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ETpro's avatar

How Should Democrats run against the Party of No! in the 2010 mid-term elections?

Asked by ETpro (34469points) March 23rd, 2010

It’s pretty hard to be against something without being at the same time for its opposite. If you are against healthcare reform, they you are for the system we had till it became law. If you are against any regulation of corporations, then you are for letting companies like Enron and Worldcom run amok and letting Wall Street suck another $17 trillion out of the US economy any time they think it’s there.

So as the parties jockey for the mid-term elections of 2010, I propose that Democrats don’t run against a party of No, but instead run against what Republicans are saying Yes! to when they say No! to the things they oppose.

Republicans said No! to healthcare reform. That means Republicans are:
1—For 47 million Americans being uninsured, and 1 million more joining them each year.
2—For 45,000 Americans dying every year because they don’t have healthcare insurance.
3—For costs going up at 2–5 times the rate of inflation for the next decade like they did over the last several decades.
4—For Medicare cost bankrupting the US Government by 2020.
5—For marinating the Medicare doughnut hole in prescription drug coverage.
6—For annual and lifetime caps on health insurance benefits.
7—For excluding everyone from coverage who has any preexisting condition
8—For insurers collecting premiums for years then cancelling a policy rather than paying if a customer becomes ill with an expensive, long-term condition.
9—For small businesses not being able to afford coverage because each is considered as a single tiny group instead of all being lumped into one large pool to spread the risk.

Republicans say No! to regulations of Wall-street banks and brokerages. That means Republicans are:
1—For more massive meltdowns like we saw in 2007
2—For predatory lending practices of mortgage lenders.
3—For fine print and unreadable terms that change every month on credit cards.
4—For the rights of PayDay lenders to charge interest rates of 140% per year to poor borrowers who don’t know any better.
5—For credit default swaps, hedge funds, collateralized debt obligations, and other practices that make enormous profits for banks, add nothing of value to the public, and transfer all risks to the taxpayer.
6—For corporations being able to buy life insurance on every employee with themselves as the beneficiary, receive a tax write-off on the purchase, get tax-free loans on the cash value of the policy, and receive the payout tax free when the employee finally dies.

I could carry on and on. The Party of No! didn’t win that name just opposing one or two issues. But I don’t want to hog the stage. I am sure each of you can add to the list. What other things can you think of that the Party of No! is saying Yes! to by opposing its opposite?

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32 Answers

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

Their best bet is to repent and switch parties!

ragingloli's avatar

With shields, pikes, and helmets while shouting “SPARTA!!!”.

But your proposition is fine too.

softtop67's avatar

Thank you for this unbiased post. I see that the leftist propaganda machine is working its magic once again. For full disclosure I am a registered Republican, though I do not agree with all their policies I am definitely a fiscal conservative.
Now to your points of NO
45,000 Americans do not die every year because they dont have health insurance nor are there 47 million Americans (read citizens) that wish for healthcare and do not have it. Please remove the illegal immigrants and those making over $75k from your numbers who choose not to have health insurance and the number is much closer to 20 million. Still a high number but not the 45 million scare tactic you are presenting. Credit default swaps and predatory lending both stemmed from the Clinton administration, though I will agree went unchecked through the Bush admin. Enron was a 90“s company that fell in 2001 again a product of the Clinton Administration, unless you believe all the Enron damage was done between January and August of 2001 and Worldcoms problems began in 1999 it just went belly up in 2002, you cannot pin this on on the Party of “No”.
Neither party is great and its great to see you take a stand but lets keep the bs to a minimum. Your arguement would be better stated if not so hyperbolitic

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@softtop67: Many making less than 75K also don’t want health insurance. You should subtract from that 20 MM all the people with bad credit that are happy to use the emergency room and don’t even open their medical bills. There are also self-insured people who have wealth but a low or negative income. A retired millionaire earning 7% has less than 70K/yr income to show for it. Then you must subtract irresponsible people with an attitude that they will deal with the problem when they are forced to. These irresponsible people aren’t really seeking health-insurance so why should they be counted as such?

ETpro's avatar

@softtop67 The 47 million number does NOT include illegal alienns. It comes from the US Census Bureau. It may be as low as 45.6 Million but they are all US Citizens. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/03/uninsured-us-citizens/

The 45,000 figure is from a Study by the Harvard Medical School. We can quibble about whether it is a bit higher or a bit lower, but numerous other quality studies show it’s close enough we should care. http://www.factcheck.org/2009/09/dying-from-lack-of-insurance/

As to this being biased, I openly admit I am a registered Democrat. I have areas of strong disagreement with the party, but cannot accept the platform of the New Republicans. I expressed in my question my beliefs. If that means bias, then so be it. You are perfectly free to express your beliefs here too. I thought that was what the first Amendment was all about. Little did I know it was really designed to allow Corporations to spend unlimited funds taking over the political process and turning America int a Corporatocracy.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@ETpro: “quality studies”? The number is MUCH lower. Do these studies exclude the people I talked about in my previous post? Also, what percent of the people who died without health insurance does the Harvard Medical School study say died due to lack of medical insurance ??????????? This is an important question.

ETpro's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish Read the links. The entire study was ABOUT people dying due to lack of medical insurance. People who would have survived their consition had they been able to receive adequate medical care.

The 47 million number does NOT include illegal aliens. It does not specify how many among that number are affluent young and healthy people who could afford insurance, but who are rolling the dice betting they can bank or spend the money and won’t get sick. Such people are certainly there, but I do not believe they are a major component in the total.

gorillapaws's avatar

As much as I disagree with what the Republican Party has done and is continuing to try to do to this country, I think there’s some problems with the tactic you propose. For example if I draft a bill that mangages to magically provide better healthcare for everyone for less money, boosts employment, solves the energy crisis, but requires us to publicly behead everyone with a 6 in the last digit of their social security number, you can’t say that the person who votes against the bill is against each element of the bill individually.

I think the democratic legislature should do a few things. First they need to do a better job explaining all of the positive things the healthcare bill does. Next they need to start trimming fat out of the budget to pre-empt the Republican charge that democrats don’t ever cut spending. Last they need to get more stuff done this year, and continue to work on solving our problems—they should do this by avoiding some of the more controversial subjects that will slow things down, and focus on the things they can do quickly that will make the largest impacts.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@ETpro: What percent of the people who died without health insurance does the Harvard Medical School study say died due to lack of medical insurance? <== you have not answered this question because of how embarrassing the answer is.

ragingloli's avatar

100, because those two terms mean the same

misterx's avatar

WOW WHAT AN IGNORANT POST. First republicans have NOT been against health care reform they are only opposed to this bill and this method of doing. The republicans have been providing alternative solutions to this bill however the democrats have been ignoring them and turning their backs on any republican solutions answered. Furthermore between 57%-74% (depending on the poll) of Americans are against the current health care bill yet despite the overwhelming opposition by the American people by whom congress was elected to REPRESENT they still forced the bill through. As one democratic senator put it “there ain’t no rules, we are trying to pass something here so we make them up as we go”. I’m sure glad this political party really cars about the will of the people Note the sarcasm

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@misterx: Of course the Democrats know Republicans are for health reform—most importantly tort reform. They choose to claim otherwise because they aren’t interested in debate on the topic. They are interested in Republican bashing even at the expense of honesty.

gorillapaws's avatar

@misterx if the Republicans were really so concerned with healthcare in America, why didn’t they do a single goddamn thing about it when they were in power? The only thing they did regarding healthcare was to bend the taxpayer over for the Pharmaceutical industry with medicare part D.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@gorillapaws: The Democrats tried and they made it worse!

ragingloli's avatar

Obama already addressed tort reform in his meeting with republicans.
It would only make a minor dent in the health care cost, about 2 percent.

ETpro's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish I don’t know how I can answer it any more clearly. 100% of the 45,000. That is what the study was looking at. How many people that die each year of preventable causes die because they lacked health insurance, and the answer is 45,000. The us is near the bottom of the industrialized world in number of deaths per year from preventable causes, and it is because we had, until today, no national healthcare plan in place.

@misterx Given the personal insults you began with, I should say this in more direct wording, but I will keep it civil and just note that your statement is simply not true. Back 13 months ago when this process first began, the President invited Republicans to meet with him at the White House to put their ideas on the table. They accepted that invitation, but called a press conference even before the meeting and announced they would oppose any effort to expand healthcare coverage or reign in insurance company abuses. There was no plan at that time for them to oppose. They could have helped craft a plan that would bring in ideas they supported. They chose to be the Party of No for purely political reasons.

Jim DeMint, Republican Senator form South Carolina made the strategy very clear way back in July of 2009. He said, ““If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.””.http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/president-obama/audio-of-jim-demint-saying-health-care-will-be-obamas-waterloo/

Republicans have used lie after lie to stop healthcare in its tracks just as they did when Bill Clinton tried to do it. They came up with death panels lie. The lied about it being a massive government takeover of the private system. They lied about secret plans to kill seniors, to kill Repblicanse and to kill Veterans. When you can only debate using lies and distortions, it means you either don’t have a legitimate arguemnt to make or you are secretly trying to do something that, if you openly admitted, would destroy your case.

I think the later is the case with Republicans. They are as claimed, in the pocket of big moneyed corporate interests. They wanted to kill any healthcare reform with Obama’s name on it to destroy him, and to bless their corporate owners, who would in turn richly bless them. Simply put, when it came to a choice between politics and profits or people, politics and profits came first.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ragingloli I suspect that 2% figure is low. My father is a surgeon and he’s told me that a large percent of the tests he orders is to “cover his ass legally.” He doesn’t make any more money by ordering or not ordering the test, but by doing so, he’s protected legally. Medical malpractice insurance companies encourage doctors to practice defensive medicne.

In VA, the cost of malpractice for OB’s is so high that the state charges all MD’s (regardless of their specialty) a “bad-baby” fee that is used to subsidize the insane cost. My question is why the malpractice lawyers aren’t the ones who have to pay into the fund?

ragingloli's avatar

@gorillapaws
Actually, the 2 percent are 4 times the amount the CBO estimated.
The CBO estimate is at 0.5 percent. I was being awfully generous with my 2.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ragingloli I can assure you that between lawyers and insurance companies, doctors are on eggshells. I think this is one area where the Democrats could have done better.

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli In defense of @gorillapaws I believe that the CBO figure covers only the direct cost of litigation and awards. How much money is spent over-testing to avoid any possibility of a lawsuit is a much harder number to nail down. But it is still not the major key to cost control it’s been offered as. And there is this to consider. If you do tort reform, you have to do it in such a way that we are still protected against real malpractice and negligence. Otherwise, our healthcare won’t just cost us our whole bank accounts, all too often it will cost us our lives.

Part of the reason dovtors are in such an untenable position is that all the big hos=pital chains make doctors sign away any right to mount their own defense in case of a malpractice suit. The hospital only controls the entire defense. And being profit-driven corporations, they do so in their own financial interests—which are best served by simply hanging the doctor out to dry and claiming the hospital was completely in the right. Fix that if you want to reduce tort costs for doctors.

ragingloli's avatar

@ETpro
Well, according to the link, the figure does include estimates about “slightly less utilization of health care services,” which would amount to 0.3 of the 0.5 percent.
It certainly is something that should be included in the reform, but to claim that it is the most important part of the reform is simply dishonest.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ETpro I agree that tort reform isn’t a silver bullet solution, but I think it’s a pretty necessary component of controlling healthcare costs longterm. I also agree it needs to be done right—in a way that protects patients who are truly injured by bad doctors, but at the same time discourages the cottage industry that’s grown around suing MD’s every time something goes wrong (which often isn’t the doctor’s fault).

ETpro's avatar

@gorillapaws No argument there. And include fixing the hospital Corporate “not my fault” loophole as well.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@ETpro: Don’t you see the flaw immediately in this study? Don’t people with health insurance also often die of preventable causes?

ETpro's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish Not nearly as often. In point of fact, the study indeed looked at that. They found that those without health insurance are 40% more likely to die of preventable cause than those with insurance. And they further determined that the percentage has for years been increasing at 1% per year. Thus, if we do nothing to change our broken system, by 2020 the disparity will be 50%.

I am sure you are familiar with the novel A Christmas Carol and the plight of poor Tiny Tim. Charles Dickens saw the horrid state of those living in poverty in England in 1843, and documented it in that touching story that began to bring about changes. At the same time, an English Doctor did a study of death rates in affluent areas of London where Mr. Scrooge would have lived versus the death rate in poor areas like Bob Cratchit and his family were condemned to. It was 48%.

Within ten years, we will have slipped back to a gap between poor and affluent as wide as it was in Dickensian England! How can we let that happen and call ourselves the greatest nation on earth?

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@ETpro: “They found that those without health insurance are 40% more likely to die of preventable cause than those with insurance.” yet you say they counted 100% of these deaths as due to not having health insurance. Doesn’t this strike you as incredibly dishonest?

ETpro's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish There are around 47,000,000 uninsured people. Of those, some die and some don’t each year. There are around 253,000,000 insured people. Some of them die each year, and some don’t. In both sets, some of those that die succumb to things medical science should have been able to fix, and some to things that are beyond our capacity to recerse. If you are in the uninsured category, you are 40% more likely to end up one of the set that dies of a preventable illness than you are if you are in the insured set. Of all those who die from preventable causes, 45,000 are in the uninsured set. That is 100% of the 45,000 the study says die because they do not have healthcare insurance.

I don’t know how to explain it any more clearly than that. I gave you the link to the study, which was done impeccably. You either have not read it, are incapable of comprehending its wording, or are simply so steeped in ideology that facts have no bearing on the matter to you. The numbers are quite accurate, perfectly consistent, and anyone with any knowledge of math can read my comments and the study itself and see that. I’m done arguing with you about it.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@ETpro: “Of all those who die from preventable causes, 45,000 are in the uninsured set. That is 100% of the 45,000 the study says die because they do not have healthcare insurance.” <== if all 45,000 of those people had health insurance many of them would have still died of preventable causes. Now do you understand?

ETpro's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish I either explained that poorly and too hastily, or you are right. I’m way too tired to look tonight, but will check tomorrow.

ragingloli's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish
And many of those who died because the doctor screwed up during surgery would still have died from the condition they were operated on for. It does not change the fact that they died because of the doctor’s fuckup.
In the same way, that many of the 45000 without insurance may still have died anyway does not change the fact that they died because a lack of insurance by not being able to afford treatment.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

“many of the 45000 without insurance would still have died anyway” <==Thank you @ragingloli.

ETpro's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish OK, the answer stands at 45,000. This was a peer-reviewed study. Way down in the link I provided to the FactCheck analysis, it is derived from the very fact you are trying to use to challenge it. The numbers are hard to reach empirically, so one can question whether it is a bit more or a bit less. But their methods were rigorous and did not fall victim to the loophole you are suspicious of.

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