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November 30, 2009

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and your summation should not omit the fact that terrorism kills by the tens and hundreds--okay, once they got really lucky and scored three thousand--whereas a failed health care system kills those kinds of numbers every week.

anyone who can blithely write off 45,000 deaths per year as a low priority really should stop wetting their bed over the remote possibility of terrorists killing a fraction of that number at very rare intervals.

Since we're going to murder 45,000 American men, women, and children every year (I think the estimate is high; 44,956 sounds closer if you adjust for malingering) anyway, why not ship this year's 45,000 potential victims to Afghanistan in exchange for free healthcare (until the Republican Party cuts the budget and kills [fetuses and Terry Schiavo excepted, unless they refuse to get jobs] them all later) and call it a surge.

I know it sounds terrible to send children into a war because they might be too small for the job, but children appear larger in sniper telescopic sights, and they could stand on each other's shoulders to compensate.

But the kids are dead anyway staying in this country. We're talking rational economic choices here. God forbid that they should receive foodstamps and lose the stigma of starving to death to uphold Republican principles.

These annual 45,000 losers (they lost the race in America and therefore must die) wouldn't necessarily have to engage in combat, but they could be human shields for our soldiers already in place, or even for the newly recruited Afghan soldiers.

Since bullet wounds are the optimally acceptable way to go for Republican interest groups (remember, the healthcare reform is bad for gun rights, ipso fatso, somebody shoots you, you become a drag on the for-profit healthcare system, and then some wise guy wants to take your bullets away to cut costs, when, really, better aim, more guns, and more lethal bullets are the solution to our healthcare budget dilemma), this surge idea using our already doomed American fodder is the way to go for budget-conscious pols.

bitzer: You're overlooking the very important fact that lack of access to health care kills poor people while terrorism affects important people like investment bankers, journalists, and senators.

And we haven’t even come to the human costs [of Afghanistan]

Nor have we come to the human benefits of improved access to health care.

The cost/benefit gap between the two is overwhelming.

Basically, same stuff as last time; so I'll just reiterate that these SCBW's are, indeed, asses.

Though Lugar, at least, admits to being "audacious".

I would suggest we put aside the health care debate until next year, the same way we put cap and trade and climate change away and talk now about the essentials, war and money.

Seriously, because life, health, and the well-being of the world and the human beings who live on it are for freaking pussies.

IMO we should just cut to the chase and change the name of country to the United States of War and Money.

"God, guns, and gold" can be our new national motto. We already got the God part when we switched from "e pluribus unum" back in the red scare days.

Google 'Medicare Part D roll call' to read the list of Demos who crossed over to carry the $900B pharmeceutical giveaway, and forbade the government from bargaining with the drug companies on price. Oh, and did this without providing for any revenue tradeoffs that would pay for the largesse.

It is the same list of those 'conservative democrats' who now believe that universal health care is just too darn` expensive: Sen. Nelson of Nebraska; Sen. Landrieu of La.; and Sen. Lincoln of Ark. 'Conservatives' all.

The cynicism.` Oh...the cynicism.

I think it's important we're honest with ourselves. Passing health care reform does not mean that those 45,000 people per year will not die. It means that they will be more likely to have access to care -- not even that they will have insurance. There will still be people who free-ride, even with an individual mandate. The numbers will hopefully be reduced but we can make no promises about lives saved and still be accurate about the legislation we are discussing.

There are no death panels -- that much we can agree on. Now we have to swallow the ugly truth of reforming the system this way: there is no "universal insurance" either. The most this bill purports to provide is universal ACCESS to insurance products. That is a laudable goal in and of itself -- but it is not universal coverage.

We do ourselves no favors lying about what the bill provides. I would not be surprised by large numbers of patients showing up at hospitals and demanding care after this bill passes -- they'll believe they're covered because the discussion has been so fast and loose with the truth.

Re Thullen @12:30

The spirit of Swift lives on.

James Hare...
So where is the problem with people showing up at the hospitals? The gop talking point this whole time is that no body in the US actually goes without care, they can always go to the emergency room. Who knows, maybe their fantasy will come true. And the important point that we shouldn't kid ourselves about is that the Harvard report you're referencing indirectly counted premature deaths, people who would not have died if they had access to either preventative or timely care after diagnosis. We really are talking about saving 40+ thousand lives a year.

My God, it would be funny if masses of people, thinking they are covered, showed up at the hospital and demanded care.

Especially teabaggers, forgetting (because of job and insurance loss and massive hemmoraging from your routine home target range wounds) for a moment their emotional attachment to the Constitution and not paying taxes, who found themselves needing emergency care.

Think of the outrage. Sarah Death Palin would point to the fact that the reform did NOT guarantee care and call it the ultimate commie Democrat Death Panel... yup.

Glenn Beck would take to the airwaves weeping gigantic Pagliacci tears, redfaced, blubbering like a sentimental lunatic, and decry the failure of government to provide the healthcare the American people deserve and have paid for with their hard-earned tax dollars.

A VW bug would be driven onto the floor of the House of Reprehensibles and the entire Republican caucus would pile out in their floppy shoes and demand speaking time, howling like Jacob Marley and rattling their jewelry.

The shades of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and Charlie Callus would be invoked and hover over the scene wraithlike.

Moe Lane would make a video of himself projectile vomiting onto a picture of The Boy in the White House and call it a statement of fundamental truths.

Not that the healthcare reform bill is anywhere close to being what it should be.

Does the healthcare bill provide for "stupid clinics" where the ill-informed healthcare consumer imbeciles and their enablers in the Republican Party and the media can show up and have free brain cell transplants?

Let's tell them that. What's another lie in the cesspool of prevarication this country mucks about in?

Tort reform and more guns. That's the ticket.

Well, the stupid and the worshippers at Discovery Institute will get free access to leeches and cupping glasses for therapeutic bleeding. For a small donation local saints* will also practice laying on of hands** (put the donation into the one hand and the other will be layed on immediately). Whether incense will be covered is still open to debate because it could give unfair advantage to papists.

*provided they are not othwerwise occupied with purging the area of the influence of witchcraft.
**palinative care

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