God's Politics

God's Politics


What Happened to Compassionate Conservatism? (By Jim Wallis)

posted by gp_editor

This article also appeared today at Time.com
When I first heard that President Bush was vowing to veto a bipartisan bill to expand child healthcare, my immediate thought was more personal than political. What has happened to him?, I wondered. Now that he has followed through on his threat, I can’t help but think about the first time we met and the conversation we had about children.
Just one day after Bush secured his election in December 2000, I received a phone call inviting me to Austin to meet with him and a small group of religious leaders. The president-elect wanted to discuss his oft-stated passion for really tackling the persistent problem of poverty and to tell us about his vision for “faith-based initiatives.” I had not voted for George W. Bush, and that fact was no secret to him or his staff. But he reached out to me, and to others in the faith community across the political spectrum, because we shared a common concern. I was impressed by that, and by the topic of gathering down in Austin.
Those of us who had been summoned to Texas filed into a little Sunday School classroom at First Baptist, Austin, where we would meet with Bush. I had preached at the church before and knew the pastor, who told me how puzzled he was that his quite “progressive” church was chosen for the meeting. Inside the classroom, twenty-five of us were seated in chairs, chatting and not knowing what to expect, when Bush walked in without any great introduction. He took a seat and told us that he just wanted to listen to our concerns, to hear what we thought the solutions were for dealing with poverty in America.
And he really did listen, more than presidents often do. He also asked questions. One sounded lofty, yet it resonated with those of us seated around the room: “How do I speak to the soul of America?” My answer to that was simple: Focus on the children. Their plight is our shame, I told him, and their promise is our future. Reach them and you reach our soul. Bush nodded in agreement. The conversation was rich and deep for more than an hour and a half.
When the discussion officially ended, Bush moved around the room, talking with us individually or in small groups for another hour. I could see that his staff was anxious to whisk him away (cabinet appointments were being made that week and there were key departments yet to fill). Yet he lingered and continued to ask questions. At one point, he turned to me and said, with what I could only read as complete sincerity, “Jim, I don’t understand poor people. I’ve never lived with poor people or been around poor people much. I don’t understand what they think and feel about a lot of things. I’m just a white Republican guy who doesn’t get it. How do I get it?”
I still recall the intense and earnest look on his face as he stared right into my eyes and asked his question. It was a moment of humility and candor that, frankly, we don’t often see with Presidents.
My response to President-elect Bush was borne of my own experience. He should, I suggested, listen to poor people themselves, and pay attention to those who live and work with the poor. Again, he nodded his head; again, he seemed to agree. When I returned home, I told my wife Joy, also a clergyperson, about our conversation. Weeks later, we listened together to President Bush’s first inaugural address. When he said, “America, at its best, is compassionate. In the quiet of American conscience, we know that deep, persistent poverty is unworthy of our nation’s promise. And whatever our views of its cause, we can agree that children at risk are not at fault….Many in our country do not know the pain of poverty, but we can listen to those who do,” my wife poked me in the ribs and smiled.
Bush talked more about poverty in that inaugural address than any president had for a long time. When I said so in a newspaper column soon after, my Democratic friends were not pleased. Nor did they like the fact that I started attending meetings at the White House with the President and members of his staff about how to best construct a “faith-based initiative.” Other friends of mine, however, were appointed to lead and staff the new Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the first the White House had ever seen. We brought many delegations of religious leaders—conservative, liberal, and everything in-between—to meet with the men and women who ran that office. Many of us dared hope that something new might be in the air.
But that was a long time ago. We don’t hear much about that office or initiative anymore. Most of my friends have long left. I don’t hear about meetings now. The phrase “compassionate conservatism” rarely passes the lips of anyone at the White House these days.
And now, the President has vetoed a bipartisan measure to expand health insurance for low-income children. Most of his expressed objections to the bill have been vigorously refuted by Republican Senators who helped craft the legislation. Members of his own party have vowed to lobby their colleagues in an effort to override the veto. During his first presidential campaign, Bush chided conservative House Republicans for spending cuts accomplished on the backs of the poor. Now congressional Republicans are chiding him.
What happened to this president? The money needed for expanding health care to poor children in America is far less than the money that has been lost and wasted on corruption in Iraq. How have the priorities strayed so far from those children, whom he once agreed were so central to the soul of the nation? What do they need to do to get the President’s attention again?
The faithful—of all creeds and political affiliations—barraged the White House last week, imploring the President to reconsider his veto threat. Our efforts did not bear fruit. But I wonder if, before he put his veto stamp on that legislation, the President thought back to that little meeting in a Baptist Sunday school classroom, not far from where he grew up. I wonder if he remembered that day, what we talked about, what was on his heart, and how much hope there was in the room.
If he knows his Bible, the President should remember that Jesus said to suffer the little children. This, however, isn’t exactly what he meant.



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Payshun

posted October 3, 2007 at 5:35 pm


It never existed in the first place.
p



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Wolverine

posted October 3, 2007 at 6:52 pm


Jim,
C’mon, by now you should realize that Bush disagrees with you about the best way to provide health care to poor children. He is not opposed to SCHIP and he is willing to expand it — he just isn’t convined that your program for expanding SCHIP is wise. And he has a valid point: kids in families earning $80 grand are not exactly what I would call poor.
Now if his facts are wrong, tell us why. But otherwise quit pretending that this is some huge betrayal of Christian charity.
Wolverine



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ds0490

posted October 3, 2007 at 7:13 pm


Well, the President may just have given the Democrats the ammo they need to not only take over the White House but also get veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress. This issue has legs here in the midwest, and lots of moms are talking about it.
If Bush wanted to expand SCHIP, why did he only offer $5 billion in his budget proposal?
If you want to fund SCHIP fully, completely, without any negative effect on the budget, all you need to do is fully investigate the fraud taking place in the government contracts being awarded to Halliburton, Blackwater, and the other contractors in Iraq. Cut that waste and you could pay for SCHIP at $40 billion a year several times over.
Of course, the GOP would rather tax dollars line the pockets of war profiteers than parents trying to get healthcare for their kids.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 3, 2007 at 7:15 pm


Interesting to find out Bush was for this program , but not willing to give it as much money as the left was , you had to find out from different sources then Sojourners.
Then the funding for this program comes from smokers . Which are three times more likey to be HS dropouts then college graduates .
So now we are taxing the poor , to help the poor ? And the taxing method is one that all Christians , maybe not Wallis , wish one day would dry upfrom people quiting the practice .
I still think this is a good program , but must admit seeing the way Wallis debates issues , even when I agree tend to be intellectually dishonest .



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DR STRANGELOVE

posted October 3, 2007 at 7:50 pm


Of course, the GOP would rather tax dollars line the pockets of war profiteers than parents trying to get healthcare for their kids.
Posted by: ds0490
Thanks for that point , obviously the compassionate liberal view point .



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Gwyddion9

posted October 3, 2007 at 8:05 pm


Compassionate Conservatism?
sorry, was never real. nor do i see a compassionate democratic party. to me, the whole this is like political correctness…as long as it looks and appears okay, that’s all that matters. substance, doesn’t matter, just appearance.
Ron



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 3, 2007 at 8:47 pm


The Schip program was never true “compassionate conservatism” in the original context of the phrase — the concept was popularized by right-wing magazine editor Marvin Olasky, who proposed replacing government social-welfare programs with church-based, government-funded charities.
But there was a specific, often-overlooked motivation to that: Hopefully, many of the poor would get “saved,” cleaning up the ‘hood and not bothering anyone anymore. You see, Olasky proposed that government money go only to churches and (maybe) synagogues — no mosques or institutions representing any other religion, and no secular agencies.
That’s not all — some of the most vocal critics of the conservative agenda were black pastors who worked directly with the poor in those neighborhoods, and part of the goal of “compassonate conservatism” was to bring them into compliance or, at the very least, silence them.
Basically, we’re talking about using religion to control people’s behavior instead of doing real ministry that gives people hope for the future. It was thus fraudulent from the get-go.



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kevin s.

posted October 3, 2007 at 9:34 pm


Dude, is Sojo getting paid to hit this issue or what? This is the same thing he said two days ago.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 3, 2007 at 9:34 pm


“So now we are taxing the poor , to help the poor ?”
In 1970 the average cost per pack was $0.38, the average tax per pack was $0.18, tax as a percentage of retail price (on the average) was 46.9%
In 2000 the average cost per pack was $3.16, the average tax per pack was $0.76, tax as a percentage of retail price (on the average) was 23.4%
‘[S]tate and federal excise taxes increased moderately between 1970 and 2000, and cost per pack steeply increased during that time period[.]”
CDC, “Trends in State and Federal Cigarette Tax and Retail Price—United States, 1970–2000” (http://www).cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/tables/economics/cigtax.htm
“Since the 1950s, when studies linking lung cancer with cigarette smoking were first published, efforts to discourage smoking have increased substantially. These efforts have included mandatory warning labels on cigarette packs, physicians’ advice to quit, antismoking advertising, worksite smoking-cessation programs, increased restriction on places to smoke, reduced insurance premiums for nonsmokers, and increased taxes on cigarettes.
“The largest decrease in cigarette sales occurred during 1982-1984, concurrent with the largest cigarette tax increases: Wisconsin tax, from 16 cents to 25 cents per pack in 1981-1982 and federal tax, from 8 cents to 16 cents per pack in 1983.”
CDC, “Trends in Cigarette Smoking — Wisconsin, 1950-1988” (http://www).cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00001494.htm



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justintime

posted October 3, 2007 at 10:09 pm


Compassionate conservatism is an oxymoron and a cruel, bait-and-switch hoax perpetrated on the American public by the Bush crime syndicate.
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. – Abraham Lincoln



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Moderatelad

posted October 3, 2007 at 10:54 pm


Compassionate conservatism is like Moral Liberalism. It works for some and not for others.
Do have a nice day –
.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 3, 2007 at 11:15 pm


“The largest decrease in cigarette sales occurred during 1982-1984, concurrent with the largest cigarette tax increases: Wisconsin tax, from 16 cents to 25 cents per pack in 1981-1982 and federal tax, from 8 cents to 16 cents per pack in 1983
Your defending this revenue source for caring for the children ? Obviously you realize that the belief that somkers will continue to support it , which means the poor in a larger percentage of the numbers , and then the larger percentage of their incomes go to smoking in regards to the rich who smoke .
Its a regressive tax .
To me this shows why politics is so devisive to some , it causes good people to defend bad taxing methods, bad policy , and close their eyes to issues of government sponsored abortion and such based on political loyalty .



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Bob

posted October 3, 2007 at 11:40 pm


You raise a very important about the profound change in this President. I feel completely dumfounded and betrayed by this man. It’s kind of the like the movie “Dave” in reverse, only the nice guy has been replaced by a mean one.



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Anonymous

posted October 3, 2007 at 11:41 pm


Mick,
Let me spell it out for you: people quit smoking when cigarette taxes are increased. From a public health perspective, that’s a good thing.



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Russell

posted October 4, 2007 at 12:21 am


IF we get our facts straight then we will find out that Bush does want to expand SCHIP. The problem is that he wants to expand it by $5 billion and not $35 billion. The program costs $25 billion now and Democrats want to expand it by $35 billion? I actually side with Mr. Bush on this one, and I am not a Bush supporter. We cannot make people more dependent on the government. This is a democracy which relies on the free market. This is not a Socialist country! Why do people want to move toward Socialism?
The problem here is that liberals are making Bush look like he hates kids or something when the fact is he wants to expand SCHIP as well, he just doesn’t want to double the size of the prgram. Why do we have to demonize people on the opposite sides of the political spectrum? I don’t hate conservatives or liberals. I would consider myself a moderate leaning a little to the right. We must get beyond this childish behavior. I think liberals care about poor kids and I think that conservatives care about poor kids. It is fine, and necessary, but let’s not attack someone’s charactet just because you disagree with someone’s policy. Is anyone else tired of hearing talk show hosts on both sides talk about their opponents as trash or scum(O’Reilly v. Olbermann, Savage v. everybody, Bill Maher, etc.)? I have heard that retoric many times from both sides.
I thought the progressive christian movement was above all that.



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Charity

posted October 4, 2007 at 1:27 am


Well, it is true that the arguement was over the amount of increasing the SCHIP program. On the on other hand…. Secretary Gates asked Congress for the 3rd supplemental to fund the war in Iraq – 3rd time this year – and how much was that?
As for compassionate conservatism – what it seems to me is “We’ll feel sorry for you, but don’t expect us to actually DO anything!”
You know, Warren Buffet (during a meeting with some shareholders or something) offered 1 million dollars to anyone there who could actually prove that they pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than there housekeepers.
So far, no one has collected. – THAT’S shameful.



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Anonymous

posted October 4, 2007 at 4:10 am


Mick,
Let me spell it out for you: people quit smoking when cigarette taxes are increased. From a public health perspective, that’s a good thing.
Posted by:
Oh , then the tax source for the children is not one that can be releyed on . So not only anom are you advocating for a policy that has a goal of stopping the tax source of smoking , you advocate the source to be by the poor .
You must be an advocate for the left , because then this all makes sense .



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Mick SSheldon

posted October 4, 2007 at 4:12 am


Mick,
Let me spell it out for you: people quit smoking when cigarette taxes are increased. From a public health perspective, that’s a good thing.
Posted by:
Oh , then the tax source for the children is not one that can be relied on . So not only unnamed poster are you advocating for a policy that has a goal of stopping the tax source of smoking , you advocate the source to be by the poor .
You must be an advocate for the left , because then this all makes sense .



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James Palmer

posted October 4, 2007 at 9:03 am


“C’mon, by now you should realize that Bush disagrees with you about the best way to provide health care to poor children. He is not opposed to SCHIP and he is willing to expand it — he just isn’t convined that your program for expanding SCHIP is wise. And he has a valid point: kids in families earning $80 grand are not exactly what I would call poor.”
Now if his facts are wrong, tell us why. But otherwise quit pretending that this is some huge betrayal of Christian charity.”
Oh, Wolverine… First of all, SCHIP is not at all meant to cover poor children–but rather those children that are low income but whose household income makes them ineligible for Medicaid. Second, the 80,000 number is a red herring because neither the Seante nor the House version of the bill mandates states provide coverage for households with an income that high. The 80,000 number comes from a request made by the state of New York to increase the cap on coverage because of the high cost of living in that state. The President denied the request–which he is (and will continue to be) authorized to do under the proposed bill.
There are an estimated 9 million uninsured children in this country. As healthcare costs continue to rise, look for the number of uninsured to rise as employers continue to cut costs by cutting health benefits for employees. THAT’S a whole different kind of “crowding out.”
Also, the increase to SCHIP that the president proposes wouldn’t cover the program at current levels–and he KNOWS it. No Child Left Behind indeed…



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Usama

posted October 4, 2007 at 9:11 am


There is no intellectual credibility left in the White House, only ideological arrogance. Compassionate conservatism has been shown to be a lie. Rather, Bush’s tenure has been Neo-Malthusian and economic Darwinism: help the rich to thrive and become richer while the poor and nearly poor are depleted and diminished.
Its not just denying health care for working poor, its also deregulate and underregulate food production, manufacturing, water quality, air quality. Poisonous toys, bad water, polluted air are ALL around the neck of Bush’s economic beliefs and his Milton Friedman minions.
Economic Darwinism is the survival of the richest. Neo Malthusianism is: let the poor die off eating big macs so the resources America has can be more efficiently used by the rich.



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I and I

posted October 4, 2007 at 9:56 am


Mick, I see you’ve been reading David Brooks’ talking points. He’s been harping on the smoker’s tax and calling it cowardly. But of course, in typical Brooks fashion, he only tells half the story.
The idea to fund the expansion by increasing the tax on smokes was from the Senate. The House bill funded the expansion by taking money from the Medicare Advantage program, which was a wasteful and ineffective subsidy to insurance companies to help them “privatize Medicare.” The House Dems said they would try to redirect that money to better use and that is what they did. The Senate Dems tried to have their bill funded in the same way, but the Senate Repubs, fearful of repercussions from their insurance-industry contributors, insisted that the funding come from other sources. Hence, the increase in the smoker’s tax.
So before you pound liberals for taxing the poor to pay for health insurance for the poor, look at the process. This is all substantiated; you can read the reports or look the bills up on THOMAS. And don’t rely on just David Brooks for your information.



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KK

posted October 4, 2007 at 10:03 am


My partner went without health insurance for years because “compassionate” conservatives have managed to keep gay people like us – who have been in a stable, monogamous relationship for almost 8 years – legal strangers, so I could not put her on my insurance. Should compassion not extend to adults as well?



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I and I

posted October 4, 2007 at 10:05 am


One more thing, Mick. I should in fairness acknowledge that you and I are in agreement about the drawbacks of using “sin taxes” to fund government initiatives. It is a terrible idea from a fiscal perspective to use a tax on cigarettes to fund the SCHIP expansion. We can’t use the tax system to simultaneously raise money AND discourage behaviors. (For that matter, any sales tax is regressive and should be opposed in favor of more progressive income taxes.) So you have helped make the argument that the Democratic idea to redirect the funds allotted to Medicare Advantage was the better idea.



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James Palmer

posted October 4, 2007 at 10:06 am


I do want to note that David Brooks on NPR yesterday said he is in favor of SCHIP. He thinks it’s a good bill. I think he opposes to the funding–taxing cigarettes which is a tax that would affect mainly poor people. I need to go back and look at the transcript.



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kevin s.

posted October 4, 2007 at 10:15 am


“First of all, SCHIP is not at all meant to cover poor children-”
Right. This is the first step toward a sensible conversation, but this is not what Wallis is writing.
“So before you pound liberals for taxing the poor to pay for health insurance for the poor, look at the process. This is all substantiated; you can read the reports or look the bills up on THOMAS. ”
Okay, the two options, then, are to take the money from a medicare program or to take money from smokers. You assert that medicare advantage is inefficient, but you are taking from the program nonetheless, and putting it into a different inefficient program.



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James Palmer

posted October 4, 2007 at 10:33 am


“Okay, the two options, then, are to take the money from a medicare program or to take money from smokers. You assert that medicare advantage is inefficient, but you are taking from the program nonetheless, and putting it into a different inefficient program.”
And private health insurance is a paragon of efficiency?



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neuro_nurse

posted October 4, 2007 at 11:12 am


“We can’t use the tax system to simultaneously raise money AND discourage behaviors.”
It was done in Washington State and, if I’m not mistaken, there are a couple of other states that increased sales taxes on cigarettes and used the revenue to fund smoking cessation programs.
See cdc.gov, search ‘cigarette AND tax’.
Of course, Mick will now post a knee-jerk response to illustrate my folly. Mick has figured me out – I’m really Michael Moore.



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AJ

posted October 4, 2007 at 11:21 am


It is not about betrayal of Christian charity, it’s about the signs of the times. Moral degredation. The best thing anyone can do for themselves is to find an occupation that they love…one that you won’t mind doing the rest of your life. Bottom line: It’s about the Benjamin’s. That’s why we have segregation. I don’t believe it makes any differnce who we elect to reside at the white house. (Hillary for president, if nothing else, will change the course of history)(change is good, and it is what we need!) I believe JFK was for the people. If I remember correctly, it was another time of war. He wanted peace…but somebody’s wife was making uniforms for the $oldier$…it wasn’t Betsy Ross…the rest is history, covered up for years and years. Every aspect of “the system” leads to failure. The ones in charge really don’t look at the programs, only how much revenue it will generate. Does anybody really know what time it is…? It is our children, the children of America, who will reap the majority of the suffering, unless we teach them. The stand we take today will be the road we pave for their tomorrows. And what better way than to stimulate the sleeping giants with a little history combined with current events. Here’s an exercise: In your minds eye, think of this world in thirty years. Try not to think about you in thirty years, just the condition of this place we are visiting… I don’t recall my classmates bringing guns to school, and I certainly don’t recall a clinic offering my parents $25.00 every visit so I can be an experiment to the side effects of new perscription drugs…I am thankful that there was NEVER a time where my parents traded my innocence for a beer, or dropped me off at a hotel for a stranger to build my modeling portfolio…”The System” steps in, places the child in a safe, loving, foster home…and then another home and another safe, loving, foster home…if only she didn’t mention the sexual abuse she endured…Perhaps that is why HRS is now DCF. Unfortunately, jails are filled with girls who’s parents didn’t get what “The System” is established to provide. The cavalcade goes round and round. Now they too, are either reluctantly in the system or are looking to the system, (somebody needs to take a good look AT “The System.”) all they really wanted was to feel safe, and to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are loved…does anybody really care?PEACE



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Joe

posted October 4, 2007 at 12:43 pm


Hey, let’s all argue about things and never take action.



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N.M. Rod

posted October 4, 2007 at 2:06 pm


Put a label you hate on someone who’s saying some uncomfortable truths you hate to hear and then you can dismiss everything they say.



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I and I

posted October 4, 2007 at 2:17 pm


“It was done in Washington State and, if I’m not mistaken, there are a couple of other states that increased sales taxes on cigarettes and used the revenue to fund smoking cessation programs.”
Neuronurse, I believe you and I are generally on the same side of this issue. The WA cigarette tax made sense because the revenue was used for a program that helped discourage the same behavior that the tax was intended to discourage, and any decrease in smokers that occured because of the tax would translate directly into a decreased need for the program. With SCHIP, there is no direct correlation, so when the number of smokers decreases it simply translates into decreased revenues for SCHIP. (Also, smoke taxes tend to be levied at a set amount per pack rather than as a percentage, so revenues per pack will erode over time with inflation. That is another common fiscal argument against so-called sin taxes.)
That being said, I’m all in favor of discouraging smoking and could support a tax such as WA’s as long as the sole purpose is to discourage smoking and not to fund an unrelated program.
“I do want to note that David Brooks on NPR yesterday said he is in favor of SCHIP.”
If I recall correctly, he didn’t say he was in favor of the expansion, only that he was in favor of it when it was first passed, in its current form (suggesting he is in agreement with Bush). If you read the transcript and I’m mistaken please correct the record.



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Donny

posted October 4, 2007 at 2:28 pm


So it’s OK to push religion on America through the State, as long as it’s Liberal religion?
More Leftist hypocrisy.
It’s simple, President Bush is protecting America (like all great Presidents) from communism.



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Colin

posted October 4, 2007 at 2:30 pm


Well said and painfully true.



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kevin s.

posted October 4, 2007 at 2:35 pm


“And private health insurance is a paragon of efficiency?”
In it’s present system? No. The solution, and virtually everyone agrees on this, is to extricate health insurance from employment. However, the tax structure gives every incentive to reinforce that tie. But I don’t think that this is a reason to disregard the question of efficiency.
As for taxing cigarettes, I think we need to make a decision about what we believe about cigarettes. If we believe that they are dangerous, and serve no public good, and that this outweighs the right to smoke them, then we should ban them.
However, if the right to smoke (or, gasp, the enjoyment of smoking) is important enough to outweigh the health problems, then we have to treat a cigarette tax like any tax.



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Cads

posted October 4, 2007 at 2:56 pm


I have to believe that when my senator, Kit Bond (R-Mo) votes against the president’s position, this just might be a good bill in its present form. I do agree with Kevin, however, that there is danger in overtaxing legal activities. If my beer is next, I’ll be extremely worried.



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Monica

posted October 4, 2007 at 3:13 pm


Mr Wallis, I’m not quite sure what you think the word poor means and also what the word children means. President Bush is not opposed to helping poor children have medical insurance. He simply vetoed a bill that is trying to expand the coverage to cover more than just “poor children”. Since when did a family with an income of 80,000 a year translate to a poor family? Since when did covering a child until the age of 25 become about caring for the “poor children”? It absoultely makes no sense to pass such a bill. President Bush is all for expanding the SCHIP by 20% to increase the coverage to include the families that are considered lower income that could not qualify for it previously. In my opinion this was just an attempt by the democrats to propose a bill that even they themselves know should not get passed just so Bush would veto and then they could cry to the American public that Bush does not care about poor children. It’s a poor tactic to gain more sympathy to vote against the Republicans. It’s so sick and twisted.



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I and I

posted October 4, 2007 at 3:50 pm


Monica, welcome to the blog. Just to get you caught up on a couple things here:
1) We enter our posts only once. We don’t keep pushing the button to make our point. That makes us readers feel like we’re being shouted at.
2) Since you weren’t on the previous discussion that featured Jim’s video, I’ll bring you up to date: the SCHIP bill does NOT cover families making up to $83,000 per year. It allows the President to authorize, at state request, covering families up to that amount. The President does not have to authorize, and in fact New York applied for such a waiver and was denied it by the Bush administration. So the President was being disingenuous at his gig in Lancaster yesterday when he said it covers families making up to $83,000. Sens. Grassley and Hatch both held press conferences yesterday pointing this out.
3) We’ve already established that the amount Bush proposed is insufficient since health costs rise much faster than the rate of inflation. See http://www.cbpp.org for objective analysis on this.
4) The arguments that the democrats did this to score political points are undercut by the fact that several conservative Republican senators championed it as well.
Hope this’ll put to rest some of your incoming assumptions so we can move on. Welcome to the blog.



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I and I

posted October 4, 2007 at 5:53 pm


1. I sincerely apologize for the triple post. I did not realize that had even happened and so I will make sure to be careful the next time.
2. If the SCHIP bill could possibly allow covering a family that made as much as 83,000 per year at the discretion of the state which would have to be apporoved by the President, and the president knows that such a request would be denied, why would he pass such a bill. Why not revise the bill to the maximum allowance from the get go?
3. The amount that Bush proposed is sufficient enough to allow coverage to the neediest of families. My question is this? Why is it the governments responsibility to provide healthcare? Do we really want a healthcare system with more government involvement. Do we really want socialized…or Universal Healthcare? This bill is a step in that direction. I admit something needs to be done about our system. We have the best healthcare system in the world!!! It’s the Insurance aspect that needs the reform. I just don’t believe this Bill or the government is going to give us the solution. We should not teach people to rely on the government.
4. I know this Bill had some support from the Republicans as well. It was touted as a Bi-partisan bill. BUT the majority of the Conservative Republicans were against this bill. There is just no real justification of covering someone up until the age of 25 or a family that makes up to 80-83k a year. Like I said before that is not helping the poor kids!



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neuro_nurse

posted October 4, 2007 at 8:29 pm


“If we believe that they are dangerous…”
You wouldn’t really try to argue otherwise, would you?
I’m sure you could find a fair amount of support for banning cigarettes in the medical community, but does banning cigarettes necessitate banning other forms of tobacco? Can I still have my occasional cigar? Can I still grow some funk of my own, amigo?
The ethical dilemma is autonomy vs. paternalism however, nicotine is an extremely addictive drug, so the question becomes, are drug addicts capable of making autonomous decisions regarding their health?
For the time being, I’ll leave the influence of the tobacco industry out of the argument.
“…we have to treat a cigarette tax like any tax.”
Meaning what?
I say we tax the hell out of them.



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canucklehead

posted October 5, 2007 at 1:42 am


Cubs lost again. I’m gonna go out and smoke a whole pack; go to confession for me, wouldja please, Neuro?



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kevin s.

posted October 5, 2007 at 2:26 am


“I’m sure you could find a fair amount of support for banning cigarettes in the medical community, but does banning cigarettes necessitate banning other forms of tobacco? Can I still have my occasional cigar? Can I still grow some funk of my own, amigo?”
What type of funk do you want to grow, exactly? For the record, I think we should keep cigarettes, cigars and alcohol legal, and make marijuana legal as well. They are all dangerous. Of the four, alcohol is the most dangerous to others. So let’s make people live the consequences of their choices. But using taxes as a form of tsk-tsking does no find resonance in either the Bible or the Constitution. It is simply politically viable.
“First of all, this program was created by the Republican congress during Clinton’s administration. Surprise, surprise all you Righties! It wasn’t a something created by “libruls” after all.”
Did anybody say it was? Did the President say it was? Is anyone seriously advocating its elimination?
“For Bush to make such a stupid and heartless statement that these children can get there health care via emergency rooms makes me want to vomit.”
Then do so. But he is correct that children are automatically guaranteed emergency coverage one way or the other.
“Poor children who have state Medicaid have the means to get care but those parents who don’t qualify for the programs yet can’t afford the $800 to $1000 per month premiums will have to incur a life time debt to pay it off.”
Well, this is a different issue, or should be. SCHIP isn’t about parents, right?
“If they should be so fortunate to own a home, they can wind up losing it by having the hospital put a lien on it. Ever heard of the old saying about “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?”
Yes.
“What is it about you conservatives that make you so selfish and so incredibly ignorant?”
It’s the cigarettes. We love ‘em. We can’t be helped.
“You just don’t understand that one way or another you’re going to be paying for these children’s lack of being able to pay for health care access.”
So why are you so fired up about this? I have no problem with making sure children have the means to stay alive even if their parents cannot (or will not) provide it for them. That really isn’t the question here.
“People who can’t pay for care don’t seek it out until their conditions become lethal. What’s cheaper?”
This is a debatable question, with a number of different answers which depend on what you mean by “can’t pay” and “lethal”. It isn’t so cut and dry as you make it out to be.
“Help cover having a child see a doctor and get prescription for antibiotics or wait until they have pneumonia and have to be hospitalized?”
So you are not one of those who believes that antibiotics are overprescribed, and that immunization to said antibiotics represent a serious threat? Just asking.
“You are the same people who want Roe v. Wade overturned because you think it’s killing children yet have no qualms about letting the post-born die of neglect and disease?”
Do you want Roe v. Wade overturned? If not, then I could easily say you have no qualms about ensuring the death of the pre-born by way of government-sanctioned murder. I would rather save fetuses AND ensure that the post-born do not die of neglect and disease.
“How in the name of God can you justify this heartless attitude?”
How can you justify such a sanctimonious attitude that refuses to acknowledge the other side of the coin? I don’t see where your attitude is sanctioned by God.



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Julianne

posted October 5, 2007 at 9:04 am


Rick Nowlin wrote: “The Schip program was never true “compassionate conservatism” in the original context of the phrase — the concept was popularized by right-wing magazine editor Marvin Olasky, who proposed replacing government social-welfare programs with church-based, government-funded charities.
But there was a specific, often-overlooked motivation to that: Hopefully, many of the poor would get “saved,” cleaning up the ‘hood and not bothering anyone anymore. You see, Olasky proposed that government money go only to churches and (maybe) synagogues — no mosques or institutions representing any other religion, and no secular agencies.
That’s not all — some of the most vocal critics of the conservative agenda were black pastors who worked directly with the poor in those neighborhoods, and part of the goal of “compassonate conservatism” was to bring them into compliance or, at the very least, silence them.”
Some of these statements are simply not true, according to Marvin Olasky’s book about Compassionate Conservativism. There is specific mention of “faith-based organizations” involving many faiths, and even including atheists. The point is that local groups would be more effective because they would be more motivated and concerned about the plights of other human beings than government welfare programs are.
There would be no effort to “save” anyone. The book discusses several existing church programs that take special care to ensure there is no evangelizing; for example, one church group even removed posters of Jesus in the rooms it used for its initiative.
An effort to bring Black pastors “into compliance?” Many programs run by Black pastors are currently the ones who have to turn down federal funding because of their religious affiliation. They regret not being able to expand their ministries. These programs are effective, and are run by people truly motivated to serve humanity–not by funding sources. These pastors do not need to be brought “into compliance” or silenced.
Marvin Olasky’s book has many examples of church-run organizations that are WORKING. People who are critics of “compassionate conservativism” should read the book before passing judgement.



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 5, 2007 at 10:48 am


Some of these statements are simply not true, according to Marvin Olasky’s book about Compassionate Conservativism. There is specific mention of “faith-based organizations” involving many faiths, and even including atheists.
Either you misunderstood what Olasky wrote or he must have changed his mind, because the bill that Bush eventually signed he and Falwell openly opposed for the reasons I cited.
An effort to bring Black pastors “into compliance?” Many programs run by Black pastors are currently the ones who have to turn down federal funding because of their religious affiliation. They regret not being able to expand their ministries. These programs are effective, and are run by people truly motivated to serve humanity–not by funding sources. These pastors do not need to be brought “into compliance” or silenced.
False, straight up, on both counts. Because my church does a lot of that kind of community work my pastor actually looked into it, and we ended up not pursuing it because funding actually turned out to be restricted to certain targeted programs; meanwhile, our ministry is by design more holistic. (For example, my church is starting a neighborhood credit union — which I’m sure doesn’t qualify.) Besides, a few black pastors have indeed become Bush supporters due to “faith-based funding”; a few years ago Sojourners ran a series of cartoons about that.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 5, 2007 at 11:01 am


“What type of funk do you want to grow, exactly?”
That’s an old Elton John song. I have grown Nicotiana in my garden in the past. (I refuse to grown anything that can’t be consumed in one way or another – this is a point of contention between my wife and me)
“For the record, I think we should keep cigarettes, cigars and alcohol legal, and make marijuana legal as well. They are all dangerous. Of the four, alcohol is the most dangerous to others.”
Good, we can tax the hell out of weed too.
I used to work trauma, so without doing a literature search, I can give you my anecdotal observations about drunk driving and the long-term consequences of alcohol abuse. However, as an ICU nurse, I can tell you that cigarette smoking has a much more detrimental effect of the body than any of the other addictive substances.
I believe God put everything on the planet for a purpose. Those substances have their appropriate uses, as well as strong potential for abuse. You don’t know how many times I’ve had a patient in pain that refused morphine because she or he didn’t want to “take drugs.” When I say, “That’s why God gave us the opium poppy,” the patient almost always decides to accept analgesia, and is very grateful afterwards.
My objection to the legalization of marijuana is that unlike alcohol or other most other psychoactive ‘recreational’ or ‘drugs of abuse,’ cannabis alkaloids are fat-soluble, and remain in the body for long periods of time – ask anyone who’s ever been worried about a urine drug screen.
“…antibiotics are overprescribed”
True. Antibiotic resistance is a problem that is getting worse. Working in an ICU, I live with antibiotic-resistant bugs. Nevertheless, God created antibiotics too (most of them are derivatives, or synthetics of fungus or bacterial enzymes), so they have their appropriate use.
Just for laughs: I received an Email this morning informing me that Ann Coulter would be on campus for “Islamo-Fascism week.” As I was composing an outraged response, suggesting circulating a petition to bar her and this event from campus, I received another Email informing me that this event was not scheduled anywhere on campus and was most likely a hoax. (I took the bait, but was let off the hook)
Too bad. I would have loved to have been thrown out of an event featuring Ann Coutler!
(don’t worry kevin, I know you’re not a big Ann Coulter fan)
Seek peace and pursue it.



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canucklehead

posted October 5, 2007 at 12:45 pm


I would like to praise God for GWB. The Canadian loonie is trading at U.S. $1.0195 this morning. First time since 1976 we’ve been on top of yez like God ordained it should be.
North Dakota will be our’s by Sunday noon.



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Don

posted October 5, 2007 at 1:25 pm


You’re right, Canucklehead. Now we’re going to have to put off our vacation to the Maritimes because we won’t be able to afford it. My wife wants to go there to research her geneology.
The NHL players will now be demanding their salaries in Canadian dollars.
And what’s the price of Molson’s in the States now?
D



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Anonymous

posted October 5, 2007 at 2:27 pm


Posted by: canucklehead | October 5, 2007 12:45 PM
North Dakota will be our’s by Sunday noon.
You can have it by Saturday if you promise to take South Dakota too. (LOL)
Blessings –
.



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Don

posted October 5, 2007 at 3:01 pm


“You can have it by Saturday if you promise to take South Dakota too. (LOL)”
Hey, now wait a minute! Give ‘em Pine Ridge and Wounded Knee? And the Corn Palace?
Besides, what would the Canadians do with those giant carvings on Mt Rushmore?
D



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N.M. Rod

posted October 5, 2007 at 3:21 pm


80% of Mexico and Canada’s oil goes to the U.S. market and as oil prices skyrocket that’s improving their foreign exchange position.
When the Canadian dollar plummeted in the mid-seventies from similar highs, it was during the tenure of the worst finance minister in Canadian history, later Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
The current rise is occurring under the stewardship of Conservative Prime Minister Steven Harper.
However, U.S. investment is the majority shareholder in Canadian business.



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neuro_nurse

posted October 5, 2007 at 5:12 pm


canucklehead,
For years I’ve been working with Canadian nurses here in the U.S. Maybe the tide is turning and I should look for work in Canada.
Can I stay with you until I find one?



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neuro_nurse

posted October 5, 2007 at 5:12 pm


canucklehead,
For years I’ve been working with Canadian nurses here in the U.S. Maybe the tide is turning and I should look for work in Canada.
Can I stay with you until I find a job?



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Merri Ferrell

posted October 5, 2007 at 7:12 pm


No one should be surprised by this. I often wonder if Bush is reading the same New Testament as the one that is inside the book by my bedside. Not only will he throw kids who need medical care under a bus, but also veterans who wounded from the war he created.
But I’d like to divert the discussion for a moment: I am old enough to remember no health insurance. Care was among the doctor, the nurse, a nurse practioner, but insurace wasn’t part of the equasion. Teh doctor didn’t have to wait to be paid, or hire 4-6 office workers to process paperwork, or a referral specialist. Our care was not determined by someone in Hartford behind a desk, but someone who went to medical school.
Simple economy will tell you that the added cost of processing insurance adds a huge cost to basic care.
Now, I ask you–who ever received anything from an insurance company? If you have a car accident, or your home is destroyed in a hurricane (katrina anyone?) the insurance company will do everything to NOT give you anything or as little as possible.
Insurance companies are in it for huge profits, making the entire process of health car hopelessly bogged down and expensive. It’s too late to go back (once big money is a potential, there’s no reversal), but imagine if taking your child to a doctor didn’t have the added cost that is factored into the insurance industry?



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canucklehead

posted October 6, 2007 at 1:36 am


Canucklehead,
>>>For years I’ve been working with Canadian nurses here in the U.S. Maybe the tide is turning and I should look for work in Canada.
Can I stay with you until I find a job?
Posted by: neuro_nurse | October 5, 2007 5:12 PM
YOU’RE MORE THAN WELCOME, MY FRIEND! Your rosary, however, will have to stay outside with the goats.
>>>When the Canadian dollar plummeted in the mid-seventies from similar highs, it was during the tenure of the worst finance minister in Canadian history, later Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
The current rise is occurring under the stewardship of Conservative Prime Minister Steven Harper. N.M. Rod
You’re absolutely right, Rod, altho Chretien had quadruple by-pass surgery this week so we won’t speak ill of the dead. And, interestingly enough, even some of our more conservative news outlets seem to be spinning the loonie’s success more in terms of what GWB is doing wrong than what Harper is doing right.
I read today that so many Vancouverites have lately gone into Washington state to buy automobiles (still 20+% cheaper despite the loonie’s rally!!!)that Toyota is lobbying the British Columbia gov’t not to allow them to register the vehicles in Canada b/c they were purchased in another Toyota dealer’s jurisdiction!!
I don’t care how many Toyotas they buy down there as long as they go around and whup that Mick Sheldon upside the noggin while they’re in the vicinity. I think he’s drinkin’ waaaaaay too much Starbucks!



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kevin s.

posted October 6, 2007 at 12:12 pm


“Simple economy will tell you that the added cost of processing insurance adds a huge cost to basic care.”
Not proportionate to the overall cost of medical care. At any rate, this won’t simply go away because we introduce the federal government into the picture.
“Now, I ask you–who ever received anything from an insurance company?”
My knee surgery cost me $45. I’m pretty sure I received something there.
“If you have a car accident, or your home is destroyed in a hurricane (katrina anyone?) the insurance company will do everything to NOT give you anything or as little as possible.”
I live in Minnesota, so I have never been hit with a hurricane. I was in a car accident, and had no problems whatsoever. The reason people weren’t covered in the instance of hurricane Katrina is that they had not taken out the right policies, which would have been expensive. The insurance companies use policies to pay for a risk.
“Insurance companies are in it for huge profits, making the entire process of health car hopelessly bogged down and expensive.”
Their profits are fairly small relative to the cost of healthcare, and their margins are not dissimilar to any other company making a profit. Insurance companies are not the reason that healthcare is expensive.
” It’s too late to go back (once big money is a potential, there’s no reversal), but imagine if taking your child to a doctor didn’t have the added cost that is factored into the insurance industry?”
A $90 visit would cost $85 instead. In exchange, you would have no means of spreading your risk. I’ll pay the $90 instead.



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wayne kratzer

posted October 6, 2007 at 3:42 pm


I am for HEALTH CARE for all, especially preventive care, that is to stay healthy. I think Bush and friends are under pressure to cut costs. JESUS wants us healthy. WE THE PEOPLE with the elected representatives need to control Health Care costs and get better care. The rich need to do more to pay the costs.
Jim Wallis, I was glad to hear of your meeting with Prez Bush and his seeming sincerity to bring better care. We need to work to get a GOD AMENDMENT FOR GOD IN CHRIST AND PRAYER AND BIBLE;; plus a MARRIAGE AMENDMENT; also to STOP COURT TYRANNY that goes against our constitution and American Christian History. In prayer and praise in the YEAR OF OUR LORD 2007. We never force people to be christian; but our schools and government were christian. way one



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N.M. Rod

posted October 6, 2007 at 7:08 pm


I assume you meant your knee surgery cost $45,000, not $45.
We pay $500 per month for “health” insurance, with after tax money (not tax deductible) and the deductible before Blue Cross pays 80% for SOME treatments is $7500.
It’s marginally better than shelling out COBRA to the tune of $1500 per month, with a $250 deductible, but the month when we can’t pay is when our entire investment is lost and it covers nothing and sets us up for bankruptcy if something serious should occur.
If you don’t have insurance, a trip to the emergency room can easily cost $5,000 or more.
The nation’s top priorities are for militarism and elitist corporatism, individuals are left to fend for themselves in case of trouble without community and that’s what identifies our national character. It’s who we are.



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N.M. Rod

posted October 6, 2007 at 9:50 pm


It does appear that it’s not entirely Harper’s management that has the Canadian/US dollar ratio inverted. However, he’s not an absolute disaster at management.
One has to remember Sun Tzsu’s warning that “long wars have never been in the interest of any nation,’ the secular wisdom of the ages. Most of his precepts have gone by the wayside this go around, despite his “The Art of War” being a required military college text. You know we’ve got a major disconnect somewhere with disastrous consequences for our countrymen when we’re not only ignoring Augustine’s Just War Theory, from the ethical side, but Sun Tzsu from the secular. Would it be surprising to find that we’re even making mistakes from the perspective of Machiavelli’s “The Prince?” I have to admit I just don’t have the heart to find out if we’re failing even from the cynical point of view…



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 7, 2007 at 12:08 am


Their profits are fairly small relative to the cost of healthcare, and their margins are not dissimilar to any other company making a profit. Insurance companies are not the reason that healthcare is expensive.
Not true — insurance profit margins are up to three times higher than other companies.



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kevin s.

posted October 7, 2007 at 2:49 am


“Not true — insurance profit margins are up to three times higher than other companies.”
“Up to” is a slippery phrase. Regardless, your point is irrefutable, in so far as some companies make no profit whatsoever, and even lose money.
My point is that insurance companies make a reasonable profit, and those profits are not the driving force behind rising insurance costs. You would have a heck of a time making the case that they are.
“I assume you meant your knee surgery cost $45,000, not $45.”
No, it cost me $45. Not a typo. $65 if you include the Vicodin. It cost my insurance company an egregious amount, of course. But yes, the method by which we tie our insurance policies to employment is absurd.



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 7, 2007 at 9:02 am


Kevin — Most firms shoot for a profit of 1 percent. Insurance firms routinely make 3. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is when you crunch the actual numbers.



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Don

posted October 7, 2007 at 12:41 pm


Rick Nowlin:
You need to be more specific in your assertion about insurance co. profits. Is this three percent figure coming from all insurance companies selling all types of insurance, or just from sales of health insurance contracts? And since many companies sell several kinds of insurance, the profit waters are considerably muddier.
Profits from health insurance sales should be segregated from other types of insurance contracts and talked about separately. Life insurance contracts, for example, tend to be much more profitable because the risks are predictable, and also because the insurer is able to invest the client’s premiums for a much longer period of time.
By contrast, health insurers know that premiums will be used to pay medical expenses almost as soon as the contract is signed. The insurer doesn’t have nearly as much time to invest the premiums and earn accumulated investment earnings.
It’s sort of in between for property and vehicle insurers. Property insurers can usually invest for long periods unless a disaster occurs. Such disasters aren’t very predictable, at least from an actuarial standpoint. Vehicle insurers probably can keep client premiums longer (accident rates are fairly predictable), unless the same natural disaster causes a large number of comprehensive claims.
It’s very important, when quoting insurance company profit figures, to specify the type of contract.
Peace,



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N.M. Rod

posted October 7, 2007 at 12:49 pm


Those who have employers who pay the bulk of huge insurance premiums get the expensive treatments, while those who don’t have that, which is thousands more each day, as employers divest themselves from providing it, as well as all those who are laid off, do without.



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kevin s.

posted October 7, 2007 at 2:40 pm


” Most firms shoot for a profit of 1 percent.”
What do you mean by “most firms”? I can’t imagine what definition you could provide that would make this statement correct.



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kevin s.

posted October 7, 2007 at 3:02 pm


At any rate, the difference between 3% and 1% profit margin is not going to mean the difference between an affordable health insurance system and in unaffordable one.



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Anonymous

posted October 7, 2007 at 3:41 pm


“Your rosary, however, will have to stay outside with the goats.” canucklehead
I don’t even own a rosary!
“I read today that so many Vancouverites have lately gone into Washington state to buy automobiles…”
I went to Western Washington University back in the 80’s – I think there were more Canadians in the Fred Meyer in Bellingham on Saturday than there were in Vancouver.
It’s funny to watch movies that are supposed to be set in Seattle – most of the time, they were filmed in Vancouver, BC.
“I think he’s drinkin’ waaaaaay too much Starbucks!”
Donny doesn’t seem like the latte-drinking type to me – maybe Maxwell House or Folgers (battery acid).
Starbucks in putting a shop in the French Quarter a block from Cafe du Monde – shameless.



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c kitty

posted October 7, 2007 at 5:02 pm


Kevin s,
Is it a reasonable profit when the head of United Health becomes a billionaire from the salary and bonuses funded by insurance premiums? Obviously you are the beneficiary of a good insurance plan. Seems to me the Christian thing to do would be to say thank you for the blessing and strive to spread such blessings to others. Or are others somehow less deserving? You mentioned health problems that are a result of lifestyle choices. Some are, some aren’t. My clogged arteries are genetic as is my cancer. I’d have both if I ate nothing but broccoli and bran. I am unisurable except for a governmentally subsidized plan. It has kept me alive and productive, working and paying taxes.
As a former insurance insider, I can squash anyone’s doubts that it is all about profit. For some the only way to keep doing that job is to dehumanize others, because it is never about anything but profit.



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kevin s.

posted October 7, 2007 at 10:08 pm


“Is it a reasonable profit when the head of United Health becomes a billionaire from the salary and bonuses funded by insurance premiums? ”
This question is distinct from the question of whether profit margins are justified.
“Obviously you are the beneficiary of a good insurance plan.”
It’s pretty good.
“Seems to me the Christian thing to do would be to say thank you for the blessing and strive to spread such blessings to others. Or are others somehow less deserving?”
To say I do not support universal health care is not to say others are less deserving.
“You mentioned health problems that are a result of lifestyle choices. Some are, some aren’t.”
Most are, some aren’t.
“My clogged arteries are genetic as is my cancer. I’d have both if I ate nothing but broccoli and bran. I am unisurable except for a governmentally subsidized plan. It has kept me alive and productive, working and paying taxes.”
I am not opposed to any and all governmentally funded health care.
“As a former insurance insider, I can squash anyone’s doubts that it is all about profit.”
I don’t think any insider at any for-profit would doubt that it is all about profit. As a former insurance insider, you are also probably aware of the labyrinthine set of regulations imposed upon the industry.
I simply want to move in a different direction, in hopes of providing the most health care to the most people at the lowest cost. I disagree that increased government involvement is the way to get that done.



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 8, 2007 at 3:06 pm


As a former insurance insider, you are also probably aware of the labyrinthine set of regulations imposed upon the industry.
And I understand that.
I simply want to move in a different direction, in hopes of providing the most health care to the most people at the lowest cost. I disagree that increased government involvement is the way to get that done.
The reality, however, is that private companies simply have no incentive to do so.



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Johnny

posted October 8, 2007 at 8:30 pm


You know better than this. The bill as passed was not about healthcare for “poor children.” This bill expands coverage to “kids” up to the age of 25. It also expands coverage eligibility up to $80,000+ for a family of four. Some have calculated that to fund the bill as proposed by increasing the tax on cigarettes we need to add in excess of 20 million smokers to the rolls. As such the bill as passed is fundamentally dishonest and the backdoor into universal healthcare. I would certianly agree we need to make some changes in how this country funds and delivers healthcare, maybe even some version of socialized medicine, but I suggest this needs to happen through open debate and not slight of hand and election two year politics.
Johnny



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Anonymous

posted October 8, 2007 at 9:22 pm


Let me guess, Kevin s, you are not opposed to Medicare or veteran’s medical benefits?
As Rick points out, what is it going to take to get health insurance to the unisured if not government involvement? As it is, insurance companies can use all kinds of reasons to keep insurance from those who need it, especially the fact that they need it!
Don’t waste time worrying about the insurance industry having to wend their way through a “labyrinth of regulations”. They know their way through and around those regulations very well — they wrote most of them.



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mick Sheldon

posted October 9, 2007 at 12:49 am


anom said
Let me spell it out for you: people quit smoking when cigarette taxes are increased. From a public health perspective, that’s a good thing.
Then the tax source will not last for this medical plan will it ,
let me spell it out for you,
irresponsible funding source



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 9, 2007 at 3:00 am


Of course, Mick will now post a knee-jerk response to illustrate my folly. Mick has figured me out – I’m really Michael Moore.
Posted by: neuro_nurse
Impossible, Michael Moore has a sense of humor .



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 9, 2007 at 3:18 am


So before you pound liberals for taxing the poor to pay for health insurance for the poor, look at the process. This is all substantiated; you can read the reports or look the bills up on THOMAS. And don’t rely on just David Brooks for your information.
Posted by: I and I
Who is David Brooks ?
I live in one of the most liberal states in the country . We have no income tax , we have a sales tax , property tax and a very stange buisness tax . So the taxing the poor and allowing the rich mantra falls on deaf ears here . Because the left here does it because they are scared to push an income tax . Politically unpopular here .
We just raised our gas tax also , we have the highest or one of the highest minimum wage amounts also . So I guess we care about the poor , mainly because they pay an unreasonable amount of their percentage of income to fund our state coffers. We use to tax cars yearly by an unreasonable car tab tax amount and had a citizen inniative pass in this state to repeal it , This caused many important government programs to be hurt , an example is Washingington State Ferries fares have gone up like 90 percent in the past five years . Causing much trouble for those who commute to work . The funding mechanism was taken away , what happens if the cig tax causes more people to quit then that carry the load , what programs will you cut for this one , or what tax will you promote ?
In any case , living in a state that likes to spend money , and does not like to plan how to fund that spending causes me to consider what should be obvious . What happens when this program grows more , how will it be funded . Because obviously this is the plan to allow it to grow more , or is thinking for yourself beyond talking points for you ?
I understand the anger you must have , I and I , but perhaps directing your anger to the people who named you might make more sense ?



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Rick Nowlin

posted October 9, 2007 at 8:49 am


Who is David Brooks?
Former writer for the conservative Weekly Standard, now a columnist for The New York Times.



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Mick Sheldon

posted October 10, 2007 at 6:34 pm


Former writer for the conservative Weekly Standard, now a columnist for The New York Times.
Posted by: Rick Nowlin
Thanks , I have heard of him .



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