More From the White House on Health Insurance Reform

Here are several video responses from White House staff debunking some of the hysteria:

Get the facts about the stability and security you get from health insurance reform | Health Insurance Reform Reality Check

There is also this really great Frank Rich column (here) from the New York Times yesterday that talks about the troubles facing the White House and the need for a less insane GOP.

Conservatives aren’t doing themselves any favors by choosing to act like the brownshirts they’ve accused others of being.

  • nobody

    Neiwert’s criticism is pretty bad. Is there any real difference between the thugism against unions from the thugism of unions?

    And I think the town hall events aren’t fully reported. It seems very likely to me that many Members are trying to stage things to _avoid_ hearing criticism of reform, which would explain some of the tension.

    That said, I hold the latest euthanasia meme in contempt. They’re spinning up some highly inflammatory allegations on a terribly speculative basis. It’s wrong, and it’s corrosive to a proper debate. And it’s stupid. Health care reform is _losing_, for one thing. But the more emotional this debate is, the more likely Democrats are to win.

    • blurb

      I’m all for opposing viewpoints. Just express them well and with measured civility.

      I’m not sure that reform is losing. I think we’ll see a concerted PR effort turned way up over the next few weeks/months.

  • frogburger

    We’re supposed to believe the White House? That’s a valid source of analysis?
    Like Bush was a valid source of analysis at his time?

    Again, look around the world to see the facts on nationalized healthcare. Stop listening to the propaganda of Obama.

    France, my dear country, asks citizens to complement nationalized healthcare with private insurance (my mom has 2), taxes people at approximately a 50% rate, plus a VAT between 15 and 19%. Despite that, the French healthcare system is in the red all the time, losing billions of euros every year.

    You think Obama is so smart he can do the same without raising taxes down the road or plague the economy?

    You’re kidding yourself.

    • blurb

      I wouldn’t call my link to the White House site “analysis”. But given the tone of the opposition, a good response.

      I think there are a handful of other industrialized countries besides France who handle healthcare better. It is my opinion that Obama & the Democrats’ plan isn’t trying to emulate France’s system.

      • frogburger

        You’re right. It’s actually worse.

        I’m on page 80 of the bills and it’s more bureaucracy, more control and regulations which can lead to some serious corruption than France.

        That’s why this is such a non sense to me.

        I’ll keep reading the bill.

        The intent is good. The ways to achieve the intent are way off.

        • TheNephew

          I don’t know why you insist on calling it “the bill”. Its not a bill yet. In fact, there are several versions of the bill. The numerous versions in the senate (three) and the one from the house. “The bill” doesn’t actually exist until its passed out of a conference committee between the House and Senate. THAT will be the bill, subject to further amendment on either chamber’s floor. I’d like to comment on what is going on now but i’m waiting on the conference committee.

          Further, how does more control and regulation lead to corruption? I’ve never seen that link in logic made before and It’d be nice for elaboration. I’d like to know what in “the bill” is so much worse from what we have today.

 I’d also suggest everyone read this link, and watch the video its just a clipping about Obama handling the dissent. I like the portion where he spends a lot of time ONLY ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM DISSENTERS. At least we have a president who is willing to address an audience with respect, and welcomes those who disagree with him.

      • frogburger

        And I’d love to know the handful of countries where it works. I’m sure you’ll name the Scandinavian ones and it’s true that have relatively good economic numbers.
        But they are small and until recently they haven’t suffered from massive immigration immigrating for welfare.

        The size of the US and the immigration will make this bill unsustainable.

        That is why it should be the job of each state to implement healthcare if they feel like it.

        And it wouldn’t break the Constitution.

        • TheNephew

          I also want to know how the current solution by Congress does break the constitution. I’m a law student who did relatively well in constitutional law, and I don’t know how this is a violation of the Constitution. Article 1 section 8 allows congress to make laws that affect interstate commerce. Those powers have been broadly interpreted under the Congress’ Tax and spend powers, the necessary and proper clause, the provision for general welfare clause, and interstate commerce.

          You might say, “But that isn’t specifically in the Constitution so its unconstitutional.” Well this exact issue is why I have earned A’s in my con law class. The founding of the Constitution was based, in Madison’s view, on the theory that The Constitution must give the federal government enough power to tend to issues of national concern. Therefore phrases like “necessary and proper” in Article I were designed to allow Congress to broadly interpret its ability to make national laws under the other provisions in Article I. See Federalist Papers No. 30-36, and 41, Wickard v. Filburn; NLRB v. Jones (overturning Hammer v. Dagenhart); Lopez v. U.S. Even the conservative opinion of the Court in Lopez bears out the very expansive power that Congress has to determine what is and is not related to its Article 1 section 8 powers.

          A further nail in the coffin is that for a taxpayer to sue Congress for doing something the taxpayer disagrees with, the taxpayer cannot simply sue because the taxpayer disagrees with how his/her tax dollars are spent. Frothingham v. Mellon. Specifically taxpayers have to show not only that they have a claim beyond their taxpayer status (thus must have a actual controversy with the government) and also must show that Congress has overreached its constitutional boundary See, Flast v. Cohen.

          Why doesn’t the Supreme Court call the whole thing unconstitutional? Well because the Supreme Court has a whole lot of deference when it comes to deciding if Congress has gone beyond its powers given under Article 8 Section 1. That deferrence was solidified in the case law above, but also in Baker v. Carr which was the first indepth discussion of something called the political question doctrine, which essentially means that the Supreme Court will stay out of questions best left to the political branches of government (Executive and Legislative).

          So, that is why you’re statement that, “That is why it should be the job of each state to implement healthcare if they feel like it.

          And it wouldn’t break the Constitution” has an improper founding. You’re assumption that this is a states’ rights issue is only correct in so far as Congress has yet to exercise its broad powers for a public option on healthcare. The moment Congress does, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution (See Article VI) kicks in and overrides the states rules.

          • TheNephew

            Sorry, that last post isn’t absolutely correct. Very intelligent scholars disagree with my assessment such as Edwin Meese III and Robert Bork who are both intelligent and have written volumes abut why what ivsaid above is wrong.

          • frogburger

            I’m not a lawyer and I haven’t studied here. So I can’t bring up all those points.
            My point is that this bill or act is not about interstate commerce at all. So Article 1 section 8 doesn’t apply.

            Commerce is commerce. Providing healthcare via the government is not trade.

            And I seriously doubt the word welfare at the time was meant as we mean it today ie. with a socialist or social democracy definition. If that was the case, this country would be different today already.

            So I disagree with your interpretation despite the fact you had some nice studies.

            And if you’ve received the biased education I’ve received in France (Marx, Bourdieu all the time), then you may want to question what your teachers taught you, step back and see if it jives with your OWN analysis.

            • TheNephew

              Commerce, as the normal person understands it is not the same thing as interstate commerce as the law sees it. The cases I cited are from the US Supreme Court and their interpretations of what interstate commerce mean. The Federalist papers are citations to what the founding fathers, in fact THE founding father, (the creator of the US Constitution; James Madison) thought about Congress’ interstate commerce and general Article I section 8 powers.

              You can find the fed papers, if you are interested, at part 90.

              My education, i don’t think at least, has been biased. Most law schools teach con law exactly the same. Like I said, there is substantial research from some of the best legal scholars, who completely agree with you, but again the law is something of interpretation and hard to pin down in these areas.

        • mumoogaipan

          I don’t think your assessment of Scandinavian countries is totally accurate. A lot of those countries receive immigrants from nations outside of the EU for an EU immigration program. Moreover, you are inferring that, here in America, we have a population of immigrants who flock here for welfare purposes. I am not sure a lost of immigrants (illegal or otherwise) come to America for its welfare programs. If the immigrants are illegal they cannot receive welfare because they do not have the necessary documents to receive welfare benefits. If the immigrants are not illegal it seems that welfare would not be the primary reason to emigrate to America.

          I agree that each state should implement a healthcare policy, but there should also be an overlapping federal guideline/policy that regulates insurance companies and provides a minimum standard of care that insurance companies must follow in addition to a minimum standard of care for all Americans. Such a policy also would not break the constitution, in fact, such a policy falls in line with constitutional principles when state and federal governments co-create policy.

          • frogburger

            No you’re reading my mind. Immigrants came here for a dream of no government, like I did. Of self realization without having someone taking your money of your hard work. Or to run away socialism, which I despise and loathe so much.

            If you establish all those programs, then they’ll come for the wrong reasons. Like immigrants are coming to Europe now. In the 60s they were coming for work and were perfectly integrated to society. Then welfare and healthcare programs kicked in in the 70s and the immigrant generations that started coming never integrated. Not because they didn’t want to but because the economy tanked and work is the only way to integrate people. Their kids now feel rejected by society and it’s vicious cycle that not only brings violence, crime but nationalistic and racist sentiments.

            Immigration in Scandinavian countries is a much more recent phenomenon than in France, Italy or Germany for example. You can find stats for example on That’s why we’ve seen more issues and tension between communities (representative that was murdered if I remember correctly).

            People think that free market and prosperity driven by capitalism and profit is bad. There’s no perfect system on this planet because humans are flawed by nature. But socialist systems lead to nowhere. (Burning buses and riots in France again this week.) That’s why Europe has turned conservative in Germany, France and Italy. The French socialist party is in disarray and some hard-core socialist of the 80s now admit they have to accept free market, globalization and capitalism.

            But that’s a broader discussion.

  • prufrockn

    Another article you should add to your research, this is from the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Essentially, research indicates Medicare reimbursement has not been substantial to cover costs for Medicare patients for years now. In other words, Medicare’s inability to adequately reimburse has been driving up the costs of private plans. Don’t know where this leads you in your argument, but it’s probably not going to help advocates of a public plan very much.

  • mumoogaipan

    Personally, I will be in the top tier bracket of wage earners and I am happy to be taxed if it means that my taxes will pay for the healthcare of others. Where I am from patriotism means helping those in my community who have the least. It is my civic duty and honor to give some of my hard earned money to the millions without healthcare coverage.

    @Frogburger: First, your point about comparing France makes no sense since it does not compare the French system with the proposals coming from the Senate and the House. Moreover, you make the assumption that reformed healthcare must raise taxes as if that is an inherent negative argument. First, that assumption has no basis with the argument you provided. Second, the statistics from France make an argument that a poorly manged tax system without a positive result is bad. If we were taxed more and had positive results I don’t think people would mind. For example, if I was taxed at a 50% tax rate with a VAT as in France, I would not mind so long as I knew every American was covered with Health Insurance, had a top-notch education, and could look forward to retirement with Social Security Benefits.

    I think the tone of the conversation should be about what we are getting with our taxes. Right now, speculation about tax increases, what the healthcare bill does, and who it will effect, is putting the cart before the horse. The Senate does not have a bill they have voted on, the house has a bill but we don’t know how either will change when the two chambers have to reform the bill. A lot of things can change between now and then.

    Regarding the town hall crazies:
    I believe in the democractic process and that people should be free to speak their mind. These are rights guaranteed by our constitution. In fact, even though I don’t agree with the logic, arguments, and assertions made by the crazy people who are disrupting the town hall meetings, I support their right to speak their mind. However, we all have to live with one another in a civil manner. Perhaps leaving anger at the door but raising genuine criticism would be better received.

    Additionally, I don’t think that this strategy is a positive way to attract more people to the GOP’s side. When the midterms come around then a lot of moderates, who are not persuaded by fanatics from the GOP or the Dems, will look to the way the GOPs carried themselves during the debate. I suspect that many moderates will not want to be associated with a party whose public face throughout the discussion on healthcare looked like a group of people frothing at the mouth with anger and bile, while adding little to the discourse on health care.

    • frogburger

      My argument is valid because I look at the current debt. Adding a trillion dollars of debt just for NOW will have serious economic consequences.

      Debt => taxes especially if the debt results of the increase of the size of government, which Obama has been doing after Bush.

      And the estimated trillion is just for now. I’d love to know the projection for 10 or 20 years down the road.

      Take the aging of the population into account as well, especially if the economy remains sluggish for many years (very possible) and we’re facing a huge problem.

      • mumoogaipan

        I think we need to understand that the trillion dollar mark can fluctuate, it is an assumption to state that the bill is going to cost a trillion dollars when the bill is still in its infancy. Moreover, the current trillion dollar estimate is over the course of 10 years according to the Office of Management and Budget. That’s 100 billion a year, i think we can stomach 100 billion a year for 10 years on healthcare.

        Also, it may not e the most logical thing to state that the economy is going to remain in a ruinous state for a very long time, sure i may take time to recover but signs are cropping up that the economy is coming back slowly: unemployment numbers did not rise as much as expected (which could change), market number have been rising slowly, and companies are beginning to pay back he money they took for the bailout.

        I am interested in hearing what your plan for healthcare would be Frogburger? I personally back the general principles outlined by the president, and I am tired of bureaucrats at insurance companies making decisions for my family members (I have a mother with Multiple Sclerosis who was denied medication by an insurance investigator who had no medical degree). My other question is how do you rate your current insurance? Have you read the fine print on what is included/excluded in your insurance contract? I am a law school student who clerked for an insurance defense firm, and I can tell you from experience that those contracts can be particularly nasty if you do not pay attention to the fine print.

        • frogburger

          If you’re managing the budget like most Americans have managed their credit card debt and mortgage, I guess we can manage this big hole in the budget. This is totally irresponsible. The debt is already 60% of the GDP. We have no industrial policy. China pretty much owns us and we keep digging the hole.

          My plan would be the folllowing:
          – plan unchanged for people who have private insurance
          – develop a system where small booboos don’t require insurance. Where, like in the old days, you can go to the doctor pay cash. It used to work before insurances kicked in. At the same time, create policies that focus on major diseases and surgery. A bit like the earthquake insurance for the house.
          – If people can’t afford that insurance, then maybe offer some kind of program for really big health problems.
          – I don’t have a problem to make sure insurance companies pay what they’re supposed to pay instead of back pedaling.
          – Prohibit frivolous lawsuits by lawyers against doctors and surgeons which Mr Edwards made his profit on (another hypocrite from the left who loves to criticize profit so much)

          You’re a law school student? Then you should add economy to your studies.

          And you’re tired of bureaucrat of insurance companies? You’re really confused. Read the bill since you’re studying law. The bureaucracy created is outrageous (Commissioner, Commissioner of Health Choices, Obudsman, etc…) It’s insane.

    • frogburger

      I am not sure your analysis about the GOP is true.
      It goes beyond party line. I’m a Libertarian Conservative. My wife used to be a Democrat and is independent now. Pelosi and Obama have made he run away from them.
      I’m sure she’s not the only one.

      And we’ll be both in DC on 9/12 with the rest of the mob.