite big names/experts to submit articles. Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review. According to published reports in Politico, the New York Times, and elsewhere, he did publish “a wide range of edited case analyses and unsigned “notes” from Harvard students.” However, publishing is not the primary job of the Review’s president. “…his duties included leading discussions and debates to determine what to print from the mountain of submissions from judges, scholars and authors from across the country, supervising the thorough editing of each issue’s contents and giving every article what’s known as a “P-read” once it was finally considered ready for publication.” The lack of signed papers does not indicate a lack of scholarship or a lack of effort. To the contrary, the president puts in as much as 50 hours/week on the Review.

        • Adgirl says:

          Still am curious about his class papers and grades.

          • Viewer 5 says:

            All(s) I know is several (3) friends/colleagues of a good friend of mine were in law school with him. Apparently, our pres was a superbadassgenius. So that takes care of “grades” – unless you think they’re all lying; which I doubt, b/c they’re not democrats.

    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      Your opinion and your comment don’t offend me. What offends me is that I have to pay for the health care of everyone who does not have insurance. Go ahead, Catnapper. See what happens when you or a family member loses a job and can’t afford to buy insurance on your own. Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (part of the 1986 Omnibus appropriations act) requires that you be treated regardless of ability to pay. Hospitals then raise fees so that those of us who have insurance (that I PAY FOR BY THE WAY) are covering the costs of the uninsured. And as a result, people who do not have insurance use the ERs as their primary medical care.

      So we already have socialized medicine. The new law, though there is much not to like about it (like not controlling costs), is better than what we now have. And it will force insurers to cover pre-existing conditions, which is an enormous improvement.

      You want freedom to not have insurance? No problem. Just don’t expect me or anyone else to cover the cost of your health care. Pay for it yourself or go without it.

      • Viewer 5 says:

        I don’t completely agree with you from a philosophical standpoint, but as a means to an end (everyone having insurance) I support the healthcare law. I concede “costs” are “passed down.” But I wonder whether that isn’t an exaggeration. Meaning, it’s a free market, and costs at private hospitals (which are growing exponentially; “they” wouldn’t be buying hospitals if there were not enormous profit… we had (3) bought out the past few years in our town – worst care, but giant billboards!) – I wonder if costs are above and beyond, not just to cover those who are uninsured, but to answer to investors?

    • melthehound says:

      I won’t get on to my podium because I couldn’t have put it any better.

  5. catnapper says:

    It is well documented that the POTUS paid millions in attorney fees to keep all records of academia and personal information out of the public view.

    • Viewer 5 says:

      Well documented? By whom? Please provide source. Because my source contradicts your assertion that our president has something to hide in his academic record. Unless you were in class with him? Know anyone who was?

    • catnapper says:

      Your posts back to me are demeaning and unwarranted. Thanks for the consideration and cheap shots.

    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      You are right. Please delete that comment. Please also consider requiring that catnapper provide proof of her statements that demean the President of the United States. I was taught to respect the President even if I disagreed with his views, and I was also taught not to spread falsehoods.

      • catnapper says:

        There is nothing in my post that is disrespectful or false. You may been “Taught” to respect POTUS but not other people with an opinion different than yours.

        • catnapper,
          BeenThereDoneThat has responded as have I – her response has been removed, at her request. I, however, am just as interested in any supporting documentation you could supply re: POTUS’ academic records. E

      • I’m not comfortable with deleting comments, but will do so because you requested it.. I agree that catnapper should provide something to support her comment. I’ll welcome just about any opinion, but I would rather see some type of factual basis for it. E

        • catnapper says:

          The best I can do is to ask where is POTUS scholastic records? It’s equally fair to ask for documentation from those who say they exist. Help anyone?

          • catnapper,
            Your comment was as follows:
            “It is well documented that the POTUS paid millions in attorney fees”.
            I think that was where you lost me (and others). No one was asking for his transcripts, just a clarification on your statement.
            As we’ve strayed a little far afield from the original post and into some murky waters, I’d be glad to call it a draw. We can all shake hands and get beyond this very touchy topic. Nothing to be gained from trying to win or lose this one.

            • BeenThereDoneThat says:

              I do not accept a draw. It is your blog and you can shut me down, but you can’t call it a draw on my behalf. There are plenty of legitimate things to criticize the President – any president about – but accusing him of lying about his education, birth, nationality, etc. – is just unacceptable if you have no evidence.

              • I’m not going to shut anyone down. Unless someone draws blood, everyone is pretty safe on the Farm. I just can’t see the point in continuing when a debate breaks down and there is no finish line in sight.

                • klmh says:

                  Just some headstrong fillies taking the bit in their teeth, eh, Empress? Not fun to be in the saddle at the time, but they’ll release it eventually. Yehaw!

                  • This is why I prefer bitless bridles. Makes for a softer mouth. 🙂

                  • Adgirl says:

                    Hey Empress,
                    My morgan horse Teak had a hackamore – no bit. Just a teeney chain that squeezed his big fat nose. He was the sweetest.

                  • klmh says:

                    I had a Morgan mare with a park attitude. I was showing her in an English pleasure class, where she didn’t really belong, but her body wasn’t the lithe look they wanted at the time in the park division. The twit took those bits, grabbed a root and growled. Took to the end of the arena at an almost dead run. She was a wonderful girl when on a trail ride or while working on the ground with her, but Lord, in that arena she be bad to the bone at times. I loved her though too.

                  • klmh says:

                    Empress, you obviously know this, but others on the site might not. Here is a site to distinguish between the hackamore and bit use.


                    Hackamores can be as harsh if not more so than a bit in the wrong hands. If you know what you’re doing, both can be gentle to the mouth.

          • Viewer 5 says:

            Well, as Harvard is a private instituition, I don’t think anyone can *legally* get Obama’s records other than Obama. Someone could hack Harvard and post them if they wanted, or pay someone in a clerical capacity at Harvard to get copies, but as far as I know,
            they’re only Obama’s to release. So… Obama paying someone *not* to release them doesn’t make sense, in that they would have been obtained illegally and (if I were Obama) I would have them charged with extortion; not pay them off.

            • BeenThereDoneThat says:

              That is correct, Viewer 5. I just posted about the federal law that prohibits release of records without the student’s permission. Unless you want to believe that the law was enacted in 1974 because Congress knew that 35 years later, a kid named Barack Obama was going to run for president and that he was going to lie about going to Harvard Law School, so they enacted a law that prohibited the university from releasing student records without the student’s permission.

          • BeenThereDoneThat says:

            Do you think that Harvard University is just standing by and allowing him to lie about being there? And that his name on the law review – thousands of copies that were printed – were put there falsely? And that everyone who was at Harvard with him is going along with this?
            If you accept the fact that he went to Harvard Law School, then you have to acknowledge that there are records.

            • catnapper says:

              Hey ya’ll-chill! I never dreamed that would cause a firestorm. Google Obama’s scholastic records and read. I never said and I repeat NEVER said the man didn’t attend Harvard. I only said his scholastic records have not been released. You have inferred so much that it’s getting ridiculous. My point is that they have not been released not that they don’t exist. The more important points are being overlooked. Try to forgive me for mentioning anything about his school records.
              Given half a chance we can all learn from one another. I’ve learned alot today from your posts.

              • BeenThereDoneThat says:

                No, catnapper. You claimed that he spent millions in attorneys fees to keep his academic records out of public view. Now that you have learned that this makes no sense, because by law, they can’t be made public without his permission, you aren’t backing down. I don’t have to infer what you meant. You said it plain as day – he spent millions in attorneys fees to prevent their release. Can you admit you were wrong?

                And why does anyone need to see his grades? He graduated from Harvard Law School. He was the president of the law review. That’s something that 99.99% of the population could never achieve. What difference does it make what his GPA was? If you are already stellar, do you have to be the most stellar to be..what…qualified to be president? If so, then very few people could ever run for president. So why do you feel you need to see his grades?

                • catnapper says:

                  I’ve tried to be polite but to no avail. I don’t care about his grades. You are wasting your time now and purposefully being combative. Let it go. You are beginning to appear as though you have personal issues. Your reaction is far too extreme given the circumstances. I wish you nothing but the best.

                  • BeenThereDoneThat says:

                    Translation: You were wrong but you are not about to admit it.

                  • klmh says:

                    I know better than to step into this, but I’m going to anyway.
                    I have received so many “articles” and accusations against the President regarding any number of issues, including his birth certificate, idiotic republican rhetoric about
                    the health care bill, and the like. It just goes on and on. If it sounds bizarre, just look it up to find the truth. Some good fact checking sites are Snopes and Factcheck. com. Im sorry if you read that these are liberal checks but if you look thru them, you can find that both parties throw crap out there and hope it sticks. They supply factual information, not biased information.
                    I live in a very conservative state and my friends send me this stuff all the time. One friend in particular loves to do this so that I will educate myself, I suppose. It was frustrating at first , but Im glad he has done it, because I have educated him and some of his friends in the process. If you are told that there will be a death panel in the new HealthCare bill, you wouldn’t believe an email you received from a friend, would you? Of course its false, but you have to educate yourself to the truth, imo.
                    Anything that comes from Fox or MSNBC I throw out. Too many people have too much to loose if the opposing party wins the election.

                  • melthehound says:

                    Always Follow The Money. Always Follow The Money. Watch how it is used, to divide and concur. Remember,- A nation divided against itself cannot stand (Abe Lincoln). Take a look at who is saying what and ask yourself, What do they have to Gain, if I agree with Them? Always Follow The Money.

                    The two parties are both nearly the same steaming piles of shit. I will vote against the one that smells the worse on election day. I my book, that is typically the Liberal candidate.

                  • thedesigndiva2 says:

                    TESTING AGAIN 123… Thank God I stay out of POLITICAL CONVOS….. WHEW….

                  • thedesigndiva2 says:

                    TEST… ??? again ??? have we passed yet ???

                  • LOL! I’m on an email version of hold with WordPress.

              • Viewer 5 says:

                You’re totally welcome here – “forgiveness” is not necessary. I know for myself (and some friends I go shooting w/ whom I disagree on *everything*; they think I’m a commie – I think they’re just old vets – ha!) we always “fight” about policy. But if I (or they) cross over into supposition and assumption w/o facts – oh, boy… hide the ammo. 😉 On both sides!

  6. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    It is entirely inappropriate for the President to take pot shots at the Supreme Court justices or to comment on a pending case. It is entirely inappropriate for anyone to yell out “liar” during the State of the Union. It is entirely inappropriate for Justices Scalia and others on the bench to have made many of the public comments they have made over the years. I single out Scalia because his comments during oral argument, in written opinion, and in the public forums have been lacking in appropriate judicial temperment on many occasions. We have lost site of the need for respect and civility. Our leaders apparently missed most of kindergarten and their mothers must have been out playing bridge when they came home from school, because none of them learned anything about manners, respect, civility, or how to behave in public.

  7. klmh says:

    Empress, again, a home run post. I agree, President Obama overstepped his bounds.

  8. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    The logic alone is problematic. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a student has the absolute right to refuse to allow anyone access to their records. No lawyer needed. All you have to do is tell the university not to release the records and they are then forbidden by law from releasing anything but “directory information.” Since the records can’t be released without the student’s permission, there is no need to pay a lawyer to “keep them out of public view.” The university would not be allowed to release them anyway.

  9. I also have no idea why these comments are not being displayed as replies. I apologize for WordPress and their stupid techy issues.

  10. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    So. How ’bout dem Mets?

  11. melthehound says:

    What I get from your post, Empress, is that the Pres is running around Telling the Supreme court how they should rule on a case before them. I THOUGHT, the jobs of our 3 branches were, Commander in Chief (President), Legislative (Congress pens the laws), and Judicial (Courts Interpret the laws). Checks and Balances. What ever happened to it?

    I won’t argue against the idea everyone should have access to quality health care. What I Will argue against is the government having Control of it. I don’t think there is anyone who can say with a straight face, that Anything the Government has done, has had the intended result. What always seems like a good idea at the time, always gets screwed up by those incompetent jerks we as a nation continue to put in office. I will further argue that the more control we give the Government to intervene in our lives the more freedom we give away, NEVER to get it back. They do it under the guise of ‘caring for the people’. As if we are a bunch of raging idiots and unable to manage our own lives. We continue to PAY them to do it and get in line for the ‘free’ stuff. It’s unbelievable to me.

    Why does it take a 1000+ page document to guarantee everyone access to health care? I could write it out in about 5 or less. A 1000+ page document by the way that Our Representatives didn’t even Bother to Read before shoving it down our throats. REALLY? Truthfully, I don’t listen to most of what the Pres says anymore because I can sum up in two words just about everything that comes out of his mouth. Bend Over.

    I’m going to stop there because I’m getting pissed off all over again and I’m going to say things I may end up asking you to delete.

    By the way. I’ll respect the President when there is someone there worthy of the respect. The current occupant is NOT.

    • Viewer 5 says:

      In what respect is Obama not “worthy of respect?”
      Also, have you researched Romneycare in Mass?
      Google it; it’s not much different from the president’s plan. People are pretty happy with it. Romney is happy with it.

      • melthehound says:

        V5, I don’t think the last few were worthy of it when all said and done. I cannot stand someone who is always throwing up smoke screens, won’t take responsibility for his actions, and as president especially, has no respect for our constitution. Now, if I’m wrong in that view of the current occupant, so be it.

        As for the health care bill, I’ll ask again. WHY does it take a 1000+ page document to spell it out. I have to ask myself, WHO really benefits from it. I don’t believe, it will be the people of the United States at large. I will also say again, in case it gets lost in whatever wordpress is doing today, When I hear the pres speak, I can sum up every thing he says in 2 words….. Bend Over. So I don’t listen to him much anymore.

        • Viewer 5 says:

          No one is crazy about the healthcare bill; I think even Empress tried to read through it and just about gave up, and she speaks legalese. But it would help everyone in your
          state get insurance of their choice if they have a pre-existing condition, keep young people on their parent’s policy until 26, and allow everyone who *cannot* afford it to be on Medicaid (currently mostly only available to those with minor children.)

          I kind of think it’s a start. It more or less (here’s what you’re probably pissed with, and I can’t argue w/ you on a constitional basis b/c I’m not a scholar) *does* force those who *can* afford it to buy healthcare insured by insurance companies – not the gov’t. The premise is that w/ so many younger, healthier, people paying into the system that the *insurance company* (not the gov’t) can “afford” (that’s a whole other argument, one that I have a lot of personal experience with) to release (?) 80% of their collected premiums towards healthcare… b/c they’re currently privately owned and answer to investors(?) – maybe I got that wrong. But I don’t see where free market covers “fuck you” in coverage that I supposedly paid into for years. It goes by state whether they can kick you off or not, after paying them for years. I think that’s weird.

          I know at least one member of your family was sick – sorry. 😦 But I don’t know whether you had any fights with that person’s insurance company as a result. If they were using Medicare – generally not. If private insurance purchased *not* in a group plan (of fifty or more employees, these days… used to be seven or more employees way when) then they might have had some problems, if they were a single-payer.

          I was with one insurance company in New York City, under two employers (1996 – 2002.) I continued the coverage between employers, w/ Cobra and, afterwards, as a single – payer. Cost in 1998 per month – 350.00 after cobra. Cost in 2002 for *same* policy after cobra – 1,200.00. I cut back to their little quasi-decent policy at 450.00/month. Which wasn’t half-bad; but not as great as before.

          Generally, if you’re on group insurance these days, you’re fine. But most companies try to take advantage (in my old industry – also, advertising, tech, etc.) and try to hire people on a “freelance” basis, w/ no benefits. You could freelance for years in a large company! Years! So, another part of the bill is to sanction employers who have – I think it’s fifty – or more employees and do not offer insurance, etc.

          Maybe I’ve written an overall “rosy” picture. But basically the insurance bill was written to “help” those who can afford insurance, to buy that insurance at reasonable rates – I don’t know where the argument devolved into “the gov’t is making me pay for their shitty care!” when the “shitty care” will be STILL relegated to Medicare; not people buying their own insurance.

          Since the insurance company’s main argument about coverage for their payers and lack of care thereof is to blame those who do not have insurance, can’t get on Medicaid, and “show up” at hospitals and “transfer” that financial “burden” (really? are we that cold? – pardon. that’s just me) to the insurance companies, then everyone paying in is supposed to “relieve” that burden to insurance companies. But look at the third paragraph, WAY above (first post) that I wrote yesterday. I still have to research the name of the hospital, but I will find it today.

          Now, you (or anyone) may be against “socialized private” (ha!) medicine – as is practiced at that hospital – but no one is forcing anyone to work there, and, it must, by virtue of its existence, prove, in some way that costs are overblown at privately owned, for-profit hospitals. Disgusting. So you can imagine that my conclusion about the “cost” of medical care being so expensive is to not blame the “uninsured” to begin with… but we’re stuck with that premise in the healthcare bill.

          Also… I’ve written this before. Cost to fuse a friend of mine’s spine w/ her shitty 250.00/month policy? 100K deductible. Cost to rebuild her neck in Paris (she now does headstands) – 13K and home in 3 days. Medical care in this country is only for the wealthy and those who work for IBM or the gov’t. And it wasn’t always that way, as you and I are both old enough to know. Our family-run business used to provide full insurance for the employees, since 1972. Now the employees pay into it, from their paycheck. It’s a joke; a really, really bad joke for a country supposedly as “great” as ours is. Hmph!

          Smooches to the hound from the kitties –

        • melthehound says:

          V5, On the surface, it’s a good idea. No argument from me. My concern about it if you will, is that, The Further we let the ‘government’ push their hands into our pockets, the Harder it is to get them Out. They only dig deeper. It isn’t a matter of being Cold or uncaring or not wanting to help thy neighbor. It’s all of the Pork, gimmies, pet projects, and privileges our reps buried in that 1000+ page document that concern me. It’s the 1000 or so person clusterphuck circlejerk red tape bureaucracy that it’s going to take to manage it that concerns me. Most of the red tape NOW is government generated. Imagine what it is going to be like when they have complete control of it. Please don’t delude yourself into thinking that isn’t what they are after. You’re smarter than that. All of you are. It’s the nanny state mentality of our current government that concerns me. Their idea that we’re too stupid to take care of ourselves. I’ve Never seen our government, in ANY administration. pull anything off without Adding to the misery they were trying to fix. They have always been too short sighted and concerned about re-election to see the long range effects of their actions.

          I mean, Honestly, If this is such a good idea, Why Wait? They certainly didn’t wait to ram this bill down our throats. Most of it doesn’t take affect from what I heard until at least 2014. Know the Partial answer to that question? Obama’s 2012 re-election run (I truly HATE that son of a bitch) and it will also be a mid term congress run. Follow the Money.

          My mother’s 21st century with the system began in 2000 when she nearly blew an artery. I won’t go into all the moronic too good for the people they vowed to treat doctors and what they thought they knew here. It wasn’t until she saw a vascular surgeon that it was discovered. The others put her through hell. (you may still have my email, if not, you can get it from someone who does WINKS and I’ll go into further detail if you like) It required an open chest repair where they replaced part of it with a tube. She still had a bisected aeorta (same thing that killed John Ritter) and several aneurisms. She later had to have one of the aneurisms clipped. Every 6 months she had to have cat scans and xrays to keep check on it. The insurance she carried covered all of it. When she was 63, Medicare and supplemental. At 64, Cancer. 3 days before she was to turn 65, Dead. 6 months later, The hospital sent her a bill for $1900. I called them and informed them that she had died, IN their hospital they could try and get it from her if they her if they really wanted it. Never heard from them again about it.

          • klmh says:

            51% or so of healthcare costs happen in the last year of a person’s life. Are you saying that your mother would have been better being left without medical care or are you saying that doctors aren’t God and it took a while to find her problem? Im really
            confused about your disillusionment.
            I see that your mother was on Medicare with supplement when this happened, and she was 63 at the time. I thought 65 was the magic number for it. Now Im confused…To me it sounds as if mother received exceptional care. She had many expensive tests and surgeries. Who do you think paid for that? Was it because many people paid into a plan and it balanced out, with some people, like your mother, and mine by the way, using it, while others pass without using what they put in to the plan? To me that just makes sense. I don’t know your mother’s financial standing at the time, but if she were to try to pay for those procedures out of pocket, she would probably be homeless. I imagine her bills were well over a million bucks. Medicare paid her bills. Medicare is a government run program. It may not be perfect, but that doesn’t exist and never has.
            You can use all of the rhetoric about how horrible the government is and how it has devastated our lives, but I don’t hear a plan from you or any of the other nay sayers. I would love to hear your solution to the problem.
            I don’t mean this to be argumentative Mel, but from where Im sitting, your take is the problem, not the solution.

            • melthehound says:

              I’m not getting into the god doctor debate with you. Until she found the vascular surgeon that was willing to listen to what she was saying, they treated her as if she were some sort of lab rat. Telling her the pain she was having was, A Heart attack, Gull Bladder, they damn near poisoned (killed) her with medications that reacted with other meds that resulted in blood poisoning. Each added a new medication without taking A BIT of consideration of what and amount she was already on. When she tried to speak to them About it, “Oh, You’ll get use to it”. She was a Zombie. It wasn’t until she found a doc that would actually Listen to her that it finally got straight. The ‘God’ that you refer to was that none of them could Possibly be wrong.

              I have no complaints about her cancer treatment. They did the best they could for her given the cancer that she had.

              As far as ‘obamacare’ is concerned. You want to lower the cost and make health care affordable for everybody? Kill the perks, trim the fat, throw out the pet projects of these politicians, get rid of the red tape instead of putting up more, and THEN, they’ll have something Worth considering. I don’t get what is so hard to understand about that. There is Nothing about it that is ‘Rhetoric’.

              • klmh says:

                Nothing in government, as in life, is without its thieves and there will always be people to take advantage of a situation. If you want private insurance companies to be the provider, your CEO and those in command will reap millions of dollar a year with benefits salaries and raise your insurance premiums in the bargain. You will get screwed. If you and all who can pay into the system, do, the cost is shared. I wish the government could have offered their own insurance for other insurance companies to have to compete with their premiums, but hey, don’t mess with the capitalist system. Thrown out before the debates began, and the lobbyists did their job very well.

                Concerning your mother’s care Mel, her physicians could very well have been subpar. There are certainly a lot of those around, and what people need to know is, get yourself a primary care physician, i.e.. internist, pediatrician, ob-gyn. Do not get a family practitioner. Many of the F.P.s will not consult as they should, with specialists. Always contact the hospital and friends to find the good ones.
                The problem comes in when the good physicians stop taking care of Medicare/Medicaid patients because of reduced reimbursement. It will not be their choice, but you cannot run a practice loosing money. Just to give you an idea, my husbands expenses were 30,000 this month. That is about mid range and he is low on the pay scale for physicians. (The cost of running an office has gone thru the roof.) The day is coming sooner than anyone would like, Im afraid.

              • klmh says:

                Scratch that about the F.P.s. There might be some good ones out there, and I do think their training has improved.

              • klmh says:

                Too close to home. Good idea Mel.

          • Sadie says:

            Hey, Hound,
            I understand. I wish things could be different (pork freaks me out too.) But I can concur on dr.’s. This being #Floriduh – oy. Just oy! I have a good one for you… my dad had a
            bloodclot (we lost him w/in 45 minutes) – insurance tried to tell my mother that (dig this) she didn’t get the ambulance pre-approved so they wouldn’t pay. I wonder where the note was on the insurance clerk’s screen that read: “Widow. Will get upset and pay herself.” Wrong. Dead wrong. Ha!
            winks is busy running around tarnation, fixing the universe. will contact soon. my computer blew up in jan. and this is a new one. no old emails.

    • thedesigndiva2 says:

      TESTING 321… TESTING 123…..

  12. Donna says:

    Now that the republic party has picked who is running, I expect the whole entire process will be the most vile one we have ever seen.

    • Donna says:

      OK I hit refresh again and my comment is still in the middle of the comments instead at the end.

  13. catnapper says:

    You can google info about scholastic and personal records of POTUS. Reuters had an article that said Lawyers were hired to quash a subponea issued to Occidental College;Worldnet was reporting that POTUS lawyers were seeking financial sanctions if they prevail;Whitehouse.gov has the Executive order issued by POTUS 1/21/2009 regarding presidential records and on and on. I didn’t want to give conservative sources to save myself from further attacks. My entire point has more to do with the radical ties POTUS has had and maintains. I don’t give a ++++ about his records. For the poster who wishes I had no job and Insurance well I was laid off from my job and pay a fortune for Insurance. Part of my premise is that we need changes in healthcare I don’t like Obamacare. I’ve been in the healthcare field in various roles for 30 years. No one deserves to be ganged up on because of a different point of view nor personalized.

    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      I see you decided to give us some info this time. OK. So let’s take a look at the Occidental College case. It was actually a birther challenge to the California Secretary of State, claiming that she had a legal duty to determine the eligibility of each candidate she certified to the California ballot. They didn’t actually want his scholastic records/grades. They wanted to see if there was anything in the records (i.e., application form) that would support the contention that he was not born in the U.S. In the context of that case, the plaintiffs issued a subpoena to Occidental College. It was Keyes (former Lt. Gov of Maryland) vs. the Bowen (California Secretary of State). Obama and the others (about 30 people were named in the lawsuit) had no choice but to defend but the case was thrown out very quickly because Keyes had no legal right to the records. The case was filed on 12/6/2010 and dismissed on 2/2/2011 with only the two filings by the defendants, so it didn’t cost anyone millions.

      The point being that this was not about Obama trying to prevent anyone from seeing his scholastic records. It was about defending against the insane birther nonsense.

      Now. About executive orders and presidential records. Presidential records are those created while the president IS. IN. OFFICE. It has nothing whatsoever to do with his personal records before or after he is in office. 44 U.S.C.2201:

      (2) The term “Presidential records” means documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof, created or received by the President, his immediate staff, or a unit or individual of the Executive Office of the President whose function is to advise and assist the President, in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President. Such term–

      (A) includes any documentary materials relating to the political activities of the President or members of his staff, but only if such activities relate to or have a direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President; but

      (B) does not include any documentary materials that are (i) official records of an agency (as defined in section 552(e) of title 5, United States Code; (ii) personal records; (iii) stocks of publications and stationery; or (iv) extra copies of documents produced only for convenience of reference, when such copies are clearly so identified.


      • catnapper says:

        I tried to have a polite conversation yesterday on this board with a differing view from others. You helped make it unpleasant and insulting. I can now attest to how awful it feels to be intimidated by a total stranger online. It shouldn’t bother me at all but it does. I have lost any interest I had in expressing my personal opinion any further. Best of luck to you.

        • BeenThereDoneThat says:

          By simply explaining the information you alluded to? Really? You threw it out there. Then you get insulted when someone takes the time to explain what actually happened? So basically, you aren’t interested in the facts? Like they say, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but not to his or her own facts.

          You make allegations and because they are YOUR opinion, they can’t be challenged. You clearly don’t know what the Presidential Records Act (enacted in 1974) is so you misunderstood the Executive Order and then you get insulted when someone explains it to you.

          No, Empress. Please DO NOT delete this one. If she gets intimidated because someone challenges her opinions with facts and information, so be it.

          • I won’t delete it, but I will say that I’m not declaring a winner in this debate. That is best left to scholastic competitions and jury foremen.
            I think that this particular argument should end right here.

  14. melthehound says:

    Ladies, I like all of you. Some have said they like me as well. I’m afraid that if I continue in this discussion, that’s going to change for one or both of us (on an individual basis). Politics is just too touchy of a subject for me to discuss with anyone online so in the interest in keeping My peace with each of you, I’m out of this discussion.

    Peace, Ladies.


  15. IceMeNot says:

    Hi Empress,
    I had to cool off for this post. I totally agree that it feels strange for the President to get on the bully pulpit to influence Supreme Court Justices now quietly deliberating, as planned by our Forefathers. I’ve no doubt President Obama understands the Separations of Powers which is how the Republic is structured. But, as someone well placed to know told me several years ago, President Obama is the first ideologically Socialist President of the United States.
    Since the majority wants socialized medicine, I’ve advised my kids not to have kids. It will only be heartbreaking for them fighting for a chance to get appts for a sick kid. Their grandfather fled Canada after his self-built Surgery Clinic was socialized. We lucked out in the 20th C. with the huge brain drain from socialized countries to the U.S.
    My in-laws relied on the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to jump waiting lines for things we take for granted. Talk to old people, even the poor who utilized the vast charity hospitals and understood that you can’t get something for nothing.
    Healthcare is not guaranteed as an individual’s inalienable Right, like Life, Liberty, Private Property (deleted from the final draft). For a great illustration of what many of you are asking for, read the scene in Atlas Shrugged when Dagny meets the old Tramp on a train, and he tells her the story that I won’t give away here. Rand’s life in Soviet Russia, from which she escaped never to see her mother or father again thanks to Stalin, allowed her to live the “dream” of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Maybe we should take her experience seriously.
    I do, as well as the reports of my now deceased in laws from Canada. My plan is this: when ObamaCare or RomneyCare causes my professional decisions to need permission from a Panel of 15 Czars in New Washington, I will inactivate my National Provider Identification Number (NPI) and close my private practice, just one of thousands who will be “Shrugging”.

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