Monday, August 10, 2009

Heated Debate - Is it unAmerican?

The hot topic over the past week is the debate at the town hall meetings. You have to live in a bubble to know nothing about what is going on.

Well, instead of posting my thoughts and then having everyone comment. I would like to hear your thoughts on town hall meetings. I do not want to discuss the health care plan specifically.

Do you think the current town hall meetings are out of control?

Are the people that are going to the meetings not allowed to ask the questions they are?

Should they have more respect for the Congressmen and women?

Is Nancy Pelossi right or wrong in her words about the people coming to the meetings?

How do you feel about what you are seeing taking place at these meetings?

Do you think that any organization should be at the meetings? IE. Acorn, SEIU, or any other

Do you plan to go to any town meetings?

Sound off over the next 24hrs. I will give my take on this tomorrow evening.


Furbs said...

I certainly don't profess to know all of the details regarding these recent town hall style meeting on healthcare reform, but I have caught wind of some of them. Keep in mind, I also haven't seen any of the video footage. My understanding is that some people are just shouting down the meetings and disrupting the whole process. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of the First Amendment and the right to free speech, but I'm also in favor of allowing/protecting others to have a say at the table of debate. If your only goal is to yell and distract from debate, then I don't think they should be allowed to participate. Only if they wish to participate in a constructive manner, then it's okay. The problem, as I see it, is that these disturbances are being manufactured by wealthy elites! People like Rick Scott, former CEO of a major healthcare company (was fined 1.7 billion for defrauding the US Gov. & MediCare) are organizing talking points for these people to travel to the Town Hall meetings and arranging for them to disrupt the whole process. Most of these people are from out of state and don't even live within the districts where the meetings are being held. In keeping with the First Amendment, I also think that allowing groups to attend is acceptable. It's the right to peacefully assemble. However, I think it should be open as to who is funding and representing these groups, whether it's ACORN or Rick Scott's group (I can't remember the name right now).
That's my take as of right now.
I don't plan on attending any of these meetings, as in most cases, they are just PR bullsheet!
As far as more respect for Congress critters....well, they'll get my respect once they deserve it!
On a healthcare side-note, if "socialized medicine" is soooo bad, why are we giving it to our soldiers!?!?! Technically, the VA is socialized, since they employ the staff and own the facilities. MediCare, on the other hand, is not socialized, but rather publicly funded. There is a difference. If it were up to me, I would just extend the option of MediCare to everyone. If you like your current healthcare, cool, stay with it. If not, you have the option to join MediCare.

Warthog said...

Thanks for commenting Furbs. Do you have any links or references to the Rick Scott side. I have sen plenty about ACORN and SEIU, but only speculation that the other side has sent people.

Anonymous said...

I personally do not think the Town Hall meetings are a waist of everyone's time. The government is trying to make it look like they care about what we have to say and they don't. There was a scene which involved Hillary and someone asked her a question and accidentlly said President Clinton instead of President Obama and she just went off on them. I also believe that they are answering questions from people planted in the meeting to ask the questions that help their cause. I do not believe that any of the people in the government is looking out for us they are only looking out for them. I also believe that our President is too busy being a celebrity than a President, I do respect him because he is our President bu that is as far as it goes. I believe people blogging is a good idea because can actually say what they feel and not have to be stopped.

Anonymous said...

I worked for a city and think it's crazy how they acted. they think they own the city but it the tax payers that own the city.

Warthog said...

Thank you to the people who posted anonymously. The issue with Hillary was disappointing, a diplomat is expected to be able to keep their composure at all times. I also found Obama's town hall today to almost seem showy, but found it hard not to like it. I find it hard to disagree with someone who is telling funny jokes. Once I composed myself, I started listening.

I also agree that all politicians, left and right, have forgotten that we have the power. I have blogged on it and long for the time we prove all of them wrong and vote everyone out and start over. Is that scary? Hell yes it is, but it might have to be done.

James said...

Furbs the difference with the VA is they earned it. And its not "free" healthcare. The only ones entitled to all around free medical care at the VA is 20 year retired miltary, or people that get service related injuries. And even then they are only treated for that injury.

Everyone needs to look up ACCHESS (i think thats the acronym) or medicaid. These are existing forms of government healthcare. The only difference is that you have to pay a portion of this back. There is also medical plans that cover individuals. Does anyone think that getting Washington involved ever makes something better? This is just more of the same big government BS.

T. Gutierrez said...

I believe we should all speak up, especially when it regards our personal freedoms in this country. I think it is wrong of anyone, and I mean anyone, to assume that just because a politician has something to say doesn't make it right! These people are elected officials and have the responsibility to listen, yes I said listen, to those who elected them!

I teach Communications Applications at the high school level; and one of the things I teach is a chapter on listening. It is an art, it is something you have to actively participate in doing, and it doesn't come naturally as many people believe.

Politics has gotten out of control in this country; and I am scared to death that our elected officials, Republican and Democrat, are going to really mess things up! I have always tried to keep an open mind and look at the issues from all angles, and I try to remain respectful of others opinions. But at the rate things are going, enough is enough already!

Anonymous said...

The only problem with these meetings is that we are only seeing the outbursts from people. Unless you are there you never fully understand what's going on. Anyway who says that those who are speaking out against a health care plan that obviously has issues are un american and or nazix should be shot. We as Americans have the right to say what the hell we want to. Instead of having congress decide what is best for us, then send out ballots and have the American people vote for it. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Are the meetings out of control?
I think you would have to be there to really judge whether or not it was out of control.

Are the people not allowed to ask the questions they are asking?
Well if they are asking the questions then aren't they allowed? :P Any question that any American citizen has about this plan should be asked.

Are Pelosi's words right or wrong?
I think Pelosi's words are wrong but not for the reason most people are bitching about. I think the drowning out of apposing views is very much a part of America and definitely not a new concept. However, this is a typical case of the media twisting words for their own agenda. Palosi said "Drowning out apposing views is simply un-American." Palosi didn't say protesting or speaking in opposition to the government was un-American but somehow this is the message being sent by a number of media outlets.

What do I think of the meetings?
I think they are a joke and I agree with Furbs about them being "PR bullsheet." I am glad people are getting out there and speaking their mind but I have very little confidence that anyone is really listening. Were there even recorders there to capture the opinions and proposals of the people allowed to speak?

Should organizations like ACORN and SEIU be allowed at meetings?
Any United States citizen should be allowed at the meetings no matter what they are affiliated with. In order to speak at these meetings I think you should be required to live there though. I assume this was probably ensured by the lottery system but who knows.

Do I plan to go to any town meetings?

Kathy Burman said...

I think eveything seems out of control and the people are angry because they are taking over without our approval. Can't we get some sensible people involved that can fix this mess and make it work for all of us.

Furbs said...

James: I think you misunderstood my VA comments. I definitely agree that veterans earn it. Heck, if it were up to me, anyone that volunteered into the armed services & their immediate family would be 100% health coverage for their entire lives. My point was to point out the irony in politicians who claim that socialized healthcare is awful, and also claim they want the best for our troops, but then give the troops socialized healthcare.
I also agree with some of the above comments regarding how the media is portraying these town hall meetings. It seems they are really highlighting all the drama and screaming, while neglecting the real substance of the meetings. No big shocker there....that's where the ratings are, and this allows the citizen to get distracted from the truth. That really seems to be the goal of the corporate media - distraction! Do you think private healthcare insurers and big Pharma corporations have any pull with ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, etc.?!? Have you ever seen the amount of advertisements they purchase on the "news" every single day? Why do you think a pharmaceutical company would want to pay millions of dollars to advertise products that people cannot purchase without a prescription? Well, not only does it possibly increase sales by getting people to make suggestions to their doctors, BUT I think it's more about having control over the corporate media! Do you think they'll continue to advertise on CBS if CBS reported the truth about those companies? Wake up, people, it's all a charade! You are being told what to believe and what to do! A democracy is not a spectator sport and your participation is not only expected, it's necessary!
Steve ...I don't have any links on the Rick Scott thing, but you can google Rick Scott CNN interview and you'll find a good 7 minute video!

Warthog said...

Thanks for responding Furbs. When it comes to the VA, I agree that the soldiers have earned it. But using it as an example of it being good enough for our soldiers, well it obviously is not. If you recall, it was all over the news about how the VA was treating patients and how underfunded they were. I have heard the VA comment on the news, but no one ever brings up the issues that just came to light not long ago.

I did my own research on Rick Scott after your post. I found that CNN interview and while it pointed out the shady actions of Rick Scott's business, it was not able to point to him organizing people and putting them on busses. When asked what he was doing, all he kept saying was that he was telling people to get out and voice their opinion no matter what side of the argument they are on. Not exactly an overt call for disorder. So if CNNs commentator wanted to prove this guy was organizing people to disrupt the town hall meetings I think he fell short on proof.

However, I can find plenty of proof from both the left and the right calling people to rally. But it has all come after the original outbursts last week. So while they may be orchestrated now, where they genuine last week? I look at some of the people voicing asking questions and I see grandma and grandpa. I have seen one nut case ask a question. A few people get over excited, but is that passion or planned derision?

The news can never be trusted. I am currently running close to Cable News overload. I have been switching back and forth from Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC (to be honest, not much MSNBC, I just can’t take it). I have gotten my fill of all of them and want to start discussing the issues.

Note to All: I know I said I would write my own opinion 24 hrs after this was originally posted but it took a day to get people talking. I am going to give it a little longer, maybe later tonight or tomorrow. I want to hear everyone’s opinion first and complete some more research.

sshanson422 said...

Gods Bless America

Furbs said...

Steve -
I agree that it is disgusting about the VA not being fully funded. That should be the first $$ taken out of the Pentagon's huge budget!
As far as the Rick Scott guy goes, he is the founder of a group called Conservatives for Patients' Rights. The sole purpose of this group is to misinform people as to the healthcare debate....

Warthog said...


I know that in your book Conservative is a bad word. But on this blog I don't like blanket statements without references. Please state the misinformation so it can be debated.

I also know you like conspiracies, is that only religated to supposed conspiracies by Republicans? I am not big on conspiracies but do believe in studying history and holding peoples words against them regardless of their party.

So I invite you to convince me.

James said...

You made my point for me Furbs. They EARNED IT. When did medical insurance become a right. Notice I didn't say medical service. You can always get medical service, just pay for it. If you can't afford it, the government is there to help you. If you make enough money and don't qualify then maybe you should have bought one of the personal insurance plans. This is the point of this entire blog (correct me if I'm wrong Steve) personal responsibility.

As for the town hall meetings, I agree that it should not be a shouting match. But how else do you get the coverage by the media. If a couple of radicals cause a disturbance you know the news will cover this and maybe start looking into things.

Has anybody looked at their income tax recently? I challenge you to look and find out exactly how much you give the government and then think about where this money goes. When was the last time you used a service provided by the federal government? If your not using it, who is? And do they really deserve YOUR money. How many obese people do you see in the welfare lines? How many of them have bigger TV's then you do?

I can answer the question because I see it on a daily basis. I go into homes that have multiple expensive electronics and nobody at the house works. Need money? Tell the feds your disabled. Not disabled? No problem. Just become an alcoholic or drug addict. Theres tons of money just waiting for you to collect.

One final thought...
I have to provide a random drug test in order to keep my job and retain the privlege of paying my taxes. Shouldn't you have the same responsibility if you want MY money?

Warthog said...

Powerful statement James and thanks for telling us what you see every day.

I watched a special on a couple looking for a job. They were complaining about neither of them having a job(I believe 6 months) after the husband recently lost his and having a new child. They were worried about not having enough money for food for the baby. This was being filmed in their home.

I saw cell phones, computers, and multiple cars in the drive way. They showed the wife looking for work on the internet. I have to assume that with the internet came cable tv.
I wouldn't be suprised to find them smoking as well.

We have friends who right now are having to cut back on expenses because they have taken pay cuts at work. They stopped smoking and got rid of cable tv. I have not once heard them ask for help, ask for a smoke, and never a cry about it being unfair. These are Americans I want to live with and I hope they know they can count on me if they do need help. If I saw they needed it and were to proud to ask, I would give it to them with out them asking.

That is the difference people, I am not heartless, I just don't have time or money for worthless people.

Sorry I went of topic.

Furbs said...

Whoa there, fellas, how did healthcare and town hall meetings spin off into welfare and income tax?!? ;-p
Steve, here is just a bit of the "CPR" misinformation (found on wikipedia with references)...

Claims made by CPR
Claim #1: Health reform "could raise taxes by $600 billion—even taxing soda." The ad cites a July 10 Associated Press article in Newsday reporting that House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, D-NY., "has said his committee needs to come up with $600 billion in new taxes to deliver on Obama's goal of sweeping changes to bring down costs and cover the 50 million uninsured." The ad doesn't note that the $600 billion is a figure over 10 years. Holahan says that number could turn out to be right, but it likely will be less. "There are all kinds of proposals out there, and [the cost] depends on the design choices, including how generous it is in terms of benefits and subsidies, what savings they can get out of Medicare and Medicaid and whether there's a public plan." And, a soda tax is just one of many proposed revenue-raisers, including a cap on the tax deductibility of insurance premiums, a tax on the wealthy and an alcohol tax.

Claim #2: Health reform "could add a trillion to the federal deficit." For this one, the CPR cites a commentary from Fortune. The Congressional Budget Office did score the House tri-committee bill as having a total cost of around $1 trillion, but doesn't mention that could accumulate over a ten year period, not in a single year. Holahan points out that an increase in the federal deficit means spending money without raising taxes. "It's almost impossible to both say that you're going to raise taxes by $600 billion and increase the deficit by $1 trillion—that means there's no savings at all anywhere. That can't be right."

Claim #3: Health reform "could hike your health insurance premiums 95 percent." This number comes from a study by The Council for Affordable Health Insurance, an advocacy group for insurance carriers in the individual, small group, HSA and senior markets. The CAHI study looked at what would happen if a health care overhaul banned insurance plans from determining premiums based on a potential customer's risk factors, such as age and any "pre-existing conditions."

The study finds that even with an individual mandate, eliminating all risk assessment would increase premiums by around 95% but does not include an explanation of how the numbers were derived. But Holahan says that, in the absence of health reform, premiums are "almost guaranteed" to grow 95% over a 10 year period.

Claim #4: "You still might end up on their government-run health plan." The CPR cites a study from The Lewin Group. Republican lawmakers often quote the study as saying that a public plan would cause 119 million Americans to drop their private health insurance. But that was only under a scenario in which the public plan is open to everyone and paid providers at Medicare rates. Under other scenarios, the same study found that as few as 10.2 million Americans would drop out of private plans." [22]

Furbs said...

I exceeded your limit...sorry, had to make two posts....

Don't bother trying to convince me that there are people out there "gaming" the system and trying to get free rides....that is definitely the case and, unfortunately, it probably always will be. However, that's not a problem with the program/service itself, it's a problem with enforcement. I don't think a truly deserving person should be punished by removing the program just because there are people out there that are abusing it.

Basically, I just have a fundamental problem with the whole idea of profiting off of other people's health. The whole system is working against itself: the people pay for coverage to protect themselves, but the insurers increase their profits by denying this coverage and possibly even dropping the patient should they come down with a catastrophic illness. The way I see it, I think we should adopt the best system in the world...and that's a single-payer universal system. This has proven to be the best system, both with results and with cost. Right now, the US pays way more per person on healthcare with worse results. Currently, according to the WHO, the US has the 37th best healthcare system in the world....not very impressive!
I agree that it really would be nice to get something for the tax money that they take from us...wouldn't full health coverage, without premiums, co-pays, and all that BS be nice to get out of your tax money??
I agree, it does not say in The Constitution that medical insurance is a right. It also doesn't say that the government should use tax money to build roadways, have firemen, maintain national forests, etc. The thing is, it's a good thing for the general well-being of the citizens....same as healthcare.
I think that all politicians should be randomly drug tested and maybe even given some other tests (personality, intelligence, etc.) prior to "serving" us...heheeheh...convince them to pass that one! ;-p

Warthog said...

Thanks for siting Furbs. I agree that there is a lot of leaving out full details and putting forward half truths. That goes for both sides of this arguement and every political arguement out there. That is why I stress getting your information from as many different sources as possible including the opposing side. I just posted about my feelings about health care.

I also agree things need to be changed and that it is unfortunate that health care does work against itself. It goes along the lines that it is more profitable to contain an illness rather than cure it(HIV). I also don't agree with dumping someone after they have been diagnosed. That is immoral at best and criminal at worst.

Some of this debate is getting off topic about the town hall meetings so I would like to move it to the newest post.