God's Politics

God's Politics


Bush’s SCHIP Veto Is Morally Unacceptable (by Jim Wallis)

posted by God's Politics

As expected, President Bush yesterday vetoed legislation that would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).


At our religious leaders’ news conference on Tuesday, I spoke of the issues at stake here.



Jesus made healing a principal sign of his ministry and of the presence of the kingdom of God. From a biblical point of view, it is simply wrong when health becomes a commodity and accessibility depends upon wealth. Until something is done to make universal health care a reality in America, millions of families will remain poor. SCHIP is one bill – one program – to help fix the health care problem. No bill is perfect. But a bipartisan group of legislators think it is a good bill in the right direction.


To veto the bill, with no alternative plan instead – to simply abandon millions of poor children, to leave them to a market system that is failing to provide health care to enough people – is simply morally unacceptable. We must not allow this to become an ideological battle over the larger issue of health care systems. This is about a specific program for poor children that a bipartisan majority believes is working. This is not about health care theories – this is about children. And now, overriding a presidential veto will become the next faith-based issue.


Also speaking to the media were the heads of two denominations who also serve on our Sojourners Board. Sharon Watkins, general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) said:




Mr. President, members of the House and Senate, 9 million American children are without health care coverage this day. Those children are our children. God has given them into our care. We are the responsible adults who say whether they see a doctor or not. Our hearts need to break for them because they are our own. They are our future, and we need to give them a bright future. When historians reflect back on this era, do we want to be remembered as the people who turned their backs on the uninsured children of this nation?



And Glenn R. Palmberg, President of the Evangelical Covenant Church added:



An earlier administration, some 20 years ago, tried to declare ketchup a vegetable in the children’s school lunch program. It was seen as a cruel and cynical response to the plight of low-income children. I still hear that talked about as the legacy of that administration regarding poor children some 20 years later. I think this veto has the potential of being talked about 20 years from now as part of the legacy of this administration, and it is seen as a cruel and cynical response to the needs of poor children.


As the Congress now gears up for the veto override battle, I commend the words of
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), one of the primary sponsors:




I disagree with the [White House] legislative staff on all of this. Frankly, I think the president has had pretty poor advice on this. I can answer every objection that they’ve made, and I’m very favorable to the president. I know he’s compassionate. I know he’s concerned about these kids, but he’s been sold a bill of goods.



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Doug & Jan Parker

posted October 4, 2007 at 4:25 pm


Let’s see-we’re spending another $190 billion to fight the President’s wars of conquest, so we just don’t have the money to pay for health care for 9 million uninsured children…anyone want to still argue that the Current Occupant is a compassionate man?
Orrin Hatch is right…Bush leaves a legacy of war and misanthropy unequalled in American history.
Pray for Peace, and for our misguided nation.



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I and I

posted October 4, 2007 at 4:25 pm


OK, since another thread is opened, how about we get a few facts straight from the get-go so we don’t have to argue about things that were settled in previous threads.
1) The SCHIP bill does not cover children in families making up to $83,000. It simply gives the President authority to grant a state, upon request, a waiver to cover families making up to that amount. New York requested such a waiver for its high-cost areas and was denied.
2) Yes, Bush proposed more funding for SCHIP, but the amount of increased funding that the President proposed for SCHIP was inadequate. It cannot cover the increased cost of health care. More details at http://www.cbpp.org.
3) The argument that the Democrats did this only to score political points doesn’t hold up. Some of the most ardent supporters, and most critical of the bush veto, were Republican senators.
So now that we’ve laid these established and irrefutable facts on the ground, can we have a more honest debate than on previous threads?
Thank you.



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Al Shaw

posted October 4, 2007 at 4:37 pm


Keep up the pressure, please.
“From a biblical point of view, it is simply wrong when health becomes a commodity and accessibility depends upon wealth.”
Let’s not lose this basic concept.
American Christians – you are a massive force for change; will you exert that responsibility in this area of public policy?



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I and I

posted October 4, 2007 at 4:42 pm


And one more:
4) SCHIP is a block grant program to states. States administer their own programs with a set amount from the federal government. They also set the eligibility rules within federal guidelines, and can request a waiver from certain guidelines from the President based on a claim of hardship. It is not an “entitlement” program. And it certainly is not “federalizing health care,” as the President falsely claimed. In fact, it’s block-grant structure is often advocated by small-government conservatives.



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Wolverine

posted October 4, 2007 at 4:56 pm


I and I wrote,
OK, since another thread is opened, how about we get a few facts straight from the get-go so we don’t have to argue about things that were settled in previous threads.
Thank you for trying to keep this debate on an even keel.
The SCHIP bill does not cover children in families making up to $83,000. It simply gives the President authority to grant a state, upon request, a waiver to cover families making up to that amount. New York requested such a waiver for its high-cost areas and was denied.
In other words, under a Democratic administration (quite likely in 2009) states will be allowed to ask for, and in many cases will receive, waivers that will allow families earning as much as $83,000 to qualify for SCHIP.
Yes, Bush proposed more funding for SCHIP, but the amount of increased funding that the President proposed for SCHIP was inadequate. It cannot cover the increased cost of health care.
That is, if you accept the assumptions made by the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. According to the (admittedly conservative) Heritage Foundation, however, the administration’s proposals represent an entirely prudent attempt to keep SCHIP focused on low-income families:
http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/Medicaid/wm1348.cfm
The argument that the Democrats did this only to score political points doesn’t hold up. Some of the most ardent supporters, and most critical of the bush veto, were Republican senators.
The fact that a handful of Republican Senators and Representatives have crossed the aisle on this issue proves little. The War in Iraq got bipartisan support back in the day. That didn’t stop anyone at Sojo from protesting.
You may recall the old joke: In this country there’s an evil party and a stupid party, and every now and then they get together to do something both evil and stupid — and that’s what we call bipartisanship.
So now that we’ve laid these established and irrefutable facts on the ground, can we have a more honest debate than on previous threads?
All the rest aside, I appreciate your willingness to keep things on a factual basis.
Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted October 4, 2007 at 5:15 pm


Sorry ’bout the repost folks, but my original got caught in the spam trap. My experience is that once caught they never get out. Recent experience also indicates that your filter is prone to catch links to conservative sites such as National Review or Heritage Foundation, although this may have been coincidence.
Anyway, I and I wrote:
The SCHIP bill does not cover children in families making up to $83,000. It simply gives the President authority to grant a state, upon request, a waiver to cover families making up to that amount. New York requested such a waiver for its high-cost areas and was denied.
In other words, under a Democratic administration (quite likely in 09) States can apply for and will likely recieve exemptions that will allow them to provide coverage for children in families earning as much as $83,000.
Yes, Bush proposed more funding for SCHIP, but the amount of increased funding that the President proposed for SCHIP was inadequate. It cannot cover the increased cost of health care.
That is if you accept the assumptions of the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The Heritage Foundation (admittedly conservative but quite knowledgeable) argues that the President’s proposals are part of a prudent attempt to refocus SCHIP on chidren in low-income families.
The argument that the Democrats did this only to score political points doesn’t hold up. Some of the most ardent supporters, and most critical of the bush veto, were Republican senators.
This proves very little. Democrats supported the Iraq War back in the day.
SCHIP is a block grant program to states. States administer their own programs with a set amount from the federal government. They also set the eligibility rules within federal guidelines, and can request a waiver from certain guidelines from the President based on a claim of hardship. It is not an “entitlement” program. And it certainly is not “federalizing health care,” as the President falsely claimed. In fact, it’s block-grant structure is often advocated by small-government conservatives.
In block-grant programs, like anything else, the devil is in the details. Just because a program is funded via block grants doesn’t mean it isn’t an entitlement.
Wolverine



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Rachel Farer

posted October 4, 2007 at 5:32 pm


It is not for the government to provide healthcare. Christianity is not alone in its emphasis on healing. Religious organizations are in the perfect position to distribute the excess wealth of the generous to those who need it. As individuals, we have an obligation to be as generous as we are able, whether to a religious organization or other social or charitable organization. Expecting the government to do everything for us is how dictatorships are born. It is exactly that attitude that allows George Bush to carry out his costly adventure in Iraq even when most of the country no longer supports him. Once power is given, it is easy to abuse and hard to take back.



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justintime

posted October 4, 2007 at 5:39 pm


Wolverine is to the right of Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley.
I knew it all along.



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momagain

posted October 4, 2007 at 5:48 pm


Okay, lets look at the big issue, first if you want to make this a religious issue, I would say that the churches and their members should be taking care of their flocks who are without insurance. Universal health insurance has not been the answer in other countries, it has caused long waits and people processed as a number. Our children do deserve healthcare, I would agree, but our government was never established to provide all of this! Each state should establish its own system, and yes, they can… Maryland has healthcare for children and pregnant women. It can be done without the federal government over seeing the whole thing.
That is okay because as we keep giving our paychecks to the government in order to have them take care of us, we will be loose our freedom. When will everyone learn that depending on the government to fix things will only deepen our dependence on them. We will loose our freedoms.
I would like to see those churches who condemed Bush stand up and start taking care of their flocks. Shame on them for demanding the government do their job!



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justintime

posted October 4, 2007 at 5:49 pm


The SCHIP bill violates Wolverine’s free market ideology.
Wolverine trusts the free market to save the planet if only enough people would believe in it.



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Russell

posted October 4, 2007 at 6:22 pm


Bush’s veto does not mean he is against this program. He wants to expand the program too, just not by over $30 billion. He only wants to expand it by $5 billion. There is no moral issue here.
The responsibility to help the poor lies with the christian community and not the government. Please stop trying to make this a moral issue by making Bush out to be the enemy. He supports SCHIP, he even supports expanding the program by $5 billion. He just doesn’t support the legislation to more than double the program.
How is this wrong?



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neuro_nurse

posted October 4, 2007 at 6:34 pm


“The responsibility to help the poor lies with the christian community and not the government.” Russell
Where is the fruit?



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JWH

posted October 4, 2007 at 6:54 pm


Let’s not confuse our perceived fact that God’s passion for justice includes universal health care with the political issue of how can we best accomplish it.
US health insurance comes through our employment because of an accident of history. In World War II the government imposed salary controls. Businesses were desperate to hire new talent away from other employers, so they came up with “fringe benefits” such as health care that added to employees “income” without violating the rules. Health care became a fringe benefit incentive for employment, and was not a right.
There is nothing sacrosanct about delivering health insurance through employment. Nor is their anything sinful about delivering health coverage through private insurance, or religiously pure by delivering it as government entitlements.
We, who believe in universal health care, should get off our “holier than thou” political positions about the “how to deliver” health coverage justice.
We can be totally idealistic in our religious faith without being judgemental in our political responses. Let’s get pragmatic in our
politics about how to do it. God certainly doesn’t care HOW we do it as long as we get it done.



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linda

posted October 4, 2007 at 7:11 pm


I sense a Rovian play setup in Bush’s SCHIP veto.
Rove – the ungodly meister.



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marialynn1970

posted October 4, 2007 at 7:35 pm


Momagain-
I looked up Maryland’s program for children & pregnant women- much $$ for this IS provided by SCHIP and federal block grants.
Maria



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canucklehead

posted October 4, 2007 at 8:16 pm


>>>Universal health insurance has not been the answer in other countries, it has caused long waits and people processed as a number.
Posted by: momagain | October 4, 2007 5:48 PM
All things being equal, it has served us very well in Canada since the early ’60s. Please stop doing what too many Americans do so very well – pass judgement on that which they have no experience of.
>>>”The responsibility to help the poor lies with the christian community and not the government”
Posted by: Russell | October 4, 2007 6:22 PM
And, as Keifer Sutherland’s maternal grandfather, Tommy C. Douglas, a Baptist clergyman, demonstrated so impressively in our country, one of the ways the Christian community becomes proactive in a democracy is by legimately being elected to office
and incorporating Christian principles into duly approved policies that affect ALL citizens, regardless of financial or social standing.
You guys elect Christians to public office down there, don’t you? Well, sort-of Christians, kind-of Christians, anyway, at least people who profess to being Christian/born again during campaign season?



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Jan

posted October 4, 2007 at 9:17 pm


I have to
speak my mind here concerning GW Bush:
He claims Jesus is his #1 philosopher. But,
Jesus said: “Suffer the little children to come unto me…”
GW Bush shows: “Let the little children suffer under me…”
Bush prefers big bucks to bomb them off the face of the earth than to let children have the health care, food, shelter, clothing, education, etc. at the same time he gives lip service to being pro-life. Pro-Life?
How can anyone who is killing other people be pro-life? Someone please explain this to me. Please…please…please…I really do want to understand this type of thinking.



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handupnotout

posted October 4, 2007 at 9:53 pm


No child has ever or will ever be refused medical care in this country. Even those who’s parents are breaking the law by having them here. If you want to fund universal health care then by all means do it yourself, give everything you have, but leave me out of it, and for goodness sake don’t put the same people who bring us the post office and the BMV in charge of the emergency room.
Jan, it is so very simple. He is the president of the USA and he wants to protect us from suicidal maniacs and evildoers on their turf not ours. He is willing to kill those who choose to try to kill our countrymen and even thier own countrymen. Grown men who make maniacal decisions. Comparing that to trying to stop folks from killing baby’s who do not have any say in that decision is such a huge BUT typical liberal leap.
He doesn’t hate children, he has two of his own. What he hates is people like hillary and your cronies trying to ram government health care down our throats. Please take care of your own, give to your church so they can do good things and leave the goverment to roads and defense.



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Jeff

posted October 4, 2007 at 10:05 pm


The bottom line is the President has offered to sit down with congressional leaders to work out a deal. Maybe part of the deal will be not defining 25 years olds as children. If the Dems. sit down and talk, then we will know this is about insuring children. If they hit the talk show circuit and try to moralize, then we will know it was a cheap political game. Time will tell.
Hey Justintime, I love ya. But your getting a little mean lately. Sincerely hope your okay.
Jeff



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churchlady

posted October 4, 2007 at 10:28 pm


Handupnotout – Some American children are, indeed, refused medical care. We had a recent case in Houston where a child died because he had cancer and no insurance, and couldn’t get CHIP approved in time. (Emergency rooms treat “emergencies”, not chronic or long term illnesses.) Just wanted you to know.
But about leaving the government to roads and defense. I’m guessing that you think roads and defense are okay to spend our tax dollars on, but that it’s not okay to spend our tax money on health care. What I don’t understand is your criteria for deciding what’s okay and what’s not. Would you be willing to share your thinking about that?



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neuro_nurse

posted October 4, 2007 at 11:24 pm


“No child has ever or will ever be refused medical care in this country.”
You haven’t been to New Orleans since Katrina, have you?



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Cads

posted October 5, 2007 at 12:41 am


This is an issue begging for compromise, but politics has reared its ugly head again. Full-blown government expansion frightens the hell out of me, as true socialism never works anywhere. I think I’m in agreement with Jeff about what the Democrats might do on the talk show circuit. And yes, time will tell.



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kevin s.

posted October 5, 2007 at 12:54 am


“Jesus made healing a principal sign of his ministry and of the presence of the kingdom of God. From a biblical point of view, it is simply wrong when health becomes a commodity and accessibility depends upon wealth.”
This is terrible exegesis. There is no correlation between Christ using healing as proof that he is God and the government’s responsbility to provide healthcare. Wallis asserts it, but the scripture does not back it up. If anything, Christ was proving himself to be ABOVE the ability of politicians to heal.
Christ healed those whom doctors could not. He even revived people from the dead. I don’t expect much from Wallis on the theological front, but this is nonsensical.
At this point, we are looking at the difference between, what, 35 billion and 60 billion? Can we stop pretending that this constitutes the difference between obeying Christ and rejecting him?
“How can anyone who is killing other people be pro-life? Someone please explain this to me. Please…please…please…I really do want to understand this type of thinking.”
If you are opposed to legal abortion (for which the term “pro-life” is shorthand), I commend your consistency. If you support legal abortion than I would throw the same question back at you, and note the you support death on a much greater magnitude than we conservatives.
“We, who believe in universal health care, should get off our “holier than thou” political positions about the “how to deliver” health coverage justice.
We can be totally idealistic in our religious faith without being judgemental in our political responses. Let’s get pragmatic in our
politics about how to do it. God certainly doesn’t care HOW we do it as long as we get it done.”
This is the most intelligent thing that has ever been written on this blog.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 5, 2007 at 3:32 am


Amen Kev ..
We, who believe in universal health care, should get off our “holier than thou” political positions about the “how to deliver” health coverage justice.
We can be totally idealistic in our religious faith without being judgemental in our political responses. Let’s get pragmatic in our
politics about how to do it. God certainly doesn’t care HOW we do it as long as we get it done.”
This is the most intelligent thing that has ever been written on this blog.
Posted by: kevin s.



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Jacqueline Balyer

posted October 5, 2007 at 4:01 am


President Bush vetoed a bill that would provide health care to children. But, why should he care. His family is well provided for. He has plenty of money. And he can’t run for presidency again and he is already receiving low ratings; so he had nothing to lose by vetoing this bill. So, he threw a few crumbs to the big business leaders of our country by vetoing a bill that might put a dent in their profit margin.
And to think that so many Christians voted for him because he said he was against abortion. What a slap in the face this veto is to all those who really believed that he cared about children.
Be careful who you vote for; the health of our nation depends on it. Please don’t be fooled again.



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JamesMartin

posted October 5, 2007 at 5:54 am


Jim Wallis: “Jesus made healing a principal sign of his ministry and of the presence of the kingdom of God. From a biblical point of view, it is simply wrong when health becomes a commodity and accessibility depends upon wealth.”
Another poster: “This is terrible exegesis. There is no correlation between Christ using healing as proof that he is God and the government’s responsbility to provide healthcare. Wallis asserts it, but the scripture does not back it up. If anything, Christ was proving himself to be ABOVE the ability of politicians to heal.”
In reality this is excellent exegis. The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages (when there certainly was not a bright line between Church and State) basically provided hospitals and healthcare to the poor through Church-run hospitals. Despite its imperfections, the church understood that providing healthcare was not a commodity.
Unfortunately Jesus did not write detailed encyclicals detailing every social policy we should adopt. That ambiguity leaves a great deal of room for interpretation. That is what Jim has done and he has done it in a thoughtful and intellectually honest manner. Thank you, Jim, for an excellent post.



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Moderatelad

posted October 5, 2007 at 8:16 am


The Veto was morally correct. If the Gov’t ever got ahold of Health Care and screwed it up like they have SS – I believe a lot of people would be drinking the cool-aid.
Why will not Wallis talk about the idea of requiring individuals and companies to aquire/provide health care and make it to their advantage to do so. We require people to pay taxes, FICA, auto and home insurance. Your telling me that it would not make sence to put together a program that would require families and individuals to have health care and then maybe allow the premeiums to be let say – tax deductable? But then again – you will not have control of the people which is what I believe is the driving force behind the Dems attacking Health Care and their desire to achieve control over the people.
Just for the record – my Dad paid into SS for over 48 years and rec’d 9 monthly checks and one death benefit check. I am finding out that he is more the norm than the exception. With all thoughs years of paying into the system and getting so so little in return. By question is – Hello Nancy and Harry – where is the %^&() money?
Blessings –
.



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wayne

posted October 5, 2007 at 9:27 am


Moderatelad
You asked where is the blankety blank money?
Perhaps it went up in the smoke of bombs and guns.
Maybe nationalized health care is not the way to go. Although from what I have read the “long lines” statement from momagain is a complete fabrication, and canucklehead, who lives under such a plan seems to think she is dead wrong, but ask yourself, “Is todays plan really the best we can do?
Try getting seriously ill and you may just find that your private insurance, or what your company provided, works much like SS did for your dad. That was my experience with it. I found myself holding the bag for much of what the company plan should have paid for and had no recourse since they were self insured.
All in all God is good and we should be able to depend on our church families for help but few churches could carry the financial burden of even one seriously ill child, forget the cost of the elderly among them. It would bankrupt any and all churches, Mega and small.
Some problems just do not have easy answers.



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squeaky

posted October 5, 2007 at 9:36 am


Theophile,
Your great grandparents health care was far less expensive and far more affordable because there were no insurance companies driving up the costs. Doctors were paid less. There was less technology to have to pay for. The analogy doesn’t work because it was a completely different time. No matter how hard someone works today, no one would be able to pay for the cost of health care, unless they are very wealthy, without insurance.



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squeaky

posted October 5, 2007 at 9:41 am


Donny,
I wish I had a time machine so I could send you back to the first century Christian church as described in Acts. Was that not a “socialist” community? You’d think any “true” Christian would hail a move towards socialism since it more closely mirrors the ideals of the original Christian church. But then again, many would say “not if it is imposed by government.” Well, the moral majority has tried for years to use government to impose Christianity on this nation, so explain the difference.



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squeaky

posted October 5, 2007 at 9:45 am


“At this point, we are looking at the difference between, what, 35 billion and 60 billion? Can we stop pretending that this constitutes the difference between obeying Christ and rejecting him? ”
Amazing how those numbers seem so out of reach with regards to health care, but we don’t bat an eye when it is with regards to the military.



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Josh

posted October 5, 2007 at 10:06 am


Russell, you said:
“The responsibility to help the poor lies with the christian community and not the government.”
I agree, but, for the most part, the Christian community has not held up their end of the bargain on this one. Does that mean we should now ask the government to do it all for us? I’m not sure about that either. In general, don’t Christians need to start living in a more radical way…so as to address many of these issues, perhaps in conjunction with the government? Does it really have to be all of one or the other?



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James Palmer

posted October 5, 2007 at 10:06 am


Wolverine, I have to say I wish you and I could share a beer over this (or maybe a very strong cup of coffee). I think we would have a blast hashing all of this out. Seriously, though I disagree with you on just about everything, I enjoy reading your posts!
Now, having said that… You wrote:
“That is if you accept the assumptions of the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The Heritage Foundation (admittedly conservative but quite knowledgeable) argues that the President’s proposals are part of a prudent attempt to refocus SCHIP on chidren in low-income families.”
The CBPP is non partisan, but I am curious why you would dismiss them out of hand and then so quickly latch on to the Heritage Foundation’s assertions. They are openly and unabashedly Conservative and partisan.
Also, it’s hard to argue that the president’s veto was a principled stand against spending–especially when you consider the BILLIONS being spent in Iraq. Also, if it WERE an attempt to refocus SCHIP on low-income families, then why not leave it up to the states to decide what constitutes “low-income,”–that is, relative to their standard of living. For the president to stand up and say that 80,000 dollar income for a family of four doesn’t sound poor to him is to demonstrate that he is woefully out of touch with the economic realities most families face–especially in large urban areas where the cost of living is so high. 80,000 for a family of four might be a fortune–that is if you live in Crawford, TX.
The fact is that the number of uninsured children (AND adults for that matter) continues to rise. It will rise further still as employers start coping with the rising costs of providing benefits for their employees by simply doing away with heath benefits altogether. This problem isn’t going to go away any time soon. All the president did was stamp his feet like a petulent kid and leave yet another mess for succeeding administrations.



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kevin s.

posted October 5, 2007 at 10:14 am


“Amazing how those numbers seem so out of reach with regards to health care, but we don’t bat an eye when it is with regards to the military.”
I think that is a function of the purpose of federal government, and don’t find it amazing at all.
“I think I’m going to go somewhere and puke. God bless you all”
Translation: Some people disagree with me, and that is enough to make me want to puke.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 5, 2007 at 10:32 am


“Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2288
“The right to health means that governments must generate conditions in which everyone can be as healthy as possible. Such conditions range from ensuring availability of health services, healthy and safe working conditions, adequate housing and nutritious food.” World Health Organization
Health care isn’t available to those who can’t afford it.
Seek peace and pursue it.



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Jeff

posted October 5, 2007 at 10:34 am


James Palmer,
You said,
“The fact is that the number of uninsured children (AND adults for that matter) continues to rise.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the number of uninsured children has declined in the last few years. I’m not sure that could be said when Clinton was in office (but I won’t accuse him of not being compassionate, that would be wrong).
Jeff



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ds0490

posted October 5, 2007 at 10:55 am


“It is not for the government to provide healthcare. Christianity is not alone in its emphasis on healing. Religious organizations are in the perfect position to distribute the excess wealth of the generous to those who need it. As individuals, we have an obligation to be as generous as we are able, whether to a religious organization or other social or charitable organization.”
Then why are these organizations not doing it? Instead of building mega-church buildings that seat thousands, why are they not contributing money to take care of the needs of the legitimately needy in their communities? Instead of lobbying for tax cuts, why not make social program unnecessary by filling the need locally?
It never ceases to amaze me that the loudest voices against government involvement in meeting the needs of the poor are, more often than not, the most stingy when it comes to giving to churches and other faith-based groups that could meet those needs instead.
What is stopping Christians (or Jews, Muslims, Humanists, etc.) from pooling resources to meet the needs of these people? Nothing but themselves.



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joekc

posted October 5, 2007 at 10:58 am


“I wish I had a time machine so I could send you back to the first century Christian church as described in Acts. Was that not a “socialist” community?”
Yes, it was, at least sort of, and Acts quickly points out the abject failure of that attempt. They couldn’t even get the widows fairly fed! The major difference of what eventually became early Christian society was simply – – the giving was voluntary!!
Liberals on this thread are pretty much right – – we conservative Christians love to “talk the talk,” but coughing up what we should be giving is not something we are good at.
Conservatives on this thread are also pretty much right about some things – – we are right to be suspicious of a secular government that, over time, has shown itself to be interested primarily in its own self-perpetuation and enrichment, much more than such things as helping children, or anyone else, for that matter.
It may be wishful thinking to say, “If this is going to get done, religious people are going to have to do it, out of their (private) generosity.” But I believe that is true, and that belief is borne of pragmatism. Almost everything else (not everything, but almost all) that the government has “done for us” in the past has been a way of extracting wealth from those who actually produce it, and using it to enrich “programs” and the people who administer them. It may not have been intended to be that way by “well-meaning” people in the beginning, but that is the way it winds up. I cannot support that. But I will give a good share of my income to help a sick kid (or a sick adult) that I can lay my own hands on, take to the doctor, oversee the quality of the care I am paying for, and so on. Others are doing the same, I am sure. More need to.



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Moderatelad

posted October 5, 2007 at 11:00 am


Posted by: wayne | October 5, 2007 9:27 AM
‘Some problems just do not have easy answers.’
Not looking for the ‘easy’ answers – just not the ‘gov’t’ answer. There are other ways and people need to understand that they are responsible for their well-being. There are many people that do not have health care that could purchase it themselves and choose not to. They are in the figures for those that ‘do not’ have coverage. MN has programs for those below the poverty line – SCHIP is in my never to humble opinion – abused in my state as the majority of those covered by SCHIP are ‘adults’. But the really sad thing is that Nancy – Harry and Wallis know about this abuse and it looks like they don’t care. If it is for the children – then let it go to the children.
There are other solutions out there but the one size fits all mentallity of Nancy and Harry is what is killing our nation. Rather than making one answer for the situation which is no solution. Can we make the climate more friendly and competitive so that there are several answers for this issue/problem.
Social Security – money taken from people that died before they really got any assistance from it. The money is gone and the fund is a liability because the gov’t diverted the money that should be there – making interest for those who need it – to other interests not related to the welfare of the people.
Dept of Ed – loosing our standing with other countries of the world that know and understand that a Gov’t Agency is not the answer to the situation/problem.
The bridge colapsed in MN – where was the Gov’t on that one. Oh yeah – they diverted the money to other ’causes’ and put the public at risk.
Now Wallis and Co. want another Gov’t Agency for Health Care of the people. What is he smoking???
Blessings –
.



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Don

posted October 5, 2007 at 11:53 am


“The bridge colapsed in MN – where was the Gov’t on that one. Oh yeah – they diverted the money to other ’causes’ and put the public at risk.”
Yeah, like another $190 B down the bottomless Iraq rathole.
D



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handupnotout

posted October 5, 2007 at 12:14 pm


Churchlady,
The difference again is very simple. Roads are inter-comunity, interstate, etc. and beyond the ability of an individual to organize, finance and complete. They aid commerce throughout the country.
Defense must be federalzed in order to provide a united defense and to eliminate state to state infighting or unbalanced militia.
Healthcare needs vary by individual. These needs can be affected by bad personal decisions, and various other personal criteria. The government does step in with legal requirements of emergency care and with programs like SCHIP for children who’s parents cannot or will not provide insurance. Can we not draw a line at paying for inurance for adults who are ablebodied or for the children of parents who make 50k or so a year. (giving some leeway to the 83k figure that has been bantied about)
I would prefer we cut to the chase and just socialize everything. That is what liberals are incrementally trying to do with programs like this. Then I can just let the government pay for my insurance and food as well, and I won’t have to work so hard. Oh wait, who is going to pay for the government then???????????



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kevin s.

posted October 5, 2007 at 12:14 pm


“It never ceases to amaze me that the loudest voices against government involvement in meeting the needs of the poor are, more often than not, the most stingy when it comes to giving to churches and other faith-based groups that could meet those needs instead.”
The opposite is actually true. Conservative Christians give the greatest portion of their income to charity, largely because they do give money to their churches.
I do want to address this argument that the churches should be involved in caring for the poor, and not government. This is a false dichotomy. The government is at liberty to provide any number of things, and I don’t think they prohibit Christian charity in doing so.
I don’t see the scriptural mandate for government entitlements, but I don’t see where they are scripturally forbidden, either. Churches should be giving selflessly to the poor to demonstrate the power of Christ, which is our primary focus.
And a number of Christian organizations do precisely this, but this argues neither for nor against SCHIP, which ought to be evaluated on its own merit.



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handupnotout

posted October 5, 2007 at 12:28 pm


“It never ceases to amaze me that the loudest voices against government involvement in meeting the needs of the poor are, more often than not, the most stingy when it comes to giving to churches and other faith-based groups that could meet those needs instead.”
Wow! What a blatant falsehood.
Can I just spew garbage things like “it never ceases to amaze me that loudest voices for socializing medicine through our tax dollars are those who pay little or no taxes”



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James Palmer

posted October 5, 2007 at 12:28 pm


Jeff said:
“According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the number of uninsured children has declined in the last few years.”
Um, no… According to US Census data, the number of uninsured children under the age of 18 rose by 600,000 from 2005 to 2006–from 8.05 million to 8.66 million. BUT during the period from 1999 to 2004, the number of uninsured children dropped! Why? Because of increased enrollment in SCHIP and Medicaid. All of this according to U.S. Census data. Also CBO director Peter Orszag– has been quoted as saying that public programs like SCHIP and Medicaid are effiecient ways to expand coverage to children.



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Moderatelad

posted October 5, 2007 at 12:36 pm


Posted by: Don | October 5, 2007 11:53 AM
Yeah, like another $190 B down the bottomless Iraq rathole.
Still King of the one liners I see.
Have about the other arguments. What are you going to complain about when the Iraq war ends and our military is down to just an advisory level for assistance?
I was talking about entitlements that just seem to grow and feed on themselves and really never solve anything just manage it. There is no incentive in eliminating the problem when you develope a Dept in DC to deal with it – they do not want to loose their ‘gov’t’ jobs.
Blessings and have a great weekend –
.



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Russell

posted October 5, 2007 at 1:04 pm


Alphawolf,
Let me first state that i am not a Bush supporter and I believe he has not been a very good president. However, Bush does not support the amount of money that the Democrats want to put into the SCHIP program, he supports the program itself. That’s why he wants to increase it by $5 billion. What Mr. Wallis and many other media outlets try and do is to make it a “are for or against children?” issue when that is not the issue at all. Conservatives and liberals both care about those in need. The disagreement is just how each side wants to accomplish the needs. The government does not hold all the answers and we can not rely on the government to solve our problems. We have to take personal responsibility for our own actions. If a family is making between 62,000 and 80,000 then they should be able to afford insurance. If a family making that much income cannot support their family then they are just not respopnsible with their money. As Americans, we need to be more responsible with our money. The average American saves -2% of their income while the average Japanese saves about 18% of their income. We have to become a more responsible culture and stop this mentality of relying on the government to solve our problems. Our own government has been proven to fail when given these tasks and they will continue to fail because it is not efficient or effective to give these responsibilities to the federal government.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 5, 2007 at 1:31 pm


The bridge colapsed in MN – where was the Gov’t on that one. Oh yeah – they diverted the money to other ’causes’ and put the public at risk.”
Yeah, like another $190 B down the bottomless Iraq rathole.
D
Don what a perfect example of why government policies are dangerous , they are often carried out by politics instead of what is best for the common good ?
Of course blaming Bush is a liberal natural answer for everything , actually this had more to do with local control then Bush inregards to highway maintenance overview. . But still , it had to do with politics . Just think , you want people’s lives to be controled by government , they can’t figure out when bridges will collaspe on people , you want them in charge of heart transplants?
Wallis and crew have morally soured the debate . Could not government work with the private sector , thats me and you , and those mean insurance companies better , vouchers for the poor , I don’t know , but obviously the answers need to insure the facts are presented .
One Bush was for this bill , wanted 5 billion more in funding . So he is not against health care for kids is he . If the Green party wanted 40 billion more then the democrats and wanted to use a gas tax to pay for ut , would the democrats then be immoral. Have the liberals here have no shame ?
Democrats wanted more funding , and paid for it .
So far I am on their team .
They however paid for it with a regressive tax that hopefully one day will loose its ability to fund anything . Hopefully smoking will loose more members I wish they debated that , but got overtaken with the moveonorg political moral accusations and from this political organization .



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Payshun

posted October 5, 2007 at 1:38 pm


“Have the liberals here have no shame ?”
None and proud of it. I have nothing to be ashamed of. This president did not support the bill. He placed nothing in the shortfall to cover those children and he voted against it because of politics. That’s reprehensible. I am not the one that should be ashamed. That’s Bush’s job but wate he never shows the shame he feels publicly. Why should he? I really doubt he looses sleep over the fact that kids don’t have coverage now. All Americans should feel a sense of shame about that. Do you folks on the right feel that?
p



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Joe

posted October 5, 2007 at 2:19 pm


Sweet…more arguing. Let’s keep doing that instead of taking any action.



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Don

posted October 5, 2007 at 2:20 pm


“Still King of the one liners I see.”
Not really. But you have consistently been one of the biggest supporters and promoters of the Iraq war on this blog.
So it just seemed to me that you should be about the last to complain about lack of money to fix the bridge. It was the irony that struck me.
Enjoy your weekend,



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Anonymous

posted October 5, 2007 at 2:24 pm


Posted by: Payshun | October 5, 2007 1:38 PM
Do you folks on the right feel that?
No – and proud of it. (one retort for another)
Bush ‘did’ support the program just not to the tune of 60+ billion. Poor kids in MN have no problem getting coverage as we have two programs plus SCHIP. (the SCHIP money goes more to adults than kids in MN – but it’s about the children – correct…?)
If Nancy and Harry get their hands on Health Care and do the same to it what they have done to SS – we all will be dying at an early age. Canadian Doctor’s are coming to the US as fast as rats leaving a sinking ship.
There are other solutions to this problem other than another gov’t agency and I wish Wallis would understand that one. There is progress and then there is Congress – LOL
Have a great weekend!
Blessings –
.



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Coastie

posted October 5, 2007 at 2:55 pm


I have an idea, to assuage the worries of all the folks here that think Big Government is doing something that churches should be: Since conservatives claim to love efficiency, and since it’s very likely that one big entity could provide health care more efficiently than a hodgepodge of little Presbyterian and Baptist and Lutheran entities, let’s establish Big Church to replace Big Government. And in order to pay for this massive expense that has just been laid on Big Church, let’s levy a tax on every American to support Big Church. Finally, in the interest of preventative medicine, we could require that everyone buy little indulgences so God will bless their health. When someone achieves perfect health, which of course will be the new goal of Big Church, we’ll call it salvation.



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Wolverine

posted October 5, 2007 at 3:08 pm


James Palmer wrote:
The CBPP is non partisan, but I am curious why you would dismiss them out of hand and then so quickly latch on to the Heritage Foundation’s assertions. They are openly and unabashedly Conservative and partisan.
In terms of partisanship I would guess that CBPP and Heritage are both roughly equal, just on opposite sides. Heritage is also non-partisan, in the sense that they are not affiliated with the GOP but there’s no question that their research tends to aid and comfort Republicans more than Democrats.
Also, it’s hard to argue that the president’s veto was a principled stand against spending–especially when you consider the BILLIONS being spent in Iraq. Also, if it WERE an attempt to refocus SCHIP on low-income families, then why not leave it up to the states to decide what constitutes “low-income,”–that is, relative to their standard of living.
The thing is this is still federal government money, generated by federal taxes. The idea of block grants is that the federal government sets some broad parameters and then lets the states work out details of eligibility and administration. The federal limits might be looser, but block grant funds still have some strings attached. SCHIP is supposed to be a state-run program for providing health care to children from low-income families. The federal government can and should set up some boundaries to ensure that what the states do with this money is consistent with that aim.
For the president to stand up and say that 80,000 dollar income for a family of four doesn’t sound poor to him is to demonstrate that he is woefully out of touch with the economic realities most families face–especially in large urban areas where the cost of living is so high.
Bear in mind that $80,000 is higher than the median family income for any US state:
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/medincsizeandstate.html
Thanks for the compliment though. I’m always open to talking politics over a couple of beers.
Wolverine



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Steve D.

posted October 5, 2007 at 3:23 pm


I struggle to understand how it would be okay (even encouraged) for the government to intervene on issues like abortion and gay marriage, but when it comes to something like providing health coverage for everyone, many Christians and conservatives are reticent about this type of intervention. Why is the sexuality of a nation a moral issue, but the health of a nation is not?



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kevin s.

posted October 5, 2007 at 4:16 pm


“Why is the sexuality of a nation a moral issue, but the health of a nation is not?”
I don’t consider abortion or gay marriage to be sexuality issues, and I disagree that inefficient programs contribute to our nation’s health.
And can we stop bringing up the bridge, all the way around? Even if we had $400 million just sitting in a vault somewhere, it wasn’t going to fix that bridge because the engineers didn’t believe it needed to be fixed. Whether this was a grave error, or simply a fluke remains to be seen, and our engineers will make that determination, but the bridge game is just stupid.



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squeaky

posted October 5, 2007 at 4:50 pm


kevin,
What do you mean gay marriage is not a sexuality issue? Please clarify.
As for the bridge, yes, it is off topic, but in response to your statement: What I heard from both KSTP and WCCO news, as well as the public radio station out of Mpls when I was home in MN shortly after the bridge collapse was that engineers did indeed know there were serious problems with that bridge, but because of the costs involved in repairing the bridge, they instead opted to “monitor it closely.” They may not have believed it needed to be fixed in the near future, but they certainly were concerned about it, and had there been 400 million allocated to MN-DOT use for them to draw upon, that bridge most certainly would have been fixed.



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Jeff

posted October 5, 2007 at 4:54 pm


James,
So between 1999-2000 the number of uninsured dropped because of S-chip. So now apparently S-chip needs more funds, a fact the President acknowledges. So the answer is to add funds to the program, not stretch the income levels and age levels. Add more money so more more kids can be covered, it is that easy. And that is exactly what the President has proposed.
Wasn’t S-chip authored by or at least passed by a Republican House and Senate? So in all the years that Democrats held the Congress and at times the White House, they could do nothing significant to insure the poor.
Jeff



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wayne

posted October 5, 2007 at 7:03 pm


Moderatelad
It sounds to me that you need to take this problem up with your state legislature. If MN is not spend schip money properly wouldn’t that make more sense?
Here in AZ where we often fall behind Puerto Rico in areas of health care, the same cannot be said. Many children here are uninsured. As for the admonition for the church to do its job, we did. We started a medical clinic that provides basic health care for hundreds. The impetus was a child who had a broken arm but her poor mother had no way to get her treatment. After three weeks we finally got her the help she needed and then spent years just forming the Medical clinic. The job was massive and we are very proud of it, but when they are faced with something like a patient with Leukemia, well that is just not possible.The costs are just too high.
I wasn’t suggesting you were looking for easy answers but pointing out that dogmatic thinking makes it appear that way. Just saying churches should do this or that while children who are sick or injured go uncared for doesn’t make much sense, Biblically or otherwise.



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Steve D.

posted October 5, 2007 at 7:20 pm


kevin s. – you said:
“I don’t consider abortion or gay marriage to be sexuality issues, and I disagree that inefficient programs contribute to our nation’s health.”
First, I can accept that abortion is not a sexuality issue, but gay marriage certainly falls into the category of sexuality (among others). Beyond that, if the use of the word “sexuality” didn’t work for you…fine. You’re arguing about semantics. But you ignored the spirit of my post. Let me state it again; I would like to hear your thoughts:
Why is it okay (in the minds of many Christians and conservatives) for the government to become very big and involved with issues like abortion and gay marriage, but yet it should shrink and go away regarding health care for all. All three (life, marriage, health) could be considered issues with moral implications and yet government intervention is acceptable in two of them, but not the third.



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handupnotout

posted October 5, 2007 at 8:11 pm


Maybe I am way too conservative, I just can’t even grant you the inclusion of health and marriage with life as a moral obligation when there are so many factors of individual choice involved in ones health. We have choice of our personal care, our willingness to include insurance in our personal priorities, and our treatment of our own bodies. We are granted life liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. As for marriage it is a religious issue and should be and has been established/directed by the church as a man/woman relationship. The need for government intervention is related to the benifits of marriage that those who desire other forms of a relationship covenant. The word marriage is a spiritual subject, those benefits requested are a legal/government issue.



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Steve D.

posted October 5, 2007 at 9:59 pm


handupnotout – I really disagree with the way you’ve characterized some of the issues surrounding health, particularly the idea of “choice of our personal care” and insurance being a “personal priority”. I do, however, agree that marriage is ultimately a covenant before God, not government sanctioned.
But I ask again (because both responses have skipped over this part of the question) – why do many Christians and conservatives want the government to be heavily involved when it comes to abortion and gay marriage, but cry foul when some of us who are more liberal want the government to become more active in providing health care to all people?



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JamesMartin

posted October 5, 2007 at 10:40 pm


“Just think , you want people’s lives to be controled [SIC] by government , they can’t figure out when bridges will collaspe [SIC] on people , you want them in charge of heart transplants?”
This is the typical conservative canard. Point to empirical examples of when government fails to argue that government cannot do anything right. I just don’t buy it. You certainly haven’t been seeing the reports on insurance companies denying life-saving treatment to patients, or I guess that either you don’t believe those stories or you don’t care.
“Have the liberals here have no shame ?”
Nope. The liberals didn’t lead us headlong into an unjust and immoral war. Have the conservatives no shame?
“Wallis and crew have morally soured the debate.”
Wallis framed the issue as a moral issue which cast shame upon this brazen President. Wallis then is accused of morally souring the debate- nothing could be further from the truth.
“What are you going to complain about when the Iraq war ends and our military is down to just an advisory level for assistance?”
This rhetorical question implies that there is nothing wrong with the status quo in Iraq. Were you smokin’ the same stuff that Clinton didn’t inhale while he was in college when you wrote that comment?



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Anonymous

posted October 5, 2007 at 11:38 pm


Handupnotout,
Thank you for helping me understand your point of view. I like your blog name, having used the words in it as a kind of motto. Seems ironic that we disagree on parts of this issue.
In my own mind, health care requires federal attention, just like roads. Health care also has inter-community and interstate implications, because some diseases are contagious. Health care is also beyond the ability of most individuals to organize, finance or complete without help or cooperation from others. And also like roads, health care affects commerce, now and into the future. Consider that sick adults either can’t work or are not as productive, and sick children can’t learn as well at school. When untreated illness causes production (now and in the future) to go down, the likely consequences for our national commerce are not good.
When it comes to defense, I’m guessing you are thinking in terms of soldiers with guns and bombs, fighting off human invaders. At the moment, I’m thinking of defense against such things as drug resistant TB and those flesh-eating bacteria, and cell division running amuck, along with our ordinary rhinoviruses. These invaders require doctors and nurses with medicines and such. I agree with you that we need some kind of concerted, cooperative effort when it comes to community defense. Our disagreement seems to be about the list of things we might need to defend against.
When it comes to personal choices, I think you are right that people sometimes make bad choices when it comes to their health. However, nobody chooses to be born with bipolar disorder or asthma or any number of other health problems. And nobody asks for the air pollution that provokes respiratory distress in so many kids (as well as adults).
I don’t have any preferences concerning liberals and conservatives or socializing things. I’m never really sure what those terms mean to the person using them. My faith in the Way of Jesus does inform my opinion here: I want health care to be available to everyone who needs it, especially children.
My sense of the situation is that we’re all in this boat together, and we’d best start helping each other with the rowing.
SCHIP as passed by Congress looks like a pretty good deal to me, and I’m deeply disappointed in my President for vetoing it. I’ll be watching for whatever happens next.



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itsme

posted October 6, 2007 at 12:51 am


“Donny,
I wish I had a time machine so I could send you back to the first century Christian church as described in Acts. Was that not a “socialist” community? You’d think any “true” Christian would hail a move towards socialism since it more closely mirrors the ideals of the original Christian church. But then again, many would say “not if it is imposed by government.” Well, the moral majority has tried for years to use government to impose Christianity on this nation, so explain the difference.”
Posted by: squeaky
The Christian community in Acts wasn’t called “Christian” yet. And they were not socialists they were “pure” communists. If everyone in America and the world for that matter, were to follow Christ Jesus with power from the Holy Spirit, there wouldn’t be a shred of Liberal and Progressive filth anywhere to be seen. Just everyone doing the right thing.
Oops what about the couple (Ananias and Saphira) that tried to have it both ways; a little giving and a little keeping for themselves? See what happens when you take “liberal” avenues with “Christianity?” Now, now, now, not one “Christian” (actually follower of Christ Jesus in those days) lifted a finger against these people.
And thank you very much for proving that I am not making a false charge that Liberals/Progressives get away with pushing their religion through the “State” and Conservatives get hammered for even talking about it.
Donny



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canucklehead

posted October 6, 2007 at 1:15 am


>>>”Canadian Doctor’s are coming to the US as fast as rats leaving a sinking ship.” Mod Lad
Sorry to intrude some reality into your manufactured world there, Mod Lad, but, in fact, whereas what you claim was true in the mid-90s, a 2006 Ipsos-Reid poll here shows this is no longer the case. Indeed, the speculation now is that, given that the Canadian dollar has been trading higher than the U.S. greenback for the past week (first time in 31 years!) plus the desperate need for doctors especially in rural Canada, that trend will have entirely reversed itself within 6-8 months.
>>>”The Christian community in Acts wasn’t called “Christian” yet. Donny
And, Donny, get a life (and a Bible while you’re at it!) Sheesh!
Acts 11:26 When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers* were first called Christians.)



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kevin s.

posted October 6, 2007 at 1:39 am


Steve D.,
I consider the abortion and gay marriage issues to be wildly different. First of all, my primary concern with both issues is that the courts are overstepping their bounds. I believe both issues should be taken out of the courts, which will have positive ramifications down the road that extend beyond those two issues.
On a legislative level, the government has an obligation to prevent the destruction of human life. Given that I do not see any empirical argument indicating that a fetus is not a human life, I do not see how government can shirk its obligation hereby simply sanctioning the taking of that life.
With regard to gay marriage, the government already does the work of acknowledging and sanctioning marriage. I am simply asking the government not to acknowledge other definitions of marriage. There are plenty of people who may not be married to each other, so my vision hardly asks government to step in where they were previsouly not involved.
Government involvement in mitigating risk as it relates to health care costs has spottier precedent. I am not unilaterally opposed to governmental involvement, but I reserve the right to examine each particular bill on the merits. Spending tax money has a real, tangible cost, and if those costs outweigh the benefits, then it is a bad idea.
I think expanding SCHIP in the manner prescribed by Democrats fails to meet a desirable cost/benefit ratio. As such, I prefer Bush’s more modest proposal.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 6, 2007 at 3:05 am


“He placed nothing in the shortfall to cover those children and he voted against it because of politics. That’s reprehensible.”
Thats not true . Their was an alternative plan of Five Billion dollars that Bush supported . The fact that this is become a moral debate is based on the left’s situational ethics , as usual .
Example of situtational ethics displayed by Wallia and crew
The Green party offers a plan that exceeds the democrats plan , use Gas tax to pay for it . The democrats say no , are you going to call the democrats reprehensible . Of course not , you will support your Nancy , Barney , Teddy and Hillary
because you are not talking for children , you are talking for democrats and their plan .
Big difference is you can’t see it because humanism insulates one from it ,
.
The Green Party is not at as moral as the Democrat Party , all they would have are differing views on how much the program could cost . The liberaterians if they jumped in would see the whole deabte as anti freedom .
Hopefully we do the best we can .



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kappan

posted October 6, 2007 at 9:53 am


Donny said:
“The Christian community in Acts wasn’t called “Christian” yet. And they were not socialists they were “pure” communists. If everyone in America and the world for that matter, were to follow Christ Jesus with power from the Holy Spirit, there wouldn’t be a shred of Liberal and Progressive filth anywhere to be seen. Just everyone doing the right thing.
Oops what about the couple (Ananias and Saphira) that tried to have it both ways; a little giving and a little keeping for themselves? See what happens when you take “liberal” avenues with “Christianity?” Now, now, now, not one “Christian” (actually follower of Christ Jesus in those days) lifted a finger against these people.”
Is anyone else’s bullsh*t alarm going off, or is it just me?



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DA

posted October 6, 2007 at 11:31 am


Mick
Libertarians see everything as “anti-freedom. They believe things that have never been actually tried in any country that I am aware of and yet are adamant that their ideas work. This gives them a unique advantage. No one can actually prove they are wrong because libertarianism in total, has never been tried and is just pure theory or hypothetical, hence there is no evidence against them. They can believe what they want and always be angry that very few will ever listen to them. To me it has always seemed to be the ideal political path for the pissed off and frustrated, allowing for guys like Donny who can seemingly remain mad at everyone, everywhere and feel totally justified.



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kevin s.

posted October 6, 2007 at 11:59 am


“No one can actually prove they are wrong because libertarianism in total, has never been tried and is just pure theory or hypothetical, hence there is no evidence against them.”
I think this is a somewhat valid criticism. Libertarians have the freedom to hold contrarian viewpoints knowing that nobody will call their bluff. In some ways, this is healthy, as it introduces new and compelling ideas into the discussion.
I think some libertarians would note that this country used to have a substantially less burdensome tax structure, and that many of the things they advocate have, in fact, been tried. Further, it can be difficult to point to periods in history in which the government was NOT doing something.
I don’t think Donny is a libertarian, though.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 6, 2007 at 2:57 pm


No one can actually prove they are wrong because libertarianism in total
To me it has always seemed to be the ideal political path for the pissed off and frustrated, allowing for guys like Donny who can seemingly remain mad at everyone, everywhere and feel totally justified.
Posted by: DA
Hi DA ,
I think your right about liberatarianism, it has only been tries in degrees .
I have talked to some and they really are a interesting bunch . You can be very liberal in your soicial views , or very conservative and traditional in your beliefs , and politically join forces for the same policies , quite interesting . They never seem to get anywhere though .
I was always thinking the world would fall apart if some of the policies wanted were brought forward .



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Anonymous

posted October 6, 2007 at 3:23 pm


The opposite is actually true. Conservative Christians give the greatest portion of their income to charity, largely because they do give money to their churches
This is tree Kevin . I have often seen it pointed out with polical maps of red states and blue states . Had one liberal notate to me here that those red states had greater numbers of a serious STDs.
Most people who go to churches or who affiliated with a church are republicans . Reading the Bible and some of the major platforms democrats promote socially just are hard to balance for many of our consciences .
Going to church is a good thing ,



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DA

posted October 6, 2007 at 5:02 pm


Kevin
I do not think Donny is a libertarian, but I have run into a lot of folks like him who are. There are also many well intentioned Libertarians but I am always amazed at how strong they are in their contentions when they are unproven, and untested.
Yes we had less in the way of taxes in the past, but we also had a lot of bad things happen which then became reasons for new laws and new taxes.
If health costs continue to rise while the rich keep getting richer, and the less rich just get poorer or stay at the status quo, it will be impossible to keep a our current private health insurance system. Middle and lower class Americans will demand Nationalized Health Care.
The fact that they will do so, not because they want to take care of children who do not have access to proper medical care, but just because it is in their own self interest is very sad.



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Tom

posted October 7, 2007 at 12:34 am


Libertarianism is an unnatural philosophy borne out of extremist national socialism or the communist specter haunting America all over again. I feel very bad and shameful for people who cheer for this weak direction.



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Doug

posted October 7, 2007 at 10:45 am


Once again it I am amazed at how a site that calls itself a christian site plays with the facts to suit an agenda. On second thought that it was liberals do all the time so I am used to it. Here are some facts on the Schip bill. First of all President Bush does not want to cut the funding of the progam. He just does not like what has been added to it. Did you know that it counts as kids people up to 25 years old and that it counts as poor people making up to 82 thousand dollars a year. Since liberals do not bother with the truth or facts I thought I join the discussion. It really bothers me that christins would fall fot the socialist message but then again it was not unexpected as the bible does say even the elect will be decieved.



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squeaky

posted October 7, 2007 at 1:03 pm


Doug,
May the love of Christ saturate your life and spirit so that you can manifest that love in your actions, thoughts and words. I would not know you were a Christian if the only evidence I had about you was the post above. How can you restate what you said and manifest Christ’s love, even for those who disagree with you? Give it a try. I suggest first praying for those to whom you show your contempt (liberals and socialists)and having another go at it.



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James Palmer

posted October 7, 2007 at 2:45 pm


Jeff wrote:
“James,
So between 1999-2000 the number of uninsured dropped because of S-chip. So now apparently S-chip needs more funds, a fact the President acknowledges. So the answer is to add funds to the program, not stretch the income levels and age levels. Add more money so more more kids can be covered, it is that easy. And that is exactly what the President has proposed.”
First, the drop in uninsured during the period you mention was because of increased enrollment in both SCHIP and Medicaid. Not SCHIP alone. Second, the increases in “funds” that the president has proposed wouldn’t cover the program at its current levels, nor would it keep up with the rising costs of healthcare.
“Wasn’t S-chip authored by or at least passed by a Republican House and Senate? So in all the years that Democrats held the Congress and at times the White House, they could do nothing significant to insure the poor.”
Not that it matters, but I’ll play along. SHIP was founded in 1997 by Ted Kennedy with help from Hillary Clinton. As for the Democrat/Republican debate and who did what… I don’t really find that kind of comparison relevant or helpful. Your desire to make this a “Republicans are good and Democrats are bad” debate is, with respect, part of the reason I get so frustrated with many of the discussions on this board. I support Republicans AND Democrats as long as they share my socio-political perspective.



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Anonymous

posted October 8, 2007 at 4:02 am


Is anyone else’s bullsh*t alarm going off, or is it just me?
Posted by: kappan
Just you



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 8, 2007 at 4:13 am


Squeaky said
“How can you restate what you said and manifest Christ’s love, even for those who disagree with you? Give it a try. I suggest first praying for those to whom you show your contempt (liberals and socialists)and having another go at it. ”
You made this comment to Doug , whose commets are above .
I kept reading Dougs comments over and over again looking for what you meant ? . The blog started with Jim Wallis calling Bushes veto morally unaceptable , what Doug thought is good what Bush did , so is he immoral Squeak ?
I just thought it strange you picked on Doug considering some of the nastier comments being made , that showed no Christian Love at all .
When you start showering people with Christian Love , it looks kind of fake when it only goes to one political view point , and contempt for another . Maybe pray for Doug before your next post ?
;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
Well, the moral majority has tried for years to use government to impose Christianity on this nation, so explain the difference.
Posted by: squeaky
All Americans should feel a sense of shame about that. Do you folks on the right feel that?
Bush prefers big bucks to bomb them off the face of the earth than to let children have the health care, food, shelter, clothing, education, etc. at the same time he gives lip service to being pro-life. Pro-Life?
How can anyone who is killing other people be pro-life? Someone please explain this to me. Please…please…please…I really do want to understand this type of thinking.
And to think that so many Christians voted for him because he said he was against abortion. What a slap in the face this veto is to all those who really believed that he cared about children.



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Mick sheldon

posted October 8, 2007 at 4:51 am


For you conservatives who are so afraid of “government health insurance,” I just have 2 questions: 1) Have you ever heard of Medicare? (not to mention that members of Congress all seem to do fairly well on a government plan)
Posted by: Kay Shively
Kay the plan Congress has is nothing like medicare . Thats the deal , if we Americans got the perks that Congress got I think you may have made a valid point . Medicare patients are turned away in some areas . There are those who are for socialized medical care and oppose medicare and its present system , were you aware of that ?
I listened to an advocate for socialized medicine stated medicare for kids was aform of child abuse .
She prefered vouchers for kids ,
.
Unless something drastically happens with funding , medicare will be bankrupt soon . Talk about a looming disaster , this is worse then if Jeb Bush got into the Whitehouse .
You
and 2) Have you noticed what a “terrific” job the private sector companies have done, creating massive wealth for themselves at the same time creating a system no one else can afford?
Using the approcach that yout moral if you agree with me that this orgainzation has used is not the way to solve this , or putting down insurance companies . . I kind of like the piece meal approach , private sector , government support but thought out government support . One of the day care workers that works for my wife had to quit her other job so to enable her to keep her government medical care . I just think we need to figure out a way to encourgage people not to rely on government in a way that causes them to not to work , or controls their life . ,
With some insurance policies you can go to two different pharmacies , one may charge 100 dollars and another charge 14O for the same thing . But we pay the same because of our co pay . Putting us in charge as consumers makes more sense , force the service of medical care be concerned about keeping their prices competive .
Thats the conservative approach I guess The concern is having a medical system one day that is less responsive to the needs of its patients because of governent getting too involved . . Sort of like Social Security ,. put the same amount of money into SS into an IRA and you will be a very wealthy person .But we are so dependent on SS , it will never be revamped . We are stuck with it . I know I am depending on it one day . But that system could have been better , right ?



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DA

posted October 8, 2007 at 8:45 am


Mick
Social Security provides much more than just retirement benefits. It is a type of insurance program and for instance also provides in the case of disability. If you had to buy disability insurance that cost alone would probably take most of your SS taxes, leaving you with nothing to invest in your IRA. Your odds of being disabled for longer than six months are much higher than of your dying before reaching 65. Insurance is almost always a bad investment, but investments also make very bad insurance. When you need one of them, insurance say, your investments quite probably won’t do enough for you.
I am not for Gov’t programs to solve everything and not a great supporter of SS either but your statement about being richer from IRA investments versus SS is not an apples to apples argument.
Everyone will one day need something in the way of health insurance. Our current system makes it unavailable to many. Subsequently those who cannot afford it go without health care. Those most affected are often children. The SChip program addresses some of this. I have not read a single good argument here for Bush’s veto of it. All the hype about 25 year olds and 83,000.00 income qualifiers is nonsense. It is my understanding that the states individually decide who can qualify, under some Fed guidelines. If your state is not administrating their SChip funds properly take it up with your legislature, do not veto the bill.
For the President to cut costs here while his war spending is as high as it is and we have to constantly hear about Black Water and Haliburton (sp?) type expenditures is not defensible.
By the way a friend of mine who just got back from Iraq tells me Haliburton pays mess hall cooks $85,000.00 per year and Black Water mercs have all the armored Humvees they could ever want. He says they usually are unused and sit idle. His unit went without armor and he got blown up by one of those street bombs the insurgents make so cheaply. Two men died and your tax dollars are now paying for his reconstructive surgery and rehab.



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Steve

posted October 8, 2007 at 9:02 am


Why are the Republican oriented large churches and Focus on the Family-Dr. Dobson and his political guru Tony Perkins so opposed to expanding health coverage to children? They seem to be working overtime to support this veto…



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Steve

posted October 8, 2007 at 9:17 am


Forgot to counter this assertion made many times in the posts: “The responsibility to help the poor lies with the christian community and not the government.” But, the conservatives tell us this IS a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. So why shouldn’t we be consistent since WE are the government? All of us are the government. Some of us or someone we know runs for office from city council to school board. We elect the government and pay for the government. It is us!
The “government” is not some object on Jupiter. It is us, right here, right now. Shape the government to be more like Christians and assist the poor children first.



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John Rallison

posted October 8, 2007 at 9:39 am


Someone asked, “Where is the fruit [of the Christian commitment to the poor]?” Lutherans have hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, etc. all across the country. Lutheran Services America has a budget that is three times the budget of the Red Cross. The Seventh Day Adventist health system where I live in central Florida does wonderful work. The fruit is all over, but the PR isn’t.
If we are concerned about the morality of our country, we should not choose the theocratic, government coerced solution — whether Democratic or Republican. The morality of charity is based in thanks to God and compassionate response to fellow human beings. When you adopt a system of ‘charity’ through the government, participation becomes compulsory and the morality of the solution is lost. I believe that Jim (and the others) who seek a government-based solution have their heart in the right place, but their head in the wrong place. If as much effort went into educating the public and building private foundations for care of the poor as goes into all this lobbying, I believe we’d have a better and truly moral, compassionate way to care for the poor among us.
My two cents.



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squeaky

posted October 8, 2007 at 9:39 am


Mick,
I’m surprised you didn’t catch it. It’s comments like this:
“Once again it I am amazed at how a site that calls itself a christian site plays with the facts to suit an agenda.”
Which could be a valid comment, were it not for this:
“On second thought that it was liberals do all the time so I am used to it.”
So, all liberals do is lie, in other words. They apparently never ever have a valid point because they always spin the facts to fit their agenda. This is what that offhanded comment implies. It also implies that conservatives never ever do such things.
He goes on further to say:
“Since liberals do not bother with the truth or facts I thought I join the discussion. It really bothers me that christins would fall fot the socialist message but then again it was not unexpected as the bible does say even the elect will be decieved.”
He is saying that any Christian who leans towards liberalism or socialism for whatever reason are deceived. He is saying that the Bible is speaking about liberals when it speaks of the elect who will be deceived and drawn away from the fold. He is essentially demonizing all those who disagree with him.
What I would like to see from his is less labeling. He labels liberals as evil, as falling into the enemy’s trap, and therefore shuts down any conversation he just might have with them that could actually be constructive. He equates Christianity with the Republican party, and it is dangerous to equate Christianity with any party.
I hope that clarifies things for you. I think it is important to have these debates, but I think it would be far more likely to progress if we resist the temptation to judge another’s walk with the Lord based on their politics. That is completely unhealthy and ungodly. Would you agree?



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kevin s.

posted October 8, 2007 at 10:10 am


“Not that it matters, but I’ll play along. SHIP was founded in 1997 by Ted Kennedy with help from Hillary Clinton. As for the Democrat/Republican debate and who did what… I don’t really find that kind of comparison relevant or helpful.”
I agree with this. The two parties will advance or oppose legislation for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they want to paint their opponents into a corner, sometimes they offer it as part of a compromise or to stave off legislation that might be more damaging. Of course, they often simply support what they believe to be good legislation, but attributing virtue (a Godly characteristic) to either party is silly.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 8, 2007 at 1:02 pm


“Someone asked, “Where is the fruit [of the Christian commitment to the poor]?” Lutherans have hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, etc. all across the country.”
As have Catholics.
I’m the one who asked ‘where is the fruit,’ and you are right, the fruit is there be found if you look for it, but while these acts of charity are saving lives, they are not enough to solve the problem of lack of access to health care in this country (or of that in the developing world).
I don’t think any of us should feel secure in our access to adequate health care (I have student’s insurance right now, and my wife’s insurance is a considerable chuck of our monthly spending – we’re on shaky ground). Some of those posting here now may very well at some time in the future be unable to afford the medical care that she or he needs.
Seek peace and pursue it.



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James Palmer

posted October 8, 2007 at 1:48 pm


“I don’t think any of us should feel secure in our access to adequate health care (I have student’s insurance right now, and my wife’s insurance is a considerable chuck of our monthly spending – we’re on shaky ground). Some of those posting here now may very well at some time in the future be unable to afford the medical care that she or he needs.”
AMEN! I recounted in an earlier post–several weeks ago, how my wife and I are still struggling to pay the balance owed for the premature birth of our almost two-year-old son. I work and am insured, however, as many of you know, there are gaps in coverage and limits and ways that insurance companies can mitigate their liability. A two week stay in the NICU costs about 40,000 and we are now responsible for 8,000… Last winter my wife had an ectopic pregnancy surgically corrected and, again, we are in the hole a couple thousand dollars–though no fault of our own.
Of all the reasons people go bankrupt in this country, overwhelming medical debt remains in the top 5. Nobody should ever have to take out credit cards or put their home up for collateral to pay for medical bills. And, no matter what anyone tells you, 80,000 dollars for a household of four doesn’t always mean that you’re living the high life.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 8, 2007 at 3:11 pm


I hope that clarifies things for you. I think it is important to have these debates, but I think it would be far more likely to progress if we resist the temptation to judge another’s walk with the Lord based on their politics. That is completely unhealthy and ungodly. Would you agree?
Posted by: squeaky
Wow , I totally missed it . Talk about the plank in my eye .



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 8, 2007 at 3:28 pm


John Rallison,
Well said , your right so many of God’s people do such much work for the Lord without using it as a way to control government or promote one religion over another by use of government . I am also troubled when ever I see religion used this way .



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squeaky

posted October 8, 2007 at 4:14 pm


Thanks, Mick,
It is easier to see stuff like that from people we disagree with in the first place, and far more likely we will nod our heads in approval when someone we agree with does it. I hope I am as good at seeing it in people I agree with, but I won’t be so bold as to say that I am. It’s a universal plank, afterall.



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squeaky

posted October 8, 2007 at 4:21 pm


James Palmer and Neuronurse,
Very good points about the ephemeral nature of insurance. A colleague of mine who was on student insurance had a bear of a time getting the insurance company to pay for her medical expenses related to brain surgery. I would repost her account here, but it’s super long. suffice it to say, the insurance companies put up so many roadblocks that her school severed ties with that insurance company and contracted elsewhere.
Universal health care has its problems (is there such a thing as a perfect system?). However, the health care system we are currently under is far from perfect, either. It’s a wonder we cling to it so stubbornly rather than being more interested in developing a better system that works.



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Anonymous

posted October 8, 2007 at 4:29 pm


From QandO:
Per the Baltimore Sun they just couldn’t afford health insurance:
“Bonnie Frost works for a medical publishing firm; her husband, Halsey, is a woodworker. They are raising their four children on combined income of about $45,000 a year. Neither gets health insurance through work.”
A combined income of $45,000?
So what magic have the Frost’s been able to pull off with that $45,000 a year salary?
Well own a business, a 3,000 sq. ft. house, a commercial building, send two kids to a private school at $20,000 a year, owned an SUV and apparently somehow manage to convince the state that they were too poor to afford health insurance.
I’d also bet if the Baltimore Sun had actually looked into this, they’d find the Frost’s represent exactly what opponents to SCHIP have been contending would happen – middle class families finding ways of opting out of private insurance to take government coverage (although in the case of the Frost’s it may be more serious than that, they may have misrepresented their income to get the health coverage).



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Tr4p

posted October 8, 2007 at 4:32 pm


Form QandO:
Remember the Frost family of Baltimore? They had a bad traffic accident 3 years ago. Their medical bills were paid by the taxpayer-subsidized SCHIP. Democrats trotted out Graeme Frost, 12, to call the president mean for not expanding the program beyond what he was willing to expand it.
But all is not what it seems. Based a sympathetic Baltimore Sun story – reporters never question “victims” – a blogger did some snooping around.
Brutally Honest found that the Frosts (check out the kitchen) live in a 3,000-square-foot house in the Butchers Hill historic district of Baltimore.
The children attend the private Park School, where tuition is $20,000 a year each. Maybe that is subsidized. Interesting that public schools aren’t good enough for their kids but public health insurance is.
The Frosts contend they live on $45,000 and cannot afford health insurance. He’s a self-employed woodworker.
And they appear to be land rich, cash poor. He bought a building for $160,000 in 1999 and their house mortgage appears to be worth $200,000.
So what magic have the Frost’s been able to pull off with that $45,000 a year salary?
Well own a business, a 3,000 sq. ft. house, a commercial building, send two kids to a private school at $20,000 a year, owned an SUV and apparently somehow manage to convince the state that they were too poor to afford health insurance.
I’d also bet if the Baltimore Sun had actually looked into this, they’d find the Frost’s represent exactly what opponents to SCHIP have been contending would happen – middle class families finding ways of opting out of private insurance to take government coverage (although in the case of the Frost’s it may be more serious than that, they may have misrepresented their income to get the health coverage).



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 8, 2007 at 7:39 pm


What I find somewhat strange in this deabte is that the doctors as a whole seem not to speak out on it very loudly ? You have Teachers speaking out through their Union with Public Education , you would thinks doctors would have a insight to how to fix this mess ?



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 8, 2007 at 7:58 pm


And, no matter what anyone tells you, 80,000 dollars for a household of four doesn’t always mean that you’re living the high life.
Posted by: James Palmer
In many places in this country that is true James . But you need to see also that we are not just talkinjg about the Paris Hilton’s paying for Universal Health Care , we are talking about taking money from families who make 40,ooo a year with two or more kids who may have chosen a less paying job to have medical coverage. They are paying the tax to support the 80 grand a year guy . ho lives in a bhetter neigborhood , who has nicer clothes and a car to drive .
This is very complicated , but I hope that may help you understand a little bit about the alarm given to the high income levels . But your right , the kid just wants his fever to go away .
Having medical insurance linked with employment is a bummer in my opinion , but that is the system that we have envolved in ,
From my selfish view I would rather have a healthcare system that was universal , I could retire sooner , but with the price of medical coverage I have to wait to retirement age for medicare .
But the problem here is also like SS , minorities in particular see less of SS because they dy at a younger age . Government raised that age before to help with the fiancial crisis , we are living longer and that will hurt SS and medical expenses . If medical care goes higher , government in the past has been as ruthless as insurance companies , they just jack up the age of eligibility or maybe stop with with some life saving procedures ? Where do you think the better Health Clinics will still be , in South LA , or where the middle class lives . Thats one reason I am a voucher guy , the left does not see it with public education , maybe when it is linked to who is caring care for your sick child they may be more open to it . I hope so , I like the idea of choice , its part of the conservative culture I guess, I see things linked with freedom I guess, too many John Wayne movies .
I don’t know , look at Katrina , government had the resources , they sure did spend the billions on it , but many people sure do not feel like they were taken care of do they ?
If this happens , I hope they do it with many many voices and brighter light bulbs then me figuring it out .



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neuro_nurse

posted October 8, 2007 at 9:07 pm


“What I find somewhat strange in this deabte is that the doctors as a whole seem not to speak out on it very loudly ?”
“The [American Medical Association] is committed to leading the response of America’s physicians to solve the health coverage crisis for all uninsured patients.
“The AMA strongly advocates changes to expand health insurance coverage and choice to all patients, regardless of income or health status. We propose three specific actions to leverage the vast resources already devoted to health care and give patients more control over our nation’s health care dollars, without sacrificing personal security or choice. We also recognize that reform efforts must address rising health care costs and advocate strategies to achieve greater value for health spending.”
“The [American Nurses Association] believes that health care is a basic human right (ANA, 1989, ANA, 1998). Thus, ANA reaffirms its support for a restructured health care system that assures universal access to a standard package of essential health care services for all citizens and residents. The current fragmented system of employer-based coverage, plus government funded programs designed to reach targeted populations, is not a long-term, comprehensive mechanism for ensuring access to health care services.”
We are speaking out, but maybe you can’t hear us because our voices are being drowned out.
Seek peace and pursue it.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 8, 2007 at 9:27 pm


The following was reported in the popular press the day after JAMA published the issue:
“The United States spends more than twice as much on health care as the average of other developed nations, all of which boast universal coverage. Yet more than 41 million Americans have no health insurance. Many more are underinsured. Confronted by the rising costs and capabilities of modern medicine, other nations have chosen national health insurance (NHI). The United States alone treats health care as a commodity distributed according to the ability to pay, rather than as a social service to be distributed according to medical need. In this market-driven system, insurers and providers compete not so much by increasing quality or lowering costs, but by avoiding unprofitable patients and shifting costs back to patients or to other payers. This creates the paradox of a health care system based on avoiding the sick. It generates huge administrative costs that, along with profits, divert resources from clinical care to the demands of business. In addition, burgeoning satellite businesses, such as consulting firms and marketing companies, consume an increasing fraction of the health care dollar. We endorse a fundamental change in US health care—the creation of an NHI program. Such a program, which in essence would be an expanded and improved version of traditional Medicare, would cover every American for all necessary medical care. An NHI program would save at least $200 billion annually (more than enough to cover all of the uninsured) by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private, investor-owned insurance industry and reducing spending for marketing and other satellite services. Physicians and hospitals would be freed from the concomitant burdens and expenses of paperwork created by having to deal with multiple insurers with different rules, often designed to avoid payment. National health insurance would make it possible to set and enforce overall spending limits for the health care system, slowing cost growth over the long run. An NHI program is the only affordable option for universal, comprehensive coverage.”
Physicians’ Working Group for Single-Payer National Health Insurance. (2003) Journal of the American Medical Association, 290(6), 798-805.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 8, 2007 at 9:41 pm


See also:
Iglehart, J. K. (2007). The battle over SCHIP. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(10), 957-960. – Available on the NEJM website
Berkelhamer, J. E., (2007). Press statement on presidential veto of the children’s health insurance program. American Academy of Pediatrics. – available on the AAP website.



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James Palmer

posted October 8, 2007 at 10:16 pm


MIck, I am so encouraged and so hopeful that you ARE thinking about these things–struggling with them. I wish more in Washington shared your thoughtfulness.
The facts are that healthcare costs continue to rise, there are more children without health insurance today than there were a year ago (although, no numbers are out for 2007), and SCHIP–when combined with Medicaid, has been shown to decrease the number of uninsured children in lower-income families. There is also the strain that large numbers of uninsured cause to our state and local governments…
My hope is that we eventually move to a “hybridized” system–as in Australia. I believe that there is a way to provide healthcare in a way that combines elements of the public and private. It works in other countries. It’s simplistically cynical (and frankly, a little silly) to insist that it cannot work in ours.



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kevin s.

posted October 9, 2007 at 12:48 am


“My hope is that we eventually move to a “hybridized” system–as in Australia. I believe that there is a way to provide healthcare in a way that combines elements of the public and private. It works in other countries. It’s simplistically cynical (and frankly, a little silly) to insist that it cannot work in ours.”
It can work, but we should be honest to ourselves about the economic realities of such a plan, and make the decisions we need to make BEFORE handing the keys over to the government. If we want an affordable universal system, that will mean scaling back the quality of care for certain individuals.
The most likely candidates would be the elderly, for whom the care is most expensive and yields the least result in terms of increasing quality and duration of life. Senior citizens represent the most powerful lobbying group in the United States, so that solution is out the window.
So where do we make cuts? Tort reform isn’t going to fly with the Dems. Cutting children out of the mix isn’t going to fly with anyone.
I suspect that a candidate will promise to reduce expenses by removing “big business” (e.g. private insurers) from the mix. This is a fallacy, but people don’t really understand the way insurance works, and they resent their HMOs, so I suspect that they will swallow it whole.
And so we short circuit discussion, and simply embark on a multi-trillion dollar journey without really knowing how we are going to pay for it (with our pocketbooks or our health). At that point, it simply becomes a battle over how to fund it.
If that is cynical, then it is cynical. My cynicism is forged by observation. Public education works in Australia, does it not? It sure doesn’t work here. So there is some precedent.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 9, 2007 at 3:27 am


We are speaking out, but maybe you can’t hear us because our voices are being drowned out.
Seek peace and pursue it.
Posted by: neuro_nurse
Nope thats not it . In our state , the left has declared war on insurance sompanies , many have already fled doing business here .
This year a constitutional amendment is before the voters to really add the ability to sue doctors . The doctors spoke out against it , amazing the voice that is drowning out the doctors here is the voices speaking out to penalize the evil isurance companies .
Activists for universal care in this state could not care less about the AMA . . Like I said , its too complicated for me .



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 9, 2007 at 3:37 am


My hope is that we eventually move to a “hybridized” system–as in Australia
Thanks James , that was kind . I agree with you here also , I favor using what works , and throwing away what does not .
I am uneducated about the Austrailian system . Unfortunately it appears the politics here have never been more polarizing then now .
Having this come before Congress now will be a circus I fear . Look here in our conversations , we have people who are suppose to be of the same faith declaring who is more moral by whose opinion you follow , I heard the word criminal used .
Yikes criminals and immorality , well I guess this is a job for Congress. ;o}
Take care , Mick



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James Palmer

posted October 9, 2007 at 8:00 am


“Yikes criminals and immorality , well I guess this is a job for Congress. ;o}”
Ha! For sure MIck… As I said, healthcare is an issue that affects us all in ways we could never imagine. It’s time something was done…



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Tony

posted October 9, 2007 at 10:07 am


And the fact that we’re about to send the Osprey, a failed 25-year project that has claimed 30 lives and $20 billion to Iraq is why we can’t “afford” SCHIP.
If we’re going to be in debt trillions of dollars, I don’t want it to be for a plane that can’t even safely take off in the desert or even have a stinkin’ toilet built in it.
I’d rather spend money on something that directly benefits the public instead of contractors’ and politicians’ wallets.
Its got bi-partisan support! Come on! President Bush has got to redefine what “fiscal responsibility” really means.



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kappan

posted October 9, 2007 at 2:09 pm


Some no name DB said:
“Is anyone else’s bullsh*t alarm going off, or is it just me?
Posted by: kappan
Just you”
If you want to make smart-ass remarks, at least have the balls to put a name down.



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Kevin Wayne

posted October 9, 2007 at 2:22 pm


Wolverine wrote:
In other words, under a Democratic administration (quite likely in 2009) states will be allowed to ask for, and in many cases will receive, waivers that will allow families earning as much as $83,000 to qualify for SCHIP.
What a load of spurrious B.S. :-D Don’t worry, that “likley” individual will likely be Hillary, and she’ll capitulate to the Right just as much as she & her husband always have.



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Screwtape

posted October 9, 2007 at 2:33 pm


Very good! Name calling, cursing, and outright disunity! This is the church as I’ve envisioned it. Keep up the good work, all of you.



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Kevin Wayne

posted October 9, 2007 at 2:41 pm


Kevin S wrote:
I do want to address this argument that the churches should be involved in caring for the poor, and not government. This is a false dichotomy. The government is at liberty to provide any number of things, and I don’t think they prohibit Christian charity in doing so.
I don’t see the scriptural mandate for government entitlements, but I don’t see where they are scripturally forbidden, either. Churches should be giving selflessly to the poor to demonstrate the power of Christ, which is our primary focus.
Very good. Thanks for that.



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handupnotout

posted October 10, 2007 at 8:07 am


Re-reading the string after a couple days off line. The misinformation is stunning.
ON the record, Bush supports the program and an increase in the budget for it, he simply DISAGREES with the democratic funding position. As always if you disagree with all knowing liberals DETAILS, you folks jump straight to hating children.
On the record, the war in Iraq was voted on by both parties, who had the same intelligence. And none of the key Democratic candidates will commit to pulling out if elected.
As far as the oft repeated question “why do conservitives have an issue with taking care of the children? We don’t, at least I don’t,I take care of mine. I simply don’t believe that health care should be handled by the government. Why am I, or GW for that matter, evil for having the DIFFERENT opinion that government intervention is not the answer?
Are those of you so adamant in calling conservitives names because we disagree with you on this issue doing all you can do with your personal funds to take care of those less fortunate in your area, through personal deeds or your church? Or are you just sleeping better by talking about how you support forcibly making others cough it up.



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John Rallison

posted October 10, 2007 at 1:48 pm


Kevin Wayne wrote:
——————
I don’t see the scriptural mandate for government entitlements, but I don’t see where they are scripturally forbidden, either. Churches should be giving selflessly to the poor to demonstrate the power of Christ, which is our primary focus.
——————
I agree that scripture doesn’t directly address the role of government in health care. Some see this as a justice issue. The primary scriptural teaching that leads me away from government funded healthcare is the fall into sin. Centralizing something like health care can seem like a good idea. And might even work well with the correct leadership. The long-term problem is that when you centralize anything, you add power to the leaders of that thing. when you add power, power-seeking people begin to seek those positions. That is the reason communism doesn’t work. There are always people who want to be on top and will work within whatever system there is to get there. In the USSR, you got to the top by spouting party lines and subtly working against and round those around you. If you were powerful enough and cunning enough, you made your way to the top. That’s why popular elections and term limits are so important. On the healthcare side of things, I am not immune to the emotion that tugs at my heart to put some system in place. However, human nature being what it is, even a centralized system that works well in the short term will not work well in the long term. Therefore I am against it.



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Kevin Wayne

posted October 15, 2007 at 7:37 pm


John- that was Kevin S. that was being quoted about scriptural mandates, not me.



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Mary O'Shea

posted December 10, 2007 at 2:17 pm


I am writing this after having recently attended my High School Reunion in Ireland, Class of 1958. I asked all of my classmates and relatives about how their National Health Scheme operates. Universally, they spoke of the need to pay for private insurance in order to avoid long waits for medical appointments and lab tests, CT scans etc. on top of a VAT tax on retail goods plus a much higher marginal tax rate than we would find comfortable. No free lunch, folks! MaryO



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