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Letters to the Editor

Bill is a boondoggle

August 20, 2009

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To the editor:

Thank you, Cal Thomas, for expressing your opinion with courage and sincerity in accordance with your right to free speech (Journal- World, Aug. 12). It is unfortunate that those who oppose Jesus Christ do not realize the love of God to humanity. (“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” — John 3:16)

That love of God is what works in those who, throughout history and in recent times (Hurricane Katrina, for example), have extended help, globally, to those who are sick, destitute, impoverished, in extreme need or adversely affected by natural disasters. One does not need to look far to see Judeo-Christian organizations at work in behalf of fellow human beings. Such charities can, and often do, supply the needs that big government now presumes to, but charities do so without taxing anyone — upper or middle class.

The issue is not one of denying insurance coverage or health care to those who cannot or will not purchase it for themselves; the issue is that such provision (of insurance and/or health care) needs not be the 1,017-page boondoggle now under congressional consideration.

Comments

1029 4 years, 8 months ago

This letter is garbage.

"One does not need to look far to see Judeo-Christian organizations at work in behalf of fellow human beings. Such charities can, and often do, supply the needs that big government now presumes to, but charities do so without taxing anyone — upper or middle class."

Wow. This is the republican voter, people. The simple, undereducated idiot. Reality is just too complex for the republican to ever understand.

And I love how this idiot uses Hurricane Katrina as an example. It is absurd to assume that "judeo-christian organizations" are doing more for recovery than "big government" is. The ongoing recovery effort on the gulf coast is being led by non-profit community development organizations that are getting most of their money from the government. Maybe it's not some official government organization doing the work, but all the homes being built down there are being built with funds from the government.

so-called "big government" is behind the scenes everywhere. The republican simpleton just doesn't understand how complex society really is.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 4 years, 8 months ago

OK, I want my health care from a church. Pretty much any church will do. But what the heck, I'll shop around to see which one gives the very best care. They won't care about pre-existing conditions. Give me some plastic surgery at no charge. And only the best painkillers, no charge and no pesky laws to follow. Just I ask and then I receive. Sweet!

Wow, that's easy. Why didn't we do that decades ago?

What, no contraceptives? But how am I supposed to...oh, I'm not supposed to do that? Ah. And there really is a death panel, with only One individual on it? And you're going to strap me to a chair on the end of a pole and dunk me in the lake to see what my diagnosis should be? And what's with the jar of leaches over there?

I guess I see why they are so angry when they are not in the pews.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

What is the point in supporting this BS? These are the large profiteers and white collar criminals.

Opposition thinkers and the insurance industry are taking americans for fools!

INDUSTRY IS LOBBYING AGAINST MEDICIAL INSURANCE REFORM AT A RECORD BREAKING $1.4 MILLION HEALTH CARE INSURANCE DOLLARS A DAY

PART OF THIS $1.4 MILLION HEALTH CARE/INSURANCE DOLLARS A DAY IS LIKELY FUNDING THESE DISRUPTIONS SO PEOPLE ARE GETTING PAID TO DISRUPT.

THESE SAME $1.4 MILLION HEALTH CARE DOLLARS A DAY COULD SUPPLY 519 FAMILIES OF FOUR FULL COVERAGE MEDICARE INSURANCE EACH DAY THIS RECKLESS SPENDING TAKES PLACE

Why in the hell is the health care industry buying and why are legislators selling out?

Health Care Industry and Congress -- We're on to You, and We're not Going to Take It Anymore

Former Lawmakers and Congressional Staffers Hired to Lobby. The hirings are part of a record-breaking influence campaign by the health-care industry, which is spending more than $1.4 million a day on ANTI INSURANCE REFORM lobbying.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/05/AR2009070502770.html

http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4773613&ct=7146131

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/06/diagnosis-reform.html

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Who in the world wants to continue supporting these white collar criminals? Have we lost our minds?

Senate Panel Hears of Health Insurers' Wrongs Ex-Insider Testifies to 'Fear Tactics'

By David S. Hilzenrath Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

The report was part of a multi-pronged assault on the credibility of private insurers by Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). It came at a time when Rockefeller, President Obama and others are seeking to offer a public alternative to private health plans as part of broad health-care reform legislation. Health insurers are doing everything they can to block the public option.

At a committee hearing yesterday, three health-care specialists testified that insurers go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for sick people, use deliberately incomprehensible documents to mislead consumers about their benefits, and sell “junk” policies that do not cover needed care. Rockefeller said he was exploring “why consumers get such a raw deal from their insurance companies.” ad_icon

The star witness at the hearing was a former public relations executive for major health insurers whose testimony boiled down to this: Don't trust the insurers.

“The industry and its backers are using fear tactics, as they did in 1994, to tar a transparent and accountable — publicly accountable — health-care option,” said Wendell Potter, who until early last year was vice president for corporate communications at the big insurer Cigna.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

So people keep being diagnosed with Cancer or other serious illness,bones break,respiratory problems surface,spleens need to be removed,lab tests galore are ordered, MRI 's a huge profit item are done by the dozens and medicines are required to help alleviate symptoms....hmmmmmmmm

Most of the above happen and cannot be stopped. Why should care for the above be a high profit business? Are we crazy or what?

Why do so many want to retain the current most expensive medical insurance in the world?

For share holders and other large profiteers?

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75x55 4 years, 8 months ago

nightmare's improving!

"I will accept this premise and extend it to say that xtianity addressed personal behavior and not societal behavior.

Thus, xtianity should have no part in the government whatsoever.

I am fine with this."

You're starting to get it - except for the small issue that Christians will likely still have roles in government functions, as do any other citizens involved in government activities, and like those other citizens, will apply their understand of what is right and good - hard work, diligence, honesty, etc. If you speak of "xtianity should have no part in the government" in terms of any organized denomination or similar creed-holding group as a collective force for change, I'm all with you on that. Certainly don't see the value of having only atheists/agnostics involved, as they may (just as likely) not have the whole interests of their fellow citizens at heart.

Though that does make the political parties themselves a little dodgy...

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Slowponder 4 years, 8 months ago

Would somebody 'splain this letter? I have no idea what random biblical quotes have to do with national health care policy, but maybe someone smarter than me can make the connection.

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Stain 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't like the bill either.

HR 676 single payer health care is the one to support.

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jaywalker 4 years, 8 months ago

"The flying lesson sounds nice. I just have this damned ring I gotta thrown in a volcano or something"

Made me chuckle

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Senate Panel Hears of Health Insurers' Wrongs Ex-Insider Testifies to 'Fear Tactics'

By David S. Hilzenrath Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

The report was part of a multi-pronged assault on the credibility of private insurers by Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). It came at a time when Rockefeller, President Obama and others are seeking to offer a public alternative to private health plans as part of broad health-care reform legislation. Health insurers are doing everything they can to block the public option.

At a committee hearing yesterday, three health-care specialists testified that insurers go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for sick people, use deliberately incomprehensible documents to mislead consumers about their benefits, and sell "junk" policies that do not cover needed care. Rockefeller said he was exploring "why consumers get such a raw deal from their insurance companies." ad_icon

The star witness at the hearing was a former public relations executive for major health insurers whose testimony boiled down to this: Don't trust the insurers.

"The industry and its backers are using fear tactics, as they did in 1994, to tar a transparent and accountable -- publicly accountable -- health-care option," said Wendell Potter, who until early last year was vice president for corporate communications at the big insurer Cigna.

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kugrad 4 years, 8 months ago

pusscanthropus As a fellow follower of his noodly majesty by whose whim we all exist, I can tell you the good news! When we die we won't go to hell, which does not exist, we will either be reincarnated as pirates or join the universal marinara sauce. May his noodly appendage touch you all. Remember, WWFSMD?

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 8 months ago

(cont.)

"Andrew's whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven't planned for retirement, and they need a house. They recently defaulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do."

My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his wine.

I lowered my eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.

"By the way," He added, "I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I'm firing you as head of your business. I'll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There's a whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can't come to you for jobs groveling like beggars."

I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his creme brulee. He drained the last drops of his wine.

As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair. He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle.. Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us. What had I done wrong?

As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.

"You should have stopped me at the dinner roll," he said.

Wake up, America !

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 8 months ago

Someone sent me this email:


Once upon a time, I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a free country. There's nothing that the government can do to me if I've broken no laws. My wealth was earned honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.

I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served our dinner. The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate, and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.

"Sorry about that," said the President. "Andrew is very hungry."

"I don't appreciate..." I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty.. It was just a dinner roll. "Of course," I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp.

"And his brother Eric is very thirsty." said the President.

I didn't say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I will play along. I don't want to seem unkind. My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.

"Eric's children are also quite hungry."

With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood,brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room.

"And their grandmother can't stand for long."

I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat, to find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President.

"Their grandfather doesn't like the cold."

I wanted to shout - that was my coat! But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled. Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our home. Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in. The President hadn't moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.

(cont.)

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jonas_opines 4 years, 8 months ago

The flying lesson sounds nice. I just have this damned ring I gotta thrown in a volcano or something.

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 8 months ago

lets all live our lives by what fictional characters have to say. I'd stay & chat, but I have to get down to Moe's for a beer, and then i'm off to Hogwarts for my flying lesson.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 8 months ago

So then a liberal is based solely on tax and spend?

Well, Jesus wasn't a take out a loan and spend conservative, either.

Hell, it's almost like Jesus wouldn't belong to either of our current factions. Maybe that he'd be ashamed of both of them.

But. . . he did advocate against the corruption of organized religion of the day, and he did talk about rich people having very difficult times getting into heaven.

Oh, and this LTE is a mess. Title, tangent, then a throwout that the bill is a problem.

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BuenaVista 4 years, 8 months ago

Cappy you think Jesus was a tax and spend liberal? I don’t remember him advocating a tax increase. I guess he knew people help people government taxes and wastes. Smart Man.

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yourworstnightmare 4 years, 8 months ago

The upshot of Cal's argument (and others) was that Jesus was tlking bout how individuals should treat one another, and not how a government should be run.

I will accept this premise and extend it to say that xtianity addressed personal behavior and not societal behavior.

Thus, xtianity should have no part in the government whatsoever.

I am fine with this.

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Kirk Larson 4 years, 8 months ago

BuenaVista (Anonymous) says… Liberals would be the ones that manipulated big government to kill Jesus.

Cappy says: I beg your pardon. Jesus was clearly a Liberal. He believed in separation of church and state, (give Caesar what's his, give God what's His) redistribution of wealth, (sell all you have, give to poor, and follow me) preached a hippy-dippy message of peace, love , and brotherhood, was against exploitive big business (chased out the money-changers) as said above gave out free health care, and (/snark on) he was Jewish (/snark off).

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BuenaVista 4 years, 8 months ago

Liberals would be the ones that manipulated big government to kill Jesus.

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porch_person 4 years, 8 months ago

"Religion, however, cannot be government and cannot substitute completely for our mutual responsibilities to each other." --- Paul Getto

Great statement, Paul.

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 8 months ago

"Nobody's perfect. Oh yeah, there was that one guy, but we killed him." ET (the great Essene Teacher) and model for Joshua (aka Jesus) several decades later, was on the right track. Religion, however, cannot be government and cannot substitute completely for our mutual responsibilities to each other.

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pusscanthropus 4 years, 8 months ago

What if I'm a follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Will the christians help me or leave me to die and go to hell?

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 8 months ago

Cappy, BS is what liberals consider to be charity: Giving OTHER people's money away. Ask a lib personally for a handout and they pucker up tighter than a snare drum.

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kmat 4 years, 8 months ago

Nancy boy - you're believing what Brooks says in his book. Check into the data he used to come to his conclusions. Yes, he did use 15 sets of data. BUT, that data is all from interviews. Anyone being asked how much they give can say whatever they want. Brooks is coming up with BS dollar amounts based on what people say in surveys.

If he could provide solid #'s, then ok. But taking what anyone says they give per year to charity based on interviews instead of proof of what these people actually gave creates "mushy" numbers as many have proven about Brooks work.

And, Brooks is a conservative Catholic. He's the president of AEI, a conservative think tank. He writes conservative editorials for the WSJ. He is a very biased person. And you believe the trash he writes. Ha ha. Of course you do.

Brooks also claims that those without children or religion aren't really happy. Whatever.

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Kirk Larson 4 years, 8 months ago

Nancy, Charities can't take up the slack left by an inefficient health insurance system. We need systemic reform. Your BS is just BS.

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Jimo 4 years, 8 months ago

No doubt that various Islamo-Judeo-Christian charities dispense services and good acts as part of their religious mission.

But good sir, Hurricane Katrina's example of the outpouring of charity, was notable less for what it revealed about the "love of God" than the fact that the charity was needed as a result of the willful, purposeful, ideological incompetence displayed precisely by an Administration likely to also quote Bible verses and claim that "government can't do anything right." (Note: especially when it never tries in the first place.)

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 8 months ago

"What Brooks, who identifies himself as one who was raised in a politically liberal family, found to be most striking was that “liberals, who often claim to care more about others than conservatives do, are personally less charitable.” Brooks was surprised to discover that religious conservatives are the most generous of all.

It might seem obvious on first blush that religious people do give significantly, primarily to their faith communities. However, what Brooks found goes far deeper. “Religious people do not outperform secularists in charity simply because of their gifts to houses of worship. Religious people are, inarguably, more charitable in every measurable way,” he wrote. "

http://www.examiner.com/a-1227178~Who_gives_more_to_charitable_causes__conservatives_or_liberals_.html?cid=rss-Baltimore

Your BS doesn't stack up, Cappy.

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Kirk Larson 4 years, 8 months ago

And what did Jesus actually do?

He went around dispensing free health care.

It always gets me how people who invoke Jesus' name rarely seem to live by what he actually taught.

The conservative says: "God helps those who help themselves". Jesus and other Liberals say: "God helps those who help each other".

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parrotuya 4 years, 8 months ago

Cal Thomas is a bigoted, sexist, racist and homophobic WASP. In other words, the textbook definition of a good Christian. Fortunately, for the rest of us, his is a species in danger of extinction. Hopefully, that "liberal" Obama administration won't try to save this species. Just let it die off on its own.

DOWn, baby, DOWn!

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porch_person 4 years, 8 months ago

Another moron who wants to take us back to the 1700's.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 8 months ago

"Boondoggle".

Reminds me of Jim Hightower. During the W/Dick years everything was a "boondoggle".

Apparently, Dems are going "nuclear" with ObamaCare now. As much as it pains me to say, I hope they do.

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BuenaVista 4 years, 8 months ago

Government is like a charity, only they can arbitrarily set your tithing and if you don’t contribute agents show up at your door with guns.

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meggers 4 years, 8 months ago

It is unfortunate that those who oppose Jesus Christ do not realize the love of God to humanity."

So those who support providing affordable, life-saving care to all human beings somehow "oppose Jesus Christ"? What kind of convoluted logic is that?

We currently have insurance companies that decide who gets care and who does not based solely on their profit margin. At the the same time, these same profiteers are lining the pockets of those politicians willing to foresake the needs of the people they supposedly represent, just so these so-called leaders can win their next election and continue the status quo. Everyone wins, except the actual constituents. On the other hand, we can come together collectively as a society and recognize that no human being should be allowed to suffer needlessly for the sake of greed. I ask you, Richard, WWJD?

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kugrad 4 years, 8 months ago

If you think charities are the way to solve our health care problems, you live in a fantasy world. Then again, if you regard the opinions of Cal Thomas as worth thoughtful consideration, you may be functionally illiterate anyway.

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BrianR 4 years, 8 months ago

What a crazy line of b.s. Richard, you have no idea what you're talking about.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Revised: Guns, Gays, and God people just added healthcare.

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normal_entire_route 4 years, 8 months ago

ummmm so I can get my health care from a charity?

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grammaddy 4 years, 8 months ago

Can we leave religion out of this pllease?!? Not everyone in this country is of the Judeo or Christian persuasion. And the Bible was written by men, not God. If you are so knowledgeable about what this bill needs or doesn't need, let's see your solution.

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grimpeur 4 years, 8 months ago

This letter is a boondoggle. The statement that "charities do so without taxing anyone — upper or middle class" is a lie as long as these cults are tax-exempt.

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