Hyperbolic Hyperventilating And Healthcare Reform

I came across a post over at Left, Right, and Centered that got me thinking about how we get pretty freaking upset when things don’t go our way. Do we “demonize” each other to the point that real civil discourse becomes impossible? I think yes. That’s the major problem with politics and always has been. The team mentality hampers true progress every step of the way. We can be FOR something before we are AGAINST it, based on the way the partisan wind blows.

Democrats took a while to come around to supporting the individual mandate, Barack Obama being one of the last holdouts. After employer-mandates of Hillary Clinton’s doomed reform plan of the 90s were rejected, Democrats realized that the only hope for reform was to concede that the conservative-supported individual mandate made most political sense. In the interest of getting SOMETHING done on the huge healthcare problem we have in this country, Obama’s position “evolved” or flip-flopped, you might say. He told CBS News:

“I was opposed to this idea because my general attitude was the reason people don’t have health insurance is not because they don’t want it. It’s because they can’t afford it…I am now in favor of some sort of individual mandate.”

The ACA was modeled after the program implemented in Massachusetts under Governor Romney. He was proud of this popular and bipartisan policy…until he was against it. He is REQUIRED to be against it in order to win the GOP nomination. The ACA was definitely not what liberals had in mind for healthcare reform. It is much closer to the conservative plan proposed in 1989 by The Heritage Foundation. Almost identical, in fact. But that plan is now a socialist plot to turn us into slaves and thoroughly discredited by placing the name of OBAMA upon it. Key points may look familiar:

 “Neither the federal government nor any state requires all households to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic costs of a serious accident or illness. Under the Heritage plan, there would be such a requirement…

Society does feel a moral obligation to insure that its citizens do not suffer from the unavailability of health care. But on the other hand, each household has the obligation, to the extent it is able, to avoid placing demands on society by protecting itself…

A mandate on households certainly would force those with adequate means to obtain insurance protection.”

Massachusetts seems to be faring pretty well under the weight of its oppressive socialistic regime. Over 98% of its citizens are covered under Romneycare, with a majority of residents happy with their enslavement! I suppose the sheeple are lulled to complacency under the soothing umbrella of the state (and decent healthcare). According to MittRomneyCentral.com:

In order to accomplish the goal of covering all the citizens of MA, Romney put together a team of business experts, not a typical political team, to explore new options for providing health insurance to more citizens. The members of this team included a former investment banker, a Bain & Company partner, a professor from MIT, an expert in federal health programs, a Washington policy guru, and experts from the Heritage Foundation. For more than a year, Romney and his team studied the details of health insurance in their state.

An astounding near-unanimous vote in both the state house and senate passed this unbelievably popular plan into law. The Heritage Foundation held it as a model for other states to reform their own healthcare systems. But a federal plan of healthcare reform based on the same conservative principles of personal responsibility has divided the nation into patriots and fascists. The court has been infiltrated by turncoats and cowards!

OUCH, Glenn Beck is so pissed, he can’t even cry!

Conservatives aren’t going to take Justice Robert’s supposed defection lying down! Ann Coulter tweeted “Chickenshit!” Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro is in the running for most apocalyptic tweet: 

“This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration.”

Really? NO exaggeration? Shapiro also said that “Chief Justice Roberts was the worst part of the Bush legacy.” Never mind WMD Fail or the whole crashed-economy thing. 

By a friend of a friend on Facebook, who also called for “bloodshed”:

“This attack on America is worse than 911 by far. It goes against the very fiber of our nation. It puts millions of families at risk of starvation and imprisonment. It takes away our right to decide.”

Yeah. Worse than 9/11 BY FAR. And people “liked” it. 

Calls for armed rebellion cause me not small amount of concern. Michigan attorney Matthew Davis distributed this email, along with the note, “yes, I mean it”:

 Is Armed Rebellion Now Justified?

Implicit in Benjamin Franklin’s fabled response at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention was a dire warning: That the Republic would one day devolve into tyranny unless we the people prevented it.

In 2008, we the people elected Barack Obama as president, and the 100-year progressive trek to tyranny begun in 1912 with Woodrow Wilson’s election was complete. It cannot be said too many times — for the purposes of emphasis and clarity — that the Constitution was possible ONLY AFTER the American Revolution; and that the war itself would not have been possible without the collective agreement, as so eloquently articulated in the Declaration of Independence, that the course of human events will sometimes justify one group of people to sever themselves from their oppressors.

In other words, America itself was possible only after its people summoned the will to risk their lives and their futures — as well as those of their children — for a freedom they did not enjoy but knew was their gift from God. Along with their desire to be free came their willingness to engaged in armed rebellion for their freedom.

If government can mandate that I pay for something I don’t want, then what is beyond its power? If the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday paves the way for unprecedented intrusion into personal decisions, then has the Republic all but ceased to exist? If so, then is armed rebellion today justified?

God willing, this oppression will be lifted and America free again before the first shot is fired.

Hmm, I’m not really wanting to sacrifice my life and those of my children for the cause of affordable healthcare being jammed down my throat. If I didn’t rebel over having my tax money spent on drones, war, and oil subsidies, I’m not really all that fired up to die for the tyranny of healthcare. I pay for a lot of stuff I don’t want so I’ll sit this one out. I have untreated impacted molars bothering me.

Eric Cantor had this to say of the ruling:

“The court’s decision brings into focus the choice the American people have about the direction of our country. The president and his party believe in massive government intrusions that increase costs and take decisions away from patients. In contrast, Republicans believe in patient-centered, affordable care where health care decisions are made by patients, their families and their doctors, not by the federal government.

I agree, Eric Cantor! Especially when it comes to my uterus!

Republic magazine thinks we are all going to die:

Roberts’ ruling is applied Leninism – a pragmatic way of justifying the government’s intention to exercise “power without limit, resting directly on force.” Money and time are essentially the same thing; one earns money by investing his time – an irreplaceable and finite quantity – in commerce or labor. Through taxation the State steals life incrementally, rather than destroying it outright.

In his decision, Chief Justice Roberts has placed the High Court’s imprimatur on the proposition that the regime ruling us can steal our lives incrementally in order to force each of us to participate in a health care program that will regulate every aspect of the lives that remain – and either kill or imprison those of us who refuse to participate.

Right now we just die from preventable diseases and accidents, not from jackbooted thugs beating on our door demanding we insure ourselves from the unproven theory that one day we’ll get sick.

Rand Paul doesn’t believe the Supreme Court is the Supreme authority on what is or is not constitutional:

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional.”

Hey, a couple people holding lifetime seats on the highest court of the land can totally mess shit up, I agree! I’ve seen it done. But them’s the breaks. We have to work in the system that we have. This is where Congress comes into play.

An awe-inspiring example of cognitive dissonance is Mitt Romney’s complete FLIP-FLOP on healthcare. But never fear, he WILL reform healthcare when he becomes president, after repealing Obamneycare Affordable Care Act: 

What are some of the things that we’ll keep in place and must be in place in a reform, a real reform of our health care system? 

One, we have to make sure that people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so. Having 20 million people – up to that number of people lose the insurance they want is simply unacceptable. 

Number two, got to make sure that those people who have pre-existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured and they will not lose their insurance. 

We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in their effort to assure that every American has access to affordable health care. 

And something that Obamacare does not do that must be done in real reform is helping lower the cost of health care and health insurance. It’s becoming prohibitively expensive. 

In other words, he wants to keep EVERYTHING that “Obamacare” seeks to rectify about the healthcare system, with the exception of financing it by requiring all to participate as they have done in MA under “Romneycare.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? After all, Americans overwhelmingly support all of the reforms that the ACA addresses, except for paying for it! I like free stuff! Also, unicorns.

I am still astounded that this was the nominee that the GOP chose to put up against Obama. From a strictly objective assessment of the pros and cons for the GOP, I just don’t get it. Being from a fundamentalist Christian background, I can confidently say that the evangelicals do NOT trust Mormons. On top of that he is the definition of the elite, completely generic in appearance AND he actually accomplished universal healthcare in his home state. It’s going to be an interesting election season watching the mental gymnastics required for the modern conservatives to support Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, I am marveling at the way that people satirize themselves so much more effectively than I ever could.

The ACA needs more work. Rather than wasting any more time with courts and threats to repeal, it’s time to work together (they taught us that in kindergarten) and fix our system of health care. This poisonous partisan environment that brings out the worst in all of us is not working for the American people. We are tired of this endless campaigning and divisive rhetoric. ACA was passed. It was upheld mostly intact by the Supreme Court. This is not TYRANNY. Stop with the apocalyptic BS and analogies to Hitler and slavery. It’s time for our elected officials to stop the constant campaigning and fundraising and get their asses TO WORK! 

Texas officially the dumbest state in the Union

Wow. God forbid they “challenge student’s fixed beliefs!”

Why Evolution Is True

Well, that’s true if you judge from the 2012 Texas Republican party platform. Granted, party platforms aren’t usually turned into legislation, but they’re meant to appeal to voters.  What appeals to Texas Republicans?  This, from page 12 of the document:

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Nope, wouldn’t want to do that.  There’s more:

Protection from Extreme Environmentalists – We strongly oppose all efforts of the extreme environmental groups that stymie legitimate business interests. We strongly oppose those efforts that attempt to use the environmental causes to purposefully disrupt and stop those interests within the oil and gas industry. We strongly support the immediate…

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Canada Bishops Ban HPV Vaccine For Catholic School Girls

NO HPV vaccine for Catholic school girls because it “sends a message that early sexual intercourse is allowed.” My girl has had the vaccine, and doesn’t even know it gives her a license to be promiscuous! Plus, I can still scare her with AIDS and various other nasty diseases. Shoot, I could just show her a photo of an untreated case of genital warts. That’s what stopped me when I was young-plus that whole going to hell thing.

NewsFeed

Every year, millions of Canadian children are given vaccinations at school to help combat any number of conditions. But the female students in Calgary’s Catholic school system will be receiving one less shot than their public school counterparts. In 2008, a group of bishops led by Bishop Frederick Henry deemed that providing the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination — which guards girls against the four strands of HPV most associated with cervical cancer — to fifth and ninth-grade girls could be viewed as a compromise of Catholic teaching. Why? Because HPV is a sexually transmitted virus.

The National Post reports that when children in Calgary’s Catholic schools were sent home with vaccination information from Alberta Health Services they were given an additional letter. Penned by Henry and five other bishops, the letter instructed parents that “Although school-based immunization delivery systems generally result in high numbers of students completing immunization, a school-based…

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Crazy living rock is one of the weirdest creatures we’ve ever seen

Grist

The fact that this sea creature looks exactly like a rock with guts is not even the weirdest thing about it. It’s also completely immobile like a rock — it eats by sucking in water and filtering out microorganisms — and its clear blood mysteriously secretes a rare element called vanadium. Also, it’s born male, becomes hermaphroditic at puberty, and reproduces by tossing clouds of sperm and eggs into the surrounding water and hoping they knock together. Nature, you are CRAZY.

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Thank you, SCOTUS….Sarah Palin’s Response to ACA Ruling

From the venerable and wise Mrs. Palin’s Facebook Page (my words in italics):

Thank you, SCOTUS. This Obamacare ruling fires up the troops as America’s eyes are opened! Thank God. (Brilliant way to introduce both God & the troops right off the bat!)

This proves to be such an unsettling time in America as we undergo the fundamental transformation that Barack Obama promised he would do to us if elected. Obamacare was dealt in deception and confusion by flooding the public with an overwhelming amount of conflicting “rationale” via thousands of pages of unread (even by Congress) legislative detail, which is the radical left’s M.O. Obama promised the American people this wasn’t a tax and that he’d never raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000. We now see that this is the largest tax increase in history. It will slam every business owner and every one of the 50% of Americans who currently pay their taxes. The other 50% are being deceived if they think they’re going to get a free ride – because Medicaid is broke (broker than people on Medicaid!). Recipients of Obama’s “free health care” will have fewer choices and less accessibility ( even less than the zero choices the working poor have now!). Trust me (cuz I’ know stuff) – this much more expensive (free health care) health care WILL be rationed (death panels are coming for Trig!); to claim otherwise defies all economic and common sense (refudiate this stupid ruling!).

We will not retreat on this (lock and load!). A newly elected legislative branch (and the guy who gave us Romneycare) is key to defending our Republic (from evil affordable healthcare) and fundamentally restoring all that is good (white/Christian/rich) in America.

SCOTUS now rules this is a tax? Well, Congress has the ability to create taxes – and also has the ability to rescind them (ooh, big word!). Upon their return from the July recess, Congress should act immediately to repeal this terrible new tax on the American people, and indeed they must repeal all of Obamacare (including the really popular parts). This is the most brazen and sweeping new tax and government overreach imposed on us. We the People did not ask for this tax (except those who voted for the POTUS), we do not want this tax, and we can’t afford this tax (we have to subsidize oil & gas and corporations). This is not an answer to America’s health care challenges (not sure what the answer is, but it ain’t Obamacare).

It’s time, again, for patriotic (anyone who opposes hates the USA!) Americans to rise up to protest this obvious (except to the highest court in the land) infringement on our economic and personal freedom (to get sick, go broke, and fucking DIE). November is just around the corner. Today, the Supreme Court issued their ruling on Obamacare. In November, We the (real American) People will issue ours.

via Thank you, SCOTUS…..

According to the ACA, people will be required to purchase health insurance, but would receive a subsidy for the amount that exceeds a certain percentage of their income, depending on family size and income level.  Here’s a helpful example of a family earning 4 times the poverty level from The Berkeley Blog:

…a calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation says that would be $93,700 annual income– where the cap on health insurance costs would be 9.5% of income annually: $8,901.

The unsubsidized cost of that insurance would be $19,750. Under the law, this model family will receive a tax credit covering 55% of the actual cost, equal to $10,849. So, this family of four will receive a higher level of federal benefits for health care than they will be required to spend.

And the penalty if that family chooses not to pay for the mandated insurance? Just $2342– 2.5% of the annual income. So, if you want the freedom not to buy broccoli, you can save yourself $6558– and forego that $10,849 tax credit. You will still have to pay for your own health care, of course, so this is less about freedom than gambling. As was noted during the debates, health care is not like vegetables: you can go all your life without eating broccoli, but sooner or later, you will need health care.

An estimated 33 million more Americans will have healthcare after all of the provisions of ACA take effect. Families earning less than 133% of the poverty line will be covered by Medicaid (If states agree to participate in expanded Medicaid). Families earning less than 400% of the poverty line will get tax credits on a sliding scale.

Related: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/06/24/11-facts-about-the-affordable-care-act/

Obamacare Oppenents Vow To Move To Canada | Happy Place

A collection of tweets from people saying they’re moving to Canada to get away from socialized medicine.

via Obamacare Oppenents Vow To Move To Canada | Happy Place.

Ummm…do I need to state the obvious? You people assume Canada would even have your dumb asses. Such ignorance is breathtaking, yet not really shocking.

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS ACA!!

Contrary to the embarrassing misreporting of “the best political news team on television,” CNN, the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act. This decision was a surprise to many of the talking heads and so-called “experts.” The individual mandate was the most controversial portion of the act, but it was deemed constitutional as a tax provision. According to Chief Justice John Roberts:

“Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax.  This is sufficient to sustain it.”

Another key decision concerning the ACA is that the federal government may not withdraw Medicaid funding for states that refuse to implement it. Justices in dissent included Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, and Thomas. Kennedy indicates that they would have thrown out the act in its entirety. The entire ruling may be found here.

The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal

Microbe Mind Control and Poop Shakes

An increasing amount of evidence is coming to light suggesting that human moods, emotions and perceptions can be influenced by the type and number of microscopic life forms inhabiting our gut, according to an article in Scientific American magazine. Scientists say a time may even come when we treat mental illness and depression with probiotic supplements, and that the bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit our gut — making up what is called the gut’s microbiome — may be an indicator of our ability to handle stress and what diseases we will be vulnerable to over the course of our lives.

It has been observed in the animal kindgom that some microorganisms can influence behavior in their hosts. The single-celled protozoan Toxoplasmosis gondii has been shown to make rats less frightened of cats and perhaps even cause them to be drawn to the smell of cats’ urine. This makes the rat more likely to be eaten by a cat, whose digestive tract is a necessary stop in the organism’s reproductive cycle.

Some scientists, like Jaroslav Flegr, who was profiled in the Atlantic in March of this year, have theorized that Toxo can have a similar effect in humans, producing the “crazy cat lady” effect, wherein people become inured to the stench of cat wastes.  Flegr, who is himself infected with Toxo, has shown that people carrying the disease suffer from slower reaction times and impaired judgment.  Men who are infected with Toxo were shown to be more introverted, suspicious of other people’s motives and less concerned with others’ perceptions of them.  Infected women, on the other hand, were more “outgoing, trusting, image-conscious, and rule-abiding than uninfected women.” via Studies suggest that microbes can control our minds | The Raw Story.

This reminds me of another subject regarding how tiny microbes can have great effect on our health:

I am convinced, after reading several studies on this and similar subjects, that I know someone who could benefit from what I call a “poop shake.” The fecal matter of an individual with a healthy digestive tract is introduced into the tract of an unhealthy individual who may be suffering from an unhealthy balance of microbes. With an astounding 90% success rate in treating the notoriously nasty Clostridium difficile bug, it is much more effective than even the most aggressive antibiotic treatments, with no side effects beyond the gross-out factor. The “doo-doo donor” is often a family or household member, which optimizes results and keeps the exchange in the family.

Significant hurdles hamper this controversial treatment, the biggest obstacle being the FDA and the regulatory process. Insurance companies are not eager to cover a procedure that is not FDA-approved. Drug companies are not happy about the treatment, because poop is free, unlike powerful and expensive antibiotics. I propose that an enterprising drug company develop a “poo pill” that delivers all of the healthy microbes without the nasty smells and connotations that a fecal transplant entails.

Though it isn’t advised, one can concoct one’s own poopie smoothie using the fecal matter of a healthy individual and an implement to inject one’s own digestive tract. Having had a nasty case of Salmonella in the past, I can imagine that a prolonged and severe case of explosive diarrhea could lead one to take drastic measures. Thank goodness my illness lasted only a week, though it was several months before I could even look at a piece of chicken. It’s still my least favorite meat. Pray I never get sick from eating bacon…I love bacon.

Now, I know I have been making light of this subject a bit with my scatological references, but I truly believe that major advancements in public health are possible. Studies suggesting that children exhibiting symptoms of autism have abnormal gut flora. Unhealthy microbial balance is implicated in a wide variety of illnesses and ailments. Use of probiotics and fecal transplants could possibly change lives.  What do you think? Would you drink a Shit Slurpee if it would cure what ails you?


Sanford detective: Trayvon Martin never used deadly force | McClatchy

MIAMI — George Zimmerman had a broken nose, a bruised head and passed two voice-stress lie-detector tests in the wake of his deadly fight with Miami Gardens high school junior Trayvon Martin.

But police records released Tuesday show in greater detail how the Sanford detective investigating the case was unconvinced that Zimmerman was legally justified when he shot Martin. Detective Chris Serino believed Zimmerman jumped to a “faulty conclusion” about Martin, an unarmed teen who he said never used deadly force when he battered Zimmerman and caused him to frantically scream for help 14 times.

Days after several recorded interviews between Serino and Zimmerman were made public, the detective got a new job: On July 7, he starts in his new assignment as a uniformed patrolman on the graveyard shift, at the same pay.

via Sanford detective: Trayvon Martin never used deadly force | McClatchy.

Interesting developments in the Trayvon Martin shooting case. Detective Serino recommended a manslaughter charge for George Zimmerman, but was apparently overruled by his superiors and later reassigned. I can see how Zimmerman may have passed a lie-detector test indicating fear for his life during his altercation with Martin, but this does not mean that his actions didn’t directly lead to the struggle or that his reaction was not criminal.