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(New In This Installment: Rebuttal Points To The Five Most Common Opposition Arguments At Town Hall Meetings, A More Detailed Review of The CT-02 Town Hall, And A Retraction)


Just a few nights ago, I went to Rep. Joe Courtney's August 6 town hall in Woodstock, CT with this document in hand, and it helped change what started as a completely disruptive meeting into a contentious but functional one where the public option side clearly won.  

Below the fold, a brief recap of these top ten health care talking points with five additional rebuttal points, an account of my first town hall experience ever, and how to diffuse disruptions before they effectively silence other viewpoints...

FINAL UPDATE: I added two important new points to the rebuttal list

Meteor Blades and others in the comments have asked me to put the shortened summary of the ten talking points at the top of this diary before the list itself.  Please note, this shorter verson is ONLY for situations where something with only a few hundred words will do, like a letter to the editor, or situations where you know for a fact you only have thirty seconds or less to speak; if you have a bit more time to speak - even a minute in total - the Top Ten list in full is considerably more effective than the summary, and the shorter version should really only be used if absolutely necessary.



                                   A Short Summary of The Top Ten Talking Points On Health Care

  1. If you've always paid your premiums on time, you're as likely to be dropped by a private insurance company when you need life-saving care as you are to get treated; even if you aren't dropped, they have the ability to overrule your doctor's advice for life-saving treatment and only offer to cover something cheaper.
  1. Private insurance companies are spending $1.4M a day to kill the public option, inventing phony citizen groups, and trying to scare the elderly about euthanasia and pro-lifers with abortion; they know the only way to kill reform is to get people of good conscience fighting each other, while they laugh all the way to the bank.  They don't think very highly of our intelligence.
  1. The average American family pays $16K/yr on health care while the avg. Canadian family pays less than $2K/yr, and businesses can no longer afford to provide insurance under the current system.  Every independent estimate says the public option will SAVE the government money, from anywhere between $150B (CBO) to $265B (Commonwealth).
  1. So - if you'd rather spend more taxpayer money, bankrupt businesses, AND pay $16K a year for your family's private insurance coverage in exchange for a policy that can be dumped the second you actually need it, then the current system is great for you.  If you'd rather spend less, have less of a chance of dying, and want to remove the corporate bureaucrat from between you and your doctor, then a public option is the way to go.


        The Ten Health Care Talking Points EVERY PUBLIC OPTION SUPPORTER MUST REPEAT

  1. When you need life-saving care, private insurance companies only profit by denying you and letting you die.  If you have paid your premiums on time all your life, you're as likely to be dropped by your private insurance company when you need life-saving care as you are to get treated.  A public option gives you a lifeline.
  1. Private insurance companies are spending over a million dollars a day to kill the public option by inventing phony citizen groups, and trying to scare the elderly about euthanasia and pro-lifers with abortion; they know the only way to kill reform is to get people of good conscience fighting each other over misinformation, while they laugh all the way to the bank.  They don't think very highly of our intelligence.
  1. We pay more than any other country to be 24th in life expectancy: while the average Canadian family spends less than $2000 a year on health care with no waiting periods for life-saving care, the average American family spends $16,800 a year, waiting for private insurance companies to approve life-saving treatments.
  1. Fourteen thousand Americans lose their health insurance every day; over forty-six million are currently uninsured.
  1. Eighteen thousand Americans DIE each year due to lack of health care: THAT'S 50 A DAY.
  1. Nearly two-thirds of American personal bankruptcies are related to health care costs.
  1. Businesses - particularly small businesses - cannot afford to provide health insurance for their employees under the current employer based private insurance system, and will be forced to either drop their coverage or go out of business unless a public option is passed.
  1. One-sixth of all our government spending is on health care, twice as much as any other country spends out of its budget.  Our nation pays $2.5 trillion for care costing $912 billion.
  1. Every independent estimate says the public option will save us money, from saving 150 billion dollars (CBO) to saving 265 billion dollars (Commonwealth).  The Congressional Budget Office estimates the current bill in the House would actually leave a 6 billion dollar surplus  
  1. So - if you'd rather spend more taxpayer money, bankrupt businesses, AND pay $16,800 a year for your family's private insurance coverage in exchange for a policy that can be dumped the second you actually need it, then the current system is great for you.  If you'd rather spend less, wait less, have less of a chance of dying, and want to remove the corporate bureaucrat from between you and your doctor, then a public option is the way to go.  Right now, even if you're lucky enough not to be dropped by your provider when you need urgent medical care, your private insurance company can overrule your doctor's advice for life-saving treatment and only offer to cover something cheaper; a public option would remove that middleman and leave these decisions where they belong, between the patient and doctor.



Any private citizen or elected Democrat making the case for the public option, whether going to a town meeting, speaking on the airwaves, or debating behind closed doors should know the order of these talking points in and out. They're quick, they're effective, and when communicated in sequence, they're bulletproof.  Most importantly, they kill every Republican talking point while staying consistently on the offensive.


Notes: The numbers are purposefully lowballed/rounded down in order to avoid a subsequent conversation devolving into bickering that distracts from the main points being made.  The statistic about the average Canadian family paying less than $2000/yr is based on a single Canadian paying $40 a month, times 12 months ($480/yr) times a family of four ($1920/yr).



             Rebuttal Points To The Seven Most Common Opposition Arguments At These Meetings

  1. "Where In The Constitution Does It Say That We're Entitled to Universal Health Care?" - Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution says the Congress must promote the general welfare of the people; how can the Congress say it is promoting the general welfare of the public when fifty people die a day that didn’t have to?  Now, I know - promoting general welfare cannot be interpreted as every American is entitled to have the federal government to buy them a house, a bed, and fancy steak dinners every day; such broad interpretations would give Congress absurd powers, just as Madison correctly argued.  General welfare does NOT mean the federal government has to provide us with all our necessities - because such a system would NOT be capitalism - there we agree. HOWEVER, Congress’s ability and duty to promote the general welfare under the Constitution, along with the Constitutional provision of equal protection under the law, DOES suggest that Congress has an obligation to see that people who work hard and save responsibly have an OPPORTUNITY to get those necessities; a system that has effectively been rigged over the years so that most people are one emergency away from having their insurance policy dropped and being  unable to get coverage due to pre-existing condition, and given no options but death when extensive treatment is necessary, cannot be seen as consistent with Congressional duties under the general welfare clause or equal protection clause of the Constitution.
  1. "I Believe In The Free Market!" - I believe that competition and more choices are good for the market.  A public option is one more choice, and more options are good for the consumer and good for the market.  The current bills being proposed let you keep your private plan if you want, and use the public option if you choose.  If the public option ends up being crap as some here think, people won't choose it - that's what the marketplace is all about - and if people don't choose the public option because private insurance is so much better, then no money in the program will be spent, and we've lost nothing; so this not a win or lose, but a win or break even, and you have to be pretty timid to be afraid of that.
  1. "Government Care Sucks; Reform What We Have First!" -Medicare and Medicaid are government run health insurance.  They have problems, they need reform, but every poll shows that people are more unhappy with private insurance than they are with Medicare and Medicaid by double digits, and it makes sense to put out the biggest fire first.  Most Americans aren't eligible for anything but private insurance anyway, so the idea that good solutions like reforming Medicare and malpractice lawuits  are enough on their own is just a slap in the face.  
  1. "Big Money Interests Are Pushing The Public Option!" - If you want to be cynical and vigilant as a citizen against big money influencing the government, YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THE MONEY.  On one side, there are BILLIONS of dollars at stake for the insurance companies, because they have the power to drop or deny anyone they please when they need urgent care in order to maximize their profits - of course they don’t want to give that up.  On the other side, you have no financial motive that could even compare - who stands to make billions from the public option?  Against the public option, you have a source of money, you have a motive, and you have planning and mass collusion by the insurance companies for decades to block any reforms, documented repeatedly by various non-partisan sources; on the other side, what even compares?  Being vigilant against big money interests screwing with legislation that affects the people is VITAL, and I applaud everyone here who does so - but you HAVE TO FOLLOW THE MONEY, or otherwise, for all you know, you're fighting against the very things you think you're fighting for.  
  1. "BOOOOO!!!!" - I'm sure that all the people yelling and booing have been lucky, they've never seen someone get denied life-saving treatment or be dropped altogether by their insurance company - or had it happen to themself.  It would be easy for me to say that I hope you become one of those 14K a day who lose their health insurance so you can understand - but the truth is I hope none of you ever have to deal with that, I hope you never have to end up as one of those uninsured fifty people a day who die because they're refused the health care they needed to live.
  1. "A Public Option Will Put Private Insurance Companies Out of Business!" - No, not if you believe the Congressional Budget Office, who says private insurance companies will get MORE business when a public option is passed: http://www.dailykos.com/...
  1. "I Am Against The Obamacare Bill!" - There is no Obama bill.  Obama doesn't have a bill in Congress, or even a bill in Congress he said he supports, so if you oppose "the Obamacare bill", you oppose a figment of your imagination.  



                                                      My First Town Hall Experience

Now, to last Thursday night's town hall... this was the first one I ever attended, and I am SO GLAD that I went.  Woodstock is a very rural and sparsely populated town in the northeast corner of CT, and one of the redder parts of a fairly progressive district; it's a very beautiful place, as was the view in the room the packed town hall was held in (350 people).  As my fiancee and I were walking towards the building, we met a young lady who was very kind and polite; it turned out that she was in the "against the public option" camp, arguing that people should pay for themselves.  However, she seemed open minded to my point of view, to my surprise, and when she asked me about my viewpoint and I told her about the flyers I'd brought, she asked to take one and began to read it.  For the purposes of this diary, I will refer to her as Reasonable Conservative (for now at least).

The civility that she reflected was a unique attribute among most of those at the meeting who opposed a public option.  From the first podium speaker's mention of his first statistic (60 million uninsured), the loud barking and braying began: "THAT'S NOT TRUE".  The speaker's next line from his written statement, clearly anticipating some of this, went into how civil discourse is necessary - and people applauded with no booing - but just seconds the yellers continued heckling speaker after speaker at the podium, stopping them from talking for several seconds while many of us firmly turned back to them and said "quiet!"  However, as soon as it stopped it would start again.  The last lady who spoke at the podium was just a regular citizen trying to talk about her family history on the farm, and her relatives getting sick and dying, and the problems they'd faced under the current health care system; she was nice, genuine, and completely apolitical in tenor - and she got the worst of it.  The yellers ate her up, saying things so insensitive ("GET OVER IT!" - hands down the ugliest thing of the ugly things I heard all night, given the moment it was said) that she eventually got frazzled and lost her place, nearly beginning to cry; I can't communicate how cruel they were with their "so what" attitude to everything she said - I felt SO bad for this poor woman.

That was enough for me.  The first comment/question the audience was allowed to pose to the Congressman, I was fortunate enough to be given the floor.  This is what I said:

"I've been an independent voter most of my life, I've lived in this district for most of my life, and I've never been to a town hall before, but I'm here because I am appalled that the private insurance companies are spending 1.4 million dollars a day to kill the public option, paying off and bussing in phony citizen groups; the insurance companies know the only way to kill reform is to get people of good conscience fighting, while they laugh all the way to the bank.  They don't think very highly of our intelligence.

"But I think that this year - this time - they're wrong."

The majority of the room erupted in applause, with only silence and no booing coming from the stunned wingnuts.

For the rest of the meeting, they still did make SOME noise and still talked back when they heard things they didn't like - but no longer loudly and abrasively enough to disrupt the meeting and interrupt anyone who spoke in favor of a public option to the point where the person had to stop talking.  Their cover was blown.  The meeting remained contentious, with the passion, drama, and - I must admit - entertainment value more reminiscient of a wrestling event than what one would picture as a local Democratic party town hall in sparsely populated area - but a contentious meeting and a dysfunctional meeting are worlds apart, and indeed at opposite ends; one is vibrant democracy, the other is not democracy at all.


GO TO THESE TOWN HALL MEETINGS AND CALL THEM OUT, using the same type of language, particularly including the "insurance companies don't think very highly of our intelligence"; they are not prepared to be called out, and it throws them off their game.  There was no doubt leaving that meeting that the public option side in the room had won the debate, and that the wingers actually only represented 25-30% of the room - but the perception could have easily gone the other way had the meeting continued the way it started, with the minority sounding so loud it seemed to be a majority (something the RW has been reportedly been SUCCEEDING at when it comes to town halls that have happened since, as one attendee to the recent NY-20 Town Hall argued in their comment about a recap of the event: "I disagree however that they outnumbered us. I think we outnumbered them but it was close. They are simply louder and better organized than we are at this point" - DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU; calling these people out changes them from a fearless amorphous blob of noise that can easily be overestimated to a group of people who stand and applaud at particular comments, revealing their true numbers to all in the room).

I should also add that after my comment, I asked Congressman Courtney a question.  It was about how to better address Blue Dog/conservative concerns raised about lower Medicare reimbursal rates for rural health providers and a potential expansion of this effect under a public option, perhaps by adding an amendment that specifically addresses this disparity, in order to get more Congressional votes behind the public option.  While my remark was a procedural question about how to best achieve what was ultimately quite clearly a progressive end, the fact that I was taking conservative concerns at face value and suggesting solutions for how to legitimately address them made it impossible for a single person to boo me after I was finished speaking.  The Congressman's answer strongly suggested that he agreed such an approach was constructive, and was in fact already being discussed, to my pleasant surprise.

If I had my comments to do over, I would have added a little more on the "good conscience" point in the middle of my statement, and said that: "I've been an independent voter most of my life, I've lived in this district for most of my life, and I've never been to a town hall before, but I'm here because I am appalled that the private insurance companies are spending 1.4 million dollars a day to kill the public option, paying off and bussing in phony citizen groups; while many people on both sides of this issue are here from the district, for and against, people who would bark and yell and prevent others from talking have been bussed in by insurance companies to town halls around the country, so we can tell right away who they are.  The insurance companies know the only way to kill the public is to get people of good conscience fighting, while they laugh all the way to the bank.  They don't think very highly of our intelligence.  But I think that this year - this time - they're wrong."  That acknowledgement prevents any comeback from conservatives who ARE from the district from chipping away at the point being made; my failure to do this made my comment an A- when it should have been an A+, so please be careful not to make the same mistake I did.

I also have to mention that if I at all managed to disarm the RW at that meeting, I was at best the third most effective speaker in the audience: it was a rugged steel worker union guy with a patriotic populist sharpness and improvisational public speaking skills of a Jesse Ventura or a James Cornette, and especially a pro-life military family Sunday school teacher with a child she couldn't insure because of pre-existing condition whose incredible comments in favor of a public option were a home run, and made it very clear which side of the debate won that meeting.  If I had to guess, I would strongly suspect that the wingnuts left that meeting fairly dejected, and that Congressman Courtney was generally quite happy with the way the meeting turned out (all the stress and drama not withstanding).

By the way, if I had to describe one common factor about my statements and those of the two people I just mentioned, it was the fact that our statements were worded in a way that the winguts COULD NOT BOO US - and didn't. That's the real secret when it comes to scoring points in this environment; historically, it's conservatives who hijack patriotic language that "you just can't boo" to score big points, but they got way less of them in on this night than the pro-public option side.

There was also a gentleman who stood up and said at least the Democrats are trying something, and the Republicans aren't - he was a registered Republican himself (letting us know by ending his remarks with a disgusted "by the way, I'm a member of the party of no!").  He argued during his comment that it's better to try and fail than not try at all, and when the usual suspects objected, he silenced them with "If my arm is bleeding, I'm going to put a bandage around it if I don't have stitches; I'm not going to sit there and bleed to death."  There was also a point where a far RW questioner, barraging Courtney about the AMA, was followed by a doctor who introduced himself as a member of the AMA and explained why he supports the public option, causing the far RW guy to look dejected but then immediately forced to applaud the doctor's support of tort reform (the not applauding of which apparently results in forty lashes from Freedom Watch).  


I would estimate that while the audience was 70-30 in favor of a public option, the people who stood up and commented or asked a question were closer to 60-40 in favor of the public option; conservatives absolutely got their say - in other words - which is very important, but just as importantly, they were not able to effectively disrupt the meeting's question and answer session either.  There were plenty of supportive statements from the crowd about single payer and extended applause afterwards from the majority of the crowd; it's funny - on a progressive site like dkos, I might be debating one of those folks about whether pushing single payer now was the right way to go, but in that room on the front lines of the battle for health care, the single payer advocates clapped for every show of support for the public option, and vice versa.  We knew instinctively in that room that this was NOT just an internal progressive dialogue about optimal strategy, and that we HAD to be on the same side against the dead-enders.  It was unspoken.


Reasonable Conservative, by the way, was waiting patiently the entire duration of the meeting with her hand up until the very end - not being rude to anyone or being among the yellers.  Some people thought the meeting was over, beginning to leave, but I quickly joined the few folks that were trying to wave every one down, and I pointed towards her direction to indicate to people that a question remained to be asked; the fact was that she had been respectful to all the other speakers, and deserved her turn as far I was concerned, so I was going to make every effort to see that she got her chance - even though I knew I wasn't going to agree with her viewpoint, even though I knew that her speaking last would have given conservative commenters at the meeting the last audienword.  She began her remarks and let me tell you, she was really effective; she described herself as an independent voter, and was making the kind of cost-cutting arguments and efficiency arguments that many would agree with (despite them being insufficient on their own, they're hard to argue with), and still sounded reasonable enough in her points on tort reform.  Compared to the other public options opponents who had spoken, each of whom had uttered at least one absurdity that made the room groan and snicker at them (e.g. "We're becoming a Communist country", "the health care bill forces old people to kill themselves"), she sounded like William F. Buckley in a sea of Birchers.

Then... all of a sudden, at the very end, her voice raised to make her last point, and she went into an UGLY rant about illegal immigration that completely ruined all her credibility in the room among everyone but the wingnuts (offending even a Chilean-American gentleman who had been on her anti-reform side of the argument due to his personal negative associations and instinctive recoiling at anything presented as communist - his mouth gaped open at her comments).  

As my fiancee was leaving the building, she overheard the lady formerly known as Reasonable Conservative tell someone else that she works for an insurance company in Rocky Hill.

So much for Reasonable Conservatives, sadly.

I made certain to print out a copy of the top ten talking points list for Congressman Courtney and gave it to his aide at the end of the meeting.  In addition, I printed out twenty-five copies, and aside from the one I handed out by request going in, I simply put the rest on the table if anyone wanted to grab one; my fiancee, who was in the back of the room, saw them circulating among the crowd, so I think they may have made an impact on their own aside from my standing up and speaking.  I strongly welcome and encourage everyone to print out copies of the Word document version I provided a link for at the very top of this diary, and bring them to these town halls with you.


This is a short video of the town hall; in an earlier incarnation of this diary, I incorrectly attributed the video to the Norwich Bulletin, but the video was actually filmed by Free Norwich, a local blog whose author and readership identify as "2nd District Tea Party Patriots" (which explains the spin in the first few seconds of the video; however, I post it nonetheless because the remaining five minutes are without editing or editorialization).  My apologies to both Free Norwich and The Norwich Bulletin for the mistaken attribution.  The video shows both the union guy I mentioned speaking in favor of the public option, the Chilean guy speaking against (this is before that illegal immigration rant from The Artist Formerly Known As Reasonable Conservative visibly offended him), and Rep. Courtney's answer.  It's really important to set the stage here, as this was more than halfway through a very passionate meeting, everyone was incredibly fired up, and you could cut the intensity with a knife; Military Mom had just given the most impactful statement of the night, following a few anti-public option comments/questions in a row that made her comment especially well-timed and devastating, opening the door for union guy to bring it home with a proud and patriotic speech:




UPDATE
: Some additional tools to bring with you to town halls include this great diary by NWTerriD that, like the top ten list, focuses on appealing to the needs of the person listening to the argument; also, this image is in many ways the most effective tool I've ever seen to advocate for a public option, and would be ideal if one were to put on a poster and bring to a town hall, as it makes it's case with brevity and clarity through both words and images.  I also wanted to add one last thing:



             Understanding Why The SEQUENCE of The Top Ten Talking Points List Is So Important


Consider, a super simplified overview of the list would be:

  1. Don't believe for a second that you're immune
  1. They must think we're fucking idiots
  1. You're getting ripped off
  1. The walls are closing in
  1. The threat is a mortal one
  1. People are going broke
  1. Businesses are going broke
  1. Our government is going broke
  1. A public option saves everyone money
  1. Private insurance is what's killing the patient-doctor relationship

Steps one through three in sequence are what especially open the door for undecided citizens on the issue to listen to the remainder of the argument without glazing over at all the figures.  Voters first listen if they think something effects THEM, they resent being tricked, and they hate being robbed - in that order; it's the same strategy Republicans have been using successfully (in their case, with boldface lies) for years: it begins with fear to grab the viewer, then taking umbrage to identify with the viewer, and finally telling the viewer who is  taking them to the cleaners now that the trust has been earned.  It's not something I pursued by design, but rather something I stumbled upon by accident; nonetheless, perhaps it's time someone applied that strategy honestly for a change, as the genuine sense of fear, umbrage, and thievery surrounding our murder by spreadsheet health care system is thoroughly legitimate and justified, and has to be brought to the attention of the electorate for the desperately needed public option to be signed into law.

Originally posted to ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 08:59 AM PDT.

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    Sharoney, Renee, JekyllnHyde, Ed in Montana, chrississippi, Alma, TXdem, hazey, Odysseus, ferg, XOVER, sula, Geenius at Wrok, tin woodswoman, TrueBlueMajority, RunawayRose, Sprinkles, karlpk, Coldblue Steele, Shockwave, meg, Byron from Denver, GayHillbilly, mainely49, eeff, frsbdg, TX Unmuzzled, Richard Cranium, frisco, dhl, Matilda, wenchacha, MarkInSanFran, musicsleuth, mataliandy, exNYinTX, vrexford, Creosote, opinionated, EvieCZ, bronte17, missLotus, conchita, sponson, Cassandra77, understandinglife, susakinovember, eddieb061345, CoolOnion, Mlle Orignalmale, Pithy Cherub, greengrrl, chimpy, samddobermann, denig, Ignacio Magaloni, sberel, luku, ClickerMel, oceanview, fumie, kitebro, Jesterfox, Cedwyn, lirtydies, wader, SneakySnu, hhex65, psnyder, sockpuppet, mrkvica, DeadB0y, businessdem, brainwave, grannyhelen, Damnit Janet, churchylafemme, Penny Century, defluxion10, Catte Nappe, snakelass, Tillie630, liberte, RebeccaG, Pohjola, DelicateMonster, bwintx, JayBat, tomjones, TexasLefty, Twilight Jack, Josiah Bartlett, greeseyparrot, Gowrie Gal, hopalong, rapala, vcmvo2, ExStr8, lcs, AngryOne, marina, radarlady, ZZZzzz, NoMoreLies, Ckntfld, Unit Zero, freakofsociety, Elise, elsaf, JanetT in MD, SherwoodB, mjd in florida, PBen, Simplify, MT Spaces, drewfromct, amRadioHed, michaelmas, reflectionsv37, Jules Beaujolais, Lib Rule Guy, Pam from Calif, lcbo, ladybug53, peteri2, Phil S 33, PinHole, Bob B, dsteffen, Rogneid, JanL, Jim P, aimzzz, Mother Mags, Showman, SoniaS, BachFan, MissInformation, mcronan, vigilant meerkat, Themistoclea, Ky DEM, mooshter, Dvalkure, KenBee, Wary, kck, zigeunerweisen, merrinc, tecampbell, Lashe, nonnie9999, gatorcog, imabluemerkin, tapestry, Preston S, MarciaJ720, gabriella, doinaheckuvanutjob, Wildthumb, hlsmlane, Pilgrim X, Turbonerd, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, cherryXXX69, revgerry, Picot verde, Temmoku, markthshark, b3citizen, ZenTrainer, Aaa T Tudeattack, BentLiberal, DBunn, Tamar, robbk, BeninSC, khereva, dmh44, california keefer, Tailspinterry, jetskreemr, Duccio, chigh, HeartlandLiberal, flumptytail, terabytes, ezdidit, DWG, suejazz, Uncle Cosmo, Drowning Wave, BobTrips, HCKAD, jedennis, akdude6016, chicago jeff, BaritoneWoman, sabershadow, Moderation, Jack the R, gchaucer2, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, crystalboy, TexasTwister, A Person, LynneK, TomP, Empower Ink, jgilhousen, MKinTN, MT Clarity, alkalinesky, Dem in the heart of Texas, Scioto, condorcet, dotster, kingneil, signals, elwior, ajr111240, fnord warrior, Lujane, royce, pamelabrown, Haplogroup V, hwmnbn, left my heart, carver, Jeff Y, VirginiaBlue, Horsefeathers, bakenjuddy, lurxst, meldroc, a night owl, stillwaters, A Man Called Gloom, allie123, binkycat, dont think, badguppy, Guadalupe59, Mayfly, HoosierDeb, immigradvocate, Fiddlegirl, maggiejean, SciMathGuy, Pris from LA, 1BQ, multilee, pileta, number nine dream, Jacob Bartle, Dirtandiron, WSComn, socalmonk, thomasjefferson33, banjolele, jodygirl, geodemographics, platypus60, NWTerriD, oxfdblue, soms, MooseHB, allep10, bbagley1, Kiku, Houston Gardener, ArthurPoet, doc superdog, MizKit, crowjane, Tommymac, deviant24x, susan in sc, ruscle, BlueOak, Leftovers, haensgen, Just Bob, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, sulthernao, smileycreek, TruthandTrust, My Stupid Opinion, MariaWr, awcomeon, Phaseshift360, RO45, foolknot, awesumtenor, Pebbles, eXtina, estreya, blueingreen, blueyescryinintherain, ydice, japangypsy, TheWesternSun, stunzeed, klompendanser, wren400, atxcats, dagnome, Harlock415, Eddie L, SpawnOfJerry, shenderson, elginblt, Mariken, scarlet slipper, juturna, Egalitare, JRandomPoster, addisnana, alethea, TXDemJenn, Anne was here, karehiro, HylasBrook, DudleyMason, Actbriniel, jeanma, LoCo Liberal, Rockpopple, outofthisworld, renbear, gobears2000, dharmapup, the dogs sockpuppet, angstall, Front Toward Enemy, zooecium, bgblcklab1, Olon, Mr MadAsHell, m00finsan, BlackQueen40, Mistral Wind, BlueHead, rg611, chloris creator, kevin k, SoCaliana, bonsai superstar, smallgal, princesspat, Ms Bluezone, burana, Escamillo, Muskegon Critic, smileyman, dle2GA, blw, CKendall, Dixie Liberal, COkdub, svboston, jediwashuu, yaque, SilentBrook, MinistryOfTruth, Merry Light, VTCC73, la58, SweetLittleOkie, krystal, jolux, Wonk Hussein, KingofSpades, lenina, Reliefpitcher, karma bum, Arnemi, MichaelNY, PrometheusUnbound, No one gets out alive

    Please go to these town halls; showing up and adding your voice of reason to the crowd is half the battle.  When people say that these are the front lines in the battle for health care, they're not joking, and it's impossible to appreciate exactly how true that is until you've been to one and seen it for yourself.

    Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

    by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 08:24:36 AM PDT

  •  Put that shorter version of the talking... (30+ / 0-)

    ...points up near the top of your diary. Even, long-winded as I am, and speed-writer though I be, found your piece a little on the longish side. Get to the point first, THEN elaborate. That way, those who have limited time will understand what you mean AND those who want more detail will be satisfied as well. ;)

    Some people would be better off not reading diaries they comment on, since they already have all the answers.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:03:22 AM PDT

  •  They're good lists (18+ / 0-)

    But how do they compete with:

    Wingnut: "NNNNNNNNNNNNGGGG!! BRRRRRRUUUUAAAAAAHHHH!! GGGGGGGGGGGRRRRR!! LAAAAAARRRRRRRRRFF! NG'YAAAAAAAAUUUUU!

    Droogie is quitting smoking! Make him feel good. Today is Day 9.

    by droogie6655321 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:04:38 AM PDT

  •  Just what I was looking for.... (18+ / 0-)

    Our town hall is coming up and I'm going to be prepared!

    Thank you for the useful information.

    If cats could blog.... they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:05:40 AM PDT

  •  http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/ (10+ / 0-)

    That's the Administration's web site, similar to fightthesmears.com.   May be useful to send to link to folks...

    Linky

    Whatever the Repuglicans say, the opposite is the truth .

    by MariaWr on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:07:05 AM PDT

  •  I've been trying to find in the Constitution (17+ / 0-)

    where a free-market economy is guaranteed.  Federal, state and local governments operate several industries, such as the military, the U.S. Post Office (semi-public agency), public libraries, public schools, the police, fire departments, etc.  Private industries have many regulations; property developers have to comply with building codes and obtain certificates of occupancy, for example.  Seems to me that our economic system is subject to legislation.  Our Congresspersons and our President can consider the well-being of sick Americans, in addition to corporate profits, when making these decisions.

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office. There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:12:40 AM PDT

  •  EXCELLENT - Thank you .. printed and .. (10+ / 0-)

    We'll, wife and I, be taking your talking points when we visit our representatives as well as when we go to our local TH meetings.

    Thank you. Very timely and well done diary.

    "Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state." Avram Noam Chomsky

    by zooecium on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:16:10 AM PDT

  •  I just wanted to refine your rebuttal point 1, (12+ / 0-)

    Congress is tasked with promoting the public welfare and is granted the enumerated powers to do so.  As long as Congress acts within its enumerated powers, it is permitted to act.  Whether Congress has exceeded its powers is a matter for the federal courts to decide.

    However, whether Congress should or should not act within its powers to address a particular issue is a matter of the political process.  The answer to the question of whether Congress should act - as opposed to whether it may act - is really not found within the text of the Constitution.  

    That's why we have elections and a representative form of government.  The government by and for the We the People is elected and convenes to determine what actions to take to further the well-being of the nation and We the People.  Town Halls are one place to discuss in specific terms whether or not a proposed course of action is a wise one.

    So let's discuss it, which requires that all points of view be heard and that all people listen.

    Coming to a Town Hall with the agenda to shut down that discourse and make nonsensical objections that the Constitution doesn't specifically require healthcare is profoundly anti-democratic and shows a complete lack of understanding of the democratic process.  

    The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

    by Mother of Zeus on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:28:06 AM PDT

    •  What you say is more accurate than what I said (12+ / 0-)

      But the complexity of the argument (both the concept and the wording) make it incompatible with a talking points list.

      That's one reason, actually, that I think talking point lists are so important for the progressive side; far too often, we allow conservatives to get the edge, because it takes a lot less words to tear something down than explain the pros and cons honestly.  Therefore, we have to pick our battles, or our thorough, wonky, perfectly correct arguments will be listened to by no one.  For instance, when Sotomayor was getting a lot of heat, I wrote a diary about how conservative judges are the true activists, if anything; sure, it would have been even more accurate to spend twice as many words arguing that berating judges for being activist is a misnomer to begin with, but you have to pick battles that you can win in given (usually short) increments of time with clarity and focus - and we've seen the price of not being able to adapt to such formats.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:38:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm . . . I actually think your rebuttal point (4+ / 0-)

        was longer and probably at least as complicated as mine.  :)

        The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

        by Mother of Zeus on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:55:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, you're probably right as far as number (4+ / 0-)

          of words, but I still argue that your concept is far more ambiguous and open ended:

          However, whether Congress should or should not act within its powers to address a particular issue is a matter of the political process.  The answer to the question of whether Congress should act - as opposed to whether it may act - is really not found within the text of the Constitution.  

          Since these guys show up to meetings and say "Constitution!", you've already lost them.  Better to point out that the very Article I Section 8 that they think backs them up actually proves them wrong.  It's quicker (despite the fact you are correct that I could have been less wordy), it's clearer, and it has an exponentially greater chance of success.  Your argument, although correct, plays into their hands.

          Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

          by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:40:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pris from LA

            If it is correct and it plays into their hands, then the argument shouldn't be used.  Anyone who is at all familiar with the Constitution can accurately shoot down this rebuttal point, and it tends to discredit the other points.

            If you are going to sacrifice correct arguments for the appearance of superficial debate victory, I would argue you are also sacrificing solid ground to stand upon.  Misinterpreting the constitution such as this could be dangerous.

            •  Explain to me how you shoot down that rebuttal (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pris from LA

              point before you tell me that anybody could do it - and I will listen.

              Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

              by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:07:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Understood (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ShadowSD, Pris from LA

                What I mean is that when someone counters the "constitutional argument" by saying Congress is required to promote the general welfare, that person is standing on treacherous ground, since the rest of their argument is tainted by this factual error.

                It is incorrect, as noted above in other comments, that Congress has such a duty.  They have a power, and are given the ability to use means useful and convenient to promote general welfare through the Necessary and Proper Clause.  But there is no duty imposed on Congress to do so.

                Of course, promoting the general welfare may be better through your public option, but my point is that the rebuttal's premise on the constitution was flawed in such a way that it makes the rest of the rebuttal point, although valid, have the appearance of lacking credibility.

                •  I understand - good point (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pris from LA

                  This occured to me as well, so I considered putting ability instead of duty, and hoping the person would make the implicit connection between the two anyway - but I figured I'd still run into the same problem you highlight even then, if more subtley, so why not be direct about it?

                  However - in either case - my answer would be the same: "Congress was given powers to use them, and instead they've functionally ceded so many of their powers to the executive branch, including declarations of war - do we really think that was the Founders intentions?  To give Congress enumerated powers in order for the President not to become absolute leader, and then for Congress just to hand them over nicely to the President?"

                  (I'm throwing them off on two tacks now; many of the Paul-type libertarians would agree on that declaration of war argument, and be stumped, while ALL  opponents of the current President showing up at a town meeting would viscerally avoid arguing with me on that point because they don't want to stand up and argue for more Presidential power in public now that they hate the current President)

                  Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

                  by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:30:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I see where you are coming from (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ShadowSD, yaque

                    I just want to make sure your rebuttal doesn't get mired up because of wording.  You can certainly be more direct, but the fact remains that Congress has no duty even with a power under the law.  Perhaps a moral duty, but there is no legal basis for forcing them to promote the general welfare under a moral duty.  

                    Congress was intended to have the ability to delegate legislative powers to the other branches.  Practically speaking, there has to be delegation to agencies otherwise things would be even more ineffective.  Think of the EPA, the SEC (especially the SEC!) and other groups.  In the end, I am not sure why delegation is being tied to the General Welfare clause, perhaps I missed something from your diary.

                    I think it is still a solid argument that Congress has the enumerated power to tax and spend for the general welfare, and that providing national healthcare (I am assuming all things equal in the other constitutional questions) can be a legitimate furtherance of that clause.  But we shouldn't say there is a legal duty. We should argue that politically, moral duties can justify exercise of a legal power.  I think that argument then tracks with your other rebuttal rationale.

                    •  Nope, too long and complicated (0+ / 0-)

                      That is the true "mired up in wording" danger that progressives too often fall into - too long, too complicated.

                      My argument holds up because this is just too complex an argument in its implications to communicate convincingly in a short amount of time:

                      You can certainly be more direct, but the fact remains that Congress has no duty even with a power under the law.  Perhaps a moral duty, but there is no legal basis for forcing them to promote the general welfare under a moral duty.  

                      Congress was intended to have the ability to delegate legislative powers to the other branches.  Practically speaking, there has to be delegation to agencies otherwise things would be even more ineffective.  Think of the EPA, the SEC (especially the SEC!) and other groups.  In the end, I am not sure why delegation is being tied to the General Welfare clause, perhaps I missed something from your diary.

                      Again, I'm scoring your argument using talking point math - focused on clarity and brevity - not by the Con Law section of the bar exam.

                      This is the public square, not a bunch of judges, legislators, or lawyers debating behind closed doors - and the rules are different; the failure of progressives to understand this has lead to awful political failures, the last eight years of living under the Bush administration being the most notable consequence.

                      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

                      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:14:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Complicated or not--it is still true (0+ / 0-)

                        The public square should still have factually correct statements, we should all agree on that.  Why sacrifice the truth for your ends? Isn't that a slippery slope?

                        My point isn't to relay what lawyers will argue in court or on a bar exam, it is a basic and fundamental constitutional truth, one that was underlying that rebuttal point.  And for that matter, my argument was the last paragraph in my previous comment, not the first two.

                        Whatever points you will score for brevity in a talking points rubric is outweighed by relaying an incorrect statement.  I agree my argument isn't brief enough for your purposes; but to use the duty framework won't help matters as soon as someone else points out that such a duty doesn't exist.  In that case, I would posit that we should avoid that point altogether or find a slightly varied rebuttal.

                        •  Once again (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          snakelass

                          to use the duty framework won't help matters as soon as someone else points out that such a duty doesn't exist.

                          This is what I'd say, and they wouldn't have an equally brief argument to respond with: "Congress was given powers to use them, and instead they've functionally ceded so many of their powers to the executive branch, including declarations of war - do we really think that was the Founders intentions?  To give Congress enumerated powers in order for the President not to become absolute leader, and then for Congress just to hand them over nicely to the President?"

                          The public square should still have factually correct statements, we should all agree on that.  Why sacrifice the truth for your ends? Isn't that a slippery slope?

                          Yes.  But a slipppery slope also implies that there's some choice in the matter; with the point I'm making, it's just an acknowledgement of reality.

                          Look, let me put it this way; we all can agree that soundbite media is bad, because no reasonable debate or even cogent viewpoint can be fleshed out in that short time; however, it exists, and when you're at a town hall where you can be interrupted by the other side, the rules aren't much different.  You have to play for the most effective and honest answer possible in the time allotted.  The idea that one can be completely honest in the sense of being  thorough to every last detail in just a few seconds is unreasonable, and while it is true that this suggests that everyone in a soundbite environment says things that are not as accurate as they could be, and that the format is inherently flawed, we cannot throw our hands up and walk away as if the format is not prevalent.  The fact is, my analysis of health care in this diary is woefully incomplete by the standard of "the whole truth" because that would take thousands of pages - otherwise that would be a lie of omission by the pure standard you are setting.

                          Be as honest and thorough you can be in the time allotted - that's all we can do in life.  What's the use of rambling on and on brilliantly in an empty room anyway?

                          Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

                          by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:00:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree on your general welfare point (0+ / 0-)

      The first rebuttal point as it is listed is doing a terrible disservice to the entire argument, since it misinterprets the constitution.

      •  Should it refer to "general welfare" at all? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snakelass, addisnana

        Or is the interstate commerce clause (also Article I, section 8) the better constitutional argument?

        I know that some strict constructionists will argue that the commerce clause has been way over-extended at times by Congress.

        But it's difficult to argue that modern health care can take place, in any way-shape-or-form, without getting supplies, medications, etc. from out of state.  And insurance companies operate nationally, even though they tweak their coverage to meet state-by-state requirements.

        So clearly this applies to regulation of insurance.  I'm not sure it applies to creation of a public option.  Any constitutional lawyers who can speak to this?

        (BTW, I was also at the town hall with Rep. Courtney with Shadow.  He answered the question by referring to the commerce clause.  However, this did not stop at least two other questioners from asking the same damn question.  Some of them really are not there to listen, only to shout.)

        "The heart of the matter is found not in the voting nor in the counting ... but in the process by which the majority is formed." ~ John Dewey

        by Theolog on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:48:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snakelass

          I would posit that the commerce clause would be a much better basis for the power.  But practically speaking, my understanding is that Congress has the power to tax and spend for the general welfare by using means useful and convenient under the Necessary and Proper clause.  You could justify the legislation under both then.  My true point is that Congress isn't mandated to enact under the general welfare clause, or even interstate commerce.  Moral duties they may be, but they only have legal justifications, not mandates.

          Small quibble by me overall.

        •  But the fact that the answer did not get through (0+ / 0-)

          to them proves my point - the argument was too complex.

          Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

          by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:05:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Two different audiences (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snakelass

            I don't think the problem is complexity.  Courtney's answer was pretty clear, although he responded in two parts:  first in terms of the history of unsuccessful challenges to Medicare, and only later by invoking the commerce clause as such.

            I think the problem is that one "audience" is just not interested in answers, no matter how clear, precise and persuasive.  They'd rather hear themselves shout.

            Our true audience, though, is those who come to town halls, or read about them later, etc. who really are persuadable.  They are there!  But they are more likely to be silent.  Still, the value of these arguments (all your ten points, etc.) is precisely in speaking to them.

            "The heart of the matter is found not in the voting nor in the counting ... but in the process by which the majority is formed." ~ John Dewey

            by Theolog on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:51:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  While that divide is there (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              snakelass

              It is not impenetrable; it does not equate us being impotent to affect their behavior, and this in many ways is a key foundation of my arguments here.  There are statements that can be made - like mine, like military mom, like steel worker guy - that even the worst of the worst did not heckle or even boo.  I think it's important to note what was different in those instances from every other pro-public option comment, which they were quiet happy to boo.

              Don't get me wrong, Joe Courtney was really great at that meeting, as was the speaker after him, but they were both still a touch too wonky to have that same effect.  Why?  Well, that is what these series of diaries are all about.  We have to break our typical pattern of mistaken assumptions that:

              a.) if the issue is important enough, people will automatically listen to a complex argument full of figures, despite the absence of optimal clarity, brevity, a sense of identification with the speaker, and how the information personally affects the listener  

              b.) that the shouters cannot be affected; their behavior most certainly can be affected, even those who would never be persuaded, and thus their disruptions can be diffused

              Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

              by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:26:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary, Shadow (12+ / 0-)

    and a fascinating read of life on the other side of the river.  Other than the casinos, Electric Boat, Coast Guard Academy and shoreline businesses, eastern CT is dotted with small farms and depressed areas (except Woodstock, if I remember, it is reasonably affluent).  This district is the very type which would benefit from anything that is a public option to universal healthcare.

    The farmers are struggling -- dairy farms, egg farms and I believe that marvelous mushroom farm is gone now.  I just honestly don't get how folks can argue against self interest.

  •  Kudos to You (6+ / 0-)

    You beat the wingers at their own game and the Public Option Democrats need to take notice.

    I live in Tom DeLay's old district, now held by Pete Olsen.  I have gotten no notices that he is having any town hall meetings yet (Sue-Prize, Sue-Prize).

    Tipped and Rec'd cause you know what you're doing and what you're (we) are up against.

    -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

    by MarciaJ720 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:39:55 AM PDT

  •  That you for this Diary (9+ / 0-)

    I'm sending the talking points to my mother in Kentucky and some other relatives in Red States.  

    This is the kind of proactive, positive informational help I come to DKos to find.  

  •  Obama must give us a bill to defend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, codairem

    Not this sellout to insurance companies.

    This is all well and good, but what the heck are we defending ? A watered down giveaway to insurance and Big Pharma with no public option ?

    For defending THAT, no  thanks, I'll stay home and let Max Baucus and Rahm go defend it.

    "Bush Derangement Syndrome"
    That's like "Strychnine Allergy", right?

    by lostmypassword on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:42:47 AM PDT

  •  Also useful.. (6+ / 0-)

    The new White House website:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

    Maybe not directly useful at townhall meetings, but useful to email to friends & family as an antidote to the usual scaremongering.

  •  I've been passing your stuff on like crazy (9+ / 0-)
    I sent it to my 400+ mailing list of OFA supporters in my area, the leadership of our county Dem Party and to our state OFA coordinator.

    Keep it coming, we NEED this type of thing.

  •  Can i take your brilliant list ... (8+ / 0-)

    ... and post it on the political discussions in my gardening forum?

  •  Thanks for your great diary. Senator Specter is (6+ / 0-)

    appearing nearby this week, and I definitely plan to use your ideas.

  •  well done (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, sockpuppet, ShadowSD

    Thank you for your actions.  

  •  We have to stay on message. The opponents of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, sockpuppet, ShadowSD

    reform are showing the country how ugly they are.

  •  good work! (4+ / 0-)

    See, this is how things get done.  Good to see this instead of more "Obama disappoints me, wah" diaries.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:58:31 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, Shadow SD (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, lirtydies, Rogneid, ShadowSD

    for the field training manual.  This reminds me of the training sessions we had to go through before being on the front lines of women's health-clinic defense.

    Thank you for putting so much of your time and energy into this.  I've read every word, intently, and I take to heart your earnest recommendation that we progressives, and Kossacks especially, fore-arm ourselves with these counter talking points, and then get out there and use 'em.

    Bravo, and well done.  Thanks.

  •  Bet This Video Never Gets Shown By The MS News!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, ShadowSD

    I'm Here From The American News Media and Vow to Give You Worthless News

    by hopalong on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:03:30 AM PDT

  •  Regarding Canada: (8+ / 0-)

    Canada covers everyone and has both a lower infant mortality rate and a longer life expectancy than the U.S.  No Canadian has to worry about going bankrupt because of medical bills.

    Plus, they do all this at a much lower cost per person than the U.S.

    Infant mortality and life expectancy data can be found at
    https://www.cia.gov/...

  •  What are some ways to post these at the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, lirtydies, ShadowSD

    TH meetings? I can make double sided copies of the ten points and rebuttals on standard paper. I could even drop off a copy at the reps office and democratic party office. Our rep has townhalls this week starting tonight. I noticed no signs and so I expect that. I also live in a very democratic well educated area surrounded by righties to the east and south and so i expect them to come to these TH's.

    Insulin in Ca public schools ruling STAYED during appeal. Great ruling for 15,000 diabetic students. http://preview.tinyurl.com/dxafql

    by foggycity on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:06:32 AM PDT

  •  You have been on fire ShadowSD (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you so much for all yor hard work on this diary. It is great and I will be passing it along to my friends.

    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. -Mae West

    by COwoman on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:08:16 AM PDT

  •  Please... (8+ / 0-)

    please please please please amend:

    the idea that good solutions like reforming Medicare and malpractice lawsuits  are enough on their own is just a slap in the face.

    Medical malpractice is not a major driver of medical costs in the United States.  Per this Bloomberg article medical malpractice awards, settlements, and insurance amount to @$12 a year per person, or 2%.  I've seen other estimates that it is less than 1% per year.

    As to "defensive medicine"... who can tell?  There is so much over-testing, and over-referral of so many people -- especially when one starts looking at physician-owned hospitals and testing providers who are making a lot of money out of the "defensive medicine" they whine about providing.

    But please, don't fall into the canard of demonizing trial attorneys.  While some are crass assholes well-deserving of the epithet "ambulance chasers", they also are, as a body, the common person's last defense against corporatized everything.

    Evil is making the premedicated choice to be a dick -- Jason Stackhouse

    by Frankenoid on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:09:25 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for Posting this (5+ / 0-)

    Looking at attending a local townhall being put on by Rep. Jeff Flake, he of the fiscal conservative mummery, tonight in AZ. Not a friendly crowd to join in but I am curious as to how the thing will unfold.
    Crowds of booing teabaggers or just plain old constituents asking questions.

    This is a great list to keep handy.

    Mesa, Arizona, Aug 10 - Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, announced that he will participate in a town hall on August 10, 2009 in Chandler at 6:00pm.

    Healthcare Town Hall
    Monday, August 10 at 6:00pm
    Basha High School
    Theatre Room
    5990 S. Val Vista Drive
    Chandler, AZ  85249
    (Access parking off of Riggs Rd., next to football field)

    •  Well, you could always print out the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lirtydies, ShadowSD

      talking points in this excellent diary and pass them out at the door. Then duck! My bet is it'll be a fairly reserved group of suburbanites and seniors (who of course will blabber on about "no government" in health care, then stop at the Walgreens to have their Medicare prescription filled). I have a meeting with Pastor tomorrow, one of the good guys.  

      stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

      by Mother Mags on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:24:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wow--excellent work ShadowSD (8+ / 0-)

    excellent work going to the town hall meeting, getting up to speak, coming up with effective remarks, and giving us this solid action diary.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:16:58 AM PDT

  •  What SC decisions have upheld Art 1 Sec 8? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, Rogneid, Lujane, brein

    Because I know that the first thing they'd do is argue that it doesn't explicitly spell out how Congress promotes the general welfare, are there SCOTUS decisions that back up Congress' right to do so?

    I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes...

    by 2501 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:17:42 AM PDT

  •  Awesome diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, Rogneid, ShadowSD

    tipped and recc'd!

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:18:27 AM PDT

  •  Fight for a Real Public Option (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, Rogneid, m00finsan

    None of the plans have a real one.

    Why defend a limp piece of sausage? Isn't it better to fight for a nice juicy steak?

    You don't move Congress to the left by supporting their watered down "insurance reform."

    I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking. -- FDR

    by Moresby on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:18:45 AM PDT

    •  That's funny, I thought my arguments were clearly (0+ / 0-)

      supporting a real and robust public option.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:25:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am so impressed (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, Rogneid, ShadowSD, pinkbunny

    By what you did, and what so many people here are doing.

    I can't go to a town hall myself as I live overseas, but you make me proud to be an American.

    What a pity about the Reasonable Conservative.  A paid shill.

    www.tapestryofbronze.com and www.haikudiary.com

    by chloris creator on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:25:44 AM PDT

  •  great diary but the town hall unrest is not about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, jennylind

    health care, it's about racism. Which means there is even more at stake.

  •  Great diary. Everyone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, ShadowSD

    should hotlist it and refer to it liberally when talking to the anti-healthcare reform folks that we meet each day.

    At least I hope everyone is talking to people that don't agree with them!

    We've got serious work to do. Health care and civil rights for all, please!

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:28:44 AM PDT

  •  I love everything in this diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glic, oceanview, lirtydies, ShadowSD

    Someone (coughcoughcough) should print these up into flashcards we can all study whenever we have a few spare minutes.

    The past two weeks have put me in contact with people whom I thought were smart enough not believe this crap.  But they believe it despite their intelligence, and my astonishment at that leaves me gape-jawed and stammering in their presence.  

  •  I'm going to a townhall tomorrow in California (5+ / 0-)

    and I will take your talking points with me.

    They [GOP] haven't clear logical ideas on one single subject except a sturdy, solid opposition to all change. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    by mscharizmaa on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:33:20 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary. Instead of moaning and (5+ / 0-)

    criticizing, you've given us strong, practical,
    EMPOWERING tips on how to proceed. I give this diary an
    A+.

  •  Thank you for this. (5+ / 0-)

    I'm heading to Obama's town hall tomorrow and, while I won't be able to get in, I sure will be standing outside making my voice heard.  And now I'll know what to say.  :)

    "The man in the suit has just bought a new car from the profit he's made off your dreams."

    by My mom is my hero on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:34:07 AM PDT

  •  1 trillion in costs for healthcare (4+ / 0-)

    amounts in $3,333 per person over TEN YEARS or $333 a year for ten years.

    Now I don't know about those nutsacks but I'd imagine there would be millions of Americans who would much prefer to pay $27.75 a month for comprehensive health care than the $500 and up a month for the crap they get now.

    Hell they can raise my fucking taxes so that I'm paying $27.75 a month more if it means I will NEVER have to deal with another fucking health insurance company EVER AGAIN.  I'll pay TWICE that if it means I can get comprehensive care with no hassles.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:34:33 AM PDT

  •  How about we fight fire with fire? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, Lujane

    Just make up some blatant lies about the insurance companies, and/or the Republicans to combat the blatant lies being told by the other side?

    Half snark--but the main problem with your advice is that it presumes these people respect facts and reality.  They don't.

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:44:25 AM PDT

  •  Quick, Make it a coloring book! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    Without a real Public Health Option we all will quickly get sick and poorer.

    by Reliefpitcher on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:46:28 AM PDT

  •  Awesome! Judy Biggert has a Town Hall tonite! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, ShadowSD, pamelabrown

    Unadvertised! From 6:30 to 7:30 pm. We are going to be ready! You know it will be packed with her supporters since it is not even listed on her website!
    It will be at the Hinsdale Village Clubhouse located at 67th and Clarendon Hills Road, enter Hinsdale Lake Village to get to the clubhouse.

    Thanks so much! I feel pumped!

  •  Health Care Reform? (0+ / 0-)

    You found a health care reform town hall?  All the stuff I get from the White House is about health INSURANCE reform.

    Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.

    by Liberal Elite on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:48:25 AM PDT

  •  Great stuff, every bit of it. Thanks. (4+ / 0-)

    I took your super-simplified Top Ten and put it on an index card and it's going everywhere with me.  Added to #10 that it's private insurance that is rationing health care.

    "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

    by CKendall on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:50:36 AM PDT

  •  portland, oregon town halls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    starting today and running through the week:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    The fights that matter have never been waged based on probability of success.
    Single payer now!

    by Cedwyn on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:50:43 AM PDT

    •  There is one in Mac I'm going to try and do today (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, ShadowSD

      EVERY US CITIZEN SHALL BE COVERED BY MEDICARE FROM BIRTH UNTIL DEATH.

      by potatohead on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:29:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i definitely want to hear about it if you do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ShadowSD

        i'm going to do blumenauer's tomorrow.

        The fights that matter have never been waged based on probability of success.
        Single payer now!

        by Cedwyn on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:24:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Couldn't!! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn, ShadowSD

          Kind of PO'ed about it too.

          Mac is near where I live, wouldn't have been much of a stretch.  Had a customer down right at 4:00...  :(

          I have used the info in this diary to calm a few people today though.  Some time spent in smaller forums can do a hell of a lot of good right now.  Based on the results I just saw, people are willing to consider the whole thing, if they can get over most of their fear.

          EVERY US CITIZEN SHALL BE COVERED BY MEDICARE FROM BIRTH UNTIL DEATH.

          by potatohead on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 07:25:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is great to hear (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cedwyn

            I have used the info in this diary to calm a few people today though.  Some time spent in smaller forums can do a hell of a lot of good right now.  Based on the results I just saw, people are willing to consider the whole thing, if they can get over most of their fear.

            Very gratifying - and encouraging.  Thanks for letting me know.

            Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

            by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:12:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  How to stop them in their tracks? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thinkdouble, lirtydies, ShadowSD, brein, Arnemi

    Here's how you control a meeting.  You make everyone register when they come in.  If they want to talk, you make them sign up and tell them they get x amount of time to say whatever they want.  There will be x amount of time for responses and there will be x amount of responses, drawn at random.  If anyone tries to make any floor displays or off the cuff statements, they are removed by security and replaced with someone on any waiting list.  Everyone gets a chance to talk and there is ample time for discussion.  These meetings are about question and answer, discussion and imput by the public.  Disruptions are simply not allowed, but everyone has a chance to say their peace.

  •  What is the best answer to this question? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phillyPete

    An opponent asks:

    I have very good health insurance at my job.  If there is a public option that is cheaper with less benefits than I have now, won't my employer switch to that and won't my benefits be worse?

    It would be helpful to have a succinct answer to this.

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:59:31 AM PDT

    •  Well, cheaper insurance with less benefits (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fumie, ShadowSD, smileyman

      is available now, and your employer could go for that right now if they wanted to. If they're offering good insurance, they presumably see it as a way to attract and hold good employees. And they may also genuinely care about their employees.

      But whether they care or not, many businesses are cutting back on health benefits, or ending them altogether, as the costs rise and rise. Your employer is likely to do that too, if the costs continue to go up over the next 10 years as they have over the last 10 years. It happens to many thousands of Americans every year, and you are not immune.

      But I'd like to make two points:

      First, the health reform bill will slow the rise of health costs. (The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says so, and so do the sources on this Wall Street-oriented news site.) So pressure on employers won't keep rising and rising. Reform makes it less likely you'll lose your current insurance, not more likely.

      Secondly, if you do lose your preferred insurance, you have a decent fallback that will help you take care of yourself and your family. Instead of current non-group insurance, with sky-high premiums and exclusions for pre-existing conditions, you can to to a Health Exchange where you will be offered, in effect, group rates. With no "pre-existing" exclusions. You can choose a private policy, or you can choose the Public Option -- whichever is best for you. So if you lose your employer-based insurnance, as so many have already, it won't be the kind of disaster it would be today.

      And that's a great gain.

    •  The public option is for individual insurance (0+ / 0-)

      Your employer can't 'switch' to the public option.

      Ignorance isn't exactly bliss but some things are better known when they are unknown to start with and pieced together on the way. - WineRev

      by Clem Yeobright on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 03:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that's true. (0+ / 0-)

        The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

        by Upper West on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 01:55:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's true. (0+ / 0-)

          Employers - except very small enterprises - are assessed 8% of payroll if they don't offer group insurance and pay 72.5% of the premiums (65% of family coverage). Employers in low-wage businesses receive subsidies to offer group coverage. So, an employer can 'dump' his employees on the individual market with some of them electing the public option, but the intent is that providing group plans - which are all private - will be cheaper. And it's up to the employer, not the employee.

          Ignorance isn't exactly bliss but some things are better known when they are unknown to start with and pieced together on the way. - WineRev

          by Clem Yeobright on Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 05:18:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Small quibble (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigVegan

    Diarist uses the first rebuttal point and states:

    Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution says the Congress must promote the general welfare of the people;

    The Constitution actually says:

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States

    Just thought I would point that out, otherwise someone could undermine that entire argument.  Technically, Congress isn't under a duty but has the enumerated power to promote general welfare, utilizing the Necessary and Proper Clause to effectuate that end.

    •  Also (0+ / 0-)

      On the same rebuttal point: equal protection challenge may not work as well, since we aren't dealing with a protected class.  Since rational basis would likely be the review standard, there could be problems.  Shoring up the arguments under this point and the above can solidify the argument.

  •  These rebuttals are well and good (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, ferallike, brein

    But tea baggers don't come to these things to debate. They come to disrupt and that's their goal. Their overlords know they won't win a real debate, so they're instructed to shut down debate.

    The "baggers" are comprised of "rocket surgeons" like this guy who says:

    People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

    The only problem with his "argument" is that Stephen Hawking was born and raised in the UK and has lived his entire life there.

    Which brings us to "teh stupid". Bill Maher did a great rant about this:

    And before I go about demonstrating how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness dragging down our country, let me just say that ignorance has life and death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, 69% of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Four years later, 34% still did. Or take the health care debate we're presently having: members of Congress have recessed now so they can go home and "listen to their constituents." An urge they should resist because their constituents don't know anything. At a recent town-hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his Congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross country to protest highways.

    I'm the bad guy for saying it's a stupid country, yet polls show that a majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. 24% could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket.

    Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only 30% got their wife's name right on the first try.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:05:07 AM PDT

    •  But anticipating the disruption and preempting it (7+ / 0-)

      takes a lot of the oomph out of it. Shit, that kind of judo is how Karl Rove took the wind out of Democrats for nearly eight years. It's our turn to start using the judo.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:12:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course! I agree that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lirtydies, ferallike, brein

        disrupting the disruptions is an admirable goal. I'm just skeptical about fighting stupid with logic.

        One reason I'm skeptical is that I believe that what the tea baggers and the birthers are really pissed about is the color of the man occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

        After all, where were these same people when G. W. Bush spent bazillions on his (largely useless and PITA) Medicare "reforms"?

        This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

        by Snud on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:16:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Point #1, ie yes they have death panels (0+ / 0-)

    and rationing ALREADY!

    Assassin: Its worse than you know. Malcolm: It usually is. 宁静

    by TalkieToaster on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:16:35 AM PDT

  •  In the spirit of Dewey Cox . . . (0+ / 0-)

    A protest song for the Tea Bagger in all of us . . .

    You have to play this game with fear and arrogance... - Crash Davis

    by czardingus on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:25:50 AM PDT

  •  Excellent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    Thank you for writing such a detailed description of your event and giving us a way to refute the RW garbage.

    How about some real change?

    by noofsh on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:31:21 AM PDT

  •  AWESOME!! Perfect Timing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    I've got one I can attend here in the PDX area.  If work is favorable today, I'm loaded and ready to go with the info you've posted up today.

    Thanks!

    EVERY US CITIZEN SHALL BE COVERED BY MEDICARE FROM BIRTH UNTIL DEATH.

    by potatohead on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:35:36 AM PDT

  •  Awesome. Thank you. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    In 1971, Don McLean wrote about the day the music died. On 17 July 2009, the news died. RIP Walter Cronkite.

    by SciMathGuy on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:53:16 AM PDT

  •  KEEP.IT.UP! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    And now, purely for its comedic effect: Bachmann/Jindal 2012!

    by WSComn on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:57:00 AM PDT

  •  Great diary. Thanks. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD
  •  addressing their core of fear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    will help defuse the frenetic anger and maybe even elevate the discourse. Beautiful diary, ShadowSD. Thanks for the effort put in, as well as the good intention. Your approach uses theories of Non-Violence Communication. We will all be accountable if this inchoate rage esclates into violence. As pissed as I am, I don't want the blood of our president or anyone else on my hands. We can help to discharge this rage by acknowledging the real fear on their side, as well as the misinformation. Haven't we all heard a parent yell at a child who's just tumbled? That's fear manifesting as anger. Using inclusive statements, like 'they think we're stupid,' instead of 'I think you're stupid' can work wonders.

    And kudos for the depth and length of your diary, as well. I can't indulge the argument for damaged attention spans; it just perpetuates the damage and it's a major co-factor in the carnival that passes for news lately. Maybe we should all expand our attention spans rather than try to shrink information to fit into its brokenness.

  •  Up a few notches ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    This is brilliance we can believe in; advice we can use to win the battle for hearts and minds on HCR.  

    Woe betide the RWs who are bussed in to face this in coming salvo.  Ready ... aim ... fire!

  •  Heres my experience today with local teababblers (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, fumie, ShadowSD, brein, DesignGuy

    There were about 25 teabaggers out on front of our City Hall building again so I though I would have some fun. Rep Charlie Wilsons assistant was inside feilding questions on this HC business.

    I walked over to them and asked the them what they were protesting. "Obama Care" said a mouthy middle aged  lady.

    So I asked them where Obamas bill was at? Just so I could read it. I asked if they had read Obamas bill and they all said "yea, we read it." So I asked where is it so I can read it. Online they all said.

    I said "You just proved youre a liar" Obama doesnt have a bill and there are quite a few wishlists and proposals and so forth all throughout the different houses of Congress.

    A big guy walked over and asked me what I wanted thinking he could intimaidate me. I walked towards him and asked him the same question..He lied also. I said you people dont even know what youre protesting against. I said "You have all proven to me that youre uninformed and have no idea whats happening"

    They walked away , picked up their signs and continue on with their propagnda .

    •  D'oh! I can't believe I forgot that one! I was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brein

      thinking of it yesterday for my rebuttals, and totally forgot to put it in the diary:

      "Obamacare!" - Obama doesn't have a bill in Congress, or even a bill in Congress he's said he supports, so if you oppose "the Obamacare bill", you oppose a figment of your imagination.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:32:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Illness should not mean bankruptcy. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD, brein, addisnana, smileyman

    I just read an excellent post by Chris Weigant (ChrisWeigant.com). Chris wrote a diary back in June that gave the Democrats some advice on how to frame the healthcare reform debate.  In a nutshell, Chris feels the essence of the argument is this....

    nobody should ever go bankrupt because they get sick.

    This makes sense to me.  It is simple and to the point.  It's not complicated.  Everyone can relate to that short sentence.  Checkout out the entire diary at

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/...

    "Don't bet against us" on Healthcare Reform - President Barack Obama (7/13/09)

    by Ladyhawk on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:45:52 PM PDT

    •  That's number 6 in my top ten list, actually (0+ / 0-)

      One cannot adequately paint the picture of our broken health care system without addressing the fact that 62% of personal bankruptcies are related to medical costs.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:35:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The last guy in the video (5+ / 0-)

    Spoke convincingly about how this sounds like what his parents escaped from.  Government control.  This however, is a democracy.  People never say this, but the tyranny of corporations is just as real. You can lose your rights to coverage.  You can be priced out as well.  You can't fire these people or vote them out of office.  

    Maybe someone here can understand what I'm trying to say and put some better words together to confront people who believe in "the free market fairy".  

    We just can't keep paying for both insurance company profit and health care.  

    Prove me wrong and I'll change my mind.

    by willbjett on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:47:23 PM PDT

    •  I can't say it any better, but I agree 100% (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ShadowSD, brein

      The one thing that makes the government a better steward of the common good than private corporations is democratic control. (Not that we couldn't use more of that, mind you - much more - in both government and the private sector.)

      An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz (cskendrick)

      by brainwave on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:48:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please help me rebut/debunk this list ... (0+ / 0-)

    (included below)

    ... which I got from a devout Republican friend of mine in a chain email ....

    I suspect some of these are outright falsehoods, for example ...

    Pg 145 Line 15-17 An employer MUST auto enroll employees into public opt plan.

    This one is obviously just laughable, or would be, if it were not so sad ... but/so, I responded to my friend with ....

    The public "Option" is an OPTION, so there is no "MUST AUTO ENROLL" in it.

    Hmmm, okay, here's the list ...

    HR 3200 currently under consideration in the House of Representatives

    Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Government will audit the books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

    Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC Bill - Health Care Will Be Rationed

    Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC Bill - A Government Committee decides what treatments / benefits you get

    Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your benefits for you. You will have No choice!

    Pg 50 Section 152 in HC Bill - Healthcare will be provided to ALL illegal aliens.

    Pg 58 HC Bill –   Government will have Real-Time Access to Your Personal Finances.

    A National ID Health Care Card will be issued!

    Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Government has Direct Access to your Personal Bank Accounts with Full Authority to transfer funds whenever they wish.

    Pg 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions and

    Community Organizations - - >such as ACORN??<[emphasis mine]</p>

    Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Government creates a Health Care Exchange to bring private health care plans under government control.  NO more self insuring. [emphasis mine]

    Pg 84 Sec 203 HC Bill - Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private health care plans in the Exchange.

    Pg 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The government will ration your health care!

    Pg 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill - Government mandates linguistic appropriate services.

    Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The government will use civic groups to sign up individuals for government Health Care Plan  Just like Obama did for Project Vote  [emphasis mine]

    Pg 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs of Ben Levels 4 Plans. #AARP members - Your health care WILL be rationed

    Pg 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill - Medicaid Eligible Individual will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid.  You MUST enroll in Medicaid when old.

    Pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue the government on price fixing. No judicial review against government monopoly.

    Pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill - Doctors/ #AMA - The government will tell YOU what you can earn.

    Pg 145 Line 15-17 An employer MUST auto enroll employees into public opt plan.

    Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for health care for part-time employees AND their families.

    Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Employer w/ payroll 400k and above who does not provide public opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll

    Pg 150 Lines 9-13 Businesses with payroll between 251k and 400k who do not provide public opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll

    Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have "acceptable health care" according to government will be taxed 2.5% of income.

    Pg 170 Lines 1-3 Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for illegals - STILL).

    Pg 195 Officers & employees of HC Admin will have access to ALL Americans' financial and personal records.

    Pg 203 Line 14-15 HC - ¯The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.  WHAT??

    Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected.

    Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill - Doctors, it does not matter what specialty they have.  They are all paid the same.

    Pg 253 Line 10-18 Government sets value of doctors' time, prof judge etc.

    Pg 265 Sec 1131Government mandates and controls productivity for private health care industries.

    Pg 268 Sec 1141 Federal Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.

    Pg 272 SEC. 1145. Treatment at certain cancer hospitals.  CANCER medicine is rationed.

    Page 280 Sec 1151 The government will penalize hospitals for what government deems "preventable readmissions."  [hospitals will begin refusing to see certain patients totally]

    Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Doctors that treat a patient during initial admission that results in a "readmission" will be penalized [i.e. NO follow up appointments???]

    Pg 317 L 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership / investment. Government tells Doctors what/how much they can own.

    Pg 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Government is regulating hospital expansion.

    pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception, BUT community input

    required.  [the DAMNED COMMUNITY tells the Hospital IF it can expand??  No Freeekin Way !!]

    Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 - Government mandates establishment of outcome based measures.  [THIS sounds like Outcome Based Education – which does NOT work]

    Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans (Part B),

    HMOs, etc. Forcing people into Government plan.

    Pg 354 Sec 1177 - Government will RESTRICT enrollment of special needs people!

    Pg 379 Sec 1191 Government creates more bureaucracy – Tele-health Advisory Committee.  [automated Health Care???  BANKS don’t even work well with automation]

    Pg 425 Lines 4-12 Government mandates Advance [Death] Care Planning Consultation.

    Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney.

    Pg 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Government provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death.

    Pg 427 Lines 15-24 Government mandates program for orders for end of life. The government has a say in how your life ends.

    Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An ¯adv. care planning consult . will be used frequently as patient's health deteriorates.

    Pg 429 Lines 10-12 ¯adv. care consultation . may include an ORDE R for end of life plans. AN ORDER from Government.

    Pg 429 Lines 13-25 - The government will specify which doctors can write an end of life order.

    PG 430 Lines 11-15 The government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life.

    Pg 469 - Community Based Home Medical Services = Non-profit orgs.  [WHAT’S UP with all the "COMMUNITY BASED" shit?????  Obama just LOVES his Community organizations – don’t he??]

    Pg 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1 monthly payment to a community-based org.

    Pg 489 Sec 1308 The government will cover Marriage and Family therapy.  Government controlled marriage.

    Pg 494-498 Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those services.

    PG 502 Sec 1181 Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research Established.

    Pg 503 Lines 13-19 Government will build registries and data networks from YOUR electronic medical records.

    Pg 503 lines 21-25 Government may secure data directly from any department or agency of the U.S. , including your data.

    Pg 504 Lines 6-10 The ¯Center .will collect data both published (Public) and unpublished (PRIVATE)

    PG 506 Lines 19-21 The Center will recommend policies that would allow for public access of data.

    PG 518 Lines 21-25 The Commission will have input from Health Care consumer reps.  A "Union Rep" for HEALTH????????

    PG 524 18-22 Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund set up. More taxes for ALL.

    PG 621 Lines 20-25 Government will define what quality means in health care. Since when does government know about quality?

    Pg 622 Lines 2-9 To pay for the Quality Standards, government will transfer money from other government Trust Funds.  -  OH, You Mean Like SOCIAL SECURITY??????

    PG 624 ¯Quality .measures shall be designed to assess outcomes and functional status of patients.

    PG 624 ¯Quality .measures shall be designed to profile you including race, age, gender, place of residence, etc.

    Pg 628 Sec 1443 Government will give ¯Multi Stake Holders . Pre Rule Making input into Selection of ¯Quality .Measures.

    Pg 630 9-24/631 1-9 Those multi-stake holder groups include unions and groups like ACORN deciding health care quality.

    Pg 632 Lines 14-25 The Government may implement any ¯Quality measure . of health care services as they see fit.

    PG 633 14-25/ 634 1-9 The Secretary may issue non-endorsed ¯Quality Measures . for Physician Services and Dialysis Services.

    Pg 635 to 653 Physicians Payments Sunshine Provision – Government wants to shine sunlight on doctor but not government.

    Pg 654-659 Public Reporting on Health Care-Associated Infections – Actually Looks Legitimate.

    PG 660-671 Doctors in Residency – Government will tell Doctors WHERE to practice medicine, thus WHERE they’ll live.

    Pg 676-686 Government will regulate hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs, including teaching hospitals.

    Pg 686-700 Increased Funding to Fight Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. You mean like the government with an $18 million website called CARS????

    PGs 701-704 Sec 1619 If your part of health care plan isn’t in Government Health Care Exchange but you qualify for Federal aid, no payment.

    PG 705-709 SEC. 1128 If Secretary gets complaint on health care provider or supplier, government can do background check.  [ANYONE can take down an HC provider with this]

    PG 711 Lines 8-14 The Secretary has broad powers to deny health care providers/ suppliers admittance into Health Care Exchange. Your doctor could be thrown out of business.

    Pg 719-720 Sec 1637 ANY Doctor who orders durable medical equipment or home medical services MUST be enrolled in Medicare.

    PG 722 Sec 1639 Government MANDATES doctors must have face-to-face with patient to certify patient for Home Health Services.

    PG 724 23-25 PG 725 1-5 The same government certifications will apply to Medicaid and CHIP (your kids).

    PG 724 Lines 16-22 Government reserves right to apply face-to-face certification for patient to ANY other health care service.

    Pg 735 lines 16-25 For law enforcement, proposes the Secretary-HHS will give Attorney General access to ALL data.

    PG 740-757 Government sets guidelines for subsidizing the uninsured (That's your tax dollars people).

    Pg 757-762 Federal Government will shift burden of payments to Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) to States. (Taxes)

    Pg 763 1-8 No DS/EA hospitals will be paid unless they provide services without regard to national origin.

    Pg 765 Sec 1711 Government will require Preventative Services including vaccines.  (NO Choice of MERCURY FILLED Vaccines that cause Autism!!!)

    Pg 768 Sec 1713 Government Run Nurse Home Visitation Services.

    Pg 769 11-14 Nurse Home Visit Services include economic self-sufficiency, employ adv, school-readiness.

    Pg 769 3-5 Nurse Home Visit Services - ¯increasing "birth intervals" between pregnancies.. Government ABORTIONS anyone?

    Pg 770 SEC 1714 Federal Government mandates eligibility for State Family Planning Services. Abortion and State Sovereignty.

    Pg 789-797 Government will set, mandate drug prices, controlling which drugs brought to market. Bye bye innovation and ALTERNATIVE cures.

    Pgs 797-800 SEC. 1744 PAYMENTS for graduate medical education. The government will now control doctors’ educations.

    PG 801 Sec 1751 The government will decide which health care conditions will be paid.  YOUR condition isn’t popular today !!

    Pg 810 SEC. 1759. Billing Agents, clearinghouses, etc. req. to register. Government takes over private payment system.

    Pg 820-824 Sec 1801 Government will identify individuals ineligible for subsidies. Will access all personal financial information.

    Pg 824-829 SEC. 1802. Government sets up Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund. Another tax black hole.

    PG 829-833 Government will impose a fee on ALL private health insurance plans including self-insured to pay for Trust Fund!

    PG 835 11-13 fees imposed by government for Trust Fund shall be treated as if they were taxes.

    Pg 838-840 Government will design and implement Home Visitation Program for families with young kids and families expecting kids.

    PG 844-845 This Home Visitation Program includes government coming into your house and telling you HOW TO RAISE YOUR KIDS !!!

    Pg 859 Government will establish a Public Health Fund at a cost of $88,800,000,000. Yes that ’s billion.

    Pg 865 The government will MANDATE the establishment of a National Health Service Corps.

    PG 865 to 876 The NHS Corps is a program where doctors perform mandatory health care for two years for part loan repayment.

    PG 876-892 The government takes over the education of our medical students and doctors. PG 898 The government will establish a Public Health Workforce Corps to ensure supply of public health prof.

    PG 898 The Public Health Workforce Corps shall consist of civilian employees of the U.S. as Secretary deems.

    PG 898 The Public Health Workforce Corps shall consist of officers of Regular and Reserve Corps of Service.

    PG 900 The Public Health Workforce Corps includes veterinarians.

    PG 901 The Public Health Workforce Corps WILL include commissioned Regular and Reserve Officers. HC Draft?

    PG 910 The government will develop, build, and run Public Health Training Centers.

    PG 913-914 Government starts a health care affirmative action program thru guise of diversity scholarships.

    PG 915 SEC. 2251. Government MANDDATES Cultural and linguistic competency training for health care professionals.

    Pg 932 The Government will establish Preventative and Wellness Trust fund- initial cost of $30,800,000,000 billion.

    PG 935 21-22 Government will identify specific goals & objectives for prevention & wellness activities.  YOU will be told HOW to exercise.

    PG 936 Government will develop ¯Healthy People and National Public Health Performance Standards.  Tell me what to eat?

    PG 942 Lines 22-25 More government? Offices of Surgeon General -Public Health Svc, Minority Health, Women ’s Health

    PG 950- 980 BIG GOVERNMENT core pub health infrastructure including workforce capacity, lab systems, health info sys, etc.

    PG 993 Government will establish school based health clinics.  Kids will be forced into the system.

    PG 994 School Based Health Clinic will be integrated into the school environment.  THIS is George Orwell’s 1984 BIG BROTHER.

    PG 1001 The government will establish a National Medical Device Registry. Will you be tracked?

    ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

    by ArthurPoet on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:48:21 PM PDT

  •  Thanks SSD... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimzzz, ShadowSD

    ...it is about time someone added some FACTS and reason to what otherwise appears to be nonsense and snafu. Keep the data and ideas coming.

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:03:36 PM PDT

  •  I fear the responses are too long and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan

    complicated.  One-liners are the most these people have the inclination to listen to.  It's got to be as simplistic as their opinions and statements are.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:30:29 PM PDT

  •  I saw Claire McCaskill's Town Hall on CNN (5+ / 0-)

    and she was REALLY good.  The crowd was mostly seniors who had a lot of questions but they were really civil and asked good questions.

    Claire McCaskill went systematic against the GOP talking points.

    She gave a very common sense speech and was very supportive of the public option.

    I was impressed but I think that she is really good.

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:46:50 PM PDT

    •  I have always been impressed by Claire McCaskill (0+ / 0-)

      I see a lot of Obama in her, a lot of the same good qualities.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:37:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I made 100 double side copies of both (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimzzz, ShadowSD, anyname

    the talking points and rebuttal points, colated and staples. Your email addy is at the bottom as it appears in the pdf form/ I plan to black that out unless you say otherwise. One copy went to Sam Farr's office, they said thanl you.

    Now I'm off to Kinko's again to download and copy that remarkable flyer "why public option sucks' posted here somewhere and apparently going to top comments.

    Insulin in Ca public schools ruling STAYED during appeal. Great ruling for 15,000 diabetic students. http://preview.tinyurl.com/dxafql

    by foggycity on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:55:44 PM PDT

    •  You can post my e-mail address (0+ / 0-)

      You don't have to black it out.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:38:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks. I got a copy of these to the political (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ShadowSD

        guy of our seiu office as he was about to leave for a townhall with Farr.

        Insulin in Ca public schools ruling STAYED during appeal. Great ruling for 15,000 diabetic students. http://preview.tinyurl.com/dxafql

        by foggycity on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:00:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ask Them Whether They (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, ShadowSD

    will be having the H1N1 vaccine inoculations this Fall.
    Point out that this is government-funded, government-run healthcare, and if they are really opposed to this, they should give the shot a miss.

  •  I think while initially taken aback by the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, brainwave, ShadowSD

    flying BS, Rep. Doggett has a fire in his belly.  I live nowhere near Austin, Texas, but was invited to a special briefing from him on how to fight back.  He's always been a good egg but I think he's found renewed purpose.

    Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

    by conlakappa on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 02:31:18 PM PDT

  •  High 5's SSD! I'm printing your points (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD, japangypsy

    Another kick-ass diary  ;)

  •  Came back from a town hall today (6+ / 0-)

    in John Hall's NY-19 district.  Out of the, I'd guess, 50 or so people in attendance, at most 3 or 4 were there to cause trouble.  Democracy is very refreshing when people play by the rules and are civil.

  •  Good diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    It helps to sum up the facts for all of us who have republican friends who are buying into the disinformation campaign.  One guy even wrote saying that this health care reform plan will be the biggest bungle in our nation's history.  I guess he forgot about 8 years of Iraq...  

    "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

    by dolfin66 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:19:08 PM PDT

  •  It's so much better to die at the hands of an HMO (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ksecus, ShadowSD, Angry Mouse

    than at those of an evil government bureaucrat. At least as you snuff you know you're kicking the bucket for the glory of capitalism. And as living proof that while our ancestors may have left the cave 80k years ago, the cave has never left us.

    An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz (cskendrick)

    by brainwave on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:37:33 PM PDT

  •  Great work! Thanks for posting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    Watching Pete Sessions and reporting from the Taliban-controlled 32nd Congressional District of Texas.

    by CoolOnion on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:55:08 PM PDT

  •  Questions about how a public option would work (0+ / 0-)

    I feel like I've kept up reasonably well with the debate on HC reform, but I still can't explain to someone else how a public option would compete against private HC insurance.

    It all makes sense if we go to a single-payer, one-source system, but in this mixed-bag that's being created I don't have a clue how things will work.

    -- Would the public option carry a price tag for those who are employed?

    -- If there is a premium to pay for enrollment in the public option, what would be the penalty for not paying the premium? (If it's non-coverage, that seems sort of self-defeating)

    -- Would enrollment be open to all, or only those who could not get coverage under private plans?

    -- If the public plan is open to all, is it envisioned as being on a par with private plans, or priced lower?

    -- Would it offer coverage without deductibles or co-pays, or would there be similar structures to what now exists in private plans?

    If there is a source that addresses these types of questions, please point me toward it. Thanks...

    •  Answers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ShadowSD

      -- Would the public option carry a price tag for those who are employed? No, your employer pays this price, which will be lower than what they currently pay.

      -- If there is a premium to pay for enrollment in the public option, what would be the penalty for not paying the premium? (If it's non-coverage, that seems sort of self-defeating) You have to pay a tax of 2.5% of your income, or the price of insurance, whichever is less.  Illegal aliens must pay this also!

      -- Would enrollment be open to all, or only those who could not get coverage under private plans? Open to all except (I think) those who currently have employer-sponsored coverage

      -- If the public plan is open to all, is it envisioned as being on a par with private plans, or priced lower?More prevention, less bells&whistles, lower cost

      -- Would it offer coverage without deductibles or co-pays, or would there be similar structures to what now exists in private plans?  Don't know.  The bill appoints a Health Choices Commissioner to decide the exact plan.

      I got these answers from reading the bill.  I may be wrong.  Bill text is here.

      •  Thanks for taking the time (0+ / 0-)

        to respond, even though most had already moved on. Still trying to sort through all of the info and misinfo, and this is very helpful.

        Not sure, though, how #1 and #2 square with #3. I will keep looking and listening.

  •  Just today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    a co-worker told me the story of a man who came to our hospital (I work in health care) dead on arrival.  He was only 47 years old.  Lost his job, was diagnosed with heart problems, quite taking his meds because he lost his health insurance and could not afford the meds.

    At the same time the Republican's present at the time completely were unfazed, and talked about the "lazy" risk taking uninsured.  Unbelievable.

  •  Bravo! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    I've bookmarked this diary for the inevitable arguments on MBs. Great work, thank you!

    BTW the guy who said this:
    "If my arm is bleeding, I'm going to put a bandage around it if I don't have stitches; I'm not going to sit there and bleed to death."
    Is entirely too logical and has too much common sense to be a real teabagger ;)

    As long as prejudice exists in this country - in this world - we are all its victims. ~~ Keith Olbermann

    by Purple Priestess on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 04:18:57 PM PDT

  •  I like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    how the ignorant Republican comments always are framed in a way to state how patriotic they are, and how important the constitution is to them, and how freedoms are so important.  What a bunch of hypocrites.  

    Commenting specifically on the video, the hispanic teacher should have made a disclosure statement noting that he does not represent teachers or hispanics, because clearly his comments represent neither.

  •  Keep your eye on the prize, the public option (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    A lot of these conservative tactics are to try and prevent support of a strong public option.  Don't forget that it should be discussed at every opportunity so people understand it and get behind it.  It will be the only meaningful way to lower health care costs and get people covered.

  •  Shortened summary is too verbose. Good, tho. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimzzz

    You've got a whole bunch of clauses in the most key sentences, and the most important ones tend to be lost behind the qualifiers.
    Listeners may not want to hear, or have short attention spans. So we need to start right in with a central impact point, then add some qualifiers, and add more as the discussion requires. afi:

    Private insurance companies profit by letting you die, when you need life-saving care.   They're as likely to drop you then as to have you treated. They can overrule your doctor's advice. A public option gives you a lifeline.

  •  I got just one thing on my list... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, ShadowSD, brein, Miniaussiefan
    1. do you or someone you know currently or in the near future receive medicare? yes? Are you happy with medicare? Yes? That is what a public option would provide. It would be run very similar to Medicare except it would be available to anyone that would like to switch from what they currently have to a Medicare like health insurance plan.

    "be a loyal plastic robot boy in a world that doesn't care" - Frank Zappa

    by Unbozo on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:39:28 PM PDT

    •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Unbozo

      The only reason I didn't go with that is because one of the wingers' main points at the town hall I went to was that Medicare was inefficient, so I based my rebuttal on countering that point.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 05:43:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great New Slogan (0+ / 0-)

    SAVE BIG INSURANCE PROFITS, STOP HEALTH CARE REFORM NOW... bigger profits, less care!

  •  Rebuttals (0+ / 0-)

    I heard a caller a couple of weeks ago call in to Thom Hartmans show, he said he was a doctor but was worried about how to pay his malpractice insurance if the medicare reimburments were lowered to reasonable, unfortunately I didnt hear the response I had hoped for, my thoughts are if medical is free to everyone (single payor or close) then any insurance that contained a medical component such as auto or malpractice .. whatever will be greatly reduced in price because from what I hear from a 15k auto policy only about 2k is for vehicle damage the other 13k is medical so it would hold that the malpractice cost would go down almost to nothing if they didnt include the medical liability because that will be free for all.

    there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over -6.88/-4.31

    by DeadB0y on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:47:52 PM PDT

    •  Malpractice insurance rates down? (0+ / 0-)

      Only if Doctors demand it! Companies will continue to collect at their current rate until someone points out that the need has changed and demands an adjustment!

      Right now the public option doesn't look wonderfully hopeful anyway. Let's hope that entries like this reverse this trend!!

      'Maine and more' photos at http://www.bethsstockphotography.com/

      by cokids on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 04:25:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WOW (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    This is great, you are awesome and brave. Nice work. I am going to copy and save your dairy for future reference. Thanks.

    Liberals fall in love, conservatives fall in line

    by polticaljunkie on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:56:17 PM PDT

  •  Excellent post shadow. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    Truly excellent.
    Ive used the info a few times already...Thanks.

  •  Try coming to a meeting in the South (0+ / 0-)

    You can only make points if at any time the Raging stops.  Good information but it does not work in a room loaded with rage.  

    •  That room I was in was loaded with rage (0+ / 0-)

      I assure you.

      That said, I'm certain getting a turnout with 70-30 in favor of a public option is a heck of a lot harder to pull off in the South than it is in CT, so I know you're dealing with more rage in the room.

      But notice, I even added a rebuttal for booing.  And calling out the insurance company at the beginning of the meeting I went to shut up the ragers and prevented them from disrupting.  So perhaps we overestimate our own imitations sometimes.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:24:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  imo, the most outstanding, and relevant political (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, ShadowSD, virginwoolf, smileyman

    writing I've experienced on the web in years. That's how I'd review these diaries  you've been doing.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:29:15 PM PDT

  •  very well written, I'm usually impatient and fly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    thru diaries, but this one caught my attention from the beginning and was easy to read...

  •  Superb diary & talking points (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    Thanks; wish I was in my red part of a state (CO) going blue just to use the talking points.  Your account of the town hall meeting is one of the best (and there are other very good ones)!

    Overseas American? Register. Vote www.VoteFromAbroad.org

    by redstaterabroad on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 01:25:35 AM PDT

  •  In the Constitution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    It is in the Preamble:  To Promote the General Welfare.

  •  What About Ted Kennedy? (0+ / 0-)

    "The average American family pays $16K/yr on health care while the avg. Canadian family pays less than $2K/yr,"... well, to that, I'd say you get what you pay for.

    If the Canadian Health Care system is so good, why didn't Ted Kennedy go to Canada? I don't think Canada would have denied someone like Ted Kennedy.

    We don't need to completely replace our health care system, just put in some sensible reforms.

    If Obama's Health Care Plan is so good, why did members of Congress exempt themselves from it?

    by GivEmWhat4 on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 04:02:08 AM PDT

  •  What ShadowSD fails to mention (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    Our "Town Hall" meeting wasn't one.  The Woodstock DTC hosted a private event, and the general public (contituents) were graciously "allowed" to attend (that is if they somehow found out about the event).  

    See a letter to the editor explaining this.Norwich Bulletin Letter

    Shadow and people like him did ask thoughtful questions.  There were just a few on each side.  I think he would agree that time was just too short to have a healthy discussion.  

    Now, what he isn't coming clean about:

    1. The Union member was from out of District, imported to cheerlead Obamacare.  He talks of patriotism and what not, while dissent is patriotic.  
    1. The parking lot was suspiciously full of cars with Massachusetts license plates and Obama stickers.  One might suspect that Rep. Courtney (or his hosts) stacked the audience with fake support (or at least non-District supporters).
    1. How to pay for the program was not satisfactorily addressed.

    Other than that, a good posting by Shadow, and even liberty minded conservatives like me learned a lot from the 10 points.

    Rich

    •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)
      1. I don't think this is a fair criticism, since I showed your video in full, including the first few seconds where you establish that he was out of district.  Consider - it would have been very easy to say to myself from the beginning that I refuse to post this video because the part at the beginning could potentially detract from the point I was making - but I didn't.  The fact is that guy WAS out of district, so not posting the video would have been "not coming clean" - but I did post it.
      1. Seeing out of state license plates and automatically assuming that they were on the same side as the ONE guy that you identified from out of district is quite the leap.  There is evidence to suggest that citizens registered as Democrats who called up Courtney's office about the DTC meeting were repeatedly told Courtney would NOT be there - which would mean the effort to reduce turnout to prevent overcrowding was across the board, not just geared towards the right, and completely undermines any theory of Courtney stacking the deck.  However, again, I have to appeal to common sense here; the people being bussed into to loudly disrupt meetings across the country have by every single account have invariably been opposed to the public option - unless you can provide a single example of a pro-public option citizen shouting down opposing viewpoints from any town hall meeting.  I would welcome such an example as legitimate evidence of your viewpoint, but I have yet to see a single case of this.  It certainly didn't happen at our meeting - neither union guy or anyone else was preventing conservatives from speaking in the way that that last podium speaker's free speech rights were maligned - which suggests that you may have your focus backwards when it comes to meddlers.  Please understand me correctly, I think EVERYONE at such a Congressional town hall meeting should be from the district, but an even more important consideration is to prevent stifling of free speech by yellers who won't let others talk; finding a single, non-disruptive out of district person on your video and inferring that as proof that all the out of district people are pro-public option may be easier for you to believe, considering it confirms your pre-existing suspicions and beliefs, but I ask you to consider the plausibility of your reasoning when it comes to this big picture.
      1. This I can agree on.  More time at the meeting would have been helpful for this complex topic.  That said, have you examined the CBO links I provided that show a savings of $150 billion under the public option, and that the current House tri-committee bill leaves a $6 billion dollar surplus? Personally, I find spending to be a very important issue, and I intend to hold President Obama to his promise that the bill which ultimately passes must be deficit neutral over a ten year period.

      Private insurance companies only profit from denying health care, killing 20,000 Americans a year. A real public option ENDS the rationing of health care.

      by ShadowSD on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 08:44:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  a little late but just wanted to clean this up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antirove

    The average American family pays $16K/yr on health care while the avg. Canadian family pays less than $2K/yr

    Not exactly.  The Milliman Medical Index puts the average US family at closer to $17K ($16771 for 2009).  This includes forgone wages from employer benefits.  The Canadian number has to be low, since it also should include forgone wages as Canadian employers do contribute to the single-payer system through taxes (indirectly).  I can't quote you a family number, but the average Canadian per person number for total spending is closer to $3680 (2006), whereas in the US it is $6710 for the same year.

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShadowSD

    I printed this and one other diary for a co-worker who was confused by all the hatemongering.

    Again, from the bottom of itty bitty heart, thank you for all of this hard work. I'm sure many copies will be made and passed along.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

    by Damnit Janet on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 05:51:45 PM PDT

  •  Where in the constitution (0+ / 0-)

    does it say that the US is a "capitalist" country. The words capitalism, capitalist, capital or market NEVER appear in the market. The word "welfare" appears twice.

  •  Another Strategy (0+ / 0-)

    Why not share this link with all your friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook? Why not spread the wealth?

    'Maine and more' photos at http://www.bethsstockphotography.com/

    by cokids on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 04:19:28 AM PDT

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