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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Health care reform? Sort of, but at what cost?


The rude, crude route to health care “reform” in this country may serve as a textbook case on how and why the American system of government collapsed under the weight of bitter partisan politics.

No side in this contentious debate can claim the high road. Both sides engaged in the lowest form of gutter politics. No one in this vile campaign of partisan pugilism wore a white hat.

The demonstrators in Washington over the weekend punctuated the anger and hate that has dominated the debate: They spit on lawmakers, called African-American Congressmen “niggers” and screamed “faggot” at Rep. Barney Frank, the openly-gay Congressman from Massachusetts. Photoshopped posters portrayed President Barack Obama as an African tribesman or a black Hitler. Abortion foes waved their traditional grusome photos of aborted fetuses.

It was — and in all — an ugly scene dominated by ugly Americans who thrive in what has become an ugly political landscape.

The unruliness extended onto the floor of the House of Representatives where members of Congress shouted at each other and catcalls echoed throughout the chamber. Parliamentary procedure disappeared, drowned out by the din of anger and partisan posturing.

In the end, not one Republican voted for the bill and Democratic leaders had to scramble to try and scrape up enough votes to give Obama his victory but the bill that lands on his desk is a far cry from the lofty campaign promises of true health care reform.

The bill is — at best — a gutted, emasculated morass of back-room deals, capitulations to lobbyists and pandering to special interests — the very people that Obama promised would not be part of his Presidency.

Ironically, the long, torturous path to passage may turn out to be the easy part. Obama must now sell his flawed health care law to a skeptical American public that has serious doubts about the bill and his presidency.

In the end, Obama may learn a painful lesson from an old Chinese proverb:

Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it.

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16 thoughts on “Health care reform? Sort of, but at what cost?”


    Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 204) is amended to read as follows:



    (1) IN GENERAL.–here shall be in the Service a commissioned Regular Corps and a Ready Reserve Corps for service in time of national emergency.

    (2) REQUIREMENT.–All commissioned officers shall be citizens of the United States and shall be appointed without regard to the civil-service laws and compensated without regard to the Classification Act 2 of 1923, as amended.

    (3) APPOINTMENT.–Commissioned officers of the Ready Reserve Corps shall be appointed by the President and commissioned officers of the Regular Corps shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

    (4) ACTIVE DUTY.–Commissioned officers of the Ready Reserve Corps shall at all times be subject to call to active duty by the Surgeon General, including active duty for the purpose of training.

    (5) WARRANT OFFICERS.–Warrant officers may be appointed to the Service for the purpose of providing support to the health and delivery systems maintained by the Service and any warrant officer appointed to the Service shall be considered for purposes of this Act and title 37, United States Code, to be a commissioned officer within the Commissioned Corps of the Service.

    (b) ASSIMILATING RESERVE CORP OFFICERS INTO THE REGULAR CORPS.—Effective on the date of enactment of the Affordable Health Choices Act, all individuals classified as officers in the Reserve Corps under this section (as such section existed on the day before the date of enactment of such Act) and serving on active duty shall be deemed to be commissioned officers of the Regular Corps.

    [Note here that those personally appointed by BO — without advice and consent of the Senate — automatically become a part of the Regular Corps. Ed.]


    (1) PURPOSE.–The purpose of the Ready Reserve Corps is to fulfill the need to have additional Commissioned Corps personnel available on short notice (similar to the uniformed service’s reserve program) to assist regular Commissioned Corps personnel to meet both routine public health and emergency response missions.

    (2) USES.–The Ready Reserve Corps shall–

    (A) participate in routine training to meet the general and specific needs of the Commissioned Corps;

    (B) be available and ready for involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises, similar to the uniformed service reserve personnel;

    (C) be available for backfilling critical positions left vacant during deployment of active duty Commissioned Corps members, as well as for deployment to respond to public health emergencies, both foreign and domestic; and

    (D) be available for service assignment in isolated, hardship, and medically underserved communities (as defined in section 399SS) to improve access to health services.

    (d) FUNDING.—For the purpose of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Commissioned Corps under this section, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to the Office of the Surgeon General for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014. Funds appropriated under this subsection shall be used for recruitment and training of Commissioned Corps Officers.

  2. I paid $2.99 for a 22 lb bag of bird seed in 2000. It is now $6.99 for the same bag.

    Change we can believe in okay.

    • Hi Steve,

      Since you are stunned by the 100%+ price increase in bird seed; I’m thinking you and others on the site will enjoy an inflation calculator. It calculates the difference in the value of a dollar or an amount of money between two points in time. What’s interesting is that America has gone through a number of periods of inflation and deflation though our history.

      Carl Nemo **==

  3. We should have passed the health reforms that were proposed by Nixon in 1974. If we had, it is estimated that a trillion dollars would have been saved. What was enacted is similar to what was proposed by Nixon.

  4. I don’t know why it took this many years to reform this mess. If Congress and the white house had taken care of this eons ago when it first became apparent we needed reform maybe we could have avoided a lot of this crap.

  5. We don’t have to worry because there’s a neutron star mass gorilla stalking the debt markets of the world. Unsecured; ie., non-collateralized, unsecured, unregulated debt between nations, brokerages and center banks have ballooned to the tune of 330 plus Trillion dollars most of it “hot money” being transferred with a blink of an eye around the world with simply the stroke of the “enter key”.

    The Fed~U.S. Treasury funny money axis has been printing currency like there’s no tomorrow while borrowing it at the same time. So they are not only stiffing our lenders with below risk vs. reward interest rates, but also devaluing the USD at the same time which is a double slap in the face to anyone that lends us money; ie. the huge amounts necessary for running our emergent “banana republic”.

    Soon, inflation is going to rear its ugly head beyond the cooked numbers the government supplies and then ever incrementally increase until it bursts into hyperinflation where prices eventually change monthly, to weekly, then daily on goods and services.

    Smart people best start girding themselves along with their households for the bust that’s coming even before 2012 and all the other scary stuff that’s predicted.

    At our highest levels of government the inmates; ie., Congress and the Executive branch have taken over seemingly the now asylum of government filled with these mattoids of low birth and intellect.

    We’re witnessing the rise and fall of the “Empire of the Rising Scum”…! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • This bill is the craziest piece of legislation I’ve seen, maybe ever. Here we are teetering on the edge of insolvency and now we have another couple of trillion dollars of entitlements for our children to pay for. Where are our lawmakers brains? I’m just beyond words at this point.

      National bankruptcy is the only possible outcome. Stuffing dollar bills in the mattress is pointless since, as pointed out, dollar bills will soon not be worth the paper they’re printed on.

      Lumps of gold buried in the basement? Crude as it sounds, that may be a reasonable recourse. But then one has to pretend to be Fort Knox with armed protection.

      In previous years I’ve run for congress. I’ve made my voice heard through the accepted channels. This year I could run for senate. I’m just not sure whether I will. The situation seems to be beyond political solution given the present state of federal politics.

      Having tried for many years to make some difference through the accepted channels, I’m about at the end of my rope. The best option may be to vote with my feet.


  6. Although the Democrats like to paint themselves as being above the fray, you’re right about both sides hitting new lows in this ‘debate.’

    The State now owns each and every American (OK – 95%) from cradle to grave. Individual choice and personal sovereignty no longer exist. The heavy hand of government just grew by about 20 percent.

    At no other time has Geroge Washington’s words rang more true than today…

    “Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force.”

    • Hell , it’s not even that . It’s really the ” Health insurance industry enrichment act ” as they now have direct access to the treasury .

      • You got that right Jim C.
        I think that this bill, as well as any and all bills passed in this day and age, benefit corporations, not “we the people”. Us flesh-and-blood people are only here to pay for these bills that benefit the non flesh-and-blood persons, otherwise known as corporations. In the eyes of our government, these corporations are people too so they are the only “people” that will benefit.

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