The Watering Hole, Saturday, October 19, 2013: And Single Payer is Bad Because…?

It all started, at least this most recent episode of right wing nuttery did, at the so-called “Values Voter Summit” convened earlier this month in Washington, DC. For those unfamiliar with the Values Voter Summit (and if you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard of it), it’s a gathering, put together by several right-wing organizations who feel they know how best to raise your children and hosted by Family Research Council head Tony Perkins (who can understandably be confused with the knife-wielding maniac in Hitchcock’s “Psycho”), of a bunch of very frightened people listening to a collection of very ill-informed speakers fabricating the dangers of a world where conservative values are given the treatment they deserve and crumpled up, set on fire, and dumped into the deepest part of the ocean, never to be heard from again. I wish! Sadly, because stupid people outnumber intelligent people in this country, and because stupid people almost always tend to have conservative values, we’ll probably never be rid of the scourge of Conservatism in this country. Education is our best weapon, and Conservative politicians have fought tooth and nail to see to it that the United States of America has as poorly-educated a population as possible. Not because that benefits the country, but because it benefits the leaders of the Conservative movement. You’ve heard the expression, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” The leaders of the Conservative movement are taking a lot of stupid people’s money off their hands and giving them crap in return (assuming they’re giving them anything at all.) To cite just one example, the 2013 Values Voter Summit. But I digress.

One of the ill-informed speakers at the event was new right-wing darling Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon credited with pioneering work in the separation of conjoined twins. (There is no truth to the rumor I just started that Dr. Carson famously said, “Now we can send two patients a bill.”) At the recent VVS, Carson made the extraordinary claim that “Obamacare is, really I think, the worst thing that’s happened in this nation since slavery.” I’m not making that up. See it for yourself.

For the record, some of the things that have happened in this nation since Slavery are the Great Depression, the Japanese internment camps, the criminal attacks of 9/11, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh. Roland Martin wasn’t buying it, either. He asked Carson if Obamacare was “worse than Jim Crow?” Carson answered, “Yes, absolutely.” His fear was that the ACA would make us “subservient to the state.” This is a ridiculous argument we hear a lot from right wing libertarians, who really act like a bunch of children who don’t want to go to bed when their parents say so. Because, really, at some point, you have to be “subservient to the state.” Otherwise you just have anarchy. To whine and complain that you have to obey the law is absurd, especially when you’re a member of a political party with a history of running candidates who promise to “restore law and order.” But I digress.

Among the many exaggerations you hear from the right about Obamacare is that it’s a “trainwreck” and a “disaster.” I don’t hear any examples from them to support this contention, but proving the validity of one’s opinions has never been a requirement for Conservatives. As far as they’re concerned, if it feels right, it must be right. Carson’s greatest fear seems to be that Obamacare will lead to a Single Payer healthcare system. And this is bad because…? I hear this a lot, but I’ve rarely heard anyone articulate what it is about Single Payer that’s so damnable. Sure, insurance companies won’t be able to make huge profits off the pain and suffering of others for doing nothing but acting as a middle man who protects his own cut of the pie no matter who lives and dies, but I think most people capable of empathy would think that a good thing. Ah, empathy. That explains the right’s opposition to Single Payer. It removes their perceived justification to say, “You deserve to die.” But that’s not their only rationale. They also like to “quote” Vladimir Lenin claiming he said, “Socialized medicine is a keystone to the establishment of a socialist state.” Except he didn’t. When President Harry S Truman (the “S” stands for “Savings”; okay, actually it doesn’t stand for anything, hence no period) tried to bring about a national health care system, opponents made up the Lenin quote. When the Library of Congress was asked to find a source for that quote, they couldn’t, which means he probably never said it at all. But that doesn’t stop them from using it 65 years later. When have conservatives ever let a fact get in the way of a good talking point? So even if they know the Lenin quote is bogus, how is Single Payer a bad thing? They talk as if there’s nothing of the sort in the United States when there is, and has been for nearly fifty years. It’s called Medicare, and not only is it extremely popular with Americans, there’s no way it could ever be gotten rid of without rioting in the streets. In fact, when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or NAMBLA) was first being debated, many of us said that if there weren’t going to be public options in the healthcare insurance exchanges, then we’d rather have Medicare For All. In other words, we want Single Payer. We think a for-profit healthcare system is not a good thing. For the life of me, I don’t understand how right wingers justify the belief that the USA has “the best healthcare system in the world.” They often cite the talking point that so many people come to the United States for healthcare treatment they can’t get in their home countries. So? We do have the most expensive healthcare system in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. High cost does not equate to high quality. We rank somewhere near 37th in the world in terms of quality of our healthcare system. But many capitalists think that if you can’t make a lot of money doing something, it isn’t worth doing at all. My own doctor is great and I’ve been going to her for about twenty years. She didn’t become a doctor so she could make a lot of money. She became a doctor because she enjoys helping people get better. And isn’t that what should motivate everyone in the field of medicine and healthcare? But I digress.

What is so bad about Single Payer? Is there any reason why an insurance company, motivated primarily by making as much in profits as they can get away with making, even needs to be part of the equation at all? Conservatives often ask the rhetorical question, “Do you want a government bureaucrat getting between you and your doctor?” As opposed to an insurance company bureaucrat paid to protect the company’s bottom-line profits getting between me and my doctor? How is that better? Because it’s Capitalism at work? Defenders of Capitalism use the mind-numbingly stupid argument that “Capitalism is the best system for promoting wealth.” That’s like saying baseball is the best sport for scoring home runs. It doesn’t make sense to talk about home runs in any other sport, just as it doesn’t make sense to talk about wealth in any other system where wealth is not the distinguishing characteristic. To tell you the truth, between the government bureaucrat and the corporate bureaucrat, I would rather have the government bureaucrat. At least the government bureaucrat could stop a doctor from performing a dangerous, untested, useless procedure. The insurance company bureaucrat would just ask how much it costs, not how effective would it be. But I digress.

Here’s a funny ad for a bus that I found on Little Green Footballs. Enjoy.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Obamacare, Ben Carson, things that have happened to our nation more horrible than Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh, or any other thing you wish to discuss.

80 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, October 19, 2013: And Single Payer is Bad Because…?

  1. The biggest problem with Obamacare is that it’s NOT single payer, it does NOT have a public option. In that regard it’s grossly inadequate, grossly insufficient. It’s principle value is simply that it’s a start, the very first successful national effort toward a national single payer European-style health care system, one that takes care of everyone, rich or poor, and is not designed to simply make a small handful of assholes even wealthier than they are today. If that’s “Socialism” then please, call me a Socialist. I’ll wear the label with huge pride.

    Oh, and a special note to all conservatives who tell it like it is and call me a Socialist: call yourselves what you are. Fascists.

  2. It do make one wonder why it is so frigging important to protect the profits of companies that dictate the health care of Americans while not actually being a part of the health care system. HI companies decide what they will cover based on how it effects their profits but this isn’t control. Yet if the government provides the coverage on an equal basis, without expecting to make a profit, it is control.

    I guess all that ebil gubmint control of our senior citizens is what is causing so many of them to be angry with the black dictator who is forcing them to vote Democratic.

  3. Comment from Breitbart, courtesy Daily Kos’s Saturday Nutpick-A-Palooza:

    Our national elections are as rigged as anything in Stalin’s USSR! The illegal alien Obama was never elected…he was SElected, twice; and his agenda is the total destruction of the USA and the murder of tens of millions. This will allow the confiscation of all our wealth by the Jewish international banking cartel so they can invest in that slave labor nation, China. George Soros and his band of Hebrew gangsters are pulling all of Obama’s strings. They are merely the latest in the continuing sacking of the wealthiest nations on earth and the murder of millions. HITLER was financed and set up by Jewish banksters on Wall Street; and so is Obama!

    • Our national elections are as rigged as anything in Stalin’s USSR! The illiterate alien Bush was never elected…he was SElected, twice; and his agenda was the total destruction of the USA and the murder of tens of millions. This will allow the confiscation of all our wealth by the White Supremacist international banking cartel so they can invest in that slave labor nation, China. The Koch Brothers and their band of White Supremacist gangsters are pulling all of the Republican’s strings. They are merely the latest in the continuing sacking of the wealthiest nations on earth and the murder of millions. HITLER was financed and set up by White Supremacist banksters on Wall Street; and so is da Republicans!

      There, didn’t take much to fix that. D)

  4. Speaking of Wingnut Nutcases:

    Oath Keepers Pushing Oregonians to Resist Gov’t Camps

    [. . .] Most of these resolutions are the handiwork of Tom McKirgan, who heads up the Oregon chapter of the Oath Keepers from his home in rural Coquille. . . . McKirgan has weighed in on local issues in the Coos County area with a similarly conspiratorial perspective. When local night-sky watchers in the coastal town of Bandon promoted an ordinance to regulate residents’ lighting, he warned in a letter to the editor: “This is another avenue exploited by the [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service] to greatly expand their ulterior motive of turning the entire Coquille Valley into a massive mosquito bog unfit for human habitation.”

    At an Oath Keepers gathering in Reedsport, he warned: “We are living under a soft form of martial law.” He also dismissed President Obama’s authority: “Obama is not a president,” he said. “He is nothing but a communist trying to usurp his power and bring us under the United Nations banner.”

    “We’re trying to nullify, actually the Constitution nullifies it, we’re trying to reject and repeal section 1021 and 1022,” McKirgan told the Reedsport City Council. “Oath Keepers is not a militia. We are an organization of education. We reach, teach and inspire others to follow the oaths of office that they swore to uphold the Constitution. This is an unconstitutional act that places America on the battlefield, where everybody inside that battlefield are subject to the rules of military law.” [. . .]

    • Smooth slick doorknobs are the only option!

      We put up a louvered folding door between our utility room and kitchen some years ago. (There isn’t a wall there now.) We tried to put the cats in the utility room while we ate a dinner. Our small adult black cat Nigel wasn’t having any of that. He didn’t open the door, instead he began busting the louver slats out one by one, until the opening was big enough for him to get through.

  5. I had to reply to one commenter on this tweet. I’m tired of so-called “Christians” trying to take what they perceive as the High Road by falsing describing Reality.

  6. Johnny Manziel hurt again. Right shoulder, (throwing arm), maybe a stinger. Can’t throw on sideline at all.
    Last week it was the left knee, which he was still wearing a brace for today.

    Auburn just scored to pull within 3.

    • House, I’m going on a holiday and will be in the air for the race tomorrow. I hate missing Talladega but I’d rather be on a holiday!!

      • I’ll give you a preview. There will be a huge wreck in the last twenty laps. The winner will be someone nobody expected to win.

        Have fun on your trip! I’ll be here recuperating from a 56 hour week!

        Now Auburn is ahead.

      • A&M retook the lead but couldn’t stop Auburn from scoring again. Manziel wasn’t able to get into the end zone on the last drive.

    • Rubio thinks setting up the exchanges is just like ‘selling a product’ on the internet. I guess he thinks healthcare should be as easy as buying a book on Amazon?

  7. Mitch McConnell on Face The Nation: “I don’t think a two week paid vacation for Federal employees is conservative policy.”

    Mitch doesn’t think any benefits for any employees is conservative policy. No vacations, no health insurance, no sick leave, overtime pay, or minimum wage.

    • Only the top one percent deserve anything. The rest of us have only one duty: to serve: to make the rich richer, the powerful more powerful, and when necessary to die in the process and never complain.

      Bitch BcConnell is a total asshole, one who fits perfectly within the GOP Asshole Machine, aka the Amurkan Fascist Movement.

    • If Mitchy was referring to the shut-down – those employees had no idea if the sleazy, sneaky, low-life Repugnants would allow retroactive pay. He and his party put the employees through a terrible ordeal of not knowing if and when they would be paid.

    • What exactly is a ‘statesman’? I may not know, but the dignity associated with the term tells me that Cruz ain’t nowhere near one.

      • To wit:

        “A statesman is usually a politician, diplomat or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career at the national or international level.”

        So, Tailgunner Ted, not so much.

    • I’m not familiar with Mr. Miller’s body of work, but I’m guessing his background includes an epic struggle to qualify for his GED and a more than passing familiarity with several psychotropic substances.

      • Before 9/11, Dennis Miller was a bright, funny, very articulate, very literate, very intellectual comedian. He could spin one reference after another, and intelligent people would enjoy the many jokes he’d make at the expense of people unlikely to get it.

        Then 9/11 happened and Dennis shit his pants, curled up into the fetal position, and decide to be scared and become conservative. And since conservative “humor” usually isn;t very funny, he hasn’t been very funny since. It’s a shame, because he really did used to be funny.

  8. Well, I’ve put in a brief PM on the venerable 944, and it turned out not as much needed attention as I had worried. First thing I had to do was replace the hood latch, because I couldn’t open the hood by myself, from the outside. I had to jack it up and do it from beneath. Didn’t need coolant, or oil, but did need a spot of Girling brake fluid to top off the reservior. Also needed a bit more tension on the alternator belt, which I run looser than spec, because I don’t want to kill any alternator or AC compressor bearings.

    Danica is at ‘Dega today, and the race starts pretty soon. She gets a cam on the Racebuddy feature every week, which is either because of her popularity on that site, or because GoDaddy pays for it. She’s not really competitive, and she’s not in ‘The Chase’, so it pisses off the rednecks in the chatroom every week. I really like that. 😀

  9. For the record, I didn’t like it one bit that neither UCLA nor USC won yesterday. It was another upset Saturday, as four higher ranked SEC teams fell to underdogs, and now we know that both Auburn and Missouri are for real this year.

    That Alabama – Oregon matchup possibility continues…

  10. Argentina’s agricultural industry has been dramatically transformed by the introduction of genetically modified plants in 1996.

    …But the pesticides powering this boom are poorly controlled and used in ways that were never anticipated by regulatory science, if not specifically banned by law.

    Doctors and scientist worry the chemicals may be the cause of rising cancer rates, birth defects and other health problems.

    The Monsanto Co., one of several agricultural companies that sell pesticides in Argentina, says it is working with government officials and farmers to promote better pesticide practices.

    yes, and the fox has promised to watch over the eggs after having eaten the chickens…

  11. Sigh…

    The Vikings aren’t playing, it’s raining, and I can’t generate any interest in today’s games so I made the mistake of checking the news. I don’t know which I find more disturbing, the fact that every single Sunday show was devoted to giving GOoPers a platform to explain why the shut down wasn’t their fault but still fell short of their goals, without pointing out the contradiction, or reporting like this bit from the AP? Good ol’ “librul media” strikes again.

    • Sorry your weather is so lousy.


      Next? Next? that should read continuing to make…

    • I thought they spent all day talking about why Obamacare has already failed, 10 weeks before anyone can take advantage of it. But I only watched Fox News Sunday, Face the Nation, Fareed Zakaria, and Reliable Sources. I haven’t gotten to Meet the Press and This Week.

    • Trust all will work out – and very soon – so you’ll have a cat in the house!

      The first cat pic is similar to my gorgeous orange boy, Mel!

      Do hope OIMF gets a gander at the darling piglets looking out of the pumpkin!

      • Mel and my Niki must have looked a lot alike. If I ever figure how to download pics from my phone, I’ll use a pic of him for an avatar. I tried to email myself pics from my phone, but it didn’t have a selection for pics as an attachment. It did allow a wallpaper to be put in an attachment, but I don’t have an option to move regular pics into the wallpaper folder. I also can’t delete the BS preloaded wallpaper pics in that folder either. If I ever get a better phone and can use the same sim card or get my stuff transferred to a new one, maybe I’ll be able to.

      • Note to self: Stuff some pigs in a pumpkin. Actually, all the pigs I have right now are of a size where I could stuff them with pumpkins. Only two more weeks until bacon is back!

  12. Danica was looking really competitive all day today. She started 23rd, and was running about 12th when the first pit stops happened around lap 40-42, under green. A two car wreck about lap 79 sent all the cars in again, under caution, with Danica close to the top ten again. Each stint, she would run very patiently, staying in line, not pulling out to pass, and she would keep moving up. Near the end of each segment of the race, after 25-30 laps she would be about eighth, running in a single file line, biding her time. She was sixth with about 30 laps to go, when it all went wrong. She moved down to pit for the final time, and the chat stream said her spotter messed her up, but I haven’t been able to confirm that. She hit pit road too fast, slid into the grass, which prevented her from braking to the required pit road speed, which also caused her to miss her pit. meaning she had to go around another lap and try again. Then she had a drive-through penalty for speeding on pit road, which put her down a lap too late in the race to make it up. She finished 33rd, but ran top ten nearly all day.
    Next week they race in Martinsville, where she finished 12th in the spring race.

    • That depends, what you got cooking?

      How were the sales this weekend?

      According to your current gravatar it appears that you’ve picked up some weight, butterfly! 😉

        • Works for me. Glad you had a good Harvest Festival. I’m hoping I can feed my critters once sales drop off for the winter.

          • Farmers markets and these fair just reinforce my observation that people are weird. Some people walk into my booth only to declare that they would NEVER use “lye soap,” and others claim that they never use soap. Okay whatever! I was glad that my nose was clogged with dust! 😀

            • Yeah, you meet some weird folk. I spent two years listening to the vendor beside me try to convince folk that a gluten free diet could cure autism and you know, his kid is still at least as weird as mine.

            • Weird can be good. 😉

              I’ve heard about the gluten free and autism thing, and it’s just silly. If anything, they’d be an autistic kid with no tummy ache.

    • That’s why Kookinelli loves them. they never used birth control. Jim Bob never wasted his seed in something as sinful as a blow job.
      (Personal note: I’m from the south, I know and sometimes love, the truly strange people my region can produce. I know no one named “Jim Bob”. Most of us do just pick one name to be called by, sometimes it’s Jimmy, or Bobby, which is disturbing for an adult male, but Jim Bob, at least for me, invokes crazy snake handling folk.}

      • That shit just creeps me out. Those kids must be raising each other, because there’s no way two parents could give every child what they need. I wonder if they were getting food stamps or welfare before they got a tv show?

        And yeah, pick a name and stick with it JIM BOB.

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