Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “Obamacare

Hobby Lobby SCOTUS Ruling:

The Supreme Court ruling on BURWELL, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL. v. HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC. has now opened up the precedent (ignoring how narrowly tailored the ruling was to only contraception) that under the RFRA, even if its a compelling government interest, the state cannot mandate any firm with sincere religious beliefs to carry out a requirement, so long as the government can pick up the slack? It seems like the least restrictive means will always be making the government do it instead and not restrict at all anyone’s religious beliefs.

On page 46 of the opinion, Alito writes: “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious diseases) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them.”

This certainly leaves open the possibility that the Court could rule differently on the “least restrictive means” issue in the future, but his language in section V-B, which discusses the “least restrictive means” test, seems to indicate that it is a difficult standard to pass. On page 41 of the opinion, he indicates that “the most straightforward way of [meeting the least restrictive means test] would be for the Government to assume the cost.” He also says that “HHS has not shown … that this is not a viable alternative.” This seems to indicate that if such a challenge were to come up regarding vaccination or blood transfusions, or whatever else, the burden would be on the Department of Health and Human Services to show that it would be impractical for the Government to cover the cost. That would be quite the burden for the Government to prove.

Ginsberg seems to agree with that reading in her dissent. On page 29 on the dissent, she writes, “And where is the stopping point to the ‘let the government pay’ alternative? Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage, … or according women equal pay for substantially similar work…? Does it rank as a less restrictive alternative to require the government to provide the money or benefit to which the employer has a religion-based objection?” In addition to indicating that the Court’s logic could prove problematic in the future, she asserts that it is flawed at present, saying, “In sum, in view of what Congress sought to accomplish, i.e., comprehensive preventive care for women furnished through employer-based health plans, none of the proffered alternatives would satisfactorily serve the compelling interests to which Congress responded.”

I agree with Justice Ginsberg on many points here, especially the last few pages of her dissent. Justice Alito attempts to narrow his ruling as much as possible, but leaves a lot of questions unanswered as to the basis for his narrow ruling. To me, the most compelling arguments come from sections III-4 and IV (pages 27-35) of Ginsberg’s dissent. She basically asserts that the Court’s ruling has much broader implications than it intends, and poses quite a few questions about the basis for the narrow ruling.

I am also inclined to agree with her reasoning that the Court should have no business in determining which religious views are legitimate and which are not, and that religious exemptions from generally applicable law should be reserved for groups that are organized “for a religious purpose” and/or “engaged primarily in carrying out that religious purpose”.

The Supreme Court ruling can be found here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_olp1.pdf

Justice Ginsburg’s dissent here: http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/231974154

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This is how “Conservatives” view “Liberals”:

Liberal

 

President Barack Obamaadvocates the use of unsuccessful Keynesian economic concepts. He is considered by many to be the worst president ever.

liberal is someone who favors increased government spending, power, and control, as in ObamaCare, as well as censorship of Christianity. Increasingly, liberals side with the homosexual agenda, including supporting homosexual “marriage”. Many liberals favor a welfare state where people receive endless entitlements without working. Liberals are often anti-Christian, or otherwise disagree with moral or social principles held by many American Christians. They prefer atheism over the Christian faith, as atheism has no objective morality to hinder their big government plans. The liberal ideology has worsened over the years and degenerated into economically unsound views and intolerant ideology. Some liberals simply support, in knee-jerk fashion, the opposite ofconservative principles without having any meaningful values of their own.

Polling data has consistently shown that a increasingly large percentage of Americans identify as conservative, rather than as liberal, currently by 38% to 21%.[1]

A liberal supports many of the following political positions and practices:

  • Spending money on government programs (the significant economic problems in the Eurozone due to government debt will no doubt increasingly discredit this aspect of liberal ideology and make things more difficult for advocates of liberal economic ideologies)
  • Government’s ability to solve economic problems[2]
  • The belief that terrorism is not a huge threat, and that the main reason for Muslim extremists’ hostility towards America is because of bad foreign policy [3]
  • Taxpayer-funded and/or legalized abortion
  • Cessation of teacher-led prayer in classrooms and school/state-sponsored religious events.
  • Gun control
  • Anti-Americanism
  • Affirmative action[4]
  • Opposition to government regulation or restriction of obscenity, pornography and violence in video games as a First Amendment right[5]
  • Government-funded medical care, such as Obamacare
  • Belief in evolution
  • Destroying the Christian foundations on which America was built on.
  • Taxpayer-funded and government-controlled public education
  • Placement of men and women in the same jobs in the military
  • Legalized same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption
  • Tax and spend economics
  • Economic sector regulations[6]
  • Spreading of political correctness
  • Destroying liberty
  • Ending Western morality
  • Non-syndicalist labor unions
  • Encouraging promiscuity through sexual education (the teaching of safe sex) rather than teaching abstinence from premarital sex[7]
  • A “living Constitution” that is reinterpreted as liberals prefer, rather than how it is thought to have been intended.
  • Government programs to rehabilitate criminals
  • Abolition of the death penalty
  • Environmentalism[8]
  • Globalism
  • Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.
  • Opposition to full private property rights.[9]
  • Reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine
  • Opposition to domestic wire-tapping as authorized in the Patriot Act
  • Opposition of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a major part of the War on Terrorism
  • Opposition to the War on Terrorism and the War in Iraq
  • Regulation of business rather than a laissez-faire capitalist economy
  • Opposition to the Constitution. Liberals seek to expand federal power at the expense of local government and silence the conservatives who hold them back, violating the 10th and 1st Amendments respectively.
  • Denial of traditional gender roles
  • Support of financially irresponsible policies
  • Advocating policies which are proven to be incorrect
  • Encouragement of global warming alarmism
  • Persecution of Christianity with deference to other religions, such as Islam.

Liberals currently use two Clauses of the Constitution to try to expand their power: the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause. The General Welfare Clause mentions “promoting the general welfare”. This to a liberal means taxing the rich at increased rates and redistributing that money. The Commerce Clause, on the other hand, says that Congress has the power to regulate trade with foreign nations, between the states and with the Indian tribes. Since the days of FDR this Clause has been interpreted very loosely and has resulted in the federal government expanding its power. The latest example is The Affordable Care Act (ACA), better know as Obamacare. In the ACA, the liberals justify the individual mandate by saying it regulates commerce between the states.

The decline in liberal principles can be illustrated by how Franklin Delano Roosevelt opposed and condemned public sector unions, stating that the idea of collective bargaining can’t be transferred from the private to the public sector, as that would result in the government being unable to carry out its duties. Yet today, decades later, Democrats and liberals are in lock-step with public sector unions, as they “donate” money to the reelection campaign in exchange for more taxpayer money in their wallets and fluffed up pensions.

Current dictionaries describe the liberal ideology by pretending that a liberal is “a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties” or “a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets,”[10] or “open-minded or tolerant, especially free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.” or “favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.”[11] In practical usage, the term “liberal” is more closely synonymous with “radical,” “immoral,” “anti-freedom,” or “bad.”

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Liberals and Uncharitableness

American Liberals have been observed to give less to charity than American conservatives.[12]In addition, per capita atheists andagnostics in the United States give significantly less to charity than theists even when church giving is not counted for theists.[5][6][7]

For more information please seeLiberals and uncharitableness and Atheism and charity

In March of 2008, George Will wrote at RealClearPolitics concerning the United States:

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives….

If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:

— Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

— Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.[13]

Atheists and agnostics often reject Biblical morality (and therefore conservative Christianity ) and hold to moral relativism.[14] Therefore, it is not surprising that per capita atheists and agnostics inAmerica give significantly less to charity than theists even when church giving is not counted for theists.[8][9][10]

Liberal politicians and uncharitableness

The political magazine the American Spectator featured an article which focused on liberal politicians and uncharitableness exposing the hypocrisy of the liberal politicians it featured.[15]

In addition, Barack Obama has been criticized concerning his lack of charitable giving.

Liberal Christianity and marital infidelity

See also: Liberal Christianity and marital infidelity and Liberal Christianity

According to a 2007 study reported in the Journal of Family Issues, adherents of liberal Christianity are more likely to engage in marital infidelity than theologically conservative Christians.[16]

As noted above, liberals are more likely to adhere to evolutionary belief than conservatives. A study conducted by the Australian National University, revealed that belief in evolution is associated with moral permissiveness.[17]

Liberalism and bestiality

See also: Liberalism and bestiality

The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide and euthanasia). Despite holding these immoral views the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University.[18] See: Atheism and bestiality

Bestiality is the act of engaging in sexual relations with an animal. The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide andeuthanasia)[19]. Despite holding these immoral views the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University (Princeton University is a very liberal school – see: Liberalism and bestiality).[20] Peter Singer was installed as the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University in 1999 and in 2006 it was reported that he still worked part-time in that capacity. [21] In 2006, it was also reported that Singer worked part-time as Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics since 2005.[22]

Joe Carter’s First Things article entitled The Dangerous Mind declares concerning Peter Singer declared:

Singer has spent a lifetime justifying the unjustifiable. He is the founding father of the animal liberation movement and advocates ending “the present speciesist bias against taking seriously the interests of nonhuman animals.” He is also a defender of killing the aged (if they have dementia), newborns (for almost any reason until they are two years old), necrophilia (assuming it’s consensual), and bestiality (also assuming it’s consensual).[23]

On October 5, 2011, the British newspaper The Telegraph wrote an article which discussed how homosexuality “rights” have emboldened individuals to ask for so called bestiality “rights” (see: Homosexuality and bestiality).[24]

In 2010, the liberal state of Washington has the highest number of reported cases of bestiality in the United States even though it was merely the 13th most populous state according to the 2010 United States census. (for more information please see: Washington state and bestiality).[25][26][27]

In 2005, four legislators in the liberal state of Massachusetts tried to soften its bestiality laws.[28]

LifeSiteNews reported:”In 46 hours of programming, NBC contained only one reference to marital sex, but 11 references to non-marital sex and one reference to adultery were made. References to incest, pedophilia, partner swapping, prostitution, threesomes, transsexuals/transvestites, bestiality, and necrophilia combined outnumbered references to sex in marriage on NBC by a ratio of 27 to 1.[29] See also:Liberalism and bestiality

The Bible says that bestiality is a perversion and, under the Old Testament Jewish Law, punishable by death (Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 18:23, Leviticus 20:15 and Deuteronomy 27:21). The atheistic worldview does not lend itself to the establishment of morality within society and individuals (see: Atheism and morality and Atheism and deception). The atheistic worldview does not lend itself to the establishment of morality within society and individuals (see: Atheism and morality and Atheism and deception).

A study found that “Psychiatric patients were found to have a statistically significant higher prevalence rate (55%) of bestiality than the control groups (10% and 15% respectively).”[30]The atheist population has a higher suicide rate and lower marriage rates than the general population (see: Atheism and suicide and Atheism and marriageability and Atheism and health).

For more information please see:

Occupy Wall Street and bestiality chant

See also: Occupy Wall Street and bestiality chant

Bestiality is the act of engaging in sexual relations with an animal. A crowd at Occupy Wall Street was led to repeat various chants which included a chant involving bestiality and the incident was videotaped.[31]

Below is an excerpt of the chant:

Everything seems to be possible. [Crowd Parrot Chant] You can travel to the moon. [CPC] You can become immortal [CPC] by biogenetics. You can have sex with animals, or whatever. [CPC].[32]

Liberals and Superstition

2384975035 230a0eac30.jpg

The Wall Street Journal reported: “A comprehensive new study released by Baylor University, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology[33]

Also, in September of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported:

The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won’t create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that’s not a conclusion to take on faith — it’s what the empirical data tell us.

“What Americans Really Believe,” a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience, such as evolution than evangelical Christians….

This is not a new finding. In his 1983 book “The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener,” skeptic and science writer Martin Gardner cited the decline of traditional religious belief among the better educated as one of the causes for an increase in pseudoscience, cults and superstition. He referenced a 1980 study published in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer that showed irreligious college students to be by far the most likely to embrace paranormal beliefs, while born-again Christian college students were the least likely.[34]

Liberalism in the United States Today

Smear merchants.jpg

Democrats and most media outlets in the U.S. are blatantly liberal.[35] Liberalism in North America today practices three primary tactics to attack the Republican Party, and sometimes to attack American values in general. These three liberal tactics can be pronounced using the following acronym: SIN. Liberals (1) shift the subject, they (2) ignore the facts, and they (3) name call.[36][37]

  • Liberals typically support a “mixed” economy, a policy similar to that of fascism[38]
There’s another goal, from my point of view, which is to try to lay the groundwork for a radical political force which would conceive of itself as distinctly to the left of moderate, reformist American liberals. And that has two aspects. One is to try to change that liberalism, to transform it by analysis, critique, and activism; the second is to build a radical movement which would be an autonomous force in its own right, which would be distinct from the traditional American liberal consensus. This radical part of the program involves not simply supporting the liberal students against conservative students and conservative professors, but trying to act on them, to push them to the left. It also involves trying to find and support, even trying to help create, networks of radical students in law school and of radical professors around the country — students and teachers who see themselves as wanting to go a lot further than most people want to go. [39]

Liberal Rankings of Congress Members

The National Journal compiles the votes of each congress member each year and uses the information to create rankings[40] of how liberal each member of the United States Congress is. In addition to showing the voting records of each member and given an overall all ranking of liberalness, the National Journal also ranks congress members by liberalness in the areas of social, economic, and foreign policy.

American liberalism, demographics and expected tipping point in the decline of American liberalism

See also: American atheism and Decline of atheism and Global atheism

Due to the explosive growth of global Christianity in traditional cultures and their influence on Western Christianity and the higher birth rate of conservative Christians and religious conservatives, social conservatism is expected to rise.

The Birkbeck College, University of London professor Eric Kaufman wrote in his 2010 book Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? concerning America:

High evangelical fertility rates more than compensated for losses to liberal Protestant sects during the twentieth century. In recent decades, white secularism has surged, but Latino and Asian religious immigration has taken up the slack, keeping secularism at bay. Across denominations, the fertility advantage of religious fundamentalists of all colours is significant and growing. After 2020, their demographic weight will to tip the balance in the culture wars towards the conservative side, ramping up pressure on hot-button issues such as abortion. By the end of the century, three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the ‘Redeemer Nation’ to evangelize the world. Already, the rise of the World Congress of Families has launched a global religious right, its arms stretching across the bloody lines of the War on Terror to embrace the entire Abrahamic family.[41]

Liberalism in Europe today

In Europe, on the other hand, parties that call themselves liberal are moderate in outlook, ranging from centre-left to centre-right, promote typically economic and business freedom. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe[42] is a party of the European Parliament that represents most liberal parties from European countries. Similar policies are promoted by many liberal parties throughout the world,[43] such as the Liberal Party of Australia.[44]

Trade unions and socialist parties often criticize politicians for promoting lower taxes on business, or more flexible hiring and firing laws, by calling them “liberals” or neoliberals. Thus, just as in the US, “liberal” may occasionally be used as a term of abuse. But when someone is called “liberal” in Europe, it has an entirely different meaning than in the US. In fact, the US meaning of liberal is more similar to the politics of European socialist or social democraticparties.[45]

Historical Liberalism

In history, the word “liberal” has meant different things at different times, and was associated with individual liberty in prior centuries. In the postwar period, liberals supported government intervention in the economy and welfare state policies, as well as peaceful coexistence with the communist block, which are not liberal policies in the sense of classical liberalism. After the end of the cold war, with the demise of socialism and communism, many liberals embraced some ideas from economic neo-liberalism, and coined it the “Third Way”. In the area of national security and foreign policy liberals in the U.S. failed to define a consistent stance, even after the events of 9/11 and the beginning of the war in Iraq. Liberals generally support affirmative action, gay marriage, and abortion.[46]

Original meaning: Classical Liberalism

Liberalism is a political philosophy with freedom as its core value. The term was originally applied to supporters of individual liberties and equal rights, but, in America, the term has come to represent a movement of social change that often conflicts with conservative values such as moral values and traditions derived from Northern European Protestantism.

See Classical Liberalism. Compare Libertarianism.

Notable liberal “intellects”

See also: Infamous liberals

Liberal Organizations of thought

Source: The Politix Group

Quotes on Liberals

“I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It’s liberals and Americans.” -James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan

References

  1.  http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1042/winds-of-political-change-havent–shifted-publics-ideology-balance
  2.  http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
  3.  http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
  4.  http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
  5.  The Warren Court, led by liberal Justices William O. DouglasHugo BlackAbe FortasWilliam Brennan and Chief Justice Earl Warren issued 36 decisions granting First Amendment rights to obscenity and pornography. These decisions remain fully supported by liberals today.
  6.  http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
  7.  Democrats Aim To Kill Abstinence-Only Program FundingFox News, Monday, June 25, 2007
  8.  and environmental organizations, for example Greenpeace
  9.  For example, the liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court issued the 5-4 Kelo v. City of New London decision authorizing the taking of private property by government in order to give the property to another private entity rather than convert it to a public use.
  10.  http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=liberal&sub=Search+WordNet&o2=&o0=1&o7=&o5=&o1=1&o6=&o4=&o3=&h=00
  11.  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberal
  12.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html
  13.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html
  14.  http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=152
  15.  http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1c5_1238044128&c=1
  16.  Are There Religious Variations in Marital Infidelity?
  17.  Morals decline linked to evolution
  18.  The Basis of a Christian Worldview
  19.  The Basis of a Christian Worldview
  20.  The Dangerous Mind by Joe Carter, First Things
  21.  The dark side of sexual freedom: American ‘zoophiles’ take on the language of equality – October 5, 2011 – The Telegraph
  22.  Pet Abuse -2010
  23.  2010 United States Census data
  24.  2011 Political map – CNN
  25.  [Massachusetts bill to repeal fornication, adultery, and blasphemy, and to soften bestiality laws]
  26.  Study Finds TV Treats Marital Sex as Burdensome, Adultery as Positive
  27.  A prevalence study of bestiality (zoophilia) in psychiatric in-patients, medical in-patients, and psychiatric staff – Int J Psychosom. 1991;38(1-4):45-7.
  28.  The 10 Greatest Moments From The Occupy Wall Street Protests So Far
  29.  The 10 Greatest Moments From The Occupy Wall Street Protests So Far
  30.  [1]
  31.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html
  32.  Media Bias basics. Media Research Center.
  33.  Scott Baker. Did Herman Cain Give the ‘Don’t Miss’ Speech at CPAC?The Blaze, February 12, 2011.
  34.  YouTubeHerman Cain: “Stupid People Are Ruining America”, February 11, 2011.
  35.  Video discussion about how modern liberalism is actually fascist by author Jonah Goldberg..
  36.  Liberal Values in Legal Education Duncan Kennedy (professor at Harvard Law School)
  37.  http://nationaljournal.com/voteratings/index.htm
  38.  Why are 2012 and 2020 key years for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
  39.  http://www.alde.eu
  40.  http://www.liberal-international.org/
  41.  [2]
  42.  [3]
  43.  “Political liberals tend, for whatever reason, to be ardent supporters of both gay rights and pro-choice programs.” Greenberg and Bailey [4]
  44.  http://s151.photobucket.com/albums/s151/candypop_02/Serial%20Killers/John%20Wayne%20Gacy/?action=view&current=SERIAL_KILLER_John_Wayne_Gacy_In-1.mp4
  45.  http://www.digitaljournal.com/image/45527

See Also

Further Information

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v • d • e

Liberal Characteristics and Traits

 
Ideology
 
Policy
 
Tools
 
Traits
Arrogance • Bias • Bigotry • Bullying • Class warfare • Cronyism • Deceit • Double standard • Denial • Hypocrisy • Journalistic malpractice • Propaganda • Race baiting • Stupidity • Style • Troll • Uncharitableness • Whining
 
Other

Image

Dont let Obama taek away are gunz

THIS IS THE ONLY TRULY DEMOCRATIC SPACE LEFT IN THIS ONCE GREAT NATION.

 

3751193996_Founding_Fathers_Armed_Final3_300x265_xlarge

 


Aside

Obamacare vs. The World

Obamacare vs. The World

Imagine the president of the United States saying they have a military target in their sights. If the US destroys this target it would save the country hundreds of billion dollars and tens of thousands of lives every single year. The target also appears to be vulnerable, there is little chance it could not be defeated. In fact, in recent decades other countries have defeated the same target with ease and great success. This mission would surely have the backing of the American people and be an immediate go. So what is the target? Is it North Korea? Iran? No, it is the private health insurance industry.

The US is the only rich country in the world without universal healthcare. This privatization of medicine causes the US to have the highest per capita medical costs and inferior outcomes. John Boehner stated in 2012 that America has “the best healthcare in the world.” Many Americans would agree with this statement but reality paints a much darker picture. The United States healthcare system was ranked 38th in 2000 by the World Health Organization. A 2012 report by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine ranked US dead last among 17 developed nations. Among these 1st world countries the US had the highest infant mortality rates, the shortest life expectancy, most injuries, most homicides and most disabilities. (So at least we’re #1 at something.) A Harvard study attributed 45,000 annual US deaths to a lack of health insurance. Families USA came to a more conservative estimate of 26,000 deaths from no insurance between the ages of 21-64. At the very least this is equivalent to suffering eight September 11th attacks, except these atrocities are self-inflicted and repeated every year. (3,000 Americans died from the 9/11 attacks so : 26,000/3,000= 8.67)

Let’s look at the economics of the issue. The US spent $8,233 per capita in 2010 according to OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperative Development) and $8,680 per capita on health annually in 2011. (Probably over $9,000 as of today – August 2013) For comparison Canada spent just under $4,500 per person in 2010. Our northern neighbors spend about half as much on healthcare and achieve superior results. The US spends 17.6% of it’s GDP on healthcare and the OECD average is 9.5%. This 8.1% differential in a 15 trillion dollar US economy amounts to over 1.2 trillion dollars. Routine operations frequently cost thousands of dollars more in the US than in other industrialized countries and we have the highest prices for pharmaceuticals. For example a coronary angioplasty average costs is $14,378 in the US and $5,547 is the average in Finland. Hip replacements are $5,000 cheaper on average in Canada and C-sections cost half as much in Germany. ($3,732 vs $7,449)

The health and lifestyle of Americans is similarly in terrible disrepair. The US has 5% of the world’s population and consumes two-thirds (67%) of the world’s anti-depressants. (Zolaft, Prozac) One in ten Americans are on these anti-depressant medications and the number of prescriptions is steadily climbing. The US also ranks at the top of the lists for anxiety disorders with over 40 million Americans being affected. Not surprisingly the lion’s share of the anxiety medication also get’s sold here. Our collective mental health is atrocious and our physical health isn’t much better. The US is always in the running for the world’s fattest country. Almost 70% of the US population is overweight and 30% of the population is obese. Heart disease, diabetes and high-blood pressure are frequent medical ailments costing hundreds of billions of dollars per year. The US has low rates of tobacco usage and yet still manages to have high cancer rates. As mentioned earlier, the US has the highest infant mortality rates, the shortest life expectancy, most injuries, most homicides and most disabilities among developed countries.

Implementing universal healthcare like every other industrialized nation is the obvious solution. It’s a political non-starter however. Bill Clinton chose to prioritize NAFTA over healthcare in 1993. He used up too much political capital getting the free trade bill passed and was unable to pass his healthcare bill. Fifteen years later Barack Obama was elected president and one of his first comments from the white house was that, “the public (healthcare) option is off the table.” Obama was able to get a health bill passed, The Affordable Care Act. The bill, dubbed Obamacare, does have some definite improvements. It will ensure greater coverage for Americans, end some of the insurance companies most exploitative practices and stem the tide of rampant medical inflation. Just as important though, the bill provides hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to health industries and leaves the root of the problem, privatized health insurance, intact.

Several studies have been conducted on implementing universal healthcare in America. Virtually all the studies have predicted colossal savings if the US were to adopt such a plan. Physicians for National Health Program have estimated annual savings at $400 billion dollars per year. In another estimate economist Gerald Freidman concluded single-payer healthcare would save $570 billion dollars annually. Among other nations Norway was the second biggest per capita spender in 2010 at $5,388, if the US could match this it would save almost 900 billion dollars per year. ($8,233-5,388= $2,845 per capita savings x 315,000,000 Americans = $896,175,000,000) This would be about 6% of US GDP. In actuality the US spends 17.6% of it’s GDP on healthcare which also the highest in the world. In second place is the Netherlands at 12.0%. If the US could just match this it would save 840 billion dollars per year. (17.6% – 12.0% = 5.6%) (5.6% x 15 trillion dollar US GDP = 840 billion dollars) The potential savings are enormous and are approaching a trillion dollars annually.

In addition to direct medical savings a single-payer system would eliminate the practice of medical bankruptcy. Medical bankruptcy is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US despite the fact such a concept doesn’t even exist in other advanced countries. 60% of all US bankruptcies are from medical bills, affecting over 2 million Americans each year. Medical bills are attributed to 60% of all bankruptcies in the US and 25% of senior citizens will declare bankruptcy due to medical costs. Other benefits from universal care would be harder to quantify but just as real. Higher life expectancy, lower obesity rates, improved psychological health and improved infant mortality rates would all come along with lower costs. We’d also prevent tens of thousands of people from dying each year because they can’t afford treatment.

Let’s flip the script. Instead of trying to convince America to adopt universal healthcare imagine trying to convince a country with socialized medicine to Americanize their system. Really think about going to Japan and saying, “I understand that your country has a high life expectancy, low obesity rates and spends a little over $3,000 dollars per capita on healthcare. But as an American I see huge room for improvement. For starters you just can’t insure everybody, it makes people lazy and dependent. The poorest and unhealthiest 20,000 or so of your citizens should just be left out to die every year. There’s no profit to be made in treating them and hey we all gotta go sometime right? Even with them gone you’re still insuring too many people, it’d be best if you let about the bottom 1/6th of your population have little or no insurance at all – it’d be efficient and teach them personal responsibility. Also, your medical system has too little bureaucracy and is too easy to understand. Having everything under a single government payer is too streamlined with almost no overhead. You really want to break that up into several private insurance companies that deny as much coverage and claims as possible.” The Japanese would believe you are either joking or a complete psychopath, the system you are preaching for would seem like a sick joke.

For decades now a majority of Americans have wanted a single-payer system. Yet if a politician embraces single payer healthcare they are denounced as a left wing extremists. Obama was lambasted as a socialist for his modest reforms. In other countries this situation is reversed, only the extremists are opposed to single-payer healthcare. The health systems of western Europe are very popular with their citizens and rightfully so, they provide superior service at a lower cost. The US not only lags behind in cost and outcomes but also lags chronologically. South Korea had universal care in 1988. Denmark had it in 1973, Canada 1966 and Norway in 1912.

I can see a path from the Affordable Care Act to a universal single-payer health care system. Its psychological. As a nation, we are committed to making sure that every person receives health care affordably. If that’s the frame, then single payer starts making the most sense. The previous frame was that health care is an individual responsibility and if you didn’t have it then that was your problem. That’s a big difference. And I think that in politics, framing is key. How the population views an issue affects how they vote on it.

The Affordable Care Act is bad, but it’s so much better than what the previous system was. Children were dying because they hit their lifetime caps on insurance coverage before they were six. The Affordable Care Act fixed a lot of stuff but it didn’t go far enough. It’s not what the American people deserve but it’s what we could get.

Health Insurance

***{( Their is a difference between the types of systems; here is some of them, along with the advantages/disadvantages and the challenges of adopting those types of systems in the US:

Single-payer insurance (Canada)
In this model healthcare remains provisioned by private parties but the government takes over the role of the insurer. This is the currently proposed alternative system in the US but the proposed version is very different to the Canadian model; In Canada doctors typically do not work for hospitals (they operate on a fee-for-service or time-fee basis as contractors to the Canadian government) and while hospitals are privately operated most of the buildings are provincially owned, neither of these are present in the proposed US model. This system can be free at point of use.
The health outcomes of this type of system are relatively good, although with some capacity issues which cause wait time issues. Short term such a switch would produce a saving of between 4% and 11% over the current system but the savings achieved would likely be reversed by an increase in consumption. This type of system also does nothing to address the wider problem of healthcare delivery.
While the contract based doctor provision is entirely achievable currently the way hospitals operate would not currently be possible, we don’t have the capital or borrowing capacity to purchase a sufficient number of hospitals off their owners and the constitution does not permit us to simply confiscate them without fair compensation.

Centralized Single-payer healthcare (UK)
In this model the central government controls facilities (although not always owns them, the UK has been experimenting with financing new facilities via PPP), personnel and financing with a central tax for healthcare provisioning. All doctors other then PCP’s typically work for the government (PCP’s are fee-for-service or time-fee). The UK is currently the only example of this in the developed world. This system is free at point of use.
Health outcomes of this type of system are average with significant capacity issues. There is no accurate prediction regarding the operating costs of this type of system in the US but it will certainly be smaller then current combined public & private spending and likely significantly so.
The problems with this type of system in the US would be numerous. Firstly centralized systems respond very poorly to regional changes in healthcare needs, this is one of the trade-offs for lower costs, and we would have to accept a lower standard of care (for those who do not currently have accessibility problems) then the current system overall in exchange for universal coverage and the lower costs (this is primarily why the UK system has not been repeated elsewhere). The problem with purchasing facilities is the same as with single-payer insurance.

Regional Single-payer healthcare (All the Nordic countries)
In this model the central government mandates the level of care regional authorities are required to offer and those regional authorities are responsible for raising the revenue and providing the services. As with centralized single-payer the facilities are generally owned by the government and doctors generally work for the government. This system is free at point of use.
Health outcomes of this type of system are good with few capacity issues. As with centralized single-payer it is not possible to accurately predict the operating costs of this type of system but they would also be lower then our current system while higher then centralized single-payer.
The only special problem with this type of system in the US is that its success lays in the relatively small size of its regional health authorities. The equivalent in the US would be the federal government mandating the service and a county taxing for the service and providing it, this would not currently be constitutional. Same facilities issue as the previous systems here.

Basic Single-payer healthcare (Australia)
Functions much the same as the Canadian example with the exceptions it is not always free at point of use (government pays between 75% and 100% of costs), the government does not cover most electives and there are a number of privately owned hospitals that treat public patients on a fee-for-service schedule.

Multi-payer (France, Germany etc)
Multi-payer systems differ from single-payer systems in numerous ways. Firstly healthcare is not supported from general tax revenues, the majority of healthcare is paid for via insurance or withholding specifically targeted at healthcare. Secondly the government generally neither owns nor operates the facilities, the overwhelming majority are privately owned and often operated for a profit (in the case of Germany nearly half the hospitals are operate for-profit compared to 12% in the US). Thirdly its not possible for the government to set a fixed healthcare spending level, single-payer systems establish how much they want to pay for healthcare and then distribute resources accordingly while multi-payer systems establish which services people are permitted to consume & the level of subsidy they will receive and spending is simply however much is consumed at those levels. This type of system is not generally free at point of use.
Health outcomes of this system vary but are generally very good and there are no capacity problems. It would be cheaper (how much depends on the exact form) then our current system while more expensive then the single-payer systems. There would be no particular problem replicating this type of system in the US but the tax and regulatory changes required could be challenging. This type of system would also be far more “free market” then the mess we currently have.

Third-party-payer (USA)
Absolute shit.

Account-payer (Singapore)
In account-payer systems patients pay for the majority of the healthcare out of pocket with a government subsidy applied (in effect if you are poor your heart transplant costs $50 while if you are wealthy it costs $50k), payments are made from savings accounts individuals are required to contribute to. This is not a free at point of use system.
Health outcomes of this type of system are very good and there are no capacity problems. Cost wise this would be the “best”, we would be able to fund a universal healthcare system while reducing current public healthcare spending. This type of system would also be far more “free market” then the mess we currently have.

(Universal and Single-payer are not interchangeable.)}***

healthcare

So the USA pays approx DOUBLE the OECD average and yet manages not to have Universal Health Care. It’s a hell of an achievement. How can Americans pay for a Rolls Royce and yet take delivery of a Chevy with a puncture?

The USA needs to find the solution every other Western nation has found. Universal Health Care free at the point of delivery.

Why hasn’t it?

This is why. The Medical-Industrial Complex has donated $833,259,267 directly to members of Congress. Not counting the huge amounts of money given to presidential candidates like Obama, McCain and Kerry, the biggest donations have gone to the 3 worst industry shills who have been well-paid to make sure there will never be effective, robust health care reform:

Arlen Specter (R-D- PA- $4,026,933)
Max Baucus (DLC- MT- $2,833,731)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY- $2,758,468)

And when you just go right to Big Insurance, the non-presidential candidates who got the biggest legalized bribes were the 7 senators who have been tasked with the job of killing effective health care reform and keeping Healthcare Insurance alive in the USA

Ben Nelson (DLC-NE- $1,196,799)
Max Baucus (DLC- MT- $1,184,113)
Joe Lieberman (DLC- CT- $1,036,302)
Arlen Specter (R-D- PA- $1,035,530)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY- $929,207)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA- $884,724)

( This is a great resource for checking who’s funding your politician)

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Citied Web Sources:

  1. Health Care In America
  2. The USA pays as much out of the public purse from taxes as the average OECD nation, more than nations like France, Germany, the UK, Sweden, yet unlike the average OECD nation does not have any form of universal coverage
  3. World health care Organization rankings by per capita spending
  4. World Health care Organization rankings by performance